Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Occupy Wall St. Eyes Sleeping Bags, UN Dodges, Obama Raises Funds, Germans

By Matthew Russell Lee

NEW YORK CITY, October 3 -- Hours after the UN Security Council set a vote on condemning Syria's crackdown on protesters, 80 blocks south at the Occupy Wall Street encampment a General Assembly was held.

  The topics were either mundane or concrete: how to spend the $35,000 in donation collected -- sleeping bags to fight the cold appeared to get consensus -- and how to coexist with the residents of the expensive apartments that now polka dot Wall Street. Fliers for a protest march were distributed, along with rice and free slices of vegan pizza.

  At the UN's noon briefing Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman if he had any comment on Saturday's 700 arrests. "Obviously we are aware of the reports," the spokesman answered, "I don't have anything immediately for you, nothing at the moment."

Eight hours later there was still nothing from the UN. In front of the Security Council Inner City Press asked Ambassadors, of both Permanent and non-permanent members. "Seven hundred arrests but no one killed," one Ambassador said. Another asked, "What about the London riots?"

Downtown Deepak Chopra spoke and then quickly exited the crowd looking scared. He had appeared by the UN during the General Debate, at an event on malaria with 50 Cent and Desmond Tutu. New York has its celebrities. But not since Tompkins Square Park has it had an encampment like this, and an issue like the wrongful bail out of banks.

In Zuccotti Park, also called Liberty Plaza, a rain drenched sign said "Dodd-Frank does not equal protection." It's a nuanced point that the Federal Reserve, just down Liberty Street at Number 33, does not seem to realize. The Fed stands poised to approve the creation of a fifty Too Big To Fail bank, Capital One. Opponents wonder how to connect with Occupy Wall Street, and bemoan the lack of leaders. But perhaps that is the point.

Occupy Wall Street, 7:30 pm Oct 3, 2011 (c) MRLee

Between the UN and Occupy Wall Street, the only connection for now are a handful of journalists. Inner City Press covered the arrests on Saturday, and has been trolling the Plaza since. A Moroccan journalist is headed there; the Latins and Arabic TV stations have their cameras. But it's still two separate worlds.

Witness that uptown on 63rd Street and Columbus in Lincoln Center's Koch Theater the Germans were celebrating their Unification Day, with bratwurst and beer and wine in an enormous hall with jazz, Ambassadors laughing when told about Occupy Wall Street. This yearly event was moved from the Central Park Boathouse to avoid the unpleasantness of a labor struggle. The jazz and the bar were cut off promptly at 9:30.

Lincoln Center, Koch Theater, German event 9:20 pm Oct 3 (c) MRLee

Down in the OWS General Assembly, items are put on the agenda, amplified by voices, and questions asked in stacks. The goal is consensus like in the UN GA, but here is feels somehow rawer, or at least simpler. In the Security Council, despite public rhetoric, there are only six votes for Palestine to join the UN.

The US under Obama stand ready to cast a veto, but would rather buy off countries to oppose so that the veto is not needed. On a White House call at 5 on Monday, two self-described Senior Administration Officials pitches Obama's trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.

The targeted killing of union organizers and Catholic priests in Colombia is well known, but only came up on the call at the end, by a reporter in Spanish. The rest just focused on process, on Whips in Congress and deals with Republicans.

On Meet the Press on Sunday, the Occupy Wall Street protests only came up as an aid to Obama, a showing that there is a Left of him. But most of the protesters are disgusted with Obama, who when he comes to New York focuses on $37,000 a plate fundraisers with Wall Street executives.

One wonders at the next step for Occupy Wall Street. Will the police eventually move in and try to close it down? If they do will it work, or take things to another level? Watch this site.

Share |

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -