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Occupy the UN Called For As Bank of America Invited In by Ban Ki-moon, Who Excludes Africa, Proposes UN Drones

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 -- "Occupy Wall Street is coming," a UN Security officer told Inner City Press on March 23. "We've been told to get ready for them."

  Inner City Press since last Fall has called on and off for an "Occupy the UN." UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his spokespeople, when Inner City Press asked questions about the mass arrest of 700 peaceful protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge or the shooting of Scott Olsen in Oakland, were slow to comment - then told Inner City Press the Oakland Police Department "acted responsibly," click here for that story.

   Telling, as exposed on March 22, UN Peacekeeping is quietly proposing to intercept communications and use surveillance - drones, as member states complained to Inner City Press.

   When Inner City Press asked how Ban could name as the co-chair of his "Sustainable Energy for All" group Charles Holliday, the chairman of Bank of America which has been protested as the number one funder of mountaintop removal coal mining, the UN called Holliday a responsible businessman.

Ban's adviser Robert Orr further defended Bank of America to Inner City Press; now Orr is in charge of "public private partnerships" for the UN. The UN also has a Global Compact with business which essentially blue washes multinational corporations.

 When as is rare, non-violent protesters came on to UN grounds to protest Dupont, they were stopped and ejected. Apparently, there is no right to peaceful dissent in the UN.

  (UN Security have their own grievances: when they were beaten by the bodyguards of a member state last September, Ban immediately apologized to the member state.)

  And so it is entirely appropriate that the UN now become the target of protest by Occupy. The only question is "what took so long?" It's important to recognize that the corporate domination that will be protested is not limited to corporate lobbying of the member states that will attend the Rio + 20 conference -- the corporation have gotten into the UN Secretariat, have been invited in by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his team.

  The invitations, even at the level of staff, are more and more selective. Ban is letting go his African Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro of Tanzania, to be replaced by a 71 year old European. His top Africa adviser post, Ban recently gave to an Egyptian diplomat who represented now deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak.

  When Ban spoke with Yemen's Ali Saleh, Inner City Press asked Ban if he had raised the immunity deal Saleh was seeking and got, after killing over 1000 civilians. No, Ban told Inner City Press, it didn't come up.

Nor has Ban's UN admitted, much less provided compensation for, having brought cholera into Haiti.

Ban himself is, as usual, out of town. Most recently he met with the President of his native South Korea, devoting seven sentences of his read-out to North Korea, two to Syria, with a mere passing reference to Africa, congratulating Lee Myung-bak for sending a small group of engineers to the UN mission in South Sudan.

In Sudan, the UN offered free helicopter flights to Darfur genocide mastermind Ahmed Harun, despite him having been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Ban has accepted without comment another alleged war criminal, Sri Lankan General Shavendra Silva, as his Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping.

   To Syria, UN envoy Kofi Annan has an adviser Nicholas Michel, who was he was chief lawyer for the UN nevertheless took $12,000 a month from his government, as exposed by Inner City Press, to rent a seven bedroom apartment on Park Avenue. He told Inner City Press he couldn't find anything "appropriate" that was cheaper.

 There is an overlap between the top echelons of the United Nations and the 1%, one hopes the connect gets made now, even if only as part of a "Mock'Upation," and even more going forward. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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