Richmond Tea Party says city audit is harassment

By Steve Szkotak November 29, 2011 7:22 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Richmond Tea Party said an audit by the city is retaliation for the conservative group seeking refunds for rally permits and fees, arguing that Occupy Richmond activists have not been charged anything for the same activities.

The audit is outlined in a Nov. 14 letter by the city’s Department of Finance. It states the group has not paid admissions, lodging or meals taxes collected by the city, so is now being audited.

The tea party said Monday it has never charged an admission or offered meals or lodging associated with its rallies.

“Every month the forms are appropriately filled with zeros,” Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens wrote in an email.

The group said the audit is punishment for its complaint that the city had charged it $8,500 for permits and other costs for rallies, while Occupy Richmond activists have not been assessed any costs related to their former occupation of a city-owned plaza.

The tea party sought a refund, unsuccessfully, from the city.

“This audit is an obvious attempt to intimidate and harass us for standing up against the unfair treatment and discrimination against our Tea Party,” Owens wrote in the email.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Dwight C. Jones said his office wasn’t aware of the audit and that the Richmond Tea Party is among 700 businesses that were not compliant with admissions, meals or lodging excise taxes, known collectively as ALM.

“The Richmond Tea Party did not file any of the required ALM monthly returns during 2010 and had only filed January and February 2011 when this account was selected for audit review,” Tammy D. Hawley wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Since then, it has filed returns for 2011 but not 2010, Hawley said.

Owens said the tea party treasurer had been told by a city official he would comply with the 2010 filings. The official said not to bother because the group would have no reports of tax activity sought by the city, she said.

“We’ll be glad to fill out the forms but all the forms will be zero,” Owens said in an interview. “We’ve never owed any taxes.”

The Richmond Tea Party has publicly criticized Jones and his administration for favoring Occupy Richmond activists. They have cited his public comments stating his sympathies with the anti-Wall Street movement as a child of the civil rights movement and its protests.

The Tea Party said Jones’ administration sought permit fees, portable toilets and other demands for their events, but had given Occupy Richmond a free pass.

The Occupy movement pitched tents for two weeks on a city-owned plaza until police cleared them out in a pre-dawn sweep on Oct. 31.

The occupation costs the city $17,640, primarily for police and public works overtime costs, according to a city accounting based on a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the AP.

The costs did not include a subsequent occupation on the lawn of the mayor’s neighbor.

Guess Who’s Complaining about the ‘Occupy’ Protests?

The poor members of the media. They are such victims. They can spin a story. They can slant a story. They can push an ideology. And they can also be the biggest bunch of babies in the world. Unlike the Tea Party protesters, who would have a rally and go home, the “Occupy” protests like to camp out and stay… leaving filth and violence in their wake. This is a situation that is very hard for law enforcement to handle, and yet, members of the media are now complaining that they aren’t being treated fairly at the “Occupy” protests. Where’s my violin?

Unions, liberal groups join Occupy protesters; 300 arrested

By Karen Matthews November 18, 2011 8:16 am

NEW YORK (AP) – Occupy Wall Street protesters clogged streets and tied up traffic around the U.S. on Thursday to mark two months since the movement’s birth and signal they aren’t ready to quit, despite the breakup of many of their encampments by police. Hundreds of people were arrested, most of them in New York.

The demonstrations — which took place in cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Boston, Washington and Portland, Ore. — were for the most part peaceful. Most of the arrests were for blocking streets, and the traffic disruptions were brief.

Chanting “All day, all week, shut down Wall Street,” more than 1,000 protesters gathered near the New York Stock Exchange and sat down in several intersections. Helmeted police officers broke up some of the gatherings, and operations at the stock market were not disrupted.

As darkness fell, a coalition of unions and progressive groups joined Occupy demonstrators in staging rallies at landmark bridges in several U.S. cities to protest joblessness.

In New York, a crowd of several thousand people, led by banner-carrying members of the Service Employees International Union, jammed Manhattan’s Foley Square and then marched peacefully across the Brooklyn Bridge on a pedestrian promenade.

As they walked, a powerful light projected the slogan “We are the 99 percent” — a reference to the Americans who aren’t super-rich — on the side of a nearby skyscraper. Police officers dressed in wind breakers, rather than riot gear, arrested at least two dozen people who walked out onto the bridges’ roadway but otherwise let the marchers pass without incident.

Several weeks ago, an attempt to march across the bridge drew the first significant international attention to the Occupy movement as more than 700 people were arrested.

Thursday’s protests came two days after police raided and demolished the encampment at lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park that had served as headquarters of the Occupy movement and as demonstrators and union allies tried to regain their momentum.

“This is a critical moment for the movement given what happened the other night,” said demonstrator Paul Knick, a software engineer from Montclair, N.J. “It seems like there’s a concerted effort to stop the movement, and I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

At least 300 people were arrested in New York. Some were bloodied during the arrests. One man was taken into custody for throwing liquid, possibly vinegar, into the faces of several police officers, authorities said. Many demonstrators were carrying vinegar as an antidote for pepper spray.

A police officer, Matthew Walters, needed 20 stitches on his hand after he was hit with a piece of thrown glass, police said.

In Los Angeles, about 500 sympathizers marched downtown between the Bank of America tower and Wells Fargo Plaza, chanting, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” More than two dozen people were arrested.

Police arrested 21 demonstrators in Las Vegas, and 20 were led away in plastic handcuffs in Portland, Ore., for sitting down on a bridge. At least a dozen were arrested in St. Louis in the evening after they sat down cross-legged and locked arms in an attempt to block a bridge over the Mississippi River. More were handcuffed for blocking bridges in Philadelphia and Minneapolis.

In Chicago, hundreds of protesters organized by labor and community groups marched toward the Chicago River. They stopped at the river bridge and shut it down to rush-hour traffic. Police officers scrambled to divert cars and pedestrians. People watched the protests from office windows and bus stops.

In Seattle, hundreds of Occupy Seattle and labor demonstrators shut down the University Bridge as part of a national day of action demanding jobs. Traffic was snarled around Seattle’s University District as two rallies marched toward the bridge.

Several of the demonstrations coincided with an event planned months earlier by a coalition of unions and liberal groups, including Moveon.org and the SEIU, in which out-of-work people walked over bridges in several cities to protest high unemployment.

The street demonstrations also marked two months since the Occupy movement sprang to life in New York on Sept. 17. They were planned well before police raided a number of encampments over the past few days but were seen by some activists as a way to demonstrate their resolve in the wake of the crackdown.

Thursday’s demonstrations around Wall Street brought taxis and delivery trucks to a halt, but police were largely effective at keeping the protests confined to just a few blocks. Officers allowed Wall Street workers through the barricades, but only after checking their IDs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said police had been expecting as many as 10,000 protesters based on what activists had been saying online. But he said there had been “minimal disruption.”

“Most protesters have, in all fairness, acted responsibly,” he said after visiting an injured police officer in the hospital.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said officers confiscated metal devices that some demonstrators had apparently planned to use to lock themselves into the entrances to Wall Street businesses.

The demonstration that drew thousands of people to Foley Square in the evening was a rarity in the Occupy movement: Union organizers obtained a permit from the city, and speakers were allowed to use a sound system.

Among the demonstrators arrested in New York was a retired Philadelphia police captain, Ray Lewis, who was taken into custody in his dress uniform. Others included actor and director Andre Gregory, who said he hoped the movement would lead to national action on economic injustice.

“It’s a possible beginning of something positive,” he said.

Some onlookers applauded the demonstrators from open windows. Others yelled, “Get a job!”

“I don’t understand their logic,” said Adam Lieberman, as he struggled to navigate police barricades on his way to work at JPMorgan Chase. “When you go into business, you go into business to make as much money as you can. And that’s what banks do. They’re trying to make a profit.”

Gene Williams, a bond trader, joked that he was “one of the bad guys” but said he empathized with the demonstrators: “The fact of the matter is, there is a schism between the rich and the poor, and it’s getting wider.”

The confrontations followed early morning arrests in other cities. In Dallas, police evicted dozens of protesters near City Hall, citing health and safety reasons. Eighteen protesters were arrested. Two demonstrators were arrested and about 20 tents removed at the University of California, Berkeley.

City officials and demonstrators were trying to decide their next step in Philadelphia, where about 100 protesters were under orders to clear out to make way for a long-planned $50 million plaza renovation at City Hall. Union leaders pressed the demonstrators to leave, saying construction jobs were stake.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long, Jennifer Peltz, Meghan Barr in New York contributed to this story.

Adamo: “Occupy” Movement – Welcome To Liberal Utopia

By Christopher G. Adamo November 17, 2011 7:37 am

For all but the most blindly dogmatic, any former “bloom” has long since left the rosy facade of the “Occupy Wall Street” phenomenon. Though the liberal media have been working overtime from the beginning to maintain the fantasy that the protesters embody the concerns and aspirations of Real America, and despite their best efforts to frame any discussion of the movement as a noble endeavor propelled by unfettered idealism, its sheer ugliness is daily becoming more apparent and inescapable.

Increasingly, “Occupy” events throughout the nation are becoming anarchistic zones of unchecked assault, robbery, rape, and even murder. Reports of spreading diseases, in one instance even including a particularly virulent form of tuberculosis, are ever more common at the protest gatherings. And in general, the lofty and pious rhetoric of the protesters is rendered completely implausible by the abhorrent filth and squalor in which its participants are willing to subsist.

Nevertheless, these brave and principled individuals, we are told, constitute a shining army of visionaries who have dedicated themselves to the establishment of a proper and decent America. The future of the nation is firmly in their hands, and we can all rejoice at the plans which they have conceived for us. And herein lies the one critical warning to be gleaned from this debacle by a vigilant America. From its inception to the appalling manner in which the “Occupy” movement is being advanced, it does indeed represent the grim fate awaiting the nation if a drastic course correction is not implemented soon.

To begin with, this was no uncoordinated groundswell of like-minded individuals sharing a collective yearning to establish justice and promote the “general welfare” of their fellow citizens. Despite all of the propaganda seeking to create parallels between the “Occupy” and Tea Party movements (aided and abetted by the entire liberal/Democrat political machine up to and including the Obama White House), the foundations and methods of the organizations could not be more disparate.

While the people of Heartland America did indeed rise up spontaneously in the spring of 2009, taking time off from their jobs and voicing their opposition to the decimation of their country occurring at the hands of the hard-left, the “Occupy” movement was hatched and nurtured from the top-down, ACORN style, and facilitated through enormous outside funding. These “Occupy” players are simply incapable of autonomously generating and supporting an effort of this scale. On a continual basis, they are being resupplied and underwritten from the outside through Soros style backing, which is the only reason they can maintain their noxious presence on public property while the nation’s adults accept their responsibilities and go to work each day.

Here again the situation is an excellent representation of the liberal economic model. A bunch of idle loafers gather together and engage in an orgy of narcissism, while their basic needs are met by donations made from the outside. On the same day that they stop receiving the sustenance garnered from the labors of others, the “Occupy” protestors will grow hungry and go home.

Obviously some unnamed and intellectually vacant do-gooders have decided of their own free will to bear the cost of this inane exercise. But for it to ever ensue on a societal scale as imagined by the protestors and their simple-minded benefactors, the rest of the nation would be required to foot the bill. Someone would always be forced to pay for such unproductive and ultimately fruitless endeavors as sitting in a public park, languishing in a mire of refuse and human waste, and complaining about the injustices of life.

However, that depressing bit of truth is only the beginning. Even within their phony environment of endlessly taking and consuming with no thought of repayment, the very nature of their artificial communities is predictably degenerating. In stark contrast to the affluent cities and great promises of the nation that surrounds them and endures their silliness, the “Occupy” camps are rapidly descending into nightmarish microcosms reflective of the worst regions of the third world.

One can only hope that, after the atrocities suffered by many of the female protesters, a reality is beginning to dawn on them that these sub-human conclaves are not the best places to be. In stark contrast to the abuses inflicted on them by this bunch of effeminized misogynists claiming to be their ideological kindred, real men do not abandon their women to being raped and victimized in tents, but instead build houses in which they can reside in safety. Nor would those who ascribe to traditional morality ever willingly cover the tracks of the rapists, as has been so typical among the “Occupy” organizers.

Like any tiny fringe living in fear of being revealed as such, the “Occupy” crowd relentlessly seeks to create an image of being much larger than it is. But considering the volume of filth and foulness these diminutive gatherings create wherever they take root, thank goodness they represent only a tiny fraction of the nation’s population. Otherwise the disease, waste, and other maladies of their existence would be reaching truly epidemic proportions.

Nevertheless, as evidenced by their increasing animosity and belligerence towards the nation that is generally seeking to go on about its business, the disruptive actions of the occupiers signal the end game of “community organizers” and subversives throughout the country. Since they know they can never gain the concurrence of Real America, they will work to dismantle and recreate it in their sordid image through force, confrontation, and violence. Despite having had their ideology soundly rejected by voters in the 2010 elections, they remain determined to metastasize into an “Occupy America” army in 2012.

The nation needs to get a good look at the escalating savagery and chaos going on in every “Occupy” event from Zucotti Park to Oakland. This is the modern Democrat Party vision for America’s future. Next November, you can vote to institute it on a national scale.

Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming. He has been involved in politics at the local and state level for many years. His archives and contact information can be found at www.chrisadamo.com

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