1. There is no question that inequality has been rising in the United States and that it raises numerous issues concerning what is a fair distribution of income and wealth, what taxes we ought to raise, and how to prevent those who acquire great economic power from also gaining excessive political power (through campaign contributions).

    I share these social justice concerns. However, I cannot help but note that there is a world of difference between putting something on the front pages of the newspapers for a few weeks and achieving changes in laws and, above all, in the distribution of wealth.

    Given that Occupy Wall Street has not advocated any specific ways to reduce inequality and does not have the political organization to back up such an agenda, either others will have to find ways to curb inequality or we will see little progress on this front in the great budget battles to come shortly after the 2012 election.

    — 

    Amitai Etzioni at CNN.

    Is Occupy Wall Street dead?

     

  2. What happened to Occupy Wall Street? After police in cities across the country cracked down on Occupy encampments, the movement lost the “target-rich visual environment” that attracted media organizations, says David Carr in The New York Times.

    But don’t count the movement out yet: Occupy groups of all stripes are organizing mass protests, calling for a nation-wide “general strike,” and going toe-to-toe with financial lobbyists. Here, four ways Occupy Wall Street is still trying to change the world

     

  3. UC Davis police employed a brand of pepper spray called Defense Technology on peaceful student protesters. The lowest concentration, 0.2 percent, is authorized for tactical deployment. A concentration of 1.3 percent is powerful enough to stop a bear. The type used on the students has a rating of 0.7 percent. The manufacturer recommends the spray be used at a minimum distance of six feet, yet the officers in this case sprayed it on sitting students at near-point blank range.

    Police vs. Occupiers: How dangerous is pepper spray?

     

  4. Photo 1: Occupy Bern protesters catch some shuteye on the ground of the Swiss Federal Square. The Occupy movement celebrated its two-month anniversary with a “Day of Action" on Thursday.

    Photo 2: In a carefully painted disguise, Chinese “Vanishing Artist” Liu Bolin blends in with a supermarket produce section in Beijing.

    Photo 3: A World Wildlife Federation activist dressed as an orangutan hangs down the side of a clothing store near the Palace of Culture in Warsaw, Poland.

    More of this week’s best photojournalism

     

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  6. A few of the 5,000+ books police destroyed when they invaded Zuccotti Park this morning. View more here.

     

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  8. The sketches of Occupy Wall Street. More here.

    Image: Guy Denning

     

  9. The conspiracy theories of Occupy Wall Street

    Perhaps nothing shows that Occupy Wall Street has hit a nerve more than the growing number of conspiracy theories surrounding the movement. In fact, Occupy Wall Street “seems to have done more to fuel rumors than it has to end corporate greed.” Here, five of the most head-scratching, pervasive conspiracy theories swirling around the protests — and how critics answer them

     


  10. What is NPR afraid I’ll do, insert a seditious comment in a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?
    — Freelance radio host Lisa Simeone was fired by her bosses at Soundprint, a documentary program addressing topics such as climate change and education that airs on NPR affiliates, because she helped organize an Occupy Wall Street-related protest in Washington. NPR’s code of ethics prohibits its journalists from participating in rallies that involve issues it covers. Simeone — who still hosts a show called World of Opera — says applying the rule to her is like “McCarthyism,” because she doesn’t cover news.
     

  11. The Occupiers of Wall Street have been portrayed as everything from hippies to “hot chicks,” from everyday people with friendly dogs to violent anarchists. Now, two surveys offer some actual data about the demonstrators and their sympathizers. Here, a look at the movement’s demographics:

    15 
    Percent of the demonstrators who are unemployed

    53
    Percent of demonstrators who say they have previously participated in a political movement, according to Schoen’s survey

    98
    Percent who say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their aims

    31 
    Percent who say they would support violence

    8
    Percent who say they are unsure of what they would like to see the movement accomplish

    More numbers here

    Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

     

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