UPDATES in blue. When I read over a printed copy of this, I caught some stuff I inadvertently left out of the (semi) final, shortest version. I also fixed the confusing spacing in the Sources section. Hopefully, it’s easier now to match the article titles with the correct URLs. I also fixed a typo, wrong spelling (waver, not waiver) and a touch of goofy grammar. Sorry ’bout all that! CtH.
Zuccotti Park is a public-access park in Lower Manhattan, New York City, that is privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties.
- BOP owns, manages and develops office properties in the downtown core of many major American cities. It’s head office is in the American Express tower in Lower Manhattan, which was severely damaged on 9/11 and had to be closed for about six months.
- The tower was also once headquarters for Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the USA until it went bankrupt in 2008.
- Brookfield Office Properties is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, a Toronto, Ontario-based asset management company whose real estate, renewable power generation, infrastructure and private equity holdings are valued at over $150 billion.
- Zuccotti Park, then known as Liberty Park Plaza, was across the street from the World Trade Towers. It was also heavily damaged in the anti-Capitalist 9/11 attacks. After Brookfield renovated it, they changed the name to honor their mega-rich Chairman of the Board, John Zuccotti.
- The park has been used for several 9/11 anniversary events.
Given all this, it’s a little hard to figure why the owners of Zuccotti Park permitted their property to be used and abused in the name of an extended anti-Capitalist protest. Turns out … it’s not complicated at all. All you have to do is “Follow the money, honey!”
First, we have to go back in time a bit, to the Tea Party movement, which arose from grassroots America in 2009 and so profoundly influenced the political landscape that fiscally-Conservative Republicans swept the 2010 mid-term elections.
Democrat pols and their lapdogs in the media tried to depict the movement as “astroturf.” In April 2009, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Tea Partiers were “un-American” people who were “carrying swastikas.” Pelosi, whose personal net worth is approximately $58 million, also said,
“This initiative is funded by the high end – we call it Astroturf. It’s not really a grassroots movement. It’s Astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.”
Pelosi had lots of help from the media with her “Tea Party as Astroturf” meme, the same media that never uses “Astroturf” for Earth Day, which is funded by Proctor & Gamble, Siemens, Wells Fargo, AT&T, UPS, Philips and Ford, because it’s good advertising for their green products, or groups like Moveon.org which is funded by Democrat billionaire George Soros.
“Astroturf” didn’t fly very well, possibly because there is no single Tea Party organization. In October, 2010, 34% of the Tea Party “leaders” who were polled identified “noone” as the national figure that best represented them. The “arm of the GOP” meme didn’t fly either, since most Tea Partiers are simply fed up with big spending in government by both parties. And that “teabagger” meme was just gross.
In January 2010, Democrats operatives attempted to counter the Tea Party with the Coffee Party. Despite being given glowing, free publicity by the MSM from early on, the movement proved to be such a bust that the media ignored its embarrassingly lame September national convention.
In the aftermath of the bruising November 2010 losses, Democrats clearly needed something “grassrootsy” to counter the still strong Tea Party. Enter Occupy Wall Street, whose first protest began Sept 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan.
Below is the timeline I made of the 2011 Zuccotti Park Occupation. Mixed into the chronology is the involvement of both Obama Democrats, the Democrat Media Complex, and the owners of Zuccotti Park. When you get to the bottom, I think you’ll understand why a huge multi-national corporation worth mega billions would allow anti-Capitalist protesters to squat in their park, despite its association with 9/11.
Timeline of 2011 Zuccotti Park Occupation
September 17, 2011 (Day One): The Occupy Wall Street protest began using Zuccotti Park as a campground and staging area for their disruptive, anti-Capitalist protests throughout the Manhattan Financial District. Zuccotti Park was their second choice; their first fell through. In other words, Brookfield was in on it from the get go.
September 23, 2011 (Day Seven): Obama’s DOE announced it had finalized a partial guarantee for $168.9 million loan to Granite Reliable Power, LLC, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management.
September 28th, 2011 (Day Eleven): The public was not happy about the tent city the Occupiers built in Zuccotti Park, but NYC’s Police Commissioner explained the NYPD could not legally evict the protesters from Zuccotti Park until the owners requested it. Brookfield said only that they were “actively working with the City of New York to address these conditions and restore the park to its intended purpose.” Excuse me? “Actively working”? All they had to do was say, “They’re trespassing. Clear them out.” Why didn’t Mayor Bloomberg pressure them to end the disruption to the city? Maybe because he’s a lifelong Democrat whose long-time honey bunch, Diana Taylor, is on the Board of Directors of Brookfield Office Properties.
October 6, 2011 (Day Twenty): Brookfield issued a statement of concern about poor sanitation in the park. It is usually cleaned once a week, but protesters had not let any outsiders into the park for three weeks. They agreed to clean it up themselves and Brookfield said fine. Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi praised those participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests.
“God bless them for their spontaneity. It’s independent … it’s young, it’s spontaneous, and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective. The message of the protesters is a message for the establishment everyplace. No longer will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause massive joblessness on Main Street.”
Pelosi did not comment on — and was not asked about — the law-breaking that occurred during the protest over the weekend. About 700 protesters were arrested by New York City police after the protesters “swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours,” according to CBS News.
October 11, 2011 (Day Twenty-five): Brookfield sent, then WITHDREW, a request for cops to “clear the park” as its use by Occupy Wall Street “violates the law, violates the rules of the Park, deprives the community of its rights of quiet enjoyment to the Park, and creates health and public safety issues.” Did someone at Brookfield have a fit of civic conscience? One wonders if a head rolled when it was made clear to them that the Obama Democrats were not done scoring political points off the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park.
October 14, 2011 (Day Twenty-eight): Obama Senior Political Advisor David Plouffe says, “We intend to make it [Occupy Wall Street] one of the central elements of the campaign next year. One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.”
October 16, 2011 (Day Thirty): Obama Senior Political Advisor, David Axelrod, appeared on ABC’s This Week just one day after scores of demonstrators protesting corporate business practices were arrested in New York’s Times Square in a confrontation with police. He and the ABC talking head talked about how the GOP presidential hopefuls just don’t understand the American public’s pent-up anger over corporate excesses.
October 18, 2011 (Day Thirty-two): In an interview, Obama said the most important thing he can do as president is express solidarity with the protesters and redouble his commitment to achieving what he described as a more egalitarian society, in which “people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers that those folks aren’t rewarded.”
November 8, 2011 (Day Fifty-three): The New York Observer editorial noted the drop off in good news coverage and opined that, what with Obama getting into re-election mode, it was high time the Occupiers all went home and “allowed the residents and businesses near Zuccotti Park to return to their lives.”
November 15, 2011 (Day Sixty-six): The NYPD cleared the park, citing health and safety hazards caused by the protestors. There was an upsurge in news coverage again. Judge Lucy Billings issued a court order to allow the protesters back into the park, but Brookfield requested the NYPD keep the Occupiers out of the park.
It turns out that Brookfield has been in more Democrat beds than just Mayor Bloomberg’s. There’s Vice President Joe Biden’s son and professional lobbyist, Robert Hunter Biden, for example.
Hunter is a founding partner of the lobbying firm, Oldaker, Biden & Belair, which Brookfield paid to lobby the government to its great profit. Namely, hundreds of millions in government goodies, including stimulus money and DOE loans. Think: Solyndra, but way bigger. Brookfield’s renewable energy sector is worth about $6 billion, is backed by a $2.7 billion private fund, and is hugely profitable, having reported a net income of $3.2 billion in 2010.
Brookfield put together a limited liability corporation to build a wind farm in New Hampshire. Despite the fact that this company is loaded and the LLC meant any losses to investors on the wind farm would be, you know, limited, Obama’s DOE gave them a $170 million, federally secured LOAN to build it. IOW, if the farm goes bust, it won’t be anyone who chose to invest in it who will get skunked. It’ll be American taxpayers who were forced to take the risk in order to further the political careers of Obama Democrats.
And hey, so what if Brookfield had to look bad for allowing those jackass Occupiers to squat in their park for two months. It’s not like Brookfield hadn’t already allowed themselves to be a public whipping boy for Democrats in order to get privately enriched at taxpayers’ expense.
John Zuccotti, Co-Chair of Brookfield Properties, is also on the board of another Brookfield Asset Management’s subsidiary, Wellpoint Health Networks. In 2009, one of WellPoint’s honchos testified before Congress that his company routinely and wrongfully denied claims to its health insurance policyholders.
This testimony just happened to take place when members of Congress who had previously supported the bill were beginning to waver because of the fierce public opposition of their constituents back home. WellPoint’s mea culpa was just what the Obama Democrats needed to push them all back into line in support of the bill.
Naturally, Democrats didn’t go airing the whole truth in such a public forum. They didn’t mention, for example, that Medicare’s claim rejection rate is higher. And they sure as shootin’ didn’t let out that, buried in the thousands of pages nobody read, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will ultimately benefit WellPoint’s bottom line hugely.
Remember what Obama said on October 18, 2011, about how important it was that he, as president, express solidarity with the Occupy protesters and redouble his commitment to achieving a society in which “people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers … that those folks aren’t rewarded.”
“People who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers.”
That would be like … Obama Democrats and their scum cronies at Brookfield … wouldn’t it?
Zuccotti Park @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccotti_Park
Brookfield Office Properties @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookfield_Office_Properties
Three World Financial Center @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_World_Financial_Center
Lehman Brothers @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehman_Brothers
Brookfield Asset Management @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookfield_Asset_Management
Nancy Pelosi @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi
NYPD: Only Landlord Can Evict Occupy Wall Street Protesters From Zuccotti Park – Oct 6, 2011 @ http://gothamist.com/2011/10/06/zuccotti_park.php
John E. Zuccotti @ http://people.forbes.com/profile/john-e-zuccotti/85878
Tea Party Movement @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement
Coffee Party USA @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_Party_USA
Summary of MSM coverage of Coffee Party @ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/03/13/cbs-news-gets-coffee-party-fever-its-lot-tea-parties
WaPo highlights Coffee Party as Progressive Alternative to Tea party – Feb 26, 2010 @ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2010/02/26/wapo-highlights-progressive-alternative-tea-party-nascent-coffee-party
CNN omits Coffee Party Founder’s Past – March 3, 2010 @ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2010/03/03/cnn-omits-coffee-party-founders-past-obama-volunteer
Decaffeinated Coffee Party Convention Fizzles Out – Sept 26, 2010 @ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2010/09/27/decaffeinated-coffee-party-convention-fizzles-out-almost-no-media-accl
Pelosi on Occupy Wall Street Protesters: “God bless them” – Oct 6, 2011 @ http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/pelosi-occupy-wall-street-protesters-god-bless-them_595117.html
The Untold Story of Astroturf: Corporate-Sponsored Environmentalism – May 12, 2010 @ http://www.mrc.org/node/27283
Occupy Wall Street @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street
Turn Anti-Wall Street Anger On Mitt Romney, Republicans – The Washington Post, 10/14/11 @ http://www.gop.com/index.php/research/comments/occupying_democrats_in_des_moines/
Obama says Occupy not that different from Tea party – October 18, 2011 @ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/obama-occupy-wall-street-not-that-different-from-tea-party-protests/
Occupy Wall Street financial backer also supports Mitt Romney – November 18, 2011 @ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8834523/Occupy-Wall-Street-financial-backer-also-supports-Mitt-Romney.html
Diana L. Taylor, Board of Directors, Brookfield Office Properties @ http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/diana_l_taylor/index.html
Occupy Wall Street Is Overshadowing Itself – November 9, 2011 @ http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-overshadowing-itself/44739/#
Dear Occupy Wall Street, It’s time to go home – November 8, 2011 @ http://www.observer.com/2011/11/dear-occupy-wall-street-its-time-to-go-home/
Possible Showdown Looms Between City, Protesters Ahead Of Zuccotti Park Cleaning – October 13, 2011 @ http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/10/13/mayor-michael-bloomberg-says-zuccotti-park-will-be-cleaned-up-friday/
Hunter Biden, Second son of Vice President Joe Biden @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden
Lobbyist and founding partner of Oldaker, Biden & Belair lobbying firm @ http://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/rev_summary.php?id=20130
2002: Brookfield Properties paid Oldaker, Biden & Bleair $100,000 to to lobby for them @ http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000032147&year=2002
2003: Brookfield Properties paid Oldaker, Biden & Belair $120,000 to to lobby for them @ http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000032147&year=2003
Brookfield to merge hydro power assets into global renewable energy powerhouse @ http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/44794–brookfield-to-merge-hydro-power-assets-into-global-renewable-energy-powerhouse–page1
Finalizes Loan Guarantee of Nearly $170 Million to Granite Reliable Power – September 23, 2011 @ http://energy.gov/articles/department-energy-finalizes-loan-guarantee-nearly-170-million-granite-reliable-power
Editorial: A NH Solyndra? Wind farm gets fed loan – Sep 28, 2011 @ http://www.unionleader.com/article/20110928/OPINION01/709289961
OWS, Zucotti and Obamacare: Connecting the dots By Michael Dorstewitz – April 25, 2012 @ http://www.bizpacreview.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.details&ArticleId=506721&returnTo=michael-dorstewitz
Occupy Wall Street protesters refuse to vacate – Oct 14, 2011 @ http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/occupy-wall-street-protestors-refuse-to-vacate-10152011.jpg