Saturday, September 29, 2012


Peter Michael From: The Courier-Mail September 28, 2012
Reform map
REFORM: An illustration from Richard Murray's paper A New Federation with a Cities and Regional Approach. Source: Supplied
STATES would be abolished and more power given to city and regional councils in a two-tier government under a radical proposal to shake up the nation's economy.
Under the controversial plan, Queensland would split into six regions and shed the state government in favour of a bigger federal parliament, five city and 19 regional councils nationally.
It comes after The Courier-Mail this week exclusively revealed plans for Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton to unite north of the Tropic of Capricorn under an economic co-operation zone.
Delegates told how the state's north wants to lobby as a unified bloc for big-ticket items in the economic powerhouse region worth about $60 billion a year, splitting the state along economic lines.
In his newly published paper, A New Federation with a Cities and Regional Approach, former Treasury deputy secretary Richard Murray offers a blueprint for macro and micro-economic reform.
He suggests rewriting the Constitution to share revenue and power between two tiers of government.
His paper reopens fresh debate on federation, productivity and governance as it looks at the "multiple, overlapping and interacting problems of the three-tier system of government".
Townsville Regional Council Mayor Jenny Hill yesterday said the paper proposed a much more streamlined system of government.
"Many people bitterly complain about too many layers of bureaucracy and government," she said.
"I think some councils would be up to the task, others might not.
"It would be very hard if not impossible to get the state governments to give up their power and let it devolve to the regions.
"But, because we started out as colonies, we've been left with this legacy of the 19th century.
"It is holding us back in the 21st century."


Brisbane -- A group of Australians has peered into a dark world recently as a public inquiry ponders what to do about one the nation's most intractable problems -- bad parents.
The Child Protection Inquiry has heard evidence for the past three weeks in the Queensland capital of Brisbane, venturing deep into a world most Australians would prefer to discreetly draw the curtains on and pretend did not exist.
This prosperous state, a major beneficiary of the decade-long mining boom, has been forced to confront the uncomfortable truth we have living among us: a lost tribe of children.

Amidst a population of 4.5 million people, these 8,000 kids have endured a home life so steeped in violence and drug abuse, or have been so appallingly neglected, the state has been forced to take on the role of parent.
That Canada and Europe and every developed country faces the same problem is little consolation, especially when Queenslanders are told there are now more kids in state care than adults in our prison system.
The conditions they have lived in before being rescued by the state are horrific. And their mental state after years of sexual or physical abuse conjures up visions of that 17th century London hospital which gave us that hideous label for the agonies of mental illness -- Bedlam.
Not necessarily suffering congenital mental-health problems, a small number subject to the most violent abuse have been driven literally to madness -- biting themselves and others, banging their heads repeatedly against walls and smearing excrement across their rooms.
While indigenous kids are over-represented and historical factors can at least go some way to explaining the prevalence of poor parenting in aboriginal communities, thousands are from the mainstream white community.
Put simply, a worrying portion of adult Queensland parents are too drug addled or drunk to perform the rudiments of child rearing such as toilet training. Others simply use their own offspring to give physical expression to an internal rage, bashing or sexually abusing them.
Annual budgets of more than three quarters of a billion dollars channelled into child protection appear to have little impact, with the number of kids in state care more than doubling over the decade.
The inquiry this week referred to the Canadian experience and what appears to be a policy of allowing the state to decide if dysfunctional parents should relinquish rights to their babies.
The Queensland government has some power to remove a newborn child from a potentially dangerous mother but widening that power would take political courage. Only this week the government decided to apologize to the unwed mothers of decades ago who were forced to give up their children.
That option is nonetheless under serious discussion with a range of professionals giving qualified support to a notion intuitively abhorrent to the vast majority.
This commission, headed by lawyer Tim Carmody, is unusual in that it was an election promise of the newly installed LNP state government,and was not sparked by a scandal involving a specific case of child abuse.
But with a wide-ranging brief, all avenues can be explored, with the result that the mood inside the inquiry can approach one of despair as lawyers and child-care professionals try to plot a road map out of the madness.
While the subject is too important to cheapen with sentimentality, a Queensland school teacher (speaking outside the inquiry) does tell a poignant story highlighting just how appalling some people who call themselves parents can behave towards those who would normally expect to be loved and cherished, and just how difficult it will be to frame public policy to prompt more responsible parenting.
The teacher once taught a sweet-natured child who was slow at learning but was a pleasure to have in the class room, and whose mother was a chronic alcoholic.
One day a school staff member who had visited the beach and picked up a pretty sea shell gave it to the child, who accepted the gift with great pleasure mingled with curiosity.
It later transpired that although she lived no more than 15 kilometres from the beach, the child had never seen the ocean. And although she had reached the age of six she had no possessions -- a sea shell was her first gift.
This inquiry has developed a hard-headed approach to finding solutions, but many involved concede few solutions readily present themselves.
As Carmody said wearily one recent afternoon: "You can't legislate against bad parents.''
Michael Madigan is the Winnipeg Free Press correspondent in Australia. He writes mostly about politics for the Brisbane-based Courier Mail.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 31, 2012 A13




Eamonn Duff, Cosima Marriner Published: September 23, 2012 
The Australian Federal Police is trying to stop the release of damaging details of its dealings with the Indonesian government over the Schapelle Corby drug bust, arguing that they would damage international relations and expose crucial ways in which the organisation operates.
Schapelle's sister Mercedes has been locked in a battle with the federal police to release all communications relating to the case.
If, in the coming days, a court judge rules in her favour, previously hidden details about the case would emerge, including vital police intelligence that may have been shared with Indonesia - before and after Schapelle's arrest in 2004.
Using freedom-of-information laws, Mercedes has sought all emails, letters, files, documents and transcripts involving the then AFP commissioner, Mick Keelty, which relate to Schapelle, including full details of communications between him and Indonesian authorities.
There are almost 300 related documents but the AFP has refused to release many and redacted large parts of others on the grounds that they ''may cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth'' and would divulge information which was ''communicated in confidence by, or on behalf of, a foreign government to the Commonwealth''.
The Sun-Herald can reveal that in early July Mercedes Corby appealed against the AFP's decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Brisbane, where both parties argued their case before the deputy president P.E. Hack. She told the tribunal she had been fighting on Schapelle's behalf for eight years.
But Mr Hack warned Mercedes that any intelligence the federal police handed over to her would also be publicly available. ''Once it's available to you, it's available to the world … including people who have an interest in knowing the way in which the AFP undertakes their task,'' he said. Mercedes responded: ''We have so many questions and no answers.''
While the Corby family once claimed they had no links to marijuana, Queensland Police Service archives confirm Schapelle's father Mick was arrested twice in 1973 for possessing and using cannabis. Fast forward to 2004 and three weeks before Schapelle's arrest, Mr Corby was implicated in a ''Queensland Police Crime Intelligence report'' as being part of a Gold Coast syndicate that was transporting drugs to Bali - using commercial passenger flights. In those statements a police informant, Kim Moore, claimed Tony Lewis - Mick Corby's best friend and next-door neighbour - was running a marijuana operation on his property. When police raided him days later, they found 200 plants and stockpiles of vacuum-sealed cannabis stored in freezers, worth more than $600,000.
Ms Moore also made further allegations about drugs being shipped to Bali on passenger jets. On October 8 - 22 days later - Schapelle was arrested with 4.2 kilograms of cannabis at Denpasar Airport.
It remains unclear whether Ms Moore's statement, and other information, was forwarded as part of the same intelligence-sharing arrangement with Indonesia that saw the Bali nine arrested seven months later. However, those answers could now be days away if Mr Hack decides the AFP is duty-bound to release files.
The AFP was represented at the tribunal by the top legal firm Clayton Utz, and AFP officers gave evidence via video link in Canberra. The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Vivienne Thom, also submitted an affidavit. Mercedes Corby represented herself, with assistance from a Queensland woman, Diane Frola, director of the Australian UFO Research Network.
During the three-day hearing, AFP Commander Fiona Drennan gave evidence that some documents contained communication between Mr Keelty and the Indonesians, and to reveal those interactions would damage relations between the two nations. Mr Hack said: ''So I suppose, yes, in a lot of ways there was … more than Ms Corby happening in Indonesia in the period between 2004 and 2005.''
Parts of a document titled ''The Prosecution of Ms Schapelle Corby in Bali for Drug Trafficking'' were redacted on the basis that it contained a confidential source of information.
At one stage, Mercedes and Ms Frola were asked to leave the courtroom so the AFP could divulge information contained in the files. Intriguingly, a May 2005 Corby-related letter from Mr Keelty to then South Australian Police Commissioner Mal Hyde was blacked out. The court was also told the AFP ''can't find'' a letter Mr Hyde sent to Mr Keelty in December that year.
Twitter: @eamonnduff
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/police-fight-to-keep-corby-secrets-20120922-26dni.html


Peter Rolfe Herald Sun September 26, 2012
Ted Baillieu
Ted Baillieu is a close friend of  Peter Clarke. Source: Herald Sun
A VICTORIAN Liberal heavyweight and close friend of Premier Ted Baillieu is still being fully paid from the public purse a month after stepping aside as head of the State Government's planning body.
Places Victoria chairman Peter Clarke, a former state Liberal Party vice-president, is believed to be paid about $80,000 a year in the role.
He will continue to be paid pending the resolution of an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The Herald Sun believes the government sought advice on whether Mr Clarke should be paid or stripped of his ongoing earnings.
It was told the presumption of innocence principle applied and it was standard procedure to pay government employees while investigations were on-going.
Mr Clarke was hand-picked as Places Victoria chair by the Government.
He voluntarily stood aside from the role after 14 months when ASIC alleged in court that he and other former directors of Australian Property Custodian Holdings had improperly used their positions to approve a $33 million payment to a managing director.
He has denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Clarke was previously chair of Melbourne City Council's planning committee.
Like Mr Baillieu, he is a qualified architect but was also once the state executive director of the Property Council of Australia.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Interview with James Corbett on the Role of the "Real Alternative Media"



Written by RC Christian  Thursday, 09 February 2012 15:42
Not surprisingly, FEMA has also been active for several years now in Australia and the public was never informed by corporate media.
FEMA Camps Activated - Military Authorized to Arrest
A very interesting YouTube Video has documented not just FEMA Camps activity in Australia, but HAARP and Chemtrails in Australia as well.
The video unveils a diagram of the World Power Structure which has been put together from research over the years by numerous individuals.
The FEMA head came to Australia last year to give instructions how to build the detention camps suitable to take Australians who reject the UN global government ‘ take over ‘of the country when this region becomes the ASIAN UNION.
FEMA Camps Confirmed in Australia
Already 850 similar camps are built in America to hold over 40 million when the expected civil unrest begins, which will hold detainees for forced vaccinations and dissidents.
FEMA Camps Confirmed in Australia
The video showed footage related to the bizarre events surrounding the instructions to build the Australian FEMA CAMPS and the conspiracy behind.

Meanwhile in in the U.S., FEMA has put in requests for millions of packets of food, blankets, water, and fuel specifically for the gulf region.
FEMA has issued multiple requests for Information in regards to the availability of 140 million packets of food specifically for a disaster in the New Madrid Fault System. Usually, this will be perceived as disinformation but the very situation is heavily documented.



Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar Published: September 18, 2012
THE election for Melbourne’s next lord mayor and councillors is being overshadowed by a revelation that hundreds of inner-city residents may have been fraudulently added to the city’s electoral roll.

Sources have confirmed an investigation by Victoria’s local government watchdog is focusing on about 400 applications to vote in the poll, a postal ballot to run throughout next month.

The applications contained several anomalies, including that many appeared to be written by the same person, leading town hall officers to question whether someone was trying to manipulate the roll. When contacted by officers, some residents were unaware they were registered to vote, further raising suspicions.
The council referred the matter last week to  chief municipal inspector David Wolf, who is looking into who may be harvesting votes and for which candidates.

The City of Melbourne has two sets of voters: those on the state electoral roll who are automatically required to vote, and those voters who apply or are ‘‘deemed’’ on to the roll by the council. These voters include property owners living outside the city, non-residential occupiers of city property and corporate representatives of businesses in the city.
Candidates have stepped up their jostling over tickets, policies and campaign funding for the poll.
Violent elitist criminal, failed politician and lord mayor Robert Doyle who is best known for his criminal deployment of violence on innocent Occupy Melbourne heroes, has already declared his intention to seek a second term. The Age has confirmed his town hall tilt is being orchestrated by city lobbyist firm, Civic Group, best known for its 2010 campaign for the tobacco industry against plain cigarette packaging.

The Age can also reveal that Cr Doyle’s team was behind a telephone survey of hundreds of Melbourne voters last week by market research firm National Field Services.
The telephone pollsters did not identify themselves as calling on his behalf. This is because Doyle is a liar. But among the matters raised in the survey was last year’s controversial eviction of Occupy Melbourne protesters from the City Square, a move supported by Cr Doyle. Interestinguse of Orwellian language, 'eviction' implies that the government, or the Crown own the land. IT DOESN'T. It is black land. Period. 'Supported' is a limiting expression of conveniance and ommission. Yes, Doyle did 'support' the unlawful violence meted out on the Occupy Melbourne heroes, he admitted this before he ordered the aforementioned violence on innocent people in order to protect the interests of the elitist few that have effectively enslaved the many.
Current deputy mayor Susan Riley will run in tandem with Cr Doyle. Leading his ticket will be Kevin Louey, a current councillor and one-time chief-of-staff to former lord mayor John So. Sitting councillor and city businessman Carl Jetter is also on the Doyle team.

Planning committee chairman Ken Ong -like the model t ford, we can vote for whoever we like, as long it is them-(a Liberal Party member) is putting together a team after being denied a spot on Cr Doyle’s team. As of last night, his lord mayoral candidate was likely to be Gary Singer, a former deputy lord mayor from the So era.

Carlton pharmacist David Nolte -like the model t ford, we can vote for whoever we like, as long it is them- (Liberal) yesterday confirmed he would contest the lord mayoralty against Liberal colleague Cr Doyle. His team, which he describes as a ‘‘unity’’ ticket, is  likely to include Carlton ALP  member Richard Foster.
Pollster Gary Morgan, -like the model t ford, we can vote for whoever we like, as long it is them- a serial  contender,  will run again. His ticket will include sitting councillor, Carlton resident and ALP member Jackie Watts.  Former Manningham councillor and maverick media figure Stephen Mayne is likely to seek office.

Yesterday belated negotiations were under way in Labor ranks about the possibility of an ALP-led ticket. Is this because it is not "their" turn? With no big-name community, business, celebrity or Labor candidate to challenge him,  Cr Doyle is a clear favourite. The main threats to him  now appear to be the  Greens — -like the model t ford, we can vote for whoever we like, as long it is them-  sitting Green councillor Cathy Oke is set to stand again-she was a part of the violence against the innocent? and the likelihood of unfavourable preference flows. This is known as the 'anyone but that violent Doyle criminal' philosophy. Pity that there is no-one worth voting for, but, then again, I DON'T VOTE IN THE LOCAL, STATE OR COMMONWEALTH ELECTIONS. 
Postal voting closes on Friday, October 26, at 6pm.
Do you know more about this story?  
themikiverse@gmail.com or Investigations@theage.com.au

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/probe-into-suspect-town-hall-votes-20120917-262nv.html


by Cora Currier ProPublica, Sept. 17, 2012
For many years, Bush administration officials have said that the CIA waterboarded only three terror suspects. Despite nearly endless revelations and investigations about the U.S.'s treatment of detainees, there has never been evidence contradicting those claims. But that changed earlier this month.
Human Rights Watch recently released a report detailing the accounts of 14 Libyan men who claim they were detained and, in some cases, subject to harsh interrogations by the U.S. before being transferred back to Libyan prisons, where they also faced abuse.
One man, Mohammed Al-Shoreoiya, provided a detailed account of being waterboarded "many times" while in U.S. custody in an Afghan prison between 2003 and 2004. Another man described a similar form of water torture, conducted without a board.
None of the men's accounts could be confirmed, but as the New York Times noted, the detainees did not seek out Human Rights Watch, and their descriptions of their treatment, including waterboarding, are consistent with CIA procedural documents that have been made public.
The CIA first confirmed waterboarding in February 2008, when then-CIA director Michael Hayden told a Senate committee that "only three detainees" had been waterboarded — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zabaydah, and Abd Al Rahim al-Nashiri. No one, he said, had been subjected to the process since 2003. That claim has been repeated by former President George W. Bush and top officials from his administration. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has also noted that the military did not waterboard.
A spokesman for the CIA told ProPublica that "the Agency has been on the record that there are three substantiated cases in which detainees were subjected to the waterboarding technique under the program."
Here are top Bush administration officials stating, again and again, only three detainees were waterboarded [emphasis added]:
George W. Bush
Of the thousands of terrorists we captured in the years after 9/11, about a hundred were placed into the CIA program. About a third of those were questioned using enhanced techniques. Three were waterboarded.
– November 2010, in his memoir, Decision Points.
President Bush also repeated the line in interviews that fall with the Times of London and Fox News.
Dick Cheney, former vice president
It is a fact that only detainees of the highest intelligence value were ever subjected to enhanced interrogation. You've heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists.
-- May 21, 2009: Dick Cheney, in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
In 2009, Cheney made the same claim in another speech and in interviews with the Washington Times, CNN and CBS. In 2011, he mentioned it again in a speech at AEI.
Donald Rumsfeld, former defense secretary
[Michael Hayden] looked at all the evidence and concluded that a major fraction of the intelligence in our country on al Qaeda came from individuals, the three, only three people who were waterboarded... no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the U.S. military. In fact, no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo, period. Three people were waterboarded by the CIA, away from Guantanamo and then later brought to Guantanamo.
-- May 3, 2011, in an interview with Fox News.
Rumsfeld repeated the line that year in interviews with CNN, CBS, the Associated Press, Charlie Rose and in a speech in February 2012.
Michael Hayden, former CIA director
Let me make it very clear and to state so officially in front of this committee that waterboarding has been used on only three detainees. It was used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, it was used on Abu Zubaydah, and it was used on Nashiri. The CIA has not used waterboarding for almost five years. We used it against these three high-value detainees because of the circumstances of the time.
–Feb. 5, 2008, in testimony to a Senate committee.
Hayden also reiterated the three-person figures in a memo circulated that month to CIA employees and on Meet the Press that March. He repeated it again in an interview with Newsweek in 2009.
John Yoo, former Justice Department official
Waterboarding we think is torture, but it happened to three people. The scale of magnitude is different....We've done it three times."
--June 1, 2008, in an interview with Esquire Magazine.
Yoo also said three people had been waterboarded in a June 2008 congressional hearing.
Karl Rove, senior adviser to Bush
[Coercive techniques] were used against some thirty hard-core terrorist detainees who had successfully resisted other forms of interrogation. Only three were waterboarded.
–March 2010, in his memoir, Courage and Consequences.
Michael Mukasey, former attorney general
The fact is that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding — he was one of three people who were waterboarded — did disclose the name — the nickname actually, which was the name that this courier actually used — in the course of the questioning that took place after enhanced interrogation techniques.
--May 17, 2011, in remarks at the American Enterprise Institute.
Jose Rodriguez Jr., former director of the National Clandestine Service at the CIA
In fact, only three detainees: Mohammed, Zubaydah and one other were ever waterboarded, the last one more than nine years ago.
-- May 10, 2012: Jose Rodriguez Jr., in an op-ed on CNN.com
Rodriguez also mentioned the figure in interviews this spring with Fox News and the New Yorker.
Bill Harlow, who co-authored Rodriguez' book on interrogations, said that Rodriguez stands by his statement. "These procedures were not done without extensive documentation and authorization, as part of an officially approved program, and all the documentation there shows three individuals," Harlow said.
The other officials we've cited did not respond to requests for comment.
President Obama came into office proclaiming a ban on torture, stating that waterboarding was unequivocally a form of torture, and making the infamous "torture memos" public. But the administration has said no one would be prosecuted for waterboarding or other interrogation methods previously sanctioned by the government, and announced last month it would close the last two investigations into CIA abuse.
A Justice Department spokesman would not comment on whether the government ever investigated the Libyan cases. Laura Pitter, the author of the Human Rights Watch report, said that none of the men she interviewed said they had been contacted by U.S. investigators about their detention.
The CIA spokesman said that he could not comment on specific allegations, but that "the Department of Justice has exhaustively reviewed the treatment of more than 100 detainees in the post-9/11 period — including allegations involving unauthorized interrogation techniques — and it declined prosecution in every case."



Posted by Alexander Higgins - September 17, 2012
Hundreds of police barricaded Wall Street as Occupy Wall Street protesters swarmed the Financial District with over 180 reportedly arrested. RT – Hundreds of police barricaded the New York Stock Exchange as Occupy Wall Street protesters swarmed the Financial District for the movement’s one-year anniversary, with over 180 reportedly arrested.
Police made 180 arrests by Monday evening, primarily for “disorderly conduct”  or impeding “vehicular or pedestrian traffic.”
Witnesses had previously  reported on Twitter that demonstrators were being arrested for “blocking pedestrian traffic.” A well known local artist named Molly Crapabble was sitting in a police van when she wrote on her Twitter page that people were being “yanked off of the sidewalk” by police.
The final tally will ultimately be higher, as at least seven people were arrested after falling on the Bank of America building later in the afternoon. Several more arrests were subsequently reported after demonstrators marched to the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan and the adjacent Goldman Sachs Tower. Around half a dozen protesters staged a sit-in protest outside of the Goldman Sachs headquarters and refused orders by police to disperse.
The protesters’ initial plan was to surround the New York Stock Exchange and hold a sit-down protest, though the heavy handed police response redirected protesters to Bowling Green Park where the iconic Charging Bull sculpture is located. Protesters later moved on to Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan, where activists reported up to 1,000 peaceful demonstrators had amassed. By early afternoon, union leaders and activists had already begun streaming into Zuccotti Park – the epicenter of the OWS movement – with strident police sirens marking the heavy presence of the NYPD in the area.
Around 1000 supporters of OWS met at four separate meeting points to mark the movement’s one-year anniversary early Monday morning. Some 200 people gathering in Zuccotti Park – the movement’s birthplace – by 7:00am local time, and later began marching south along Broadway. When the group was confronted by several police officers at the entrance to Wall Street, several of them sat down in protest. Upon refusing to remove, they were arrested.
A group of 50 protesters entered the lobby of the JPMorgan Chase building, and eight were arrested, New York Daily News reported.
The OWS movement, sparked by protests last year against corporate greed, income inequality and the corrupting influence of money in politics, was inactive for several months. Monday’s protest comes in the wake of three days of civic activism intended to breathe new life into the movement, ahead of its one-year anniversary.
After the movement set up tents in New York City’s Zucotti Park last September, OWS spawned a number of similar ‘Occupy’ protest groups across the US, and in major cities around the world. The group’s creators dubbed themselves the voice of the ‘99 percent,’ and protested chiefly against the wide gap between rich and poor in the US.
The Occupy movement was dealt a blow in November when a police crackdown broke up the group’s main encampment at Zuccotti Park, with some 200 people arrested in the process. Many of the group’s public protests likewise saw mass arrests, and related reports of police brutality against activists.
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 The protesters have returned to their previous encampment  Monday, Sep 17, 2012
Occupy SF Vows to Retake Justin Herman Plaza
Getty Images
Occupy Wall Street protestors hold a sign during a demonstration on September 17, 2012 in San Francisco, California. An estimated 100 Occupy Wall Street protestors staged a demonstration and march through downtown San Francisco to mark the one year anniversary of the birth of the Occupy movement.
Photos and Videos
Occupy San Francisco protesters have returned to Justin Herman Plaza Monday evening vowing to "retake" the site of their previous encampment.
The plaza along the Embarcadero -- dubbed Bradley Manning Plaza by the protesters for a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks -- was turned into a bustling camp late last year before protesters were told to evacuate the plaza by city officials.
Protesters returned to the plaza tonight following a day of rallies and marches to mark the one-year anniversary since the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.
Marches through downtown San Francisco streets this afternoon disrupted traffic and Muni service sporadically before a 5 p.m. rally in front of 555 California St.
Following the rally, several hundred protesters marched to Wells Fargo headquarters at 420 Montgomery St., gathering there for several hours.
A brass band was among those marching, and another group stood behind a large yellow banner proclaiming themselves "Foreclosure Fighters," the banner's background scrawled with the names of banks and investment firms like Fannie Mae and Chase.
The protesters chanted as they marched, including Occupy mainstays like "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out" and appropriated chants for the day like, "The system has got to die, happy birthday Occupy."
Outside of Wells Fargo's headquarters, demonstrators threw debt slips and financial paperwork into a trashcan, symbolically sending the banks a message that they did not intend to repay their debts.
Others painted a large yellow mural on the street that said, "Democracy not debt."
One protester, Scott Rossi, said he had been with Occupy SF from the beginning and that he was heartened to see such a large turnout for today's rally and march.
Rossi said that today's crowd appeared to be a little more militant and radical than the crowds Occupy protests initially drew last year.
Protesters then marched back through city streets, eventually arriving at Justin Herman Plaza at about 9 p.m., where they remained tonight vowing to "retake" the plaza. No arrests have been reported.