Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
My guess is that these mayors are all on the same wavelength; for if people are to believe Mayor Quan is so sorry or the Interim Head of the Oakland police department is so sorry about what happened to Scott Olsen - why did the Denver police department do this to a twenty-one year old photographer taking pictures in a tree - three days later?
More here at Occupy Denver. The Denver Post reports here. Huffpost article.
Denver activists had been brutally evicted from the state park by troopers under the governor's orders. Undeterred, they relocated to a city park, setting up tents and facilities again. Then the city police came in violently.
I wonder how Mayor Hancock feels this aligns with his "We are ALL Denver" community forum, with an invitation extended on the same date Occupy Wall Street went global.
Did he, too, have 18 police agencies working on this? Have they figured out yet who did this? Why am I so sure that, unlike Jean Quan, he was in town?
Why can't cities change their tent ordinances so people can sleep like human beings instead of horses?
Does Mayor Hancock, too, wish to hide the economic fall-out? Just wish it away with rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray? Why do campers frighten these politicians so much?
Saturday, October 29, 2011
The letters, collected through the occupytheboardroom.org website, were written by people including some who had lost their homes through foreclosures during the economic crisis, said protester Harry Waisbren, of Milwaukee.
"We're hoping the banks will see the damage they've wrought," Waisbren said.
He spoke as demonstrators gathered next to the stone lions on the steps of the New York Public Library in Manhattan. He wore a cheese-shaped hat, a symbol of Wisconsin, and carried a sign that said one bank "spread bad mortgages, then foreclosed on thousands."On Wednesday, Pittsburgh campers were locked inside a PNC bank when they entered to open bank accounts and request interest equal to the amount of interest PNC requires on its loans. Bank representatives summoned 20 police officers, paddy wagons and dogs, illegally detaining them inside for an hour.
This action was intended as a protest against PNC's moves following its receipt of almost $8 billion in TARP money from the federal government in 2008. PNC didn't use that TARP money to give loans to small businesses or to help people buy homes, as intended. Instead, within hours of receiving the funds PNC moved to buyout its longtime rival, National City. In the midst of the financial crisis, as folks lost their homes and their jobs, PNC used its bailout money to build its empire.OP reports about 20 protesters gathered outside chanting, "Let them go!" One protester observed, ""The bank brought in 20 police to deal with 4 unarmed people. It was ridiculous."
In the Pacific Northwest, Occupy Seattle has planned a mass occupation at Seattle Community College.
Occupy Bellingham braved poor weather planting its first tents.
Occupy Portland is marching and protesting poor camping ordinances, and following two Friday arrests.
In New York, it is snowing.
Somewhere in between the headlines, N.Y.C. decided to allow Occupy Wall Street to pitch tents.
Over in the media tent, spokesman Justin Stone-Diaz, 38, said he wasn't bothered by police and firefighters taking away the protesters' generators on Friday.
"What happened was we're in the process of swapping out five small diesels for a larger bio-diesel generator," he said. "The police are trying to work with us."
The protesters had been using generators to power laptops and in the kitchen.
"No heaters, we don't need heaters," he said. "Just hand warmers - lots of them."
Friday, October 28, 2011
Old Sauk River appreciates your patience as a reader until resolved.
Namely, Joe Beasley (among others) who also speaks here to Atlanta radio show host Rob Redding concerning the Atlanta police raid
At that time, Mayor Reed declared that the occupiers were not listening to the clergy (absurd in any case since clergy have no authority under the First Amendment) and that this constituted his (more or less) last straw, and reason for throwing them out following a peaceful concert in which he berated them for not having a permit. At the event, activists also blocked police from removing a generator Ms. Mansfield described as a smaller model frequently used throughout Atlanta during sport events (and that Reed, I would guess, attends without seeing an issue in those numerous cases).
During the interview, Mr.Beasley says Mayor Reed told a "blatant, bald-faced lie" that clergy were backing him - and were even at his office - when Richard Cobble, President of Concerned Black Clergy, among others, were back in the park with Occupy Atlanta activists at the time.
Richard Cobble is seen here - at Old Sauk River - in an Atlanta television news clip in which a number of community leaders speak out at Troy Davis Park. Mr. Cobble speaks passionately on behalf of Occupy Atlanta's continued presence at the site. He opposes the eviction and he eloquently calls upon the entire nation to come down to Atlanta to support the movement, if necessary.
Demonstraters released from jail this morning are now called The First 52. Those first 52 Occupy Atlanta activists arrested and cuffed include Joe Beasley, State Senator Vincent D. Fort, and former Atlanta city councilman Derrick Boazman. More below in the photo, waiting for their court appearance. La'Die Mansfield is center front in a striped blouse.
And Joe Beasley can be heard on Atlanta radio WABE here, too.
In his Redding News Review interview, Mr. Redding asks Mr. Beasley about an earlier statement that Mayor Reed "must not be a Christian because if he was he would know that if the clergy come out here they would have to be on the side of the people that’s occupying this because they’re talking about justice and they’re talking about equity."
Mr. Beasley responds: "Well, I certainly stand by those words because that’s not only in the Holy Bible but in all of religious faith – how you treat the poor and oppressed and the stranger amongst us. I think for many religious faiths’ point of view – firmly, the God that you happen to know – if it’s Christ or whomever - comes down on the side of the oppressed and the poor. And that is exactly what this occupy movement is doing across the world. And what we’re talking about – I don’t think the Mayor realizes that – is global systemic change. And I believe we’re not going to accept anything short of that."
Mr. Redding also references a statement by Derrick Boazman that Mayor Reed is acting like Bull Conner and asks Mr. Beasley what he thinks. He agrees, describing Conner as a tyranical chief of police, and the head of the Atlanta police department, George Turner, as a thoughtful man taking orders from a tyrant - that is, Mayor Reed.
Joe Beasley calls for Kasim Reed's ouster on the basis of the mayor's poor judgment and massive abuse of taxpayer money when there is no imminent threat. He points out that Reed was elected by a very narrow margin of less than 700 votes. Mr. Beasley has picked up an application recall which needs 100 signatures. Then he plans to distribute recall petitions which require 10% of the people who voted in the last election.
As he states in the youtube above, to applause and cheers, they have obtained the 100 signatures since the interview.
Since the Occupy Atlanta ouster from Troy Davis Park, Mayor Reed is referencing a man with an AK-47 walking around the park. Although he did not publicly mention this incident prior to the eviction, he now asserts that the presence of this individual about the park constituted a main reason for the eviction, along with what he perceived as a growing radicalism in the crowd.
I searched the internet for more information about this mysterious character with the AK-47 or something similar - which I discovered is legal to openly carry in Atlanta (and that, I think, should concern the Mayor more than a movement to end homelessness).
Weird too because it was challenging to find information to substantiate the claim although some media sources freely reported it following the mayor's statement. One site even linked to alleged sources a few times - but when I went to the links - nothing. One news site did have a photograph of a weapon on someone's hip - but the photograph did not show the setting in the park - i.e. it could have been anyone anywhere. A number of posters said, something to the effect, so where's the guy with ak-47?
On I trudged through the internet. Finally, I discovered an Occupy Atlanta Live Stream recording (shown below) which contains an activist's conversation with the rumored gun character starting about 17 minutes in. There he is - eerily calm with his gun - sociopathically perhaps? And .. he keeps making these hedged invitations for others to come down .. I imagine he doesn't mean other occupiers either since he is holding a sign that says he doesn't agree with the protesters though he respects their right to free speech (for the time being?) .. But hey, his gun is completely legal so Mayor Reed doesn't have to have him thrown out? Yet everyone else has to go?
I guess anyone with a gun in Atlanta can walk into a demonstration, stand there chatting, and give any mayor the authority to tear down the First Amendment?
To make it stranger yet (I'm not in Texas), the Occupy Atlanta activist walks about the entire park videographing occupation tents and evening activities, including a group of police officers standing fairly close to this man with his obvious shoulder slung weapon, and without even watching him. The videographer even points him out to the police so you know for sure. Hardly a model of the mayor's concern for public safety because of this individual.
Meanwhile, the park Mayor Reed is so concerned about is (otherwise) peaceful and clean. An activist is even collecting trash. A few people are chatting here and there. A few others strum guitars and sing. The exact opposite of what he described.
Yet they moved these folks out with an army In the recording, the videographer shows you the police moving into position while a helicopter flies overhead.
Again, the live stream recording below - with Mayor Reed's other excuse besides clergy starting about 17 minutes.
To state the obvious, after viewing, I guess the Mayor's office didn't use this video - the only apparent evidence backing his claim - because the evidence also shows that his office did not care about this individual's presence in the park; they knew where he was when he implied otherwise - i.e. that some lunatic was at large, so they shut down the park. (He even used Andrew Young as an excuse - that this man was standing next to Andrew Young.) The video also shows they were already moving in to close the park in later minutes narrated by the videographer; hence, more evidence that the individual with a gun was not why he closed the park. Last, but not least, the video shows how peacefully and non-violently persons were occupying, contrary to further assertions when he sent this virtual troop as if park goers constitute an enormous threat. Except for the helicopter, an unusual number of police, and whatever you want to make of this other character "waxing second amendment," and whom the police knowingly do not remove, it looks like any quiet evening in an urban park where people are exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of assembly. Not only does Mayor Reed need to read his Henry David Thoreau, he needs to read his U.S. Constitution that he is sworn to uphold and defend.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
"It's unfortunate that happened. I wish that it didn't happen," [Interim Police Chief Howard] Jordan said. "Our goal, obviously, is not to cause injury to anyone. ... We regret that this injury happened."
Officers from 18 law enforcement agencies were on the streets of Oakland Tuesday night, and authorities said one of the questions they were investigating was whose officers were involved in the incident in which Olsen was injured. Mayor Jean Quan said officers from outside agencies had been told they had to abide by Oakland police procedures.Meanwhile, Scott Olsen's parents are flying into the Bay Area from Wisconsin.
We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.
We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.
All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.
While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.
The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Protesters are sharing photographs and youtubes on the violence. In one youtube widely circulated, an Iraq veteran - Scott Olsen, 24 - was critically wounded by a tear gas canister hitting him in the head. A second youtube (below) indicates that the officer may have deliberately fired the canister at close range. Police continue firing canisters in this manner at protesters who attempt to help him lying wounded in the street - preventing them from coming to his aide. They run, then run back to try to help him again. Those closest eventually carry him out, and he is taped unable to respond to queries to identify himself.
Huffpost reports Mr. Olsen on a respirator at the hospital in stable but critical condition, awaiting word on whether neurologists think surgery is necessary due to swelling in the brain. His friend and roommate, Keith Shannon states that Mr. Olsen is an Occupy Oakland activist and that he was protesting non-violently when he was hit. "He doesn't agree with the way the banks aren't regulated, the way they drove the economy in the ground. He wants there to be regulation of the banks," said Mr. Shannon.
More here by Indy Times.
Stephen Boyer, a librarian at The Occupy Wall Street Library, invites poets to submit their poetry for the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology. He writes:
The anthology was born out of the poetry assembly. Every Friday night around 9:30pm poets of all walks of life and ages come in and read/perform their poetry. Folks that have been around the NYC poetry scene for a long time have been saying the poetry assembly is one of the greatest open mic reading series NYC has ever fostered and NYC has a great legacy of poetry. With that validation, I highly suggest you join us.
Occupy Atlanta is in court today after Mayor Reed had 53 demonstrators arrested from Troy Davis Park (renamed by Occupy Atlanta - conventionally known as Woodruff Park). After a surprising about face on his executive order to allow demonstrators to remain, police came into the park at 12:45 A.M. Tuesday to make arrests. On video, the demonstrators sit in an orderly and peaceful circle, chanting, and are individually walked or carried out. Nevertheless, there were rough moments; in one Occupy Atlanta photograph, an officer is shown sticking his finger in a demonstrator's eye.
Demonstrators arrested and cuffed included State Senator Vincent D. Ford, Joe Beasley, the southern regional director for Rainbow PUSH, and former Atlanta city councilman Derrick Boazman.
The arrests were preceded by a group of clergy sent by the Mayor to talk with the demonstrators. This proved confusing since the clergy claimed to be neutral when they had been sent by the Mayor to get the demonstrators to leave.
Occupy Atlanta spokeswoman La'Die Mansfield who nevertheless met with the clergy twice stated: "I think [the clergy] were sent here to give the mayor cover [..] Not everyone, but most of them."
This makes sense too since Mayor Reed used the meetings - and one clergyman's statement that the demonstrators were not listening to him enough - as the stated basis for his "final" decision to arrest the demonstrators in the middle of the night.
Mayor Reed's decision was made around the same time Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, California sent over 500 police in riot gear to remove Occupy Oakland from Oscar Grant Plaza (renamed by activists - conventionally known as Frank Ogawa Plaza). Instead of arresting protesters, however, the police brutally drove everyone out with tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash grenades. One observer reported what seemed to be sound bombs.
Mainstream media were reportedly not allowed into the area to report. However, at least one reporter from Bay City News Service was caught in the gasing.
And still, a number of Americans took phone video and photographs of the chaos. So we can still see what our mayors' offices and police departments are up to. One videographer calls out to the police while recording, reminding them of the right to free assembly under the U.S. Constitution. The police ignore him.
Think Progress reports here with that citizen footage plus copies of Occupy Oakland's live tweeting. LA Times reports 100 arrested in clashes in a crowd estimated between 1,000-1,500 people.
Occupy Oakland reports presently reoccupying at Snow Park.
The LA Times says demonstrators plan to return today to Oscar Grant Plaza.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The Mayor declared that the group did not obtain a permit for a peaceful rap concert held yesterday. Joe Beasley, the Southern Regional Director for Rainbow PUSH, has stated that Mayor Reed is overreacting and has called for his public ouster from office.
Atlanta civil rights leaders and community activists state that "The World is Watching!" and that they will bring more people down to Atlanta, if necessary, to continue Occupy Wall Street in Georgia's capitol.
The Founder and President of Rainbow PUSH, Reverend Jesse Jackson, recently appeared at Occupy Wall Street in a tense but peaceful stand-off with N.Y.P.D. Protesters successfully prevented the City from removing a medical tent.
I really wish Mayor Reed would read his Henry David Thoreau.
Monday, October 24, 2011
The Atlanta mayor is handling things a lot better than Boston's Menino. Still, I have to wonder about these mayors and their remarks on Civil Disobedience. Do they understand what civil disobedience is?
For while Mayor Menino drops jaws stating that he will not "tolerate civil disobedience" (causing scores of Americans to picture the intolerance at Selma), Mayor Reed says, "civil disobedience is an appropriate form of expression, provided it is peaceful, non-violent, and lawful [my emphasis]."
I don't want to knock Mayor Reed too much, since he just granted Occupy Atlanta a second extension to stay in Robert W. Woodruff Park for three more weeks. However, just as America is proud of its accomplishments founded on civil disobedience, and thanks to leadership like Dr. King's, civil disobedience, while peaceful and non-violent - by its very nature is not lawful.
A link here to the essay by Henry David Thoreau that started it all - and originally titled, "Resistance To Civil Government." Henry David Thoreau peacefully, but very deliberately, broke the law and went to jail, advocating that others should, as well.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
NECN reports; a group calling itself "anonymous" also hacks the Boston Police Department.
Friday, October 21, 2011
The Rainbow Times carried their announcement that
In the spirit of solidarity, and in recognition of the diversity of experiences of all members of the 99%, we invite all our supporters to join us in having these discussions by rallying at 12:00 Saturday behind the BPD headquarters in the southwest corridor park, near the Ruggles and Tremont Street intersection and a short walk from the Ruggles stop on the Orange line. A march is in the works for afterward (we gotta get back to see Chomsky, right?), so bring your walkin shoes!Noam Chomsky is speaking at 6 P.M. at the Saturday, Oct. 22nd event.
Occupy Boston also expressed its solidarity with Occupy the Hood's Friday evening Oct 21 rally at Dudley Square reported by the Boston Herald. Issues focused on jobs, education, justice, and solidarity.
Dave Wedge and Colneth Smiley Jr. of the Boston Herald write:
Members of the black clergy joined in and said they were proud of the movement and what the Occupy protesters were expressing.
“We are living the dream MLK was talking about, people from the suburbs and inner cities marching together for the betterment of the people,” said Pastor Paris Cherry of the Love Movement Ministries.
“It’s clear the community is looking for answers to a number of issues,” former City Councilor Michael Flaherty told the Herald as he listened in to the chants and demands of Occupy The Hood protesters. “They want better schools, an end to senseless violence, and real economic opportunity through jobs with good wages and benefits. The middle class has reached its boiling point.”
Members from both sides said it was time to join forces.
“I think the whole Occupy movement around the country is something that is definitely needed. We need to address the issues of the black and Latino communities,” said an Occupy The Hood protester and longtime Roxbury resident who identified herself as Sunshine. “It’s a necessary action to address the issues from where we are from.”
Courtesy of the Boston HeraldPhotographer: Stuart CahillThe Reverend William Dickerson opens the Dudley Square Rallywhere Occupy Boston joins Occupy the Hood
Boston Protesters were recently and brutally evicted in a 1:30 A.M. raid by Mayor Menino who infamously stated that he would not tolerate "civil disobedience." Many distubed by his remarks since civil disobedience has a noble and distinguished history for Americans, starting with Henry David Thoreau, who went to prison as a non-violent tax resister, and inspired the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela, among others. The arrests created further concerns across the country when news spread of a non-violent veteran being repeatedly thrown to the ground on video, and police uncharacteristically detaining legal observers and journalists.Boston.com quotes a police officer stating that things have settled down since, and Boston News describes an increasingly organized and inclusive community that provides centers for clothing, books, food, and any number of other needed categories. Boston News has a video clip of the tent city at the linked site. Around lunch-time, they are regularly joined by persons coming down from the suburbs and what appear to be some financial district workers for a noon sing-a-long. People also stand on the roadways with signs stating that they are looking for employment.
Hey, if you are with Wall Street and you disagree with the protesters, why don't you head down and start hiring people with job-hunting billboards? You're the "job creators" after all!
Hmmm .. another almost surreal moment when Boston TV 5 expresses concerns with homeless persons joining, crime, and drugs - but participants assert that all are welcome, and any issues, had been relatively minor and easily resolved. One of the demonstraters also points out that the homeless had already been in that area before the tent city moved in. The demonstraters also express their determination to remain through winter, and to stand tall against Tom Menino, if he tries to evict them again.
Now, if I were a cartoonist, I might add a little "funny" in there of Americans lining up to join the occupation at an "intake" table where they ask, "Do you already have a home?" "No? - O.k., you can't live in a tent here."
So .. are we there yet? Do you have to have a home to live in a tent city?
Absurd. Crime clearly has no place in a tent city, but homelessness is not a crime. It is also one of the reasons we are on Wall Street, with record numbers of Americans left homeless due to Wall Street economic wreckage. Record numbers on the brink of homelessness. All homeless Americans, all other "tent cities" should be migrating immediately to their nearest occupation site. As the real criminals are still at large on Wall Street - with their bought cohorts in the Capital - who should be evicted from Congress - a Congress that is supposed to be representing The People, not corporations.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Keith Olbermann interviews Tom Morello here. Interviewed by a crowd of reporters, here at Occupy Wall Street, where he also spoke, sang, and played guitar.
* Occupy Los Angeles has a second "unofficial" website for Occupy L.A. that reports up to 15,000 with video coverage in the Oct. 15th march.
OD reports reorganizing with renewed vigor in Civic Center Park, pictured below.
We will not back down from our demand to occupy, from our demand to have a kitchen serving all those in need, from our demand to have a medic tent, from our demand to offer clean and safe spaces, and from our demand to have a permanent place to create constructive solutions to the problems created by the 1%. We are asking for the ability to have a say over policies and politics that dictate our lives, to create policies and politics that offer us, the 99%, real economic justice and an end to corporate greed.
The police will not arrest you if the tent does not touch the ground. More tent reflections here, here, and here.
Photos and story here at Animal.
Occupy Wall Street gathers statistics on supporters. The survey conducted by City University of New York professor, Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán, Ph.D., shows the sample as highly educated and politically independent.
50.4% employed full-time, 20.4% were employed part-time,13.1% unemployed, 2.6% of respondents retired, 1.3% disabled, 2.6% homemakers, 9.7% are full-time students.
47.5% earns less than $24,999 dollars a year, 24% earn $25,000 - $49,999 per year, 15.4% earn $50,000 - $74,999, 13% earn over $75,000 with close to 2% earning over $150,000 per year.
Most use Facebook and youtube. Only about 30% uses Twitter.
Parents For Occupy Wall Street
OWS reports being busy cleaning the park again - this time for a family sleep over on Friday night.
Parents For Occupy Wall Street starts with a website here for anyone interested in New York activities or starting a group in their own area.
Parents and children have been at OWS demonstrations across the country. See here, here, and here, with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary performing for young audiences in N.Y.C. In the photo below, a Seattle father tells the reporter, "We're here to take the future back."
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
We are chameleons. We become chameleon.
—José Antonio Burciaga