The Occupied Wall Street Journal – Reports from the Front Line
YOUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF OCCUPY MOVEMENT NEWS
This week in Occupy, thousands swarmed Chicago for the NATO summit, Quebec’s student movement reached a critical mass, Greece remains on the brink and Occupy Wall Street’s librarians are suing the city and the NYPD over the destruction of the People’s Library.
#Though Fox News predictably pegged the turnout at a couple hundred, thousands arrived in Chicago for the NATO summit last weekend. InterOccupy called the demonstration “over-policed and extremely violent.” The National Lawyers Guild estimates that 117 people were arrested, but fewer than 100 were ultimately charged. Of those charged, the vast majority were ordinance violations and misdemeanors. Five protesters were accused of terrorism-related crimes.
#The mainstream media declared that Chicago’s well-attended action has revitalized the Occupy Movement, mainly because of some spot-on direct action: On Monday, hundreds of Occupy protesters shut down Boeing’s Chicago headquarters and marched downtown to President Obama’s re-election campaign headquarters. Boeing was targeted because of the company’s immoral involvement in making airplanes, killer drones and other military equipment used in wars and attacks overseas. Later that day, dozens of former servicemen and women in uniform, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, threw away their medals.
#Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left sent a message of solidarity to the hundreds of thousands who protested against NATO. “Fighting against NATO is also a fight in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Arab world who revolt against their dictators,” they wrote.
#Greece’s public finances could collapse as early as next month, leaving salaries and pensions unpaid unless a stable government emerges from the June 17 election. European firms are preparing for everything from social unrest to a complete meltdown of the financial system. This is what austerity looks like.
#Quebec’s student protest, now in its 15th week, is being described as “the biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.” Demonstrations routinely attract 300,000 to 400,000 people angry over a proposed 75% increase in the cost of tuition over the next five years.
#This, despite the late-night passage of the fascistic Bill 78, which limits protests and requires organizers to provide details of their actions in advance. In defiance of the bill, Québécois noisily banged pots and pans in so-called “casserole protests,” which are popular in Europe. A video of one such demonstration has gone viral. Another recent video explains why they occupy.
#In solidarity with Quebec, protesters in Toronto banged pots and pans in Yonge-Dundas Square.
#Thousands of university students poured into the streets of Mexico City on May 24 for the second time in a week to protest the way the upcoming presidential election is being run and, more specifically, covered in the Mexican media.
#OWSJ editor Allison Burtch reports in Animal NY that the librarians at the Occupy Wall Street library are suing the City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty over the destruction of the People’s Library during the violent raid of Zuccotti Park on November 15, when riot-gear clad cops seized 3,600 books, six computers, tents and other electronics. Of the 1,003 books returned, 201 were irreparably damaged. The librarians have compiled a list of missing and destroyed items worth an estimated $47,000. “Mayor Bloomberg thought he could get away with this, late at night, without the media present,” said Norman Siegel, an attorney on the suit. “This suit will hold him accountable.”
#On May 27, Occupy Wall Street took to the streets of midtown for a tour of public fountains, taking a swim in each and every one to demonstrate that they are, in fact, fountains belonging to the public.
#Occupy Wall Street held its first Feminist General Assembly in New York’s Washington Square Park, with other occupations across the nation joining in with their own.
#On May 25, police from the Hennepin County [Minneapolis] Sheriff’s Office abandoned an attempt to evict protestors from a foreclosed home in south Minneapolis after a tense standoff with Occupy members. But early the next morning, five of the dozen Occupy Minneapolis members fighting someone’s foreclosure were arrested after police sawed through chains and pipes blocking the doors. The protesters, who have been occupying houses to prevent foreclosures since the fall, then marched to City Hall, where sheriff’s representatives met with a city council member and one of the homeowners. There, occupiers delivered the house’s front door, which was broken by police in the raid, to the sheriff’s office.
#Occupy LA and Occupy Fights Foreclosures teamed up to save Dirma Rodriguez and her disabled daughter from eviction. Bank of America had modified her loan only to sell the house to a flipper at a foreclosure auction, who moved to evict her. The reason for the loan modification? Ms. Rodriguez needed home renovations to accommodate her cerebral palsy-stricken daughter. Hey, B of A: Karma’s a boomerang. Just ask Jamie Dimon.
#Occupy Oakland is protesting the city’s decision to ban protesters from carrying items such as shields, hammers, poles and paint balloons during demonstrations. Shields are often used by protesters as protection from police.
#The city of Tampa prepared for the Republican National Convention by sending several of their officers to Chicago during the NATO protests to observe Occupy in action – and develop a strategy for suppressing it.
#The Department of Homeland Security is expanding its “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign to Charlotte, North Carolina, just as that city prepares for the Democratic National Convention starting September 3.
#The Department of Homeland Security has also flagged hundreds of words as “suspect,” and not just “Al Qaeda”: “ice,” “cancelled,” “subway” and “social media” are now enough to raise DHS hackles.
#If recent documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund are any indication, the Occupy Movement continues to be monitored and curtailed in a nationwide, federally-orchestrated campaign, spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security. The documents “reveal a glimpse into the interior of a vast, tentacled, national intelligence and domestic spying network that the U.S. government operates against its own people.”
#The so-called “NATO 3″ – three participants in past Occupy Chicago actions who were arrested ahead of the NATO protests on terrorism and explosives charges – are being held in solitary confinement in “hospital-white” cells 24 hours a day, according to their attorneys, who say it was the undercover police officers and informants who supplied firebombs and the charges are the result of “entrapment to the highest degree.”
#Which begs the question: Has the FBI launched a war of entrapment against the Occupy Movement?
#A bill has been introduced in the New York State Senate requiring that any anonymous post online is subject to removal if the poster refuses to post — and verify — their legal name, their IP address and home address.
#As Tony Blair testified at a British inquiry into unethical and illegal behavior on the part of News Corp., a heckler shouted “This man should be arrested for war crimes!” before being removed by security.
#Despite a massive crackdown by police, Occupy Moscow is down to a few dozen holdouts. Unthinkable even this time last year, Moscow’s camp is a unique example of grassroots self-organization in Russia. Since the first time the encampment was raided on May 16, police forced a move every few days. Attendance ranged from a few dozen to several thousand, all protesting Vladimir Putin’s autocratic regime.
#A court has granted Occupy London one week to build a defense against their eviction from a park in Islington Borough.
#A dozen Occupiers were arrested in Portland as they chanted and sang outside a post office to demand a full-service facility and the resignation of the current Postmaster General.
#The Alternative Banking Group of Occupy Wall Street filed an amicus “friend of the court” brief arguing that Manhattan federal district Judge Jed Rakoff acted within his rights when he threw out a $285 million settlement between the SEC and Citigroup in November.
#A community meeting to give residents more information on a fatal officer-involved shooting earlier this month was mic-checked by Occupy Oakland.
#Jessica Hollie, a.k.a. BellaEiko, commanded the floor while discussing police violence against protesters at an Oakland public safety committee meeting following the introduction of an ordinance banning shields, clubs and many other objects at demonstrations.
#Prepaid cards have been revealed as another way for banks to soak the poor. Disempower the banks.
#SEC investigators have concluded their probe of possible financial fraud at Lehman Brothers without recommending enforcement action against the firm or its former executives. Lehman collapsed spectacularly in 2008 after the firm misled investors with accounting gimmicks that disguised its leverage.
#Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George said in a press release that bankers who failed to uphold the “integrity, dignity and reputation” of the Fed are required by the Fed’s standards of conduct to step down from the board. Many think she was referring to Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan Chase chief executive who famously fought regulation as his bank lost anywhere from $2 to $7 billion in a risky hedge. Her statement comes at a time when several people have called for Dimon to step down from the New York Fed.
#One good thing to emerge from the JPMorgan Chase fiasco: the CFTC is weighing broad new oversight of overseas trading.
#The Scott Walker recall race in Wisconsin is tightening, with the Democrats’ internal polling showing a dead heat.
#Officials at the Northside Independent School District in rural Bexar County, Texas, have approved a plan to track the whereabouts of each and every student by requiring them to walk the halls with identification cards in their pockets that are equipped with RFID microchips.
#The Chicago Tribune Company has filed a complaint with World Intellectual Property Organization over “occupy” web sites, such as the Occupied Chicago Tribune, using its brand. The Occupied Chicago Tribune commented on the situation in an editorial, pointing out that, “at the same time as the Tribune Company struggles to issue paychecks to the journalists who create the paper’s contents, the company has appealed to the courts to allow its managers to claim tens of millions of dollars in bonus pay.“
#Rhode Island is considering the nation’s first-ever homeless bill of rights, which would specifically prohibit law enforcement, health care workers, potential landlords or employers from treating homeless people unfairly because of their housing status.
#Mitt Romney inadvertently admitted that drastic spending cuts will hurt the economy, creating a “recession or depression.” Smart guy.
#The National Employment Law Project and Florida Legal Services filed a formal complaint with the Labor Department over Florida’s treatment of jobless workers following reforms that made the state’s unemployment insurance program the stingiest in the nation.
#Here are six things wealthy people should stop saying. (Out loud, anyway.)
#Because it bears repeating: At the Heart of an Occupation is a veritable Who’s Who of Occupy Wall Street‘s pioneers.
#Been stopped and frisked? So have they.
#Are you graduating this Spring? Occupy your graduation.
#The Occupy Caravan kicks off June 11 from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, traveling three routes across America en route to Philadelphia for a five-day Occupy National Gathering culminating in Washington D.C. on July 4.
#Summer Disobedience School is in session in New York City until September 17. What is September 17, besides the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, you ask?
September 17 is graduation day from Summer Disobedience School
September 17 we ask all occupations to join us in New York City
September 17 we shut down the financial district
September 17 is Black Monday
#Occupy Arrests counts 7,240 detentions of peaceful activists since the birth of the Occupy Movement.
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This week’s roundup was once again brought to you in conjunction with Occupy ALL the Updates, curated by citizen journalist and Occupy News Expert SIUKittyPie.