#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines

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#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines

#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines
Tue, 7/3/2012 - by Jennifer Sacks

Photo: Neil Jacobs, IATSE Local 600. Thousands march through Los Angeles’s Chinatown to stop Wal-mart’s invasion of Los Angeles.

This week in Occupy, the Occupy National Gathering is under way in Philadelphia, Los Angeles rejects Wal-mart, hundreds marched on California’s capitol to demand a foreclosure moratorium and two Brazilian activists pay with their lives for speaking at the People’s Summit in Rio.

#The Occupy National Gathering is in full swing in Philadelphia until July 4, and the mainstream media took notice. (It’s the turning point of the movement, dontcha know – just like May 1 was.) So far there’s been the predictable police kettling of peaceful protesters, and an unarmed man was hit in the throat with a baton. Check here for live updates.

2#At least three of the dozens of people arrested defending the Cruz home in South Minneapolis from foreclosure are now being retroactively charged with third degree riot – a rather serious charge – in addition to obstructing legal process, disorderly conduct and presence at an unlawful assembly.

#Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts unexpectedly flipped his position and joined the majority in declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional by treating the individual mandate as a tax. Though a rollback of the provisions of the Act already in effect would have detrimental to millions, the resulting law is hardly Medicare-for-all and still treats health care as a consumer product as opposed to a right. Firedoglake separates myth from fact.

#Montana lost the power to enforce its 110-year-old ban on money in politics, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling.

#A demonstration in Chile staged by the Confederation of Chilean Students to protest educational profiteering and rising tuition drew 150,000 to Santiago.

#Two fishermen who openly discussed the impacts of oil, mining and steel projects on people and land at a June 19 People’s Summit meeting tied to Rio + 20 were found dead days later. The men were leaders of the Association of Sea Men, which was set up in 2009 to defend the rights of the fisher-folk working in Rio de Janeiro.

3#Clergy, homeowners, labor unions and Occupy groups from around California rallied at the State Capitol in Sacramento to call for Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers to halt all home foreclosures. Occupy Santa Barbara organized outside the Santa Barbara County Courthouse in solidarity.

#Thousands marched through Los Angeles’s Chinatown on June 30 to stop Walmart from invading Los Angeles with low wage, poverty-level jobs. Ben Harper and Tom Morello performed.

#Twitter has been ordered to give a New York City judge almost three months’ worth of Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris’s tweets despite the social networking company’s efforts to fight prosecutors’ demand for the messages. But Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. ruled that prosecutors would need a search warrant – not just a subpoena – to get the final day’s worth of tweets they seek from Harris.

4#An Occupy Wall Street contingent of about 100 joined New York City’s annual Gay Pride Parade, “reclaiming the parade for community, not corporations,” they said.

#Occupy AstoriaLIC staged Occupy the Citi on June 27 to protest Citibank, the skyline’s main attraction in western Queens.

#A group of former Republic Windows and Doors occupiers are taking back the American dream and forming a worker-run cooperative to manufacture high quality, environmental windows and doors. You remember the epic Republic Windows and Doors occupation in Chicago, don’t you?

#Occupy Congressional candidate and Bum Rush the Vote co-founder George Martinez lost his bid to represent Brooklyn’s 7th district. “This was never about quick fixes, for there are no easy solutions to empowering marginalized communities,” he wrote in a letter to his supporters. “There is only hard work, dedication and innovation.”

#The annual Fourth of July parade in the upstate town of Potsdam, New York, will feature an Occupy Wall Street float.

#Occupy Carson City, Nevada, presented petitions signed by more than 1,000 voters asking officials to back a constitutional amendment that would bar big corporations and the rich from pumping unlimited money into political campaigns.

#Metroccupied is back with its second issue, which features retired Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis on the front page.

5#Occupied Media continues to expand: check out the Occupy KC Journal and the Occupied Detroit Free Press.

#The Occupy Caravan arrived in Philadelphia after two weeks of cross-country travel to 50 cities.

#Occupy D.C. has a new website that maps data about campaign finance “bundling” using stats from the city’s Office of Campaign Finance. The occupation in the nation’s capital has also returned to McPherson Square after occupying office space, and this time they’re staying.

#Sponsors of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association are pulling out after social media backlash following statements made in the Association’s bimonthly newsletter that insulted Occupiers.

#The Department of Homeland Security has given the University of California-Berkeley a $200,000 grant to purchase an “armored response counterattack truck” for its campus police department, to the dismay of Occupiers in the area, who fear they will be targeted.

#Small police departments across America are collecting battlefield-grade arsenals thanks to a program that allows them to get their hands on military surplus equipment at virtually no cost.

#A judge has ordered that the names of police involved in the U.C. Davis pepper spraying fiasco last year must be released. And Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is being called out again, this time for misstating facts about city crime rates and locations.

6#Counterpunch parses the future of Occupy Oakland, which is far from dead, thank you very much. In fact, the occupation has filed suit against the city of Oakland and Alameda County seeking a modest $10,000 in damages stemming from the January 28 kettling outside the YMCA.

#Six environmental activists were arrested at Oregon’s state capitol while protesting a plan they said would sharply increase clear-cut logging of old-growth timber in a state forest.

#Occupy Honolulu got raided on the basis of a law that prohibits people from disturbing trash left out for pickup.

#The Occupy Detroit Activist Choir, consisting primarily of children, performed at Occupy Detroit’s Summer Festival on June 23.

#In foreclosure defense news, Occupy Detroit succeeds in keeping people in their homes. Occupy Our Homes ATL is helping Cobb County resident Steve Boudreaux obtain a mortgage modification from Wells Fargo after the bank prematurely pushed ahead with a foreclosure sale instead of waiting for Boudreaux’s paperwork to process. The co-founder of YES! Magazine discusses the burgeoning foreclosure defense movement. And in California, the Homeowner Bill of Rights is one step closer to becoming reality.

7#Occupy Seattle is fighting incarceration, incineration and gentrification. Not necessarily in that order.

#Six months after Occupy Evanston began protesting the city’s investments in Chase Bank, aldermen approved a motion to solicit proposals for a possible banking transfer.

#Nearly 1,000 people took over the Ohio Statehouse to protest hydraulic fracturing. After rallying and marching to the Capitol building, hundreds poured in—without a permit—to hold a People’s Assembly to decide how they, the people, could end the practice in their state.

#Over 300 people participated in a march to the Lakeview School Sit-In on June 23. Here’s why they occupy.

#Inmates at Georgia’s Jackson State Prison are staging a hunger strike.

8#Are Spain’s indignados losing steam? Hardly.

#Activists report that 800 were killed in Syria this week. Some of the victims were entire families.

#U.S. assassination drone strikes have claimed the lives of at least 29 people in eastern Somalia.

#An interest rate rigging scandal at Barclays Bank that prompted its chairman to resign was the result of a coordinated attempt at collusion by traders working for a coterie of leading banks over at least five years.

#As Julian Assange takes refuge at the Ecuadorian parliament for a ninth day, his mother gave The People’s Record two intensive interviews refuting misconceptions about her son, pointing out that he has never been charged with a crime in any country.

#The HSBC Holdings Bank in Hong Kong has filed for eviction against Occupy Central, which is occupying the ground floor of their headquarters, but the protesters still aren’t leaving.

#Austerity protests are spreading in Sudan despite police repression.

9#Anti-nuclear protesters gathered at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo to protest the restarting of a nuclear reactor. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011, in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami, and the protest outside the prime minister’s office has become a weekly event in the past few months.

#Police repression greeted a protest in Haiti decrying government plans to evict residents from homes precariously perched on the hills above the capital Port-au-Prince. “These decisions are always made against the most poor,” one protester said. “The rich have huge homes that aren’t affected. They want to chase us away, but where to?”

#Jim Gober’s new book Deep in the Heart of Occupy Austin describes the evolution of a rag-tag group of protesters who decide to become “the super-warriors who are finally going to slay the fire-breathing hydra of Corporatism, Fascism, Oligarchism and Plutocracy that ate their future and the lives of millions throughout history.” And it’s getting good reviews, y’all.

10#The Senate said it’s reached a deal that will prevent interest rates on college loans from doubling for millions of students.

#Why is NATO expanding in the Caucasus region? The Centre for Research on Globalization has the answer, and it is perpetual war.

#Big corporations, small-time businesses, rogues and scoundrels have all claimed Delaware addresses in hopes of minimizing taxes, skirting regulations, plying friendly courts or, when needed, covering their tracks. Federal authorities worry that, in addition to the legitimate businesses flocking here, drug traffickers, embezzlers and money launderers are increasingly heading to Delaware, too. This shouldn’t surprise the Senator from MBNA, our current vice president, who made this domestic Grand Cayman possible.

#Inequality is back to World War II levels.

#Rolling Stone explored the declining middle class by profiling people living in their cars in Santa Barbara – people who not long ago had lives and jobs that the Great Recession eviscerated.

#Occupy the Police? Why not – they’re the 99% too.

11#Seattle Police attacked a queer street party on Pride weekend. One man pepper-sprayed by police was released without charges.

#28% of Americans have no emergency savings, though that number seems a bit low.

#Weapons manufacturer Northrop Grumman awarded a lobbyist a $500,000 bonus weeks before he became a low-paid congressional staffer shaping military policy.

#A recent study says allowing workers paid sick leave could account for healthier families and more than one billion dollars in savings, but the American Legislative Exchange Council and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are fighting it.

#Scary thought: do the Koch brothers determine our energy dependence?

#Rep. Dennis Kucinich helped kick off a hunger strike of postal workers protesting an effort to privatize and dismantle the cash-strapped United States Postal Service.

#With just $1,000 in parts, a group of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory hacked a drone owned by the college while the Department of Homeland Security was forced to watch.

#Texas Republicans say schools should engage in corporal punishment and shouldn’t teach sex education or “higher order thinking skills.” Because it worked out just fine for them, right?

12#Biotechnology giant Syngenta has officially been outed for deliberately hiding data that proves the company’s genetically-modified corn is directly responsible for killing livestock. The company now faces criminal charges.

#In the future, Internet broadband may be metered.

#Tom Engelhardt welcomes the Class of 2012 into our corrupted, #occupied world.

#The wildfires in the west, which include the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, are fueled by climate change.

#For the past four years, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has had the highest number of safety complaints of any nuclear plant in the country. Yet workers there are not protected by California’s whistle-blower laws – among the strongest in the nation – because San Onofre sits on federal land ceded to Southern California Edison back in the 1960s. Anti-nuclear activists have asked the Oceanside City Council to put nuclear safety on the agenda.

13#JPMorgan Chase’s Ina Drew was awarded a $21.5 million severance after helping to lose $9 billion in a risky hedge. This is called “failing up.”

#Pfc. Breanna (Bradley) Manning ranked #9 on Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s power index of revolutionaries. Meanwhile, in a victory for Manning, a judge ordered military prosecutors to hand over key damage reports from the CIA, FBI, State Department and the Office of the National Counter Intelligence Executive, and perform to do an accounting of evidence discoverable to the defense.

#A vigil was held in Philadelphia on June 29 to mourn the lesbian couple shot by unknown assailants in Texas. One of the women died and the other is in critical condition.

#Occupy Wall Street activists are crashing a fundraiser for Mitt Romney at David Koch’s Southampton estate on July 8.

14#Have you tried MIT’s Living Wage Calculator?

#On September 1, Funk the War wants you to take to the streets and dance in protest to the war in Afghanistan, drone strikes in Pakistan and the pending war with Iran.

#Members of Occupy Denton and Rising Tide North Texas will be traveling throughout Texas and Oklahoma to speak about the dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline.

#And finally, the Onion weighs in on the uphill battle against a corporate-financed democracy.

Article Tabs

Sacramento is playing host to the Occupy National Gathering just after 99Rise's state-long march ended there to protest the influence of big money in politics.

Companies that invert get all the benefits of operating in the U.S. – including purchases financed by taxpayers, while not supporting the government whose services, laws and workforce enable their profits.

America's foundations and wealthiest donors give only a small proportion of their total donations to local and grassroots organizations – furthering the divide between elite institutions and everybody else.

Former CEO Artie T. offered good benefits and fair pay – which is why employees are striking and customers are boycotting the market chain across the northeast, demanding to get him back.

The Coalition for Court Transparency, which advocates greater openness and accountability in judicial branch, launched a campaign to install TV cameras in the chambers of the Supreme Court.

From the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to the Trade In Services Agreement, massive trade deals are being advanced in coordination with a militarized police state.

Posted 5 days 2 hours ago

A few days after thousands marched on downtown Detroit last weekend, the city suspended mass water shutoffs for 15 days – leaving more than 15,000 households already disconnected.

Posted 5 days 2 hours ago

When a journalist in a news article refers to a woman as “strident,” you know what you’re reading is a hit piece – and that's what the New York Times produced about Occupy Wall Street activist McMillan.

Posted 6 days 2 hours ago

Reporting that CEOs in the U.K. earn 162 times more than the average worker, the High Pay Centre calls on government to put immediate caps on executive salaries.

Posted 6 days 2 hours ago

With 400,000 members and 85,000 retirees, SEIU 1199 is among the biggest unions to sign up so far for the People's Climate March in New York in September.

Posted 5 days 2 hours ago

Global inequality is much greater than inequality within any individual country.

If it is possible to organize a demonstration of hundreds of thousands, it is possible to expand a movement’s influence.

A heap of ashes is allegedly all that remains of $500 million in “pagarés” — or debt papers — stolen and burned by Chilean activist Francisco Tapia.

Because of the housing crisis and recession, the median family net worth dropped 40 percent between 2007 and 2010, while the richest Americans regained all their losses and began an even steeper climb to the top.

In the tradition of forest defenders in the Northwest and mountain defenders in Appalachia, the Texas campaign to block the Keystone XL pipeline has embraced escalated direct action performed by people across the social and political spectrum.

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