Rising up, Again: Occupy, 99Rise and Activism’s Comeback in the California Capital

Search form

Rising up, Again: Occupy, 99Rise and Activism’s Comeback in the California Capital

Rising up, Again: Occupy, 99Rise and Activism’s Comeback in the California Capital
Wed, 7/30/2014 - by Nick Miller
This article originally appeared on News Review

After the so-called death of the Occupy movement, political activism is making a comeback in Sacramento.

In June and July, law enforcement arrested 47 protesters over 12 days at the state capitol. Those hauled away were members of the newly formed 99Rise movement. They peacefully remained in the building under the rotunda after curfew, in solidarity with their goal of getting big money out of politics.

That hasn’t happened yet, of course, but the protesters made headlines by lobbying a few bills — and actually getting two passed.

Some of these activists marched nearly 500 miles from Los Angeles to Sacramento, and hundreds more were local. They proved that Sacramento holdovers from the Occupy contingent would no longer quietly go about their business. That they were done “licking their wounds,” as local 99Rise organizer Curt Ries put it.

And now they’re rising up again.

This week, Sacramento will host a two-day training session for those interested in 99Rise. The city also will welcome the Occupy movement’s national gathering beginning next Thursday. There’s a major protest of Monsanto planned for Davis in mid-August, as well.

And 99Rise, a movement formed in Los Angeles in 2012 that now boasts chapters nationwide, is planning to announce another high-profile action this fall. “The endgame is to have masses of people do civil disobedience,” said Ries, who recently launched a local 99Rise chapter.

The group first garnered national attention earlier this year, when leader Kai Newkirk was arrested after interrupting a Supreme Court hearing on the Citizens United 2 case. He spoke out during the justices’ discussion in protest of laws and rulings that make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to fund political campaigns.

Newkirk told SN&R that he thinks attitudes about money in politics are changing and says lawmakers are sympathetic to his group’s get-big-money-out-of-politics focus.

“The impact for legislators is getting worse and worse,” he told SN&R via phone from Los Angeles. “They’re having to spend more and more time raising money from wealthy people. And they’re vulnerable, because billionaires can just come into a race” and prop up an opponent.

When 99Rise visited Sacramento earlier this month, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg met with the group and backed their legislation—and even invited their video crew onto the Senate floor.

There were also arrests, 47 in all, for charges varying from protesting without a permit, trespassing on state property after closing, unlawful assembly, and obstruction or delaying a police officer.

Unlike Occupy, the 99Rise protests were nonviolent. There were no threats against officers or thrown bottles and no graffiti in the Capitol bathrooms, according to law enforcement. A spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol, which made the arrests, said officers “really appreciated the level of respect that the protesters shared for law enforcement, and we definitely shared that respect back.”

The city of Sacramento and the county district attorney’s office has not announced whether they will prosecute the 47 arrests. A DA spokesperson said the office is in the process of reviewing the cases.

A training this week, scheduled for July 26 to 27, in Sacramento organized by 99Rise will teach people about the group’s brand of peaceful protest, plus organizing tactics and public-relations strategies. The movement will hold similar teach-ins nationwide.

“This year has seen explosive growth in interest from around the country,” Newkirk said. “We’ve just been really trying to catch up with that surge in demand.” The group boasts nearly 5,000 likes on Facebook.

An offshoot of the Occupy movement, 99Rise is different because it is leadership-based, whereas Occupy was famous for lacking central decision-makers. There’s a lot of crossover in membership, though, at least here in Sacramento.

“What they were trying to do, with getting money out of politics, is what Occupy started over,” said James “Faygo” Clark, a local activist with both groups. “They’re more leader-based than Occupy, but I kind of prefer Occupy, where anyone can step up and be a leader for a moment.”

Occupy also will make some noise this week, when it hosts the Occupy National Gathering from July 31, through August 3.

“The mainstream corporate media has tried to write our epitaph prematurely, but the Occupy movement is far from over,” said Delphine Brody, who’s helping organize the event. The group will focus on issues such as water rights, environmental justice, media reform and also money in politics during the free four-day event at Capitol Park and Southside Park.

Originally published by News Review

Article Tabs

Black Lives Matter, pepper spray cops, Cleveland police incidents, police brutality, police violence, Ferguson protests, Baltimore protests

The incident occurred Sunday during protests against the arrest of a 14-year-old.

economic inequality, wealth inequality, income inequality, $15 an hour, Fight for $15, worker strikes, worker occupations, Taft-Hartley Act, Communist Party USA, McCarthyism, fast-food workers

The Oakland-based activist and performer says workers need to look beyond city councils and form a radical new labor movement – through strikes, stoppages and occupations of the workplace.

Endangered Species Act, animal protections, Federal Land Freedom Act, Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act, National Defense Authorization Act, Common Sense in Species Protection Act, Clean Energy Act

A spate of bills attached with riders are moving through Congress that would dismantle the historic law by transferring authority from the federal level to the states – inaugurating an era of unrestrained development.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, investor-state dispute settlements, ISDS, corporate tribunals

So much public concern and controversy has been raised over investor-state dispute settlements that the E.U. suspended talks on the rules in order to open a public consultation.

Black Lives Matter, racial injustice, economic injustice, Tia Oso, Patrisse Cullors, white supremacy, Ku Klux Klan, #BernieSoBlack

The recent Black Lives Matter protest at the Netroots Nation conference was a teachable moment for everyone – forcing progressives to pick a side as they shape next year's electoral agenda.

The Yes Men, The Yes Men Are Revolting, Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonnano, Occupy Sandy, climate activism

The prankster activist duo are back at it again, now directing their comical creative theater at the climate crisis and the earth's worst offenders.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

The call for a ban follows controversial legislation allowing E.U. member states to opt-out of GM cultivation, even though it has been approved at the European Union level.

Posted 4 days 13 hours ago
Act Out!, Eleanor Goldfield, Taylor Swift, Fox News, funny or die

This week let's go ahead and debunk that myth of being “a-political” with a little help from Taylor Swift and Fox “News."

Posted 6 days 2 hours ago
$15 an hour, Fight for 15, federal minimum wage, minimum wage increase, Bernie Sanders

The bill, proposed by the presidential candidate and Democrats in the House, goes far beyond the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and makes it easier for federal workers to join a union.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
bank bailouts, fraudulent bank practices, mortgage backed securities, illegal foreclosures, Lanny Breuer, Eric Holder, FDIC, securitized loans, due process, whistleblowers, robosigning, mortgage fraud, revolving door

"The system is largely gamed, broken and corrupted by money, influence peddling and a revolving door."

Posted 1 day 19 hours ago
Fight for $15, $15 minimum wage, increased wages, fastfood workers, Wage Board, Andrew Cuomo, Save NY Restaurants Coalition

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Wage Board exercised its power to set the new minimum for the fast food industry's 200,000 workers in the state – without requiring approval of the legislature.

$15 an hour, Fight for 15, federal minimum wage, minimum wage increase, Bernie Sanders

The bill, proposed by the presidential candidate and Democrats in the House, goes far beyond the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and makes it easier for federal workers to join a union.

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era.

In one of the more remote areas of Odisha, eastern India, live small communities of subsistence farmers who over the last few years have managed to return to a system of cooperative, zero-input agriculture.

The Yes Men, The Yes Men Are Revolting, Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonnano, Occupy Sandy, climate activism

The prankster activist duo are back at it again, now directing their comical creative theater at the climate crisis and the earth's worst offenders.

Sign Up