YOUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF OCCUPY MOVEMENT NEWS
This week in Occupy, Southern California erupted, the Occupied Chicago Tribune won the battle to keep its name, The Tax Dodgers were honored at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and time is running out to prosecute the financial crimes of 2008.
#The shooting of an unarmed man named Manuel Diaz—a “known gang member”—by an Anaheim police officer prompted protesters to storm the Anaheim Police Department on July 22. A day earlier, as officers were investigating what happened at the scene where Diaz was killed, an angry group of residents gathered and demanded answers for the killing. Officers responded by detaining several people and firing tear gas, rubber bullets and and beanbag rounds into the crowd. The same day, in an unrelated incident, a second man was shot and killed by police. Anger in Anaheim, home of Disneyland, has been growing for years, and residents have been protesting the police every Monday for the past three months. The clash reached its apex on July 25, when 24 were arrested after confronting police officers downtown, still understandably upset at the murder of an unarmed man in their neighborhood.
#The 626 Wilshire occupation was covered in the Los Angeles Times. The LAPD officers who fired rubber bullets, bean bags and tear gas at the Art Walk crowd in downtown L.A. on July 12 blamed their actions on “an acceleration of tension” and “vandalism” from the activists writing on the sidewalks with chalk. A petition has been drawn up calling on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to have the incident investigated. Occupy Los Angeles would like the mayor held accountable for the unprovoked police brutality.
#Alexander Schaefer, the artist behind the “burning banks” series whose popularity skyrocketed at the height of the Occupy LA encampment, was arrested July 23 for writing on a public sidewalk in chalk in front of a downtown Chase Bank. Here’s a video of his arrest.
#Occupy Wall Street‘s faux baseball team, The Tax Dodgers, were given their own exhibit in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. No joke!
#Occupy Town Square—a mobile, daytime outreach occupation held in parks and other public spaces around New York City to build the movement for economic, social, and environmental justice—was held in Jackson Heights, Queens, on July 22. Teach-ins about foreclosure and stop-and-frisk were offered and a puppet show and baseball game were staged before the evening culminated in a casseroles march.
#The World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva has denied The Chicago Tribune’s trademark claim against the Occupied Chicago Tribune, stating that Occupy is well-known enough not to be confused with its mainstream media counterpart.
#Seattle resident Angela Vogel married a corporation.
#Twitter is appealing a Manhattan judge’s ruling requiring it turn over tweets by demonstrator Malcolm Harris to the district attorney, saying that the decision “doesn’t strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement.” But Twitter may be facing an uphill battle with its free speech stance.
#The involvement of Occupy Wall Street in The Strand’s recent contract negotiation renewed the energy of its workers and attracted media attention.
#Most guns recovered by the NYPD are not the result of stop-and-frisks, meaning police aren’t finding guns where they’re looking the hardest.
#“Occupy National Gathering: Perspectives on Police” is a short film that attempts to portray the internal conflict over police confrontation at the Occupy National Gathering, particularly as it relates to the future of the movement, and includes interviews with former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis, Un-Occupy Albuquerque activist Amalia Montoya and InterOccupy organizer Tamara Shapiro.
#A rent strike against a millionaire landlord caught fire in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with a sleep-in outside the three-building complex plagued by dangerous electrical problems. In addition to frequent power outages, the building’s landlord, Orazio Petito, and his superintendent kept the basement door locked, preventing city inspectors from cleaning out a room full of rotting garbage or fixing the overtaxed fuse box that constantly sparked and shorted, threatening to burn the whole building down.
#Occupy Wall Street‘s Janet Wilson is zig-zagging across America in an RV emblazoned with signs including “Release Bradley Manning” and “Info Collection Task Force Unit for Wikileaks,” a mobile extension of the Occupy protests that’s already journeyed 17,000-plus miles.
#At a gathering in Zuccotti Park, the NYPD targeted a woman sitting in a chair, knitting. Activists, hide your needles.
#Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his NYPD are adamant about saving the Stop and Frisk program, regardless of how racist their tactics are.
#For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American.
#Six Wal-Mart heirs hold more wealth than 42% of Americans combined.
#The Securities and Exchange Commission is quickly running out of time to file charges against financial firms and high-level executives involved in fraud and other crimes leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
#It’s time to tie executive pay to workers’ pay.
#Northern California credit unions say resentment toward commercial bank practices has resulted in unprecedented growth in new accounts and borrowers.
#“Mr. Satan Goes to Wall Street,” an ambitious new show in Los Angeles, is a full-blown musical satire that’s a wistful paean to the Occupy Movement.
#San Francisco homeowners have formed Occupy Noe Valley with the express purpose of fighting foreclosures on behalf of their neighbors. Like neighboring Occupy Bernal Heights, they intend to be effective by not occupying.
#On July 18, fifteen activists protesting janitor employment conditions in Houston were arrested, sparking protests across the country as janitors in six other cities walked off the job in solidarity.
#A Phoenix woman who had to briefly abandon her loan modification with Bank of America and Fannie Mae to attend to her wounded son in a military hospital in Germany returned home to find that the bank had foreclosed on her. Her house had been cleared and her son’s Purple Hearts thrown away.
#Contractors hired by banks to protect abandoned properties against damage are terrifying homeowners by entering occupied homes after ignoring obvious signs of occupation, like lights turned on, mowed grass and furniture.
#Boston T riders at several downtown subway stations received a welcome surprise during their evening commute on July 13: a free ride home, courtesy of a fare strike to protest recently implemented fare hikes.
#Occupy Homes has spread to Massachusetts. Block by block, city by city…
#Members of Occupy New Hampshire incorporated the movement as a nonprofit, and soon decided that gun owners who openly carry are prohibited from future Occupy events.
#After collecting nearly 4,000 signatures, Occupy Merced and Tenants Together, a statewide renters rights group, filed a referendum to overturn the repeal of the Northern California city’s renters’ rights ordinance.
#President Barack Obama’s fundraising stop in Oakland on July 23 night drew vocal dissent from Occupy Oakland activists, anti-war protestors and medical cannabis advocates.
#Occupy Rochester was kettled and threatened by police during a July 21 march, leading to the arrests of 18 people. Even after they were menaced by police smacking their batons threateningly and pepper spraying the crowd, much of the group pushed past them to continue their march.
#Occupy Bohemian Grove protested the annual Bohemian Grove retreat held by the elite in a secluded camp in the redwoods of Monte Rio, California.
#Yang Yuanqing, the CEO of Lenovo, donated his $3 million bonus to his employees.
#Republicans have twice stopped the Senate from taking up the DISCLOSE Act, which would require outside groups spending hundreds of millions on campaign ads to reveal how much they spend and who their big donors are.
#A woman in Little Falls, Minnesota, was forced by the city to take down signs in her own yard that read, “Occupy Wall Street,” “Back the 99 Percent” and “Boycott Monsanto.” Signs supporting war, however, pass muster.
#A planned protest by the hateful Westboro Baptist Church was overshadowed when thousands of supporters gathered at the funeral of a fallen soldier and formed a human wall to block the radical church’s effort.
#The Florida Sun-Sentinel opined that the Occupy Movement still has a chance to flourish—if it gets organized.
#On Google Maps, Mashable reports, it’s easy to spot definitive lines of income inequality: wealthier neighborhoods have the most trees.
#Muskego, Wisconsin, is about to get its first “Cash Mob,” a concept that originated with Occupy Wall Street where large crowds of consumers show up at small businesses to spend money with the goal of keeping them afloat.
#Tampa is again ramping up “protection” for the Republican National Convention, clamping down on protests and limiting items people can carry.
#In a shock to the local administration, 90% of the Chicago Teachers Union voted for a strike action, which the Guardian optimistically reported could be an embarrassment to President Obama and re-ignite the American labor movement at a time of global unrest.
#Occupy Hong Kong‘s fate is now in the hands of the courts, as HSBC has sought to clear the encampment in the plaza that runs underneath HSBC Holdings. It’s worth noting that while HSBC has been threatening occupiers with eviction, the banking giant has been cited for helping terrorists, drug cartels and other criminals launder money.
#A direct electoral challenge to the way the City of London is governed is set to be mounted this month by some of the activists and supporters of last year’s Occupy London protests at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
#Occupy London wants people to know about LIBOR, so they’re affixing “Liboration” stickers to bikes in the city’s bike share program. U.S. prosecutors and European regulators are close to arresting individual traders and charging them with colluding to manipulate Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate; here are some of the candidates.
#Citigroup reportedly manipulated Libor rates more than any other U.S. bank.
#ProPublica reports that some banks and lenders played fast and loose with student loans, aggressively marketing them to borrowers who couldn’t afford that amount of debt. ”Borrowers who took out loans at the height of the boom are still suffering from those excesses,” said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
#A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary $21 trillion of wealth offshore – as much as America and Japan’s GDP combined.
#The poor and middle classes have shouldered by far the heaviest burdens of the global political obsession with austerity policies over the past three years. But the austerity game also has winners: the corporate class, as government services are privatized and savings from austerity pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens.
#A half-million Americans in 10 states with voter identification laws face serious challenges to obtaining the necessary photo documentation. A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University takes a look at just how hard it can be for someone without a photo ID to get one. The Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party have filed a lawsuit over Ohio’s new law that limits in-person early voting for most of the state’s voters three days prior to the election. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about voter ID laws.
#Our cruel anti-immigrant laws have had a particularly devastating impact on immigrant women and the families they struggle to raise, Forbes reports.
#Police in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco are confiscating condoms from sex workers and transgender women, undermining health department campaigns to reduce HIV.
#The F.D.A. spied on its own scientists’ emails during a whistleblower investigation.
#House Republicans unveiled legislation to get rid of AmeriCorps, the national service program, and cut off federal funding for National Public Radio, public television and Planned Parenthood.
#Chicago Alderman Joe Moore introduced legislation to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, joining cities and states across the country that are remedying the Court’s poor decision themselves.
#Sheldon Adelson, the big Republican donor who has vowed to bankroll Republican candidates to the tune of $100 million to beat President Obama in November, is being investigated by federal and Nevada investigators for his shady business methods.
#Planned Parenthood Arizona filed a lawsuit against a newly signed law that would prevent Medicaid patients in the state from choosing Planned Parenthood as their health provider because some of its clinics offer abortions.
#The ACLU’s #WannaBeMyDoc tool automatically sends anti-abortion rights lawmakers reproductive health questions.
#It was revealed that George Zimmerman has called Qur’an-burning pastor Terry Jones from jail. Zimmerman told Sean Hannity on Fox News that he has no regrets about the shooting of Trayvon Martin. “I feel it was all God’s plan. For me to second-guess it…” Zimmerman trailed off. The next morning Trayvon’s parents appeared on Today Show, CBS This Morning and Fox & Friends and disputed his statements.”Why would God have him kill an unarmed teenager? I mean, it just makes no sense,” said Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother. “What plan is it? I mean, that’s just heartless to say that that was God’s plan that he took our child’s life.” Barbara Walters admitted on The View that in exchange for an interview, Zimmerman and his wife had demanded a month-long stay in a New York hotel with round-the-clock security. Walters, perhaps still stinging from the publicity backlash following her attempt to secure an internship at a major network for an aide to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in exchange for an interview with the homicidal dictator, declined.
#Bill McKibben wrote an incendiary article about global warming in Rolling Stone.
#Skype won’t say whether or not it can eavesdrop on your conversations.
#Apple doesn’t want us to know how thoroughly we’re spied on, so it dropped the only app able to detect which apps can access your info.
#The ACLU of Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI to find out whether and to what extent the feds have been spying on members of the Occupy Movement.
#Arizona residents are fighting back against the racist sheriff Joe Arpaio.
#According to a new poll, most Americans want Congress to cut the country’s obscene military budget.
#Chris Hayes’s new book “Twilight of the Elites” examines how Wall Street and other major institutions, from Congress to the Catholic Church to Major League Baseball, have been crippled by corruption and incompetence.
#Restoring opportunity in the United States is not terribly complicated, the Christian Science Monitor reported. It will require an activist government, individual responsibility and a strong focus on job creation right now, combined with efforts to reduce debt, improve education and strengthen families over the longer-run.
#George Mason University has begun a project to better understand and report on the consequences of corporatism and cronyism. The research promises to speak to one of the main concerns of both the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements: government favoritism for the privileged.
#Would you watch a reality competition TV show featuring Occupiers facing off against Tea Party members?
#A special report on Kazakhstan airing on CNN includes interviews with “experts” who are actually current or former government employees.
#Join Occupy’s creative community and submit your artwork to Occupy Design.
#A new HBO documentary, “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island,” follows four Long Island families who suddenly became poor.
#Jello Biafra wrote an Occupy anthem called “SHOCK-YOU-PY!” Shout along to it, won’t you?
#Occupy the conventions – both of them.
#The July 23 massacre in Aurora, Colorado, horrified the Occupy community just as it did the rest of America. Here’s how you can give.
Want to report news about your occupation or meetup? Email me at JenSacks77@gmail.com.