One of our volunteers, Jennifer Slattery, is heading back to the Occupy Wall Street site in New York and will be reporting live via twitter. Check back frequently to see what is going on at #OWS! There will be a LIVE "Occupy Your Future" twitter feed where you will be able to see what is happening on the ground at #OWS.
After a long winter, it's time to go back to Wall St. for this activist. And I am very excited about the first action I will be attending this Spring:
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, ACT UP (the activist group that took on AIDS issues in the 80's) will team up with Occupy Wall Street to hold a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street. Why Wall Street? Because the corruption of the corporate class has a ripple effect throughout our society that goes far beyond jobs, and debt. The crisis they cause leads to human suffering. On Wednesday, April 25 we will gather at City Hall and march on Wall Street. Act Up, in many ways, served as a model for the Occupy movement's leaderless, non-violent, and creative, direct action tactics. It is an honor to not only carry on their fight, but to have them stand beside us, and teach us from within our own ranks.
When I first arrived at Liberty Square six months ago, reporters asked me what real solutions I personally wanted to be achieved by protesting. My answer, repeatedly, was the need for a Financial Transaction Tax. None of the reporters ever printed my answer, instead running the same lie over and over for months: no one at Occupy has any ideas, no solutions. That was a lie, and I know because I heard many others talking about the same thing. We never stopped talking about it, and the media may choose to ignore us, but we will only get louder. A "Financial Speculation Tax" (Fi.S.T.) on Wall Street will be our rallying cry with Act Up on the 25th.
|Jennifer Slattery is a dedicated human rights activist, former private investigator, and a member of the Occupy Movement. She lives in NY, and would be happy to answer any and all questions you might have: firstname.lastname@example.org|
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(image via Twitter credited to GlennShootsPeople's Flicker account)
Violent police clashes again rocked the city of Oakland January 28th (#J28) as Occupy Oakland protestors attempted to occupy a vacant building. Their announcement, via a letter to the Mayor referring to the action as Move-In Day, declares their intent to use the building:
“As a social center, convergence center, headquarters, free kitchen, and place of housing for Occupy Oakland. Like so many other people, Occupy Oakland is homeless while buildings remain vacant and unused. For Occupy this is in large part because of yourselves, having evicted us twice from public space that was rightfully ours. For others it is because of the housing bubble, predatory lending, the perpetual crises of capitalism, and far reaching histories of imperialism and systemic violence.”
By the end of a long day of marches and failed occupation attempts, three hundred people, from a crowd that swelled at times to 2,000, were arrested. Much of the corporate media reporting on the start of the violence points the finger squarely at the protestors who are alleged to have begun the violence by pelting officers with rocks, bottles and even Improvised Explosive Devices. The claim that peaceful protestors used IEDs is on it’s face false and inflammatory, as first hand accounts and live streaming video footage of the event seems to show that protestors only threw some debris as a reaction to being pelted with explosive percussion grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters:
Via Occupy Oakland’s twitter feed:
#OccupyOakland #OO OPD claim they ordered us to disperse, after blocking us in & arresting us. Chanting "this is a hostage situation."
"For their first attempt at a kettle, the cops charged the group with police lines from the front and back. They ran towards us aggressively. Us being 1000+ peaceful marching protesters. The group was forced to move up a side street. The police moved quickly to surround the entire area; they formed a line on every street that the side street connected to. Police state status: very efficient. They kettled almost the entire protest in the park near the Fox theater. AFTERWARDS, as in after they surrounded everyone, they declared it to be an unlawful assembly BUT OFFERED NO EXIT ROUTE. Gas was used, could of been tear or smoke gas."
Similar claims that law enforcement "had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks." after the violent clearing of the original Occupy Oakland camp had to be walked back, because there was no evidence that any such violence by Occupy had occurred:
“Oakland PD's Chief of Staff, Sgt. Chris Bolton conceded that the department was unable, at this time, to substantiate claims made by Jordan that gas was deployed in order to protect law enforcement personnel from violent demonstrators, despite the Chief's unqualified claim that evening that "the deployment of gas was necessary to protect our officers and protect property around the area and to protect injuries to others as well."
Instead, Bolton softened Jordan's initial claim. The sergeant described it as "the Chief's preliminary belief.”
We've (finally!) released another issue of our News of the Cool e'Zine. The release is timed to coincide with today's Occupy the Courts national day of protest, and includes articles on Joel Bakan's new book — Childhood Under Siege — with a review by Occupy Parenting's Eric Curren, as well as pieces on tackling corporate giants and social branding. We also did a short Occupy-themed vlog that ties it all together. Check it out below and please share it!
In the vlog, Joel Bakan talks about corporate personhood and how the Occupy movement is really a call to be a citizen, with all the rights and duties that entails. Katherine Dodds discusses how branding can be used for social good and not just to maximize profits, and Move to Amend's Steve Justino gives us some background on Occupy The Courts.
Sandy is part of The Corporation's grassroots team and has been working on the film's outreach efforts since 2003.|