Tennessee officials agreed Monday to stop enforcing a new curfew used to dislodge Occupy Nashville protesters from the grounds around the Capitol.
The protesters went to federal court seeking a temporary restraining order against Gov. Bill Haslam, arguing the curfew and arrests of dozens of supporters violated their rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.
State Attorney General’s Office Senior Counsel Bill Marett announced at the beginning of a hearing before Judge Aleta Trauger that the state would not fight efforts to halt the policy.
The judge said she had already decided to grant the restraining order because the curfew was a “clear prior restraint on free speech rights.”
“I can’t think of a more quintessential public forum than Legislative Plaza,” Trauger said.
This is a huge victory for Nashville and in general, the OWS movement. It shows that you can’t just deprive people of their right to freedom of speech and assembly because you disagree with the content of their message. Hell, Nashville had been considering a city-wide curfew just to get around the freedom of assembly right.
“But while officers may be in a no-win situation, at the mercy of orders carried on shifting political winds and locked into conflict with a so-far almost entirely non-violent protest movement eager to frame the force as a symbol of the oppressive system they’re fighting, the NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork. Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.”—
A non-profit community service where police officers can go to help them rehabilitate and find replacement jobs that don’t require them to be morally reprehensible. Kinda like “Cops Anonymous.”
I wonder if this would increase the amount of people who can leave, like the two officers in Denver rumoured to have quit over police treatment of protesters. There are plenty of instances where cops have said that what is happening to protesters is “heartbreaking.” Perhaps this would help. I can’t imagine quitting a stable job is easy to do in this economy.
Occupy Oakland has just announced that SEIU Local 1021, which represents over 50,000 public service workers, will be asking its members to join Wednesday’s General Strike. If confirmed, this could exponentially increase the number of participants in this important and historic act of collective civil disobedience. While SEIU cannot make a pronouncement that it is joining a general strike, reports from Occupy Oakland are that the union is asking union members to “voluntarily” participate.
Additionally, it has been announced that Oakland’s Carpenters Local Union is going to be striking with Occupy Oakland as well.
Want more goodness? Okay, there is now going to be a Childrens’ Brigade March from the public library for all those students who might be, um, striking from school, and for all those toddlers out there whose parents will be striking.
The Bad and The Ugly: Police Officers' Forum Abuzz over Scott Olsen's Injury
Here’s the thread on the Officer.com forums, a popular spot for police from different departments around the world to gather and chat about… being assholes, presumably. A veritable wellspring of the best of humanity, to be sure.
Anyway, there are a few gems:
If it was a cannister…it must have bounced. Surely a direct hit from the cannister would have killed him. Before any deployment of “less lethal” riot control, there is an announcement and a way out…if you disregard the announcement…you are fair game.
Is he a soldier? I hope the Navy dude and him get court martialed if they are active duty.
Media is going crazy with this. He is a Iraq war vet. Mayor called for dispersement…and now is apologizing because someone got hurt! Duh! She just got into the position and is as wishy washy as all heck.
[This user’s forum signature is priceless: “This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can’t desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you’ve made.”]
But it is ironic that so many that claim first amendment rights are so willing to ignore everyone else’s and the law. Anarchists are the most confused people on Earth, they want rights when it suits them and ignore laws when it suits them. If they really were anarchists then might makes right, if you lose, tough crap. If a hundred thugs rape you and take all your stuff that’s too bad but they cry bloody murder if they think someone is infringing on their speech.
This is the type of ex military these things usually attract. Being his roomdog got hemmed up also screams ‘drugs’ to me. way to serve ‘honorably’ azzhat.
Well we know this idiot wasn’t a veteran of combat. He would have learned how to duck.
Maybe he should have smoked less weed and snorted less coke and his reaction time could have been a lot better and he could have avoided the canister.
And to be fair, there is a voice of reason…
He did two tours of duty in Iraq.
You know…the kid made a poor choice and got hurt. and probably for a dumb reason. It was an unfortunate accident. I’m not saying you should feel sorry for him, but at least say a prayer for his family. not like you care, but his condition has improved. His brain is no longer swelling.
People’s smartass comments here and general meaness is pretty ugly.
… but he gets shutdown by someone else in fairly short order:
If you have worked in the field you would understand. But to let you in on a little secret, cops and firefighters laugh and make jokes about a lot of messed up stuff. :P
BTW the guy is still an idiot IMO.
With people “serving and protecting” like this, it’s no wonder why some people say that ACAB.
More anti-democratic moves against the Occupy movement, characteristically carried out by a Democratic Party Mayor.
Virginia State Police brought in bulldozers at about 1 a.m. Monday morning to clear out an encampment of Occupy Richmond protesters.
At least 15 protesters who choose not to leave Kanawha Plaza after a 45 minute warning were arrested, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Demonstrators had been occupying the plaza since Oct. 15. Democratic Mayor Dwight C. Jones visited the site Thursday to warn protesters they were breaking a city ordinance that forbids camping on public property.
“We applied for permits from city council but, you know, they didn’t accept or decline us getting a permit,” one activist explained to WTVR. “At least them declining it would give us an idea what was to come, but we didn’t get anything. So we started occupying with high hopes and unfortunately this is what it came down to.”
Protesters have vowed to continue their occupation of Richmond even if they can’t do it at Kanawha Plaza.
Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran injured during police attempts to clear Occupy Oakland on Tuesday, has given a sign of appreciation for the wave of goodwill shown by fellow protesters across the US.
Olsen’s roommate, Keith Shannon, said the 24-year-old gave a “thumbs-up” after being told of the support he has received – which has included vigils across the US and marches against police brutality.
Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull when he was apparently being struck by a police projectile on Tuesday and is unable to talk. Officers from more than 15 different police agencies were involved in operations in Oakland on Tuesday, which included the use of tear gas and ‘less lethal’ weapons.
Shannon said he had visited Olsen on Sunday, and told him of the reaction to his injuries across the hundreds of Occupy protests. “He gave a thumbs-up,” Shannon said.
Olsen was hit on the right side of the head, damaging the speech centre of the brain. Video footage showed a police officer throwing a non-lethal explosive near to a stricken Olsen as fellow protesters came to his aid.
Shannon told the Guardian that Olsen is still communicating via written notes – although these tend to be short – and that Olsen’s spelling has suffered since he was injured.
“He only really writes when he needs something,” Shannon said. Olsen keeps a notepad and pen beside him on the bed to issue the messages, which often consist of just one word.
The perceived dithering and divisions of church officials over the protest camp outside St Paul’s in London have claimed a second major scalp with the resignation of the cathedral’s dean, the Right Rev Graham Knowles.
The dean – whose job is sufficiently senior that a replacement must be approved by the Queen – announced that mounting criticism over the cathedral’s handling of the situation made his position “untenable”.
In a statement read on his behalf to the media at the Chapter House, opposite St Paul’s, Knowles said: “In recent days, since the arrival of the protesters’ camp outside the cathedral, we have all been put under a great deal of strain and have faced what would appear to be some insurmountable issues.
"I hope and pray that under new leadership these issues might continue to be addressed and that there might be a swift and peaceful resolution."
Last week the St Paul’s canon chancellor, Giles Fraser, stepped down after the cathedral’s governing chapter voted to begin possible legal action against the Occupy the London Stock Exchange camp, in place now for 16 days. A part-time cleric also resigned.
Cathedral elders have faced criticism not just over the possibility that force and violence will be used to evict the camp, but for the decision to close the cathedral for a week over health and safety concerns that remain unclear. The church has also experienced wider condemnation for failing to properly and publicly agitate on the excesses of finance and global banking until prompted to by the camp, part of a burgeoning global movement.
It’s been dumping snow here in NYC all day, high winds and 3 inches of slush on the ground. With the NYPD and FDNY confiscating six generators on Friday and this unprecedented October snow, those occupying Liberty Plaza in downtown NYC are in need of emergency supplies crucial for cold weather survival (and occupation).
We’ve made a lot of headway on getting winter gear here in the last 48 hrs but definitely need more. Please help by purchasing or donating supplies directly. Winter gear and other necessities can be dropped off in person, delivered, or shipped.
insulated gloves, wool hats, scarves
long underwear / smart wool thermal socks
300 hand warmers, 300 foot warmers
waterproof boots in all sizes
disposable shoe covers
all weather sub-thermal sleeping bags
foam padding / insulation for inside of tents
wooden pallets to get tents off the ground
cots to get people off the ground (don’t currently have any - could really use these)
Dropping Off In Person In NYC
Daily until 9pm at the OWS storage space at 52 Broadway Ave, ground floor.
After 9pm at the OWS Comfort Station on the east side of Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park)
Where To Ship
Occupy Wall Street 118a Fulton St PO Box 205 New York, NY 10038
Please show your support for the stalwart occupiers who are braving the winter storm!
Why don't you all get off the streets, stop doing drugs and having sex and pooping on the American flag and get a JOB so you can pay off your student LOANS. Its not difficult to comprehend. If you want something you work for it. You all disgust me.
Is it really wise to reveal yourself to several thousand people who vehemently disagree with you and who rightfully think you’re an ignorant, elitist reactionary so out of touch it’s actually scary to consider you even exist?
Also, this is the kind of “opinion” we choose to ignore on a daily basis, so if you still believe we “censor opinions” by filtering out counter-productive trolling like this, just…wow.
A website claiming to be the official site of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan appeared recently, mimicking the official Oakland website entirely, but adding a statement of support for “Occupy Oakland” demonstrations that did not come from Quan, according to officials in the mayor’s office.
The website at www.oaklandmayor.com is almost an exact replica of the city’s official website at www.oaklandnet.com, including previous statements the mayor has made on the Occupy Oakland protests.
But the website has added a fabricated letter purportedly from Quan apologizing to protesters for the police response to protests Tuesday, where the Occupy Oakland encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza were raided, resulting in dozens of arrests, and police used tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades to keep protesters away from the plaza later that night.
"I offer my sincere apology for ordering the violent repression of the Occupy Oakland encampment in front of city hall," the fake statement stated.
The letter, which was also distributed at Occupy Oakland demonstrations, went on to say that Quan endorsed Occupy Oakland’s calls for a general strike in Oakland on Nov. 2. The mayor’s office released a statement Saturday clarifying that the letter was “bogus.”
Some gems from the “fake” letter:
The Occupy Oakland general assembly has called for a general strike on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, and I heartily endorse this call. The Occupy Oakland encampment was just the kind of experiment in mutual aid and direct democracy that is needed. And a general strike could bring this to a new level. In fact, I want to up the ante to show I’m on the right side of history again.
Oakland was the last city in the U.S. to have a general strike, in 1946, and it was known as a “work holiday.” This harks back to the first call for a general strike in 1832: William Benbow’s pamphlet, “Grand National Holiday,” in which he called a month‐long strike. I propose we do that! … There’s plenty of wealth to go around. We just have to share it… I say ban the banks and abolish money. The people are breaking out of their acquiescence. They can make decisions over their own lives. The Occupy Oakland encampment prefigured a way of life that makes the status quo obsolete. Instead of an exploitative system based on the buying and selling of things and our time, let us create a life of ease, gaeity and pleasure for all, as William Benbow originally suggested. Let us not only shut the city down. Let us take it over and run it in a wholly new way. Together we can make every day a holiday.
“It’s not every day you get to see a night court magistrate smack down the governor of Tennessee,” a legal observer said outside the Metro Courthouse at 2:30 a.m. today, as fog shrouded downtown in mist.
Yet that’s what happened in the early morning hours, as Metro Night Court Judge Tom Nelson told the troopers who arrested 25 peaceful Occupy Nashville protesters at midnight on Legislative Plaza — along with Scene reporter Jonathan Meador, who was attempting to get off the plaza when he was cuffed and hauled off — that the curfew being enforced at the Capitol had no constitutional grounds whatsoever.
“I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza,” Judge Nelson told a grimacing trooper, before ordering the immediate release of everyone arrested.
Some 30 additional protesters greeted those released with cheers and chants of “This is how democracy works!” They were last seen at 4 a.m. marching victoriously up Deaderick Street — back to Legislative Plaza.
Meador, meanwhile, greeted news of his imminent release with a tweet from custody: “Can I go home now?” His request of a ride home from Gov. Haslam for the inconvenience was met with silence.
On October 25th, Occupy Oakland was brutally attacked by riot police. One protestor, Iraq veteran Scott Olson, remains in critical condition. But on Wednesday, thousands of protestors re-occupied Oscar Grant Plaza in courageous defiance of this attempt at repression. The Oakland General Assembly has called for a general strike on Wednesday, November 2nd.
Given this call, and given the national attempt by mayors and police to repress and silence our movement, the Labor Outreach Committee of Occupy Wall Street is calling for a national day of action on November 2nd in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and in defense of the Occupy movement nationally. We urge students, labor, the unemployed and all members of the 99% to take action on that day to send a message that our movement will not be silenced.
“One definite tactic that Occupy Wall Street can adopt, going forward, is educating people about the perfidy of certain financial institutions and convincing people to do what they did back in the days of apartheid, which is disinvest. If everyone were to start pulling their money out of the worst-offending banks, that would have a profound effect on the markets and may function as a great short-cut to political change.”—Matt Taibbi (via theamericanbear)
The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally (as opposed to partially) dominated the policies of Presidents over at least four decades (if not longer), no matter whether individual Presidents have been its willing agents or not. It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both political parties upon its raw money power and upon access to the mainstream media that it controls. Thanks to the appointments made and approved by Presidents and Congress, the Party of Wall Street dominates much of the state apparatus as well as the judiciary, in particular the Supreme Court, whose partisan judgments increasingly favor venal money interests, in spheres as diverse as electoral, labor, environmental and contract law.
The Party of Wall Street has one universal principle of rule: that there shall be no serious challenge to the absolute power of money to rule absolutely. And that power is to be exercised with one objective. Those possessed of money power shall not only be privileged to accumulate wealth endlessly at will, but they shall have the right to inherit the earth, taking either direct or indirect dominion not only of the land and all the resources and productive capacities that reside therein, but also assume absolute command, directly or indirectly, over the labor and creative potentialities of all those others it needs. The rest of humanity shall be deemed disposable.
The Occupy Movement is beautiful. We support it and though we are small, we are participating all over the country. We invite all occupiers to read, give feedback, and if you feel moved to do so to present this at a General Assembly or committee meeting near you.
We invite you to imagine, as many of you already probably have, if thousands of people occupied local refineries, roads, ports, oil and mining extraction sites, etc. – in other words, imagine if people occupied the locations where the 1% destroy the land and exploit humans, all for profit.
Imagine their stock prices falling, their cash flow being interrupted, their ability to get loans and/or expand “production” – a euphemism for converting living beings into dead products – finished.
Imagine if we were able to stop them, stop the 1%. Literally. Not symbolically. We think it can be done if we all do it together. We think it can be done if we all figure out how to do it and if we are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, together.
The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral [in London] resigned because he could not face the prospect of “Dale Farm [a massive recent police eviction of peaceful squatters in a camp near London] on the steps of St Paul’s”, as police prepared to take action against the anti-capitalist protesters within days.
Giles Fraser, who announced his decision on Twitter, said he could not sanction the use of violence to rid the cathedral grounds of Occupy the London Stock Exchange campaigners.
The protest, comprising hundreds of tents, is entering its 13th day and organisers say they have no intention of leaving in the foreseeable future despite repeated requests from the cathedral, the City of London Corporation, the bishop of London, the mayor of London and the lord mayor of London…
"It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent. The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence."
It was apparent that the [City of London] was clearer than the cathedral about its desire to see the protesters moved on, Fraser said.
Citing the potential of “Occupy Wall Street” to become a “global brand,” a Long Island couple has filed to trademark the name of the amorphous organization responsible for the protests and encampments in lower Manhattan and other U.S. cities, The Smoking Gun has learned.
In a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application, Robert and Diane Maresca are seeking to trademark the phrase “Occupy Wall St.” so that they can place it on a wide variety of goods, including bumper stickers, shirts, beach bags, footwear, umbrellas, and hobo bags.
The New York Times had a wide ranging report on the view of the Occupy movement from Mayors across the country. They claim that many of the Mayors of “several cities have come to the end of their patience and others appear to be not far behind.”
Point 1: The constitutionally guaranteed right to assembly is not subject to any Mayors “patience”.
[The completely unnecessary assault in Oakland was entirely out of proportion to the situation.] The people throwing things at police and being violent are not part of our ‘99 Percent’ occupation,” said Momo Aleamotua, 19, a student from Oakland. “They’re not us, and they’re not welcome.
Point 2: Anyone committing illegal acts should be dealt with individually. There is no justification for ending an entire peaceful and constitutionally protected assembly because of the acts of a few.
In Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed ordered the police to arrest more than 50 protesters early Wednesday. … [He] said the last straw came Tuesday, when he said a man with an AK-47 assault rifle joined the protesters in Woodruff Park
Point 3: Georgia passed a law that made carrying an AK-47 legal in that state. The man was rejected by the occupiers and not welcome. Using Georgia’s insane law about open carry of assault weapons against the protesters is a contrived violation and extremely hypocritical.
Providence, R.I., where Mayor Angel Taveras has vowed to seek a court order to remove protesters from Burnside Park, which they have occupied since Oct. 15.
Point 4: The government has no right to continually block freedom of assembly through the legal system. The constitution supersedes all local law, and the creation of “parade rules” or “vagrancy” statutes are violations of the constitution when used to prevent peaceful assembly.
Even in Los Angeles, where the City Council passed a resolution in support of the protesters, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa warned Wednesday that they would not be allowed to remain outside City Hall indefinitely.
Point 5: There is no time limit on the constitutional right to assembly. The word “indefinite” has no bearing on this.
Even in Democratic Chicago, officials seemed to straining to allow for dissent, while maintaining order. “We’ve been working hard to strike a balance,” said Chris Mather, a spokeswoman for Mr. Emanuel.
Point 6: The need to ensure that “order” trumps “dissent” is contrary to American political freedom. The nature of American Democracy is that we accept some level of “disorder” because we believe that freedom is important.
“It’s a significant challenge to deal with their decision-making process,” said Richard Negrin, the managing director of Philadelphia
Point 7: Because it is “difficult” is no reason for shutting down the peaceful exercise of assembly by American citizens. The difficulty is not a question, it is your responsibility to protect this constitutional right. It is your job.
The leaders of this Country need to understand that their job is not solely as a protector of the rich and businesses in their cities. It is also a requirement that they protects each citizens constitutional right to freedom of assembly, no matter how difficult.
Occupy Wall Street tumblr owners will not let others opinions be heard. I support the protest, but seriously? Grow up.
Hey, now. I think we do a decent job at bringing a lot of different viewpoints forward. We include plenty of different opinions and commentary.
However we do want to focus on providing people with information regarding the movement, and if you would like to discuss or debate specific tactics with people who will be able to address your concerns directly, you will have the best luck doing it on the subreddit or on OccupyWallSt.org. News goes here, debate goes there.
“My part of Oakland is full of poor people. There’s at least one murder a week. Old creeps pimp out teenaged girls in broad daylight. You can buy crack or heroin 30 feet from my door, and two of my neighbors have been held up at gun point this summer. And the City of Oakland says they don’t have the police to stop any of that. But a bunch of people protesting the fact that rich people got a bail out and everyone else got nothing? The city shuts them down tight. Bang. Done. Riot act. Do you ever get the feeling you’ve bean cheated? I do. Every day.”—@el_gallo on BoingBoing.com (via monkeyknifefight)
THE OCCUPY movement’s most powerful unifying factor has been its clear and simple identification of the key problem in American society: the divide between the vast majority of the population—the 99 percent—and the richest and most powerful 1 percent.
This 99 percent/1 percent formulation isn’t just a statement about income inequality in the U.S. today. It’s also an acknowledgement that the 1 percent largely controls the government and is therefore able to rig laws, taxes and regulations in its favor.
If you look at opinion polls on questions like taxing the rich, regulating Wall Street, spending money on jobs, prioritizing economic growth over cutting the deficit or preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare, you’ll find popular, often lopsided, majorities opposed to austerity and in favor of “redistributionist” policies.
Yet the dysfunctional government seems incapable—and not even much interested—in doing much of anything to meet these popular demands. By contrast, Congress acted with tremendous speed—and with little regard for the deficit—to appropriate hundreds of billions of dollars for the banks and other corporations when the financial crisis struck in 2008.
In theory, we’re all equal at the ballot box, and so popular majorities should be able to force politicians to address their concerns. But the Occupy movement has caught fire because millions of Americans realize that the way Washington works in reality bears no resemblance to the political science textbook explanations.