Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging his City Council to enact strict new restrictions on many forms of protest on Wednesday, January 18. Local advocates say the Council is distracted by a fierce redistricting battle and that the new ordinance is likely to pass unnoticed, unless there’s a huge outcry.
According to the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal, the proposed ordinance imposes impossible-to-meet requirements, confusing restrictions and sky-high fines on protest organizers and participants, including:
A 2-hour time limit on all protests;
An increase in minimum fines from $50 to $1000 for violations of “parade regulations”;
A curfew in public spaces; and
A requirement to pre-register “attention-getting devices”, including signs and megaphones, at least 1 week before the event.
Perhaps most startling is the provision that would allow the Mayor’s office to sign no-bid contracts with security companies — whose employees may lack suitable training and oversight to prevent gross abuses.
Occupy Rogers Park and Occupy South Side started the petition because they believe that “this ordinance is a direct attack on anyone in this city who might ever walk a picket line, attend a rally, or stand in solidarity with others in support of a cause.” They want to flood City Council’s inboxes with messages opposing Chicago’s proposed anti-protest legislation, and make sure this message is heard loud and clear before Wednesday’s vote.
Barricades surrounding a park that served as a camp for Occupy Wall Street protesters were removed Tuesday, allowing protesters to stream back in.
The atmosphere was celebratory but calm on Tuesday evening as about 300 protesters began filling New York City’s Zuccotti Park a couple of hours after the barricades were taken down and a day after a complaint about the barricades was filed with the city.
Some Occupy protesters planned to stay overnight, DiGioia said, but it was unclear whether they planned to use tents or sleeping bags, which have been banned from the lower Manhattan park since an early morning police raid evicted protesters Nov. 15.
Protester Jeff Brewer said he tried to erect a tent but it was quickly taken down by security guards.
The growth-seeking political-economic system has failed us. Today that system is dominated by Wall Street. “Goldman Sachs rules the world,” trader Alessio Rastani told us in a now-viral BBC interview. I met people like Rastani in researching my book, The End of Growth. At one lavish conference, 800 global investors packed a hotel ballroom to consider climate change. There was no talk of how to avert or mitigate floods and droughts. Instead, the discussion focused on profiting from warming with — no joke — weather derivatives. These folks were just doing their job, despite any private feelings of concern, remorse, or dread. And each was getting paid enough to single-handedly fund a midsize school district.
Both Wall Street and Washington are trying to do something impossible: grow human consumption forever in a world of limited energy, minerals, water, topsoil, and biodiversity, all while protecting and expanding the riches of the top one percent. If economic growth is over, that means we can no longer count on a rising tide to lift all boats. Under these conditions, extreme income inequality is not just unfair, it is socially unsustainable.
It’s strategic to bring protest to Wall Street rather than Washington. We must go directly to the crime scene — not with a request for reforms, but with an arrest warrant from the people.
You courageous people in the #occupy movement are absolutely right in saying the system is broken, greedy, and unfair. But when our discussion turns to replacing the current system, we’ve got to embrace a bigger view of reality than the one held by stock traders and politicians. It’s not just our wealth they want to control, it’s our vision for what is both possible and necessary. We need a post-growth economy that works both for people (all of them) and for the rest of nature: a localized economy based on renewable resources harvested at nature’s rates of replenishment, not a fossil-fueled global economy driven by the imperative of ever-higher returns on investment.
There will be life after growth — and it can be a better life if our nation’s priority is the quality of life of our people and the integrity of the biosphere, rather than stock prices and corporate profits.
This immoral possession of society’s collective production of value is the root of why the 99% are in the streets protesting. In order to put pressure on the ruling class we will need to be able to directly challenge their monopoly on the value creating and distribution process.
Where is this done? Simply, it’s done in the workplaces. Value is created when those of us in the working class come together and perform work. This process starts with the extraction of raw materials by workers, moves to a production or processing facility where workers create a commodity, then workers transport these commodities to the market and finally, workers stock the shelves and sell the final product.
During this entire process, from extraction to the store, value is created by the working class and distributed by the ruling class. A very small part of this value is distributed in wages and benefits to the workers who performed the labor for this entire value creating process. A larger, but not the largest part of this value, is distributed into the buying of more machinery, replacement parts, and other operating costs. But the largest part of this value is distributed into the bank accounts of the rich. This value creating process has been going on for generations and the rich keep accumulating more and more value while those of us who actually work for a living only receive a small amount of that value.
Occupy Wall Street is in the middle of one of its day-long marches in New York Tuesday, protesting the National Defense Authorization Act, but for those following along on the Global Revolution livestream, the real action is happening in the broadcast studio itself. That’s because police have apparently just raided the Brooklyn studio of Globalrevolution.tv and taken some of the project’s key volunteers into custody.
The raid Tuesday follows a notice to vacate that police delivered to the Bushwick studio on Monday night. Victoria Sobel, a Global Revolution volunteer, said Vlad Teichberg and a guy named Spike, both of whom maintain the live feed aggregator, had been taken into custody by police, along with four or five others.
If you were following along earlier today, you may have been startled at about 1:45 p.m. to see the live feed cut away from the street-level action and to the face of Vlad Teichberg, one of the main organizers of Global Revolution. The new shot showed a large, graffittied space where Teichberg and a couple of colleagues were confronting a man they identified as the landlord, who had apparently broken in their door. They put the camera on him, he threatened to call the police, they said he had no right to come into the space by force, and he eventually left.
But Sobel said that was just the start of the day’s conflict. Shortly after the confrontation, the police arrived. “Within the past hour, the police came in and removed people that were inside the studio,” she said. “I believe the police just began knocking on the door and saying they would kick the door down and saying they would arrest people on the spot.” The Global Revolution studio is now locked, Sobel said. The live feed has finished its Hawaiian broadcast and is playing a pre-recorded video. “The message is that even if they take the space, the [broadcast] will continue to be maintained,” Sobel said. But right now, it seems to be out of commission.
Police and buildings department officials had served the Buswhick, Brooklyn space with notices to vacate on Monday night, declaring it ”imminently perilous to life.”
Head into Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan, and one is immediately struck by the self-governing nature of the “Occupy” encampment.
A community which adheres to non-hierarchical decision making, Occupy conducts General Assembly meetings which are transparent and open to the public. Meals too are prepared communally, and there’s even a public library. On the other hand, it’s not as if Occupy is putting novel ideas into practice, since the encampment harks back historically to the co-operative movement.
According to the International Co-operative Alliance, an independent non-governmental organisation founded over a century ago, a co-operative is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise”.
Co-ops, which tend to aspire to other values besides pure profit-making, can be heterogeneous and may range from small-scale businesses to multimillion-dollar enterprises.
Though co-operatives are now a global phenomenon, they hark back originally to England in the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1844, a small group of cotton artisans from the town of Rochdale established the first modern co-operative business, known as the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society. By pooling their resources and working together, the workers were able to access basic goods at a lower price. Such democratic principles continue to inform the thinking of co-operatives today, even within the bustle of highly capitalistic cities like New York.
With Occupy now sweeping the nation, some may wonder whether the co-operative movement could be poised to seriously take off. One particularly successful business is the Park Slope Food co-op, a market located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York. The business was established in 1973 by a small group of committed neighbours who sought to make healthy and affordable food available to everyone who sought it.
Today, business is booming and the co-op has more than 12,000 members. By working once every four weeks for three and a half hours, members receive a whopping 20-40 per cent savings on groceries.
Anyone who is involved with the #OCCUPYWALLSTREET movement is strongly encouraged to read the linked article. Fighting for justice and defending the marginalized is about amplifying their own voice, not interjecting your own. It is frankly quite shocking to me that anyone could be so clueless and hurtful.
White people, recognize your privilege and accept that you aren’t always the fucking centre of attention ringleaders.
As marginalized people in this country rise, new forms of oppression are at work – those who have not experienced systemic oppression are claiming it anyway, turning social justice on its head and diluting the messages and movements that have been our hearts and souls. I think this quote from the New Jim Crow sheds a lot of light on why OWS emerged the way that it did: “Following the collapse of each system of control, there has been a period of confusion—transition—in which those who are most committed to racial hierarchy search for new means to achieve their goals within the rules of the game as currently defined. It is during this period of uncertainty that the backlash intensifies and a new form of racialized social control begins to take hold.”
There are those who said early on that one of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET’s weaknesses was it’s decentralized structure. The idea of #OWS was initially to bring large groups of people from all over the country to New York, to Wall Street, as the largest possible singular demonstration would logically have the largest possible impact. Centralization was thought to be necessary if the media was to take the movement seriously and to get their message out. While this was the initial focus, eventually people began to create Occupations in their own home cities across the country. And this decentralized model proved to be a great success: once there was an occupation in almost every town in the country, a resurgence of political awareness and meaningful communication began. We, the people, had truly found our voice.
Occupy started as a political movement, an expression of dissatisfaction with the status quo imposed constantly in the bourgeois political sphere. In the days following the initial push to reclaim public space, however, the movement transformed into a very fight for survival. Occupy had the attention of the people in whatever city it was gathering in, but this means nothing if the movement cannot sustain itself. Soon, kitchens opened up, bringing food and drink to Occupiers in the public squares. Libraries were started with donated books, bringing literacy, entertainment, and the spark of new ideas to the embryonic communes. Media centres, art production, and other forms of community sustenance began to take root in these reborn public spaces. In this, people began to rediscover - on a personal level - their connection to themselves, the work of their hands, and their fellow citizens. No longer were they alienated through the structures of capitalist society.
Though this light of hope burned brightly in most Occupations for several weeks, the time soon came for the institutional reaction. Occupations across the country were raided, pepper-sprayed, and generally harassed into oblivion. Due to a combination of severe repression and the onset of winter, #OWS has entered the twilight of its first phase. Only a handful of camps remain, and their numbers are light. However, the aims of the new Occupiers have shifted in an important way: from creating a media spectacle to capture the public interest, to concrete and meaningful direct actions. An example lies in the “Occupy Our Homes” movement, helping homeowners stay in their homes when facing foreclosure by a faceless financial institution. Another great case is in the reclamation of private space to serve the needs of the community in cities like London, Oakland, and Chapel Hill, NC. Along with the cold air of winter descending across North America and Europe, the passion of direct action is slowly reappearing in our communities. With the burst of awareness and the excitement therein now passed, the focus of our new-found consciousness will develop itself.
A popular meme in the early days of the protests was “They don’t even know why they are protesting. What are their demands?” It is time to provide solid alternatives and to lead by the example of direct action in our own communities. The resounding message of Occupy is clear: we cannot afford to rely on the will of others in order to make the society we want. We must “take the bull by the horns” and propose our own alternative to the sterile capitalist vision. We can build our new societies on the praxis we are currently developing in these new communities.
This blog is aimed at providing local alternatives to the globally-connected capitalist exploitative system. With a focus on individual actions, community projects, and creating local, sustainable systems of self-reliance, we will try to share items that inspire people to look forward. What is the best vision for society? There will not be a spectacular revolution as long as the masses are alienated from their fellow citizen, so how can we begin to achieve this vision of a more compassionate, more equitable, more ecological society? How can we break this alienation on a personal level, without needing to rely on the very systems that alienate us? We will try to answer those questions here, all the while focusing on providing concrete actions and ideas people can take on to enrich their own communities.
Authorities say dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested as they tore down the barricades surrounding New York City’s Zuccotti Park just before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Police say 68 people were arrested during the scuffle. At least one person was accused of assaulting a police officer, who suffered cuts on one hand. Other charges include trespassing, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.
Protester Jason Amadi says he was pepper-sprayed when police tried to prevent the crowd of about 500 demonstrators from taking down the barricades. Amadi says the crowd piled the barricade pieces in the center of the park and stood on top of them, chanting and singing.
The Wall Street bull has been one lonely bovine since the end of summer.
The sculpture was corralled behind barricades when the Occupy Wall Street protest began Sept. 17, as police feared vandals might try to damage the stock market mascot.
After three-plus months of isolation, the iconic animal is going to be freed from its caging at noon Monday, said Arthur Piccolo, bull advocate and chairman of the Bowling Green Association.
Piccolo is organizing a belated birthday party for the statue, which has stood ready to roar up Broadway since Dec. 20, 1989.
There will be a ceremony honoring the sculpture and artist Arturo DiModica, who created the proud bronze beast as a Christmas gift to the Big Apple and a tribute to America’s economic rebound in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash.
To ensure our society is sustainable over the long term, we have to attend not just to environmental issues and climate change, but to the economic crisis, and the depletion of natural resources. Responses that deal with all three aspects of our sustainability predicament will not only be more effective than those that don’t, but they can be framed in terms of whichever aspect can gain broader public support.
The powerful corporate elites who profit from our continued addiction to fossil fuels have misled the public and blocked climate change response. On the other hand, the Occupy Wall Street movement is successfully raising public attention to economic injustice and the financial crisis, also caused by those elites. Both campaigns are missing crucial parts of the story, but each can supply what the other lacks: a message that has traction with the public, and a clearer strategic focus[…]
Personal changes are necessary but insufficient. Government action is needed, but is often blocked by political and cultural factors. By organizing at the community level, wherever we can get traction, we can eventually involve enough citizens to trigger the wider government responses needed.
A member of the Occupy London protests was stopped from boarding his flight home for Christmas after he was found carrying anarchist literature, it has been claimed.
The demonstrator, who is part of the group occupying the empty UBS building dubbed the “Bank of Ideas”, said he was told he would not be allowed on the Ryanair flight to Malaga because the pilot feared he might distribute leaflets and “upset other passengers”.
John Charles Culatto, 34, claimed he was approached by police at Bristol International Airport who told him they had seen him “acting suspiciously” on the airport’s CCTV system when he stopped to talk to fellow travellers.
He said he went to airport security an hour before his flight was due to depart, where staff found posters in his bag linked to the anarchist group Crimethinc and refused to allow him through until they had contacted the airline. He claimed he overheard security staff who were examining his luggage using the word “terrorism”.
When he finally got to the boarding gate, he claimed he was prevented from boarding by staff. Mr Culatto said: “[I was told] that because of the very remote possibility I could distribute leaflets on the plane and upset people, the captain had decided not to take me aboard.”
A spokesman for Servisair, which manages the departure gates, said Mr Culatto was stopped because he arrived at the gate after it closed because of the time it took to clear security. He said the decision not to allow him to fly was taken by the airline.
Ryanair called the allegations “complete and utter rubbish”.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that “a 34-year-old man was delayed by airport security”. He said: “We sent some officers at the airport’s request but they were not required.”
Noam Chomsky has advice for the Occupy movement, whose encampments all over the country are being swept away by police. The occupations were a “brilliant” idea, he says, but now it’s time to “move on to the next stage” in tactics. He suggests political organizing in the neighborhoods.
The Occupy camps have shown people how “to break out of this conception that we’re isolated.” But “just occupying” has “lived its life,” says the man who is the most revered radical critic of American politics and capitalist economics.
Chomsky gave his counsel answering questions in a small group after a speech Monday evening, December 12, in the 1000-seat Westbrook Middle School auditorium (a/k/a Westbrook Performing Arts Center), which was filled to capacity. The speech was sponsored by the University of New England’s Center for Global Humanities.
The Occupy movement’s repression, which Chomsky decried, has a saving grace, he said: the opportunity for it to expand more into “the 99 percent” by engaging people “face to face.”
"Don’t be obsessed with tactics but with purpose," he suggested. "Tactics have a half life."
My message will have to be brief. But let not this brevity take from it, its strength.
You are the central movement of the hour. You’re raising questions that are in the hearts of millions. Your motto, “We are the 99%,” has been heard, heeded, and responded to by millions. You can be certain that the 1% have heard you clearest of all.
Your work, however, is just beginning. You must deepen, strengthen, and further your work until it truly reaches the 99%, almost all of us: workers, black folk, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTs, immigrants, Asians, artists, all of us, for we are integral parts of the 99%. I salute you and hope fervently that you will grow beyond number.
Though I speak to you today by proxy, I’m confident that you will hear my voice soon.
Here’s a tip for the do-it-yourself crowd: Go to your computer’s Start menu, and either go to “run” or just search for “cmd.” Open it up, and type in “ping [website address],” like so:
Once you have the IP for a website, all you really need to do is enter it like you would a normal URL and hit enter/press go. Typing in “188.8.131.52” should bring you to the front page of AO3, for example, just as typing “184.108.40.206/dashboard” should bring you straight to your Tumblr dashboard. Since we’re obviously bracing for the worst case scenario which would involve you not being able to access Tumblr regularly, you should, like, save this list, I guess.
Hello! I was hoping you could help promote our protest against religious institutions interfering with politics to the detriment of the LGBT community. All the information can be found on our tumblr/facebook. It would be a great help if you could put the word out on your tumblr! Thanks!
> local PUBLIC law enforcement agencies distribute flyer on ‘domestic threats,’ to protect corrupt businesses from criticism
> local PUBLIC law enforcement agencies include in said flyer a warning that protesters might try to record and embarrass them (as if this is the police’s business)
> local PUBLIC law enforcement agencies denounce the ‘anti-capitalist profile’
The police are not the 99%. They are the armed watchdogs of privilege and convenience for the corporate and financial class. They are here to protect an ideology, and they freely acknowledge that in the flyer obtained by Occupy London.
City of London Police have sparked controversy by producing a brief in which the Occupy London movement is listed under domestic terrorism/extremism threats to City businesses.
Picture- Occupy LSX
The document was given to protesters at their “Bank of Ideas” base on Sun Street – a former site of financial corporation UBS. City police have stepped up an effort to quell the movement since they occupied the building on 18 November, with the document stating: “It is likely that activists aspire to identify other locations to occupy, especially those they identify with capitalism.
“Intelligence suggests that urban explorers are holding a discussion at the Sun Street squat. This may lead to an increase in urban exploration activity at abandoned or high profile sites in the capital.” The Occupy movement is listed alongside threats posed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), Al Qaeda and Belarusian terrorists.
The hidden infrastructure of the 2012 campaign has already been built.
A handful of so-called Super PACs, enabled to collect unlimited donations by the continued erosion of campaign finance regulations, are expected to rival the official campaign organizations in importance this election. In many cases, these groups are acting essentially as outside arms of the campaigns.
These are America’s best-funded political factions, their war chests filled by some of the richest men (and almost all are men) in the country.
More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.
We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.
We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York and New Jersey to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the five of us we have 11 children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 46 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.
We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.
Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?
“Occupy” protesters on the West Coast moved Monday to disrupt ports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere.
The “Wall Street on the Waterfront” protests seem to have had more success in Oakland [than elsewhere]. KQED says that a crowd their reporter estimated to be 1,000 strong marched through the streets of West Oakland this morning. At the port, protesters were able to disrupt operations:
Caitlin Esch, who is at the port now, says at least three of the six gates at the port are effectively blocked, with nothing moving in or out as protesters clog up the entrances. Trucks are lined up, some trying to drop off, some trying to pick up.
Other ports targeted by Occupy protesters today include San Diego; Seattle, Tacoma, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska.
Up to 50,000 people braved the cold and snow on Saturday to turn out for the largest ever protest against the rule of prime minister Vladimir Putin.
Bolotnaya Square, across the river from the Kremlin in central Moscow, was filled to overflowing with thousands standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the bridges and along the riverfront leading to the site. Tens of thousands of police and interior troops were deployed around the area, but protesters had been allowed by officials to gather in an unprecedented show of discontent.
Shouts of “Russia without Putin!” and “Freedom!” were mixed with demands that the Kremlin annul a disputed parliamentary election that saw Putin’s United Russia party gain nearly 50% of the vote despite widespread accusations of fraud.
"I demand new elections," said Maxim, 26, an economist. "If they don’t agree, we will continue to come out. The people have woken up – they see there’s a point to going out into the streets and expressing what they don’t agree with."
Opposition leader Vladimir Ryzhkov said a further protest would be held on Christmas eve if the Kremlin refused to cancel the election results. The overwhelmingly young crowd organised via social networking sites and exceeded early estimates of 30,000.
Activists at Occupy Wall Street have issued a call to thousands of protesters across the US to reoccupy outdoor public spaces to mark the movement’s three-month anniversary.
The Occupy movement has stalled in recent weeks after a wave of evictions swept away a raft of encampments, including the largest in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York. On Wednesday, it suffered a fresh blow as police in riot gear cleared Occupy San Francisco camp on the orders of the mayor, who had been sympathetic to protesters, while Occupy Boston lost legal protection against eviction.
Organisers said they hoped the call to reoccupy on the 17 December would galvanise and grow the movement.
Amin Husain, a press spokesman for OWS, said: “We know that occupation empowers people and eliminates fear. It permits individuals to assert themselves as political beings even although the system doesn’t represent them.” […]
In a piece published this week in the first issue of Tidal, a magazine published by the Occupy movement, Judith Butler, academic and feminist theorist at the University of California, Berkeley, spoke of its importance.
Butler said: “When bodies gather together as they do to express their indignation and to enact their plural existence in public space, they are also making broader demands. They are demanding to be recognised and to be valued; they are exercising a right to appear and to exercise freedom; they are calling for a liveable life.
"These values are presupposed by particular demands, but they also demand a more fundamental restructuring of our socio-economic and political order."
“Propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” ~ Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent (1988)
Consider this rather dramatic contrast: when 300 liberals are arrested during an anti-Putin protest in faraway Moscow, the New York Times splashes the news onto its front page. But when 700 radicals are arrested in an anti-Wall Street rally in New York itself, the Times systematically ignores them, pushing the news onto its obscure ‘City Room Blog’.
The difference in framing between these two items is particularly remarkable. First of all, there’s the title: “Moscow Moves to Quell Second Day of Anti-Putin Protests.” Compare the laden term “to quell”, which implies an authoritarian type of crackdown, with the following matter-of-fact statement: “Police Arrest More Than 700 Protesters on Brooklyn Bridge.”
Then compare the introductory paragraphs of the two articles: “Russian authorities acted decisively to quash a second day of anti-government protests,” versus “In a tense showdown above the East River, the police arrested more than 700 demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street protests who took to the roadway as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge.”