so i'm really interested in actually protesting with occupy san francisco, but the problem is, i have NO IDEA when the damn protests are! i wanted to join the bart protests but i didn't know when they were until the same day, etc. do you ave any tips on how to find out before hand????
If you do not work, or you are unable to join a demonstration or march, do what i am going to do, telephone call centers and businesses and tell the person who answers to get the hell out of there and go the hell on strike already! Tell them to take their friends with them!
If many, many people do this, the event is likely to have an increased impact, with the bombardment of the individual worker with repeated messages from their fellow humans to respect this action.
To the Occupy Oakland family, all supporters of Occupy Oakland, and the larger Occupy Wall Street movement:
We are writing to appreciate everyone who has ever supported PEOPLE inside jails, prisons, and detention facilities throughout the country. We are also writing to ask for support from everyone planning to participate in February 20th National Day of Occupy in Support of Prisoners. PEOPLE in prisons – a nice name for cages – as well as formerly imprisoned PEOPLE, are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in our society. We have been labeled as “offenders”, “criminals”, “convicts”, “ex-offenders”, “ex-cons”, and many other dehumanizing terms, and are scapegoated for causing society’s fundamental problems. We are PEOPLE, and not the labels they use. The real “criminals” are those who run Wall Street, who are responsible for genocide, racism, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination. They lead the attacks against communities throughout America.
Feb 20th is a National Day to support PEOPLE inside cages who express their solidarity with the 99% and to support PEOPLE seeking social, economic, and other forms of justice. With the help of our supporters, allies, and larger communities, we aim to create a safe space to allow the voices of PEOPLE in captivity to be heard.
Many of us inside as well as out in the “free” world live by a code of conduct and support self-determination. We strive to build and follow leadership in our collective and public actions. We do not advance individual agendas over our collective needs. We further pledge to treat each other with respect and not allow differences to divide us, to accept responsibility for any acts that may have caused harm to our families, our communities or ourselves, and to play an active role in making our communities safe for everyone.
Seldom if ever, are people inside asked or given a safe space to tell their stories. The broader Occupy Oakland and general public need to know what is going on inside these cages, how the bottom of the 99% are treated by the 1%, and the need to meaningfully include people inside as we build our collective efforts.
We ask everyone reading these words to support our efforts to create a safe, secure and genuinely inclusive space for people inside, and to build a genuine role for their voices in the February 20th National Day of Occupy in Support of Prisoners. We do not want to create or exacerbate conditions that endanger anyone’s freedom. We know police have attacked our sisters and brothers at Occupy encampments all over the country. We ask everyone participating to remember that for many of us even a mass arrest could escalate to a parole violation and a return to prison. We also want to guarantee the safety of family members with loved ones inside because they are the lifeline for PEOPLE in cages.
We ask you to be our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers!
Formerly-Incarcerated People from All of Us or None and Occupy for Prisoners
The Brian Piccolo Specialty School in Humboldt Park, Chicago is currently Occupied by parents and students. Occupy Chicago and other allies are outside the building in solidarity and have set up an encampment. Around one hundred people are present and are taking shifts to ensure the safety of the occupation. The Chicago Teachers Union has expressed support for the action. Piccolo, an elementary school with a student body that is almost entirely from low income communities of color, is one of 16 Chicago public schools slated to be closed by Mayor Rahm’s service cuts to the poor.
As of 3:30AM Central Time, it is believed that Chicago Police have decided to leave and protesters have declared victory for Day 1 of Occupied Piccolo! If you are in Chicago, please come to 1040 North Keeler Avenue to show your support, and bring a tent! Follow #takebackourschools, #piccolo, @OccupyChicago and @TBOurSchoolsChi on Twitter.
The formation of an Occupy Wall Street super PAC by an activist in Decatur, Alabama is sparking a backlash from the movement’s organizers in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
This week activist John Paul Thornton opted to fight fire with fire, filing paperwork with the FEC to establish The Occupy Wall Street Political Action Committee, allowing it to raise unlimited corporate funds for federal candidates pledging to get money out of politics. The irony was not lost on a number of Occupy activists who’ve long protested the very existence of super PACs following the controversial 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court case.
“This caught us completely by surprise,” said Bill Csapo, an activist affiliated with the Campaign to Occupy Wall Street in New York. “I don’t think any of us would agree that a super PAC is the right way to go.”
Csapo, a volunteer organizer who handles communications for the the campaign, said he has contacted Thornton to change the name of the Occupy super PAC or else disassemble it completely. “Thornton has no connection whatsoever to Occupy Wall Street or the New York General Assembly,” insisted Csapo.
He added that Occupy Wall Street organizers in New York City planned to issue a statement on OccupyWallSt.org to officially condemn the use of super PACs.
Occupy Wall Street has been a decentralized, populist movement. While PACs and soft money are the most effective way to impact policy, I don’t think PACs quite fit what Occupy Wall Street had in mind.
Little did Willie Nelson know when he recorded “Crazy” years ago just how crazy it would become for our cherished family farmers in America. Nelson, President of Farm Aid, has recently called for the national Occupy movement to declare an “Occupy the Food System” action.
Nelson states, “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil…”
Hundreds of citizens… joined Occupy the Food System groups, ie Food Democracy Now, gathered outside the Federal Courts in Manhattan on January 31st, to support organic family farmers in their landmark lawsuit against Big Agribusiness giant Monsanto…
The lawsuit addresses the bizarre and shocking issue of Monsanto harassing and threatening organic farmers with lawsuits of “patent infringement” if any organic farmer ends up with any trace amount of GM seeds on their organic farmland.
This week, Occupy Our Homes, an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, successfully helped a 78 year-old former civil rights activist in Atlanta stay in her home, after she was threatened with foreclosure by JP Morgan Chase (while the bank was simultaneouslytouting its commitment to the values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). Meanwhile, in Detroit, Occupy Our Homes has successfully prevented four foreclosures and is locked in on a fifth, as Michigan Radio reports:
The “Occupy our Homes” movement has taken up the cause of Fred Shrum, another homeowner facing foreclosure in Metro Detroit.
The group is a coalition of anti-foreclosure groups, organized labor, and other activists with the Detroit “Occupy” movement.
So far, their protests on behalf of people facing foreclosure have helped keep four Metro Detroit families in their homes—including one case where protesters blocked a dumpster that came to clear out the house.
Those families were able to re-negotiate terms with their lenders.
Now, the group wants to help Shrum. The Dearborn Heights homeowner sought a mortgage modification when he had to take a pay cut and undergo surgery. But after what he calls a long and confusing back-and-forth with mortgage servicer Wells Fargo, Shrum didn’t get the modification–and now faces eviction.
In cities as far apart as Atlanta, Rochester, and Cleveland, Occupy protesters have prevented foreclosures, which are starting to pick back up again across he country. Foreclosures increased by 8 percent last month, with extremely steep jumps in some states. The New York Federal Reserve has estimated that 3.6 million foreclosures will take place over the next two years.
Successful movements have understood that it’s absolutely essential not to fall into the trap set out by the authorities and spend one’s time condemning and attempting to police other activists. One makes one’s own principles clear. One expresses what solidarity one can with others who share the same struggle, and if one cannot, tries one’s best to ignore or avoid them, but above all, one keeps the focus on the actual source of violence, without doing or saying anything that might seem to justify that violence because of tactical disagreements you have with fellow activists.
I remember my surprise and amusement, the first time I met activists from the April 6 Youth Movement from Egypt, when the issue of non-violence came up. “Of course we were non-violent,” said one of the original organizers, a young man of liberal politics who actually worked at a bank. “No one ever used firearms, or anything like that. We never did anything more militant than throwing rocks!”
Here was a man who understood what it takes to win a non-violent revolution! He knew that if the police start aiming tear-gas canisters directly at people’s heads, beating them with truncheons, arresting and torturing people, and you have thousands of protesters, then some of them will fight back. There’s no way to absolutely prevent this. The appropriate response is to keep reminding everyone of the violence of the state authorities, and never, ever, start writing long denunciations of fellow activists, claiming they are part of an insane fanatic malevolent cabal…
Gandhi and his movement were regularly denounced in the media, just as non-violent anarchists are also always denounced in the media… as a mere front for more violent, terroristic elements, with whom he was said to be secretly collaborating. He was regularly challenged to prove his non-violent credentials by assisting the authorities in suppressing such elements. Here Gandhi remained resolute. It is always morally superior, he insisted, to oppose injustice through non-violent means than through violent means. However, to oppose injustice through violent means is still morally superior to not doing anything to oppose injustice at all.
And Gandhi was talking about people who were blowing up trains, or assassinating government officials. Not damaging windows or spray-painting rude things about the police.
In a barrage of mortar shells, Syrian forces killed 200 people and wounded hundreds in Homs in an offensive that appears to be the bloodiest episode in the nearly 11-month-old uprising, activists said Saturday.
The assault in Homs, which has been one of the main flashpoints of opposition during the uprising, comes as the U.N. Security Council prepares to vote on a draft resolution backing an Arab call for President Bashar Assad to give up power.
Two main opposition groups, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, said the death toll in Homs was more than 200 people in shelling that began late Friday. More than half of the killings – about 140 – were reported in the Khaldiyeh neighborhood.
“This is the worst attack of the uprising, since the uprising began in March until now,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Observatory, which tracks violence through contacts on the ground.
The reports could not be independently confirmed.
It was not immediately clear what precipitated the attack, but there have been reports that army defectors set up checkpoints in the area and were trying to consolidate control.
Earlier on Friday, deadly clashes erupted between government troops and rebels in suburbs of the Syrian capital and villages in the south, sparking fighting that killed at least 23 people, including nine soldiers, activists said.
Assad is trying to crush the revolt with a sweeping crackdown that has so far claimed thousands of lives, but neither the government nor the protesters are backing down and clashes between the military and an increasingly bold and armed opposition has meant many parts of the country have seen relentless violence.
Men, women, and children across the United States, and throughout the world, are suffering horrendously because of the corruption of our government, the timidity of much of the public, and criminality that is rewarded rather than rectified. Lives have been taken, lifetime injuries inflicted, life savings decimated, essential health care rendered more elusive for millions of people, jobs lost, and the damage inflicted by our nation’s debt increased exponentially - all because of crimes committed with impunity, public policy guided by bribery, and a crooked two-tiered economic and justice system that rewards a narrow class of rich and powerful people while devastating the rest.
The root of this disaster is systemic corruption fed by money from the few who have benefited. The public’s interest in catching up with the rest of the industrialized world and providing essential health care to every man, woman, and child has been undermined by the corrupting influence of money flowing from the medical and insurance industries.
The public’s interest in reducing the outrageous cost of prescription drugs has been frustrated by the corrupting influence of money flowing from the pharmaceutical industry.
The public’s interest in reducing our deficits and the crushing burden of our accumulated debt, as well as reprioritizing the ways in which our government spends our money, has been frustrated by the corrupting influence of money flowing from military contractors, the beneficiaries of the military-industrial complex about which President Eisenhower warned our nation in his last presidential address.
Perhaps most outrageous and tragic over the long-term, the public’s interest in energy independence and the avoidance of the most catastrophic impacts of climate disruption has been frustrated by the corrupting influence of money flowing from the fossil fuel industry – the coal, oil, and gas companies.
Whether these calamities continue is our choice. Bringing integrity and competence to our government is within our power. That’s why people across the nation are supporting our campaign, which limits contributions to $100 per person and engages in grassroots strategies rather than billion dollar television campaigns financed by the wealthy.
The American people can ensure that the public interest, not simply the interests of politicians and campaign contributors, is protected. We the people are powerful enough to end the perverse government-to-the-highest bidder system sustaining, and sustained by, the two dominant parties.
Occupy D.C. protesters spent Monday night huddled under the celestial sweep of a blue tarp they had erected in McPherson Square, talking, singing and, yes, sleeping — in defiance of rules that prohibit overnight camping in the park.As morning dawned Tuesday, a contingent of Park Police arrived to ask the protesters to remove the “Tent of Dreams” they had draped over the park’s statue of Civil War Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in an act of civil disobedience, marking their displeasure over the National Park Service’s new crackdown against camping on federal land.
By late Tuesday, the Tent of Dreams had ripped and slipped in the wind but remained mostly in place. The protesters spent hours debating whether to take it down and finally told police they would — if officers allowed them to continue sleeping in the park.
During an international meeting in December 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, several left wing organisations and grassroots unions from Greece, Spain, Poland, Austria and Germany decided to launch a joint effort against capitalist reforms under the current crisis. On march 31st, there will be a “European Day of Action against Capitalism”, with simultaneous demonstrations in those countries, labeled “M31″. Groups from other countries are likely to join in, as networking continues. Protests will be directed against neoliberal and undemocratic impositions by the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The anticapitalist organisations involved want to send a clear signal against further austerity measures, mainly propelled by Germany, and on the backs of workers, the unemployed, students and migrants.
We protest against nationalist propaganda targeting wageworkers in Southern European countries, and against the EU’s military bulkheading on its borders. Alternatively, organisers of M31 call for transnational solidarity and self-organisation of those affected by further cuts, privatization and capitalist exploitation.
Up to now, there is no effective transnational solidarity between workers, unions, the unemployed and migrants. If we want this to change, we’ll have to do it ourselves.
The international day of action in spring preludes a forthcoming European initiative of left wing organisations and grassroots unions, preparing further protests throughout 2012. We invite other emancipatory unions and organisations to join M31. Please take note of our Call for Action on www.march31.net. We’ll be happy to answer any request or proposal.
Yesterday, Occupy Oakland moved to convert a vacant building into a community center to provide education, medical, and housing services for the 99%. Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and mass arrests. The state has compounded its policy of callous indifference with a ruthless display of violent repression. The Occupy movement will respond, as we have always reponded: with an overwhelming show of collective resistance. Today, we take to the streets. Across the country, we will demonstrate our resolve to overcome repression and continue to build a better world grounded in love and solidarity for one another. All eyes on all Occupies.
SOLIDARITY SUNDAY, 7pm EST, Sunday, January 29. Check your local Occupation for convergence points.
…approximately one hundred people peacefully and powerfully disrupted a foreclosure auction by bursting into song. At 3pm the foreclosure auctioneer attempted to start bidding on homes that had been foreclosed upon. When the bidding started, the courtroom burst into song:
“Mr. Auctioneer All the people here Are asking you to stop all the sales right now We’re going to survive, but we don’t know how” […]
Today’s action is part of a growing national movement committed to stopping foreclosures and keeping all Americans in their homes. Last month over 50 actions were carried out across the country, including foreclosure disruptions, eviction defense actions, and home reoccupations. Occupy Wall Street participants and other occupations across the country have been highly involved in these actions.
“We bailed out the big banks, and then they went on to foreclose on millions of families. That’s just heartless,” said Michael Premo, an organizer with Organizing for Occupation and Occupy Wall Street. “We’re committed to keeping homes occupied by people who need homes.”
Sergio Ballesteros, 30, has been involved in Occupy LA since the movement had its California launch in October. But this week, his activism took an abrupt turn when he was arrested on a felony charge — lynching.
Under the California penal code, lynching is “taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer,” where “riot” is defined as two or more people threatening violence or disturbing the peace. The original purpose of the legal code section 405(a) was to protect defendants in police custody from vigilante mobs — especially black defendants from racist groups.
Whether the police allegation in this case will be pursued by by California’s courts is uncertain. But the felony charge — which carries a potential four-year prison sentence — is the kind of accusation that can change the landscape for would-be demonstrators.