Photos from the ongoing police-protester standoff in Oakland right now. All of the photos were taken by Intifada Tent, a Twitter user currently live-tweeting from Oakland. The tear gas canister pictured above is, according to @IntifadaTent, the same brand used by the Israeli military.
We can’t tell people not to protest (pesky constitution!) so let’s just scare them into not protesting:
Predictable enough now that torture is a human right, imprisonment without trial is the noble work of our Constitutional Scholar in Chief, and wars are a nutritious part of your breakfast:
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.
Over time, the wave of mobilizations that first hit the shores of the Mediterranean and extended outwards over the course of 2011 has overcome its initial, expressive phase. This phase managed to substitute the dominant narrative with our own. We now know that the problem is not some mysterious technical failure we call a crisis, but the intentional crimes of a cleptocracy.
This distinction is crucial: while the first suggests a management dilemma that opposes left- and right-wing approaches to the crisis, the second draws a line between the 1 percent who abuse power in order to steal from the people and those who refuse to consent and choose to resist in the name of the other 99 percent.
Having reached this point, the obvious question becomes, “Now what?” Of course we should continue to protest together, especially if we choose to do so intermittently and massively, favouring a general critique of the system over particular causes. And at the smaller scale, that those specific struggles continue to take the streets is also desirable.
However, it is fundamentally important that these struggles are not overly disconnected from one another or the more general movement; that they unfold beyond their own spaces (hospitals, schools, factories, offices and so on) and into the broader metropolitan spaces of cleptocratic dominance. These processes serve to keep the questions that guide the movement alive and, therefore, adapting to the always changing situations in which they operate. Yet the question of what alternatives we can provide remains.
In an OWS Era, Americans Are Much More Aware of Class Tension
It looks like Occupy Wall Street’s message has resonated even after Zuccotti Park cleared out. A new Pew Research Center survey reveals that two-thirds of the public believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between America’s rich and poor—a number that’s up 19 percentage points since 2009. According to the survey, income inequality now trumps tensions arising from race or immigration—popular answers only a few years before.
Five deaths have been reported in today’s Occupy Nigeria protests. (Three in Lagos, two in Kano.) Nigerians are calling for the removal of President Goodluck Jonathan. Their anger is in part a response to the removal of fuel subsidies, and in part an outright rejection of rampant government corruption. Many Nigerians live on less than $2 a day.
Records reveal that the #OPD put officers with histories of using deadly force on the frontlines during Occupy Oakland protests.
The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:
- Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
- Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
- Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
- Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.
155,272 signatures so far.
“We Are Farmers, We Grow Food for the People”
This video by Anthony Lappe offers an inspiring glimpse into this new “Occupy Food” movement. Check it out and then go to Food Democracy Now, a grassroots community dedicated to building a sustainable food system, to find out how you can help.
Freedom of the press:
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.”
Nice made up excuse.