We are on Wall Street. Right Now and every Friday.
It’s shaping up to be a busy spring for Occupy. The movement born last year in a New York City park has come roaring back to life this week after a period of hibernation. It promises to be even livelier in weeks and months to come.
On Monday, according to the Sacramento Bee, a crowd numbering in the thousands, including Occupy protesters, converged on California’s capital to denounce soaring college tuition costs. Chanting “You’ll hear us out, or we’ll vote you out,” they tried to occupy the capitol rotunda. Some succeeded. In what the Bee called “a massive show of force,” 100 California Highway Patrol officers arrested 68.
Occupy is taking credit for the White House’s recent decision to move a May meeting G-8 leaders from Chicago, where Occupy and other groups had threatened protests, to safer and more remote Camp David. “We scored a victory, forcing them to retreat to the back woods of Maryland,” Andy Thayer, Occupier and spokesperson for the Coalition Against NATO/G-8, tells ABC News.
Protests still will be mounted, he says, against NATO, which has chosen not to flee Chicago and will meet there as planned. “There’ll be a mass march on the NATO summit,” says Thayer, “not only a march, but any number of other activities. It’s unclear whether it will be on the 19th or 20th. We will decide in the next few days.”
Montreal police will investigate after a 22-year-old man said his eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during Wednesday’s student protest over tuition fee hikes.
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, told CBC News from his hospital bed that he doesn’t know if he’ll regain vision in his right eye.
Student movement leaders are calling him a victim of police brutality and are accusing riot squad officers of overreacting after snowballs were launched during the afternoon protest on Sherbrooke Street.
Grenier said he was in front of the Loto-Québec headquarters Wednesday afternoon playing the harmonica when an officer told him to leave.
TVA also reports that apparently after Grenier ran from the scene badly injured to find help from a police officer, the officer refused to help him or to call him an ambulance. He was eventually helped to the hospital by fellow students.
Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi — he who coined the immortal phrase about Goldman Sachs being a “bloodsucking vampire” — spoke at an Occupy Wall Street rally today. Via Taibbi’s blog:Occupy Wall Street is kicking off a new series of actions today, and as part of the campaign, I’m going to be speaking at Bryant Park at 11 a.m., through about noon, when a march will begin.
The topic is Too-Big-To-Fail banks, and Bank of America in particular.
The Twitters were abuzz with reports from his speech. We’re going to post a few of Taibbi’s thoughts about Bank of America via Twitter.
More images from today.
A flying live streamer, sprinting rain soaked activist clowns, Taking cover underneath a momentary tent in front of the Bank Of America (2 seconds later we were attacked by the cops,) a fallen clown is arrested with a mandolin player, my camera shuts down right about there….
Will put up the rest on my flickr later tonight.
Occupy SF Broke Up With Bank of America This Valentines Day. Activists Ellen and David perform ‘relationship drama’ street theater educating BoA customers about the bank’s financing of dirty coal and hydro-fracking companies.
”Since [its inception], an estimated 6,500 people in 110 American cities have been arrested in connection with Occupy Wall Street protests. And now, it appears plans for a new phase of the groundbreaking protests have taken root.”
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.
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.
Washington Square Park 7PM