On October 7, 2011, representatives from Occupy Portland, the Portland Marathon, the Mayor’s office, and the City of Portland met to discuss plans for Chapman Park and Lownsdale Square.

After the conclusion of yesterday’s successful march, numerous people asked for permission to camp in the parks overnight. Those camping were told that the Portland Marathon has had a long-standing permit that began on October 7 at 9 a.m., to allow for preparations before Sunday’s Portland Marathon. This morning, Occupy Portland’s General Assembly held a press conference and stated that they were in support of the Portland Marathon and wanted to work collaboratively on an agreement that would suit the needs of both organizations.

The communication between all the parties has been marked by a desire to be collaborative. At this time, discussions are productive, but have not reached a final conclusion. We will release further updates as discussions progress.

The mood in the parks is relaxed, and people who are camping are otherwise following park rules. The Police Bureau will continuously monitor the camping situation, but are not expecting any large-scale issues.

Last night, one man and one juvenile were arrested by Central Precinct night shift officers after they were observed by a citizen “tagging” several locations in Downtown Portland, including a marked Portland Police Bureau patrol car. The Portland Police Bureau will make arrests as necessary, as we are committed to public safety. However, we believe there is a spirit of cooperation with Occupy Portland, and that participants are educating each other in an effort to deter further criminal activity.

Talk about setting a great example! NYPD, SFPD, Seattle PD, etc.: are you listening?


I wanted to take a moment to respond to my various friends on various social networks who are linking to the above Ben & Jerry’s announcement that the brand supports the Occupy Wall Street protests.

It doesn’t really matter what Ben & Jerry’s board of directors supports as they are merely a division of consumer products conglomerate Unilever, the third largest food company behind Nestle and Kraft. Don’t be fooled by a shallow marketing ploy.

This is one of the problems with global corporations—they can have no obligation besides profit. The pleasant statements from a small brand within an enormous conglomerate do not reflect what your dollars support when you buy their products. Short of a Unilever announcement of support—followed by a fundamental restructuring of the company—we shouldn’t take the B&J statement seriously.

Ben & Jerry’s concerns don’t mesh with their parent company—you know, the people who pocket your money when you scarf down a pint of Schweddy Balls ice cream.

The B&J statement lists the following concerns they claim to share with the protestors:

  • The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
  • Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.

When Unilever CEO Niall Fitzgerald left Unilever in 2004, he received more than $20-million in salary, bonus, and benefits. Current CEO Paul Polman has made it a priority to close factories, eliminate jobs, freeze wages, and raise the cost of their products. His starting pay package was around $4-million. By contrast, starting wages at Ben & Jerry’s are $8/hour. No wonder workers need 2 or 3 jobs just to scrape by.

  • We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.

Unilever has laid off more than half its global workforce since 2000, despite increases in profits and productivity alongside rising executive pay packets. A 2010 report from FNV organization of unions found that Unilever has denied workers their legal rights, refused to recognize trade unions as representatives of the work-force, intimidated workers and replaced permanent workers with casual, temporary labourers who have fewer rights. It also estimated that around half of Unilever’s global workforce (approximately 150,000 people) is now outsourced. This means that all these people are not recognised as employees and Unilever does not pay them the wages and benefits that unions have successfully fought for and negotiated.

Unilever is concerned with racial inequality in employment. The company’s solution? Their very own skin-lightening cream.

Unilever’s proper concern for racial inequality in employment is ironic considering the company’s India division sells a skin-lightening cream (Fair & Lovely) that is promoted in commercials depicting depressed, dark-skinned women who are ignored by their employers until they use the cream, suddenly finding glamorous careers and happiness. Watch, it’s crazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIUQ5hbRHXk 

And, why not, child labor, too:

The page goes on to list B&J’s myriad, mostly benign lobbying efforts, but this caught my eye:

  • Support for the Youth PROMISE Act, which funds proven youth violence prevention programs.

It’s good that they oppose child violence. But a report from Indian researcher Dr. D. Venkateswarlu for the Indian Committee of the Netherlands estimated that 25,000 children, mostly girls, work an average of ten to thirteen hours a day in cottonseed production for Hindustan Lever, a division of Unilever.

Okay, that’s all.

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET Protest Arrests; Local NY News Crew Hit by Mace, Baton

The protests on Wall Street continue to grow. The rallies and their participants are showing no signs of slowing down. Wednesday evening, crowds surged past barriers and NYPD officers moved in to contain the protesters. By many accounts, mayhem broke out.

Officers swatted protesters with batons and sprayed them with mace, according to video from the scene.

Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes by mace, and Fox 5 reporter Dick Brennan was hit by what he believes was an officer’s baton.

Both were all right and continued to cover the protests and arrests.

Cops arrested dozens of protesters, but the final tally was not known.


NYPD officer states “my nightstick’s gonna get a workout tonight, hopefully” before #OCCUPYWALLSTREET march (5 October 2011)


Police brutality! NYPD beating and pepper spraying #OCCUPYWALLSTREET protesters (5 October 2011)


via NYTimes and CNN

#OWS Brooklyn Bridge March LIVEBLOG

(via your friendly neighbourhood carton-rouge)

» Initial reports suggest at least 75 arrests. Most marchers have returned back to Liberty Plaza ‘to immense applause.’ Many people (even the New York Times) have suggested that the protestors were led onto the bridge purposefully in an attempt to arrest them. More news and footage will be forthcoming on this blog over the weekend. Thanks for watching! «

17:36  Lol, in Canada and the United States, “Brooklyn Bridge” is trending on Twitter, but obviously any mention of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET is blocked.

17:25  via @brettchamberlin: “Officers referring to arrestees as “bodies” not “people.” " Also: contributor Natasha Lennard helped write today’s cover story. She is now being arrested.”

17:21  Livestream is back! Protestors are sitting down on the bridge en masse and shouting “Shame!” 20,000 livestream viewers now — I’m sure that’s a record. Police continue to pick people out of the crowd and arrest them.

17:16  The livestream has been down for a few minutes, but Twitter feeds say arrests are still ongoing. Via @NYCSep17: “#occupywallstreet police asking whose in charge. They don’t understand.” and “ police pressing protesters close and close together. People asking for space. None given.”

and via @brettchamberlin: “Cuffed in the back of a van.10 guys, no lights or air”

16:55  A young girl is now being arrested, she can’t be more than twelve years old… People are shouting “How old is she, officer?” Kinda looks like Natalie Portman in Léon.Protestors facing down the police, shouting “You belong to us, we’re fighting for your pensions!” and “We are not the criminals!”

16:53  Livestream reporter on the bridge: “I’m going to have to shut down the Livestream… they’ve got us surrounded on the front and back and are arresting everyone…” Livestream’s at over 14,000 viewers so far. It’s hard to tell how many people are being arrested since there are different sections to the bridge that they are occupying, but in every shot they are making many arrests.

16:48  The first few protestors went with the police peacably, but now they are reaching into the crowd and carrying them off the bridge. Protestors issue a ‘mic check’: “If you are getting arrested, yell us your name! We want to record this. Thank you!”

16:44  Police are now escorting several arrestees off the bridge, to boos from the assembled protestors. They are picking off the protestors one-by-one. At least ten arrests so far.

16:40  The Livestream is showing -at least- hundreds of people still on the bridge as over 10,000 are viewing the stream live. Protestors facing the police have their arms locked together.

16:38  Twitter user @NYCSep17 reports: #occupywallstreet march still kettled. Police making arrests. Police now on pedestrians bridge.

16:34  Arrests have begun, with reports of two more white-shirted police officers beating an arrestee. Police are attempting to turn protestors back off of the bridge, and appear to be sparing most participants for now.

16:32:  Occupiers report police stopping them on the bridge. We may be headed for a repeat of last Saturday’s mess.

Side view of march on Bridge

Noam Chomsky gives his support to #OCCUPYWALLSTREET

When asked for his thoughts of the continued occupation in lower Manhattan, Noam Chomsky responded via email:

Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.”

The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.

#OWS Daily Roundup: September 24

A major march happened this afternoon with thousands of occupiers headed towards Union Square in Manhattan. After winding through the city streets, police began to divide and kettle the occupiers with orange netting. Here’s what we know:

  • At least 80 occupiers were arrested over the course of the event, including event organizers and members of the media team. At one point, the person in charge of Livestreaming the march was arrested as well. Occupiers were reportedly kept in buses for up to two hours, with some refused water, medication and bathroom trips.
  • Several videos quickly made their way online, showing unprovoked police brutality including macing occupiers who were already contained, aggressively shoving random occupiers, kneeling on arrestees already on the ground, and arresting unrelated pedestrians. However, earlier reports of teargas were later found to be inaccurate.
  • A few hours after the incident, occupiers slowly made their way back to Liberty Plaza, encountering heightened numbers of police fencing in the square as well. Reports indicated that several people were already released by the end of the evening, and police suggested that the rest may be released by tomorrow morning.
  • As night fell, police levels eased somewhat. Both morale and numbers in the camp are still high.

As usual, with reports of violence comes mainstream media coverage. For more in-depth information, check out The New York Times blog which has a good list of events.

(via carton-rouge)