“It’s not every day you get to see a night court magistrate smack down the governor of Tennessee,” a legal observer said outside the Metro Courthouse at 2:30 a.m. today, as fog shrouded downtown in mist.
Yet that’s what happened in the early morning hours, as Metro Night Court Judge Tom Nelson told the troopers who arrested 25 peaceful Occupy Nashville protesters at midnight on Legislative Plaza — along with Scene reporter Jonathan Meador, who was attempting to get off the plaza when he was cuffed and hauled off — that the curfew being enforced at the Capitol had no constitutional grounds whatsoever.
“I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza,” Judge Nelson told a grimacing trooper, before ordering the immediate release of everyone arrested.
Some 30 additional protesters greeted those released with cheers and chants of “This is how democracy works!” They were last seen at 4 a.m. marching victoriously up Deaderick Street — back to Legislative Plaza.
Meador, meanwhile, greeted news of his imminent release with a tweet from custody: “Can I go home now?” His request of a ride home from Gov. Haslam for the inconvenience was met with silence.
The trade name claim filed on Thursday to lock down the rights to the phrase “Occupy Denver” has been withdrawn.
According to a filing on Saturday morning with Secretary of State’s office, the attorney who had filed the original claim withdrew.
9NEWS first reported on this story on Friday.
The trade name claim didn’t come from movement organizers, but from the address of a law firm run by a prominent supporter of Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
Hickenlooper and Hancock have been strongly criticized by Occupy Denver protestors for their handling of the weeks-long encampment in downtown Denver.
"It struck me as strange," Occupy Denver protestor Jason Roth said. "I doubt that it’s a coincidence because of the connection between these people and our elected representatives."
Just as an aside — this is an example of good journalism, something rarely seen in corporate-controlled local media markets. Good on 9NEWS for following this story.
The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally (as opposed to partially) dominated the policies of Presidents over at least four decades (if not longer), no matter whether individual Presidents have been its willing agents or not. It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both political parties upon its raw money power and upon access to the mainstream media that it controls. Thanks to the appointments made and approved by Presidents and Congress, the Party of Wall Street dominates much of the state apparatus as well as the judiciary, in particular the Supreme Court, whose partisan judgments increasingly favor venal money interests, in spheres as diverse as electoral, labor, environmental and contract law.
The Party of Wall Street has one universal principle of rule: that there shall be no serious challenge to the absolute power of money to rule absolutely. And that power is to be exercised with one objective. Those possessed of money power shall not only be privileged to accumulate wealth endlessly at will, but they shall have the right to inherit the earth, taking either direct or indirect dominion not only of the land and all the resources and productive capacities that reside therein, but also assume absolute command, directly or indirectly, over the labor and creative potentialities of all those others it needs. The rest of humanity shall be deemed disposable.
Occupy the Machine – Stop the 1%, Literally
Our Bodies Will Be Our Demand
Open Letter to the Occupy Movement
The Occupy Movement is beautiful. We support it and though we are small, we are participating all over the country. We invite all occupiers to read, give feedback, and if you feel moved to do so to present this at a General Assembly or committee meeting near you.
We invite you to imagine, as many of you already probably have, if thousands of people occupied local refineries, roads, ports, oil and mining extraction sites, etc. – in other words, imagine if people occupied the locations where the 1% destroy the land and exploit humans, all for profit.
Imagine their stock prices falling, their cash flow being interrupted, their ability to get loans and/or expand “production” – a euphemism for converting living beings into dead products – finished.
Imagine if we were able to stop them, stop the 1%. Literally. Not symbolically. We think it can be done if we all do it together. We think it can be done if we all figure out how to do it and if we are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, together.
The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral [in London] resigned because he could not face the prospect of “Dale Farm [a massive recent police eviction of peaceful squatters in a camp near London] on the steps of St Paul’s”, as police prepared to take action against the anti-capitalist protesters within days.
Giles Fraser, who announced his decision on Twitter, said he could not sanction the use of violence to rid the cathedral grounds of Occupy the London Stock Exchange campaigners.
The protest, comprising hundreds of tents, is entering its 13th day and organisers say they have no intention of leaving in the foreseeable future despite repeated requests from the cathedral, the City of London Corporation, the bishop of London, the mayor of London and the lord mayor of London…
"It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent. The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence."
It was apparent that the [City of London] was clearer than the cathedral about its desire to see the protesters moved on, Fraser said.
Citing the potential of “Occupy Wall Street” to become a “global brand,” a Long Island couple has filed to trademark the name of the amorphous organization responsible for the protests and encampments in lower Manhattan and other U.S. cities, The Smoking Gun has learned.
In a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application, Robert and Diane Maresca are seeking to trademark the phrase “Occupy Wall St.” so that they can place it on a wide variety of goods, including bumper stickers, shirts, beach bags, footwear, umbrellas, and hobo bags.
The New York Times had a wide ranging report on the view of the Occupy movement from Mayors across the country. They claim that many of the Mayors of “several cities have come to the end of their patience and others appear to be not far behind.”
Point 1: The constitutionally guaranteed right to assembly is not subject to any Mayors “patience”.
[The completely unnecessary assault in Oakland was entirely out of proportion to the situation.] The people throwing things at police and being violent are not part of our ‘99 Percent’ occupation,” said Momo Aleamotua, 19, a student from Oakland. “They’re not us, and they’re not welcome.
Point 2: Anyone committing illegal acts should be dealt with individually. There is no justification for ending an entire peaceful and constitutionally protected assembly because of the acts of a few.
In Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed ordered the police to arrest more than 50 protesters early Wednesday. … [He] said the last straw came Tuesday, when he said a man with an AK-47 assault rifle joined the protesters in Woodruff Park
Point 3: Georgia passed a law that made carrying an AK-47 legal in that state. The man was rejected by the occupiers and not welcome. Using Georgia’s insane law about open carry of assault weapons against the protesters is a contrived violation and extremely hypocritical.
Providence, R.I., where Mayor Angel Taveras has vowed to seek a court order to remove protesters from Burnside Park, which they have occupied since Oct. 15.
Point 4: The government has no right to continually block freedom of assembly through the legal system. The constitution supersedes all local law, and the creation of “parade rules” or “vagrancy” statutes are violations of the constitution when used to prevent peaceful assembly.
Even in Los Angeles, where the City Council passed a resolution in support of the protesters, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa warned Wednesday that they would not be allowed to remain outside City Hall indefinitely.
Point 5: There is no time limit on the constitutional right to assembly. The word “indefinite” has no bearing on this.
Even in Democratic Chicago, officials seemed to straining to allow for dissent, while maintaining order. “We’ve been working hard to strike a balance,” said Chris Mather, a spokeswoman for Mr. Emanuel.
Point 6: The need to ensure that “order” trumps “dissent” is contrary to American political freedom. The nature of American Democracy is that we accept some level of “disorder” because we believe that freedom is important.
“It’s a significant challenge to deal with their decision-making process,” said Richard Negrin, the managing director of Philadelphia
Point 7: Because it is “difficult” is no reason for shutting down the peaceful exercise of assembly by American citizens. The difficulty is not a question, it is your responsibility to protect this constitutional right. It is your job.
The leaders of this Country need to understand that their job is not solely as a protector of the rich and businesses in their cities. It is also a requirement that they protects each citizens constitutional right to freedom of assembly, no matter how difficult.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), longtime civil rights activist, gives long and impassioned speech on the House floor in fierce support of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET and denouncing the actions of the Oakland city government. (26 October 2011)
"Don’t give up, don’t give out, and please don’t give in!"
THE OCCUPY movement’s most powerful unifying factor has been its clear and simple identification of the key problem in American society: the divide between the vast majority of the population—the 99 percent—and the richest and most powerful 1 percent.
This 99 percent/1 percent formulation isn’t just a statement about income inequality in the U.S. today. It’s also an acknowledgement that the 1 percent largely controls the government and is therefore able to rig laws, taxes and regulations in its favor.
If you look at opinion polls on questions like taxing the rich, regulating Wall Street, spending money on jobs, prioritizing economic growth over cutting the deficit or preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare, you’ll find popular, often lopsided, majorities opposed to austerity and in favor of “redistributionist” policies.
Yet the dysfunctional government seems incapable—and not even much interested—in doing much of anything to meet these popular demands. By contrast, Congress acted with tremendous speed—and with little regard for the deficit—to appropriate hundreds of billions of dollars for the banks and other corporations when the financial crisis struck in 2008.
In theory, we’re all equal at the ballot box, and so popular majorities should be able to force politicians to address their concerns. But the Occupy movement has caught fire because millions of Americans realize that the way Washington works in reality bears no resemblance to the political science textbook explanations.
So how does the 1 percent get away with it?