The following proposal passed the General Assembly of Occupy Boston on April 17, 2012:
Facilitation Working Group proposes the following changes to the current General Assembly schedule:
- Tuesdays: We propose that, effective May 1st, all Tuesday GAs be held outside. We propose the Boston Common as a temporary location with the idea that location may change in the future. We will give Arlington Street Church notice that our last night using ASC space will be April 24, 2012.
- Thursdays: We have ended our relationship with Emmanuel Church and therefore propose that all Thursday GAs be held outside effective April 19, 2012, at the Boston Common as a temporary location with the idea that location may change in the future.
- Saturday: We propose to continue to hold GA at Community Church of Boston on Saturdays in order to ensure that at least one GA per week is held indoors. FWG is in the process of asking CCB whether it would have space available on Tuesdays. If so we would ask the GA to decide whether that one GA indoors should be on Tuesday or Saturday.
- Community Gatherings will remain on Mondays and effective May 14, 2012, will be held at CCB.
This schedule is subject to review by the GA at any time.
- GA will be canceled Tuesday, May 1st.
- FWG will seek access to the web banner and text service to ensure that any change in GA location or time will be widely communicated.
Good Morning from Occupy Boston!
Stories of the Day: Members of Occupy Boston engaged in a “sleepful protest” on the night of April 16, sleeping on the sidewalk in front of Bank of America, before being evicted late in the morning on April 17. Watch the video of the eviction here. And the ACLU of Massachusetts is carefully reviewing the Boston Police Department’s conduct during the Tea Party rally at the Boston Common on April 15. But, even as the police investigation gets underway, a police spokeswoman has already claimed that officers are “getting assaulted” by people holding cameras. If that claim is meant to imply that a Boston police officer was assaulted by those who photographed the officer with his hand on a counterdemonstrator’s neck, it appears that the BPD has predetermined its conclusion. [Note: the counterdemonstrator and the other people who were shoved by the police are members of Occupy Boston.] For the ACLU press release, click here. For a video of the policeman shoving the counterprotesters, click here. And on a lighter note: the latest issue of Spare Change News features another one of our own: check out All The News That’s Fit to Occupy: Back to Dewey Square with the Boston Occupier’s Dan Schneider! And still more thoughts on the 99% Spring: Rather than arguing about whether the 99% Spring is co-option or not — spoiler alert: it is — Occupiers can be strategizing about how to co-opt it back even more. How can all these newly-trained troops be mobilized into Occupying? See story here. And check this out: Occupy West Side Story!
Other Occupies/Protests: From Occupy Honolulu: Kea‘au (Makaha) Beach being forcibly relocated [happening at this writing, on April 17]. The city and county of Honolulu is forcibly relocating the residents of Kea‘au Beach. Upwards of 200 houseless people live on the undeveloped portion of Kea‘au beach on the western side of Oahu. Pushed there by the state, the residents have no safe place left to go on the island. Years of raids, bullying, and shuffling of the houseless population on Oahu have sought sanctuary in this beautiful beach. The undeveloped lands at Kea‘au are protected under the state constitution as a public access area for all residents of Oahu. In direct violation of established law of the state constitution, enacted by king Kamehameha and adopted by the Hawaiian state government, The Honolulu Police Department with the aid of the Department of Facilities Maintenance is evicting the 200 plus homesteaders from these grounds. Kea‘au beach has been occupied for 40 years by the islands residents. Set along the west coast of Oahu, it has been home to multiple generations of people. After numerous raids and shuffling of the housless people on the island, many sought refuge at Kea‘au beach, a secluded sanctuary on the west end of the island. Families have lived on this beach for over 10 years since the state refuses to address the underlying social and economic issues that forced them there. There is nowhere left to go on the island for the houseless peoples of Kea‘au beach. The city is violently running them out of their homes with bulldozers and garbage trucks rather then help them. Occupy Honolulu condemns the City and County of Honolulu’s violent oppression of the peaceful residents of Kea‘au beach.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
- A public hearing on the third and latest risk assessment for the NEIDL (the Boston University bioweapons lab) has been scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 6:30-9:30 PM at Roxbury Community College, Media Arts Building, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Boston. The closest T stop is Roxbury Crossing. For almost 10 years, the Safety Net (a Roxbury-based community group) and the Stop the BU Bioterror Lab Coalition have successfully fought to prevent this dangerous high containment biological laboratory from being opened in the densely populated Roxbury/South End neighborhood. High-level containment laboratories do research on pathogens that can cause severe illness and death. The highest level (BSL-4) labs study lethal diseases that can be transmitted by air and for which there are no vaccines or treatments. The lab is located in an Environmental Justice neighborhood which already faces significant health and environmental hazards. Two previous risk assessments have been severely criticized by the courts and by a National Research Council panel of experts. This latest 1700-page effort can be viewed at http://nihblueribbonpanel-bumc-neidl.od.nih.gov/, The National Institutes of Health have scheduled the April 19th hearing because they are required to offer community members and other concerned citizens an opportunity to comment on the risk assessment. We must make it clear to BU, NIH, and the political establishment that this lab is not acceptable to us. It is essential that we turn out in large numbers. Please plan to attend! A large turn-out could have an impact on the final disposition of the research done in this lab. For more information, please contact Ridgely Fuller, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- April 19. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for rallies and demonstrations across the country to protest the huge imprisonment numbers in the United States, some 2.4 million people, of whom 60% are African American or Latino. Major activities, including teach-ins and street actions, have been scheduled for New York City, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, among others. The protests will also focus on conditions in prisons, including the use of long-term solitary confinement; racial profiling; police stop-and-frisk practices against minority youth; and post-incarceration discrimination against former prisoners. The organizing group includes numerous civil rights and social justice organizations, academics, clergy, civil libertarians and actors. Organizers say that such a protest is especially important now, in a presidential election season, when “the horror of racially targeted mass incarceration is hardly being mentioned. And when it does come up, it is raised only to call for even harsher measures.”
- Union Busting is Disgusting: Defend the MFA Guards Rally, Saturday, April 21. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is seriously considering OUTSOURCING their guard union. Some have been working there for 10-20-30 years. They would lose their status as museum employees and would be forced to apply for jobs to an outside contractor with a bad reputation. (IF THEY GET RE-HIRED) The museum would have non-union workers doing union jobs! Let’s give the top 1% our 100% effort in stopping these attacks! DON’T SUBCONTRACT UNION JOBS! Saturday, April 21 from noon to 2 pm at the Huntington Ave. sidewalk in front of MFA.Facebook event page is https://www.facebook.com/events/325005734232758/
- What is Occupy Wall Street? A film screening. Occupy HCC (Holyoke Community College) is hosting a film screening of short films produced by Occupy Wall Street in the Forum at HCC, April 27, 3pm-5pm. Come and find out about the Occupy Movement that started on Wall St. and has spread across the globe! There will be a Q&A session following the films with activists from different Occupy groups across the Northeast. This event is sponsored by the Holyoke Community College Student Senate.
- MA Unite Against the War on Women Rally, April 28, 10am-2pm, at City Hall Plaza. Help defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the United States as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, “Enough is enough!” All Americans have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, including contraception, without interference from government, business or religious institutions. Please join us as we gather together and show both state and federal legislative bodies that we won’t stand silently by as they propose and pass laws that will impact women’s choices, health, and wellbeing. We need everyone’s voice! These decisions affect all genders, races, and socio-economic statuses!
- May 1 General Strike! A Day Without the 99%. NO WORK – NO SCHOOL – NO SHOPPING – NO BANKING – NO TRADING. GENERAL STRIKE AND BOYCOTT CALLED! 7am-11am: Financial District Block Party! (corner of Federal and Franklin Streets). Bring a friend and let’s party! Bring whistles, drums, noise makers. Bring street theater ! 12:00pm: Boston City Hall Rally. Can’t make it to Boston City Hall at Noon? Well how about: The Chelsea City Hall? – Gather at Noon – March at 2pm (For More information please contact La Colaborativa (617) 889-6097). 2pm: LoPresti Park Rally/March (Blue Line: Maverick Square) (For more information contact Dominic at City life/Vida Urbana (617) 710-7176). 4pm: Everett – Glendale Park (For more information please contact La Comunidad (617) 387-9996). 7pm: Death of Capitalism Boston Funeral March (Copley Square). We invite people to participate in this piece of street theater which includes puppets, a marching band, and other creative surprises. People will begin gathering at 7pm at Copley Square Park (by the steps of Trinity Church) to put on costumes, puppets and face-paint and get info on their respective role in the funeral procession. We ask that people participate as: mourners (dressed in black), celebrators (wearing neon/bright colors/glow stuff), skeleton block (bring your own skeleton costume). The funeral procession will leave Copley Square Park at 8pm and will travel through areas of wealth and commerce.
- Occupy New England – M12 Day of Action and Regional Gathering. May 12: Come join Occupy groups from all around New England as we converge in Worcester for a day of action and networking! At Worcester City Hall and Common. More information to be announced.
Calendar for Wednesday, April 18, 2012
3 pm – 4 pm Icarus Project WG Support Group, at the Gazebo at the Common
5:30 pm – 7 pm Info WG Meeting at United for a Fair Economy, 29 Winter St., 2nd Floor, Boston.
6 pm – 8 pm Radio WG Meeting at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave., 5th Floor, Boston
7 pm – 9 pm Financial Accountability WG at City Place Food Court, in the Transportation Building
7pm – 9pm Media WG meeting at Encuentro 5 (33 Harrison Ave in Chinatown, 5th floor)
Please note! These are just some of the events at Occupy Boston. Meetings and their locations are subject to change. We encourage you to check the Occupy Boston Calendar for the most up-to-date information.
Get your copy of the new Boston Occupier – issue 7 out this Wednesday, April 18!
Info WG needs you! Interested in helping facilitate communication between working groups, and helping put on Open Houses? Please join us! Several people who were involved have stepped back forvarious reasons, and we need more people! The Info Working Group aims to improve internal communications within Occupy Boston. We believe that enhanced communication and coordination within our community will allow us to advance the Occupy movement more effectively. We assess the communication structures and gaps of the OB activist community and develop forums to enhance communication between working groups and individuals. Meetings are 5:30pm at United for a Fair Economy, 29 Winter Street, Second Floor, Boston.
For more information on Occupy Boston’s General Assembly, including passed resolutions, click here!
And if you’re interested in learning more about Occupy Boston and how you can participate, click here!
Contact Us: Want to subscribe to the Daily Digest? Click here to have it sent to your email inbox every morning! All Working Groups or Occupy Boston events that need placement in the Daily Digest, please email AnnaC@OccupyBoston.org. And subscribe to the Occupy Boston Media Rundown, a daily listing of Occupy-related news, by contacting JohnM@OccupyBoston.org.
Cops Continue to Take Heat Over ‘Choking’ Photo
After photos depicting a Boston police officer with his hand on the neck of a bandana wearing protester made the rounds on the internet yesterday, the protester in the photo is contemplating legal action against the Boston police, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
Boston march for Palestine land day
Hundreds of activists, led by young Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, took to the streets of Boston on March 30 as part of the Global March to Jerusalem, marking Palestine Land Day. The main demands were Free Palestine! No war on Iran or Syria! and Boycott Israel!
The demonstration was sponsored by the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights; the Boston United National Antiwar Coalition; the International Action Center; the Palestine Task Force of United for Justice with Peace; Boston University Students for Justice in Palestine; and Veterans for Peace, Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade. It was supported by the Decolonize Boston, Anti-Oppression and People of Color working groups of Occupy Boston, who called for Indigenous rights from the Americas to Palestine.
The protest gathered in Copley Square and was opened by Salma Abu Ayyash, who spoke of the history of Palestine Land Day, commemorating the March 30, 1976, Palestinian general strike, protest and resistance against massive Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land, and the worldwide movement today to end Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Kade Crockford, a militant young lesbian and Boycott, Divest and Sanctions activist, condemned Israel for cynically trying to use lesbian/gay/bi/trans rights to posture as democratic while carrying out genocidal attacks on Gaza.
Tax Day Doesn’t Belong to the Tea Party Anymore
This year, if you say “Tax Day” and “social movement,” the Tea Party isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. And if you go looking for a protest, you’ll likely find folks protesting against the tax evaders of the top 1 percent.
ALEC Disbands Task Force Responsible for Stand Your Ground, Voter ID, Prison Privatization, AZ’s SB 1070
Apparently in response to the corporate exodus, and to the contradictions between ALEC’s stated mission and its policies, the organization issued a press release today stating they are “eliminating the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force that dealt with non-economic issues” and that they would be “redoubling our efforts on the economic front.”
CMD’s Executive Director Lisa Graves said:
“ALEC’s announcement is a partial victory for the power of grassroots citizen action, but for Americans concerned about brand-name corporations underwriting ALEC’s extreme agenda to make it more difficult for American citizens to vote and to protect armed vigilantes, ALEC’s PR maneuver to try to distance itself from its record of extremism is an empty gesture unless it and the corporations that have bankrolled its operations work to repeal ALEC-backed laws that have advanced the NRA’s agenda and that will impede citizens from voting in the coming elections.”
Do the Wealthy Lie, Cheat and Steal More Than the Rest of Us?
The simple answer appears to be “yes” — in certain circumstances. The research supporting this conclusion was not conducted by Occupy Wall Street, but at the University of California, Berkeley, where social psychologist Paul Piff and a team of graduate students devised a series of experiments to assess the effect of wealth on ethical behavior. Their paper, published at the end of February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the rich are more likely to cut corners than others when confronted with a number of ethical challenges.
. . .
So what’s the deal — are the rich less ethical than the rest of us? Not necessarily, according to Piff. But they do have a greater sense of personal entitlement. If you have money, you come to see it as your due. The affluent view wealth as a virtue, and their own wealth as proof of their own hard work and innate worth. They are rich, in other words, because (in their own minds at least) they deserve it.
And because their feeling of self worth are tied to their ability to acquire wealth, the rich often feel driven to continue to do so — long after their most lavish material desires are met. The insane feeding frenzy on Wall Street prior to the crash may be less about greed than a species of machismo. Money, for the rich, is not just a medium to purchase things; it is a measure of status in that rarefied world where you are judged by the heft of your take home pay.
Neoliberal policy institute hosts promotional event for new Occupy book, weirdly tries to align itself with movement
Fact is, the Peterson Institute invited the occupiers in. They hosted “a luncheon meeting to publicize the release of ‘The Occupy Handbook.’” And over steak roulade and fruit tarts, members of Washington’s most elite policy shop allied themselves, in name and economic analysis if not in living situations, with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“I think its fair to say there’s pretty wide agreement on the diagnosis of the problem,” said C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute. “A very high degree of income inequality. A very high degree of political polarization. The question is what to do about it?”
John Cassidy, a finance writer for the New Yorker, didn’t mince words. “For economic research institutes like this, I would argue that rather than producing more reports about how efficient the market is — I get 20 of those a day — it might be better to start from the premise that the market is inefficient and decide where we go from here.”
Protesters stage mock foreclosure on Wells Fargo Bank
In a scene reminiscent of last fall’s Occupy Seattle protests, several hundred people rallied in downtown Seattle today shouting that the 1 percent needs to pay more in taxes.
Activists marched to the Wells Fargo Bank building on 3rd Avenue and stretched large faux yellow crime scene tape around part of it. They pretended to auction off assets such as the CEO’s salary.
A clash of gardening cultures in South Philadelphia
Powers and his volunteer colleagues – many of whom camped out at City Hall last year during Occupy Philadelphia – are gardening with direct-activism techniques. The Philly Food Forests project aims to turn this blighted block into a biologically diverse, low-maintenance, edible eco-system, a.k.a. a permaculture.
Unlike most urban gardening projects, this one has no plots and no raised beds. Seedlings are put directly into the vacant lot dirt, which is slowly improving through strategic planting and composting.
“People are afraid of soil conditions in the city,” said Robyn Mello, co-founder of Philly Food Forests, now known as Occupy Vacant Lots. “Here we decided we’re working with good soil. It’s something that can be built up over time. There is some lead in the soil, but the levels aren’t dangerous.”
‘Tent State X: Occupy Rutgers’: Congressional candidate supports students
New Brunswick-Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) hiked to Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus yesterday to speak with students about bills for affordable higher education during the Rutgers University’s 10th annual “Tent State X: Occupy Rutgers.”
While some students traveled to class, others pitched tents for the weeklong event to protest student debt and address multiple issues including the push for the University to disaffiliate with the Fair Labor Association and creating a more sustainable campus.
Pallone, a Rutgers-Newark law school graduate, spoke with Spencer Klein, a Rutgers University junior, and members of the Rutgers University Student Assembly over bills to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend the reduced interest rate for Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
Occupy Las Cruces rallys in downtown [NM]
Representatives of Occupy Las Cruces Kathy Berg, left, Marty Rennert, Cindy Hill and Stella Field hold signs during a rally on Tuesday in front of the Las Cruces post office near the downtown mall. “We want the top 1-percent of the population to pay their share, and since it is tax day, we thought it was a good day to spread the message to the public,” said Hill.
Protesters March against Stockton Police Brutality
Family and friends of James Rivera Jr. and Luther Brown, a man shot by Stockton police officers on Friday, April 6th, came together with members of the Occupy Oakland Movement in a protest on Tuesday, April 10 across the street from the Stockton Police Department headquarters in a demand for justice and a stop to police violence.
Participating members of the rally moved from the Stockton Courthouse to the Stockton Police Department, blocking one of the city`s main arteries- El Dorado Street-during peak traffic hours.
As Police officers moved demonstrators from the street, tension grew and the rally moved to Martin Luther King Park.
Students hear Occupy and Tea Party voices at Benedictine mock rally [Il]
Keith Knutter, chapter relations officer for the Ayn Rand Institute and a self-described “unapologetic radical capitalist,” reminded the students gathered for the Tea Party rally that “no one owns you,” and likened the Occupy movement to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
In their simultaneous rally just outside the Rice Center field house, Occupy Naperville participants engaged in their trademark chants of “We are the 99 percent!” and emphasized their platform’s major planks: economic and social justice, honest government, grass roots democracy, responsible use of resources and nonviolence.
Social activist and author Dick Nogaj of Wheaton cautioned during a presentation later in the morning that “big corporations today are draining the future of our society” and urged the students to learn about the Occupy movement, noting that its 99 Percent Declaration itemizes the members’ primary concerns.
Activists Deliver ‘Tax Bills’ To Big Corporations On Tax Day [Il]
About 200 people, many of them Occupy Chicago protesters, gathered at Federal Plaza on Tuesday to send a message on this Tax Day 2012.
Occupy Venice: Tax Day 4-17-12 [CA]
In honor of today’s IRS Tax filing deadline, Occupy Venice has taken to the streets in front of the Venice Post office, Windward Circle and Bank of America.
They have police officers stationed outside of the post office doors as well as across the street on Windward. Not much going on besides people honking horns in support of the demonstrators.
Labor, Occupy protesters march through downtown LA on Tax Day
A march that an organizer said was for “calling out corporate tax dodgers” took place in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon, drawing hundreds of demonstrators from mostly service unions and fair labor organizations.
“As you know, today is Tax Day,” said Refugio Mata, a spokesperson for Good Jobs L.A. “Today I think is a turning point. Sometimes average people pay 30, 35 percent and people like Mitt Romney pay 15 percent. We just want a future for our kids.”
The organization seeks to raise awareness of what has been dubbed the “Buffett rule,” an initiative which was blocked by the Senate yesterday. They also support an initiative backed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would raise the sales tax and state income tax, according to Mata.
Group holding ‘Tax Wealth, Not Work’ protest at Cherrybell Post Office [AZ]
If you haven’t turned in your tax return yet, you may run in to a group of Tucsonans outside the Cherrybell Post Office who protesting for the “Tax Wealth, Not Work,” Day of Action.
Here’s what the group had to say about their planned protest:
“Join us as we take back tax day for working families. Working people invest in America with their hard work and their tax dollars. We believe we need a better balance. America can create jobs again and expand the middle class but that means investing in education, roads, bridges and transportation, not more tax giveaways for the 1%.” From the leaflet: “Save our postal service and save JOBS. We are especially angry at the threatened loss of hundreds of good paying local jobs and mail service disruption in Southern Arizona. United together — public sector unions, the entire labor movement, the Occupy movement and our communities — the time to stand up and push back is NOW!”
Protest Targets Corporate Tax Code [MO]
A group of protesters used Tuesday’s tax deadline to make a statement about the current tax system.
Members of several liberal groups, including the Occupy KC movement, marched from Barney Allis Plaza to the corporate headquarters of Kansas City Power and Light and the downtown office of the Bank of America.
The group said they represent the 99 percent of Americans who aren’t wealthy.
‘Tax Dodgers’ protest outside Ann Romney birthday luncheon [NY]
“Take me out to the tax game.”
That’s what protesters donning Dodger-esque baseball uniforms sang today – the deadline for filing taxes – on the streets of Manhattan, as they protested what they say are corporate tax loopholes. Members of several local unions including UFT, New York Communities for Change and 32BJ, participated in the Tax Day protest.
In downtown Portland, Tax Day dodge ball game aims at corporations
The nonprofit advocacy group We Are Oregon organized a rousing lunch-hour bracket of Tax Dodger Ball at Terry Schrunk Federal Plaza. The point, said spokesman Angus Maguire, was “to deliver a pointed message about corporate tax dodgers.”
The energetic competition took place in the park’s amphitheater where Occupy Portland held its nightly consensus-building general assemblies during last fall’s encampment at Lownsdale and Chapman squares.
UC Berkeley economists contribute to just-released “Occupy Handbook”
“The Occupy Handbook,” a new publication examining the factors contributing to the Occupy Wall Street movement – as well as where it stands now and where it goes next – contains contributions by leading economic scholars, including UC Berkeley’s own economists Emmanuel Saez, Brad DeLong and Robert Reich. The book hit the bookstore shelves today (Tuesday, April 17).
Saez is well known for his work on income inequality; DeLong is an economic historian with one of the most popular blogs dealing with economics and politics; and Reich recently described himself in a blog post as “a class worrier” rather than a class warrior.
Group launches effort to recall Sweetwater school trustees [CA]
A brouhaha that involved police Monday night after a Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting capped a contentious evening that started with a news conference to kick off efforts to recall trustees in the South Bay district.
Glenn Innes housing protest arrests [New Zealand]
A woman needed hospital treatment after a confrontation between protesters and police in Glen Innes last night where activists including John Minto were arrested.
Witnesses claimed police used excessive force at the protest, but policy deny that, saying they acted professionally in a “tricky, emotional situation”.
Occupy Auckland, Mana and local housing activists were among those attempting to stop state houses being removed from two properties at Glen Innes.
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