Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 4-25-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Stories of the Day: Will Vermont’s governor stand with 90 percent of his constituents who favor labeling genetically engineered foods, or cave to Monsanto? And: Conflict of Interest: Private Water Companies Partner With Fracking Lobby. Selling water to drillers, two of the nation’s biggest private water utilities may soon profit from treating the wastewater. For more, click here. And, in November 2001, the National Security Agency began illegally intercepting Americans’ phone calls and emails without warrants or suspicion of wrongdoing. In 2008, Congress amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), rubber-stamping this warrantless wiretapping program and giving the NSA power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications. For more information, check out this infographic, NSA Unchained. And sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance. Nearly a million prisoners are working in call centers, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 a day. For more, click here. Are you a visionary? Check out this competition called POST+CAPITALIST City with four themed contests that invite participants to re-imagine cities in a post-capitalist context.

Other Occupies/Protests: From the Debt Working Group of Occupy Wall Street: April 25th is 1TDay–when student debt passes the trillion dollar mark. The Occupy Student Debt Campaign has organized a National Day Of Action, with solidarity events all across the country. In NYC, we will stage a mock celebration of this great American milestone, and we will declare a Debt Jubilee! Union Square at 4pm, followed by March to Wall Street. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, Billionaires for Debt, The Master of Degrees, Aaron Burr Society, Debt Monsters, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, and other OWS performers will be there. Join us on Wednesday! For more info, see http://www.1tday.org or http://www.occupystudentdebtcampaign.org.

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upcoming Events:
  • 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.
  • On April 28, 2012 from 5pm to 10pm, artists from Occupy Boston will host a gathering with artist and cultural provocateur Steve Lambert. Taking place at Samsøn (450 Harrison Avenue), this event will be an opportunity for Lambert and the greater Occupy community to connect over questions of messaging, humor, culture jamming, and creative activism as the movement heads into the coming seasons. Following the discussion, we will screen the film The Yes Men Fix the World.
  • 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! Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/206965382738915/
  • May 1st Training with Occupy Boston: Sunday, April 29, 12pm-3pm, location TBA (see Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/396045130426024/). Gearing up for May 1st? Want to feel more prepared? Join Occupy Boston as we get ready for the General Strike! Direct Action and the Medics will be providing basic training this Sunday in preparation for Tuesday’s General Strike! There will be plenty of fun activities as well as training in basic safety procedures. Join us!
  • Boston New Sanctuary Movement Presents A Return to A Faithful Understanding, An Interfaith Conference: Toward a More Compassionate National Debate on Immigration, Sunday, April 29, 2012, 12:30 – 5 p.m. (12-1, lunch provided by Brazilian Immigrant Center), Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury St., Boston, MAWorship leader: Rev. Rob Mark, Pastor, Church of the Covenant, Boston, Presbyterian/UCCSpeakers, Reflection leaders: Members of the Boston New Sanctuary Movement. Schedule: 12:30 Registration; 1:00 Welcome, opening reflection; 1:15 Current Immigration issues in Boston, and the Boston New Sanctuary Movement; 1:40 Workshops, period I; 3:10 Workshops, period II; 4:40 Closing reflection; 5:00 Networking.
  • 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.
  • Keep Immigrant Families Together! Stop the Raids and Deportations! Prayer Vigil for Immigrant Detainees, Sunday, May 6th, 2 p.m.Suffolk County House of Correction, 20 Bradston St., BostonFor more information about the vigil, contact our Facebook page, or email SocialAction@ascboston.org. www.bostonnewsanctuary.org.

    1. Immigration through Faith: Faith through Immigration – Personal experiences of immigration as a moral and religious issue.
      A facilitated panel discussion exploring personal experiences of faith and immigration. This session is designed to help participants articulate and claim religious language and relevancy in a conversation dominated by secular and political messages. The panel discussion will be followed by an open period for questions and reflections.
    2. U.S. Immigration History and Your Faith: We will look at who came and why? What laws were enacted as barriers? What role have people of faith played in this history? We will also ask where we find ourselves in the story, and who belongs here?
    3. Immigrant Stories in the Struggle for Workers Rights

    To register, go to www.bostonnewsanctuary.org, or call Newell Hendricks at 617 876-5038. $10 suggested donation

  • Occupy New England – M12 Day of Action and Regional Gathering. 9am-5:30pm, May 12: Come join Occupy groups from all around New England as we converge in Worcester for a day of action and networking! The day will have four core key components to it: getting as many Occupy groups and participants in one centralized location at the same time for a day of networking and planning, direct actions and public visibility, continued actions against corporations backing ALEC, and finally the flared up “War on Women” – discussion on women’s issues (rights, health care, etc…) Preliminary timeline of events:
    (Please note the following is a rough draft discussed by Occupy Worcester and the M12 working group. More details will be released later on, and times/actions are subject to change.)
    9 am: Begin gathering at Worcester Common
    10 am: Second New England Solidarity March
    Late morning: Direct Action (w/ CD potential)
    Midday: Occupy New England gathering. Have lunch and talk a lot to each other.
    Mid afternoon: Occupy Worcester’s Women’s Caucus event, details TBA
  • May 17 – nationally recognized transgender activist and member of Occupy Boston Gunner Scott will be honored with The Theater Offensive’s Out on the Edge award. As Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Scott led the battle for passage of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill in November. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill, also known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity, makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, public education and credit & lending.Who: Transgender activist Gunner ScottWhat: The Theater Offensive honors Scott with Out on the Edge award. When: Thursday, May 17 @ 6:30 pm. Where: Hibernian Hall (184 Dudley St, Roxbury). Open to the Public: Yes (with ticket purchase) Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 4 25 12

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Event Highlights:

  • Please come to the Media Meeting: To try to help us explore how the entire community can be empowered to create its own media, we invite /urge you, the community, to participate in a conversation about the future of media work at Occupy Boston next Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 7pm at Encuentro 5 (5th floor, 33 Harrison Ave, Boston). We will discuss the best way to reallocate existing resources in a way that is equitable and consistent with OB’s values. People who want to help copy/edit, write stories, make videos, etc. should come. I’ll be there, hope to see you too!
  • April 25, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Cohen Auditorium, Tufts Campus, Medford. Karl Rove Un-Welcoming Committee: Karl Rove, war criminal and torture apologist, will be speaking at Tufts campus. See event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/336321973087555/ Let’s make it clear that Rove is not welcomed here! And that Tufts students, the Somerville/Medford community, and the Boston community finds it unacceptable that Tufts University spends university money to promote “dialogue” with someone who has normalized and promoted state-sanctioned torture. Un-Welcoming Committee event page is http://www.facebook.com/events/329629033769092/

Calendar for Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3 pm-4 pm Icarus Project WG Support Group, at the Gazebo at the Common

5pm- 7pm The Boston Occupier WG Meeting at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave., 5th Floor, Boston

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

Please note! Meetings and their locations are subject to change. We encourage you to check the Occupy Boston Calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Volunteer Opportunities/Announcements:

1) Issue 7 of the Boston Occupier is out now, and we need your help distributing!!

We rely exclusively on YOU, the broader Occupy community, to get our papers out there to the 99%. So…

** We would love for you to join one of our planned outreach/distribution efforts on the T.

** ANYTIME you’re going to a progressive or Occupy-related event, try to pass out papers. These are the most effective occasions to connect sympathetic readers to our paper. Copies of the issue are stored in the OB cubicle at E5, so PLEASE remember to grab a stack.

** Get them to readers in your community. We recommend small stacks in small stacks in cafes, libraries, bookshops, laundry mats, community centers, waiting rooms, campuses, etc. Be creative!! But we’ve found that the BEST way to get papers to readers is to hand them out face to face, combining outreach and distribution.

** If you are a part of another local-area Occupy movement, a union, or a community organization that is willing to distribute papers — let’s make it happen! You can just come by E5 (between 9 am and 7 pm most days) and grab a stack, or coordinate with us if you’re not able to do so. Send questions or suggestions about distribution to Julie O (juliettejulianna@gmail.com).

** We’re also trying to raise funds so that we can continue printing the stories of the 99%! To that end, we’ve started a subscription service. Read about it online here. I hope you’ll encourage those you know to subscribe to the paper as well!!

As always, we welcome questions, suggestions, and distribution ideas — send to juliettejulianna@gmail.com. We’ve printed a gorgeous May 1st poster on the back of this issue, so we’re hoping to get all 10,000 copies out in the next week and a half, to promote the General Strike. Papers to the people!!

2) Occupy Boston seeks RADICAL CLOWNS to participate in the May Day rally at City Hall Plaza at 12:00 noon. Will you be a radical clown? contact617strike@gmail.com. Occupy Boston is looking for the following supplies to be donated or loaned for May Day actions. Please send an email to 617strike@gmail.com if you are able to provide any of these items in the next week or so.

microphones

guitar amps

electrical inverters (for 12V to 110/120VAC) (cigarette lighter plug)

blank T shirts

white fabric

black fabric

neon colored fabric

spring clamps

duct tape

black paint

white paint

glow-in-the-dark paint

sharpies/markers

clamp lights

face paint

glitter

neon posterboard

blacklight bulbs (standard light bulb size)

red light bulbs (standard light bulb size)

portable lights with power source/battery pack

Beer coolers (for dry ice)

Brass bell (should ring pretty loud)

3) GA locations:

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.

Amendments:

  • 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.

For a partial listing of Working Groups looking for volunteers, please click here! For a list of Working Groups with contact info, click here! 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! For contact info for other Occupies in the area, 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.


Foreclosure Defense Group Update: April 24, 2012

We focus on the Fruitvale GA Clearinghouse – FDG participation Mayday March Text alert system in effect More news 1. WE FOCUS ON THE FRUITVALE: The Fruitvale is the neighborhood of Mr. Richard Harris, the homeowner we are currently aiding in his foreclosure fight ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTYyTuswv7Q&feature=youtu.be) and it is a neighborhood being massively hit by foreclosures in Oakland. We have been fielding calls from homeowners under attack but not in any meaningful number – especially in comparison to the scale of the displacement occurring. It is going to take intensive, … Continued

The OB Media Rundown for 4/25/12

Occupy Boston protesters’ aims smaller, more specific

Occupy Boston’s next large move will not involve physical occupation, protesters from the group said. Rather than convening and demonstrating as a large group, the Occupy movement in Boston now tends to consist of smaller, more diversified groups, said Jay Kelly, an Occupy Boston protester who has been involved with the movement since the first General Assembly.

Members tend to work with the groups they feel the most passionate about, he said.

“It really shows what Occupy represents – it’s very horizontal,” he said. “There’s not one person calling the shots. You can go out and do action because you feel good about it and because you’re passionate about it. It isn’t one person saying, ‘Let’s all go here.’”

http://tinyurl.com/7xvgrw9

Manhattan judge denies motion to stop Twitter subpoena

A Manhattan judge has rejected the plea of an Occupy Wall Street protester seeking to prevent authorities from checking old posts on his Twitter account, as well as personal data.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. said prosecutors had a legitimate right to ask for access to public tweets made by Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester, accused of causing traffic disturbances on the Brooklyn Bridge during a protest last October. Harris, along with other OWS activists who took part in the protest, has been claiming that they could not hear police warnings or that they thought the police were leading them onto the road. But prosecutors seek to dispel those claims by using Harris’ own tweets made in at the time as evidence against him and other demonstrators.
. . .

The authorities are increasingly using social media as evidence to build cases. A number of other Occupy activists have said their Twitter accounts have been subpoenaed. The issue has also been raised in Boston, where the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts unsuccessfully tried to block a prosecutors’ subpoena sent to Twitter on a user linked to Occupy Boston.

http://tinyurl.com/7laym3q

High-schoolers on strike

In a short video released last week, a group of students from New York’s Paul Robeson High School stand in an unremarkable classroom: school bags slung over wooden chairs and busy pinboards in the background. Their message, however, is a radical one: at front and center of the shot, a young man holding a white sheet of paper announces a mass high school student walkout on May 1, the day of the Occupy-planned general strike.
. . .

It would be easy to dismiss high-schoolers’ plans to participate in May Day actions – which included calls for “No School” alongside those of “No Work” – as an excuse to skip class. But the video from Paul Robeson High shows a politically aware and angry student body, which is keenly drawing connections between educational policy and broader political issues – most notably the production of racist systems. Their announcement connects the criminalization of schoolchildren to the institutionalized racism displayed in the case of Trayvon Martin’s killing.

“We believe that trying to control our schools is just another symptom of the blatant racism in our country similar to the government’s response to the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin,” the young man reads from the walkout announcement, while symbolically pulling up his hood over his head, referencing the hoodie marches in response to Martin’s murder.

http://tinyurl.com/6t5mhvc


Occupy, the 99% Spring, and the New Age of Direct Action

Over the past several weeks, a broad coalition of progressive organizations-including National People’s Action (NPA), ColorOfChange, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), MoveOn.org, the New Bottom Line, environmental groups like Greenpeace and 350.org, and major unions such as SEIU and the United Auto Workers-has undertaken a far-reaching effort to train tens of thousands of people in nonviolent direct action. They have called the campaign the 99% Spring.

Starting this week, many of these same groups will be rallying their members and supporters to use newly honed skills to confront the shareholder meetings of corporations across the United States-charging executives with abusing workers, the environment, and communities in pursuit of profits for the 1 percent. They are calling the drive 99% Power. With prominent actions gearing up this week-starting with major protests at Wells Fargo meetings in San Francisco-the campaign may soon be coming to a city near you.

Although this month’s 99% Spring trainings have taken place in the shadow of the Occupy movement, the coalition building behind them actually predated the emergence of Occupy Wall Street. Last summer, a handful of organizers from groups such as Jobs with Justice, NPA, and NDWA had discussions in which they lamented the lack of direct action in recent years. As NPA Executive Director George Goehl explains, “We felt what was missing in terms of organizing and in terms of the broader fight was that there wasn’t enough energy pointed towards challenging corporate power: That’s not going to government and saying, ‘Reign these guys in,’ but actually going toe-to-toe with big corporations.”

http://tinyurl.com/7232uc2

Occupy v. Whole Foods? Activists Take Over Land Slated for Development and Start a Farm

Invoking the spirit of international peasant farmer movements La Via Campesina and Brazil’s Movimento Sem Terra, hundreds of people entered a five-acre plot of land at the Berkeley/Albany border on Sunday April 22, in one of this spring’s first high-profile actions of the Occupy movement. Their goal? To farm the land and share the food with the local community.

http://tinyurl.com/77ktgoj

Occupy AIDS: ACT UP Celebrates 25 Years by Marching On Wall Street

Today, 25 years after a group of desperate people banded together in the West Village to change history, Americans of any persuasion, color or creed likely have a fresh understanding of what it means, what it feels like, to be pushed too far. And once again, we are facing a perfect storm — of injustice, of casual cruelty, of a school of thought that holds that there are people who don’t matter. Today, we call them the 99 percent. Needless to say, there are dead bodies; there always are. To cynically paraphrase Matthew 26:11, the poor will always be with us — as, seemingly, will be those who exploit them.

http://tinyurl.com/896cn6q

1TDay: US Student Debt Hits $1trillion Occupy Actions Planned In NYC And Nationwide

Demonstrations and creative protests are set for campuses and communities around the country on April 25th to mark One Trillion Dollar Day (1TDay), the day U.S. student debt reaches $1Trillion. These coordinated actions will draw attention to Wall Street’s predatory student loan market, as well as the corrupt lending practices at educational institutions. 1TDay will spotlight the long-term financial and social effects of students and families with insurmountable student debt.

Solidarity actions are planned for at least a dozen cities, from Sallie Mae National Headquarters in Newark, Delaware and all of its regional offices. Demonstrators will engage in coordinated non-violent civil disobedience. Some actions include burning loan cards. Actions in NYC with Occupy Wall Street and a coalition of student and community groups, will include mock celebrations with Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, the Plus Brigades and Billionaires for Debt.

http://tinyurl.com/7djvjzf

As US Student Debt Hits $1 Trillion, OWS Protests Planned

Occupy Wall Street says demonstrations and creative protests are set for campuses and communities around the country on April 25th to mark One Trillion Dollar Day (1TDay), the day U.S. student debt reaches $1 Trillion.

“These coordinated actions will draw attention to Wall Street’s predatory student loan market, as well as the corrupt lending practices at educational institutions. 1TDay will spotlight the long-term financial and social effects of students and families with insurmountable student debt,” the group said in a statement.

http://tinyurl.com/cb99smv

Responding to some objections to Occupy May 1st

As the call has spread around and become something inseparable from Occupy as a movement, there have been a number of objections or concerns about a May 1st general strike. Some of them even come from people in the IWW or those in the radical left who we would presume would be on board. Here is my attempt to quickly address some of the most common ones.

http://tinyurl.com/cs9hc2a

In New York, activists plan mass strike for May 1st Workers’ Day

(radio)

On May 1st, people all over the world will mark International Workers Day with events and actions related to social justice and workers rights. In New York City, labor unions, immigrant and community-based organizations, and protesters from Occupy Wall Street have come together to coordinate a mass strike and cultural events. It’s the result of a long-term campaign. FSRN’s Caroline Lewis has been following the efforts and reports from New York.

http://tinyurl.com/bqpuh85

Mass sick day encouraged for May 1 [Canada]

Two Toronto groups are exhorting Canadian workers to call in sick en masse next Tuesday, on May Day, as a protest against “the attacks of the one per cent.”

Members of the groups wearing yellow smiley-face masks unfurled a nine-metre-wide banner Tuesday morning from a bridge over Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, telling motorists that next Tuesday, observed in dozens of countries as a workers’ holiday, is “a good day to be sick.”

http://tinyurl.com/cpvk7yq

Hidden America: Medicaid’s Youngest Face Dental Crisis

With more than 16 million low-income U.S. children on Medicaid not receiving dental care — or even a routine exam — in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States, dentists and ERs say they are treating very young patients with teeth blackened from decay and bacteria and multiple cavities.

“I see it in their eyes before they tell me it’s that way,” Dr. Gregory Folse told ABC News. “We are able to intervene and take the pain away from their teeth and it brings the spark back. And that’s my goal.”

In 2007, Congress held a hearing on the issue of children’s dental health after Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Maryland boy, died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. His mother, Alyce Driver, had been unable to find a dentist to treat him on Medicaid and could not afford to pay out of pocket.

http://tinyurl.com/cgssqrh

Economist: Maybe no housing rebound for a generation

The Housing market is likely to remain weak and may take a generation or more to rebound, Yale economics professor Robert Shiller told Reuters Insider on Tuesday.

Shiller, the co-creator of the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, said a weak labor market, high gas prices and a general sense of unease among consumers was outweighing low mortgage rates and would likely keep a lid on prices for the foreseeable future.

“I worry that we might not see a really major turnaround in our lifetimes,” Shiller said.

http://tinyurl.com/6rejqs2

Mainstream media jump on skewed idea that Social Security is going bankrupt

The headlines and stories that follow create the illusion that Social Security is fast going broke, even though it is fully funded for another two decades and could pay 75 percent of its benefits thereafter (imagine the shock the media would display, meanwhile, if transportation, food stamps, or other programs had two decades of guaranteed funding).

“The elite press repeatedly quotes the commentary of the devoted opponents of social insurance retirement programs,” Yale professor emeritus Theodore Marmor told CJR. “But they appear unaware of how they are supporting a strategic attack on social insurance that has been going on for years.”

http://tinyurl.com/cadbvve

Occupy the shareholder meetings!

Even though their tents were cleared out of the parks this winter, the Occupy spirit has re-emerged with a vengeance this spring.

Across the country, and in some pockets overseas, there’s been growing pushback against excessive CEO pay, lending practices, and other major executive decisions at big banks’ annual shareholders meetings. Investors have spearheaded a lot of the revolt, alongside the anti-bank populists who’ve supported them.

Much of the major action is happening from the inside. UK fund manager Hermes–which represents a group of pensions and other investment funds–has launched a protest against Deutsche Bank’s executive compensation policies, lobbying other shareholders in the German bank to reject a resolution approving the board’s performance, the Financial Times reports.

http://tinyurl.com/6m9qbzu

2 dozen arrested at Wells Fargo meeting, protest

Authorities have arrested about two dozen people who demonstrated inside and outside Wells Fargo’s annual shareholders meeting.

San Francisco police Sgt. Mike Andraychak says police arrested 20 protesters. At least 14 of them were inside the meeting in the city’s financial district Tuesday afternoon. Six others were arrested for trespassing. Andraychak said the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department arrested another four people.

The bank protest drew several hundred protesters, many associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

http://tinyurl.com/c2wek9y

Wells Fargo Turns Away Its Own Shareholders From Its Shareholder Meeting

At around noon today, some 2,000 activists launched a blitzkrieg against the bank’s annual shareholder meeting at the Merchants Exchange Building, where they blocked entrances, inflated a two-story cigar-smoking rat in the street, and deployed hundreds of shareholder activists to pack the joint.

Citing space constraints, the bank turned away many of the shareholders, a move protesters quickly decried as an illegal attempt to dodge tough questions. A press release from the activist group Cal Organize claimed Wells Fargo packed the meeting with its own employees, and continued to let shareholders who were not part of the protest in through a side door.

http://tinyurl.com/d3rk7pr

SF police monitor Wells Fargo shareholder meeting

Police were guarding the entrance to the annual meeting of Wells Fargo shareholders on Tuesday as protesters associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement geared up to crash the gathering.

Dozens of officers were stationed around the Merchant’s Exchange Building in the city’s Financial District in advance of the 1 p.m. meeting. Bank stockholders were asked to show certificates or other proof of ownership before being corralled past gates erected in front of the doors.

Many of the early arrivals represented community groups from across the country that purchased Wells Fargo stock so they would have a say in the bank’s practices.

http://tinyurl.com/cxykjv7

GE Shareholders’ Meeting Expected to Draw Thousands of Protesters

Protestors gathered at Cobo Hall Tuesday morning to send a message to General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, disrupting his speech at the SAE Conference to demand GE pay up.

“They owe over $26-billion in back taxes that they need to pay up and pay their fair share,” said Shyquetta McElroy.

http://tinyurl.com/c7kko6y

Rally For Mumia Abu Jamal Gathers At The Department of Justice in Washington

Approximately 100 gathered outside of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC today (Apr. 24) to recognize the born day of Mumia Abu Jamal and, as Angela Davis said, “to breathe life into the old Labor slogan, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all.’” Hip-hop and reggae blasted from the speakers on the makeshift stage as leaders of various organizations decried mass incarceration; the death penalty, solitary confinement and torture; and immigrant detainment. Immigrants, Davis noted on a video posted to the Occupy Wall St. site, are the fastest growing group of prisoners in the U.S. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Chants of “We are the 99 percent!” rose from the crowd signifying the continued “Occupy” movement for the elimination of corruption from the democratic process.

Demands included a release of Mumia Abu Jamal and the creation of jobs and public schools rather than jails.

http://tinyurl.com/bw2ztzc

10 Arrested Outside Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic [Il]

Chicago police arrested 10 people camped out on a vacant lot outside the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic to protest the shuttering of several city clinics.

Those arrested were members of the Mental Health Movement, who have emulated the nationwide “Occupy” protests, and set up a tent city in the lot across from the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic, 6337 S. Woodlawn Ave.

As demonstrators chanted “Shame on Rahm,” officers used plastic flex cuffs to bind the wrists of the demonstrators before loading them into a squadrol parked in front of the clinic.

http://tinyurl.com/chm6z2d

Europe Begins to Wonder About Austerity: Are We Doing This Wrong?

Could it be that Europe’s financial and political elites are finally coming to a “d’oh!” moment, when an unbroken string of policy failures and the simple logic of “depression plus austerity = worse depression” finally begin to get through?

Half a dozen Euro nations are now officially in recessions, others nearly so, having accepted a common view that sustained austerity would breed confidence fairies that lead to growth and jobs. Instead, they’ve seen minimal or negative growth over the last two quarters, while their populations are facing depression level unemployment and impoverishment that show few signs of improving. Few theories have ever been so thoroughly tested and so thoroughly failed.

http://tinyurl.com/6osf683

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Schedules for May Day – Day of Action!

This year On May 1st, Occupy Toronto is partnering with our allies No One is Illegal Toronto and the May First Movement to organize a massive Day of Action for May Day.

Inspired by 126 years of workers’ struggles, the Arab Spring, the Indignados of Spain, the global fights against austerity, and the international Occupy movement, we take to the streets again!

On International Workers Day, join us and our allies for a day of action to respect Indigenous sovereignty, insist that no one is illegal, for international workers solidarity, to defend and expand public services, to stop prison expansion and corporate handouts, to end imperialist wars and aggression, to build peoples’ power, and to move beyond capitalism.

We are the 99% and we are under attack!

They are few, we are many. Join us and fight back!

This May Day, we are asking all workers to call in sick as an act of solidarity. The media has picked up our call:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/04/24/may-day-countrywide-sick-day-urged.html

Then, we are planning a series of actions throughout the day. including a large rally and march starting at Nathan Phillips Square at 4:00pm and finally a 24 hour reoccupation starting at 9:00pm at Alexandra Park, and moving to the secret reoccupation site. We ask that you join us for as many of these actions as you can participate in!

Schedule for the Day:

All Morning: Sick Day, Autonomous, non violent, Direct Actions across the city (or just go to the park and enjoy the day.)

2:00pm – Occupy Gardens Guerrilla Gardening and Potluck, Queen’s Park (south side.)

4:00pm – Rally at Nathan Phillips Square, then March to Alexandra Park.

6:00pm – Cultural Festival at Alexandra Park. Music, Food, etc…

9:00pm – Gather at Alexandra Park and march to secret reoccupation site!

Rally and March:

Occupy Toronto, the May 1st Movement and No One is Illegal Toronto, as well as dozens of community organizations are combining for a single large Toronto-wide May Day March. We ask all allied groups and organizations to mobilize your membership and to attend this march!

We gather at Nathan Phillips Square for 4:00pm for a rally and then march to Alexandra Park for a Cultural Festival at the park.

Festival includes musical performances by various groups, and is primarily organized by OPIRG.

Reoccupation:

The Occupy Toronto Cloud Gardens General Assembly has organized a 24 hour reoccupation following the cultural festival at Alexandra park. Our goal is to keep the occupation short, strategic, and highly political rather then just camping through the season. This is only the first of a series of occupations planned to take place this spring and summer.

Please gather at Alexandra Park at 9:00pm and be ready to march to the secret occupation site.

Once again, we ask all allied groups and organizations to support this action. Encourage your membership to come occupy with us, donate food, blankets, tents, and other supplies to our logistics team (e-mail octologistics@gmail.com) and please be ready to mobilize everyone you know to come to the site and support us if you hear that we are being attacked.

We cannot do this without your support. We are all the 99%.

Reoccupation Schedule:

MAY 1st:

11pm – Sunrise: Film Screenings (with separate area for sleeping)

MAY 2nd:

6:30am – 7:00pm Meditation
7:00am – 7:00pm Yoga
8:00am – 10:00am: Breakfast, Art build, Free School Workshops
10:00am – 1:00pm: Protest the Barrick Gold Annual General Meeting @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front street)
1:00pm – 5:00pm: Free School Workshops
5:00pm – 7:00pm: General Assembly
7:00pm – 9:00pm: Clean up