This Saturday: Understanding Wall St. Banking & How Occupy Can Do Better for the 99%

Join Occupy Boston for a very special GA:

Understanding Wall Street Banking & How OCCUPY Can Do Better for the 99%

Saturday, May 12th, 5-6:30 pm, Occupy Boston General Assembly
Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, Boston

The Occupy movement has been instrumental in exposing the financial system’s complete control of the global economy for the profit of the few. The purpose of OB Bank Working group’s presentation is to develop a common knowledge base about the financial sector and to stimulate ideas and actions for creating financial institutions committed to the public good.

Confirmed speakers:

Jim Campen is a professor emeritus of economics at the UMass-Boston. He served from 2007 to 2009 as executive director of Americans for Fairness in Lending, which “exists to raise awareness of abusive credit and lending practices and to promote re-regulation of the industry.”

Fred Moseley
graduated from Stanford and has been teaching economics at Mt Holyoke College since 1989. He has taught Political Economy, US Economic History, Marxism and written and published numerous papers including analyses of US economic conditions.

Both speakers are important contributors to Dollars and Sense, a Boston based democratic and non-hierarchical collective of radical economics graduate students and faculty founded in 1974. Dollars and Sense publishes a blog, books and a periodical devoted to ‘real world economics’.

Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-8-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Stories of the Day: The growing number of “ag gag” bills being passed state by state actually stem from “model legislation” prepared by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These bills make it illegal for undercover investigators, concerned citizens, journalists, or anyone with a camera to capture “behind the scenes” footage of factory farms. Invested corporations are concerned that if Americans could see exactly where their food comes from and the horrors from within, we wouldn’t purchase from those companies anymore. For more, see ALEC’s Influence Over U.S. Food Policy. And ALEC has been under fire lately after the 15 major corporations and organizations pulled their support for the conservative organization, which helps quietly implement corporate-backed legislation in statehouses across the country. Now, the watchdog advocacy group group Common Cause has released a complete list of corporations on ALEC’s task forces. See a 5-minute video, ALEC Explained, for easy–to-understand information on ALEC. To see the trailer for a film project on GMOs, click here: http://www.gmofilm.com. And even before the hospital bills started coming, Lori Duff and her family were living paycheck to paycheck. So when the debt collector called and demanded $1,800 for the prenatal visits she’d had while pregnant with her third son, she panicked. The collector said the local Catholic hospital Duff had gone to could garnish 25 percent of each of her paychecks to pay off the bill. She offered to make a $20 payment—all she could afford at the time—but the collector told her the minimum was $400 down. “I was like, ‘I don’t have that. You can have everything in my account right now. It’s $1.25,’” Duff recalls. Duff was likely eligible for free care under the Mount Carmel Health System’s financial assistance policy, which offers medical care at no charge for patients earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. But the debt collector kept calling and soon informed her that the hospital was planning to sue her for the money. For more, see Sued Over An $1,800 Hospital Bill. And in positive news: Grameen Bank in Bangladesh does what most conventional banks fail to do: provide credit to the poorest people without any collateral. The underlying vision of Muhammed Yunus – founder, managing director, and Nobel laureate – is to lend to people based on their potential, rather than material possessions. For a short video, see Grameen Bank Lifts its Borrowers Out of Poverty. And check out the trailer for the film project American Autumn: An Occudoc.

Other Occupies/Protests: From W0men Occupying Wall Street (WOW): May 17, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Washington Square Park, New York City: Women Occupying Wall Street (WOW) invites people and organizations of all gender identities to the first Feminist General Assembly! Together, let’s stand for justice and disarm the war on women. It’s time to rise up! Misogyny is flagrant in our patriarchal society, not only from the politicians, but even from our comrades. It’s time for us to join, support, and empower each other by amplifying all our voices. This will be the beginning of what we hope will become an ongoing discussion throughout the nation and worldwide. Through this assembly we will create a public space for collaborating to address patriarchy, violence, and hierarchical structures that harm everyone. In the spirit of cooperation and transparency of Occupy Wall Street, we have been meeting, and continue to do so once a week, on various days of the week, and at various locations, to openly plan the event, and make participation in planning accessible to as many as possible.

Please RSVP to us at wowsnyc@gmail.com to let us know if you’d also like to take part in planning with us. And of course, feel free to please pass this along!

Find us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/WOWSNYC
http://www.facebook.com/events/175078435948082/?ref=ts

Follow us on Twitter: @wowsnyc

On Tumblr:
http://wowsnyc.tumblr.com/

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” Gloria Steinem

Upcoming Events:
  • AMEND! – a MassOccupy/Brookline public forum the national movement to amend, what the amendment should contain, and how to bring it about. Wednesday, May 9, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Selectmen’s Hearing Room, 6th floor, Brookline Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, Brookline, MA. Take Green line D Train to Brookline Village, you have about 3 blocks to walk.Featured speakers will be two of the nation’s foremost spokespeople for the movement:• LAWRENCE LESSIG, Harvard Law School professor, author of “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It” and arguably the nation’s leading academic campaigner to end the corrupting influence of money in politics.• JOHN BONIFAZ, leader of the successful 1998 campaign for Clean Elections in Massachusetts and numerous other voting rights struggles in the US during the past two decades, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People, a lawyer highly experienced in conducting public campaigns, and a compelling speaker. Contact:Frank Farlow frank.farlow@verizon.net 617-232-9654David Klafter dbklafter@gmail.com 617-734-2593Bruce Wolff, balobo@verizon.net, 617-232-8215

  • May 9, 4pm-6pm, Community Picket to Support Janitors. What’s disgusting? Union busting! Where: We will meet at the corner of St. James Ave. & Dartmouth and will head over together to 31 St. James to picket. Why: Come out and support union janitors who face layoffs this Friday May 11because they are being replaced by another contract company that plans on using non-union labor. This is a typical tactic used by bosses to fire union workers to be replaced by workers who will have to labor under deteriorated working conditions, less pay, and little to no benefits. We want to make it clear to Capital Properties (the owner/s of the Park Square building at 31 St. James Ave.) that union busting will not be tolerated in Boston.Article about May 1st, 2012 picket: http://siglo21.com/massachusetts/conserjes-exigen-prosperidad-renovada/. Info post by the SEIU: http://www.seiu615.org/2012/05/03/may-day-international-workers-day-coverage/. Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/116331365165236
  • The Bank Working Group will host: Understanding Wall Street Banking & How OCCUPY Can Do Better for the 99%

    Saturday, May 12th, 5-6:30 pm, Occupy Boston-General Assembly, Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, Boston. Speakers include: Professor Fred Moseley, Mt. Holyoke and Professor Jim Campen, (ret.) UMass-Boston

    Developing a common knowledge base and steps for transparent financial institutions committed to the public good

  • 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…) Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/330778876980716/

    This is, a non-violent protest, but just be aware the Worcester PD has a reputation of conducting political related intimidation tactics and may be tempted to arrest people as a result the second they perceive people step out of line. Occupy New England has answered the call of the global day of action by various groups in Spain, the anniversary of last year’s 15M protests in that country. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011%E2%80%932012_Spanish_protests or http://www.may12.net

    Preliminary timeline of events: (Please note times/actions are subject to change.)

    9 am: Begin gathering at Worcester Common

    10 am: Second New England Solidarity March. We will take to the streets (or sidewalks, since we don’t have permits) and join our comrades around the world in protest against corrupt government, corrupt banks, austerity measures, and other related issues of the Indignants. March will include protests outside various bank branches (notably Sovereign/Santander and Bank of America) with corrupt and greed driven leadership. Any CD will be considered autonomous actions, or the result of Worcester PD intimidation and hostilities.

    Midday: Occupy New England gathering. Come meet your fellow Occupiers from around the region, plan out regional strategies, discuss what your local Occupy group has done and has planned coming up. Some food will be provided for lunch, it is also encouraged those who can please assist Worcester Food Not Bombs with the lunch efforts.

    1 pm: Occupy Worcester’s Women and Queer Caucus presents: Women’s Health Matters! Held at the YWCA of Central Mass. (a block from the Common down Franklin St.), Workshops include: Men as Allies, Supported Pregnancy and Empowered Birth, Healthy Families, Slut Shaming, Women over 50, and Lies and Truths about Abortion. Bring your knitting supplies and come learn about the Snatchel Project.

    Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/333705343363009/

    The regional gathering and the Women’s Health Matters events will likely run concurrently, at least for parts of the early afternoon.

    Late afternoon: Neighborhood cleanup around the Common and Downtown Worcester (if enough interest).

    If anyone is interested in providing musical entertainment for the march and other parts of the day, please reply to Occupy New England or Occupy Worcester on Facebook.

  • May 13, 12pm-2pm, Cape Exit of the Sagamore Bridge. No Escape from the Cape: Cape Codders will mobilize to call attention to the serious dangers of the continued operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Reactor in Plymouth and the fact that the Cape Cod bridges will be closed in the event of a radiological accident. The Emergency Planning Zone plans call for both Cape bridges to be closed (with one lane open only to emergency vehicles only). There is no escape from the Cape and the population will be at great risk. In Japan, the NRC recommended evacuation within 50 miles of Fukushima. Cape Cod is 12 miles from the Pilgrim reactor. We call upon the NRC to deny the re-licensing of the reactor and for Entergy Corporation to put people before profits and close down the Pilgrim reactor.
  • Restoring the Dream of Democracy – Reversing Citizens United. A forum with State Senator Jamie Eldridge and attorney Jeffrey Clements. Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Foster Street Arlington. May 14, 6:30 – 8:30pm. Sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America and co-sponsored by Occupy Arlington. This will be an education session talking about what people can do from a grassroots perspective.
  • Understanding Wall Street Banking & How OCCUPY Can Do Better for the 99%Saturday, May 12th, 5-6:30 pm, at the beginning of the Occupy Boston General AssemblyCommunity Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, BostonAlready on board: Professor Fred Moseley, Mt. HolyokeProfessor Jim Campen, (ret.)UMA-BostonDeveloping a common knowledge base and steps for transparent financial institutions committed to the public good
  • Nonviolence WG will be meeting on May 15 4-5:30 and May 30 3-4:30 at the Clear Conscience Cafe, Central Square, Cambridge. Agenda items include follow-up on support to opposition to the potential BU biolab for level 3/4 hazardous substances; planning for 2 upcoming trainings: one in conjunction with other local community organizations and one for trainers. Contact: Linda Jenkins, Linda Jenkins, lindajenkins177@yahoo.com.
  • 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 Scott. What: 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 5 8 12
  • Please join the “Decolonize to Liberate” Working Group of Occupy Boston for a special screening and discussion of a newly-released groundbreaking film, “2012: La Palabra Maya (the Mayan Word).” Hear the voices of the Mayan people as they share their perspectives on the prophecies of their ancestors and their fight to defend Mother Earth and their culture from destruction.Friday, May 18th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    First Parish (UU) Church in Harvard Sq.
    3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
    As with all Decolonize/Occupy events, this is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!“2012: The Mayan Word” is both a message of hope and a call to action. Featuring testimonies from contemporary Mayans throughout Mesoamerica, from spiritual guides to activists, community leaders, farmers, artists, teachers, and children, this film is an extraordinary journey into the heart of Mayan struggle and spirituality.Watch the Trailer, here http://youtu.be/11KdG4z5FuY
    You can also watch the entire film for free, here http://youtu.be/UwvpsVsawMgThe film (64 Minutes) will be followed by discussion with special guests, including Carlos Aceves (via Skype), author of “Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012” and other in-person guests To Be Announced. Attendees will also learn how they can join with Cambridge-based non-profit Cultural Survival (cs.org) to help legalize community radio in Guatemala. Organizers are performing outreach to invite members from local Mayan and Mexican/Guatemalan communities, and are planning to arrange for adequate translation. If you can help with either of these efforts, please contact decolonizeboston@gmail.com.
  • Shut Down Pilgrim Now! May 20, 1pm-2pm. Groups of concerned citizens from across New England will gather in Plymouth to demand that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Reactor 40 year license expire. The General Electric Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor is the same design that failed in Japan. Loss of electricity was an activating factor and, according to NRC officials, could happen here. The nuclear waste spent fuel pool was designed to hold 880 highly radioactive rods and currently holds 3,270. The aging reactor is susceptible to embrittlement with inherent problems. The terrible disaster of Fukushima has mobilized citizens to come out in the streets to demand the shut down of Pilgrim. We will march to Entergy Co. and deliver a citizen’s petition to cease and desist putting our lives and our beautiful environment at risk and call for the shut down of Pilgrim now.
  • Sponsored by the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series: Book launch for Truth and Revolution by Michael Staudenmaier. May 22 at 6 pm at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, Boston. Michael Staudenmaier speaks on the Sojourner Truth Organization/STO. STO was Founded in Chicago in 1969 from the rubble of the recently crumbled SDS, the Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) brought working-class consciousness to the forefront of New Left discourse, sending radicals back into the factories and thinking through the integration of radical politics into everyday realities. Through the influence of founding members like Noel Ignatiev and Don Hamerquist, STO took a Marxist approach to the question of race and revolution, exploring the notion of “white skin privilege,” and helping to lay the groundwork for the discipline of critical race studies. Michael Staudenmaier is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Illinois.

Calendar for Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1pm – 2pm Occupy Harvard Think Tank, Dudley House Cafe (no ID required), Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Cafeteria entrance is at the TOP of the stairs.

3pm – 4pm Signs WG Meeting, Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Avenue, 5th Flo0r, Boston
5pm – 6:45pm, Facilitation WG Meeting, City Place Food Court in the Transportation Building, Boylston, Charles and Stuart Streets
7pm – 10:30pm, General Assembly, Boston Common – Soldiers and Sailors Monument Hill, the hill southeast of Soldiers and Sailors Monument, facing the Bandstand. Here’s a link to a Google map showing how to walk there from Park Street T. http://g.co/maps/tj4kr
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. There are events scheduled all day for the May 1 General Strike and regularly scheduled events may not be held.

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, laundr0mats, 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.

2) Needed: Volunteers who might be available with to help with technical expertise and equipment in the next two weeks for Occupy participants without computer access or computer skills. Project: an upcoming exhibition of photos and short videos of Occupy Boston to be held in Freiburg, Germany. This will be the first Occupy documentation project to be shown in Europe. Please email Bonnie Woods, woods_bonnie@hotmail.com if you are available.

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:

  • 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.

To join the Occupy Boston Community Forum email list, a general discussion list, click here! 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. To view past issues of The Daily Digest, click here. And subscribe to the Occupy Boston Media Rundown, a daily listing of Occupy-related news, by contacting JohnM@OccupyBoston.org.

The People vs. Sheriff Thomas Brown

Occupy Atlanta and community allies organized a rally outside of Sheriff Thomas Brown’s office at 4415 Memorial Drive today. Over 100 people showed up with signs and carrying some of the wreckage that Sheriff Brown and his officers left in Chris Frazer’s lawn less than a week ago. The furniture was placed in front of the entrance to the Sheriff’s department with the idea of bringing the housing crisis right to their doorstep. The Sheriff’s office locked the door and refused to respond to community concerns. Chris Frazer, Carmen Pittman, and Pastor Dexter Johnson all spoke to the crowd outside demanding that Sheriff Brown apologize and let Chris Frazer back in her home. After the demonstration, Dekalb deputies pulled over one of the lead organizers for no reason, threatened anyone who attempted to film the scene, impounded the vehicle, and cuffed an activist that refused to stop recording the officers as they obstructed the law. Later that activist was taken to Grady hospital for injuries and released from custody.

Chris’ house was foreclosed on fraudulently by Investors One Corporation in October 2011, and she currently has a case in federal court disputing the foreclosure. In March, activists with Occupy Atlanta set up camp on her lawn and committed to stay to defend Chris’ home from eviction. That all changed last week when 50 officers stormed her house at 3 AM, and put Chris, her 85 year old mother, and 3 year old grandson out on the street, ignoring the federal court order that was supposed to protect her. No matter how Sheriff Thomas Brown tries to spin it, the actions taken by him and his deputies was just plain wrong. Dekalb County deserves better.

Please call Sheriff Thomas Brown’s office and demand that he let Chris Frazer return to her home.

(404) 298-8145

Click here to learn more about Chris Frazer’s story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BvY6_hpxlE&feature=player_embedded

Following the eviction, expenses are adding up, as Chris and her family try to find a place to live, and store their belongings in the meantime. Please donate in anyway you can.

https://www.wepay.com/x2tg0qn/donations/193827

Re-Imagine the General Assembly Survey

In preparation for re-imagining the General Assembly, we’d like to hear your thoughts about the GA. Please take a couple minutes and tell us what you think in our survey: English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8YDSBC2 Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8FBFRGT Much feedback has been received about the Occupy Oakland General Assembly over the months. Some people find that the General Assembly works well as an effective decision-making process and as a community forum. Others feel that it is not serving the needs of everyone who may want to participate. We acknowledge that some have felt injured … Continued

The OB Media Rundown for 5/8/12

Will Occupy Create Another World or Another Left?

Occupy has inspired this generation because it unites through creation. It has tasked itself with enacting a world with radically just social relations and decision-making processes as well as a fair way to distribute resources and labor.

However, the creation of a novel enterprise demands a critical prerequisite: humility.

As a young person, my natural reaction is to bristle whenever a veteran activist lectures me on social theory or labor history. Yes, your knowledge is valuable, but only if you intend to relinquish its authority in service of the creation of “another world.” Or else, Occupy risks breaking under the same contradictions of the New Left of the 1960s.

No one can be an authority on a world that does not yet exist. In a leaderless movement, ego, anger and personal priorities must be given up in service of collective needs.

http://tinyurl.com/cwwjpth

Providence homeless center sought by Occupy closes

The temporary homeless day center that opened as a condition of Occupy Providence’s departure from a downtown public park has closed, but an emergency overnight shelter in the same location has secured funding for two additional months of operation.

Michael Guilfoyle, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, tells The Associated Press the center it operated at Emmanuel House in south Providence closed April 28. He says it was always meant to be temporary.

But he adds that an anonymous donor contributed $20,000 that will allow the emergency winter shelter there to remain open until the end of June.

http://tinyurl.com/7ec8p8s

Occupy Movement Protesters Looking For A Place To Stay During NATO

Occupy Chicago activists are looking for help finding fellow demonstrators find a place to stay during the NATO summit, so they’re asking Chicagoans to let them occupy their houses, apartments, back yards, or churches.

Kyle, a housing staffer with Occupy Chicago, said the group is receiving notice from Occupy supporters around the nation who need a place to stay next week through the end of the Summit.

http://tinyurl.com/cnd9va4


The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time

This book wasn’t yet published when the Occupy Wall Street protests got under way, but The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time provides a solid foundation for that movement’s critique of the financiers who brought the global economy to the edge of collapse. William Tabb, professor emeritus of economics, political science, and sociology at the City University of New York, challenges those who claim that the 2008 meltdown was some kind of weird accident that could not have been anticipated. He sees the crisis as a logical consequence of policy shifts dating back to the early 1980s that prioritized the growth and profits of the nation’s financial industry.

Tabb’s book is intended to make the crisis understandable to readers without a strong background in economics. It isn’t an easy read like the latest Michael Lewis best seller, but those who persevere will be rewarded. Tabb draws heavily on the arguments of Hyman Minsky, a heterodox U.S. economist whose major works appeared in the 1970s and ’80s. Presciently, Minsky predicted that financial institutions would accumulate riskier and less stable portfolios with each economic expansion. He argued that strong government regulation – setting strict limits on both the quantity and quality of assets the banks acquired – was the only force that could offset this dynamic, and warned of disaster if the regulators were too timid.

Instead, American political leaders, starting with Ronald Reagan, chose to rebuild the U.S. economy around Wall Street’s financial engines. In the process, the financial-services industry acquired extraordinary political influence, which it retains today. It is thus unsurprising that the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform legislation is, in Tabb’s informed opinion, not strong enough to protect us from another Wall Street-created tsunami.

http://tinyurl.com/clqb88g

Occupy’s Lockout: Sotheby’s Struggle Enters Tenth Month

Sotheby’s New York auction house made international headlines last week, selling Edvard Much’s painting “The Scream” for a record $119.9 million. But few stories mentioned what was happening outside the auction: picketing by 150 artists, activists, and locked-out art handlers.

“Tonight, the irony persists,” said Sotheby’s worker Julian Tysh. “Sotheby’s is selling a copy of the scream – an artful interpretation of human anguish and suffering – and they’re going to profit tremendously tonight, while at the same time they continue to create anguish and suffering among their own workforce.”

Tysh and 41 of his co-workers have been locked out since August 1, a month before Occupy Wall Street first occupied Zuccotti Park. Among labor stuggles, the lockout has drawn some of the earliest, and longest-running, Occupy support. Occupy’s involvement has inspired workers, upped the pressure on Sotheby’s, and amplified media attention – though it hasn’t yet yielded a victory.

http://tinyurl.com/cf39nau

Occupation is Gill Tract’s last chance

Each morning for the last two weeks, I have risen with the sun, ready to get to work pulling weeds, tilling soil and planting seeds. Each night I have set up a tent and slept under the stars, reflecting on a long day of work. I am one of the many students, activists and locals who have taken back the Gill Tract, a public tract of farmland currently administered by the University of California that has been left underutilized for far too long. Before our project began, I had never planted a seed, but in the past two weeks, I have become a farmer.

Because the Gill Tract hosts some of the best agricultural soil left in the East Bay, Albany residents, farmers and local activists have contested use of the tract for the last 15 years, communicating directly with the university about their visions for a community-supported farm. For 15 years, their voices have fallen on deaf ears. Since taking over this land, the university has chopped up the original 104-acre plot and sold piece after piece out to be developed. Now, only 10 acres remain. That remaining plot has been transferred away from the College of Natural Resources and over to UC Berkeley Capital Projects, the branch of the university responsible for securing development plans. Five of the remaining acres are already fated to be paved over for a high-end senior complex and, ironically, a Whole Foods. While the university has offered to hold public sessions to get input from occupiers and community members about what to do with the remaining five acres, after 15 years of communicating through formal pathways and seeing none of our input implemented, we have no reason to doubt that without our resistance, the rest will soon be gone. This occupation is our last chance to effectively communicate with the university about the future of this land, and it should come as no surprise.

http://tinyurl.com/bmml6um

UC Davis sues bank over its decision to pull out of campus

In continuing fallout from the Occupy campus protests at UC Davis, the university has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Bank, alleging breach of contract.
The bank announced March 1 it was pulling out of its UCD campus contract, citing 30 days of disruption during student protests against the bank last January and February. During that period, the bank either did not open or closed its doors early.

http://tinyurl.com/chy5rcs

Treatment of Davis Dozen perverts justice

According to a press release from the Occupy UC Davis Anti-Repression Crew, on March 29, 11 students and a professor were mailed arrest notices from the Yolo County DA to appear in court on misdemeanor charges. The date of the arraignment is May 10.

Their crime? According to an article by Muna Sadek for the California Aggie, the “Davis Dozen” is facing up to 11 years in jail and up to a million dollars in damages for blocking the entrance to an on-campus branch of US Bank by sitting in front of the door, forcing it to shut down.
. . .

According to the press release, some of the students being charged were also involved in the pepper spray incident last November.

The release theorizes, “But whereas the District Attorney declined to file charges against protesters then, this less publicized prosecution seems to be an attempt to punish the dissenting students, perhaps in retaliation for their pending ACLU lawsuit against the university.”

http://tinyurl.com/d8qko83

Philly Police Union wants to oust retired officer for legally wearing uniform at an Occupy Wall Street rally

Lewis’ inexcusable offense? He wore his police uniform to the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park last year.

http://tinyurl.com/cf26u9s

Occupy DC Shift Their Focus To Local Foreclosures

On an early April morning outside 917 Maryland Avenue Northeast, an unusual confrontation unfolded. U.S. Marshals stood ready to evict Dawn Butler from the home she has rented for six years. Standing in their way was a crowd of ‘Occupiers’ holding up a large sign, “Eviction Free Zone.”
“I felt really good because I knew I had a group by my side,” Butler said in an interview with WMAL. While the group stood firm, Dawn was in Superior Court, where she won a stay of an eviction order.

“Dawn contacted Occupy Our Homes D.C.’s hotline. Her mother had found out about our group online and recommended us. We heard her story, looked at her documents, and saw how she was completely silenced. We collectively organized and took action,” said Rooj Alwazir, an Occupy organizer.

http://tinyurl.com/crhj22n

Day of Shame on Sonoma State University – In protest of former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill’s honorary degree

A recently organized coalition of Sonoma State faculty, students and local Occupy activists is calling for a public demonstration of outrage in response to the announcement that former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill will receive an honorary degree at SSU’s graduation ceremony this year. People all over the country are invited to the Sonoma State campus for a Day of Shame on Sonoma State University. The protest begins at noon on Saturday, May 12, and does not intend in any way to disrupt graduation proceedings. On the contrary, this is an urgent call to defend the integrity of the ceremony and denounce the unacceptable insult that Mr. Weill’s dishonorable doctorate degree represents.

Sanford (Sandy) Weill was the driving force in shattering the Glass-Steagall Act, which for decades had prohibited Wall Street investment firms from gambling with their depositors’ money. Its reversal opened the gates for the housing crisis in 2008, the plague of foreclosures devastating our communities and the economic recession that has stolen our children’s future. Mr. Weill thus enabled the merger that created Citigroup, a major player in the criminal banking practices thereby unleashed. Given his unquestioned responsibility in this, Time Magazine recently included Weill’s name in its list of the “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis.”

http://tinyurl.com/bord4sr

Texas A&M: Students bring national movements to University

A group of students, along with farmers, Occupy protestors and one Austin City Council candidate took to Academic Plaza March 19. Their drive was the protest of a corporate takeover of Texas A&M’s agriculture and food production, one of the nation’s largest collegiate research facilities of its kind.

After passing out fliers and info, the gathered protestors marched to Seminis Inc. headquarters in the Centeq building located on West Campus to bring to light some practices of the local vegetable seed company Monsanto Co. In particular, the group was concerned with its use of genetically modified organisms in food and agriculture products.

Brandishing a 100-page petition with more than 1,500 signatures, the group ordered a “cease and desist” to Monsanto, which listed their crimes including the use of genetic engineering, Roundup and Agent Orange.

http://tinyurl.com/bmukgdm

Boise State: The way we see it, civically engage or die

Occupy Wall Street welcomed hoards of Millennials who were fed up and cried for change, internet campaigns such as KONY 2012 and the anti-SOPA/PIPA outcry boasted huge followings and youth has become a focus for political campaigns among the nation’s most notable candidates. How, then, can it be said that we are uninterested in civic duty?

The truth lies in responses within the same data sets that were leaned on to prove our lack of involvement.

http://tinyurl.com/d3etolu

Taos’ Vista Grande High School students to speak at national conference [NM]

The group from Vista Grande plans to discuss two school projects: “Occupy High,” a voluntary, student-driven class in which a variety of subjects are explored, and a class based on “The People Speak,” by Howard Zinn. Both projects are leadership-focused and teach students to empower themselves through their voices.

Vista Grande teacher Ned Dougherty has helped to develop the weekly Occupy High classes. He said the concept was loosely based on the Occupy Wall Street movement, though with Occupy High, students developed and taught classes based on their own interests while examining the state of education and asking questions about why the American educational system marginalizes some groups and doesn’t work for some students.

http://tinyurl.com/c6q3grc

Occupy Kalamazoo to finish week-long protest outside of Bank of America downtown

In Monday afternoon’s rainstorm, about 13 people were gathered outside Bank of America on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Rose Street. Members of Occupy Kalamazoo, they were talking about finishing up their week-long encampment outside the downtown Kalamazoo bank.

Remaining were five tents that had been set up since last Tuesday, when the occupation began. Since then, there have been about 25 to 30 people who camped out most nights, said Christopher Wahmhoff, a spokesman for the organization. There were more tents, he said, but many people left during the weekend’s thunderstorms.

http://tinyurl.com/czhcz4l

OccupySF Condemns Mission Vandalism

Occupy organizers met last week to go over what exactly happened during a May Day eve protest that turned into a riot causing upwards of $150,000 in damages.

“It’s like a murder mystery,” said David Sulnit, a organizer with OccupySF, while trying to speculate on who might have been responsible for the smashing of Valencia street Monday night.

Although organizers all came to the conclusion that no one knows for sure who vandalized neighborhood businesses, some thought that the riot was organized and that the people involved didn’t know the area well.

http://tinyurl.com/7jhnhtm

‘Occupy Wall Street Healdsburg’ to Join National B of A Protest Wednesday

Occupy Wall Street (OWS), Healdsburg is joining the “99% Spring Bank Protest” organized by MoveOn.

Thousands of activists will converge on the Bank of America (BoA) corporate board meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 9.

Meanwhile OWS, Healdsburg members and supporters will do informational picketing at the local branch of BofA in Healdsburg from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in solidarity with this national action.

http://tinyurl.com/8x7hje5

Occupy St. Louis Protestors Want Jury Trial

Some 25 members of the Occupy movement arrested for curfew violations in a downtown park last fall were in municipal court today.

Occupy attorney Joe Welch says he asked for – and got – permission from Judge Gordon Schweizter to have a jury trial, rather than a bench trial.

“This is a case about the people,” Welch said, “These guys were out there exercising their First Amendment rights in good faith. It should be heard by the people.”

http://tinyurl.com/8x2tda8

Montreal mayor announces new rules to stop protesters from wearing masks

Mayor Gerald Tremblay announced Monday that the city will introduce new rules that would stop protesters from wearing masks.

The new city bylaw will be voted on at city hall next week.

The mayor’s announcement follows on the heels of Federal government bill that would give police the power to arrest protesters wearing a mask during a riot or unlawful assembly.

http://tinyurl.com/cex5o69

The Truth Behind François Hollande’s Brand Of Socialism

There is a vast gap between what candidates say at rallies and they way they wind up governing. While Hollande promised French voters higher taxes on the wealthy and an end to corporate tax breaks, he worked equally hard to court business leaders, including those in the financial sector. He knows that bond investors will lose faith in French debt if Hollande’s government is seen as fiscally reckless, and he knows that if they do, and France goes the way of Italy and Greece, even the most die-hard socialists will blame Hollande. That’s why he’s promised to balance the budget and reduce the country’s deficit, and that pledge is likely to force him to reconsider his most radical proposals, like the 75% marginal tax rate on top earners. Globalization – in the form of the eurozone – will force Hollande’s unreformed Parti Socialiste to tack towards the center.

http://tinyurl.com/ck7otnj

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