Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-15-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Attention Digest Fans! The amount of time it takes to put the Digest together is too much for one person to keep doing it 7 days a week. So, starting May 16, the Daily Digest will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you are requesting that an event be listed in the Daily Digest, please give 2-3 days advance notice, or realize that your item may not be appearing until 2-3 days after you send it to me. Thank you.

Stories of the Day: University of California police arrested nine people Monday morning in a raid designed to end the occupation of the Gill Tract (Occupy the Farm) and allow the university to begin research preparations this week, officials said. One young man, who appears to be in his late teens or early 20s, remained on the property as of 9:44 a.m. about 15 feet up in a tree, said University of California spokesman Dan Mogulof. Authorities were in communication with him, and he didn’t appear to have any gear or supplies. Urban farming activists took over the university-owned field three weeks ago to plant crops and advocate for a publicly-accessible community farm on the land. The Gill Tract has historically been used for scientific research, but has long been eyed by urban farming advocates as a prime location for a community farm. For the story, see Nine Arrested After Early-Morning Raid. And Indonesia became the first country to suspend imports of U.S. beef following the discovery of an American dairy cow infected with mad cow disease. ”We will lift the ban as soon as the U.S. can assure us its dairy cows are free of mad cow disease,” said Indonesia’s Vice Agriculture Minister Rusman Heriawan. For more, see Indonesia Halts U.S. Beef Imports Over Mad Cow Concern. And Several Minnesota moms who facilitate access to local farm food are planning to act despite the risk of criminal charges laid out in warnings from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The MDA has threatened several of them, and has already conducted investigations against them. The letters warn that if they continue helping provide fresh food to their friends and neighbors, the MDA will press criminal charges and prosecute. The MDA holds that the mothers are violating food-handling regulations. Here, Melinda Olsen discusses the ordeal in detail – she only helps the farmer for free by storing goods in her garage for others. No commerce. Yet, she is ominously threatened by MDA for food crimes. For more, see Fresh Food Moms Threatened with Criminal Charges Scheduled to Disobey. And genetic engineering is a threat to food security, especially in a changing climate. The introduction of genetically manipulated organisms by choice or by accident grossly undermines sustainable agriculture and in so doing, severely limits the choice of food we can eat. Once GE/GMO plants are released into the environment, they are out of control. If anything goes wrong – they are impossible to recall. GE contamination threatens biodiversity respected as the global heritage of humankind, and one of our world’s fundamental keys to survival. For a short informative video from Greenpeace on the risks of GE/GMO foods, click here. In other news, the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory. For more, see Backdoors for Government Surveillance. And here’s an ugly story: Gun range targets meant to resemble dead Florida teen Trayvon Martin are offensive enough. But what’s more disturbing is that the Florida entrepreneur’s distributor reportedly sold out his entire stock in two days. The seller says he ‘wanted to make money’ off of Martin’s controversial shooting by George Zimmerman. For more, see Man Sells Out of Trayvon Martin Targets. After that, here’s a bit of inspiration: my friend Venus Cumara performing her powerful poem Occupy Your Heart, Reclaim Love for Occupy London. For the video, click here.

Other Occupies/Protests: From Occupy Wall Street: Anti ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, CCI, CISPA, MPAA, RIAA, MPA, ARAA, internet ID, censorship protest June 9, 2012. Occupy Wall Street, Liberty Plaza, New York, NY 10006. NATIONWIDE, CALLING ALL OCCUPIERS!!!! Knowledge should be free. This is a serious threat to education of people lower on the caste system. It will damage opportunity for all greatly. It also promotes monopoly and greed within governance as well as control of the people. This protest is to take place on the same date as a similar protest taking place in Paris France. MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD. SUPPORT FAIR USE AND EDUCATION! Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/287232521354857.

Compassion leads to courage. ” Lao Tzu
Upcoming Events:
  • Ideas WG Discussion – OB in 3 – 6 months, Wednesday, May 16, 7pm-9pm, in Copley Square. Across the street from Community Church of Boston. Tonight’s Ideas meeting will be another edition in our series of difficult conversations about difficult topics. We’ll tackle the question “Where would you like to see Occupy Boston go in the next three to six months, and how can we get there?” This will be a continuation of the discussion started here: http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Ideas_Working_Group_-_OB_in_3–6_Months_-_2_May_2012
  • Join the Green Justice Coalition as we launch our new statewide campaign! Public Transit–Public Good: Riders, Workers, and Communities United for Transit Justice. Join us to protect transit systems across the state.WHAT: Press Conference & Speak Out to announce launch of the GJC Transit Justice CampaignWHEN: Wednesday, May 16th @ 11 AMWHERE: Statehouse Steps, BostonOur public transit system is in crisis. The current funding scheme fails the system. Transit agencies plan to raise fares and cut service. Riders, workers, and communities are under attack. Stand up! Fight back! Tell the Legislature, the Governor and MassDOT it’s time to fix it, fund it, and make it fair.Riders and workers from across the State — Boston, Springfield, Fall River, and New Bedford — will gather to launch the Green Justice Coalition’s campaign, Public Transit/Public Good. Leaders will speak out FOR fair short-term fixes and meaningful long-term solutions and AGAINST regressive proposals across the state to hike fares and cut transit service. Street theater will highlight the impacts of inadequate transit funding and service on our communities.Alliance to Develop Power • Alternatives for Community and Environment/T Riders Union • Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 174, 448, 589 (Carmen’s), 1037 • Bus Riders Union • Coalition Against Poverty/Coalition for Social Justice • Community Labor United • Greater Four Corners Action Coalition • Massachusetts Senior Action Council • On the Move* Massachusetts Communities Action Network
  • 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 15 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.
  • Information on Occupy the G8 May 18-19: October2011/OccupyWashingtonDC.org has organized an Occupy G8 People’s Summit that will examine how to build a sustainable, democratized economy from the bottom up; the impact of the wealth divide on people’s well-being and on policy creation; and alternative economic structures that create a more democratic, sustainable economy. The event, which will be held in the Frederick Public Library from 10 to 2 on Friday, May 18th will feature the voices of the 99% along with experts on the Robin Hood Tax, food, water and energy issues, trade agreements, the wealth divide and a democratized economy. You can see the full schedule and details on the website of our partner organization, Its Our Economy. Occupy Frederick is organizing events in Frederick, Maryland, fifteen minutes from Camp David. After the Summit people will march through downtown Frederick and will hold a “Counter-G8 Community Bloc Party” on Saturday, May 19th from 11 AM to 9 PM in Baker Park (band shell side) near 2nd and N. Bentz. The event is inclusive of all ages for radicals and residents alike and will include live music, workshops, speakers, face painting and a truly free market. You can see the details here. Occupy Baltimore is organizing legal, non-violent protests on the public sidewalks in Thurmont, MD, on Friday and Saturday (May 18th and 19th) from 8 AM until sundown on both days. People are urged to bring signs, banners, folding chairs, food and drink. Overnight camping is available nearby. Thurmont is located just a few minutes from Camp David off of Route 15. You can get details here. For more information, see Occupy the G8.
  • OCCUPY CONSCIOUSNESS
    Mészáros’s Toolbox

    10am, Saturday, May 19
    The Community Room at the Harvest Co-operative
    (in the very back and up the stairs to the left)
    581 Mass Avenue
    Central Square
    Cambridge, MA

    Speakers:
    Irv Kurki, coordinator for essential discussions of advanced theory, on “Capital’s (Dis)organizing Systems and the Socialist Alternatives”

    Doug Enaa Greene, member of the Kasama Project and an activist at Occupy Boston, on “Critiquing Capital from Capital’s Viewpoint: Meszaros’s Critique of Sartre and the Occupy Movement”

    Sponsored by Monthly Review. RSVP at 1-617-731-8725 or ikurki2@verizon.net. http://monthlyreview.org/press/news/public-lecture-on-istvan-meszaros-boston-may-19/

  • 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.
  • Planning the Next Occupation: June 1, 7pm-11pm, Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. We call on every supporter (past and present) to come to this popular assembly. We ask that you help be the change we all want to see in this world. We ask you to come ,and share YOUR VOICE as occupy begins it’s next step towards SOCIAL JUSTICE! Oh and bring a tent icon wink Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5 15 12 (who knows what we all will together decide!)
  • June 2, 2012: Occupy the Judge Rotenberg Center Peaceful Protest. Occupy the JRC is a coalition of cross disability activists and allies who are determined to get the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts closed down, or at the very least force them to stop using electric shocks, restraints, and aversives on the students who are sent there. For those who may not know, the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) is a “school of last resort” for children with developmental disabilities (many of their students are Autistic) or other difficulties which eschews the use of psychiatric medications in favor of physical restraints and aversives, including the use of two-second skin shocks. Speakers: Senator Brian A. Joyce, Kat Whitehead (Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth), Dan Fisher (National Empowerment Center), Ari Ne’eman (Autistic Self Advocacy Network), Laurie Ahern (Disability Rights International), Daniel Hazen (Voices of the Heart), Joseph Sitinbull (Helping Others to Promote Equality) and more! For more information, contact: Daniel@ (518) 932-3137. info@occupyjrc.org and see http://www.occupyjrc.org.
  • Anti ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, CCI, CISPA, MPAA, RIAA, MPA, ARAA, internet ID, censorship protest June 9, 2012.
    Liberty Plaza, New York, NY 10006

    NATIONWIDE, CALLING ALL OCCUPIERS!!!! Knowledge should be free. This is a serious threat to education of people lower on the caste system. It will damage opportunity for all greatly. It also promotes monopoly and greed within governance as well as control of the people. This protest is to take place on the same date as a similar protest taking place in Paris France. MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD. SUPPORT FAIR USE AND EDUCATION! Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/287232521354857

  • From Occupy Wall Street: September 17, 2012, The People’s Picket on Wall Street, 7am-10am. We will form a massive moving picket line on our one-year anniversary, and continue the conversation we started One year prior with boots on the ground. People from all over the world get ready to shut it down.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Event Highlight:

4pm – 5:30pm, Nonviolence WG meeting, at Clear Conscience Cafe (3C), Central Square, 581 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

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 lindajenkins177@yahoo.com for more info.

Calendar for Tuesday, May 15, 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) FREE BUS TRIP TO CHICAGO FOR NATO SUMMIT: 99% Solidarity, a Working Group of Occupy Wall Street, is excited to participate in nonviolent direct actions in Chicago from May 18 to 22, 2012. We have secured buses to bring people to these actions from several U.S cities. So far, there are buses leaving from the following cities: New York City; Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Burlington, VT; Salem, NH; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Oakland, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR.

- The Bus trip is free

- 50 people from each city must sign up and board the bus for the trip take place. If a city has less then 50 sign ups, then we may have to cancel the bus for that city.

- Meals will be provided on board the bus to and from Chicago

- We are working on housing and meals while in Chicago

There are several direct actions and events that we will participate in while in Chicago including:

- May 18 – The People’s Summit

- May 19 – the 99% Solidarity People’s Convention

- May 20 – CANG8 rally and march.

Please visit 99solidarity.net often to get the most up to date information and be sure to invite your friends and fellow occupiers to join you on this exciting, historic trip. In addition, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @99solidarity. http://99solidarity.net/chicago/. *Note: There’s a possibility of undercover law enforcement being present on some of these buses. Do not give information to anyone about activity you wouldn’t want everyone knowing about.

2) WANTED – PHOTOS AND SHORT VIDEOS OF OCCUPY BOSTON FOR EXHIBITION IN GERMANY! DEADLINE MAY 19. During late June and July, 2012, the German-American cultural institution in Freiburg, Germany (Carl-Schurz-Haus, deutsch-amerikanisches institut Freiburg) will be sponsoring a group exhibition of photos and short videos entitled Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Boston. It will focus on events in Boston. Anyone with good photos or short videos is encouraged to send their work in digital form. Exhibition space will be limited; the goal will be to present a collection of visuals that give a wide range of positive viewpoints about Occupy Boston. Photos will be printed and framed in Germany. An exhibition catalogue will be produced to accompany the show.

PLEASE SEND to Boston P.O. Box listed below:

Digital files of up to 10 photos (color or b&w) sent on disc or stick.

Digital files of short videos (5 minutes or less) on disc or stick.

ALSO PLEASE SEND as text file:

1) Your name, contact info, and email address.

2) A short bio or a note about your Occupy participation, 50 words or less.

3) A photo title or sentence in English to appear as caption next to the photo. The caption will be shown in English, and also will be translated into German.

4) Any copyright info that should appear in the catalogue

It is hoped that this exhibition concept and catalogue design might easily be used for other Occupy exhibitions about other cities, by other people.

Photos can show any aspects of Occupy Boston.

Short videos can be interviews of people at Occupy, visuals of poets reading their Haiku poems, videos of speakers at Occupy, assembly meetings, or any other documentation that would round out a presentation about Occupy Boston.

Send visuals directly to this address:

Woods c/o Evans
Occupy Boston Exhibition
PO Box 505718
Chelsea Mass 02150If you want the disc sent back to you afterwards, please include a self-addressed, stamped mailer. (Sorry. There are no funds for return mail.)

Firm deadline for receipt of materials: May 19, 2012.

Any questions, please contact curator, Bonnie Woods at woods_bonnie@hotmail.com
Please do not send any visuals to the email address or to address in Germany! Use PO Box only.

3) 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.

4) 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 request that something be added to the Occupy Boston calendar, use the form on the website http://www.occupyboston.org/calendar-event-submission-form/. 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.

Occupy the City Council meeting to demand justice for Alan Blueford!

The family of Alan Blueford has asked allies to come to the Oakland City Council Meeting at 6 pm on Tuesday to demand justice for the OPD killing of their son! Get there by 6 pm to demand a real investigation into the circumstances of the killing! The police officer should not be on paid leave, beyond that, what is his name, and why are they still on the force?

Support Blueford family at City Council meeting Tuesday, May 15th – 6:00 pm

During the early morning hours of May 6, 2012, Alan Blueford was murdered by an OPD officer, whose name has yet to be released. His family is now seeking justice for his death. Pack the City Council meeting this Tuesday, May 15th, at 6:00 pm. It is located at 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland. Show your support in your presence and voice for all of our sons and daughters of Oakland.

WORKERS’ ASSEMBLY

The working class is facing an unprecedented assault from employers and the state. We must build solidarity in collective struggle. In this spirit we invite all workers – paid and unpaid, employed and unemployed, union and non-union, full-time and precarious – to join a Workers’ Assembly. We aim to encourage communication and solidarity between different sectors of the working class. We want to encourage common struggle against the 1% and their agents who exploit and oppress us, for a society based on justice and equality, where the needs and desires … Continued

The OB Media Rundown for 5/15/12

Catholic worker group storms building housing Obama campaign headquarters, starting week of protest in Chicago

Dozens of demonstrators calling for an end to war rushed into President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago on Monday morning, and eight were arrested, NBCChicago reported.

The protest, led by a group associated with the Catholic Worker movement, was the first of a series of planned demonstrations and marches by groups highlighting poverty, environmental, and education issues during the May 20-21 NATO summit in the city and the May 18-19 G8 summit at Camp David in Maryland.

http://tinyurl.com/88ynn7g

Revivals of protest in the class war

Despite the success of the Occupy movement in putting inequality on the international agenda, it can safely be reported that just about everywhere, the 1 per cent are still laughing all the way to the bank. In fact they own the bank. Just a little south of here, the Bank of America was bailed out by American taxpayers to the tune of $45-billion. It claimed a pre-tax loss of $5.4-billion and so paid no taxes for the past two years. In one of those years, it dished out executive bonuses and compensation worth $35-billion. Could I make this stuff up?

The bargain between the 1 per cent and the governments of the 1 per cent is clear: huge tax breaks for the big boys, austerity for the 99 per cent. Can you handle more figures? Since the geniuses on Wall Street gave us the great crash of 2008, American banks received $7.7-trillion in bailout money and British banks $1.3-trillion. Yes, trillion, in both cases. To offset those losses to the public purse, the United States will cut public spending by $2.4-trillion in the next decade and Britain $128-billion. In Britain this will include almost half-a-million lost public sector jobs.

It’s time to resurrect the biting formula given us years ago by John Kenneth Galbraith, an earlier generation’s Paul Krugman: private affluence, public squalor.

http://tinyurl.com/cw5lkza

People’s Summit opens a week of protest against NATO in Chicago

Hundreds gathered from across the country for the People’s Summit, united in their opposition to the NATO/G8 agenda of war and poverty. Organized jointly by the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) and Occupy Chicago, the People’s Summit included 40 workshops and four plenary sessions. More than 50 attended a workshop featuring three Chicago leaders of the CANG8, speaking on, “The Strategic Aim in Opposing NATO in Chicago.”

http://tinyurl.com/bpordqo


Occupiers To Hold ‘People’s Summit’ Alternative To G8 Meetings

Members of the Occupy movement will hold an “Occupy G8 People’s Summit” in Frederick, Maryland to provide a vision for democratic economic development as the G8 meetings commence on May 18. A series of speakers will lead discussions on the impact of concentrated wealth on global public policy, the effects of wealth inequality on peoples’ well-being, and alternative structures that would close the wealth divide and create a more democratic, sustainable economy. Details of the summit, which begin at 10:00 AM Friday, are below.

http://tinyurl.com/bq7uob9

Secure Communities deportation program will expand to New York and Mass., despite Democratic governors’ objections

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said they opposed the Secure Communities fingerprint sharing program because it interferes with local policing priorities. Under the program, the fingerprints from local jails are matched against a federal immigration database. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) then asks local jails to detain people they think may be in the country without authorization, while it decides whether to try to deport them. Immigrants rights advocates say the program expels thousands of people who have no criminal records and makes witnesses to crimes afraid to come forward because they mistakenly believe they will be fingerprinted and deported.

The federal government at first gave the impression that states and counties could opt out of Secure Communities, before reversing course and saying it would be up and running in every county by 2013, with or without local officials’ consent. ICE officials say Secure Communities allows them to focus on deporting criminals, the agency’s top priority. ICE recently changed one aspect of the program so that fewer illegal immigrants without criminal records who are fingerprinted after minor traffic violations-such as driving without a license-are detained.

But some counties, such as Santa Clara County in California and Cook County in Illinois, refuse to place detainers on people at ICE’s request. After Secure Communities was implemented in Washington state in April despite Gov. Chris Gregoire’s objections, immigrant rights groups urged King County officials to join those counties in refusing to cooperate with ICE, according to the AP. It’s unclear if the federal government will take action against counties that ignore ICE’s detainers.

http://tinyurl.com/7nuhtby

Colonized by Corporations

Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability-keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits-ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game.

A change of power does not require the election of a Mitt Romney or a Barack Obama or a Democratic majority in Congress, or an attempt to reform the system or electing progressive candidates, but rather a destruction of corporate domination of the political process-Gamer’s “patron-client” networks. It requires the establishment of new mechanisms of governance to distribute wealth and protect resources, to curtail corporate power, to cope with the destruction of the ecosystem and to foster the common good. But we must first recognize ourselves as colonial subjects. We must accept that we have no effective voice in the way we are governed. We must accept the hollowness of electoral politics, the futility of our political theater, and we must destroy the corporate structure itself.

http://tinyurl.com/6tbnf9p

Party Ends Badly for U.S. Trade Reps, Federal Agents, in Dallas

Two dozen rogue “delegates” disrupted the corporate-sponsored welcome gala for the high-stakes Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations yesterday with a fake award ceremony and “mic check.” Other activists, meanwhile, replaced hundreds of rolls of toilet paper (TP) throughout the conference venue with more informative versions, and projected a message on the venue’s facade.

The first action began when a smartly-dressed man approached the podium immediately after the gala’s keynote speech by Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative and former mayor of Dallas. The man (local puppeteer David Goodwin) introduced himself as “Git Haversall,” president of the “Texas Corporate Power Partnership,” and announced he was giving Kirk and other U.S. trade negotiators the “2012 Corporate Power Tool Award,” which “Haversall’s” partner held aloft.

http://tinyurl.com/6p9t6du

JP Morgan boss to face shareholders over $2bn ‘tempest in a teapot’

The embattled boss of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, faces shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting on Tuesday amid a backlash against its campaign to dilute plans for the tighter regulation of Wall Street.

Pension funds have called for the positions of chairman and chief executive, which are both held by Dimon, to be split, in the aftermath of a $2bn trading loss announced by the bank last week.

The White House called on Monday for the efforts of “Wall Street lobbyists” to be resisted. Congressman Barney Frank, co-author of the act that contains the proposed new rules against which Dimon has campaigned, told the Guardian that the JP Morgan fiasco “shows how wrong he is in arguing that the legislation is not needed”.

http://tinyurl.com/ckm842z

Wealthy right-wingers who hate regulation produce ‘OWS-toned’ video criticizing the president for taking WS donations

President Obama is too closely tied to Wall Street, claims a new web video that takes the tone of Occupy Wall Street, though it was produced by a conservative group.

The video, released by the American Future Fund, an Iowa-based organization designed to be “a voice for conservative principles” and “free market ideals,” alleges that raising tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street gave Obama reason to let (presumably culpable) Wall Street executives off easy:

http://tinyurl.com/7pnxpw6

9 arrested after UC police clear out ‘Occupy the Farm’ settlement

University of California police arrested nine protesters at the university-owned Gill Tract on Monday morning, ending a 23-day occupation of urban farmland where they wanted to grow food for surrounding communities.

About 100 officers clad in riot gear and brandishing batons began staging early in the morning near the 10-acre site in Albany that is used for research by UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources.

Seven protesters were arrested outside the closed gate to the land for unlawful assembly and two were arrested inside for trespassing. All of them were taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and could be charged with misdemeanors, UC Berkeley police spokesman Lt. Eric Tajada said.

http://tinyurl.com/8ydcmty

Undeterred by Raid, Occupy the Farm Plans to Reconvene Tomorrow

A missive sent this morning amid the raid at Albany’s Occupy the Farm protest said the group would reconvene tomorrow afternoon to plan its next step. But the future is a little hazy for this rogue group of well-intentioned agriculturalists, who spent roughly three weeks tilling two acres of arable land on a parcel owned by UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, and commandeering additional space for its makeshift encampment. The protesters argued that the 10 acres at Gill Tract, which contain Class 1 soil, evidently the best kind for growing edible crops. It’s currently being allocated for agricultural experiments, many of which involve corn.

http://tinyurl.com/8yc9798

Standing Up to The Richest Man on Earth

“What are George Washington University’s values? Do they want to hold up exploitation as a legitimate business model?” he adds.

About 30 protesters (a mix of Occupy participants as well as members of a coalition called Two Countries, One Voice) are outside GW University posing this question to the institution on May 11th, 2012, while a handful meet with administrators inside. Their stated goal is convincing the university to cancel a decision to give an honorary degree to Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, at their May 20th commencement ceremony.

Their questions and anger are valid, considering that this esteemed institution wants to honor a tycoon accused of overcharging poor and working class Mexicans to the tune of $6 billion per year in cell and landline fees. Slim has a net worth of $69 billion dollars.

http://tinyurl.com/6oeqpwn

Video project examines Occupy Oakland from different viewpoints

The inspiration for a web project that contains interviews with 16 people “involved or impacted” by Occupy Oakland came from an exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California that documents the year 1968. “We thought, ‘What we would have done if we had a time machine and could go back to 1968 with a camera and a notebook?’” said Alex Abramovich, a journalist, artist and one of the co-creators of the project. “‘What did we wish someone had done?’”

Inspired by films like “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975″ a comprehensive look at the Black Power movement in the 1960s and 70s made by Swedish journalists, Abramovich and his project partner Lucy Raven set out to create a project that would examine Occupy Oakland from different viewpoints, including from the perspective of those who have ties to it. The result is “Portraits from the Occupation” which is featured on The Oakland Standard, a contemporary art project website created by the museum.

http://tinyurl.com/6r4a69o

Occupy Portland borrows from business

Among numerous initiatives, the group has a strategy to persuade consumers and businesses to invest their money in local banks and credit unions. It also recently created a nonprofit called Friends of Occupy Portland.

Those actions are important. As an editorial points out, Occupy must win over mainstream America if it hopes to effect any real change.

Despite some missteps, Occupy has done a great job of calling attention to the financial excesses of Wall Street and pointing out widespread economic inequality. It was never clear, though, exactly what – for the most part – Occupy wanted to achieve, or how it would accomplish anything. National polls show Occupy’s approval ratings as low as 16 percent.

http://tinyurl.com/bu69mua

Home reoccupations in Portland – Update

Remember Alicia Jackson, the woman who-with the help of Occupy offshoot, Portland Liberation Organizing Council (PLOC)-reclaimed her foreclosed house in North Portland? She’s still holding down the fort in a semi-functional home-for now. PLOC volunteers have committed themselves to being her support net, ready to attack if the bank steps in to take back her home or the police try to arrest her for occupying property that is no longer hers.

The most recent battle PLOC and Jackson took on involved the city’s Water Bureau. On Thursday, the group rallied outside its downtown headquarters, insisting that the bureau turned Jackson’s water back on. To set things straight, City Commissioner Randy Leonard, bureau head, came down to talk to the group face-to-face.

Leonard says he explained to the group that, according to city code, he could not turn the water back on at the house unless the person on record who owns the property requested so. “So I contacted the owner, who isn’t Mrs. Jackson, and they prohibited me from doing so,” says Leonard, adding that the owner said they had intentions to evict and arrest Jackson if she continued to stay.
. . .

[PLOC] Connelly says that for now, Jackson is getting water from her neighbors, and that the group has no intentions of pursuing the issue further. As for the future? “In two weeks, we will go public with another person reclaiming their home. This is just the start,” says Connelly.

http://tinyurl.com/capjxum

Gay Marriage Supporters To March In Raleigh

Occupy Raleigh is joining another citizen initiative to protest North Carolina’s constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman.

Members of Occupy Raleigh and 14th Amendment Equality Projects will march Monday evening in Raleigh, beginning in Nash Square. Occupy Raleigh’s General Assembly passed a resolution against the amendment in February.

http://tinyurl.com/cgv8vb9

CUNY Students Protest Tuition Increases Today for Tomorrow’s Students

“I was on my way to German class,” says Maria, a Macaulay Honors freshman at Hunter College. “But I heard there was a protest.” We were marching on Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side toward the office of Matthew Goldstein, chairman of the City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees, to protest tuition hikes and heavy policing of dissent on campus. “The tuition hikes come in gradually, so we will have graduated before the worst of it hits. Really, we’re fighting for future college students, like these ones.” She indicates our recent recruits.

http://tinyurl.com/blzu8o6

Cyclists occupy Midland car park in bid to “reclaim the streets”

MILITANT cyclists took over a Midland car park yesterday in a pedal power protest aimed at reclaiming the streets.

A convoy of cyclists bought up spaces at the car park in Coventry city centre and set up a radical roadshow.

The group, which goes under the name of Bicycology, had been touring the region, reclaiming the streets from cars and demanding “radical change”.

http://tinyurl.com/7tdjk5p

Spanish indignation

THE FIRST anniversary of the 15th May (15-M) movement in Spain, one of the spontaneous progenitors of “Occupy” groupings across the developed world, has coincided with yet another deepening of the country’s multiple crises. The significance of the 15-M “indignation” movement remains elusive. The big political parties of both left and right dismiss it as incoherent, demagogic and directionless.

Nevertheless, it has survived a year of political turmoil and last weekend’s demonstrations have shown that it is still capable of bringing many thousands of supporters peacefully on to the streets, right across the country.

Recent events have only exacerbated the protesters’ sense of grievance at a political system that facilitated a massive property bubble, then slashed public services to the bone, and now seems helpless to address a jobs crisis that leaves half Spain’s young people out of work. The conservative Partido Popular (PP) government, elected only last November, had assumed that its intensification of an already severe austerity programme would bring Spain’s economy under control and eventually lead to growth. The prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, had insisted that, in at least one respect, Spain was in a much stronger position than other troubled EU states: the banking sector was securely funded, and no public money would be needed to shore up its debts.

http://tinyurl.com/codh2b7

What’s behind Putin’s G-8 summit snub?

Some argue that Putin, mindful of a national history that has seen two mighty Russian states collapse under the impact of social discontent in the past century alone, has decided to play it safe and remain at home until it’s clear where the current protest movement may be leading.

“Everyone underestimated the energy of popular protests,” says Sergei Davidis, a leader of the opposition Solidarnost movment. “A lot of people thought it would all calm down [after the inauguration] but that’s not happening, and people are finding new ways to express their civil position. Things like this camp are new for Russia, and the authorities are flummoxed to find that cracking down and arresting people doesn’t stop it. People are saying they don’t want to wait another six years [till the end of Putin's term] to see changes.”

http://tinyurl.com/clg4leu

Russia’s Anti-Putin Camp Gets Case Of Jitters – Oped

When police trucks pulled up at Moscow’s anti-Putin Occupy camp on Monday afternoon, activists feared the worst.

“Police trucks are moving in. They might be going to break it up,” Solidarity movement leader Ilya Yashin wrote in a Twitter post, triggering the mass arrival of journalists to the camp and a frenzy of online activity.

But the authorities had no plans, for now at least, to move against the camp, which has become one of the most high-profile symbols of the challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

http://tinyurl.com/c8yv2ww

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