The OB Media Rundown for 6/2/12

Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

“We’re in for a period of sustained chaos whose magnitude we are unable to foresee,” [Professor Dennis] Meadows [systems policy] warns. He no longer spends time trying to persuade humanity of the limits to growth. Instead, he says, “I’m trying to understand how communities and cities can buffer themselves” against the inevitable hard landing.

http://tinyurl.com/cnrf8an

Scientist to climate-change-denying politicians: ‘You can’t legislate the ocean!’

State lawmakers are considering a measure that would limit how North Carolina prepares for sea-level rise, which many scientists consider one of the surest results of climate change.

Federal authorities say the North Carolina coast is vulnerable because of its low, flat land and thin fringe of barrier islands. A state-appointed science panel has reported that a 1-meter rise is likely by 2100.
. . .

Longtime East Carolina University geologist Stan Riggs, a science panel member who studies the evolution of the coast, said the 1-meter estimate is squarely within the mainstream of research.

“We’re throwing this science out completely, and what’s proposed is just crazy for a state that used to be a leader in marine science,” he said of the proposed legislation. “You can’t legislate the ocean, and you can’t legislate storms.”

http://tinyurl.com/7ex6vtn

Occupy Providence plans round-the-clock sidewalk vigil at Netroots conference; police say sleeping bags prohibited

Occupy Providence activists say they plan to maintain a 24-hour presence, including sleeping bags, outside a “Netroots Nation” conference that begins Thursday at the Rhode Island Convention Center and runs for four days.

Nearly 3,000 progressive bloggers, grassroots and union activists and political leaders are expected to attend the four-day event.

Occupy Providence member Jared Paul said the protest is against economic injustice, not Netroots Nation.

http://tinyurl.com/cadhegs


Education and Activism in Alternative Schools

In an Occupy-saturated New York, there’s a push for education by the people for the people that calls for new structures of collaboration and new uses of resources. But two organizations, The Public School and Trade School, were in play well before the first tent ever popped up in Liberty Square. Designed by artists and organized without curriculums, classes range from philosophy and time travel to mushroom hunting and stilt walking. They won’t be churning out bridge-building engineers, but illustrate a dream of collective education.

Both schools have similar structures. They have websites where classes can be proposed by the general public and then approved, and they hold classes wherever they get space, often in public locations (Trade School is currently seeking a storefront space). Most students are adults, and receive no credit for their involvement. However, the schools seem to be diametrically opposed to each other in their approach to theory and practice. So I tried my hand at teaching a couple classes and found their nature to be quite different than at a traditional institution.

http://tinyurl.com/d2ebs55

The World Class Struggle: The Geography of Protest

The protestors always start as a relatively small courageous group. They need to persuade a much larger (and politically far more timid group) to join them, if they are to impress the groups in power. This is not easy but it can happen. It happened in Egypt at Tahrir Square in 2011. It happened in the Occupy movement in the United States and Canada. It happened in Greece in the last elections. It happened in Chile and the now long-lasting student strikes. And at the moment, it seems to be happening spectacularly in Quebec.

But when it happens, then what? There are some protestors who wish to expand initial narrow demands into more far-reaching and fundamental demands to reconstruct the social order. And there are others, there are always others, who are ready to sit down with the groups in power and negotiate some compromise.

http://tinyurl.com/dxs6b8c

Workers Who Occupied Their Factory and Beat Bank of America Now On Their Way to Owning the Factory

First, they occupied the factory to get their wages from the bosses that owned the machinery. Then, they occupied their factory to keep the second bosses from shutting down their machinery. And, now, they are on their way to owning and running the machinery.

http://tinyurl.com/c2jqx2h

Ending Lockout, Teamsters Wrap Agreement With Sotheby’s

Teamster art handlers voted to settle their dispute with Sotheby’s yesterday, ending a 10-month lockout that became a symbol of Occupy Wall Street’s fight against the austerity agenda of the 1%.

The union’s creative tactics put a spotlight on inequality in the most unequal city in the U.S. While the workers who moved the art faced wage cuts and unstable jobs, art buyers dressed to the nines paid millions for paintings.

The high-end art auction house locked out the 43 Teamsters when they refused a contract that one member said “would put us on the path to extinction” by allowing work to be contracted out to non-union workers with no protections.

http://tinyurl.com/bn7vc7j

Civil Rights Groups Back ‘Occupy’ Protester In Twitter Fight

Civil liberties groups are backing protester Matthew Harris in his effort to stop the government from obtaining information connected with his former Twitter account — including his tweets over a 10-week period and the IP addresses connected with them.

The groups say in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in New York this week that the government’s request violates Harris’s free speech rights as well as his privacy rights.

The dispute grew out of a protest last October in New York City. Harris was one of hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge. He was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly walking in the street instead of the sidewalk. Harris denies doing anything wrong; he says that the police told him (and other protesters) to move to the street.

http://tinyurl.com/cyk2dhd

Protest groups converge to denounce secretive Bilderberg conference

The gathering outside the Westfield Marriott hotel in Chantilly included Ron Paul supporters, Occupy veterans, members of the 9/11 truth movement and Oath Keepers, a Tea Party-affiliated group comprised of military and law enforcement officers.

Carrying signs with messages such as “Humanity is winning” and “Warning to secret societies: you are pissing off American patriots. We have machine guns also,” the 200 or so protesters could only be there for one event: Bilderberg.

The annual off-the-record gathering of global leaders in finance policy and national security was taking place behind chainlink fencing, No Trespassing signs and scores of local police. At the base of the driveway, the protesters congregated to denounce the meeting and shout at the occasional vehicles that entered and exited.

http://tinyurl.com/8yl7k8d

Occupy Chicago confronts life after NATO

“I would say we’re the strongest we’ve actually been since the beginning,” said Matthew McLoughlin, 26, sipping coffee as he sat with two other Occupy members at a table in the group’s fifth-floor loft in a massive East Pilsen warehouse. “I think we did an excellent job of getting our messages out there, and I think people are more motivated than ever to keep that going.”

Whether the group can build off that motivation this summer remains to be seen. Many of Occupy Chicago’s members say they are now focusing more on local issues rather than on national and global problems, a shift that experts say mirrors those made by Occupy groups in several other cities.

“We’ve had NATO looming over us since we started,” Rachel Unterman, 29, said Tuesday as she waited for a downtown rally and march to begin. “It was kind of like a goal to work toward, and I think we’d do well to find (another) one.”

http://tinyurl.com/7dermde

Chicago police: “Your First Amendment rights can be terminated”

“Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,” yells the Chicago police officer, caught on video right before arresting two journalists outside a Chicago hospital. One, an NBC News photographer, was led away in handcuffs essentially for taking pictures in a public place. He was released only minutes later, but the damage was done. Chicago cops suffered an embarrassing “caught on tape” moment, and civil rights experts who say cops are unfairly cracking down on citizens with cameras had their iconic moment.

Tales of reporters, protestors and citizen journalists being threatened or arrested for filming law enforcement officials during disputes are on the rise, critics say, with Occupy Wall Street protests a lightning rod for these incidents. The National Press Photographers Association claims it has documented 70 such arrests since September and, in May, called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to focus attention on the issue.

http://tinyurl.com/76kqrh7

Students occupy UCLA to demand admission of more minorities

More than two dozen high school and community college students staged a protest at the UCLA admissions office Friday, demanding the university double the enrollment of black, Latino and American Indian students.

Thirteen people were arrested during the protest, which began about 3:15 p.m., according to UCLA. The arrests came after campus police ordered the demonstrators to disperse after the building closed at 6 p.m., UCLA officials said. There were no injuries.

Jose Alvarenga, who attends Pasadena City College and plans to apply to UCLA next year, said the protesters are determined to “open the doors of the university” to more underrepresented minorities. They also want the university to reconsider the applications of blacks, Latinos and American Indians who have been denied admission.

http://tinyurl.com/7xp5qsj

Occupy Tulsa returns to protest school budget cuts

Occupy Tulsa has re-emerged, this time atop the Bartlett Square fountain cover at Fifth and Main streets.

Jordan Walsh, 21, said he was among a group of 12 occupiers who slept at the fountain Thursday night. This time, the group seeks to “protest current budget cuts in regard to schools and education in the state of Oklahoma,” he said.

After confrontations with police late last year, Occupy Tulsa has regrouped to try to build a more permanent movement, said Eli Silva, 24, who also slept at the fountain.

http://tinyurl.com/6r248vx

Fortuna resident files complaint against Humboldt County urgency ordinance

A Fortuna resident has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Humboldt County’s urgency ordinance violates her rights to free speech and assembly and claims it was specifically tailored to “suppress the message of Occupy Eureka.”

Janelle Egger, who filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on May 24, is asking the court to find that her arrest under the ordinance — which prohibits protest activities between 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., among other restrictions — was unlawful and her record should be expunged.

In her suit, Egger argues that the ordinance approved by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on March 27 imposed restrictions on the area in front of the courthouse that is a traditional public forum where free speech and assembly are constitutionally protected. The suit asks the court to declare the ordinance unconstitutional, remove the restrictions from the Humboldt County code and monitor the planned enactment of a countywide ordinance.

http://tinyurl.com/85cln8y

Phoenix drops last charges vs. ‘Occupy’ defendants

Charges against the final “Occupy Phoenix” protesters accused of trespassing were dropped this week after city prosecutors determined that justice would be served by dismissing the charges.

Twenty suspects remained of the 45 who were arrested on suspicion of trespassing and loitering at Margaret T. Hance Park in mid-October for refusing to leave after the park had closed. Twenty five of those arrested pleaded guilty, but the remaining 20 decided to fight the citations in court.

The anti-Wall Street movement known as “Occupy” started in Manhattan and spread to cities throughout the country last year. Occupy Phoenix started as a relatively large group when about 300 protesters demonstrated on Oct. 14 near Arizona State University’s campus in downtown Phoenix. Protesters ultimately moved to Cesar Chavez Plaza at Washington Street and First Avenue, where dozens of people took shifts at kiosks during the day and then left in the evening to keep from violating a curfew.

http://tinyurl.com/7e4ff3k

Protesters Occupy Turkish Airlines Office to protest bill banning strikes in the aviation sector

(video)

Police detained around 20 activists on Friday (June 1) who had occupied the main sales office of Turkish Airlines in Istanbul to protest a bill passed by parliament a day earlier banning strikes in the aviation sector.

A Reuters Television journalist saw police dragging the protesters out of the airline’s office in the main Taksim Square and bundling them into vans.

Turkish Airlines fired 305 personnel over a partial slowdown earlier this week after they answered a call from the Turkish Civil Aviation union to protest the legislation.

http://tinyurl.com/83o984m

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Boston Occupiers discuss next steps at Popular Assembly

Screen shot 2012 06 01 at 11.02.43 PM1 Boston Occupiers discuss next steps at Popular Assembly

Occupiers gathered at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common Friday night [along with some supporters and a few people who just happened to be walking by and joined in ] to discuss the future of Occupy. Recurring concerns/aspirations reported back from different breakout groups included growing into a mass movement, more direct action and protest, and more collaborative alliances with other activist groups.

At top left, supporters mill around waiting for the meeting to get started; at top right and bottom right, speaking ‘on stack.’ Lower left shows one of the six breakout discussion groups.