Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-14-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Stories of the Day: Protesters in Moscow have adopted new tactics, “dilemma protests” and flash mobs, to avoid the mass arrests. In a primer on nonviolent protest, “Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle,” Gene Sharp, an American intellectual, described a “dilemma protest” as a performance of an action so inchoate and unorthodox that police are trapped. If they let it happen, they are encouraging it, but if they arrest people they risk looking either silly or arbitrary and unjust, which is the point. The tactic has found wide appeal in Belarus, where activists gather to clap, eat ice cream cones, set their cellphone alarms to ring in chorus or simply stand silently. For more, see Protesters in Moscow Alter Approach to Avoid Arrests. And more than 200,000 long-term jobless Americans will lose their unemployment checks this week, when eight states roll off the federal extended benefits program. ”The hundreds of thousands of long-term unemployed who are being abruptly pushed off the extended benefits program are just the latest wave of jobless workers forced to survive without basic financial protections,” said George Wentworth, senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group. For the story, see Jobless Americans to Lose Unemployment Benefits. And when people talk about “austerity,” they only ever talk about the pain the general population should voluntarily accept, in the form of reduced services and curtailed “stimulus.” No one ever says the financial services sector should have to cut back on its access to easy money, and there hasn’t been much in the way of serious plans to restore some sanity and prudence to the lending and investing business. Read more: Austerity Can’t Be Just for Regular People. And cruelty comes in many forms, whether it’s exacted at the hand of a high school bully or in a nation’s capitol. This weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is still on defense over the cruelty he exhibited as a student. Social Darwinism is executed on the back of severe austerity measures like those seen across Europe and those sought by Romney and his party. It is the ultimate bullying tactic. It is using the brute strength of elected power (usually paid for by wealthy campaign contributors) to grab weakened middle class and impoverished families by the shoulders and slam them against the wall just to see what change might shake out of their pockets. For more, see Austerity, Bullies, and Broken Spirits. And on a lighter note: the Class War comes to Sesame Street: The Muppets have been accused by Fox News of being communists, to which they responded at a press conference. Now, watch as they sing N.W.A.’s classic, “F- tha Police.” For the video, see Muppets with Attitude.

Other Occupies/Protests: 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. And: masses of chanting “indignant” activists poured into the streets across Spain on Saturday in a vast show of strength one year on from igniting a global protest against economic injustice. Tens of thousands packed Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square, the emblematic birthplace of their popular movement against inequality, sky-high unemployment and spending cuts that shook the political establishment. Many had marched to the square for hours in separate columns of protesters from all directions and defied an official warning that they must disperse after 10pm. For more, see One Year On, Spain’s “Indignants” Take to the Streets. And the Guardian UK published this “GlobalMay Manifesto of the Occupy Movement,” (although they didn’t mention if it was endorsed by any Occupy), saying “the global Occupy movement wants a better world. Such a world is possible, and here’s how … ”

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” Ellen Goodman
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
  • 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 14 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.
  • 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 14 12 (who knows what we all will together decide!)
  • 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.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Event Highlights:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Calendar for Monday, May 14, 2012

6pm – 9pm, Community Gathering – Health Justice, at Community Church of Boston – 565 Boylston Street, across from Copley Square

7pm – 8:30pm, Climate Action, Sustainability and Environmental Justice WG Meeting, at Old West Church (United Methodist) at 131 Cambridge St.

7pm – 9pm, Radio WG Meeting, at Encuentro 5 (33 Harrison Avenue, 5th Floor, in Chinatown, Boston)

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.

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