The OB Media Rundown for 1/22/12

Spain’s “Indignados” and the Globalization of Dissent


The Occupy Movement has taken much of its inspiration from Spain’s “Outraged” Movement: what lessons does Spain have for Occupy now?

‘The real effects of SOPA and PIPA are going to be very different from the proposed effects’

(video at bottom of post)

What happens when a government hollows out?

Answer: Private interests take control of the machinery of state to enhance and protect their profitability.

In some cases, this results in simple looting (like the US mortgage fiasco and EU meltdown). In others, Byzantine laws and rules are enacted that crush innovation and trample personal rights.

Occupiers Glitter-Bomb Santorum At South Carolina Primary Night Speech

Members of Occupy Charleston “glitter-bombed” Rick Santorum at the tail end of his speech here at the Citadel tonight.

The occupiers, mostly College of Charleston students, shouted “Occupy!” and threw green glitter in the direction of the podium. One of the students told BuzzFeed afterwards that “I got him in the face!”

Men in the audience tried to contain the group of about 10 protesters — including an elder son of the reality-TV Duggar family — getting hit with glitter themselves in the process. Police removed the protesters from the event as they yelled “Bigot! Bigot!” and “Occupy is everywhere!” An attendee of the speech hit one of them in the face on their way out the door.

Before being able to get a picture of the protesters or even ask for their names, BuzzFeed was ordered to leave the Citadel campus — which is public — by Charleston police officers. The officers pushed and shoved this reporter and ripped away an iPhone, saying “No cameras!” as occupiers chanted “She is press!”

The challenges of Occupying South Carolina

Occupying South Carolina isn’t always easy in this deep-red state.

But as South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary approaches, Occupy Wall Street – a grassroots movement protesting income inequality and corporate influence in US politics – is seemingly everywhere in the state: demonstrating at Republican debates in Myrtle Beach and Charleston, arguing with Mitt Romney at town hall events – and holding rallies at the state house in Columbia.

Occupy Wall Street began on September 17 2011, when demonstrators camped out in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, near the city’s financial hub. Local “Occupy” groups began springing up in South Carolina shortly thereafter. Josh Richmond of Occupy Charleston said that the city’s group formed partly in reaction to seeing New York City police shoot pepper spray into the faces of non-violent protesters.

“That was the moment where it was like, we have to come together down here,” Richmond told Al Jazeera at an Occupy demonstration outside a Republican presidential debate in Charleston. The 30-or-so people at the rally – many young and white, but not all – held signs reading “Occupy the Primary” and “Democrat, Republican – what’s the difference?”

Newt Gingrich whips Romney in South Carolina

Lee Atwater was from here and learned his political skills from Strom Thurmond who learned his trade from “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman who learned his world view as a Red Shirt night rider and a participant in the massacre of Freemen during the destruction of their settlement of Hamburg. From Tillman to DeMint there is a straight line of racism, white privilege and myths of white victimhood that informs the political DNA of South Carolina Republican Primary voters.

Occupiers form 503(c) non-profit charitable organization in Tucson

The last time we discussed the Occupy movement in Tucson, the general internet consensus I inferred was that while they did a great job grabbing attention and imagination last fall, they didn’t do a whole lot with that attention once they had it, and the encampment became not a means by which to protest, but the point of the protest itself. That, plus (some negative, some positive) interaction with the homeless population and internal squabbling (which can’t seem to stop on Facebook especially- come ON, guys) cause the positive, aligned energy to first dissipate, and then sour.

BUT- from chaos comes growth. With a greater awareness of the challenges of the life of the homeless, Occupy Public Land has taken concrete, positive steps to contribute to a city that someone told me yesterday is the dumping ground for other cities’ homeless. (when I went to research this, I found reference to Fresno CA. Any clarification from long-time Tucsonans would be gratefully received). Occupy Public Land has organized and become a 503(c), a non-profit charitable organization. It seems at least this particular Occupy group has finally internalized the idea that actions speak louder than words, and direct community involvement will win hearts and minds far more thoroughly than idealistic ideology.

Occupy movement rises again in Montana with a celebration

One of the speakers, Frank Kromkowski, said that today’s rally wasn’t actually a protest.

Kromkowski said, “Today we are doing a celebration, so this rally today is to celebrate our Montana Supreme Court’s defiance of the Citizen United ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Occupy organizes large protest against law licensing state disenfranchisement of local governments throughout Michigan

Hundreds of people joined together in a march to Gov. Rick Snyder’s Superior Township home Monday evening to protest Public Act 4, which places emergency financial managers in struggling cities throughout Michigan.

The event, which was held “in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” was promoted on Facebook by Occupy for Democracy, and was supported by several other organizations including other Occupy groups within the state, United Auto Workers, Washtenaw Community Action Team, AFSCME and the NAACP.

Occupy Ojai [CA] joins with anti-corporate personhood protesters for rally to gather signatures

More than 40 people, including members of Veteran for Peace and Occupy protesters, lined both sides of Ojai Avenue near Libbey Park. A few people had signs where highways 33 and 150 meet.

Ojai Mayor Betsy Clapp mingled with participants. “I’m absolutely in support. It’s about the individual rights for individual citizens to be heard and participate in the governing of our nation without the undue influence of corporations – with their power, assets and large amounts of money,” she said.

Haff said he and other group members got word out about the protest by using social media such as Facebook, and attending an Ojai City Council meeting to invite the community.

Occupy Rockford [Il] Raises Awareness Surrounding Mail Processing Center Closure

Christy Gutowski, Occupy Rockford, says,” With the signs, it starts the conversation. It gets people aware of the issue that is out here. A lot of people are looking at each other and the signs as they go by and, hopefully, they will take the time to write a letter to their congressman and support this issue.”

Officers injured, four arrested in late-night Occupy SF protest at closed hotel

Four people were arrested late Friday night when police and Occupy protesters clashed at a long-closed hotel, leaving some officers injured, authorities said.

The violence flared after 10 p.m. when police confronted hundreds of activists at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, on Van Ness Avenue near Geary Street.

Some protesters occupying the hotel threw objects at police clad in riot gear during the clash, injuring three officers, authorities said. Protesters pulled the fire alarm inside the building at one point, causing the police to escort the fire department into the building. Three protesters inside the hotel were arrested for trespassing.

A Credit Union to Bail Out People, Not Big Banks

The Occupy Movement condemns the banks’ role in predatory lending and the foreclosure crisis, the high-interest student loans they say enriches the bankers and impoverishes college students, bank investments in private prisons and more.

But protesting isn’t enough for Occupy San Francisco activist Brian McKeown. He says a bank should be a transparent institution whose mission is to help people. And so, with like-minded partners, McKeown is putting together a plan for the People’s Reserve Credit Union (PRCU). Occupy San Francisco is encouraging the venture.

In the next few weeks, McKeown says he’ll be ready to submit the PRCU’s application for a charter to the California Department of Financial Institutions.

The Uphill Battle Against Citizens United: Tricky Legal Terrain and No Easy Fixes

Across the country, two distinct strategies are converging on Congress. More than a million people have signed online petitions. State legislators, city and township governments, Democratic Party groups and unions have sponsored and passed measures in 23 states demanding that Congress pass a constitutional amendment to reassert and elevate the political speech of ordinary citizens and roll back the growing political speech and legal privileges of corporations.

The two approaches can be seen in the protest signs and sound bites proclaiming, “Money is Not Speech” and “Overturn Corporate Personhood.” But these slogans are not calling for the same remedy, especially when transformed into legal language in 10 proposals that have been introduced in the current Congress.

Growing number of African American pastors express support for Occupy movement

As the nation observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant was outside the Federal Reserve’s headquarters in the District, protesting.

And at the public radio station WPFW (89.3 FM), the Rev. Graylan S. Hagler used his airtime Monday to note the similarities between the Occupy Wall Street movement and those who camped in “Resurrection City,” in the shadows of the Washington Monument, after King was slain.

Palm Tree Proletarians, ‘a loose group of anarchists and left communists’ write about their perceptions at Occupy LA

Chris and Stacy’s two boys jumped from bench to bench, between and among the dozing or dazed homeless, playing hide and go seek and various other games, while we decided what, if anything, to do.

I say “if anything” because if you’ve been to a demonstration in the United States since 9-11, you know what this one was like. The costumes, the dancing, the drumming, the American liberal swamp. Most of the people at Occupy LA so far have been college-age activists, middle class liberals, soft lifestyle anarchists and homespun populist philosophers. There is also a strong current of what you might call “hippies,” too, if I can be so anachronistic. Tie dye and spray paint. The only difference from the classic 2000-era demonstration was the lack of the sects and the presence of… the “libertarians.”

Wall Street ‘fraternity’ made up of wealthy moguls roasts liberals, Occupy Wall Street

Kappa Beta Phi, an exclusive Wall Street fraternity whose members include big-name bankers, hedge fund billionaires and private equity titans, met at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan on Thursday night for its 80th annual black-tie dinner and induction ceremony.
. . .

In another skit, William Mulrow , a senior managing director at the Blackstone Group, put on raggedy clothes to play the part of an Occupy protester. Emil W. Henry Jr., a managing partner at Tiger Infrastructure Partners and a fellow new Kappa, joined him dressed as a wealthy baron.

“Bill, look at you! You’re pathetic, you liberal! You need a bath!” Mr. Henry said, voice full of mock indignation.

“You callow, insensitive Republican!” Mr. Mulrow said. “Don’t you know we need to create jobs?”

A Blackstone spokesman declined to comment on Mr. Mulrow’s behalf. Mr. Henry was not immediately available for comment.

Some Americans preparing for ‘civilization’s collapse’

When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.

“In an instant, anything can happen,” she told Reuters. “And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared.”

Tegeler is among a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as “preppers.” Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm.

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