The OB Media Rundown for 3/22/12

Two arrested on Dewey Square during Occupy Boston women’s march

Video of aftermath of two kids getting arrested on Dewey Square — and of Boston Police Officers taunting the protesters. According to OBers in the video, the arrestees were goofing around on a jungle gym.

Two protesters held after Occupy march

Two men who participated in an Occupy Boston march Tuesday night were arrested after climbing on structures in Dewey Square, police said. Boston police Captain Thomas Lee said the suspects, whom he did not identify, were among about 50 protesters who began marching in the downtown area at about 9 p.m. Lee said about 20 people marched to a lawn in Dewey Square, where the suspects were arrested at about 11 p.m. It was not clear Tuesday night what they would be charged with. Ariel Oshinsky, an Occupy Boston media volunteer, said the march was a gesture of solidarity with female Occupy protesters whom the group says were victims of police brutality Saturday in New York.

Occupy Boston budding with warm weather

Occupy Boston is “out of hibernation” according to one of the group’s members, and they have plans to reoccupy, although when and where remains a mystery.

“We budgeted a certain amount of money for [reoccupying] and we have a tactical group putting something together,” said Robin Jacks, one of the group’s founders.

But Mayor Thomas Menino won’t stand for the group reclaiming public land.

Police, Experts, Attorneys, and a Harbor Towers Resident Discuss Boston’s Handling of Occupy Protests

First of all, I want to say that everyone feels just awful about the polite woman who lives in Harbor Towers, and who had to sit in traffic for a full half-hour one day last Fall on account of Occupy Boston marching down Atlantic Ave. In a way, she’s a bold representation of all the apathetic martyrs who’ve been inconvenienced by the countless people who are standing up for jobs and civil rights. I can only imagine how much courage that it took for her to air out her complaint today at Suffolk University, where the law school’s Rappaport Center held a roundtable addressing how cities nationwide have responded to Occupy.

The forum was led by Brooklyn College Professor Alex Vitale, whose work on police response and crowd control pre-dates Occupy Wall Street, but has taken on a whole new significance since September 17. Vitale has crunched numbers – relative to the nature of patrols and arrests – that he culled from news reports, which he presented today along with info on some general hallmarks of police-versus-Occupy showdowns nationwide, such as the hypocritical tendency to condemn protesters for sanitation while at the same time denying them the tools to clean camps.

Gated Intellectuals and Ignorance in Political Life: Toward a Borderless Pedagogy in the Occupy Movement

One of the most important challenges facing educators, the Occupy movement, young people, and others concerned by the fate of democracy is the challenge of providing the public spaces, critical discourses and counter-narratives necessary to reclaim higher education and other public spheres from the civic- and the capital-stripping policies of free-market fundamentalism, the authoritarian politicians who deride critical education and an army of anti-public intellectuals dedicated to attacking all things collective and sustaining.

Public values have for decades been in tension with dominant economic and political forces, but the latter’s growing fervor for unbridled individualism, disdain for social cohesion and safety nets and contempt for the public good appear relentless against increasingly vulnerable communal bonds and weakened democratic resistance.

The collateral damage has been widespread and includes a frontal assault on the rights of labor, social services and every conceivable level of critical education.

Romney Admits GOP Education Policy is Intended to Kill Unions

Republicans always say they want to get the federal government out of education. This comes in many forms, but usually they say something like “education should be returned to local control” or “I’ll eliminate the Department of Education.” They always avoid talking about union-busting because union-busting is not always especially popular. Wisconsin’s Governor Walker can attest to that.

Romney, in a rare moment of transparency, told Bret Baier that the reason for returning control of education to the states is for one reason: to union-bust.

But the role I see that ought to remain in the president’s agenda with regards to education is to push back against the federal teachers unions. Those federal teachers unions have too much power, in some cases, they overwhelm the states, they overwhelm the local school districts. We have got to put the kids first and put these teacher’s unions behind.

The fake housing recovery

When is a homebuilder not a homebuilder? When it’s in an index of homebuilder stocks, of course!

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders exchange traded fund has surged this year, leading many to speculate that the housing market has really, honestly, we’re not fooling around this time, cross our hearts and hope to die, bottomed.

The builders ETF is up a stunning 26% already this year. But here’s the thing. A big chunk of the companies in the fund that are doing well are not really builders.

Breaking Down the Mortgage Settlement: How Far Does $26 Billion Go?

$1.4 billion: total direct payments from the settlement to homeowners who were wrongfully foreclosed upon between 2008 and 2011.

750,000: foreclosed homeowners expected to qualify.

$2,000: estimated average payout.

3.8 million: total foreclosures between 2008 and 2011.

25 percent: expected increase in foreclosures in 2012. That would mean about 1 million foreclosures, up from 804,000 last year, partly as a result of banks clearing a backlog held up by the settlement proceedings.

Faith Leaders Blast House GOP Budget As ‘Immoral Disaster’ That ‘Robs The Poor’

[Paul] Ryan often says it is “morally wrong” not to address America’s debt, but faith leaders like Bishop Gene Robinson said the budget Ryan crafted fails basic moral tests. “The Ryan budget robs the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable of the safety net so integral to their survival,” Robinson said. “By any measure of civility and regard for one’s neighbor, it is an immoral disaster.”

Father Thomas Kelly, a Catholic priest and constituent of Ryan’s, felt similarly:

“As a constituent of Congressman Ryan and a Catholic priest, I’m disappointed by his cruel budget plan and outraged that he defends it on moral grounds. Ryan is Catholic, and he knows that justice for the poor and economic fairness are core elements of our church’s social teaching. It’s shameful that he disregarded these principles in his budget.”

Reproductive rights protest: Knit your congressman a ‘snatchel’

Could there be a better gift for Members of Congress than a knitted representation of their obscure object of desire, shame and regulation? The Snatchel Project’s premise is “if they have their own, they’ll leave ours alone”, and their site has patterns for a womb, snatchel, felt cervix, knitted vulva and three different uteri.

Vigilantism is not an option: Despite the history of brutality, we must reform, not abandon, the police

While these actions make me sick, they only strengthen my resolve to reform our country’s police force. Because my question still remains: What’s the alternative? It absolutely cannot be putting the law in the hands of private citizens like George Zimmerman and Joe Horn, the Texas man who shot two men on his neighbor’s lawn.

“Stand your ground” laws are not an answer. Beyond encouraging vigilantes, they have coincided with a rise in “justifiable homicides.” Florida’s law was enacted in 2005; since 2007 those incidents have doubled. The laws embolden citizens to shoot first and ask later, in large part because they’re no longer required to retreat or try to resolve the conflict before using force. They have also extended the realm of self-defense from someone’s home to the public sphere, and they’ve been used to defend the use of force to protect property, not just personal safety.

DHS Turns Over Occupy Wall Street Documents to Truthout

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) closely monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement, providing agency officials with regular updates about protests taking place throughout the country, responding to requests from fusion centers for intelligence on the group and mining Twitter and other social media for information about Occupy’s activities, according to hundreds of pages of internal documents DHS released to Truthout Wednesday morning in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

While the nearly 400 pages of documents do not contain any clear-cut evidence showing that DHS worked with local law enforcement and local government officials on the coordinated crackdown of Occupy encampments throughout the country last October, the materials provide deep insight into the agency’s interest in OWS and its response to internal requests for intelligence on the group and fears from some agency officials that the agency’s actions may have risen to the level of unconstitutional surveillance.

Occupy Wall Street gears up for spring training

Occupy Wall Street supporters are gearing up for spring training. They say they will teach thousands of people to lead nonviolent protests aimed at reinvigorating the movement.

The effort, dubbed 99 Percent Spring, includes sessions in 48 states from April 9 to 15.

1,500 March for Justice In Trayvon Martin Case

About 1,500 protestors participated in the Million Hoodies March tonight in Union Square to rally for justice in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman last month. The event was organized by Occupy Wall Street, which called on protestors to wear hoodies to show that “a black person in a hoodie isn’t automatically ‘suspicious.’”

Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, attended the march. At the rally in Union Square, Martin told the crowd: “We’re not going to stop until we get justice. My son did not deserve to die.” The protestors marched from Union Square to Madison Square Park, chanting “we want arrests” and “I am Trayvon Martin.” By 9 PM, the march had split into groups at Times Square, Union Square and 1 Police Plaza near Wall Street.

NY police eject Occupy protesters, arrest six

More than 100 protesters from the reawakened Occupy Wall Street movement were ejected from Union Square Park early Wednesday after a standoff with police resulted in six arrests.

VIDEO: Cops accuse Occupy Wall Street of pouring feces and urine on downtown corner

The NYPD is accusing Occupy Wall Street protesters of pouring urine and feces down stairs on a downtown corner and into an ATM vestibule.

The police department just released surveillance video they say was taken at about 8 p.m. on March 14, which they say shows demonstrators “dragging large quantities of human urine in feces in containers to an open-air plaza.”

Former Marine Keeps His Riverside Home, For Now [CA]

Arturo De Los Santos has been fighting foreclosure for several months. The Occupy movement has even come to his assistance. And his past service as a Marine has lent him support.
And for now, even the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is on his side.
Court documents show a battle between Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, which is unsure it has the legal right to force Arturo out.

Occupy Martinsburg hosting foreclosure workshop

An attorney and other advisers will be present to provide homeowners with information they can use to protect themselves from foreclosure. The workshop is intended to make homeowners facing foreclosure aware of their rights and options, and how the foreclosure process works.

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