The OB Media Rundown for 3/27/12

Who Rides the T? Justice in Transit According to the Demographics of the MBTA

According to the 2008 Ridership Survey, 25 percent of MBTA riders do not have access to a vehicle. Indeed, many area residents are not paid enough to afford a vehicle, and are barely scraping by. The Federal Poverty Level is defined as $10,380, but according to the Massachusetts Economic Independence Index 2010, a resident of Boston needs to make $28,717 annually just to make ends meet. The living wage number jumps to $45,931 for a household with one adult and one school-age child. Yet, according to the 2008 Ridership Survey, nearly 40 percent of MBTA riders have a household income less than $40,000, and 17 percent have a household income less than $20,000.

Rightwing websites, bloggers, pundits and Fox News launch smear campaign against murdered black teen in Florida

Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”

Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:

Cash mobs tackle the issue of struggling local economies

cash mobs are a buy-local movement that combines social networking, small business and shopping. Most cash-mob organizers have a lot of Twitter followers and Facebook friends and set a time and place for people to meet and spend money.

For example, a group called Occupy Riverwest organized a cash mob in December at Fischberger’s Variety, 2445 N. Holton St. Dozens of people showed up at the same time and shopped, many buying holiday gifts. Owner Sarah Ditzenberger says the group spent about $1,200, which is twice what they would make on an average day.

Occupy Riverwest organized three more cash mobs in December. The second, called “Cafe Day,” was at Cafe Corazon, 3129 N. Bremen St., Riverwest Co-op Grocery and Cafe, 733 E. Clarke St., and Cafe Centro, 808 E. Center St.

Trayvon Martin Case: Sharpton Vows to ‘Occupy’ Sanford Over Easter

Rev. Al Sharpton will camp out with protesters in front of City Hall in Sanford, Fla., over Easter weekend as part of a nationwide call for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watch captain who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, he told ABC News.

“We’re going to have a full blown occupation of Sanford with tents and everything over Easter weekend until [authorities] either arrest George Zimmerman, or arrest us for praying for his arrest,” Sharpton said.

The civil rights leader and MSNBC talk show host said he’d be urging supporters of the cause across the country to wear “hoodies instead of Easter outfits to church on Easter Sunday.”  Sharpton said he will camp out “from Good Friday through Easter Sunday.”

Martin death may invite greater scrutiny of powerful corporate lobbying group ALEC

Language virtually identical to Florida’s [Stand your Ground] law is featured in a template supplied to legislators in other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed organization that has managed to keep a low profile even as it exerts vast influence (only recently, thanks to yeoman work by the Center for Media and Democracy, has a clear picture of ALEC’s activities emerged). And if there is any silver lining to Trayvon Martin’s killing, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what ALEC is doing to our society – and our democracy.
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ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.

Ohioans Rally For Fallen Florida Teen

In Cincinnati on Monday, Occupy the Hood will hold a “We are Trayvon Martin Unity Rally” at Cincinnati Public Library at 5 pm on Vine Street. Attendees are asked to wear hoodies and bring signs, according to the group’s Facebook page, reported ONN’s Lot Tan.
“I was upset. It hits home because I have three sons myself don’t want them to grow up in a society judged by the color of their skin and they way they’re dressed,” said Cincinnati Occupy the Hood organizer Robert Pace._

Occupy Union Square: The Evolution Of A New Protest Camp

When the NYPD again forcefully evicted Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park more than a week ago, many of those who weren’t arrested marched north, leading police on a winding course that finally ended at around 2 a.m. in Union Square.

Most of the protesters went home after that, but a handful stayed the night, launching what has become, over the past eight days, a new encampment for the Occupy movement.

For the occupiers, Union Square offers a number of advantages over Zuccotti Park, where they spent last fall. It’s much larger, with an open layout in a heavily trafficked location that lends itself to street outreach. Union Square also boasts a proud history as the center of labor, communist and anarchist rallies going back more than a century.

Veterans Peace Team Joins Occupy Wall Street

Talking to the Veterans Peace Team, whose ranks include Mr. Thomas, is like a history lesson in that post-WWII imperial trajectory – these guys have been all over the world. The Peace Team, in the words of Tarak Kauff (101st Airborne Division, 1959-1962), hopes to “directly confront, challenge and expose the violence of the state.” We are standing in Zuccotti Park, gearing up for a march to call for New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s resignation. Regarding the police presence on the park’s perimeter, Kauff remarks, “If they want to use violence, let the world see them using it on veterans first.”

Formed four months ago, the Peace Team aims to muster enough of a presence to present a first line between protesters and police officers at demonstrations like today’s.

Protest Planned Outside Mitt Romney Fundraising Event on Peninsula

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is scheduled to be in the Bay Area for a private fundraising event in Redwood Shores this evening.
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Raging Grannies member Ruth Robertson said her group plans to adopt “billionaire personas” and stand outside the event starting at around 4 p.m. with signs mocking people who are driving in to attend. Protesters will be wearing fake fur and holding signs reading “Corporations are People, Too,” she said.
“We think by mocking them it might bring them down a rung or two,” Robertson said.
Members of Occupy Redwood City also plan to attend the protest as “pretend” millionaires, member Paige Scott said this morning.

Agreement with City Allows Occupy Tallahassee Members to Use Land

The Occupy Tallahassee Movement has a written agreement with the city to use the land.

The City reviews the agreement on a monthly basis, usually at the end of each month. The city says as long as there is nothing illegal going on, the Occupy members keep the spot clean and provide toilets, then the city will allow them to continue using the space.

The Occupy Tallahassee members do pay about $35 a month fee to the city. The fee allows them to access the city’s utilities.

False choices: Missouri Republicans won’t raise taxes to prevent higher ed cuts – eliminate lifeline program for state’s blind instead

Christopher Gray, executive director of the Missouri Council of the Blind, said lawmakers are focusing on numbers instead of the impact their decision will have on people.

The unemployment rate for the blind is nearly 70 percent, Gray pointed out, and many have other disabilities in addition to blindness that put them at risk of going uninsured. But the decision to end the program also is fiscally irresponsible, he argued.

“Not only are these cuts just plain wrong, they will cost the citizens of Missouri tens of millions of dollars because of a $28 million transfer,” Gray said. “The costs will come when blind people who have no more medical benefit are forced to go to emergency rooms for treatment or to move into nursing homes when their support system is pulled out from under them.”

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