The OB Media Rundown for 4/17/12

Trans Activist: Boston Police Abusive at Protest

A transgender activist says she was abused by a Tea Party member and a police officer while protesting a Tea Party rally in Boston Sunday and that fellow protesters were received rough treatment as well.

The Tea Party’s Patriots’ Day rally on Boston Common featured antigay speakers such as minister Scott Lively, MassResistance director Brian Camenker, and former Boston Herald columnist Don Feder, along with some focusing on economic and other issues. At least five groups demonstrated in opposition to the Tea Party message, including Occupy Boston’s Queer/Trans Direct Action Working Group, the website Back2Stonewall reports.

An altercation developed after Tea Party members grabbed a banner carried by one of the other opposition groups, Antifa, and protesters from Occupy Boston and others came to Antifa’s defense, a trans activist with Occupy Boston (pictured) told Back2Stonewall. Two of her group’s members were arrested, and as she followed them, a Tea Partyer knocked her wig off, claiming his hand slipped. Then, she said, a police officer came up and shoved her and said, “OK, take your shit and get out of here.” (The Advocate)

Boston patrolman photographed with hand around protester’s throat

A photo of a Boston police officer with his hand around a protester’s neck sparked outrage on the Internet and prompted an investigation by city officials yesterday.

A picture snapped by photographer Paul Weiskel during the Massachusetts Tea Party Coalition’s “Patriots Day Rally” on Sunday shows a Boston patrolman grabbing a masked individual by the throat. The alleged victim was part of a counterprotest.

“I was taking pictures of two kids in handcuffs and turned around to see this one cop with his hands around this kid’s neck,” Weiskel said, recalling Sunday’s rallies downtown. (Boston Metro)

Photos of Police Officer ‘Choking’ Counter-Protester Create Controversy

The photos, snapped by a UMass Boston junior, depict a Boston police officer with his hand on the neck of a man protesting the inclusion of anti-gay speakers at a Tea Party Tax Day Rally over the weekend. (South End Patch)

MA Tea Party Patriots: “We will not be silenced by faggots”

Arrests, police misconduct, and still more infringements on the first amendment went down in the Bay State on Sunday afternooon.

Scott Lively, professional worldwide hunter of homosexuals and top proponent of “gay cure,” was honored speaker at a tax day event organized by the Massachusetts Tea Pary Coaliiton in affiliation with Tea Party Patriots at the Boston Commons.

And no one was more excited about his attendance than Mass Resistance. Mass Resistance is perhaps among the most radical and fringe of the 18 groups featured on Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-gay hate groups list, which is saying a lot. In 2006 and 2007 they pushed a repeal of Massachusetts’s marriage equality: (Daily Kos)

Trans Activist Descibes In Her Own Words The Police Brutality And Hate At Boston Tea Party Rally

Last night I published a quick post about the police brutality, hate and violence experienced by Occupy Boston protesters which occureed at the Boston Tea Party’s Partiot’s Day Rally on Boston Commons yesterday which featured anti-gay hate group leaders Scott Lively and Brian Caremaker.

Today I recieved an email from the Occupty Boston  protestor pictured above who who became a victim of brutality at the hands of the BPD and she recounts the details happened at the event and the anti-LGBT hate of the Tea Party. (Back 2 Stonewall)

Boston police to review actions after criticisms of handling of Tea Party counterprotest on Common

A protester confronted by a Boston police officer, who was photographed with his hand around the protester’s neck, is now contemplating legal action.

The protester, who gave the name Allie but did not want to be identified by gender, said the officer’s hand was used to push and not choke.

“He pushed me,” Allie said in a telephone interview Monday. “I turned to him and said don’t push me. … Then he got angry. He grabbed me by the neck and then pushed me by the neck. He didn’t choke me.” (Boston Globe)

First They Come for the Muslims

Tarek Mehanna, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced Thursday in Worcester, Mass., to 171/2 years in prison. It was another of the tawdry show trials held against Muslim activists since 9/11 as a result of the government’s criminalization of what people say and believe. These trials, where secrecy rules permit federal lawyers to prosecute people on “evidence” the defendants are not allowed to examine, are the harbinger of a corporate totalitarian state in which any form of dissent can be declared illegal. What the government did to Mehanna, and what it has done to hundreds of other innocent Muslims in this country over the last decade, it will eventually do to the rest of us.

Mehanna, a teacher at Alhuda Academy in Worcester, was convicted after an eight-week jury trial of conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq and providing material support to al-Qaida, as well as making false statements to officials investigating terrorism. His real “crime,” however, seems to be viewing and translating jihadi videos online, speaking out against U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and refusing to become a government informant.

Five Ways to Support Re-Occupation

Empowered by a federal court ruling that allows protesters to legally sleep on public sidewalks, as long as they don’t block building entrances or take up more than half of the available space, #SleepfulProtest is proving to be an effective new tactic helping speed Occupy Wall Street’s re-emergence into the streets and public spaces of the US. (My colleague Allison Kilkenny recently explained and explored this new strategy.)

It’s been so effective, in fact, that this morning at 6:00 am the NYPD, in direct defiance of the 2000 decision Metropolitan Council Inc. v. Safir, which held “public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression” to be constitutionally protected speech, raided the corner across from the New York Stock Exchange where Occupiers have been sleeping. A motion for an emergency injunction against NYPD disruption of the sidewalk protests was filed this morning.

In the meantime, here are five ways you can help support the Re-Occupation of America:

No Occupy events to cover? Look again

Any mainstream press interest in covering the Occupy movement and other organized dissent will certainly be tested in the months to come. In addition to NATO protests in May in Chicago, described yesterday, here is a good sampling of potentially significant anti-corporate and anti-militarism events that should draw the attention of major news organizations this spring. Some of the events have already been held; many shown are scheduled for Washington, D.C., but are typical of actions and events planned in communities around the country in the months to come.

Why Is the Recovery So Feeble? Ask (Laid-Off) Public-Sector Workers

The slashing of public-sector jobs-concentrated in states Republicans took control in 2010-is accounting for a major slowing of the nation’s economic recovery. In a recent report issued by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), economist Josh Bivens calculated that the U.S. has lost 584,000 government jobs during the recovery, an “unprecedented drag.”

Bivens argues that if America had emulated the strategy used to strengthen previous recoveries, it would have added 1.2 million public-sector jobs since the recovery’s start in June 2009. And the expanded buying power of these workers would have led to an additional 500,000 jobs in the private sector.

Regulators still don’t have a handle on the robotic trading caused the 2010 ‘Flash Crash’

WALL STREET’S ROBOTIC REVOLUTIONhas been stunning — faster and more sweeping than the automation of any other industry. Between 60% and 70% of all trades are made by decision-making machines, compared with 20% in 2006, the year before the SEC made equity markets more machine-friendly. The smart robots simultaneously buy and sell stocks, commodities and futures on multiple exchanges at the speed of light and generally take small profits in seven seconds or less. With 23,400 seconds in a trading day, those incremental gains mount. A high-frequency trader once boasted to me that his machines made him a 300% profit every year.

The souped-up, nitrogen-cooled trading machines are programmed by physicists and mathematicians who have abandoned university labs to join the biggest get-rich-quick scheme since condo-flipping. They view the rest of us as members of the Flat Earth Society.

Romney’s Lead Economist Urges Policies that will Cause the Next Financial Crisis

[Harvard economist Gregory] Mankiw was unconcerned about looting.  It was my first introduction to Mankiw morality:  “it would be irrational for savings and loans [CEOs] not to loot.”  I was appalled, but my outrage at Mankiw paled when I observed that the members of the audience, professional economists, were not even made visibly uncomfortable by such a depraved response to elite fraud.  CEOs owe fiduciary duties to the shareholders.  Mankiw’s response to the findings that CEOs were looting their shareholders was to praise the rationality of the fraudulent CEOs (if you don’t loot you aren’t moral – you’re insane).  One cannot compete with theoclassical economists’ unintentional self-parody.

Businesses encouraged to look to Occupy Movement for ‘leadership secrets’

Is it possible to learn leadership secrets from Occupy Wall Street and other activist movements worldwide? Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, a new book edited by Andrew Boyd (of political pranksters Billionaires for Bush) and Dave Oswald Mitchell (Briarpatch magazine), is a dense and highly readable guide to activist tactics and principles … that came to market via a highly unusual publishing model.
. . .

Although the book is geared toward the activist community, many of the tactics and ideologies discussed lend themselves to startups–and even the corporate world–quite easily. At various points in the book, “creative disruptions,” publicity stunts, mediajacking, balancing art and message, and the importance of staying on message, are all discussed. Some sections of the book, such as “Putting Your Target In A Decision Dilemma,” and “Simple Rules Can Have Grand Results,” even fit in perfectly with the corpus of business leadership literature.

Occupy Unveils ‘Spring Awakening’

During the long winter months, Occupy protesters kept reassuring those of us in the media still covering their actions that the spring would prove to be a time of resurgence for Occupy Wall Street. If the “Spring Awakening” meet-up at Central Park this past weekend is any indication of future turnouts, OWS organizers may be correct in their predictions.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at New York City’s most famous park, an inspired location that placed Occupy in the heart of tourist alley, guaranteeing the group’s activities attracted the attention of curious passersby.
. . .

“Today is about coming together in a space that’s going to allow us to be less confrontational than we often are downtown and kind of bond, and also engage the Saturday, Central Park-going public,” said Scott, an OWS protester. That “confrontational” nature, some might argue, is what makes Occupy a unique protest movement, but Scott isn’t concerned about the group becoming too passive.

But is it Occupy? As the movement ages, it’s becoming harder and harder to determine which groups exactly belong to it

On Saturday, following the annual Anarchist Book Fair, a crowd gathered in New York City’s Washington Square Park for an anti-police march. They took to the streets with numbers nearing 100 and little police accompaniment, at first. They wound through the East Village, leaving some minor property damage in their wake. By the end of the night, there had been three arrests, carrying hefty charges including assault on a police officer and inciting to riot.

One of the arrestees – Nicholas Thommen – was held on bail and the issue came up as to whether the OWS bail fund (a $90,000 nest egg set aside for bailing out activists) should be tapped into. A number of people suggested that since no established OWS working group had announced the march, and since the action had not been publicized on any OWS website, the event was distinct from Occupy plans and thus ought not receive its funds. After a fair amount of back and forth, the decision was made that, indeed, OWS would cover the $1,000 to bail out Thommen. Across Twitter and in numerous media reports, people asked whether the march was or was not Occupy.
. . .

A number of those involved in OWS will still disagree with the decision to tap into the bail fund in this instance; many will want to distance the Occupy name from anything involving property damage or black bloc tactics. To do so, however, would miss the importance of “Occupy” as a broad and confusing banner under which a diversity of tactics are supported – namely that such decentralization can empower vast numbers of people across the country to plan and orchestrate actions on their own, but also in solidarity with the ideas and principles associated with Occupy (as we saw with the original spread of encampments); it would also miss the fact that many of the longest-term participants in Occupy are anarchists who appreciate the utility of black bloc tactics and reject the idea that damage to corporate property constitutes violence.

Occupy Wall Street seeks shelter at Federal Hall

Protesters with Occupy Wall Street sought refuge from the NYPD yesterday on the steps of Federal Hall, a historic city landmark which also happens to be federal property — and out of the NYPD’s jurisdiction. A police officer told Metro yesterday the NYPD cannot make arrests at Federal Hall unless federal officials ask them to.

Their move comes after five protesters were arrested at 6 a.m. yesterday after sleeping on the nearby sidewalk overnight.

Occupy D.C. takes to sidewalks to protest banks

By now, it’s a routine for Occupy D.C.: Spread sleeping bags on the sidewalk outside the Bank of America on Vermont and L. Fend off disgruntled security guards and harried passersby. Wake up, get arrested by D.C. police, post bail, return to the sidewalk.

Occupiers call it the “Sleepful Protest,” and it’s specifically targeting some of the nation’s biggest banks, which Occupiers blame for the foreclosure crisis.

Nearly two dozen protesters, barred from sleeping in McPherson Square in February, now spend their days a block away, camped out in front of Bank of America. Police arrested at least a dozen so far.

NYers Blockade Home Foreclosure Auctions with Song-Week of Sing-In Actions in Brooklyn, Queens & the Bronx

In support of homeowners facing foreclosure and eviction in NYC, members of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and other community groups will conduct vibrant singing protests and raise the people’s voices at foreclosure auctions in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx this week, with the aim to: disrupt the sale of people’s homes and the eviction of their occupants; call for a moratorium on all foreclosures; demand justice for all New Yorkers struggling for affordable housing; confront Wall Street’s unchecked power to put profits over people’s right to housing.

Fighting foreclosure on multiple fronts


In San Francisco, Occupy Bernal activists have been successful postponing several housing auctions. And they’ve set their sights on a citywide foreclosure and eviction moratorium, backed by city supervisor John Avalos.

Crosscurrents invited some of the people creatively fighting against evictions to join us to hear about their struggles and victories: Grace Martinez is organizer with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE); Vivian Richardson lives in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood and was able to successfully fight foreclosure of her home; and Alberto del Rio is activist with Occupy Bernal in San Francisco currently facing foreclosure of his own home – an auction is set for later this spring. They spoke with KALW’s Holly Kernan.

Montclair State students join protest of education costs [NJ]

A national movement that began at Rutgers University a decade ago to protest the cost of higher education expanded Monday to include Montclair State University, where students plan to occupy a college green this week to raise awareness of the issue.

The MSU version of Tent State University attracted only a handful of students in its first day of a planned weeklong camp out – and involved borrowed tents from Occupy Newark – yet organizers seemed upbeat about being able to raise awareness among fellow Red Hawks.

Teach-outs to be held on Sproul Plaza this week

The Open University at Occupy Cal will hold teach-outs from 12-2 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday on Sproul Plaza to address how education should be accessible to all, according to a Facebook event.

According to the event, Matt Williams, a UC Berkeley senior and candidate for ASUC president with the Defend Affirmative Action Party, will speak about “Why We Need Affirmative Action” tomorrow at 12 p.m.

Open University – a working group within Occupy Cal that is committed to the educational front – has been holding teach-outs throughout the semester, although they were temporarily stopped due to poor weather conditions, according to Navid Shaghaghi, a UC Berkeley senior and member of the group.

Madison mayor wants to end Occupy encampment

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said it’s time for the Occupy encampment to move out, but he’s facing opposition from some city alders. The possible eviction is putting a spotlight on Madison’s homeless problem, growing poverty and lack of resources.

Occupy Protesters Speak Out Against Developer

Occupy Buffalo Protesters are rallying against the Erie County Industrial Development Agency approval of $212 thousand in sales and mortgage tax cuts to aid in the renovation of the Graystone Hotel on South Johnson Park. It’s a building owned by private developer Carl Paladino and his company Ellicott Development Corporation.

“The Ellicott Development Corporation has a net worth in the billions and they can afford to spend five million dollars to this? They won’t do it unless we give them tax money to subsidize Carl Paladino,” Protester David Gears said.

Occupy Lompoc moves the line

“Occupy Lompoc will be asserting their legal right to exercise free speech on a 12 foot public easement on the Sculpture Park,” reads a press advisory from local Occupy Lompoc. After months of being denied access to what appears to be public space, the Santa Barbara County group took from the sidewalk and occupied the easement Saturday.

The group’s advisory continued, “Occupy Lompoc members contend that this act is not a civil disobedience, but rather an act in full compliance with the law.”

Occupiers Chase Drunk Frat Boys

Police charged a Yale senior with larceny Monday evening after three Occupy New Haven members chased him and his friends to their frat house.

The chase began with a confrontation on the Upper Green, where the anti-corporate Occupy New Haven encampment has stood for the past six months.

Around 6:45 p.m. three “inebriated” Yalies paraded through the encampment screaming, “We’re the 1 percent. Fuck Occupy!” according to Roger Card, an occupier who has been at the encampment since its Oct. 15 debut. Card said the three identified themselves as Yale seniors on the varsity football team. “They pushed down our gardener, who’s in his 60s” then ran across the street to Yale’s Old Campus, Card said.

Occupying in Latin America: Social Movements Taking Over Land, Factories and Schools

While the Occupy Movement has taken the world by storm, a long history of different types of social movement occupations have marked Latin America for decades. This panel draws connections between the Occupy Movement in the US and its historical and contemporary counterparts in Latin America. Participants will discuss Brazil’s landless farmer movement, the occupation of factories and businesses in Argentina following the country’s 2001 economic crisis, the occupation of land by farmers and urban activists in Paraguay and today’s powerful student movement in Chile, which has occupied the streets and schools of the nation. This panel will look at the distant and recent history of occupying as a short- and long-term tactic of the some of the most powerful social movements in the hemisphere, and tie it to today’s struggles emerging out of the global Occupy Movement.

Landless Movement Occupies Brazilian Government Ministry

Some 1,500 members of Brazil’s MST Landless Movent occupied the Agriculture Ministry on Monday and demanded an audience with President Dilma Rousseff, police said.

Some 300 MST members took over the ministry’s offices around 5:40 a.m. while the rest surrounded the building to ward off any attempt by the authorities to eject those inside, according to Brasilia police officials.


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