The OB Media Rundown for 5/21/12

NATO activists set sights on Charlotte

CHICAGO Activists who staged a massive protest march at the NATO summit here Sunday vowed to bring thousands of demonstrators to Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention.

The events are significant to Charlotte because protest groups are planning to converge on the city en masse hoping to cast media attention on issues ranging from economic inequality and war to the environment.

NATO protests in Chicago: Police van drives into protesters, web video reporters detained, held at gunpoint (photos+video)

Chicago Police van number 6751, accelerated as it passed through the crowd, striking several people and seriously injuring one victim who was later transported to the emergency room. The extent of the victim’s injuries are not known. The driver of the van made no attempt to ascertain the condition of any of the people that were struck. Witnesses watched as the van passed through the phalanx of police surrounding the scene and drove away from the area. Had there been a civilian driving, they would certainly have been charged with a hit-and-run on a pedestrian in the roadway and taken into custody once they had been apprehended. No order to disperse had been given to the crowd.

Occupy Journalists Stopped, Searched, Handcuffed & Interrogated at Gunpoint

Under cover of the night around twelve police cars stopped five journalists when they were heading back to where they are staying in Chicago during the NATO summit. All five have been covering protests against the NATO summit for the past few days.

The five journalists included Luke Rudkowksi, who streams as @Lukewearechange, Tim Pool, who streams as @Timcast, Jeoff Shively (@Jiraffa), Dustin & Jess. They are known for their work livestreaming and tweeting out regular coverage of Occupy protests.

Rudkowski of We Are Change managed to record the Chicago police approaching the journalists in the car. The police have their guns drawn. They shout, ?Hands! Hands! Get your hands up!? And then, ?Fuckin? hands!? Then Pool?s voice can be heard saying, ?We?re being raided. For folks who are watching, we are being raided by the CPD right now as we speak.?

Great-grandma travels to Chicago from Portland

Nan Wigmore brought her walker and packed her sign, ?Grateful Great Grandmas Circle The Wagons, Support Occupy,? and rode on a bus for some three days, sleeping in the same clothes, to make it to the NATO protests in Chicago.

The 75-year-old from Portland, Ore., says she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else despite the discomfort of her journey.

?My feelings are too deep to keep me in my old comfortable place, so I had to learn some new things and that means to move out of my comfort zone,? Wigmore said as she sipped a hot chocolate late Friday after a few hundred protesters met at a downtown Chicago plaza in the lead-up to the two-day summit that begins Sunday.

G8 Summit Protesters Gather In Maryland

Activists from various movements descended upon the small town of Thurmont, Md. near Camp David to protest the global economic summit taking place there this weekend.

Beth Emmerling is with the Occupy Baltimore movement, and said she’s disappointed that the economic summit will not include participation from those hit hardest.

“I have friends with Ph.D’s who are living on food stamps,” said Emmerling Friday. “We have more boarded-up homes than any city I’ve ever been in. So yes, we’ve been hard hit by the economy.”

‘I am part of the 99 percent’: Tales of economic inequality

I’m part of the 99 percent. We have two cars–11 and 20 years old. We carry thousands of dollars in debt to pay for our son in college, and every month we send a check to help out a parent. Rather than replace the lawn mower that broke down on us last year, I borrow my neighbor’s. We have to be very frugal and it’s hard to see why people whose financial worth is a thousand times ours should be getting tax breaks–especially when the country’s been in wars for 10 years, our roads are falling apart, and public higher education has been starved to the point that almost no one can afford it.

I am part of the 99 percent. Why? Because by the time I graduate from college, I will owe more than $100,000 in loans and federal financial aid. I currently work two jobs, and any money I make goes toward bills. I used to be a commuter so I could save money, but when my car broke down, I had to move on campus. Just to live in a double room on campus costs $2,540. My parents co-signed for everything and they are in debt themselves. I dread the day when my family and I have to pay it all back. I am the 99 percent because I have no choice.

I am part of the 99 percent. My wife and I are both very fortunate to have jobs, but both of us owe $70,000 in student loans, bringing our total family debt up to $140,000. Both of our mothers have been recently laid off and forced into what appears to be early retirements. Seeing the sorry state of our economy and the environment makes us worry about the future we are creating for our children.

Occupy Youngstown to protest sheriff?s sale

In a prepared statement, the group said it opposes the use of sheriff?s sales for foreclosed properties.

?The weaknesses of such a system include that these kinds of sales operate underneath full disclosure; they put struggling homeowners on the street; they pay no attention to neighborhood needs or opinion; and properties are subjected to neglect while they wind their way toward sheriff-sale dissolution,? the statement reads.

OY says it supports using land banks to manage and transfer foreclosed or abandoned properties instead.

Join the people of Greece and France: Stand up and occupy your country

The majority of the world’s resources should not be reserved for a small elite group of merchants and political leaders. This outdated 19th century colonial economic policy needs to be replaced with modern enlightened concepts regarding equality.

Voters in Greece and France have now spoken out against these austerity measures and changed their governments. It’s time for the U.S. middle class to join with the occupy movement and stand up for the people in our own country!

Spanish indignados: More than just an Occupation

While the local media concentrates heavily on issues of legality of occupying public spaces, Francisco Jurado, a member of Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now) and one of the organizers of this year?s events in Sevilla, points out that the objective of the 4-day program of commemoration was not to reproduce last year?s weeks-long occupation of main squares in most cities, but rather to focus society?s attention on specific issues that affect it most now: housing, healthcare, education, economy and political representation, with the goal of creating concrete proposals for solutions.

?We are aware that a society in a full state of shock?, says Jurado, referring to the Spanish society in its current economic and political circumstances, “will paralyse if it doesn?t see an alternative?.

15-M can offer an alternative, as the movement that originated as a spontaneous and improvised street protest a year ago has evolved to become a platform where concrete proposals can now be elaborated and action taken. He points out that achievements of the movement by far exceeded the expectations from a year ago, especially in advancing issues in healthcare, education and political representation, international impact of the ?Spanish Revolution? and its presence in the media.

Anti-capitalists re-occupy Frankfurt

Anti-capitalist activists pitched tents outside the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Sunday, four days after police cleared out an earlier encampment.

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