The OB Media Rundown for 5/30/12

Citizens Get Conflicting Messages About Their Right to Record

This month, federal agencies and local officials sent two powerful but conflicting messages to the American public about our right to record.

On May 14, the Justice Department submitted a letter to the Baltimore Police Department providing in-depth guidance on citizens’ right to record. The letter was submitted as part of a court case that dates back to 2010. The plaintiff, Christopher Sharp, alleges that after filming the arrest of his friend in Baltimore, police confiscated his mobile phone and deleted the video.

And while the Justice Department’s letter “specifically addresses the circumstances in this case,” it was also clearly meant to send a message to police departments and municipalities around the country. The authors take pains to point out that the guidance contained within the letter “also reflects the United States’ position on the basic elements of a constitutionally adequate policy on individuals’ right to record police activity.” This important statement came just a week after digital rights and press freedom advocates sent a joint letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asserting that in a changing media landscape it is increasingly vital for the DOJ to protect everyone’s right to record.

Are co-ops the answer? Around the world, people are democratizing the workplace

Long before the Occupy movement sparked renewed protest of rising inequality, another global movement was quietly engaged in building a more democratic economy. From coffee growers in Kenya seeking a fair market price to worker-owned green businesses reviving the American Rust Belt, cooperatives are helping to spur a reinvention of work in a period of worldwide recession.

Globally, an estimated 1 billion people are members of cooperatives, and many believe that the scope of worker- and member-owned enterprises across the world represents a revolution already in the making. With combined earnings rivaling Canada’s GDP, co-ops could be the fastest-growing business model by the end of the decade. To promote awareness of their potential, the United Nations has declared 2012 the “International Year of Cooperatives.” Cooperative organizers, though they have generally worked on a separate track from protest movements, have called on Occupy and other mass movements to help build “an economy worth occupying.”

Occupy Albany, clergy push for higher minimum wag

A push to raise the minimum wage despite a political stalemate brought the Occupy Albany movement to the Capitol on Tuesday while dozens of clergy statewide pressured the Senate’s Republican majority and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“A living wage is possible, this movement is unstoppable!” chanted 40 demonstrators from the Capitol’s ornate Million Dollar Staircase. “It’s shameful and outrageous!”

3 arrested in foreclosed Mpls. home occupation

Minneapolis police arrested three protesters who were occupying a foreclosed home in south Minneapolis Tuesday.

After the arrests, a group of protesters marched down Hiawatha Avenue to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct on Lake Street.

Occupy Chicago Calls For City To Reopen Mental Health Clinics

A small but very vocal Occupy Chicago protest group marched through the Loop Tuesday afternoon, demanding some sort of compensation for what they say were the injuries they suffered during the NATO protests.

What the Occupy demonstrators – about 25 or 30 of them – say they want is for the city to reopen the mental health clinics that have been closed.

NATO summit causes prisoner spike

The Cook County Sheriff’s office said the recent NATO summit slowed down court activity, resulting in a spike in the number of inmates in the County Jail.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans urged judges to limit the number of cases that would result in prisoner transfer during the May 19-20 summit, in an effort to reserve officers for protests who would otherwise be assigned to prisoner escort.

The Chicago Sun Times reported nearly 9,500 inmates were held in the jail that weekend, some 150 more than the previous week. The jail occupancy limit is 9,361 prisoners.

Five Things You Need to Know About the ‘NATO 3′

Who They Are; So Far, No Warrant In Sight; They weren’t the only ones arrested and charged with terrorism in conjunction with the NATO summit; Their lawyers claim entrapment by informants, and fellow activists say the terrorism charges aim to stifle dissent; and We’ve seen this case before.

Softball Grudge Match: Occupy Portland vs. the City’s Park Rangers!

Portland City Park Rangers have challenged Occupy Portland to a friendly game of softball. Occupy Portland gladly accepted this invitation and in turn has invited all unions that represent Portland city workers, as well as the general public, to join in the celebration of unity and mutual respect.

We ask that all who attend leave their alcohol and politics at home. We will supply a BBQ and soft drinks as well as family-friendly music in the evening. Some vegan food will be provided, however we do recommend that people bring their favorite vegan dish to share. Blankets and lawn chairs are recommended.

Quebec unrest generates 3,000 news reports in 77 countries: analysis

The civil unrest consuming Quebec is also seizing media attention abroad – with more than 3,000 news reports from 77 different countries in recent weeks.
. . .

“It’s pretty significant and I would say that we have rarely seen Quebec get so much coverage internationally,” [analyst Caroline] Roy said.

She said the volume of foreign coverage spiked a couple of weeks ago, after Quebec adopted an emergency law that sets out to clamp down on demonstrations with strict rules and steep fines.

Indian ‘hactivists’ set to hold Occupy wall Street-style protests outside Supreme Court

First they meddled with IT rules.

Then they tried to pre-screen the social networks. But when the file sharing websites and torrent engines came under threat from court orders, India’s ‘netizens’ decided to hit back.

‘Hacktivist’ group Anonymous has called for pan-India ‘Occupy’ protests on June 9, a follow-up to their digital attacks on the BJP, the Supreme Court and several corporate websites.

Bogged down by austerity, Britons demand Plan B

Seven out of 10 Britons want the government to soften its spending cuts and do more to stimulate economic growth, according to an opinion poll published on Tuesday that will make uncomfortable reading for the ruling coalition.

The Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat partners have made austerity the cornerstone of economic policy since taking office in 2010, when they warned that over-spending by the previous Labour government was pushing Britain towards a Greek-style sovereign debt crisis.

But the ComRes poll in Tuesday’s Independent newspaper suggested voters were losing faith in their strategy, adding to pressure for a change of course a week after the International Monetary Fund said the government should do more to stimulate demand.

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