The OB Media Rundown for 6/1/12

Occupy Wall Street Spawns DIY Solar Power

Back in the Fall of 2011, during the first wave of Occupy protests, a team from Revolt Labs apparently built solar-powered chargers for Occupy Boston protesters to help them charge their portable electronics. This was done using what I used to construct my own 5-volt USB charger: a 5-volt 7805 voltage regulator which is capable of charging all USB devices using a vehicle’s cigarette lighter outlet, or most cordless phone chargers.
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The DIY Revolt Labs project generates 10 watts of power, sufficient to sustain small electronics such as cellphones. And, of course, cellphones and socket-free recharging are particularly important to protesters. Another even more portable and helpful device for charging portable electronics, which can fully sustain cellphones, is a 12-watt solar-powered foldable charge available from Wagan Tech for $130. The price is $11 per watt of power generation capacity, which is high, but can be expected from foldable solar panels.

For protesters who are on the move, the portability may be worth it, and they can use it personally at home too. For protesters who need more to power their laptops and other devices, and who need extra energy storage capacity, there is an 80-watt power cube I took a look at in a local store recently, also available on Amazon.

FBI Works to Taint the Occupy Movement


Two recently foiled “terrorist plots” that the U.S. government and mainstream media connected to the Occupy movement turned out to have been facilitated by federal agents. But that fact has “not stopped many from branding Occupy with an unfavorable stain,” RT reports.

NYPD Unconcerned With Actually Convicting Occupy Wall Street Protesters

As hundreds of protesters arrested during months of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations get their day in court, their arresting officers aren’t even bothering to show up. When they have, as in the first two cases to go to trial, the NYPD testimony was disproved with photographic and video evidence, resulting in both protesters getting acquitted. Many of the others charged, most often with disorderly conduct (a violation, not a crime), will have to wait until at least September to go before a judge because the prosecution doesn’t have their police witnesses ready. As with contesting a traffic ticket, it’s often difficult to get cops to court, but when it comes to protesters, there’s probably more to it than busy schedules.

“Mass arrests were being used as a tactic, as a weapon to stop the expressive activity and to chill people from participating in OWS,” Norman Siegel, an Occupy attorney and former head of the NYCLU, told Daily Intel. “You deal with the protest at that moment and you limit future activity. Even if the city arrests people and there’s no conviction, so what?”

Phoenix City Prosecutor’s Office Sides With Occupy Protestors, Dismisses Cases

The Phoenix City Prosecutor’s office made a bold statement in its Motion to Dismiss 20 cases against Occupy Phoenix protesters yesterday, citing Paul Revere, the Tea Party and the constitutional right to protest. Members of The Phoenix 20 were individually represented pro bono by a troop of 17 volunteer defense attorneys. Originally 45 defendants faced charges, but 25 pled guilty to lesser charges. The cases were grouped together and involved trespassing and loitering allegations*.

“This country was founded on protest,” said City Prosecutor Aaron J. Carreon-Ainsa in the State’s Motion to Dismiss, which was granted this morning. Although Carreon-Ainsa noted that the protesters were not free to be in the park after hours, he went on to say that “the State has no intention of limiting anyone’s constitutional rights.” The document also cited Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and the 1773 Boston Tea Party, concluding that “protest is part of the fabric of our nation” and that “in Phoenix, the protesters were not violent. The police were not violent.”

Solidarity Forever: Occupy Throws Support Behind Struggles in Quebec, Mexico

Over the past few weeks, Occupy Wall Street activists have organized marches and other symbols of unity for ongoing status quo-shattering movements in Quebec and Mexico. As a result, the protest communities in North America have expressed unprecedented levels of solidarity between activists, who often share nothing but a common language of struggle and solidarity.

It’s easy for, say, an NYU student buried in debt to inherently understand obstacles facing a Quebec student (whopping 82 percent tuition hikes over the next five years), or for a Quebecer to discern why the Yo Soy 132 movement in Mexico doesn’t want a monopolistic party that ruled for seven decades to once again return to power, or glean why students aren’t crazy about the idea of Televisa and TV Azteca controlling 95 percent of Mexico’s TV market.

Corporate and political monopolies and the consequences of austerity are realities all too familiar to young people, whether they live in Quebec or the United States or Mexico.

Occupy Bilderberg 2012, ‘thousands of protesters’ expected


For a little over 50 years, an elite organization has met all around the world in total secrecy with nearly zero press coverage. On Thursday, the annual Bilderberg Conference will take place in Chantilly, Virginia where the world’s leaders are believed to make decisions that could possibly have an effect on the world. Abby Martin looks closer at Bilderberg’s global policies for a new world order as RT readies to cover this year’s event later this week.

TED talk organizers suppress income inequality discussion – ‘too politically controversial’

Tech investor and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer gave a TED talk in March on income inequality and how that plays out in politics and the economy. The talk, which is part of a long series of short presentations by Technology, Entertainment and Design, never made it on the organization’s site.

In the talk, Hanauer argues that the wealthiest people aren’t actually the job creators and aren’t fueling economic growth.

“In a capitalist economy, the true job creators are consumers, the middle class,” Hanauer said in the TED talk. “And taxing the rich to make investments that grow the middle class, is the single smartest thing we can do for the middle class, the poor and the rich.”

Facing Down the Bankers

Sitting in a corner office high above K Street here, Dennis M. Kelleher, one of the most powerful lobbyists on financial regulatory reform, looks every bit the corporate lawyer and high-ranking Senate aide he formerly was: tailored suit, quick smile, assertive tone.

But Mr. Kelleher does not work for banks. He works against them.

“What is at stake is whether the American people are at risk of another Great Depression,” Mr. Kelleher, who is 54, said in a recent interview. “We exist to fight back against the forces trying to make us forget just how bad it was.”

‘Intellectuals seduced by corporate propaganda,’ author says

The wide-ranging talk was provocative with [Chris] Hedges attacking university institutions and the media establishment for remaining silent as corporations bankrupt the United States.

Modern day intellectuals have been seduced by the corporate propaganda, he said. And instead of standing up to the injustices, they are more interested in privilege and their career, Hedges said.

Hedges, who supports the Occupy movement, said serious change can only come through acts of civil disobedience in a non-violent way.

“We have descended into a political process where it has become utterly impossible to define the centre of power which Occupy Wall Street understood. They are based not in Washington but on Wall Street,” he said.

Show Me What a Police State Looks Like

Occupy Wall Street livestreamers Luke Rudkowski, Geoff Shively, Dustin & Jess and Tim Pool, who streamed for 21 hours straight during the raid on Occupy Wall Street in Zucotti Park were raided at gun point while in their vehicle on Saturday night [Chicago] last week as they were driving on their way home. After confiscating the livestreamers’ computer hard drives, the police slammed them against the floor of their car, and tried to delete footage of the incident before the journalists could upload it to Ustream. The video, however survived but the police haven’t offered up a reason for detaining the group of indie journalists as of yet.

“It’s an affirmation that we’re doing the right thing,” said Occupy Livestreamer Geoff Shively. “I would like to see the footage from our pullover be released from the police camera and I would also like to see the police records from the CPD to see if they actually had a call and they were looking for a black car, a black ’99 Lexus, with Mexican plates, and if they were not I want them to be held accountable for the harassment that they did to us.”

The raids on Occupy Chicago activists and Occupy livestreamers is part of what looks like a larger strategy on the part of the CPD to quell dissent from the inside while appearing to use softer police tactics to control protesters.

Occupy Denver Join Forces With Local Student Groups To March In Support Of Quebec Student Strike

On Friday, Occupy Denver will join forces with student protest groups Occupy Auraria, Occupy DU and Political Active Ztudents (PAZ) to march in support of the now more than 3-month-long student strike in Quebec over college tuition hikes.

Tim Holland, Occupy Denver protester, told The Huffington Post that the Denver wing of the Occupy Wall Street movement is expecting a large turnout for this demonstration in support of Quebec’s students. Solidarity marches are also expected to take place in cities across the U.S. like Chicago, Portland, Oakland and others.

Sacramento activists protest against low wages, lack of health benefits, for janitors in state capitol

Janitors protesting a lack of affordable quality health care blocked Capitol Mall at 3rd Street in downtown Sacramento during the noon hour.

The demonstration began about 11 a.m. Sacramento police eventually ordered the protesters to leave, saying it was an unlawful assembly. Most moved to the side but several stayed seated in the middle of the street and refused to move. Officers arrested seven.

Occupy activists target Stockton

Occupy Oakland and Occupy Stockton activists marched in downtown Stockton Thursday in protest over what organizers say is an incompetent city government, deadly police shootings and greedy banks.

The demonstrators filled Center Street and several other downtown streets. Traffic was blocked.

Judge wants new investigation into OPD

A federal judge ordered a probe Thursday into how Oakland police investigate officer-involved shootings and threatened the department with sanctions if misconduct is uncovered.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson also ordered Oakland to provide by June 8 additional information showing how it will complete already past-due internal affairs investigations stemming from last year’s Occupy protests. He threatened to levy daily fines against the city if it again misses deadlines to complete the investigations.

Henderson oversees police reforms ordered as part of the 2003 settlement of the Riders police misconduct case. On Thursday, he again questioned whether police would ever be able to fully implement the reforms and warned that he was still considering proceedings to place the department under federal control.

Additional Occupy Cal emails released

The Daily Californian has obtained more than 1,000 emails sent to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and other UC Berkeley administrators in response to the campus’ handling of the November Occupy Cal protests.

The emails, received by the Daily Cal from the campus’ Public Records Office on Tuesday, illustrate widespread dismay over video footage taken in front of Sproul Hall that shows police officers jabbing protesters – a group that included students and faculty – with batons on Nov. 9. Messages came from campus and university alumni as well as concerned citizens across the country and even around the world.

Albany [CA] Occupy farmers pack courthouse in trespassing lawsuit

Occupy the Farm supporters packed an Alameda County courtroom Thursday for arguments in a University of California lawsuit seeking to ban them from the Gill Tract in Albany, where they camped and farmed for three weeks this spring before being removed by police.

Judge David Hunter was asked to issue a preliminary injunction banning eight specific farmers and anyone else from trespassing or farming the land. The university uses part of the land for crop research.

Although Hunter did not make a ruling Thursday morning, he had issued a temporary restraining order on May 16 banning the Occupiers from trespassing or farming. The injunction would continue that until the case is decided.

Activists and politicians in NY and TX keep up pressure on Exxon Mobil to implement LGBT anti-discrimination policies

“ExxonMobil’s refusal to substantially implement a written equal employment opportunity policy allows the company to continue to deny domestic partner benefits to its employees in the United States and is in conflict with anti-discrimination and marriage equality statutes in New York State,” [New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli] wrote.

Outside the [shareholders] meeting, dozens of protesters lined Flora Street in front of the Meyerson on Wednesday. About 50 people with organizations including Code Pink, United Steel Workers and Occupy Dallas joined GetEQUAL Texas protesters to shout for equality and ending discrimination, while a handful of protesters parodied the CEOs that make the choices and profit from ExxonMobil.

Occupy: Minneapolis Mayor’s Words Not Matching Actions On Foreclosure

Occupy Minnesota activists are convinced Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is saying one thing and doing another when it comes to evicting homeowners.

David Cruz is the owner of the home in South Minneapolis that has been subjected to a series of police actions about foreclosure.

Cruz interprets the Mayor’s statement of the previous day that Minneapolis was not in the foreclosure business to mean that police actions at the home would be suspended. Yet the previous afternoon the property was raided by a substantial force of police and firemen.

Foreclosure protest puts Minneapolis officials in tight spot

Freddie Mac owns 59,000 foreclosed homes and has encountered protests before but, according to spokesman Brad German, this one stands out.

“What is unusual, in fact to our experience utterly unprecedented, is the level of aggression and defiance of the law by these activists,” German said.

Gathering outside City Hall on Thursday, those activists say they will back at the house at 2 p.m. Friday, inviting another confrontation.

6 arrested during minimum wage protest in Albany [NY]

Six Occupy Albany demonstrators were charged with misdemeanor trespassing in the Capitol on Thursday in a demonstration aimed at raising the minimum wage._ _The protesters were arrested and handcuffed by state troopers after they staged a sit-in in the office of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. State police say they were arrested after they refused to leave the office._ _Outside the Republican leader’s office, the Occupy members walked peacefully with their hands cuffed behind them and a trooper helping them down several flights of stairs. Supporters shouted, “This movement is unstoppable, a living wage is possible!”

Occupy Buffalo Helps Convince City Council To Divest From JPMorgan Chase After Trading Loss

The city’s decision to transfer its money comes just weeks after JPMorgan’s $2 billion trading loss, which caused significant damage to the bank’s reputation. It’s also a victory for Occupy Buffalo, which has been demonstrating against JPMorgan for months. The group organized a protest in front of a JPMorgan branch back in October advocating customers withdraw their money from the nation’s biggest banks.

The Occupy movement has had success in getting other cities to loosen their affiliations with big banks. Both Los Angeles and Kansas City have approved measures that deter officials from doing business with banks that have been accused of predatory lending.

Meanwhile, Occupy Austin convinced its City Council in March to come up with recommendations for divesting city funds from Bank of America, YNN reports.

Occupy Wall Street Bangs Pots and Pans with Students in Quebec


On May 30, 2012, Occupy Wall Street activists took to the streets of New York to march for affordable education and against police repression, in solidarity with the massive, ongoing student uprising taking place in Quebec and now spreading across the world. As protesters have in Argentina, in Chile, in Spain and now in Canada, they banged pots and pans as they marched – a practice called casseroles or cacerolazo. Manissa McCleave Maharawal and Zoltán Glück, who recently wrote for WNV about their experience among the students in Montreal, discuss the aims and meaning of this kind of protest.

SYRIZA Party in Greek Debt Crisis Shows How Occupy Wall Street Groups Can Change Politics

The upsurge in SYRIZA´s popularity has taken place in the context of the global economic crisis, Greece’s surmounting debt, and the influence of the Occupy movement and other resistance movements that have gained influence in Greece as a result of economic hardship. The desperate economic situation has demonstrated to the Greek population that it needs parliamentary politicians that protect their interests as opposed to those of the banks. The victory of the SYRIZA coalition could have widespread consequences for European politics, demonstrating to the world the way in which resistance movements are changing the face of politics as we know it.

On May 25, 2011 Athens´ Syntagmata Square was occupied along with another 60 squares around the country. People stayed occupying the square for two months until Greek riot police entered, declaring the camp illegal, and began forcibly removing the encampment’s infrastructure. According to one Greek professor, the lessons learned during those two months, in which activists organized workshops and major discussions, are what allowed a coalition like SYRIZA to gain in popularity. The people in the square learned communal and democratic thinking, and came to the conclusion that they needed to find parliamentary parties that represent these idea, taking the wisdom from the squares and translating it into parliamentary politics.

Enbridge oilsands pipeline protested outside Canadian Oil and Gas Export Summit

The rally, led by Occupy Vancouver Environmental Justice Group, aimed to raise awareness about the proposed Enbridge pipeline from the Alberta tar sands across the Rocky Mountains and through British Columbia to Kitimat. Meanwhile, inside the hotel, Insight, an industry workshop for oil and gas professionals, began. Discussing “effective Strategies to Ensure Diversification of Canada’s Oil & Gas Markets,” among the speakers at the conference was Paul Fisher, Vice-President of Commercial and Western Access for Enbridge Pipelines, the company proposing what is known as  the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

“This Canadian Oil and Gas Export Summit is about oil industry meeting looking at how to keep getting the oil and profits out of Canada when more and more Canadians aren’t happy with this idea,” Occupy Vancouver activist Stephen Collis said.

In New Zealand, peaceful student occupiers dragged away, beaten, arrested

Students protesting over education cuts have moved down to Auckland’s Queen Street after several arrests. Protestors broke through a police cordon and around 200 are sitting across the intersection of Queen and Victoria Streets chanting loudly.

Cars are hooting and trying unsuccessfully to get through. Students say some of their number had clothes ripped as they were dragged away by police, during the latest protest in Auckland over tertiary education cuts.
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Senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Campbell Jones, said police had hit and dragged a number of students. “What they’re protesting today is a disgraceful political decision and the elite will have education and others won’t,” he said.

Another protestor said the forceful police action was unwarranted. It had escalated the situation and strengthened the protester’s resolve, he said. “This is not containment anymore.”

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