The OB Media Rundown for 6/14/12

High school class president says she is barred from giving speech due to Occupy ties [CT]

A girl who worked hard for four years to get to the head of the class and claim her spot as class president has been told she won’t be allowed to address her class.

North Haven High School student Molly Gambardella tells News 8 she’s barred from giving the commencement speech.

School officials say it was a deadline issue, but Molly says it’s a decision made by the school because of her involvement with Occupy. She became so involved with the group, she decided to learn in a different environment.

Police shut down demonstration, Occupy Providence protesters banned from mall for one year

Occupy Providence protesters took their message to the mall Saturday — but not for long.

Occupy demonstrators rallied inside the Providence Place Mall. In a statement to Eyewitness News, the group says it was there calling for higher taxes on the rich.

However, mall security and Providence police moved in and removed the activists from the building. According to Occupy Providence, several protesters were handcuffed and detained. They were later released after accepting a one year ban from the mall.

House Republicans Try to Create the World’s Worst Criminogenic Environment

In the context of crimes of the street (other than Wall Street), there is normally no lobby trying to allow the typically lower class criminals to commit their crimes with impunity. In crimes of the business suites, however, it is the norm that there are well-funded, powerful, and seemingly legitimate lobbyists for the elite criminals who seek to allow them to commit their crimes with impunity. Similarly, it is rare for street criminals to consult a lawyer before they commit their crimes. Elite white-collar criminals often consult with expert legal counsel before, during, and after they commit their crimes in order to try to minimize the risk of being sanctioned.

One of the most obvious ways to produce a criminogenic environment is to create systems incapacity to detect and sanction crime. House Republicans are doing that in the context of elite white-collar crime. That context also happens to be the leading campaign donors for both parties.

Mystery: Where is class consciousness?

Dreams and beliefs aside, the harsh facts of American life include a broad stratum that is essentially locked into its poverty. That stratum suffers much higher rates of incarceration, much lower social and economic supports than its European equivalents, more single-mother families, greater public health problems – in general a more debilitating poverty than can be overcome with hard work.

We may wonder if they dream, and of what they dream, but history teaches that it isn’t the very poor who make revolutions. It is the middle class, the aspiring class, the people whose sense of injustice is fueled by their proximity to the good life. And America’s middle class does not appear to be anywhere near a mature sense of injustice. Often, it prefers the handy scapegoats: a corrupt government, “waste and fraud,” immigrants, unions.

The War on Poverty’s New Tactic: Outlaw Homelessness

I often receive calls from hard-working people who have lost their jobs, are one week away from eviction, and have no choice but to live in their car or carve out a space under a bush.

Where is the crime in sleeping under a park bench until another job is found? Who is the victim here, if not the person who must sleep on the ground?

In many American cities, the perceived victims are homeowners and merchants who have lost patience with the tents near their property. Compassion is fine if it means volunteering to cook a meal in a controlled environment like a homeless shelter. But when those same hungry people camp out near your business, compassion turns to anger.

Protesters call for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to go to jail

The bank bailout of 2008 may be in the rearview mirror, but the anger about it was front and center on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Even before JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was able to say one word of his much anticipated testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, a Code Pink activist in a brown suit called him a “crook” and a “predator” who “needs to go to jail.”

The activist said JPMorgan Chase took trillions of dollars in U.S. funds during the 2007-2009 financial crisis that stemmed from banks making too many risky loans without properly assessing if they would be paid back. “These guys are not the job creators, they’re the job destroyers,” he shouted.

Voices: On losing

I’m turning 43 today and feeling glad to be alive. I would love to be writing about the joy of raising children and the mysteries of the universe. But instead, today I’m thinking about last week’s elections, about losing and the nature of long-term struggle. I’m thinking about being born black in 1969, and how, in fact, our side has been losing my whole life. And while this sobering reality about the balance of forces in the nation could make a sane person completely despondent, today I’m considering it a challenge to radically rethink the way we progressives try to change the world.

The truth is that despite historic victories and truly incredible grassroots organizing over the last several decades, we’ve been getting our asses kicked for a long, long time. Since the right and the state got together to crush people’s movements of the 1960s. Since the Republicans built this rightwing coalition, began pushing wedge politics, winning the hearts and minds of white working people, and winning elections all over the country. And since capitalism shifted gears in the 1970s – we call it neoliberalism now — and the war on poverty was pushed aside to make way for the war on poor people specifically and working people generally. Since then, our cities have lost good jobs, union members, safety net services, and in San Francisco, more than half of the entire black population.

Thanks to Fox News, billionaire Republicans, and fragmentation on the left, conservative ideas about government, about individual vs. institutional responsibility, and about the supposed virtues of free markets have taken a powerful hold over the thinking of most Americans.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warns world risks triple crisis

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has warned that the world risks a triple crisis of declining incomes, environmental damage and social unrest unless countries adopt a more sustainable approach to economic growth.

Ahead of the Rio+20 Earth summit later this month, she said the rich should restrain their demands for higher incomes while there are still 200 million people worldwide looking for a job and poverty is on the rise.

Giving her clearest backing yet to green taxes and a range of measures to protect the environment, she argued for taxes on petrol-guzzling cars among a range of green measures to tackle climate change.

On WalMart’s Opening Day, Residents Announce Intention to File “Eureka Fair Wage Initiative

Members of Occupy Eureka and Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community, along with other concerned residents, are announcing today their intention to file the Eureka Fair Wage Initiative.

“WalMart has come to our community, against the will of the voters, to drive down wages and benefits for working people,” says Veteran for Peace, Don Swall. With this initiative the voters will have a chance to say “NO.” NO to outside corporations putting downward pressure on local wages. NO to the closing of locally owned businesses. NO to the blight that WalMart and other Big Box retailers bring to small towns across America.

Eureka residents said “NO” to WalMart at the ballot box before, but through secretive deals and backroom negotiations the City government and WalMart have undermined the will of the people. This leaves working class people no choice but to take matters out of the hands of politicians, more concerned with personal enrichment then the enrichment of the community, and take to the initiative process.

Occupy Portland beats park rangers 16-5 in ‘fence-mending’ softball game

Occupy Portland played its promised fence-mending softball game against Portland city employees (including several Parks bureau rangers) Sunday afternoon at Overlook Park. The Occupiers won 16-5, with onetime city-defying activist Arlo Stone crushing a grand slam.

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