The OB Media Rundown for 6/4/12

OMB Audio: Occupy Boston Considers Future Of Movement

Friday evening, about 75 stalwart activists took part in an Occupy Boston assembly in front of the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common.

Horizontal democracy and consensus decision-making was in full force as facilitators encouraged as many people as possible to address both long-term and short-term goals of the movement. Speakers identified themselves as proponents of a wide range of leftist beliefs: from anarchists to economic reformers to democratic socialists.

Much of the agreement in strategy and philosophy revolved around a universal distaste for so-called austerity measures that have led to wide and deep cuts in government budgets. Speakers decried public services being reduced while prices go up.

The facts are clear – This cruel austerity experiment has failed

Last week was an awesome warning of where go-it-alone austerity can lead. It produced some brutal evidence of where we end up when we place finance above economy and society. The markets are now betting not just on the break-up of the euro but on the arrival of a new economic dark age. The world economy is edging nearer to the abyss, and policymakers, none more than in Britain, are paralysed by the stupidities of their home-spun economics. Yanis Varoufakis, ex-speechwriter for former Greek prime minister George Papandreou and now an economics professor in the US, said last week: “There is precisely zero chance of austerity working. It is the same as thinking you can escape from gravity by waving your arms up and down.”

OWS ‘Summer Disobedience School’ prepares for Black Monday

Last Saturday saw the kickoff of Occupy Wall Street’s Summer Disobedience School (OWSDS), described in its “Curriculum” as a “twelve-week training program that will empower us to map, target, and disrupt sites of capitalist injustice across the city with a wide range of creative tactics accessible to people with all levels of experience.” The program, developed by the Direct Action Working Group, is divided into four three-week quarters, with each quarter taking a different city park as a staging-ground: Bryant Park, Central Park, Washington Square Park and, ultimately, Liberty Plaza. While focused primarily on tactical training, OWSDS is also a long-term strategic platform for the summer in advance of the one-year anniversary of OWS on September 17 – a date that is already looming large in the imagination of the movement under the sign of “Black Monday.”

Occupy Cleveland protests fracking

In response to a call for solidarity from the Save Riverdale campaign, Occupy Cleveland will drive 4 and a half hours to Jersey Shore, PA to stand with Riverdale residents in a blockade to prevent the fracking industry from evicting 37 families from their homes.

On June 1, 2012, residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park and supporters set up barricades at the entrance of Riverdale to stop the community from being displaced by Aqua America’s plans to construct a fracking water withdrawal facility and send a powerful message to perpetrators of environmental and economic injustice. Occupy Cleveland stands with the Occupy Wall Street movement in national support and solidarity with the residents of Riverdale against Aqua America.

Groups to lobby city council on Tuesday for amendment against unlimited political donations [NC]

Occupy Raleigh left downtown weeks ago only to re-emerge with more partners in their quest to influence social and economic change.

“Occupy Raleigh is still very much alive and well,” said Stacie Borrello, one of the group’s organizers. “We decided to close the encampment and work to affect change in other ways.”

Instead of homesteading near the State Capitol grounds while holding aloft signs protesting the economic resources being held by a minuscule percentage of the population, many of Occupy Raleigh’s members are now working with the Raleigh Action Collective, or On TRAC N.C. The collective has aligned itself with nearly 20 organizations that participated in a community fair Saturday at the Bicentennial Mall in downtown Raleigh.

Occupy Wall Street activist aims to occupy New York House seat

A hip-hop artist who claims to be the first Occupy Wall Street activist to secure a place on a Congressional ballot will challenge Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) in the June 26 Democratic primary.

George Martinez, who can be seen in full hip-hop flow in a YouTube video backing the Occupy movement, is not just a gadfly candidate, however.
. . .

Even a modestly impressive showing for Martinez – getting more than 10 percent of the votes cast – would be enough to encourage other Occupy activists to run elsewhere, and to lay the groundwork for a future bid.

UC, Occupy the Farm present arguments on preliminary injunction

Legal council for Occupy the Farm an the UC met at the Hayward Hall of Justice Thursday to present arguments on a preliminary injunction that would indefinitely bar the protesters from the UC-owned farmland in Albany.

If Alameda County Superior Court Judge David Hunter approves the injunction, the 15 protesters named in the civil suit filed against them by the UC will be prevented from entering the land known as the Gill Tract or cultivating crops until the suit goes to trial, according to the protesters’ lawyer Dan Siegel.

Occupy Kensington is Born [NY]

During the 90-minute meeting, the group identified some issues to work on, which included getting Golden Farm to pay the back-wages, the lack of open space-or even indoor community space-in Kensington (hence the Windsor Terrace location for the meeting), raising the minimum wage, getting the MTA to continue running the G-Train to Church Avenue (in 2013 it will terminate at Fort Hamilton Parkway), cuts in the city’s education budget, the overcrowded playgrounds and schools and inadequate funding for the city’s libraries.

Egypt protesters hold Tahrir, mull strategy and demands

For the second day demonstrators are still occupying Tahrir Square in Cairo to protest against what they consider a disappointing verdict announced on Saturday against Mubarak, his sons, his minister of interior and six of his senior aides.

Numbers have started to build up in Tahrir Square’s sit-in by the early hours of Sunday evening, reaching few thousands at press time as opposed to a few hundreds in the morning.

A number of a marches from across Cairo set off at 5pm and were all scheduled to wind up at the Square.

Austerity is a blight on recovery, say bosses [UK]

Three quarters of City bosses believe the Government’s austerity agenda is damaging the UK’s hopes of recovery, according to new research.

A survey of some of the UK’s leading chief executives of publicly listed organisations or venture capital-backed firms in industries including financial services, IT, pharmaceuticals, property and communications found three out of four chief executives said cost-cutting could not be seen as a route to growth.

The findings come as Chancellor George Osborne is under increasing pressure over his austerity plans, which he claims give the Bank of England room to keep interest rates low and stimulate the economy through printing money.

Dutch Socialists enjoy surge of support as hostility grows to austerity deal

THREE weekend polls indicate that the Netherlands is on course for a left-wing coalition government in the autumn – as the five parties who last month backed a ?13 billion austerity package demanded by Brussels continue to receive a drubbing.

In a dramatic turnaround for the country previously regarded as Germany’s single most steadfast ally in demanding euro zone budgetary discipline, all three polls confirm a surge in support for the Socialist Party as dissatisfaction with the detail of the cuts continues to grow.

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