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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arthur Shreds "Goddamned Piece Of Paper"

US Constitution
Actually a goddamned piece of parchment
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"
- President George W. Bush (disputed)
Many of us are concerned with the deterioration of the oversight for the rights assigned to us by our Constitution, a document I hold some reverence for myself (with reservations, specifically regarding the right to property), and for the erosion of the rule-of-law in general. Arthur Silber brings our attention to an important fact: That this achievement of the American Enlightenment yet retains dubious pedigree: An early weapon, wielded by moneyed elites, against the ideals of true democracy.

Arthur Silber (emphases in original):
The Constitution created a government of, by and for the most wealthy and powerful Americans -- and it made certain (insofar as men can make such things certain) that their rule would never be seriously threatened. The most wealthy and powerful Americans were the ones who wrote it, after all...

Today, many of the people who complain most vigorously about the current state of affairs still clamor for a return to "real Constitutional values" and for the revival of the Founders' vision of the Republic. With very rare exceptions, their efforts are directed to the continuation of the Founders' revised version of "democracy," not to the vision with which the "Revolution" had begun....

City Of Boston Joins LA & Philly In Voicing Full-Throated Support For The Health Of #OccupyEverywhere - #OWS Day 75

Occupy LA Crackdown

[Update III: Great video (song) after the fold, below!]

[Update II: Police Occupy City Hall Before Attacking Protesters (Philadelphia photo-set, h/t TarheelDem)]

[Update: Phoenix protesters pepper-sprayed at Westin Kierland Resort]

FDL liveblog: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: @OccupyPhilly & @OccupyLA Evicted, Hundreds Arrested

WCVB Boston: City Moving To Remove 'Occupy Boston' Protesters

Storyful: Police raid Occupy camps in LA, Philadelphia

Major cities in the US, expressing concern for waning interest in local occupations, have moved in to create more media theater to keep the movement alive. #Occupations in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and now Boston received welcome injections of publicity courtesy of local police staff. Some say that this public relations effort is being coordinated at the Federal level.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still Standing - #OWS Day 74

Occupy LA Times
Front page photo from 1st edition of Occupied LA Times

Today: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Students Protest as University Boards Move to Raise Tuition

Lisa Derrick, last night:
It was miraculous, and I hope that spirit of community, or mutual respect, or restraint or whatever–LOVE–love of oneself, of one’s city, or one’s fellows can spread through Los Angeles’ police and community and become a model for both cops and civilians to work in cooperation to obey the laws and foster change.
A little "girly hop:"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mic Check Sunday - 72nd Day Of The #Occupation

Mic Check from The Battle Of Los Angeles - Rage Against The Machine

[Update 11/28:Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Philly, LA Occupations Survive Eviction.]

[For those who may have noticed - and I thank you if you did - I was too distracted yesterday to put up a post. No, the movement is not dead - I was attacked by nefarious Trojans and spent the day engaged in a mighty death-match.]
With this mic device
I spit nonfiction
Who got tha power
This be my question
Tha mass of tha few in this torn nation?
Tha priest tha book or tha congregation?
Tha politricks who rob and hold down your zone?
Or those who give tha thieves tha key to their homes?
Tha pig who's free to murder one Shucklak
Or survivors who make a move and murder one back?
-
Mic Check - Rage Against The Machine
Gosztola's liveblog, updated for Sunday: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Occupy Philly Eviction in Progress.

As #OccupyLA and #OccupyPhilly gird up for upcoming "negotiations" with the "authorities," I thought I'd round up some videos of concerned heroes interrupting the decorum of business-as-usual America, in various contexts and ways, presented in random order. More "mic checks," please!

Friday, November 25, 2011

"No Occupiers Around": Pepper-Spray On Black Friday - #OWS Day 70

Porter Ranch
Image from L.A. NOW

Black Friday liveblog: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Black Friday
No occupiers around.
- TarheelDem
Shoulda boycotted, folks - L.A. NOW:
In Porter Ranch, a woman pepper sprayed customers at a Wal-Mart in what authorities say was a deliberate attempt to get more "door buster" merchandise.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving (Happy RWCSURRC Day!) - #OWS Day 69

Thanksgiving
C'mon, you expected no less from me!

Happy Rapacious Warrior Class Stumbles Upon Resource Rich Continent Day!

Tony gets it

#OccupyEverywhere!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Open Letter to the Winter Patriot - #OWS Day 68

Washington at the crossing
Washington's troops #OccupyDelawareRiver - Painting by Peter Fiore of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

[Update: Kevin's liveblog: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Protests, Events Planned for Black Friday & Thanksgiving]
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
- Thomas Paine, 1776
The country is blessed with "winter soldiers" right now - the #Occupiers are winterizing for the next few months, tempering the seedcorn of the revolution for its mighty springtime burst. It is but a gesture, in my opinion - the Spring is inevitable, and the new life that accompanies that vital season will no doubt infuse the revolution - but it is a powerful gesture, ceremonial in its dignity, provocative in its commitment.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Peter Tosh - Lessons In My Life - Day 66 #OWS

Lessons In My Life - No Nuclear War

[Update: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: The Fallout from Pepper Spraying of UC Davis Students.]
I've learned some lessons in my life
Always be careful of mankind
They'll make you promises today
But tomorrow they change their mind

But I'm an upfull man
And I love upfull people
I'm a progressive man
And I love progressive people

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"There Must Be Space For Disobedience": The Irony Of Good Intentions - Day 64 Of The #OccupyWallStreet Seedcorn

The Video: The latest blunder is very, very famous now

Today's liveblog is all about it: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Pepper-Spraying of UC Davis Students, Lobbying Firm to Offer Advice on OWS & More.

From Nathan Brown, Department of English UC Davis, Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, calling for her resignation (h/t Kevin Gostola - my emphases):
I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.
(There is more withering rhetoric in the letter - "you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis" - so it is worth reading in full.)

I only wanted to say that there is indeed sanctioned space for protests. Under the Bush administration, they began calling them "Free Speech Zones" (although have existed without this moniker for at least 40 years - emphasis mine):

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Word For Today Is "Historic" - #OWS Day 63 - #N17

Portland Pepper Sprays
Portland Police officer getting his barista on

FDL's premier liveblog for today: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Aftermath of a Massive Day of Action.

The official site for #OWS, OccupyWallStreet, calls yesterday's highly invigorating actions "historic". I do not find this hyperbolic:
  • Over 30,000 People Rally in New York City (NYPD estimated 32,500), including organized contingents of workers, students, and other members of “the 99%”
  • Actions in at least 30 cities across the country and around the world
  • Commemoration of 2-Months Since Birth of the 99% Movement, Festival of Lights on Brooklyn Bridge (Note: My personal fave)
  • Blockade of all Entry-Points to NYSE; hundreds participate in nonviolence civil disobedience
  • Sense that a powerful and diverse civic movement for social justice is on the ascent

Double hippie-punching points for the NYPD - it's a girl, too!

#OccupyEverywhere!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#OWS Day 61 - The "Reinvigorization"

Dorli Rainey
This is what Democracy A Republic Looks Like: Uppity 84-year-old Dorli Rainey gets her just desserts. For more inspiring images of the heroic ministrations of the Guardians of Democracy The Republic, visit the slideshow at seattlepi.com

Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Occupy Wall Street Raid Reinvigorates Occupations All Over America.

Tidbits and ruminations:

The parade of serendipitous blunders continues: seattlepi.com, November 15, 2011:
Several people, including a pregnant woman, were pepper sprayed during an Occupy Seattle protest on Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Education Of The Occupation - #OWS Day 60

Aerial: Police assaulting #Occupiers in NY

[Update: Gosztola: Why Tents Have Little to Do with Reason Behind Occupy Wall Street Eviction].

Kevin's daily liveblog: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Day 59, Occupy Wall Street Camp is Gone.

Ian Welsh, Education and retaliation in OWS:
The police and mayor are fools. By committing atrocities, they are forcing people to engage in effective action. They are forcing the protestors to strike back and do something which will actually hurt the powerful.

But the police and mayor are also doing the necessary work of educating people. These folks would not believe those of us who told them that simple peaceful protest would not accomplish anything. Only the police, and a Democratic mayor... could convince them of that.

The above quote is about Oakland, from an essay Ian published over two weeks ago, but he could as well have been reporting on the actions of Bloomberg and the NYPD early this morning (Update: which he did).

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Violently Welcome, And Celebrate, Arthur Silber's Return

Moon Salute

First, my condolences to Arthur for the loss of his Wendy.

It is always with a bit of trepidation that I approach an Arthur Silber essay. I aspire to be an independent thinker, insofar as that is possible, and I find Silber to be a considerable threat to the fulfillment of this attempt. Therefore, I try to gather the gist of what he is to be writing about from the title and the lede - hopefully just a few sentences will do - and perform a preemptive inventory of my own feelings on the subject. This so that I may retain some pretense of originality before his sincere and diligent logic enchants and directs my thoughts.

Block Party! #OccupyPortland Nov. 20th - #OWS Day 59

Block Party!
Original (and larger) image at Natasha Bailie

Action in #OccupyOakland (surprise!), liveblog: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Day 58, Massive Police Operation Unfolds Against Occupy Oakland.

Due to the overwhelming success that Mayor Sam Adams and his merry band of Po-Po has had recently with #OccupyPortland, it is now time to rub their faces in it with a Block Party!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

#OccupyPortland Not Having It, Mayor Adams - #OWS Day 58

Using horses as weapons, Po-Po is backed off by too-big to fail crowd
Hours after the eviction deadline of 12:01 a.m., Portland Police interact with protesters, attempting to push the crowd out of the streets. A police officer was injured shortly before 2 a.m. by a projectile thrown from the crowd. As tension rose, police arrested a 23-year-old man and warned demonstrators they would be subject to arrest or chemical agents.
Today's FDL liveblog: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Day 57, Occupy Portland Survives Night But Still Faces Eviction (Obviously, Kevin and I still disagree on what day it is.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Can't Scratch It, Can't Leave It Alone - Day 57 #OWS, #OccupySTL

OccupySTL
St. Louis Metro Police "get some"

[Update II: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Day 56, Occupy Oakland & Occupy Portland Face Eviction].

[Update: Gosztola: Occupy St. Louis Evicted & Raided by Police].

St. Louis Public Radio:
Update 1:27 a.m. Nov. 12:

Following the events of Friday night through early Saturday morning, Lt. Dan Zarrick of the St. Louis Police Department gave a briefing to the press. Here are a few of the points from that briefing:
  • 27 arrests were made and no resistance was offered at any point.
  • All arrested are being charged with violating city's park curfew.
  • Those arrested are being booked and will be taken to the City Justice Center.
  • There was one medical emergency during the course of the evening when a bystander, not a protester, had a seizure. An ambulance took the individual away.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

40,000 New Credit Union Accounts... On A Saturday! - Day 54 #OWS

Amy Goodman interviews Kristen Christian

Liveblog day 54 at FDL: Live Blog for the #Occupy Movement: Day 53, A Tale of Two Alabama Occupations.

CreditUnionTimes:
Credit unions opened more than 40,000 new accounts on Bank Transfer Day, with a total of $80 million in new savings, according to a survey of credit unions by CUNA released Tuesday afternoon.

In addition, 60% of the credit unions that signed on new members made loans on Saturday. The loans totaled approximately $90 million.
Related, David Dayen wishes to kill two birds with one stone:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 53 #OWS - Tent City In Zucotti Park

Zucotti Tent City
Seth Wenig / AP - Image from msnbc.com

Gosztola at FDL: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Day 52, OWS Has Military Tents Now. (Day 53, actually.)

If there were any doubts, it appears that #OccupyWallStreet is serious about wintering the protest. Having raised, in addition to material donations, over a half-million in cash, the protesters are apparently procuring some heavy-duty shelter, originally designed for the U.S. Military:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Violence And The Psuedo-Anarchist - Day 52 #OWS

Psuedo-Anarchists
Eric Thayer/Getty Image from Nicole Sandler radio or not

Latest FDL liveblog running: Live Blog for the #Occupy Movement: Day 51, Occupy Atlanta Continues to Confront City & Police. (Sticking with "52", me.)

There is some Sturm and Drang in this thread at Ian's place over the emergence of the "fascist" tendencies of the OWS movement in its attempts to retain its commitment to non-violent non-cooperation.

Ominously entitled How OWS actually works, it links to an essay by Fritz Tucker that ironically turns out to be a lament against the hijacking of OWS's core values by a cabal of greedheads called the "Spokes Council," which has apparently emerged in order to basically commandeer the $500,000+ dollars in donations that the Zucotti Park encampment has accumulated.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gosztola's Liveblog - Day 51 #OWS

Bank Transfer Day

Live blog at FDL: Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Day 50, Tens of Thousands Move Money from Big Banks. (My math says it's day 51, though.)

If you didn't get it done yesterday, give them something to think about tomorrow. If you can't do it on Monday, then Tuesday's just as good...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember, Remember Bank Transfer Day - Day 50 #OWS

Bank Transfer Day
Bank Transfer Day poster by Fayerman

Live blog at FDL: Live Blog for National Bank Transfer Day.

If you can't get it done today, give them something to think about on Monday. If you can't do it on Monday, then Tuesday's just as good...

Credit Union Times Digital Edition - Bank Transfer Day: Occupy Movements Continue to Promote CUs:
Across the country, Occupy movements are keeping a spotlight on joining credit unions.

Occupy Albany in New York protested outside of Bank of America branches today urging consumers to consider credit unions like the $2.2 billion State Employees Credit Union in Albany, the Times Union reported...
and

Bank Transfer Day: Winston-Salem CUs See Activity:
...local television news reporters stopped by or called to cover the festivities.

In addition, some of the new credit union members transferring funds today have in fact been big bank employees, who themselves were looking for a better way to bank.

The $917 million Allegacy Federal Credit Union strategically opened four of its busiest branches today...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Remember, Remember Bank Transfer Day - Day 49 #OWS

Occupy Portland Prepares for Bank Transfer Day (November 5th)

[Update: After The People's Hearing on Goldman-Sachs, a mock-trial in Zucotti Park, Chris Hedges Arrested in Front of Goldman Sachs.]

If you can't get it done today, get it done tomorrow. If you can't get it done tomorrow, give them something to think about on Monday. If you can't do it on Monday, then Tuesday's just as good...

American Banker - Bank Customers Flee to CUs:
WASHINGTON — An estimated 650,000 consumers have closed their bank accounts and opted for credit union membership over the past four weeks, according to CUNA, bringing the approach to Saturday’s Bank Transfer Day to a crescendo.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Strike! Cops, Anarchists / And One Impatient Motorist - #OWS Day 48, #OccupyOakland

Impatient Motorist
OPD determining allegiances

State of the Occupation: Aftermath of #OccupyOakland City Shutdown (Wednesday Roundup).

AP via The Sacramento Bee, Car hits 2 Occupy Oakland protesters:
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Two Occupy Oakland protesters have been struck by a car as they marched with a crowd.

The San Francisco Chronicle ( http://bit.ly/uzB0Ul) says an angry mob surrounded the silver Mercedes-Benz and screamed at the driver through his closed windows as first responders tended to the injured.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ABC: Oakland Ports "Effectively Shut Down" - #OWS Day 47, #OccupyOakland

Oakland Ports closed

Twitter feed for #OccupyOakland on fire.

Strike! Angela Davis In Oakland - #OWS Day 47, #OccupyOakland

Angela Davis In Oakland
"Dangerous terrorist" (~Nixon) emboldens Oakland strike

[Update: Twitter feed for #OccupyOakland on fire. Also, liveblog is ongoing here.]

MercuryNews.com - Oakland Live Blog: City employees show up to work, Port slowed down:
"The eyes of the world are on our city. There are now Occupy movements in Asia and South America and Europe. The 99 percent are rising all over the planet," Davis tells the crowd.

"Economic justice includes freedom from police oppression..."