#OCCUPIED: REPORTS FROM THE FRONTLINES–PRE-MAY DAY EDITION
Posted On April 27th, 2012 by Ella
This article originally appeared on Occupied Wall Street Journal
Photo: Stacy Lanyon. The Tax Dodgers celebrated corporate loopholes in Bryant Park on tax filing day, April 17.
This week in Occupy, several shareholder meetings were #occupied, Chicago fought to preserve mental health care, #occupied Wall Street is here to stay and we all prepared to call out sick on May Day. #Maybe you weren’t aware? Wall Street is still #Occupied. Albeit with restrictions.
#It’s shareholder meeting season, and Occupy has noticed. In San Francisco, members of Occupy bought shares in Wells Fargo specifically so they could interrupt the annual shareholders’ meeting. They were able to speak with some of the shareholders, and eventually CEO John Stumpf had the doors to the building closed, which denied entry to shareholders and Occupiers alike. Shareholders who were not part of the protest were allowed to come and go through a side door, while the others were told the meeting was “filled to capacity.”
#In Detroit, several hundred assembled outside GE’s annual shareholders meeting.
#In London, Gulf Coast residents and activists protested BP’s annual shareholders meeting. Gulf Coast residents also bought shares in the company so they could alert executives to the poisoned Gulf, which is producing diseased fish and causing health problems in humans two years after the Deepwater Horizon spill.
#The International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting was #occupied.
#Reuters decided that the increasing number of shareholder occupations signifies a trend. Lucky us.
#In Chicago, Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic was #occupied in an attempt to salvage the city’s mental health care. Ten were arrested.
#Occupy Wall Street demonstrators interrupted a Bronx foreclosure auction to protest the housing crisis that continues to plague the borough. They serenaded a courtroom of real estate investors with the lyrics, “Y’all are speculating off people’s pain. With all due respect, you should be ashamed.” “We want a moratorium on foreclosures,” said Blair Ellis, 29.
#Employing the language of the 99%, hundreds of San Francisco union workers marched on City Hall to demand better compensation.
#Dozens of members of Occupy Portland attempted to occupy two downtown parks last weekend, but police gave them the same spiel they now give anyone from the Occupy Movement: Exercise your rights and face arrest.
#On Earth Day, Occupy the Farm planted itself in Northern California’s Gill Tract, a 10-acre parcel of agricultural land owned by the University of California, which is planning to sell it to private developers.
#An April 17 tax filing day demonstration in Manhattan marched past Bank of America, The Paulson Group, Chase and Trump Tower. The group donned baseball attire to “spend the day rubbing elbows with our favorite 1%ers and fellow Tax Dodgers.”
#ACT UP — the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power — staged a protest marking 25 years since it was formed in the same neighborhood as Occupy Wall Street. To commemorate the milestone, a demonstration was staged in the Financial District asking government to impose a small “Robin Hood tax”on each Wall Street trade to finance treatment and services for people with HIV. The Washington Post reported that New York Stock Exchange workers jeered from the sidewalk as protesters wearing Robin Hood costumes were dragged across the pavement.
#Occupy Detroit celebrated its six-month anniversary on April 12.
#Nathan Kleinman, a member of Occupy Philly, has entered the Democratic Congressional primary for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District.
#More than 500 people with disabilities descended on D.C. last week from across the country to protest cuts to Medicaid. Actor Noah Wyle from “E.R.” was arrestedalongside them.
#The unions that comprise the so-called Big Labor bloc are once again a political force to be reckoned with – just ask politicians Scott Walker, John Kasich and Jason Altmire.
#A judge has ruled that the New York district attorney has the right to subpoena Occupiers’ tweets.
#The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has retreated from crafting Stand Your Ground and voter ID laws…or so it said. Just before the announcement, the right wing corporate lobbying group released a statement decrying “the coordinated intimidation campaign against its members” in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder. Aw, protesters scaring you, moneymen?
#The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) areretreating from a plan to regulate many reaches of the U.S. trade in financial derivatives known as swaps, including the credit derivatives that nearly brought down the financial system.
#Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, is fighting for the 99%. First up: Give everyone $10 million. No, really.
#Architects of a proposed ethics and campaign reform initiative credit Occupy Wall Street, which took hold in Little Rock, as their inspiration.
#Here are the ten states that tax the poor the most. If you live in Ohio, West Virginia and Indiana, it’s time to occupy that situation.
#Xenophobic Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s campaign of oppression against the newly emigratedseems to be backfiring.
#Tarek Mehanna, a Massachusetts resident, was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for translating and distributing Al Qaeda’s documents and videos, worrying First Amendment rights activists. “This case is being used by the government to really narrow First Amendment activity in dangerous new ways,” said Nancy Murray of the Massachusetts branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Jurors said they wept when coming to their decision, and one said she wished the judge had shown Mehanna mercy.
#A student demonstration in Montreal turned violent on April 25 when police shot explosives at 15,000 demonstrators.
#Despite huge anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain that have left at least 50 dead, Formula One held the Grand Prix there. The sport has history of ignoring the political realities in some countries where it races.
#Norwegian spree killer Anders Breivik, who is currently on trial for killing 69 people, declared that Norwegian society is corrupted with Marxism, so 40,000 gathered in downtown Oslo to sing “Children of the Rainbow” in a conscious demonstration of everything he hates. Norwegians have decided that the best way to support democracy, tolerance and multiculturalism is to do it peacefully and with dignity.
#Chile’s education equality protests drew tens of thousands to the streets of Santiago this week.
#Economic despair is driving Europeans to suicide.
#The city of Volos, Greece, has done away with the Euro and instituted a bartering system. Needless to say, cutting out the middleman has made them much happier.
#Welcome, Occupied Tampa Tribune.
#Occupy Atlanta is fighting Bank of America to keep Pamela Flores in her home after the banking giant advised her to stop making payments so that she could qualify for the Making Home Affordable Program, a federal initiative meant to provide mortgage relief.
#Sick of deceptive credit cards fees? So is Hawaii. The state is suing Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Barclays, Capital One, Discover, HSBC and their subsidiaries.
#Bank of New York is squaring off against the IRS in U.S. Tax Court in New York over the halting of foreign tax abuses.
#According to Occupy Arrests, there are now 6,925 whistleblowers in America.
#May Day is upon us. Will you Occupy?
Tags: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, general strike, mass action, mayday, occupy, Occupy Chicago, Occupy DC, shareholders meeting, tax day, tax dodgers