Posts Tagged ‘ALEC’

#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines

YOUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF OCCUPY MOVEMENT NEWS FROM THE OCCUPIED WALL STREET JOURNAL

Members of the Cruz family and Occupy Homes MN hold up petitions of support signed by 175,000 people. Photo: Occupy Homes MN

This week in Occupy, the Cruz family was rebuffed by PNC Bank, Rio + 20 was mic-checked and #occupied, Egyptians took to the streets to demand an election and occupiers nationwide saw convictions and dismissals stemming from last Fall’s raids and evictions.

#On June 21, members of the Cruz family caravaned to PNC Bank headquarters in Pittsburgh to try and meet with bank executives to rectify the glitch that put the Cruzes on the path to foreclosure. After a rally staged by Occupy Pittsburgh, the bank informed the family there was nothing they could do, blaming the problem on poor communication by Freddie Mac. The Cruzes returned the next day, only to be threatened by security. “We’re just another number for a bank,” Alejandra Cruz said. “They don’t really care about people.”

A sign is floated above the Cruz family home in South Minneapolis. Photo: Occupy Homes MN

#Back at the Cruz home in South Minneapolis, a rally in protest of the bank’s inaction resulted in the arrest of 13, including local rapper Brother Ali. In Atlanta, about 30 people from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta entered a Buckhead branch of a PNC Bank to protest the bank’s treatment of the Cruzes. Solidarity rallies were planned in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Gainesville, Greensboro, Milwaukee, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

#Nine days after the dissolution of the Egyptian Parliament – after which hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into Tahrir Square demanding that generals cede power to elected civilians at the end of the month as they had promised – Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was officially recognized as the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential election.

#Two members of the Occupy Movement disrupted the final press briefing of the United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit on Sustainable Development, denouncing the final document as not representative of the voices in struggle against the degradation of the environment, a conclusion also arrived at by several NGOs. Occupiers then held a Peoples’ Assembly on the UN summit grounds for three hours, during which activists, including Bill McKibben, concluded the summit was a failure. There were no arrests.

Supporters gather at the Hartford Community Court in support of an Occupy Hartford member arrested for recording the police.

#Seven Occupy Wall Street protesters – including Episcopal bishop George Packardwere convicted for trespassing on property allegedly owned by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal church and powerful Lower Manhattan landlord, during an action on December 17. An eighth defendant, Mark Adams, was convicted of trespassing, attempted criminal mischief and attempted possession of burglary tools, making him Occupy Wall Street’s first activist convicted and sentenced to jail time in a group trial.

#Eleven Occupy DC members have been convicted of disobeying police after they attempted to build a wooden structure, dubbed the “Occubarn,” in McPherson Square in December.

#Charges have been dropped against the final Occupy Phoenix protesters accused of trespassing and loitering at Margaret T. Hance Park in mid-October.

#The city of Houston has dismissed the misdemeanor charges against six of the eight Occupy Houston protesters arrested in Tranquility Park in November.

Photo: MicCheckz

#The U.C. Board of Regents has dropped its lawsuit against 15 members of Occupy the Farm arrested during the May 9 raid of the Gill Tract, an #occupied parcel of land owned by U.C. Berkeley. “We are not at all surprised that U.C. has walked away from what amounts to a frivolous lawsuit against a group of community activists committed to promoting sustainable urban agriculture on public lands,” Stefanie Rawlings, one of the lawsuit defendants, said in a statement.

#Occupy Wall Street made a surprise appearance at the annual Mermaid Parade on Coney Island, a summer staple that pays homage to the Coney Island Mardi Gras parades of the early 20th century.

#The California Nurses Association launched their statewide Medicare For All Tour in San Diego on June 19. The traveling clinic, which will offer health screenings, wraps up in West Covina on July 12.

Egypt, June 22. Photo: Asmaa Waguih

#George Martinez, a Brooklyn Congressional candidate running on an Occupy platform, caught his opponent in a lie during a televised debate. Despite her claim to the contrary, she did, in fact, vote to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.

#After Occupy Riverdale spent the month of June fighting to save 37 families from homelessness, the Riverdale Mobile Home Village in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, was demolished to make way for a pumping station to withdraw up to three million gallons of water a day to natural gas companies that use fracking.

#Seventeen members of Occupy New Hampshire appeared in court to face curfew violations stemming from the eviction of their Veteran’s Park encampment in October. As a defense, they used the Right of Revolution, as set forth in New Hampshire’s constitution.

#Cameron Whitten, a former Occupy candidate for mayor of Portland, Oregon, has been on a hunger strike for nearly a month in an attempt to highlight housing issues.

#A month and a half after police swept away the last of Occupy Lincoln, Nebraska, a 3-foot-tall marijuana plant has cropped up in its place.

OccuPride #occupied the San Francisco Pride Parade. Photo: Liz Highleyman

#A hundred members of OccuPride, the Occupy movement for Gay Pride, temporarily blocked the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and staged their own demonstration.

#Members of the national Occupy Movement joined Occupy Birmingham to protest in front of Alabama Power in an attempt to persuade the utility to stop lobbying against the Clean Air Act.

#On June 19, Occupy LA, Veterans for Peace, Arlington West and Code Pink staged a protest against the U.S. war economy in front of weapons manufacturers in El Segundo.

#The Occupy Upstate Conference was hosted in the aptly named Perseverance Park in Syracuse on June 16. Among the attendees was former Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis.

#Occupy Chicago is working to help employees of a staffing agency that abruptly closed, leaving employees without jobs and owed wages.

Two women protest male lawmakers' juvenile censorship of their female counterparts. Occupy Dallas

#Parents protesting the closure of five Oakland elementary schools that predominantly serve under-represented minority groups have built an encampment at Lakeview Elementary, which they have #occupied for the past ten days despite being ordered to disperse by the school district police force. On June 23, nearly 200 protestors showed up for a 1.7 mile protest march.

#On July 4, #MicCheckWallSt, a Seattle-based think tank, will be throwing thousands of dollar bills into the streets of Seattle printed with messages urging a ban on corporate money in elections. A #MicCheckWallSt casserole march on June 20 ended with police brutality.

#The Occupy-spearheaded rise of alternative education continues, as the Occupy Los Angeles Freedom School in California and the Paul Robeson Freedom School in New York open their doors.

#Owen Deutsch and Caroline Gray, two 14-year-old Chicago high school students, made a documentary about Occupy Chicago.

#Two 14-year-old twins won a CNN iReport award for their video dispatch, “Occupy Wall Street, Day 23.”

#Playbill has responded to a call by the OWS Arts & Labor working group to end the theater listing service’s practice of posting classified ads for unpaid internships at for-profit companies by revising its terms of service.

Attendees of the Occupy Upstate Conference gather in Syracuse on June 16. Photo: John Washington

#Demonstrators who have been staging nightly flash occupations at the CCA lobbying group in downtown Los Angeles for nearly a month are regularly raided and arrested. Clients of the CCA, or Central City Association, include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Boeing, Target, US Bank, Verizon, Chevron, Walmart and AT&T, and their money buys them the ear of the City Council and the mayor, making them the shockingly overt bridge between money and politics.

#A group of demonstrators populated by members of Occupy Little Rock and the Occupy Caravan protested at a Bank of America and marched through downtown Little Rock on June 18.

#Members of Occupy Raleigh held a rally outside the executive mansion on June 18 to encourage Gov. Beverly Perdue to veto a bill that allows fracking in the state.

#The Occupied Chicago Tribune has completed its response to the Chicago Tribune: “This is a case about the fundamental human right of political speech,” the editors argue.

#The Vermont Federal Credit Union, Vermont’s fourth largest credit union, now has an Occupy Burlington participant on its board.

The California Nurses Association kicks off their Medicare For All Tour 2012.

#A dozen members of Occupy Frederick, Maryland, are staging a hunger strike to protest cuts to the Postal Service, arguing that government mandates have caused drastic financial issues for the already deprived agency. Some of the protesters include retired postal carriers, who plan on speaking with legislators.

#The three men arrested before the Occupy NATO protests now have at least a half-dozen new charges in their indictments.

#A coalition of community and religious groups, health-care unions and members of Occupy Chicago, who have been on a hunger strike for the last two weeks demanding organ transplants for the undocumented, has convinced University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center to give Mexican immigrant Lorenzo Arroyo, 36, a kidney transplant.

#Fifty activists claiming links to Occupy London #occupied an empty building affiliated with the artist Anish Kapoor, who accepted the commission to create a landmark sculpture for London’s Olympic Park. The purpose of the protest was to expose the Olympics as a “grand spectacle being used by the government and corporations to take our minds off austerity measures, the global economic crisis and the commodification of everything, even art.”

#Occupy Newfoundland and Labrador staged a protest before the House of Assembly against Bill 29, which places tighter constraints on what documents can be released to the public.

A sign in New York decrying the conviction of peaceful protesters. Photo: Stacy Lanyon

#A group of Spanish activists has raised a large private fund to pay for a civil action against Rodrigo Rato, the disgraced former chairman of Bankia, one of the banks at the heart of the Spanish financial crisis.

#On June 24, 20,000 people gathered in Tokyo to protest the Japanese government’s unilateral decision to restart two nuclear reactors.

#The Berlin Biennale partially adopted Occupy Wall Street‘s horizontal power structure.

#After a forced government land acquisition in Singur in West Bengal, an Indian lawmaker said he wants to organize an Occupy Singur movement on the lines of Occupy Wall Street for the benefit of victimized rural farmers.

#In a protest staged by Occupy Balok-Gebeng, hundreds of Malaysian demonstrators took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur with funeral banners and signs demanding the government revoke a decision earlier this week to allow a rare-earths mine to go forward.

#A new report from Global Witness reports that in the past decade, 711 environmental activists have been killed while defending land and forest rights. The number has almost doubled over the past three years.

#Hackney has become the latest London borough to be #occupied as protesters erected tents in Shoreditch Park after Islington Council removed the large protest camp from Finsbury Square.

The indigenous Kayapo people of Brazil protest the Belo Monte Dam at Rio+20.

#Police in Bolivia have committed mutiny over low pay and almost nonexistent pensions.

#6,000 Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest police brutality, and many received a hefty dose of it: 85 were arrested.

#Grandparents wearing reflective vests and carrying signs decrying the Spanish bailouts took to the streets of Barcelona – and then to the German consulate – to protest against Germany’s position in the Euro crisis.

#The Occupy Movement has spurred police to wear body cameras with which to record protesters.

#Federal officials have yet to respond to two United Nations human rights envoys who formally requested that the U.S. government protect Occupy protesters against excessive force by law enforcement officials.

#The U.S. media has been writing obituaries for Occupy, but Truthout reports that Occupy is in fact active all over the country – it’s just being ignored by the corporate media. Its soul, however, is up for grabs, Rolling Stone reports. And Stonewall was organized much better, The New Yorker opines.

#A Design Miami/Basel exhibition called “Occupy Chairs,” comprised of replicas of signs used during the Wall Street protests, was marketed to the richest of the art festival’s attendees for $3,500 apiece.

These Occupy Wall Street replica protest signs sell for $3,500 apiece. Photo: Cristina Grajales Gallery

#Congress has a matter of days to work out a compromise or interest rates on some federal student loans will double.

#Oregon Senator Ron Wyden stepped in to stop the renewal of the NSA wiretap program because the government refuses to say how often the spy powers are being used.

#In this must-read Op-Ed, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer explained how Citizens United nullified his state’s 110-year-old ban on corporate campaign donations.

#Bill Moyers focused his lens on dark money in politics.

#130 members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis found.

#Some Wall Street tactics were gleaned from the Mafia, Matt Taibbi reports, and banksters have no problem employing them.

#The Republican National Convention is coming to Tampa in August, but it seems that most of the protesters will not be sticking to Tampa’s guidelines concerning protests.

#A group of Tampa residents is collecting signatures to toss Occupy Tampa off the private lot they’ve been occupying since December.

An illustration of contemporary capitalist society on a building in Lisbon.

#Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan could be forced to personally pay fines if Oakland again misses deadlines to complete Oakland PD’s internal affairs investigations.

#New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler said he “never got a satisfactory response” from the Justice Department regarding a potential probe into the NYPD’s handling of the Occupy Wall Street eviction.

#For the third year in a row, New York has declined to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement between participating states to effectively supersede the electoral college by awarding their electoral votes to the whichever candidate wins the most votes nationwide.

#Liberals are urging Obama to go after Wall Street with gusto.

#The Canada Border Services Agency will soon monitor travelers with high-definition cameras and use microphones to listen in on their conversations.

#The U.S. government spends more on corporate subsidies than social welfare programs.

#Following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit, federal authorities were forced to reveal that there are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S.

#Governments, banks and households struggling with too much debt are dragging down the world’s economy and more needs to be done to make the banking system safer, a global organization of central banks has warned.

Occupy NH defendants and supporters outside Manchester Courthouse on June 22.

#A proposal by Corrections Corporation of America to house more than 1,500 undocumented immigrants in South Florida suburbia has pitted two towns against one another and prompted a federal lawsuit.

#The economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how bad policy has contributed to the great economic divide.

#Dell became the 24th group to drop out of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

#Berkeley, California, became the 15th city to reject the NDAA. Track NDAA repeal efforts across the country.

#The Berkeley Police Department and City Council have stated that they will no longer honor an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold illegal immigrants for minor offenses.

#ALEC is not the only conservative lobbying organization writing model legislation – Truthout has exposed a network of “stealth lobbyists.”

#Corporate profits just hit an all-time high while wages hit an all-time low.

#Since 2000, the number of people living in “extreme” poverty — incomes totaling less than half of the federal poverty line — has climbed by 50 percent.

#The Department of Justice can’t seem to prosecute the major players, banks and investment shops responsible for the financial fraud that nearly toppled the world economy and is still choking the U.S. economy, but it can fly FBI agents back and forth across the country to try to prove that a baseball player took hormones.

Image: Amadon DellErba

#Surprise, surprise: The eviction of the homeless in Los Angeles’s famed Skid Row is being driven by the business lobby.

#The Occupy National Gathering is almost here – just in time for a heat wave. Here’s how to keep cool.

#Visit the OWS Info Tent for information about occupations worldwide.

#Care to glimpse what America could have been? Here’s FDR reading his Second Bill of Rights, which he died before he could implement.

#“American Autumn: an Occudoc” will premiere June 26 in Brooklyn.

#Occupy Iowa plans to protest the World Food Prize in Des Moines this October.

#Join a march against Wal-Mart in Los Angeles on June 30.

#According to Occupy Arrests, 7,308 people have been arrested protesting corporate greed since September 17.


Want to report news about your occupation or meetup? Email me at JenSacks77@gmail.com.

This week’s roundup was brought to you in conjunction with Occupy ALL the Updates, curated by citizen journalist SIUKittyPie, and Occupier and journalist Kelli Daley.

#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines

YOUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF OCCUPY MOVEMENT NEWS

From The Occupied Wall Street Journal

Occupy Denver staged a Canadian student solidarity march on June 1. Photo: lthnmsrtk

This week in Occupy, the Cruz home at 4044 Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis became a national flashpoint for the Movement, overthrown Egyptian former dictator Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison, Canadian solidarity had everyone wearing red, the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall sparked a frenzy among politicians and activists alike, and an Occupy Yale activist left us far too soon.

#Occupied: The Cruz home in South Minneapolis. Photo: Michael A. Shapiro

#Occupy Homes MN protestors are condemning Minneapolis police and Mayor R.T. Rybak after 14 were arrested defending the home ofAlejandra Cruz and her family from foreclosure. 100 protestors gatheredto link arms around the home – which has been blockaded from eviction by occupiers for the past month – and successfully fought off raids three times in two days, forcing sheriffs and police to retreat. The Minneapolis police chief doesn’t even want to foreclose anymore. Freddie Mac, the current holder of the Cruz family’s mortgage, hired round-the-clock private security, who called the police to enforce the May 31 raid. PNC Bank, which originally held the Cruz loan, has repeatedly assured the family that they are working to resolve the issue.

#Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian former dictator and casualty of the Arab Spring, was sentenced to life in prison. For thousands of Egyptians, the overthrown autocrat’s sentence was too lenient: protesters in particular want Mubarak to pay with his life for his brutal regime.

#On May 29, Occupy Chicago rallied against the police brutality employed during the NATO protests and demanded compensation for ”lost income, lost stability and treatment costs from trauma [police] inflicted upon [protesters].” While the mainstream media has praised Chicago PD for the supposed restraint officers demonstrated, it is clear they simply trained their cameras away from police violence.

As We Were: Occupy activist Marina Keegan with her parents shortly before her death.

#Marina Keegan, an Occupy activist and recent Yale graduate, died in a car accident on May 26. Around campus and in the pages of the New York Times she took on Wall Street campus recruiting practices as part of an action known as Occupy Morgan Stanley. “I’m just not convinced that the most productive use of 25 percent of my graduating class’s time is to spend two or three years pushing figures around spreadsheets to make more money for those with the most money,” she wrote in November.

#The #WIrecall of Governor Scott Walker, who is just the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall, will be decided on June 5. Occupy Appleton held a Solidarity Sing Along to get out the vote. Walker holds a narrow lead over Democratic opponent Tom Barrett, but Democrats are confident they’ll win the state senate. The drive to oust the despised governor was spurred by anger over his plan to effectively end most public workers’ collective bargaining rights, and the wave of activism that followed paved the way for Occupy Wall Street. Here’s some historical context courtesy of Daily Kos.

#On May 30, Occupy Wall Street marched for affordable education and against police repression in solidarity with the massive, ongoing student uprising in Quebec. Just as demonstrators have done in Argentina, Chile, Spain and throughout Canada, OWS banged pots and pans in a practice called casseroles or cacerolazo. In a similar gesture of solidarity, the Movement has also thrown its support behind the uprising in Mexico.

The Overpass Light Brigade took their anti-Walker LED messages to Wisconsin bridges along I-94.

#Occupy Buffalo helped convince the city council to divest from JP Morgan after its $2 billion trading loss. The city comptroller agreed to transfer $45 million of sewer authority funds from a JPMorgan Chase account to local bank First Niagara Financial Group after Occupy raised concerns.

#Los Angeles’s Arts, Parks, Health, and Aging Committee has proposed a ban on all forms of overnight camping and pitching tents in city parks. The City Council will vote on the measure next week. City officials say the measure is not meant to target Occupy LA, which they claim cost $2.3 million in cleanup costs last Fall.

#Occupy Cal protesters have amended their lawsuit against U.C. Berkeley to demand $15 million following a November protest where police officers confronted occupiers following the removal of tents. They are demanding $7.5 million in compensatory damages for physical and emotional harm and denial of Constitutional rights, $7.5 million in punitive damages, and insistence that the school redress the protesters for “false arrests and UCB’s political witch hunt” against them.

#In an attempt to avoid possible mass arrests, Occupy Tampa announced it will not be protesting in the official protest zone during the Republican National Convention on August 27. ”It wouldn’t do any good for all of us to get thrown in jail,” said Christopher Kuleci, a member of Occupy Tampa’s media team. “There are plenty of other places where delegates are going to be, where our messages will better be heard.”

Mesiah Hameed at Summer Disobedience School in Bryant Park. Photo: Erik R. McGregor

#A push to raise the minimum wage amid a political stalemate brought Occupy Albany to the Capitol on May 29, where protesters delivered letters urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to persuade his allies to take up a bill passed by the Assembly that would bump the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, from the current rate of $7.25. “A living wage is possible, this movement is unstoppable! It’s shameful and outrageous!” demonstrators chanted from the Capitol’s ornateMillion Dollar Staircase. Six were charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

#Members of the Occupy Movement joined an international coalition of union members, community leaders,  disenchanted shareholders and residents of countries Chevron has polluted to protest the oil giantduring its annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California, on May 30. 73% of shareholders in attendance at the meeting rejected a move to disclose more about fracking methods. Chevron is facing $43 billion in fines stemming from contamination, explosions and tax-dodging in multiple countries.

#More than two dozen high school and community college students #occupied the UCLA admissions office on June 1, demanding the university double the enrollment of black, Latino and American Indian students because the current student body does not demographically resemble Los Angeles. Thirteen were arrested.

#Marking a recent resurgence, Occupy Tulsa took to the streets on May 31 in support of local Oklahoma schools facing major budget cuts.

#After more than eight months of march and parks permit requests, a national petition campaign and threats of legal action, the city of Charlotte granted conditional approval for permits for a march on Wall Street South on September 2, one day prior to the Democratic National Convention.

#On May 24, after a four-month public campaign to bring attention to injustices in the workplace, employees at a Manhattan Hot and Crusty restaurant voted to certify an independent union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association.

#Occupy protesters and Tea Party activists alike protested this year’s secretive Bilderberg Conference in Chantilly, Virginia. Activists from across the political spectrum are arguing that U.S. citizens attending the controversial confab are potentially committing a felony by violating the Logan Act, which forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. Here’s a list of the annual conference’s high-powered attendees.

#Billionaires for Romney, a satirically-named protest, greeted the Republican presidential candidate as he attended a fundraiser at the Balboa Club in ritzy Newport Beach, California.

#Meanwhile, Billionaires for Big Energy protested Exxon-Mobil’s annual shareholders meeting in Dallas on May 30.

#Fight for Philly activists chanting “We Are the 99%!” crashed Comcast’s annual shareholders meeting on May 31 in protest of its tax-dodging strategies and in an effort to persuade the cable giant to suspend its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable distributor, controls MSNBC through NBCUniversal, which it owns in a joint venture with General Electric.

#In the latest rebuke for Oakland’s violent police, a federal judge has ordered a probeinto how Oakland PD investigates officer-involved shootings, threatening the department with sanctions if misconduct is uncovered.

The June issue of The Occupied London Times.

#Florida governor Rick Scott continues hismassive statewide voter purge, stripping suspected non-citizens from the rolls in defiance of a Justice Department order, and despite objections from county elections officials and evidence that a disproportionate number are voters of color. In fact, Scott has ordered more “ineligible” voters to continue to be purged. The state’s plan to review the status of the 2,600 suspected non-citizens and purge them if the voters fail to prove citizenship appears to violate the 1964 Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act, the DOJ said.

#Occupiers like Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis inhabit roles in society that d0n’t naturally lend themselves to activism. But since the ascendance of Occupy, siding with the people they vowed to serve and protect is indeed a radical notion in many police departments. They don’t call it The Thin Blue Line for nothing.

#Occupy activists offer lessons learned from their victorious labor campaign against Sotheby’s auction house in New York on behalf of art handlers with Teamsters Local 814, who won a new three-year contract on May 31.

#George Martinez – adjunct politics professor at Pace University, hip-hop artist, cultural ambassador for the State Department and 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.

#Though under house arrest and about to be extradited to Sweden, Julian Assange is still producing his show for RT, “The World Tomorrow,” the most recent episode of which he dedicated to the Occupy Movement. Shot in the old Deutsche Bank building in London, which is now controlled by friends of Occupy, Julian enlists Marisa HolmesAlexa O’Brien and David Graeber from Occupy Wall Street and Aaron Petersand Naomi Colvin from Occupy London to parse the future of Occupy.

Occupy declares victory at Red Onion State Prison. Photo: Ghan Buri Ghan

#Launched on June 2Occupy Kensington in Brooklyn plans to tackle such issues as raising the minimum wage, securing back wages for employees of a local grocery and the area’s lack of open space.

#The Riverdale Mobile Homes Park in rural Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, has become an unlikely nexus of resistance to corporate power after residents were booted to make way for a pump station that will divert up to three million gallons of water per day from the Susquehanna River to fracking operations in the north.

#A hunger strike at Red Onion, Virginia’s only supermax prison, has ended. Four dozen prisoners began the strike on May 29, demanding an end to poor conditions, ongoing abuse and the practice of solitary confinement.

#After it was revealed that two dozen Republican lawmakers in the Oregon Legislature are members of ALEC, Common Cause asked the IRS to investigatewhether the group is a lobbying organization.

#Wal-Mart has suspended its membership in ALEC, which the retailer joined in 1993. It joins Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who all ended their association with the conservative lobbying group after the Trayvon Martin murder exposed its role in crafting Stand Your Ground legislation.

#One out of every five people stopped by the NYPD last year were between the ages of 14 and 18 and 86 percent of them were black or Latino, confirming that stop-and-frisk policies target young people of color. Stop-and-frisk  arrests in 2011 topped 120,000.

The Occupy University convenes at Summer Disobedience School. Photo: Erik R. McGregor

#Has the FBI classified Occupy Wall Street as a domestic terror organization?

#Iran’s state-owned news outletreported that Occupy protesters are conspiring to wage a civil war in the United States. Wishful thinking?

#Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left has no desire to bring back the drachma, but also does not believe that staying in the euro requires the massive cuts in government spending to which Greece’s leaders have agreed as a condition of receiving international assistance over the last two years.

#Grassroots resistance to Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial rule is reaching a crescendo in Russia.

#Though  he vehemently denies it, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continues to slaughter his own people, blaming unnamed “terrorists and extremists” for the bloodshed. Defending his regime’s crackdown against the opposition, al-Assad likened it to a surgeon performing an operation: “When a surgeon in an operating room cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him, ‘Your hands are stained with blood?’ Or do we thank him for saving the patient?” Countries around the world expelled Syrian diplomats after a massacre in Houla killed 90 men, women and children in their homes.

#Many of our nation’s largest and most respected universities are screwing their own students (further) by outsourcing basic financial operations to private banks. Student loan debt, which recently topped $1 trillionis crippling the nation’s young adults in their prime.

Image: Luis Martínez Méndez

#Occupy does not care if you think Occupy is dead. Here’s why.

#After NYPD testimony was disproved at two OWS arrest trials, police officers have been no-shows when they’re called to testify. Why? “Mass arrests were being used as a tactic, as a weapon to stop the expressive activity and to chill people from participating,” explained Norman Siegel, an Occupy attorney and former head of the NYCLU. “Even if the city arrests people and there’s no conviction, so what?” Adjournments and postponements have pushed many trials to the Fall.

#Denver has essentially criminalized homelessness, enforcing a controversial camping ban that’s certainly in no way related to the Occupy Movement. On June 1, the day the ban took effect, Occupy Denverjoined Occupy AurariaOccupy DU and PAZ (Politically Active Ztudents) to march in solidarity with the student tuition strike in Quebec.

#The arrest of the Cleveland Five exemplifies typical FBI entrapment, Arun Gupta writes in The Guardian.

#After two NBC journalists were handcuffed and threatened by Chicago police after attempting to report on the murder of a six-year-old girl, a police officer was caught on camera telling members of the media, “Your First Amendment right can be terminated if you’re creating a scene or whatever. Your First Amendment right has got limitations.” Huh?

Union Square, New York, June 3. Photo: Stacy Lanyon

#After a vice-president in Citigroup’s mortgage unit discovered the bank was buying mortgages from outside lenders with doctored tax forms, phony appraisals and missing signatures, she was asked to hide the findings – and refused. She sued and won a $31 million settlement with the help of the Justice Department.

#SunTrust Bank’s mortgage unit has agreed to pay $21 million to resolve allegations that it charged more than 20,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher fees, costs and interest rates for home mortgages than non-Hispanic, white borrowers.

#Here’s the corporate cabal trying to prevent you from knowing what’s in your food.

#In an interview with Huffington Post, rapper and occupier Talib Kweli said, “You can’t just sit at your computer and be an activist. You have to get out there in the streets. You have to physically get up there and get your body on the line and put your life on the line to express your thoughts and what you believe.”

#Jeremy Scahill, investigative journalist and author of an award-winning expose of Blackwater, called Obama’s drone strikes in Yemen “murder.” Asked why he’d use such a loaded word, he explained, “It’s murder – it’s mass murder – when you say, ‘We are going to bomb this area because we believe a terrorist is there,’ and you know that women and children are in the area.”

#Members of India’s transgender and hijra community convened in New Delhi for the first Hijra Habba, where they discussed ways to ameliorate the persistent discrimination that marginalizes Indian transgenders.

The Maple Spring, Canada, June 2012.

#The Pentagon would like to expand the U.S. military’s might to cyberspace with Plan X, an ambitious effort to develop technologies to improve its cyberwarfare capabilities, launch effective attacks and withstand the likely retaliation. To this end, the Pentagon is turning to the private sector, universities and even computer-game companies.

#Federal agencies and local officials have recently sent powerful but conflicting messages to the American public about our right to record.

#At least one mainstream media outlet is fulfilling its duty to democracy: The Los Angeles Times has unmasked dark money donors, including the Center to Protect Patient Rights, an opaque nonprofit institution that helped steer about $55 million in conservative cash to other opaque institutions during the 2010 election cycle.

#Screw the Black Bloc – what you should really be afraid of is the Blue Bloc.

#Kanye West and Jay-Z’s new video, “No Church in the Wild,” is being described as a riot porn-y rip-off of the Occupy Movement. You decide.

#Here’s a real-time U.S. debt clock, broken down into handy categories to help you better understand the horror. If you recall, the national debt clock mounted in midtown Manhattan needs to be renovated to reflect the trillions we now owe.

Bryant Park, June 2. Photo: Stacy Lanyon

#Across the country, hundreds of TV stations are circumventing ownership rules at the expense of independent local journalism. Save the News has created a nifty interactive chart to find out if newsrooms in your area are merging.

#Urban Dictionary’s word of the day for May 31 was Wall Street, and the user-generated site had some creative definitions for the HQ of the country’s 1%.

#Here are the 15 major corporate tax dodgers everyone should know.

#Shamus Cooke of Counterpunch imagines a post-Occupy social movement. Do you agree with his assessment?

#The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the AFL-CIO are organizing amarch against Wal-Mart in LA on June 30.

#Occupy Walk USA is halfway to its goal of $6,000 to fund a walk from San Diego to New York City in solidarity with the 99%. Help them get there.

#Occupy Arrests reports 7,263 detentions since Occupy Wall Street began.


Want to report news about your occupation or meetup? Email me at Jensacks77@gmail.com.

This week’s roundup was brought to you in conjunction with Occupy ALL the Updates, curated by citizen journalist SIUKittyPie, and Occupier and journalist Kelli Daley.

#Occupied: Reports from the Front Lines

YOUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF OCCUPY MOVEMENT NEWS

Written by Jennifer Sacks for The Occupied Wall Street Journal

Occupy Homes MN fights to keep Frank and Kristina Clark from foreclosure. Photo: Occupy Homes MN

This week in Occupy, AT&T employees declared victory in Atlanta, more media got #occupied, an abandoned building in San Francisco was annexed for use as a homeless service center and SB 469, Georgia’s anti-protest bill, was defeated. (more…)