Posts Tagged ‘fracking’

#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines


Photo: Aaron Black

This week in Occupy, the National Gathering culminated in a gathering at Independence Mall, TPP was exposed as the latest NAFTA/SOPA nightmare, a Romney fundraiser hosted by David Koch was #occupied, and a homeowners bill of rights passed in California.

#NatGat culminated in Washington, D.C., on July 4 after a four-day occupation that began on June 30. The convergence gave participants a venue to network, prioritize issues and vent their grievances with the movement. This being an Occupy event, activists were greeted with oppression and harassment by police, and dozens were arrested. At one point, riot police engaged in a standoff with members of Veterans for Peace and Occupy Marines, who refused to vacate Independence Mall. Because of the modest turnout – hundreds, as opposed to the hoped-for thousands, some are asking whether the event was a bust.

The Occupellas of San Diego, raising hell as usual.

#About 100 Occupy supporters, led by the Occupy Guitarmy, gathered by the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia on July 5 to kick off a 99-mile march to Wall Street. Their week-long journey is tied to the 100th anniversary ofWoody Guthrie‘s birth on July 14.

#California lawmakers passed the nation’s first homeowners bill of rights, which will provide homeowners with some of the nation’s strongest protections from foreclosure, and such aggressive bank practices as seizing a home while the owner is negotiating to lower mortgage payments.

#The Libor scandal, in which bankers artificially set interest rates on unsecured borrowing, is being called the crime of the century. While the British media has trumpeted the story from its front pages because of Barclays’s involvement, the U.S. media hasn’t given it the same attention, despite the fact that nearly every major American bank is about to be engulfed. Some speculate that this may mark the end of the banking cabal that has apparently learned nothing from the crisis it caused in 2008. Eliot Spitzer, who prosecuted a number of fat cats during his time as Attorney General, says it’s no surprise – the Mafia has been emulating Wall Street’s crooked tactics for years. The biggest losers in this mess are the local governments that entered into false interest rates.

#The Occupella Chorus of San Diego, which raises awareness of Occupy-related issues through song, mic-checked a meeting between U.S. Trade Rep Barbara Weisel and lobbyists, professors and investors at a business roundtable at UCSD on July 3. At issue is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade contract dubbed “NAFTA on steroids” that would supposedly allow for a more open system of exchange between the U.S. and less-developed nations. In addition to driving up the price of medications and other goods across the world, the TPP is also said to include rules on intellectual property that would make participating countries adopt copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties. The TPP will also rewrite the global rules on IP enforcement; for this reason, Anonymous refers to it as “SOPA 2.0.” The White House attempted to conceal the plan from the public and Congress because it demonstrates how Obama frequently bows to multinational corporations. The Yes Men crashed secret TPP negotiations in Dallas in May in an attempt to sound an early alarm. Protests against TPP are now popping up everywhere from secret negotiations to shopping malls.

#Censoring social media actually leads to more violent protests, two European researchers found.

#The MoneyOut/VotersIn affinity group of Occupy Wall Street#occupied a lavish fundraiser for Mitt Romney at David Koch’s palatial Southampton estate attended by titans of industryThe mainstream medianoticed.

#The barricades around the iconic “Charging Bull” statue in the Financial District aren’t just ugly, they’re also pushing tourists dangerously into traffic allege 40 members of Community Board 1, who passed a unanimous resolution against the metal gates. The gates were famously erected after the occupation of Zuccotti Park on September 17.

#Chase Manhattan Plaza, one of the early proposed sites for Occupy Wall Street, was open to the public for decades – until September 17. Ten months later the plaza is still closed and Chase is evasive as to why.

#Occupy Storefront issued a call to support Con Ed Local 1 and 2 after the utilitylocked out 8,500 workers following the failure of contract negotiations on July 1. At issue are pension plans, which the financial giant wants to scrap in favor of riskier 401 (k) plans. About 5,000 managers filled in for the locked-out workers during the recent heat wave, and some were injured as a result of their inexperience. “They’re going to kill somebody,” union spokesman John Melia said.

Strong Female Protagonist, Occupy’s first graphic heroine.

#A 20-year-old New School student and Occupy Wall Street activist is the subject of a new graphic novel,Strong Female Protagonist.

#Three Occupy Wall Street activists were arrested after attempting to chain themselves across a Brooklyn Bridge exit ramp to protest the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and the tsunami of corporate campaign funding the decision unleashed.

#While media pundits sound out death knells for Occupy, many activists face harsh consequences for their involvement – like Mark Adams, who is serving a 45-day sentence for trespassing at Trinity Church-owned Duarte Square on December 17, earning him the unenviable distinction of being Occupy’s first political prisoner.

#The NYPD created and distributed Wanted-style posters featuring two Harlem activists who film the police as they conduct unlawful stop-and-frisks, labeling them “professional agitators” and including their home addresses on the flyers. The NYCLU called the harassment “disgusting.” The activists refuse to be intimidated.

#The NYPD also ticketed a couple for dancing the Charleston in a deserted subway station last week, then arrested them for filming the altercation. Neither of these activities is illegal.

Tienanmen Sid blocks a Koch-owned tank. Photo: Jim Brett

#Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is unhappy with Occupiers for posting a photo of two allegedly undercover officers who entrapped Occupiers during the anti-NATO gathering. While the police department won’t confirm or deny that the two are officers, the police superintendent did say that the picture’s release is unethical and “personally disgusting.” So there you go.

#Three Occupiers protesting the arrests of the NATO 5 were arrested themselves as they protested at the State Attorney’s Office. Police arrived at the sit-in almost immediately, arresting the three as they refused to leave.

#Despised South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is trying to eliminate funding for the arts, prompting the rise of a new group called Occupy the Arts, which plans on holding a protest at the Statehouse next week. Haley also vetoed nearly half a million dollars that was slated to go toward domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, calling it a “distraction.”

#The Lakeview Elementary School occupation in Oakland was raided on July 2. The dispersal was calm by all accounts, although protesters say that officers threatened to use chemical weapons to disperse the crowd. The People’s School, which offers classes, is still operating. Lakeview Elementary has been fixture of its neighborhood for nearly 100 years and is currently threatened with closing.

#The 626 Wilshire occupation has been confronted with targeted arrests and escalation of violence. Anthony Lascano, an activist there, was remanded back into custody at a trumped up bail hearing and is now being held on $75,000 bail after speaking truth to power on the sidewalks of Los Angeles for nine months. Help contribute to his bail fund.

#Occupy Marines released a statement to introduce Operation Returning Freedom, which seeks the repeal of the NDAA, the overturning of Citizens United and the toppling of the 1%.Semper Occupare.

#Friend of the paper Mickey Z-Vegan wrote about corporate media blackouts, which make it difficult to get Occupy news. (Hence the need for roundups like these.)

#Occupiers – and Etsy hipsters – have reclaimed the octopus, once a symbol of corporate domination.

#Occupy Buffalo and other Western and Central New York peace groups are calling for the end of the military presence at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station to make way for a solar array, which could increase the area’s renewable energy output by as much as 50 percent and create more than 600 new, higher paying jobs.

#Occupy the Farm is trying to prevent the city of Berkeley from turning a plot of university-owned land into a Whole Foods. Two days earlier, members of the Gill Tract occupation briefly returned to the contentious plot of farmland in Albany to harvest cucumbers, eggplants and other vegetables they planted before police evicted them seven weeks ago for trespassing.

Activists from Marcellus Shale Earth First! erected a blockade at an EQT hydro-fracking site in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield County, Pa., halting drilling operations. Photo: Green Mountain Brigade

#New Orleans, which has become a haven for sustainable living in the years since the federal government fatally bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina, is home to anawesome community printshop that every occupation should patronize for their printing needs. Here’s how you can keep this project alive.

#Occupy Boise is teaming up with the ACLU to sue the state of Idaho over new protest laws.

#Occupy Wildfire Homes is a relief effort to help all those who lost their homes and livelihoods in the Colorado wildfire disaster.

#Residents of Detroit’s Goldengate neighborhood reported that police ticketed some of the people who are living in abandoned houses they helped make habitable as part of the Goldengate Restoration Project.

#On July 10, SWAT police forced their way into the Seattle apartment of Occupy organizers, who were confronted with automatic weapons.

#MicCheckWallStreet makes it rain in Seattle.

#During the annual July 4 Cherry Days Parade in Paonia, Colorado, former town councilman Sid Lewis stepped in front of a tank owned by billionaire energy magnate and local ranch owner Bill Koch – brother of Charles and David and owner of Oxbow Mining Co., Gunnison Energy Corp. and a growing list of ranches around Delta, Pitkin and Gunnison counties – in protest of a land-swap project, earning him the nickname “Tienanmen Sid.” “I thought it would be a good chance to speak up about democracy,” Lewis said.

#Bill Zimmerman of Truthout theorizes that Occupy will surpass the activism of the 1960s.

#MicCheckWallStreet dropped $5,000 printed with the messages “Money as speech silences us all, end Citizens United” from a Seattle hotel room.

#Several groups affiliated with OccupySF took to the Canadian Consulate to protest in solidarity with students in Quebec.

Texas A&M students block the hate.

#Gay couple Mark “Major” Jiminez and Beau Chandler were arrested at the Dallas County Clerk’s Office on July 5 after they were denied a marriage license and handcuffed themselves to each other and sat on the floor. “This is about not being treated equal,” Chandler said. For what it’s worth, the couple earned well-wishes from straight couples waiting to get married, as well as the clerk’s assistant, who got teary-eyed when Chandler and Jiminez stated their intention to marry.

#Austin activists celebrated the 4th of July by occupying the capitol building.

#When students at Texas A&M found out that the bile-wielding Westboro Baptist Church was planning a protest at the funeral of a soldier who was killed in active duty, they formed a “maroon wall” around the church to shelter the family and friends of the fallen soldier.

#The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in the mountain region of Cajamarca, where thousands have gathered to protest the expansion of a gold mine owned by the U.S.-based Newmont Mining. Using live ammunition against the protesters, police killed five people this week alone.

Members of the European Parliament bid adieu to ACTA. Photo: Occupy Clermont-Ferrand

#The European Parliamentoverwhelmingly defeated an international anti-piracy trade agreement after concern that it would limit Internet freedom sparked street protests in cities across Europe.

#On July 6, the women of Tahrir Square staged a protest against sexual harassment, which is epidemic in the streets of the Arab world’s most populous country.

#The Quebec student strike, which dominated the spring sitting of the Quebec National Assembly, will resume on August 17 when courses are set to begin again at 14 junior colleges.

#Two Athenian men leaped to their deaths on June 28 and 29: a 70-year-old man who jumped from his flat after a court clerk stopped by to issue him an eviction notice, and a middle-aged bank worker who leapt from the Acropolis. Experts associate the growing suicide rate with the disillusionment of the Greek population at the unabated financial crisis.

#Israel’s Occupy movement is struggling against divided leadership, a stronger government and the perception that last summer’s protests accomplished little. Occupy Wall Street organizer Yotam Marom penned an article in Haaretz, “Advice From the Occupy Movement,” urging occupier there to stand with their impoverished Palestinian neighbors.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Mexico City on June 30 to protest vote-buying. Photo: Scott Nodlan

#Police stopped by an Occupy London, Ontario, general assembly meeting to have a dialogue with occupiers, who schooled the police on the Occupy protest experience and asked questions about how to better co-exist moving forward. If only cops in every city were as willing to engage in discussion.

#Ireland is ready to frack, despite the dangers.

#Thousands of people rushed to stores to redeem pre-paid gift cards they said were given to them by the party that won Mexico’s presidency, inflaming accusations that the recent election was marred by widespread vote-buying.

#The Oklahoma Daily wishes Occupy had the passionate intensity of European, Canadian and Mexican protests, which routinely attract tens of thousands. Don’t we all.

#We’ve reported on this before, but debtors’ prisons are making a comeback, thanks to the farming-out of fine collection to private companies, which routinely add interest that people cannot pay. The criminalization of the poor continues.

#Those who default on their student loans are at risk of having their bank accounts drained and wages garnished — more than 30 years after the fact.

Austin, July 4: #occupied.

#A Pennsylvania voter ID law will disenfranchise 10% of voters. Laws all over the country are tossing thousands of votes on technicalities, placing the upcoming election in peril. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott’s voter purge list proved to be 98.4% inaccurate and targets primarily people of color, proving that voter purges are thinly-veiled racism.

#Veteran journalist Bill Moyers explains how SuperPACs are robbing Americans of their say in their democracy. “People haven’t lost their voice – they can’t afford a voice,” he said.

#“The American people are angry,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said from the Senate floor. “They are angry because they are living through the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

#Cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.

#Fact of the day: America is the easiest country in the world to fire workers, according to the OECD.

#The Union of Concerned Scientists has launched an aggressive ad campaign against Monsanto.

#Are governments preventing people from growing their own food?

#In an apparent capitulation to the exceedingly unpopular tobacco industry, a tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business on July 7. “These cigarettes don’t have any of the chemicals in them, and the papers are chemical-free, unlike the cartons people buy from Philip Morris,” explained Amy Hinds, operator of Sin City Cigarette Factory.

#A student at the School of Economics and Management in Essen, Germany, has been sued for finishing his masters degree eight semesters early, depriving the university of money. Wow, Germany, how downright American of you.

#In a bit of news that will surprise absolutely no one, banks profit from the Colombian drug trade – particularly Bank of America, which laundered money for Mexico’s brutal Zetas cartel.

Occupy Düsseldorf mic-checks a city council meeting on July 5, where they confronted Mayor Dirk Elbers.

#In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the Internet, it has emerged thatYouTube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.

#The ACLU’s New Jersey chapter has introduced a smartphone app to allow state residents to secretly record police stops, protect the recordings from being deleted by displeased officers and report the incidents to civil rights groups.

#More and more Republican GOP challengers and incumbents have declined, so far, to take Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Maybe because austerity is unpopular and DOES NOT WORK.

#Shocking: Like the oil industry, Wal-mart receives more government handouts than people in need. Meanwhile, the Waltons are the richest family in America – six of themhave more wealth than the bottom 30 percent of the country. That’s right: Six old white people have more wealth than millions of Americans in need.

There are 18 countries where it’s better to be a woman than the U.S., the only developed nation that does not offer health care or paid maternity leave.

#Joyce D. Miller, an influential advocate for women who believed that equality in the workplace could be best achieved through labor unions, and who championed that cause when she broke into the male-dominated leadership of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has died at age 84.

#Have you been to jail for justice? You’re in good company.

#Occupy Our Homes ATL and the Pittsburgh community are trying to keep Tacco Collins, single mother of 11, from becoming homeless. Here’s how you can help.

#Occupy Healthcare. Just do it.

Want to report news about your occupation or meetup? Email me at

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


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

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.