February 24, 2012 : Occupy Gets Specific

File under : It had to happen. There appears to be a rift between occupiers as a convention scheduled for July 4 in Philadelphia apparently moves forward without OWS support. Apparently, the primary objection is that the convention structure will mimic representational government, as opposed to the Ows decision-by consensus model. Huffpost and other outlets (WSJ , npr) have details.


The split seems natural as occupiers across the globe are evicted from camps and search for other ways to have impact and influence.


Haters love to lambast occupiers as unwashed trouble-makers who are spoiled, lazy, and lack specifics This space has mentioned numerous examples of occupy actions dealing with specifics on the SEC, Foreclosures, Homeless and other local issues. For example today's Washington Post reports on Occupy the Consumer Credit Bureaus. The article lists specific recommendations made by the group. According to the Post “a small but visible faction of the Occupy movement is not only working within the system, but also delving into the bureaucratic back channels of the regulatory process to make itself heard.”


Other occupies on the state-level move froward with their own conventions, including Raleigh, NC (newsobserver.com)


Salon.com has a comprehensive piece on how Occupy – Labor collaboration in Washington State led to a recent organizing win for the International Longshoreman's Union. Reporter Josh Eidelson also describes the tensions that arose between the two groups and how they were ultimately resolved successfully.


Decampments : Across the pond, the Occupy London Encampment is running out of options as last minute appeals fail and some tents are beginning to come down. Huffpost. telegraph.co.uk kicks the Occupiers on the way out the door, saying the camp has devolved into a “holding pen for the mentally ill.” Other Brit protesters who had sought to bring an encampment to St Mary the Virgin’s Church in Prittlewell beign asked to leave by the Vicar there. theEnquirer.co.uk


In the US, other camps face similar shutdowns. Occupy Nashville has been on the ropes for some time and the Tennessee state senate moved forward yesterday with an eviction vote. Tennessean.com


Groups like Occupy Boise are fighting the evictions, resorting to various forms of protest and legalities but it seems the encampments may soon be a memory. Idahostatejournal.com


More productively, workers are moving to occupy plants slated for closure or in various stages of shutdown. This space mentioned recently the actions taken by a group of 200 occupiers in France at the idled ArcelorMittal plant. The tactic has spread to the US, where a group has taken over the Chicago windows plant owned by Serious Energy Inc. after the company said yesterday it would close. The plant first came to prominence 3 years ago when workers affiliated with the pro-worker United Electrical Workers (UE) occupied it when it was known as Republic Windows. The workers are seeking to keep their jobs by simply taking over the plant and running it themselves. Chicago's wbez.org has details.


Finally, it takes a village : An “Occupy baby” is brought into the world with everyone working together : occupiers, paramedics, NYPD – which provided an escort from Greenpoint, through the midtown tunnel, and up the elevator to the maternity ward and of course, a New York City cab driver. Nbcnewyork.com