May 23, 2012 : Occupy Harvard to Bat for Union Staff, the Case of Alan Blueford


Occupy Harvard goes to bat for workforce. The occupy-labor connection discussed. Occupy Oakland, MC Hammer support family of Alan Blueford.


To mainstream media, Occupy is a bunch of young, rich, spoiled brats, ungrateful for what's been handed them. At the same time, graduating Harvard kids go to bat for their unionized library staff, the people that fetch the books and assist with their research projects.

Occupy Harvard will call attention to threatened layoffs at the Harvard Commencement. The group says that the protest is not just about the library-specific cuts, but also about the University’s “approach toward labor.” The protest is being co-ordinated with the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers. Harvard Crimson

Canadian Labor activist Diane Kalen-Sukra also gets in on the Occupy-Labor discussion with a rich analysis of the Labor tradition and why it is essential the two meet and Occupy Labour Bureaucracy.

Mainstream media are busy after all, and frankly no one there has much time to study the issues and proposed solutions. Washington Post does a group review of the “wave of liberal books” inspired by the slow economy and now, the Occupy movement.

The actions and proposals of groups like Occupy Youngstown, Ohio, are therefore easily overlooked. There the organizers not only attend a sheriff’s sale to prevent foreclosure, but also propose “land banks” to deal with larger banks seeking to profit off the human need for housing.

Occupy Youngstown go out of their way to say their issue is not with the working men and women of the Sheriff’s department, but rather the foreclosures themselves.

Sheriff’s sales add insult to injury,” says Occupier Kesner. “They’re not contributing to the solution” for turning around blighted neighborhoods that often become havens for crime and drug activity.

Spin Doctor Bill O'Reilly, hot on the heels of his alleged altercation/confrontation with an occupier on Broadway outside the showing of Jesus Christ Superstar keeps the heat on, saying the “sincere occupiers” have moved on and the work of Occupy now is being done by professional agitators.

Newshound fires right back at the self-proclaimed “fair and balanced” O'Reilly, claiming the Spin Doctor's outrage over Occupy tactics rings hollow, since he never chastised anti-choice protesters who lobbed the epithet “baby-killer” at HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a recent Georgetown speech.

Chicago Sun-Times carries a story that says photos of the informants who allegedly set up the “NATO 3” are now circulating over the internet, courtesy of Occupy Chicago. The group disavowed any intent to cause harm but say the community has a right to know the infiltrators and informants in their midst.

Jake Olzen in takes a more historical, and cynical, view of police and security tactics and infiltrators used to disrupt movements similar to Occupy.

Occupy Oakland is distinguished by its testy relations with authorities, dealing with police tactics and brute force that have become notorious. At last night's city council meeting they shout down a “no weapons ban,” expressing their view that the ban was too broad and did not allow them sufficient protection from police violence. San Jose Mercury News

It would be easy to slam the group for acting up and not playing nice, but commentators have repeatedly noted that relations between the police and Oakland community have always been tense.

Case in Point : While the Trayvon Martin case inspires an outcry over racial-profiling, less well-known is the more recent killing of Oakland teenager Alan Blueford.

Occupy Oakland holds a 3pm vigil today for Blueford, who was shot and killed at midnight, May 6 by OPD under a lamppost. The OPD have changed their story several times and have placed the un-named officer who pulled the trigger on leave. Forensic tests have shown Blueford did not fire a weapon and the unnamed officer, in fact, shot himself in the foot.

Blueford was on probation at the time of the shooting and ran when police approached him hanging on street corner with friends after watching the Mayweather-Cotto fight.

The Blueford family have been joined by Occupy and other community activists in protesting police violence against those with brown skin. Former rapper MC Hammer, a friend of the family, offers support saying “the character assassinations won't stand.”

Pundits and politicos love to urge occupy to get immersed in political parties, elections, narrow their focus, ie, the things they did. Occupy Montreal heeds the call and lines up with student protesters in Quebec helping continue the protest against higher tuition fees in the streets, day and night. The occupy organizers say its part of their group's mission to link global financial misdeeds to local issues. Edmonton Journal

Occupy Toronto gets in on the act as well, leading to tens of thousands marching in the streets, which , as we know, is no big deal in media-land. The strike is now in its 100th day.

Russian history professor Frol Vladimirov takes a closer look at Occupy Abai – the Moscow movement -comparing and contrasting it to Occupy Wall Street in the United States.

Finally for the one percent or yacht aficionados reading this space, the daily update on the Volvo Ocean Race features Puma Ocean Racing Powered by Berg officially making the switch from shoes to boots, short sleeve to long sleeve ( with the leader-board muddled as Groupama and Telefoncia neck and neck as critical decisions loom.