April 4, 2012 : Occupy SF Raid Footage, Going Beyond Physical Presence
Lots of activity on the Left Coast as Occupy SF is again center stage. Sfgate.com describes the eviction of some 80 occupiers from what they allege was a vacant building that they tried to take over in order to provide health and education services. The SF Archdiocese claims the building was not vacant and uses are being discussed. Mayor Ed Lee said he sympathized with the occupiers , but left the ultimate decision to the cops who acted on the archdiocese's request to evict. Riot police moved in and occupiers were testy, naturally. Full video narration of the raid on the building is on youtube (multiple sources).
The physical presence of Occupy continues to be controversial, as some wonder about the value of public space (for example, Columbus Dispatch) The media tend to leave the actual occupiers' opinions out of it, preferring to lump them together as “demonstrators” and “protesters.” UWS Digital News employs similar shorthand. But every Occupy is different and each occupier is there for their own reasons. Whenever possible we will quote them directly and publish/provide original content.
That said, Occupy MN is jostling with the city and the cops to re-establish space, this time in a grassy park they consider a bit homier than their old digs by Hennepin County Government Center where their movement was based last October. Tents are apparently allowed, along with a 24 hr presence, but no sleeping in the tents. Stay tuned. Kaaltv.com
Occupy St. Louis held a vigil last night protesting what they view as police brutality against the movement. The allegations arise from the police crackdown on a March 15 rally that was broken up by cops.
Charges against Occupy Oakland move forward in several cases, but the group hits back at the Assistant DA with charges of “abuse of power” and “trumped-up charges” to destroy the movement. San Jose Mercury News
Occupy Boise now faces one of those “temporary removal orders” the authorities use when they can't get the occupiers out of city squares quite quickly enough. Idahopress.com
While many cities crack down, Occupy Ithaca appears to have reached agreement with the city to set up a one month encampment across from the local Wal-Mart. The month of April will be dedicated to a “living wage social” according to the group. Organizers say they want to connect with working people struggling to make ends meet. Ithaca Independent
In the Tampa area, Occupy Hernando is holding a “Hoodie Walk” this weekend on Saturday beginning at 10 AM in Veterans Memorial park. Tampabay.com
Further North, Occupy New Hampshire Seacost a similar rally/memorial vigil for Trayvon Martin will place in Portsmouth's Market Square tonight at 7pm. Seacostonline.com
OWS flexed muscles with a march back over the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend which drew the “Granny Brigade” and about 100 marchers. Blogs.wsj.com
The Wall Street Journal has a funny take on two different Occupy London presences who together make the “odd couple.” Cultural differences and tensions abound between Occupy Finsbury Square (Felix) and the Occupy St. Paul's encampment (Oscar).
Other Occupys go beyond mere physical occupation :
As the passover/Easter holiday approaches, Psychotherapist Carol Smaldino writes about the need for “Occupy Passover,” i.e., bringing the values of Occupy to the Jewish story of exodus and religious tradition.
Occupy Yuma is hosting a home-owner's “empowerment seminar,” which will feature Ruth Lopez describing how she “battled a big bank” to get her home-owner's loan modified.
Lopez, herself a member of Occupy Yuma in Peace, previewed the seminar by saying “at this free event we will be providing the community with much-needed information regarding the options available to struggling and underwater homeowners,” Lopez said. Yumasun.com
Finally, mashable.com reports that Occupy has a new web site, that aims to be the “Huffington Post for the occupiers.” The snazzy site features an updated look, easier navigation, and promises to deliver news aggregation. It also takes contributions.