April 6 2012 : Keeping With the Season, Occupy Faith and the IRS

You wonder if the “get a jobbers” (one of the most frequent slams used on Occupiers), who value getting to work on time, will fully appreciate Occupy Transit. As the era's mania for privatization and incessant cutbacks extends to transit systems across the United States, commuters and worker bees everywhere deal with fare hikes and service reductions.

Today Bob Simpson on Open Salon goes deeper on the issue, and how recent Occupy protests in Boston and elsewhere have led to a collaboration between the transport workers union (ATU) and Occupy.

In general, Occupy continues to diversify, bringing its participatory approach and tactics to various issues and venues. As religious holidays begin today, Occupy Faith emerges with a declaration of intent (Prophets over Profits), calling itself “a subcommittee of the Occupy Wall Street movement bringing together religious leaders from all communities and denominations committed to equality, liberation, fairness, sanctity and mutual respect.” Huffpost

Occupiers focus on protecting the public infrastructure and interest, Higher Education and the public university systems, which, like public transport, faces higher fees, increased debt and reduced aid. The push to focus on higher education is not mere altruism. Working at McDonald's and other low wage jobs typically does not offer Occupiers joining the workforce the ability to pay down debt and become the good consumers society urges them to be.

In Canada a group of students known as the “Ontario and Quebec Students for a Free Education” occupy the Canadian Ed minister's office. Toronto.mediacoop.ca features a detailed article along with audio interview of one of the activists.

The thrust toward protecting education transcends national borders, as just South, Occupy Utica takes a similar approach. Uticaod.com

Huffpost also features long-time media activist and social critic Danny Schecter, author of seminal TV news analysis The More You Watch, the Less You Know and now Occupy : Dissecting Occupy Wall Street. Schecter says tax season means its high time for “Occupy the IRS,” given the fact that most of America's top companies pay more in CEO compensation than they do in taxes, while off-shoring thousands of jobs.

At the colleges themselves, Occupy remains a hot topic, as cerebral students frequently have more time and inclination to debate the theoretical aspects of the Occupy presence. Occupy takes it on the chin today from a freshman civil engineering student at Drexel who claims the group's Spring promise remains unfulfilled. Thetriangle.org

However, further North, a second freshman scribe urges fellow Yalies to come out and defend the movement. Yale Daily News

Wells Fargo, like many big banks, remains a big Occupy target : a street theater performance of The Fat Cat in the Hat : A Wells Fargo Unfair-y Tale. Organizers of the performance said it is meant to chronicle the group's campaign against “the harm done to this city” by the bankers. The performance, which took place in front of three Center City branches dovetails with an Occupy Philly claim brought against the bank to the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission. The group says using children's language to describe the bank's misdeeds is a good counter to the arcane financial contract language that disproportionately roped in African-Americans into their mortgage schemes. Philly.com

Equally theatrical, if slightly less child-like, are the 11 Occupy Portland activists (three men and eight women) who bared their breasts to the public with targeted radiation symbols painted on them. The 11 were doing a promo/dry run for the group's upcoming protest of the Hanford Nuclear Power plant, slated for later this month. Wweek.com

Speaking of the big banks, it's well known they love to merge, acquire each others troubled assets, etc. Occupy DC gets into the act with McPherson Sq's Occupy Camp merging with Freedom Plaza. Washington Post

As noted, there is continual tension between the Occupy physical presence (camping, basically) and other, more creative initiatives. Busted encampments lead to long legal tie-ups for those who endure arrest and being brought trial. Along this line, Occupy Tulsa gets the word from the judge that their case won't be dismissed. Tulsaworld.com

Occupy Louisville, which has been the scene of controversial altercations between demonstrators and police, and now allegedly each other, has been given an order to vacate by April 13. Protesters so far say they will comply. Couriertoday.com

Even as we say it, finally, here is Occupy Salt Lake City celebrating their six month anniversary, despite a long winter and subsequent relocation. Organizers say the opportunity to “model new communities” by meeting people in a physical space is “part of the magic.” desertnews.com