April 12, 2012 : UC-Davis Report Slams Cops, Sleepful Protest in Cities

Cities :

A report by a UC-Davis appointed task force has found that campus police made errors in judgment in pepper-spraying demonstrators. The report ripped a “cascading series of errors” that led to the incident and questioned the legal basis for the action, rebutting police claims that the use of force on occupy demonstrators was justified and necessary. LA Times

The merger between the Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square camps in DC is now official, with Freedom Plaza occupiers voting for it. At the same time, McPherson Square occupiers voted down the transfer of the Freedom Plaza permit to the McPherson Square site, saying they have never had a permit and don't want one now. Nevertheless the details of the move have been worked out and there will now be a single DC Occupy Washington Post

In DC and elsewhere, Occupiers increasingly express 99% ire over misdeeds by the biggest US banks, chronicled recently by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone. The latest round of actions include “sleepful protest” where protesters forgo tents to sleep outside on the sidewalk in front of the crooked banks. Occupiers say that sleeping on the sidewalk is protected by law. LA Times

In Sarasota, police have dropped all charges an Occupy protester arrested writing for pro-Occupy chalk slogans on sidewalks. Miamiherald.com

Beyond the Camps :

Boston Review compares the current challenges facing Occupy to the same ones raised 50 years ago by Tom Hayden in the Port Huron Statement. Eric Mann writes that the question is whether, and how, Occupy can “truly give voice to all of the 99 percent that it wants to represent.”

At least one of the eight plaintiffs suing the city of New Haven over its orders to vacate the Occupy Camps on New Haven green has withdrawn from the suit, and says it's time for the group to fold its tents and declare victory. Occupier Josh Smith posted a lengthy statement on his FB page calling his move a “tough decision I've been thinking about a lot lately.” New Haven Independent

Smith may be on to something with his observations that camps may ultimately detract from support. Occupy Eugene is a case in point : the city has still not filed charges in a beating death that took place at its encampment, which led to the city's council dropping support for the group. Postcrescent.com

Occupy Oklahoma turned its attention from its physical presence in a public park to raising funds via a “cash mob” block party with live music to aid a small vintage clothing store in resolving state tax issues. Organizer Brittany Guest says Occupy Oklahoma is “moving in a different direction, focusing on solution-based actions” over protests and politics. Wisconsinrapidtribune.com

Occupy Sunset Park is conducting its general assemblies in multiple languages to allow occupy to “reflect the diversity of the city, especially in terms of the involvement of people of color,” explains organizer David Galarza. The Brooklyn Bureau

Mark Cassello writes up his experiences with Occupy during the first week of the “Chicago Spring,” designed to be two full months of activity and events culminating in full-scale protests during the NATO conference, scheduled for the weekend of May 19-20, 2012 Huffpost

In a similar vein, Boston reporter Chris Faraone has penned a book chronicling his experiences with twelve different occupies in the early stages of the movement : 99 Nights With the 99 Percent: Dispatches from the First Three Months of the Occupy Revolution philadelphiaweekly.com features a detailed review of the work.

Global Occupy :

Occupy and Art continue to intersect across the pond as Occupy pens a tirade against artist Damien Hirst for “exploit[ing] labour for vast gain, and pull[ing] up the drawbridge just as the sh-t begins to fly.” artlyst.com

Occupy Papua New Guinea : a group of activists known as Occupy Waigani who last month occupied their countries parliament to defeat a controversial law delaying elections and allowing legislators to remove judges has apparently succeeded, as the country's Prime Minister told a massive crowd at a rally that he would hold elections as scheduled. Occupywallst.org

Finally, a group of teachers and educators united for peace in Cyprus had their encampment in the so-called Buffer Zone raided. Occupy Buffer Zone has occupied the encampment since last November and will rally today against the police action, as organizers hold fast to their objectives. In the words of one organizer the occupation is to either collapse or go beyond the borders that reside in people whether material, psychological, spiritual and so on.” cyprus-mail.com