April 13, 2012 : Hayden on Occupy, Sleep Overs Okay

Sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle) describes how the former Occupy Oakland flash point in downtown Oakland is starting to see some life as businesses move in and vacant storefronts disappear. While the entrepreneurs fear the Occupation coming back, we find it curious that only two months later, the area comes to life.


OWS was back for the third straight night on Wall St., sleeping on the sidewalk in front of financial institutions. The new wave of Occupiers unrolled their sleeping bags on Wall, Nassau, and Broad Streets. The police have so far taken notice but have not asked the protesters to move. The legal basis for the action apparently resides in a 2000 decision that permits protesters to sleep on sidewalks so long as they do not block doorways. NY Times


Palm Beach Post notes that OWS' activism has found its way into the Prez' campaign rhetoric, in the form of pushing the so-called “Buffett Rule” designed to address the various loopholes enabling billionaire Buffett to pay a smaller percentage of his annual income in taxes than his personal secretary.


Cities :


Occupy Portland continues to ramp up actions around the Hanford Nuclear Power Plant, planning a Sunday rally in Richland. Occupy Portland is calling the rally "Hanford: North America's Fukushima," linking it to the nuclear power disaster caused by an earthquake and tsunami last year in Japan. The rally will feature several speakers, including noted anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott. Nearby Occupies are apparently still on the fence about officially supporting this. Tricityherald.com


Huffpost has a nice piece on the unique challenges and issues facing Occupy Detroit who are attempting to mobilize around foreclosure issues and “anti-working people legislation” the result of the “consent agreement” (read: State Oversight) that rules the city and now formulates its policies.


Occupy Madison is coming to grips with their encampment's transition for a locus of political protest to a “sort of tent city for the homeless.” The “homeless question” is one of the thornier aspects of US' Occupations, and each camp addresses the issue in its own way. The initial approach and example set by OWS was to embrace the community and provide support and resources. However if homeless occupiers need resources beyond what the camp can provide and cause trouble, the camp runs the risk of damning news media sensationalism. Or something like that. The ugly truth about the homeless is that many work, some full-time. Cap Times


Occupy Santa Ana has something of the same thing going on, having set up “Necessity Village” which right now consists of 9 occupiers and 11 homeless. The group has slept out in front of the town civic center for the last three nights. So far, cops are being friendly and supportive.Ocregister.com


Occupy Boise is still going back and forth with the Idaho statehouse, now saying they'll move from the Old Ada County Courthouse lawn if authorities can provide them a suitable alternative location. Khq.com


Others continue to take the rowdy route, which usually gains mucho media coverage – and wins just as few friends. Occupy Indianapolis, or at least a group of students claiming a loose affiliation, disrupt an IU trustees meeting, holding their own meeting and drowning out speakers with chants and shouts about rising tuition costs.



Beyond the Camps :


How, and where, to Occupy are long-standing questions that other “occupies” have grappled with through-out the ages. Now septuagenarian activist and former Fonda hubby Tom Hayden explores the topic fully with Democracynow.org hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on today's program. Hayden, an SDS founder and author of the Port Huron Statement , is at NYU today for a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the seminal statement.


At the same time, a statement has been released for distribution by the Kent Democratic Town Committee (KDTC), who approved a Resolution for Economic Justice, enumerating what they view as “the corrosive effects of corporate contributions to campaigns for federal office.” The resolution will be sent to President Obama and other legislative leaders. The committee's chair Tod Jones says the statement grew out of the desire to make a statement on Occupy Housatonictimes.com



The “get a jobbers” rue and ridicule Occupy as the exclusive province of lazy slackers unwilling to grow up and play by society's rules. Former Occupy Lubbock protester Melissa Borrett has taken the 1% reprimand to a new level, combining entrepreneurial foresight with a nude maid service that she now looks to expand to Houston. Customers pay upwards of $150/hr to have the maids arrive and clean their home with “security present” to avoid any possible misunderstandings about the services being provided, according to Borrett, who advertises special discounts for law enforcement. Houston.culturemap.com features an article and slide show.


Finally, The Occupy Handbook, edited by Janet Byrne, and featuring authors Paul Krugman, Matt Taibbi, and others makes its debut today as an “E-book.”