April 16, 2012 : Protests Peaceful and Testy, Schecter Slams Occupy Purity



Photo Courtesy of Observer and Eccentric
Today : tactics diversify, with varying levels of success. Fears of “co-optation” in the form of the “99% Spring” abound. Action and discussions in the camps, particularly New Haven, where an early founder says it's time to pack up and not make the city the enemy. Demonstration in NYC echoes black bloc bs in Oakland.

Cities :

Occupy Portland's field trip to the Hanford Nuclear Power plant culminated in a rally to urge a speedier clean-up. Long-time anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott urged more citizens to get involved, calling the plant “the belly of the beast.” Concerns expressed ranged from pollution of the Columbia River, protecting indigenous land, and fears of a Fukushima-type disaster. Bellinghamherald.com

Occupy New Haven, defying predictions of their impending eviction, receives a last-second stay from Fed Judge, until..tomorrow at 10AM. The camp remains, for today, the last one standing in New England. Stay tuned...Yale Daily News

While New Haven waits for final marching orders, Occupy MSU is just getting started. The students at Montclair State University, along with the campus section of SDS, plan a four day sit and teach-in to address student debt, tuition hikes, statewide cuts to education funding. The plan is to sleep in tents on the campus quad, but university officials are already drawing the line, saying they'll allow the tents but no sleeping between the hours of 11PM – 6AM. Baristanet.com

A similar protest is underway at the tenth annual “Tent State” at Rutgers, with similar concerns to be voiced by participants over the week long “sleep-in” camp at Vorhees Mall. Dailytargum.com

The LA Dodgers are off to a roaring start this Spring, at 9-1. Inspired, Occupy Wall Street outfitted themselves as members of the “Tax Dodgers” during an outside rally in Central Park (slideshow) dawn.com

The baseball team protest was in stark contrast to the allegedly 25 or so demonstrators who, whipped into a frenzy after attending an anarchist book fair in Washington Square Park, marched through Lower Manhattan's East Side with pipes in their hands chanting anti-police slogans and attacked a Starbucks (!) sending netheads and customers alike scrambling for cover. Three were arrested and charged with inciting a riot and criminal mischief. No mention as to whether the protesters are associated with the notorious “black bloc.” NY Daily News

As the deadline for US Tax returns hits, at least one group stages a protest for tax fairness. Occupy Monterrey Peninsula demonstrators held signs for passing traffic encouraging drivers to, "Honk for the millionaires tax.” indybay.org

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard challenges the mainstream press today on Occupy coverage, detailing a number of upcoming, nation-wide Occupy events that they feel merit coverage and a closer look. Niemanwatchdog.org

Media and social critic /activist Danny Schecter takes on what he views as an Ad-busters purity campaign “for the soul of Occupy,” warning that such sectarianism echoes the ideological struggles of the 1960s and that occupy's strength resides in keeping the tents open to all. Therealnews.com

Occupy Raleigh returns to demonstrating, this time, on the sidewalks, mimicking the resurgence of similar protests of OWS on the sidewalks of Wall Street. Rocky Mount Telegram

Occupy Homes achieved a victory, of sorts, by showing up at a Sheriff’s sale to discourage potential buyers from purchasing a foreclosed home underwritten by US Bank. Since no buyers bit, the current homeowner, who happens to be an SEIU organizer and community activist, may continue negotiations with the bank in an attempt to save his home. Twincitiesplanet.com

Occupy Rockford attempted to set up a demonstration in a busy downtown area but were stopped by police, allegedly for trespassing on private property. The occupiers said they were there to protest, among other things, the “schools to prison pipeline.” wrex.com

From the left coast, cops warn building and property-owners to “board up” empty buildings in anticipation of more occupations of vacant properties, a la two weeks ago. Sfexaminer.com

Global :

Across the pond, members of both Occupy Boscombe and Anonymous UK who had occupied the Dorset Arts Center, slated for partial demolition, have been evicted. The arts center, to be redesigned in part as affordable housing, has a rich historical background, which prompted the protest. Bbc.co.uk

Finally, the Livonia Democratic Club has no problem with campaigning for the President and other Dems, while fully embracing the goals and tactics of Occupy. The group hosted a member of Occupy Detroit who spoke about the goals of the movement, then proceeded to cut up their credit cards in protest of big banks.