April 30, 2012 : All Eyes Turn to May 1, Occupy, We Got It Covered
All eyes turn to May 1, International Workers Day and the anticipated Day of Action that Occupy has been cooking up since most camps and cities went dark over the winter. Banks and cops work together and brace for protests. NYC, SF, and major cities in spotlight as citizens wonder if roads will be shut down. Stakes are high to Occupy to make statement. Watch this space for regular updates during the next 24 hours.
Bloomberg has a complete round-up of what to look for from Occupy and participating Labor Unions tomorrow– how many will clog the streets? How creative will occupy get? According to the Bloomberg report “Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.”
The festivities kick off in Bryant park at 8AM tomorrow, featuring “free food, a free market, skill shares, workshops, and learn-ins.”
Radical “after-party” is scheduled for 8PM tomorrow night at an “undisclosed financial district location” in lower Manhattan.
A full schedule of events, including Ex-Rage Against the Machine guitarist and activist Tom Morello leading a “guitarmy” through the streets of Lower Manhattan to Union Square at 2PM, is posted on maydaynyc.org
Pundits and politicos make space for Occupy analysis and adopt an air of anticipation. The movement's profile, if not future, may be determined by tomorrow's events :
US Politics Today on why Occupy became so relevant, so quickly
Beyond Chron on the training and preparation that leads up to tomorrow's Day of Action
NY Mag claims Occupy is “betting it all” on the big targets it has for tomorrow's events
A big wait and see is how well Occupy gets labor and other coalitions to join in the Day of Action, also billed as a “Day Without the 99 Percent” as it encourages workers to stay home, no work, no school, no shop, not do anything other than protest and celebrate. Cnn reports that potential allies, Occupy and Immigration advocates in LA have been unable to get on the same page in terms of action for May 1.
May Day has added relevance for Occupy Madison, which transitioned into a makeshift homeless shelter and received eviction orders set to take hold today, April 30. waow.com
Occupy Iowa City and Occupy Des Moines are both planning action, joined by academics and others, including a public labor panel that will discussed how the movement's goals and labor's dovetail. dailyiowan.com
Occupy Redlands gathers locally at 430 pm tomorrow and then plans to hold a city council vote denouncing the Citizens United decision later at 6PM. pe.com
Conspiracy theorists counter 99 percent gripes about the Koch brothers support of the tea party and its off-shoots by claiming that do-good-billionaires like Soros and Buffet back (directly or indirectly) Occupy, so interesting to see Occupy Omaha will show up at Buffett's Spring Picnic. According to a statement from Occupy’s D’Shawn Cunningham the group is looking at “weekend-long protests” during Berkshire Hathaway’s Shareholders Meeeting. Nebraska Watchdog
Dailybeast.com features Occupy Activist Jeff Smith doing a candid interview with Tom Hayden, who is making the rounds in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Port Huron Statement Hayden offers nuanced views of Occupy, in the context of his own activism and electoral experiences.
While for the most part, occupy protests are creative and (for the most part) peaceful, authorities in cities like Seattle brace themselves for potential violence, with the ever-present black bloc and other operatives(?) set to swing the mood toward chaos and violence. Savvy Occupiers know confrontation merely provokes (and retroactively justifies) an “over the top” police response and a dubious public image. Theblaze.com
The reality of the ongoing charade of arrests and court cases is this : with very few exceptions, the cases are tossed by judges who either 1. recognize the constitutional right of occupiers to protest (if not stay indefinitely in city encampments), or 2. simply do not have the resources to process all the court cases. Therefore, no one seems to benefit from escalating confrontation.
Occupiers themselves can bring the legal heat, as NYC City council members file suit in Manhattan Federal Court against NYC for civil rights violations in connection with the police response at Zuccotti rallies. Bloomberg.com
Sacramento is a case in point as none of the original charges filed stick, and a protester turns the tables and wins the right to challenge administrative charges filed by the city. Modesto Bee
The other emerging story is the extent to which police, and other authorities, rely on the same tools that Occupy uses to organize in order to track their movements and plan counter-actions. Since such tools may be used by the courts to prosecute those the cops round up, a hot issue moving forward. Cbsnews.com
democracynow.org goes in-depth this morning into the banks coordination with cops to assist with Occupy policing.
Policing occupy is at turns comic as Miami PD sends out emails with subject line : Occupy Miami : Situational Awareness” advising the department to watch out for an upcoming jazz night at Kendall Bar. Miami New Times
The Prague Daily Monitor reports on an incipient Occupation inspired by the hacker group Anonymous, located at Prague Klárov. Organizers say “ the participants want to discuss with people possibilities of creating a juster society that would place greater emphasis on direct democracy.” Prague Daily Monitor
Andrew Hill in the Finacial Times analyzes the reach of recent Occupy board room activism and where it may ultimately lead.
Finally, Occupy Datarn's massive rally came off over the weekend, albeit not entirely peacefully, as organizers did not discourage a surging crowd from penetrating barricades with chants of “reformasi” from the podium and also allegedly saying “break the barricades, the Dataran belongs to the people (of Kuala Lumpur).” protesters who broke through were met with water cannons and tear gas (video above) Thestar.com.my