May 8, 2012 : Introducing Bishop George Packard, Veterans for Occupy



Huffpost features MIT Professor Noam Chomsky writing on “Plutonomy and the Precariat” in which

he essays on Occupy's role in addressing the sweeping economic and workforce changes that have marked the United States in the last three decades.

The International Business Times questions the legal basis and legitimacy of arrests that took place at the end of the May Day march in VietnamVeterans Memorial Plaza. Protesters were told by NYPD that they were “illegally occupying a public park,” but it now appears they were occupying several addresses at once, including a private one, which would have required the occupant to (technically) summon police. The tenant says they would have, gladly, however did not.

Speaking of Vets, Chris Hedges at features a moving interview with retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard who fought in Vietnam and later joined the clergy. Packard has been arrested twice by the NYPD at Occupy rallies, including once for attempting to enter the Trinity Church. Packard claims he is always welcome at Occupy, and its community and relationships embody the essence of the Gospels, whereas he always needs an appointment to meet with fellow clergy at the Trinity Church.

In the interview, Packard states “arrests are no longer arrests.”

And speaking of Hedges, he takes it on the chin from Mark Taylor-Canfield in Counter Punch who says taking on the black bloc “as an enemy of the organized left” is short-sighted, and Hedges never talked to anyone from the group. Canfield says Occupy needs to build bridges with all groups, including the bloc, and avoid falling into what he terms “the isms.”

File under : stunning logical flip -Thomas Sowell writes that occupy is a “mob” that needs to be controlled, and the failure to do so violates the 14th amendment's intent to provide “equal protection of the law to all citizens.” Previously, the 14th amendment was thought to be a key component and basis for US Civil Rights law, even as it has more recently been invoked to confer personhood on corporations. Investors Business Daily

Runner-up (above category) : features an overview of a study conducted by a George Mason University professor which attempts to correlate wealth with Occupy arrests (and votes for Prez Obama). Allegedly basing the results on info collected by NYPD, the study finds that the “median home value” of the average arrestee is “$305,000 — a far higher number than the $185,400 median value of owner-occupied homes of the rest of us.” The article speculates those values may refer to the homes of Occupiers' parents, which they may have given as their address to NYPD.

And speaking of equal protection under Federal Law, the feds court-appointed monitor of the Oakland PD received the city's plan for its internal investigations of the department's response to last fall's occupy protests, which resulted in injuries to former Marine Scott Olsen, among others. The Federal oversight stems from a settlement in a 2003 police brutality case.

More from the left coast : UC-Davis is suing US Bank after it announced on March 1 it is terminating its contract to provide services to students on campus. The bank cited the disruption caused by occupying students which caused it to (at times) close or shut its doors early during the protests. No comment from students on whether the bank will be missed.

In related news, the so-called “Bankers Dozen” are due back in court this week – the 12 occupiers charged with disrupting the bank's operations

Cities :

On the heels of last night's Town of Albany Council meeting, Huffpost features more on the UC-Berkeley land dispute over Gill Tract. The occupiers who have been there since Earth Day say the struggle epitomizes the Occupy Era, that is, citizens asserting control over a public resource in the face of impending privatization (by a public university). The occupiers want the land to be used as an urban center for sustainable farming as opposed to the university's plans for private development. Several Berkeley professors vouched for the Occupiers at the meeting.

In Colorado, other Occupy groups (Occupy Greeley and Occupy Fort Collins) are turning their focus to protest the gas industry practice of “fracking.” The groups will protest Friday afternoon at the Ranchers Exploration Partners, whose operations at a drilling site were terminated after state officials determined they were not equipped to deal with the toxic waste and environmental issues created by run off from their drilling.”These guys are a prime example of the industry not only ignoring guidelines, but, good Lord, these guys drilled on top of a landfill,” said Occupy Greeley spokesman Mil Hart.

North of Wall Street in the state capitol, as promised the Albany DA has refused to bring charges against 20 occupiers during May Day protests, saying they did not harm police officers or damage property. This space wonders if other DAs will follow suit as the vast majority of charges filed nation-wide against those arrested at Occupy end up getting dismissed. Wall Street Journal

In Providence , the emergency shelter sought by Occupiers in exchange for their leaving Burnside Park is closing. However the Roman Catholic Diocese says the facility was always meant to be temporary

Meanwhile, Occupy is gearing up for the May 20-21 NATO summit in Chicago, preparing to bus in protesters from both coasts, in advance of protests in front of Boeing and other locations. has details.

Finally, while the May 20-21 NATO protest appears as the next big date on the Occupy Spring Social Whirl, May 12 is being heralded as a day to protest for “Global Wealth Redistribution” in 70 cities world-wide. has details (video above).