May 9, 2012 : Financial Focus of Occupy Strong as Media Put Downs Mount



Oops! Occupy the Farm in Albany, CA had sought to negotiated solution with UC-Berkeley to the dispute surrounding the public land known as “Gill Tract” but it appears the university is going the forced eviction route. Latest word is cops are mobilizing, yellow police lines are up, and “chemical agents” may be used to get people out. Yowsa. Nbcbayarea.com


Social network site Twitter sets the blogosphere abuzz after it files a motion to quash a court order to turn over tweets and account info for an arrested OWS protester. Twitter also claims the court does not have the right to deny the protester the ability to challenge the original court order for the data, since the NYC DA did not possess a warrant for such data, and such denial would put an undue burden on the company to stand up for user privacy.


ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Aden Fine cheers the move, saying “if Internet users cannot protect their own constitutional rights, the only hope is that Internet companies do so.”


Given that internet companies and social networking sites rely on the selling of such data for their own commercial purposes, it will be interesting to see how long the commitment to user privacy and rights holds up in the face of government pressure such as the so called Stored Communications Act. Wired


Occupy, its spin offs, and dozens of advocacy groups, rally in North Carolina today at the Bank of America shareholders meeting. The action is considered to be a dry run for protests that will be staged outside the Democratic Convention in Charlotte in September. Concerns include BofA's support of the coal industry, as well as the bank's predatory lending practices in the community. Huffpost, democracynow.org



When occupiers stand accused of violence and vandalism, the movement's inclusion policy is put to the test. Occupy Cleveland has taken a beating for being associated with 5 suspects alleged with plotting to blow a Cleveland bridge. Still, the group shows up in court to support the suspects, reiterating its association with them, but maintaining they are not representative. While most media will shove off to the next, latest round of accusations, UWS Digital News will continue to cover these developments. Newsnet5.com


The establishment media does the initial grunt work of reporting (if not researching) the sensationalistic aspects of Occupy and its alleged misdeeds, while the blogosphere usually amplifies. Beck-backed theblaze.com piles on, claiming Cleveland proves OWS' “terrorist” credentials, unlike the Tea Party which has had no such incidents. Readers interested in verifying the site's claims are encouraged to visit here


Along the same lines, the good 'ol politifact truth-o-meter spanks the NRCC for claiming Rep. Betty Sutton "would rather riot with Occupy (Wall Street) than stand up for Ohio families." The GOP is trying to make political hay distributing over email images and video showing the seedier aspects of occupy and attaching them to reps up for re-election who they can claim “support” OWS. In this case, the truth-o-meter rates the claim as “beyond false.”


gather.com gets in on the act, denouncing Occupy SF for not denouncing quickly enough, we kid you not, having bricks hurled at them by an alleged “black blocker.”


While the media take pot shots, a positive book review on the origins of OWS by “Writers of the 99%” , published by Haymarket Books. The work is now an official nominee of Left Eye On Books Independent Reader awards. Lefteyeonbooks.com


One impact of OWS, Barron's claims, is that Middle America has not returned to stock investments since the financial crash of 2008, hence the diminished prospects for a “bull market.”


Also on the financial side of things, Seattle Times reports that Vashon island is the darling of Occupy after 16% of the community's residents moved their funds into a local credit union. There local economic activists have merged with Puget Sound Cooperative, so far collecting local deposits of almost $20 million.


It's easy enough to chant “banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” but doing the grunt work of examining and reforming regulatory policy is another matter.


Media time is devoted to Occupy misdeeds because violence sells; at the same time, numerous sub-committees“in the field” on a daily basis get short shrift. The story is perhaps too complex for big media as it involves no doubt tedious research, sifting through committee and sub-committe reports and regulatory language.


However, one can't help but notice the increased visibility of economic reformers like Occupy the SEC, who now regularly show up on panels, injecting citizen opinion into financial and policy discussions formerly reserved for the, well, 1 percent. (see video above for background)


Charles Pierce at Esquire strikes a note of balance, with word of encouragement to Occupiers that they are “yelling at the right buildings.”


Global :


Occupy London is mentioned as having destroyed trees in a local nature preserve in order to make firewood. The occupiers have apparently apologized for the anti-environmental indiscretion. Thislondon


From Dataran, a constitutional lawyer responds to the Prime Minister's claim that Occupy Dataran seeks to overthrow his government by stating that Malaysia is not Egypt, nor the United States, for that matter. Malaysia-chronicle.com