May 10, 2012 : Nation-wide protests outside BofA, Introducing OccuCopy
This space mentioned yesterday that Occupy's working groups get stiffed by establishment media that favor more sensationalistic stories involving vandalism and alleged violence. However, no sooner do we say it, the New York Daily News profiles a democratic, worker-owned co-op formed from Occupy members that has started a t-shirt print shop on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn.
The group, OccuCopy says it reserves up to 25% of operating revenues for the purpose of supporting and starting other Occupy-owned businesses (there are several, including a tech venture). By and large, the clients are OWS itself, as well as local non-profits.
“There are certain criteria,” said OccuCopy cofounder Sergio Jimenez, 25, explaining that OWS businesses are picky about which clients to choose, snubbing corporations.
Beck-backed blog theblaze.com is always good for digs at Occupy, today lauding the Tea Party's electoral success while putting down the “rag-tag” protesters of Occupy. Still, the right-tilting blog tips its cap to yesterday's Occupy rally in North Carolina outside of Bank of America, saying the movement “may be finding it's stride again.”
Salon takes on two “jobs groups,” recently termed Occupy Wall Street's “siblings” by the New York Times. While Occupy-owned businesses exist (above) and Salon says it recognizes the value of innovation, it claims the groups, named Campaign for Young America and Fix Young America, are nothing more than centrist Beltway organizations.
Speaking of the former newspaper of record, Charles Delafuente reports that being a “millionaire” is no longer the dividing line it once was. According to many financial planners, a million in various assets – not including home equity – is barely enough to carry American couples through their retirement years. Which kind of makes the Occupy point. NY Times
One of the allegations continually tossed at Occupy is that sexual assault took place at encampments. While Occupies nation-wide no doubt faced security issues, a story by Alexander Cockburn in UK-based The Week asks if the NYPD themselves are guilty of such transgressions. Cockburn cites a report by anthropologist David Graeber who claims, based on evidence submitted by protesters, that the NYPD has grabbed the breasts of, beaten, broken bones and otherwise demeaned arrested female protesters.
Cockburn wonders whom these acts serve, tracing a line of command beginning with Captain Edward J. Winski, to Ray Kelly to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, noting that both Bloomberg and Kelly have heavy ties to the financial industry (Kelly was apparently Bear Stearns' Director of Global Security), as well as describing the role US city police departments play in assisting with “security” in states like Bahrain, far more brutal on their occupiers.
Elsewhere, as Chicago gears up for Occupy protests at the NATO conference (May 20-21), redeyechicago.com has a nice piece on the different paths that various Occupiers took to becoming involved in the movement.
Occupy's big push yesterday at BofA's shareholder meeting in Charlotte, NC was echoed by similar protests nation-wide outside BofA branches, including two dozen who stood outside the Morristown branch, who said they were there to educate the public on BofA's "socially and environmentally destructive politics...that include foreclosures, dirty coal financing, federal income tax exclusion and political lobbying." morristown.patch.com
Police are saying they did not “raid” Occupy the Farm on Gill Tract yesterday as “no order to disperse was given.” A statement released by UC-Berkeley mentions that the parties still seek “a peaceful end to the illegal occupation.”
Still, the barricades are up. The Occupiers published their own statement, citing the University’s actions as repressive and blocking a noted Berkeley professor's attempt to plant his plot with his students. According to the Occupy the Farm site takebackthetract.com Dr. Miguel Altieri was told he lacked the "authorization" to conduct his research. Nbcbayarea.com
Finally, encampments are mostly gone from the US, but a new one has sprung up in Moscow on Chistye Prudy boulevard under the statue of Abai Kunanbaev, where huffpost says about 500-1000 activists have joined efforts to set up in the capital. On the heels of the Putin re-election, Police are said to be in no mood to tolerate the protesters.