June 15-16 : Wall Street, Mainstream Media Still Clueless, Groupama Wins Leg 8




photo : Paul Todd, Associated Press

The investigation into the Oakland Police Department's actions against Occupy Oakland remains front and center. The former Baltimore Police Chief overseeing the investigation, Thomas Frazier, criticizes OPD at length, faulting police for “failing to adequately plan for the Oct. 25 demonstration" at which Iraq vet Scott Olsen was injured by a bean-bag projectile. Frazier writes of the department's use of less-than-lethal weapons that were “outdated and dangerous. “ Mayor Quan says the city is “unafraid of the truth” and has been trying to reform the police department for decades. San Jose Mercury News


Elsewhere in Oakland, a group of undocumented students who had been occupying Obama Campaign HQ, protesting the President's policy of deporting young undocumented immigrants came outside to say they are both ecstatic and apprehensive in hearing the news. Occupier Blanca Vazquez called it “a good step forward” while saying “we want to make sure we have firmly made that step.” insidebayarea.com


Occupy the Alibi : Returning to the scene of the crime (?), Writer Andrew Beale sorts through the arrests and aftermath of Occupy NATO portrayed by the mainstream media, saying that (surprise!) it differs from drastically from events he witnessed there. To Beale the self-congratulating that went on in Chicago defies reality, as he writes “the police spilled more blood than I've ever seen in my admittedly sheltered life. “


Beale goes on to note that 2010 marked the first year that a majority of Americans got their information from various online sites - and he now sees why. Mashable.com


Speaking of disrupted demonstrations : The anti-fracking encampment set up by Pennsylvania residents concerned with the actions of Aqua America, the company charged with pumping millions of gallons of water a day via a river funnel to the natural gas industry's giant shale “fracking” project, has been raided. The camp had been set up to assist the 30 or so impacted families ordered to vacate the land after Aqua's purchase of it. Policymic.org


Reuters has a nice piece on Austin Guest, a 31 year old Harvard University grad who says he had to “unlearn” what he was taught at Harvard, thanks to Occupy. Guest has relocated from Zuccotti Park to the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, where he and another Occupier share a flat and live the Occupy credo of mutual respect and aid.


The move to a neighborhood and the interaction with the community at large is happening all over, according to OWS spokesman Ed Needham, who says “there's an awful lot of decentralized organization going on.”


With the final coming down of the remaining tents in McPherson Square, the Washington Post does a retrospective on Occupy DC, remembering the camp's remarkable experimentation in what Post Art and Architecture critic Philip Kaufman termed “do it yourself urbanism”


One of the major offshoots and actions of Occupies nation-wide this month has been public support for the Quebecois demonstrators and their “casseroles.” An Occupy Albany march in solidarity leads to 4 arrests, which the marchers and their attorney deem “ridiculous” since they were never blocking traffic, as charged. Albany has been notable for its DA's refusal to prosecute arrested occupiers and for peaceful relations between police and protesters. Timesunion.com


Global :


Futurist Eric Garland goes deeper into the Quebec Movement, now called “Le Printemps Erable” aka the “Maple Spring,” seeing the Northern movement as part of a continuous pattern of organizing and action by youth across the globe, in response to a rewritten social contract and institutions which no longer appear to have answers. The Atlantic


An Occupy London offshoot recently attempted to move the protest to Hampshire Heath. The protesters, as reported, last all of a day before authorities oust them, but they leave a lasting and not so good impression when an organizer claims their presence in the heath would serve to “vaporise” the practice of gay cruising, thereby “returning [the heath] to the public.” Occupy London is distancing itself from the remarks after the ensuing backlash from the gay community. Hamhigh.co.uk


Long-time Political activist and professor Peter Bohmer offers an analysis of the meaning of Occupy and manages to hit the main points succinctly and comprehensively in a preview of talk he will deliver in Cuba later this month. Counterpunch.org


Rustin Silverstein, PR guy for the one percent, articulates a view widely-held by those outside the castle : the lords of Wall Street have an image problem. No doubt seeking clients, Silverstein uses the spectacle of JP Morgan honcho Jamie Dimon being dragged before Congress for a “relatively minor private loss” as a harbinger that Wall Street needs to wake up and do a better job telling it's side of the story. National Law Journal


Today's Volvo Ocean Race Update : the French stay on a roll, as Groupama nabs the eighth leg Washington Post has updated coverage and photo (above)