June 22, 2012 : Occupy Homes Stands for Cruz Family, Caravan makes Southern Stops

As the summer heat blazes across most of the country, so does the Occupy Caravan, making stops and leading/encouraging occupies nation-wide with on the spot municipal demonstrations and general festivities. Occupy Athens, has planned a single day occupation of the Athens (Georgia) city hall to celebrate the arrival of the caravan and protest the city's proposed newly restrictive law on sleeping in parks and sidewalks, which they say stifles expression and harms the city's homeless. The caravan is scheduled to arrive in Philly the week of the 4th for the Occupy National Gathering, which coincides with Continental Congress 2.0 redandblack.com

Readers interested in receiving the Caravan's regular updates may follow the hashtag @OccupyCaravan1

The caravan had made a previous stop at Alabama Power in Birmingham, teaming with Occupy Birmingham to protest the utility company's use of dollars to lobby against the Clean Air Act and fully shift to renewables. The company says its parent, Southern Company, spends more on renewables than any other energy company in the US.

As noted in this space, every Occupy identifies and deals with issues facing its community in its own way. Occupy Portland activist Cameron Whitten has entered Day 20 of his “hunger for housing justice” strike. Whitten, who conducts a 24-hour-a-day demonstration outside City Hall, has shed 11 pounds while subsisting only on juice and water. Still, he “feels like a million bonbons.” Whitten finished 5th recently in the city's Mayoral election. bendbulletin.com

sfweekly has more on parents who have pitched tents, occupy-style, outside Lakeview Elementary school. The blog says the tactics are the same but “this is not Occupy Oakland.” That said, the parents and their supporters plan to rally at Occupy Oakland's home base tomorrow (Frank Ogawa plaza) at noon. Daily rallies take place on the school steps at 5 pm .

Tis also the season for pride, gay pride that is, as LGBTrs celebrate and march in cities across the US on the fourth Sunday of each June. The New Yorker compares and contrast the Stonewall uprising of 1969 with Occupy Wall Street, noting the former had the basics of street and social organizing down cold, providing muscle for real change in what could have been just another gays vs. cops face-off.

The LGBT community is a huge part of Occupy of course. Over the years, the community has taken heat for its cozy embrace of corporate sponsors and establishment politicians. Needless to say, this does not sit well with OccuPride, who plan a presence at the hallowed San Francisco pride events over the weekend. The protesters will focus on Wells Fargo, who according to sfweekly, while not being exactly home-friendly, are nonetheless gay-friendly, at least according to the company's press release on the matter.

Counterpunch weighs in with its own recommendations on Occupy,  meant for the citizenry at large, as Boston Occupier Joseph G. Ramsey lays out specifically “What Occupy Demands of Each of US”

Legal Grinds :

Prosecutors continue to reverse their earlier string of losses by securing convictions against 11 Occupy DC Demonstrators who refused police orders to abandon a barn-like structure during a demonstration last year at the encampment in McPherson Square. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Wingo found the 11 guilty on Thursday during a non-jury trial. Washington Post

Occupy Homes in Minneapolis is drawing a line in the sand on the Cruz Family Eviction. The group has devoted time and resources going to bat for the family, whose mortgage was allegedly thrown into foreclosure by bank giant PNC over an alleged “computer glitch.” Yesterday's event was billed as a national day of action, with supporting rallies taking place in different cities in the US.

In the meantime, the group has assembled over 40,000 signatures nation-wide via electronic petition in support of the family, urging the bank to renegotiate, however the talks have fallen through according to recent Occupy Homes tweets. Star-tribune.com

Among those arrested is Twin Cities rapper “Brother Ali” who tweets : “Just got home from jail. 13 of us arrested showing solidarity with the Cruz family and Occupy Homes worldwide.”

Finally, today's Volvo Ocean Race Update finds the yachts idle, awaiting the sprint toward Galway and the final finish. However, businessandleadership.com highlights the contributions by shipping firm DHL who have transported nearly 900 tons of equipment for the race as it makes its way across the globe.