July 16, 2012 : Occupy vs, the Banks, Love vs. Hate
When not showing up for near riots and prepping for the 2012 Olympics, a favorite media pastime is debating/determining the status of the occupy movement. Duke University Law professor Kyle Scott weighs in with his own take, chiding occupiers for not running a slate. Heraldsun.com
The clamoring for specifics can be transalated as “the development of a political party apparatus.” Meanwhile, the industriousness of groups like Occupy the SEC, who have made concrete proposals for reform, is overlooked.
The main locus of occupy activities revolves around supporting victims of foreclosure (as well as the homeless), in addition to challenging student loans which admittedly many occupiers hold (or are held down by).
With the added brouhaha over LIBOR, JP Morgan trades, and the recent documentation of Wells Fargo racist lending policies, just call it Round 2 : Occupy vs. the Banks. Debt in particular emerges as an overall issue, binding over-worked Americans already weary of bailed-out bank execs enjoying jumbo pay packages while strangling the economy and imposing punitive conditions on the 99%.
As such, marchers in Washington Park stage “Night of the Living Debt,” complete with a "debtors die-in.” The group are recent graduates of the OWS Summer Disobedience School Democracticunderground.com
Add children's chalk to the growing list of domestic threats. Occupy LA, sets out for a jaunt during the city's “ArtWalk” bumps into cops who respond flailing nightsticks, and firing rubber bullets, and bean bags. The Occupiers were out to support “chalk walk.” And defy cops for “12 arrests the past 6 weeks for children's sidewalk chalk.” Cops are said to arrest 17 total before going on “tactical alert.” The police do these things “for the safety of these people” (meaning the protesters) says on the spot reporter Robert Kovacik, who is made to stand 40 feet back, along with the rest of the media. Images and video of police brandishing guns along with wounded walkers at nbclosangeles.com
Demonstrators throw bottles and cans at officers. Some people in the crowd tell fellow protesters to remain peaceful. Msnbc.com
Another habit for media is to mention, usually in closing, the costs associated with quashing Occupy. For example, nbclosangeles lets its readers know The LA city council estimates the costs related to Occupy LA could reach $5 million for policing, cleanup, etc.
Can an enterprising reader please email a tally of the costs that led to the Occupation. Even the costs from the last week would be a good start. In other words, LIBOR costs $450 million, Wells Fargo costs $175M, investors defrauded over 20 years Peregrine suicide commando Russell Wasendorf Sr. - you get the idea. These are of course “settlement amounts” incurred by private companies, not tax-payer money. How much though is spent tracking and prosecuting such malfeasance. Probably not nearly enough. Leave the human cost of lost jobs and foreclosed homes, the ruined lives /families living out of cars stuff to one side rollingstone.com
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship put a human face on the suffering, writing eloquently about “the tragic reversal of fortune experienced by millions who once had good lives and steady jobs, now gone.” truthout
Drawing the contrast with the rest of us : Occupy protesters crash the party of Media Execs at Sun Valley, putting up a White Collar Crime Scene tape to call attention to 1% misdeeds. The protesters are quickly cleared out by the cops. Hollywood Reporter
For lighter fare, Alan Feuer takes a peek at Brooklyn-based “Occupy the Camp,” where at a redbrick former schoolhouse on Maujer Street in Williamsburg, OWSers Justin Wedes and Rodney Deas ( the purported inspiration for “Radio Raheem” in Spike Lee's “Do The Right Thing” - see video, above) . mornings feature educational activities such as math and reading and the afternoons feature leaf-tracing.
Occupy Tech Ops tweaks old computers and hooks up the Ethernet connection, and an Occupy artist had silk-screened 20 T-shirts (with a book-and-raised-fist logo) to serve as camp uniforms. NY Times
Occupy Delaware celebrates a victory as ACLU attorney Richard Morse negotiates a settlement with the City of Wilmington that upholds the groups right to stay in Spencer Plaza, until September, when they'll abandon the plaza for renovations. Speaking of tabs, the group says that the city's runs close to half a million in dollars wasted trying to evict the group.
The group's statement says “calls upon the City to 'use the money that it would have spent on continuing legal action against Occupy Delaware to instead provide direct grants to local non-profits, especially those dealing with homelessness and evictions and those addressing compassionately and wisely the epidemics of drug addiction and violent crime.'” occupy.de.org
Occupy Santa Cruz stage a “tent mob,” moving locations several times, opening the tents to the public, distributing literature, and answering questions from the public.
Occupation Lite may become the new flavor as groups aim to continue activity while confounding authorities and de-escalating needless confrontation. Inbybay.org
Occupy Groups work locally, tackling serious issues that transcend slogans and simple solutions. Occupy Redwood City join Occupy San Jose and Occupy Palo Alto in a Bastille Day commemoration/demonstration outside of San Mateo County prison, which last week holds a "ground-breaking" for its expansion. The groups are ticked that city councilors approve more prison spending over community investments that would keep residents out of jail in the first place.
Former Assembly candidate Joseph Rosas of Occupy San Jose speaks at the rally and calls out the county's “culture of incarceration” Indybay.org
Occupy Central (HK) now apparently has two weeks to answer HSBC Holdings (formerly HSBC) request of a judge that they be removed from the plaza at the financial giant's headquarters. The 50 or so occupy protesters who have set up shop (some literally) at the location, say they will “study the court documents” and likely stay put. Bloomberg
Finally, a film that purports to walk the line, right down the middle that is. Filmaker Gregory Kallenberg, originally from Shreveport, LA tackles real-world issues of energy and money, and the conflicting community interests that surround them. Recently relocated from Brooklyn, Kallenberg examines the discovery of the Haynesville Shale Deposit and its impact on the lives of three Shreveport residents : an African-American preacher, an environmental community organizer, and an “old-time country boy” who stands to lose ancestral land but gain riches. Kallenberg claims that his film appeals to the “Rational Middle,” eschewing the both the rhetoric of the Tea Party and the activism of Occupy.
Nonetheless, the film causes controversy, as its backing by Shell and Kallenberg's family's industry ties are criticized. RP Siegel has a complete review of “Rational Middle Energy Series” triplepundit.com
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