Aug 4-5 Weekend Edition : Chick Fil A, Strip Club Owner Backs Occupy, Olympic Update
File Under : No, seriously, what did you tell him? Some cops get a reprimand, maybe a suspension for abusing protesters. Others get a ticket out of town. Such is the case for Lt. John Pike, busted on youtube after first warning UC Davis students to get off a campus road, then letting them have it, sending several for medical treatment. Sticking to her story, at all times seemingly, is UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who defends herself, saying “I explicitly directed the chief of police that violence should be avoided at all costs.” nydailynews.com
Speaking of which....you would think that those jonesing for a chicken sandwich from homophobes Chick-Fil-A would hit the drive-thru and mosey on, while those that aren't would, you know, just stay the hell away. Another prospect : that those serving the barely nutritional nuggets could simply hold their views on the topic of gay marriage to themselves, and be grateful for any customer who comes through their doors. Radical, we know. (Their actions frankly admit to their tenuous hold on the coveted gay demographic. Seriously, when was the last time your gay friends asked to eat at Chick-Fil-A??) When they do, it's big news
Welcome to America 2012, where no threat is too small and nothing is so simple. For the marketing teams who still haven't figured it out : where controversy brews, the occupation moves in.
Mayor Tom Menino makes it known the fast-food chain is not welcome at the end of Boston's Freedom Trail Other mayors - think Chicago's Rahm Emanuel - pronounce similar edicts. The chain's PR obstinence inspires occupiers to stage same sex kiss-ins, instead of coming inside to eat. Not to mention the possible death of VP of Communications Dan Perry, who passes from a heart attack a mere few days later. Cnn.com
Others with apparently little to do, come out, as it were, for the hastily-organized, first ever “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation day,” lending the embattled chain - which (conveniently) discourages hamburger consumption at competing fast food giants – a helping hand.
Devotees rushing to the “aid” of the immensely profitable Fortune 500 company would probably be there anyway. We'll see if the Chick-Fil-A occupiers have any impact on the chain, which closes Sundays to encourage church going. So far, with lines out the door and one day sales records, the controversy appears to be helping, not hurting, sales. Blog.al.com
Healing steps appear to be taken in LA, where occupiers organize a community town meeting to discuss what happened at the now notorious “chalk walk protests.” Remember : nothing is simple, not even street Art, which brings the heat too.
Cheryl Aichele, along with Occupiers Esteban Gil, Jamie Garcia and other Occupy members launch the Creating Community Awareness Coalition. It's Occupy at its best, reaching out to the community and organizing democratic forums where issues are raised respectfully and addressed. Needless to say, occupiers get support from residents sick of LAPD and an earful from local businesses who want them to, well, stay the hell away. LA Times
If OWS were to develop its own plank and slate, it might well ask its candidates 'how willing are you to get kettled and arrested protesting the banks?”
As such, Occupy has gotta love Jill Stein, who challenges the Prez and Candidate Romney in November under the Green party mantle. Stein is taken away at a “Occupy Fannie Mae” Philly protest with running mate Cheri Honkala. This is what the future of America should look like, inveighs Stein (video above), whose speech style is more Harvard lecture than inspirational. Still, the candidate retains the verve and stridency that got her elected Town Rep in cradle of the American Revolution Lexington, Massachusetts. miamiherald.com
File Under : We know that's what your talking points say, but really, what do you think. Further encouragement for those inclined to look beyond the traditional two party system this November : possible Presidential candidate Roseanne Barr, a candidate whose only obvious drawback appears to be her well-known timidity.
While some express concern Barr will detract from Stein's pull, others frustrated with “politics as usual” will look no further than this dark horse who promises, if nothing else, to shake up the election. Barr’s Twitter account frequently attracts news coverage for incendiary political commentary. Earlier this week, she apologized after tweeting: “Anyone who eats Sh-t Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens...” dailycaller
Strip club owner Joe Redner tells city councilors not to “waste their time” trying to evict Occupy Tampa, as he will do it on his own, preferring to deal with the group directly. Redner says there are currently Occupiers sleeping/camping in his parking lot, and that's fine – for now. However he wants the group out by Sept. 15th. After that, they'll be charged with trespassing but Redner doesn't want it to come to that. The gesture is no doubt appreciated by the Republican National Convention (RNC), in Tampa from Aug. 27-30, whose views on America's future may be expected to differ radically from those of the occupiers.
The strip club owner emphasizes he's friend, not foe. "I hope you can find a suitable place where you can operate Occupy Tampa and try to help our country find its place by helping everyone find their way and live a quality life" Redner writes in his eviction notice. Tampabay.com
As the Olympics go, so goes Occupy, where yet again the US' primary rival is China (like most, we remain skeptical of swimmer Ye Lin's astounding performances, in spite of her protests to the contrary)reuters
China Occupy happens in its own manner, as noted, and when the Chinese do it, they do it big. A previous update alluded to the occupation of a municipal building in protest of an industrial pipeline threatening to decontaminate the local water supply.
The higher the stakes, the bigger the occupy. Slamming the consumerist society while you rampage a pub crawl through the East Village with Suicide Girls brings inevitable complaints of lack of focus, for example. We know, haters!
But let's admit it, Americans like to be comfortable. We've become soft. Our parents and grand-parents and forebears, thanks in large part to American labor and the New Deal, created a society that allowed very middle-class, working folks and their kids to experience - and expect- a degree of affluence unknown in most parts of the world. So for a tribesman facing down the massive Norte Energia project that threatens to stamp out your existence in Brazil, or a Chinese villager threatening to be overrun with waste water and toxic contaminants, there's a difference between that and conducting experiments in democracy in Zuccotti Park. It's a reality the movement will need to come to grips with. Neither course is better, each is a response.
As such, writer Peter Lee features an excellent and entirely compelling write-up as he goes long and deep into Chinese activism, and the ways it differs from the US brand of Occupy. Asia Times
In pockets of the US, the stakes are certifiably higher. In Orange County, LAPD's intimidating presence scares the daylights out of citizens. In New York, prominently, those with darker skin are subjected to “stop and frisk.” And certain brown and poor white communities are subjected to fraudulent mortgages based on a system rigged to benefit the true one percent Lord Blankfein and his minions, who as he painstakingly explained to congress – like the house in Vegas – win either way.
In Minnesota and Atlanta, Occupy Our Homes continues to move on the mortgage foreclosure front. The stakes are naturally higher when your neighbors are tossed into the street and the bank says “not our problem.” As Occupy Atlanta plans a rally at Peachtree Center downtown today. Homeowner Steve Boudreaux has asked for an emergency loan modification but Wells Fargo says they've had it, having tried to work something out for the last two years, with limited success. Cbsatlanta.com
Boudreaux has claimed that the original loan modification never got done due to a bureaucratic snafu : the arrival of late paperwork from the IRS. Northeast.cobb.patch.com
Finally, today's international yachting update : Britain's Ben Ainslie quests his fourth Olympic gold at the Weymouth Regatta under “leaden skies” on a sea tipped with whitecaps. Ainslie is forced to adapt – and deal with the Great Dane, Jonas Hogh-Christensen, both of them rendered nearly invisible by the big surf. These gladiator navigators of the open sea prepare for, and commence, their battle in the carefully-watched dinghies of the Olympic Finn class.
Under such conditions mishaps are to be expected, and this time proves no exception. The Great Dane, after advancing doggedly past competitors, rolls his boat in, leaving Ainslie free to bring home the win and make up ground in the overall standings.
The mood of the race is captured accurately by commentator Richard Simmonds, who observes “It's rock and roll. And it's easy to roll in - whoever you are” bbc.co.uk
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