August 16, 2012 : Occupy Diversify, Assange Asylum Case Heats Up

The twitter and blogosphere explode as UK authorities approach and enter the Ecuadorean embassy to begin the extradition of Julian Assange. The wiki leaks founder has been living inside and under the Embassy's protection since June 19, and is wanted for questioning regarding a Swedish criminal allegation of sexual misconduct. Assange claims he is being politically persecuted and requested asylum after his appeal to Britain’s highest court to refuse the extradition was denied.

Today, Ecuador Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patinon announces the decision to grant the globe-trotting Assange asylum. Which he says was reached after consulting with the UK, US, and Sweden in an attempt to procure guarantees for Assange's safety, ultimately not provided. Reuters

Several livestreamers broadcast outside the embassy, as the situation quickly takes on global proportions. Will the UK risk an international incident by storming the embassy? Will Assange be transported to Ecuador under some arrangement, no matter how bizarre? Word is he may be grabbed by British police from any location not regarded as Ecuadorean soil or privileged property, including a “diplomatic transport bag.” The full range of options covered by Al Jezeera English

On the hashtag, the UK's Foreign Office says it will go ahead with the extradition, regardless of the Ecuador asylum decision.

Occupiers typically back Assange - they appeared on his short-lived talk show -  will the situation galvanize occupiers to create a new occupation outside the Embassy on Knightsbridge St.

Also, let's see how long it takes for the Prez to issue a statement on the matter. Or for that matter, for Citizen Romney to accuse the Prez of giving aid and comfort to Assange.

From the media side, Bambuser is alleged to come under DDOS attack (denied distribution of service) possibly linked to their coverage of the events unfolding in London.

According to, Bambuser lets people stream live video from their smart phones to the web. It has become very popular with activists and protestors, from the Occupy movement to Russia and Syria. The service has come under attack before, with the attacks generally coinciding with marches and protests that are being covered on Bambuser.

Stateside. Occupy evolves beyond a mere tactic or even a group , as communities work to renew American democracy, seen as wholly undermined by Citizens United, the ultimate signifier of corporate dominance. Elections similarly are viewed as a leisure activity for the one percent, or the “one percent of the one percent.” Citizen Romney's Veep Pick heads to Vegas, not for fun. Instead he's there to receive marching orders from billionaire Sheldon Adelson, without whose life-giving cash the campaign would asphyxiate.

Globally. There's a thousand ways to occupy, no one size fits all. It depends on the situation, and the various occupiers' talents. Take Dance Flash Mob as the latest tactic (video above), as revelers overtake the lobby of one of Spain's largest banks, now nationalized, after being implicated in a series of bad and fraudulent lending practices.

According to writer Patricia Zohon, “it makes protest personal: it's impossible to look away.” Being compelling is half the battle, staying Un-obnoxious – and fun – the other. huffpost

“Sudden abrupt fun” could be the new occupy mantra of Year 2. It would be a good place to start. How to disrupt without being seen as disruptive, or worse - petulant and overbearing.

Occupiers risk being labeled, and at times lapsing into, a We Want the World and We Want it Now philosophy. Which never goes over big with previous generations.

Occupiers are left to a) become as uptight and boring as the banker-bought world they want to replace, or b) come up each time with something more creative. Which is not easy.

You don't need to serve ice cream every day, but an occasional summer cone can help. It always did when our parents offered it.

In the comfy confines of the United States, occupy can be a part-time, even weekend activity. Occupy then return to your Soho loft. Why apologize for it? You could just be spending time in the loft playing video games.

Globally, there are differences. Outside the US, authorities are more ruthless and occupations have more at stake. In Chile, a group of students occupy the schools, privatized since the US backed coup in 1973. [For reference to the coup see Costa Gavras film Missing featuring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek.] The students block roads and occupy high schools to insist upon reform before the riot police are called in. Washington Post

It goes down similarly in Buenos Aries, where when subway workers don't get the raises they want (and need, to keep up with the country's spiraling inflation), they simply shut them down for ten days. Such conveniences are taken for granted here.

Each community acts in its own way. In Illinois, Occupy Evanston petitions the city council to shift investments from too big to fail JP Morgan Chase. A small victory is achieved when Occupy-based language is added to the city's RFP  from various banking giants seeking the city's $73M in business. Chicago Tribune

Municipalities have long been a favorite target of Wall Street, as they represent hard fungible cash, dutifully saved and contributed into pensions by (typically) hard-working, underpaid public servants, who chose to forego private sector salaries (and risk) for job safety and security

Once the funds are saved, Wall Street wants them  - to subsidize their exotic speculative deals. This goes back to the early 1990s when it convinced Orange County Treasurer Robert Citron to eschew safer investment practices in favor of parking and “leveraging” the $8B county fund with the free-wheeling traders at then Merrill. Bad idea. The county went belly-up as an early high-profile bankruptcy leading to major cuts in city services.

Occupy Oakland has tried similar tactics in urging its own city to divest itself from Lord Blankfein and his minions at Goldman-Sachs.

If enough cities began to cut off the cash needed to finance Goldman et al, who knows what the results would be. Perhaps the normally drab bankers go back to slow and steady profits and get their exotic kicks elsewhere.

Speaking of which : The bankers have the money and the strip clubs – they don't actually date the strippers, a past time generally reserved for ballers and other perceived high-flyers, see Charlie Sheen -  or, they can order in at their Long Island country club and then fight the unions the strippers try to join. Exotic Dancers reading this space seeking to organize are encouraged to read the following helpful hints.

Some just can't leave well enough alone and need to poke the tiger. In this case both parties to a previous dispute can't let bygones be bygones. Imagine the potential there. So we get posts to the Occupy LA Facebook page slamming the cops for not bringing their shock troops and over the top presence. The cops themselves put out a vaguely self-congratulatory press release.

Either way, we stand by our claim that someone at City Hall got the message and decided to behave normally. For once, cops decide to tone it down. If they need to congratulate themselves, so be it.

It's curtains for Occupy Central aka Occupy Hong Kong as they hear from a local judge that they are - like so many physical occupations - out of there. The word comes down as HSBC wins an eviction. The deadline is 9 PM August 27th. Approximately 12 or so activists and local crafts people are camping there. Washington Post

Blogo and Twittersphere abuzz with S17, aka the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Media outlets take heart as a new round of whither Occupy commentary provides topics for content-starved online newsrooms. Establishment media are programmed to cover cop-protester dust-ups and encampment break-ups. The larger issue, i.e., why occupy? - completely off the radar screen.

S17 will allow traditional media to check in, take a quick look around then return to the business at hand – whatever that is.

 yo man...wear the tie or lose the extra button...(photo : cnn)

Author and 15 Minutes of Fact radio host Jerry Ashton has the preview, observing that Occupy has “outgrown its Wall Street Crib” while simultaneously going both global and local. He also indicates the movement's likely Year 2 Moniker : Occupy Main St. huffpost

The word comes down, the judgment is in : 2 members of Occupy Coachella are convicted of illegally occupying Civic Center Park in Palm Desert after being told to vacate by authorities. The two will pay $500 fines with no jail time.

As public pressure dies down, prosecutors are able to secure more convictions as long delayed cases slog through the system, ho-hum.

Meanwhile, some occupations start anew, based around their own relevant community issues. Such is the case in Montana as the Blue Skies Campaign, which is staging a week long occupation outside the Board of Land as it reviews a company's application to extract and export more coal out of the region's hills.

Finally, no disrespect to the Olympics and the hard-working, ice -in-the-veins performances of the Fab (now Fierce) Five, but we'd had enough Olympics. And so we return to ongoing coverage of the high-flying world of international yachts. While it is true this space primarily (by necessity) focuses upon concerns and coverage of the 99 percent, we never altogether neglect the whims and caprices of the advantaged one percenters (far be it from us to turn any reader away).

True, there are other one percent concerns we could focus on; several in fact, have been suggested, including the intoxicating world of dog breeding/showing or – even more timely the world of horse-dressage. Candidate Romney does himself no favors here by, rather crudely, treating his wife's beloved race horse down as a depreciating asset. A horse is not a boat sir. But then in light of Seamus...

We could also take a closer look at the burgeoning world of Space Tourism, where Richard Branson will charge the one percenters a couple hundred large to orbit the earth for a few minutes as the race for space, whether in Zuccotti or the stratosphere, continues in America 2012.truthout

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