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"Occupy Wall Street" Movement

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http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26367.msg585190.html#msg585190

"The last one", Mr. Isom has a point: Working class people pay a bigger proportion of their income in Social Security and Medicare taxes.  For example, I pay zero "payroll taxes" on my interest and capital gains earnings.

Real estate taxes are not progressive.  Sales taxes are not progressive.  Fuel taxes are not progressive.  Local income taxes are not progressive.  Ohio income tax is progressive, but at a modest rate.

 

 

I think every can agree that corporations possess many of the rights individuals do.  I think everyone can ALSO agree that corporations do NOT possess the full breadth of rights individuals possess.  Personally, I think McCain Feingold was a very good bi-partisan compromise, but I also recognize that the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional as written.  I just want the legislature to revisit the issue because as the Supreme Court left the issue, it is open season for corporations to unduly influence politics with no accountability.  There is just something so wrong about a corporation (let's call it Americans Who Love America, Inc) filing papers on Tuesday, spending millions of dollars campaigning for a preferred candidate on Wednesday, and then dissolving on Thursday.  Who's to say that the corporation was not funded by some Saudi Shiek or foreign Dictator with a specific agenda in mind that has nothing to do with Americans or America

Word

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Whatever happened with the allegation about this 'Leland' (you know Fox loves that name) character and the allegation out of the Cleveland protest.  That was several weeks ago.  The original report was that the woman reported it to somebody at her school and said that she awoke to find 'Leland' molesting her.  I don't think there was ever an accusation of forced intercourse, but rather some improper touching.  Cleveland Police investigated and couldn't find anybody who knew this 'Leland' or the girl.  Further, the occupiers said there are no 'tent assignments' as the girl alleged.  There was a rape kit done.  Anyone know if anything ever came of it?

 

I'm sure in the hundred of camps and thousands of tents accross the country, there will be some incidents.... but this one from Cleveland always sounded real fishy to me from the start... especially considering how small their camp is.  Sort of smells like one of those James O'Rourke type set ups.

 

There were no "official" leaders, but this woman showed at the camp looking for the "leaders".  Someone stepped into the vacuum, pretending to be in charge.  When you don't have any structure and organization someone will try to simulate it, and they don't necessarily have the same agenda as you do.

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Of course there are no leaders.  What I'm asking is if her allegations were ever confirmed, whether that be through any witnesses who ever saw her or 'Leland' at the camp, or through the police investigation.  I'm not asking for the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' standard the TP demanded when numerous witnesses reported them hurling racial epiphets at the black congressional leaders, but something more than what she told a third party would be nice.  I'm definitely not saying it absolutely did not happen, only that there is nowhere near the proof that it DID happen as the press seems to just assume.

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I assume the payment wasn't Palin worthy....

 

It appears Oakland is off on their own thing.  What's becoming apparent is that these protests vary widely from city to city.  Different focuses.  Different attitudes.  Different game plans.  It further appears that Oakland is going to be Fox's golden child in this whole movement because it paints the picture they want to portray.

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Story circulating on Fox News and others that a portion of the Occupy Oakland & Wall Street protesters were actually paid to show up by community activists...

 

Fox has found a bunch of connections between OWS and ACORN as well.

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Story circulating on Fox News and others that a portion of the Occupy Oakland & Wall Street protesters were actually paid to show up by community activists...

 

Fox has found a bunch of connections between OWS and ACORN as well.

 

Isn't that like saying the Ghost Hunters program found evidence of paranormal activity?

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Greetings from the beautiful Lackawanna Hotel in downtown Scranton! 

 

Indeed Occupy Scranton is out there.  I've seen their posters up around town, and, just tonight I came across their camp.  Scranton has a fairly large courthouse square, an entire city block, and they are on the east or north side.  Very similar set up as Daytons, and similar issues, concern with winterization.  It turns out that they had a lot of support from the local firefighters, who are involved in some sort of labor dispute....the firemen reportedly had their  fire trucks on both sides of the square near the Occupiers, and let the sirens or horns rip, in support or solidarity.

 

But I get the impression this area is sort pro-union or pro-working class, based on the exhibits at the local mining musuem I visited today (Rob, if you are reading this, you would like this musuem.  Great building for a railroad museum), so the concept of solidarity or supporting those who might support you is not that foreign as it might be elsewhere. 

 

I plan on stopping by tomorrow again to take some pix since it was dark out.  They say they get a bigger crowd on weekends, like we do in Dayton.

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(I am proud to say that I am the 10,000th view of this thread!) But does anyone know the nut in this story, "Cleveland native Jeremy Clinch?" Who sez Ohioans don't get national recognition??

 

Video: Deranged Man Kicks Tents At Occupy Wall Street, Delighting NY Post

 

http://gothamist.com/2011/11/04/video_deranged_man_kicks_tents_at_o.php

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Looks like the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is branching out into shadowing conservative power-brokers now.

 

On Wednesday night in NYC, OWS protesters found out that former President George W. Bush was meeting with Goldman Sachs' executives in the Goldman Sachs Headquarters Building only few blocks away from Zuccotti Park.  Then 100 to 200 of the protesters marched over the GS Building and started chanting "Arrest George Bush".  After about an hour, NYC Police move the protesters away so that two police cars and three unmarked vehicles can leave the building.  Or as one tweet from a Democracy Now blogger put it: "NYPD told us step back, five cars-two NYPD, three unmarked-sped out Goldman. I asked senior white shirt if it was Bush, he said "Yeah." #OWS" 

 

Here's the story from POLITICO: George W. Bush, Occupy Wall Street at Goldman Sachs.  And here's a more colorful version from Daily Kos: CONFIRMED: #OWS Surrounded Goldman Sachs HQ Chanting "Arrest George Bush" w/ GW Inside.

 

Then on Friday night in DC, Occupy DC protesters numbering around 500 marched in front of the Washington Convention Center where the Koch Brothers funded group "Americans for Prosperity" was holding a “dream summit,” which attracted hundreds of conservative leaders from across the country.  On Friday the group was holding a dinner in tribute to Ronald Reagan.  This collision between the protesters and the conservative elite ended with an actual collision.  As three protesters were injured after being struck by a car outside the convention center.

 

Here's that story from the Washington Post: Occupy D.C. protesters block streets near convention center.  And the more colorful version from the New York Daily News: Occupy DC protesters struck by car outside event backed by Koch Brothers, injuring 3; Driver won't be charged, say cops.

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Another great Keystone State day...this time a side trip from Scranton to....Bethlehem!

 

  ....went there for the Moravian stuff and a walking tour of the steelworks (which is being developed intoa  Sloss Furnances/Ruhr type of cultural park). 

 

But also came across an Occupy camp!  "Occupy Bethlehem" is located on this plaza or terrace in front of the library (a great little modern building, BTW).  Not quite as big or maybe together as the Scranton group.  Was their twice, once in the morning, and again later.  During the later visit turns out this consiracy theory guy had just come over from Allentown and had said up shop.  He gave me some DVDs on his theories, confided in me that some of the Occupy groups have been "co-opted".  Well, ok, whatever you say dude.... didn't really want to talk with him...

 

....I did talk to one of the Bethlehem campers, tho.  He said something to the effect that they are concerned that they might be evicted with Christmas coming up, as that is a big tourist time for that city (already seeing Xmas stuff in their gif shops, bTW, but maybe its that way all the time).

 

He also said the Occupy Wall Street Zucotti Park camp had sent a traveller out west of the Hudson to see what was going on elsewhere, and they stopped in Bethlehem as their first stop. 

 

@@@

 

Back in Scranton on my wat to dinner at this vegan cafe (yes, they have a vegan restaurant in Scranton, belive it or not)  , stopped off to talk to the Scranton occupiers again, took some snaps, and left my e-mail address and name with them. 

 

So maybe we are starting to see some ad-hoc informal connections being made between the various Occupy groups.

 

@@@

 

I'll be in Hartford tomorrow.  I called my contact in Hartford, who gave me the location of their Occupy group....yes, despite the snow, they are STILL there.  But the location is outside of downtown, in I think the Asylum Hill area.  Somehwat familiar with the area..they are near the cathederal and some insurance companies. 

 

I'll probably be visiting the Hartford Occupiers before going out to listen to some bluegrass later that night. 

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Here is a good article OWS from the Tronoto Star...more on the deep structure of the movement..

 

Occupy Wall Street: The Origns of the Occupation....which shows that it is actually NOT that "American", conceptually.. yet some things I myself noticed....like this...

 

Begonia stresses the feeling of belonging to a group, “dissolving” into society. “They feel they are not alone. It takes away the fear.

 

“It’s not about identity,” she adds. “It’s the opposite. It’s plural. It’s a process of unlearning. That you are not just yourself. At the General Assembly your identity is the entire group. In the beginning there were a lot of problems with people learning it is not about themselves, their issues, it’s for the wellness of everyone.”

 

 

 

...as I mentioned earlier in the thread, that was my gut-level reaction, that I was not "alone".  It's the opposition of alienation.  And for a loner or lone-wolf like myself it  is a bit disconcerting.  I am not a "team player". 

 

Yet I have to say I've met a lot of new people, different people, that I would never have met if not for getting involved in this. ..doing things like striking up conversations and giving my e-mail addy to a total stranger in a city hundreds of miles from my home.  In my routine life I'd never have done this...

 

 

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Greetings from the Nutmeg State!

 

Am finally in Hartford.

 

Occupy Hartford is not downtown...they are in an open space just beyond the freeway that skirts downtown, near Aetna Insurance and the cathederal.  Yet they have an impressive presence, the best Ive seen so far.

 

They have an info booth with a guy running a laptop powered by a solar cell panel.  Never saw that before.  Also a small tent village is set up, and a sort of education tent (with a flip chart and easel and whiteboard) where I attneded a role-playing thing desgined to surface and address conflicts or issues that are going on with the campers.  Most if not all the people attending this were campers.  Say 7 or so.  Though there are more campers.  They asked me questions about what we are doing in Dayton and I fielded them the best I could.  Also promised to e-mail pix of our Dayton actions.

 

Seems they do a good job of generating crowds or attendance for their marches.  They had one on the downtown banks (saw videos at the info tent) that got over 100.  Not a bad turnout.  Apparently they have theme marches or demonstrations, and the banks seem to have been a target (which dovetails with what I heard from the Occupy Scranton folks, about getting folks to switch to credit unions)

 

 

@@@@

 

Next up, tomorrow, we take the train from New Haven to NYC, then the subway down to Occupy Wall Street!  Finally, I get to see ground zero of this movement.

 

 

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Looks like the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is branching out into shadowing conservative power-brokers now.

 

On Wednesday night in NYC, OWS protesters found out that former President George W. Bush was meeting with Goldman Sachs' executives in the Goldman Sachs Headquarters Building only few blocks away from Zuccotti Park.  Then 100 to 200 of the protesters marched over the GS Building and started chanting "Arrest George Bush".  After about an hour, NYC Police move the protesters away so that two police cars and three unmarked vehicles can leave the building.  Or as one tweet from a Democracy Now blogger put it: "NYPD told us step back, five cars-two NYPD, three unmarked-sped out Goldman. I asked senior white shirt if it was Bush, he said "Yeah." #OWS" 

 

Here's the story from POLITICO: George W. Bush, Occupy Wall Street at Goldman Sachs.  And here's a more colorful version from Daily Kos: CONFIRMED: #OWS Surrounded Goldman Sachs HQ Chanting "Arrest George Bush" w/ GW Inside.

 

Then on Friday night in DC, Occupy DC protesters numbering around 500 marched in front of the Washington Convention Center where the Koch Brothers funded group "Americans for Prosperity" was holding a dream summit, which attracted hundreds of conservative leaders from across the country.  On Friday the group was holding a dinner in tribute to Ronald Reagan.  This collision between the protesters and the conservative elite ended with an actual collision.  As three protesters were injured after being struck by a car outside the convention center.

 

Here's that story from the Washington Post: Occupy D.C. protesters block streets near convention center.  And the more colorful version from the New York Daily News: Occupy DC protesters struck by car outside event backed by Koch Brothers, injuring 3; Driver won't be charged, say cops.

 

"Lt. Christopher Micciche of the D.C. police said the driver was not cited because he had a green light when his vehicle struck the three on Friday night.

 

He said witnesses told police that the three pedestrians "either ran toward or jumped in front of the moving vehicle." He said one pedestrian jumped on the hood of the car. One of them was cited for being in the roadway."

 

Physics trumps politics, every time...

 

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Greetings from chilly Portland, Maine, where the sun sets early since we are so far north!

 

So far, since m my last post I've visited:

 

Occupy Hartford

 

Occupy Wall Street

 

Occupy Providence

 

Occupy Boston

 

and now Occupy Portland.

 

@@@@

 

The suprise here is Occupy Portland, who are in a large wooded park or square across from what looks like the PO or Federal Building.  They have a substantial number of tents considering how small this town is.  But they have a canteen, med tent, library, etc, just like the Occupy Boston and Wall Street, which are larger cities.    Occupy Portland had the best graphic, too, a US flag with 99% outlined in stars on the blue field, which is a take-off on that old Bennington Flag from the revolution.  Very clever use of symbolism, I thought.

 

@@@@

 

Occupy Boston seems to be larger in size than the parent occupation in NYC.  They are on one of those parks on top of the "big dig", right across the street from South Station.  Occupy Boston is networking with one of those foreclosure resistance community groups, but I didnt stick around to find out more...the day was already full.  In fact I attended a big ralley at a theatre in Chinatown to 'stop the cuts', sponsored by Mass. Senior Action, and joined in their march through downtown to deliver the message to Kerry's office (this is about putting pressure on that super committee to miminze social service custs). 

 

So, what this shows, is how these "Occupy" camps seem to be "gateways" into other social justice actions an movements, or could be. 

 

@@@

 

Zucotti Park was interesting as ground zero.  Camera and media all around.  I went twice during my first day in NYC, and during the later visit saw a march arrive that had marched all the way down Manhattan from Washington Heights.  Spent a lot of my time singng along with this guy playing guitar and another guy playing had symbols, singing Beatles songs and "For What Its Worth" and similar tunes.  Rumor also had it that Ben (or Jerry) was in the park handing out free ice cream (didnt go in that time to find out).

 

One thing thats going on here is that this is sort of a "carnival of the ideologies", sort of speakers corner concept where various causes or folks with axes to grind can set up shop. 

 

 

@@@@

 

The New England occupations are pretty imrpessive, especially the ones in Portland and Providence, which are fairly small cities (Portland has to be no more than 100,000 at best).

 

@@@@

 

Finally, the whole thing seems to be an odd trail-mix of types.  But not to many normal folks.  I think the generic mesage that "Sh_t is F_cked Up" resonates, but the "messengers", the campers,  are not the folks you'd see at the local Wal Mart or Kroger, if ya know what I mean.  They are too bohemian or too "street" or too eccentric to really carry this message much more than making the media splash they did. 

 

Yet its neat to see these groups in obscure places like Scranton or Dayton.  I'm curous, now, to see whats going down in upstate NY.  I have the location of the Albany camp, and will touch base with the Syracuse Cultural Workers to find out the Syracuse and Rochester locales.  Buffalo is or was on Niagra Square.  Easy to find.

 

@@@@

 

As for Occupy Dayton, they are probably  not going to be long on Courthouse Square.  According to the DDN

Occupy Dayton must Relocate for Grande Illumination, which is where they light up a Xmas Tree on Courthouse Square. 

 

Occupy Dayton, the local Wall Street and establishment protest linked with other protests throughout the nation, is being asked to temporarily move from Courthouse Square downtown for the Nov. 25 Grande Illumination.

 

The request came Thursday from Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the business group that organizes the holiday ceremonial Christmas tree-lighting and festivities. “We respect their right to protest,” she said. “The kickoff of the holiday season isn’t the right place to make a political statement.”

 

 

 

The article says "temporarily" but I'll bet given the logistics involved this will be more permanent than temporary...basically striking tents, hauling a bunch of stuff off-site, then coming back again after the event. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As I mentioned upthread, the pattern is emerging.  The CSM reports:

 

Officials crack down on Occupy Wall Street camps around the country

 

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement, now into its third month, has seen incidents of recent violence, including deaths related to drug use, street fights, and suicide as well as sexual and other assaults. As health and safety concerns grow, city officials around the country are moving to break up protest encampments.

 

 

 

 

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And, from MSN Money, an excellent analyses of how the meme peaked and is now dropping:

 

Occupy Wall Street may fade as quickly as it rose

 

The faster anything rises, generally the faster it falls. Occupy Wall Street may be another example of this, as media coverage, social media activity, and activist numbers have all started dropping off. This is only expected to continue, especially with the onset of winter.

 

 

According to Google Trends, searches for Occupy Wall Street have fallen by 66% from their October 15th peak to November 11th. This is reinforced further by the Pew Research Center's weekly news index, which shows "Occupy Wall Street" dropping from 10% of total news coverage across their network on October 1st, to where it sits currently at less than 4%. 

 

 

Trendistic, which tracks total Twitter activity, showed "Occupy" related tweets peaking at 0.30% on October 1st.  Since then, the same metric has fallen to a fraction of that peak, to levels of 0.01% on November 11th.

 

 

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Americas Newspaper of Record is going to do some investigative journalism on the demographics, orgins and leadership of OWS

 

Who Is Occupy Wall Street

 

I asked Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times, about her plans. She promised that The Times is now digging into the origins story and considering how to capture the demographics of the movement. Further, she said, The Times’s various desks are “proceeding on multiple fronts with stories that get at the heart of the issues that OWS brings up — income inequality, the lingering effects of the financial crisis and economic stagnation, the seemingly bottomless fall in home values.”

 

FInally some serious reporting on how this movement surfaced and grew.

 

 

 

 

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I was bicycling on a street by the protests here in Chicago. The city put up a fence to keep them off the street and on the sidewalks and make people use the crosswalks.  As I was biking through (midblock), a group moved the barricades and tried to run across the street without looking.  I slammed on the brakes and nearly hit them.

 

Protester or not, depending on the local laws pedestrians are liable for accidents when jaywalking. 

 

Practicing freedom of speech is legal, but breaking traffic and safety laws is not.

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Not sure who, if anyone, is in chanrge of these things but over recent days these movements have seemed to morph into a complete sh!t show, more acting as temporary housing for vagrants and criminals.  If you have time to linger around in a park for weeks or months on end, sorry, but no one is listening to you because you've gone from protesting to being a health and safety hazard, complete with stabbings and shootings.  They either need to make a dedicated effort to get these back on topic or disassiciate with the people who are at many of these places now.

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Not sure who, if anyone, is in chanrge of these things but over recent days these movements have seemed to morph into a complete sh!t show, more acting as temporary housing for vagrants and criminals.  If you have time to linger around in a park for weeks or months on end, sorry, but no one is listening to you because you've gone from protesting to being a health and safety hazard, complete with stabbings and shootings.  They either need to make a dedicated effort to get these back on topic or disassiciate with the people who are at many of these places now.

 

Once they were not allowed to sleep on public square, i've heard they were sleeping at a church for awhile, but were forced to leave eventually. Now they sleep at several different members houses from what Ive been told.

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Reportedly NYC is forcing folks out of Zucotti Park and have banned media coverage.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/15/police-order-protesters-to-vacate-occupy-wall-street-camp-in-zuccotti-park/?test=latestnews

 

It's for the purposes of cleaning, again.  There's a pretty serious respiratory ailment (being called "Zuccotti Lung") that's been making the rounds.

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Well, here I am in Buffalo.  Visiting the Occupiers this morning then on to Cleveland to maybe visit Occupy Cleveland before briefly returning to Dayton.  Then, on Friday, I head south to visit the Kentucky Occupiers in Louisville and Lexington.

 

Hope to post more later...was at Occupy Albany, Occupy Syracuse, and Occupy Rochester.  Didn't see Occupy Utica (which is being reorganized) or Occupy Binghampton (!), which I was  told by someone in Albany are a good dedicated group of Occupiers. 

 

Beleive it or not there is even an Occpy action in backwoods North Adams,  Mass...they dont actually camp but have a GA /ralley every Sunday afternoon in front of City Hall. 

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/15/police-order-protesters-to-vacate-occupy-wall-street-camp-in-zuccotti-park/?test=latestnews

 

"Hours later, the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing the protesters to return with their tents to the park, where they have camped for two months. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on the protesters who are now looking for squatters rights, despite park rules banning camping overnight."

 

"Squatters Rights"?  (IMO the very phrase is an oxymoron).  With two words they've justified every single action the police and property owner have taken against them, and if the latter has a lick of sense they've turned them into an implacable enemy.

 

A little trivia: Zuccotti Park exists as part of a deal the builders of One Liberty Plaza made with the City of New York to be exempt from building setback regulations.  OLP was built on the site of the old Singer Building, the tallest building ever to be peacefully demolished.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/15/police-order-protesters-to-vacate-occupy-wall-street-camp-in-zuccotti-park/?test=latestnews

 

"Hours later, the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing the protesters to return with their tents to the park, where they have camped for two months. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on the protesters who are now looking for squatters rights, despite park rules banning camping overnight."

 

"Squatters Rights"?  (IMO the very phrase is an oxymoron).  With two words they've justified every single action the police and property owner have taken against them, and if the latter has a lick of sense they've turned them into an implacable enemy.

 

A little trivia: Zuccotti Park exists as part of a deal the builders of One Liberty Plaza made with the City of New York to be exempt from building setback regulations.  OLP was built on the site of the old Singer Building, the tallest building ever to be peacefully demolished.

 

Where did you get that information?  It makes it seem like the park was recently created.  Zuccotti park was previously called Liberty Plaza park and adjacent/attached to the Liberty Plaza Tower.  Do you mean the original park exists due to this?

 

The Park is named after the chairman of Brookfield who spearheaded an upgrade of all it's NYC properties.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/15/police-order-protesters-to-vacate-occupy-wall-street-camp-in-zuccotti-park/?test=latestnews

 

"Hours later, the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing the protesters to return with their tents to the park, where they have camped for two months. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on the protesters who are now looking for squatters rights, despite park rules banning camping overnight."

 

"Squatters Rights"?  (IMO the very phrase is an oxymoron).  With two words they've justified every single action the police and property owner have taken against them, and if the latter has a lick of sense they've turned them into an implacable enemy.

 

A little trivia: Zuccotti Park exists as part of a deal the builders of One Liberty Plaza made with the City of New York to be exempt from building setback regulations.  OLP was built on the site of the old Singer Building, the tallest building ever to be peacefully demolished.

 

Where did you get that information?  It makes it seem like the park was recently created.  Zuccotti park was previously called Liberty Plaza park and adjacent/attached to the Liberty Plaza Tower.  Do you mean the original park exists due to this?

 

The Park is named after the chairman of Brookfield who spearheaded an upgrade of all it's NYC properties.

 

I just made the connection today, looked it up and confirmed it.  I've always been a little fascinated with the Singer Building and how and why it was torn down.  It was replaced by One LIberty Plaza, which has none of the traditional NYC setbacks.  That's how a privately owned, publically accesible park exists down there.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/15/police-order-protesters-to-vacate-occupy-wall-street-camp-in-zuccotti-park/?test=latestnews

 

"Hours later, the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing the protesters to return with their tents to the park, where they have camped for two months. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on the protesters who are now looking for squatters rights, despite park rules banning camping overnight."

 

"Squatters Rights"?  (IMO the very phrase is an oxymoron).  With two words they've justified every single action the police and property owner have taken against them, and if the latter has a lick of sense they've turned them into an implacable enemy.

 

A little trivia: Zuccotti Park exists as part of a deal the builders of One Liberty Plaza made with the City of New York to be exempt from building setback regulations.  OLP was built on the site of the old Singer Building, the tallest building ever to be peacefully demolished.

 

Where did you get that information?  It makes it seem like the park was recently created.  Zuccotti park was previously called Liberty Plaza park and adjacent/attached to the Liberty Plaza Tower.  Do you mean the original park exists due to this?

 

The Park is named after the chairman of Brookfield who spearheaded an upgrade of all it's NYC properties.

 

I just made the connection today, looked it up and confirmed it.  I've always been a little fascinated with the Singer Building and how and why it was torn down.  It was replaced by One LIberty Plaza, which has none of the traditional NYC setbacks.  That's how a privately owned, publically accesible park exists down there.

 

Yes, prior to 911 I would walk thru liberty plaza, which is why i asked that question.  The way you worded you trivia, it made it seem as though the park - the actual space the park is located - was just created.

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Finally back in Dayton.  I need a vacation from my vacation!

 

On the way I stopped at North Adams, Mass, which is sort of a hipster version of Gatlinburg ("sort of"), and, small as it is, they have an "Occupy" group that apparently meets in front of their city hall on Sundays at 1 PM.  No camping. 

 

Over the Taconic Mnts to Troy NY (overnight at the scary Cannon Suites hotel in downtown Troy), but first a quick jaunt up to Albany.  Parked in the infamous Albany Mall (now renamed Empire State Plaza or something like that), and visited the Occupy Albany folks.  Was there for their General Assembly, as a guest. 

 

@@@

 

 

Occupy Albany

 

Albany was the first where I started to get that "just folks" vibe again, mix of ages etc, not just a street/youth culture thing.  They had some new people in from out in the state (Athens NY), a Unitarian minister, and a guy who came over the mountains from Bennington VT...apparently there is an Occupy Bennington forming up.    Good group, the GA ran smooth.  They have caucusses as well as working group (such as the "Radical Caucuss" and the "LGBTQ" caucus.  Also they had a local govt guy give a talk about how he is working on getting a resolution by their county government in support of the Occupation.    Apparently the big deal w. Occupy Albany is that the governor is giving them  a hard time, and they can only camp in 1/2 of their park (seems like the park is split 50/50 between the city and state, though you'd never guess this looking at the space). 

 

One of the Albany Occupiers told me they are starting to work on the forelcosure/eviction issue as a project.  One of the things he said they are considering is posting posters on board-ups asking "Why is this House Vacant" (and referring to Occupy Albany as a source).

 

Also, apparently local club owners are loaning patio heaters to the Occupiers, and the city is OK with storing fuel on-site.  Another thing I saw is that an Occupier had made, at home, wood shelving, which she prefabricated, and was reassembling in a tent for clothes storage.  They also had a band saw on-site (powered by a generator).

 

As an urbanist sidebar, Albany looks bigger than I thought, and it's also somewhat hilly...steep slope down to the Hudson from where the state house is at. 

 

...so next day, I hit the road through gothic Upstate NY, passing Amsterdam (location of the novel "Mohawk") and Utica, to Syracuse

 

Occupy Syracuse

 

I was particularly interested in this one due to Syracuse being about the same size as the Dayton metro area.  Turns out they have a small occupation right on their main street next to the main bus stop downtown (probably around the size of Daytons).  They also have winterized, with cold weather Army surplus tents.  They also hand out info to the homeless on shelters and soup kitchens and stuff.  The mayor apparently supports and, in fact, came down once to serve them hot coffee.

 

Syracuse gets support from the broader left community in town.  The Syracuse Culture Workers graphics collective has an Occupy sign on their building, and they provided me directions to the site.

 

...so continuing to Occupy the New York State Thruway to....

 

Occupy Rochester

 

This group is on a wooded park just south of the Bausch & Lomb skyscraper.  The park has a tradition of political speech (Fredrick Douglas spoke there), so apropos for Occupy Rochester to meet there.  They are about the size of Hartford, and have tents for the library, food, clothes, etc, like the larger groups.  I was toured around the site by "Mr Coffee", who is sort of the caretaker, stays up late watching things.  Partly because they couldn't sleep overnight, but he tells me their mayor relented and is letting thems stay.  A theatre and church that face the park are used as the latrine (no portajohns)

 

Next...in the morning after a rainy night....

 

Occupy Buffalo

 

Very interesting operation.  Even after the rain they seemed tight and well kept.  Saw a guy sweeping the sidewalk and the guy who toured me around was picking up trash as we walked.  He tells me they run a tight ship and noted that he scopes people out who are coming in new, like myself....whichs signals they might have had issues with troublesome homeless types (in fact one guy was asked to leave, and he did voluntarily).  They also were having a Police Appreciation Day....they are on good terms, it seems, with their city government.  They use the City Hall latrines when it is open.  After hours they have two portajohns they use. 

 

Interesting thing about this Occupy was the two teepees.  I think they are from some local Native American reservation (tribes associated with that old Iroquois Confederacy are apparently still in upstate NY, based on maps and what I observed from the freeway)...though..yes...I recognize that teepees are from the Plains Indians, not woodland tribes like the Iroquois. 

 

Occupy Buffalo fills up the soutwest corner of Niagra Square, but has spilled out around the square, too, srpeading out. 

 

@@@@

 

Then, that long slog along Lake Erie to...

 

Occupy Cleveland

 

...which was maybe the future of this movement.  They are not camping but just have a big info tent.  Yet they are still organized.  They are also working around the foreclosure issue....recently having done a sit in that helped get someones eviction postponed 30 days....apparently the bank or whoever relented and let the woman stay in her house.    This person came to Occupy Cleveland for help, not the other way around. 

 

While I was there this couple came up from Occupy Erie (!)...they were older than I, and the guy had this "Army Vet" hat on, so I figure the Vietnam generation perhaps.  The people on-site where a mix of males, females, black & white, but all in their 20s, so I figure college kids or unemployed young folks of which we heard so much about.  Not really a 'street' thing going on, but just some very committed young kids, the Erie oldsters, and middle-aged me , which is similar to the mix here in Dayton and what I saw up at the Albany GA.

 

@@@

 

One thing I am noticing is there is networking starting to develop.  The Albany folks are working with the Rochester and Buffalo Occupiers to hold a join march & ralley in Albany this Thursday.  And the Rochester occupiers are going to help re-start Occupy Utica.  One of the Cleveland Occupiers told me that they are in contact with Toledo, and also I think he said Columbus (which also does not have camping).   

 

@@@@

 

Occupy Dayton might be one of the last in Ohio to actually do camping (not sure about Toledo).    This might come to an end over the week or so since the local downtown BID uses Courthouse Square for their annual Xmas Tree and celebration (The Grande Illumination)....and they want Occupy Dayton gone for that event except for one table and sign to provide info.

 

OD countered that they will move if  the city & county have a moratorium on foreclosures and that the Downtown Dayton Partnership ask its banks to do a voluntary moratorium on foreclosures.

 

This is "what is our one demand"....and Zizek said, in re OWS:

 

The art of politics is also to insist on a particular demand that, while thoroughly "realist", disturbs the very core of the hegemonic ideology: ie one that, while definitely feasible and legitimate, is de facto impossible

 

 

....so, the impossible, yet legtimate demand, putting the foreclosure crisis on the table as an issue.  My personal take is that this is a blunder and the spin will be the unrealistic Occupy Dayton folks.  Turns out, talking to the Erie couple today, they said they had a similar thing at the space they are using, and they did temporarily relocated until the event was over.

 

Temporarily relocating (if this is an honest proposal by the BID) seems reasonable, but it looks like OD is going to fall on its sword over this, possibly squandering a lot of local good will, too. 

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Here is something from a blog...

 

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Admits Cities Coordinated Crackdown on Occupy Movement

 

Mayor Quan must be a real ditz to speak freely (confirming what many suspected), but thank you anyway for spilling the beans.

 

....casually mentioned that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . .

 

...wonder which 18 cities?

 

 

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why is that so stupid of these mayors to collaborate and communicate on how to deal with the protests?  why should it be a secret?  I think working together, to respond in a uniform manner, city to city, is the wise move, and if sharing lessons from one city to the next on how to avoid PR disasters helps, so be it.

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why is that so stupid of these mayors to collaborate and communicate on how to deal with the protests?  why should it be a secret?  I think working together, to respond in a uniform manner, city to city, is the wise move, and if sharing lessons from one city to the next on how to avoid PR disasters helps, so be it.

Maybe because of The First Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 

 

And maybe because: "Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress.  However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925), the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government."

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Did you watch some of the videos of the police clearing the crowds?  Looked to me like alot of people failing to obey a court order and antagonizing the police to use force to disperse them.  Not sure the Constitution protects that when it allowed the right of people to peacefully assemble.  How about the police that were assaulted with rocks & bottles?  How about all the damage from Occupy Oakland?  I'm sure the mayors are well aware of the legal rights of these groups and that is included in the discussion on how to deal with them when they brainstorm with other mayors....  they are also responsible for protecting other people's property and ensuring the safety of their emergency forces.

 

The initial goal of getting national attention has been achieved, but the longer these "Occupy" protesters go without a clear leader and without getting some visible Congressmen to support their agenda & propose reforms, I think it will lose credibility and continue to be broken up by law enforcement around the country.

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