Occupy News round up courtesy of Occupy Boston:
Brother of fallen Marine for whom ‘Camp Alex’ was named commits suicide
Brian Luis Arredondo, 24, took his own life in Norwood on Dec. 19,
according to a statement from his father Carlos and stepmother Melida.
Brian and brother Alexander grew up in JP. Alexander was memorialized
this year in the post office renaming, and also in a “Camp Alex”
anti-war display that appeared at Occupy Boston and currently in an
Occupy JP display at Monument Square’s First Church in Jamaica Plain
Unitarian Universalist. Alexander’s name is also memorialized in an
honorary street sign at the intersection of South and St. Rose streets.
According to the family statement, Brian Arrendondo “never was able to
recover from his deep sadness over the death of his brother Alex, a
condition called complicated grief.”
Manger Square meets Dewey Square: Occupy protesters mark Christmas
Around 20 members of Occupy Boston returned to Dewey Square Park for a
holiday-themed protest today, the first day the park reopened to the
public following the eviction of protesters by police Dec. 10.
Arriving at noon, protesters and protest chaplains – a group of clergy
and lay people who have brought a spiritual framework to the Occupy
movement – donned biblical garb and held up signs with messages such
as “There is still no room at the inn” and “Peace on Earth, goodwill
to the 99%.”
It’s time to occupy, my friends
At the Occupy Boston encampment at Dewey Square in the city’s
financial district, Shane Aspinall, a 25-year-old African-American,
says he has been living there because “it’s time black people take
back the initiative to reclaim their history and rewrite it together
with our present and hopefully better futures.”
Aspinall, who believes that the historical economic and social
discrimination against African-American communities in the US must
“At the moment, this [occupation] is the only
alternative we have. The Republicans and the Democrats don’t represent
us . . . [President Barack] Obama will always have that history of
being the first black president of the US but you’ve seen his record.
“I recognise there are structural problems in Washington with
political lobby groups and the influence of business and his hands are
tied. But, if not him, who? Us, that’s who.” Aspinall says the Occupy
Wall Street outreach programmes to Boston’s ghettos are vital to
reinvigorate civic interest in social self-help.
Fundamental conflict at the heart of the Occupy movement, and how
anarchists and progressives could help resolve it
It would be highly misleading to identify New Deal liberalism with
social democracy. We have barely seen the shadow of social democracy
in the US. And yet, that is the dream that most inspires people in
what the New Deal stood for: the ideal of a society that treats people
like human beings, not commodities. This is the full meaning of what
social democracy is all about. Yet, it requires enormous state effort,
which Americans have very little faith in.
This is a fundamental conflict at the heart of the Occupy movement. On
the one hand, they are as sceptical of government as anyone else in
the US. They see it as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and
the 1 per cent.
And much of what I’ve written above completely supports them in this
view. Their treatment by local Democratic mayors and other local
officials only further discourages them from seeing conventional
politics as a credible way forward. And yet, the side of the US they
appeal to and want to see restored – the US as a land of freedom and
opportunity for all – is precisely that which the New Deal best
captured. Without government – no, without big government, that ideal
has never even come close to being realised.
Occupy Forces Local News to Focus on Real Issues
More mainstream media criticism of Obama ‘nothing to see here, move
along’ stance on foreclosure fraud
It isn’t hard to see that the Obama Administration is choosing to sit
on its hands. But the interesting part is that the ranks of supine
validators may be thinning a smidge. The more state level prosecutions
and headline-grabbing private cases move forward, the more difficult
it will be for the Team Obama to persuade the press that really,
truly, nothing can be done about those big rich bankers.
SEC Enforcement Chief Whines that Trying Cases Takes a Lot of Effort
The entire basis of the request for stay pending appeal is that the
SEC is too busy to handle this trial. But think about that for a
second. They claim to have done their investigation, so trial is only
about pulling things together. What else do their trial lawyers have
to do? They only filed a single suit against Goldman Sachs over one
ABACUS deal, when Goldman Sachs did a bunch of them, all cookie-cutter
deals. They have only filed one suit against any of the investment
banks that did the same kinds of deals. They have to go to trial
against the individuals they singled out at the solely responsible
human at each bank. Here’s my suggestion: quit trying million dollar
insider trading cases and go after billion dollar cheats and liars.
Holding people accountable is every bit as important as suing them.
Occupy the Corporation
If we had occupied the corporations decades ago – reorganizing them as
cooperatives directed democratically by their workers – they would not
have undone the reforms and regulations that so many people worked so
hard to put into place in the 1930s.
The lesson of the undoing of the New Deal is this: We cannot respond
to this latest capitalist crash with another set of reforms and
regulations that leave the organization of enterprises unchanged. If
we do, we will have ourselves to blame as we watch corporate boards of
directors and major shareholders undo them yet again. Only this time,
it well happen faster, because they have had so much practice since
the 1930s. The lesson of America’s painful struggles with capitalism’s
instability is this: Occupy the corporations and democratize them.
Occupy protesters sue over free speech, force
Most major Occupy encampments have been dispersed, but they live on in
a flurry of lawsuits in which protesters are asserting their
constitutional rights to free speech and assembly and challenging
authorities’ mass arrests and use of force to break up tent cities.
Lawyers representing protesters have filed lawsuits – or are planning
them – in state and federal courts from coast to coast, challenging
eviction orders and what they call heavy-handed police tactics and the
banning of demonstrators from public properties. Some say the
fundamental right of protest has been criminalized in places, with
protesters facing arrest and charges while doing nothing more than
exercising protected rights to demonstrate.
“Cannibal Capitalism” shines light on Occupy
The 2012 presidential election may be a referendum on President
Obama’s job performance, specifically his ability to improve an
economy that continues to teeter along a dangerous edge.
But with the coming of the Occupy movement, there is another
possibility: The upcoming election will be an appraisal of the nature
of modern capitalism – its merits, limits and ills. And the candidate
who speaks in harmony with the electorate’s assessment of capitalism
Bank forecloses on home of 91-year-old Pearl Harbor veteran
The recent foreclosure of a home belonging to a local Pearl Harbor
survivor has touched a nerve among dozens of Occupy Nevada City
They protested in front of Bank of America Wednesday night, the same
bank which foreclosed on 91-year-old Lou Conter.
City attorney offers to drop charges against Occupy L.A. protesters if they take a class on the 1st amendment.
To keep costs down, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich has offered a deal: He
will drop charges against the other protesters if they agree to pay
$355 to take a class on the 1st Amendment.
In a Times article on Thursday, City Hall reporter Kate Linthicum says
that lawyers for the protesters consider the offer ironic, because
most of their clients were arrested for what they believed was an
exercise of their free speech rights.
Trutanich deputy William Carter says the free-speech class will teach
protesters the nuances of the law. “The 1st Amendment is not
absolute,” he said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that
the government can regulate when, where and how free speech can be
Occupy Hecklers Drown Out Bachmann At Iowa Diner
The Hamburg Inn in Iowa City has long been a popular stop for
presidential candidates, but it probably won’t be high on Rep. Michele
Bachmann’s list anymore.
About two dozen activists with Occupy Iowa City packed the diner
before Bachmann arrived there Thursday, then loudly chanted in unison
as she tried to mingle with supporters. Their chant blasted the
Minnesota congresswoman’s position on gay rights, health care and
taxes and ended with: “You’re not wanted here. So go, just go.”
The restaurant blared Christmas songs over the loudspeaker to drown
out the protesters. Police arrived as tensions rose, but no one was
What Eisenhower Republicans Had In Common With Occupy Wall Street
Watching the movie other night, I realized what I should have decades
ago: Of course they were happy to be alive. They’d all survived a
world war, and before that a Depression far worse than the one we’re
limping through in 2011. If I had spent 20 years afraid of not getting
enough to eat, of not surviving the year, of watching society
collapse, I’d probably want to revel in life and a few consumer goods
too. What had looked like an oppressive past when I was a teen-ager
now looks like a distant dream for the future. Imagine it – general
prosperity! no ongoing war!
An “occupy movement” by the tribals of Alirajpur
As “Occupy movements” are beginning to emerge as the latest form of
protest across the world, tribals of Alirajpur have started an “occupy
movement” of their own. For the last three and a half weeks, over
tribals displaced due to the Sardar Sarovar dam Project (SSP) have
been occupying and tilling government land in protest against their
not receiving land as compensation for their submerged lands under the
The Sardar Sarovar is one of the 30 large dams planned across the
Narmada river and has been mired in controversy for decades over the
slow progress of rehabilitation of the project affected families.
Hong Kong churches promote economic justice at Christmas
The Hong Kong Catholic Church has reminded its members to be aware of
the need for economic justice during the Christmas season and two
other church groups are participating in the “Occupy” anti-corporate
The Diocesan Catholic Commission for Labor Affairs (CCLA) has
organized a Christmas campaign to boycott shopping centers to promote
the cause and highlight the need to alleviate the wealth gap in society.
Revolution through Banking?
Over the last several weeks, we have been examining what legislative
changes are needed to reform the banking sector: some day soon there
may be Occupy-originated proposals and draft legislation, for instance
to amend the so-called “Volcker Rule”.
One group has split off to explore and design the creation of an ideal bank that would put into practice the values of Occupy. What would this look like?
The ideal bank would be democratically owned and controlled by its
customers and its employees. Like at many credit unions, all
depositors would get an equal say, regardless of the size of their
accounts. It would be non-profit, building in a competitive advantage
over the for-profit banks. It would be accessible to all, in
particular the poor (we are inspired by the Grameen Bank, started by
Mohamed Yunus in Bangladesh). It would be a bank that anyone can bank
with and receive better service than what they receive today at
conventional banks. Any small-scale bank we establish say in New York
would have be to be replicable by others elsewhere.
Re-Occupy: A Movement Seeks a Sanctuary
The Occupy movement has lent American society so much energy, rage,
and creativity, and it has made a rupture. It has broken a spell. But
now it needs the very institutions that have been the mortar of
complacency to follow suit, to take risks.
It’s not enough to simply applaud the movement and then keep keeping
on. The unions need to endanger their comfortable pacts with
politicians and big business, to be willing to actually shut down the
engines of an unjust economy. The non-profits need to mobilize their
resources and knowledge in new, more radical ways. And the religious
communities need to offer their spaces, their networks, their moral
Revolutions Don’t Happen in a Day: Five Ways OWS Can Stay Powerful and
Truly Build a Movement
Winter is the nagging truth that the next decade of organizing must be
more sustainable than the first months we spent in the sun; that this
is a struggle for the long-haul, that burn-out and martyrdom are no
good for anyone and no good for the cause. Winter tells us to see our
families and take a day off when we are sick, because the movement has
to be healthy if it’s going to last. Winter is here to remind us that
revolution is not an event but a process, and that social
transformation means not only harnessing a moment, but building a
Last Occupy protest camp in Canada closed
The final Occupy protest tent camp in Canada has been closed by police
in Winnipeg, Manitoba, based on fire safety concerns, officials said.
Protesters spent 67 days in the city park as part of the Occupy Wall
Street financial disparity movement that began in New York earlier
Demonstrators in more than 20 Canadian cities marched Oct. 15 and set
up tent cities but all were gradually ordered dismantled, the Winnipeg
Free Press reported.