After last night's disgusting "police visits" to activists' homes (and the FBI went door-knocking too!) you can pretty much be sure today's May Day demonstrations are going to be a doozy of police overreaction and unfortunate choices. Above, a screenshot from lower Manhattan. (JK, that's the new Dark Knight trailer from last night. But don't watch it, because you'll be buying something with your eyes on Buy Nothing Day if you do!)
Last night, Occupy Los Angeles was to be evicted. As the LA Times put it: "When the LAPD announced that it wanted the campers out by midnight Sunday, officials hoped many protesters would leave voluntarily. Instead, the deadline prompted hundreds of people to converge on the area." Although the police arrested a few people for blocking the streets early this morning, they did not in the end evict the encampment at City Hall Park.
When I heard the “We Are the 99%” slogan, I worried. I am movement-skittish. I don't like being spoken for. Anytime I hear the language of political clichés, whether about “workers” or “job creators,” my ears shut down. I know those vocabularies, and I don't agree with the worldviews that produce them.
So I didn't go to Occupy Oakland during the two weeks it was a camp in the Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza. My partner, who doesn't share my qualms, went frequently. He would come home and tell me about what he'd seen: the media center powered by an electricity-generating bicycle, the daycare center, the full-time kitchen, which fed [...]
I mean, I'm all for marching on the Upper East Side, particularly on Jamie Dimon's house, in part because who doesn't love stopping in at the Tom Ford store, but you know if your protest is based in the Financial District, you don't really have to hike that far. (Though some good old ones are up there, sure!) You want plutocrats? Average price per square foot on residential real estate is higher in Soho and TriBeCa than it is on the Upper East Side. At least you could just stop at Gramercy and the Flatiron, where in new developments, the neighborhood is "the only part of [...]
Zuccotti Park is a well-manicured, block-long park in the heart of New York City’s financial district that, for the past two days, has been home to a few hundred squatters, anarchists, activists, students, a few drug addicts, several undercover cops and one lone man in a suit. Alternately calling themselves Occupy Wall Street or Take Wall Street or the 99%, they have set up camp, spending the night on rolls of cardboard, yoga mats and bare concrete, as a protest against the abuses carried out by various financial institutions and banks against the people of this country.
With Wisconsin firefighters promising the largest demonstration yet on Thursday, the historic show of solidarity in Madison is not abating. The Capitol rotunda remains occupied. And it's working—a Gallup Poll now puts Americans at 61 percent against eliminating the unions' collective bargaining rights. (And not the exact opposite, which is what Fox & Friends has amazingly claimed.) What happens in Wisconsin is certainly a blueprint for what goes down in other states, so many have asked what can be done to support the demonstrators from afar.
For one, the protesters appreciate hot coffee, food and water, so we are doing a small, one-day drive to raise funds [...]
In case you missed it, thousands of students from all over the UC system marched on Sacramento yesterday afternoon to protest California's broken school system, where college tuition has tripled over the last ten years. In the evening, 68 were arrested inside the capitol when they refused to leave.
There was a full house on hand last night at New York's Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore for an Occupy Wall St. panel organized by n+1, Brooklyn's hometown literary journal. The panel was larger than advertised, totaling seven in addition to moderator and n+1 progenitor Keith Gessen. A healthy mix of contributors were on board: there was the earnest, washed-up political wonk who'd been sleeping in Zucotti Park for a month now, the filmmaker who'd been downtown since the very first meeting, the SEIU representative and the education policy activist; there were youngs and olds, students and professionals, seasoned organizers and first time protesters.
The discussion all got started [...]
"Google has decided – without any user consultation – to kill our beloved Google Reader, and force us all to use G+ in its stead. Without any of the functionality that made Reader so useful transferring over to make G+ work for us. In doing so, they are destroying all the features that makes Google Reader so great, and destroying a thriving community of dedicated and loyal followers. We are the demographic that Google needs the most, and we need to let them know what they are losing, and what changes they need to make to this plan to win us back. Join us for this peaceful protest outside Google's [...]
It was three hours into Friday night's General Assembly meeting at Occupy Boston. One hundred or so protesters were seated on a grassy knoll in Dewey Square, well within the forbidding shadow of the city's 32-story Federal Reserve Bank. The night had started cool but clear—grazing 50 degrees with a few stars dotting the twilight sky—but the temperature had gotten noticeably colder. I could see my breath, and the financial district’s rush-hour hubbub had long since passed. For the past three hours the crowd had been debating the creation of a new working group called Urban Youth. The process was laborious: While the facilitator had a microphone, it [...]
Writing about Israel is tough when the Israeli-Arab conflict isn't front and center. It's been a geopolitical nightmare for decades; it hangs in the background during the discussion of even innocuous topics. But a massive new protest movement in Israel is centered around financial issues instead—and could give a sneak preview of what could happen if European and American economies hit the fan again.
A gigantic tent city in downtown Tel Aviv was organized via Facebook and is now home to hundreds of protesters. They are mainly middle-class urbanites, angry at the rapidly rising Israeli cost of living and at Tel Aviv's lack of affordable [...]
Hundreds of protesters moved down the sidewalk and turned onto Doty Street, but I already knew where they were headed. I'd already been thrown out of 10 East Doty three hours earlier, for absolutely nothing more than asking how to get to the seventh floor. That's where you find suite 703, home of Koch Companies Public Sector LLC.
Yesterday's demonstration outside the Koch offices represents an evolution in the thinking behind the protests in Madison: a leap from the political to the private. Until now, Governor Scott Walker and other Republican representatives have been the sole target of the demonstrations. Sure, calls have come for a boycott of [...]
Vicki McKenna is a conservative radio talk show host for Madison's WISN and WIBA. You can see her here on her personal website, tastefully and patriotically wrapped in an American flag.
Every day, McKenna's program calls her "a voice of reason in a city of chaos." Madison. Madison, Wisconsin! "A city of chaos." She's one of the star conservative voices in the region. Michelle Malkin endorses her as "The only voice we have in Madison."
Here's some maybe-potential copyright infringement that someone else made that is hosted by Google and "embedded" here to celebrate our freedom today! I think the hardest thing about yesterday's protest blackout was, stealthily, the lack of Craigslist, not Wikipedia, actually.
Recall is the new Occupy. Today, seven states will see at least 26 separate recalls in 11 jurisdictions. And starting November 15th, a massive Wisconsin-wide petition drive will attempt to fulfill a promise from February to recall Governor Scott Walker. It's a massive undertaking, and there is reason to believe it will succeed, but also reasons it will fail. Once filed, the recall effort will have 60 days to—
Suckers! On the afternoon of Friday, October 4th, a former Walker donor submitted a petition to recall the governor under the committee name "Close Friends to Recall Walker." The filing, which noted it was done "to fulfill my friend's [...]
It's been quite a morning for Occupy Wall Street, which didn't find out until nearly this morning's deadline that the City was going to back down from evicting the protest for "cleaning." Here's how it all went down for them (and some others too).
What did you do this weekend? Were you among the couple of thousand people protesting Bank of America in Boston? If so, YOU ARE AWESOME. (Although I have no idea why the Boston Herald referred to the 24 arrested at that protest as a "rogue's gallery." Isn't that… odd?) Bank of America should have people protesting outside every branch, every day. Also apparently there were some other protests, in New York, I guess? It only made page A18 of the Sunday New York Times national edition, where it said that only 500 people were arrested, not 700, so, must not have been that big a deal. (To [...]
Friday May 27th—that's tomorrow!—at 5 p.m., at 100 Centre Street, Manhattan. Facebook group here.
Following the dramatic political upheaval in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, Libya has been this week's hot-button North African country to rise up against an oppressive regime—in this case, Muammar Gaddafi, the eccentric dictator whose 42-year reign is the longest in the region.
Gaddafi's done a lot of crappy things: he pissed off Ronald Reagan enough to warrant a large-scale bombing in 1986, and in this most recent round of unrest he's banished journalists from Libya and ordered his military to open fire on his own citizens. And according to some reports, the Libyan military—or mercenaries—have fired .50 caliber rounds against protesters.
And that's where the Internet stepped in and [...]