NATIONAL STUDENT SOLIDARITY TEACH-INS: FEB. 22 & 23
Angela Davis to Speak at UC Davis
[OccupyColleges] – On February 22 and February 23, students in colleges and universities nationwide will be organizing on-campus teach-ins in preparation for March 1st National Day of Action for Education. Renowned author, political activist and scholar, Angela Davis, is scheduled to appear at the February 23 teach-in at UC Davis. The teach-ins will serve as a means to inform students and faculty on the important issues that have led to the March 1st call to action so that they understand the meaning behind this rally and its importance. Teach-ins will be organized by students on campus and will take place in a central and easily accessible place for students, local communities and the media. Speakers will be comprised of experts in their fields (professors in history, education, anthropology, economics, etc) and students. Topics will range by school, but will primarily focus on tuition hikes, affordability options, quality of education and the like. Teach-ins are meant to be participatory and oriented toward action. The purpose is to create an open discussion with professors and students with no defined ending time, so that everyone has the opportunity to speak and contribute to the discussion.
The National Student Solidarity Teach-Ins will serve as a prelude for March’s Occupy Education mobilization and will focus on issues surrounding education and student debt like finding solutions to student debt, how to improve the cost of education, how to improve the quality of education, etc.
Chicago Parents Occupy School Protesting Privatization
Occupy Chicago – The Brian Piccolo Specialty School in Humboldt Park, Chicago is currently Occupied by parents, teachers, and students. Aided by representatives of Occupy Chicago, about 100 people were on hand when the demonstration began Friday evening. The Chicago Teachers Union has expressed support for the action. Piccolo, an elementary school with a student body that is almost entirely from low income communities of color, is one of 16 Chicago public schools slated to be closed by Mayor Rahm’s service cuts to the poor. Community activists and parents at Brian Piccolo Elementary Specialty School in West Humboldt Park ended an overnight campus sit-in Saturday staged to protest a proposed shake-up of faculty and administrators. The Board of Education is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to designate Piccolo a “turnaround” school, which would give the nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership broad leeway to fire teachers and the principal while reshaping the curriculum.
NATIONAL OCCUPY DAY IN SUPPORT OF PRISONERS
Occupy Stages Protests, Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike
[Guardian] – Occupy demonstrators participated in a nationwide day of action to protest against the US prison system on Monday, with demonstrations carried out at over a dozen sites across the country, including prisons in California, Chicago, Denver and New York. The call to protest was issued by activists with the Occupy Oakland movement and was co-ordinated to coincide with waves of prison hunger strikes that began at California’s Pelican Bay prison in July. Demonstrators denounced the use of restrictive isolation units as infringement upon fundamental human rights. The hunger strikes followed a US supreme court ruling in May which stated that overcrowding in the California prison system had led to “needless suffering and death.” The court ordered the state to reduce its overall prison population from 140,000 to 110,000, which still well-exceeds the state’s maximum prison capacity.
Sign the petition in support of the Occupy 4 Prisoners demands at: http://chn.ge/wuufhe
Church pension fund divests from private prison corporations
Early this year, the United Methodist Church Board of Pension and Health Benefits voted to withdraw nearly $1 million in stocks from two private prison companies, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).
“Our board simply felt that it did not want to profit from the business of incarcerating others,” said Colette Nies, managing director of communications for the board.
“Our concern was not with how the companies manage or operate their business, but with the service that the companies offer,” Nies added. “We believe that profiting from incarceration is contrary to Church values.”
FREE BRADLEY MANNING PROTEST: FEB. 23
Occupy Santa Cruz Protest
[OSC] – Bradley Manning’s case should serve as a wake-up call for everyone in the USA and, indeed, the world. As a Whistleblower/ Conscientious Objector – Manning allegedly gave information to Wikileaks about War Crimes committed by the USA in the names of the 99%. We must stand up for what is right! Manning has been tortured, denied due process, persecuted, and even deemed “guilty” before a trial by President Obama.
More info on Manning:
OCCUPY OUR FOOD SUPPLY: FEB. 27
End Corporate Exploitation of Food Systems
Occupy Our Food Supply on February 27, 2012 will be a major decentralized global day of food action and solidarity. Act locally to affect massive change globally—from hosting a sustainable potluck to planning a community garden to organizing a Tour of Shame featuring corporate food polluters in your area. CREATE/RESIST with your community!
Register your event to stand up and be counted in the movement to Occupy Our Food Supply, or click the map to find an event near you and email the organizer to get involved. 60+ Occupy groups and other organizations will be participating… join in!
SHUT DOWN THE CORPORATIONS: FEB. 29
Occupy movement targets corporate interest group with ties to legislators
Co-ordinated protests are planned in some 60 cities later this month against a right wing group which activists say has an unfair hand in writing state legislation that favors corporate interests.
Working under the banner Shut Down the Corporations, activists plan to target corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) with nationwide protests on 29 February.
Organisers say Alec, a nonprofit free-market policy group whose membership includes some 2,000 state legislators, wields undue influence by drafting legislation beneficial to its corporate members, which in some cases is then used as a model for legislation in states across America.
CALL TO ACTION: PUT AT&T ON BLAST
[Occupy Atlanta] – Today AT&T workers have been summoned to a meeting at AT&T’s Atlanta headquarters, located at 675 West Peachtree St. It is there, in this meeting, where they will be given notice of their official layoff date. Being told you are being laid off is almost always devastating, but in these economic times it can be downright terrifying. With unemployment, foreclosures, and homelessness at record rates, being jobless in this city is no easy feat. To add insult to injury, AT&T had record profits last year, pulling in over $127 million in revenue, and compensated their CEO, Randall Stephenson, over $27 million. It’s time these big wigs stop getting handouts they don’t need while everyone else suffers. Please take some time today to send AT&T a message to STOP ALL THE LAYOFFS! Email CEO Randall Stephenson at email@example.com or call Michael Matthews, VP of Labor Relations at (205) 977-0722.
THE 99% SPRING: APRIL 9-15
100,000 Americans Will Train For Non-Violent Direct Action
From April 9-15 we will gather across America, 100,000 strong, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country. The 99% Spring will organize trainings to:
– Tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who’s responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it.
– Learn the history of non-violent direct action, and
– Get into action on our own campaigns to win change.
This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.
Occupy DC Gets Noisy: Feb. 21
Join the National Center’s “Occupy Occupy D.C.” team on Tuesday the 21st as it retakes Washington, D.C.’s Freedom Plaza yet again — this time to enlist the support of D.C. drivers in sending a message to our leaders about high taxes. At noontime, expect the decibel level near D.C.’s city hall and the White House to rise sharply as the National Center encourages drivers sick of high taxes to honk their horns in disapproval. This particular activism harkens back to 1990, when the National Center brought the White House press corps out of the press room when staff and supporters caused mass honking on Pennsylvania Avenue (still open to traffic at that time) in protest of President George H.W. Bush’s flip-flop on new taxes.
Occupy Las Vegas Packs Up Their Tents
After four months, the Occupy Las Vegas encampment is no more. The last of the protesters left peacefully yesterday afternoon, after their permit to camp out near Tropicana and Paradise expired. Clark County officials allowed the group to take over the land in October. The Vegas offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement protested what they saw as corporate greed and economic equality in the valley, including the high rate of foreclosures.
3rd Annual Anti-Fraudclosure Rally In Tally
About 200 concerned citizens from around the state converged on the Capitol last Thursday, February 19, to protest HB 213, The (UN)Fair Foreclosure Act. Members of Occupy Palm Beach, Occupy Miami, Occupy Ft. Lauderdale, Occupy Tampa, Occupy Orlando, Occupy Tallahassee, Foreclosure Hamlet, 4closureFraud, PICO United Florida, Mortgage Justice, and several other fraudclosure activist and community service groups rode buses all night to voice their opposition to HB 213. The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to hear public commentary and debate on the shameful bill, but removed it from the agenda when they learned that the public was actually coming to comment.
Occupy London: Stay or Go?
This Wednesday (22 February) sees Occupy London at the Court of Appeal to hear whether any of the five applications to appeal made on 13 February will be successful.
Occupy London expects to receive the decision of Lord Neuberger, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Lord Justice McFarlane.early Wednesday morning. Should these be denied, it is understood the City of London Corporation will seek to enforce the posession order granted by the High Court last month and evict the camp.
Occupy URI Begins (University of Rhode Island)
Students and faculty at the University of Rhode Island have set up their own Occupy Wall Street protest group.
So far, the group has had two organizational meetings and plans to put up a tent on campus as a symbol of their efforts. A teach-in is scheduled for later this month and there’s a rally planned for March.
Indiana GOP Calls Girl Scouts “Radicalized” Organization
After doing a “small amount of web-based research” an Indiana Republican has decided he cannot support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because it is a “radicalized organization” that supports abortion and promotes homosexuality.
Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) said his Internet research revealed the Girl Scouts to be a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood and encourages sex.
‘Occupying’ the suburbs [CO]
When you think about the Occupy movement, you might not picture a group of people sitting in a quiet suburban library, most of whom have mortgages, jobs and at least a few gray hairs.
But that’s exactly who the members of Occupy Littleton are – parents, even grandparents who remember joining hands to encircle Rocky Flats in 1983.
“Rather than just sitting here in the suburbs and feeling depressed, we’re trying to get people together,” said Claire Hanley during a meeting at Southglenn Library Feb. 20. “Let’s change the system. That’s very empowering.”
Attacks paid for by big business are ‘driving science into a dark era’
Most scientists, on achieving high office, keep their public remarks to the bland and reassuring. Last week Nina Fedoroff, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), broke ranks in a spectacular manner.
She confessed that she was now “scared to death” by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.
“We are sliding back into a dark era,” she said. “And there seems little we can do about it. I am profoundly depressed at just how difficult it has become merely to get a realistic conversation started on issues such as climate change or genetically modified organisms.”
The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax
Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.
Occupy Continues to Declare Victories
Recent raids on the Occupy movement’s major camps have led some mainstream media outlets to declare that all the camps are “gone,” a claim easily disproven by visiting any one of the dozens of cells still operating in smaller towns and cities all across the country.
Not only are many camps still in operation, but the offshoots of Occupy are not only surviving, but securing real, meaningful victories, which should interest media players who bemoaned that Occupy was too ideologically scattered and too flighty to fight for lasting policy changes.
Occupy oftentimes plays a supportive, inspirational role in ongoing protests. For example, parents and students occupied Brian Piccolo Specialty School on Chicago’s West Side for nearly twenty-four hours in opposition to a proposal that would result in the firings of Piccolo’s entire staff under the tutelage of a private operator, a dramatic gutting process the city refers to as a “turn-around.”
Occupy the SEC: Moving From the Campsite to the Weeds of Regulatory Reform
The reaction in the media was generally positive, if not a little condescending. Felix Salmon of Reuters, in an article headlined “Occupy’s Amazing Volcker Rule Letter,” concluded with the proclamation, “This letter is many things, but inchoate it is not,” which, of course, implies one should expect a less-than-sophisticated document from Occupiers.
But why should such an intelligent, sober response to a serious issue come as such a shock? The Occupy Movement is arguably one of the most successful political forces of the last decade. It has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of the national discourse since September, and a movement like that doesn’t achieve such momentum without having some serious intellectual horsepower behind it.
What should have come as more of a surprise than the cogency of the response was the fact that Occupy the SEC is willing to petition it’s government through official channels – the very same channels that Occupy Wall Street alleges have been completely hijacked by corporate forces. There’s nothing explicitly contradictory to its parent’s published beliefs in Occupy the SEC’s chosen method of protest. Though Occupy Wall Street governs itself without hierarchy, it doesn’t promote anarchy or the overthrow of capitalism. But Occupy does imply that the official channels of protest and reform have been so corrupted that extraordinary action – like permanently taking over public spaces – is necessary.
Unions fight cuts with rally at Oregon Capitol
Hundreds of public employees asked the Oregon Legislature maintain funding for schools, prisons and workers who provide in-home care to seniors, using the Presidents Day holiday to rally at the state Capitol on Monday.
Public employee unions were joined by environmental groups, Occupy organizations and other activists in a demonstration that was more a general display of liberal discontent than a show of solidarity behind specific demands.
Occuparty Solidifies Local PA Groups
Representatives from several area Occupy groups gathered at the Thomas Paine Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Collegeville, PA this past Saturday night for a pot-luck dinner billed as a Suburban Occuparty: Getting Together to Work Together.
“It’s a way for us to solidify our horizontal networking in advance of some bigger events being planned for spring and summer 2012″, says Leon Obler, an organizer with Occupy Norristown. “We had representatives from Occupation groups in: Phoenixville, Lansdale, Pottstown, Reading, Allentown, Easton, some even came in from Occupy Harrisburg to meet up and tell us what’s going on out there”, he adds.
The evening was highlighted by the attendance of Nathan Klineman, “the first Occupation candidate to run for congress” who is challenging Allyson Schwartz in the 13th district of PA. In his brief remarks, Klineman made it clear that he knew he had an uphill battle. Regardless, Klineman refuses any corporate donations. Instead, he raises awareness of his candidacy by traveling to various Occupy events in the area.
Occupy Maine starts own TV show
Less than 10 days after being evicted, Occupy Maine is using its own television show to get its message out.
OccupyME TV, on its website, http://www.occupymetv.org/, features young and old supporters championing the movement.
In the latest episdode, the panelists show footage of the group’s final general assembly, where the group decides to heed the judge’s decision and leave the park.
“This was never about taking the park indefinitely. It was about drawing awareness to these issues” of wealth inequality, corporate greed and unfair rules that favor the rich, said one Occupy member, who says he is homeless.
Occupy Fundraiser Nets $2000 for San Diego Patient who Lost Medi-Cal Funding
A fundraiser Saturday night at Balboa Park’s Centro Cultural de la Raza netted over $2000 to benefit Raul Carranza in his fight to restore Medi-Cal funding to pay for treatment related to muscular dystrophy, a disease that has left him in need of round-the-clock medical support.
The event was organized by Occupy San Diego’s Labor Solidarity Committee and featured musical performances and speeches from those involved in the Occupy movement as well as a silent auction with items donated by community members.
Philadelphia may require soup kitchen permits
In less than a month, Philadelphia kitchens that distribute food might be required to obtain permits to continue doing so.
On February 9, the Philadelphia Board of Health adopted a draft regulation that requires permits from places where food is prepared and given to three or more people. The board will vote on the measure after a 30-day public comment period.
While training and permits will both be free of charge, members of Food Not Bombs – an organization that serves vegetarian food to protest war and poverty – and the Occupy movement view the proposal as an attempt to drive away the homeless. In fact, only four of the nation’s 250 largest cities require these food permits, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.
Occupy Petaluma to Urge County to Conduct Audit of Foreclosed Properties
Councilwoman Tiffany Renee and members of Occupy Petaluma are meeting with Sonoma County Recorder-Assessor Tuesday to urge the office to conduct an audit of foreclosed residential properties which they hope will keep local families from losing their homes.
The group was inspired to hold a meeting with County Assessor Janice Atkinson after learning that San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting had ordered an audit of mortgages of all foreclosed properties in his county.
That investigation, conducted by an outside firm, found that 80 percent of loan applications were missing owners’ signatures or showed that lenders had not contacted borrowers to discuss their options before issuing a notice of default, as required by law.
Summer students get taste of Occupy movement at Maryland community college
Students in ninth through the 12th grade attending summer programs at a community college outside Washington, D.C., will get a taste of the Occupy operation in a new course that aims to get them interested in “the movement for justice.” “Occupy MoCo!,” one of the newest courses at Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Md., is part of the Summer Youth program offered for 2012.
French steel workers occupy ArcelorMittal plant
Workers at an idled ArcelorMittal steel plant in north-east France occupied the site on Monday, seeking to put their plight on the political map ahead of a presidential election where industrial decline is a central theme.
Some 200 workers invaded management offices at the factory in Florange, in the Moselle region close to Belgium and Germany, after ArcelorMittal announced last week it was prolonging the temporary shutdown of its two blast furnaces.
Occupation of Crafar farm into second day [NZ]
A group of King Country Maori continue to occupy a site at a Crafar farm which they say was stolen in the 19th century.
Edward Moana-Emery of Ngati Rereahu says the farm was taken from his people in 1886 and a claim for the land had been lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal.
About 20 people had set up on Monday at the farm near Benneydale, 35km southeast of Te Kuiti, and Mr Moana-Emery said it was a peaceful occupation.
“We’re not going to go and tell the farm manager that he can’t milk his cows … we just want to occupy the most sacred spot for Rereahu.”
The Occupations Report is compiled by Rebuild the Dream using information gathered from online news sites, Twitter, blogs and other sources of occupation-related updates. You are welcome to share this report and can download the Word document version at http://rebuildthedream.com/occupy-update.
If you would like to subscribe, have any questions/feedback or would like to contribute reports from your local Occupy site, please send them along with your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For more updates from occupations around the country, listen to the Occupation America podcast at http://soundcloud.com/occupation-america