Occupy Wall Street roundup, Day 60

Occupy Wall Street 11/17 poster

From OccupyWallSt.org:

Tomorrow, Thursday November 17th, marks two months since the start of Occupy Wall Street as well as International Students Day. To commemorate this two month anniversary, Occupy Wall Street will take to the streets in celebration and in solidarity with people around the world participating in a massive global day of action in hundreds of cities. [...]

7:00am — Shut Down Wall Street
We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00am, before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice.

3:00pm — Occupy the Subway
We will gather at 3:00pm at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the “People’s Mic”. Details here.

5:00pm — Take the Square, Festival of Lights on Brooklyn Bridge
At 5:00pm thousands will gather at Foley Square in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country’s infrastructure and economy. They will encircle City Hall and march across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying thousands of handheld lights, as a festival of lights to celebrate two months of a new movement to reclaim our democracy.

There are events planned in numerous major cities:

In Boston, Detroit, Washington DC, Portland and Seattle, protesters, some allied with union workers and community groups, will march on high-profile bridges in order to highlight the problem of America’s crumbling and underfunded infrastructure.

“We don’t want to make this about police and protesters,” said Stephen Squibb, an organiser with Occupy Boston, whose group will target the city’s North Washington Street bridge. “It is about jobs and other things. That has been our message for two months and we are going to keep saying it,” he added.

The range of activities across America spans a spectrum from the dramatic to the small-scale, including teach-ins, rallies and direct actions aimed at banks and corporations. In Portland, Oregon, protesters plan to target a city bridge and then try to organise flashmobs to go to local banks. In Detroit, protesters are marching from their camp downtown to the city’s municipal centre, where they aim to highlight the brutal impact of government cuts on ordinary citizens. [...]

[P]rotesters in Atlanta will hold events targeting two major corporations in the form of Home Depot and Verizon. In Las Vegas, protesters have vowed to set up an early morning encampment outside a federal building downtown and stay until police remove them. In Chicago, a major rally is planned with local union workers and community groups.

In Memphis, a “midnight march” is planned through the city centre. In Phoenix, local members of the movement are targeting the city’s light rail network during the morning rush hour.

We are at a necessary evolution point in the Occupy movement. I say “necessary” for two reasons: one, because of the hard truth that cities around the nation simply cannot tolerate camping as a form of free speech, thus necessitating a response to “putting tents up” that is increasingly relying on tear gas, riot gear, and mass arrests.

Two, because they aren’t listening. The government, Wall Street, the media: they simply aren’t listening yet. Most press coverage revolves around which cities beat the holy hell out of which protestors on any given day or which senior citizen posed such a damn threat to the riot-gear-laden police that they needed to be pepper sprayed, but the underlying messages of income inequality, corporate corruption and a captured government are, unsurprisingly, still being stonewalled.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t want people camping in his park anymore. Fine, then: he will push the protests into taking another form. That’s probably good for the movement, and probably is probably going to be worse for him.

More Occupy news:

  • Federal prosecution of financial fraud is at a 20-year low. Now, let’s reflect on that. The whole “meltdown of the economy due to massive frauds perpetrated by top financial firms” bit would, you would think, have resulted in lighting a fire under prosecutors of such fraud. Nope. A Twenty. Year. Low. In the last few years, prosecutions for financial fraud have dropped to about one third of what those numbers were in the 1990′s.

    So if you were thinking that all of the high-profile news about slap-on-the-wrist, no-fault-admitted settlements for foreclosure fraud, selling fraudulent derivatives and the like sounded like the government was going remarkably easy on instances of Wall Street fraud, congratulations: apparently, you’re right.

  • The New York Press Club is asking for an investigation into the harassment and arrests of reporters during yesterday’s enforced media blackout during the eviction at Zuccotti. Bloomberg says such things are done “routinely”, which either means he’s a damn idiot or there’s an even bigger story to be written about ongoing NYPD abuse of reporters.
  • Most of the books from the confiscated Occupy Wall Street Library were damaged or destroyed, as well as other personal property:

    “There are only about 25 boxes of books; many of the books are destroyed. Laptops here but destroyed. Can’t find tent or shelves.”

    “Many books destroyed. Most equipment -and structures missing. . . most of library is missing (ALL of the reference section btw), damaged or destroyed. “

    Remember, this was done because Bloomberg and the park owners were concerned about protesters possibly damaging the property. But screw you, protesters, we’ll damage whatever the hell we want.

  • From Salon, the headline sums it up:

    Daily News cheers Occupy Wall Street raid, until Daily News reporter is arrested

    Their reaction went from “Bravo” to calling the action “alarming” and calling their attorney. Funny how that works. Oh, and no word on whether that reporter still has a working laptop.

  • New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez says he was detained for over 17 hours after being arrested during the Occupy Wall Street eviction, and was denied access to his attorney until just before release.
  • Continuing the theme of New York law enforcement treating everyone like dirt, all the time: private security calling people “faggots”. Yes, there’s video.
  • Elsewhere in the nation, America’s most successful political liar has a grumpy day:

    “Karl Rove is the architect of Occupy Iraq, the architect of Occupy Afghanistan!” yelled the demonstrators. Occupy Baltimore had infiltrated the crowd and began chanting against Rove. “Who gave you the right to occupy America?” asked Rove to the protesters [...]

    Who gave them the “right” to occupy America? Thomas f—ing Jefferson, jackass.

  • Occupy Cal drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 people to the UC Berkeley campus last night. More pics here.
  • Occupy Atlanta working to help prevent a foreclosure.
  • I’ve been looking for news on repercussions against officers who have been videotaped using excessive force against protesters: pepper spraying sitting people, shooting people at close range with rubber bullets or tear gas, using nightsticks on people who are quite obviously not resisting. Anyone see squat about such things? No? All right, just checking.

To keep up with Occupy related events, especially local actions and first-person accounts from our community, follow the Occupy Wall Street group and the Occupy Wall Street tag right here on Daily Kos.

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