The OB Media Rundown for 3/10/12

Brutal Arrest at Bank of America on International Womens Day [NY]

Protests to showcase how women are hurt by banks such as Bank of America and that these banks need to be “busted” up took place all over the country yesterday as part of IWD observances by individuals from several groups such as Women Occupy and The Rain Forest Action Network.

In New York, three protesters inside a Bank of America branch left when they were asked to leave. Just after they emerged from the bank, one of the protesters, Rae Abileah of Codepink, was grabbed by NYPD officers, and had her arm steadily twisted in a force-to the-ground police tactic. She repeatedly stated that she was not resisting arrest and that she has wrist and spine injuries and would they please not hurt her.


What was the point of the Occupy AIPAC meeting? “AIPAC has a dangerous stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East,” said the meeting’s organizers. “AIPAC’s unrelenting support for the illegal policies of the Israeli government- separation walls, settlements, the siege of Gaza-in addition to its bellicose policies across the region, especially Iran, has been devastating for Palestinians and the Middle East, including Israel. It also harms our reputation around the world and squanders $3 billion a year subsidizing the powerful Israeli military when we need that money to rebuild the United States.”

Opinion: We are in the golden age of social activism

From the get-go, golden-agers who are 65, 75 and older have been a visible and valuable presence. Many are totally new to the arena of social activism. They are emerging from their culture of isolation from inside senior citizen communities, wherein their voices are muted, and where mingling with other age groups is nigh impossible.

Working for both liberal and conservative causes, they are making their presence known in the maelstrom of social action. They are occupying parks and marching in the streets. They have a vast treasure of accumulated knowledge, wisdom and experience to share.

OWS seems especially positioned to take advantage of this trend because of its leaderless structure and because its General Assemblies are open to any and all. It can also inspire individuals to create new local civic action programs independently of OWS._Consider some examples of senior involvement.

Cross-country Occupiers make stop in Joshua Tree

Shouldering heavy camping packs and fighting the wind, a group of businessmen, homeless men, veterans and one man who has made walking for peace his life’s work hiked into the Morongo Basin this week. Their ultimate destination: Wall Street. Their goal: to change the world.

“A lot of people think the Occupation is already over. We believe it’s just beginning,” Jason Brock said as seven of the Occupy Walk activists gave their feet a quick break at Ma Rouge in Yucca Valley Thursday afternoon, March 8.

Early into their 3,000-mile trek from San Diego to New York City, Brock and his companions are optimistic about what they can achieve in the adventure ahead. They’re missing their families and have postponed careers, but it’s not about what they’ve left behind, Britten Dodds said. “It’s what we’re walking toward, it’s contributing to a greater cause.”

Occupy Wall Street movement directed at the source of the problem

The tea party and the progressive party hold rallies while Occupy Wall Street is an unaffiliated protest, a lower level, middle-class protest taken directly to the culpable source – Wall Street.

Wall Street speculators’ only job is passing paper between each other, siphoning nickels and dimes – that ultimately add up to millions – from our economy. They’re the do-nothing middle men between manufacturer and consumer, responsible for the price of gasoline exploding.

And yes, the Occupation is also about social justice and putting country before self Is awarding a CEO with multi-million dollar bonuses for saving a company billions by not paying a living wage, or taking pensions from workers who may have sacrificed raises for that pension, social justice? Should citizens who work hard and play by the rules have an honest shot at the American dream?

Occupy: Will It Be Reform Or Revolution?

In order to radically change a system that is not working, unity is of necessity a prerequisite. By focusing on reform, by focusing on improving the system with regard to its policy toward a particular issue, the movements for change in the United States are automatically divided because they are not operating under the larger, more inclusive goal of restructuring society.

The Occupy movement had this unity. Occupy has been criticized for not having a specific goal, but why do they need one? As soon as they advocate for a certain issue or policy change, the group will, one, fracture and, two, the goal of larger social change will be unachievable.

This is why it is important for Occupy to refuse to limit the scope of its movement by defining a certain “want,” because as soon as it limits itself it will lose its power as a transformational force, and revolutionary change will be delayed yet again.

Fannie, Freddie, and the FHFA Holding The Line On Foreclosure Policies

An ongoing drama is unfolding: a David versus Goliath tale of sorts that pits a Riverside, California family fighting to stay in their home against the weight of that elephant, otherwise known as “Freddie.”

Arturo de los Santos, his wife and four children have already been evicted from their home once. But now, with the support of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy Riverside, they’ve re-occupied the vacant house. Their supporters have placed boots on the ground and inside the house to serve as witnesses and shields if sheriffs should come knocking once again.

It’s a rage-against-the machine story, but with a puzzling subtext: Santos is working and willing to make a deal, but Freddie has turned a deaf ear. Now, his plight has become the focus for on-going media attention, namely from MSNBC and Huffington Post.

Occupy Pensions Coming To Zuccotti Park

Opposing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pension plan is about to come to Zuccotti Park.

One of New York’s public employee unions,  the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is holding a “Tier It Down!” rally tomorrow afternoon against  Governor Cuomo’s “Tier 6_ proposal, where new employees would receive scaled down pension benefits in an effort to curb costs.

The rally tomorrow comes as the union is also engaging in a television campaign against Mr. Cuomo’s proposal. Other unions have decided to hold their fire, for now, but AFSCME is pushing forward.

Occupy St. Pete [FL] protestors have a new target: high bank fees

Davida Johns triggered a round of cheers and sign-waving from 40 or so Occupy St. Pete protestors Friday when she walked out of a Bank of America branch in downtown St. Petersburg after closing her account.

But the 66-year-old St. Petersburg resident said it was hard to pinpoint the overriding reason she decided to sever relationships with an institution she had done business with for decades – back when it was Nationsbank, and NCNB before that, and Barnett Banks before that.

It was partly frustration over Wall Street banks making money amid people losing their homes. It was a sense of “big banks preying on the poor” and prioritizing profits over customers. And it was the latest round of bank fees.

Occupy Duluth Rallies for New MN House Bills

Members of Occupy Duluth took to the streets Friday to rally support for those facing financial troubles.

The Minnesota House is set to take up two bills that will make it a bit easier for those trying to payoff mortgages by putting a two year moratorium on foreclosures in the state for those who are able to make payments on what they owe.

In North Carolina, fifth graders and parents “occupy” Davidson, succeed in overturning new restriction

Fifth graders from Davidson Elementary School alongside their parents staged a protest of sorts late Friday afternoon. They were “occupying” the green lawn, also known as the green, on Main Street.  They were protesting new rules about kids going to the green after school.

It is a tradition that has been going on for as long as most here can remember.  Every Friday, fifth graders could leave after school and walk on their own to the green where they could play and have snacks.

Fifth grader Ally Fleming said, “It’s kind of like you get the responsibility to come by yourself instead of coming with your parents.” But a letter sent home to parents from the school this week threatened to put a damper on the long tradition.

Occupy Eugene Rallies Against Police Presence

Occupy Eugene says Eugene police are overstepping their bounds. The group held a rally Friday in Kesey Square to discuss what members say is an unnecessary increase in police contact downtown.

The rally was more like a public conversation about rights. The discussion was partly inspired by a $280 ticket issued to Occupy Eugene member and Kesey Square Revival Co-Founder Alley Valkyrie in late February

But protesters claim it’s more about the volume of incidents like hers. They think the homeless and disenfranchised are being targeted, especially after an exclusion zone extension.

Michelle Bachmann redbaits, fearmongers about Occupy-inspired candidate running against her

By touting thevalues [sic] of Occupy Wall Street, my opponent clearly favors the opposite: a lazy handout culture where big government is king. This is the America thatthe [sic] left seeks to impose on the American people, but it is a fate that I refuse to accept.

The threat that Occupy Wall Street poses to our conservative values this November cannot be overstated. With President Obama as their cheerleader, the left will spend millions between now and November to re-elect him and replace conservatives like me withOccupy-branded [sic] liberals who will cheer at every big-government Obama initiative. For them, this is their last chance to fundamentallytransform [sic] the America we know and love into their own socialist haven, and I know you won’t stand for it.

‘Occupy KONY’: Five factors that made the Kony2012 video go viral

Marketers don’t just want you to buy their product any more; they want you to join a movement. Occupy Wall Street put a brand on the disenchantment of millions. The project known as It Gets Better, which sought to raise the self-esteem of gay, lesbian and transgender youth, caught fire in the fall of 2010 in part because many in the general public were upset about a rash of suicides within the LGBTQ community.

Kony2012 shows us sweeping, inspiring shots of youthful crowds who have already joined the Stop Kony movement; how can we resist? “This is very much in line with a lot of the Occupy stuff we’ve seen,” says Dré Labre, creative director with the Toronto office of the ad agency Rethink. “It’s Occupy Kony.” Still, you probably have to pick your moments: you can’t call on people if they’re tired from the last big cause. Mr. Labre said one of his co-workers floated the possibility of a “cause gap.”

“Haiti and the Red Cross burnt us out with its innovation in cause marketing and telethons,” Mr. Labre explained. “So much so that the earthquake in Japan didn’t seem to be as big a deal. It’s been a while since we’ve all rallied around something.”

Welcome to “Occupy METI,” Japan’s take on Occupy Wall Street

At an intersection in central Tokyo, the concrete towers housing a group of Japan’s most influential government ministries rub shoulders.

In a leafy plaza by one of them, the powerhouse Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, known as METI, sits a ramshackle tent, festooned with colorful banners demanding an end to nuclear power in Japan.

Welcome to “Occupy METI,” Japan’s take on Occupy Wall Street.