Good Morning from Occupy Boston!
Stories of the Day: Tell me they aren’t going to use these on protesters: American police officers may soon be able to use unmanned aircraft not only for surveillance, but also for offensive action. The drones may be equipped to fire rubber rounds and tear gas. The US military and CIA have used drones armed with lethal weapons to target militants overseas for years. The prospect of having “lite” versions of those remotely controlled killer-machines circling over America gave some second thoughts to rights groups. “It’s simply not appropriate to use any force, lethal or non-lethal, on a drone,” Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told CBSDC. For more, see Drones Over U.S. to Get Weaponized. And the business of marketing drones to law enforcement is booming. Now that Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to open up U.S. airspace to unmanned vehicles, the aerial surveillance technology first developed in the battle space of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is fueling a burgeoning market in North America. And even though they’re moving from war zones to American markets, the language of combat and conflict remains an important part of their sales pitch — a fact that ought to concern citizens worried about the privacy implications of domestic drones. For more, see Drones for Urban Warfare. And the TSA is expanding its powers and is now conducting random searches on highways. For the video news report, click here. For a good round-up of recent news about attacks on our civil liberties, including TSA mistreatment of children and adults in airports, see Occupy Albany’s Civil Liberties Review. And a Saudi inventor’s proposal to insert semiconductors subcutaneously in visitors and remotely kill them if they misbehave will not be patented in Germany. Reporters said the document proposed that tiny semiconductors be implanted or placed by injection under the skin of people so their whereabouts could be tracked by global-positioning satellites. This could be used to prevent immigrants overstaying. A model B of the system would contain a poison such as cyanide, which could be released by remote control to “eliminate” people if they became a security risk. The document said this could be used against terrorists or criminals. For more, see Patent for Killer Chip Denied. And a member of Occupy Boston was among the NATO protesters who was attacked by police. He has 10 stitches in his head, and a genuine concern for those who were brutalized even harder. Asked whether he plans to attend the next major action wherever it may be, he answers in the affirmative. For more, see Behind The Stiches: The Face Of Chicago Police Violence At NATO Protests. And Occupy Chicago reports a first-hand account from the NATO protester who was run over by a Chicago Police van: “Amico was hit in the chest and fell hard, slamming his head onto the pavement. ‘It stomped on the gas the second I stepped in front. It was intentional,”’he told OCT. ‘Mind you, they sped off after this. It was a hit and run.’ James “Jack” Amico was struck, thrown to ground, and treated for a concussion at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.” For the story, see CPD’s Hit And Run Victim Exists, And Tells His Story.
Other Occupies/Protests: More than 400 protesters were “kettled” and arrested last night (5/23) in Montreal and mass arrests were reported in other cities in Canada as the student-led demonstrations gained even more momentum. This came after at least 300 people were arrested and twenty were injured in Montreal during weekend clashes between police and protesters, according to CTV. The movement began after a proposed tuition hike of $1,625, which would be implemented over several years. Support rallies were held in some cities in the US. For more, see 400 Arrested in Montreal Last Night, and Protests Spread to Other Cities. And on May 19, at least 20,000 people held a major rally of the local Occupy movement in Frankfurt, Germany, to decry austerity measures affecting much of Europe, the dominance of banks, and what they call untamed capitalism. The protesters peacefully filled the city center of continental Europe’s biggest financial hub on a warm and pleasant afternoon, said Frankfurt police spokesman Ruediger Regis. He said 20,000 people were there, while organizers put the number at 25,000. The protest group, named Blockupy, has called for blocking access to the European Central Bank, which is located in Frankfurt’s business district. For more, see 20,000 March at Frankfurt Occupy Protest Rally and Frankfurt sees 20,000 Protest Austerity. And Germany’s changed social stuctures means there’s a section of voters no longer served by the main parties. They are the only German party that treats freedom not just as an idealistic utopia or an economic principle but as a very real tenet of organisation. They want to protect civil rights, to increase every individual’s range to take action, and to give citizens more power to take part in political decisions through electronic means. Their method of policy-making illustrates their unconventional approach to policy-making. They call it “Liquid Democracy” and it involves members making suggestions online which then get bounced around through chat rooms, which they call Pirate Pads, before emerging from cyberspace into the real world as policy. Polls suggest that the biggest support for the Pirates is among those aged under 34. For more, see The Pirate Party Fills the Political Gap and Germany’s Pirate Party Riding High.