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    Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-10-12

    Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

    Stories of the Day: May 4 was the anniversary of Kent State. On May 4, 1970 Allison Krause was shot dead by an Ohio National Guard bullet as she protested the Vietnam War, the American war draft and the military occupation of her college campus at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The Krause family is asking for the Kent State Massacre to be considered before the International Criminal Court. For more, see Justice for Kent State Massacre? In a related story: according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, J. Edgar Hoover and FBI’s “Cointelpro” Operation have been linked to the Kent State killings and FBI cover-up. For the article, see Kent State Killings. And in other news: “How can we help? How can we help? How can we help?” It’s not your average protest slogan, but it’s what the activists chanted Sunday as they marched from Zuccotti Park to 120 Broadway, which houses the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The AG chairs President Obama’s task force to investigate the routine fraud and abuse that characterized Wall Street during the Bush-era inflation of the housing bubble and precipitated the 2008 financial crash and subsequent recession. For more, see New York Activists Ask Attorney General “How Can We Help?” And, more on the Occupy/99 Percent Spring debate: are unions and liberal groups like MoveOn valuable allies? Or do they pose a threat, seeing the Occupy Movement as nothing more than a “brand” whose language can be slipped on and deployed to their own ends–namely, a Democratic triumph in November? The source of these fears is the “99 Percent Spring” and similar campaigns. For more, see The Dangers of Co-Option. In a related story, watch this video: a infiltrator attempts to hijack the General Assembly of Occupy the East End in Long Island, New York. See MoveOn Infiltrator Exposed at Occupy East End. And for more information on the Neo-Nazi party on the rise in Greece, see Q&A: Greece’s Golden Dawn. And here’s an update on the Occupy the Farm action in Albany, CA: The UC administration barricaded the Gill Tract on Wednesday with concrete, metal barriers, and dozens of police who threatened farmers with “chemical agents and impact force.” … A bulldozer loomed on the edge of the farm for the majority of the morning. For more, see UCPD Locks Gate on Professor’s Research, Farmers Move to Remediate Neglected Portions of Gill Tract.

    Other Occupies/Protests: Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russia’s president at a glittering ceremony on Monday, hours after clashes between police and thousands of protesters in the country’s capital laid bare the deep divisions over his return to the Kremlin for six more years. In the latest demonstrations on Sunday, police detained more than 400 people, including three opposition leaders, after tensions boiled over at a rally attended by about 20,000 people across the Moscow river from the Kremlin. Police hit protesters on the head with batons as they tried to stop demonstrators advancing towards them, carrying metal crowd barriers and throwing objects. The crowd fought back with flagpoles before the police eventually restored order. For more, see 400 Protesters Arrested Hours Before Putin’s Return to Russian Presidency.

    “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-9-12

    Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

    Stories of the Day: Surveillance cameras are now so powerful they are able to zoom in and read your text messages – leading to fears of further privacy intrusion by a “Big Brother”-style state. As well as being advanced enough to close in on an individual’s phone screen, security cameras will soon be able to pick up on raised voices and sniff out drugs too. The revelations were made at a privacy conference in Wellington, New Zealand, where it was also disclosed that the average person is digitally recorded about a dozen times a day. For more, see Watch what you type! And four generations of a Georgia family, including a toddler, were evicted at gunpoint by dozens of sheriffs and deputies at 3am last week in an Atlanta suburb. The eyebrow-raising eviction, a foreclosure action, might have been another anonymous descent into poverty were it not for Occupy Atlanta activists who tried to help the family stay in Christine Frazer’s home of 18 years. The eviction came as Frazer, 63, who lost her husband and then job in 2009, had been challenging the foreclosure in county and federal courts by seeking to restructure the terms of a delinquent mortgage. For more, see Dozens of Police Evict Georgia Family at Gunpoint at 3am. In Canada, a revolt against a government tuition fee hike is growing into Occupy-inspired dissent against austerity and inequality. Canadian students have been furiously mobilizing for a freeze on tuition fees since last spring, when the Liberal provincial government announced hikes of 75% over five years. A general strike launched this February shuttered most of the province’s colleges and universities. In Montreal, family-friendly street-theatre and marches peaked with a historic rally of 200,000 on 22 March; business-unfriendly blockades of banks, bridges and government ministries have often paralyzed the downtown core. And over the last week, tens of thousands have joined a nightly protest ritual, marching through Montreal past the midnight hour. For more, see Quebec student protests mark “Maple spring” in Canada. And in related news, the Canadian government will support a private member’s bill that would make it a crime to wear a mask or disguise during a riot, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Sunday. The Concealment of Identity Act would create two Criminal Code offences with maximum penalties of five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. For more, see Legislation would prohibit masks during riots. And across Canada over the past several weeks, police officers have been dressing as panhandlers and clutching cardboard signs to mimic the curbside come-ons in order to get close enough to see drivers using handheld phones while driving. “We don’t want to give panhandlers a bad name by people thinking that they’re cops,” said John Clarke, an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. “They are displacing people who are trying to survive by panhandling. The level of social cutbacks is such that, for panhandlers, there are no survival margins at all. And from a general decency point of view, it is a sneaky and unsavoury tactic.” For more. see No escaping hobo cop. 

    Other Occupies/Protests: FREE BUS TRIP TO CHICAGO FOR NATO SUMMIT: 99% Solidarity, a Working Group of Occupy Wall Street, is excited to participate in nonviolent direct actions in Chicago from May 18 to 22, 2012. We have secured buses to bring people to these actions from several U.S cities. So far, there are buses leaving from the following cities: New York City; Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Burlington, VT; Salem, NH; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Oakland, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR. We are currently working on the travel schedule, agenda and other important details of this trip, and we are working hard to add more cities, so please check back often if your city is not listed. We will be contacting you with updated information shortly. For now here are a few updates:

    - The Bus trip is free

    - 50 people from each city must sign up and board the bus for the trip take place. If a city has less then 50 sign ups, then we may have to cancel the bus for that city.

    - Meals will be provided on board the bus to and from Chicago

    - We are working on housing and meals while in Chicago

    There are several direct actions and events that we will participate in while in Chicago including:

    - May 18 – The People’s Summit

    - May 19 – the 99% Solidarity People’s Convention

    - May 20 – CANG8 rally and march.

    Please visit often to get the most up to date information and be sure to invite your friends and fellow occupiers to join you on this exciting, historic trip.  In addition, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @99solidarity. *Note: There’s a possibility of undercover law enforcement being present on some of these buses. Do not give information to anyone about activity you wouldn’t want everyone knowing about.

     “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy

    Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-8-12

    Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

    Stories of the Day: The growing number of “ag gag” bills being passed state by state actually stem from “model legislation” prepared by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These bills make it illegal for undercover investigators, concerned citizens, journalists, or anyone with a camera to capture “behind the scenes” footage of factory farms. Invested corporations are concerned that if Americans could see exactly where their food comes from and the horrors from within, we wouldn’t purchase from those companies anymore. For more, see ALEC’s Influence Over U.S. Food Policy. And ALEC has been under fire lately after the 15 major corporations and organizations pulled their support for the conservative organization, which helps quietly implement corporate-backed legislation in statehouses across the country. Now, the watchdog advocacy group group Common Cause has released a complete list of corporations on ALEC’s task forces. See a 5-minute video, ALEC Explained, for easy–to-understand information on ALEC. To see the trailer for a film project on GMOs, click here: And even before the hospital bills started coming, Lori Duff and her family were living paycheck to paycheck. So when the debt collector called and demanded $1,800 for the prenatal visits she’d had while pregnant with her third son, she panicked. The collector said the local Catholic hospital Duff had gone to could garnish 25 percent of each of her paychecks to pay off the bill. She offered to make a $20 payment—all she could afford at the time—but the collector told her the minimum was $400 down. “I was like, ‘I don’t have that. You can have everything in my account right now. It’s $1.25,’” Duff recalls. Duff was likely eligible for free care under the Mount Carmel Health System’s financial assistance policy, which offers medical care at no charge for patients earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. But the debt collector kept calling and soon informed her that the hospital was planning to sue her for the money. For more, see Sued Over An $1,800 Hospital Bill. And in positive news: Grameen Bank in Bangladesh does what most conventional banks fail to do: provide credit to the poorest people without any collateral. The underlying vision of Muhammed Yunus – founder, managing director, and Nobel laureate – is to lend to people based on their potential, rather than material possessions. For a short video, see Grameen Bank Lifts its Borrowers Out of Poverty. And check out the trailer for the film project American Autumn: An Occudoc.

    Other Occupies/Protests: From W0men Occupying Wall Street (WOW): May 17, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Washington Square Park, New York City: Women Occupying Wall Street (WOW) invites people and organizations of all gender identities to the first Feminist General Assembly! Together, let’s stand for justice and disarm the war on women. It’s time to rise up! Misogyny is flagrant in our patriarchal society, not only from the politicians, but even from our comrades. It’s time for us to join, support, and empower each other by amplifying all our voices. This will be the beginning of what we hope will become an ongoing discussion throughout the nation and worldwide. Through this assembly we will create a public space for collaborating to address patriarchy, violence, and hierarchical structures that harm everyone. In the spirit of cooperation and transparency of Occupy Wall Street, we have been meeting, and continue to do so once a week, on various days of the week, and at various locations, to openly plan the event, and make participation in planning accessible to as many as possible.

    Please RSVP to us at to let us know if you’d also like to take part in planning with us. And of course, feel free to please pass this along!

    Find us on Facebook:

    Follow us on Twitter: @wowsnyc

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    “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” Gloria Steinem

    Continue reading “Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-8-12” »

    Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-7-12

    Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

    Stories of the Day: Rodney Brossart, American Arrested Using Predator Drone, Had Rights Violated, Lawyer Says. Bruce Quick, attorney for the first American arrested using an unmanned drone says his client was subject to “guerrilla-like police tactics.” Quick tells U.S. News that Lakota, N.D., resident should not have been arrested and that authorities had no legal right to use the drone to aid in his capture. Brossart was in a dispute with authorities over the ownership of six cows that had meandered onto his land. The Grand Forks SWAT team borrowed a Predator drone from the Department of Homeland Security. And during the Arab Spring, when tear gas and other chemical weapons were deployed against non-violent protesters, in some cases protesters died from exposure to the gas – especially when it was used in enclosed spaces.  Teargas has been used against Occupy Oakland protesters as well. Toxic chemicals are often banned in warzones, but permitted in order to control a state’s own citizens. And an Occupy Wall Street protester talks about why A Few Good Democrats Are Not Enough to change things. “Despite the hard work of our progressive allies, the unfortunate reality is that our political system, as presently constructed, is simply incapable of responding to people’s needs. The election of the most progressive Democratic nominee of the last 30 years and a Democratic supermajority in Congress resulted in relatively little change, even during a massive economic crisis. The Democrats’ inaction proved that our political system was designed to serve the whims of the market, and no politician has the power to do much about it.” And a family is fighting the federal government after it seized their bank account and took $70,000 of their hard-earned money. It seems the Sower family, who owns the South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland, is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice under the post-9/11 “Bank Secrecy Act”. The act makes it illegal to deposit less than $10,000 if you have deposits totaling more than that. Never mind the fact that it’s your money, the feds can literally freeze and seize your account if you don’t deposit your money in accordance with the federal governments new rules. See Government seeking more than $62,000 from South Mountain Creamery owners. In more farm news, a family farm in rural Michigan may be shut down by a Government entity who has passed a law stating that the breed of hogs they are raising are a threat to neighboring croplands and the farmer is accused of being a felon for raising these pigs. The Michigan Pork Grower’s Association is reportedly behind the law. See the video Bakers Green Acres vs. Michigan DNR – Family Farm Under Attack. For more information on how the government is attacking small farms, see the trailer for the movie Farmageddon. And on a lighter note, check out this great pro-Occupy interview on The Colbert Report, which averages 1.2 million viewers per episode!

    Other Occupies/Protests: Occupy This Album, which is being heralded as “a compilation of music by, for and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99%” is set for a May 15 release by Music for Occupy with Razor and Tie. The majority of the four-disc physical and 99-track digital collection includes songs that have never before been released; Artists like Joan Baez, Patti Smith, Anti Flag and Jackson Browne share the tracklisting with musician and organizer Matt Pless, New Party Systems (featuring members of TV on the Radio) and many more. “Proceeds from the 4-CD Occupy This Album, will benefit the Occupy Wall Street movement,” according to the press release. More information available at Music For Occupy states: “Our Mission is to inspire and celebrate through music the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99% who’ve been adversely affected by the economic corruption that has permeated our Democracy, created a near insurmountable disparity in wealth, and hindered life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of an honest living for all. Music For Occupy is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, and all proceeds above board attained through the production and distribution of Occupy This Album: a compilation of music by, for and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99% will go directly towards the needs of sustaining this growing movement.” The album can be purchased for $9.99 at (don’t buy it from Amazon, which is charging $16.99 and has abusive labor practices!)

    “The most violent element in society is ignorance.” Emma Goldman

    Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-6-12

    Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

    Stories of the Day: Federal agents announced on Tuesday that they successfully thwarted plans to blow up a bridge in Cleveland, Ohio. What was left out of most reports, however, was that the FBI was instrumental in plotting the potential attack. Police and court records reveal that three of the five suspects entrapped and arrested by the FBI in a supposed plot to blow up a bridge in Ohio suffer from mental health problems, according to a report posted today (click link for story) by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The organisation, money, weapons and motivation for this plot did not come from real Islamic terrorists. It came from the FBI, and an informant paid to pose as a terrorist mastermind paying big bucks for help in carrying out an attack. For  Alicia McWilliams, her own government had actually cajoled and paid her beloved nephew into being a terrorist, created a fake plot and then jailed him for it. “I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone,” she told the Guardian. See Fake Terror Plots, Paid Informants: FBI ‘Entrapment’ Tactics Questioned. For more, see Operation: Entrapment – Cleveland bomb “plot” masterminded by FBI agents. And scary news from Greece: A neo-Nazi party that wants work camps for immigrants is on course to win its first seats in parliament on Sunday. “When the doors opened, they came on to the bus and started to assault the non-Greek passengers. The attackers were wearing T-shirts from the right-wing extremist group Golden Dawn. While panicked people were trying to escape from the bus the men were hitting them with flagpoles. ‘They were beating people with the Greek flag,’ said Mr Roumeliotis. When the police arrived they stood off until the thugs had finished. When he asked the police why no one had been arrested one of the officers replied to him: ‘Why, did they do something to you?’” See Fascism rises from the depths of Greece’s despair. And: The GOP-led House’s version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would not only strip away Senate-passed protections for undocumented, LGBT, and Native American victims, it also contains a dangerous provision that violates an undocumented victim’s confidentiality by allowing immigration officials to speak with, and ask for evidence from, his or her abuser. For more, see House GOP Would Let Domestic Abusers Know Their Victims Called For Help. And: on May 3, NYC Mayor Bloomberg released a budget that guts a wide array of services to the disadvantaged youths of New York City. But most stunning is his proposal to eliminate 160 of the city’s 250 youth shelter beds. How can he possibly think that an appropriate way to deal with budget challenges is to throw poor children out of their shelter beds and into the streets? For more, see Bloomberg Plans to Throw Homeless Youths Out of Their Shelter Beds.

    Other Occupies/Protests: Psychiatric survivors prepare to occupy Canada’s largest psychiatric facility. On Sunday May 6 at 1pm, the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) and Occupy Toronto are organizing Occupy Psychiatry, a non-violent action during which survivors and activists will occupy the front grounds of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) College Street Site at 250 College St near Spadina. And an Occupy Phoenix protester describes being Inside The Matrix: My Night In Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jail: Arpaio’s jail is a very dangerous place. The list of deaths from beatings and Tasings by guards and medical neglect of inmates is long, depressing and has cost Maricopa County tens of millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. The most recent wasMarty Atencio, a Latino Gulf War veteran who suffered from bipolar disorder and who was repeatedly Tased and choked by MCSO guards last December and then left alone in a cell to die. … Arpaio’s cruelty showed in every policy, from the freezing tanks with no place to lie down except on rock hard concrete without something as basic and decent as a blanket, to the crappy food and sick mind games played by the guards. It’s a system designed to beat down, dehumanize and punish those who have not yet even been convicted of a crime, all the while operating under the misguided belief that if they manage to inflict enough suffering, people will somehow never return.

    Law is often the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” Thomas Jefferson

    Continue reading “Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-6-12” »

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