The OB Media Rundown for 1/14/12

BPD arrests federal air marshal in assault on Boston Occupier

It’s unclear why a federal air marshal, the armed undercover Homeland Security agents who accompany select commercial flights, was hanging around near the camp at 3 in the morning. According to witnesses, he entered the camp a little over an hour before the police evicted the 72-day-old camp from Dewey Plaza, after the protestors lost a court battle to get a permanent injunction against police action.

[TSA air marshal Adam] Marshall is now being investigated by TSA’s internal affairs, according to the iPhone’s owner Robin Jacks, who says she met with DHS officials Wednesday.

Michael Steele and Juan Williams voice approval of Occupy

Michael Steele is former chairman of the Republican National Committee. When John Ford of Occupy Boston pressed Steele about why those who caused economic collapse have never been criminally investigated, Steele said “The system moves to protect itself.” When asked by Ford, “What can we do?” Steel replied, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” In regards to the protests and political birddogging the occupiers had done in New Hampshire over the previous few days, Steel said, “You did a great job. Keep it going.”

A while later, activists including Eric Binder of Occupy Boston talked to Juan Williams, a writer and commentator appearing on Fox News Channel. When asked his opinion of Occupy, Williams said “I like it.” When Binder mentioned freedom of speech, Williams laughed in a friendly way and said “imagine what I feel about freedom of speech” (probably referring to a 2010 incident when comments he made on “The O’Reilly Factor” led to NPR terminating his contract). Williams, agreeing with many of the protestors’ gripes, said “there’s a lot to be changed.”

US Uncut: The Movement That Helped Spark Occupy Wall Street

Back in February 2011, I started reporting on a movement called US Uncut that formed in opposition to the practice of tax-dodging. As it turns out, corporate tax avoidance is a huge, huge problem. In fact, the United States loses an estimated $100 billion in revenue every year as multinational corporations hoard their cash overseas in havens.
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That includes Chris Priest, who was instrumental in the founding of both Occupy Boston and Boston Uncut. “Literally every US Uncut organizer I know has been deeply involved with their local Occupy chapter since the beginning. That’s no coincidence,” says Priest. “Occupy Wall Street provided a priceless opportunity for every progressive organization to unite and fight on multiple fronts.”

Priest sees US Uncut as merely one of many events that snowballed into Occupy. “US Uncut began in February 2011, and shouldn’t be discounted as an influence for OWS. The same can be said about Wisconsin, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen,” he says.

King’s concepts shape today’s movements

Nationally the Occupy Movement emerged in New York City’s Zuccotti Park last September and spread across the United States. While no clear cut agenda is yet evident, the protesters have embraced the slogan, “We are the 99 percent,” in reference to the imbalance of capital between the wealthiest one percent of America and the middle class and poorest citizens.

Eighty-three years after the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. I’m reminded of the movements of the previous century that give momentum to the current climate of civil protest. So much of what we witness in real time today can be linked to the great labor union uprisings like the Battle of Blair Mountain in Logan County, West Virginia in 1921.

The Occupy Movement also reminds me of Pan Africanism or Garveyism led by Jamaican born Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was embraced by up to 4 million blacks who took to the streets of Americas’ urban centers in 1922, demanding the redemption of the Mother Land by her African diaspora.

Occupy Columbia stages ‘crime scene theater’ around SC statehouse

The Occupy Columbia protesters have returned to the State House after holiday hiatus and are planning an event today that includes a “Crime Scene Theater.”

“Theater” participants will wrap caution tape around the State House as a symbolic protest of the lobbyists and corporate money that influence politicians, said Gregory Carr, an Occupy Columbia participant.

Church groups make statement by closing their BofA accounts

Two Seattle-area church groups held a protest outside a University District Bank of America branch on Friday to announce the transfer of their organizations’ funds to local financial institutions.

The Church Council of Greater Seattle (CCGS), which represents more than 340 local churches, and the Faith Action Network (FAN), an interfaith organization, said they were promoting local investment and helping those most affected by the economic downturn.

What will revolution look like in an era when citizens have more power as consumers and texters than they have as mere voters?

he whiff of revolution may be in the air but like the generals who always fight the last war most of our revolutionary commentators (and some of its self-appointed leaders) still don’t understand the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and the widespread public dissatisfaction with the distribution of spoils from the current economic system.

To paraphrase Napoleon’s dictum “the people are just three hot meals away from revolution’ – substitute the words pay-day loan, mortgage payment, part-time job, or medical crisis.

The “lamestream’ media’s talking heads ask “what do they want?’ and “who are their leaders?’ They just don’t comprehend that new technology destroys vertical hierarchies. Movements (particularly on the left) that in the past were undermined by internal dissent and the creeping sclerosis of bureaucracy will instead continue to grow like a virus.

Fighting Antipiracy Measure, Activist Group Posts Personal Information of Media Executives

The online activist group known as Anonymous, which has targeted opponents of the Occupy Wall Street movement and businesses that stopped providing services to WikiLeaks, has set its sights on a new adversary: media executives.

In protest of antipiracy legislation currently being considered by Congress, the group has posted online documents that reveal personal information about Jeffrey L. Bewkes, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, and Sumner M. Redstone, who controls Viacom and the CBS Corporation. Those companies, like almost every major company in the media and entertainment industry, have championed the Stop Online Piracy Act, the House of Representatives bill, known as SOPA, and its related Senate bill, called Protect I.P.

‘Occupy Skid Row’ Concert Featuring Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Kurupt in Doubt, LAPD Says: It Doesn’t Have Permit

A planned “Occupy Skid Row” free street concert Sunday featuring Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Kurupt and other hip-hop artists is in doubt, police tell the Weekly.

The Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN) is holding a street festival at the location and has a permit to do so, police say. But they don’t have a permit to hold a concert, and LACAN organizers told cops that the show is not happening, at least according what authorities told us.

Shattering the class warfare taboo

The United States has always had a culturally enforced taboo: Don’t speak ill of the rich. If anyone thought or said that the rich don’t play fair, they were simply a sore loser. This taboo lasted much longer than it should have, owing mostly to the Republican practice of using “class warfare” as a bludgeon. “That’s class warfare,” they’d scream. How un-American.

Then Occupy Wall Street arrived, spoke the unspeakable, and shattered the glass wall. In fairness, the stage was set the day we were presented with the ridiculous premise of Citizens United. But tents in town squares broke the long prohibition on asking why – in a land founded on equality – the wealthy are so pampered and coddled.

Occupiers aren’t running for office – they have their sights set higher

Occupy exists outside politics on purpose. Its decision-making processes are meant as a rebuke to the electoral system, in which both parties, activists say, are influenced by lobbying and corporate cash.

And yet, the movement can have a greater impact on American politics than an Occupy caucus ever could. Putting its concerns at the forefront of the debate this campaign season through nonpartisan tactics is a stronger strategy than backing a flash-in-the-pan candidate – as the tea party found with Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, who attracted fascination but then faded in 2010. Occupy will push candidates to embrace its positions but won’t rely on them to be leaders of the movement – leaders who can fail, compromise or be toppled in a vote.
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The strength of Occupy’s approach was evident on GOP primary day in New Hampshire, as the candidates – dogged by chanting, sign-carrying bands of as many as 50 protesters – began to echo the language of the movement. Texas Gov. Rick Perry even criticized Romney as a “vulture capitalist,” an unrepentant 1 percenter. The story of the night wasn’t just Romney’s victory, but also the anti-capitalist tenor of his opponents.

Occupations: The Leap from Danger to Opportunity

We stand at an exciting juncture. The long suppressed-the scandalous fact of social class- has broken into the open even here in the US of A. A new language is spreading across the body politic, like an infection, or, perhaps, like the cure for one: Occupy. Occupy. We Are the 99%. Truths once whispered are now shouted. Ideas kept alive by lonely souls staring into flickering screens are painted across banners and taken up together down main streets.  Beside them are poignant phrases that are but the public rendering of painful private horror stories too long swallowed in place of bread. Cracks in the ruling walls can be seen for miles, and below them, in the light that slips through, the buds for a thousand red blossoms are seeking-finding-roots.

#OccupyNigeria protesters take on news media coverage

Protesters in Nigeria are not only angry at their government’s New Year’s Day decision to eliminate a fuel subsidy — they are also upset about news media coverage of the citizens’ movement, dubbed “Occupy Nigeria,” and have taken their protests to local media outlets.

According to news reports, on Thursday, protesters descended on the studios of at least two prominent broadcasters, the state-run national public broadcaster Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the private Africa Independent Television (AIT), to demand more balanced coverage. Protesters managed to enter NTA studios in the commercial capital of Lagos and persuade the journalists to record and broadcast live images of the protests, the reports said.