Thursday, November 24, 2011

Updates 11/24/11

Good morning, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Here are your updates for today:

-- Occupy movements across the country are celebrating Thanksgiving in several ways. Some are at home with family, while others are doing good works. Occupy Wall Street has prepared 5,000 meals, and will have live acoustic music to enjoy. Many Occupy movements are feeding the homeless, both in soup kitchens and at their site. Thank you everyone, for all the good you do in the world.

-- Occupy movements everywhere are working on plans for Black Friday. Check back tomorrow for more info on what they're doing. Personally, I used to either shop or work on Black Friday. Tomorrow, I will be attending the 7th Annual Southern Illinois Alternative Gift Fair. If you are in the Southern Illinois area, you'll definitely want to check it out. Here's a link to the facebook page for posters and more info:

-- Occupiers in Richmond had a close call yesterday. A neighbor blocked the shared driveway that accesses both the mayor's house and the Occupier's current site, as well as several other homes, at a journalist's home, and then moved his vehicle to allow someone to pull in. When protesters tried to stand in his way to stop him from re-blocking the driveway, he hit the gas and forced them to jump for cover. No charges have been filed, because police say that, from their vantage point, they "didn't see any intent on (the driver's) part to run anyone down."

-- 11 Occupiers were arrested in Charleston yesterday. They had initially been occupying a park 24/7, but Monday the Mayor declared that the park was no longer open after 11pm. One woman held a sign that said, "If they enforced bank regulation like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess- 99 percent"

-- 11 Occupiers were also arrested at Occupy Toronto yesterday for trespassing. As the eviction was occurring, around 2,000 people with the Ontario Federation of Labor marched on the park to show solidarity.

-- Occupy Tuscon is facing some difficulty with police. According to local news sites, police said that stepping onto the sidewalk will no longer stop them from issuing citations to those who are in the park after closing time. Also, a judge has recently ruled that those who have been issued more than 3 citations for trespassing after park hours can be jailed, rather than just ticketed.

-- The Christian Science Monitor is offering up a warning to Occupiers. A prominent lawyer has stated that Occupiers need to be cautious with Black Friday protests, because if they manage to cause a business loss, they can be sued, both as individuals or as a group. Other attorneys are saying that's a stretch.

-- Occupy Orange County has been given two weeks to vacate the Irvine City Hall lawn.

-- Occupy Philly has voted to appeal the city's restrictive permit offer. The mayor said they offered the new restrictions to prevent a repeat of "intolerable conditions" at the previous 24 hour encampment.

-- Occupy Wall Street librarians have reported that 79% of the books from the People's Library are either missing or destroyed. The attorney for OWS is demanding that the city replace all missing or destroyed books, while authors are sending in new copies to the movement to replace what has been lost.

-- An appeal is in order for Occupy Atlanta. They have filed a motion to appeal a judge's ruling that police will not be told to stop evicting the Occupiers while their lawsuit is in motion. The original lawsuit is one against the mayor's decision to revoke an executive ruling that allowed protesters to remain in the park.

-- After Occupy Albany protested at Walmart, the multi-million (billion) dollar corporation issued a statement. It read, "Customers know Walmart is focused on serving 'the 99 percent.' We're helping lower the cost of living for millions of Americans by providing more convenient access to healthy food and making basic financial services more affordable for underserved customers. At the same time, we're creating and supporting some of the best jobs in all of retail." (Editor's comment: I worked at a Walmart for two years. It was the first time in my life I ever truly contemplated suicide. That's not being over-dramatic; that's a completely honest statement.)

-- Seattle Central Community College will be evicting Occupy Seattle soon. They unanimously passed an emergency ruling declaring camping on campus against the law. There had been no rules concerning it previously. The College board is citing unsanitary conditions, such as dirty needles, trash, and human fecal matter, as grounds to place the new rule. They say campers will not be evicted immediately, rather protesters will be notified of the ruling on Monday.

-- A federal judge has ruled that Occupy Fort Myers will be allowed to camp in the park, as long as they stay out of trouble. The city had initially stated that protesters needed a permit and a million dollar insurance policy to remain, each of which would have to be renewed every ten days. The federal judge declared that the camping is a symbolic representation of First Amendment rights.

-- The city of Fort Lauderdale is preparing to evict Occupiers. Last night, the city changed the rules on the Occupiers, saying that now, camping is not allowed anywhere, including city parks, and that signs cannot be placed around City Hall, but need to be held at all times. (I don't know about you, but I think that last part is DEFINITELY a ruling against Free Speech.)

-- The first state-wide Occupy convention will be held in Orlando, in an effort to pursue a state-wide agreement on legislature changes desired by the movement. After the convention, those in attendance will march to Tallahassee to deliver the results to the State Capitol. According to Fox News, at least 14 different Occupy sites from across the state will be involved.

-- Since Occupy Vancouver's ouster from encampments, they have been looking to new methods of protest. They are having regular meetings now, and are discussing what they will do in the future.

-- Occupy Baltimore has requested permits from the city to remain in the park until April. The applications were given to both the Mayor and the park district, and local unions have added their voices to the support of protesters being allowed to remain. (Yes, Rob, I know, permits, blah blah.)

-- Occupy Nashville has invited the Mayor to come and speak with them. The open-ended invitation says that while the mayor does not have to support the cause, they would like for him to support their right to speak out against the unjust systems.

That's all I have time for today. I wish everyone a peaceful and warm holiday.


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