Congratulations to my Kawfee Talk pals, Rob and Shaun, over at Occupy Tacoma! They're going to be Occupying Parenthood! You two are awesome. Much love!
Here's the news for today:
-- OWS legal groups are charging that Brookfield, the private firm that controls Zucotti Park, is violating city zoning laws by barricading the park and searching visitors. Under an agreement with the city, the park must be accessible 24 hours a day. Brookfield has an unwritten list of rules, including ones concerning what items may be brought into the park. Occupiers say these rules are inconsistent, and that they seem to vary based on what the Brookfield guards feel for the day.
-- Also in NYC, 21 Occupiers had all charges dropped against them, after they strayed from the usual route of agreeing to stay out of trouble for six months. The protesters refused to do so, saying that their charges were bogus, and when police could not remember what they were charged with, prosecutors dropped them. Attorneys for OWS hope this is a trend that will continue, as hundreds of other Occupiers are still facing charges.
-- Occupy Edinburgh is facing eviction today if they do not leave St. Andrew Square voluntarily. They are holding an emergency meeting to discuss further action, as Essential Edinburgh, the management company in charge of the city centre, considers legal moves. Occupy Edinburgh has been at the site since October. Two other Scotland Occupies are facing eviction this week as well, in Bristol and Sheffield.
-- Occupy Tuscon and UNIDOS (an anti-discrimination group) are teaming up tonight to protest the TUSD school board meeting. Last month, a judge ruled that the TUSD was violating an Arizona law with their Mexican-American Studies program, and the State Superintendent agreed, retroactively withholding funds from the TUSD for the time the program was in operation last semester. The law states that school programs cannot favor certain ethnic groups. (This is stupid. "No, you can't learn about Mexican-Americans, because apparently they don't exist in Arizona.." Wtf?!)
-- Occupy UC Davis has tents up again, and they are hoping to avoid any clashes with police. The last one still has 3 ongoing investigations. Five tents were up as of this morning, and Occupiers are expecting many more. The protesters are still asking for the resignation of the Chancellor, as well as the reform of Campus Police and no more tuition hikes.
-- Several Corporate Media outlets are discussing the apparent rat population explosion at Occupy DC. They say that health inspectors called out the camp for unsanitary conditions, and that rats have been seen running in the open at both camps. The Dept of Health will be giving their recommendations to the National Park Service after a citywide review.
-- Occupy Pittsburgh is in court today, fighting BNY Mellon on their attempted eviction. The bank owns the park that the Occupiers have been in since October, and they are saying that they usually close the park for winter, and that they did not give Occupiers permission to stay.
-- Occupy Chapel Hill protested yesterday, as the city's Town Manager gave his official endorsement to the violent actions of police during a raid. The raid in question also caused the arrest of two journalists who were attempting to document the events, but the Town Manager said he did not condone their arrests. Police had assault rifles and full riot gear, and critics have called the raid "heavy-handed." The Town Manager said that they did the best with the info they had, and that no one was injured in the raid. Occupiers say there is no excuse for police violence.
-- Here's an interesting article concerning how police tactics are changing due explicitly to the Occupy Movement. It's an interesting read, based on how police are using mutual aid by possibly training officers in a similar manner to their counterparts.
(Let's just hope no one trains like Alameda County. I've seen those guys in action. I think some of their officers could have "brutality" as their middle name. But that's just what I've seen....)
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