I hate winter.
Here's the news for today:
-- Occupy Auckland's encampments have been reduced from four to one as the Auckland City Council continues their efforts to evict and arrest Occupiers at the parks and plazas. The council will be back in court on February 2nd, once again pushing for the ability to arrest all remaining protesters. Previously, they've confiscated and destroyed the tents and belongings of dozens of Occupiers. The council says the demonstrators are ruining the parks for everyone else, and that $65,000 in damage has been done to the grass and surrounding areas. (If you spend $65,000 on grass, I'm pretty sure I know where some of your financial issues are coming from. Priorities, anyone?)
-- Several Corporate News entities are reporting on "OWS's first Congressional Candidate," 29 year old Nathan Kleinman of Philly. Kleinman has experience in the political realm, and is collecting signatures to run against the Democratic incumbent on an autonomous platform. He says he plans to stay involved with Occupy no matter what happens.
-- Occupy Providence has reached a deal with the city, ending their 24 hour Occupation of Burnside Park. The city has agreed that in exchange for protesters leaving the park at night, a day center will be opened for the homeless population, allowing those without homes a place to go during the cold winter days. While many protesters are happy with the arrangement, others are disappointed in "giving up their one bargaining chip so easily."
-- A Wells Fargo Bank in Utah got quite a wake-up call when Occupy Park City stormed in through the doors on Monday, chanting loudly and dancing. The bank officials called police as soon as protesters entered, leading police to ask them to leave. The Occupiers peacefully complied, with no arrests or citations.
-- The encampment of Occupy Lexington was found empty yesterday, leading to police cleaning up the area with the help of a few Occupiers who stopped by. One person was supposed to be at the Occupation at all times, and it is unclear where the person from this time had gone. The Mayor did not know about the cleanup, and said the city supports the right to protest. Occupiers will be allowed to return at any time, as long as they do not block the sidewalks.
-- Occupy UC Davis has taken over an unused building on campus, moving into the space after a rally yesterday afternoon. Occupiers say the building will be the Center of Operations for the movement, replacing the tents previously used outside. The University is not acting yet, saying they are monitoring the situation with the University's best interests in mind. They have left the utilities for the building on.
-- 3 more Occupiers were arrested for protesting the GAIM hedge fund conference in Boca Raton yesterday, just one day after three others had locked themselves together and laid in the street. Two of the most recent three arrests were for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, while the last protester's charges have not yet been released. The Occupiers called for an end to the investments in private prisons.
-- Lawmakers are saying that Occupiers in DC will soon be facing citations for camping, but no full scale eviction is planned. The Park Service is being forced into compliance with rules stating that people cannot sleep onsite, although they are allowed to be present 24 hours a day. Some of the lawmakers are concerned that the Park Service is "bowing to pressure from the Obama administration by allowing the protesters to remain." (Seems to me they're being forced to bow to your political beliefs instead, huh? Because that's so much better, ya damn hypocrites.)
-- In the State of the Union address last night, President Obama announced a federal investigation on Wall Street. A quote from the speech reads “I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.”
That's all for today.
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