Sunday, February 12, 2012

Updates 2/12/12

Hello everyone.

Looks like I won't be heading out to Berkeley. I've received letters from Indiana Bloomington and Berkeley saying they will not accept me as a graduate student in Sociology. I did receive an acceptance letter from the school I go to now, in Sociology. I'm very excited about that. The Sociology program here is great, and every instructor and grad student I've met thus far is intelligent, friendly, and very helpful. I'm still waiting for 6 more responses from other schools as well, including UMass Amherst, Tulane (love Tulane), Nebraska, 2 from Harvard, and a second app from Indiana Bloomington in Linguistics. We'll see how it goes!

Also, I need to buy a humidifier so I can stop bleeding from the mouth every time I smile. It's unpleasant. (Yes, I'm well hydrated, but it's so dry in here that I have to refill my pets' water bowl every HOUR because it's evaporating so much. Crazy, huh?)

On to the important stuff! :)

-- Two were arrested in an Occupy Oakland march last night. An officer had pulled someone over on suspicion of driving under the influence when a group of Occupiers came over to confront the officer. Other officers approached to make sure the first one was safe, and most of the crowd left. However, one woman kicked an officer, leading to her arrest for battery on a peace officer and obstructing arrest. A man tried to pull her away from police, so he was arrested for attempting to unlawfully intervene. (Please don't kick the police. It doesn't end well. Also, if I am marching with you and see you attempt to kick someone, I'm going to yell at you. If you still kick them, don't expect me to save your ass. Don't kick people. It's not polite.)

-- Occupy Pittsburgh teamed up with the Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Single Payer Healthcare yesterday to protest the lack of available affordable healthcare. The group called out the actions of the two largest health insurance providers in Pittsburgh, UPMC and Highmark. One protester remarked that they were uncomfortable living in a world where people can die simply because they cannot afford health insurance. (I agree.)

-- Occupy Nashville is apparently considering their next steps, as lawmakers push a bill through that would make it illegal to camp on public ground without prior authorization. Protesters are discussing multiple options, like moving to state-owned or private land. Worries are heightened with this new law, as it adds plenty of fines and jail-time to anyone arrested for breaking it.

-- In a fantastic display of power, the Westboro Baptist Church... didn't show up. (Yeah...) The church was set to picket the funeral of two boys whose father had killed them after losing custody. They were apparently picketing to show the state of Washington what they believe happens as a result of being 'gay-lovers.' A radio host offered them an interview if they would leave the family in peace, and they jumped at the chance for publicity. Occupy Seattle and Occupy Tacoma were set to take them on. (WBC does that... If they know they will have lots of opposition, they'll bolt. Or they'll come and try to sue the pants off of everyone.)

(This next one is written from my viewpoint...)

-- Occupiers made quite a few people angry by protesting CPAC, but none so much as Andrew Breitbart. The squawk-box conservative (I refuse to call him a talking head, that's too nice) lost his shit at Occupiers, screaming "BEEEHAAAAAVEE YOURSEEEELVESSS!" repeatedly at Occupiers as they stared at him like the crazy person he is. He then began to scream at them to "Stop raping people," before he went back into the "Behave yourselves" rant. He also called Occupiers "filthy, filthy, filthy, raping freaks." I laughed hysterically at his rant, which was not really a rant, as it was pretty much the same 2 words. Occupiers chanted back at him, "Racist, sexist, anti-gay, right wing bigots, go away." You have got to see this.

-- Also at CPAC, police were apparently at it again with threatening and arresting journalists. While police wrestled with protesters, journalists moved a little closer to try and get shots of the action. Several were shoved back and threatened with arrest if they did not comply. One woman, a CPAC blogger, was arrested for "assault on a police officer," but police would not explain further what had happened.

-- Don't think for a minute that Occupiers are only targeting conservatives. Occupy Denver mustered through the cold yesterday to protest at the annual Jefferson Jackson dinner held by the Colorado Democratic Party. Police presence was high and shuttles were diverted, but no arrests were made.

-- California Democrats also got to hear from several Occupy groups yesterday, as protesters chanted and marched outside the annual California Democrats Convention. Many Occupiers came in on busses to meet with delegates, hold signs, and pass out buttons. They were there for a multitude of reasons, including protests of the NDAA, income inequality, and millions spent on political campaigning. Security personnel watched Occupiers closely, but they eventually marched away without incident.


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