I had an interesting discussion yesterday. I somehow got dragged into a conversation on religion, and I had a man tell me that being gay or gender-queer is a result of giving up on higher goals and not wanting to set the bar higher for yourself. I've heard a ton of arguments about these things, some of which I can respect and some of which I find stupid, but that one really took the cake. Really? I don't even know what to say to that. Apparently finding Jesus is all gays or gender-queer individuals need to become straight and live their lives to their full potential. Wow. I felt like I was listening to an infomercial for those ex-gay camps... You know... The ones that don't work?
Anyway, on to the news:
-- Rick Santorum is topping the news again for his amazing ability to be so backwards it's almost funny. After three Occupiers were arrested during his Monday speech in Tacoma, he decided to tell his audience that Occupy represents "True Intolerance." He then used the Prop 8 case in California to "further his point," saying that the court case had painted everyone who disagreed as a hater or bigot, when it was really the Occupiers being irrational and intolerant of other's beliefs. (Oy... There's a reason this guy's last name has a totally new definition.)
-- Anonymous has taken responsibility for the attack on Combined Systems, a Mercer firm whose company has been supplying tear gas canisters to the Egyptian government. New stories have shown the canister, which clearly state "Made in the U.S.A.," being used against protesters. Amnesty International has called on the firm to stop delivery to Egypt, but they didn't move fast enough to quell Anonymous. The hacktivist group took down their website, releasing important documents and private employee information to the public. They've threatened to attack any firm who helps Combined Systems get their system back up.
-- Roughly half of the tents that used to be in the plaza in Nashville are gone, as Occupiers debate what to do if the new law passes. Many have packed up and left, while others say they will be staying no matter what the new law does. Some are discussing keeping a 24 hour vigil in shifts, so there would always be an occupation but no one would be "camping," as that would be banned if the new law passes.
-- Occupy Wall Street took advantage of the romantic holiday yesterday to break up with Bank of America. Protesters wrote cards declaring the break-up in several forms before taking them to the bank. Many of the cards read things like "It's not you, it's me... Just kidding, it is you." and "I'm not falling for 'phase out' again."
-- "Meet me in St. Louis" is taking on a new meaning for Occupiers in the Midwest. A regional conference will be held in the city on March 15th, under the Gateway Arch. Occupy movements from at least 7 states are expected to attend, with some coming from as far away as Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The regional conference will be working on opening discussion between the 13 larger groups and numerous smaller groups in attendance, as well as opening dialogue on how to best hold and participate in events.
-- Occupy Asheville was served with an eviction notice yesterday, declaring that Occupiers must leave by Friday. New restrictions are going into effect as the city council decided to add the parcel of land Occupiers have been staying on to park property, making it illegal to camp overnight and imposing a curfew. In a last ditch effort to appease protesters, the city council declared that they will support an amendment to the Constitution against Corporate Personhood, but many Occupiers say this is not enough.
-- Occupy Newark was evicted early this morning in a swift raid executed by police and firefighters just after midnight. Police told protesters that without a permit, they were breaking curfew. Occupiers left the park area, but jeered at officers as they loaded up belongings into a city truck. No arrests were made.
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