Saturday, March 31, 2012

Updates 3/31/12

Hello everyone.

It's quite difficult to type with a cat on your lap, but I can't make her move. I took her to the vet yesterday and she got her shots, so she doesn't feel well. All she wants to do is curl up on my lap, and I just can't tell her no. Poor baby.

On to the news.

-- Two encampments were cleared out in Kansas City by police yesterday. One was the seven month long Occupy Kansas City site, and the other was a homeless camp. Occupiers were told on Tuesday to leave or they would be forcibly removed, and roughly a half dozen remained on Friday. No arrests were made as the demonstrators packed up their belongings and left. Both groups were offered connections to social services, should they need them.

-- Occupy Maine let officials know the movement hasn't gone away last night, as they held a raucous event outside of the Portland Museum of Art. President Obama was holding a fundraising event at the museum, with prices set at $5000 or more to dine with him. Occupiers passed out free soup to those in attendance of the demonstration, while calling attention to corporate greed, economic inequality, and the influence of money in politics.

-- Occupy Atlanta is working to save a 62 year old woman's home from foreclosure. The woman, Christine Frazer, has lived in the home for 18 years, and shares it with her 85 year old mother, 25 year old daughter, and 2 year old grandchild. Frazer owned two successful businesses with her husband before he passed away in 2002. A series of unfortunate financial difficulties left her unable to pay her mortgage, which is almost $150,000. The home was last appraised at roughly $45,000. Her bank refuses to offer any loan modifications. Demonstrators are occupying her lawn in the hopes that the loan company will offer a renegotiation.

-- A man was found dead in his tent at the Occupy Tallahassee encampment on Thursday, and police do not believe foul play was involved. The man, who will remain confidential until his family is notified, was believed to be insulin-dependent, and did not socialize much with other Occupiers. The man had recently been ill, and it is believed that this may have contributed to his passing.

-- A judge has ruled against the parade permit for Occupy Chicago, concerning the NATO protest. The judge echoed the sentiments of the mayor and Transportation Department in saying that there are too many concerns with an excessive amount of people. The judge has already denied an appeal by Occupiers.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Updates 3/30/12

Hello everyone.

What a month. I've turned in multiple major (hours of work) assignments, got accepted to grad school won a scholarship, received a fellowship, got the blog into the OWSJ, and now I'm sick. And the month isn't even over! Even if I don't make it to school today, I at least have to take my older cat to the vet. It's time for her shots. One thing you'll learn about me: even if I'm broke, my pets will be eating well and seeing the vet as often as they are supposed to. I love my pets. They keep me sane, or in the case of my dog, make me go insane. What dog eats pillow stuffing and aluminum foil? Mine. Mine does. He also walks face first into walls and fire hydrants. There is nothing physically wrong with him. He's just silly and distracted. I call him my "doofy dog." My cats have also recently learned how to say "Mom," which sounds unbelievable, but it's true. I told my wife and she didn't believe me either, until she heard them. If they don't know where we are, they will walk through the apartment yelling "Moom? Mooooooooom? MOM!" I thought it was really cute at first. Then they started waking me up at 4 in the morning by shouting "MOOOM!" in my face. But enough about odd pets.

A note to my good Occupy friends: Shaun, Rob, and Ted. You guys all rock, and I love you to death. You're all in different situations, and I'm hoping they work out well for each and every one of you. You keep my spirits high and make me smile. (Right now, my younger cat is trying to literally steal my coffee... which also makes me laugh. She's trying to drag the cup away from me.)

On to the news.

-- According to the Washington Post, one person was arrested and three tents were removed yesterday from McPherson Square, without any warning to Occupiers. One of the tents was a one-person one, but the others were the Information and Meeting tents. Police who removed the belongings said they were continuing to follow the "standard enforcement" of no-camping regulations. Occupiers said they did not know why the tents were removed, nor were they asked beforehand to remove them.

-- The Occupy Des Moines trespassing trial is getting a little testy, as prosecutors have asked the judge to bar jurors from considering "free speech rights" in the trials. The law in Iowa against trespassing actually states that trespassing is defined as "remaining on property without justification." In previous trials, jurors have considered "without justification" to mean that protesters have the free speech rights to protest their grievances, but the prosecutors are trying to stop this from continuing to happen. (Author's note: What the hell? Iowa's law was obviously written to give some leeway, and now they are trying to make it illegal to even talk about free speech rights?! JURY NULLIFICATION, I SAY!)

-- Occupy Chicago traveled a long way to get to the CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. CEO Craig Donohue was welcomed to Houston by Occupy Chicago, who criticized him for the massive tax breaks his company received after they gave empty threats to the state government. Upon learning that they might not receive as high of tax breaks as they wanted, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange threatened Illinois lawmakers by saying that without them, they would move out of the state.

-- Occupiers were thrown out of a legislative meeting in Idaho by state troopers after they interrupted the meeting. The lawmakers voted on legislature that would close a loophole in Idaho laws, which for now, offer nothing preventing protests. The bill was passed by a wide margin, and will be sent to the Governor shortly for a signature. Many of the Occupiers escorted out of the building were removed because they broke "decorum" by putting on a hat. Headwear is not permitted in the Senate.

(Okay, guys, this is actually REALLY CREEPY... I'll tell you why in a minute.)

-- A quick-thinking Occupier is receiving thanks after he made a split-second decision yesterday morning. Nick Shaw is an Occupier with lightning fast reflexes, and when he saw the man who stabbed Brian "Boston" Reid earlier this week, he jumped at the chance to perform a citizen's arrest with the help of others. "Boston" is still in the hospital as of today, but is relieved that his assailant has been captured.

Okay, so here's why this is creepy. I'll give you a little recap of how this story has been run in my blog for the past week.

1. (3/27) An Occupier in San Francisco, Brian "Boston" Reid, was stabbed last night in an altercation with an aggressive man who claimed he was the group's leader. The man had joined the "re-Occupation" group about a week ago, and was aggressive with Occupiers and outsiders alike. He had recently been claiming to be one of the "Occupy leaders." A dispute over a missing camera led to the argument, and the man stabbed Reid, giving him life-threatening wounds before immediately running away. The latest report indicates that Reid will be okay, and police are searching for the man who stabbed him. He is described as thin, roughly 5'5", with blonde hair and blue eyes. He is suspected to be in his early twenties and was last seen wearing a dark puffy jacket and black framed glasses.

2. (3/28) Just one night after a man claiming to be an Occupy "leader" stabbed another Occupier and fled, another man has been stabbed at the same location. The attacker this time was not an Occupier, but rather a man who approached Occupiers and began to scream about conspiracy theories concerning the World Trade Center and Occupier Nick Shaw. As one protester known as "Jimbo" began to shoo him away, the assailant turned and stabbed him in the neck. Jimbo was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

Yeah. Do you see it? The second stabbing.. The man was yelling randomly about Nick Shaw. Then Nick Shaw ends up being the man who arrests the first assailant? I don't know about you, but that is a little unusual in my opinion.


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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Updates 3/29/12

Hello everyone.

I have a bit of my own exciting news for everyone. This news blog has been picked up by The Occupied Wall Street Journal! Yay us! :) It will be appearing in their weekly news round-up.

As for real news, we have plenty of courtroom drama going on!

-- Occupy Rochester has lost their case against the city. Yesterday, the judge presiding over the case ruled that the city has no obligation to renew their contract with Occupiers, which will now allow the city to order them out of the park. The Mayor, Thomas Richards, told the media he expects Occupiers to be out by Friday. The group will be holding a General Assembly today after meeting with the city, in order to discuss future options. One such option could be to file an appeal.

-- Occupy Columbia is facing off with legislature again as South Carolina lawmakers are quickly pushing a bill through the House. The bill passed with an 85-22 vote yesterday, and if signed, would make it illegal to camp or sleep in or around the state capitol. The lawmakers will vote again today to rush it to the Governor's office, after she asked them to quickly get it to her.

-- A federal judge is hearing both sides of arguments when it comes to Occupy New Haven. Occupiers are arguing that the Green they stay on is privately owned, and that the city has no right to force their eviction. The city claims that Occupiers do not recognize that the Green is public land, maintained by the city. The judge has said a ruling will be issued on April 9.

-- An offshoot of OWS in New York called the "Rank and File Initiative" is taking credit for free subway rides. The group had dozens of people head into the train stations and lock open service gates, adding signs proclaiming that there was no fare to ride on that day. The group credits unnamed union members for helping them complete the task, although the leaders of the union were not notified. The group has many reasons for their actions, including the poor treatment of subway employees, racial profiling of riders by police, the funneling of money into Wall Street instead of the transportation systems, and the reduced services that come with rising costs.

Here's two links that aren't directly related to the Occupy Movement, but are important to know.

-- The Asian Human Rights Commission has released some appeals concerning human rights issues in South Korea. Two people who participated in, or started, demonstrations have had their rights suppressed by the government, and the Commission is asking for support to help. You can read their stories and send them support here:

-- While Occupy fights the insane foreclosure movements sweeping America, many citizens are losing the fight and taking it out on... Themselves. This article details a large amount of suicides and suicide attempts that have stemmed from foreclosures and evictions. It's really sad.


To contact me, please email me at Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updates 3/28/12

Hello everyone.

I've been up for a while, and I've been reading some articles that pain me. My hands are actually shaking. I'll explain more about myself and why I'm so upset after the news.

-- The Occupy Festival set to go on in Chicago just before the NATO summit has been postponed to a yet to be determined date. The festival was planned to be musically oriented, with dozens of bands and musical groups, but none were scheduled at the time of postponement. Occupiers working on the festival say that several changes will be made, including a name change, lowering of ticket prices, and proceeds should be a 100% return to the movement.

-- Also in Chicago, anti-war protesters have stepped out to warn the city not to repeat the events of the 1968 Democratic Convention protests. Currently, it seems as if the past is repeating itself, as the current mayor is denying permits in the same fashion as the mayor in 1968. The confrontations of the Convention became violent clashes between police and protesters, and Chicago has yet to pull itself from the rubble of a bad reputation stemming from the bursts of violence. The 1968 mayor tried to drive the anti-Vietnam War protesters out, and many Occupiers and activists believe that the current mayor obviously did not learn from his mistakes.

-- Just one night after a man claiming to be an Occupy "leader" stabbed another Occupier and fled, another man has been stabbed at the same location. The attacker this time was not an Occupier, but rather a man who approached Occupiers and began to scream about conspiracy theories concerning the World Trade Center and Occupier Nick Shaw. As one protester known as "Jimbo" began to shoo him away, the assailant turned and stabbed him in the neck. Jimbo was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

-- An OWS Occupier is wanted for murder after a fight led to a man being killed by a subway train. The homeless man, Ryan Beauchamp, got into an altercation on a train with a Psychology student from LaGuardia Community College, Joshua Basin. After they both exited the train, the fight turned physical, with both men falling onto the tracks. Beauchamp was able to climb back up onto the platform, but Basin was struck and killed by an oncoming train. Beauchamp had a previous arrest stemming from an Occupy protest, which led police to identify him. Police are looking for tips to the whereabouts of 33 year old Beauchamp.

Here is a great article from Salon about the Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin, and how Occupy is involved. It's a really insightful read, and it makes a lot of sense.

WARNING: Opinion piece ahead. My insights, my problems, my words. Take them as you will.

So I said I would give you a little more insight on me, as well as an explanation as to why I'm upset. So here you go:

I know most of you reading this have read my other posts, with plenty of rants included. I've told you why I Occupy (If you haven't seen that one, look for the 99th post.) I don't think I've given you too much insight into my actual personality though.

I suffer from a disease called Borderline Personality Disorder. It's a disorder that affects everyone differently, to a point. Before I was diagnosed, I became extremely anti-social and deeply logical. I'm kind of like Spock, except I feel empathy and anger (which isn't like Spock at all, but just keep listening.) I have a very small filter between my brain and my mouth, which tends to mean I'm blatantly honest to a fault. (It's also why I curse a lot, regardless of my ability to be a very "wordy" person.) I can control it sometimes, but not always. I'm medicated, but that simply stops the panic attacks and makes it easier for me to get along in public settings. It does not help with the extreme logic, and I'm not entirely sure I would want it to. With that logic comes confusion. When I get confused about other people's lack of logic, I get upset because I do not know how to handle them. What do you say to a person who is behaving illogically? I don't know, and that can actually push me into a panic. I see things very differently from most people. I have learned that Blacks, Whites, Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, and most other ancestries (We don't use the term race in Forensics; it's a socially constructed thing and we work in science) have physical differences in their bone structures. This is not due to genetics, but rather evolution. There is nothing genetically different about any of us.

That's logical to me. The color of your skin is merely a descriptive feature. I'm not afraid of Black people. I'm not afraid of Hispanics. I know a lot of people are, and I can't make sense of it. People will say "That's how I was raised," and I look at them like they grew another head. You can't think for yourself yet? You still carry around your parent's prejudice because you don't want to upset them? What's a good reason for carrying around an obviously incorrect belief? I also can't stand the "It's a stereotype, and they're usually not wrong. *insert race here* does *insert negative action here* and that's just that." Umm.... You just even called it a stereotype yourself, which means it isn't accurate. If you don't understand the definition of stereotype, you really need to stop using it until you look it up.

So for me, the Trayvon Martin case is a big deal for several reasons.

- You would have to be deaf not to hear the racial slur that Zimmerman says on the tape. But some people say they just hear static. You know why? Because they are so biased against hearing it that they block it out of their minds! They CHOOSE not to hear it. That's illogical and upsetting to me.

- Many people believe that since Zimmerman is of Hispanic ancestry, that he couldn't possibly be racist against Blacks. He's a minority too! Just because someone is a minority doesn't mean they can't hate other minority groups. Some people even hate their own! It's sad to see, and very illogical, but it happens.

- Some people say that Whites have no right to be upset about this. I'm White, and I'm damned upset. And I have a right to be! We ALL, regardless of our "race" or ethnicity, have every right to be upset about the injustices we see. I also firmly believe it to be our duty to not only be offended by them, but also to speak up to stop them. The fact that many of us would rather bury our heads in the sand and ignore it simply because we don't belong to that group is not only illogical, but offensive to the human race as a whole.

- The smear campaign going on against Trayvon Martin is ridiculous, and has only been set in motion to protect Zimmerman, who is the son of a retired judge and court clerk. Painting Martin as the bad guy makes people feel like they don't have to speak up. If Martin had been carrying a bottle of whiskey or a baggie of marijuana, this would never have made the news. It would have been simply another "White" guy taking out a "Bad Black guy." And no one would care. That's illogical... and fucked up. Think about it. We don't care if a Black man, or any other minority for that matter, is KILLED, as long as he was doing something considered criminal or even just deviant. What the hell is wrong with us?

So yeah, I'm a "White" 26 year old female who is talking about racial inequality. There are all kinds of inequalities in this world, be it racial, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, religious, or any of the many, many other kinds. It's illogical. It's illogical that once people find out I'm of Romani (gypsy) descent, I am treated differently. It's illogical that if my skin were 4 shades darker, I would be treated as a criminal, even if I acted the same way I do now. It's illogical that we, as humans, believe that a few millimeters of skin can make the difference.

I heard a woman say something as I watched videos last night, and it resonated very strongly with me.

"If you cut me, I will bleed red. If you cut her, she will bleed red. And all tears are salty."

Solidarity to all, regardless of what you look like, believe in, who you love, where you are from, or what you do. We are all human, and should be treated as such.

Have a good day.

-- Kitty. -- should you need me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Updates 3/27/12

Hello everyone.

I lost my battle with financial aid. They told me they "couldn't imagine anyone telling me" that I would actually be receiving my funding. So basically they called me a liar and refused to help me. Don't you just love how helpful everyone is when you can't afford to fight them? I did leave a letter with the Chancellor's office, detailing many of the problems found with the department. I'd be willing to bet they laugh at it.

On to the news.

-- An Occupier in San Francisco, Brian "Boston" Reid, was stabbed last night in an altercation with an aggressive man who claimed he was the group's leader. The man had joined the "re-Occupation" group about a week ago, and was aggressive with Occupiers and outsiders alike. He had recently been claiming to be one of the "Occupy leaders." A dispute over a missing camera led to the argument, and the man stabbed Reid, giving him life-threatening wounds before immediately running away. The latest report indicates that Reid will be okay, and police are searching for the man who stabbed him. He is described as thin, roughly 5'5", with blonde hair and blue eyes. He is suspected to be in his early twenties and was last seen wearing a dark puffy jacket and black framed glasses.

-- Mitt Romney's fundraising event in Redwood City was not as quiet as he had hoped yesterday, as Occupiers from multiple cities lines the streets for hours. The protesters chanted loudly, and many of them dressed up as the rich and staged a mock counter protest against the other Occupiers. Cars were forced to enter and exit from other locations as the demonstrators marched back and forth in front of the hotel. Santorum is set to arrive in the area Thursday as well, with his fundraiser being held at a private residence.

-- Occupy London is joining forces with several environmental and public groups to fight against a controversial bargain between the Waltham Forest Council and the Olympic Delivery Authority. The Leyton Marshes are set to have an Olympics training center built on them, preventing the public from using the green area until after the summer. Several petitions had circulated to stop the Council from going through with it, but they did anyway. Now Occupiers have set up camp on the site, preventing building from occurring. Many of the townspeople and other demonstrators visit daily in support.

-- Idaho lawmakers are fighting with Occupiers again, this time passing a bill that makes rule-breaking into legal infractions at the Capitol Mall where the Occupy Encampment is located. Several people spoke out against the new bill, including the former grounds manager for the Capitol Mall. While the minority Democrats voted no, the Republicans were able to pass it. Occupiers were escorted out of the proceedings after they interrupted, asking those in attendance to join them later for the eviction of the corrupt members of legislature.

-- The National Lawyers Guild, along with several other groups, is releasing documents that they say show that the Department of Homeland Security had a strong hand in the coordinated crackdown on Occupy groups nationwide. While many of the pages are redacted, there is still plenty of info available. You can check it out here:


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Updates 3/26/12

Hello everyone.

The news is fairly quiet today.

I'm feeling fairly skittish myself, as I am going in to school this morning with the intent to fight back against the Financial Aid Department. You see, I was given a scholarship this semester, and I wanted to make sure that this money would be refunded to me so I could pay my rent and other bills and buy some groceries (also to pay off the quite large amount I have owed on my Bursar account, which I MUST pay before I will be awarded my degree.) As all of you are aware by now, I'm not exactly well off, and I could really use this. I asked the scholarship department, and they told me that since this was an outside scholarship (not provided by the school), I would definitely get it refunded to me. Not convinced, I called the Financial Aid Department themselves, and was told the same thing. Relieved, I began to watch for the scholarship to hit my Bursar account. Instead, I was shocked to see that instead of refunding it to me, they charged the entire $1000 to my loans, meaning I will get nothing back. It won't even pay off my balance. I am so angry about this, because it means I was lied to at least 3 times by two different people, and because it means I have to continue to struggle. I'm even considering finding a job, which I know is absolutely impossible for someone taking as many classes as I am... but what can I do? My mom can only help me so much, she's not exactly well off herself, and the governor of Illinois is trying really hard to cancel out her job. I'm stuck, and I'm really angry. I've had to go into Financial Aid and fight with them over things like this every single semester. It's always a mistake on their part, or someone told me that something would go a certain way and it doesn't. Last summer I had to withdraw from a class because I couldn't afford to take it, and they accidentally withdrew me from the entire University without telling me. I had to go down to Admissions and have them put me back in. I've had to deal with so many issues from that one incident. So I'm quite nervous, because I know they're going to say what they always say: "Oh, I'm sorry, I don't know why someone would have told you that, but that's not how it works. Nothing we can do." And then I'm going to explode so loudly that people in Tacoma will hear me. Wish me luck.. Dealing with incompetency isn't exactly my strong suit.

Anyway, we're going to do a link day today, mostly because I'm strapped for time and so upset I can't even think straight.

-- A new witness has come forward in the Trayvon Martin case. The young woman says she and her young friend ran outside after the gunshot sounded to see what was going on, and were shocked to see Zimmerman holding the young man face down on the ground after he had been shot. This is contradicting what Zimmerman's close friend says of Zimmerman's character. The federal government may also be investigating the Sanford Police Dept., to see if any evidence has been destroyed or withheld. Tons of images and a few videos accompany the full story at this link:

(While some people may not believe the Trayvon Martin story is Occupy News, I must disagree. If we fight for equality, we fight for ALL equality. Not just what is important to you or your background. Class inequalities are inextricably linked to race and gender inequalities. If you don't believe that, you need to take a sociology course, or read a book on it.)

-- A short story without a link -- Occupy Portland (OR) marched yesterday to protest the city's camping ban, saying it's not just against Occupiers. The group rallied in support of the homeless population, many of whom joined the walk. Police were nearby in case things got out of hand, but regardless of a few incidents with traffic, did not step in.

-- Occupy Atlanta may have ended their stand-off with AT&T, but not without a victory. The group learned that the giant corporation will not be laying off the 250 workers that it originally planned to. This blog gives a more detailed account of the events:

-- White Pride rallies in Edmonton and London were (in one case, literally) chased off by Occupiers and other anti-bigotry groups this past weekend. Police watched as the Occupiers and protesters chased the white-pride rally attendees through the city, but did not step in until a scuffle erupted.


To contact me for any reason, please email Thanks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updates 3/25/12

Hello everyone.

My goodness, I am so late this morning! My apologies.. I forgot to set an alarm.

On to the news:

-- Thousands of people across the country are marching for justice for Trayvon Martin, many of whom are wearing dark hoodies and carrying bags of Skittles in solidarity with the young man. Protests have sprung up from Portland (OR) to Portland (Maine), Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and everywhere in between. Some people are confused about the outrage from Black churches but not White ones, as I've seen in several articles lately. I'll discuss this more below.

-- Police arrested several Occupiers during a march in NYC yesterday, but official numbers have not yet been released. Occupiers are demanding the immediate resignation of NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. At least one journalist had a plainclothes officer attempt to block them from filming an arrest. The march was a strong reminder that police tactics are rapidly delving into excessive force. Many protesting wore mock-ups of police uniforms and decorated their bicycles to look like police scooters. Police escorted the march on its entire path. The rally was billed an anti-police brutality march, but many could be heard chanting "Justice for Trayvon" along the way.

-- Now for some positive news! Occupy DC held an unusual General Assembly yesterday, with something new on the agenda. A couple, identified by their Twitter handles as Pocahontas and Hunter, put their wedding nuptials up for a vote from fellow Occupiers. The pair doesn't recognize the government's ability to recognize their marriage, and instead opted for fellow protesters to decide. After a bit of joking and laughter, the large group voted to approve the marriage. Congrats to the happy couple!

I have some video and pictures for you, provided by Gaia8. This media shows the recent protests for Trayvon Martin in Chicago. Gaia8 also plans to document the Chicago Spring, and I hope she will be willing to share that with us as well.


Flickr images-

THIS IS MY OPINION SECTION. Just a warning that you may not agree with me. That's fine.

So now I'm going to discuss Trayvon Martin a bit with you. I know this is a bit overdue, but I have some insight to share, and hopefully you will understand where I'm coming from. First, I'm going to link an article to you. This actually offers a video of CNN reporters playing the 911 call that Zimmerman (the night watchman) placed to police before he fatally shot Trayvon Martin. If you scroll down past the video, you'll come across the actual recording of the full 911 call.

I'm well aware that the video and article claim that Zimmerman uttered a racial slur, and I'll talk more about that in a minute. But first I'm going to point something else out.

So here's the story. Apparently there had been some recent break-ins in the gated community where this all happened. Mr. Zimmerman saw Mr. Martin walking in a dark hoodie and carrying something, and grew suspicious. He even says that he thinks Mr. Martin may be drunk or on something in the recording. Mr. Zimmerman proceeded to follow Mr. Martin, who was on the phone with his girlfriend, telling her someone was following him, and it scared him. At one point, Mr. Martin runs from Mr. Zimmerman. From then on, the story is only told by Mr. Zimmerman, because Mr. Martin was fatally shot by him. Mr. Zimmerman claims that he shot Mr. Martin in self-defense, and according to Florida laws, that's okay. However, the story goes a bit deeper than that.

In the call itself, you can hear that Zimmerman is slightly out of breath. You get this conversation between Zimmerman and the operator:

Operator: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yes.

Operator: Okay, we don't need you to do that.

So first off, you have the 911 operator actually tell him NOT to follow Martin. That's like Rule #1 of a "suspicious character." You don't know what a person is actually doing, who they are, what they may have... Police will always tell you NOT to follow the person, for your own safety. But Zimmerman disregarded the operator's instructions, and did it anyway. It's not illegal to disobey a 911 operator in Florida, but it does raise some questions on the character of Zimmerman. He obviously did not want to wait for police to arrive to do their job, so he went to do it for them.

Next we have the issue of a racial slur. To be completely honest with you, Yes. It is there. I heard it. As a linguist, I have access to transcription tools that most of the public doesn't. I'm going to get technical here for a second, so bear with me. I will explain.

In terms of legalities, when a person utters a racial slur just before killing someone, it becomes a hate crime, which is federal jurisdiction. That means that the local and even state police forces no longer have any authority in the case, and all authority goes to federal investigators. This is important, as in this case, the local authorities refused to arrest Zimmerman due to his claim of self-defense.

Some people claim to have heard it. Others say they don't hear anything of the sort. I have a program on my computer called Speech Analyzer. It allows me to input recorded data and look at the waveforms and spectrograms associated with the patterns of speech. What this means is that I can tell you what kind of sound is being uttered. In this case, I can definitely see the frication of the [f] in the first word, followed by a "pop" from the stop in the second part. I can also view the vowels, and listen to the sounds piece by piece. Which means the first word, in my experienced opinion, is "fucking." The second word is a bit more difficult, because Zimmerman is whispering, which tends to irritate my tools. There is still a clearly visible "pop" at the beginning, which means it is a stop. Stops are letters like p, t, and k. There is also a clearly visible and audible u, n, and s. U is the letter we use for the sound "oo" like in "cool." So that means the word is either "poons," "toons," or "coons."

Now, since my equipment tends to be faulty when it comes to whispering, I took to a different technique. Listening closely to whispered stops, they each have something a little different. P tends to just pop and move to the next sound, T tends to come out more like an S, and K has what I call a "scratchy" consistency. In Zimmerman's speech, he is breathing heavy, but I still firmly believe he is issuing a K.

I would be willing to testify in a court of law that Zimmerman utters the words "Fucking Coons," right before he shoots Martin. That's how confident I am in that assessment. I also believe that Zimmerman utters another racist phrase before he ever says the obvious racial slur. 22 seconds after Zimmerman remarks "Yeah, he's a Black male," he says "These assholes always get away." I don't know about you, but I firmly believe that in the context of the situation, he was talking about Black people.

So that's it. That's my assessment. In my opinion, Zimmerman committed a racially motivated murder and should be tried by the federal government as such.


To those article writers out there that are having bitchfits about "Occupy Wall Street is trying to steal the Trayvon Martin movement to give them leverage," please feel free to shut the fuck up. We have just as much right as any other protesters to be damned outraged at this, and you look like you are talking out of your ass. If you aren't outraged about it, you need to go back to the 1950s when shit like this was ignored. Because it isn't ignored now, and it won't be.

Fuck off,


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Updates 3/24/12

Hello everyone.

It's the weekend, and I have way too much to do. (Don't we all?) I received a fantastic email yesterday from a reader. It really was a touching letter, and I feel re-energized. Of course I'm still quite nervous about all that is going on, like paying rent and finding work over the summer, but I really feel as though I have all my readers behind me cheering me on. That is an amazing thought; one that drives me to keep going and not give in. You are all amazing people, and we are pushing to change the world for the better. I'm proud to be graduating in May as a Linguist, but I'm also proud to be moving to Sociology in the Fall. My main focus is deviance and crime, as I want to continue working with criminal behavior analysis, but I'm also interested in gender, racial, and class inequalities, as well as social movements. I think they are all important and work together to form the society we have today. From all the letters I've received from my readers, there are three that stand out in my mind the most. One man writes me almost regularly to offer encouragement and ideas, which I wholly appreciate and enjoy reading. One is a woman up north who wrote me several times to wish me good health and tell her story, which reminded me why we are all doing this. One was the letter I received yesterday, which was a heartfelt push that let me know that even though my visitor numbers may be low, I have more people reading this and relying on me than I know. All I can say to this...

Thank you for being there.

I also want to thank my wife for standing behind me as I write this. Not literally, of course. Every day she reads my blog and talks to me about what I've written. She's proudly told fellow classmates that I am the person writing it. She's going to read this later today, and I want her to know how much I appreciate it. Even from the start, when I wasn't sure if anyone would ever read my news, she stood behind me saying, "People need this. They will appreciate it. Keep going; you can do it."

This isn't a goodbye email. I'm not quitting this blog, and I won't until I'm forced to for some reason, or it's no longer needed. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have an enormous amount of respect for all of you. Every single person. This movement is a strong one, and we need strong people in it. We have each other to depend on, and that makes each of us stronger. I also wanted to let you know that the email I list at the end of this blog is indeed my personal email, and that I am more than willing to actually converse with you through it. If you would like to tell your story, I want to hear it. If you are having difficulties, and would like the advice of the crazy kitty lady, please share. If you just want someone to listen without advice or passing judgment, I will gladly listen. I'm here for you just as much as you are here for me.

I suppose I should get to the news, huh?

-- Occupy Town Square in Brooklyn, NY, is holding a rally this Sunday, and some are worried. The rally will be held at Fort Greene Park, and the group has not, and does not intend to, file for a permit for the gathering. The event will have a concert, teach-in, and cookout. Occupy Town Square said that filing for a permit is the normal course of action, but that is only when permits are handed out fairly. They say the NYPD has turned any Occupy event into an ordeal, even making some parks off limits to protest events. The group has said they will follow the rules from the permits, even if they do not have one. The NYPD has not responded to any questions concerning the rally, which makes some people nervous about their planned actions. One of the main points of discussion will be the financial problems in the area, especially concerning the recent bankruptcy and possible merger of a local hospital.

-- Occupy Des Moines was out last night, protesting the current education reform bill, as well as other education related issues. Echoing previous sentiments, the Occupiers decried educational cuts, saying that "schools build strong democracies." While this may seem like an odd thing to say, it is not so unusual when you look at what the reform bill looks to do. One of the provisions in the bill allows state funding to be directed towards online education provided by private, for-profit, online academies. Roughly 900 students would be enrolled in the online schools. The money for the online programming takes away from public school funding, said the mix of parents, teachers, and activists in the audience. There were other items concerning education discussed, such as the cut to public universities and programs, and the closure of the Malcolm Price Lab School.

-- Occupy Oakland has packed up their tents from the new park, after police warned that citations would be given should they stay past the park's closure time. Many of the Occupiers remained in the park throughout the day, but closed up shop when the 10 p.m. curfew arrived. The Occupiers changed the park's name from Mosswood Park to the Huey P. Newton Park, after the late Black Panther leader. They were protesting the recent OWS arrests, as well as the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. While Occupiers did comply with police, they said they intended to return to the park this weekend.

-- A man seen dumping a mixture of human bodily waste on a Chase ATM has been apprehended, thanks to a witness who jotted down the license plate of the vehicle. The Pennsylvania man also dumped the mixture down the stairs at a different Chase location. OWS has mixed views on the actions of the man, but most are condemning his actions. Most say that the man acted of his own accord, without notifying OWS of his intentions. While the man was out on bail, he was arrested again after his wife brought a knife to a courthouse, and he jumped into the fray to stop them from apprehending her. Some Occupiers believe that the man is attempting to sully OWS's reputation. Very few agree with what he has done, with most saying he should have thought about who would have to clean it up. (In other words, it's obviously not the 1% who is out there scrubbing the waste.)


To contact me for any reason, please email me at Thanks again.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Updates 3/23/12

Hello everyone.

It feels like I've been writing this news blog forever. It's only been going since October 29th, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. Every morning, coffee, cigarette, blog. Feed the cats, feed the dog, walk the dog. Go to school. I wonder how long this all will continue, sometimes. Just a simple bit of a morning rush, but it means so much more than that. I hope I am helping those who need it. I hope to help more in the future.

On to the news:

-- Occupy Oakland is responding to mass arrests and evictions of other movements by setting up a new encampment. The new Occupation is set up in Mosswood Park, about a mile and a half north of the Frank Ogawa plaza. Occupiers pitched tents and were visited by police, but have not yet been asked to leave. The group says this is a temporary encampment, which will hopefully last until the group attempts to retake the plaza on May Day. "This is the start of the Spring Offensive."

Okay, I'm going to move to giving links and descriptions, because I have something else important to talk about afterward.

-- Occupy DC is working on setting up an important conference, titled "Control the Corporations." The conference is nation-wide, and is open to activists of all kinds. There will be multiple speakers and rallies, and attendance is expected to be quite large. Times, dates, and other details are located in the link.

-- The Huffington Post has an article detailing police (NYPD) infiltration of liberal groups, with special attention paid to groups who oppose U.S. immigration policies, labor laws, and racial profiling. It also discusses the infiltration of religious groups.

-- The Department of Homeland Security is apparently confused about their own involvement with the Occupy movement, according to documents obtained by TruthOut. Parts of the redacted documents are available in the link, showing conflicting accounts of monitoring and guidelines.

-- Occupy Raleigh has released a survey taken at a General Assembly, showing the demographics of the movement. The results may stun those who are opposed to the movement, and those who like to yell "Get a job" at Occupiers. According to the survey, Occupiers are typically more educated than the general public, and over half have full time jobs. For exact numbers and more detail, click the link.

So, here is what I wanted to talk to you about. I think it is very important for people to be well-informed about the law, especially in the case that a person serves on a jury. With many Occupiers heading to jury trials to support their beliefs, understanding the rights a jury has can be an important piece of the puzzle. What I'm going to tell you about is something a judge won't. Sometimes, even mentioning it in court can cause a judge to become upset with whoever mentions it, as was the case earlier this week, when a spectator at a jury trial in Augusta was ejected from the courtroom after holding up a sign with the words "Jury Nullification" written on it, and the prosecutors actually filed for a mistrial because of it. (It was denied.)

For those of you who do not know what jury nullification is, it is the de facto right of a jury to declare that while a person may be guilty, they deserve no punishment. It is a ruling the jury is allowed to make. The fact that judges will not tell a jury of this right annoys me, but I am not in law, so there isn't much I can do about that. The fact is, jury nullification is a way for a jury to basically say that while a person did break the law, they do not agree with the law, and therefore deny punishment. It is its own form of protest, and jury members everywhere need to be aware of such a rule.

If you know someone who is likely sympathetic to the movement, or even someone who disagrees with the movement but respects the protests, it is time to let them know about this important feature of jury trials. I'm going to pass you another link here, to the Wiki page for jury nullification. It will let you find more accurate information on the use of jury nullification, and give you an informed view of juror rights.


To contact me for any reason, please email me at Thanks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Updates 3/22/12

Hello everyone.

I would like to thank all of you for the encouragement you gave me when I was worried about funding for Grad School. I received a phone call yesterday letting me know that I have been chosen for a fellowship, which will fund me for up to two years. I am so thrilled to be a recipient of this fellowship, and no longer have to panic over if I can actually attend. What an amazing turn of events. :)

On to the news:

-- Thousands of Occupiers across the country joined up with other protesters in the Million Hoodie March in support of Trayvon Martin and his family. Trayvon was 17 years old when he was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain last month in Florida. He had bought some candy and other groceries at a local convenience store, and was headed back home when he was shot. Trayvon was not armed, yet the neighborhood watch captain says he shot the young man in self-defense. He has not been arrested, and city commissioners have cast a no confidence vote against the police chief in charge of the case. Protesters rallied in many cities, including NYC, Buffalo, and Miami to show their support for the family and demand the arrest of the offending shooter.

-- Occupiers in Denver were surprised with an eviction and fence erection early Wednesday morning, as the city prepares to fix up the park for spring. Many of the Occupiers present say there was no warning before they were asked to vacate the premises, and a huge fence was erected not long after. The city says they are upgrading the area, adding better water irrigation systems, and that their work should completed by the end of April.

-- UC Davis may be breaking the law in their refusal to release documents concerning the pepper spray event. A judge ruled earlier this week that all but a few sections could be released, but when the Daily Democrat newspaper used the California Public Records Act to request a copy, UC lawyers refused. They said the report no longer reflects the final findings due to alterations, and the committee wishes to discuss it further before releasing it. Both reasons were strongly criticized. The attorney for the police union is confused at the University's refusal as well, seeing that the University was the one challenging him in court to release the documents.

-- Occupiers are joining up with several other groups to call on the United Nations, asking them to investigate the tortuous housing conditions found at many California prisons. They are asking that the Red Cross also be allowed into the prisons. The groups want special investigation into "segregated housing," which allows prison officials to put prisoners in solitary confinement for years based on gang membership, even if the prisoner has never been tried for, or convicted of, such a "crime." The hierarchy system found in prisons can make it very dangerous for a prisoner to get out of solitary confinement, because the only methods to do so involve snitching on other gang members, or informing prison officials that they have dropped out of the gang, which is dangerous in itself. If they do neither of these things, they can be held in solitary for up to six years.

-- Here is an interesting article concerning the role played by the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to Occupy groups. It's rather intriguing to see this branch of the government attempting to distance itself from the NYPD and their tactics.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Updates 3/21/12

Hello everyone.

Here's the news.

-- Two New York City Councilmen are standing up against what they call "official violence against peaceful protesters." Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez attended a rally with Occupiers, denouncing the excessive force used at Zucotti Park. Rodriguez and Williams, as well as three other council members, urged Mayor Bloomberg to use restraint when dealing with protesters. The Mayor is not heeding the call, instead giving a press conference in which he declared to Occupiers, "You want to get arrested, we'll accommodate you, you know, but if you want to express yourself, that's not the best way to express yourself." Rodriguez has introduced legislature concerning a "Protester's Bill of Rights," meant to protect protesters from excessive force.

-- Speaking of New York, police swept Union Square last night, arresting one protester and removing the rest. They cited a rule that the park is to be closed during midnight hours, which many claimed was the first time the rule was actually enforced in over 15 years, not even in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. One woman went into labor behind the police line, and protesters had to beg for her to be allowed to deliver. An ambulance took her to the hospital.

-- In Washington D.C., 600 people joined in a silent march against anti-gay crimes, with the quiet only occasionally broken by Occupier's calls of solidarity. The walk passed by many locations at which violence against LGBT residents has occurred, including descriptions of a recent late night shooting, vicious beating crimes, and how few of the perpetrators have actually been arrested. The March was meant to display to others that the community will not long stand for the injustice and intolerance.

-- A California judge has implemented the "stay away" rule on 8 people involved in the Occupy UC Berkeley protests last fall. The 8 are all students, faculty, alumni, and community members, who are now to stay at least 100 yards away from UC Berkeley property unless they are going to a class or work there. At other times, they must vacate the premises or be arrested. The protesters had been charged with misdemeanors, resisting arrest and blocking the sidewalk.

-- The NATO protest in Chicago is expected to be one of the largest in Occupy history, but the city is throwing up plenty of red tape to fight it. The city approved a parade on the day of the G8 summit, which has since ran off to Camp David, but has denied a request to change it to the next day, when the NATO protest will be ongoing. Occupy Chicago responded to the denial on their Twitter, with a simple post reading "Think it will stop us? ;)".


To contact me for any reason, please email me at To those that do email, and you know who you are, I greatly appreciate your encouragement and kind words. To all my readers, thank you. If I didn't have you, I wouldn't even have a reason to write. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Updates 3/20/12

Hello everyone.

Google says it is the first day of Spring. It's been roughly 80 degrees here every day for the past week. Ha. I need to find a good local gardener that sells those anti-mosquito plant things. They're going to be pretty bad since we had no real freeze to bring down the population. I'm sure you all wanted to hear about that. It's just funny to me that my 150th post is on the first day of Spring.

Now before we get to the news, I have a bit of a personal plea for you. I've told you all multiple times now that I'm a college student, but I don't know if I've told you that I'm a McNair Scholar. The McNair Scholar's program is a wonderful thing for students like me. It's a program meant to help hard-working, low-income and minority students through college. I'm very much on the low-income side of life, and this program helped me so much. They paid me over the summer to do my own quality research with the help of a mentor, and I won the Symposium where I presented it. They helped me search for graduate schools to apply for, and got me fee waivers so I actually could apply. The paid for half the cost of my GRE, which is the super-expensive test required for many graduate programs.

Now that I've given you a bit of background information, I'll tell you why I need.. No. Why WE need your help. The McNair Scholar's Program currently has 200 colleges where they help these deserving students, but there is a problem. The Department of Education is cutting the budget for McNair so immensely that they will be shutting down 75 programs. They are going to leave 75 colleges with no program meant to help students like me. I can't sit idly by and watch them do this. McNair helped shape me, academically and personally, and I know that it does the same for many others. So what I'm asking of you is simple. Would you please sign the petition against the removal of these programs? I would be forever grateful.

On to the news.

-- Occupy Wall Street, among dozens of other movements, is calling for a strike on May 1. This is May Day, which the Corporate News seems to have forgotten exists. May Day is basically Labor Day for the entire world. With police brutality on the rise again, the Occupiers believe it is important for supporters to show their strength through a general strike. Mayor Bloomberg said that police force was not excessive on the six month anniversary celebration, saying police were respectful of protesters' rights.

-- Two members of Occupy DC are suing the MPD for violating their first, fourth, and fifth amendment rights back in early February. The two had been taking part in a protest of a Merrill Lynch branch to inform the public of the close ties Merrill Lynch holds with Rep. Darrell Issa. They had set up a tent on the sidewalk, which was not obstructing traffic, and refused to leave it, leading to their arrest. They are claiming they were illegally arrested and imprisoned, and that their belongings were wrongfully removed from them.

-- Occupy Chattanooga was evicted yesterday, much to the surprise of Occupiers. Ground crews under the supervision of the Sheriff's Office removed all tents and belongings of the Occupiers, who were not allowed to move their own things. The belongings were moved to the sidewalks, where stunned Occupiers were told they would be allowed to protest only if they did not block sidewalks, set up tents, or bring cooking gear. The move was apparently under the authority of of the County Commission Chairman, in order to allow ground crews to re-seed the lawn in preparation for the courthouse's 100th anniversary.

-- Occupy UC Davis can declare a bit of victory, as the US Bank branch on campus has decided to permanently close after weeks of protests. US Bank sent a letter to the school, claiming that the Regents and others involved did not do enough to stop the protests from harming the bank. A legal battle may be just over the horizon, as US Bank decided to break the contract while blaming school officials. UC Davis officials are calling the move premature, and hoping to still work something out with the bank.

-- This article, from Alternet, is a list of tactics and descriptions that may be used by police to crack down on protests. It's quite an interesting read, an dyou can even see some of these things happening today.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Updates 3/19/12

Hello everyone.

I've got some interesting news today, and the articles that I have found will say it much better (or worse, depending on the article) than I can. I'm going to go ahead and do a link day, offering you descriptions of the article before the link.

Here goes:

-- This article discusses the raid on Occupy Wall Street this past weekend, and how a twitter post is considered a threat to be dealt with. The man who claims he wrote it isn't even in the same state, but will that stop the police?

-- This post also concerns the events of OWS this weekend, but talks about one specific person, Cecily McMillan. Police have released video claiming she elbowed her arresting officer in the face. There are two videos included in this article. I've watched them both, and still don't really see what on earth they're talking about.

-- The author of this next article is mad, and I don't really see why. He claims that the Associated Press has assigned 7 journalists to work on the OWS movement, but that they have only been looking for positive acclaim for the movement instead of accurately reporting. He inserts a table into his article from two anti-Occupy websites, which actually has no statistical data behind it (at least none that I can find. It's just a chart with no background info.)

-- Here's an account of a piece of the movement that's more quiet in the news. Honolulu has been Occupying for over 130 days now, and an armed raid recently swung by to get them, regardless of the fact that they weren't actually breaking the law police said they were.

-- Iris scans or high bail? Which would you choose? Occupiers and their attorneys are finding that the iris scans are becoming "mandatory," even though they shouldn't be. There are several accounts of refusal to undergo iris scans directly leading to higher bail, which is not supposed to be a factor in setting it.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Updates 3/18/12

Hello everyone.

Back to school tomorrow for us here.

On to the news.

-- Occupy Wall Street made a huge Spring comeback move in re-Occupying Zucotti Park last night. Hundreds of people filled the park, defying police orders to leave. Police announced the park was closed around 11:30 p.m., but Occupiers linked arms and refused to leave, many dropping to the ground. Police carried dozens of protesters out of the park, clearing it by midnight.

(This is a bit shady to me. I looked for mention of this in the news, and found only that "a woman was having difficulty breathing, and was taken away in an ambulance. Of course she was. I watched on livestream as she was beat by police, then seemed to have a major seizure. The ambulance arrived to take her away, and she was hyperventilating due to the several broken ribs she sustained while officers beat her. There is no mention of her abuse on any of the Corporate Media sites.)

-- Monsanto, the giant corporation that produces genetically modified shut down its California offices yesterday as protesters took to the streets surrounding the buildings. Monsanto officials called off the work day in preparation for the protesters, who were both Occupiers and other activists working together. They, as well as many others, are angered by the company's lack of responsibility, the Corporate Media's lack of coverage, and the lack of choice in America, where some 90% of fruits and vegetables are genetically modified. Beekeepers seem to be some of the most affected, with their bees dying in unison with crop planting, as insecticides from Monsanto seeds fill the air.

-- Occupiers joined forces with union members in Atlanta yesterday to rally against the union suppression bill making its way through legislature in the state. The bill would put huge restrictions on picketing and union membership, exempting only teachers and police. The protesters say the bill is meant to destroy union rights, and is an attack on democracy. The group had speeches before marching around the Capitol building several times, followed by more speeches and chants.

That's all for today, everyone. Thanks for reading.


To contact me, please email

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Updates 3/17/12

Hello everyone.

Today will be a link day. There are plenty of intriguing articles running around out there, so I found some that might make you think.


-- The judge that ruled against the SEC and its dealings with the knowingly fraudulent activities of Citigroup may be getting in trouble after a court of appeals disagreed with him.

-- An Occupier in Oakland who was hit by a car during a protest is filing a lawsuit, in part because 4 months later, the driver has still not been charged.

-- A doctoral student is arrested at a public hearing concerning a ban of giving food to the homeless, after she and many others were refused entry.

-- Tom Morello gets his PA cut by police at Occupy SXSW, and teaches those in attendance the lyrics anyway.

-- Occupy Honolulu continues to be raided by police almost regularly. The law allowing this is directly in violation of the Law of the Splintered Paddle, from Hawaii's Constitution.

-- The Parnership for Civil Justice Fund calls the new anti-protest law "blatantly unconstitutional." They have plenty more to say about it.

-- The Associated Press looks back on 6 months of Occupy and asks, "What has Occupy done so far?"


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Updates 3/16/12

Hello everyone.

I hope everyone is well. I have a job interview today over the phone. Wish me luck, please!

On to the news.

-- Four Occupy Denver protesters and a homeless man were arrested on charges of robbery last night. No details have been released concerning what might have happened. All of those arrested are expected to be in court this morning. The protesters were arrested at the park, and police refused to answer any questions concerning the events.

-- Occupiers in Rochester called police to their encampment last night as several people arrived and began to harass them. The anti-protesters played loud music and screamed at the Occupiers about how homelessness causes destruction. Police were called by both groups, and remained at the park for several hours due to concerns of protester safety.

-- The California judge in charge of the UC Davis police report case has tentatively denied a request from the police union to block the report from being made public. The judge expressed skepticism at the union's claims of protected material. A full hearing concerning the release is set for Friday.

-- Over a dozen people were arrested last night at the Occupy the Midwest gathering in St. Louis. City Officials claim a small group of individuals refused to leave the plaza after curfew, baiting police to arrest them while showing disrespect to the city. A police vehicle was damaged, but police have not released details concerning how. Several more gatherings are planned for this week.

-- Protesters who are a part of Occupy Monsanto will be dressed a little differently for their demonstration today. Occupiers are gathering to protest the genetic engineering giant, and they will be wearing Bio-Hazmat suits while they do. You can read more about their actions and why they are protesting here:

-- Students in California are upset at the treatment they received by police, and also at the state law requiring medical centers to report all violent injuries to police. One student was injured BY police during a rally, but upon receiving treatment, was told the medical center legally had to tell the police. The student was shocked. Read more about this law and its effects here:


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Updates 3/15/12 (Short)

Hello everyone.

I don't have much time today, so I am reporting the one big piece of news that I have seen. This is directly copied from Here you go.

The Associated Press
Posted: 03/15/2012 04:58:55 AM PDT

OAKLAND, Calif.—A Marine Corps veteran whose skull was fractured during an Occupy Oakland protest was struck by a police beanbag round, not a tear gas canister.
Scott Olsen's lawyer told the San Francisco Chronicle ( on Wednesday that the Oakland Police Department confirmed Olsen was struck by a bean bag round fired less than 30 feet away during the October clash outside Oakland City Hall.
Attorney Mark Martel, who is preparing to file a claim against the Police Department, says bean bag rounds are meant to hit people, indicating the officer intentionally aimed at Olsen's head.
Police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson has refused to identify the officer.
The Police Department and the private Frazier Group are investigating the response to the anti-Wall Street protests.

Sorry, that's all I have time for.


To contact me for any reason, email me at Thanks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Updates 3/14/12

Hello everyone.

I know I've been getting the news up rather late recently, and I apologize. It's Spring Break right now, and I am actually catching up on the sleep I've so desperately needed for the past few months.

Here's the news:

-- Most of you will remember the shocking images from the UC Davis protest, with a police officer pepper spraying students from short range, as they sat non-violently on the sidewalk. The inquest into the incident has been suppressed by the court system, leading to a lot of frustration for everyone involved. Now students and alumni have had enough waiting, and on February 22, filed a lawsuit against the police officers, the University, and the Chancellor, Linda Katehi. They are alleging that their rights to free speech were attacked. The next court hearing concerning the incident is March 16, when the judge will decide whether or not to release the findings of the investigation.

-- In other University of California news, the Chancellor of UC Berkeley is stepping down, returning to a faculty position after 8 years as Chancellor. Robert Birgeneau has waded through many protests and budget cuts, and commented that anyone who steps up to the plate needs to be ready to deal with these things.

-- Occupy students in Atlanta disrupted a Board of Regents meeting last night. They coughed loudly, and questioned some of the board's policies, which effectively ban illegal immigrants from public universities as well as making deep cuts to important scholarships for less fortunate students. They asked that the regents be the ones to take pay cuts. The Chairman gave students a few minutes to speak before asking them to leave. Protesters left without incident, but informed the regents that they would be attending future meetings.

-- Occupy Denver's encampment is being cleaned up by the city again, this time after a man involved in the encampment admitted to having an infectious parasitic disease. The man was treated for scabies, and his belongings were carefully contained and removed from the site. City officials in protective suits were called in on Monday to clean up. Some reports say it was never confirmed that the man actually had the disease, but the city says they would rather play it safe and sanitary than sorry.

-- Here's an interesting article concerning the livestreaming that goes on at large Occupy events. It discusses the challenges that these people face from both police and other Occupiers, and how some of them may even be targeted due to the footage they obtain.

This one really gets me...

-- An apartment building in Miami was effectively raided after police received a tip that the Occupiers staying there had "long guns" that they planned to use during a protest. Police searched protesters and their apartments, handcuffing several Occupiers who were later released. A few others were taken to police headquarters for questioning. The police had lethal weaponry, and apparently questioned several protesters on if they were Muslim, or if they "loved this country." You should read it and watch the video.

I have a huge problem with this. This slaps the Fourth Amendment in the face and laughs at it. This should be a case heard in the U.S. Supreme Court, and I'l tell you why. They received a "tip" on the Occupiers carrying guns, and it turned out to be bogus. I would be willing to bet that the tip was anonymous, or else the tipster would be arrested for lying to the police. If in fact the tip WAS anonymous, there is a PRECEDENT set by the Supreme Court concerning this. Florida v. J.L. involved an anonymous tipster saying a man had a gun. Police had no indication that the informant was reliable, but they took the tip anyway, searched the man, and found that he actually did have a weapon. The case was THROWN OUT. Why? Because the informant had NO RELIABILITY. That's the point with a "tipster." They have to have "indicia of reliability." Without that, the tip is useless, and anything gotten from that tip is inadmissible.

The second huge problem I have with this is not so simple. It involves a little 4th Amendment item called "seizure." A seizure happens when an officer, by means of physical force or show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen. In the picture shown in the video, you can plainly see that these officers are using a strong show of authority to get these citizens to stay put. They have their hands behind their heads, and in some cases, guns pointed at them. Blatant seizure. Which means the 4th Amendment is obviously involved. The Supreme Court's basic definition is " a person has been seized when a 'reasonable person would not feel free to leave.'" Is the seizure of these Occupiers unreasonable? Several questions would need to be answered for a definitive response. Was the tip anonymous? Was there a warrant? How was the warrant obtained? Did the police have probable cause and reasonable suspicion? If the answer to the "tip" question is yes, then the answers to the rest will follow. Fruit of the poisonous tree, people. If your evidence comes from faulty info that you didn't bother to check on, you are OUT OF LUCK.

If I were a part of Occupy Miami, I'd sue their little asses off. And I would win. THERE ARE LAWS. POLICE HAVE TO FOLLOW THEM TOO. REMEMBER THAT.

Also, I'm not an attorney. I'm currently studying Criminal Procedure. For some odd reason, I'm actually good at remembering case files.


To contact me, email

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Updates 3/13/12

Hello everyone.

The news is quite late today, thanks to a power outage that killed my alarm clock and my laptop. I guess I was sleepier than I thought.

Here's the news.

-- Charges against five protesters in Berkeley have been brought up by prosecutors, stemming from an event back in November. The four students and one professor have been charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest. The five were among 39 who were arrested that day. Video shows police officers jabbing protesters with batons. The professor is stunned by the charges, saying that it is odd to file charges when the video obviously shows excessive force by authorities.

-- Occupy DC took to the streets yesterday to protest the "Anti-Occupy" law, HR 347. The protesters met in McPherson Square and spread out from there, with tape over their mouths to symbolize the shuttering of free speech in America. Many believe this law is meant to cordon people into "free speech zones." With the new law removing the word "willfully" from its version, prosecutors would know longer have to prove that a protester knew they were doing wrong. Simply being in a federally protected area would be enough for a conviction.

-- A 51 year old man was arrested during an Occupy London event on Sunday, charged with causing a disturbance. The group met peacefully and began to march, but the older man ran out in traffic and tried to stop cars and pedestrians from passing. The other protesters continued their peaceful march while the man was arrested. He allegedly refused to leave the roadway and began to yell at police.

-- 14 protesters were arrested at several Atlanta Chase Banks during a protest on corporate greed. At least one of the protests was given no warning before police began to indiscriminately arrest those around them. One of the banks was vandalized with paint thrown on the outside. (Okay, pause. A bucket of paint was thrown onto a bank, and that is vandalism. I agree with that. But there is a problem here, and it makes me crazy. How long does it take for paint to dry? A long ass time; that's why we even have a saying about "watching paint dry." Because it takes a while. This protest happened during a time when the banks were OPEN. People were there. So why the hell didn't they have police block off the area, and go throw some buckets of soapy water on the paint, or use a pressure washer to get it off before it dried? I'll tell you why. Because they want money for "damages." And they should NOT get it. The person who threw the paint should definitely be charged for it. But the bank's negligence made the problem WORSE, and I don't think anyone is responsible for that but them. If it had happened at night when no one was there, or when no one could have possibly cleaned it up, that would be different. But I'm sick to death of seeing things like this. If you allow a problem to get worse when you could have very well fixed it, and then try to milk someone else for money, I think you should be charged with some sort of negligence. Because that, right there, is greed. And that is disgusting.)


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Updates 3/12/12

Hello everyone.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Let's get to the news. Most of these blurbs will have links accompanying them today. The articles are good reads, and I want to give you the chance to look them over as well. Enjoy.

-- A new art exhibit in California is drawing attention from all angles. The exhibit, titled "I Am Crime: Art on the Edge of the Law," showcases the fine line between self-expression and law-breaking for artists. Occupiers are heavily favored in the exhibit. Art critics either love it or hate it, while many who have visited say they get a rush of emotion and adrenaline from the artwork involved. You can see some of the pieces and read a critic's review here:

-- Dr. Margaret Flowers is a member of Occupy DC. She performed an interview with Press TV on how she, and many other Occupiers, believe that President Obama is continuing to "support restrictions on our civil liberties," in response to the new law that could criminalize Occupy protesting. She points out that it seems the government is attempting to "suppress" the voices of those in opposition. You can watch the interview here:

-- It seems protesters in New York have something else to watch out for. Police have been singling out and arresting people; questioning them about their possible involvement with terrorist branches, especially if they assume the protester may be associated with the Muslim faith. This article calls it the "potential violation of the worst offense of all; protesting while Muslim."

-- Occupy DePaul is having difficulty getting their administration to hear them. Students are upset that no one from the university administration attended a public forum held to discuss the growing fees and tuition costs. Students shared personal stories of financial concerns, including one woman who had surgery on her foot. She said her last thought before going under was the concern that she may not be able to work and return to school, or that she may die and burden her family with her growing debt. You can read more about the students' concerns and efforts here:

-- Police in Tennessee cleared the last remaining man and tent from the Nashville plaza early this morning, leading the man away from the plaza while telling him he was not going to be arrested. The man said he is not finished protesting the law, which could be used to criminalize the homeless. To read more about Mr. Humphrey, and what other protesters are planning, follow this link:


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Updates/Rant 3/11/12

Hello everyone.

The news itself is quite brief today, but I'll be following it up with an opinion piece of my own. I hope you don't mind.

-- Occupy Fort Wayne was evicted early this morning by police, after Occupying Freimann Square since November. The group originally had the cooperation and support of the Mayor, who waived all fees for the Occupiers to stay at the Headwaters Pavilion in October. In early November, an anti-Occupy group rented the Pavilion, forcing the move to Freimann Square. The group was evicted because the Parks and Recreation Department will begin Spring preparations in roughly a week.

-- The murder of a San Francisco man by a prowler is making headlines again. The 67 year old man was beat to death after calling police about a prowler near the house, which police did not respond to due to their coverage of an Occupy event. Now the Police Chief is making waves after sending an armed police officer to a reporter's house after midnight on Friday to insist that changes be made to a story. The family of the reporter for the Bay Area News Group were originally very upset at the visit, thinking someone in the family had passed away, but it turned out that the police chief believed the reporter had gotten some details on the story incorrect, and wanted them changed. "It's the most intimidating form of (censorship) possible," said a representative of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association, "because the person trying to exercise it carries a gun."

I told you the news was short. Now let's talk about what has been gnawing at my mind for the past few days.

I'm sure most of you have heard by now about HR 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." President Obama signed this bill into law on March 8, just earlier this week. I'm sure you've heard it dubbed as the "Anti-Occupy" law, which, despite the lack of Occupy mention in the wording of the law itself, does seem to be directed at the movement. There are things that people should know about this law, that have not yet been widely spread. So let's start at the beginning, where I started my research, and go from there.

1. This law isn't technically new. It's actually been around for a while, and this specific version is just an amendment to the previous one. The last time it was amended was back in 2006. It already contained much of the controversial language that people are getting upset about. Does the fact that it's been around for a while make it okay? No, of course not. This law is not a good one.

Okay. So I found an article that basically details the law and much of the turmoil surrounding it, giving you the facts about it and why it's wrong. I'll let you read it, and then you can come back.

So here's the deal.

I am sick to death of laws like this. I've never been anti-Obama. I don't really care for any of the Republican candidates... I don't really like any of the candidates, period. But this is starting to get to me. First, President Obama signs the NDAA, with a little note citing his "reservations." Now he's signed this, which everyone even familiar with criminal procedures can tell you is not a good law. What's next? I'm sick to death of being unnerved about going out my front door, because I don't know who is watching me. And it's all because I write this blog.

Now people can tell me that I am just imagining things, or that I'm being a conspiracy theorist, and yadda yadda. But the truth is, you don't really know what our government is truly capable of. Does anyone, ANYONE, remember the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act of 2007?" I do. It never made it into law. I was terrified that it would. In 2007, I was right around 21 years old, and held many of the ideals that I do today. That Act would have made it normal for neighbors to report those around them that they suspected of Homegrown Terrorism, which would bring that person before a committee to decide whether they actually were guilty. I remember this clearly. I did my homework. When it passed through the House, I panicked. Finally, it died, and I actually had a small party to celebrate it.

I get that same feeling of dread from these bills. We are GUARANTEED the rights of speech and assembly by the Constitution, and it seems that little by little, these new laws are chipping away at that. No protesting around certain buildings or people, even if you don't know that it's illegal to be there. Indefinite detention. The loss of women's rights.

What the hell is going on here, and why are we letting it happen? Our country has been divided by these people. We fight among ourselves instead of fighting the people that deserve it. We say "That Republican this.. That Democrat that.. Dirty hippie liberals.. Stupid blind conservatives..." We attack others based on their beliefs. We cannot stand to be around those who may be different in some way. Our country hates its people. That's a strong statement, and I don't care. If you really step back and look at it, WE are the country. WE hate each other. WE fight. WE hate OUR OWN PEOPLE.

What the hell is wrong with us? Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to children when I discuss these things. "I know that your religion doesn't always agree with theirs, but you have the same basic tenets in each. Love, generosity, being a good person... It's not really that different." And the response I get is "NUH-UH! That religion is NOTHING like mine." And both sides say that. The truth is, even the non-believers, on average, are not much better. They are when it comes to removing religion from politics, which is a good thing. But when it comes to respecting other people's beliefs, not so much. I know a person who would turn any conversation into a chance to bash Christianity for all its misgivings, as loudly and rudely as possible. I understand that you have freedom of speech. I'm not trying to quell that. I'm just saying that perhaps you should THINK about what you are saying, and to whom, before you do. If no one is trying to close your mouth, do you really have to be offensive with what you say? (What I mean by that is that I actually agreed with many of the things this person would say, yet they would insist on yelling it at me to make sure everyone around them heard. It made me want to shrink into a hole and hide. This person wanted to offend people with their speech. That was the point.)

For the record, I'm not religious. I don't believe in anything solidly. I just don't know. But what I do know is that if we can't learn to respect each other and treat everyone with equal dignity regardless of the differences we have, our government will never see the need to do that for us as well.

With all that said, I will say one more thing before I go.

Stop trying to force YOUR beliefs on others. I'm not saying you shouldn't practice yours. I think you should have full rights to do so. I'm not saying that you shouldn't tell people about them. If you want to, you can, and I'm happy with that. What I am not happy with is that LARGE number of people that believe that I should have to follow what their beliefs say, even though I am not a believer of their religion. I don't believe in your God. I don't believe it what your God says. So why should I have to follow what your God says? I don't believe that gay marriage is a sin, but you do. Why does that affect me? To be blunt, it DAMN WELL SHOULD NOT.

And if I say that I shouldn't have to follow your beliefs, that is NOT oppression of your religion. What you are trying to do to me is oppression. Just because I don't agree with you, and I don't think I should have to listen to your beliefs, does not mean I'm oppressing you.

You keep using that word. I do not think you know what it means.

So that was an interesting rant that went in six different directions. To sum it up:

1. I shouldn't have to be afraid of my own government.
2. People should learn to have respect for each other.
3. Don't be offensive for the sake of being offensive.
4. Your religion/political affiliation should not affect my rights.


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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Updates 3/10/12

Hello everyone.

Apologies for the delay. Putting a cone on a little dog who doesn't want to wear it is surprisingly difficult. I didn't realize that dogs turn slippery in escape.

On to the news.

-- If you know any high school juniors or seniors who are interested in scholarships, check this out. The National Bar Association is accepting applications for the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition. The topic this year is how Dr. King would address the Occupiers or the opponents of the movement. The essay deadline is March 31. For info on this, how to apply, and a more clear description of the topic and rules, go here.

-- OWS is running into financial difficulty, according to a finance report released last week. The movement's donations have dwindled to about $1600 a week. At this rate, Occupiers in New York City could be out of money in as little as three weeks. Several members have cautioned that the numbers don't show the whole story, and that protests and rallies would continue, despite a lack of funding.

-- Former State Representative Ed Fallon was found not guilty of trespassing in a midemeanor trial in Des Moines yesterday. His trial was one of the 15 slowly making their way through the court system, but Occupiers are elated at the jury's findings. They have released a statement calling for the immediate drop of all charges against the remaining 14 Occupiers up for trial. The jurors found that "under these circumstances, he was acting reasonably and exercising his constitutional rights." The prosecutors say they plan to review the laws again, but will not be dropping charges against the remaining 14.

-- The last remaining Occupier on the plaza in Nashville is still standing, despite the new law on the books banning camping. Christopher Humphrey volunteered to remain at the plaza while the others left, to test the law. "I believe in going hard or going home, and I ain't got a home," he is quoted as saying. To challenge the law, an arrest or citation is needed for the court. Humphrey waited for police all day yesterday, but they never arrived.

-- Occupy Boise had to deal with some unwelcome visitors yesterday when two anti-Occupiers drove their cars into the encampment and left them there. The two said they are "disgusted" with Occupy, and the cost it hands to taxpayers, and that they believe their cars are more "speech" than the tents. One of the anti-protesters brought their own sign against the movement. Police had the cars towed soon after their arrival, at the cost of the drivers. Police said that while Occupy Boise may be a protest, there are clear rules about where you can park your car, and on the grass of the park is not one of those places.

-- Here is an article that discusses the ramifications of the new "Anti-Occupy" law signed by President Obama on Thursday. It makes some valid and intriguing points about "off-limit" areas and Homeland Security.


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Friday, March 9, 2012

No updates 3/9/12

My apologies, but no updates today. My dog had surgery yesterday, and he is making it impossible for me to do anything but follow him around so he doesn't hurt himself. Hopefully we'll be back up tomorrow. Thanks.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Updates 3/8/12

Hello everyone.

The news is quite early this morning, as my dog has a vet visit at 7. I wanted to make sure I got the news to you before I had to run. :)

So, here's the news.

-- Occupy Dame Street in Ireland was evicted last night by gardai, the Irish police. Occupiers were given no warning before gardai tore into the camp, holding protesters back as they dismantled and tossed tents and structures. Some were awakened by the commotion around 3:30 a.m. to find over 100 police in the area, tearing up tents. Protesters questioned the legality of the move, but were only shown documents from the 2002 Housing Act. Records of the meetings were confiscated, as well as contact information for those who show support for the movement. One person was arrested. The Occupiers say they will be back tonight to protest.

-- The City of Oakland is suing a protester for damages done to a door and window during a protest back in November. The suit alleges that a police officer saw the protester swing a metal chair into the windows, breaking them, before he used his body as a battering ram in an unsuccessful attempt to get inside the Oakland Police owned structure. The city attorney says that the city is not wealthy, and taxpayers should not be responsible to fix the damage caused by the man. One of the attorney's for Occupy Oakland stated that the lawsuit in itself will cost the taxpayers much more than the actual repair costs. The City said they will continue to review footage and file charges they see necessary.

I'm going to move on to a few links now, as it's just started storming here, and I don't want the power to go out before I can publish this...

-- Occupiers in Athens, GA, were evicted on Wednesday, but will continue to ask for public hearings.

-- Naomi Wolf helps to expose the double standard of our justice system in this piece.

-- A woman protesting an illegal foreclosure on her own home is deported, with no money or belongings, forced to leave her legal husband and two young children here.


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