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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.