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? ;)".


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