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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