Monday, April 30, 2012

Updates 4/30/12

Hello everyone.

All eyes are on Occupy. Tomorrow is May Day, and Occupiers and officials alike are ready to go. I'll be participating somewhat... I have a very large exam tomorrow that I cannot miss. It's certainly going to be an interesting day.

Storm's a'coming.

-- In a turn of good news, Chicago police have said they do not intend to enforce Illinois' eavesdropping law during the upcoming events in May, specifically the NATO summit. The law makes it illegal to record police officers without their consent, and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The law has been bouncing around in court for some time now, and officials feel it is more important to focus on keeping residents safe during the summit.

-- Also in Chicago, two women have filed suit against the city and police officers for different cases of excessive force, among other charges. One woman, Rachel Siler, uses a motorized wheelchair and was on her way to an Occupy event when she was harassed by a police officer, who falsely told her she could not have her wheelchair in the street before demanding identification. Before she could get it, he grabbed at her, knocking out her earphones and her purse to the ground. He then forcefully threw her into the back of his car and arrested her. The other woman was visiting a friend with her dog, a 4 year old pit bull named Mama, when police arrived to execute a search warrant and shot and killed Mama without provocation.

-- An OWS protester who was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct has had those charges dropped. The protester, Marisa Holmes, was pepper sprayed by Police Inspector Anthony Bologna. Bologna claimed that Holmes was flailing about and trying to get away while being arrested, but a video clearly shows Holmes standing quietly still during the incident. Prosecutors dropped the case after the defense made it clear they would call Bologna to the stand. Bologna is well known for being the "Pepper Spray Cop Tony Bologna," as spoofed by The Daily Show.

-- This article by the Gothamist details some of the plans for May Day by OWS, but also the secret training Bloomberg has put police officers through in preparation for the event.


To contact me, please email All comments, thoughts, news, and opinions welcome. Thanks. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Updates 4/29/12 -Rant/Question/News.

Hello everyone.

Rant/Thoughts before the news today:

One of the research papers that I am working on asks a very big question. How do we get rid of inequality? Any type of inequality: racial, gender, class, etc. It's a tough question to answer. Once I finish the paper and turn it in this Friday, I'll pose that question to you. (I won't beforehand, because I always do my own work. It wouldn't be fair to other hard-working students if I had my brilliant readers answer it for me, would it?) Inequality can be a difficult topic to discuss. Class inequality is a little easier, but discussing both gender and racial inequality can be a nightmare. Sometimes people will automatically go on the defensive, as if you are directly putting the blame for the issues on them. Touchy Touchy. Realistically, we are all a little to blame for allowing these things to continue, unchecked. But without power, how can we change anything? It's extremely difficult to only discuss one of these types of inequality... They all are deeply tied into one another. 

One of my friends said to me once, after a Sociology class, "I feel so bad for it, but sometimes, I thank God I'm White. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be Black. I mean, I'm already a woman, which makes it harder, and I'm lower class, which is a double whammy. But thank God I'm White. I feel so bad for thinking it, and saying it now. I know you understand what I mean by that, so I hope it's okay." I nodded at her. What she meant wasn't that she hated Black people. It was a simple truth. White people have it better. Easier. As Whites, we are "more equal," which is a term that shouldn't even exist and doesn't even make sense. 

I have an uncle who is racist. I met him for the first time on my birthday this year. He took me out to lunch, and partway through the conversation he mentioned how his daughter dates Black men, and how much he hates it. I told him I didn't mind it, and he said he did, because he knows what Black people really are. I stopped him right there, and said, "Look. There are no genetic differences between Black and White people. None. If you're racist, it's because you have fear and ignorance in you." He tried to interrupt me, to say, "No, it's not ignorance, it's actual knowledge of what they're really like, see..." I cut him off. "No. It's ignorance, stupidity, and fear of a difference that you don't understand. That's all it is." I was surprised that he let it drop. I guess he knew he wouldn't win that argument. I was disgusted at that point.

I don't understand racism. I don't understand sexism. I'm going into Sociology, starting in the fall. The Grad Dean told me one of the reasons I was accepted into the program with no Sociological background was the fact that she could see how strongly of a "Sociological imagination" I really have. There is a bad thing about all this though. I'm beginning to notice things I didn't before. Like my thoughts, for example. I worry about being inadvertently offensive. I worry about silly things. I wonder if my actions speak for me. I pay special attention to racism. Not really in my thoughts, because I don't have those issues. What I mean by that is a lack of "judgment," I suppose. I don't think "Wow, my teacher is from India, so she's going to be hard to understand/a bad teacher/etc." But I hear other people actually saying things like this, and it disturbs me. It's amazing how many racist/sexist things you will hear people saying in a day if you just truly listen. 

My initial desire when applying to Sociology was criminology. I am extremely interested in serial killers, and how they work, how to stop them and such. But now that I am actually moving into the field, I wonder if my desire to study criminology is as strong as my desire to work towards an elimination of inequalities. Elimination of racism in particular. I don't know what it's like to be Black, and discriminated against because of it. I know what it's like to be a woman from the lowest class. I understand those things. I understand that I am the exception. I looked at a photo of my second grade class the other day... We were all lower class students. I looked closely at my classmates and had a startling realization. Out of the 24 students in my class, I am the only one in college. I am the only woman who does not have children... 

I don't know what it's like to be Black. I said that before. But I have experienced discrimination. Not just for my gender or class, but also because of my ethnicity. I am Roma. You couldn't tell that by looking at me, but I'm proud of my heritage, and I do tell people. I've lost friends because of it. No one likes a gypsy. 

My question to you today is a simple one. With all that you just read, do you think I should focus on inequality, specifically racial inequality? I want to do good works in the world. Where would I fit best, in your opinion? (No, I'm not planning on switching everything around because a few people say so. I'm just extremely interested in your opinions.)

I suppose I should get to the news now, huh? :)

-- Another police officer was injured in a scuffle with a few Occupy Eureka members. The three Occupiers were fighting with each other when officers intervened on Friday. Two of them were armed with a bike chain and broken bottle. When police arrived, one ran from the scene, and was chased and tackled by an officer. During the struggle, the officer's nose was broken. He is mending on leave. One of the Occupiers involved was taken to a mental hospital after being deemed mentally unstable. The article I'm linking to after this blames Occupy for these incidents, and is very negative.

-- After rumors spread concerning the shutdown of the Golden Gate Bridge on May Day, officials began to panic and set plans to stop it from happening. It turns out that closing down the Bridge was never really part of the final plan. According to social media, the shutdown was part of a tentative plan, but was not included in the final steps. This article has more detail concerning the initial planning, and why it didn't make the final cut.

-- Here's an opinion piece on the "land liberation" included in the possible plans for Occupy Portland. The author asks the question: Is this liberation or theft?

-- Occupy Lincoln has until Tuesday to pack up and move on. Many of the Occupiers say they will not be leaving, and that they are working to fight the city in a legal battle. The city wants the protesters gone so that they can begin renovation work on the State Capitol grounds. While the Nebraska Occupation has been entirely peaceful, officials with the police say they are making plans to deal with Occupiers who refuse to vacate.

-- Police in Seattle want a change to the city code. Currently, the Seattle Municipal Code only allows for police to film protesters if they have "cause to collect information." They are concerned about the events of Occupy the Port, in which protesters began to throw bricks and other items at police. They began filming at that point, but say it would have been better to begin earlier. The ACLU is against the move, saying that individuals should have the right to protest without surveillance, but the police department says the filming would strictly be to protect "those who are exercising the First Amendment from those who would harm them." (That... Just... No. Contradictory much?)

-- doesn't seem to like Occupiers very much. They've posted an article describing the new film 'Occupy:Unmasked,' which is a production from Citizens United. It apparently disparaged the Occupy movement, claiming that it is a Democrat creation funded by mega-bucks left-wingers. Anyway, you can take a look here, and see what you think.


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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Updates 4/28/12

Hello everyone.

It's the final stretch of school. This upcoming week is "dead week," followed by a week of final exams. I still have three research papers (one of which is 25 pages) and six exams. Once again, I understand why it is called dead week. I feel dead. *falls over*

Because of this, I'm doing a link day today, and possibly tomorrow. I have so much to do that it doesn't make sense to spend too much time on anything. My graduation is May 12th. After that, rest assured the news will be back in full form. Thanks for understanding. I know I've pretty much said all that before, but I want to let you know I'm still here.


-- The fight over student debt goes international, thanks to many students who are fighting in their home countries.

-- The city of Oakland is at it again, suing two more Occupiers for "damages."

-- New Haven Occupiers plead guilty to a lesser charge, with an explanation.

-- UC Berkeley provides an open letter to the Occupy the Farm group. Read it here:

-- The Mayor of Seattle is concerned that May Day may lead to violence.

-- This blog post gives an interesting inside look at Occupiers on Wall Street It's titled "Occupy the Regulatory System." Check it out:

-- The right to bear arms is being threatened in Florida. The Republican National Convention is worried that protesters may be armed, and tragedy may erupt. See what they want here:


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Updates 4/27/12

Hello everyone.

The Occupied Wall Street Journal has released their latest roundup, in conjunction with this news blog. Check it out over here:


One of my friends was killed last night. He had Cerebral Palsy, and was crossing the street in his wheelchair when an SUV hit him. Not much is known about the accident yet. The pictures the news are releasing are heartbreaking... His wheelchair, in pieces, strewn across the road. He was a great guy, always smiling and making others laugh. I hope he finds peace wherever he is. RIP Corey.

On to the news.

-- Wall Street, Politicians, Corporate Media, Tax Dodging Corporations, The Government, and Police. What do these groups have in common? They're all shaking in their boots at the thought of May Day. I'm not providing any links for this, because all you have to do is search for it and they're front and center. Who's afraid of the big bad Occupiers?

-- A mistrial has been declared in the trial of five Occupiers in Augusta. Some jurors claimed that others were biased against the government, preventing them from reaching a compromise. While defense attorneys would have liked a not guilty, the Occupiers were fairly happy with the outcome. 

-- Banks are apparently running surveillance now. Many of the large banks are preparing for May Day by bulking up security and stalking Occupiers using social media. The banks are collaborating with both other banks and the police. (This irritates me. Like we don't already have enough government surveillance? Adding another big brother to the pile, huh?)

That's all I have time for today. Congrats to the Philly Occupiers who were acquitted of all charges. 


To contact me, email Thanks.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Updates 4/26/12

Hello everyone.

It's getting close to May 1st. My graduation is creeping up on me. I've got so much to do. News is short today...Link day. 

Let's get to it.

-- Campuses are rallying across the country in fights against student debt and inequality. Here's more info:

-- This article accuses Occupy of being violent, and using violent imagery to get their point across. They aren't happy with Occupy and they certainly aren't happy with President Obama.

-- Occupiers and other activists chained themselves together in NYC, only to find their chains being cut. Several were arrested.


To contact me, please email Thanks. 

Gonna go study for my exam now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updates 4/25/12

Hello everyone.

It's coming down to the wire for me. I have three major research papers to write, and less than two weeks to get it done. Not to mention six exams. I think I'm going to lose my mind soon, that is, if I haven't already.


-- Eight Occupiers were arrested during the Wells Fargo Shareholders meeting yesterday, after they were able to gain access to the building and talk to some of the shareholders. Eventually CEO John Stumpf had the doors to the building closed, which denied entry to the shareholders as well as Occupiers. Shareholders who were not part of the protest were allowed to come and go through a side door, while the others were told the meeting was "filled to capacity."

-- Today is the day when student debt is set to hit the 1 Trillion Dollar mark, and protesters are up in arms about it. Dozens of cities have events planned to protest the rising cost of education in America. Student loan debt is the fastest growing form of debt in the country, surpassing even credit card debt. Many student feel as though they will never be able to get out from under it. (Tell me about it.)

-- GE has been hearing quite a bit from Occupiers lately, and if they think the worst is over, they're far from correct. Their shareholder meeting is today in Detroit, and the Occupy groups there are preparing for it. More than 2,000 protesters are expected to join in for the event. The tax totals paid by GE on both foreign and domestic soils were 7% from last year, and -12% in 2010. (Yep, that's a negative.),0,2450109.story

-- Here's an interesting article by the ACLU detailing the treatment of photographers by police. It's short, but a good read.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Updates 4/24/12

Hello everyone.

I'm running short on time, so today is a link day.


-- A judge has ruled that a New York DA has the right to subpoena Occupiers' tweets.

-- Those working on the UC Berkeley land tract are angered to find that the University has turned off the water.

-- Oakland Police are apparently adjusting their tactics for dealing with crowd control---finally.

-- A multitude of arrests took place yesterday morning in Chicago, as people fight to save mental health clinics.,0,3324154.story

-- Occupy Delaware has been warned of an impending eviction.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Updates 4/23/12

Hello everyone.

Thank you to everyone who wrote in to answer my question. There were only a few who took the time to respond, but your answers were thorough and insightful. I do appreciate it. Check out yesterdays blog if you haven't answered and would like to.

On to the news:

-- A Freedom of Information request has now given a number to the costs associated with Occupy London's St. Paul Cathedral Occupation. According to the released documents, which tally overtime, health and safety expenses, legal fees, and officer reassignments, the total was roughly $1.7 million.

-- Following the suicide of a Primghar teen, an activist from Occupy Iowa has set up an anti-bullying rally at the capitol. While not officially an Occupy Des Moines event, many Occupiers are expected to attend this Wednesday. The activist says he is hoping to move conversation to stricter bullying laws for the state.|head

-- A group of Occupiers in Berkeley took to farming yesterday as both a protest and a way to provide healthy food for those who need it. The farm tract is owned by the University of Berkeley, but the school has been selling off bits of the land for quite some time. There used to be roughly 100 acres to the land, which is now down to about 10. Those planting were told that they were trespassing, and were subject to arrest, but no arrests were recorded.

-- Occupy Portland (OR) took to the parks last night in an attempt to re-Occupy two parks in the city. The activists remained past the parks' closing times, but soon afterwards police began to arrive. Occupiers were warned that there would be no "cite and release" if they were to stay, rather, they would be taken to jail. Most of the protesters remained on the sidewalk. There was one unrelated arrest, in which a minor began to climb a statue in the park. He was released to his parent.

-- Occupy BloNo (Bloomington/Normal, IL) had a bit of a scare early this morning as an arsonist set their campsite ablaze while they slept. No one was hurt, but a tent and pallets were fully destroyed by the blaze, and Occupiers are calling for a full investigation. A spokesperson for the fire department says that it is too soon to determine if the fire was intentional, but that an investigation is underway. Part of the Milner Library canopy stretched over the site, and was also damaged from the fire.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Updates 4/22/12 - and a question for my readers.

Hello everyone.

As usual, the news is fairly quiet on Sunday. I have a small task for my readers today. You'll find it after the news. Happy Earth Day! Do good works. :)


-- Occupy Richmond held an Earth Day protest on Friday, with roughly 200 people in attendance. They were protesting the Chevron refinery in Richmond, and dozens of groups joined them in protesting the pollution and greed brought about by Chevron and other corporations like them.

-- A man from Occupy Portland (OR) has been the first convicted of a crime associated with a protest. Jonathan Zook was arrested during a rally in December. Most of the charges against him were dropped as "not guilty," but he was found guilty of interfering with a police officer. He will spend 2 days in jail, and has been given probation, community service, and a 400 dollar fine.

-- Two Occupiers in Malaysia were arrested this morning after camping out in Dataran, just hours after a royal concert. Multiple tents were torn down by plainclothes police officers, who ignored Occupy Dataran's questions. There were no reasons given for the arrests of tent removal.

-- Three Occupiers were arrested outside the IMF (International Monetary Fund) meeting in DC yesterday. Each activist faces a different charge. One allegedly crossed a police line, one blocked passage, and a third allegedly assaulted a police officer. The IMF meeting finished their meeting yesterday.

On to my question/task.

I have a question for all my readers, if you have the time to answer it. If you prefer to comment or email me your answer, either is fine. My question has several parts. I am simply very curious as to what others believe on this topic. All I am asking for is your opinion. It certainly doesn't have to be a long answer at all.

What is Socialism in your opinion? How does it differ from Communism? Do you think a Socialistic Democracy is viable for a country as large as the United States?


Why do you think that Socialism is a four letter word in America? Why is it considered so bad?

I'd appreciate any answers on this.

Just for the record, no, this isn't a homework assignment. I'm not doing any homework or papers like this. This is to better my understanding. :)


To answer my questions or contact me for any reason, please email me at Thanks so much. You guys are amazing.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Updates 4/21/12

Hello everyone.

 My browser has been acting up on me, so I'm stuck switching between two in order to find the info that I need. Sorry if it seems choppy.

 On to the news:

-- A number of Occupiers were arrested in New York yesterday as they were lying on the sidewalk in order to draw attention to the latest comments from police commanders. While the law does allow protesters to lie on the sidewalk, the commanders have tried to say people were not allowed to do so. Seven or eight Occupiers were arrested for blocking the sidewalk. Another man was arrested after police walking behind him pushed him, causing him to stumble into police in front of him.

 -- Also in New York, a new official map has been released, showing a "1st Amendment Right's Area," where people can legally protest. Check this out.

 -- NBC News is reporting that on May 1st, Occupiers plan to take and shut down the Golden Gate Bridge as part of a day-long list of events. Occupiers have many other rallies planned for the day. May 1st is all about labor, and this take-over would actually be involved with that. The Golden Gate Labor Coalition has already marched previously as a result of reduced benefits for union members.

-- A march and rally are planned today with Occupy Harlem to protest racial profiling, racist killings, and stop-and-frisk. Several groups are joining Occupy Harlem in demanding solid records of Blacks killed by police, security guards, and "peacekeepers." The are also calling for the government to institute a "National Plan of Action for Racial Justice." Read more here:

-- The leaders of Wells Fargo are not too happy with Occupiers who plan to protest their annual meeting in San Francisco. The meeting is April 24, and Occupiers have two days of protests planned around the event. Roughly 2,000 protesters are expected to be in attendance. Wells Fargo has tried to calm the mood by reminding Occupiers that they have performed over 700,000 loan modifications and over $4 billion dollars in principal forgiveness, but this is unlikely to quell the protests.


 To contact me, please email me at Thanks.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Updates 4/20/12

Hello everyone.

May Day is quickly approaching. Do you have anything planned?


-- Occupiers are being accused of training to "infiltrate" Tea Party and 9/12 groups at their training sessions. Glenn Beck says he has received multiple letters from 9/12 participants who attended the Occupy training sessions, warning him of the Occupiers' intent to cause havoc and disruption for the other groups. Beck sent out a message to anyone who might deal with an Occupy infiltrator, "it will be more important than ever for us to stick together and organize together, and be the opposite. You do not defeat hatred with hatred. You defeat hatred with love." (Nice sentiment, Glenn Beck. I'd actually love to see you use it for once. By the way, when you're talking about infiltrators, why don't you ask your 9/12-er how they got into a training session? Sure, they're open to the public, but I'm pretty sure your little letter-writer "infiltrated" their way in so they could tell you what was going on. What's that kettle? Why are you calling me black?)

-- UC Davis has a new police chief, as a direct result of the pepper spraying event with student Occupiers. After her leadership was questioned and criticized, the current chief, Annette Spicuzza, resigned to make way for Matthew Carmichael. He will be the chief for one year, while administrators look for a more permanent solution.

-- A protester accused of hitting a police officer with a metal chair and later resisting arrest is in court again. The jury is deliberating the case, in which prosecutors claim that Cameron Rose attacked a police officer with a metal chair while his back was turned, arresting another protester. The defense claims the arrest was entirely unlawful, and that Rose did not know he had a warrant out for his arrest.

-- Almost three dozen Occupiers were arrested on Thursday as hundreds of protesters worked to stop foreclosure proceedings in Brooklyn. Demonstrators sang and chanted, disrupting many of the proceedings. The 35 arrests are the most ever for a Brooklyn Occupy event, but organizers still called it a success.

-- Shareholders appear to be a little tired of allowing CEOs to get away with bad business practices while still making tons of cash. Citigroup shareholders may have started a trend when they resoundingly rejected the business' compensation plan. Read more to find out what's going on here, it's pretty interesting:

-- Irish Occupiers are nowhere near done fighting. An elderly couple has been evicted from their home, and Occupiers want something done to fix it.


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

No updates today.

Sorry, everyone. I'm sick again, and forgot to do an important assignment last night, so I have to get it done this morning. We'll be back tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Updates 4/18/12

Hello everyone.

I usually don't do this two days in a row, but I'm short on time again this morning, so we're doing another link day.

On to the news:

-- Here is an updated article on the arrests that occurred on Monday for Occupy Wall Street. It gives a more detailed account of police taking a man's sign before arresting him, and an officer threatening to take a man's puppy.

-- Hundreds of protesters, including Occupy, unions, and labor groups, marched in downtown LA to protest Tax Day.

-- Occupy New Haven is packing up after a federal Appeals court sided with the city. Read on to find out their future plans.

-- Palestinian prisoners in Israel are on hunger strikes. More than 1 in 10 of the 4,699 prisoners are serving a life sentence. 203 children are also imprisoned, with over 30 of them under 16 years of age.

-- Downtown Seattle was abuzz yesterday as Occupiers staged a mock foreclosure on Wells Fargo Bank, followed by a protest at Amazon's headquarters. They were protesting the tax loopholes allowing corporate giants to pay much less than their fair share in taxes.

-- Over in Yakima, Occupiers marched as part of the Tax Day Protest, also fighting back against corporate loopholes.

-- London is warning protesters to stay away from the Olympic torch rally. Preemptive requests have been made for extra security.

-- Police in Santa Ana evicted the homeless from Necessity Village. One man's tale is heartbreaking, as he details how Occupiers finally allowed him to feel safe enough to sleep. Now all that is gone.,0,5669524.story

-- Occupiers have been evicted from the vacant lot near a mental health clinic in Chicago. The protesters are trying to stop the closure and privatization of over a dozen clinics used by the needy public. They are trying to figure out what steps to take next.,0,7833363.story


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Updates 4/17/12

Hello everyone.

As of 7 this morning, I've already gotten up, dressed, walked the dog, fed the cats, bathed the dog, and gotten packed up for school. I stood in high heels for 5 hours yesterday at that research forum. It feels like my knees fell off. So, we're doing a link day.


-- Some hefty charges are coming up against Occupiers who attempted to block the entrance to the NYSE yesterday.

-- Occupiers in the Bronx were arrested for singing. They tried to disrupt a foreclosure auction.

-- I believe this is a different story from the first one. Despite a judge's ruling saying that protesters could remain on the sidewalk, police forced Occupiers to stand and arrested some who they claimed "resisted." This is a bit ridiculous.

-- Here's a blog post from The Nation offering five ways to support re-occupation. It's short, but makes a good argument.

-- Madison's City Council seems to be having a disagreement with the Mayor. The Mayor wants the Madison Occupation gone ASAP, while some of the Council want to allow it to stay.

-- Occupiers and other activists in Philly who bought tickets to a Romney event were denied entrance, and initially denied refunds as well. Read on to see how they got their money back, and why they have a right to be upset.

-- Truth-out provides an interesting take on Occupy and higher education in this article. It's an opinion piece asking why more students aren't involved, and giving plenty of ideas and comparisons.

-- Big Hollywood, aka Andrew Breitbart's pre-passing conservative baby, is accusing Occupiers of becoming violent by using Black Bloc tactics.

Thought I'd leave you with that last one. Don't read the comments on it unless you want to get really angry or depressed at some of the stupidity displayed.


To contact me, please email Thanks!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Updates 4/16/12

Hello everyone.

The news is both early and short today. I have to be at a research forum by 8 a.m., which doesn't leave me much time for anything else.

Here we go:

-- Continuing the story about the two men arrested by the NYPD yesterday (I posted a link to the description because it was a bit crazy), police are now claiming that the two men who were arrested were earlier involved in a violent riot-type action with Occupiers. The two allegedly tried to smash in windows at a Starbucks with a large pipe while patrons hid under the tables inside. An officer was also allegedly injured in this attack, but it is not mentioned how severely. Another officer apparently recognized the two upon his arrival to check for the "bottle-throwers." Both men were charged with assault and inciting a riot.

-- Occupy Portland gathered in Richland yesterday to protest the Hanford Nuclear Power Plant. Their messages included lashing out against nuclear war, waste, and energy. One man who works at the plant stopped his car on the highway to have a conversation with the Occupiers, who were dressed in contamination gear. He told them he appreciates the care they show for the environment, but said some of their facts are inaccurate. Some protesters performed street theater, and a co-founder of the Warrior Society of the American Indian Movement spoke, asking for the corporation to clean up its act.

-- Occupy Youngstown teamed up with Frackfree Mahoning Valley to protest the Trumbull County residents signing a contract with BP. The contracts are gas-exploration leases. Three of the environmental protesters were arrested. The first was arrested as they attempted to enter the room where contracts were being signed. Two more were detained after they entered the building and pulled fire alarms.

-- Police in San Francisco are asking that owners of vacant buildings take steps to prevent protesters from Occupying their buildings. In light of May 1st rapidly approaching, police say they are concerned that more building takeovers may occur. They are asking that the owners take preventative steps in boarding up buildings, adding fences, and covering the vacant properties in any way possible.


To contact me, please email New stories, photos, and videos are welcomed and will be credited. Thanks!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updates 4/15/12

Hello everyone.

A huge congratulations to my good friends Rob and Shaun! In front of over 500 people at the GA in Central Park yesterday, Rob proposed to his now-fiancee Shaun. I am so happy for you two! You can actually watch the proposal here (start at roughly 3:40)

On to the news for today!

-- Police shut down Sixth Street in NYC after they got calls complaining of someone throwing bottles across the street. (I can't even describe the insanity of the police in this one. Click the link to read what they did to people attending a party at a community center, and the neighbor's account of why what police did is wrong.)

-- The inequality in India is causing young people to lose their lives at their own hands. For the second time in a few weeks, a young student has taken his own life after he was told he would not be receiving the results of his examinations. The young man's father could not afford to pay his school fees, so the results were withheld. After being taunted by other students who said he probably failed, the 13 year old boy went home and hanged himself.

-- Occupy Rockford was evicted just hours after they set up their new Occupation. The group had set up on private property, said the police, and did not have permission to stay. Police removed tents and signs from the area, as protesters chanted against the removal. Police were in riot gear, and offered no explanation to Occupiers until later. There were no recorded arrests.

-- A Labour Party conference in Ireland got a little out of control yesterday as different protest groups banned together to fight back. The protest was largely peaceful, but small parts of the group turned violent and began to clash with security. Read here to get a bigger piece of the story:


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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Updates 4/14/12

Hello everyone.

What an odd dream I had last night. Sometimes I wonder what's going on up in my head. I dreamt of two great dogs that I had many years ago, which I found loving homes for. They would be gone by now. In the dream, I found a wooden box with both of them in it. They're quite large-a rottweiler and a chow-chow- but they fit fine. They hopped out of the box and walked with me. I could even smell them. They were very kind and loving towards me, and it felt like I was being protected. Anyone else ever wish they knew what their dreams meant?

So that's what is on my mind this morning. :) On to the news!

-- A Federal Judge has ruled that the free speech rights of an Orlando man were, in fact, violated when he was arrested for chalking political messages in the public plaza. The ordinance that was supposedly violated targets advertisements, and the judge pointed out that he was not advertising, nor has the rule been enforced against others who chalked the square in the past. He even recalled an instance in which the Mayor encouraged businesses to chalk their sidewalks, which he called selective enforcement. The city has not yet decided if it will appeal.

-- Five more DC Occupiers have been arrested by Metropolitan police for their "sleepful protests." The Occupiers were sleeping outside a Bank of America ATM, and police detained them for violating a statute about blocking sidewalks. Protesters say they are clearly not blocking anything, and the charges being laid against them are bogus. They say the sidewalk is roughly 30 feet wide, and they are taking up roughly a foot and a half of it. It has become a morning ritual for police to arrest those involved in the "sleepfuls," but every day more Occupiers show up to join in.

-- In Chicago, dozens of people sequestered themselves into a mental health clinic, locking themselves in with bike locks and thick chains, to attempt to thwart the closure of six public centers, and the privatization of seven more. Police sawed through the metal barricades early Friday morning and arrested 23 people, releasing 11 without charges.

-- Occupy Eugene held a protest against Bank of America on Friday, paying close attention to the date. In honor of Friday the 13th, Occupiers dressed up as zombies for the protest, and pointed out the many fraudulent business practices held by the bank. Managers at the bank said their main concern during the protest was to keep their customers safe, even if it means closing the bank down for a while.

That's all for today, everyone. I really do appreciate the time you take to read the blog. It means a lot to me.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

Updates 4/13/12

Hello everyone.

Happy Friday the 13th. :)

I think it's getting time to let you all know about this. There are only three weeks left until the end of the semester, and my graduation. Of course, this means I am scrambling to get things done. As a result, you all are going to see more link days cropping up, like today. As soon as the semester is over in entirety (mid-May), you can be sure you'll see me pop back in with lots of info. I can't say that I won't do that anyway, but I just wanted to let you know.

On to the news:

-- Occupy Wall Street has changed tactics a bit. As a result of a court decision in 2000, Occupiers have the right to sleep on sidewalks as a form of political expression. Here's more on what they're working on.

-- Occupy Papua New Guinea has taken on the government and won. See what's up here:

-- Students in Ottawa are unhappy with fee hikes and are tired of being excluded from budget decision-making processes. They are driving their point home by Occupying the office of University of Ottawa President Allan Rock. These students want to be heard!

-- Occupy Boise is offering a compromise on their relocation, but it is unclear whether or not the judge will accept it.

-- UC Davis is in an uproar over the recent release of the pepper spray report. Some believe disciplinary action must be taken. Here's an opinion piece on the topic.,0,1292225.story

-- Concerning the same report, a Berkeley Assembly member is calling for new legislation based on the recommendations in the findings.

-- Two members of Occupy DC were arrested yesterday morning after they held a "sleep-in" protest outside of a Bank of America branch.

-- The University of Pittsburgh is in a tizzy--and rightfully so. Someone has been making bomb threats against the school and its faculty and students. Police arrested one man who they believed to be responsible, but two more threats came in afterward. The arrested man has attempted to tie the Occupy Movement to the threats, but there is no indication that he was accurate. Read on:

-- The ACLU is demanding an official inquest into the actions of Occupy Denver, concerning their use of force and pepper balls.

-- A group of children are Occupying a ski slope in Wales, angry about the diversion of funds to the London Olympics rather than fixing the slope. Hundreds to thousands of children have learned to ski on the slopes, but the owner is refusing all solutions offered by those who want to rescue it.

-- Occupy Chicago is working with dozens of patients and staff who have barricaded themselves inside a mental health clinic. The clinic is one of six slated to close in the area, but those who use it say it is still desperately needed.


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Updates 4/12/12

Hello everyone.

Today, my computer decided to remind me how much I hate Microsoft. It restarted for Windows Updates while I was in the middle of writing the blog, without saving anything. Oh, well. This may be short due to time constraints.

On to the news:

-- The UC Davis pepper spray report was finally released yesterday. It says the event could have been prevented, and that poor planning and implementation came from all levels of school administration. The reactions from the report range from disappointment to outrage, with Assembly Speaker John Perez saying it has "very troubling revelations." There are dozens to hundreds of articles concerning this out there, but I'm supplying one for now.

-- An Occupy Sarasota member has had all charges dropped against him. The man was arrested for chalking a sidewalk back in February, and he was being represented by the ACLU for free. The ACLU referred to the case as "over the top."

-- The author of this blog post seems to be a little angry about the Madison City Council thanking Occupiers. Read this link to find out why he's so perturbed.

-- The Monsanto Corporation is headed to court, after a lawsuit was filed this week against them. The plaintiffs in the case are mostly small town farmers, who allege that while Monsanto knew the herbicides and pesticides they asked farmers to use could cause birth defects, the corporation did not tell the farmers. The reports for the case indicate that multiple children were born with devastating birth defects, including Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, blindness, and other serious health issues. Farmers were not taught how to properly dispose of the poisons they were told to use, and improper storage and disposal led to leeching into the water supply. Read on here:

-- George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder, and is currently being held without bond. Just one day after his defense attorneys quit, Zimmerman was arrested after Florida Prosecutor Angela Corey decided enough evidence was present to warrant the charges. Many questions still remain unsolved in this case, including the original handling by police, possible evidence of a struggle, and witness testimony.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No updates today.

Sorry guys. I'm about to explode in frustration at how my week is going. I hate everything right now. I need a break.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Updates 4/10/12

Hello everyone.

One of my favorite teachers told me the other day that "Now is the time in the semester where everything that could happen, happens."


I fell yesterday walking on campus, and ended up twisting both my ankles in different directions. I didn't break anything, thank goodness, but I am ordered off my feet for 24 hours. I'm not supposed to stand or walk for more than 10 minutes at a time. So that means I'm not going into class today. I really don't know what to do with myself when it comes to these things. I'll be getting plenty of homework done today though, so I guess that's a positive way to look at it, right? Ha. At least my glasses survived their slide across the street.

Anyway, news:

-- Occupy Boston has temporarily moved. The group, assisted by police, traveled from the State House lawn to the Boston Common in order to allow security to be tightened. The reason for upping security detail? The President of Brazil is coming for a visit. The U.S Secret Service requested the move, and Occupiers peacefully complied. Occupiers will reportedly be allowed to return this afternoon.

-- Occupy Minneapolis was able to schedule a public meeting with the Mayor, but only after invading his office and refusing to leave. Although the office is open to the public during office hours, an aide told protesters they needed to leave or they would be arrested. One protester allegedly put a sticker on the surveillance camera. Finally, the situation was defused after a meeting was offered. The Occupiers are upset about the arrests that occurred over the weekend. Many say that they were pulled into the street before being arrested for obstructing traffic. A police officer allegedly said that an ambulance had been blocked, which was part of the reason for the arrests, but Occupiers say that incident had occurred much earlier, and they had immediately cleared the way.

-- A fight to save a woman's home from illegal foreclosure landed 9 Occupiers in jail in Raleigh yesterday. Occupiers say they discovered that the questionable act of "robo-signing" is responsible for at least 10 different foreclosures in the area, including the one at Nikki Shelton's home, where they were arrested. Ms. Shelton's home was foreclosed upon in 2010. Occupiers remained on the property as long as possible, with the 9 being arrested for second-degree trespassing. Ms. Shelton fell behind on her payments after her husband was seriously injured in a car accident, but the bank refused to work with her to modify her loan.

-- An unknown number of arrests occurred this morning as police evicted the Leyton Marshes Occupiers. While many of the protesters left peacefully, images show that a number of people were forcibly removed and arrested. Those who complied in leaving set up their new Occupation on Lea Bridge Road, which is near open land. Those protesting believe that it is wrong to close off the area to the public, and many fear that the spot will not be returned to its previous status, regardless of what the commission says.

-- It appears that Occupy New Haven has lost their case to stay on the Green. The judge ruled against them, but the Occupiers say they will be appealing the case.


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Monday, April 9, 2012

Updates 4/9/12

Hello everyone.

I suppose I should have given everyone a quick update on this earlier. Sorry. My little brother went to his regular doctor on Friday, who said he could find no traces of fluid in Matt's lungs. Either it was never there, or it cleared up really fast. My brother is feeling loads better, and has even been well enough to go to the movies. So that's great. :) Thanks to everyone who was concerned.

It seems that much of the news is items that didn't get posted on Sunday, due to the holiday. So we've got some "weekend" news. :) I hope you don't mind a link day. Haven't done one in a bit...

-- Occupy Chicago marched on Saturday, asking protesters who visit for the NATO summit to help out with the community. Read what they're asking for here:

-- Occupy Vanderbilt is a new Occupation with a lot of questions. Student's want administrators to break the silence about the school's investments. Were they supporting unethical practices?

-- Occupier Mike Roy is fighting back against a ban from campus in London. He was simply filming a protest, and received a letter banning him for a full year. He was never approached by police, and believes he is being unfairly targeted.

-- Is today the last day for Occupy New Haven? A judge is expected to rule today concerning free speech and tents. Several factors


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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Updates 4/8/12

Hello everyone!

Happy Easter, to all who celebrate it. I don't know of any other holidays that fall on today, but I'm sure there are some. If you celebrate them, Happy Holiday to you!

On to the (somewhat short) news.

-- A dozen Occupiers were arrested in Minneapolis last night as they refused to leave two different locations: Peavey Plaza and Loring Park. Police actually made the arrests at Nicollet Mall. Occupiers marched through the streets with a heavy police protest that evening, at one point obstructing traffic. All twelve have been released on bail.

-- Two Occupy Iowa protesters were found guilty of trespassing at the Iowa Capitol, and their attorney intends to appeal the convictions. It took the jury nine hours to convict, during which time they sent multiple notes to the judge declaring they were deadlocked. Their attorney claims this shows the jury obviously had reasonable doubt.

-- Even the news outside of the United States is picking up on the racial tensions building here. According to Prensa Latina News, ex-police officer Howard Morgan's sentence is just the latest case to cause a string of outrage. They also mention Rekia Boyd, a young Chicago woman gunned down by an off-duty detective while she was hanging out with friends. Rekia's story starts out with her standing with a group of friends, chatting, when they are approached by the detective. A verbal altercation took place, in which the detective claimed her friend had a gun, so he began to shoot. Rekia was shot in the back of the head as she ran from the hail of bullets, and died roughly 24 hours later. No gun was ever found, and the friend who supposedly had one says that he was actually talking on a cell phone when the detective began shooting. Witnesses say the detective lives in the area, and some believe him to have been intoxicated when the event occurred. Her family has filed suit.

So sad.


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

Also, I haven't heard from Ted in a little while, so I just wanted to say: I hope you are doing well, my friend.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Updates 4/7/12

Hello everyone.

I'm a little late today. Sorry.


-- Occupy Philly celebrated their six month anniversary yesterday, with signs, cheers, and clear messages. While the group was evicted from their Occupation quite some time ago, they never stopped meeting and protesting. Dozens gathered at the Rittenhouse Square to paint signs and discuss ongoing and new events. They then marched to Independence Hall, where some Occupiers planned to stay for the weekend in a short-term Occupation.

-- In a bit of "what were they thinking" news, two men allowed a news channel to film them placing stickers on subway cars that read "Priority Seating for the 1%." While their message was clear, the men were arrested soon after someone complained about the stickers. One of the men has been released on bail, while the other is being held for unrelated charges. They've been charged with making graffiti, unlawfully posting ads, and violating transit rules.

-- Occupy Puerto Rico may be getting in trouble if they don't clean up their act. Officials in Puerto Rico have threatened legal action against the group, unless they come out and clean up the public park they recently abandoned. The officials say at least five trucks will be needed to haul away the left-behind items, and that a playground set was also damaged. If the Occupiers do not clean up and pay for damages, the city will do so and charge them for it.

-- The University of Pittsburgh has made activists very angry. The administrators have rejected a plan recommended by the Anti-Discriminatory Policies Committee that would have allowed students to use a restroom based on their gender identity. As of now, transgender students have no comfortable place to use the restroom, unless they trek to Starbucks every time. Pittsburgh law forbids discrimination by gender identity or expression, but the administrators are sticking to their guns with gender-segregated restrooms. University of Pennsylvania has their own way of rectifying the issue, in which they are adding more and more gender neutral restrooms. (Go Penn! That's awesome.)

-- Occupy UC Berkeley moved into the school's administrative building, in order to demand an end to Berkeley's discriminatory admissions policies. According to the group, roughly 50% of the state's high school graduates are minorities, but they make up only 18% of the school's freshmen. This article has a lot of information in it concerning anti-affirmative action laws passed at the UC colleges.

-- This might make you upset, so I'm simply going to post the link. A protester with Autism is attacked by police back in March.


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Friday, April 6, 2012

Updates 4/6/12

Hello everyone.

I have a busy day ahead of me here. Probably too much to get done in one day, but I've got to at least give it a go, right?

Here's the news.

-- The mayor of Louisville has ordered Occupiers to vacate the park they have been Occupying by April 13. The newly set date comes after Occupiers filed for a permit to remain, which the mayor denied. The mayor's spokesperson said the encampment has basically become a "homeless camp." There is pending litigation in this case, and their lawyer says it is up to Occupiers to decide if they want to press on in the matter.

-- Roughly 400 students at UC Davis rallied on Thursday afternoon to protest the upcoming court date of what they are calling the "Banker's Dozen." The twelve students is question are facing multiple charges stemming from the shuttering and eventual closure of a US Bank on campus. Students feel as though the school has stepped aside to let the state handle the protesters because of bad PR, and to allow the continued blockade on free speech. The 12 are each charged with conspiracy and access allegations. The conspiracy charge itself has a maximum jail sentence of a year, and each of the access allegations six months.

-- Several members of Occupy Portland hit the streets on Thursday to hand out fliers concerning an upcoming rally in Hanford. The Occupiers, three men and eight women, went topless with radiation symbols on their bodies. The rally will be at the Hanford nuclear reservation on April 15th, and will address growing concerns surrounding the need for cleanup, transparency, and increased funding.

-- The Chicago man accused of attempting to shoot 4 police officers before being shot 28 times has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. Read the article for the full story.

-- This article by Naomi Wolf offers insight into the American Criminal Justice System, and how our rights and freedoms are slowly dwindling. It pays particular attention to how sexual humiliation is being used to control the population, including the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court, which allows strip searches after any arrest, no matter how minor the offense.


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