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.
-- 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.
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