What a crazy time we live in today. Who would have thought twenty years ago that we would be fighting today for some of the oddest reasons... Women's reproductive rights, the right to marry who you love, the right to eat and drink and live as you see fit, the right to truly achieve the American dream, the right to say what you feel you need to, the right to stand up for others who cannot, the right to own homes without having them taken away for fraudulent reasons, the right to be seen and treated as equal regardless of race, heritage, class, gender, or creed.
If you went back in time and told people that Michigan legislators would flip out and say that using the word "vagina" could ban you from the floor, they would probably laugh at you, because that sounds ridiculous. If you went back in time and said that the NYC Mayor would ban large sodas, you would probably also get laughed at, because who in their right mind would do that? If you went back in time and said that banks would use shady tactics to take away homes from thousands of people... well... they would probably believe you on that one. It's been a long time since banking was an "honest industry."
I wonder, though, what do you think people twenty years ago would be most surprised at in our society today? How do you think they would react?
Anyway, on to the news.
-- Liberals are becoming increasingly worried that President Obama may not win the election, because he isn't targeting Wall Street fiercely enough. In attendance of the Take Back the American Dream Conference in Washington, many sad they wanted more of Occupy Wall Street's sentiments in the President's speeches and actions, while others said that he should be pressuring competitor Mitt Romney into revealing his donors, who are bundling donations to funding his campaign.
-- The UC Board of Regents has dropped their lawsuit against the 15 Occupiers from the Gill Tract as of Wednesday. A campus spokesperson said that while the Regents were sure they could win the case, they have since resumed control of the Tract, and research has continued, so the lawsuit was unnecessary and too costly to continue. They remarked that if research was again disrupted, they could potentially resume litigation.
-- Occupy Chicago is not giving up the fight against the Chicago Tribune. Back in May, the Chicago Tribune filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, arguing that Occupy Chicago was acting "in bad faith" and attempting to "divert traffic" from their website when the group acquired the domains "occupiedchicagotribune.org" and "occupychicagotribune.org." The Chicago Tribune is demanding that both domains be turned over to them. Occupiers are having none of it, and recently wrote a response concerning the issue. They are arguing that this is an issue of political speech rights, and that no reasonable person would confuse the sites.
-- Protesters in Oakland have been issued a second "stay away" order as of Tuesday, with regards to fighting to keep multiple schools that serve minority students open. The Occupiers, parents, and teachers still aren't leaving, regardless of the orders. A spokesperson for the school district told the media that they could choose to remove protesters at any time, and that the encampment "can't continue indefinitely."
-- The three men arrested before the Occupy NATO protests now have at least a half-dozen new charges in their indictments. Defense attorneys for the men say that prosecutors will often use more charges to give them more leverage for a plea deal or ensure at least some convictions in a trial. Prosecutors have repeatedly rebuffed the defense attorneys' attempts to talk with them, and even refused to hand over the indictment, forcing the defense to go to the County Clerk's Office to attain it. To see what new charges have been added, follow the link.
-- The Pride Parade in San Francisco will have a few more marchers this year, as Occupy will be joining the ranks to protest the unequal treatment of LGBT persons by everyone from law enforcement to the corporate sponsors of this year's parade. Gay Occupiers have formed their own offshoot of Occupy SF, called Occu-Pride, and won't yet disclose what form their protest will take. Not all the marchers are happy they will be there, though. Some believe that the corporate sponsors for the parade should be rewarded for their views on equality, not reviled for their business tactics.
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