Sunday, June 24, 2012

Updates 6/24/12

Hello everyone.

Today there is plenty of news; some Occupy, some not, but all interesting. 

-- Occupiers, parents, teachers, and dozens of other supporters came out roughly 200 strong yesterday in a march to protest the Oakland Unified School District's closing of five schools that catered to mostly low-income minority students. The carried signs demanding recall votes of at least five members of the school board, as well as the resignation of Superintendent Tony Smith. The protesters are angry that the closures are only affecting the communities that need the schools the most.

-- Also in California, the city of Berkeley seems to want to move in the right direction. The Berkeley Police Department and the Berkeley City Council have stated that they will no longer honor the agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in which they agreed to hold illegal immigrants for minor offenses. The City Council is reviewing the policy to see how much, if at all, they will comply with the ICE agreement. The Council believes the current set-up is flawed, in that immigrants are held regardless of their crime, even if it is something as simple as civil disobedience. Many believe this is a step toward Berkeley putting constitutional and human rights first.

-- Malaysian citizens are increasingly becoming concerned with the health and safety of themselves and their children, and they finally stepped out with a funeral protest against a rare earth mine. Protesters brought coffins  and decorated them with wreaths and other symbols of mourning during the 24 hour protest. The citizens do not believe that the government has taken the proper precautions or performed accurate safety tests, but officials have assured them that waste will be disposed of properly and that the area is safe.

-- The Republican National Convention is coming to Tampa in August, but it seems that most of the protesters will not be sticking to Tampa's guidelines concerning protests. The city has denied all requests for marching permits, saying that Occupiers and other protesters will be offered spots along the "official parade route." Several different Occupy groups are expected to be in attendance, and not all of them will be taking the same tactics. 

-- Many children in foster care typically tend to have some forms of behavioral problems, but is that really cause to dope them up on multiple medications? It seems the government may not think so. The federal government is holding a meeting of three government agencies to figure out what can be done. Some children in foster care have committed suicide after they were prescribed hefty anti-psychotics meant for adults only. The Administration for Children and Families, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be convening August 27 and 28 to discuss possible new medication guidelines.

-- Residents of Frederick, Maryland, are going hungry for the USPS. Starting on Monday, at least a dozen people will be participating in a hunger strike for the Postal Service, saying that government mandates have caused drastic financial issues for the already financially deprived agency. Some of the protesters include retired postal carriers, who plan on speaking with legislators. Some believe the massive cuts and forced funding of retiree health benefits for 75 years in the future is just a Draconian tactic to push the USPS into privatization.

-- Police in Bolivia have stepped out and committed mutiny over low pay and almost non-existent pensions. The low-ranked officers are demanding their pay increase from $115 monthly to $287. Their spouses have also jumped into the fray with a massive hunger strike, with over 60 spouses striking in multiple cities. On Thursday, the angry protesters entered police buildings used by higher ranking officers, seizing computers and documents, destroying them while others threw rocks and burned papers and furniture in the streets. Armed forces have come in to take over the police jobs while they protest, but government officials are still hoping for peaceful negotiations. 

-- This article details the clean-up of Skid Row, and how it was actually a CCA and police operation to oust homeless people from the streets. It's a good read, and details how the money-rich voices of a few can trample the helpless very quickly.

-- On Friday, residents of Tel Aviv took to the streets to protest against police brutality, and instead many received a hefty dose of it. Roughly 6,000 Israelis attended the rally, with upward of 85 people being arrested. Vandalism took place after protesters attempted to push past a police line, with windows being broken and a prominent activist being arrested as protesters shouted for her release. She later appeared on television with her arm bandaged and a fractured rib. Many feel the government is using repressive tactics in a attempt to prevent the tent-camps and protests that cropped up last year.


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