Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updates 1/31/13

Hello everyone. 

January is just about gone. It's quite bittersweet.

-- In China, 14 protesters who fought back against a government planned water treatment plant that would have spread even more pollution have pleaded guilty to starting a riot. The protest got out of hand, causing dozens of police injuries, and the local Communist Party leader found himself attacked and stripped partially nude. The government says sentencing will come later for the protesters, many of whom feel the charges are unfair because there has been no investigation of the officials involved.

-- A study by CUNY has found that members of Occupy Wall Street were disproportionately white and wealthy, and several news stories are picking up on this to criticize the movement. (Maybe if poor people could take a day off to protest every once in a while? No? Why? Oh, that's right, one day off means that they may lose everything they have, because that's what living paycheck to paycheck is. Well, what about the minorities? Shouldn't they get out there and protest? Of course, the white protesters don't usually have to worry about police targeting them for arrest and beating them just because they're a different color... Hmm... Maybe the study was a little biased towards those who supported President Obama as well, considering that the movement is made up of LOTS of different political backgrounds. I don't know about you, but when I hear that 72% of those who responded contributed to President Obama's campaign, and 43% knocked on doors for him, I'd say THAT in itself is a "little" disproportionate, and to me, that highly discredits any theory from that study.)

-- Greek protesters took to the streets again against austerity measures, this time pushing their way into the Labor Minister's office, where they remained for around two hours. Police used tear gas and batons against the crowd in an attempt to make them leave. Protests in Greece are becoming increasingly violent as people struggle more and more with daily life.

-- Boston residents who ride mass transit are subject to random bag inspections, in which a swab is run along their bag and then tested for explosives. An Occupy offshoot believes this to be against the 4th Amendment (and I happen to agree.) Two courts have already said that the practice is not against the 4th Amendment because they are not searching INSIDE your bag (that doesn't matter....) but Occupiers are staging demonstrations against the practice. A person can refuse to have their bag swabbed, but then would not be allowed to ride the transit system.


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