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The OccupyUSA Blog for Friday (Oct. 21), With Frequent Updates | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog for Friday (Oct. 21), With Frequent Updates

I’ve been live-blogging OWS since October 1. For yesterday’s blog, click on my name at top. All times ET. E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. My new books vs. the death penalty and on Atomic Cover-up.

FOR THE WEEKEND BLOG (and video of the Seeger occupation) please go here.

SATURDAY 

1:00 am  I leave NYC and what do you know, a few minutes later and a few blocks south of where I was,  Columbus Circle gets occupied—by Pete Seeger and a merry band of followers. Trying to catch up.  Some video here. Of course, played “This Land Is Your Land,” “This Little Light of Mine.” And “We Shall Overcome.” Some of that is on that video if you give it a couple minutes. Oh, BTW, Pete is 92. He had been in my town, Nyack, earlier in the day at a benefit. Still wearing famous red cap. 

Now @OccupyWallStNYC tweets: “Hundreds in all singing 'We Shall Overcome'. Surrounded by majestic glowing fountains.” Arlo Guthrie also reportedly there. @JoshHarkinson tweets: “I feel lucky to be witnessing a new generation discovering this country's great tradition of folk protest music.”

11:00  The saga of the NPR host who got bounced from one show because of her political activities (including #OWS and other actions in DC). Now she has lost her NPR World of Opera show, as many feared. AP: “NPR will no longer distribute the member station-produced program ‘World of Opera’ to about 60 stations across the country because the show host helped organize an ongoing Washington protest, a network official said Friday evening. Instead, North Carolina-based classical music station WDAV, which produces the show, said it will distribute the nationally syndicated program on its own beginning Nov. 11. The station said it plans to keep Lisa Simeone as host and has said her involvement in a political protest does not affect her job as a music program host.

“NPR spokeswoman Dana Davis Rehm said the network disagrees with the station on the role of program hosts but respects its position. ‘Our view is it’s a potential conflict of interest for any journalist or any individual who plays a public role on behalf of NPR to take an active part in a political movement or advocacy campaign,’ she told The Associated Press. ‘Doing so has the potential to compromise our reputation as an organization that strives to be impartial and unbiased.’ ”

10:45 @OccupyArrests adds 175 to total in past month or so, pegs up to date tally at 2,120.

10:40 And I’m back, to find mass arrests in Cleveland and chants on the livestream of “this is what a police state looks like.” @andrewnazdin is live tweeting. Live stream.

3:45  Off to NYC, see you later!

3:35  With all of today’s OWS-related arrests, @OccupyArrests sure to put total at over 2,000 for past month when it updates tonight.

3:20  In Cantor’s canceled speech on “income inequality” (see below) he did not use the words “income” or “inequality” in prepared text. What about “class war”? …Meanwhile, Obama downplays continuing US presence and costs in Iraq in pullout speech. Omission Accomplished.

3:15  On arrest of Cornel West, others, at “stop and frisk” rally.

2:35 More on Eric Cantor canceling big speech in Philly due to planned OWS protests. Can’t take heat, gets out of kitchen. “Eric Cantor cancelled today’s speech at the University of Pennsylvania because he’s afraid to face the public—including the hundreds of folks who were going to hold a peaceful march and rally to welcome him to Wharton,” said a release from the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

2:30  Danny Glover speaks at OccupyOakland, which faces eviction.

2:20  Meeting at Zuccotti at 3 pm to discuss occupying the Big One—Central Park… About a dozen facing arrest right now in civil disobedience action at “stop and frisk” protest in Harlem (backed by some Occupyers).

1:35  We noted the planned protests last night and this morning but now comes word: Rep. Eric Cantor has canceled his speech on the economy today at the Wharton School in Philly due to OWS! “The Office of the Majority Leader was informed last night by Capitol Police that the University of Pennsylvania was unable to ensure that the attendance policy previously agreed to could be met.” All that means is that they had decided to let wide audience attend, not limited to 250 Wharton people.

1:20  Ana Marie Cox with her own take on the Hipster Cop (and see below).

1:15  Occupyers increasingly targeting REBNY (Real Estate Board of NY) over parks access, good piece herePicture of Cornel West at “stop and frisk” protest in Harlem.

12:50  Offiical @OccupyWallSt feed links to “short film on hypocrisy we fight”… OccupyPhilly asking for support for what it calls “the first regional General Assemblies.”

12:45  More on pending Oakland eviction… Famed California writer Mike Davis probes OWS.

12:40  NY Post says Bloomberg promising more OWS arrests. Maybe 12 drummers drumming and a partridge in a pear tree? …Reports of a Zombie protest sign: “More Brains, Less Greed.”

11:40  Paul Krugman visits Zuccotti,then writes a blog post today. Cites my old pal Ari Berman’s fine piece in The Nation. “Unwarps” the debate. Yes, the emperor is naked and just needed one honest voice to point that out. And says that naturally right-wingers are claiming the movement is “anti-Semitic” but hey, did you notice that Klezmer band over there?

11:30  Today’s song for Occupyers everywhere, and their fans: Springsteen does Woody’s immortal “I Ain’t Got No Home.” The gambling man is rich, and the working man is poor. Folks, the vital Woody songbook goes way beyond “This Land Is Your Land.”

11:20  March in LA backing Obama jobs program drew about 1,000. In a few minutes, protest at Fox Studios (see below).

10:55  Hysterical Q & A with the infamous if misnamed “Hipster Cop” of Zuccotti, in GQ of all places. Posing for photos, of course, We learn about his fashion choices and more. “They have a right to demonstrate. It’s a good thing. But there’s probably 200 people in the park right now and 400 different opinions of why they’re here. Though, generally, a lot of well-read, very smart, very articulate people are here. I’ve become friends with a few people. It’s kinda cool.” But wonders if he will get royalties from people dressing as Hipster Cop for Halloween.

10:25  The man behind the ‘Hot Chicks” of OWS video and photos claims it is “honorable and inspiring.” And he claims he has donated to OWS and provides links to them on his site along with response from women. But a new reply: “No matter how you look at it, this is still a creepy form of voyeuristic objectification that raises serious concerns. Media that objectifies and sexualizes women creates a space where violence against women is more easily tolerated. Labeling these women as hot chicks, even if he does lip service to their political beliefs by calling them ‘smart hot chicks’ implies that their only contribution to the movement is through their appearance.

“Greenstreet is perpetuating the message that this is a men’s movement and women are simply around for decoration. While he vehemently denies that what he is doing is sexist, that claim relies on telling feminists they don’t know what they’re talking about.” Yes, the NYT recently posted “The Hunks of Occupy Wall St.

10:20  I linked last night, but again here is info on OWS protest of Eric Cantor “economic” speech in Philly today… 20 arrests in Cincy… Some Occupyers backing a protest against “stop and frisk” in Harlme at 11 am with Cornel West... Later Verizon workers protest and march past Zuccotti.

10:05 “The Most Interesting Man in the World” backs OWS. We’d drink to that! Dos times. Couild use some of his incredible luck and powers.

9:50 My old colleague for years at E&P and ace reporter Joe Strupp (now at Media Matters) talks to Cenk Uygur about press coverage of OWS. Fox interviewing 11-year-old girl about capitalism. And so on.

9:45  Jon Stewart to Republicans: “What the F#%k Is Wrong With You People?”

9:40  Sky News reports from London: “St Paul’s Cathedral to remain closed until further notice due to health & safety issues related to nearby protest camp.” One would think that would get authorities to evict, but who knows.

9:35  Russell Simmon tweets: “Let’s get on that coat drive for . Its cold. Info to come.”

9:30 New Krugman column: Yes, GOP is killing all jobs programs, but also remember, they are “The Party of Pollution.” Making us poorer and sicker at same time.

9:20 OWS should, as was said of Delacroix, have “the sun in its head and a thunderstorm in its heart.”

9:10 Yes, it’s Lemony Snicket with 13 observations on OWS.

8:50 OccupyLA, as mentioned before, targeting Fox today, with 9 am protest at News Corp. shareholders meeting at Fox lot. Fox prepares. “Our goal is to minimize disruption and we do not anticipate these protests will impact operations inside the lot. This serves as a reminder to please be respectful and polite in the event you are approached by any of these protesters.”

8:20  Video from violent eviction at Occupy Melbourne last night. Whole world watching, again… OccupyOakland’s first big march tomorrow… OccupyNashville plans for tomorrow

8:05  Hysterical: David Frum, famed conservative, on why Alec Baldwin is not worthless. Oh, because he defends capitalism, opposes Ron Paul and cuts CapitalOne commercials.

8:00 Well-known columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. on next steps for OWS as “critical.”

12:05 am Tweeps at Occupy Oakland say they’ve just gotten an eviction notice from park, expect move made soon.

From late Thursday

11:45 What’s up, Murdoch? An Occupy Fox Studios planned for LA on Friday… More on plans to film new Batman on Wall Street and near Zuccotti Park, director may try to use protests as backdrop.

11:15 Michael Moore on Olbermann tonight calls on all Americans to occupy and carry on and “don’t fall for the trap mainstream media is setting” about needing leaders and spokesmen right now. Don’t listen to media. Then says he is breaking promise not to make another film for a few years. He had spoken at Zuccotti a few minutes earlier.

11:00 @Ckanal “Drummer who didn’t get money from GA tonight now yelling, cursing at members of GA at Zuccotti Park.” Apparently some drums had been stolen or broken (vandalism? most people tired of noise?) and they wanted money to replace. Much conflict over drummers now… @OccupyWallStNYC: “One of most contentious GAs ever! People worked hard to keep process & be respectful. Direct democracy takes time.”

9:50 Carne Ross, known for his work with the UN and ambassadors, tweets: “The Occupy Wall St group on alternative banking that I’m part of includes bankers, finance professrs & quant traders - movement xtraordinary.”

9:40 I’m told that OccupyWriters.com not only has made well-known authors signed on, it is overwhelmed by free submissions of writings and poetry.

9:20 Right-wingers and other critics have claimed food at Zuccotti is high-priced and “gourmet.“ Here was selection tonight from @NewYorkist: ”homemade mac & cheese, rice+beans, spicy noodles, pb&j, chicken soup, bread pudding, rice pudding.”

9:00 Love this tweet re: police action in Australia: “Construction in have busted through police cordon around . Wharfies on the way!”

7:25 Good guy @JoshHarkinson reports that 200 parents to sleep over at Zuccotti tonitewith their kids, as planned. No police action tonight, I would wager. ALSO, follow him now for blow-by-blow of big neighborhood meeting near Zuccotti as people vent views about disruption, noise (the drumming, of course), barricades, cops and more. One man points out that he lives 100 yards from where so many died on 9/11 and now this… Some express support but even they hate the drumming (it’s the new vuvuzela). Others now say that this meeting itself has been “occupied” and not fair. Josh points out that things move along a lot faster here than at General Assemblies, in any case. And did I mention the drumming? Oh, maybe you couldn’t hear me.

7:20 Photo from OWS “flash mob” action in Union Station in DC vs. Walmart (I think I have that right).

7:15 Big police action pending in @OccupyMelbourne.

7:10 Funniest TV of year might be if the Parks & Rec crew tonight had to deal with OccupyPawnee. Ron Swanson, as a Ron Paul supporter, might not show much sympathy, but loves camping out.

6:20 Fun photo with sign of the times: “I hate Drum Circles but I hate Corporate Greed more.” (h/t Jon Wiener)

5:50 Video of Occupy K St. shooting down a Citibank in DC.

5:45 David Carr of NYT, shortly after arrival, tweets: “Just got a close up look at . has global legs.”

4:45 In a case we’ve been following all day, involving NPR host in spotlight and possibly losing jobs due to political ties, may be resolved, as she gets to keep at least one post. James Fallows: “According to this update just now, the classical music public radio station WDAV, in North Carolina, will not dismiss Lisa Simeone from her role as a freelance (ie, non-employee) host of an opera (i.e., non-political) program carried by NPR, just because she has also been a spokesperson for the Occupy DC movement. The reports to the contrary over the past twenty-four hours boded ill for all involved, starting with NPR though, who knows, their sizzle might increase the audience for the next few installments of World of Opera. NPR also disputes that it inspired the loss of her job at another outlet.

4:25  Okay, young ’uns, here’s a free, hour-long BBC special on the Poet of Occupy, the Saint of Zuccotti, Mr. Woody Guthrie.

3:55  A “Rocky” day for the GOP leader on Friday? Rep. Eric Cantor to get “occupied” tomorrow when he gives a speech ondig thisincome inequality, at the prestigious Wharton School. Occupy Philly will be protesting. “Already, 241 people have RSVPd on OccupyPhilly’s Facebook page. This could be a big one: marching from City Hall at 3 p.m.”

3:35 Holy Protest, Batman! Reports today that the next Batman sequel may use #OWS in NY as backdrop. “Whispers from the Dark Knight Rises set suggest that Christopher Nolan may shoot part of his third Batman film against the backdrop of the Occupy Wall Street protests. The production will rumble into New York on the 29th of October, bringing the caped crusader face to face with the thousands in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park now in their second month of protest against the capitalist system. You knowthe one that gets movies like The Dark Knight Rises made.

“Some would fear a clash of ideals. Nolan apparently sees an opportunity, with the Times suggesting that the demonstrations could be used as a setting for scenes from the film. Whether the arrival of the shoot will add another item to the protestors’ list of grievances is unclear (this is, after all, a $250 million production featuring a character who’s a billionaire businessman).”

3:30  Arrests just occured @OccupyMN, some in paddy wagons, livestream here.

3:25  The famous “Yes Men” school OWS in NYC, with aid of humor.

3:15  Slate covers the big AdBusters plan for Oct. 29 marches for 1% “Robin Hood” taxlot of Comments respond.

2:00  Tom Morello, who has played at two or more Occupy sites and invited Occupyers to his show in Vancouver last night, tweets: “Epic nite at Vogue Theater in Vancouver last nite. World Wide Rebels showed up IN FORCE & rocked the joint insanely.” Earlier he had spoken at OccupyVancouver, video below. In which he invited people to come to the show for free. Also, he did one of my alltime faves, Bruce’s “Ghost of Tom Joad.”

Greg Mitchell’s new e-book vs. the death penalty is Dead Reckoning: Executions in America (and just $2.99). His other current book: Atomic Cover-Up, on the censorship of film footage from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for decades.

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