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The OccupyUSA Blog—Special Weekend Edition! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog—Special Weekend Edition!

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

--Please  GO HERE for the Monday edition of this blog, up now.

 SUNDAY

9:25  For those who think doing civil disobedience is a lark,  and protesters just get a ticket and go home, listen up.  From Occupy Chicago:  "They still haven't released the nurses who were arrested last nigh."  You may recall the human chain around the medical tent.  " One of the holding cells with about 30 men had no working sink. Their requests were ignored for 5 to 6 hours....An epileptic girl needed her meds. We yelled for an hour before anyone came and then they ignored for another hour....We yelled for about sixteen hours to make a phonecall before they finally let some of us...This protester asked different police officers 86 times politely to make a phone call. Ignored all night.....

"We were given no food until noon today after yelling for hours they gave us a bologna sandwich.....Most of those of us who were in jail were not even allowed a phone call even though we asked for one repeatedly.....Two of the people who did get a phonecall report that the bondsmen were playing videogames instead of working on our paperwork....None of the men were given toilet paper for the past twenty hours. "

9:10 .   See there is now an @OccupyMarines and they have 220 followers already.   Waiting for #OccupyCIA.     Or #OccupyWH.

7:40   Van Jones at OccupyLA:  "Politics need to adjust to this movement, not the other way around.".... Cool:  Silent movie night at Zuccotti Park with large crowd under the stars.  Photo here. ...

6:45 Old buddy Will Bunch out with likely first book-like thing on OWS, a "Kindle Single" just published.  Can find it here.  He is the Philly Daily News reporter and longtime Attytood blogger who has written recent books on Reagan ("Tear Down This Myth") and the rise of the new right and Tea Party.   The Kindle Single is just 99 cents and focuses on October and "The Battle of the Brooklyn Bridge."   More on this later.

6:00 Bonus song of the day for Occupyers everywhere, one of my alltime faves, Arcade Fire's "Intervention."  Indeed:  "Every spark of friendship and love / will die without a home."   And set to Eisenstein's "Potemkin."

 5:45  Michael Moore: "I was to appear live Mon on CNBC @ 11am on Wall St. in front of the NYSE. I've just been told the NYSE will not allow this. On a public st.reet."

5:20  : "Heard from an arrestee who'd just been released that they held a General Assembly in jail."

4:35  Famous pro-union bank Amalgamated backs Occupy -- right at bank window, see photo.

4:30  @OccupyLegoLand a big hit in NY,  see photo.

4:25  China web police block Occupy to keep it from spreading there.

2:40  @OccupySanJose reports camp just taken down, all occupiers arrested today.

12:55 Occupied "Doonesbury."   Bloodsucking scum:  two words or three? 

12:05  Today's song pick for Occupyers, a daily feature, from the late Gil Scott-Heron, it's the classic "Winter in America." And it's winter all over the world.  Gil used to write for me at Crawdaddy back in the 1970s, before drug and prison days.  Memorably, about South Africa, for one thing.

 11:50  The great Barbara Ehrenreich on Occupy and the homeless in today's L.A. Times op-ed.  Includes:  "Occupations such as those underway in cities across the country pose staggering logistical problems. Large numbers of people must be fed and kept reasonably warm and dry. Trash has to be removed; medical care and rudimentary security provided. But for the individual occupier, one problem often overshadows everything else: Where am I going to pee?"  (h/t Jon Wiener) 

11:15  Cenk Uygur's OWS-related WOLF PAC now has twitter feed @WolfPAChq

11:10  Still trying to figure how who this Mike Czec guy is -- seems to be everywhere at once and getting call outs.

10:50  Maybe why NY cops are so angry: morale "in the crapper" for all sorts of reasons.... The Atlantic on rising OWS complaints about cops.

10:20  Yes, a good deal of our country's treasure goes to armaments, and now here is Amnesty Int'l report on our weapons used against protesters during the Arab Spring and beyond.

10:15  Here's AP story on Chicago  ...  Top U.S. banker on Obama wanting to "quell the mob,"  via Michael Moore.... now 60 livestreams of sites of global protests in one spot.

10:00  And, we're back, after late night.   Arrests in Chicago, and what led up to it -- outside the medical tent -- were captured with unusually strong clairty and drama by livestream  (see below), which now is showing Anchorage, Alaska or maybe somewhere else.   When i turned in at 2:40, no violence at all to that point.  Guess I better catch up now.

1:30  Amazing aerial view in livestream captures full park view with occupiers protecting medical tent, surrounded, cops and cops on horses, prison vehicles, police  ready to move in. Watch below. UPDATE: Arrests started to be made just before 2 am (ET).  More than 100 by 2:30.

 

12:45  A second livestream from Chicago focuses on people surrounding nurses tent to protest as arrests near... Good short summary of 1968 police riot, which I “attended” at same spot as tonight’s Chicago confrontation. A little different in ’68 in Chicago vs. today: the number of protesters, and military people in jeeps with machine guns mounted. Tom Hayden and I now write for the same magazine. Abbie, and Phil Ochs, and Jerry Rubin and Bill Kunstler, among others, all gone.

12:20  Livestream “reporter” in Chicago (see below) says police have cordoned off about 100 on sidewalk, given no option of leaving, and will arrest them, including medics. Not confirmed. Livesteam is across the street so not sure if can see arrests.

12:05   Chicago showdown at hand. A livestream here. Kids there. Some conflict between those willing to be arrested and those exiting. I am flashing back to 1968 in same spot…

SATURDAY

11:05  Looks like Occupyers in Atlanta will not be busted tonight—in fact, some say mayor said they could stay until Nov. 7… man reportedly tasered after swinging knife near Albuquerque camp.

9:55  Noam Chomsky speaking in Boston before huge crowd tonight. Warns this must be “long struggle” and people with power don’t yield power easily. March followed.

9:20  Big action in Chicago underway, stay tuned. Controversy over police action in Sydney, with 40 arrests. Wild night in Boston. AdBusters with photos, video and more from tonight.

9:00  Note on Frank Bruni (see below): he was once something of a “celeb” himself when Geo W. Bush delighted in calling him “Pancho” at press briefings and at other gatherings. Bruni was later accused of being rather soft on Dubya. He went on to become chief restaurant reviewer for the Times. Then wrote a book about his battles with his weight, which the Times boosted. Now an opinion columnist.

  8:00  New Frank Bruni column at NYT mocks celeb embrace of OWS. “The movement’s ‘we are the 99 percent’ motto expresses ire over not only the unaccountability of huge financial institutions but also income inequality in America and the concentration of so much wealth and privilege in so few hands. Every time a wealthy messenger gloms on, that aspect of the message gets muddled and possibly compromised.

“And the glomming has begun. With a slowly growing number of actors and musicians paying well-chronicled visits to Zuccotti Park, the movement is in danger of becoming a sticky fly strip for entertainers who like to flaunt their self-styled populism: a gadfly strip.” Bruni does add that certain other celebs made choice to play for pay for Qaddafi and kids. Paging @EllenBarkin for a response.

7:45  Arrests now unfolding in Boston—following march after Chomsky speech… In Chicago action about to begin to “take the horse” (been there, done that, 1968)… Oakland camp refuses to yield under pressure … big police rush to area around Zuccotti in NYC, unknown reason…

7:35  @BillyBragg: 2000+ marched through overcast Dublin today in support of OWS.

7:30   Atlanta mayor issues 2nd call on campers to buzz off. Atlanta Brave so far.

7:00  New film Margin Call on financial crisis and wheelers/dealers supposed to be quite good.

5:40  Man, the label “Occupied” on the doors of all those bathrooms on airliners everywhere sure have a funny meaning now. OWS is everywhere! The lavs belong to the people! Stand up, sit down, rah rah rah! This is what urgency looks like! You say Wall Street, We say Our Seat.

5:20  Naomi Wolf with new piece at Huff Post on First Amendment and the role of “disruptions,” responding on Mayor Bloomberg’s promise to move on OWS because of neighbors’ complaints.

5:15  Occupy Atlanta believes they are being evicted tonight by the mayor... You can follow Occupy San Francisco here. … NYC march against police brutality produces no new cases! Hurrah.

4:50  Newly improved site for OWS in New York up and much better design and more information.

4:10  Bill Maher asks media and right-wingers to quit calling Occupyers “hippies.” I can vouch for fact that, in the main, very little in common from “back in the day.”

4:00 Not sure why this is surfacing now, but video (poor quality but you can hear stuff) captures key discussion between to “celebs”—Naomi Wolf and Rick Lee, the HipsterCop— just before the writer’s arrest this week in NY.

3:45 Occupyers marching against police brutality in NYC right now, no incidents so far… big turnout expected on nice day in Chicago, may be second attempt to “take the horses”

2:30 Huff Post on continuing conflicts on process and organization at Zuccotti Park. While we focus on the glorious Pete Seeger march uptown, the campers held a 5-hour General Assembly that ended up putting off for another 5 days an important proposal from a key working group.

2:20 Growing “food movement” gets its day at Zuccotti next Saturday with “Take Back Our Food” rally. (h/t Barbara Bedway).

2:15 Willie Nelson backs OWS with poem, and with wife. “We stand with humanity /&thin;against the insanity….We’re the ones with the 99. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for…”

2:10  Michael Kinsley’s 4 demands for OWS based on “no free lunch” Jobs, taxes, investments but money has to be paid back eventually.

1:10   Pete Seeger does global anthem “Ode to Joy” on the banjo, with new lyrics.

12:40  David Swanson, who was early on the NPR moves against radio host, and slammed by NPR, weighs in again. “Now, unable to get Simeone fired [from a local station], a decision which NPR would have carefully blamed entirely on WDAV, our public radio thugs have taken the only approach left to them if people who condescend to supporting the political efforts of the poor are to be kept out of public sight: NPR has dropped the program…

“Mara Liaason can opinionate on Fox News while providing an objective god’s-eye view on NPR. Scott Simon can publish opinion columns in corporate newspapers while reporting the facts. Cokie Roberts can take corporate speaking fees that could cover most people’s mortgages without being perceived as in any way tarnished. But Lisa Simeone cannot introduce operas while having taken the unforgivable step of supporting a nonviolent movement on behalf of the lower 99% of us. Despicable.”

12:35  Jon Bon Jovi’s “pay what you can” eatery in Jersey helps some of those less fortunate (though they may have to volunteer).

12:30  A key difference between OWS and Tea Party: participatory democracy, story in The Economist, of all places.

11:55  Today’s song pick for Occupyers, a daily feature, a tribute to Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie (who joined OWS last night, see below): They sing “This Land Is Your Land” with Judy Collins.

11:45  If you missed the news last night (see below) on NPR cutting ties with host of World of Opera over poltiical activities, here’s how NPR explains.

11:00  Ha: Goldman Sach pulls out of event after it learns #OWS “has a seat at the table.” In fact, it was one of the honorees. “They might as well have asked Marie Antoinette to dig into her purse to support Madame Defarge’s knitting business. Shortly after the invitation was sent out, Goldman withdrew its name from the dinner. It also pulled the plug on its $5,000 funding pledge.”

10:55  NYT on the library at Occupy Boston.

10:50  Today’s front-page NYT story on Occupy / Tea Party comparisons is bad in so many ways I can’t begin to dissect it but perhaps I will later today…. Yes, there IS an @OccupyAlabama. And in Michael Scott’s town, an @OccupyScranton with march today.

10:45  Still trying to figure out who this Mike Chec guy is people keeping calling out for.

10:45  Big turnout for OccupyLondon today, details to come. Follow @OccupyLSX Email from their press office to me: “In only six days, the area outside the cathedral has become a functional, organised space, with around 200 tents and at least 1,000 people in attendance each day for public meetings, educational workshops and lively political debate.”

9:40 Conclusion of the Pete Seeger March and occupation of Columbus Circle last night (see more below) with Arlo Guthrie (in floppy hat) here.

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.”

From late Friday

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 Arrests in Cleveland and chants on the livestream of “this is what a police state looks like.” @andrewnazdin is live tweeting. Live stream.

4:35 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.

3:30 Danny Glover speaks at OccupyOakland, which faces eviction.

 

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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