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The OccupyUSA Blog for Friday (Oct. 28), With Frequent Updates | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog for Friday (Oct. 28), With Frequent Updates

Live-blogging OWS since October 1. For yesterday’s blog, or to bookmark the daily blog, click on my name at top. All times ET.  E-mail: epic1934@aol.com.  Twitter @gregmitch. My recent books here.

--Go here for the Weekend Edition of this blog, now posted.

11:10  Michael Moore in Oakland, says he got note explaining mayor wants to meet with him.  He replies: "I will not meet with the Oakland mayor. I am not . She should come and face the General Assembly. We're a peaceful ppl."   He also reported that the crowd so big there the human mic could not handle it so a hip-hop artist went and got an amp.  You remember amps. 

10:50  Big night for OWS in NYC and probably beyond -- GA there passes controversial "Spokes" proposal to aid governance and speed decisions (see item down the page).

9:40  OccupyOakland apparently has a strike coordinating committee that can vote on things apart from the GA.  They just voted to march to the famous port on Nov. 2 and attempt to "shut it down" on General Strike day.  A major challenge.  The longshoreman have indicated they will not, or cannot, support striking that day.

8:50 NYT reports on new survey of OWSers  at Zuccotti and finds what it considers surprises. "Sixty percent of those surveyed said they voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and about three-quarters now disapprove of Mr. Obama’s performance as president. A quarter said they were Democrats, but 39 percent said they did not identify with any political party. Eleven percent identified as Socialists, another 11 percent said they were members of the Green Party, 2 percent were Republicans and 12 percent say they identified as something else." 

8:45 @DiceyTroop tweeting key NY meeting tonight on "spokes council" proposal.

7:55  You might catch Michael Moore in Oakland if this livestream repeats.... Glenn Greenwald speaking at OccupyBoston tomorrow.  Check your listings. ... Andrew Sullivan:  When Cops Attack Soldiers....

7:00 Due to new movie, I should make clear that Shakespeare also did not write today's edition of this blog.

6:30  To mark marches against bankers today, and those to come, here's U2 doing Woody Guthrie's immortal "Jesus Christ."  Indeed, "if he preached the way he did in Galilee / they'd lay Jesus Christ in his grave." 

 

6:20  From "hero" Sgt. Shamar Thomas:  "Sorry I'm not proficient with Twitter. I will get more in tune soon. I love you, thanks for the support. Support your local occupation."

5:50  Income is very imprecise way of judging financial position, but everyone knows you have to make over $500,000 a year to be in the fabled top 1%.  But within the "We are the 99%" where does your income place you?  Now there's a web calculator to show you where you stand or, in this case, Stand.  Just enter your household income.  Ironically, it comes from...the Wall Street Journal.

5:35  Another public radio producer fired after image emerges suggesting she backs OWS.  She writes about it for Gawker.

5:10  Two key unions (teachers and longshoremen)  won't join General Strike next week in Oakland, making it somewhat less, well, general.  Some unions have no-strike contracts or other impediments so you should not be surprised.  Others back OWS--but only to a point.

5:00  Remember Mayor Quan missing out on talking to OccupyOakland (for whatever reason)?  Here's the video speech she promised.

3:45 I reported yesterday (and it caused quite a stir) that the biggest untold story of local OWS actions was in Tucson, where an astounding 351 arrests had taken place in past two weeks.  Now, quite a bit of coverage, and my colleague Peter Rothberg has posted a how-you-can-help guide.

3:40  First poster for Oakland General Strike (left).

3:35  NY marchers continuing visit to major midtown banks and hdqtrs.  At Morgan Stanley from @TheOther99:  "Protesters invite CEO to lunch. "We'll pick up the tab..we've been doing it for five years!" Loud cheers."

3:30  Cool piece:   "The livestream ended" and watcher not yet involved with #OWS got off computer and headed out to help OccupyOakland.

2:55 How Occupy has changed the national debate. .. Has OccupyLA really split into two camps over pot smoking???... OccupyCoachellaValley worried about eviction tonight.

2:40  March in NY vs banks yields shot of cops on horses defending a Chase... In D.C. now march vs. student debt.

1:30:  @OccupyArrest tally now up to about 2750 with 76 (so far) today.

12:55  Mic check!  Much-delayed vote likely tonight on "Spokes" proposal at NY camp.  Josh Harkinson, the Mother Jones writer who has covered OWS so well, weighs in on the great debate over facilitating discussion and decisions at GAs.  "Opponents of Spokes say it's a less direct form of governance. But has clearly outgrown GA model. Many see Spokes as the best hope....This would free up the General Assembly to focus more on policy debates, developing visions and goals, and outreach."  Here's the official proposal and background.

12:45  Yves Smith @nakedcapitalism has update on story of The Vampire Squid putting the squeeze on #OWS's fave  Peoples Bank, which focuses on low-income customers.  It got a $5,000 donation from Goldman Sachs as a sponsor for its 25th anniversary party--invitations highlighted #OWS as an honoree, as we reported last week.  Sources tell Smith that "Goldman threatened legal action unless the credit union gave up the $5,000 and reprinted the invite sans the Sachs moniker."  (h/t Barbara Bedway)

12:20  OccupyWriters, which is posting contributions by authors, just put up brief piece by sci-fi giant Ursula K. LeGuin.  Excerpt:  "What seems rather different about the Portland camp is that from the start, inevitably, it’s had to deal with and share space with a camp set up by homeless people right next to it as a kind of annex. Portland is more tolerant of the homeless than many cities and there’s a large population of them downtown. So far the two camps have managed to coexist pretty cheerfully. The homeless presence confuses the Occupiers’ message for some people, but reinforces it powerfully for others. Our mayor has been very Taoist in handling the whole business, gracefully evading decisions and ultimatums, then going off to China." 

12:00  CNN poll shows support for budget-crushing Afghan war at all time low.  34% back, while 63% oppose continuing conflict. "58% now say that the war in Afghanistan has turned into a situation like the U.S. faced in Vietnam, six points higher than the number who felt that way a year ago." GOPers STILL back the war, and there is a gender gap, with more women than men opposed.

11:55 From the Charlotte Observer:  Pushed by Democratic  Natonal Committee -- remember, party convention there next summer --  Charlotte may outlaw any camping on city property, stifling OWS now.

11:25  As promised, Egyptians have marched from Tahrir Square to U.S. Embassy to back #OWS.   See great photos here, some carrying signs with shout outs to OccupyOakland and more, such as FUCK POLICE.

11:15 @Katz reports this statement from OWS at Zuccotti: "As always when the police take, people give. New generators on the way."  

10:55 Today's song pick for Occupyers everywhere, a daily feature:  Vintage Elvis Costello (1978), "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding."    Looking for a "light in the darkness"  from "pain and misery."

10:45  Here's piece on what I noted last night: MIchael Moore coming to OccupyOakland today.

10:40  Got this email relating to raid at Zuccotti this morning:  "I was at the NYC GA on 10/12, the day the biodiesel generator was proposed (http://www.nycga.net/2011/10/12/nycga-minutes-1012/).  This didn't make it into the GA minutes for that day, but the rationale behind asking for the generator proposal was that the working group who was spearheading the proposal (Sustainability?) had checked with the FDNY regarding permits.  They were informed that no permit was necessary for a generator below a certain size, and the proposed generator was significantly below that size.  Based on this, the group moved forward with the proposal, which was approved."

10:30  In light of NY raid as wintry weather arrives, on 125th anniv of Statue of Liberty, cool image of a shivering Lady Liberty.

10:20  Repeating what I wrote last night:  There has been, and will be,  a lot of confusing chat about this or that Occupy site and the Oakland General Strike,  set for next Wednesday.  Note that some may "back" or "show solidarity with" or get behind or groove with or otherwise endorse but that doesn't mean they will necessarily call for a strike in their cities.  Or they may.  But check out details before assuming.   Also, a classic "general strike" is open-ended, not a one-day affair, which might be more accurately called a "walkout" or a "moratorium."   But a "one-day General Strike" does fit.

10:05  New call from @OccupyWallStNYC (see below for items on raid):  "We need replacement generators. took all, even bio-diesel!"   New wrap-up on the raid and loss of electricity here.  ... Press release from OccupyNashville, after arrests there.

9:55 Oakland's Bay Citizen with fresh details (for me) on mayor's visit to OWS last night: claim that she tried to speak, was booed off, retreated when a few people "rushed" her.  Then people defied order by erecting tents, setting up library, etc.... Good MoJo video: Behind the LInes at OccupyOakland.

9:20  JP Morgan and other banks backing away from newdebit card fee after protests. ... More on those arrested in Nashville released.

8:55 @NYCMayorsOffice feels need to tweet to justify this morning's raid (see item and link to livestream below):  "Generators & fuel removed w/out violence or arrests. FDNY & NYPD deserve credit for carrying this out professionally and w/ restraint...  Only goal was to keep protestors & public safe. From the start, we've done that in a way fully consistent w/the 1st Amendment...It’s illegal to store/use generators & fuel if it threatens public safety, so FDNY informed protestors that those items must be remove."   Question will come down: What was the actual "fuel"?

8:50  New Amy Goodman column: Globalizing dissent, from Tahrir Sq to NYC.

8:10  Police and Fire Dept. raiding Zuccotti Park right now to take generators, bio-diesel --  as fire hazard, as they say.  Livestream as recorded a few minutes ago.  Propane supposedly a threat, but campers point out they only use "bio-diesel." As one says, "the hippies" insist on that.   Cops and firemen sniffing bottles and jugs.

8:05  Reportedly all two dozen arrested in Nashville a few hours ago (see below) released--and charges dropped.  Local paper has story and photo.

8:00  Interesting: analyst Damien Ma at The Atlantic on  Why many Chinese sympathize with #OWS.   "It doesn't take much for many Chinese to see parallels in their own socioeconomic conditions, where vast and unsustainable inequality is probably the leading potential destabilizing factor facing the country. Everyone from those in the middle-class to cab drivers feel viscerally this sense of inequality or unfairness"

7:20  Also eviction and arrests in San Diego within past two  hours and tents cleared. .  Now confirmed that two in media team arrested, livestream down.  Others arrests.  First local news media report.   Livestream below from just 90 minutes ago captures the action:

 

7:15 City and St. Paul's Cathedral in London filing for eviction of the OccupyLondon camp.  A live-blog here.

7:10  NYT:  Outrage grows over atrtack on Scott Olsen in Oakland.... Range of editorial cartoons on crackdown.

7:05  I awaken to this:  as expected, eviction in Nashville.   Middle of the night. "Tennessee State Troopers arrested at least two dozen Occupy Nashville protestors on Legislative Plaza early Friday morning.  Authorities began moving around 3 a.m. using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents since October 7. Troopers gave the protestors 10 minutes to leave peacefully, but instead some of the protestors sat in a semi-circle facing outwards with their arms locked."

From late Thursday.

11:45 Olbermann interviews Vlad, a man behind the absolutely critical Global Rev livestream operation and OWS media group.  Also, Sgt. Thomas on Olsen and Oakland.

11:30  Oh, ho-hum, USA ranks near bottom in new social justice index.  No biggie.... Robert Scheer:  30 Years of Greed.

11:25  Rumor that Hell's Angels joining Oakland group.  Some of us remember what happened at Altamont, not so far away, in 1969.  Just saying.

11:15  AP portrait of Scott Olsen shows him as very sympathetic guy. ...SF mayor:  We didn't raid last night, but still could, should, would.... Chicago vigil for Olsen pressured by cops, arrests could come but Marines in support.

11:05  Weather will be testing Occupyers even earlier than feared.  Yes, Denver bad, but northeast cold and rainy and forecast of possible earlier one-inch snowfall in New York ever this Saturday...

10:50  What a mess.   Oakland mayor, after saying she'd speak at GA tonight (see down below), now exits, saying would send recorded speech!  Not sure whether she backed out, or told not welcome (that's what she says), but hoo-boy.... Award offered via Paste Bin for info on police officer who cause Olsen's injury... Vigils all over the country, to many to mention.   

9:20  Update on Scott Olsen's condition just now from NYT's Malia Wollan:  "Highland hospital says 's skull is fractured. After seizure he was induced into a coma. Now alert. Speech impaired. Parents here."

9:15  Hair on fire: Donald Trump on CNN's Piers Morgan tonight charges that a lot of the protesters down at Zuccotti "for dating purposes."

9:05 @OccupyArrests update places total at 2693 so far... Latest eviction notice:  Nashville tonight about midnight.... Update: NYPD did NOT seize books from library at Zuccotti.  They asked that major tarp be removed and it was.  

8:20  Oakland mayor to speak at Oakland's General Assembly tonight, according to reports.  She will wait in line for her turn like everyone else, they say.  Yesterday she promised "minimal" police presence for now and said city basically supported OWS ideas.  Tom Morello tweets:  "In aftermath of police brutality Oakland's mayor addressing Occupy Oakland tonite. Will Occupy Oakland arrest the mayor??"

7:10   Off the radar?  Perhaps biggest little-told OWS local story is the massive number of arrests for OccupyTucson.  Another 20 yesterday boosts overall total to an astounding (for the size) 351.  "On any given weekday, there are about 100 'occupiers' demonstrating in city parks. On Tuesdays -- when City Council meetings are held -- and on weekends, that number increases to up to 1,000 demonstrators."

7:05 Yesterday, as some may recall, I posted a very RTed item on the "press gaggle" on Air Force One as the president returned from California.  It seemed none of the reporters asked the press secretary, Jay Carney, about  violence the night before in Oakland or any other OWS-related questions.  A couple of White House reporters complained to me that this was unfair because this was a small group, and I replied that, gee, they did manage to ask 17 questions in all.

Today there was a full-scale press briefing at the White House and this time (perhaps sparked by my item?) a question and a followup were posed.  Carney could not say if Obama had seen any images of the Oakland violence and then he seemed to blame it on the demonstrators in pointing out that they had the right to protest but needed to stay within the law (do the police?).  The rest was mainly boilerplate about understanding the "frustrations."

6:35  What a shock!  Heavily armed neo-Nazi who attended OWS event -- inspiring rightwingers to label OWS as super-radical and anti-semitic or somehow worse, not like the Tea Party, they said -- turns out to have attended or even spoken at Tea Party events, Media Matters exposes.

 Greg Mitchell’s 12th book is new e-book vs. the death penalty,  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.  He's also recently written books about WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning.  His book The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics won the Goldsmith Book Prize.

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