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The OccupyUSA Blog for Monday (Nov. 14), With Frequent Updates | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog for Monday (Nov. 14), With Frequent Updates

I've been live-blogging OWS here daily since October 1.  Email: epic1934@aol.com All times ET.  My new book, just published, is "40 Days That Shook the World: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere.".

Go HERE for the Tuesday edition of this blog, now posted.

10:30 Strange story from Saturday getting more play.  Eight arrested in Dallas from OWS on Saturday with a union activist accused of felony for allegedly assaulting police.  He claims he was roughed up himself, and a video reveals how it started: with the union guy pushed off a planter by a security guard. 

8:55 Big news in Oakland:  Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu latest to resign there, was key player.... Oakland GA planning to link up with Berkeley strikers tomorrow, plan more actions during the week and Saturday, and plan another all-day strike with unions for Nov. 19.  Also, they are back in the plaza but police say no tents or occupying.

8:40  I've mentioned likely coming eviction at OccupyPhilly, but here is good guy Dutin Slaughter's full account of struggles there, decison to stay and resist, and the Radical Caucus vs. the main group.

7:55 Occupyers re-grouping now outside Oakland Library. @LucyKafanov says about 350 there.  One speaker: "We will reoccupy. We will create new tactics and new strategies."  Livestream later if things get tense.  Have been heated debates over use of some forms of violence.  Perhaps to borrow a Bushism, should call them "enhanced aggressive techniques," or some such.

6:55  New Occupy hero Makana -- the Hawaiitan musician who sang epic 45-minute pro-OWS protest song for Obama, wife and world leaders on Saturday (see down the page a bit) -- has re-ignited his Twitter account  @MakanaMusic and web site, which opens with offering of free video and download of the (shorter) version of that now famous (and not bad) song, "We Are the Many." His home page blurb: "There is Love.  All Else is Propanda." 

6:50 Reporter @JoshuaHol just  tweeted:  "Breaking: ACLU Norcal & NLG file federal suit against OPD for excessive force at" Oakland. ... Liz Flock of Wash Post, with Occupy the Highway march now  in Philly, tweets:  "Philadelphia police officer joe shookla says no action is planned for tonight, 'besides one rape, we haven't had any problem.'"

5:20 Truly amazed.  Just now was watching a bit of livestream from Paris when it switched over to Nantes--where my daughter and grandson live!  And they are occupying sites we visited a few months back.  Here is link, in French, to local web page and video of the scene,


Les Indignés à Nantes - "Plaza del pueblo" by blogbreil

4:55 Eliz Warren hits Wall St. in first TV ad. "For years  I have worked to expose how Wall Street and big banks are crushing middle class families.  It just isn’t right. I stood up to the big banks and their army of Washington lobbyists. I worked to hold them accountable. I led the fight for a new agency to protect consumers-- and we got it.”

4:15 Portland mayor Sam Adams' anger has been slowly brewing and today he hits OWS for allegedly losing focus fast, frustrated that they target "liberal mayors," more.   Livestreams for London, facing police now at Guild Hall, and Paris, just attacked.

3:25  Big day ahead: OWS in NY now going public with details of big plan to "shut down Wall Street" on Thursday but it's bigger than that as it is a day of "Non-violent Direct Action."  For example, protesters will march across the Key Bridge in D.C. to highlight infrastructure problems.  More on NY:  They will occupy Foley Sq at 5 pm and "Afterwards we will march to our bridges. Let's make it as musical a march as possible - bring your songs, your voice, your spirit! Our 'Musical' on the bridge will culminate in a festival of light as we mark the two-month anniversary of the #occupy movement, and our commitment to shining light into our broken economic and political system."

2:40  Dramatic and vivid aerial footage of the police raid in Oakland, taking down the tents and arrests.... In surprise, BART's spokesman reassigned over handling of protest-related moves. 

2:30     Folks, my e-book on Occupy -- the first book on the movement -- has just now gone live at Amazon.  It's titled, 40 Days That Shook the World: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere. The price is just $2.99 -- and 50 cents of that goes directly to OWS with the aim of feeding or sheltering Occupyers.  So it's also a way to donate.   And it can work with Kindle, phones, iPad, Macs and PCs and more.  Also available at Amazon UK.  Read much more about it here .

2:25  A pro-OWS activist  named Harry Newman has been emailing me for the past day or so updating me on the progress of that NYC to D.C. march known as Occupy the Highway  (due to conclude on Nov. 23).  Harry was an original marcher but after three days of walking had to drop out for a spell due to two detached toenails and hopes to get doctor's clearance to return.  Last night he noted that his colleagues had arrived, as scheduled, for an overnight in in Philly, but that camp now faces eviction, possibly today.  Now he just relayed that they have sent this word: "If you are trained as a medic, we need you. We expect a mass influx of people and it's looking like none are medics."

And for good reason, for earlier he wrote me:  "I was the first to go down, but there's been at least one more (and more serious) injury today.  Someone who was having trouble walking as early as Thursday (day two) and by Friday was walking with a stiff left leg throwing it forward with his hip with every step then using a walking stick to hold himself up -- today again according to the Post reporter's tweets one of the muscles in his leg tore off  the bone (I assume that means the tendon snapped) and he's now walking w/crutches. He's in his 40s, i'd say.."

1:35 Micah Sifry just posted at Tech President on OWS on a "Leaderfull Movement in a Leaderless Time." ... Video from Harvard Crimson chronicles first night of occupation there.

1:30  We posted item and link last night to the amazing story of the Hawaiian musician and singer Makana, invited to perform at gala for President Obama and other world leaders on visit to Hawaii, getting to sing an epic 45-minute version of his pro-Occupy song (while wearing a pro-Occupy t-shirt).  Watch Amy Goodman's coverage below, with Makana explaining it all,  aphoto of him in the shirt, and (abbreviated) verson of what is actually a good song.

1:10  Terrific piece in The Nation, letter from Berkeley student to chancellor.  "As a Berkeley student and one of the protestors who peacefully demonstrated on Sproul Plaza on November 9, I am deeply offended by your 'Message to Campus Community.' Students and professors, not only on this campus but across the UC system, note how you shift the blame for Wednesday night's violence away from your inability to fulfill your role as Chancellor and onto the students who were standing up for the social value of a right to public education, and for all their peers for whom they wish to secure this right."

12:40  Day-after video from OccupyPortland on the park, the police, peaceful protest,  and the future.

12:00 Today's song for Occupyers everywhere, for what it's worth: "There's a man with a gun over there / telling me I got to beware." No kidding!  And timeless.

11:55 More on that police raid of occupied building takeover in Chapel Hill yesterday, including video of the cops with assault rifles.

11:50  Full report in San Jose paper on today's raid, counts 32 arrests ... Oakland Mayor Quan at press conference said she simply had to crack down because camp was dividing "the 99%" in the city.  Camping just a "tactic."   City has opened a homeless shelter early to help evacuees.  Police official says other camp at Snow Park probably not cleared today.  

10:55 Legal advisor to Oakland Mayor Quan has quit in protest of today's raid.  Dan Siegel tweets: "No longer Mayor Quan's legal advisor. Resigned at 2 am. Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators."  Earlier he had noted: "Since the OPOA says it is part of 99% Oakland police should protect the encampment and refuse to brutalize protesters."

10:25  We are carrying daily econ-related reports from Barbara Bedway (@bbedway).  Today:  Steve Kroft reported on 60 Minutes last night (with help from conservative Hoover Institution) that a loophole in federal law allows members of Congress to use inside information to buy and sell stock—and they have not been shy about growing their wealth in this so-far legal but highly unethical way.  In the after-show segment he tried to put Pelosi and Boehner on hot seat...  Good interview with The End of Loser Liberalism economist Dean Baker at nakedcapitalism . A bit wonky, but great on prescriptions such as the financial speculation tax: “This is simple and makes so much sense to people. We impose a small tax that would be almost invisible to any person who uses the financial markets for their normal purposes (saving for retirement or borrowing for a business), but would totally nail those who are buying and selling by the hour. And, it raises a ton of money to keep the deficit hawks happy..”

9:55 Livestream (below) showing more arrests in Oakland right now.  But possibly no major conflict to come right now...  Small Snow Park camp in Oakland left alone.  Couple dozen tents... Another livestreamer interviews bride just married there.  Where's her honeymoon?  At the library site for the re-grouping and big march,  4 pm today.  Photos of wedding today here.

9:50  Speeches by Condi Rice and Hank Paulson at U of Chicago suddenly cancelled, allegedly due to planned protests ...Rep. Eric Cantor interupted by Occupyers and "mic check" at Rice University, video.

9:40 Oakland today a repeat of Portland yesterday? Cops and city happy to clear camp completely and not charge protesters?  Like in Portland will have to surround camp site to keep it from being occupied again.  

9:20  Livestream (see below) just showed actual wedding in middle of Oakland showdown.... Meanwhile, cops tearing down camp, a few arrests, no charge on protesters yet. Photo of taking down tents. 

9:15  NYT:  Those living near Zuccotti complain about ungodly late night noise -- from construction at World Trade Center site.

9:00 First arrests in Oakland.  From interfaith tent.  Photo of first person in cuffs.  Witnesses chant, "Thank you, thank you," to those busted... Livestream below switches from OWS streets views to  local TV outlets.  No violence yet.  Reporter Lucy Kafanov: " We are inside the plaza. told us they'll move in to arrest shortly and can 'facilitate a tour' for media." 

8:55 Still awaiting attack in Oakland right now, livestream below and link to a second one.  Strong smell of vinegar in the air as tear gas coming.  Police just advanced but not attack yet. Businesses advised by city not to open until after 10 am.

8:25 Good guy Greg Sargent in Wash Post:  How Occupy is influencing how Obama is taking on Romney, painting him as prime !% guy, "Gordon Gekko," and so on.  Good piece on overall climate change for election.

8:20  Analysis of OccupyHarvard.

8:10  Livestream from Oakland right now. Second livestream here.

 8:00 Estimate of maybe 1000 folks on scene in Oakland, maybe as many cops or more--from 10 or more cities.   Reporter Joshua Hol: "A remarkable number of police here now. Far more than previous ops."   Chant: "We are Occupy, every time you kick us out we are gonna multiply."   People being allowed to leave surrounded plaza.  Mainly young crowd, some geezers.  Folks trying to join crowd have no chance now.... Livestreamer just walked down police lines showing all covering up names and numbers. Tells then,  "The only ones out here breaking the law are you."

7:55  Eerie livestream above and second one here.  Oakland folks carrying vinegar or maalox for gas attack. Some police showing names or numbers, many others covering up--a violation.   Not true so muchin previous actions. Now nearing attack. 

7:30  Police on the scene in Oakland now.  BART station closed with attack imminent. Livestreamer: "Our goal is to not arrested and having equipment taken from us."  Cops from outside city most in evidence so far. Hundreds but not thousands of Occupyers in or near plaza.  "The calm before the storm."  Reportedly about 40 at SNow Park and with tents, no police there.

7:05  @Mrdaveyd: "Helicopters overhead.. And police are staging on Franklin street.."   @JoshuaHol:  "Police also blocking 11th st and bway. This is obviously getting underway soon." 

6:55   In 5 minutes we reach the alleged tiime for eviction move in Oakland, big crowd there....  From reporter @JoshuaHol:  "Human mic failing. Word going around that police will be here in minutes. Could be a rumor, but it's close to 4 local time."  From @shoeshine in Oakland: "Protesters are going tent to tent to make sure everyone is out. Afraid of 'accidental victims.'"

12:25  Story of the day: Hawaiian musician, a supporter of Occupy,  got invited to play at gala for visiting President Obama and wife.  He took off jacket at some point and revealed an Occupy With Aloha t-shirt.  Then he launched into 45-minute version of his mellow pro-Occupy protest song, "We Are the Many."   No one stopped him so he just kept going.   Mediaite writer wonders if  Obama finally shouted, "Play 'Freebird.'"  Makana  explains it all on a video, via that link.

12:20  And -- an eviction in Tulsa and arrests in this livestream.

12:15 am  Oakland raid at last?   This report suggests it will definitely happen as police from other cities are called in. The notice is an email to parents at nearby school warning of early morning eviction.  Of course, could still be postponed, but outside cops need to shift focus to Berkeley strike by Tuesday.

From late Sunday

11:55 Great firsthand piece by journalism student and reporter who was arrested in that raid on an occupied building in Chapel Hill by a SWAT team wielding assault rifles (see item and photo below).  "I question the wisdom of those in charge to send in a SWAT team with live ammunition into this situation."  And:  "Mr. Mayor, what part of your oath states that journalists can be detained at gunpoint–effectively censored–from performing his or her First Amendment protected duties?"

11:50  In surprise move, 23 occupyers in Albany, NY,  busted last night set free by prosecutors... Arrest toll in Portland today placed at 50 as camp cleared.  @OccupyPortland tweets message to police:  "We won the night with peace. You won the day with violence. This is far from ove."

11:30  Liz Flock, the Wash Post reporter traveling with the OWS marchers from NY to D.C. (see below) now tweets:  "Diet at Occupy Philly media tent: weed, and whiskey. Police don't intervene, say they don't want any violence."... OccupyOakland GA now, to decide if stay and evicted (likely tonight) or move on.  ...Name of man killed near Oakland camp the other night finally released.

11:00 Scott Olsen, the vet injured by police in Oakland, has posted a message and photo of himself (with big neck wrap) at Google.  "I'm feeling a lot better, with a long road in front of me. After my freedom of speech was quite literally taken from me, my speech is coming back but I've got a lot of work to do with rehab. Thank you for all your support, it has meant the world to me. You'll be hearing more from me in the near future and soon enough we'll see you in our streets!"

10:20  An email alert me to strong chance that OccupyPhilly will be evicted tomorrow.  Their permit runs out then and the mayor (see below) has been hitting them all weekend.  Wash Post reporter Liz Flock, who has been traveling with the OWS marchers going from NY to D.C., recently tweeted that "conflagration" expected tomorrow.  The marchers just arrived in Philly to be greeted by 100 or more protesters, and they will spend the night there.  Email to me by a marcher suggests that other marchers may stick around in Philly for the eviction in solidarity with Occupyers there.

7:50 Portlanders seem to have just voted to move to a new spot but have not decided where.  May prevent attack by police for now.   After much debate, they seem to vote for one spot but many disagree and still arguing.  Problems with "consensus." 

7:10 Just now: Police -- with assault rifles -- clear  out, arrest, Occupyers in Chapel Hill, story here,  amazing and iconic  photo (left) and  here.   Looks like Baghdad.  Daily Tar Heel story here.   Protesters took building, but say they were given no warning of raid. 

7:00   @JoshHarkinson of Mother Jones tweeting tonight what he sees as breakdown at NY Occupy, people even threatening to start a rogue GA.  Earlier this week he covered very rock first Spokes Counsil meetings ....  Woman raped in tent at OccupyPhilly, man caught, had long record of such crimes. Comes just as mayor rampaging against OWS now.

 Greg Mitchell is the author of more than a dozen books and e-books, including the just-published "40 Days That Shook the World" on Occupy.  Email:  epic1934@aol.com

 

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