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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 here daily since October 1.  Email: epic1934@aol.com All times ET.  My new e-book,  is "40 Days That Shook the World: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere." If recent items do not show up below, simply hit refresh.

Go HERE now for the Monday edition of this blog, please.

SUNDAY

11:15 Apparently new idea floated in NY today that I am catching up with  and don't quite get, but here is flyer with the "tenting" concept and list of possible sites... Also, OWS still considering occupying Duarte Park north of Zuccotti -- that's the place many went to after the big bust this week, when informed that church would allow them to stay there -- which was not quite true....Unconfirmed friend that Ani DiFranco in march right now for #OWS to Wash Sq Park.

11:00 Back from NY.   It seems my old pal Dan Ellsberg  speaking to Occupyers in SF -- and guy I've interviewed a couple times Steve Earle showed up at the drum circle thing in NY today.

2:50 As I leave for second half of all-day Beethoven piano sonata marathon in NY,  Mayor Bloomberg has just declared today "Beethoven Day" in NYC.  Ludwig, strong defender of the 99%, rolls over in grave, no doubt still clinging to All Men Become Brothers.    I'll be back late tonight.  Please, tell cops and mayors, no raids tonight.

2:25 Plenty of jokes about this already but now a full piece on U.S. declaring "pepper spray" a vegetable.  Consumption way up since OWS protests began...

2:05   NYC cops now closing off street in front of Bloomberg's apt in move vs. drum circlers and others, according to people there. Livestream here.  What next?...

1:40  Update with details on UC-Davis moves below.  90-day probe shortened to 30 days.  Chancellor says she moved after outpouring of concern from students and alumni and around USA.  Cops suspended still not named.

1:10  KCBS in San Fran just reported two cops involved in UC-Davis pepper spray incident placed on administrative leave -- which school refused to do until now.  AP story that follows does NOT name John Pike:  "Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters are being placed on administrative leave as the chancellor of the school accelerates the investigation into the incident. UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi on Sunday said she has been inundated with reaction over the incident, in which an officer dispassionately fires pepper spray on a line of sitting demonstrators. Video of the incident was circulated widely on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday."   UPDATE:  Brian Stelter of NYT says ridiculous 90-day probe of incident shorted to 30-days.

1:05 Folks,  this is a test.  Want a FREE copy of my e-book on Occupy -- the first book on the movement -- that has just come out?  Be among the first 10 to send me your email (to my address above).  But make sure you can download or use your Kindle app -- for Kindle, most phones, iPads, Macs and PCs.   If not, it's a waste of my time and money!    It's 40 Days That Shook the World: From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Everywhere, and covers events right up to this week. The price is normally 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.  If you prefer to get some money to Occupy, then buy it.

12:40  Raid over at new Oakland camp, flattened, according to various tweets (no livestreams), people looking for ways to salvage belongings.  Without massive turnouts, such camps are sitting ducks.  Snow Park camp next?....  That beating of vet Kayvan Sabeghi in Oakland on Nov. 2 has now surfaced in dramatic video.

12:25 Great new video on the epic NY to DC march now nearing goal, don't miss:

12:20:  Rumor from well-placed source: my man Steve Earle to join drum circle and festivities outside Bloomberg's apt. today.

11:15  Bloomberg's office says okay for drum circle outside his apartment today so long as "legal." That will mean crackdown on blocking streets and, I imagine, noise control late at night -- of course, his neighbors will be quite up in arms.

11:05  @OccupyOakland says riot police just gave 20 minutes to disperse at new camp there...Police cleared out 12 tents outside the Fed in SF this morning but left main camp alone.

10:40  Dramatic livestream coverage very live by AJ English from Tahrir Sq. Crowds pushed out, tear gas and beatings, then come back.

10:25 Jay Rosen with new Press Think on role of new media in Occupy coverage, boosts livestreamer Tim Pool, but hey, I was there first, nominating him for Pulitzer (or "Poolitzer," as Mike Brown puts it,  at least).  Jay does point out beauty of his last name and long history of "pool reporting." ... The great Jimmy Breslin with column backing OWS and "bat signal" action.

10:10  Glenn Greenwald on the roots of UC-Davis pepper-spraying incident....  BTW, long tradition of making university chief take "walk of shame" (see video down he page a bit).  We did it at my college in 1969.... Meanwhile, new Oakland camp survived the night but who knows for how long?

10:00 More info on today's long-overdue 2 pm event in NY:  start of 24-hour drum circle outside Bloomberg's pad.  Others have suffered, now his turn. Could be quite a major event, I'm told.

9:25  Don't miss video below of Children's Brigade addressing thousands in NY inFley Square with help of Mic Check.  Hey, 20-year-olds, get out of the way.

9:20  Someone emailed me this important link on Occupy in Japan, which has gotten almost no coverage here (and, knowing MSM there, probably little there).  Already big demos there over Fukushima which has morphed into Occupy protests, see chronology at site.

9:10  Ya think it's bad here?  London to ban demonstrations during Olympics... Follow the great @HannahAllam and @LeilaFadel on Egypt crisis and violence.

8:10 Not so Super-Committee to declare defeat tomorrow, has not met since Nov.1, though many in media continue to offer faulty reporting that Dems and GOPers equally unwilling to compromise.  FAIL.   Now we will see GOP get rid of trigger for defense cuts.  And blame OWS for it all, perhaps.

8:00 New and lengthy interview, with key photos, of a pepper-sprayed UC-Davis student by Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing, who has really been on the case. 

1:30 Video interview with UC-Davis who took pepper-spray in mouth and then vomited for 45 minutes.  He says offending cop ordered colleagues to stop trying to pull kids away because "I want to spray them."

12:30 a.m. UC-Davis chancellor's two-minute "perp walk" through 1000 students shaming her with their total silence, below.

SATURDAY

 11:00 A Beat poet?  With his own Howl of protest?  Former poet laureate of U.S. Robert Hass reveals in new NYT op-ed that he was struck by billyclubs in police attack on students at Berkeley the other day, injuring his ribs, and wife knocked down.  "One of my colleagues, also a poet, Geoffrey O’Brien, had a broken rib. Another colleague, Celeste Langan, a Wordsworth scholar, got dragged across the grass by her hair when she presented herself for arrest."   But then, a "lyrical" moment.

10:35 Another pro-OWScolumn posted tonight Nick Kristof, who observed some of action in NY this week.  He closes by saying OccupyTheAgenda is underway and needed even more. "The high ground that the protesters seized is not an archipelago of parks in America, but the national agenda. The movement has planted economic inequality on the nation’s consciousness, and it will be difficult for any mayor or police force to dislodge it."

9:55 Tomorrow, civil right leaders of yore will "pass the torch" to new generation and most important movement of this century at OWS camps tomorrow in NY, LA, DC maybe elsewhere.  The NY ceremony is at 3:30 at Zuccotti, and candlelight gathering later.  Read full announcement here.... Occupy Philly tonigh votes to move toThomas Paine Plaza.

9:50 Interview with pepper-sprayed student, plus video, as protest continues there tonght. "But perhaps damning for UC Chancellor Linda Katehi (left) is the revelation that no one at the UC Davis administration has reached out to Shanon to apologize for the pain inflicted by the police, to make sure she is okay, or to at least to hear her perspective." ... Police there now claiming they sprayed in self-defense.... Jeff Sharlet tweets: "If UC Davis Chancellor Katehi's career wasn't over before her press conference, it shld be now. What an absurd, shameful character." ...Chancellor just exited, with 1000 students greeting her with total silence and accusing faces.

9:25  As noted below, new Oakland camp set up with reportedly 14 tents at this time and large crowd around.  Police said to sure to make move, though perhaps not until middle of night. .. And see UC-Davis livestream below.

8:10 Showdown in Oakland a few minutes away? As marchers seek to establish new camp and cops ready

8:05 D.C. building occupation over, after police carry out 11 protesters.  Others in street still chanting,according to tweets a few minutes ago.  Tim Craig of Wash Post noted of arrests: "Some being carried out with legs and feet both cuffed."

7:55 Great: UC-Davis students surround building where chancellor at press, say will clear path for her to leave for "walk of shame."  See livestream below:

 7:45 NYT covers "outrage" over UC-Davis attack. ... KCBS says 30 to 40 OWS have descended on San Jose mayor's lawn, will they pitch tents?... After march, OccupySF at city hall rally...

6:10  Yet another fantastic action:  Daily Cal reports on tonight's big Stanford-Cal football game. "Usually, the Big Game sparks cross-bay pranking and inflames the intense rivalry between the two premier West Coast universities. But this year, students from UC Berkeley and Stanford are burying the axe in light of the Occupy Cal movement, which has overtaken Sproul Plaza and relegated traditional Big Game week customs to the back of students' minds.

"Student leaders from the two schools are working together to organize a Big Game Solidarity March and Rally before the annual football game Saturday night. Students from both schools will come together to support the Occupy Cal movement and to condemn the police’s use of force against student protesters, according to the event’s Facebook page." (h/t Jon Wiener)

5:35 Update on D.C. building occupation (see below) from Tim Craig: "Protesters still on roof of school, chanting "we are the 99 percent" at top. More police continue to arrive."

5:15  Major D.C. action taking Franklin school / community center / homeless shelter/ community center (forgive me for lack of clarity).  That photo at left.  Police and FD not able to evict yet.Via tweet, someone from 2nd floor just shouted down they have blocked doors and will not leave, police will have to arrest and drag out. UPDATE: Tim Craig of Wash Post just tweeted that police breaking in NOW.  Craig now tweets:  "You can see flashlights inside building, but haven't seen police bring anyone out. Alley is barricaded by protesters on both side."

5:10 Livestream below jumping around from big Oakland and SF marches and elsewhere.  Also OWS hero singer from Hawaii, Makana, doing OWS interviewing and song here.

5:00 While chancellor at UC-Davis plays CYA after pepper spray outrage (see below), the school's faculty association calls for her immediate resignation.  Also, the state's faculty association for UC has issued strong statement hitting police actions at a number of schools this week, and called on school's presidents to refrain from calling the cops.  "We are outraged that the administrations of UC campuses are using police brutality to suppress dissent, free speech and peaceful assembly."

4:55  Gingrich tells Christian conference just now -- and gets huge applause --  telling OWS people to "go get a job after you take a bath."

4:50 @JoshHarkinson, who has been following rumors, reports and debate all day over OWS in NY occupying another site now says this appears well off in future.  They are concentraing on getting Spokes councils working better and making finances (they have plenty of dough) transparent.

4:40  Big Oakland rally right now, festive for the moment.... SF camp has faced police action today, shutdown in one area underway with no resistance, a bit murky right now, for me at least.... Rallying in Portland right now as "re-occupying" taking place by some.

3:45  UC-Davis chancellor promises probe of pepper-sprayng, read her statement.  "Yesterday was not a day that would make anyone on our campus proud." Really? Then blames students, and adds: "The use of pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this." But does not condemn.  Probe will take...90 days. She does express "sadness."

3:30 @Arlo_Stone tweets message to me from Portland: "50 of us were here at 8am, reoccupying,  now at 70. Many plan stay past 12am: face arrest."

2:24 Reports from Oakland: Mayor Quan says Snow Park camp to be raided tomorrow -- and no new camp at 19th and Telegraph?  Big rally there today.... Yes that marathon drum circle happening tomorrow starting at 2 pm outside Bloomberg's pad, 79th off 5th. Paging Ginger Baker!

1:45  Will this be a new iconic video?  New York doc fimmaker Sam Black just sent me link to video he just posted to YouTube -- from inside NYC jail at 1 Police Plaza, while handcuffed and just before phone taken away, on Thursday, after his arrest, with fellow OWSers waiting to be booked  chanting, "All day all week occupy Wall St."  Amazing.  He says he was not released for 14 hours.  Black has worked on several well-known docs, including "Client 9" and "Casino Jack."  Love this in his email to me:  "I am just happy it came out decent since I was  filming backwards with my hands behind my back." 

 1:20  @JoshHarkinson tweets: "Just saw a cop block a pidgeon at entrance to Zuccotti. 'No pidgeons!' I'm not making this up."  Did he then pepper stray the poor bird?  Call the Animal Protection League, PETA, Humane Society. 

1:10  Today's song pick for Occupyers everywhere, a daily feature since Oct. 1, can only be the classic by Jimmy Cliff, which (along with movie of same name)  helped reggae -- and Bob Marley -- break through in USA: "The Harder They Come."   Yes, "the harder they fall, one in all."

12:35  There is hope:  Police officer in Canada charged with assault -- and weapons violation -- after pepper-spray attack on girl, 16 last month.  Also suspended without pay. "Our police service is committed to providing professional, friendly and helpful service to our communities; nothing less," Chief Murray Rodd stated in a statement released to the media. (h/t @flr666)

12:20  UC-Davis chancellor, who makes over $400,000 a year,  getting bombarded with protest mail and calls after the notorious pepper-spraying incident (see TWO videos below).  The cop has been IDed also.  Now, no one was killed, though some injured, in this case, but it does make me recall what happened after Kent State -- when I helped organize a complete campus shutdown at my college -- just one of hundreds where that happened.  Can't say same thing will happen now but UC-Davis incident just latest in string of such.  In fact, demonstration  there was called to protest brutality at Berkeley!

11:45  The controversial Shepard Fairey -- of Obama "HOPE" poster and so much more, good and bad -- has now backed OWS with a new poster where the Obama visage is now covered with a Guy Fawkes mask and HOPE message changed to "Mr. President we HOPE you are on our side."  With a We Are The 99% sticker.  That's it in small view at left.  See it large and an interview with him here.   He says one thing he is trying to achieve with new poster "is to very clearly demonstrate my support for the movement. I’ve subverted my most well-known image which I think is a strong gesture."   He feels looking for allies within White House and Dems is not hopeless so there is still "hope." 

11:40  I hinted at this yesterday and now happening: debating exiting Zuccotti as base and occupying new area.  Proposal from its Direct Action committee and proposed site secret, I was told there last night.  Or: Re-occupying Zuccotti fully. 

11:25  My photo at left of remains of People's Library as displayed at Zuccotti Park last night.  A few minutes later even this humble display was too much for cops who "raided," and ordered them all put in a plastic bin.  Librarians there told me that yes, they were able to retrieve some of their books thrown in dumpster the other night and put them in storaage-- but most of them wrecked and relatively few still can be loaned.  Also, all their laptops wrecked.  I have now floated idea to official OWS relating to authors filling gap with e-book "loans, stay tuned.

11:00  Cool photo of the NY to DC marchers along the highway, and reportedly getting a lot of honking support. 

10:30  Tweet of the day from @ginalou: "Has Congress declared pepper spray a vegetable yet?"

10:05 We posted the now viral 8-minute video of pepper spraying at UC-Davis last night (see down below).  Now here is much shorter one, from different angle, just as horrific:  

9:40  I'll be on the Media Matters radio show this morning at about 10:10 on the week in protests and my new Occupy book.

9:15  Chris Hayes on his MSNBC show today exposed letter from financial industry lobbying firm for $850,000 drive to combat OWS and undermine  Dems who back it.

8:55 Faculty member at UC-Davis who helped organize protest calls for resignation of chancelleor of UC-Davis--and details injuries --  after brutal pepper spraying of non-violent student there -- see now famous video, and link to story and photos below .  From open letter:  "When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood. This is what happened. You are responsible for it."

8:50 I noted yesterday the call for an OccupyCongress action and camp next month led by SEIU and labor (see below).  Now Glenn Greenwald slams it as move to co-opt OWS and direct it into pro-Obama and pro-Dem campaigning.... Watch shouting match on Fox News over OWS featuring Alan Colmes--with Megyn Kelly as ref.

8:45 Sad news from @LizFlock at Wash Post who has been on NY to DC march: "Woke up to find 1 marcher had mental breakdown in night & left, another had all his $ stolen, 'nuts & bolts coming apart'--medic."

8:40 Yet another iconic photo: arrest of retired police Capt. Ray Lewis by cop in NY, by Johnny Milano.

 1:40  Remember Makana, the Hawaiian who serenaded Obama last weekend with a 45-minute OWS song.  Tonight from Occupy in NY:  "ANNOUNCEMENT - At 5pm, & host a special livestream concert+talk b/w Hawaii/NYC.  Stay tuned 4 details.... NYC location TBA soon!"

12:40  Great piece in The Oregonian: interview with 20-year-old woman in YESTERDAY's iconic pepper-spraying image from Portland --you know, shot directly in the face by cop.  And SHE was the one arrested.  Plus video.

12:15 Shocking video (below) of cop spraying peaceful students, sitting, at UC-Davis -- pepper spray, or what?   LIke crop dusting or insect extermination.  Going viral.  Cop has been IDed and phone and email posted on web.  And here's iconic photo of incident.and story.

12:10 David Cay Johnston at Reuters: "Closing Wall Street's Casino." Better late than never.

12:05  Just out: from the great Ry Cooder with OWS song, with refrain, Still Looking for "The Wall Street Part of Town."  Standing in the rain and breaking off the chains.  He'd already produced recently the classic "No Banker Left Behind."   Sample: "Divide and rule / hat's always been their plan /  But this time we've got friends. ..."

 

 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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