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The OccupyUSA Blog for Tuesday (April 17), With Frequent Updates | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog for Tuesday (April 17), With Frequent Updates

Live-blogging OWS daily since October 1.  Email: epic1934@aol.com. All times ET.   See my e-book on Occupy "40 Days That Shook the World."   My other books, including new ones on Bradley Manning and Beethoven, here....

8:15 Michael Lewis, author of "Moneyball," "Liar's Poker" and longtime expert on The Street, weighs in on OWS at Daily Beast, saying he felt "glee and relief" when movement emerged.  "Glee because, by both temperament and occupation, I have a rooting interest in socially disruptive behavior. Relief because I had begun to think such protests might never happen. Given the provocation—intense and effective political pressure from Wall Street to codify two sets of economic rules, one for people who work at giant Wall Street firms, the other for people who don’t—I was surprised it has taken as long as it has for people to hit the streets."

His proposal?  "I would probably reorganize the movement around a single, achievable goal: a financial boycott of the six 'too big to fail ' Wall Street firms: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo. We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them, and put them in smaller, not “too big to fail” banks. We would stigmatize anyone who invested, in any way, in any of these banks. I’d try to organize college students to protest on campuses. Their first goal would be to force the university endowments to divest themselves of shares in these banks."  Could this work?  "Yes. I think we could create a run on a bank."

7:05  Ryan Devereaux on today's Tax Day protests in NY.  Update: a couple of dozen protesters now "penned" by park police on steps of federal building near Wall St. Plenty going on in LA and elsewhere.

4:05 Protester in now-infamous photo (getting choked by cop last weekend) now considering legal action.  But that's only part of it:  "According to Weiskel, the officer approached him and 'took two swipes at my camera, knocking it out of my hands'.”

3:55 Today's laff:  Breitbart's Big Hollywood attends a Van Jones inspired training session and thinks it finds true horror.   Imagine!  Criticizing George Zimmerman! But his biggest shock:  No one is defecating on anything.

2:20  Cool Pittsburgh tax day street protest--"dodgeball," as big companies avoid taxes and look for loopholes... actions today in L.A....

1:05 Politico interviews actress, and Occupy backer, Olivia Wilde. “I think that there’s also a really tricky thing in this conversation where people say if you’re a well off individual, as I am because of my work, you are part of the 1 percent and therefore part of the problem and therefore you can’t speak on this issue. I think that’s totally ludicrous. I think that’s like telling white people that they can’t talk about racism just because they’re white.”

12;55 Interesting NYT piece: "Young People Tire of Old Economic Models," good read.  "It’s great to see new paradigm slowly making its way into the mainstream.  I think this is demonstrated quite well by the comments made by professors Sachs and Stiglitz, neither of whom, even four years ago, I would have expected to reference the Easterlin Happiness Paradox or the Planetary Boundaries Framework."

12:10  Cool party/concert and CD release party for Occupy album planned for City Winery in New York for May 8, very limited seating, large lineup of performers plus Michael Moore and others--see write-up on Jackson Browne site.  He is not listed among performers but this tells me he is among special guests.  Tickets $99.  Part of that and album profits go to OWS. 

11:15  The Day the Occupy Camp died, and Buddy Holly weeps:  Cops finally shut down OccupyLubbock.   So it's Lubbock or Leave It.... FDL on Tax Day events.

10:30  Showdown coming in Madison as Mayor Paul Soglin opposes extension of Occupy camp there. ... And police sent to public meeting in Buffalo to discourage OWS disruptions....OccupyPortland joins anti-nuke rally.

10:15 Full piece on new Woody Guthrie album projects, live shows, Morello in Chicago May 19, why Woody matters again, more.... Review of my new book (with Kevin Gosztola) on U.S. vs Bradley Manning.

9:55 The Gothamist with report on last night's sleep-showdown in NYC, with 10 (some say 14) arrests--and angry exchanges between local residents mad about the noise and disruption and Occupyers.  See videos. Resident pummels protester, no arrest. 

9:15 Poll for Tax Day:  68% says tax system favors rich and unfair to average workers... As for me, let me say: this morning the feds and NY State already zapped the money I owed out of my bank  account...

9:00  Allison Kilkenny's latest on arrests at the "sleepful protests"  plus tax day plans.... More from Danny Schecter on the alleged battle for the "soul" of Occupy, and then there's Ben & Jerry.

8:30  Natasha Lennard in Salon on spring activity--and how hard it is to tell now which groups are really Occupy.   "As Saturday’s actions illustrated, there is no determinate answer to what is or isn’t Occupy. There are procedures and principles broadly understood and developed that tend to characterize that which is part of the movement, but there is no membership, no central committee. There is an ongoing conversation about when funds donated to OWS should be used, and there will continue to be contentious cases."

8:00  14 OWSers arrested in the Bronx in foreclosure auction action, "singing." 

From late Monday

Key night in New York--on day cops finally disrupted and arrested folks who had been sleeping on sidewalk protest for past week.  Now lawyers are advising that indeed legal but police disagree and could be big showdown tonight. 

Plan to "occupy" Bank of America shareholders meeting in Charlotte on May 9 really catching fire, according to insider reports, with hundreds already signing up to attend.

Occupy West Side Story targets NY cop nemesis "Officer Winski."  (Of course, it was Krupke in the original, but the "fuck you" ending remains.)

Alec Baldwin admits doing those Capital One bank commercial at same time he was boosting OWS may not have been the "smartest" move.  But he still defends it, noting their, and his, funding for the arts.

Update on NY sidewalk sleepers getting the boot this morning, moving across street for now but more trouble looms tonight as "tolerance" ends.

 Lot of interesting winners and finalists announced in today's Puitzers (when I was at E&P we always had it first, BTW).  Here is main site with all of them, lot of key pieces that relate to Occupy issues, plus care of injured U.S. soldiers and the elderly, the NYPD spying on Muslims, financial issues and the Madison daily's coverage of the long-running Scott Walker protests, and much more.   Huff Post won first Pulitzer.

Spring training to continue after hot start, link here.... I mentioned the "Tax Dodgers" below (with baseball theme) and now they have a site and big plans in NY for tomorrow... Obama campaign provides handy way to compare your tax rate to Romney's.

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