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Occupy Isn't About Electing Democrats--It's About Exposing a Broken System

As long as there has been a thing called Occupy Wall Street, there have been people who've suggested it should become the left's version of the Tea Party. Josh Harkinson's piece is a notable contribution to the conversation because it comes after eight months of in-depth reporting on the movement. Harkinson, like Jennifer Granholm, suggests that Occupy should recruit and run candidates, so the left has champions in Congress and can credibly threaten less ideologically aligned Democrats. According to this logic, it doesn't matter if Occupy does this itself or essentially outsources the job to our progressive allies -- the point is to find ways to elect more good Democrats.

Occupy Movement "Has Created Something That Didn't Really Exist" in US

DemocracyNow.org - Noam Chomsky says the Occupy movement has helped rebuild class solidarity and communities of mutual support on a level unseen since the time of the Great Depression. "The Occupy movement spontaneously created something that doesn't really exist in the country: Communities of mutual support, cooperation, open spaces for discussion ... people doing things and helping each other," Chomsky says. "That's very much missing. There [has been] massive propaganda going on for a century, that you really shouldn't care about anyone else, just yourself ... To rebuild [class solidarity] -- even in small pieces of society -- can become very important, can change the conception of how society ought to function." Chomsky also gives his assessment of President Obama, whom he says has attacked civil liberties in a way that "goes beyond George W. Bush."

The Struggle Continues! May 2nd Brooklyn College Education Convergence

Another University is Possible. Today, May 2nd, students from across NYC will be joining together at the Brooklyn College Campus to take back our future from the 1%. Hundreds of students will be staging a continuation of May Day and the Free University by taking over the Quad at Brooklyn College with teach-ins, political theater, food, music, and events to show an alternative university. While subsidies, tax breaks, and corporate loopholes continue to exist allowing banks and corporations to make record profits, slashes to education have resulted in students paying more and more in CUNY while receiving less and less.

Noon, Wednesday - May 2, 2012
Brooklyn College Quad (Next to the library and Bell Tower)

Schedule:
12:00: Sign Making, Music, Student Loan Debt Balloons
12:30: Political Theater: Wedding of CUNY Chancellor Goldstein + Kroll Security Group
1:00: Student Speakers, Reading of Solidarity Statements from Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and The Quebec Student Strike.
1:30: March
2: 00: Free Lunch and Free University teach-ins: David Graeber, and others! - Many from theMay Day Free University

Largely Peaceful Occupy May Day Protests Marred By Downtown Arrests

After a series of protest actions, activists and demonstrators from all over the country gathered in midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park under the shadow of Bank of America Tower to mark the Occupy Wall Street movement’s May Day general strike. Remaining cognizant to May Day’s roots in a Chicago labor movement 130 years ago — though May 1st went global with International Workers’ Day — demonstrators nonetheless maintained a light spirit, singing, meditating, eating free food and discussing politics and policy. The morning events went down largely without incident, as organizers encouraged protesters to keep moving to avoid arrest. But later in the afternoon, reports and photographs of arrested protesters at a downtown action flooded Twitter.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/05/01/474779/may-day-protest-photos/

Here are some photos from Bryant Park:

May Day Protests Show Occupy Wall Street, Liberal Establishment Bonds

A little over six months ago, Stephanie McGuinness was camping out in Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of a new movement that often shunned politicians and community groups and other bastions of the liberal "establishment."

On Tuesday, as thousands gathered for May Day rallies around the country,McGuinness stood in New York's Bryant Park, handing out literature and chatting up passersby in her new role as an intern for the bastion of the liberal establishment that is the broadcast network Democracy Now.

Occupy Wall Street May Day 'General Strike' Planned With Unions, Immigrant Groups

Occupy Wall Street activists are planning for a nationwide series of demonstrations billed as a "general strike" on Tuesday in what could be the biggest test of the movement's organizing muscle since the winter.

Touted as a "day without the 99 percent," and modeled in part on massive immigration reform protests in 2006, Occupy groups in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Chicago and more than 100 other cities will join forces with immigrant rights groups and labor unions. Organizers expect tens of thousands of supporters to swarm the streets in those cities on the anniversary of the traditional labor movement holiday.

"No work, no school ... don't bank, don't buy," posters for the day that have been circulating around New York say. But activists are mixed on whether they expect the day of action to result in large-scale walk-offs from work, and one of the most controversial actions, a proposal to block traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge, was called off over the weekend.

Occupy Wall St - The Revolution Is Love

A taste of the upcoming feature documentary, Occupy Love. This is a community funded film. http://www.occupylove.org "Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%." ~ Charles Eisenstein

140 characters to the clink: Occupy Wall Street protester loses battle to block Twitter subpoena

Prosecutors don't have to get a warrant to subpoena your tweets, even if you delete them, because they're public information owned by a third party, a New York judge ruled on Monday. But the lawyer for the Occupy Wall Street protester trying to block a subpoena says the judge mixed up his metaphors in the ruling. Malcolm Harris, who's been fighting a subpoena of his Twitter account, faces as many as 15 days in jail for disorderly conduct after his arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge last November.

New Occupy Crackdown Documents Just Obtained by the PCJF

NPS Production Documents:

New Occupy Crackdown Documents Just Obtained by the PCJF 

Revelations Show Brookfield's Security National Coordination

Two days before the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, Brookfield Properties' security was in direct communications and sharing information with the US Park Police in Washington DC, and communicating with other cities around the country, according to newly released internal documents from the National Park Service.

Higher Education's Role in Occupy and Related Social Justice Movements

Last month, I attended an event at my alma mater in Vermont which was billed as "Occupy Goddard." Hosted by the college's president, Barbara Vacarr, who wrote an op-ed in December titled, "The Occupy Movement Is Right," it was the first academic conference devoted to the peaceful populist resistance to oppression and economic inequities that is sweeping the nation (and beyond).

The conference brought together local activists with others from Boston, New York and beyond for a day of panels and participation, culminating in the first statewide Vermont General Assembly.

It was a fine first step. Higher education ought to be playing a central part in the Occupy movement, but except for a few activist campuses, it has been relatively invisible. That is not acceptable.

Occupy Wall Street's Occupation of Wall Street Facing Eviction Despite Legal Protections

When Occupy Wall Street protesters decided to take up sleeping on the sidewalks of Wall Street, they did so with the protection--they thought--of the law. Specifically, a 2000 court decision, Metropolitan Council Inc. v. City of New York, that ruled that sleeping on City sidewalks was a Constitutionally-protected form of protest. 

But it appears that the NYPD has had enough of the Constitution--and so once again, Occupiers face eviction. According to an email sent earlier today, the police woke the sleeping Occupiers at 6am and told them they were no longer welcome. The protesters took refuge on the steps of Federal Hall, but that closes at 5 and so they found themselves facing off with the police. 

Nick Pinto of the Village Voice tweeted: 

Tax Day Actions

Banks got bailed out, we got sold out! Join Occupy Wall Street and organizations from across NYC in protesting the tax breaks and subsidies given to corporations and banks while the 99% continues to pay its taxes.

 

You can read more here: http://fthebanks.org/ and http://billmoyers.com/2012/04/12/the-rich-are-different-from-you-and-me-–-they-don’t-pay-taxes/.

Join the events below to help amplify our message! (It is also a Global Day of Action on Military Spending. There are Occupy Tax Day events happening in Los AngelesBoston, DC, and many others!)

730am- Metro-occupied hits a major transit hub near you!
https://www.facebook.com/Metroccupied

After Six Months, A Look At What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished

Since its beginning, Occupy Wall Street and the protests it spawned across the country have faced critics who say it has no goals and wouldn’t achieve any substantial accomplishments. “In fact, the sum total of what Occupy Wall Street has accomplished is zero,” a New York Post columnist wrote in November. “Inspiring chat around the national watercooler is not an achievement.”

The movement turned six months old last Saturday, and a closer look at its record of achievement reveals that it has done more than spark conversation around Wall Street’s watercoolers. Occupy groups have shifted the national debate on taxes and inequality, helped homeowners stay in their homes, forced major policy issues to the forefront of debate at the state and federal level, and gotten the attention of the institutions they’ve challenged most forcefully. With that in mind, ThinkProgress compiled a brief list of Occupy Wall Street’s accomplishments over its first six months:

Wall Street Protesters Complain of Police Surveillance

On Nov. 17, Kira Moyer-Sims was near the Manhattan Bridge, buying coffee while three friends waited nearby in a car. More than a dozen blocks away, protesters gathered for an Occupy Wall Street“day of action,” which organizers had described as an attempt to block the streets around the New York Stock Exchange.

Then, Ms. Moyer-Sims said, about 30 police officers surrounded her and the people in the car.

All four were arrested, said Vik Pawar, a lawyer for Ms. Moyer-Sims and two of the others, and taken to a police facility in the East Village. He said officers strip-searched them and ignored their requests for a lawyer. The fourth person could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Moyer-Sims, 20, said members of the Police Department’s intelligence division asked about her personal history, her relationship with other protesters, the nature of Occupy Wall Street and plans for upcoming protests.