Friday, March 27, 2015

OWS: Occupy Santa Monica, Chicago etc.

This is the first in a semi-regular series of posts that will be based at least partially on articles piped in from Occupy Wall Street; in most cases the segment from the Occupy Wall Street will be highlighted or marked as such otherwise and a link will be provided to the full article. They may not always be completely up to date so those of you who already check with OWS should, of course, continue doing so; additional details below. 

(This was originally posted on Open Salon April, 13, 2011)

Santa Monica Students Attacked By Campus Police

Yesterday, hundreds of students from Santa Monica College gathered outside a Board of Trustees meeting to disrupt planned tuition increases and preferential treatment for students who are able to pay more at their school. During the demonstration, around 30 students were pepper sprayed by campus police forces. Students say there was no warning for this unprovoked attack. Even though no one was arrested and there were no reports of violent behavior on the part of the peaceful protesters, two people were taken to a hospital after one officer indiscriminately sprayed into the crowd. Officials at the college are ¨investigating¨ the incident. full article

These protests may not have been coordinated with the Occupy Wall Street movement but they have similar goals and they use similar non-violent tactics and the police have, once again responded in a similar oppressive manner. This may be a week old now but it is worth remembering for much longer.

The police said the protesters were behaving in an “unlawful” manner; they din’t seem to have any objection to the people with political power that were rigging the system and participating in an enormous amount of activities that should be considered much more unlawful and that this is what they were protesting.

There has been an enormous amount of corporate corruption in many powerful places which have been documented elsewhere by me and many others so I’m not going to go too much farther into that.
One thing that is worth noticing is the fact that the video at the Occupy Wall Street web site was removed for copyright reasons. Additional videos are available from various sources including Huffington Post and the LA Times (ads required in this article) below.

“Dr. Chui Tsang, Santa Monica College President, Defends Campus Police Pepper-Spraying Protesters” Huffington Post
“No warning before pepper spray, Santa Monica College students say” LA Times

This is ironic because one of the reasons that tuition costs are being driven up is because of the incompetent copyright bureaucracy. This is done to support an enormous bureaucracy that spends more time and effort controlling the distribution of educational information than it does rewarding those that do the work that copyright laws were originally intended to protest. If this was reformed then they could provide education to many more people at a much lower cost instead of increasing the costs.

In addition to that this video should have been available under the fair use clause especially since it is news that is related to such an important issue. This is a blatant infringement on the right to the free press and it is being used to slow or stop the reporting on abuses by the police regardless of why they intended it or what their excuse is. The alleged excuse is that they have to sell ads which are almost certainly deceptive promotions for one thing or another; a close review of most ads will clearly indicate that few if any of them will strand up to scrutiny and they’re intended to encourage consumers to base their decisions on false impressions. This is considered more important than informing the public about police brutality in our current system.

To make matters worse they even pepper sprayed a four year old child who was with the peaceful protestors. This clearly seems to indicate that they haven’t learned much if anything since the UC Davis incident which was recently reviewed as this was happening and they came to the obvious conclusion that the police used excessive force.

Take The Spring - Today in Chicago, Minneapolis, Philly and Beyond 
Occupy Chicago is hosting a day packed with community events and demonstrations throughout the city. Dubbed the beginning of the Chicago Spring by local organizers, today will be a celebration of the upcoming spring of resistance worldwide! Smaller neighborhood events will be happening throughout the day, with a 1pm Central Time gathering at LaSalle and Jackson and march to Butler Field at Grant Park for an evening of workshops, panel discussions, and more. For the full list of all the impressive actions and endorsers for today’s events in Chicago, see or the Occupied Chicago Tribune and follow @OccupyChicago on Twitter. full article

For those of you who don’t already know Occupy Wall Street is planning more protests for May during some economic summits in Chicago. The G-8 Summit has moved to Camp David, presumably in response to the anticipated protests. Occupy Wall Street has portrayed this as a victory; and in some ways it may be since it shows that they’re not willing to let the public participate; however it is also an indication of how little they’re willing to respect the will of the people and it shows how much more there is to do.

They’re also planning many more protest throughout the spring and I’m sure there will be more during the RNC and DNC conventions.

This isn’t ending!!

Why We Need Free Media

Free and independent journalism is under attack. From violent police suppression to corporate media censorship, the need to create and defend movement-based journalism has never been greater - especially as we prepare for May Day and beyond -- see below for a list of Occupy media.

Last weekend, Minneapolis police charged a peaceful march, beating protesters and arresting a dozen people. As described by Occupy Minneapolis:

Videos show officers pulling several people off public sidewalks, slamming one violently into the street and deliberately censoring the mainstream and independent press. [...] We had hoped to reestablish an occupation to bring attention to social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the foreclosure crisis, but instead were met with a crackdown by the Minneapolis Police Department. full article

The lack of coverage in the corporate media clearly indicates that we can’t rely on them to report on this accurately if at all. Occupy Wall Street has a major point with their call for more diverse media, which is part of the reason why I’m going to start feeding some of these articles into OS on a semi-regular basis. This doesn’t mean that alternative media should be limited to those provided by Occupy Wall Street and I’m sure they wouldn’t argue with that point which is why I may come up with my own, even if it is only for my purposes, or if you have some of your favorites let me know.

Semi-regular updates from Occupy Wall Street: I am beginning to feed some portions of this into Open Salon due to the fact that this clearly hasn’t ended yet the coverage of it has declined dramatically. I’m sure that many people have already done a better job keeping up with than the news than I have which is great; however there may be others that haven’t and the coverage of this at OS has dropped to a trickle. Part of this is for my own purposes as well since I haven’t kept up with all the coverage at their site in many cases although I often intend to. If anyone else decides to provide additional coverage feel free. 

All posts in this series will begin with “OWS:” then presumably something related to the news of the day; other posts about other subjects will continue as usual. 

It is generally polite when doing something like this to say something like, “if there is something good here give the credit to Occupy Wall Street if there is something wrong blame me.” 

I’m OK with the first part of that OWS deserves the credit; however I don’t want the blame. I’m not going to make up any excuses, I just don’t want the blame give it to Obama or Romney. They always try to make up all kinds of excuses and they’re almost always incredibly bad, so they deserve plenty of blame.

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

Occupy Chicago joined with mental workers and community residents to occupy a mental health clinic on the City's South Side that Mayor Rahm Emanuel threatened to close. 23 people were arrested after police forced their way through the door protestors had barricaded.

Bob Simpson April 13, 2012 02:49 PM

Barack Obama is suppo0sed to be the defender of the lower and the middle classes that will save us from the extreme Republicans. With his ally Rahm Emmanuel implementing his privatization plans while he comes up with positive election year rhetoric it should be obvious to anyone that pays attention that they both work for the corporations with little or no regard to the will of the people.

Let's hope people pay attention.

zacherydtaylor April 14, 2012 09:32 AM

[r] Zachd, thanks for this. we must not let the police violence be "normalized" which is happening. Smug Bloomberg and his NY Gestapo tactics were never challenged by our local NYC media as well as the national media. Bloomberg's paternalistic righteousness made me sick. The Santa Monica strong arm tactics, 2oo people attending a meeting and the deciders allowing only 12 to enter and be heard and there was legitimate agitation and then POLICE GROSS OVER-REACTION. Over the top roughing up and spraying eyes and mouths with pepper spray and injurying 30 people. The college agreed to pay for the medical bills as they defended the cops behavior as appropriate.

All this US violent militarization going on globally. The government responsible for that probably figures anything less than out and out killing a so-called "belligerent" even in the US is light weight. Citizens of this country need to take the blinders off to the global militarization because that is at the root of the domestic militarization. It is late in the game, and the denial and minimization is ferocious. The cronyism with Team Dem astonishes. The rat bastards seem to be able to get away with anything since their propagandists will minimize it all and beef up the evil attributed to the other evil party. best, libby

libbyliberalnyc April 14, 2012 03:10 PM

Libby, excuse the late reply; it sounds good that they agreed to pay the medical costs for starters but much more should be done and they clearly should start thinking about how their own activities are increasing expenses for no good reason. If they allowed reform instead of setting the stage for unnecessary medical costs and m7uch more in court and police costs they wouldn’t be adding even more to the amount of waste that they never had to begin in the first place.

This is as much about the suppression of education as it is about price gouging.

Their current behavior in Santa Monica NY and many other places is totally inexcusable if people think about it instead of accepting corporate propaganda.

zacherydtaylor April 17, 2012 09:24 AM

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