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September 16, 2012

Occupy Wall Street, one year later: Hoping for fresh momentum

  • last year After gaining a strong level of momentum among activists, Occupy Wall Street grew into a worldwide movement that thousands took part in, but the movement was not without its critics, who claimed that the lack of focus prevented long-term change. Nonetheless, it pushed much exposure towards economic disparities in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis — and led to 1,800 arrests in New York City alone.
  • this year Months after protesters were pushed out of Zuccotti Park, the movement celebrates its one-year anniversary with more protests — but a much weaker base. Roughly 300 protesters showed up for protests Saturday, but a large protest planned for Monday morning might rekindle some of the political flames. Police say they are ready to deal with any issues that arise. Meanwhile, the inevitable think pieces are being written. source
14:04 // 1 year ago
April 18, 2012
As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed.
UC Davis police chief Annette M. Spicuzza • Revealing that she will step down, five months after an infamous pepper spray incident that most of you guys remember, which involved the Occupy movement. “For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this,” she emphasized in her statement. source (viafollow)
20:06 // 2 years ago
December 27, 2011
"Horrible things were happening before my eyes"
Police brutality that’s not “Occupy”-related: It’s been ignored by most Western media, but a police crackdown on a labor strike in Kazakhstan earlier this month resulted in 16 deaths (officially reported; protesters say the number is much higher), one truly disturbing video of protesters getting shot and beaten as they run away, and now, charges of a torture basement beneath a Kazakh police station. Here’s what’s being reported.
DETAINED FOR NO REASON Asem Kenzhebaeva says that on the day of the protests, police detained her, for no reason, while she was searching the streets of Zhanaozen for her father, who had gone missing earlier that day. “That day, police were arresting anyone they saw in the street,” Kenzhebaeva said.
TORTURE BASEMENTPolice brought her to a dark, dirty basement under the station, filled with other detainees. According to Kenzhebaeva, women were being stripped naked, dragged by the hair, and beaten by “people in masks.” Kenzhabaeva was beaten and strangled—but ultimately released by the police.
WHAT TORTURE? When she returned to the scene with government officials later that week, the basement had been completely cleaned up, and looked “white like a hospital.” Her father, meanwhile, turned up two days later, having been severely beaten by police. He died of his wounds the day before Christmas (Photo: AFP). source
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Police brutality that’s not “Occupy”-related: It’s been ignored by most Western media, but a police crackdown on a labor strike in Kazakhstan earlier this month resulted in 16 deaths (officially reported; protesters say the number is much higher), one truly disturbing video of protesters getting shot and beaten as they run away, and now, charges of a torture basement beneath a Kazakh police station. Here’s what’s being reported.

  • DETAINED FOR NO REASON Asem Kenzhebaeva says that on the day of the protests, police detained her, for no reason, while she was searching the streets of Zhanaozen for her father, who had gone missing earlier that day. “That day, police were arresting anyone they saw in the street,” Kenzhebaeva said.
  • TORTURE BASEMENTPolice brought her to a dark, dirty basement under the station, filled with other detainees. According to Kenzhebaeva, women were being stripped naked, dragged by the hair, and beaten by “people in masks.” Kenzhabaeva was beaten and strangled—but ultimately released by the police.
  • WHAT TORTURE? When she returned to the scene with government officials later that week, the basement had been completely cleaned up, and looked “white like a hospital.” Her father, meanwhile, turned up two days later, having been severely beaten by police. He died of his wounds the day before Christmas (Photo: AFP)source

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23:54 // 2 years ago
December 19, 2011
11:49 // 2 years ago
December 9, 2011
There are certainly some folks who feel really offended by the attempt to kind of use this very real, very living movement, this economic justice movement that’s making real change for working families in this country, to use it in some kind of story line in this dramatic cop show. There are probably other folks among us who think it’s just a fun excuse to get together and share in public.
Occupy Wall Street press team member Ian Shan • Explaining why Occupy protesters raided the filming of a Zuccotti Park-themed “Law & Order: SVU” episode late last night. The actual Occupy protesters heard about the protest and decided to stage a “mockupy” protest at the event, which sounds like an amazing idea. And much like a real Occupy protest, police cleared out the scene around 1 a.m. last night. This sounds like the most amazing idea, ever — hopefully most did it with a sense of humor instead of malicious intent. source (viafollow)
8:44 // 2 years ago
December 8, 2011

Was this necessary? Via Tumblr user eggznrice, who told us, “Please get on this as soon as you can! Craziness!” The Occupy Melbourne protester in this video, a young woman named Sarah, was wrapped in a “tent dress” when police chose to pull it off of her, using knives to cut it off. (The protesters were told that Tents were considered structures that would be removed, hence the interesting clothing choice.) Three other protesters complied with police in Monday’s incident; Sarah did not. In the end, she was wearing nothing but her underwear. The Victoria police’s Ethical Standards Department says it’s investigating an assault incident, and Occupy Melbourne is trying to encourage other Occupy movements to wear tents in solidarity. source

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10:53 // 2 years ago
November 30, 2011

Two major Occupy encampments close; protests mostly end peacefully

  • 200+ number of people arrested during the closing of the Occupy L.A. encampment early Wednesday
  • 52 number of people arrested at Occupy Philly when their camp closed at roughly the same time source

» However … In a major difference between the end of a number of other protests (most notably Occupy Oakland), police did not have to pull out pepper spray to end these protests. The LAPD was very careful with their strategy in this department. Despite the mayor calling for the closure of the camp early Monday, the police department held off two days, giving protesters time to leave on their own. That thinned out the numbers. As for those that remained, they had some minor scuffles with police at first, but those eventually faded, and protesters only got arrested after they didn’t immediately leave the park. Only a handful of major Occupy encampments remain at this point, most notably in DC and San Francisco. (EDIT: Updated Occupy Philly arrest count; the protesters left the encampment peacefully but were arrested for disturbances outside of the encampment.)

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10:51 // 2 years ago
November 28, 2011
12:21 // 2 years ago
November 22, 2011
For a lot of the folks who have been in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it that, you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away. And that’s not the way things are supposed to be. Not here. Not in America.
President Obama • Responding to an interruption by Occupy protesters during a jobs speech in New Hampshire. After protesters “human-mic’d” themselves into the President’s attention (“Mr. President, more than 4,000 peaceful protesters have been arrested…”), he gave the above response, which seems both significant and somewhat lacking. That the President would directly address the protesters and cast himself on their side, in a way, speaks to the now nearly unstoppable influence the Occupy movement is having on the public discourse. At the same time, though, what Obama chose to say was fairly customary “American dream” rhetoric that didn’t address their specifically stated concern over the arrests of their comrades. source (viafollow)
14:35 // 2 years ago
November 20, 2011
Don’t worry about it, I’m going to spray these kids down.
Lt. John Pike (according to a pepper-sprayed protester at UC Davis) • Speaking to fellow officers before the infamous pepper-spray incident on Friday. According to the protester, who spoke at length anonymously to Boing Boing, the pepper spray he used was military grade, and it still hurts, two days later. “It’s supposed to be used at a minimum of 15 feet,” the protester told Xeni Jardin. “But he sprayed us at point blank range.” Highly recommend you read Boing Boing’s photo-heavy account of the incident, which is very informative. source (viafollow)
8:40 // 2 years ago