This week’s news of the movement takes place against the backdrop of two reports also released this week that detail how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” We knew that already. Now we can update our signs…
The leading story is Occupy Oakland’s successful general strike and temporary port shutdown this past Wednesday. Estimates are all over the map about how many people participated over the course of the day to protest the violent eviction of Occupiers and wounding of an Iraq War vet by police during the previous week. Check out this raw chopper video of the march to the port and do a head count yourself!
Black bloc tactics resulted in broken windows and acts of vandalism throughout the day and night and garnered a lion’s share of the media attention, showing once again that if it bleeds it leads. 70 people were arrested.
Move Your Money actions in conjunction with the Occupy movement occurred nation-wide this week, culminating with mass actions this Saturday. This was an idea proposed a number of years of go which finally found the platform it needed in the OWS zeitgeist. Large actions took place in Boston, SF, Los Angeles, NYC and Washington DC, with a number of arrests.
Large Move Your Money actions are hardly the whole story or the only story. A small action in Anchorage AK took place, with 2 arrests. A special shout out is in order to Presly Deen Hollingsworth, who just canceled his BOA credit card, and will move his bank accounts to a local credit union. Presly is too far from any town to be in a protest so he occupies a swamp.
There have been other notable actions. While Occupy Philly protesters gathered outside of a Mitt Romney fund-raiser there this week, and Occupy DC protested a Koch event via a guerilla drive-in, protesters were inside when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech at Chicago’s Union League Club. This is one of mic check’s finest most awesome moments. A particularly perceptive comment was made elsewhere by Sam Seder that this was not simply a “disruptive” action, but rather a shift and transfer of the authority in the room, from the people behind the dais to the attendees representing the 99%. It’s worth reading that sentence a couple of times to let it sink in. “Transfer of authority…”
It also turns out that the Occupy movement is the mother of invention. A phone app has been recently created to utilize if you are arrested. When the police confiscated the generators at Zuccotti Park last weekend, right before a winter storm brought freezing temperatures and snow, Occupiers responded with the people’s —stationary bikes that generate enough electricity to power the whole encampment while maintaining a more sustainable carbon footprint. (They got the funding to do this! It’s happening now!)
The arrests continue. It is worth reminding ourselves and our respective municipal leaders that there are cities which are actually working with the Occupiers, providing portable toilets, dumpsters and permits, and going on record to express their support for the movement. That is what democracy looks like.
The Occupy movement needs your support. Get involved and Donate if you can to Occupy San Diego. (This is the ONLY official site for donations.)
A question to ponder this week—is the Occupy movement the third party?
This week’s tally:
@ 90 occupy sites in US
- 3,187 Occupiers arrested so far
- 0 arrests of financiers who tanked our economy