OB Rag Coverage of the Occupy Wall Street & Occupy San Diego Movements

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead

The OB Rag has been following the Occupy Wall Street Movement since it moved into Zuccotti Park on the 17th of September, and several of us have been involved, on some level, in Occupy San Diego since it began planning later that same month. The articles on this page are an archive of pieces we have posted about the Occupy Movement.

Occupy San Diego

Get involved! For more information; on the Web, #OccupySD, Twitter, Facebook, Ustream & Livestream. For daily updates on issues relating to local efforts, subscribe to the OccupySD email newsletter maintained by Ray Lutz. Occupy San Diego needs bodies on the ground at 3rd and B St, Downtown San Diego

Ocean Beach Local and San Diego Occupier Continues Hunger Strike Through Thanksgiving

November 26, 2011 by Annie Lane
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For most people, Thanksgiving Day is as much about the food as it is self reflection. The turkey cooked to a golden brown, mashed potatoes topped with gravy, salty stuffing, sweet cranberry sauce and a collection of pies for the tasting.

But for OBcean John Kenney, this Thanksgiving was spent sipping glasses of water and contemplating the state of politics.

Kenney has been on a hunger strike for 19 days.

He announced his intentions at the San Diego City Council meeting on Nov. 8 and has since only indulged in water and the occasional coffee. His hope is simple: to get the attention of the City Council members and begin a dialogue regarding the rights of San Diego occupiers to gather at the Civic Center.

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Occupation Matters: News, Media, Opinions on ‘where we go from here’, and other Observations

November 23, 2011 by Source

Here’s a round-up of Occupation matters:

Police crackdowns on Occupy camps are the real threat

By Linda Lye / SFGate / November 23, 2011

Around California and all over the country, we have been told that Occupy encampments must come down because of “health and safety concerns.” But all around the country, we have seen the police take down these encampments with an overzealous use of pepper spray, tear gas and flash-bang grenades. The real “health threat” we should be concerned about is the threat to the health of our democracy when the government reacts to peaceful political expression with police violence. Go here for the remainder of this article.

San Diego Police on UC Davis Pepper Spraying: ‘We don’t want that here.’

By Danya Bacchus and Sarah Grieco / NBC San Diego / Nov 21, 2011

What happened at UC Davis has local law enforcement talking. San Diego Police officers have said they’ve had the tough job of balancing the first amendment rights of Occupy San Diego protesters and enforcing the law.

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San Diego Is Spending $57,000 Daily and Has Spent $2.4 Million Total Patrolling Occupy San Diego

November 23, 2011 by Source
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Editor: It’s official: the City of San Diego and its Police Department have finally released figures on how much is being spent patrolling the Occupy San Diego protests. (Were they finally pressured to do so by our searing posts? See here.) The City has spent nearly $57,000 daily and a total of $2.4 million on the protests since they began on October 7th. This does not include costs for the County Sheriffs when they were used. Here’s the San Diego U-T coverage:

By Matthew T. Hall and Ashly McGlone / San Diego U-T / Nov. 22, 2011

The city’s police department said Tuesday it paid $143,918 in overtime costs for four major operations during the Occupy San Diego protests against corporate greed that began Oct. 7 at Civic Center Plaza.

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Mayor Sanders Presented Special “Golden Pluto” Award by Koch Brothers for His Handling of Occupy Demonstrators

November 23, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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PALM DESERT, CA. At a special banquet last night held at Rancho Las Palmas – one of Southern California’s most exclusive resorts – San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was presented with one of the most coveted awards given out annually by the famous, billionaire Koch brothers.

Mayor Sanders was handed the “Golden Pluto” award by David Koch himself during the lavish banquet feast, which was attended by many big-city mayors, conservative politicians, pundits, and select press from all over the South West.

Sanders earned the sparkling “Golden Pluto” for the manner in which his office handled San Diego’s version of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. Early in their occupation of Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego, the demonstrators had their tents removed and were ordered upon threat of arrest to get rid of all sleeping bags and personal property.

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Court takes Occupy San Diego’s request for restraining order against the City under submission.

November 22, 2011 by Source

Editor: Here is a brief report of Occupy San Diego’s day in court by Todd Cardiff, the attorney who argued the demonstrators’ case in Federal Court today.

By Todd T. Cardiff, Esq.

On November 22, 2011, the Occupy SD movement, represented by Plaintiffs Eugene Davidovich, Davina Lynch, and John Kenney, appeared in court seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the City from enforcing San Diego Municipal Code section 54.0110. Attorney Todd T. Cardiff represented the plaintiffs. Bryan Pease is the lead attorney on the case.

Plaintiffs argued that the ordinance prohibited people from placing any object on City property.

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Court Hearing Today on Occupy San Diego’s Application for Restraining Order Against City of San Diego

November 22, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Today is the court hearing on Occupy San Diego’s application for a TRO (temporary restraining order) against the City of San Diego in enforcing Municipal Code section 54.0110. The hearing is in Federal Court at 2:30 pm with Judge William Hayes in Courtroom 4 (Fourth Floor). The court is located on 940 Front Street (between Broadway and F Street).

People are asked to attend the hearing, but also to abide by federal court rules, ie, no signs, slogans, T-shirts with slogans, video/still cameras, audio recorders allowed, and all cell phones must be off.

Read the court document filed by OSD attorney: Here is the Complaint.

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Buy Nothing Day – Occupy Christmas!

November 22, 2011 by Source
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The first Buy Nothing Day was organized in Mexico in September 1992 “as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving, also called “Black Friday”, which is one of the 10 busiest shopping days in the United States. Outside North America and Israel, Buy Nothing Day is the following Saturday. Participation now includes more than 65 nations.

From AdBsuters

You’ve been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper sprayed and your head’s knocked in, another group of people are preparing to camp-out. Only these people aren’t here to support occupy Wall Street, they’re here to secure their spot in line for a Black Friday bargain at Super Target and Macy’s.

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Civil Society at Ground Zero: You Can Crush the Flowers, But You Can’t Stop the Spring

November 22, 2011 by Source

Editor: A shortened version of the following article by Rebecca Solnit appeared on the Op-Ed page of today’s LA Times. We thought the entire piece is worthy of your read, so here it is.

By Rebecca Solnit / TomDispatch.com / November 22, 2011

Last Tuesday, I awoke in lower Manhattan to the whirring of helicopters overhead, a war-zone sound that persisted all day and then started up again that Thursday morning, the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and a big day of demonstrations in New York City. It was one of the dozens of ways you could tell that the authorities take Occupy Wall Street seriously, even if they profoundly mistake what kind of danger it poses. If you ever doubted whether you were powerful or you mattered, just look at the reaction to people like you (or your children) camped out in parks from Oakland to Portland, Tucson to Manhattan.

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Change the Game – Occupying the Winter and Beyond

November 21, 2011 by Jim Miller
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Last week Adbusters, a publication that was important to the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, put out the following:

TACTICAL BRIEFING #18
Occupy the High Ground!

Hey you creatives, artists, environmentalists, workers, moms, dads, students, malcontents, do-gooders and aspiring martyrs in the snow:

The last four months have been hard fought, inspiring and delightfully revolutionary. We brought tents, hunkered down, held our assemblies, and lobbed a meme-bomb that continues to explode the world’s imagination. Many of us have never felt so alive. We have fertilized the future with our revolutionary spirit … and a thousand flowers will surely bloom in the coming Spring.

But as winter approaches an ominous mood could set in … hope thwarted is in danger of turning sour, patience exhausted becoming anger, militant nonviolence losing its allure. It isn’t just the mainstream media that says things could get ugly. What shall we do to keep the magic alive?

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Occupy The News: Critiquing Occupy San Diego Coverage, a Panel Discussion – November 17

November 16, 2011 by Source
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The San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is hosting a DON’T MISS event!

Reporters and protesters (including our very own Frank Gormlie) will discuss the media coverage of the Occupy San Diego protest that began on Oct. 7 and has continued outside City Hall daily since then. The local angles of this global story have occupied Twitter, TV, newspapers and the Internet for weeks, involving arrests, business closures, crackdowns on camping in the area. We explore how the coverage has unfolded and discuss the story’s practical and ethical issues.

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After Early-Morning Police Raid, Occupy San Diegans to March Back to Civic Center Plaza at 10:00 a.m.

November 16, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

After being awoken by police bullhorns and rousted from their slumber by an early morning raid – and then removed from the Civic Theater grassy area, Occupy San Diego protesters are planning on marching back to the Plaza this morning.

The protesters will begin to march at 10:00 a.m. from Harbor Drive and Ash Street – near the Star of India – where they regrouped after the police raid.

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City of San Diego Spending Hundreds of Thousands On Police Over-Kill to Handle Dozens of Peaceful Demonstrators

November 16, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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By now, it is clear that the San Diego Police Department is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in efforts to deal with dozens of peaceful Occupy San Diego protesters. Many of the police actions in response to these protests are virtual “over-kill” because the numbers of officers used way outweigh the numbers of occupiers.

This morning, for example, a hundred cops were used to roust and remove about four dozen protesters sleeping out on the grassy area next to the Civic Theater. With the Chief watching, these officers clearly outnumbered the protesters and any threats that they created.

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Zuccotti Park Retaken – “You can’t evict an idea!”

November 16, 2011 by Source
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Thousands of protesters and supporters in New York City retook Zuccotti Park yesterday, November 15th. The Park was taken over again after demonstrators there had been removed during the early morning hours by police. City workers cleaned the Park, electricity was restored, and demonstrators were allowed back in – but without tents, tarps or sleeping bags – “the San Diego model”. Here is our live blog report from yesterday – see link inside. Here is the MSNBC report inside: …

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City Moves to Destroy Occupy San Diego Encampment Outside Civic Theater – 5 Arrested

November 16, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: Occupy San Diego demonstrators plan to march from Harbor Drive back to the Civic Center at 10 am.

A little after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, San Diego police and Sheriff deputies rousted dozens of sleeping Occupy San Diego demonstrators out of their sleeping bags and ordered them to vacate their last sleeping area. Those who refused to move were arrested – and initial reports are that five people were arrested.

Up to one hundred law enforcement officers, under the watchful eyes of Police Chief Lansdowne, showed up at the grassy area next to the Civic Center Theater without warning and removed people and personal belongings. All donated food, tables, signs and sleeping bags were confiscated. Occupiers were removed and many gathered down at Harbor Drive very early this morning in an effort to regroup.

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Tea Party Hosts Civic Center Press Conference to Condemn Occupy San Diego

November 15, 2011 by Source
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By Dave Rice / SanDiegoReader.com

Members of the Tea Party’s San Diego contingent gathered this afternoon at Civic Center Plaza to denounce the Occupy San Diego movement. They were led by Rhonda Deniston, an Oceanside woman who, while filming an altercation with Occupiers (warning: link includes coarse language), was struck by a protester after refusing to stop filming.

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San Diego Rally and March In Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street Tonight at 6 pm

November 15, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Under the weight of the forcible and late night eviction of the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park, local activists have called for a rally and march in solidarity with them. The rally and march will be at 6 pm, tonight, Tuesday, November 15th, and will be held at the Civic Center […]

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Crackdown on Occupy Wall Street Camps Coordinated Across the Country by US City Mayors

November 15, 2011 by Source
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Via RT.com

If you thought the recent crackdowns of Occupy encampments across the country was more than a coincidence, there is a good chance you were right. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan admits to talking to other cities before the massive coast-to-coast evictions .

In an interview this morning with the BBC, Mayor Quan reveals that she spoke with officials from other cities over the phone before a Monday morning raid that led to the eviction of hundreds of Occupy Oakland protesters and the arrests of many.

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Occupy San Diego: 99% Includes Middle Class Matrons

November 14, 2011 by Brenda McFarlane
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A facebook post caught my eye on Friday, November 11th, it was an announcement of a rally and press conference held by “middle-class women” in support of Occupy San Diego. This intrigued me because a couple weeks ago I went down to the Civic Center and found it a bit difficult to see how I could fit in.

While hanging out in front of the “information” table, another woman about my age (but lacking the vanity to dye her hair) approached and asked: “Is there going to be a march tonight?” The young, long haired gal shrugged distractedly – she was keeping a worried eye on a conversation going on with the police behind us – and answered that she didn’t know but “you could start one if you want”. The gray haired woman seemed as likely to start her own march as she was to move to the Civic Center.

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“How many sidewalks are you going to close before we are all gone?” News of the Occupy Movement Week Ending 11-13-11

November 13, 2011 by Anna Daniels
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This week’s story is the utter appalling hypocrisy exposed in how the police responded to two protests on November 9. The first took place at Cal Berkeley, where a thousand students protested the steep hikes in student tuition and the ongoing administrative tilt toward privatization. They attempted to establish an occupation on the campus with tents. The police viciously lunged with their batons at students who had linked arms. There were 39 arrests that day and no one knows how many of these young people are still walking around with welts on their body from that barbaric attack. As a post script, we now know that linking arms is a form of violence that justified the police response.

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If the Occupy Movement is “as American as Apple Pie,” Why are Our Police Beating and Arresting Us?

November 11, 2011 by Anna Daniels
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….and lobbing tear gas canisters and shooting rubber bullets at us?

“And so, demonstrating like this is as American as apple pie. We have been marching up and down and demonstrating throughout our history…” Former Secretary of State Colin Powell

Why is there the footprint of a jack boot in the America pie?

We’ve all seen by now the “people’s” videos of non-violent women in NYC being surrounded with orange net and pepper sprayed by the police…

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Occupier Rant: It’s misconduct for a San Diego police officer to show bias against Occupy San Diego

November 11, 2011 by Source
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By Martha Sullivan

Per the San Diego Police Department’s webpage , “A citizen who is dissatisfied with police services or believes they have witnessed or been a victim of police misconduct can file a complaint using one or more of the following methods:” — which include email to the Police Chief, Citizens Review Board and/or Mayor, all of whom are addressed here.

My name is Martha Sullivan, and I am a resident of the City of San Diego at 2354 Carmel Valley Road, 92014; I also own a small business which is based in Sorrento Valley.

On the evening of Tuesday, November 8, 2011, I attended the musical, “Come Fly Away” at the San Diego Civic Theater ….

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Occupy San Diego Matters

November 11, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

Here are matters that concern our very own version of Occupy Wall Street : Occupy San Diego – going since October 7, 2011.

  • 90% of Calls and emails to Mayor Sanders Support OccupySD

At the City Beat, Dave Maass reports:

Of the 877 emails and phone calls regarding Occupy received by the Mayor’s office, 90 percent have supported the movement.

This is great – as the OB Rag and others solicited support for the occupiers with a call for people to telephone or email the Mayor’s office. Maass doesn’t say over what period of time these emails and calls came in, but we’re smiling like a Cheshire cat. Sanders should start chanting “You are the 90 per cent!”

  • Local College Campuses Hold Occupy Rallies

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Paramilitary Policing From Seattle (and San Diego) to Occupy Wall Street

November 11, 2011 by Source
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Editor: This timely article by Norm Stamper – a former assistant police chief of San Diego – and former police chief of Seattle – is worthy of your time. Stamper is also a member of LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition of marijuana.

By Norm Stamper / The Nation / Nov. 28, 2011 Issue

They came from all over, tens of thousands of demonstrators from around the world, protesting the economic and moral pitfalls of globalization. Our mission as members of the Seattle Police Department? To safeguard people and property—in that order. Things went well the first day. We were praised for our friendliness and restraint—though some politicians were apoplectic at our refusal to make mass arrests for the actions of a few.

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National Media Picks-up Sheriff’s Mistreatment of Occupy San Diego Arrestees

November 11, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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The Washington Post has picked up the story about how our local Sheriff mistreated those arrested during the October 28th raids on the Occupy San Diego sites. This report at the venerable DC daily – although only on their blog column – has been nearly the only national attention that San Diego’s movement has received.

The Sheriff has admitted that dozens of arrestees were left in vans and a bus after the raids for many hours with no access to restroom facilities or water. Reports from those arrested have said that they were held from four to eight hours or even as much as twelve hours before they were processed at a detention center.

Dave Maass at San Diego City Beat reported:

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has ordered a formal internal review of its involvement in the mass arrest of 51 Occupy San Diego activists on Oct. 28, particularly in regards to detainees who had no choice but to urinate and defecate while detained in county buses and vans.

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Middle-Class Women Support Occupy San Diego

November 11, 2011 by Patty Jones
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Rally and press conference this Saturday afternoon

Come join me, Patty (am I still considered middle-class?), and more than 50 middle-class women from throughout San Diego County as we hold a press conference and rally in the Civic Center Plaza at 4 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 12, to announce their support for Occupy San Diego.

What began with a few friends a week ago has snowballed as women are signing up by the dozens on Facebook and SignUpGenius.

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In Response to the Mainstream Media and All Those Obsessed with Body Fluids

November 10, 2011 by Patty Jones
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This is for Carl DeMaio, the San Diego City Council, the muts, the baggers, the weasels, the gators, the creepers, Fox News, the AP, Koch-heads who’d have you think that working parents spawn “Occupiers” by sending their children to daycare, the WSJ, all those people who let the media give them the heebie-jeebies with their talk of piss and blood…

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A Brief History of Occupy San Diego – Part 1

November 9, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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The following is a brief history of Occupy San Diego. Part 1.

This general outline – not meant to be all inclusive – is a recording of what has occurred during the Occupy San Diego movement, beginning in late September and continuing to today, the first part of November. It is an outline to help us recall what we did during those heady first weeks of planning and carrying out our very first actions. But as our movement involved hundreds and thousands of individuals and all kinds of different activities, this is not complete.

September 17, 2011 – Occupy Wall Street begins occupation at Zoccotti Park, next to Wall Street.

Mid to Late September 2011 – Facebook, twitter and other social media are used to generate interest in an Occupy Wall Street type action in San Diego. After some days of discussion, a plan is formulated to hold an Occupy San Diego action that is non-violent, is in solidarity with OWS in New York, and to use the “Egyptian model” of occupying some kind of public / private space to press for changes in the economic and social systems.

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Occupy San Diego to File Restraining Order Against City and Police

November 8, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Attorneys working on behalf of Occupy San Diego will be filing a temporary restraining order against the city of San Diego and the San Diego Police Department in response to the violation of protesters’ First Amendment rights. The attorneys will be holding press conference at 11 am this morning announcing their filing at the Civic Center Plaza.

Demonstrators in San Diego’s version of Occupy Wall Street have been attempting to exercise freedom of speech and assembly rights at the Civic Center Plaza, but have been chased out, have had their tents and belongings confiscated and dozens were arrested by police – 53 in just one sweep at 2 am on October 28th. Protesters believe that the Plaza is a centrally-located public space designed for use by the citizens to gather and express themselves.

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Chargers’ Lawyer: This is ‘perhaps our last and best chance’ to keep Chargers in San Diego

November 7, 2011 by Source
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by Tony Manolatos / San Diego Rostra / November 7, 2011

I published a blog post [editor: see below] Friday that questioned Mark Fabiani’s criticism of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ Convention Center expansion plan. Fabiani, who serves as special counsel to the San Diego Chargers and is the team’s point man on stadium talks, sent me a response on Saturday. Here it is:

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Did anyone else notice that the San Diego U-T covered Saturday’s protests in Oakland and LA but failed to cover them in San Diego?

November 6, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

We know the San Diego U-T is working hard to balance its coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests here in town. Today, the print edition had a very nice spread about seven of the activists from Occupy San Diego. Thanks to Matt Hall.

But did anyone else notice that today’s U-T covered protests against banks in Oakland and Los Angeles but didn’t speak hardly a word about similar actions right here in downtown San Diego?

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