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Occupy Wall Street and other protests

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on 17 January 2012

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Transcript of Occupy Wall Street and other protests

Non-Violent Protests in history What do the Occupy Protesters Want? Protesters debate what demands to make
by Meredith Hoffman

In New York, the demands committee held a two-hour open forum last Monday, coming up with two major categories: jobs for all and civil rights. The team will continue to meet twice a week to develop a list of specific proposals, which it will then discuss with protesters and eventually take to the General Assembly, a nightly gathering of the hundreds of protesters in the park. What is Occupy Wall Street? Occupy Wall Street
by Robert Stolerik

Occupy Wall Street is a diffuse group of activists who say they stand against corporate greed, social inequality and the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process. On Sept. 17, 2011, the group began a loosely organized protest in New York’s financial district, encamping in Zuccotti Park, a privately owned park open to the public in Lower Manhattan.

The idea, according to some organizers, was to camp out for weeks or even months to replicate the kind, if not the scale, of protests that had erupted earlier in 2011 in places as varied as Egypt, Spain and Israel.

On the group’s Web site, Occupywallstreet, they describe themselves as a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”

The 1 percent refers to the haves: that is, the banks, the mortgage industry, the insurance industry. The 99 percent refers to the have-nots: that is, everyone else. In other words, said a group member: “1 percent of the people have 99 percent of the money.”

Three weeks into the protest, similar demonstrations spread to dozens of other cities across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.

In October, demonstrations in emulation of Occupy Wall Street were held in Europe, Asia and the Americas, drawing crowds in the hundreds and the thousands.
by Tim Okary Occupy Wall Street
by Robert Stolarik

On Oct. 1, the police arrested more than 700 demonstrators who marched north from Zuccotti Park and took to the roadway as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. The police said it was the marchers’ choice that led to the enforcement action, but protesters said they believed the police had tricked them, allowing them onto the bridge, and even escorting them partway across, only to trap them in orange netting after hundreds had entered.

Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Oct. 12 that the protesters would have to leave temporarily starting at 7 a.m. Oct. 14 so that the park could be cleaned. Many called the evacuation order a pretext for shutting down the protests permanently. The cleanup was postponed shortly before it was supposed to begin, averting a feared showdown between the police and demonstrators.

In Oakland, Calif., the police filled downtown streets with tear gas late on Oct. 25 to stop throngs of protesters from re-entering a City Hall plaza that had been cleared of their encampment earlier in the day. Those protests, which resulted in more than 100 arrests and at least one life-threatening injury, appeared ready to ignite again the following night, but broke up peacefully after a well-attended rally and an impromptu march to police headquarters.

On Nov. 2 and 3, a small group of demonstrators in Oakland faced off against police following a peaceful march of thousands of protesters. A roving group of about 100 mostly young men broke from the main group of protesters in a central plaza and roamed through downtown streets spraying graffiti, burning garbage and breaking windows. The police said some in the group briefly occupied a building on 16th Street near the port.
What Have the Police and Government Done? What is Wall Street? Wikipedia

Wall Street is an eight-block street in lower Manhattan, that runs from Broadway to South Street on the East River. This is the financial ($) district of New York City. Over time, the term "Wall Street" has been used to talk about the financial markets of the United States as a whole. This is because Wall Street is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, where people can trade stocks. Thisis the world's largest stock exchange. Wikipedia

Protesters originally hoped to "occupy" or sit-in Wall Street itself (see the Wall Street subway stop?) On September 17th, the police used metal barricades to block protesters, who ended up walking to Zuccotti Park, which is marked with an A on the map. How Has Occupy Wall Street Spread? The Human Mic: Not Just for Occupy
By Luke Smith
Nov. 21, 2011 4:54 PM PST

You've probably seen video of the "human microphone" technique used at Occupy Wall Street's general assembly meetings to amplify speakers' voices without the aid of a sound system. New York City doesn't permit amplified sound in public spaces, so protesters started repeating en mass ("REPEATING EN MASS") every few words a speaker says ("EVERY FEW WORDS A SPEAKER SAYS") so everyone can hear ("SO EVERYONE CAN HEAR!").

It's an invention of necessity that nicely reinforces the protesters' messages of community and strength in numbers. Also, it can't be confiscated by police.

Lately, the human mic has been turning up at non-Occupy protests, disrupting a panel on the environment at Ohio State and a speech by Michelle Bachman (who is running for President) in South Carolina. The human microphone is a force multiplier; when tens and even hundreds of people echo the same speech at a rapid clip, they suddenly outnumber the powers-that-be in the room—and their message can actually be heard. What Are the Types of Non-Violent Protest? The Human Mic: Not Just for Occupy
By Luke Smith
Nov. 21, 2011 4:54 PM PST

You've probably seen video of the "human microphone" technique used at Occupy Wall Street's general assembly meetings to amplify speakers' voices without the aid of a sound system. New York City doesn't permit amplified sound in public spaces, so protesters started repeating en mass ("REPEATING EN MASS") every few words a speaker says ("EVERY FEW WORDS A SPEAKER SAYS") so everyone can hear ("SO EVERYONE CAN HEAR!").

It's an invention of necessity that nicely reinforces the protesters' messages of community and strength in numbers. Also, it can't be confiscated by police.

Lately, the human mic has been turning up at non-Occupy protests, disrupting a panel on the environment at Ohio State and a speech by Michelle Bachman (who is running for President) in South Carolina. The human microphone is a force multiplier; when tens and even hundreds of people echo the same speech at a rapid clip, they suddenly outnumber the powers-that-be in the room—and their message can actually be heard. What About Celebrities? Interview: How Questlove Stays Occupied
—By Aaron Ross

Ahmir Thompson, a.k.a. Questlove, is due onstage in a few hours, but right now he can barely suppress a yawn. When Thompson, 40, isn't drumming with the Roots, he's producing films, and DJing. Not to mention helping Occupy Wall on November 15, tweeting out early warnings of the impending police raid on Zuccotti park.

At 11:38 p.m. on Monday, Questlove of the Roots alerted his 1.76 million followers on twitter to a massing of officers in riot gear not far from Zuccotti Park, headquarters for the Occupy Wall Street protests.

He tweeted:

Peaceful Occupy Oakland March Followed by Late-Night Clashes
by Jason Jones
Wed Nov. 2, 2011 11:47 PM PDT

A massive crowd snaked through downtown Oakland, California yesterday afternoon. The crowd was so big, it eventually shutt down the Port of Oakland. There was some vandalism, with windows broken at bank branches and a Whole Foods, but protesters were also seen cleaning up graffiti and holding others back from destroying property.

After most protesters had left, several hundred protesters occupied an abandoned building and barricaded surrounding streets. When police moved in, protesters set barricades on fire, and police deployed tear gas. Oakland Police Under a Cloud for Violent Occupy Crackdown
—By Gavin Aronsen
| Thu Oct. 27, 2011 7:49 PM PDT

Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland Police Department are being criticized for their aggressive crackdown against the Occupy Oakland protesters on Tuesday night.

Iraq war vet Scott Olsen was struck in the head by a projectile fired by police and now awaits surgery in a local hospital. No one knows exactly what struck him, but a photographer went back to the scene and found a bean-bag round next to the bloody spot where Olsen went down.

Questions are swirling as to whether Oakland police used excessive force and violated the department's own crowd-control policy. The OPD denies that Oakland officers used flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets against the crowd, despite allegations to the contrary. Interim police chief Howard Jordan has admitted to the use of tear gas and bean bags, saying his officers used them as a defense against bottles, rocks, and paint thrown by angry protesters. Braving Chaos, Parents and Kids Occupy Wall Street for a Night
Meet some of the 68 families that endured cranks and street sweepers to camp out in Zuccotti Park.

—By Josh Harkinson
| Mon Oct. 24, 2011 2:00 AM PDT

Zuccotti Park, like most public places in New York City, can be dangerous late at night. Midnight attacks by street people, stolen laptops, dozing women who've been groped or propositioned: Sesame Street it is not. But with a little bit of coordinated self-policing, Occupy Wall Street can be a safe place to bed down for anyone. That, at least, was the idea on Friday night when 68 families with young children showed up at the park, blankets and cupcakes in tow, for a sleepover.
Explore MoJo's updated map of protests and arrests worldwide, and check out all the rest of our #OWS coverage.

"The idea is to let parents have a voice in Occupy Wall Street, because normally they cannot be here and also be at home taking care of their families," says Kirby Desmarais, a record label owner from Brooklyn who founded the Parents for Occupy Wall Street Facebook group a few weeks ago. She was standing inside a roped-off area near the park steps—a cardboard sign dubbed it a "Child Safe Zone"—where her 18-month-old daughter and dozens of other children played with comics, alphabet blocks, and glow sticks.

"I hope that the nation will see that the movement is not only the radical, the young, and the unemployed," Desmarais went on. "It's regular citizens like us, and it's time that our voices be heard."

The kiddie occupation kicked off around 5:30 p.m. with a free concert by all-ages alt-rocker Dan Zanes, backed by his bongo drummer and violinists. Wearing a purple vest and his trademark spiky gray mop of hair, Zanes played "I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister," an old Labor Party song from the '40s, when, he figured, "there was a similar feeling in the air."

Standing nearby, Zoe Kashner collected the sippy cup that her three-year old daughter, Rafa, had thrown to the ground. A sign on the backpack of her five-year-old son said, "Play fair Wall Street. Don't steal my future." She'd found the concept of theft the easiest way to explain the protest to her youngsters: "They're like, 'They steal people's money?' I'm like, 'Yeah.' Even kids get that it's not fair." Arrests and Pepper Spray at Occupy Des Moines; Governor Faults Protesters

—By Gavin Aronsen
| Tue Oct. 11, 2011 2:00 AM PDT

#OccupyWallStreet came to Iowa last week. Sunday night, outside Des Moines (the State capital), officers arrested at least 30 adults and two minors after protesters refused to leave state property they'd temporarily claimed as "People's Park."

At around 10:30 p.m., witnesses say, some 200 Iowans were peacefully protesting the cozy relationship between government and corporate America when two dozen Iowa State Patrol and city police announced that they intended to enforce an 11 p.m. curfew on state property.

When the officers returned half an hour later, about 100 people locked arms, says David Goodner, a longtime social-justice activist. Goodner was the first person arrested. At least one protester was pepper-sprayed. Others, according to people at the scene, received scrapes and bruises as police dragged them away.

"I've never seen that many people arrested for an act of conscience in all my time working for social change in Des Moines," says Ed Fallon, a local radio show host and former Democratic state legislator who was among those arrested. "What's unique about this is the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to the heartland." Celebrity Support for Occupy Wall Street
by Drew Grant
September 30th, 2011

As the protests gain momentum, more and more famous names have been stopping by to check out the action and express admiration for the “Occupy Wall Street” cause…whatever it may be.

1. Lupe Fiasco:
The rapper was one of the original supporters of the protests, and was even down at the march on September 17.

2. Russell Simmons
Went to Liberty Plaza on Thursday with 500 bottles of water, calling the protesters “sweet kids.“ Does not officially identify with Occupy Wall Street, but supports the concept. He explained to the Observer his support, “We should stop the legal bribery of our politicians.”

3. Susan Sarandon
The actress turned up at the protests on Wednesday, September 27, both as a supporter and to lend some advice to those who would listen: ”You have to make your plan clear, you have to make your plan doable.”


Celebrity Supporters of Occupy Wall Street Tweet Their Disappointment After Protestors Are Moved From Park
by Jeff Fox

Celebrity supporters of the Occupy Wall Street protestors took to the social networking platform Twitter to express their disappointment in New York City's move early Tuesday morning to take back Zuccotti Park. Alec Baldwin, John Cusack and Mark Ruffalo, among others, tweeted their followers about the developments as they unfolded. Here is a selection of the Twitter messages they sent.

Alec Baldwin
Bloomberg's NY is no place for the 1st amendment. Bloomberg serves Wall Street, now and forever. And Wall Street cannot handle free speech

Michael Moore
Go to Foley Square right now to regroup. Centre and Worth Sts. Follow the live stream: http://t.co/ZNW7JxBX
It's too late. Tens of millions of Americans won't let the #OWS momentum stop. They want the banks stopped and they want their America back.

John Cusack
Got this report from shannon moore about the nyc situation --- can any one confirm? If so blumberg lost hi… (cont)

Russell Simmons
ths morning my prayers R w/ the #ows group but my body is on way 2 boston 2 push forward on ending wallstreets control.

Mark Ruffalo
#mikebloomberg deals blow to First Amendment by raiding Zuccati park at 1am with riot police. Bars press from watching. Destroys library#Ows
NYC Mayor takes play out of China's playbook. Meets peaceful protesters with violent crack down, blocks media coverage, destroys property.

Colin Hanks
Disappointed to be reading about what is happening right now in NYC...

Eli Roth
All the anger against corruption has pitted NYC's finest against its citizens. It's all so painful to watch from afar. Stay strong NYC #OWS The Methods of Non-Violent Action
by Gene Sharp

Gene Sharp wrote a book in 1973 which covered the different types of non-violent action. Some of them are listed here:
FORMAL STATEMENTS
Public speeches
Letters of opposition or support
Declarations by organizations and institutions
Signed public declarations
Declarations of indictment and intention
Group or mass petitions

COMMUNICATIONS WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE
Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
Banners, posters, and displayed communications
Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
Newspapers and journals
Records, radio, and television

PROCESSIONS
Marches
Parades
Religious processions
Pilgrimages

PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES
Assemblies of protest or support
Protest meetings
Camouflaged meetings of protest
Teach-ins

Occupy Wall Street and
Non-Violent Protests topic
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