Police Forcibly Evict Midwest Occupy Conference Participants; 14 Arrested In St. Louis
Activists in St. Louis for a national Occupy convention were arrested Thursday night while leaving a park where the city had denied permission for them to camp.
Some 600 people from all over the US are gathering in the midwest city for the second major national conference of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Scheduled events include workshops, discussions, general assemblies and a march to the famous Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River.
Organizers of the three-day Midwest Occupy Conference claim that conference participants were subjected to police brutality and that their First Amendment rights were violated when law enforcement officers with batons aggressively attacked a group of 150 demonstrators who were marching out of Compton Hill Reservoir Park at 10:48 p.m. on March 15.
At 10:48 p.m. witnesses say they observed police beating protesters with batons at Compton Hill Reservoir Park as the crowd was leaving the area. Organizers had already convinced the protesters to vacate the park and they were leading the majority of the people away when the police moved in aggressively and began making arrests. Observers watched as the law enforcement officers entered the march and started pushing demonstrators. There was shouting and chaos, then the acrid scent of pepper spray filled the air.
The activists report that police also used batons and tasers. They say at least two people were hospitalized as a result of the police actions.
New York City Council Passes Resolution Opposing Corporate Personhood
The New York City Council symbolically passed a resolution Wednesday opposing “corporate personhood.” Resolution 1172 formally expressed disapproval of the landmark US Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which declared that corporations have the same first amendment rights as people.
The bill, which urges Congress to take action against corporate personhood, was sponsored by councilmembers Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Steve Levin, all members of the Progressive Caucus. After the vote, the Caucus released a statement, which read in part:“As our support of this resolution demonstrates, restoring confidence in government and strengthening democratic participation is a core principle of the Progressive Caucus. We believe that corporations should not share the same rights as people, that unlimited and unreported corporate donations meant to sway the electoral process should not be considered freedom of speech, and that the government should regulate the raising and spending of money by corporations intended to influence elections. We cannot allow corporate money to manipulate our democracy.”
Occupy Wall Street’s New York General Assembly voted to support the resolution. Corporate personhood has been a target of Occupy since the movement began in September.
The non-binding resolution passed along party lines with 41 yes-votes from Democrats, five no-votes from all five Council Republicans and one abstention from Democrat Peter Vallone.
Speaking at the hearing, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) spoke against the resolution, but was nearly drowned out by the boos and hisses of Occupy Wall Street protesters in attendance, The Gotham Gazette reports. “Corporations are people,” he said. “All their money goes back to the people.”
The New York City Council joins a growing list of local governments across the US who have passed similar resolutions, including Los Angeles, Albany, Boulder and Oakland.
A New York judge has upheld the city’s dismantling of the Occupy Wall Street encampment, saying that the protesters’ first amendment rights don’t entitle them to camp out indefinitely in the plaza.
Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman on Tuesday denied a motion by the demonstrators seeking to be allowed back into the park with their tents and sleeping bags.
…the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to the park. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.
OWS has (temporarily) taken root in a new park at 6th and Canal in lower Manhattan. It is owned by Trinity Church, with a delegation of faith leaders en route to support.
TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY
People chant ‘peace’ as NYPD beats everyone in their path
That is absolutely terrifying.
We’ve outlined the seven deadliest sins of the big banks. Read them here, and then tell us which one you think is the worst.
1. JPMorgan Chase kicks 54 military families out of their homes—despite a law against doing so.
2. Wells Fargo gives bonuses to loan officers to put minority borrowers into high-priced subprime mortgages—internally dubbed “ghetto loans.”
3. Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs all pay huge fines to settle charges they duped their own clients.
4. Goldman Sachs assists in Europe’s economic collapse by helping Greece mask the truth about its finances.
5. JPMorgan turns a blind eye to Bernie Madoff’s deceptions.
6. Bank of America pays $137 million to settle government claims it rigged the municipal-bond market.
7. Despite these and other unpardonable sins, banks showers tens of millions of dollars in bonus money on top executives.
Occupy the universities?
With the costs of a college education astonishingly high and youth job prospects incredibly dim in this economy, is going to college worth it anymore?
“The students in Zuccotti Park are right to focus on the injustices of student debt: Many of them are indentured to the very banks that destroyed the economy and along with it the jobs students need to pay their loans back. The banks were bailed out for their trouble, while students are left with debt that, thanks to financial industry lobbying, can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Outstanding student loans in the United States are projected to reach $1 trillion this year, a larger sum than credit card debt.”
Photo courtesy of Andy Wibbels.
This man is incredibly profane, but my GAWD he’s right.
"I mean, should we just let anyone get away with any fucking crime because their victims should have been better protected?"
Thanks #OccupyWallStreet, for successfully refocusing media attention.
This is addressed to everyone who says the movement will be useless and not yield any real change: we’ve already started. Just by defining the arguments on the people’s terms.
Exclusive: Video from last night's dramatic showdown between #ows and NYPD in Washington Square Park.
The thing is, the protesters were wrong here. They didn’t just decide that they’re not allowed in the park after midnight because of the protests, that has been a rule for years beforehand. So by occupying the park after that point and being informed of the law, they continued to stay at which point it became trespassing.
We’re not here to break the law, we’re here to fix it. If you give them a reason to arrest you, then you make the rest of the protesters look bad.
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