Tag Archive: occupy movement

Outlawing dissent: Rahm Emanuel’s new regime

Bernard Harcourt, The Guardian

It’s almost as if Rahm Emanuel was lifting a page from Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine – as if he was reading her account of Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys” as a cookbook recipe, rather than as the ominous episode that it was. In record time, Emanuel successfully exploited the fact that Chicago will host the upcoming G8 and Nato summit meetings to increase his police powers and extend police surveillance, to outsource city services and privatize financial gains, and to make permanent new limitations on political dissent. It all happened – very rapidly and without time for dissent – with the passage of rushed security and anti-protest measures adopted by the city council on 18 January 2012.

Sadly, we are all too familiar with the recipe by now: first, hype up and blow out of proportion a crisis (and if there isn’t a real crisis, as in Chicago, then create one), call in the heavy artillery and rapidly seize the opportunity to expand executive power, to redistribute wealth for private gain and to suppress political dissent. As Friedman wrote in Capitalism and Freedom in 1982 – and as Klein so eloquently describes in her book:

“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function … until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”

Today, it’s more than mere ideas that are lying around; for several decades now, and especially since 9/11, there are blueprints scattered all around us. (more…)

Sundiata Acoli Speaks On Birthday, Transfer and OWS

Birthday, Transfer and OWS
by Sundiata Acoli- 1/14/2012

Thank each of you for such warm Birthday (Jan. 14th) greetings, they brightened my day immensely but frankly it’s hard for me to fully comprehend that i’m actually 3/4 of a Century old. That is old by any standard!

i was transferred from FCI Otisville, NY because they’re supposedly converting it into a “Sex-Offenders and Debriefed-Gang-Members” prison. Otisville population stands at around 1200 prisoners. Staff  said they planned to transfer out 500 prisoners, mostly gang members and replace them with sex offenders and debriefed gang members, i.e., prisoners who have gotten out of the gang and off the prison’s gang list as a result of them debriefing by telling what they know of their gang’s operations and pointing out other unknown gang members to the staff. (more…)

National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

Proposal passed by Occupy Oakland on 1/9

Summary

We are calling for February 20th, 2012 to be a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.”

In the Bay Area we will “Occupy San Quentin,” to stand in solidarity with the people confined within its walls and to demand the end of the incarceration as a means of containing those dispossessed by unjust social policies.

Reasons

Prisons have become a central institution in American society, integral to our politics, economy and our culture.

Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased tenfold.

Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 7.3 million people—who are disproportionately people of color—currently incarcerated or under correctional supervision.

Imprisonment itself is a form of torture. The typical American prison, juvenile hall and detainment camp is designed to maximize degradation, brutalization, and dehumanization.

Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. Between 1970 and 1995, the incarceration of African Americans increased 7 times. Currently African Americans make up 12 % of the population in the U.S. but 53% of the nation’s prison population. There are more African Americans under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

The prison system is the most visible example of policies of punitive containment of the most marginalized and oppressed in our society. Prior to incarceration, 2/3 of all prisoners lived in conditions of economic hardship. While the perpetrators of white-collar crime largely go free.

In addition, the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated that in 2008 alone there was a loss in economic input associated with people released from prison equal to $57 billion to $65 billion.

We call on Occupies across the country to support:

1. Abolishing unjust sentences, such as the Death Penalty, Life Without the Possibility of Parole, Three Strikes, Juvenile Life Without Parole, and the practice of trying children as adults.

2. Standing in solidarity with movements initiated by prisoners and taking action to support prisoner demands, including the Georgia Prison Strike and the Pelican Bay/California Prisoners Hunger Strikes.

3. Freeing political prisoners, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning and Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a Black Panther Party member incarcerated since 1969.

4. Demanding an end to the repression of activists, specifically the targeting of African Americans and those with histories of incarceration, such as Khali in Occupy Oakland who could now face a life sentence, on trumped-up charges, and many others being falsely charged after only exercising their First Amendment rights.

5. Demanding an end to the brutality of the current system, including the torture of those who have lived for many years in Secured Housing Units (SHUs) or in solitary confinement.

6. Demanding that our tax money spent on isolating, harming and killing prisoners, instead be invested in improving the quality of life for all and be spent on education, housing, health care, mental health care and other human services which contribute to the public good. (more…)

Prison Books Condemns Police Advisory Committee as “Farce”

The following is a statement by the Prison Books Collective sent out to local media as a press release, in regards to a meeting of the Police Advisory Committee reviewing the Yates Building eviction.

CHAPEL HILL, NC: The Internationalist Prison Books Collective condemns the attempts of the Town of Chapel Hill to justify state repression through the farce of a “Community Policing Advisory Committee.” (more…)

Breaking and Entering a New World: Video, Photos, and Article on the Chrysler Occupation

A new report from Crimethinc tells the story of the occupation of a derelict building in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on November 12-13, 2011, drawing on accounts from a wide range of participants. While anarchists and corporate media have circulated news of this action far and wide, the experiences shared inside the building have remained a sort of black box. This report opens up that box, just as the occupiers opened up the building, to reveal a world of possibility. You can read more and see a related video here.

Crowd Marches from Police HQ to Town Hall

(from capitalist press)

CHAPEL HILL — Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt briefly recessed tonight’s Town Council meeting after angry protesters jeered a council decision to put off apologies to two journalists detained in the Nov. 13 occupation of the Yates Motor Co. downtown.

Council member Laurin Easthom had proposed apologizing to News & Observer staff writer Katelyn Ferral and freelance journalist Josh Davis, who were handcuffed and told to lie on the ground when police moved in to evict squatters from the vacant car dealership.

“We are not elected to be bureaucrats; we are elected to be leaders of the community,” Easthom said. “The detaining of these reporters is wrong.”

But a majority of council members wanted to wait. They voted to refer to town staff both Easthom’s petition and a citizen’s petition from Chapel Hill resident Jim Neal seeking an independent review of the Nov. 13 incident, in which police officers armed with assault weapons charged seven protesters with misdemeanor breaking and entering. A new police review board is scheduled to meet next month and will also review the incident.

“Gathering information is the most important thing we can do right now,” council member Penny Rich said.

Kleinschmidt assured the packed Town Hall crowd that he sympathized with the goals of Occupy Chapel Hill, in which some of the squatters participate. The building takeover, organized by a group that described itself as “autonomous anti-capitalist occupiers,” was not an Occupy-sanctioned event

“I have a great appreciation for the work Occupy does,” Kleinschmidt told the hecklers. “Maybe some of you don’t know who your mayor is.”

The meeting resumed after about five minutes to consider other matters.

 

PROTEST POLICE STATE CHAPEL HILL! Demo Announced for November 21st

On monday November 21st there will be a protest starting at the Chapel Hill Police Headquarters and going to Town Hall, both on Martin Luther King Drive, in opposition to the police repression against the occupation of 419 W. Franklin St. The call for the protest is below: (more…)

Police Raid Occupied Building with Guns Drawn, 8 Arrests

Taken from Trianarchy

At aproximately 430 pm, one of the largest coordinated police actions in recent Chapel Hill/Carrboro history took place in downtown. After shutting off both ends of Franklin St. and establishing a perimeter around the building, a several dozen police with guns drawn raided the 10,000 square foot Chrysler building at 419 W. Franklin St. Both Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police participated, as well as the fire department.

(more…)

THIS BUILDING IS OURS! Chapel Hill Anarchists Occupy Downtown Building

From Trianarchy

In the midst of the first general strike to hit the US since 1946, a group of comrades occupied a vacant building in downtown Oakland, CA. Before being brutally evicted and attacked by cops, they taped up in the window a large banner declaring, “Occupy Everything…”

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Last night, at about 8pm, a group of about 50 – 75 people occupied the 10,000 square foot Chrysler Building on the main street of downtown Chapel Hill. Notorious for having an owner who hates the city and has bad relations with the City Council, the giant building has sat empty for ten years. It is empty no longer. (more…)