Calling it "a symbol that no longer serves its purpose," OccupyMaine protester Harry Brown burned the encampment's American flag at the stroke of 8 am Monday morning, as the city's clock tower rang out the deadline for Occupiers to remove their "structures and belongings" from Lincoln Park.
He may have been referring specifically to the camp's tattered flag itself, to the American flag as a guidon for democracy, or even the beacon of hope that has been "the republic for which it stands" (as the Pledge of Allegiance has it), is unclear - and likely intentionally so.
The protest that started in Monument Square on October 1 turns four months old today, and this morning Maine Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren ruled that the Occupation should not have temporary protection from eviction while its full complaint against the city of Portland is heard.
There's a birthday party at Lincoln Park at noon, and an emergency GA tonight, slated for the OM Dome, also in the park.
Making the rounds of the tubes is this video from New Orleans of Maine activist Emily Posner, now attending law school in the Big Easy, with what appears to be an original rhyme-poem about the #Occupy movement:
After being notified of a bomb threat involving the OccupyMaine encampment this morning, Portland police had bomb dogs check the park as well as the exteriors of the federal and county courthouses and the Central Fire Station, which surround the park. They found nothing.
Police Commander Vern Malloch said a statement with more detail will be forthcoming later today, but for the moment, he was able to say that another police department got a call from a resident of its town saying a friend of hers (who lives in another town, Malloch said) had made statements about putting a bomb in Lincoln Park.
It appears time to consider the possibility that the
pro-business, anti-public ethos that plagues American
politics has also started to infect Portland's
To wit: Most Portland
city councilors love to make deals with corporations, but have no interest in finding a way for people to protest
overnight in city parks, despite repeated attempts on the part of OccupyMaine
members, the city manager, the city attorney, and even a fellow councilor to
persuade them to try it.
We'd hope so, of course - we'd hope that the council would
behave equably toward all petitioners, from all quarters. We'll have to see
councilors are up to that challenge, which is made sharper by the
anti-corporate nature of the Occupy movement's message.
A couple dozen folks came out in the rain - before it turned to sleet overnight - for the OccupyMaine "We Shall Not Be Moved" march, partly responding to the chemical bomb thrown at the camp over the weekend, and partly (and perhaps slightly ironically, considering the title and song choice for the march) marking the official, well, move of the Occupation from Monument Square to Lincoln Park.
Based on my observations, conversations, and reading of Occupation reports from around the globe:
Despite mainstream media incomprehension, the message of the Occupy movement is extremely clear and lucid. It is creating a parallel, alternative society that cares for humans, represents humans, and provides for humans - using systems free of corporate influence and corruption.
An explosion elsewhere in downtown Portland an hour before the bombing of the OccupyMaine tent side has police thinking that Sunday morning's attack was not necessarily targeting the protestors specifically, according to Acting Chief Mike Sauschuck. In a statement to reporters today, Sauschuck said there have been no arrests, but said investigators have some physical evidence of the bomb, which contained household chemicals and perhaps a reactive substance like aluminum foil in a plastic Gatorade bottle.
Here's the OccupyMaine announcement; we're working on finding out more, and will post here as available.
Press Release - Lincoln Park Campers AttackedEarly Sunday morning, around 4am, the members of the Occupy Maine camp at Lincoln Park woke up to a loud explosion. Witnesses who were awake said a car driving by slowed down, and lobbed an IED over the fence.
A protest will target Bank of America's Monument Square branch at noon today. Loosely affiliated with the Occupy movement, the effort will draw attention to corporate greed and Bank of America's high profits and low (or zero) tax bills, according to organizer Bill Digiulio. It is also in support of a resurfacing idea called the "Robin Hood Tax" or the "Tobin Tax," a tax on all financial transactions that could be used to fund bank-stabilization funds so taxpayers wouldn't be on the hook for any future bank bailouts.
The OccupyBangor Facebook page has a couple really interesting posts aimed at those who criticize the Occupy movement for its leaderless nature, and/or are unclear about its message. While everyone involved in the Occupy movement accepts that everyone has different reasons (or at least different priorities of reasons) for participating, these are good primers that will give you a good introduction into the thought processes and mindsets of many of the Occupy folks I've spoken with.
The folks at the OccupyMaine GA last night talked about a couple of interesting weather-related developments.
First, they're looking for an indoor space to serve as a warm, Internet-connected base for the winter. A couple prospects are out there, and cost and proximity to Monument Square are important. If you've got such a space (or - and this is my suggestion - know of an indoor public one that could be Occupied), drop them a line at occupymaine@gmail.