months ago, New York City cops were dragging Occupy Wall Street
activists through the streets and parks of lower Manhattan. In a
series of brutal assaults on civil liberties and skulls alike,
officers appeared to be abiding orders barked by sadistic brass
monkeys who were more interested in suppressing speech than they were
with keeping peace.
Image of OB in NY by Jenna Pope via Sandy Relief Boston Tumblr. For more amazing Sandy pics check Jenna's blog HERE.
starting to feel like the whole eastern seaboard has gone mad. Since
Hurricane Sandy tore up the Atlantic coast two weeks ago, and Occupy
Wall Street quickly evolved into a complex human aid machine across
the boroughs, attitudes toward the perpetually shat upon people's
movement have shifted so dramatically as to cause whiplash.
This week in local activism events: the Boston Feminists for Liberation hold a march against rape culture on Saturday, animal activists also hold two events this weekend, protestors speak out against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's national donors confderence, and more. Read on for details.
sad new book Fire In The Ashes, author Jonathan Kozol
describes the shady side of Manhattan in the 1980s when, in ways not
seen in decades, extravagant financial glut co-existed with abject
poverty. Some of the most shameful slums were hidden in the massive
midtown hotels that rotted years earlier; it was there that New
York's poorest residents lived before being exiled to the
squalor of the South Bronx.
didn't expect more than 40 people to turn up at the
anniversary of Occupy Boston. Some formerly hyperactive participants
told me they were too frustrated with their comrades to attend, while
others declared online that the movement failed not just them but the
community. On top of that, it was butt ugly out and raining, plus I
heard that some of the group's recurring characters work weekends, or
couldn't make it in from out of town.
wasn't supposed to be sitting in a bar, my right elbow bent like a
bastard, on the night of September 17, 2012. It was the anniversary
of Occupy Wall Street – a movement I've been covering for about a
year – and the plan was to be out in the streets, tweeting, taking
pictures, and scribbling obscenities in my notepad.
settling of Dewey Square was a big fat dysfunctional wedding, then
the current slog leading up to Occupy Boston's one-year anniversary
is a time to reflect on the shotgun marriage between this wide array
of Hub activists. Some tried to analyze the union on the honeymoon,
but a number of traumatic twists made that impossible.
Richard Harding Wood was riled up before Occupy. Along with other
friends from Malden, the then-20-year-old started coming into Boston
on weekends early last year wielding placards to protest the Federal
Reserve Bank. So when Occupy Boston settled across Atlantic Ave from
the Fed in late-September, it was a no-brainer for Wood to get
night in Chicago was surreal . . . There was zero violence,
unconditional love, and peaceful pandemonium. I accidentally stepped
on some dude’s Jordans and he shook my hand . . . Cell phone lines
were so jammed that people couldn’t reach one another, but I was
far from alone. I must have wrapped my arms around 100 people .
As is becoming increasingly evident,
the actions surrounding NATO add up to a perpetual protest. There's
no beginning or end, with shit popping from activist crash pads to
streets across the city, where clashes with police are getting more
frequent and more intense around every corner. In the past few days
I've had countless conversations with journalists, Occupiers, and
every type of reporter and aggregator in-between about how most of us
won't be able to file extensive accounts until things slow down a
bit, since every second spent writing inside is a second that we
could and should be documenting from the front lines.
I wasn't even at Daley Plaza for two minutes when I ran into Vermin Supreme. From Austin to Boston to here, I've seen him more than I've seen my family over the last six months . . .
Like Vermin, there were a few thousand other heads out there assembling peacefully at the National Nurses United rally . . .
not following Tom Morello around the country. It might seem that way;
in the past few months I've caught him at South by Southwest in
Texas, and a few weeks ago for May Day in New York City, where the Rage legacy
and Occupy icon organized a GUITARMY to stomp some blacktop swinging axes. But while Morello will indeed be in Chicago
today, kicking for tens of thousands in Daley Plaza, his street-side
spectacular is hardly the main selling point for my trek to the
long last, I'm having a New York City release party for my Occupy
book, 99 Nights with the 99 Percent. Better yet I'm doing it
the night before May Day (on Monday, April 30), and one block from
Zuccotti park, where this whole thing began. If you're in the area,
it would mean a lot to me if you stopped by.
There were some
significant legal precedents set in Manhattan today. New York City
criminal court judge Matthew Sciarrino, Jr. ruled that Occupy Wall
Street protester Malcolm Harris – one of hundreds arrested during a
direct action on the Brooklyn Bridge last October – has no standing
to stop authorities from subpoenaing his Twitter account.