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.
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.
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.
Tomorrow is likely to be one of the biggest international days of action yet for the Occupy movement: the massive May Day General Strike. This action has been in the works for months, with protests planned by Occupy groups around the world. In Boston, several major actions are planned:
7 to 11AM: Financial District Block Party [info]
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.
like today's march on General Electric and other ruthless tax-dodgers
remind me of why money-grubbing conservatives hate community
organizers so much. Because without nearly 1000 heads waving signs to
inform people about the Fortune 500 behemoths that screw us, these
companies would simply weave through loopholes unnoticed.
as evictions go, it was quite a strange scene at Camp Charlie this
around 8:30pm on Monday night, authorities showed up at the
Massachusetts Statehouse, where Occupy Boston has been camped since
April 4 in protest of the legislature's failure to seriously address
mass transit issues.
the points that was made over and over again by those protesting MBTA
fare hikes (and Mass transit funding issues in general) yesterday was that this
fight isn't new. It's been roaring for decades, and just seems to
have grown extremely loud and and in-your-face over the past few
today, though, activists have extended their message into the
future, stressing that the war's not over.
turns out, the forces conspiring against MBTA fare hikes and service
cuts weren't joking. They didn't quite turn out a Wisconsin-sized
Statehouse occupation as planned, but much hell was raised, and they
even got a snap out of a Beacon Hill power player. Here's how it went
down, or at least how I saw things unfold .
elderly Red Line rider explained at today's public MBTA hearing at
the Mass Transportation Building: the fight for rider's rights isn't
a new one. The commonwealth has been down these tracks before, and
the past few months have been no exception. As generally happens when
lifelines get cut, the latest war over transit has evolved into a
least one group of protest fans expects Occupy to stage a significant
Spring comeback. The gushing observers were out in force yesterday,
tailing rally-goers on a march through downtown and Faneuil Hall.
Sure, Boston police have shown appreciation for Occupy before. But it
was still impressive to see so many of them dedicate their whole
Sunday to the cause, and to playing along with their very own April
Above: video of aftermath of two kids getting arrested on Dewey Square -- and of Boston Police Officers taunting the protesters. According to OBers in the video, the arrestees were goofing around on a jungle gym. Chris Faraone is on the scene and tweeting live updates. Follow @Fara1
of all, I want to say that everyone feels just awful about the polite
woman who lives in Harbor Towers, and who had to sit in traffic for a
full half-hour one day last Fall on account of Occupy Boston marching
down Atlantic Ave. In a way, she's a bold representation of all the
apathetic martyrs who've been inconvenienced by the countless people
who are standing up for jobs and civil rights.