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Occupy the Blog! (3/11/2012)

10:17 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

Wow! It has been nearly three weeks since the last Occupy the Blog! diary. While we have reached the doldrums of the winter, the Occupations around the country are still performing their activities, big and small, and making an impact on the world.

Kyushukev has kept us informed about Occupy Nashville here, here, here, and here as they have watched the state legislators pass a bill against camping on state property which the governor then signed. From the last link:

On Friday, 2 March, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law “the measure that makes it illegal for anyone to camp on state-owned land that is not specifically designated for that purpose.” Gov. Haslam also gave Occupy Nashville a seven day notice to leave or face the maximum fines of $2,500 and /or 11 months and 29 days in jail, echoing an earlier comment made by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey .

Last Saturday, the feeling was that Haslam would act sooner rather than later, but as of today, ON, although reduced to a lone camper and his tent, is still on the Plaza.

Chris Humphrey has decided to sacrifice himself to test the new law. “I believe in going hard or going home, and I ain’t got a home.” He added that, “If I have to sit in there, I’ll sit in there for a year or six months,” he said. “I’ve been here for five months. I’ve been through tornadoes, the cold. I’ve been frostbitten and all that. I don’t care about six months, sitting in no jail.”

There are a lot of embedded links in that snippet and the other linked diaries so I urge you to click through and read but this picture does capture the feeling:

Occupy Nashville Pic 15 from Kevin R

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Occupy: Is this a wise use of resources?

6:34 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

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I, as have many of us, have been following the various #Occupy efforts with some interest. News coverage asking the plaintive whine “but what do they WANT?” combined with all the various attempts to make it all just a bunch of DFHs, druggies, and so on. (Rather defeated when even the Washington Post has articles like yesterday (Wednesday, November 16) where they lede with an admission that maybe the #Occupy folks did have some points in mind after all):

The movement began as a protest of major economic and political issues, but lately the most divisive issue has become the protests themselves. The Occupy Wall Street encampments that formed across the country to spotlight crimes committed on Wall Street have become rife with problems of their own. There are sanitation hazards and drug overdoses, even occasional deaths and sexual assaults.

So, in this one article, the Post manages to paint the original effort as valid but now has lost its way. In the overall online world there is an oft seen type of commenter known as a Concern Troll. That quoted paragraph from the Post seems to fit the definition to a tee.

Let’s examine this a bit though. One of the themes of people like Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo as well as many other mayors and governors around the country is how things are so bad economically that the states must cut back in so many services, laying off teachers, first responders, cutting Medicaid eligibility, rolling back unemployment benefits, and generally destroying both the social safety net and wages and benefits for state workers. Yet here it is, New York City can incur millions of dollars in overtime costs going after unarmed, mostly peaceful protestors (according to this from WNYC it was over $5M by late October), yet city agencies are scrambling for funds: Read the rest of this entry →