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Michigan Citizens Respond to Legislative Feeding Frenzy

2:17 pm in Uncategorized by firedancer

An exterior view of the Michigan Legislature dome

The Michigan State Legislature

Updates for 12-11-12 Rally will be posted here.

Everything but the kitchen sink! This is what Michigan’s lame duck legislature is trying to pass. This quote written by northern michigan citizen who recently ran for state representative:

We have a Lame Duck legislature that is out of control. The same folks who’ve been on vacation and off campaigning for much of the summer 2012 are now slamming through so much serious legislation in the last days of the session, it makes one’s head swim.

at issue:

- Severe restriction of women’s reproductive rights

- Workers’ rights

- Guns in schools and churches

- a new Emergency Manager law

- “reforms” that will privatize and corporatize public education and remove oversight and accountability to for-profit entities taking OUR tax dollars

- complicated tax changes that will leave local municipalities and schools with unfunded mandates to provide basic services to our communities

Social media is allowing rapid communication and coordination statewide on citizen response to our out of control legislature. Take a look at Facebook pages for our local Occupy, Michigan Nurses Association, and Education groups.

Expect a large turnout by concerned Michigan citizens, at the Capitol in Lansing tomorrow, Tuesday-December 11, 2012.

More info coming…see Michigan Citizens Rally! Updates and links for rally today (12-11-12)

Update from Eclectablog here.

Unconfirmed report from Capitol building Monday afternoon:

I just came from the Capitol after delivering some letters to Senate leadership offices, and I was stunned by the police presence. They have the front entrance gated off with at least three state Troopers at every egress point armed with batons and gas masks. They were also at all four egress points at every floor in the rotunda, not to mention the House and Senate chambers. As I was leaving, a contingent of at least 75-80 officers above the ones already stationed march from behind a curtain where the snack bar is to the side room school kids gather for tours. In addition to the batons and gas mask, they were carrying riot helmets and armed with yellow Tasers.

From my comments  at David Dayen’s recent article:

I can tell you the state is in an uproar. Think Wisconsin…and thanks to our neighbors across the water for their support and example. The Michigan legislature is in a frenzy to pass everything it can, in its’ lame duck session. Not only the Right to Work for Less, but bills negatively affecting Education, Reproductive Health, Conscience clauses to limit health access, and on and on. Citizens are using social media extensively to educate and communicate with each other. The governor and legislators are being contacted via email and phone today. People from across the state will be making the trip to the Michigan capitol tomorrow (Tuesday). The turnout is expected to be large. Although non violence is the order of the day, state police are being pulled in from across the state to be in Lansing tomorrow. We will not forget that police are a part of the 99.9%, we won’t let them forget it either! Nurses will be on hand to raise their voices and give first aid if needed.

My letter to Michigan Governor Snyder on Right to Work for Less: Read the rest of this entry →

Occupy Traverse City…Summer Update

5:36 pm in Uncategorized by firedancer

Here in northern Michigan, we dreamed of warm summer days, while standing out freezing with our signs this past winter. Well, now we have proof that dreams really can come true. The summer heat wave was so intense, that it even had main stream media whispering the phrase “climate change”. Amazing!

Occupy Traverse City continues to hold GA twice weekly, a street action every Saturday morning, and a monthly potluck. Ongoing initiatives include working on foreclosure issues and using hand puppets for street theater. This week we will Occupy the Cinema!

As with many Occupy groups, we have focused on foreclosures. Thanks to OTC member Valerie Gibbs, we have posted the “Foreclosure Survival Guide” on our OTC website.  Moratorium Now, a Detroit based organization, has also been a great resource for us. Our first effort to stop an eviction appears to have been successful, with a loan modification underway. We are now working with our second homeowner. We are learning that publicity helps when fighting foreclosures.

To increase our visibility and to continue to educate, we have recently added the use of hand puppets to our street actions. Each of the puppets has a special theme or message to deliver. One of our favorite characters is our “Occu-pirate”, aargh! Thanks to Joe Therrien, from the OWS Puppetry Guild, for his support and advice with this new endeavour.
puppets at the Cherry Festival


The puppets and Occupy TC members will be “Occupying the Cinema” this week. The Traverse City Film Festival starts July 31st. Michael Moore, the driving force behind this event, is bringing several activist films, shorts and documentaries to town. Besides attending films, member of Occupy Traverse City will be visible with our Occu-puppets and passing out Occu-cards.

Thanks to Occupy Supply for our recent shipment of bandannas and water bottles, they will be great to have, as we continue our actions this summer!

In Solidarity!

The Saga of Larry Tunner- A Story for Our Times

8:10 pm in Uncategorized by firedancer

Educating and messaging are important tactics in our quest to occupy change. Recently here in Traverse City, we held a combined education/entertainment event….Occupalooza. It was a great success with an estimated 500-600 attendees. While musicians entertained us, we used posters, charts, videos, speakers, brochures, information tables and non-stop conversation to educate.

However, another way to educate is by telling a story. Stories don’t just present facts, but can create empathy and understanding, as well. I think the “Saga of Larry Tunner” is a story that can do this.  This Occupy themed film gives voice to some of the issues of the 99%.

A brief synopsis tells us that “After hitting the jackpot and realizing that he really can do anything, Larry decides to run for President, giving voice to the real concerns of America’s ninety-nine percent. Unpolished, charismatic, and full of heart, Larry is on a mission to save America, or die trying.”

We had the fun of filming a scene for the movie as part of our Occupalooza event, with just a few of our Occupy Traverse City members on stage with Larry.
See link here:

If you would like to help make this microbudget film a reality, you can donate here at Kickstarter.

Thanks for checking it out!


7:31 am in Uncategorized by firedancer

Quick note of greeting before I head out to set up for Occupy Traverse City’s education/entertainment event called Occupalooza. Greetings! I have been reading Firedoglake for years, have been a member for nearly a year, and have been attending Occupy Supply liaison webinars. It’s great to be involved with this community!

Occupalooza will be an event with speakers, bands, video viewing lounge, information tables and lots and lots of posters! There will even be a scene filmed for the dramedy “The Saga of Larry Tunner”, about an autoworker who runs for president.

Occupy Traverse City has never had an encampment but has been holding twice weekly General Assemblies and weekly actions. This has been and continues to be a time of learning and networking. More info here.

Time to go pack up and head into Traverse City for set up. Have a great weekend all!