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More Arrests For Occupy Bloomington

4:08 pm in Uncategorized by johnnysaynever

Previous Favorable news report; Occupier Charis appears in this video

Occupiers Charis and Walker were forcibly removed from Peoples Park early this morning. Both were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing. The BPD seems determined to enforce the 11pm-6am curfew in the park. Another occupier autonomously released this statement:

It has been 3 years, 3 months and 21 days since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and not a single corporation has been held accountable for the destruction of the U.S. economy. Participants in the Occupation of Peoples Park did hold them accountable, including the action against the criminal corporation JP Morgan Chase (currently under multiple indictments) at Indiana University on November 29, 2011.

Mayor Mark Kruzan’s decision to evict homeless individuals from Peoples Park, and his disgraceful move to silence attempts to hold corporate power accountable will ultimately fail, and expose for all to see why the battle against corporate power must remain independent from political parties.

Kruzan’s claim that Bloomington is “different” crashes on the shores of his own hypocrisy. On December 11, IU students and others staged a violent alcohol-fueled riot with criminal acts and property damage in downtown Bloomington. No arrests were made and Kruzan condoned the criminal actions by his own and BPD’s inaction. His cowardly move to “evict” Occupiers highlights what side “progressive Democratic” administrations are on in the struggle against the 1%. That struggle will continue, and, indeed, will intensify.

The December 11th riot referred to in the statement occurred following the Indiana University men’s basketball team’s win over Kentucky.

Occupy The Indiana Statehouse!

8:11 pm in Uncategorized by johnnysaynever

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Last week, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels introduced a comprehensive list of new ‘security rules’ for the Indiana Statehouse for the 2012 state legislative session, including a measure which requires that no more than 3,000 people be inside the statehouse at any one time. The new rule, which was to be enforced by the Fire Marshall and the Indiana State Police, includes in the total number allowed the 1,700 statehouse employees and lobbyists typically present in the statehouse on any given day. The cap appeared to be in direct violation of Article 1, Section 31 of the Indiana State Constitution: “No law shall restrain any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; nor from instructing their representatives; nor from applying to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.”

Other regulations include: no protest signs larger than 2’ X 2’, no signs on sticks, no obscenity, no engaging in lewd acts contrary to state law, no Coke cans. Also no gambling. Or, ironically, pandering. A local agitator/educator found a way to circumvent two of the listed regulations (pictured).

I arrived at 8:30 AM today, the first day of the 2012 legislative session. As the morning wore on, several hundred protesters (including some already inside the statehouse) grew into the thousands, as union members and activists from local Occupy groups (Indianapolis, Bloomington and others) arrived in buses and on foot. At around 10:45 it was announced that Daniels had rescinded the cap of 3,000 inside the statehouse, though all of the other ‘rules’ remained in effect. The protesters moved into the statehouse and entered the Senate chamber, and were threatened with eviction on at least one occasion for disrupting the proceedings. Democrats remained in conference and managed to stall passage of the bill for at least an afternoon. But in spite of these tactics it looks more and more likely that Daniels will get his wish of enjoying the Super Bowl down the street at Lucas Oil Stadium in a month or so, in peace, with the right-to-work bill behind him. Hey citizens of Indiana! Shut up and watch some sports.

Occupy Bloomington Update Read the rest of this entry →

The Radical History of Bloomington’s Peoples Park

10:31 am in Uncategorized by johnnysaynever

In the autumn of 1968, Rollo Turner opened the Black Market in Bloomington, Indiana on land owned by businessman and antiwar activist Larry Canada. Located on the corner of Dunn Street and Kirkwood Avenue, the Black Market sold LPs, books, artwork, and African imports, and quickly evolved into a peaceful gathering place for Bloomington and Indiana University’s African-American community. In May of 1969 Turner would gain fame for leading a coalition of students and faculty in an occupation of IU’s Ballantine Hall to protest tuition increases.

On December 26th 1968, the Black Market was firebombed by two local members of the Ku Klux Klan. The entire inventory of the business was lost, and the Black Market was forced to close its doors permanently. The countercultural space had failed to last three months before being attacked and destroyed by regressives. The building which housed the establishment was razed soon afterwards.

In 1967, Indianapolis native Kathy Noyes moved to the area and wed Larry Canada. The couple attempted to create a utopian community in nearby Nashville, Indiana. It was one of numerous communities in the Midwest in that era, according to Mary Ann Wynkoop in Dissent in the Heartland: The Sixties at Indiana University, based on “general ideals of sharing, sexual liberation, and pure democracy.” The community was eventually abandoned after clashes with the sheriff of Nashville, another local Klansman.

Larry and Kathy Canada eventually divorced, and Larry moved away from Bloomington. Kathy retained ownership of the land that the Black Market had stood on, where students had autonomously begun filling the empty lot with flowers and vegetation. The students eventually named the lot ‘Peoples Park’ in honor of Peoples Park at the University of California-Berkeley, where an anti-war demonstrator had been shot dead by shotgun-happy policemen in 1970.

Kathy Noyes Canada left Bloomington in 1976, and donated Peoples Park to the city, with the stipulation that it always remain a public park for the citizens of Bloomington. Read the rest of this entry →