Police Forcibly Evict Midwest Occupy Conference Participants; 14 Arrested In St. Louis


Activists in St. Louis for a national Occupy convention were arrested Thursday night while leaving a park where the city had denied permission for them to camp.

Some 600 people from all over the US are gathering in the midwest city for the second major national conference of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Scheduled events include workshops, discussions, general assemblies and a march to the famous Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River.

Organizers of the three-day Midwest Occupy Conference claim that conference participants were subjected to police brutality and that their First Amendment rights were violated when law enforcement officers with batons aggressively attacked a group of 150 demonstrators who were marching out of Compton Hill Reservoir Park at 10:48 p.m. on March 15.

At 10:48 p.m. witnesses say they observed police beating protesters with batons at Compton Hill Reservoir Park as the crowd was leaving the area. Organizers had already convinced the protesters to vacate the park and they were leading the majority of the people away when the police moved in aggressively and began making arrests. Observers watched as the law enforcement officers entered the march and started pushing demonstrators. There was shouting and chaos, then the acrid scent of pepper spray filled the air.

The activists report that police also used batons and tasers. They say at least two people were hospitalized as a result of the police actions.

[Read the rest of the article]

Lawrence Lessig’s call for state-based activism on behalf of a Constitutional Convention could provide the uprooted movement with a political project for winter.

What does everyone think?



There have been all kinds of articles I’ve been getting from where I’m at. There’s been the more exciting ones that remind me of more anarcho protests in the past, such as videos from NYC and Santa Cruz CA (remember when my friends were arrested for “terrorism” later dismissed by the judge as “activity protected by the first ammendment”) this month’s videos are of customers being arrested with excessive force while trying to close bank accounts as protest. An overlap between anarchist ideology and the current protests is the slogan “Debt is slavery,” but there is a much wider intellectual policy base to the current action. There are plans for an OWS Convention in 2012. This Convention will take place in Philadelphia on July 4 - a location and date chosen deliberately. The convention will elect delegates from each congressional district, 435 women and 435 men. The 870 delegates would then compose a petition of grievances that would be non-partisan. The currently suggestions are: Number one and two are a ban on private contributions to politicians seeking or holding federal office and instead public financing for campaigns, and a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. The list then goes on to suggest single-payer national health care, immediate passage of the DREAM Act, a jobs plan, a deficit reduction plan and recalling military personnel at all non-essential bases. You can read that article here

Currently 37% of Americans support OWS, and 18% oppose the Occupy movement. This is in contrast to 28% who support the Tea Party, and 41% who oppose the Tea Party. Source NBC Wallstreet poll.

Someone once told me “Money has no inherent ethics” and that is still true. I wish you’d taken me to a credit union when I was 16, instead of a bank! Credit unions, which are not-for-profits that don’t answer to shareholders, typically offer fewer or lower fees.

I think a lot of what the OWS protests will claim as their grievances is summarized in this article:

“To our great shame, among the 20 major advanced countries America now has

  • the highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
  • the greatest inequality of incomes;
  • the lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
  • the lowest number of paid holiday, annual, and maternity leaves;
  • the lowest score on the United Nations’ index of “material well-being of children”;
  • the worst score on the United Nations’ gender inequality index;
  • the lowest social mobility;
  • the highest public and private expenditure on health care as a portion of GDP,

yet accompanied by the highest

  • infant mortality rate;
  • prevalence of mental health problems;
  • obesity rate;
  • portion of people going without health care due to cost;
  • low-birth-weight children per capita (except for Japan);
  • consumption of antidepressants per capita;

along with the shortest life expectancy at birth (except for Denmark and Portugal);

  • the highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita;
  • the lowest score on the World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index (except for Belgium), and the largest ecological footprint per capita (except for Belgium and Denmark);
  • the highest rate of failing to ratify international agreements;
  • the lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP;
  • the highest military spending as a portion of GDP;
  • the largest international arms sales;
  • the most negative balance of payments (except New Zealand, Spain, and Portugal);
  • the lowest scores for student performance in math (except for Portugal and Italy) (and far from the top in both science and reading);
  • the highest high school dropout rate (except for Spain);
  • the highest homicide rate;
  • and the largest prison population per capita.”

Have you heard of Bank Transfer Day? It’s on Guy Fawkes day (I will assume you know who that is) Nov 5 and I myself will participate by dumping Wells Fargo. I’m not really into them for the following reasons: Wells Fargo was the only bank to not freeze 55,000 foreclosures when paperwork errors suggested that the foreclosures were flawed -source. There are reports that Wells Fargo predatory loans targeted black people and people already in poverty. In general, they engaged in predatory loans which damaged thousands of lives so a few people could live in opulence. Wells Fargo chief is the highest paid bank CEO and makes $30 million a year. Quote time!

“Could one man live in idle luxury by the sweat of another’s brow?” — Abraham Lincoln