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Why We Need Free Media

Posted 12 years ago on April 11, 2012, 11:51 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Free and independent journalism is under attack. From violent police suppression to corporate media censorship, the need to create and defend movement-based journalism has never been greater - especially as we prepare for May Day and beyond -- see below for a list of Occupy media.

Last weekend, Minneapolis police charged a peaceful march, beating protesters and arresting a dozen people. As described by Occupy Minneapolis:

Videos show officers pulling several people off public sidewalks, slamming one violently into the street and deliberately censoring the mainstream and independent press. [...] We had hoped to reestablish an occupation to bring attention to social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the foreclosure crisis, but instead were met with a crackdown by the Minneapolis Police Department.

During the assault, police were caught on video violently arresting a journalist:

In a rare admission, Minneapolis Police Chief Timothy Dolan conceded on record that an officer had ¨unnecessarily interfered¨ with a KSTP news cameraman. Occupy Minnesota further describes the attack on the journalist:

Minneapolis Police Officers had grabbed onto the camera of a local reporter from KSTP. The reporter himself claims that he was assaulted. They threw his camera onto the ground and kicked it despite the fact that he had vocalized that he was with KSTP. The camera itself was ruined and his footage could not be salvaged.

Undeterred, Minneapolis Occupiers plan to re-occupy again this Saturday. But this incident is only the latest in a string of targeted attacks on journalists covering the Occupy movement. Police intimidation and violence toward journalists has been routine since the earliest days of Liberty Square. The NYPD is perhaps most notorious for censoring media and brutalizing journalists, as captured here in one of many recorded incidents of NYPD violating media freedom:

The problem is not limited to New York or any city; it is as endemic as it is unaddressed. When Oakland police casually shot a videographer with a less-lethal firearm at point-blank range last year, no significant disciplinary action was taken.



Montreal Students Occupy Banks in 12-Hour Protest Marathon

Posted 12 years ago on April 11, 2012, 10:58 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

montreal students occupy world trade center
Students occupy the Centre de Commerce Mondial in Montreal earlier today

Students in Montreal and across Quebec today continue their protest against tuition increases and austerity measures in education with a 12-hour ¨“marathon of intensive vindication,” according to organizers. Today will see rolling student protests mostly focused against banks. In Montreal, marches leave from Victoria Square every hour and will each take unique routes through downtown.

Just after 8am ET this morning, Montreal police dispersed a blockade ot the Banque Nationale tower using chemical weapons, preventing hundreds from getting to work inside. Meanwhile, in Quebec City, 60 protesters occupied a CIBC bank near the National Assembly. When police entered to remove them, the group merely crossed the street and occupied a Banque Nationale branch.

Student groups have held demonstrations nearly every day since they declared an indefinite strike on classes nearly two months ago. The strike is the longest in Quebec's history and some marches have topped 200,000. Follow on Twitter: #BloquonsLaHausse, #marathondemanif, @occuponsmontrea, #printempsquebecois, @99_Quebec.

quebec student strike


OWS Updates for the Week of April 11

Posted 12 years ago on April 11, 2012, 10:42 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

spring awakening

Spring has awakened! Join us this Saturday at 1pm for the Occupy New York City People’s Assembly converging on Central Park to unite organizations, activists, and others to create a transformative, citywide, mass movement.

Occupy these Upcoming Events

Debt and Punishment
Wednesday, April 11th, 6pm-7pm
Union Square, Southside stairs

This talk examines how debt is a form of punishment designed to break up communities and create isolated individuals whose lives center around debt and its repayment. Opposition to debt is thus part of the refusal of the prison-industrial complex. Speaker: Nicholas Mirzoeff, NYU, Department of Media, Culture and Communication.
Learn more about the Student Debt Campaign, part of Education & Empowerment Working Group.

#A20 The Great Meeting 2.0 Community Development & Discussions
April 11th, 13th, 15th, 18th at 6pm
Union Square, Northend beyond the playground

With weather warming up, the Occupy community brings back one of its characteristic activities: the Outdoor Public Assembly. The Great Meeting 2.0 will be a day of mass public assembly on April 20th with live, real-time translation into Spanish & American Sign Language via projection, micro broad casted FM Radio and a People's Mic Team. The Great Meeting offers a non-decision-making discussion model for large groups. The Community Discussions will be topical based on an open stack but will offer breakout groups for those looking to volunteer and participate in the #A20 Great Meeting at the end of the discussions. We hope you’ll join us in developing this scaling of Consensus Based Direct Democracy.



Ireland: Occupy Dame Street Responds to Austerity & Bail-Outs With Bank Occupation

Posted 12 years ago on April 11, 2012, 7:31 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy dame street
Occupy Dame Street before eviction last month

Today over €1.5billion of Irish taxpayer money will be paid to unsecured bondholders by Allied Irish Bank, which has already been taken over by the State. Like much of Europe and North America, Ireland has been swept into harsh austerity measures demanded by the European Central Bank and other powerful financial elites. These policies greatly impact low-income people, the unemployed, students, people with disabilities, pensioners, and the rest of the 99%, while simultaneously delivering billions to wealthy shareholders and bankers in the form of bail-outs to the financial industry. The combination of austerity and bail-outs, whether in the United States, Ireland, or Greece, is one of the largest transfers of public money into the hands of private banks ever seen. Last January, Irish taxpayers already paid €1.25billion to bondholders of the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank.

In response to this theft of tax-payer money by the 1%, #OccupyDameStreet has occupied an Allied Irish Bank International in Dublin. Around 3:30pm local time, (10:30am New York time), security arrived and asked what it would take for the Occupiers to leave -- to which Occupiers replied, ¨Stop the payment!¨

Whether Wall Street or Dame Street, YOU TAKE OUR HOMES AND WE'LL TAKE YOUR BANKS! If you are in Dublin and want to be part of the action and future events, text "Occupy" to 0831179648. Follow on Twitter: @OccupyDameStr and Facbook

occupy dame street in the bank
#OccupyDameStreet occupying a bank for several hours today for leaving voluntarily



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