At least twenty-five cities held actions as part of the “Occupy Our Homes” Day of Action yesterday. In St. Louis, Occupy St. Louis held their General Assembly meeting in Anna Quain’s house, where she has lived for 14 years but now faces eviction after bank foreclosure. Sabrina Morey invited Occupy Chicago to support her in the vacant foreclosed home she moved her family into last month. In Southgate, Michigan, Debbie & Robert Henry held an action refusing to comply with an eviction from their home.
In New York, Occupy Wall Street helped the Quincy Family move into a vacant property in Brooklyn. The family “took matters into their own hands and reclaimed property that was taken away from the community.” The action had support from neighbors. Hundreds of people came out to support the family making the action a very special moment.
In Minneapolis, Bobby Hull, a former Marine, received support (and was featured on “Rachel Maddow”). His home was sold at a “foreclosure sale in August,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Seventy-five showed up to support Hull, whose family will be evicted in February after the “redemption period” ends. He told demonstrators, “This is just a start, we want to stop it here…Nobody is leaving their homes anymore….We are the people.” The Star-Tribune, in producing their report on the Hull action, discovered neither US Bank nor Bank of America could agree who had authority over the home. (So, in that case, Hull should have the right to live there until they get that figured out, right?)
Occupy Our Homes reported victories in California with Occupy Oakland:
ACCE Home Defenders League and community supporters: A West Oakland mother of three reclaimed her home earlier in the day. A delegation of a family under foreclosure threat met with Wells Fargo officials, who agreed to postpone the foreclosed home’s sale. Disrupted the foreclosure auction at the Oakland county courthouse. More than a dozen homes were prevented from being auctioned.
For a collection of videos and other reports from the day, go to this post at Occupy Our Homes. The short film (below) on the Quincy family claiming the Brooklyn home is extremely poignant and well-produced.
OCCUPY SF [*Watch as police surround the occupation. Early in the morning, the occupation was evicted.]
11:46 PM Scuffle as occupier throws a duffel bag over police when trying to enter park. The occupier isn’t allowed in and is swarmed and arrested
The police are taking names and IDs and letting some occupiers leaving plaza area where it appears they were maybe detained (?)
11:37 PM 70-80 cops surrounded a GA happening. That GA I believe decided they would demand the cops protect their First Amendment rights. In the past hour, the police appear to have offered to arrest or ticket protesters if they do not leave.
Mostly, the UStream is chaos with occupiers shouting about what they want to do and I think there are two assemblies shouting. Also I see reports that tents are up again in the plaza.
10:30 PM Riot cops are finally letting a medic come help a person who was injured.
10:11 PM About an hour ago, at least three people were arrested. This happened after a march on Market Street. One occupier decided to sit in a folding chair in the middle of the street. Two chose to hold a banner.
Also seeing reports that people who were standing on the sidewalk were arrested. The police gave a dispersal order. Right now, there has just been a standoff. This has been going for at least an hour. And the police are not allowing occupiers to sit or lay down anywhere on the sidewalk or in Justin Herman Plaza.
10:10 PM Here’s another photo of the paramilitary forces of San Francisco out to bring Occupy SF to its knees (via @jmfbrooks):
10:08 PM This is a photo of Chris Jones from @KattOccupySF, an occupier who was injured by police as he was being arrested. His arm is in pain. He asked to see a doctor. A sergeant said the injury is not life-threatening so he will have to wait to get medical attention.
The occupation mic check’d questions to police asking why they were making him suffer.
10:06 PMPhoto from @saghaulor of the paramilitary force deployed to disperse Occupy SF:
And, also @saghaulor posts a photo of an arrest:
9:50 PM If you are wondering what I have been up to for the past three hours, I was looking over the judge’s decision on Occupy Boston issued earlier. I was also watching the Emergency GA. Here is my report on the decision. The occupation plans to file an appeal.
I now see that Occupy SF is being brutalized by San Francisco’s finest so I will add some updates and the live feed that I am viewing.
7:08 PM Random bag checks happening at South Station (which is right by Dewey Square). There seems to be an amping up of security. I suspect there will be a raid tonight. I do not know when Dewey Square closes or if it has a time that people are supposed to no longer be on the premise. In any case, follow this hashtag #OBRaid and this blog for the latest on Occupy Boston.
7:02 PM Reported earlier the news that Judge McIntyre denied Occupy Boston’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Now, in the wake of the decision, Mayor Menino is asking Occupy Boston to “refrain from camping” at Dewey Square. No word on whether a police presence is escalating around Dewey Square.
6:55 PM Official number of arrests at Occupy K St action earlier is 62.
Occupy DC (aka Occupy K St) has now marched to White House to mic-check the unconstitutional implications of the NDAA. The act contains a provision that would likely permit the indefinite detention of US citizens without charges. Though in some ways that authority is already claimed, the Congress is trying to codify it into law.
6:16 PM Now, Roger Ebert weighs in on Occupy and explains why he thinks he’d be an Occupier but stops short of fully endorsing the tactic of occupying:
My hesitation all along has come with uneasiness about the Occupy tactics. The idea of physically occupying public spaces–parks, plazas, malls and so on–is a questionable strategy. The notion of pitching tents, running kitchens and maintaining libraries on a quasi-permanent basis would have Saul Alinsky tearing his hair out. If you set out to do something that will obviously not work, you’re setting yourself up for inevitable failure. Very few people are mentally or constitutionally able to live in a tent for long, especially with the approach of winter. Young and strong people can. Soldiers do. But the Occupy movement is intended to be populist, and a great many ordinary people have children, families and income requirements that make it inconvenient to camp out.
It is a fair rational take. I would say that what most politicians would call middle America would read that and nod in agreement. I don’t think it is bad for Occupy that people would be skeptical or condescending toward occupying. This reality is just one of the challenges the movement must confront.
5:15 PM I may write more on this later. A Denver police lieutenant has released internal car-to-car text messages that reflect what the lieutenant might call unprofessionalism. These are messages between officers on Occupy Denver. For example, one reads: “I bet if you guys dropped a box of skunks in the middle of the… they would probably scatter real quick.” Another: “The protesters are runnin round with ‘fake’ ARs. If they point one at me, I will shoot. How do we know they really ‘fake?’ Be careful.”
4:20 PM Significant development: Judge McIntyre denies Occupy Boston’s motion for a preliminary injunction to protect the camp from eviction. Also, McIntyre vacates the temporary restraining order that had been in effect. Now there is nothing stopping the city from evicting Occupy Boston. It is only a matter of time, even though city is denying any plans to evict. Greenway, like Broofield Properties, cannot wait for occupiers to be gone. They are likely to be evicted soon.
3:33 PM Last Occupy DC demonstrator in K Street intersection arrested. Civil disobedience action was peaceful. 30-50 people arrested (waiting on exact numbers).
3:32 PM Unreasonable searches of tents at Occupy DC going on right now. Police are clad in SWAT gear and they won’t say why they are there in the camp. (Photo from @MikeElk)
3:23 PM Public Campaign has put together a report that shows 30 corporations paid more for lobbying than they did in taxes. These 30 corporations received $11 billion in tax rebates, despite making combined profits of $164 billion. The companies spent a half billion dollars over three years on lobbying. That means they spent $400,000 each day including the weekend.
3:22 PM Arrests still happening on K Street.
2:55 PM From the K Street action, occupiers lay down in the pedestrian walkway right before being hauled off and arrested (from Josh Harkinson):
2:22 PM Occupy Chicago has joined up with Occupy Columbia at Columbia College Chicago, my college alma mater. They are protesting for fair union contracts and fair college tuition. This is a photo of the picket line that has formed at 600 S. Michigan (photo via @MaxTarlton)
2:13 PM So instead of arresting all those engaged in civil disobedience, DC police decide to run horses into the crowd and get them to disperse. Chaos and disorder happens. More Occupy DC demonstrators join disobedience action in the K St intersection. Arms are linked. This now will last at least another hour. (Photo via @OccupyKSt)
1:56 PM Occupy Ninjas
1:52 PM Dispersal order has been given. Police beginning to regulate where people are standing.
1:44 PM Just added a livestream of Occupy DC taking over K Street intersection. And here is a second stream from an Occupy Boston participant.
1:03 PM Arrests about to happen in intersections of K Street that have been occupied by unions, Occupy DC. (Photo)
12:50 PM Via Harkinson, both the intersections at K Street & 16th and K Street & 15th have been blocked in past hour. Occupiers have a tent. SEIU is carrying this big banner.
12:45 PM Contingent from Occupy Wall Street demonstrating with Occupy DC today (via @JoshHarkinson)
Also, from Harkinson, K Street & 15th is occupied:
12:11 PM Veteran Bobby Hull on “Ed Schultz” last night – video.
12:05 PMTIME names the Occupy Wall Street protests spreading as the #1 US news story of 2011: “The sheer persistence of the occupations, galvanized by incidents of heavy-handed policing in New York and California that shocked the nation, have given the protesters’ appeals for economic justice a weight that may play a real role in the upcoming presidential election.”
Of course, Occupy isn’t primarily interested in impacting conversation during the 2012 election. In any case, congratulations to the Occupy movement for earning this spot on the list.
12:00 PM Astra Taylor for The Nation suggests how citizens can occupy Wall Street on their own street in a write-up on Occupy Homes action in Brooklyn yesterday.
11:57 PM My report on the sneak attack on Occupy SF this morning.
11:50 PM Radiohead’s Thom Yorke supports Occupy London
11:40 PM It is the holiday season. I’ll be featuring music every day here. I’ll be sharing jazz and the blues—the best kind of holiday music if you ask me. Christmas jazz and blues can go well with coverage of the Occupy movement.
Here’s a wonderfully cynical but appropriate mistletune by Bob Dorough and Miles Davis called “Blue Xmas” to get us going today.