7:00 PM Occupy Jacksonville sues the city for threatening to take signs and items stored outside City Hall.
6:09 PM City moves to evict Occupy Bellingham
6:05 PM Occupy Iowa City participants agree, according to Iowa Press Citizen—”They don’t like any of the contenders for president — including the current one, Barack Obama.”
6:04 PM “We are the 99 percent” – a top political quotation of the year
3:37 PM Occupy the Caucuses: Occupiers expect people from all over the country to continue to arrive for planned protest action
2:00 PM Top ten revolutionary videos of 2011
1:50 PM The GOP moves to suppress Occupy’s effort to convince delegates to vote “Uncommitted” or “No Preference” in the Iowa Caucus.
1:18 PM Eric Lichtblau for the New York Times looks at how the economic downturn that Americans experienced scarcely impacted politicians on Capitol Hill. The article mentions how Rep. Ed Pastor, a Democrat, has become a millionaire.
Adding context, Lichtblau provides numbers for how Congress members have grown more and more rich over the past decades:
…the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times between 1984 and 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while the wealth of the average American family has actually declined slightly in that same time period, according to data cited by The Washington Post in an article published Monday on its Web site.
With millionaire status now the norm, the rarefied air in the Capitol these days is $100 million. That lofty level appears to have been surpassed by at least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million. (Because federal law requires lawmakers to disclose their assets only in broad dollar ranges, more precise estimates are impossible.)
Not surprisingly Issa is one member of Congress actively seeking ways to squash the Occupy encampments that have sprung up in DC.
1:04 PM Weeks after Occupy Philly was evicted and then tried to move to Rittenhouse Square, area around the square is still heavily policed.
12:58 PM Bloomberg reports Los Angeles city spent $2.35 million evicting Occupy LA
11:36 AM FAIR marks the end of the year with examples of some of the worst coverage of OWS this year. List includes Gina Bellafante of the NYT‘s now-classic example of press contempt for protest, which was published under the headline “Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim.” Oh, and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “Protests here in New York on Wall Street entering a third day. Should New Yorkers be worried at all about what’s going on?”
11:30 AM Justin Elliott of Salon writes about conference calls Occupy groups are using to stay in contact and “focus” the movement. This may seem new to those unfamiliar with organizing in the United States. As someone who has been on multiple activist conference calls (some held regularly), this is what one could have expected occupiers to utilize in the aftermath of encampments being dismantled.
10:50 AM State representative in Tennessee files a bill to “prohibit state-level political contributions” by too-big-to-fail financial institutions, especially ones that received federal bailout money. The bill would also make it somewhat easier to file lawsuits against the TBTF institutions.
Occupy groups in Iowa are coming together to demonstrate and organize during the 2012 Presidential Iowa Caucuses. Planning what they call a “raucous caucus,” they say they will not “settle for a least-worst candidate” and will push people to be “uncommitted to the candidates.”
A group of Iowa occupiers held a press conference yesterday later in the afternoon announcing plans. A website for this planned effort appears to entail a “caucus for the ‘uncommitted,’ which occupiers point out is not unprecedented and happened in 1976.
Here is part of the “call to action”:
…Every Iowan who identifies with the 99 percent should caucus on the evening of January 3rd. But after years of foreclosure, bailouts, corruption, warfare, corporate welfare and the erosion of our freedoms we cannot support any of the Presidential candidates. We cannot consent to this broken system any longer. We will join with our neighbors and caucus for “uncommitted.” Uncommitted means we support no candidates and sends a strong message to the leaders of both parties. Link on how to caucus.
After caucusing for “uncommitted” we will select delegates to the county conventions that also reflect our uncommitted views. In turn, those county delegates will select uncommitted delegates to go to the District conventions and to both state Democratic and Republican conventions. At the state conventions, we will select uncommitted delegates to go to both national party conventions.
This idea is born out of a general frustration with the two-party system that I saw on display at Occupy Des Moines when I visited. For example, a list with check boxes appeared on a poster. The boxes next to Democrat or Republican were empty. The box next to “Pissed Off” was checked. (In fact, Occupy DSM has put together their own “call to action” for a “first in the nation caucus occupation.”
The planned action is not a call for people to support a run for president by an independent or third party candidate. It is rather designed to send a message to the politicians, media and other people engrossed in this quadrennial process. In the same way that Occupy Wall Street was a wake up call for non-electoral politics, crashing the caucuses with protests or transforming them into a side show would build on the successes of the Occupy movement thus far.
Firedoglake’s premier live blog for the Occupy movement went on hiatus to cover Pfc. Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing (the soldier accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks). The blog now resumes and, more or less, the live blog has been going since Occupy Wall Street began on September 17 over one hundred days ago.