Monday, April 30, 2012
OCCUPY SANTA CRUZ
RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT
WHEREAS, Occupy Santa Cruz believes that all of the defendants charged in the River Street action are journalists, members of our local press, and activists committed to the Occupy Movement, and particularly Occupy Santa Cruz, and
WHEREAS, Occupy Santa Cruz believes that the constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly may not be abridged by governmental fiat, and
WHEREAS, Occupy Santa Cruz believes that civil liberties are being broadly threatened by the continuing prosecution of these cases, and
WHEREAS, Occupy Santa Cruz believes that the criminal offenses prosecuted by our local District Attorney are over broad and overreaching in consideration of the facts, and
WHEREAS Occupy Santa Cruz believes that these defendants are being selectively prosecuted in a manner directly related to the existing adversarial relationship several of these defendants have with local police, past and present civic officials and the District Attorney's office, and
WHEREAS Occupy Santa Cruz believes that the Constitution of the United States of America and simple social justice require that the enormous power of government be exercised fairly and even handedly, and not be based on the identity or past actions of the defendants, and
WHEREAS Occupy Santa Cruz believes that these defendants posed no threat to public order or private property by their actions either as chroniclers of the events or as supporters of the River Street action,
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED THAT Occupy Santa Cruz calls for the immediate dismissal of all charges presently lodged against the eleven River Street defendants and further calls for an end to all further prosecutions based upon any and all participation by any member of our community in the River Street action.
RESOLVED THIS 29TH DAY OF APRIL, 2012 IN SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
from the Law Offices of Rankin and Taylor:
Posted on 27. Apr, 2012 by
NEW YORK (April 30, 2012) – Today, Occupy-affiliated demonstrators who were illegally held for two hours against their will on November 30, 2011 inside a pen built of interlocking metal barricades filed a civil rights action in federal court. The group is represented by the law firms of Rankin & Taylor and Beldock Levine & Hoffman. In addition to damages, the group seeks an injunction on behalf of all demonstrators in New York City that would prohibit similar Police tactics.
“We came to express our views at a place where the President might see us, and were detained for hours as if we had committed a crime,” said John Rivera, one of the class action plaintiffs, who was a member of the Civil Service Employees Association, a prominent New York Union, for 20 years and is a Bushwick, Brooklyn resident. Mr. Rivera has been demonstrating in New York City since the 1980s. His first political action was protesting the Soviet Embassy after the shooting of an American soldier in Germany. He says he has never experienced a detention like this one.
“We were demonstrating
peacefully and then with
no warning we were detained
for hours,” from Jonathan Jetter,
a plaintiff, professor, and the
owner of a Manhattan-based music
business. “We were denied access
to legal representation and
the press. I’ve taken part in
many protests and this was
the most chilling police
response I’ve yet encountered...”
“What happened to me, and my fellow protesters, was an eye opener. We were corralled like farm animals.” Mr. Rivera had been spending time in Liberty Park since September 19, 2011.
Though the New York Civil Liberties Union was successful in getting the NYPD to agree to restrictions on the use of barricades in 2008, the current suit alleges that the police department has violated those guidelines as well as the US Constitution.
“Under Commissioner Kelly the NYPD has considered itself above any restrictions when it comes to political protests, even restrictions it agrees to in front of a federal judge. We will look for judicial oversight of these tactics in order to defend New Yorker’s rights,” said attorney Mark Taylor.
“We were demonstrating peacefully and then with no warning we were detained for hours,” describes Jonathan Jetter, another of the plaintiffs, who is a professor at the State University of New York at Purchase and the owner of a midtown Manhattan-based music business. “We were denied access to legal representation and the press. I’ve taken part in many protests and this was the most chilling police response I’ve yet encountered,” he continued. Mr. Jetter lives in Queens.
“This felt like an attempt to scare us from participating in future protests,” explained Phoebe Berg of Brooklyn, another class representative. “I hate the fact that I can’t help but take into account the real possibility of being detained again, not allowed access to a water/food or a restroom for possibly hours, during the May Day General Strike and other future actions.”
# # # #
For a video of the events of November 30, 2011, go to:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hCTVwTLT3o
Press coverage of the events of November 30, 2011:Josh Harkinson, They’re Holding Us Hostage, MOTHER JONES (Dec. 1, 2011), available at http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-free-speech-zones-obama-protest- video
Matt Flegenheimer, Occupy Protestors Mobilize for Obama’s Visit, N.Y. TIMES CITY ROOM BLOG (Nov. 30, 2011), available athttp://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/ occupy-protesters-mobilize-for-obamas-visit
Joe Pompeo, Reporters Covering Occupy Wall Street Protest Outside Obama Fund-Raiser Say Police Barred Them, CAPITAL NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2011), available athttp://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2011/12/4378810/reporters-covering-occupy- wall-street-protest-outside-obama-fund-raise
John Del Signore, Protestors Blast ‘One Percent President’ Obama During $2.4M Visit to NYC, GOTHAMIST (Dec. 1, 2011), available at http://gothamist.com/2011/ 12/01/protesters_blast_one_percent_presid.php
Press Contact:Mark Taylor
Rankin & Taylor, PLLC
Rankin & Taylor, PLLC
Friday, April 27, 2012
Becky Johnson's fine photo of me, after court last Wednesday. For the so-far most cogent article on the Santa Cruz Eleven Legal Trials, see her blog, One Woman Talking, at Blogspot.com.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
From Mother Jones magazine
Occupy's Big Stakes on May Day: Relevance
How can the protest movement survive? Make friends and "be a thousand-ring circus."
—By Josh Harkinson
| Thu Apr. 26, 2012 3:00 AM PDT
On the first of May, the Occupy Wall Street movement hopes to leverage the labor holiday known as May Day and muster enough people power to blockade the Golden Gate Bridge—assuming, that is, that striking bridge workers take the lead. "We can't do an action for them; we have to do the actionwith them," says Lauren Smith, a spokeswoman for Occupy Oakland. An union organizer for the bridge workers had no comment on their plans, but alluded to something big: "Our actions are going to speak louder than words."
While the presumptive bridge protest is just one among dozens of demonstrations being planned for 40 cities on May 1, it illustrates how the movement is simultaneously getting bolder and more strategic in its bid to remain a relevant part of the national conversation.Occupy organizers promise that Tuesday will be bigger than anything we saw from the movement last fall. "May Day will be the big kickoff of Phase 2 of Occupy," says Marissa Holmes, an early OWS organizer. "I think we will see a lot of people in the streets taking more militant actions than they had in the past." But bringing out the numbers—and rebooting a movement that has largely faded from the headlines—will require a greater level of partnership with organized labor and kindred protest movements.
Writing And Talking and Using Words, Sustaining Our Social Being
I am a writer, tho' more often barren than dancing in the glen with Muses who favor me, or with saintly channeled visions, these days. It's just one of the reasons I think about language and words. I like to play in the sand castles of our shared chat. It takes me an effort, a whole discipline, to mentally step beyond the sandbox or the shoreline to hear -- and share -- more distant drummers' singing. Maybe I can experiment with putting words to wordless or abandoned thoughts?
I produce this blog, this scrapbook partly to remind myself about hearth,threshold, the well; the place, structure, capacity for life that folds so sleekly between personal and social. Domesticity as spiritual necessity and as buffering for the inevitable schizophrenia stalking us between inside life and outside life.
I. BEYOND WORDS
When I lose my language grip altogether, and am finally ready to "recover", I return to France's great actor and writer Antonin Artaud.
When I can't cheer myself up or find safe ways to get lost in internal passions, I reach for Louise Hay, once a lifesaving gift from my daughter. A little Will Rogers can help, too.
When I start feeling as tho' I know what I believe or where I belong, I make myself read something thoughtful and intelligible which I disagree with ~ never easy for me, yet necessary for my 'mental health', should I care to be around other humans. These are three mere "steps", and the steps significant choices.
A great part of my nature, perhaps essence, ascribes to dealing with life in words and language, to engage socially and strive for general transparency. But it is not a necessary part; one can also commune with plants and trees, with or without a "green thumb," and still be perfectly, humanly, effectively, whole. And still be "sane", regardless what others believe. Ultimately, it is our choice -- each one of us, AND all of us together -- choosing to live in social human groupings, even sometimes 'subhuman groups' as in Haiti right now because of our shared neglect.
We are taught social engagement denotes a level of maturity. I choose to believe it illistrates a particular facet or realm of maturity rather than a necessary rung or hierarchal tier.
Seems sometimes we can feel so pushed into being a socially engaged human, and it can seem so utterly enforced, coerced, pre-ordained. Such a state comes to feel not authentic or not of our co-creating? Then we may cease to thrive, then begin to die. There are so many "preset" agreements and conditions for social engagement we may even forget we are also Earthlings, we are animals too, we belong to Grandfather Fish and Grandmother Herb as much as any ancestors. and we ultimately belong to The Eternal.
Spiritually, this human realm does not really have to be "Hotel California." We CAN check out from social conscription systems; we can step out of role bondage and economies. (Well, almost. I couldn't do it if I were a nursing mother unless wealthy enough to have a beloved wet nurse handy. I may be wrong tho'?) I understand that the incredible doctor Carl Jung did exactly this -- step out of language and it's precepts -- at the end of his days?
And it turns out, often the consequences are not as difficult, not as obscene or risky as we are taught to expect, less painful than a hangover or consecutive bad dreams.
II. When words spook you, SPOOK THEM BACK!
Wrestle with them as tho' they have their own mouths, own elbows, own angst. I need to overcome my very "excellent" proofreading learned skills (when not on FB or sugar obviously) in order to regain my sense of the flavorous, melodious, sometimes multiple dimensionality of the "small" words we all use. Journalistic proofreading is all about efficiency. "Efficiency" is kinda like "housekeeping" in a way.
Yet when "I am" a writer, I don't want to be building composites. I want to be painting with watercolor words, igniting firecracker words, lisening for bird-whispers-downwind words. As if words were architecture, I want to be creating Falling Waters or the beauty of a red-n-yellow Japanese Maple tree, more often than 'Pleasantville' or tv's "The Honeymooners".