Good morning Occupiers! Yesterday was a huge day with a massive wave of protests against the Stop Internet Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act sweeping the nation and the Internet. With more to come on J20 this is definitely a busy week for Occupy!
- Operation BLACKOUT’s anti-SOPA actions saw widespread participation from web companies, activists, and Americans from all walks of life. Demonstrators took to the streets in New York City rallying against the proposed law. Occupy sites across the country joined in by voluntarily blacking out their webpages in solidarity with BLACKOUT. Occupy Eugene, Occupy New Hampshire, Occupy Greensboro, and Occupy Columbia joined in the online protest. Over the course of the day multiple co-sponsors of the Senate version, PIPA, dropped their support for the bill and joined the opposition.
- In spite of these victories the backers of SOPA are pressing their agenda by other means. On November 30, 2011 Chanel filed a court order leading to the shut down of over 900 web addresses for selling knock-off goods. While this is old news it does show no matter what the powers behind SOPA are not going to give up easily.
- Multiple Occupations are gearing up for the J20 Occupy the Courts Day of Action. In Occupy San Francisco will blockade the banks and investment firms of the Financial District in protest of corporate power in government. Occupy Charlottesville, Occupy Salem, and Occupy Redlands have all announced solidarity actions for J20 and J21. Occupy Minnesota has announced they will be launching a similar action on J24 for the opening of the state legislature demanding the legislature make the rich pay for the damage of the economic collapse.
- Occupy London has started a new event beginning yesterday called the Trial of the 1%. They will be holding hearings, demonstrations, and teach-ins on the destructive actions of the 1% against the people. Watch it on livestream here.
- Occupy London and Occupy Edinburgh are fighting the evictions by government officials of their encampments in court and on the ground. Solidarity!
- A new and dangerous interpretation of lynching laws is being used to charge Occupy activists with felonies. Police using this tactic are citing the exact wording of the California lynching law which defines the crime as, “taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer”. A riot, as used in these cases, is when at least two or more people are threatening violence or disturbing the peace. In light of other reports of police provocateurs, acts by unknown individuals, and DHS involvement it should come as no surprise the forces of the 1% are using whatever tools they can to justify suppression by “legal” means, even if the necessary incident has to be manufactured
- Occupy Syracuse is facing eviction by city officials and need all the Occupiers they can get to remain in place. Good luck!
- A new Occupy Boston working group has formed to fight recent hikes in MBTA fees and cutbacks in service. They argue these changes hurt the people of Boston with no real benefit to the city.
- Occupy Atlanta successfully thwarted the attempted foreclosure eviction of the historic Higher Ground Empowerment Center by camping out on the lawns of the property. Great work Atlanta!
- Occupy Detroit has just posted video and pictures from their Martin Luther King Day march. Check them out here.
- And finally we have a few legal victories to report. The Albany, NY District Attorney has moved back the trial dates of several arrested activists and, so far, has declined to press charges against any Occupiers arrested in Albany. In St. Louis 9 Occupy activists arrested for Occupying Kienar Plaza were sentenced to “Time served.” Here’s hoping more judges, prosecutors, and police follow the example of these brave civil servants and stand with the 99%.
Good luck on J20 everyone, stay safe, stay smart, and solidarity!