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Dorli Rainey, octagenarian pepper-sprayed by police at Occupy Seattle, on "the importance of activism" (video)

Dorli Rainey, the elder woman in this iconic and shocking photograph shot by Seattlepi.com photographer Joshua Trujillo, says to Keith Olbermann during this interview: "I feel great. I feel so energized. It's so amazing the effect a little pepper spray can have on you." She's incredible.

"Now the FCC are trying to take away the free internet," she says, referencing SOPA. "I remember Goebbels. I grew up over there."

Eighty-four-year-old activist Dorli Rainey tells Keith about her experience getting pepper-sprayed by the police during an Occupy Seattle demonstration and the need to take action and spread the word of the Occupy movement. She cites the advice of the late Catholic nun and activist Jackie Hudson to “take one more step out of your comfort zone” as an inspiration, saying, “It would be so easy to say, ‘Well I’m going to retire, I’m going to sit around, watch television or eat bonbons,’ but somebody’s got to keep ’em awake and let ’em know what is really going on in this world.”

Occupy movement, you now have a leader.

More here at the Keith Olbermann show page at Current.

OccupyEducated: an online library for occupiers

Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson, who has been doing really incredible coverage of OWS in various cities, tweets, "In response to the trashing of 5,000 books in the #OWS library, writers have launched occupyeducated.org, an online library for occupiers."

From the website:

This is an emergency response to the destruction of the library at Occupy Wall Street, a clear attempt to destroy the education of passionate people who are tired of living in a deeply flawed system.

Razing libraries and burning books has historically failed every time; this will be the most colossal failure to repress education in history, because the education will not be centralized.

As Cory blogged previously on Boing Boing, the New York police yesterday destroyed a dangerous, unsafe, disease-spreading library full of hazardous books at Zuccotti Park. The librarians who ran it are still trying to find out where their seized books are:

We’re getting our first report back from the folks who went to the Sanitation Garage. Mayor Bloomberg’s office tweeted: “Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds” But it turns out, not surprisingly, that this was a lie. Our folks on the ground say:

“There are only about 25 boxes of books; many of the books are destroyed. Laptops here but destroyed. Can’t find tent or shelves.”

Occupy Cal: School-wide student strike at UC Berkeley

Turnstyle News photog Denise Tejada has a set of photos from today's mass protest at UC Berkeley, in California's Bay Area. At the time of this blog post, the crowd gathered is somewhere north of 1,500 people. (thanks, Alejandro de la Cruz)

NYPD raid Occupy Wall Street, evict OWS encampment after two months


Photo: C.S. Muncy

Hundreds of NYPD officers evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park before dawn this morning, ending the two-month demonstration.

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And the bride wore zip ties: Nice day for an Occupy Wall Street wedding

A cute couple is getting married in Zuccotti park this morning in New York City. Have fun occupying a happy future together, kids. Here's a photo of the bride, and here's the "sacred space." Here's the ring. @Newyorkist says, "Friends of couple inform they met here at spiritual circle months ago. Emery and Micha. Being married by NYU chaplain."

(Photo: Newyorkist. Via Greg Mitchell, Allison Kilkenny and others)

The Grass Is Closed: an Occupy Cal protester, on police and power

Snip from a terrific long-read by Aaron Bady, aka zunguzungu, on his experience at the OWS-inspired "Occupy Cal" protests at UC Berkeley, after campus police violently attacked peaceful fellow student demonstrators (see video above).

At about 11:30 a.m. yesterday, a police officer told me and about eight other students that, and I quote, “the grass is closed.” We were going to sit under a tree and discuss things, and two police officers were watching us vigilantly to make sure we didn’t suddenly do something violent like try to put up tents. As we moved towards the tree, the first police officer stepped up and informed us that we could not walk from the broad concrete steps of Sproul Hall, where about a hundred people were sitting and talking, and sit on the grassy area just to the north of it. “The grass is closed,” she said.

If you meditate on these words until they become a mantra, you will learn some profound things about how police authority works. What could it possibly mean to declare that “the grass is closed”? Who could have the authority to say so? I had always considered that stretch of grass to be public; I’ve often been among the hundreds of students who eat their lunch there, every day, and 11:30 a.m. is a time of day when it is common to eat lunch. I have had conversations with other students sitting on that very grass, many times. Why was it that I could not do so now? Why had this stretch of grass suddenly become un-public and closed off? No signs said so, and no police tape marked it off. At the far end of that grassy area, in fact, several people were actually sitting on the grass. But those people were sitting there eating lunch. Because we were part of the group which was sitting on the steps of Sproul Hall, clearly, the grass had been declared off limits to us.

To make things more interesting, it immediately transpired that the other police officer had, in fact, already given them permission to sit on the grass. And in an instant, the arbitrariness of the rule was made evident and undeniable.

Read the rest: “The Grass Is Closed”: What I Have Learned About Power from the Police, Chancellor Birgeneau, and Occupy Cal (zunguzungu).

Police choke non-violent protester at Occupy San Diego (video)

[Video Link]

From the description for this video by photographer and military veteran Adam Plantz:

Bob O'Grady being arrested in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza for laying inside of his sleeping bag to stay warm while a group of non-violent occupiers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Encinitas, and other transplants from various locations across the US pow-wow under an erected U.S. flag in the heart of the plaza; in celebration of Veteran's Day. SDPD uses excessive force to apprehend Bob, a SDPD officer uses a choking technique I never knew was legal in the continuum of force ladder. That must come after using a closed fist to assault the suspect in the face.

The San Diego Reader reports that O'Grady is 28 years old, and that he was choked and arrested at around 2:35 AM Saturday morning in San Diego's Civic Center Plaza after police ordered him to "exit his sleeping bag and sit up." The video above shows that he appeared to pose no threat to the armed officers surrounding him. Read eyewitness reports here.

Scott Olsen, Marine vet injured by police at Occupy Oakland, is released from hospital

Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old Marine veteran seriously injured by a police projectile during a violent raid on the peaceful Occupy Oakland encampment, was released from the hospital this week. Olsen received traumatic brain injury when a police officer (still un-named, from an unknown force, maybe Oakland police but maybe not) shot him with a so-called "less-lethal" round. Veterans For Peace volunteer Adele says:

I had a chance to visit Scott this evening. He is very present, alert, and has a lot of energy. He is still struggling with speech, but is attempting conversations without having the writing instrument out. He also is doing an amazing job of staying patient with himself and didn't seem to get frustrated with himself or need to rush when trying to work out thoughts in speech. Personally, it was a huge relief to see him after last having seen him while he was sedated and in critical condition.

Read the rest here, including updates on his legal support and housing needs. There's a related Reuters item here.

(Photograph: Keith Shannon)

Eviction notices served on Occupy Oakland campers, who then destroy every last one of them

"Every last one of the 200 eviction notices handed out earlier" were destroyed by angry Occupy Oakland protesters, according to Inside Bay Area. But don't worry, you can read the full text here.

Occupation in October: beautiful, long-form OWS radio documentary by Alex Chadwick

I've been wondering when the first great radio documentary about Occupy Wall Street would come out, and when I was driving around in LA yesterday doing errands, I tuned into it by accident on KCRW.

Longtime public radio producer, reporter, documentarian and host Alex Chadwick, with whom I worked at the NPR program "Day to Day," produced a beautiful and evocative audio documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement, after embedding at Zucotti Park to hear the stories of the occupiers there. He ended up witnessing history.

Alex is the greatest at this art, and I was so happy to hear new work from the man behind those great radio expeditions, which he produced with his late wife Carolyn. Those acquainted with his "Interviews 50 Cents" series will hear a familiar chord, too. Alex, man, it is so great to hear you back on the air doing what no one else can. Everyone else? You *must* carve out some undistracted time, and just listen. And then when you're done? Make someone else listen. Someone who doesn't understand what the Occupy movement is all about.

This is the story of how Occupy Wall Street finds itself over three days in October. How it faces down the police, the political powers, and its own demons. This is the moment when Occupy Wall Street won.

"Occupation in October," on the KCRW radio documentary series "Unfictional," produced by Bob Carlson.

Photo: A demonstrator from the Occupy Wall Street campaign stands with a dollar taped over his mouth in Zucotti Park near the financial district of New York. Reuters/Lucas Jackson.

Photographer shot by Oakland Police with "less-lethal" round, for no apparent reason

An Oakland Police Department officer shot blogger and videographer Scott Campbell with a projectile (a "bean bag" round or rubbber bullet, it's not clear which) while he was recording video during Occupy protests this weekend. Mr. Campbell was not threatening the officers or engaged in any violent activity that required this response. Is it legal for police to shoot photographers in a public place simply because they do not want to be photographed? [Video Link]

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Whose Encampment Should Crowd-Control Police Be Breaking Up?

FOR INFORMATION, RECIPES AND PONTIFICATIONS CONCERNING GIANT WOMBATS, please do visit the TOM THE DANCING BUG WEBSITE, and/or FOLLOW RUBEN BOLLING on the TWITTER (secret code name: @rubenbolling).

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Why is Portland Police Dept. posting mugshots of Occupy Portland arrestees to Facebook?

UPDATE: I spoke with a sergeant from the Portland Police department today. I will post a longer update on the story soon, with notes from our conversation. The short version: yes, they do have a long history of posting mugshots in cases of high public and media interest, online. They're not only doing this with Occupy arrests. And Occupy arrests are of high media and public interest. The PD's news releases (some of which are lists of arrests, with photos) are all auto-posted to Twitter and Facebook now and not just to the PD's website. Apart from that, I do think it's fair to say that the prevailing character of their response to the local Occupy has been respectful and mellow compared to other cities (Oakland, yes, I'm looking at you). I told the sergeant that some BB readers had written in from Portland to say they are proud of the lack of tear gas or rubber bullets. "So are we," he replied.
—XJ


As inadvisable police tactics around Occupy Wall Street go, this feels like it's right up there with tear gassing people in wheelchairs: The Portland, Oregon police department is posting mugshots to Facebook of people arrested at Occupy Portland.

@newyorkist has been dogging them about it on Twitter, and the Portland Police replied publicly via Twitter and Facebook that they do this with any "arrests in cases of a significant public or media interest," as part of the department's "efforts to be continually transparent."

Is that a violation of the arrestees' civil rights? Some of the demonstrators arrested were minors (and I am not sure if their photos were among the ones published). How does the fact that they are not adults change this story? Remember, these people aren't convicted pedophiles, they're just participants in a peaceful protest who were arrested, and haven't yet seen their day in court.

There is some precedent to police departments posting mugshots on a police department website, but the fact that it's Facebook just feels weird. As BB reader Bryan Coffelt tweeted, "I feel like the next step would be for the PDX PD to start 'poking' the arrestees or inviting them to play FarmVille."

Below, a response to the practice by Joey B'Shalom of Portland, identified as a US Air Force veteran "Airman of the Year" whose son Benji and daughter Hannah were arrested there.

Read the rest

Creepiest anti-nonviolence leaflet ever handed out at an Occupy. Ever.

Someone very very creepy attempted to distribute these to a not-receptive audience of Occupy Oakland protesters yesterday: "YOU hold the cock of the Empire in your supple hands!"

Note the strategic use of Riot Kitten.

(via Susie Cagle, who's been live-cartooning Occupy Oakland.)

Occupy Oakland: photos before and after violent police raid

About the photos above and below, Mike Godwin says,

The "Before" photo, with Occupy Oakland tents in place, was taken October 21. Photographer Donna Enright, an Oakland resident, says she took the photo because she heard from her employer that Occupy Oakland had been served with a notice that the demonstrators were to be evicted.

"I thought this was the last chance I might have to take a picture of [the tents], she says.

The "After" photo was taken later in the day after the pre-sunrise October 25 police intervention at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Photographs reproduced by BoingBoing with permission. Copyright 2011, Donna Enright. All rights reserved.

Occupy Oakland protesters claim presence of police infiltrators and provocateurs

Video Link: "Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs."

Occupy the Nor-easter: NYC OWS protesters braved a snowstorm this weekend

Boing Boing reader Peter Brauer says,

I went down to OWS to see how folks were fairing during the nor-easter. The weather was bleak, but spirits were high. I don't think these folks are going any where any time soon. Support your local #occupation this winter.

via Video Link: YouTube.

Occupy Wellington: whiteboard, camera, outrage, action!

Penelope Lattey of Wellington, New Zealand headed down to her local Occupy with a whiteboard, a marker, her camera, and asked people to explain why they were there. The result: Occupy Wellington: a project.

(thanks, Susannah Breslin!)

"Stop Forcing Journalists to Conceal Their Views"

Caitlin Curran was fired from her part-time job at the WNYC radio show "The Takeaway" last week after the show's general manager found out that she attended an Occupy Wall Street protest. "Curran and her boyfriend, neither of whom I know, made a sign that displayed an excerpted phrase from an article I wrote," writes Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic. My previous BB post on the matter is here.

Top US foreclosure law firm threw Halloween party where staff dressed as foreclosed-upon Americans

From a NYT opinion piece by Joe Nocera, “What the Costumes Reveal“—

On Friday, the law firm of Steven J.

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Mike Godwin's first-person account: "What Happened at Occupy Oakland"

"I knew I had to see what was happening for myself. Since there was a chance I would be arrested, or worse, I took off my watch and emptied my wallet of most of its cash—I carried only a single ID and a credit card (the latter in case I had to make bail)."—Mike Godwin at Reason Magazine

Occupy Emerald City: The Wizard of #OWS

Boing Boing reader Ed Marsh (pirxx@mac.com) created this homage to "The Wizard of Oz," and to the Occupy Wall Street movement. What did they want, after all? A heart. A home. Courage.

"How Occupy Wall Street Cost Me My Job"

At Gawker, Brooklyn-based journalist Caitlin Curran explains how you could quickly go from being part of the downtrodden 99% to being part of the "no, really, unemployed and utterly fucked" contingent: your boss could see a photo of you holding up a sign at a protest and fire you the next day. Ms. Curran is the woman in the photo above, feature in two previous Boing Boing posts. As she explains, my post here was part of the story of how she lost her job over her participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests:

The next day, Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin posted the photo as the site's Occupy Wall Street sign of the day, the post circulated around Tumblr, Friedersdorf himself saw it and wrote about it, as did Felix Salmon at Reuters, who called me "one of those protestors that photographers dream of" and the sign "true, and accurate, and touching, and grammatical, and far too long to be a slogan, and gloriously bereft of punctuation, and ending even more gloriously in a mildly archaic preposition." Beyond that, Salmon noted, the sign's internet notoriety showed that there was something about it that resonated with people. Which was really the whole point of why we made the sign, and of Friedersdorf's piece.

I thought all of this could be fodder for an interesting segment on The Takeaway—a morning news program co-produced by WNYC Radio and Public Radio International—for which I had been working as a freelance web producer roughly 20 hours per week for the past seven months. I pitched the idea to producers on the show, in an e-mail.

The next day, The Takeaway's director fired me over the phone, effective immediately. He was inconsolably angry, and said that I had violated every ethic of journalism, and that this should be a "teaching moment" for me in my career as a journalist. The segment I had pitched, of course, would not happen. Ironically, the following day Marketplace did pretty much the exact segment I thought would have been great on The Takeaway, with Kai Ryssdal discussing the sign and the Goldman Sachs deal it alluded to in terms that were far from neutral.

I hope that Ms. Curran is hired by a news organization with a spine, and soon. You can follow her on Twitter.

(thanks, Susannah Breslin)

Police tactics in Occupy Oakland raid questioned

“My sense is the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing,” he said. “I don’t think there was adequate command and control.” The NYT Lede blog digs into what happened in Oakland Tuesday night. Also at the NYT, outrage grows over veteran Scott Olsen's injury by police.

Egyptians march from Tahrir Square to support Occupy Oakland protestors

As they vowed earlier this week to do, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir square to the U.S. Embassy today to march in support of Occupy Oakland—and against police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Tuesday night, and commonly experienced in Egypt.

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Oakland Riot Cat

OAKLAND RIOT CAT. Here's the background.

(via Renny Gleeson)

Scott Olsen, Iraq veteran injured at Occupy Oakland, to undergo brain surgery

The Guardian has an update on the case of Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who suffered serious head injuries after being hit by a projectile fired by police during the Occupy Oakland protests Tuesday night. He will undergo brain surgery within the next 48 hours. Donations collected here to help with medical costs. Updates on responses by Oakland's mayor and chief of police, and reaction from the Obama administration are here and here. (TL;DR: they're pathetic).

Occupy Liberty (new Lalo Alcaraz Occupy Wall Street poster)

Lalo Alcaraz, the artist and Uppity Mexican-American commentator who created the totally dope new "Occupy"/"Anonymous" poster above, is at laloalcaraz.com and pocho.com. I asked Lalo for info on how those interested can obtain prints, and he tells Boing Boing:

They should check in at laloalcaraz.com to see which signed prints are currently available, and especially should look for my 2012 Lalo Alcaraz Cartoon Calendar coming very soon (after all the Muerto Madness) and follow my silly ass at @laloalcaraz.

Scott Olsen, Iraq veteran injured in police raid of Occupy Oakland: how you can help

Update, Oct. 27, 5pm Pacific: Olsen will undergo brain surgery "within the next one or two days."


In the photo above, Veterans For Peace member Scott Olsen, who is identified as a former U.S. Marine and Iraq war veteran, lies on the street after being struck in the head by a police projectile in Oakland, California, during eviction of the Occupy Oakland encampment.

The police attack occurred Tuesday night, and was captured in video blogged in previous Boing Boing posts.

How to help: Iraq Veterans Against The War has a link here and Veterans for Peace has a link here where you can donate to help cover Olsen's medical expenses.

At the time of this blog post, Olsen remains in a hospital in Oakland, CA, in "fair" condition, upgraded from "critical." He received skull fractures. Yesterday he was in a medically-induced coma, and he has undergone surgery. His roommate Keith Shannon reported to Current TV's Keith Olbermann today that Olsen can now breathe on his own, but will likely need more surgery.

UPDATE: The Guardian reports:

Scott Olsen requires surgery to relive the pressure on his brain, according to his roommate Keith Shannon. "Neurosurgeons have decided he needs surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain and it will happen in a day or two," Shannon said. He added that Olsen's parents should be arriving at the hospital to be with their son shortly.

Read the rest

Occupy College

"How can the government justify charging students nearly 7 percent while it charges the banks nothing and can itself borrow for less than nothing?" —Tamara Draut, writing at The Nation. (via Ned Sublette)