Links on the Occupied

This past weekend’s reading never arrived, so here is a reading list that is occupied by a lot of reading on the movement and the economy that created it, specifically the rapid change of events in Oakland. I’ve been getting busier and busier as grad school applications loom, so we’ll see how I hold up my end of the reading bargain. Without further ado, read on!

Occupy Wall Street could be the new populism of the left, but what does that mean?

The free economy of Liberty Square.

And if you’re looking for photos: Everything cute from the movement gets filed under Awwcupy Wall Street, like this pup. All the effective signs get put right here. And the first month of Wall Street is in a wonderful archive here. Bay of Rage has a nice set of photos from Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland.

A tour of the plaza after police evicted Occupy Oakland. A great post from Aaron Bady on the march and police riot afterwards. The police left some trash in the plaza when they left.

Demonstrators are learning what the homeless have known for a while: sometimes it’s hard to go to the bathroom legally. And it’s always been difficult.

A video of Occupy Phoenix interviewing Sheriff Joe Arpaio, .

What do the homeless have to protest about, anyways?

An interview with an early demonstrator, asking what’s next.

Why this is not the time to start making demands.

It’s bad enough that most media ignored the alleged rape incident in Occupy Cleveland. But when the local news did address it the result was abysmal.

So, really, who are the 1% anyways?

Wonderful video of Pete Seeger and giant crowd at Columbus Circle, singing “This Little Light of Mine.”

And a statement of solidarity from Tahrir Square to the Occupy Movement:

An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

The current crisis in America and Western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity-state now even attack the private realm and people’s right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy, real estate portfolios, and police ‘protection’. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labor made them real and livable? Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

Occupy Chicago demonstrators faced some harsh treatment last week.

Political economy theory, as seen in the Occupy movement.

An overwhelmingly peaceful movement meets police brutality – the police state in action.

From Oakland, a week ago: Eviction notices. Irony. Occupy Oakland responds to the brutal eviction. And the city closes five schools. And of course a kitteh meme shows up: Oakland Riot Cat.

Photos of the initial crackdown on Oscar Grant Plaza, and the actions later that day. A flickr set from the subsequent police riot. And scary overhead video of police firing tear gas and flash-bangs into the crowd. Here are six observations from Oakland. And another.

Oakland takes up the banner for a general strike today.

Counterpunch on Oakland: the Fight for Autonomy and the Razing of the Camp.

And law enforcement agencies have been asking Google to take down videos of police brutality, which is nice.

Poverty reaches out to the suburbs of Cleveland.

On how America’s police are getting more militarized.

The last day at Occupy Oakland.

The future of direct action in Oakland.

Why Oakland mayor Jean Quan has got to go.

1000 people at Occupy San Francisco spelled out “TAX THE 1%” with their bodies.

Wall Street has been cheating for years, a quick analysis of all the shit that’s gone wrong.

The Congressional Budget Office has evidence to back up the 99%.

The Occupy movement continues to irk pundits, which is part of the message.

Mayor Quan’s statement after the police riot includes the words “99%” twice. As in “99%” of the police were peaceful, while “some” of the demonstrators were.

A break-down of what weapons the police used against Occupy Oakland.

Word from Britain: squatting shouldn’t be criminalized and even revolutions need to address rape culture.

A really, really amazing account from a movement-skittish moderate joining Occupy Oakland. There ‘s a lot more that you should read, but it’s too good to parse down and quote. Here’s a snippet on corporations:

The “evacuated” park is packed with bodies, the “occupied” park is idyllically empty save a well-tended camp of some ten to 15 tents, and this all makes a kind of sense in our embattled country where corporations are people, special people who have the same rights as we do but none of the responsibilities. (Immortal people who won’t be troublesome and go to public parks; clean uncomplicated people without hands to cuff or eyes to teargas or bodies to arrest and jail.) They’re people, moreover, whose right to bribe politicians is protected as “free speech.” Without getting dramatically Orwellian, it’s reasonable to say that our words have lost some of the concreteness that made them useful.

Occupy LA gets divided over weed, but also over hierarchy.

Egyptian protesters take to Tahrir to march in solidarity with Oakland.

NYT Room for Debate tackles the student loan debt forgiveness topic.

Wall Street can literally buy police officers! (That is the bottom half, but do read the top half on police training too).

Unrelated to the occupation, but the NYPD has a new motto a la “just following orders”: If It Was Good Enough to Fail at Nuremberg, It’s Good Enough for Us!

Appalling really is the perfect word to describe the costumes at this foreclosure firm’s Halloween party last year.

How one reporter lost her job for being a protester.

Somebody in Chicago’s financial district wrote back to the local occupation.

Could state troopers be making up charges at Occupy Nashville?

In preparation for the DNC national convention, Charlotte clamps down on camping.

A guest post at ZunguZungu on the Oakland General Strike: The Day Before the Day of Action.

Occupy Oakland supports neighborhood reclamations!

Krugman on weaponized Keynesians.


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Weekend Reading

The weekend is right about to start, which means you’ve got some reading to do.

Some occupation reading:

And for non-occupied news:
Remember when the police raided UC activists occupying Wheeler Hall? Several students have sued the university!

The Canadian crimes plan, from Texas’ perspective.

This is how easy it is for the US Government to read your e-mail.

How important is Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan, anyways?

On white feminists using the n-word.

From Thursday morning, the post-Qaddafi journalism you will read over the next 72 hours.

In a similar vein, headline predictions for the Ohio exotic animal incident.

Working in menial labor is worse for your mental health than being unemployed.

When it comes to central governments, maybe Somalia doesn’t need it.

So I guess students with speech impediments aren’t supposed to talk in class?

We’re already doing it to Earth, let’s mine the fuck out of the moon!

Some men are so baffled by lesbians, they refuse to believe they exist.

A history of Schadenfreude, and other Germanisms.

Anita Hill, twenty years later.

If you’re selling stuff on eBay, does it matter what race you are?

What’s with these black women being all unmarried and stuff? Let’s get them married and fix all our problems!

Looks like Alabama’s unemployed aren’t ready to take the jobs that the undocumented workers were stealing from them.

And this Alabama deli owner was tarred and feathered for defending legal, documented workers. Way to be.

Wrangling university faculty is harder than herding cats, even with num nums.

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Occupying Occupied Land

Four hundred years ago, the Dutch acquired the island of Manhattan for $24 according to some estimates. Over the next several hundred years, colonists from Western Europe would continue to invade the rest of the continent with settlements, lies, and force. As protesters take to the streets and occupy parks around the world, many have pointed to the fact that this land is already occupied, and some say it should be taken back.

In November of 1969, several activists tried to do just that, and in so doing they started a movement. After the prison at Alcatraz Island was closed, many Native Americans in the Bay Area wanted the island returned to natives. There were several attempts to occupy the island, and although two attempts were foiled, the activists were not prosecuted. On November 20, about 80 activists ferried their way to the island in the middle of the night and began their occupation, demanding that a Native American Studies center and museum be built on the island. They offered to pay for the island in order to make it legitimate. They offered the government $24 worth of blankets and beads.

The occupation became a community, with many living in the warden’s house and boats carrying food and supplies running regular routes. They set up a tribal council and school, and quickly began daily broadcasts on the radio. Early in the occupation, members of the American Indian Movement visited the occupation to learn more about the action. Later, AIM would use these tactics in huge actions like the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC.

Despite wide support, the occupation ran into trouble. The fuel, electricity, and telephone lines all broke over time. A fire broke out, destroying the warden house that many called home. And some drug addicts had moved to the island, giving it a bad image. Over the months, the population began to dwindle until government officials evicted the final fifteen activists.

The occupation had lasted 19 months, raising awareness of native rights and the movement for more recognition. It sparked a movement that eventually led to several legislative victories, even if they did not achieve everything they set out to do.

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After the Bonus Army

The political tool of occupation is becoming more and more well-known with the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, despite having been a tactic in the U.S. for a very long time. Activists in America have had occupations in their arsenal from the Bonus Army of the Great Depression to the May Day action during Vietnam right up to California student activists over the past couple of years. Today I wanted to highlight one of the more well-known occupations in our history.

After fighting in the Great War, veterans that had suffered through years of the Great Depression decided to take action. In 1924 they had received certificates that would not be redeemable for two decades, and with the Depression hitting them hard many demanded they get paid early. Nearly 20,000 veterans and their families, the so-called Bonus Army, descended upon Washington and occupied the Anacostia Flats. What everybody knows about the Bonus Army is that they were routed by the U.S. Army, led by Douglas MacArthur. When the army attacked the camp to evict the protesters, several veterans were wounded and a baby died, allegedly due to use of tear gas. The incident is often cited as one of several final nails in the coffin of President Hoover’s reelection campaign. But what happened afterwards?

What most text books don’t cover is that the Bonus Army returned when Roosevelt was President. During the campaign, Roosevelt had also criticized the protesters, but as president he did not resort to using force to oust them. Instead, he placated them by erecting a camp in Virginia to provide them with food and shelter. He eventually made room in the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was intended for young, unmarried men, for the veterans to find work. Eventually, Congress would overwhelmingly support an authorization to pay the veterans in 1936, overriding Roosevelt’s veto.

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Weekend Reading

After an inexplicable week off, here are some things for you to read. For starters, lots of Occupy Wall Street (and other place names) links:

OWS: Now with Dozens of Graphs!

Robert Reich on Occupy Wall Street and the Democratic Party.

Paul Krugman on why Wall Street is freaking out.

What Boston and New York say about the movement’s expansion.

What do all of these encampment protests want? “Real democracy now!”

On the General Assembly in Liberty Plaza.

In Boston, who is really threatening the people and the land? Hint: They have riot helmets on.

Occupy Wall Street needs demands about as much as SNCC did.

50 best signs from Wall St.

Photos from Occupy _____________.

A terse little timeline of the OWS movement.

The Onion gets in on the action.

Did you ever think that maybe the anarchists want to stay off the sidewalk and in the street?

Occupy Los Angeles is getting co-opted by pretty much everyone, including the City Council.

The women at Occupy Boston are having trouble at the GA.

Dear Occupy Wall Street, With Solidarity.

On the growth phases of a social movement like OWS.

Occupy Atlanta needs to face the fact that race is a factor – and it always has been.

An open letter to the 53% guy.

America's Leadership in Nobel Sciences

And it’s worth noting that Hitler was a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize – twice.

And how the Nobel Prize for Literature is kind of silly.

If you read one thing from today’s links, read this post on the Reality of Threats and Blogging – do it now.

The truth about Steve Jobs.

With baseball and football occupying separate spaces nowadays, what to do with empty stadiums? Cleveland might have the answer.

The colors of the Apple line.

Arizona has two spots on this list of six places that look weird on Google maps.

The problem with fair trade coffee.

Herman Cain likes the “Chilean Model.” but it looks a little like “

Obamacare” if you ask me.

Does Ron Paul have fake eyebrows?

Four aid workers got kidnapped in Kenya, but the press only reported on the two international aid workers, ignoring the two Kenyans.

The most you’ll ever need to read about camouflage colors.

Reading the Bible frequently could make you liberal.

Iran tries to get into Africa, with a few bumps along the way.

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Weekend Reading

While it’s still ungodly hot in Arizona, fall is supposedly on the way for most of you. If you’re not taking some time to step outside and enjoy the weather, you might as well take some time and stay inside reading the whole internets.

He hates children.

If you have to starve to death, it’s best to do it in a war-torn country.

David Scheffer applauds Kathryn Sikkink’s new book on international justice, kind of.

The Post Office “crisis” was actually made by Congress, and the USPS could save itself if they let it.

Instead of just updating his Facebook status, this photographer told people he was going to be a dad in person – and photographed it.

America is slowly losing its client states.

When it comes to the digital humanities, it’s not the “job market,” but the profession.

Last weekend, Greek students occupied the state television studio to make their statement.

Having trouble finding the time to protest something that you kind of care about? This Dutch company will hire some Africans to protest for you!

The due-process-free assassination of US citizens is now reality.

How important is it that Anwar al Awlaki is dead?

The most racist thing that’s ever happened to me:

Modern racism is a much more subtle, nuanced, slippery beast than its father or grandfather were. It has ways of making itself seem to not exist, which can drive you crazy trying to prove its existence sometimes. You’re in Target. Is the security guard following you? You’re not sure. You think he is but you can’t be certain. Maybe the guard is black, so if you tried to explain it to a white friend they might not understand it as racist, but the guard’s boss isn’t black. Or maybe he is. Maybe what you’re feeling are his ashamed vibes as if he’s sending you a silent signal of apology for following you. Or maybe . . . now you’re looking for the Tylenol for migraines when you all you needed was toothpaste.

And that’s one of the basest examples of racism. That says nothing of the constellation of anxieties that could flash through you when the stakes are high–when you’re applying for a job or competing for a promotion, or applying to a school, buying a house, or asking for a loan. When you’re wondering if the white person who appears less qualified got the promotion because they were actually better than you or because they were better at networking upper management, or someone wrongly assumed you’re not as good because you’re black or . . .

I asked my 105 interviewees, What is the most racist thing that has ever happened to you? The response I received most often was indicative of modern racism: The answer is unknowable. “I imagine it’d be a thing I don’t even know ever happened,” Aaron McGruder said. “It would be that opportunity that never manifested and I’ll never know that it was even possible.” A decision is made in a back room or a high-level office, perhaps by someone you’ll never see, about whether or not you get a job or a home loan or admission to a school. Or perhaps you’ll never be allowed to know that a home in a certain area or a job is available. This is how modern institutional racism functions and it can weigh on and shape a black person differently than the more overt, simplistic racism of the past did.

A brief history of the income tax.

A breakdown of how America is criminalizing poverty during a recession.

What Borders employees finally told their customers.

Why you should definitely not see Machine Gun Preacher.

Officials in the Philippines photoshopped themselves into disaster relief photos.

Mindy Kaling writes about how unrealistic romantic comedies are, including some easy-to-recognize characters:

I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. They’re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it.

This week, the Daily Cal celebrated 40 years since becoming an independent student paper.

House Subcommittee launches an extensive investigation into Planned Parenthood because an anti-abortion group asked it to.

“I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.”

Hey, what ever happened to all those Libyan surface-to-air missiles? Oh yeah, they’re missing.

A documentary on Qaddafi’s arms dealing includes startling real footage from the IRA in 1988 a new video game.

Where did Salva Kiir get his ten gallon hat? George W. Bush, probably.

Students and teachers commemorate the first Banned Websites Awareness Day.

Bill Easterly is keeping tabs on the World Bank.

A piece by Ursus Wherli, click for more!

A veteran deals with returning to college life at Georgetown.

How a fellow at Newsweek conned his way to free hotels and flights – and then scammed a tech company.

This is what happens when a female reporter does some polite joking in her sports column, and I am ashamed in Buffalo fans. I’m glad she put it out in public, but these people are horrendously sexist and terribly mean.

Marketing versus branding in the Ugandan elections this year.

Carnegie Mellon professors are protesting their university’s partnership with Rwanda.

I don’t know why there is a flip-the-plane-over-and-dive button in the cockpit, but you shouldn’t press it.

Apparently Amazon is just as bad a giant company as the rest of them, if not worse:

Workers said they were forced to endure brutal heat inside the sprawling warehouse and were pushed to work at a pace many could not sustain. Employees were frequently reprimanded regarding their productivity and threatened with termination, workers said. The consequences of not meeting work expectations were regularly on display, as employees lost their jobs and got escorted out of the warehouse. Such sights encouraged some workers to conceal pain and push through injury lest they get fired as well, workers said.

During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn’t quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time.

The supply of temporary workers keeps Amazon’s warehouse fully staffed without the expense of a permanent workforce that expects raises and good benefits. Using temporary employees in general also helps reduce the prospect that employees will organize a union that pushes for better treatment because the employees are in constant flux, labor experts say. And Amazon limits its liability for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance because most of the workers don’t work for Amazon, they work for the temp agency.

This is just a neat video by Amy Walker in which she does 21 accents, including the always-great Transatlantic Accent!

A handy index of rude hand gestures.

Game theory, explained with hotel reviews.

Facebook’s new Timeline feature will be awesome for hackers.

And why one guy deleted his Facebook account.

What exactly did the Irvine 11 do?

In February 2010, as Oren began to speak about the U.S.-Israeli relationship at a campus speech, the students rose one-by-one to object to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. One shouted, “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!” As the offender was removed from the audience, a designated compatriot shouted, “You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide!” And so on. According to an attorney for one of the students, the longest of the interruptions lasted roughly 8 seconds, and the total amount of time taken up by their outbursts—combined—was roughly one minute. ran all sorts of stories on UC activism this week, click away:

Why one professor wanted to buy all of the cupcakes at the Affirmative Action Bake Sale.

Tactical thoughts on Occupy Wall Street.

The case of magical penis theft has yet to be solved.

The President visits Washington, California, and a Square State!

Our government pretty much doesn’t function anymore, in which Gin and Tacos expands on David Frum’s piece on CNN about American governance.

Mali is steadily moving forwards to being a full-fledged democracy. Hopefully the international community will help see it happen.

The White House confuses Wyoming with the other rectangular state.

Wait, we don’t give aid to countries because they need it? How about because they like us?

I guess American troops aren’t going to get medals from the Iraqi government.

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Weekend Reading

Here’s another edition of weekly reading! I hope you find something worth clicking.

Rachel Strohm has a series of Hipstamatic photos from Ghana, replete with advertising, nationalism, education, and more. Feel free to click the stadium to see the whole series.

A funny and witty critique of the aid dollar naysayers – why you shouldn’t donate your bras.

This is a few weeks old, but it’s worth linking to. The World Trade Center as portrayed in comic books.

A course in U.S. military history reveals the challenges of military life – and the need for better programs and policies for returning veterans.

What these students needed was personal catharsis, but I am not a trained psychologist. What these students craved was the opportunity to express their anger or pain, but my class was not the place to do it.

Student veterans are not a homogeneous lot, and I would never use a broad brush to paint them all as unstable or troubled, but any reasonably observant person could see that beneath their quiet demeanor, politeness, and deference, some were visibly scarred. Students find me accessible, and I listened sympathetically to each one. I feel for these young people and what they have endured. Many shared photos and stories with me, and some showed me their physical scars. My heart goes out to them, but a course in military history is not an appropriate place for a therapy session. Since I foresee no diminution of this problem, and indeed believe it will intensify significantly over the next decade, I have decided that I can no longer teach the course.

My classroom experience suggests that universities must intensify their search for ways to help our student veterans and their loved ones confront their emotional distress rather than leave those tasks to academics who lack the appropriate professional training. I can’t imagine a more important university priority.

Did the native inhabitants of Easter Island really commit ecological suicide? Here’s a busted myth.

How Whole Foods “primes” you to shop (although just about every grocery store does a lot of this).

Mother Jones has a list of some of the gutsiest student newspapers, which has some interesting stories in it.

I’m assuming you’ve read at least one article about children growing up with autism. There’s a great read at NYT about adults with autism.

Esquire has a really interesting profile on Jon Stewart (you should read the whole thing) that has this to say:

Kids who couldn’t sleep at night worrying that their president was a bad guyand that their country was doing bad things could now rest easy knowing that their president was just a dick, and that their country, while stupid, was still essentially innocent. It was like you could get upset about what was going on but still live your life, because there was Jon Stewart right before bedtime, showing you how to get upset entertainingly, how to give a shit without having to do anything about it.

When he protests that he’s a comedian, he’s not escaping from the collective fantasy. He’s feeding it. The collective fantasy, you see, is not just about Jon Stewart, it’s about America, especially liberal America, and its need for redeemers to rise out of its ranks. Jon Stewart’s just a comedian the way gunslingers in old westerns are really peaceable sodbusters who hate all that bloodshed and all that killin’ but finally have to strap on them six-guns and march on into town.

What matters is that even when Stewart’s a dick, he is never the dick. It is Stewart’s unique talent for coming across as decent and well-meaning when he’s bullying and hectoring and self-righteous. And this is because his talent is not just for comedy and not just for media criticism or truth-telling; it’s for being — for remaining — likable.

Three days before a crucial election, Jon Stewart had stood in America’s most symbolic public space and given a speech to two hundred thousand people. The speech wasn’t about his need to be a player or his need for power or his need for influence. It wasn’t about getting out the vote or telling people to vote in a certain way. It was about Jon Stewart — about his need for another kind of out. For years, his out had been his comedy. Now it was his sincerity — his evenhandedness, his ability to rise above politics, his goodness.

In Somalia, al Shabab had a contest for kids with prizes including AK-47s and hand grenades. Thelatest scary fact about al Shabab.

An analysis of some the museums of Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is using algorithms to predict crime. Could give a whole new meaning to “wrong place, wrong time.”

The recession and how it hits community colleges.

Charles Larson, on Right-Wing Terrorism in the U.S.:

Tax cuts, unfunded wars, lax oversight of banks and Wall Street, the massive redistribution of wealth in the country trickling upward (against gravity) from the middle class to the upper class (particularly the super elite)—all these events combined over several decades have done significantly more damage to the United States than the terrorism on 9/11.  Even the three thousand plus deaths on that day cannot equal the suicides of traumatized veterans and of the newly poor, the havoc brought to a generation of children living in broken homes, in families where jobs have been lost, and the tens of thousands of people now living in sub-standard housing or on the streets.

Apparently if you charge $1 for non-patrons to use the restroom,you’ll end up in a fight and getting arrested.

I’m glad somebody else noticed the utter lack of women writers at the Emmy’s.

And also why we should keep talking about why there aren’t more women in Silicon Valley.

One of Ten Myths about Affirmative Action:

As many as 15 percent of freshmen at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission, according to Peter Schmidt, deputy editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. These kids are “people with a long-standing relationship with the university,” or in other words, the children of faculty, wealthy alumni and politicians.

According to Schmidt, these unqualified but privileged kids are nearly twice as common on top campuses as Black and Latino students who had benefited from affirmative action.

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