Articles Featured on indymedia.us for February 2012

March 2012 >> << January 2012

Feb 02 2012
Homeland Security Caught Monitoring Occupy Atlanta Protests

Over the past month protesters have noticed strange men hovering around Occupy Atlanta related protests and filming the events. It's not unusual for lots of cameras to be present at these events, but these people stood out. It was very obvious that they were with law enforcement.

One officer in particular had initially refused to identify himself, but after a nod from white-shirt APD officer C.W. Moss he eventually identified himself as James Hodge (see photo).

Feb 03 2012
Dispatch from China: Immigrant Rights Activist Joins Lunar New Year, Builds Solidarity

Spring Festival, also known as Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year, is beyond a massive holiday; it impacts everyone in China. Nearly a billion people will travel back to home during the so-called 40-day Chunyun (春运) travel period, the world's largest human migration movement.This year's Chunyun will be expected to make up around 3.16 billion passenger trips means around a round-trip for every people in China (population approx.13.3 billion).

While middle classes can afford to take airplanes for the holiday, for average Chinese migrant workers and students, the less expensive railroad trip could be their only chance in a few years to return their home for the holidays. Train tickets are always very difficult to buy during the holiday seasons, and the trip could be very long. Some people could take up-to10-days trip from far nothen China to far southern China to meet their family.

Holidays also mean the need to bring year-long savings from work to families; however, not everyone is so lucky. Many workers also need to fight for their back-wages as well, right before the new year many company bosses also could cheating their worker's wages, they need to fight to get their money back.

The author also comments on the impact of international politics in China, including the steady rise of China's right wing pro-US/anti-communist neo-con/neo-liberal forces. From the newswire: Journey to My Home--Happy Spring Festival (AKA Chinese New Year)! by Lee Siu Hin

Related: Austin Indymedia 2011 Year in Review

Feb 04 2012
Mumia Abu Jamal gets contact visit

SCI Mahanoy, February 2, 2012. Mumia Abu-Jamal celebrates his move off of death row with Heidi Boghosian and Professor Johanna Fernandez. This was Mumia's second contact visit in 30 years. His transfer to general population comes after a federal court ruled that instructions to jurors during his trial influenced them to choose death. A broad people's movement secured this victory, and it can now refocus on the goal of freedom. Join us on April 24, Mumia's birthday, as we Occupy the Justice Department in Washington, DC!

Related: Our Contact Visit With Mumia by Johanna Fernandez | Commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal: "Why There is No Iran War on the Horizon"

DC
Feb 05 2012
Reportback from protest against war in Iran

With Israel threatening war with Iran by April, protesters set up on Penn Ave in front of the White House on Feb 4 to demand that the US refuse to participate in the war and refuse to allow Israel to attack Iran either. Read More | VIDEO: Antiwar protesters at White House say NO to US or Israeli attack on Iran

Related: Oppose War on Iran: Fight for Peace in the World! | Boston No War On Iran Protest | So, how's the anti-war movement doing?

NYC
Feb 06 2012
"¡Mujeres Luchando, Al Mundo Transformando!": An Int'l Women's Day Celebration!

Join Movement for Justice in El Barrio for a special Int'l Women's Day Celebration honoring the contributions of the "indignadas" who are leading the movements for justice and dignity around the world!

Feb 07 2012
Right 2 Dream 2 - City Hall Protest

Hundreds of people sleep on the streets of Portland every night, there are often no beds available at shelters. Right 2 Dream Too provides refuge and a safe space to rest or sleep undisturbed for dozens of people who are experiencing homelessness in downtown Portland at no cost to the city. The City of Portland says R2DToo must comply with state Recreational Camping Ordinances or pay monthly fines. The initial fine is $641.30, and doubles every two months after that.

Portland IMC reports on the protest on the steps of city hall for the Right 2 Dream 2 having their fines dropped and to be given some human dignity and respect. video #1 | video #2 | video #3.

Feb 08 2012
Unanimous Voice Opposes New Jail at Champaign County Board

Another crowd of people showed up for a second week to oppose plans for expansion of the Champaign County jail. Several individuals spoke during public comment. Among them were:

Mikhail Lyubansky, who writes and teaches about restorative justice, said, "Jail is just one strategy, not the only one" to public safety and called on the County Board to look into alternatives to incarceration.

Peter Campbell of the GEO Solidarity Committee said, "To argue that we should expand a jail in order to treat prisoners better is perverse: any public official who makes this argument is trading on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community for their own political gain."

Chris Evans spoke about the history of the public safety quarter cent sales tax, passed by voters in 1998. The sales tax ought to be brough back to voters, he said.

Feb 09 2012
Pro-Choice Rallies Surround 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

For the eighth year, anti-choice Walk for Life demonstrators bussed into San Francisco from across the state marched to protest the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 39 years ago. However, pro-choice activists celebrated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with gatherings in the city's Justin Herman Plaza and in downtown Los Altos. Supporters of the Walk for Life West Coast event bemoaned the lack of news coverage given their march.

At San Francisco's pro-choice rally, speakers included Dr. Sophia Yen, who promoted the Silver Ribbon Campaign and Trust Women Week. Dr. Yen said, "The Silver Ribbon is the only ribbon I've ever worn." She also addressed the crowd in the San Francisco Peninsula city of Los Altos where a second rally was held.

Feb 10 2012
It's 2AM--Do you know where your police force is? Demanding ID's at Occupy Rochester

In this 7 minute video, we meet Jacques and Paige, members of Occupy Rochester, describing police harassment after they and others were abruptly awaked by police who were asking for identification at 2AM on February 2, 2012. One occupier had the wherewithal to record some of the interaction.

Hours after the police harassed occupiers, the New York Civil Liberties Union released a statement demanding that the RPD cease their unconstitutional activities.

Feb 11 2012
OCCUPY ATLANTA AND TAKE BACK THE BLOCK SHUT DOWN CHASE BANK; 8 OCCUPIERS ARRESTED

Today, February 10th, 2012, Occupy Atlanta and Take Back the Block sat in at the Chase Bank located in the Edgewood Retail District. This action is part of a larger campaign against Chase Bank in getting the deed back from Chase to the Pittman family. Carmen Pittman, the granddaughter of the late Eloise Pittman, was arrested along with seven others. This was the first time--since the occupation movement shifted its focus to foreclosure--that a homeowner was involved in direct action. They are now known as the Chase Eight.

Eloise Pittman was given a predatory loan on a home that she and her family have lived in for over 50 years. She passed away in November, and her family is facing eviction. Since December 6th, 404 Glen Iris has been occupied in an effort to stop eviction. read more & video

Past Features:An Update and Call to Action from #GlenIris #OccupyAtlanta | The Pittman Family vs Chase Bank-Round 3

Feb 13 2012
Responses to Chris Hedges

On February 6, truthdig.com ran an aggressive attack on the black bloc element of the current occupy movements by Chris Hedges. The article, titled "The Cancer in Occupy" sparked indignation and dialogue across the country.

From NYC-IMC: I attended Chris Hedges' talk last night in Manhattan. In my view, 3/4 of his speech was absolutely fantastic. And then he talked about Occupy Oakland and the black bloc. Seth, Bill K (from Manhattan Greens list), and I talked with Hedges afterwards. Meeting with Chris Hedges by Mitchel Cohen

From DC-IMC: This is an important debate on Letters and Politics w/ Mitch Jeserich, KPFA, between Chris Hedges and Kristof Lopaur of Occupy Oakland, in response to Hedges article ... Both sides debate what appeals to a "broader audience" versus "alienating people." ... they both are trying to answer where to go from here, the role of the Democrats, thinking strategically. Audio of Debate

From the indymedia.us newswire: It should be no surprise that Hedges, a proponent of statist solutions, should slander anarchism as a philosophy. But, for some reason, it was a surprise to many on the Left who follow his work. Here’s why: Hedges’ Truthdig column titled, simply, “The Greeks Get It” (24 May 2010) showed a man then unafraid to take on rampant fascism, the insidious nature of capitalism, and the heavy hand of the police state. Hedging Our Bets on the Black Bloc: the Impotence of Mere Liberalism by Zakk Flash

More Responses: Violence Begets Defeat or Too Much Pacifism? by Michael Albert | Concerning the Violent Peace-Police by David Graeber

Related: Reflections from Monday night's Oakland solidarity march | The Need For Radicals To Say Goodbye To Occupy

DC
Feb 14 2012
Virginia On Path to Being First State With 'Personhood'

House of Delegates Passes Sweeping Legislation Granting Constitutional Rights to Fertilized Eggs and Advances Mandatory Ultrasounds

Today, the House of Delegates approved Delegate Bob Marshall’s (R-Prince William) so called "personhood” bill by a 66-32 vote. The bill’s intent is similar to the recently defeated Mississippi ballot amendment that voters rejected by 58%. H.B. 1 would ban birth control and abortion upon the overturning of any U.S. Supreme Court precedent that protects a women’s constitutional right to privacy. Read Full Report

Feb 15 2012
International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier

Saturday February 4, 2012 was an international day of solidarity for political prisoner Leonard Peltier. A call was put out for demonstrations in front of federal buildings world-wide. Such an event occurred here in Los Angeles in the proximity of the downtown Federal Building and was well-attended. Leonard Peltier, who has been wrongfully imprisoned for 35 years, has received little exposure in the mainstream media. (However, good documentaries have been made about him.)

"He's been in prison for over 30 years for a crime that he did not commit; his health is extremely bad," said Corine Fairbanks of AIM (American Indian Movement) Southern Cal, who was involved in two of the three events on February 4. "It was wonderful to see people going out of their way to participate in these events. I believe we definitely need to continue to educate people, especially young people, as to who Leonard Peltier is. I think there's a concentrated effort made by various governments for us to forget who he is. When I say educate, I'm saying that people need to be aware of not only who he is and the sacrifice he and his family have made being that he's a prisoner of war, but people also need to put more pressure on President Obama, put more pressure on the U.S. government for his release."

The charges against Peltier have been deemed illegitimate by Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and many others. Peltier has received six Nobel Peace Prize nominations. His activism includes selling his painting, proceeds of which have benefited the Lakota people. Story and photos: International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier: Clemency Now! by RP, photos by Isabel Avila

Related: Protecting Sacred Sites: The Kuruvungna Springs Tribe Thanks Secretary Salazar; Repricussions on Land Dispute

NYC
Feb 16 2012
Occupying the Immigration Debate: Challenging the Corporate Narrative

From MRzone: If there's one thing we should have learned from the events of the past year -- from the Wisconsin protests to the Occupy Wall Street movement -- it's that we no longer have to let the one percent dictate our agenda.

Feb 18 2012
City Settles 2003 Antiwar Class Action Lawsuit for $6.2 Million

Victory!Attorneys representing some 700 arrestees and detainees in the famed March 20, 2003 antiwar protest on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive announced that they have won a multi-million dollar settlement with the City of Chicago over the illegal crackdown of that protest by the Chicago Police that night.

It is a win nearly nine years in the making -- first to get all charges against Chicago peace protesters dismissed, then to wait three years before achieving class certification of the lawsuit (Vodak v. City of Chicago), then to fend off a spurious police countersuit, then to appeal a summary judgment in 2010 dismissing the lawsuit altogether, finally winning an appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the protesters' rights and restoring the suit.

Feb 20 2012
Video: Rehire Ryan - A rally outside of New Season Market on 2.14.12.

Over 100 people gathered on valentines day outside of the NS Market on SE Division in Portland Or to stand in solidarity and for the just rehiring of a worker - labor activist (Ryan Gaughan) who was fired for a petty issue. Ryan was involved with organizing for workers rights, safety and labor issues at New Seasons where he was employed. He recently had been participating in "coffee talks" where management and workers discuss common important work issues together. Ryan was terminated [for what appears obvious to anyone who looks into this,] for his strong involvement in organizing at his job site, where he has worked at for over 9 years {7 years at this store on Division that terminated him.} Ryan, the community New Seasons customers, friends and labor activists are all asking management to give him his job back. Full Report | Video (25 min)

Related: CWA's Valentine's Wish to AT&T

DC
Feb 22 2012
Protesters turn back contractors, halt demolition at Wal-Mart site

On the 16th of February, at 7 AM, protesters were on site at the former Curtis Chevrolet site, where Foulger-Pratt has demolished the historic "car barn" to start their Wal-Mart construction project. Due to the presence of protesters in the driveway, a Foulger-Pratt representative refused to unlock the gate, turning away several contractor trucks. Read More, Photos & Audio | VIDEO

Related:
F29 SHUTDOWN THE CORPORATIONS CALL TO ACTION: Occupy Walmart!

Feb 23 2012
CETF Demands Fairness and Integrity in the Search for a Superintendent

On February 9, 2012, the Community Education Task Force held a press conference at Phillis Wheatley Library where they demanded that the superintendent search process have integrity and fairness applied to it. The press release stated that CETF demanded that the Rochester City School District provide "...parents, educators, and the larger community with details regarding the very expensive subterfuge created by the Superintendent Search Committee, under the 'leadership' of Malik Evans, and under the false guise of so-called 'robust' parent and community input. It is clear that the search process is illegitimate, and biased in favor of Bolgen Vargas."

Read More & VIDEO | Community Education Task Force | Past Coverage: MIC CHECK: Parents and Community Disrupt Superintendent Search Committee Meeting

Feb 24 2012
San Quentin Occupied on National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

On January 9, the general assembly at Occupy Oakland passed a resolution calling on occupies across the country to support a National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners. In the following month, over a dozen communities across the nation followed in planning local prisoner solidarity demonstrations, including those in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Durham, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Fresno, Portland, and Washington D.C.

On February 20, hundreds of demonstrators marched to San Quentin Prison where a rally was held in solidarity with the National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners. San Quentin Prison is the first and oldest prison in the state of California, and the facility's death row is the largest in the country. In 2008, San Quentin held 637 male inmates on its death row, nearly twice as many as those held on the death rows in Florida and Texas.

More F20 Coverage: Washington, DC | Los Angeles & Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Related: Hielo en las Almas / Souls on Ice — Mumia's message to the Feb. 20th Occupy the Prisons Events | Atlanta Wants a Free Town: Pre-Valentine's Day Noise Demonstration 02.12.12

Feb 25 2012
"Sissy ni watumishi wa community / We are servants of the community" — Nyagah wa Kamau / Stephen Nyash, RIP

Kenya Indymedia has reported that on Tuesday, February 21, radio journalist and organizer Stephen Nyash was shot dead in the Korogocho ghetto of Nairobi, where he had lived and worked for most of his life. Korogocho is the third largest slum in the world [1]. At writing, the motive for his murder is not clear.

Nyash was one of the founders of KOCH FM [2], a close partner of Kenya Indymedia. He was also a leader in "Koch Hope" and "Ghetto Films," which worked to empower the slumdwellers of Korogocho. He brought this wealth of experience to the fourth IMC-Africa Convergence in Senegal last March as a representative of Kenya Indymedia. He was also integral in organizing a "Conference of People" held in Korogocho to coincide with the Conference of Parties (COP-17) gathering on climate change. Fellow organizer John Bwakali writes, "From the moment that he knew about Kenya Indymedia, Nyash became not just an active participant but fellow leader of the movement… Upon return [from Senegal], he immersed himself into the vision and work of Kenya Indymedia." Read John's Full Reflection HERE [3] and his audio interview with Nyash [4] on the fight against State injustices.

Feb 27 2012
Call to End the Solitary Confinement Torture of Russell Maroon Shoatz

Russell Maroon Shoatz (#AF-3855), a 68-year-old prisoner held at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Greene in southwestern Pennsylvania, has been kept in solitary confinement for more than 21 years. The Human Rights Coalition is calling on supporters of Russell Maroon Shoats to join in a petition to have him released from these torturous conditions. HRC is joined this effort by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyer's Guild.

"The primary focus is on Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA-DOC) Secretary John Wetzel," said Theresa Shoatz, Russell Maroon's daughter. "In 2011, the PA-DOC did an evaluation to release Maroon into general population, and the majority voted in favor. But Superintendent Folino voted no. The bottom line is had Superintendent Folino's voted yes, Maroon would have been transferred into population. We are putting pressure Secretary Wetzel to overturn superintendent Folino's vote." [Video Interview With Theresa Shoatz from Solitary Watch]

Related: An interview with Russell Maroon Shoats on Democracy, Matriarchy, Occupy Wall Street, and Food Security

Feb 29 2012
Demonstrators ask, "What about the War Crimes?" at Free Bradley Manning Protest

A "Free Bradley Manning" protest was held in front of the county courthouse in Santa Cruz on February 23 to coincide with Manning's arraignment in military court in Maryland on charges stemming from the accusation that he provided thousands of classified defense department documents to Wikileaks. Approximately two dozen community members participated in the demonstration, which was located at the courthouse general assembly location of Occupy Santa Cruz on Water Street.

In a statement released before the demonstration, community members stated, "Bradley Manning's case should serve as a wake up call for everyone in the USA and, indeed, the world. As a Whistle blower/ Conscientious Objector - Manning allegedly gave information to Wikileaks about War Crimes committed by the USA in the names of the 99%. We must stand up for what is right! Manning has been tortured, denied due process, persecuted, and even deemed "guilty" before a trial by President Obama."

Read more and view photos | Related: Report Back From Bradley Manning’s Arraignment

Mar 01 2012
F29: National Day of Action Against Corporations

This Wednesday, February 29th [was] the national day of nonviolent direct action to shut down the corporations, especially those that comprise ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Occupy Riverside has called for a community-based picket line at the world's largest Walmart distribution center, Schneider Logistics, at 4100 Hamner Ave in Mira Loma, where workers are engaged in a struggle to recover stolen wages and ultimately, for recognition as a collective bargaining unit. Meet at 6:AM Wednesday at the corner of Riverside Dr and Hamner Ave, just south of the 60 freeway. From the Newswire: #F29 Promo Video | F29 SHUTDOWN THE CORPORATIONS CALL TO ACTION: Occupy Walmart! | Resolution in Support of Warehouse Workers at Walmart Contractor Schneider Logistics

From Portland, OR: Nice edited video of the F-29 day of direct action

March 2012 >> << January 2012