Bloomberg, NYPD: Hands off Occupy Wall Street! Hands off the Muslim community!

Statement from the International Action Center — http://www.iacenter.org

Billionaire Bloomberg has announced that tomorrow he wants to “clean” Zucotti Park, the site of Occupy Wall Street.

Interesting how when the righteous protest against banks gains massive popularity, Bloomberg suddenly becomes concerned about health and safety.

Where was Bloomberg when New Yorkers needed him to “clean” the city streets after an average winter snowstorm just before New Year’s Eve?

What steps does he ever take against absentee slumlords, who allow their building to fall into dangerous disrepair? Where was his concern when the MTA laid off station agents and closed bus lines? Continue reading

Occupations take root across the country, attract growing support

By LeiLani Dowell , NYC FIST

Following the lead of Occupy Wall Street, occupations are growing in size and number across the country, with actions taking place in hundreds of cities. The following reports from Workers World correspondents give a flavor for some of those demonstrations.

Boston: More than 100 arrested

Philadelphia
WW photo: Joseph Piette

At 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 11, hundreds of state, transit, city and riot police tore into the second campsite of Occupy Boston, dragging and handcuffing participants and arresting 100 of them. The cops also stole tents and removed them from the site.

The previous day an estimated 10,000 union members, students, veterans, fami­lies, women and men of all ages had marched from the Boston Common to Dewey Square, and then to the North Wash­ington Bridge, to demand economic justice. Police stopped these protesters at the bridge, and one person was arrested. Later the demonstrators joined Occupy Boston, which expanded to fill the second site.

Rochester, N.Y.
Photo: Josie Clancy

At the General Assembly the evening before the arrests, Pat Scanlon of the Smedley Butler Brigade of Vets for Peace received a big ovation after offering words of encouragement and a brief history of the Vietnam War movement. The Brigade has been critically supportive of Occupy Boston. Continue reading

Undocumented youth block intersection for college access

By Elisa Benitez-Hernandez
Charlotte, N.C.  FIST chapter

Sept. 6 protesters occupy street with banner
reading: “We will no longer remain in the shadows.”

Seven undocumented youths blocked traffic in front of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 6. This civil disobedience was protesting the inaction of the Democratic Party, the harsh anti-immigrant agenda of the Republicans and Tea Party, and the outrageous out-of-state tuition imposed on undocumented students to attend community college.

The event started with a “coming-out” rally, with several youths sharing their stories and publicly announcing their undocumented status. Approximately 200 people, of all ages and backgrounds, gathered in support of their message and courageous actions. The rally proceeded to a march. Finally the youths sat in the middle of an intersection in uptown Charlotte, causing traffic to stall within minutes. At the top of their lungs they shouted, “Undocumented, unafraid! Undocumented, unashamed!” Continue reading

Billionaire Bloomberg is right: Unemployment, poverty sow seeds of rebellion

By Larry Hales
New York FIST chapter

During an interview with WOR radio on Sept. 16, New York City’s billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, stated that the conditions of high employment in the U.S. could lead to social unrest on a par with what has occurred throughout parts of North Africa, the Middle East, Britain, Spain, Greece and elsewhere. His specific comment was, “You have a lot of kids graduating college can’t find jobs. That’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened in Madrid. You don’t want those kinds of riots here.”

The uprising in Egypt had more of a political character, the primary demand being against the corrupt and brutal Mubarak regime which had been in power for 30 years. But this was against a backdrop of an economic crisis that has led to large-scale unemployment around the world and rising cost of staples, fuel and other necessities. London was in response to state repression, again set against the scrim of the current economic crisis. Continue reading

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