Day: November 17, 2011

Clashes and Hundreds of Arrests Mark Protest’s ‘Day of Action’

The New York Times – 6:22 pm

Around 5:50 p.m., about 80 protesters were arrested after they sat down in the roadway in a coordinated action at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. They included City Councilman Jumaane Williams.

The protesters, all wearing white “99 percent” T-shirts, marched toward the bridge marched from the rally at Foley Square, about two blocks north, and stepped into the roadway at Centre Street at the entrance to the bridge. There, they sat down, blocking traffic and chanting “All day all week Occupy Wall Street.”

After a few minutes, the police moved toward them. The protesters all stood at the same time and submitted to being peacefully arrested. The protesters filled two school-bus-sized buses parked at the base of the bridge.

Rob Harris

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Former Philadelphia Police Captain Joins Occupy Protesters, Gets Arrested

This is what Democracy looks like…

Common Dreams

Former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis joined Occupy Wall Street protesters on Tuesday.

He was seen holding a sign reading “NYPD Don’t Be Wall Street Mercenaries.”

In a video interview with Livestreamers, he railed against the excessive power of corporate America and the wrongful eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park. He said if the occupations “continue to grow, you’re going to see a lot more of the FBI.”

This morning, taking part in the national day of action, Lewis was arrested. @OccupyWallStNYC tweets that there were cheers as he was taken away.

Elderly woman maced during ‘Occupy Seattle’ protest speaks out

The Raw Story

Eighty-four-year-old activist Dorli Rainey spoke to Countdown host Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night after being pepper sprayed by police the previous night during an “Occupy Seattle” protest.

The protest was formed in downtown Seattle in solidarity with “Occupy Wall Street” after it was raided by authorities. Police claimed they gave warnings to protesters for blocking streets during rush hour before trying to disperse them

Rainey said the protesters had decided to leave the intersection, and that police almost certainly knew this because of the protester’s “people’s microphone” method of communication. But before they could leave, police moved in and fired pepper spray at the crowd.

She said a “wonderful” young Iraq veteran protected her during the scuffle with police, preventing her from falling on the ground.

Rainey, who grew up in Nazi Germany, expressed her displeasure with the mainstream American media, who only reported “soft, fluff entertainment” instead of hard-hitting news.

She also told Olbermann that she was inspired by the Catholic nun and activist Jackie Hudson, who said, “whatever you do, take one more step out of your comfort zone.”

“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,” Rainey said.

Countdown video link…

The video below shows a vet coming to the aid of Dorli Rainey:

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Lauren Pierce, President Of College Republicans At Texas University: Obama Assassination ‘Tempting’

This is scary and absurd, all at once…

The Huffington Post

Lauren Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, said on Twitter Wednesday that the idea of assassinating President Barack Obama was “tempting.”

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Pierce posted, “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

The tweet came hours after police arrested a man for firing shots at the White House, leaving two bullets in the executive mansion.

Pierce joked that “it must be a slow news day” after ABC News posted a story on her comment:

Pierce told ABC News that the comment was a “joke” and that the “whole [shooting incident] was stupid.” Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would “only make the situation worse.””Insofar as she’s a representative [of the College Republicans], maybe it shouldn’t be said, but she’s made a positive statement in a way,” said Cassie Wright, the group’s vice president.

“I don’t really see anything wrong with it,” Wright added. “It’s just a personal comment, not representative of any group. Just freedom of speech, you know?”

Amid growing attention, Pierce removed the post and apologized on Twitter for her actions.

“It’s never funny to joke about such a serious matter,” she said. “I have learned a very valuable lesson.”

Lauren Pierce@laurenepierce 

Lauren Pierce
I apologize for my previous tweet. It was in poor taste and and should never have been written.
 
 
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Private Prison Charges Inmates $5 A Minute For Phone Calls While They Work For $1 A Day

I understand that corporations exist to make profits, but at least pay your “employees” enough to pay for things that you charge them.

Five days of work gives them enough for a one minute phone call.  That’s absurd.  Essentially, the inmates are slaves, based upon that calculation.

Think Progress

Last year the Corrections Corporation of America(CCA), the nation’s largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money to run immigration detention centers. Their largest facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds, and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.

Prisoners held in this remote facility depend on the prison’s phones to communicate with their lawyers and loved ones. Exploiting inmates’ need, CCA charges detainees here $5 per minute to make phone calls. Yet the prison only pays inmates who work at the facility $1 a day. At that rate, it would take five days to pay for just one minute.

Watch this report on the conditions Stewart detainees face:

CCA’s abuse doesn’t stop at outrageously priced phone services. One woman reported that her diabetic husband does not receive enough food, so she has to deposit money for him to buy more. Occupy Nashville recently protested outside of the company by holding a “human auction” to illustrate how CCA profits off of human suffering.

As Alternet points out, in the past few years, CCA has spent $14.8 million “lobbying for anti-immigration laws to ensure they have continuous access to fresh inmates and keep their money racket going.” Recent anti-immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia keep their facilities full and CCA profits high.

Since more prisoners translate into more profit, private prisons like CCA continually push lawmakers to enact harsher policies and longer sentences, according to a report by Justice Policy Institute (JPI).