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The Boston Occupier - Issue 2

The Boston Occupier - Issue 2

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Published by Daniel_Schneider

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Published by: Daniel_Schneider on Dec 06, 2011
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 Ater a hearing ollowed closely by Occupy Boston residents andsupporters on Tursday, December1st , Judge Frances McIntyre ruled toextend the temporary restraining orderthe occupiers currently held againstthe City o Boston. Te restrainingorder barring eviction will remain ineect until a decision is issued by theSuperior Court on or beore December15th. Tis marks the second time thatOccupy Boston’s legal team has secureda victory – albeit a temporary one – orthe group.Te American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) o Massachusetts and theNational Lawyers Guild (NLG) -Massachusetts, through attorney Howard Cooper o odd & Weld,originally led a motion or injunctionon behal o the occupiers, which wasgranted on November 16th. Te goal o the restraining order was to head o thepossibility that Occupy Boston demon-strators would be orcibly removedrom their encampment, as had beenrecently witnessed in New York City,Portland, and Atlanta.Cooper, who led the suit as a coop-erating attorney with the NLG and ACLU stated:“Te Occupy Boston encampment inDewey Square is a uniquely expressiveresponse to the problems we ace as asociety today. At a time when many eel that our government is broken, theprotesters have set up a small community to demonstrate how people can asso-ciate together in a more democratic,egalitarian and just way. In deciding togo to Court, the protesters have soughtprotection rom intererence with theireorts to communicate their message.”Each party was allowed only onetestiying witness at the hearing. FireMarshall Bart Shea testied or theCity, and Occupy Boston resident andHarvard doctoral student KristopherEric Martin testied on behal o Occupy Boston.Numerous witter accounts relayedthe proceedings o the hearingthroughout the morning, and includedreviews o the testimony supplied by Shea and Martin. Martin endured athorough cross-examination by City attorneys, who put orward a number o questions regarding the camp’s merit asa orm o speech and the ability o resi-dents to comply with health and saety codes. City attorneys also questionedMartin’s ability to represent the views o Occupy Boston.Martin’s responses highlighted occu-piers’ desire to comply with saety andhealth standards, saying that he helpedto address issues brought to him by City ocials. Speaking more broadly, Martinexplained that he sees the encampmentas more than just a protest, but “anexample to all those who come throughhere” o how a better society mightunction.Boston Fire Marshall Bart Sheacompared blue camping tarps in use atDewey Square to “napalm,” were they to ever be ignited, and said that condi-tions at camp “made the hair on theback o my neck stand up.”Te City’s attorneys held that, due tothe leaderless nature o the movement,there was no clear way to address health,re, and saety hazards. Tose in camp were puzzled as to why City ocials didnot bring their concerns to the General Assembly, Occupy Boston’s well-publi-cized public decision-making body,especially since police ocers stationedat Dewey Square witnessed it in actionnumerous times. Attorneys or Occupy Boston pressed the Fire Marshall toexplain why he had not done more toeectively communicate his concerns tothe group.Shea said that he “didn’t waste theeort” attempting to communicate with occupiers through the General Assembly. Instead, he testied that hespoke to one occupant, sent two lettersto the camp and one to the Greenway Conservancy - all ater the initialinjunction was granted against the City - but did not provide any evidence thatthe letters were received.Urszula Masny-Latos, ExecutiveDirector o the NLG (MassachusettsChapter), encouraged the City tocollaborate with Occupy Boston. “TeCity should work with Occupy andcreate an acceptable and workable planor addressing all health and saety-related issues” she said, “rather thanseeking the ultimate closure o theDewey Square encampment.”
City ExtendsRestraining Order
by Matt Cloyd, Dan Schneider, and Heidi V. Buttersworth
by Josh Sager
 At Occupy Boston, a working group composedo occupiers and several aculty members rom localuniversities has been working to winterize the Occupy camp. Trough a combination o preparation, vigilance,and medical assistance, the occupiers will prepare orthe winter so that everybody can remain sae, healthy,and comortable.Te Occupy Boston camp is currently largely composed o smaller, three-season tents along withseveral larger, military grade tents. As the smaller tentsare not able to protect against extreme cold or heavy  winter precipitation, they must be replaced beore winter sets in. Additionally, the tents are spaced ar tooclosely to comply with re regulations. At this point, the Winterization working group has proposed a solutionthat includes the consolidation and reorganization o the tents.Several military grade, Arctic-rated tents will bepurchased with donated money and set up to replacethe current tents. Tese tents are ar stronger, moreinsulated, and better waterprooed than the currenttents, making them a saer and more comortable way to weather the winter.In addition, volunteers rom MI and Harvard arehard at work designing strong, lightweight shelters toshield occupiers rom the New England winter. Tesestructures will also allow more people to live together,making it possible or occupiers to better keep an eye oneach other’s health and enorce public saety guidelines.Nights are the most dangerous times or people living without proper shelter in the winter. o ensure thehealth o occupiers, the Winterization group is orga-nizing a winter saety system in coordination with theSaety and Medical working groups. On cold winternights, the Saety and Medical groups will run periodicchecks inside tents to ensure that everyone is sae. In theevent that somebody becomes hypothermic, they willbe brought to the medical tent to be given insulatinglayers and warm drinks. In a worst case scenario, themedical team will call or an ambulance to transport thehypothermic occupier to the hospital.One potential stumbling block in the winterizationplan, according to the occupiers, is the actions o thepolice, who reuse to allow new materials into thecamp, despite an injunction against the city preventingeviction (except under extreme circumstances). Tisrustrates occupiers, who need these new materials tomake the camp saer.Te police ocers stationed at Dewey Square haveconducted their jobs largely without violence and areonly ollowing orders to blockade the occupiers’ site.Ultimately, any responsibility or this policy rests up thechain o command, not with the ocers themselves.Te occupiers hope that the judge hearing the case will allow the occupiers to stay in Dewey Square, as wellas enable the occupiers to winterize their camp in orderto stay sae and healthy.
National:
Te Public Face o an Oath o Honor
Te arrest o retiredPhiledelphia police captainRay Lewis -Page5
Local/Regional:
Occupy Worcester Stays Mobile
 A review o the Occupation’snomadic history - Page 2
Statement From Te Courthouse Steps
Reprinting o a speech given by occupiers - Page 3
Te Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series
 An overview o the series’ inception, moti-vation and history - Page 4
Te Occupy Boston Summit 
Occupy Boston gathers together toopenly discuss issues - Page 5
Police Conscate Sink FromOccupy Boston -
Page 2
Opinion:
Te 99%, the 1% andClass Struggle -
Page 7
Cartoon: “Focus”
- Page 7
 www.bostonoccupier.com
Occupy Boston protesters march through Boston on November 30th, 2011in honor o the two-month anniversary o theOccupy Boston encampment at Dewey Square. (Photo: ess Schean / Activestills.org)
Winterization Continues at Occupy Boston
 
Issue No. 2 December 5th, 2011
FREE PRESS
bostonoccupier.com
 
LOCAL / REGIONAL
Page 2bostonoccupier.com | Te Boston Occupier - Free PressDec. 5th, 2011
Occupy WorcesterStays Mobile
By Mason Weiser
Since its humble beginnings on Wall Street, occu-pations have sprung up in cities and towns all overthe country, and Worcester, MA is no exception. Worcester saw its rst GA on October 9th, and inthe nearly two months o occupation they have hadmore than their air share o trouble.In its short history, Occupy Worcester has dealt with meddling bureaucrats, snowstorms, two evic-tions, and more than twenty arrests. Te move-ment’s harried lie has orced occupiers to ocuson ensuring that it has a uture, instead o actively advancing their political goals “I have noticed thatsome people eel the group is on the deensive,” saidoccupier Jon Noble o the mood in camp ollowingthe several evictions Occupy Worcester has aced.Occupy Worcester began with a GA on theCommon right across rom City Hall, and there itmade its rst encampment. Te police ousted theoccupiers several days later, on the grounds thatpublic parks in Worcester close at 10 PM. Tey then moved to Quinsigamond Lake Park, wherethey weathered the October snowstorm. However,since the new camp was on private land whoseowners were increasingly uninterested in having anoccupation in their park, they were orced to seek another place to stay.Many voices in the camp wanted to move back to the Common where the movement began. OnNovember 7th they held a GA on the Commonthat attracted over a hundred people, including Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien. According to a pressrelease rom the movement’s website,O’Brien expressed his support orthe movement, but warned that it was the intention o the police toarrest anyone who stayed in the park ater 10PM.In true Occupy ashion, the GA decided to take the park anyway.Tey began arriving the nextevening: crowds o dozens swelledto hundreds over the coming hours,the media converged, and tents werepitched. Te police arrived shortly ater 10 PM and blockaded thesurrounding area. According to thesame press release, 17 occupiers whoreused to leave were arrested, as wellas three others who had not beenoccupying the park. With the campaign to take back theCommon lost, Occupy Worcesterdecided to take Lincoln Square, which sits at the intersection o o Route 9, Route 70, and several othermajor roads through Worcester.Tough the square could not accom-modate tents, it served as a visiblebase o operations or the movement.But even though there were occu-piers pacing the sidewalk with signsat all hours o the day, LincolnSquare was not a home or the movement until theowners o the nearby abandoned Vocational HighSchool agreed to allow the movement to use theirparking lot.During GA on November 29th, the news camethat the board o directors that oversaw the highschool would be accepting tenants into the buildingsoon, and so the occupiers would have to leave.Tey have yet to decide where to go next.Some members o Occupy Worcester believethat because o the requent evictions taking up agreat deal o the camps energy, ocus has movedmore towards the continued existence o the campthan the purposes or which it was ounded. “Ipersonally hope that there are more proposals ordirect actions soon,” said Noble, who was broughtinto the movement ater joining one o its marches.“I think one o the big concerns right now isnumbers, there have been more o us in the past.”
Sink Conscated By Police,Puzzling Occupiers
By Aliza Howitt and D.J. Buschini
Te Boston Police Department conscateda kitchen sink rom the Occupy Boston campat Dewey Square this past Tursday night,prompting a clash between police and protesters.Te move came as a shock to many occupiers, who had already gained approval rom the BostonDepartment o Health or the portable device which, they explained, would have been used toimprove overall sanitation. When police ocers arrived at Dewey Squareto seize the sink, occupiers surrounded theirvehicles. An activist used a call-and-response ormo communication called the ‘human mic’ toproclaim, “Tis ocer has told us he needs to takethe sink out o here. I’ve asked him what law he isenorcing. He has not said what law. He has only said we need to take it out o here.” Another voice asserted that the Occupy movement peaceully “stands[s] up or inalienablehuman rights,” and urged listeners to act in thatspirit even i met with police orce.Dozens o police deployed to Dewey Sq. helpedto remove the sink. Several ocers proceeded tocarry and load it rom the encampment’s ood tentinto a police van, but an estimated 75 occupierslinked arms around the vehicle and resisted ortwenty minues beore nally surrendering the sink to authorities.In addition to the sink, three human beings werealso taken into custody. wo were charged withdisorderly conduct and the third or assaultinga police ocer. Tere were also several claimso police violence towards various occupiersincluding Suzi Pietroluongo, who was punchedand stepped on. Pietroluongo holds, however, thatthe incident may have been accidental.Occupiers were granted a victory at a courthearing earlier that day, when Suolk SuperiorCourt Judge Frances McIntyre chose to extendthe temporary restraining order against the City o Boston. Her nal decision will be made by December 15th. Until then, the Boston PoliceDepartment is orbidden rom evicting theDewey Square encampment; a premature raid would risk contempt o court. A press release romOccupy Boston claims that the conscation o property also conficts with the ruling: “Te orderalso prevents ocials rom removing tents andpersonal property.”However, the Boston Police Department main-tains that “building materials” are not allowed inthe camp. When questioned about the term, oneocer said this included “anything you buy atHome Depot.”One o Occupy Boston’s main concerns at thehearing Tursday was that police had prevented –and, at times, sabotaged – attempts at improvingsaety and living conditions within the camp. Witness Kristopher Eric Martin testied that thepolice had repeatedly conscated winterizationand saety equipment like tents, insulating mate-rials, and blankets. Earlier in the week, BostonPolice chose to conscate a wooden pallet that was brought to Dewey Square, citing saety issues.Te Occupation utilizes wooden pallets in orderto orm its major walkways between tents, and thepallet being brought in was intended to replace abroken one.News o both Wednesday’s pallet incidentand Tursday’s sink arce spread rapidly on theinternet, where a number o witter users werequick to mock what they viewed as a patently absurd aair. A photo o Police Lieutenant JohnPike––now inamous or his actions againstprotesters at Occupy UC Davis––has emerged in which the ocer pepper-sprays a sink.Police did not say whether or not bail would begranted so that the object in custody could returnto its rightul owners. 
University Reuses Dialogue withOccupy Harvard
By Aliza Howitt 
Members o Occupy Harvard may haveavoided the kind o police violence thatcrushed the encampment at UC Berkeley onNovember 9, but Harvard’s student occupiersnonetheless have had to cope with subtlerorms o attack rom their administration.Te night that tents sprung up in Harvard Yard,Harvard literally locked its gates to the public.“Tere was a 5 to 10 minute period where we werepushing on the gate, and they just closed it onus,” said Will Whitham, a Harvard sophomore.“It was a charged moment, symbolic becauseit was Harvard shutting out all these people.”Many who wanted to participate in the Occupy Harvard community were prevented rom joiningthat night’s encampment, including studentsrom other schools, alumni, employees, andunaliated residents o Cambridge and Boston.Tat night Dean o Students Suzy Nelson cameout to speak with the General Assembly. “Tedean wanted us to move to a place that was ‘lessdisruptive,’” said Whitham o Nelson’s commentsto the GA.But the students voted to remain in the Yard, where their tents would remain in the public eye.Nelson agreed to attend the next day’s meeting,saying she would bring reshmen to voice theiropinion on where the encampment should be. Buton November 10, Nelson was a no-show.wo weeks later, PhD student Jennier Sheehy Skengton took part in a Dudley Housediscussion orum about Occupy Harvard, whichEvelynn Hammonds, the Dean o HarvardCollege, had committed to attending. However,Skengton said, the dean “pulled out the day o,not citing any reasons.” Members o the panel were told that “she’d been asked to pull out by theadministration,” Skengton continued, “so [theMaster o Dudley House] let an empty chair atthe panel discussion to symbolize the administra-tion’s ailure to turn up.”Te same day, Harvard President Drew Faustsent an email to the Harvard community, urtherexplaining her decision to close the gates, claimingthat she was primarily concerned with campussaety. Skengton questioned Faust’s explanationsince the lock-out had not “prevented the physicaland verbal abuse that we’ve been receiving romcertain drunk students every night. No security guard has ever done anything about that.”Harassing behaviors included swinging branches,throwing eggs, and trying to uproot the tents.Faust also used the email to express her supporto ree speech and cited her own eorts to engagein discussion with the movement. Skengton,however, paints a dierent picture, in which theonly interaction with the administration was aten-minute interval in the President’s oce hours, which any student can claim. “Te act that she was gloating about this, as i it was her eorts toreach out, was quite comical,” Skengton said.Despite a steady stream o petty harassmentrom a portion o the student body, there has beena signicant show o support or Harvard’s occu-piers. Te Undergraduate Student Council votedunanimously on a resolution to support “the righto students to peaceully protest without violentresponse,” and almost 1000 members o theHarvard community signed a petition in supporto Occupy Harvard, including, as o November20, 178 Harvard proessors.Occupy Harvard has attracted the nationalnotice and the attention o some prominent gures.For instance, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalistChris Hedges, a longtime oreign correspondentor Te New York imes and weekly columnistor ruthdig, counts himsel a supporter. Havingbeen ormally invited to give a lecture at Harvard,Hedges opted to spend the night o November 28in protesters’ tents instead o the room bookedor him at the swanky Harvard Faculty Club. Another ally o Occupy Harvard has been NobelPeace prize nominee Ahmed Maher, an Egyptianrevolutionary and the co-ounder o the April 6 Youth Movement. Unlike Hedges, Maher wasnever even allowed in the Yard. Denied entry, hechose to present his lecture to an audience splitin hal by the gates, a situation rie with symbolicsignicance.Maher’s short lecture drew on his experience asa youth leader. He emphasized the importance o unity among young people or the achievemento real democracy and social justice. Hedges, inhis talk, spoke on economic issues and pointedly criticized Harvard’s role in the economic collapse.“Harvard exists essentially to eed the plutocracy,he said, standing just outside the locked gates. “Itharbors within its walls some o the most capri-cious and corrupt gures: Laurence Summers,Robert Rubin, and others, who are responsiblenot only or the meltdown o wealth within theUnited States – $17 trillion virtually evaporating,$40 trillion in worldwide wealth … [but] whilethey were at it, they trashed one third o theHarvard endowment.o air these and other concerns, Skengton joined in publishing an open letter to the Harvardpresident via the Harvard Crimson, the student-run newspaper. Te letter also aimed to stimulatediscussion among the student body on such issuesas the lack o transparency in Harvard’s $32 billionendowment and the absence o clear ethical stan-dards or its investment policies. Since then, theauthors o the letter have been contacted by theHarvard administration with requests to schedulea meeting. Members o the Occupy Harvardmovement hope that ace-to-ace dialogue willsoon lead to a re-opening o the gates and a new commitment to transparency and economic justice at Harvard.
Occupy Worcester protesters march on October 15th, 2011, as a part o a global day o action that drew millionsinto the streets. (Photo: Mike Benedetti)Bill Lewis helps out at Occupy Boston’s dishwashing , station. (Photo: ess Schean/Activestills.org)
 
Page 3bostonoccupier.com | Te Boston Occupier - Free Press | LOCAL/REGIONALDec. 5th, 2011
 A Statement From the Steps o Sufolk Superior Court 
Statement read outside o the Sufolk Superior Court, December 1st, 2011
 At 8 a.m. last Tursday, as reporters and cameramen converged on Suolk Superior Court or a hearing to determine the uture o Dewey Square’s encampment, the Occupy Boston Media eam held a press conerence.Occupiers Acacia Brewer and Ryan Cahill read a prepared statement, and Stephen Squibb felded questions. Te statement recalls to its audience the broader signifcance o the protest, reaching ar beyond the bounds o Dewey Square or Boston. Te importance o the statement and its occasion motivates us to print it here, in ull.
For two months, Occupy Boston has been encamped in Dewey Square,across the street rom the Boston branch o the Federal Reserve. oday, we are at Suolk Superior Court to deend our right to that encampment.Te Commonwealth is concerned with the character o our speech, butour words and actions cannot be understood separate rom the extraor-dinary circumstances which summon them. Te ormer are a matter o interpretation, the latter are not.It is not a question i, in the atermath o the nancial crisis, the FederalReserve provided trillions o low-cost loans to giant, insolvent nancialinstitutions and then hid this inormation rom our elected representa-tives. It is not up or debate that these same institutions proceeded to lie,openly and consistently to their shareholders, to Congress, and to the American people, about the extent o their ailure while the Fed actively lobbied or a urther taxpayer investment on their behal. It is not a mattero interpretation that members o Congress charged with regulating theseorganizations were knowingly denied access to a ull understanding o their perdy and the willingness o Federal Reserve to underwrite it. What is a question is how many amilies would have kept their homeshad they been able to borrow at rates as low as those lavished on banksin secret. It is unknown how many jobs would have been saved hadsmall businesses been allowed to sell seven hundred billion dollars o baddecisions back to the American government. It is unclear how many o the lives irrevocably damaged by our devastated economy would haveared better had they received the same consideration as the desire or JPMorgan, Bank o America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachsand Morgan Stanley to pay their employees no less ater the bailouts thanthey did beorehand.Tere has been much concern over the reusal o the occupation to stateclearly the nature o its political ideology. We oer that a sober assessmento the current situation explains this silence. One does not have to be aRepublican to be outraged at the pointed destruction o the competitivemarket by the Federal Reserve. Just as one does not have to be a Democratto be disgusted by the 51 cases in the past 15 years in which 19 Wall Streetrms repeatedly violated antiraud laws they had agreed, also repeatedly,never to breach. Indeed, one need not even be an American to be roused tothe deense o democracy against the systematic collusion o high-nanceand those who we pay to regulate it. No political identity is necessary  when the reality is unacceptable by any standard.But here in Boston we are Americans, raised over a lietime to reverethe principle that government derives its authority not rom the largestcorporations or the wealthiest individuals, but rom the consent o thegoverned. And that any government that maintains its authority otherwisecannot be called just. Te occupation o Dewey Square is an attempt,however imperect, to once again locate a government o the people, by the people and or the people at the center o those corporations andinstitutions that have proted by its larger destruction. Our encampmentis the only means to this end.Fity-six years ago today, a orty-two year old woman named Rosa Parks was arrested or reusing to surrender her seat to a man born a dierentcolor than hersel. She knew the law and broke it willingly, because sheknew that she was right and that the law was wrong. But the movementthat inspired her did not only seek the repeal o this law, o that prohi-bition, but the end o an entire culture o injustice. A culture that decreed,against all human reason and sympathy, that certain people were innately more deserving than others. Tis struggle continues.oday the banks justiy their salvation by the American taxpayer by claiming that they too, are better than others, and that to hold themaccountable would amount to punishing success. We now know how craven a lie this is. Tey are not better, merely better connected; they arenot more ecient, just more deceitul, and their size only signies thescope o their greed. At Occupy Boston, we have endeavored to createa community that does not recognize position, deceit and greed as themeasure o success. We have attempted to prioritize human needs – ood,clothing, shelter, the reedom o speech and assembly – so as to highlighttheir betrayal by those working around us.Many people have expressed support or these goals, including theMayor, who has repeatedly said that he understands our cause. We wonder: i he so understands, why he has not opened an investigationinto what goes on inside the tall buildings that surround our little camp? When Bank o America was derauding schools, hospitals, and dozens o state and local governments via illegal activities involving municipal bondsales, did he send the police to remove them? Does he believe that theircrimes were less damaging to the health and welare o the public thanour winterized tents?Te General Assembly has approved $12,000 or the purchase o thesesaer, warmer tents, along with a detailed plan or assuring the saety o alloccupiers through the winter. A shipment o these tents was recently seizedas contraband by the Boston Police Department. Despite complainingavidly to the press about threats to public saety, the City has not sentany notices to our PO Box, posted any communications on our messageboards, or appeared at our General Assemblies to relay those concerns tous. Tese are acts. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced it was reducing the priceo borrowing dollars in oreign countries. Tis is once again a responseto a crisis provoked by irresponsible behavior on the part o the banksand their allies in governments throughout the industrialized world. InGreece, democracy itsel has been suspended to better ensure the servicingo international nance. Te occupation in Boston, like others aroundthe world, is a response to these threats to our democracy, and it willcontinue so long as they do. We are the 99 percent, and we are no longer silent.
A crowd o reporters and supporters o Occupy Boston wait outside o the courtroom at Sufolk County Superior Courthouse on December 1, 2011. (Photo: Omer Hecht)

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