28TH, 2012

Issue 2 Page 1

On February 3rd, 2012 members of Occupy Austin met at the Texas State Capitol for a silent protest of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. To emphasize the feelings of loss, protestors were dressed in funeral attire. With performance art, Occupiers showed what life could be like now that the government has the power to indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil. Later that evening, there was a silent march down Congress Avenue to City Hall.
BELOW and RIGHT: Photos by Heather Kafka
BOTTOM RIGHT: Flyer for NDAA Protest and March

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Above: Occupiers are detained for being terrorists, Photo by John Anderson

ABOVE: Photo by Heather Kafka RIGHT: Photo by Jeeps

BELOW: One of our youngest Occupiers, gets in on the NDAA action. Photo by Lainie Duro

Below: The candlelit march begins, Photo by John Anderson

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More NDAA Protest Photos All photos by Lainie Duro except “Repeal NDAA” sign by Jeeps

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Common Courtesy at Bank of America
By Nolan Darilek
I, like many, closed my account with Bank of America late last year. Unfortunately, a surprising direct deposit re-opened the account, which was again closed with the support of five fellow members of Occupy Austin. The alert arrived early one morning, a "courtesy" balance notification from an account I'd thought was closed. An Amazon affiliate marketing venture had finally paid off unexpectedly, and the direct deposit reactivated the account. I had also unknowingly been opted into a minimum balance at some point during my twelve years with Bank of America. My account was thus being charged fees on these direct deposits, which existence was unknown to me. Finally, and most infuriatingly, my account was only selectively reopened. As someone who is blind, I rely heavily on debit alerts as receipts, electronic deposit notifications as pay stubs, and a number of other emailed alerts in lieu of paper which must be scanned or read by others before being tossed into our landfills. While Bank of America opened my account to the extent that it earned them money, they did not re-enable anything other than the courtesy balance notification, likely only in place to alert me that my closed account would soon be of no use to them unless I decided to start putting money in it again.

Closing the account was luckily rather straight-forward. With the help of fellow occupiers, we were able to both get the fees refunded and empty the account. I could write about a number of things, from the banker's unwillingness to explain how this 30-day window was anything other than a vehicle to extort fees, to the teller's unwillingness to accept a passport even though it was perfectly fine on several occasions in the past. Instead, I would rather focus on a unique aspect of this closure that highlights the degree to which this system is broken. I occupy for a number of reasons, some usual, some not. There were two interactions that stood out for me, one of which I'd missed because it happens so commonly to me that it slips into the background of my life unnoticed. I am used to people's experiences with blindness being defined by Helen Keller. This means that I am invariably spoken loudly or slowly to, as if hearing loss goes hand in hand with sight loss. At the doors, I was greeted by an overly loud call from one of the bankers in the lobby. I had assumed that this was because they were used to Occupy interfering with their business, but when it was pointed out during the post-closure rant session that this person may very well have been yelling at me because she assumed I couldn't hear, I had to admit that was a very likely possibility. The second was minor, but huge in its implications. Before the teller handed me my final account balance, she spoke of me in... Cont’d page 5

Below: Artwork by Nikaeal Valentina Roe Sainz

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Top Left: Claire Hirschkind holds a postersize photo of the aggressive treatment she endured during her Feb. 3rd eviction at the Feb. 9th Austin City Council meeting. Many others joined her with photos of excessive police presence over that weekend. Photo by Heather Kafka

Cont’d from page 4
third person, despite me standing practically right in front of her. "He's going to have to sign...you're going to have to sign," she rapidly corrected, and I'm glad that she did. But it wasn't fast enough. I am all too used to being dehumanized by others' speaking past and around me. This is especially bothersome when it is done by someone who has just taken money from me. My takeaway is that I am tangible enough to hand someone money, but not so human as to engage in conversation or interact intelligently. It angers me that I am only valid as a vehicle of money to some, and I wish I could convey to the many with able-bodied privilege who have rushed to defend this conduct over the years how fortunate they are not to face this subtle treatment by so many "well-meaning" people. Regardless of how able you are, regardless of your gender or skin color, this DOES happen to you every day. Your bank takes your money, invests it in companies whose practices would likely horrify you if you knew them. It thrives on your largess while hitting you with fees for the privilege. Meanwhile, it forecloses on homes, lies to loyal customers and drives them into the streets with thought for nothing other than its bottom line. You too are being dehumanized by your bank. It may not be as blatant as what I and other disabled people face regularly, but it is there, and will continue unless you take a stand against it. If the teller hadn't corrected herself, I would have called her on it and ask that she speak TO me rather than about me. The banks are NOT correcting their behavior on their own, so now it is up to you to call them on it.

I Can’t Afford to Be the Hero I braked as the light changed from yellow to red, second in line to turn. A raggedy heap of dirty clothes perched on the guardrail a buzzard scavenger with a cardboard beak. I cocked my head to the side, and shut one eye. He disappeared into my blind spot. I had a brief philosophical discussion with myself, about how easy it is for the fed to dismiss the hungry, as I fiddled with the change in my armrest. 35 cents was all I could spare, and 35 cents seemed embarrassing. So, I pretended I didn't care, turned, and gave him nothing. ~Wendy Darling

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Fetish guns make great lovers baseball bats too knives are one night stands of bloodlust and frenzy but as always fun brass knuckles and nunchakus kinky and exotic leave nothing for imagination machetes are for virgins whose innocence invites unknowingly its own massacre throbbing bodily flesh at the tip of a sadist’s whip bombs are for the lonely pornographic rich yet when it comes to seduction’s cardinal thread nothing titillates like a nuclear warhead ~ Michael Sadler

Top: Photo manipulation by Wendy Darling Above: Artwork by Tomas Fierro Below: Painting by Shaida Alizadeh-Moein

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Idea for Occuhaha comes from Kat Freedom. Haikus and photo memes by Wendy Darling.

facebook frustration there's nothing better to do hey folks! let's argue!

proposals galore but we don't have a quorum It's time to table!

haters drive by and from windows shout, "get a job" no balls to face us

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All photos this page by John Anderson

OCCUPY AUSTIN LOVES YOU POTLUCK PICNIC IN THE PARK Occupiers from Austin gathered in the Pecan Grove Picnic area of Zilker Park on February 12 th, 2012 to celebrate community with a potluck picnic. The intention of this potluck was to introduce the existing Occupy Austin members to any new members interested in joining us in fighting for the rights of the 99%. This was a fun, family-friendly way to share a little Occupy Austin love with the community. In addition to the feast, Occupiers engaged in discussions, wrote thankyou notes to supporters, danced and had an OccuPie Eating contest. When the inevitable police officer showed up, Occupiers continued with the spirit of community by offering the officer food, and a “Keep Austin Occupied” t-shirt.

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Top: Group photo by Lainie Duro Above left: Photo by John Anderson Above right: Photo by Kat Freedom Left: Photo by Lainie Duro

Send submissions for the next issue to: media@occupyaustin.org

Issue 2 Page 10

Top: Group photo by Lainie Duro Above left: Photo by John Anderson Above right: Photo by Kat Freedom Left: Photo by Lainie Duro

Send submissions for the next issue to: media@occupyaustin.org

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