Police targeting Occupy DC protesters one by one?

On Monday the US Park Police in DC have decided to start implementing a ban on overnight camping. Since its genesis, the Occupy DC encampment hasn’t fallen victim to harsh crackdowns by law enforcement, making it one of the longest standing occupy movements. The tents in McPherson Square have been pitched for approximately four months, but now protesters are not allowed to sleep while occupying. As of Monday evening there have been no arrests. But will that change?

“Occupy Congress – Live Performance In The Belly Of The Beast”

Lee Camp performed live in our nation’s capital just last week, on the four-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Immediately following this performance the thousands who were there stormed the steps of the Supreme Court and the White House.

Senseless Assault! – Cops attack and tase non-violent Occupy DC protester

U.S. Park Police officer used an electronic stun gun on an Occupy DC protester. Police say he was tearing down fliers warning protesters about the ban on camping in McPherson Square. Police also said the unidentified man was charged with disorderly conduct. The arrest took place shortly after noon Sunday. It is reported that after the incident the man had a seizure, and was then refused medical treatment. A park police spokesman said the man became “aggressive and confrontational” when officers tried to arrest him and that is why the stun gun was used.

Occupy London Attacked! – Bailiff plows car through non-violent protesters

Police in London have been accused of excessive force in their efforts to clear out Occupy demonstrators. Protesters stood together last night as officers broke down the doors to their camps.

Occupy Facebook: The Occupy Movement is Planning and Launching Their Own Social Network January 2012

Occupy Facebook?  It’s not just a slogan anymore!  Watch out Facebook, the Occupy protest is making its own social network. The Global Square is expected to launch in January 2012, providing a secure space for Occupy protestors to organize, share, and meet fellow protestors, according to its developers. It will also boast a Facebook-like news feed. Unlike Twitter and Facebook however, new Global Square members must be sanctioned by existing ones before being accepted.

This news comes just days after Twitter reports it was subpoenaed by the Massachusetts DA’s office for Occupy Boston account information.

Developers hope to get the site up and running as soon as January, giving protesters somewhere to occupy during wintertime: their computers.

from The “Official Wikileaks forum”

The Global Square: an online platform for our movement

A proposal on how to perpetuate the creative and cooperative spirit of the occupations and transform them into lasting forms of social organization.

This is a proposal made by a group of concerned global citizens who also act as volunteers for Take the Square, United for Global Change, 15october.net, European Revolution, WL Central and Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR). We do not pretend to represent or speak on behalf of anyone but ourselves.

The Global Square: Towards an Online Platform for the Occupy Movement

In its most recent tactical briefing for the Occupy movement, Adbusters correctly pointed out that, “of the many questions swirling around #OCCUPY, the most challenging is how to gel into a global movement without sacrificing the decentralized, leaderless model.” In the wake of the global day of action on October 15, the question now arises how our movement can evolve new organizational structures that will allow the assemblies — and their highly innovative participatory model of decision-making — to survive beyond the occupations and become a permanent fixture of our emerging global society.

How, in other words, can we perpetuate the creative and cooperative spirit of the occupations and transform them into lasting forms of social organization — at the global as well as the local level?

Currently, the organization of the occupations and the collaboration between them rests in part upon the innovative use of social media. However, as a group of volunteers who were directly involved in the coordination of the worldwide protests of October 15, we have found the existing social media to be increasingly restrictive in their functionality. While Facebook and Twitter have been very helpful for disseminating basic information and aiding mass mobilization, they do not provide us with the tools for extending our participatory model of decision-making beyond the direct reach of the assemblies and up to the global level.

What we need, at this point, is a platform that allows us to radically democratize our global organizational efforts. In addition to the local squares, we now need a global square where people of all nations can come together as equals to participate in the coordination of collective actions and the formulation of common goals and aspirations. For this reason, we call upon the revolutionary wizkids of the world to unite and assist in the development of a new online platform – The Global Square – that combines the communicative functions of the existing social networks with the political functions of the assemblies to provide crucial new tools for the development of our global movement.

The aim of the platform, in this respect, should not be to replace the physical assemblies but rather to empower them by providing the online tools for (trans)national organization and collaboration. The ideal would be both to foster individual participation and to structure collective action. The Global Square could be our own virtual Zuccotti Park, serving as a public space where different groups can come together to organize their local assemblies — and where different assemblies can join hands to coordinate their collective projects. In a way, The Global Square could be a groundbreaking experiment in building a global participatory decision-making system from the grassroots up.

To be more precise, the specific tools provided by this online platform could include the following (note that this list is far from exhaustive and will grow organically to include many other functionalities):

An interactive map that lists all ongoing assemblies around the world;
A search option allowing users to find squares, events, working-groups, etc.;
An aggregated news feed that lists the most relevant ‘status updates’ shared by the various assemblies (à la Facebook);
Individual ‘pages’ for each local square/assembly where participants can organize collectively, including the following functionalities:
– A calendar with upcoming events/actions;
– A forum for public debate, with the ability to open different threads;
– A list of all relevant documents/minutes uploaded by the assembly;
– The ability to create and edit new documents collaboratively;
– The ability to vote on specific decisions;
– The ability to submit new proposals.
A public and private messaging system that allows all individual users and assemblies to communicate and exchange information, reinforcing solidarity and mutual collaboration;
The ability to ‘scale-up’ local decisions, actions, and initiatives to the global level through a ‘sharing’ system that allows local assemblies to pose ideas, votes, and proposals to other assemblies in a horizontal, non-hierarchical fashion (i.e., straight from the local to the global level).

Furthermore, The Global Square should be 100% multilingual and open-source, so a community of developers can continue to add languages as well as functions.

Facebook and the other social networks have until now only offered the possibility to share and promote content. The Global Square, by contrast, should encourage the active participation of citizens, the consolidation of online working groups, the collaborative scheduling of events, the establishment of consensus, the process of participatory budgeting, and the exchange of needs, proposals and ideas – in a local and a global context – between individuals and assemblies. Furthermore, to promote the widespread uptake of the platform, the creation of a minimalist, user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing design is of the utmost importance.

We are aware of the existence of social platforms like n-1.cc, used by the Spanish movement, yet we feel that these have a number of shortcomings. They are not very user-friendly and not universally accessible for citizens from different national backgrounds. Also, resulting from a lack of funds and time, these platforms have not been able to develop the level of complexity required to provide all the functionalities listed above. We realize that the project we are proposing is a very ambitious one. But we hope that our movement can seize this opportunity to prove once and for all that creativity, innovation and dynamism can flourish in a collaborative, non-profit framework — and that it is possible to ensure a form of participatory democracy beyond the nation state.

We believe The Global Square could make a significant contribution to the consolidation of the assemblies and the development of our global movement. It is important to note, however, that the project will require significant funding, as well as a team of full-time professional developers. As we know that Occupy Wall Street plays an exemplary role within the movement, we are turning specifically to you for help in further refining this idea and initiating the search for funds and developers for a beta-version of the platform. We would be very interested to hear your ideas, suggestions and criticisms of this proposal. We can be reached at info@theglobalsquare.org.

Finally, we have registered a domain (theglobalsquare.org — not active yet) that we would happily share with the movement (other suggestions are, of course, very welcome too). We are looking forward to a public conversation with all of you on how to make this idea work in a way that involves and benefits all. From the local village square to the global village square — it is time for us to unite!

In solidarity,

The volunteers at:

Take the Square
WLCentral.org
United for Global Change
15october.net
European Revolution
Reflections on a Revolution

Although this concept is a great idea, not all great ideas come to fruition.  Some fail during launch, others just never catch on with their intended audience.

Josh Constine of Mashable outlines his comcerns writing….

The Global Square is something Occupy and other protesters need. To scale Occupy’s flat organizational structure, it will require a way for geographically dispersed groups to interact without using representatives. I believe in Occupy’s goal of widespread, grassroots institutional change, and The Global Square will help. However, here’s why it might not work as well as planned:

1. The Global Square Will Be An Echo Chamber

Coordinating different groups is great, but then what? A major distribution mechanism for the movement’s message has been the corporate social networks. That’s because there the message can reach an uninitiated mass audience and grow the movement’s ranks. In contrast, a dedicated protest could devolve into an echo chamber of the converted preaching to the converted

By organizing via these mainstream networks instead of on a dedicated protest network, there would be no loss of momentum from planning to execution. It would also make it significantly easier to onboard new members. If The Global Square and the Occupy movement at large is going to succeed, it will at least need a substantial presence on Facebook and Twitter. It might be better to build there too.

2. There’s Already Diaspora

Pent up discontent with Facebook and Twitter has in part been relieved through Diaspora and other existing open source social networks. Diaspora offers a great deal of flexibility in how individual, decentralized “pods” function. Working within Diaspora rather than parallel to it could be more efficient. A “Global Square pod” could also draw participation from those already familiar with Diaspora — a demographic that likely has a lot of overlap with protesters.

3. Still Subject To Subpoena

Unless data was housed in international waters, The Global Square’s data and messages would still be subject to subpoena by the government of wherever it was hosted. If located in the US where its developers reside, The Global Square could make it more difficult for law enforcement to request data than Facebook, or even Twitter which has historically been less cooperative with authorities. Still, its creators could be punished if they don’t comply with direct court orders for data.

With all the corruption and lack of transparency in today’s governments, changing the system is a noble goal. There are definitely advantages to developing a new, dedicated tool for this purpose. To accomplish its end goal, though, The Global Square will need to harness world’s frustration as efficiently as possible. An isolated network may raise too high a barrier to participation.\

American’s Be Fruitful and OCCUPY!!!

and please don’t forget to “Like”

Occupy Cyberspace-American Autumn’s

 blog and Facebook Fan page!

Two Can Play at that game! – The Occupy Movement debuts it’s own UAV drone force

Occupy Wall Street‘s new drone: ‘The Occucopter’

With all the news about UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or Drones in the news, it was just a matter of time until these devices would be available to the general public.  Perhaps one of the most innovate use of theses moderately priced over-the-counter drones is being utilized by the Occupy Movement.

The Guardian UK writes……..

Drones have been utilized by police in the past to monitor large crowds of protesters but this might be the first time a drone has been used by protesters to monitor the police. Tim Pool has modified a Parrot AR Drone to provide a live feed of Occupy Wall Street from above, offering an angle unique from all the other Occupy live feeds already providing footage of the protests across the globe.

The Parrot AR Drone is a fairly inexpensive quadracopter which can be piloted via a smartphone or iPad. Its built-in video camera and $300 price tag make it a pretty accessible tool for protesters, no matter what the cause.

According to The Guardian, Pool is attempting to make it so multiple people in a crowd can assume control of the drone, just in case the pilot gets busted by the police. He also hopes to create a 3G controller to allow people to pilot the drone remotely.

As the line between advanced surveillance drone and remote control toy blur, we can probably expect to see a lot more amateurs fiddling with drones like this in the future.

The overwhelming amount of video footage of the Occupy protests – including that of the UC Davis pepper spraying incident – has mainly been enabled by technology like YouTube and smartphone cameras, tools that protesters in past decades never had access to. Now we can start expecting wide, sky-high shots of the drama as well.

American’s Be Fruitful and OCCUPY!!!

and please don’t forget to “Like”

Occupy Cyberspace-American Autumn’s

 blog and Facebook Fan page!

Occupy protesters have their day in federal court

Two Austin Occupy protesters are suing the city of Austin in federal court Wednesday morning claiming their ban on protesters who are arrested violates their rights to free speech.

 

Occupy Hopelessness: Where Governments eyes do not reach…

New ‘Occupy’ tent camps are popping up as quickly as US authorities can dismantle them. But some encampments have been around for much longer, and the people there have felt abandoned for years. ­Tent cities of outrage are popping up all across the US over the last months, less visible to the public eye and much quieter. One such tent city of hopelessness has been around for half a decade. This is the third visit in about two years to a village tucked away in the woods. The number of homeless turning to the camp for hospitality keeps growing. The population of the tent city has tripled since it was first set up. The place is home to about 70 homeless people who have nowhere else to go. One third of them are women, all feeling ashamed to leave their tents in the presence of a camera. The mood in the tent camp has become increasingly politicized over the last year.

MIC CHECK! Ole’ Newt gets OCCUPPIED at the University of Iowa

Protesters interrupt Newt Gingrich during his speech at the University of Iowa.

Occupy Movement in Full Effect today across the US – Police arrest OWS protesters at World Financial Center

Police arrested OWS protester at a peaceful flash mob at World Financial Center and harass journalist who filmed the protest.

(NYT)At least 17 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on Monday at the World Financial Center, whose owner, Brookfield Properties, also owns Zuccotti Park, the public space where the protesters maintained an encampment for two months before being cleared by the police in mid-November.

“We thought we would come over and give Brookfield a direct message,” said Bill Dobbs, an Occupy Wall Street organizer.

About 200 protesters milled and chanted inside the center’s winter garden, a public atrium with soaring ceilings. They also stretched yellow adhesive tape marked with the word “Occupy” across the granite floor of the atrium. From a second-floor balcony, a banner was unfurled with the words “solidarity” and “west coast port shutdown,” in support of protests in cities like Oakland, Seattle and San Diego, where activists with the Occupy movement announced plans to blockade ports.

Onlookers peered from other parts of the balcony, or hurried across the main floor of the atrium, where protesters swirled in a circle.

Soon police officers arrived. A man wearing a suit, who would not say who he worked for announced: “If you do not leave, you will be arrested.”

A police commander said the man worked for Brookfield. A spokeswoman for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

A few minutes later, officers began herding protesters down a wide staircase in the atrium and pushed them toward a door. At one point, several officers pounced on a man on the ground. A moment later, officers chased another man through the atrium, cornering him near glass windows and arresting him.

Most of the protesters and several news reporters and photographers were pushed outside. But about 10 men and 7 women were placed in handcuffs inside the atrium, then removed and placed in police vehicles.

The protests began when a few hundred people assembled on Broadway, opposite Zuccotti Park, and marched to the Goldman Sachs headquarters nearby. Some of those on the march compared Goldman Sachs to a giant squid with tentacles that spread throughout the global financial system.

“We’re demonstrating the links between the excesses in finance and the excesses in industry,” said Aaron Bornstein, 31, a neuroscientist from Fort Greene, Brooklyn. “And the labor-busting power of industry.”

At least a dozen people were arrested.

After rallying outside the Goldman Sachs building on West Street while brandishing placards and papier-mâché replicas of squids, some of the protesters then headed to the World Financial Center.

(via COLIN MOYNIHAN – New York Times)