State of the Occupation: May Day Wrap-Up Edition

Occupy Cleveland (OH):  OC’s May Day Rally was canceled after the FBI made 5 arrests of some slow witted black block-ers in an alleged “bomb plot”.  The FBI affidavits described the individuals involved attending an OC event and “moving through the group expressing displeasure at the crowds unwillingness to behave violently.”  The initial plot described in the affidavit was a smoke bomb used as a distraction for the group defacing a downtown a billboard.  However after investing months of time, assigning undercover FBI Agents and paying thousands of dollars to a Confidential Informant they were able to start May Day off with an Occupy “Bomb Plot” Bust!

To add insult to injury, the City of Cleveland has now stated that they will not renew the permit for Occupy Cleveland’s encampment.


May Day in Atlanta

Occupy Atlanta’s Agenda:  (All times EST)

Watch live streaming video from occupyatlanta at

11 AM – 1 PM – We mass up and march from Troy Davis Park and head to the MLK J.r. Historical Center downtown!

2 PM – 10 PM – Head over to Coan Park at the edge of Kirkwood for an afternoon of fun, sun, cookouts, workshops, film screening, and more!

Childcare will be available, and Coan Park has playgrounds for kids and kids-at-heart (please don’t Bogart the slide — there are actual children who have first dibs).

Really? Really. Really?? REALLY. Free Market! Bring your goods and give them away and brighten someone’s day!

Cookout! Lots of good eats, lots of good conversation.

Workshops beginning at 4 pm, running into the evening.

Movie! When the sun drops, the film goes up!

May Day in LA!

For May 1st, 2012 Occupy Los Angeles is organizing around a “4 Winds” People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles that will culminate in Direct Action in and around the Financial District of downtown LA. People from all sectors of the city will have a chance to plug in to the routes from any corner of the city, helping to shut down the flow of capital while addressing the 99%’s major grievances.

These 4 caravans, beginning in the late morning, coming from the North, South, East & West, will be an amalgam of cars and bikes, occupiers and unions, community organizations and organic communities — taking over our streets on routes designed to bring to light to societies ills, past and present, and engaging with residents and workers as we connect the disparate voices, races, classes and nationalities that make up Los Angeles. The caravans will stop at flashpoints along the way. Flash occupations, food giveaways, and other direct actions targeting the foreclosure crisis and police brutality will be undertaken at these flashpoints on our slow, city-paralyzing, carnival-esque descent into the center of the city.

The convergence point at 6th & Main streets, at 2:30 PM, will have the People’s Print Lab, the Welcome Tent, the Wellness Tent and will be focused on shining light on LA’s homeless issues, feeding the people of Skid Row and raising awareness of social and economic inequality, including the brutally ineffective Safer Cities Initiative that criminalizes the homeless population while doing absolutely nothing to change the systemic problems that make LA the homeless capital of the country. At 3 PM, we will mobilize direct actions in the financial district of downtown LA.

The West Wind: Rally:

Video streaming by Ustream

10 AM — Wilshire & Ocean

Caravan begins: 10:30 AM

1st Flashpoint: 11:30 AM — Wilshire and Federal (Veterans Affairs, Federal Building, UCLA)

2nd Flashpoint: 12 PM — Rodeo Dr & Santa Monica Bl.(Beverly Hills)

3rd Flashpoint: 12:30 PM — Wilshire & Labrea (Bank of America)

4th Flashpoint: 1:30 PM — 6th St & Alvarado (MacArthur Park)

March to Convergence: 2 – 2:30 PM 6th St & Main St (border of Skid Row)

The East Wind:

Live video for mobile from Ustream

10:00am: Gather at Chavez/Atlantic, Hold speak out and discussion on Police brutality in the community.  10:50–Walking Procession Past ELAC to Belvedere Park where we Mount Vehicles

11:30am: Depart from Belvedere Park in Cars/Bikes/Trucks and proceed along Chavez to Obregon Park (Making a loop past Esteban Torres High School)

12:00 – 12:30pm: Education Speak-Out/Discussion at Obregon Park

12:30pm: Depart along 1st street to the West heading to Mariachi Plaza

1pm – 1:30pm: Mariachi Plaza–Drop off People, parks cars on street–Rally/discussion on Healthcare–

1:30pm: Load onto Metro (Bikers probably will head via streets) to Union Station

1:50: Gather at Park across from Union Station/Placita Olvera, Marcha to 6th and Main Convergence point by 2:30pm

The South Wind Rally:

Live broadcasting by Ustream

10 AM — CSU Dominguez Hills

Caravan begins: 10:30 AM

1st Flashpoint: 11:15 AM — 112th & Central (near Maxine Waters Employment Prep Center)

2nd Flashpoint: 11:45 AM — 103rd & Central (Ted Watkins Park)

3rd Flashpoint: 12:30 PM — 41st & Central (historic BPP shootout w/ LAPD)

4th Flashpoint: 1:30 PM — Figueroa & Washington Bl (LA Trade Tech)

Park & March to Convergence: 1:45-2:30 PM 6th St & Main St (border of Skid Row)

North Wind Rally:

Streaming by Ustream

7AM – Panorama High School

8AM-9AM – Hermandad Mexicana (7915 Van Nuys Blvd.)

11AM – Van Nuys Civic Center

12:30PM – Orange Line (Van Nuys & Oxnard)

1:45PM – Placita Olvera

2:30PM – 6th & Main

May Day in Oakland!

Watch the Occupy Oakland’s May Day Actions Live!  (All Times are PST)

9AM – NOON: 3-4 morning actions,

Decentralized actions leaving from 3 points on the edge of downtown at 8:30am. These actions can take the form of “strike enforcement brigades” such as pickets, blockades, snake marches etc. Strike stations will be set up at each of these locations starting at 8am with coffee, snacks, water, propaganda etc.

Station 1  anti-capitalist: Snow Park – flying pickets to shut down banks and the Chamber of Commerce
Station 2  anti-patriarchy: 1st & Broadway – occupy Child Protective Services, called for by OOP
Station 3  anti-gentrification: 22nd & Telegraph – flying pickets to shut down Uptown & Downtown Business Associations

NOON – 1PM: Everyone Converge on Downtown: Mass rally from noon to 1pm at 14th & Broadway including speakers, food, music activities, etc.

1PM – 3PM: Themed Actions & Marches Around Downtown:
After the rally, those in attendance have the opportunity to stay downtown or join one of the autonomous actions that will be departing from 14th & Broadway to continue shutting down various capitalist institutions in the downtown area.

3PM: March for Dignity and Resistance
All are encouraged to join the march starting at Fruitvale BART station at 3pm.

6PM – 7PM: Reconvergence downtown to coincide with the march arrival: Everyone back downtown to rally and celebrate together as the March for Dignity and Resistance arrives.

Live May Day OWS UStream!

May Day is here!  And FDL has correspondents in New York City broadcasting LIVE on UStream.

Streaming video by Ustream

Today’s OWS May Day Agenda:

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Bryant Park  will be the site of a fun and friendly “Pop-up Occupation”, featuring: Free food, a free market, free services, skill shares, workshops, teach-ins, speak outs, public art, performances, discussions, and trainings. • This will be a staging area for actions in midtown all day: creative disruptions, bank blockades, outreach to commuters and tourists, and more!

2 p.m. — March to Union Square

4 p.m. — Rally at Union Square:  Solidarity rally with labor unions, the immigrant justice coalition, students, and faith & community groups: an historic convergence of the 99%.

5:30 p.m. — Solidarity march from Union Square to Wall Street

7 p.m. — March to staging area for evening actions

Special thanks to Jamie N. Stewart (Occupy Buffalo, broadcasting on UStream) and FDL’s John Washington for getting right into the mix in NYC.

OWS May Day UStream

Broadcasting live with Ustream

The Smoke and Mirrors of the Legalization Debate

Some people think that the push for the legalization of marijuana is backed mostly by marijuana smokers.   This is because the mainstream media and the Obama Administration frame the discussion as a subculture issue (ex. Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Sublime fans vs. “normal” people).  Don’t be fooled.   Legalization is not about a subculture, it is about market protection for Big Pharma, and the protection of labor sources for the  Prison-Industrial-Complex.

Big Pharma is engaged in a race to patent the components of marijuana so they can sell it to you as medication, in a pill form, covered by your soon-to-be-mandated health insurance. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, 61 of them are unique to the Cannabis plant.  These are called cannabinoids and Big Pharma wants to have exclusive patent rights to them! Furthermore, Big Pharma doesn’t want you to have access to them with a prescription for medical marijuana.  And the Obama Administration is willing to protect the cannabinoid market by using federal resources to circumvent state medical marijuana laws to protect Big Pharma’s market.

Obama’s current drug policy also fuels the increasingly privatized Prison-Industrial-Complex with prisoners in near slave-labor conditions.  Did you know that being caught with 4 ounces of marijuana (~$500 of weed) will land you in jail for 5 years in Connecticut as a first time offender and 10 years as a repeat offender?   At the federal level any amount less than 50 kg results in a five year sentence and over 50 kg is a 20 year sentence.  These long state and federal prison terms provide a huge prison labor pool that can be used to produce “Made in America” goods for contracting manufacturers.

Don’t get it twisted, the legalization battle is not about subculture.  It is about Big Pharma’s market protection and providing a labor pool for the Prison-Industrial-Complex.