Occupy Education Calls for National Day of Action to Defend the Right to Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 29, 2012
Contact Information:
General Inquiries: Occupy Wall Street PR, press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
For this action only: Occupy Education, press@occupyed.org
Students, Teachers, Workers Unite to Take Back Schools for the 99%
What: National Day of Action for the Right to Education
Students, teachers, parents and workers will take action March 1 to say, “Education is a right not a privilege.” In response to budget cuts and mounting tuition costs, protestors will launch the next phase of the Occupy movement on campuses across the country, demanding that public education be fully funded at all levels—from pre-K to Ph.D.  Education activists will protest layoffs, union busting and a lack of democratic decision-making in schools and universities through student walk-outs, marches, grade-ins and demonstrations.
When: March 1, 2012 (#M1)
Where: Pre-planned actions at sites nationwide. List of major actions below. Click here for NYC action.
“Schools are turning away hundreds of thousands of students and cutting back on crucial classes for millions more,” said Aaron Jaffe, a graduate student at the New School in New York City. “We need to reverse the tide of tuition increases and student loan rip-offs, so students can afford to get a good education once again.”
“As higher education increasingly becomes a necessity for any type of career advancement, people who need it the most are being shut out due to high costs,” said Brooklyn College student Biola Jeje. “Student loan debt is an issue that not only affects students but working families trying to provide a stable source of income in these tough economic times.”
Major Actions
·   New York City: March from the Department of Education (52 Chambers Street) to Ft. Greene Park. March begins at 2 p.m. Rally at Ft. Greene at 4 p.m.
·   Oakland: Rally at Oscar Grant Plaza at 5 p.m.
·   Washington, D.C.: March from McPherson Sq. (15th and K St.) to the Department of Education at 3 p.m.
·   Boston: Citywide walkout and rally at Dewey Sq starting at 1 p.m. The march will be a “tour of our oppressors” around Boston and concludes with a speak-out at the State House at 4 p.m.
·   Seattle: Demonstration at the Gates Foundation. March to begin at 2:45 at Westlake Park.
·   Philadelphia: Citywide walkout and march. Rallies at Temple/Penn Universities at 1 p.m. Gathering at Governor Corbett’s Office (200 S. Broad St.) at 3 p.m. to march to the Board of Education (440 N. Broad St.)
Occupy Education is a coalition of more than 80 local Occupy, labor and community groups across the country fighting to guarantee the right to education for everyone. The March 1 Day of Action has been endorsed by groups such as Occupy Education California, the NYC Student Assembly, Occupy Colleges and the Occupy Student Debt Campaign.
For More Information:
For interview requests and action story tips:
Day-of-action press hotline: (415) 226-9843
For featured news roll, videostreams, and twitter feeds:
M1 participating organizations: www.occupyed.org/organizations
Subscribe to presslist or obtain photos and video of the actions:www.occupyed.org/press
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New York City Students Take Action March 1 to Defend Right to Education

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2012

Nationwide Protests Kick Off Spring of Action

New York City—Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and workers will take to the streets March 1, 2012 as part of a national Day of Action called for by Occupy Education. From Boston to Seattle, education activists will defend the right to education and demand a say in how their schools are run. In New York, students will point to higher tuition and school closings as evidence that the agenda of the 1% has turned education into a commodity rather than a right.

Marchers will meet at the Department of Education (52 Chambers Street) at 2 p.m. before crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and arriving at Ft. Greene Park for a demonstration at 4 p.m. The protestors will hold speak-outs at various sites along the way to highlight problems within our education system, such as a lack of democratic decision-making and growing corporatization.

”A corporate-backed education reform movement is turning schools at all levels into businesses,” said Hunter College student Sarah Pomar. “Policies such as No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top have led to more failing schools and union-busting, and exacerbate inequality in educational opportunities.”

Such inequalities were demonstrated recently in a report by the New York State Education Department, which revealed that only 13 percent of Black students and 15 percent of Latino students in New York graduate from high school college-ready. Meanwhile, despite public protests, the Bloomberg administration has closed over 117 schools through an undemocratic Panel for Educational Policy.

“Education is the very keystone of success, but it is becoming increasingly unavailable to all but the 1%,” said Jaime Weida, an English professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College. “Quality public education is disappearing, as K-12 schools are closing and public institutions of higher education such as CUNY are facing tuition hikes, budget cuts and privatization.”

”Education is being governed by neoliberal policies that create re-segregation, inequality, massive debt and undemocratic institutions,” said Lucas Vazquez, a student at Walt Whitman High School. “Students must resist such injustices through a sustainable movement that presents alternatives to the market-oriented educational system we live in.”

Throughout the spring, students across the country will take action to reclaim education for the 99%. On March 5 students in New York and California will converge on their state capitols to demand elected officials recognize the right to education and fully fund public colleges and universities.

Occupy Education is a coalition of more than 80 local Occupy, labor and community groups across the country fighting to guarantee the right to education for everyone. The March 1 Day of Action has been endorsed by groups such the New York City Student Assembly, Students United for a Free CUNY and the Occupy Student Debt Campaign.

http://www.occupyed.org
twitter.com/occupy_ed
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NYers Protest in National Day of Action against Corporate Greed & ALEC

MEDIA ADVISORY February 29, 2012

Contacts: Occupy Wall Street, 347-292-1444, press@occupywallst.org
Day long actions: Mark Bray, 201-820-8230
Pfizer action only: Katie Robbins, Robbins.L.Katie@gmail.com, 330-618-6379

Actions at BofA, Koch Industries + Pfizer Award for “Excellence in Profiteering”

   Today concerned citizens, students, and occupiers in over seventy cities across the nation, including Occupy Wall Street (NYC), are standing up to the corporations and legislators involved in American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The main targets in New York City are Bank of America, Pfizer, and Koch Industries. The biggest corporations in America, including ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that puts corporate profit over the well-being of ordinary people.


When/Where:
  All actions today, February 29, 2012

9 AM Street theater action at the Koch Industries building, starting at Pulitzer Fountain in Grand Army Plaza – 5th Ave, W 58 St. to W 59 St.

10 AM-11 AM Bank of America actions in Bryant Park – 42nd St. and 5th Ave.

Also at 10 AM:  Protest against Pfizer’s profiteering and support for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), awarding Pfizer for “Excellence in Profiteering.” Assemble at 1st Ave and 42nd St (Robert Moses Playground); 10:15-11 AM: Action outside Pfizer at235 East 42nd St between 2nd & 3rd Ave. This action organized by Healthcare for the 99%, an official working group of OWS; Billionaires for Wealthcare (prev. Billionaires for Bush). Visuals: Doctors and nurses in white coats with patients.

12 PM Roving Bank of America actions, ending at the Bank of America Tower – 1 Bryant Park 42nd St. between 6th and 7th Avenues

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%. 
For more info www.occupywallst.org and nycga.net

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70 Cities Nationwide Stand up to Corporate Greed and ALEC National Day of Action to Resist the Selling Out of the 99%

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Occupy Wall Street, NYC: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
Occupy Portland, OR: press@shutdownthecorporations.org, 503-208-6775

On February 29th, concerned citizens, students, and occupiers in over seventy cities across the nation, including Occupy Wall Street (NYC), are standing up to the corporations and legislators involved in American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The biggest corporations in America, including ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that puts corporate profit over the well-being of ordinary people. Responding to a national call from Occupy Portland, this will be the Occupy Movement’s largest coordinated action this year and will confront ALEC corporations in the cities in which they do business throughout the nation.

“ALEC, a registered nonprofit with a board of trustees that reads like a Fortune 500 list, allows 1%ers to push legislation representing corporate interests,”said Dana Balicki of Occupy Wall Street.  “This is legislation laundering.”

ALEC is comprised of state and federal government legislators and many of America’s biggest corporations. In ALEC task-forces and committees, lobbyists work directly with legislators to draft and advance cookie-cutter “model” bills that serve the interests of the corporations rather than people.  ALEC is responsible for some of the most anti-democratic, repressive, and discriminatory legislation to pass through the halls of government.Wisconsin Act 10, attacking public employee unions, mirrors ALEC’s anti-union agenda and was introduced by Governor Scott Walker, an ALEC member from 1993-2002. Arizona’s widely criticized Racial Profiling bill (SB1070) also has roots in ALEC model legislation.

“The public is never informed that a group representing the most privileged people in America are drafting the legislation that disempowers the most vulnerable. The decisions affecting our communities should be made democratically, not through a corrupt system that hides the influence of the very corporations that benefit at our expense. ALEC is representative of a failed system in which profit and greed are dominant over everything else,” said David Osborn of Occupy Portland.

Actions in several of the cities responding to Occupy Portland’s call to Shut Down ALEC Corporations are listed below. For a full list visit http://bit.ly/alecactions.

Coordinated Southern California Action – (LA, Long Beach, Orange County and Riverside)

  • Actions will target one of the largest Wal-Mart distribution centers in the country in support of non-union warehouse workers.

Occupy Wall Street

  • Pop-up Occupation at Bryant-Park starting at 9am with teach-in with Matt Taibi; March leaving Bryant Park at noon with creative actions targeting Bank of America, Pfizer, and Koch Brothers

Occupy Salt Lake City

  • Actions focusing on private prisons, racism, and anti-union aspects of ALEC including a Utah replica of Arizona’s SB 1070; Actions will include a Debutant ball in the capitol.

Coordinated Connecticut Action – (New Haven, Hartford, Darien, New London, Shoreline, Danbury and Willimantic)

  • Creative actions to target Pfizer and draw attention to the way in which it serves the interests of the 1% while ignoring the health and well-being of people, animals and the earth itself.

Occupy Portland

  • Rally at SW Ankeny and Waterfront at 11:30; March leaving at 1:00 with creative direct actions targeting ALEC corporations throughout the city.

Occupy Phoenix

  • There will be a rally at State Capitol focusing on union-busting and anti-immigrant bills then a march on Freeport McMoRam and “museum” style tour of ALEC corporations.

Stay up to the minute on twitter using #F29 and follow @F29pdx.

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%. For more info www.occupywallst.org and nycga.net.

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Occupy Pops-Up in Tompkins Square Park Sunday, February 26th

Press Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 23, 2012
Press Contacts For Occupy Town Square: OccupyTownSq@gmail.com
OWS Press Relations Working Group: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
Occupy Town Square comes to Tompkins Square Park on Sunday February 26 from 11:00am to 5:00pm
Pop-Up Occupations Recreate the Essence of Zuccotti Park in Communities throughout New York City
 
Occupy Town Square is a Safe Space for Learning, Free Expression and Public Debate
Occupy Town Squares are recurring, mobile, daytime occupations held in parks and other public spaces, indoor and outdoor, around New York City. The recurring Occupy Town Square events call on New Yorkers to reclaim spaces for public discourse and continue the conversations sparked this fall by the Occupy movement. These pop-up occupations are from 11am until 5pm. Families and community members are encouraged to participate.
The next Occupy Town Square is on Sunday, February 26 at Tompkins Square Park, in Manhattan’s East Village. Tompkins Square Park is a neighborhood of historic significance for the movement and the fight for social justice.
From the workers riot of 1874 to the 1988 riots and park eviction, Tompkins Square Park has long been on the front lines of the contest for public space and free assembly.  According to the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, in August 1874, “2-3,000 people gathered in Tompkins Square to affirm their right of free assembly; the crowd resolved that Tompkins Square should always remain ‘open to the people for their free assembly.’ (www.lespi-nyc.org/history.html) It was there in Tompkins Square park that the New York City General Assembly (NYCGA) had some of the first meetings to plan Occupy Wall Street.
This is the third Occupy Town Square event, following on successful days of occupation in Washington Square Park and the West Park Church, where hundreds of activists came together.
“I was looking for a way to learn about the Occupy movement and help it gear up for the action-filled spring,” said Ena Lupine, who just moved to New York last month. “Each Occupy Town Square brings together a community of people who are welcoming, courageous, and interested in how I see the world and what I want to do to change it,” she added.
“As a Vietnamese refugee, I have always been exhilarated to see people from diverse backgrounds coming together to build a common vision of a more equitable society,” said Dr. Lucky Tran, a scientist from Australia living in New York. “Occupy Town Squares expand the idea of occupation to encompass daytime use of public spaces and can help provide soapboxes for many people who otherwise find it difficult to be heard.”
A statement from the Occupy Town Square team explains “We invite everyone to join us whether they think they agree with Occupy or not. Since they evicted us from the public space we were using for learning, free expression, and public debate, we will continue to bring it back in various forms throughout the city.”
Occupy Town Square has shared their statement of intent with the NYC Parks Department and the East Village community.  It can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/notes/occupy-town-square/occupy-town-square-statement-of-intent-guidelines/145090955607705
For more information, please visit the following links:
Facebook: #F26 Facebook event listing
Occupy Town Square Page: https://www.facebook.com/occupytownsq
For questions: occupytownsq@gmail.com
To sign up to present a teach-in, table or performance: http://tinyurl.com/ots3signup
Twitter: @occupytownsq
 Hashtag: #occupytownsq
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OWS PR working group statement on the 99% Declaration

The 99% Declaration and its call for a “national general assembly” in Philadelphia in July is not affiliated with or endorsed by Occupy Wall Street, and the organizers’ plans blatantly contradict OWS’ stated principles.

Many news outlets are running articles suggesting that the Occupy movement is planning a “national general assembly” in Philadelphia in July. This initiative, referred to as The 99% Declaration, is driven by a not-for-profit corporation called The 99 Percent Working Group, LTD., and is not endorsed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The group’s plans blatantly contradict OWS’ Statement of Autonomy, as passed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street, where The 99% Declaration generated more controversy than consensus. The proposal was also rejected by the General Assembly of Occupy Philadelphia, which passed a resolution stating, “We do not support the 99% Declaration, its group, its website, its National GA and anything else associated with it.”

The people of Occupy Wall Street are doubtlessly animated by many of the same concerns addressed by the points in the draft 99% Declaration. However, the group’s plan to select delegates representing each Congressional District to ratify a petition to present to the U.S. government while threatening to run candidates for positions in this corrupted system runs counter to OWS’ commitment to direct democracy, grassroots people power, and building a better society from the bottom up.

When reporting on stories concerning the convening of national ‘Occupy conventions,’ registration of political parties and political action committees, and other high-profile initiatives, we strongly urge reporters, editors, and producers to vet these stories by contacting the official press relations working group of Occupy Wall Street.

From OWS’ Statement of Autonomy:  “Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.”

The Press Relations Working Group of Occupy Wall Street
press@occupywallst.org
347-292-1444

99% Shuts Down Queens Foreclosure Auction with Song

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: OWS Press, 347-292-1444, press@occupywallst.org
For this action only: Michael Premo, 917.547.1292

QUEENS, NY– Organizing4Occupation (O4O) and Occupy Wall Street flooded the Queens Supreme Court–Queens being the borough hardest-hit by predatory loans and the foreclosure crisis–and shut down a foreclosure auction through the non-violent and beautiful recitation of the now-famous song “Listen Auctioneer.” 23 people were arrested today, February 17, as the singing citizen’s blockade halted the sale of foreclosed properties successfully blocked sales of foreclosed properties in October 2011 and January 2012 at the Brooklyn Supreme Court. Watch VIDEO

The beautiful sound of this well rehearsed activist choir is nothing short of arresting, as evidenced by the teary-eyed and grateful court officers previously in Brooklyn Supreme Court. While this moving action stops the sale of a handful of homes, it is also a call by O4O and OWS for a widespread moratorium on all foreclosures and Wall Street’s unchecked power to privilege profits over our right to housing.

The big banks were bailed out first under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) and again in the recent settlement brokered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

  • TARP gave the big banks the money they needed to stay afloat and, in return, it left to their discretion the decision whether to foreclose on families’ homes—rewarding the pursuit of profit over people.
  • Schneiderman’s settlement is a slap on the wrist that requires banks to pay some, not all, homeowners $2,000—an amount that, for many, would not even cover one month’s mortgage payment.

Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of disastrous neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%.


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Occutrip Boston: Mortgages Underwater Puppet Protest, Tiny-tenting, and OWS Panel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 29, 2012

Contact:

OWS Press Team: Press@occupywallst.org (347) 292-1444

Occutrip Boston: Mortgages Underwater Puppet Protest, Tiny-tenting, and OWS Panel

It’s five days in to the Occupy Bus Trip that left Brooklyn, NY on January 25th. Occupiers from Wall Street are currently visiting Occupy Boston on their 5-week long, movement-building trip that will touch base in several Northeastern cities including Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Newark.

Following a foreclosure auction that occupiers successfully stopped in NYC, Occutrip in Boston held an eviction defense training in preparation for their action on Monday afternoon.

On Monday at 12 PM, bring your flippers, goggles, and swimwear down to Boston’s financial district for a mortgages “underwater” rally with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Boston, City Life/Vida Urbana, Chelsea Collaborative, and Mass Uniting.

“Thousands of families across America are underwater on their mortgages, meaning that they owe more on their homes than their house is worth. They can’t sell it. They can’t move to find new jobs. They can’t afford to send their kids to college. They are caught in an economic stranglehold by Wall Street. The banks, who we bailed out, have done nothing but betray us,” said Austin Guest.

To build awareness across the city about foreclosures, occupiers will place tiny tents around the city on Monday evening. “Tents represent shelter taken from families by Wall Street foreclosures. Tents have also become a symbol of resistance across the globe from Tahrir Square to Zucotti Park,” explained Sandy Nurse.

On Tuesday, their last day in Boston, Occutrip will participate in a panel about Occupy Wall Street at UMass Boston.

To follow the Occupy Bus Trip visit:

Underwater Mortgages Action: http://www.occupyboston.org/2012/01/27/january-30-march-underwater-mortgages/

Tumblr: http://owsbus.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Wall-Street-Bus-Trip/155444994569669

Twitter: @OWSBus

Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 and has spread to over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.


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