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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2012
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/
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.
Inside and outside of courthouses in 46 states and 130 cities across the country, members of Occupy Wall Street and thousands of other concerned citizens will meet the two year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC with creative protest. The ruling, which further opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending on elections and reinforced the fictitious legal concept of “corporate-personhood,” is widely seen as an erosion of our democratic institutions by gifting disproportionate power to unaccountable corporations whose bottom lines are their shareholders, not US stakeholders.
WHEN AND WHERE: January 20, 2012, 5pm Liberty Square (aka Zucotti Park); march at 5:30 pm to Foley Square.
WHAT: After rallying on the lit pavement blocks of Liberty Square, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra will clash and bang the way to City Hall. Performers and speakers at Foley Square include: Reverend Billy Talen and his choir, Chris Hedges, Virginia Rasmussen, Lawrence Lessig and Russell Simmons. Several City Council Members have also been invited to speak on equal ground with OWS participants and within the context of a People’s Mic.
“We assemble today in defiance of the repression of our right to assemble and the ‘one-dollar, one-vote’ system that has made a farce of our democracy,” says OWS participant Barbara Pressman. “It should not come as a surprise that four times as much money was spent to influence the 2010 elections as they in 2006, and we can expect a much bigger outpouring of corporate dollars in the 2012 election.”
The following day, Saturday January 21st, a Worst of the Worst Corporate Offenders Walking Tour will embark from Foley Square at noon, following a rally organized by Occupy Faith.
The NY organizers of Occupy the Courts, working in conjunction with the nation-wide coalition led by Move To Amend, were originally denied their right to assemble at the US District Courthouse (Southern District of NY). In suit, Move to Amend, together with the National Lawyers Guild, levied an appeal on behalf of NY organizers, which was denied. A solidarity protest in the state capitol with Occupy Albany will take place on Friday in turn.
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
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2012
President Obama’s January 19th fundraising extravaganza at New York’s famous Apollo theater, (tickets $100 to $5,000) and his $30,000/plate Harlem fundraising dinner in March of 2011, illustrate a profound disconnect between the President and poor and working class Blacks that constitute his core base of support. A demonstration will be held across the street from the Apollo to call attention to the corruption of money in politics and the President’s allegiance to Wall Street, and not 125th St.
WHEN: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Across the street from the Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street
(Frederick Douglass Boulevard & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd)
The Central Harlem community with an annual median income of $26,000 wage daily struggles against massive unemployment, rising homelessness and ruthless gentrification decimating the local population. In the midst of this deepening depression, President Obama awarded ownership of Grant Public Housing Complex to Citigroup and pumped $500 million dollars into a charter school on the grounds of another public housing complex, and affordable housing for the poor is now on the chopping block.
Organizations involved: Occupy Harlem, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Wall Street Anti-War, Direct Action, and Trade Justice Working Groups; Harlem FightBack Against War at Home and Abroad, Black is Back Coalition, Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice, TradeJustice New York Metro, Occupy 4 Jobs, Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera NYC, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Queerocracy, World Can’t Wait and War Criminals Watch, and Nodutol for Korean Community Development
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Efforts were made to find the owner, Wise Ahadzi, in advance of the December 6th occupation, to no avail. From day one, Alfredo and members of Occupy Wall Street and local community organizations said that they would support the owner if he wants to fight for his home and would support him in fighting the banks to relieve his debt. As Occupy Wall Street stated in a December 6th press release: We want Bank of America to make this house available for a not for profit (a community land trust that will ensure long-term affordability) and wipe away all debt that the current owner has if he wants to come back.
On the day after the December 6th occupation of 702 Vermont, Mr. Ahadzi showed up at the property. Since then, Alfredo Carrasquillo, members of Occupy Wall Street, and local community organizations have met with Mr. Ahadzi and his lawyer a number of times. These meetings were positive, and Mr. Ahadzi and his lawyer were supportive of collaborative efforts to demand Bank of America relieve his debt. At no point in this process has Mr. Ahadzi ever requested that Mr. Carrasquillo or the members of Occupy Wall Street assisting with renovations leave the property.
According to statements Mr. Ahadzi made to the New York Post yesterday, he is apparently now interested in reclaiming his home. Given that, Alfredo Carrasquillo and members of Occupy Wall Street will support Mr. Ahadzis efforts, so that neither his family or Alfredos is homeless, and so that the house at 702 Vermont does not sit vacant.
East New York has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, nearly three times greater than that of Brooklyn, and nearly five times greater than that of New York State. This applies to underwater mortgage rates as well.
East New York has been decimated by criminal bank foreclosures using robo-signings as recently as October, forcing families to abandon their homes and communities. The neighborhood is burdened by numerous boarded-up homes left vacant by the banks after families were unable to keep up with extortionate mortgages on properties that are now underwater.
Members of OWS will continue to work with community members in East New York, throughout the city, and across the country to support access to housing for everyone. And we will continue to fight the big banks that, after being bailed out by taxpayers, went on to foreclose on millions of American families.
Hundreds Gather for Global Candlelight Vigil at Historic Riverside Church
“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. ‘The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.’” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City
Riverside Church has been an intersection of faith and social justice in the greater New York metropolitan area for over 170 years. At Riverside in 1967, Dr. King gave his historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech. On King’s birthday and in the spirit of his vision for racial and economic equality, peace, and non-violence, activists will return to Riverside in solidarity with others holding candlelight vigils from California to Cairo; New York to New Orleans; Germany to Nova Scotia, to unite our world in a global movement for systemic change.
This candlelight vigil kicks off more than 24 hours of Occupy Wall Street-organized events and actions including a march on Monday, Jan. 16th at 9am from the African Burial Ground to the Federal Reserve Bank for a rally for economic justice. For more information about the January 15th action visit http://j15global.org
As Contract Expiration Date LoomsPushback against management demand for outrageous wage and benefit concessions
With a contact deadline looming, a coalition of Transit Workers Union (TWU) rank and file members and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists will rally MTA headquarters, Thursday January 12 and march from there to Goldman Sachs offices in Lower Manhattan. Thursday’s protest will spotlight yet another effort to balance the MTA budget on the backs of working New Yorkers. The current contract between MTA and TWU expires January 15; the protest comes in the middle of tense negotiations.
OWS and TWU members will demand the cancellation of MTA’s debts to Wall Street, reasonable raises for transit workers, preserving existing health benefits, and the prioritization of rider safety by keeping conductors on trains and subway booths open. MTA has publicly called for transit workers to forgo salary raises for three years and to pay a whopping $6,000 more for family health benefits.
RALLY: Thursday January 12, 4:00pm in front of MTA headquarters at 2 Broadway near Bowling Green.
MARCH: 5:30pm from 2 Broadway to Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park) at Broadway and Liberty and then to Goldman Sachs offices at 200 West Street.
MTA’s board is unelected and unaccountable – nearly all members are appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The MTA has hired the notorious Goldman Sachs as its financial adviser.
Cuomo’s MTA asks for outrageous concessions from New York workers, and now Goldman Sachs, demands that workers and transit riders sacrifice to balance the MTA budget. In 2010, the MTA paid over $800 million in tax-free income to owners of MTA bonds, the 1%. These are “revenue bonds” which are paid directly from the train and bus fareboxes to MTA Bond owners. The money collected for these MTA Bonds does not go to transit worker wages or benefits, but instead to capital construction and repair projects. The current 10-year MTA capital plan costing $30 billion, is under-funded by a whopping $9 billion. The three current mega-construction projects, the 2nd avenue subway, the LIRR extension to Grand Central and the Transit Hub are over-budget almost $2 billion.
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For Immediate Release January 9, 2012
OCCUPY NH PRIMARY DEMONSTRATION TO CHALLENGE CORPORATE POWER AND MONEY IN ELECTIONS
What: Occupy New Hampshire along with other Occupy Movements have staged a die-in at the Obama Campaign Headquarters in Manchester, NH to dramatize how corporate money and the influence of the 1% in the election process is killing American Democracy.
Where: Obama Campaign Headquarters, 228 Maple Street, Manchester, NH 03103
Who: Occupy movement protestors, unemployed people, workers, students, youth and others who are angry about the way corporate money is influencing the election process, with a particular focus on corporate person hood and Wall Street Donations.
Why: Corporate money and donations from the wealthy are corrupting the American political process. The Supreme Courts recent decision saying corporations are people only increases the power of corporations in the political process. Occupy protesters from across the North East are coming together to demand that corporate money and large donations are removed from the political process. Corporate money and the corrupt and undue influence of the 1% in the election process is killing American Democracy.
Occupy NH – Occupy Maine – Occupy Boston – Occupy Wall Street’s Politics Work Group