Occupy Wall Street: News Round-Up

Here's some of what I've been reading this morning... [Trigger warning for racism and misogyny.]

The Occupy Wall Street Library now has its own website.

Cynthia Kouril live-blogged the Real Estate Board of New York meeting last night, at which some people in the community sought to get protesters removed from Zuccotti Park.

New York MagazineThe Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti Park. This piece is ostensibly about disorganization threatening to tear apart the Occupy Movement, but I'm more interested in (and disgusted, if not surprised, by) the fact that so many of these "radicals" continue to be held in thrall by the most conservative of kyriarchal prejudices (emphasis mine):
Facilitators spearheaded a General Assembly proposal to limit the drumming to two hours a day. "The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out," said Lauren Digion, a leader on the sanitation working group.

..."They're imposing a structure on the natural flow of music," said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia. "The GA decided to do it ... they suppressed people's opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn't."
It was a very important part of the complaint that this young man (presumably white, since his race wasn't identified) was told he couldn't do something by a person who was fat, black, female, and feminist/man-hating plus racialized/white-hating, of which the female Afro remains a symbol to petulant young white men. I wonder if you can check out Oppression Bingo cards from the OWS Library, ahem.

Listen, I know this is one kid, but it's not just one kid. There are lots of people hearing this kind of shit at the protests: It's all unity and diversity and kumbayah until someone who isn't a straight white cis man exerts any kind of authority over a straight white cis man and then suddenly that "we're one people!" turns into this "big black organizer chick with an Afro" is trying to tell me what to do!

It's like sci-fi writers who can dream of a future in which cars fly and robots serve us breakfast in spacebed, but they can't dream of a future in which people of color and white women don't still need rescue by straight white male heroes. Many of these protesters can envision a world of financial equality, but still can't look at another human without seeing "big black organizer chick with an Afro," and attaching all kinds of judgments to that.

And, while I'm on the subject: Fuck You, Steven Greenstreet.

AlterNet—Occupy DC Flashmobs Conservation International Gala Featuring Wal-Mart Chairman & Harrison Ford: "There I was, trudging through Union Station in my suit, and a flashmob broke out at around 7 p.m., EDT. Occupy DC staged a raucous demonstration in the majestic main hall of the station, just outside a $1,000-a-plate gala for Conservation International, where the scheduled speakers were Rob Walton, chairman of the board of Wal-Mart Stores, and Wes Bush, chairman and CEO of the defense contractor Northrop Grumman, were scheduled to speak, along with the movie actor Harrison Ford, who is vice chair of CI."

San Francisco ChronicleOakland orders Occupy protesters to leave plaza:
Oakland officials Thursday night ordered protesters inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, where hundreds of people have lived since Oct. 10 in an elaborate tent city complete with a kitchen, a school and a medical tent.

A document titled "Notice to Vacate Frank Ogawa Plaza" was posted on the city's website at 8 p.m. by the office of City Administrator Deanna Santana. It said Oakland was committed to allowing free speech, but also had a responsibility to protect public safety.

"We believe that after 10 days, the City can no longer uphold public health and safety," the notice said. "In recent days, camp conditions and occupants' behavior have significantly deteriorated, and it is no longer manageable to maintain a public health and safety plan."
James Fallows at The AtlanticWell, Good for WDAV: "According to this update just now, the classical music public radio station WDAV, in North Carolina, will not dismiss Lisa Simeone from her role as a freelance (ie, non-employee) host of an opera (ie, non-political) program carried by NPR, just because she has also been a spokesperson for the Occupy DC movement. The reports to the contrary over the past 24 hours boded ill for all who seemed to be involved, starting with NPR -- though, who knows, their sizzle might increase the audience for the next few installments of World of Opera."

Zaid at Think Progress—In Sign of Global Influence, Chinese Officials Cracking Down on Occupy Wall Street Coverage: "When the Occupy Wall Street protests started last month, Chinese state media blasted the U.S. media for its poor coverage of the events. Yet as the Financial Times reports, now that the protests are spreading and igniting global unrest, Chinese censors are cracking down on coverage."

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