"For Real, Dude?" A woman stares down a Virginia state policeman during a peaceful International Women's Day demonstration. Photo: Style Weekly/Buzzfeed

This week in Occupy, International Women’s Day was #occupied, the bill for NYPD misbehavior came due, the CEO of B of A was mic-checked and New York City lined up for unemployment on Super Tuesday. 

#On March 8, International Women’s Day, more than a thousand demonstrators gathered at the Virginia State Capitol to protest a new amendment that passed the Virginia House requiring women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. 31 people were arrested by the State Police Tactical Team, which arrived fully armed and brandishing plastic shields at the behest of Governor Bob McDonnell.

#Also on that day, CODEPINK protesters wearing superhero costumes rallied outside a Beverly Hills Bank of America branch in support of women and families who have lost their homes due to bank foreclosures. CODEPINK activists in New York, joined by members of the Church of Stop Shoppingprotested inside a Bank of America branch near Zuccotti Park.

B of A or Bust: Women from Occupy SF call for the end of corporate banking on International Women's Day. Photo: CODEPINK

#5,000 demonstrators formed a three-mile line stretching from lower Manhattan to Union Square to protest unemployment timed to the Super Tuesday primaries. Here’s a series of photosand video of The Line.

#A group of topless CODEPINK protesters mic-checked Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America, while he delivered an address at the Citigroup Financial Conference. They also had a message for Moynihan painted on their chests: “Bust up Bank of America before it busts up America.”

#For the last few months, police officers or detectives have been posted outside buildings where private Occupy Wall Streetmeetings were taking place, have visited the homes of organizers and have questioned protesters arrested on minor charges. Four are suing the city.

#An internal NYPD investigation confirmed that surreptitious recordings made by a Bed-Stuy police officer correctly represented a department-wide conspiracy in which superiors urged the rank-and-file to manipulate arrest statistics by arresting people who were doing little more than standing on the street while disregarding actual victims of serious crimes who wanted to file reports. For more than two years, Adrian Schoolcraft secretly recorded every roll call at the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn and was forcibly institutionalized by the NYPD in retaliation. Needless to say, he is suing.

#Mayors and law enforcement across the country fear that the illegal surveillance operations the NYPD has conducted throughout the Northeast have eroded the trust between Muslim communities and law enforcement, making it far less likely that Muslims will report terrorist plots if they do arise.

#Asked about the NYPD spying meant to prevent terrorism, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last year, “We don’t stop to think about the religion.” Turns out that’s not true: Catholics and Jews were specifically left out.

Holding The Line: 5,000 people took a stand against unemployment in NYC. Photo: Stefan Hagen

#The NYPD’s “Syrian Locations of Concern Report,” issued to keep tabs on New York’s Syrian community, misidentified at least five Brooklyn businesses that are not only not Syrian-owned, but not even Muslim-owned.

#Protesters from the Northern Manhattan Restaurant and Lounge Association demonstrated in front of NYPD headquarters demanding action be taken against the Vice Squad for its repeated undercover stings that border on harassment and result in fines. A lawsuit has been filed.

#College faculty across the countrysigned a letter asking Mayor Bloomberg to fire his police chief and public information commissioner over the NYPD’s racist stop-and-frisk policy.

#Ann Nolan, an attorney in St. Cloud, Minnesota and member of the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party, told the St. Cloud Times that the Occupy movement inspired her to enter the congressional race. Her opponent: Michele Bachmann. Yes, this Michele Bachmann.

#In a legislative victory for the Occupy movement, a Des Moines jury found an Occupy Iowa protester not guilty of trespassing on Statehouse grounds.

#Three Occupy Oakland protesters face robbery and hate crime—yes, hate crime—charges for an incident at a protest last week. The women and queers of Occupy Oakland are particularly offended at the charges, which they say are categorically false, and an emergency demonstration is planned at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland on March 12.

#Members of Occupy New Haven announced in a letter to city officials they will not leave the upper Green as requested by the city because their stay is “not a camping trip,” but a “visual testament to the growing class inequality present in our city, nation and world.”

#One year after Governor Scott Walker pushed a shameful union busting bill through the Wisconsin legislature, 68,000 Wisconsinites 

Momentum Building for Occupy May Day


6 Ways to Get Ready for the May 1st GENERAL STRIKE

March 11, 2012 


Yesterday, 60,000 marched on Madison to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker's drastic dismantling of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Last year, Walker's attacks on labor rights sparked massive protests that saw hundreds of thousands occupy the Wisconsin capital building. Their actions prefigured Occupy Wall Street and inspired countless others to take a stand against economic inequality, political injustice, and the tyranny of the 1% enforced through politicians and banksters alike.

This is just one example that people across the globe are actively resisting attacks on the 99%. This year has already seen the largest-ever strike on record in India, hundreds of thousands marching for democracy in Bahrain, general strikes in Montreal and Spain where students once again occupied public space in protest of the austerity measures and spending cuts being enforced by the European banking elite, massive uprisings in the streets of Moscow, and more. Even in the United States, the movement grows. The corporate media claims that Occupy's strength is waning, but they are merely in denial. During the coldest months of this year, the United States has already seen more revolutionary momentum than it has in decades.

This winter, we refocused our energies on fostering ties with local communities, saving homes from corrupt banks and jobs from greedy corporations, and building and expanding our horizontal infrastructure. This #GlobalSpring, we will take the streets again. On May 1st, Occupy Wall Street has called for a General Strike. We are calling on everyone who supports the cause of economic justice and true democracy to take part: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking - and most importantly, TAKE THE STREETS!

Occupy May Day

We are getting ready. Planning is already underway in dozens of cities. Labor organizers, immigrants’ rights groups, artists, Occupiers, faith leaders, and more have all joined in the discussion to get ready. Now, all we need is you. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved!

May 1st, also known as International Workers' Day, is the annual commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a General Strike for the eight-hour workday. In many countries, May 1st is observed as a holiday. But in the United States, despite the eventual success of the eight-hour-workday campaign, the holiday is not officially recognized. In spite of this, May Day is already a powerful date in the U.S. In 2006, immigrant's rights groups took to the streets in unprecedented numbers in a national "Day Without An Immigrant" - a general strike aimed at proving the economic power of immigrants in the U.S. At least one million people marched in Chicago and Los Angeles alone. Hundreds of thousands more marched throughout cities across the U.S.

mayday chicago 2006

Now, in response to call-outs from Occupy Los AngelesOccupy ChicagoOccupy Oakland, and other General Assemblies and affinity groups, the Occupy Movement is preparing to mobilize a General Strike this May 1st in solidarity with struggles already underway to defend the rights of workers, immigrants, and other communities who are resisting oppression. Dozens of Occupations in cities and towns throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia have already endorsed May Day. Here is just a taste of events in the works for New York City:

  • 8am-4pm: Midtown action staging zone in Bryant Park.
  • Disruptive actions in midtown all day! Hit the 1% where they live and prevent them from getting to work. Let's make this a Day Without the 1%, as well!
  • Family friendly, free food, a really, REALLY free market, skillshares, workshops, lectures, art, fun and more!
  • 4pm: March to Union Square for solidarity march
  • 5:30pm: Solidarity march from Union Square to Wall St.
  • 7pm: March to staging area for evening actions

And this is just the beginning. To quote the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, a major Spanish union, who recently called for a national General Strike in Spain on March 29th to protest labor reforms:

For the CNT, the strike on March 29 must be only the beginning of a growing and sustained process of mobilization, one which includes the entire working class and the sectors that are most disadvantaged and affected by the capitalist crisis. This mobilization must put the brakes on the dynamic of constant assaults on our rights, while laying the bases for the recovery and conquest of new social rights with the goal of a deep social transformation.

None of this would be possible without the grassroots support of everyday organizers who volunteer their time to grow the movement against Wall Street greed and political corruption. Here are eight simple things you can do to help advance the cause of equity for all:

[1] Work With Your Local Occupy: There are hundreds of Occupy groups still holding regular meetings and events. Chances are, there's one nearby. (And if there isn't yet - it's easy to start one!) General Assemblies are open to everyone, and everyone has a voice in the consensus planning process. So find your nearest Occupation and go to a GA! If they haven't already endorsed the General Strike, propose it to the group and start planning marches, distributing fliers, and forming direct action groups.

[2] Spread the Word On Social Media: Follow #M1GS@OWSMayDay@OccupyWallSt, and @OccupyGenStrike on Twitter. Also be sure to RSVP on Facebook and follow You can also look for city-specific events, like these fromChicago and Detroit.

[3] Start an Affinity Group: You can take action on your own. All you need are a few friends. Affinity groups are groups of people who know each other and come together autonomously for a particular action. Find a few people who are interested in helping you out on a project you have in mind - whether it's making fliers and literature to distribute, or shutting down a Wall Street bank in your hometown. Get creative, and get to work! (Here's a hint: OccuPrint collects, prints, and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, and they have a ton of amazing General Strike posters!)

[4] Join the General Strike Conference Calls: InterOccupy hosts regular calls to organize May 1st activities. Check out their schedule and join in the conversation!

[5] Talk to Labor: Due to federal laws, most unions are forbidden from organizing strikes for political reasons. However, unions and labor groups are still some of our strongest allies. During last year's General Strike in Oakland, many unions encouraged their workers to take the day off or attend demonstrations after work. Not long after Occupy Oakland shut down ports in solidarity with striking Longshoreman, their employers caved to the union's demands in a new contract. Get in touch with local unions and labor organizations, let them know about the plans for a General Strike, find out what they're working on and how you can help, and encourage them to let their members know about May 1st and get involved in organizing directly.

[6] Organize Your Workplace, Campus, or Community: If you're a unionized worker, encourage your union to support the General Strike. Whether your workplace is union or not, you can encourage co-workers to take a sick day on May 1st. If you can't afford to lose out on pay, that's okay - there will be plenty of celebrations, marches, and direct actions throughout all hours of the day. Invite your community to attend. If you're a student at a high school or college, spread the word to walk-out of class on May 1st. If you're not a worker or student, organize your friends!

More information: [] | [] | [] | [NYC General Assembly - May Day]

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