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Thursday, October 20, 2011

October2011.org News: Jim Hightower, Community Teach-ins and Talks and Actions!

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Dear Friend,

 It has been an active week at Freedom Plaza with lots of challenges and opportunities.

The week began with a great speech from Cornel West that led to an impromptu march to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Freedom Plaza occupiers held signs on the Supreme Court steps urging an end to corporate personhood, claiming money is not speech and seeking human needs not corporate greed.  It is illegal to hold signs on the Supreme Court steps – that's right with a Constitution that says "Congress shall make no law abridging" our Freedom of Speech, you can't hold a sign on the Supreme Court steps.  Nineteen people were arrested, including Dr. West, and in an unusual move they were all held overnight in the DC lock-up.Video here.  The next day they dropped the charges, so they were essentially punished for exercising their Freedom of Speech and not given a trial.

Thursday and Friday, Freedom Plaza had actions where we shut down Citibank.  See article and video here and here.  After they reported their 7thconsecutive quarter of immense profits and they made a deal with the SEC where they paid a $280 million dollar fine for profiting $1 billion in sales of corrupt mortgage derivatives. With that lack of accountability where Citibank profits over $700 million after paying the fine, they are sure to be a repeat offender.

The challenges we face are large.  The Park Police are regularly coming by to videotape our activities.  We have been told they are building a case to evict us.  While we have a permit, the tents, sleeping out and some of the food services violate the permit.  We believe our permit is the First Amendment which says we have the Freedom to Assemble to redress grievances.  That is exactly what we are doing and we are having an impact on the political debate.   We wanted to alert you to this because we will need support if the police come to remove us.  

We keep our needs list updated.  You can see it here.

Please join us Saturday at 12 noon for a visit by Jim Hightower and Sunday at 4 pm for a teach-in by members of the April 6 Revolutionary Movement of Egypt. The evening discussions on Saturday and Sunday are Education and the Environment. There will be a teach-in by Free My City, an educational group in DC, at 5 pm on Saturday. See the Current Schedule of Events.

On Monday, we have an action planned regarding Housing. Not only are there record foreclosures in the US, but now legislation has been introduced providing automatic visas to people from other countries who can buy at least $500,000 worth of real estate. We need you to make it a success. Please join us Monday at 9 am on Freedom Plaza for a march to the action.

Thanks for all your support.  We are working hard to turn this country around.  We all know how off track it is and that only the people united, in solidarity, can shift power to the people and end corporate rule.

In Peace and Solidarity
October2011.org Movement



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Cornel West
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David Swanson
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