Occupy Sebastopol Local Flavor, Global Vision

23May/12Off

Chase CVS Protest

Stop Chase Bank and CVS Pharmacy from Moving Downtown!!!

 

OccupySebastopoland community members will be protesting the CVS/Chase project proposed on the corner of Highway 12 and 116. The majority of the community has not supported this project. The Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council have all voted against this project. It is still an issue because of the persistence of CVS, Chase, and Armstrong Development. To be successful in stopping this project, we must also be persistent.

 

All are welcome and encouraged to join us at 3pm on Thursday the 24th to protest CVS and Chase moving downtown. After meeting in the plaza we will move to the corner of hwy 12/116 where we will peacefully demonstrate against this project.

 

Let the city council know how you feel on Tuesday the 29th. Let the DRB know how you feel on Wednesday the 30th(THIS IS POSSIBLY THE FINAL MEETING WHERE A DECISION WILL BE MADE; IMPORTANT TO ATTEND)

 

  • This project is bad for traffic, local business, andSebastopol’s character.
  • CVS has payed out almost half a billion dollars to settle various lawsuits and fines, ranging from illegal labor practices and deceptive business practices, to racketeering, corruption, and the mishandling of toxic waste.
  • JP Morgan Chase received $94.7 billion in bail-out funds, of which $64 billion is still on the backs of tax payers. Chase is among the leaders in home foreclosures and is under investigation by the New York State Attorney General over allegations of its fraudulent foreclosure practices. They are now under investigation by the FBI and SEC regarding their recent loss of 3 billion dollars.

 

Do these two corporations seem like the kind of businesses and neighbors we want in our community, at the heart of our town? If not, join us on Thursday.

17May/12Off

Shame on SSU protest of Sady Weill, CEO Citigroup, a Success

After four years of teaching various humanities courses at SSU, I’m sad to report that our school recently sank to a new low. It awarded the notorious banker Sandy Weill, retired CEO of Citigroup, and his wife Joan honorary doctorates. They purchased them for $12 million, which they gave to the Green Music Center, an essentially non-educational pet project of President Ruben Arminana that has dominated fund-raising at SSU.

“These awards by SSU are reprehensible in light of Sandy Weill's role in bringing about the economic crisis that has seized this nation,” said SSU sociology professor Noel Byrne. “The consequences have been dire for the SSU community of faculty, staff, students, graduates, alumni and their families, in the form of elevated tuition, reduced funding for education, auctioned homes, dashed dreams, burdensome debts, loss of employment opportunities, and resultant tragedies of an array of sorts.”

The May 12 graduation was a disgrace. When it was announced that the Weills would receive an honorary degree, students, faculty, and alumni began organizing a direct action against that dishonorable degree. Occupy activists and other community members joined, as did groups such as the Living Wage Coalition and the Peace and Justice Center.

With respect for the hard-working graduating students who earned their degrees, the peaceful action focused on educating the 10,000 students, faculty, family members, and friends who attended the two graduation ceremonies. Thousands of flyers documenting Weill’s substantial abuses as the architect of subprime mortgages and consequential foreclosures and evictions were passed out. Dozens of articles appeared in publications around the region, nationally, and even internationally. Radio stations and a television station reported the action on news and talk shows. A county-wide coalition came into being which has helped build community and solidarity.

Dressed in black, students, family members, faculty, alumni, and others turned their backs in a dignified shunning when the doctorates were bestowed.

California’s greatness is due partly to the extensive public higher education that used to be available here. That system is being privatized and corporatized by the 1% to further meet its elite needs, which this doctorate represents.

The last issue of the campus newspaper, the May 8 Star, ran the banner headline “Day of Shame at SSU” across the front-page, written by its news editor. The opinion page had two further articles, one entitled “Day of Shame: Wrong Place, Wrong Time” by the editor-in-chief. Those articles, as well as others, are at ShameOnSSU.org.

The newspaper appeared on stands Monday; it was soon taken away. A faculty member wrote the following on the faculty email listserve: “An SSU staff member observed SSU employees removing issues of the Star that had front page information on the controversy regarding the honorary degree process. This is truly disheartening.”

An SSU vice-president admitted, “Some newspapers were removed as part of efforts to clean the campus for graduation - something they do every year. I have directed the Facilities Team to return the papers.”

However, another faculty member reported the following: “I remember there being Star newspapers after nearly every Spring semester I’ve worked here. Some years I’ve been able to grab a copy well into July.” Though copies may have been temporarily returned, they soon were vanished again.

“The editor of the Star estimates that 95 percent of newspapers have been removed,” wrote the Star’s faculty advisor. “This is unacceptable and a shot across the bow of the First Amendment. These so-called cleaning efforts that included the Star removal are an affront to free speech on our campus. The Day of Shame is now. Is this some attempt to cover up our controversies? I join with those who believe in freedom of speech to ask that a full accounting of what happened to these papers be made.”

(Shepherd Bliss teaches college, runs a farm in Sebastopol, and can be reached at 3sb@comcast.net.)

10Apr/12Off

Apple Blossom Parade 4/21

Join Occupy Sebastopol to march in the Apple Blossom Parade. All are welcome. Meet between 8 and 10 am on Morris St. OS will be marching in section 3 (14). If you can't find us, people in red vests can direct you to us. The parade starts at ten and lasts till noon, the actual marching time is about 30 minutes. This should be a really good time and a great opportunity for community outreach!

5Apr/12Off

April 7th Occupy Santa Rosa Spring Awakening

(Don't miss this one!)
For six months, Sonoma County occupations have been standing up in solidarity with OWS as part of the Occupy Movement. In 2012 we will take back our wealth and our country from the 1%. Join us for this family freindly event in the Courthouse Square, in Santa Rosa to kick off the American Spring.

1:00 Pally and festival with music and speakers. Egg hunt and kids GA for children

2:30 Parade for the 99%

3:00 General Assembly- Get family with our consensus based decision making process. Bring ideas and be heard, come to listen and learn, or both.

4:00 Rockuppy- Live music to celebrate the 99%

15Mar/12Off

OWS – Report from New York

OWS – Report from New York
by Sonoma County’s own, Michael Levitin, 

an early participant at Occupy Wall Street who 
helped start the Occupied Wall Street Journal.

Michael will discuss the role of independent press in the Occupy Movement and how citizen/journalists can contribute. We will hear a first-hand account of what happened early on at OWS and what is currently going on there as he tells about trends, growth and conflicts within the movement ahead of big spring actions.

Michael graduated from Forestville’s El Molino High School in 1994 and went on to study journalism. He now lives in New York City and is deeply involved with Occupy, using his journalistic background to give voice to the movement at the Occupied Wall Street Journal.

This conversation is especially timely as a new bilingual publication is about to be launched, the Occupied Press–North Bay / Prensa Ocupada – Bahía Norte. There, citizen journalists will reflect the ideas and stories of the 99%. 


Friday, March 16, 6:30pm
Arlene Francis Center
99 6th Street, Old Railroad Square, Santa Rosa
all are welcome – donations accepted
 
Please support the newspaper online. 
Got to: indiegogo.com, type Occupied Press in the search.
3Feb/12Off

Sonoma County Daily Attacks Occupy Movement

Sonoma County Daily Attacks Occupy Movement

http://www.northbayvoice.org/20120203576/community-voices/sonoma-county-daily-attacks-occupy-movement.html

By Shepherd Bliss
February 3, 2012

The Press Democrat's Feb. 1 editorial “Occupy Movement in Ashes” is wishful thinking. Our phoenix will rise during this month. You wait. You watch. You see.

Occupy is still an infant, having been born in New York Sept. 17 with Occupy Wall Street. It is not even five months old and already the local daily tries to editorialize it into ashes. Rumors of our death are premature. We have made mistakes, including in Oakland. We’re learning and experiencing what one activist calls “growing pains.” Provoked by police violence in Oakland, a few cornered occupiers among the 2000 present reacted. That has not happened here. The Sonoma County Occupy Town Hall Affinity Group--of which I am a member--opposes violence, as do the overwhelming majority of Occupy groups and individuals.

I do, however, respect the right of self-defense by those cornered by the police. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Violence is the voice of the unheard."  And as President John F. Kennedy said at a 1962 speech at the White House, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

What would you do when surrounded by a large group of armed, masked, threatening, charging, and rioting armored men? I praise the brave souls willing to face such police violence. As one occupier wondered, “What’s next? Live ammunition?”

Punishing people in a democracy should be the job of the courts, not the police, which Oakland police are notorious for doing. They fan the flames.

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