Today at OWS

NYPD sure lived up to expectations today:

Occupy Wall Street executed a series of complex direct actions intended to disrupt vehicle and foot traffic in Lower Manhattan this morning, turning the Financial District into a churning mass of protesters, police, and people just trying to get to work amid the commotion. The largely peaceful protests were punctuated by periodic bursts of violent arrests, as the NYPD continued its tactic of targeting seemingly random protesters to detain in their attempts to maintain order. As of 11:30 this morning, the NLG reported 104 arrests, including at least one journalist.

A photographer who witnessed the arrest identified the journalist as Julia Reinhardt, and that’s since been corroborated. The photographer stated that Reinhardt was plucked from a crowd, seemingly at random, and arrested, apparently because she lacked NYPD press credentials. She was reportedly wearing her National Press Photographer Association [NPPA] identification at the time.

The first major action we witnessed occurred around 8 a.m. at Pine and Nassau Streets, within view of the New York Stock Exchange. As several hundred protesters clogged the intersection, the police became outnumbered, and the protest’s numbers swelled to nearly a thousand people before a contingent of police in riot gear began shoving protesters back onto the sidewalks, arresting several for obstructing traffic.

As soon as the police saturated the intersection, demonstrators dispersed to form other concentrations, which was part of the plan: to create roving clusters of protesters as opposed to a singular show of force. As protesters roamed the streets, so did massive contingents of NYPD officers, amplifying a bizarre feeling that the only people populating the Financial District were police and people with $2,000 camera lenses.

About an hour later at the intersection of Liberty & Louise Nevelson Plaza, a group of roughly 10 protesters linked arms and sat to form a “People’s Wall” to obstruct traffic. As NYPD officers approached them, they quickly dispersed.

Minutes later, a commotion arose from a group of about 40 people on the south eastern corner of Pine and William Streets, as NYPD officers dove into the crowd to pull out a protester who had be walking two small dogs. It was unclear why he was singled out for arrest. Moments later, a man was tackled to the ground by several police officers, as he continued to swear at them, call them “terrorists,” and kick his legs, before politely asking if he could pick up his glasses that he had dropped.


Everything I have is either trash-picked or bought used – even my TV. The only new things I have are a couple of IKEA shelves and my mattress.

I actually prefer buying used stuff. I like things to be broken in when I get them, and I can afford better quality things if I buy them used. I have some friends who think buying someone else’s stuff is quite disgusting. I tell them to me, paying full price for crappy plastic things is disgusting.

What’s your preference?

Rahm threatens CTU with injunction

Either way, this is a loss for Rahm. He’s painted the teachers as money-hungry slugs, and now he wants to file for an injunction on the basic that they ‘re not really fighting over money (which is the legal basis for the strike):

Chicago (CNN) — The week-old teachers strike in Chicago’s public schools will continue into the new week, after a special committee of the Chicago Teachers Union decided not to suspend the strike days even though union leaders and school officials reached a tentative contract deal.

The move left Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowing to go to court to force teachers back to work, calling Sunday’s actions by the union “a delay of choice that is wrong for our children.”

The mayor announced in a statement that he’s asked city lawyers “to file an injunction in circuit court to immediately end this strike.” He contended the strike is illegal because “it is over issues that are deemed by state law to be non-strikable, and it endangers the health and safety of our children.”

“I will not stand by while the children of Chicago are played as pawns in an internal dispute within a union,” Emanuel said.

Representatives from the teachers’ bargaining team detailed the proposed contract to the committee, called the House of Delegates, in a meeting Sunday afternoon. But Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said that, after extensive debate, the delegates said they wanted more time to discuss the contract with union members.

The special committee will reconvene Tuesday, at which point delegates could decide to end the strike — or not. If they do, classes could resume at earliest on Wednesday. And even if the strike is ended, the 29,000-member union’s rank-and-file would still have the opportunity at some point to accept, or reject, the proposed contract.

As of Sunday, though, Lewis said a “clear majority” of union delegates did not want to suspend the strike given the proposed contract.

“They are not happy with the agreement,” Lewis said.

The proposed settlement includes the following:

  • 600 additional art, music, physical education and world language teachers.
  • Prep time for paraprofessionals and clinicians.
  • Teacher evaluations limited to 30% of the student test scores.
  • Up to $250 reimbursement for school supplies, which are often out of pocket for teachers.
  • Additional wrap-around services, including hiring of nurses, social workers and counselors.
  • Books on day one for teachers and students. Teachers had to wait for up to six weeks for materials to arrive
  • Defeating merit-pay for teachers. (Note – studies show merit pay does not work).

Warren ahead by 6 points

This is good. Even if it’s a post-convention bump for the most part, it shows she has momentum, and that’s what you need at this stage of the game. I’d certainly look forward to having Elizabethe Warren in the Senate:

SPRINGFIELD — With 50 days left until Massachusetts voters decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate for the next six years, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren has pulled ahead of Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, according to a new poll.

The survey of Bay State voters conducted Sept. 6-13 by the Western New England University Polling Institute through a partnership with The Republican and, shows Warren leading over Brown, 50 to 44 percent, among likely voters.

The gap among registered voters is even larger, according to the survey, which concluded Warren leads 53 to 41 percent. The poll of 545 registered voters has a 4.2 percent margin of error, while the sample of 444 likely voters has a 4.6 percent margin of error.

Tim Vercellotti, professor of political science and director of the Polling Institute at Western New England University, said Warren’s lead comes in part from the fact that she’s shored up support among Democrats to 89 percent, while losing only six percent of her party’s support to Brown.

Part of that bump, he said, may be attributable to the fact that polling started at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., and just two days after Warren delivered a prime-time speech ahead of former President Bill Clinton at the event.

“This may be not just due to her speech, but the overall enthusiasm Democrats have had coming out of their convention,” Vercellotti said. “The data shows that Democrats are more fired up right now than independents or Republicans.”

If Warren’s lead is indeed a post-convention bump, Vercellotti said only time will tell if it lasts.

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