Wall Street

With Tents Gone, Lexington Still Occupied

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January 25, 2012
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The nation’s longest continuous occupation continued last night after police removed all the tents. Despite earlier reports that the corner of Main and Esplanade had been raided and the Occupation was over, the Occupiers met last night to chart a course for the future.

In fact, this sounded less like a raid and more like a misunderstanding leading to a cleansing. At the time, the camp was not unoccupied but the person on watch had crossed the street to get a coffee from Natasha’s. The police saw it empty and decided it was time to break it down, seeing it as abandoned (H-L).

But that’s all neither here nor there, really, since that part is done. The question quickly became “What Next?”

During a two-hour general assembly meeting last night, that question was discussed at length. The Occupiers were of different mindsets but as always, worked toward consensus. Their quick report:

- We will continue to occupy our location at Main and Esplanade. People have committed to be there for the next 24 hours, so feel free to come by and join them, or bring by some hot drinks!

- There was a great conversation tonight about the nature of our occupation and what our next steps should be. Energy is high and there were a lot of great ideas. If you haven’t been by in some time, please come out tomorrow at 6:30 for our General Assembly!

- Stay tuned to this page for more information as we have it. Again, tomorrow’s GA will be very important, so be sure to show up!

You can join them tonight at 6:30PM. Even if you’ve never been down before — there was one gentleman last night who was attending his first meeting.

What will happen next?

Occupy Lexington is celebrating 100 Days and you’re invited…

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January 6, 2012
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Third in the nation and the longest continuous, uninterrupted Wall Street occupation in the country, Occupy Lexington is celebrating 100 Days and you’re invited:

North America’s longest running occupation is holding an open house this Saturday to celebrate its 100th day at the corner of Main and Esplanade in beautiful and historic downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Our camp has prospered at the foot of JP Morgan Chase because of good fortune: we have a mayor who thus far has allowed our presence, a professional police force that recognizes we pose no threat to the public (and that often waves to us when driving by camp on Tuesday mornings near 4:00 AM), and ordinary citizen activists like yourselves who have contributed various types of support.

On our centennial day at JP Morgan Plaza, we invite all you elected officials, neighbors, police, teachers, builders, writers, poets, children and the rest to drop on by our encampment to celebrate this noteworthy community landmark, and to offer ideas on how we can become better area residents. The winter is starting, and we would like our community’s input—political, police, educational, homeless, immigrant, artsy-fartsy, suburban, or any other community—for how our winter camp can more productively run.

 

Here’s the schedule of events:

  • 12:00: The Speaker’s Corner will begin with a teach-in and continue throughout the day.
  • 12:30: Teach-in on the consensus process with Kate Folsom.
  • 1:00: Teach-in on political theory with Steven Burt.
  • 2:00: Household working group meeting.
  • 3:00: Libertarian Municipalism: Get an update and contribute your thoughts on the community markets that are being developed for Spring/Summer 2012.
  • 4:00: Guerilla Bocce League: Two balls, one game to eleven.
  • 4:30: Pot luck. If you plan to bring food, post on the event’s wall!
  • 5:30: People’s Budget meeting.
  • 6:30: General Assembly.
  • 7:30: March.
  • 8:30: Occu-Party!

Lexington: #1 Best Cities to Hold a Prolonged Wall Street Occupation

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January 5, 2012
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A petition from North of Center:

I support Creatives for Common Sense in their quest to get Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to print and hang a banner advertising Lexington’s position as the longest running Wall Street occupation in North America. The banner should be placed alongside the other Lexington accomplishments enshrined in banners on the Commerce Lexington building, which faces the all-important Main Street corridor. Banner should read: #1: Best Cities to hold a prolonged Wall Street Occupation.

Click on over to sign.

Occupy Lexington Occupies Wall Mart for 10 minutes (Video)

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December 19, 2011
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The Occupy Lexington facebook page had a bit of a debate about the usefulness of this, with some questioning its utility (my only real complaint is the volume, you’ll probably want to turn that down). April Browning explained:

We made it a point to let the Wal-Mart employees know that we were there on their behalf. If you naysayers have any advise on how to bring about public awareness and make a statement, then please, list your ideas here or do your own action.

FYI, we got a really positive response from many of the shoppers and most of the employees…. what say you to that???…. our script was pro worker and informative.

My advise to you is less criticism and talking and more action.

Lexington, KY Occupies Salon.com

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November 29, 2011
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From Salon:

Unlike Austin’s entertainment economy, Lexington’s horse industry is staggering from the economic crisis. Racing purses are shrinking, sales are dropping and the number of horse farms for sale is rising. All of this ripples outward with the usual decline in jobs, wages and state tax revenues.

Occupy Lexington is trying to address these economic concerns through the “Invest in Kentucky” campaign, which is the brainchild of Ian Epperson, founder and director of the Lexington Sustainability Fund, which helps low-income families cut down on home energy bills. Standing in front of Lexington’s sliver of an occupation on a downtown sidewalk adjacent to a Chase bank branch, Epperson says he initiated the campaign to push government officials to “move Kentucky’s [public funds] of $12- to $15 billion into a financial institution that’s headquartered in Kentucky.”

A few months ago Kentucky transferred its general funds to JPMorgan Chase. Invest in Kentucky blasts Chase for a “disgraceful record” that includes wrongly foreclosing on active service members’ homes; issuing $33 billion in deceptively marketed mortgage-backed securities; “paying extravagant bonuses to top executives” after the bank was bailed out; and originating $30 billion “in subprime loans in the lead-up to the financial collapse.”

Epperson argues that transferring the money to a bank headquartered in Kentucky will create well-paying jobs in the financial sector and stimulate economic activity by making loans available to “entrepreneurs and small businesses, allowing people to build homes, creating demand in the construction industry, which has been hit hard in the recession.”

The whole article looks at localized Occupy Movements around the country, complete with a video introducing you to Detroit, Nashville and… around the 3:00 mark… Lexington. So go on over and occupy Salon.

VIDEO: Occupy Lexington mini-doc

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November 23, 2011
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Here’s a 20-min look at Occupy Lexington from Occupy Lexington:

#N17 — Occupation Nation; Join Occupy Lexington @ 5:30PM

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November 17, 2011
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If you’ve seen the CNN, the socialist networks or the internet headlines, you may well already know that today, November 17th, is a national day of action for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Coming on the two-month anniversary of the taking of Liberty Square in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, this day — #N17, as the kids say — will see events across the country. Already, NYC’s Occupation has tried to take Wall Street and are currently penned up tossing inflatable beach balls around and waving American flags, ahead of a march to the Brooklyn Bridge at 5:30. In LA, folks are marching through the streets.

Here in Lexington, the fun starts at 5:30PM — click on through to the other side:

Until then, here’s the best live coverage you’ll find of NYC (and LA, and Portland, and…), try as CNN might:

globalrevolution on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

And… if you’re one of those terrible people or conservatives who likes to watch these overprivileged, snotty kids who hate capitalism yet use iphones and don’t do anything with their lives but try to take take take, then you’ll enjoy this video of a retired Philadelphia Police Officer being arrested this morning in Manhattan after joining the Occupation:

And here’s a chat with him, you know, before he was arrested for being so craaaaazy and out of control:

Mayors coordinate attack on Occupiers? Not in Lexington, KY

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November 15, 2011
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As noted earlier by the Washington Post and various other outlets, there have been a series of crackdowns on local occupations around the country, including the big (and seemingly failed) one in NYC, and these apparently followed a conference call between 18 mayors from across the country:

11:18 a.m. Coordinated country-wide crackdown?

The Zuccotti Park closure is only the latest in a series of crackdowns around the country of Occupy encampments. Occupy Chapel Hill, Occupy Burlington, Occupy Denver, Occupy Oakland and Occupy Berekly have all struggled

On the BBC’s Take Away show, [New Orleans] Mayor Jean Quan says she was on a conference call shortly before the actions began with “18 cities across the country who had the same situation.”

It’s not surprising that city officials would reach out to one another to brainstorm on ideas about city management, but it’s interesting to think just how that 18-city call went.

We asked the Gray Administration for a comment on the local occupiers and if there was any mounting pressure to forcefully remove them:

“The demonstration has been peaceful here,” Susan Straub, the administration’s spokeswoman told us. “We’ve asked the participants not to sleep on the sidewalk or block the sidewalk or entrances to businesses. We’ve asked them to keep the area clean. They have generally complied.”

This coupled with all accounts I have heard that the local police have been nothing but fantastic suggests that no similar crackdown is coming to Lexington.

Assuming that is true, the way the city and police have handled this movement could be a model for the nation (like, oh, Chapel Hill, where they went in with assault rifles). The forcible removing of peaceful protestors obviously accomplishing nothing except to galvanize the very forces these authorities are trying to silence. It’s not just silly and misguided, it’s dangerous (as Oakland made obvious, where Mayor Quan’s staff is now openly siding with the protestors).

Furthermore, arresting journalists is a surefire way to piss off news agencies at large and gaurantee yourself some seriously negative press, as Mayor Bloomberg will surely discover after having at least four journalists detained, and after forcing media away from Liberty Square to keep them from filming and photographing the immediate aftermath of the 1AM raid.

So kudos to Lexington’s leaders, our police, and our protestors for all getting along well and showing the rest of the country how civilized people behave.

UPDATE:
Original version of this posted at time when ruling was being reported as a rejection of Bloomberg. Current reports suggesting that Judge’s ruling will not allow protestors back into park. Which means this situation is in flux and if they truly aren’t allowed back, that’s an even bigger mistake than raiding them in the first place. So… watch live here through the evening.

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Kentucky Occupies the Associated Press

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November 14, 2011
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From the AP Wire:

Kentuckians bring Occupy message to commonwealth

Small but dedicated bands of protestors have set up in cities around Kentucky to bring the Occupy Wall Street message to the Bluegrass state.

Many of the demonstrators have put up camps and are staying overnight like the activists who descended on Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan to call attention to income inequality and policies they say favor the wealthy over the poor.

Protestors have staked out spots in Louisville and Lexington as well as smaller cities like Ashland, Paducah, Owensboro and Bowling Green in recent weeks.

“I heard about New York and really wanted to be there, but there was no way I could put everything down and go,” said 27-year-old Jennifer Potter, who organized Occupy Ashland along with a friend.

There’s much more in the article, including a shout-out to Occupy Lexington’s Invest in Kentucky — which is closing in on 300 Names on their petition… so help them get there!

Occupy Lexington hits Herald Leader Page One

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November 14, 2011
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OCCUPING THE FRONT PAGE:

At dusk on Main Street on Friday night, 11 participants in the protests called Occupy Lexington gathered beside a tent outside Lexington’s Chase Bank to discuss strategy for their 24-hours-a-day demonstration against major banks and corporations.

At least six in the group had to consider class schedules before they could commit to taking a shift at the protest site.

College students from the University of Kentucky and Bluegrass Community and Technical College are taking a large role in the demonstrations in Lexington, which is among at least 100 U.S. cities where demonstrations have sprung up in the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in September in New York City’s Financial District.

Read more and head down…

Or… you could go all Sue Wylie on them and pretend not to comprehend it all.

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