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Archive for Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UPDATE: City tells Occupy Lawrence campers they must leave South Park by Thursday night; campers consider defying order

October 19, 2011

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8:20 P.M. UPDATE: About 20 members of the Occupy Lawrence group on Wednesday night indicated that they plan to begin a campaign of civil disobedience by defying a city order to stop camping in South Park.

A group of about 50 people have been meeting for more than two hours at the park to discuss a response to the city’s order that was handed down today. At about 8 p.m., the group took a break to warm up around propane space heaters and to have individual discussions. The group plans to reconvene by about 8:30 p.m. to formulate a formal response plan.

Several members, though, said the movement needs to move into a new phase that includes civil disobedience.

“Lawrence residents shouldn’t only expect civil disobedience but they should participate in it,” said camper David Hughes-Pfeifer.

There were several suggestions of moving their “occupation” to near the intersection of Ninth and Massachusetts streets or to the front lawn of City Hall at Sixth and Massachusetts streets, but the group has not yet taken any votes to gauge support for those ideas.

Check back on LJWorld.com for more updates.

•••

The Occupy Lawrence campers in South Park were told Wednesday afternoon by a city delegation led by the chief of police that their camping activities in the park need to end by Thursday night.

But campers were gearing up for a 6 p.m. assembly to decide whether to defy the city’s orders.

Police Chief Tarik Khatib, along with the city’s director of the Legal Department and Parks and Recreation officials, told the group of about 30 campers that their permit to stay in the park overnight has expired. Toni Wheeler, director of the Legal Department, said she told the group that the city expected the campers to remove their tents and no longer use the park between the hours of 11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. — which is the time that the park is considered officially closed.

But Wheeler said the city did give the campers assurance that police would take no action Wednesday evening to enforce the no-camping provision. Instead, she expects the group to call her office by 8:30 a.m. Thursday to notify her they intend to comply with the city’s laws regarding the park.

Group members weren’t so sure that would be the course they would take. Jason Phoenix, a spokesman for the group, said the campers would hold a “public assembly” at 6 p.m. at the park where group members would reach consensus on whether they would end their occupation of the park.

Phoenix said he was uncertain how group members would decide, but he said many campers feel strongly that they have a right to occupy the park at any time.

“I believe the First Amendment supersedes all other laws,” Phoenix said. “Our freedom to peaceful assembly is more important than whether the park remains on schedule.”

But Wheeler said there were important public safety reasons to have the park closed overnight. She said the lighting in the park is poor, which creates safety concerns. She also said the city earlier in the day notified the campers that they cannot use a fire pit to have an open flame in the park, particularly because of high winds and dry conditions. She said the city had concerns about the campers’ ability to remain warm during the night.

Wheeler stopped short of saying that the city would physically remove the campers if they fail to comply, but she said the city would have the right to do so.

“If they do not leave, they could be cited for a violation of the city code and they would be in the park without the legal authority to be there and they could be removed,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler, though, said she told campers that the city does not object to the campers using the park during the normal operating hours of the park — from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

“We did stress to them that we are fully supportive of them using the park in the daytime hours, even if it is day after day after day, as long as they remove their belonging and leave the park when it closes,” Wheeler said.

Comments

fundamental 3 years, 2 months ago

“I believe the First Amendment supersedes all other laws,” Phoenix said. “Our freedom to peaceful assembly is more important than whether the park remains on schedule.”

Um, not so much. The First Amendment is, of course, generally sacrosanct, but it does NOT "supersed[e] all other laws." I suspect, for instance, that Mr. Phoenix would fall into the camp that thinks that Citizens United v. F.E.C. was wrongly decided. If that is so, then I'm not sure he would be able to defend his statement regarding the First Amendment.

parrothead8 3 years, 2 months ago

Judging an entire group based on statements made by one individual is always a wise way to make an evaluation. And making a blanket statement about someone's knowledge of an entire document based on his inaccurate understanding of one passage in that document is brilliant. By your definition, I could say you have no knowledge whatsoever of logic.

Jonathan Fox 3 years, 2 months ago

"Phoenix said he was uncertain how group members would decide, but he said many campers feel strongly that they have a right to occupy the park at any time."

Not exactly just one individuals knowledge.

pace 3 years, 2 months ago

You seem a bit weird. The protesters might have a weird guy or gal among them. I like the protestors. I find your speech boring , unoriginal and snide. You have a right to your opinion. Even if you are wrong. They are right. There is financial misjustice. We need to stand up.

fancy80 3 years, 2 months ago

There is misjustice in everything. it's called Life. Everything isn't always going to be fair. Go ahead and "stand up", but don't expect us all to applaud. This is as stupid as the "honk for hemp" guy on mass st. Really changing the world...(rolling eyes)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

"Everything isn't always going to be fair."

So that means it's perfectly acceptable if they stay in the park as long as they like, right?

David Reynolds 3 years, 2 months ago

Since when does peaceful assembly & breaking the law go together? If they break the law then they should be treated as law breakers.

We see the true colors of the occupiers when they even consider breaking the law.

Do they honestly believe anyone is even considering their point of view with their current & considered behavior?

There is no thought process with their actions. They do not even have a cohesive agenda.

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

It is also illegal to pick flowers, or throw a snowball at someone in Lawrence. http://www.lawrenceks.org/city_code/system/files/chapter14.pdf

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes on the snowballs, no on the flowers. The only ordinance I find concerning plants doesn't apply persons on their own property. I wonder though, what makes you think it is OK to remove taxpayer-funded flowers from any part of the city? Would you steal from your neighbor's flower bed too?

It is interesting that the ordinance does specifically allow picking fruit from any tree on the property of Lawrence outside of right-of-ways.

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

I never indicated I was in favor of or opposed to picking flowers.Why would you assume I "think it is OK to remove taxpayer-funded flowers from any part of the city?" I was just pointing out to the "it's illegal, so let's enforce all the laws" folks that sometimes laws are absurd. It's like the video I think you posted a while back about the basketball goals that the city removed. That is absurd.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

You were pointing the law out (in a false way) as an absurd. I merely pointed out reasons it might not be so absurd. Don't take it personally, I don't think you steal flowers; you were used as a mere example.

Also, I don't recall posting the video you note. I don't follow sports, so I would have little interest in the story.

rcr 3 years, 2 months ago

"If they break the law then they should be treated as law breakers."

That sounds reasonable, but as shown by the way we treat illegal aliens, not always the case. Instead of treating them as law breakers, which they are, we give them welfare, food stamps, pay for their education, medical expenses, etc.,etc.

Come to think of it, these protester may have a lot in common with the illegal aliens. We probably give a lot of them welfare and food stamps while they are camping in the park instead of going out and trying to actually make a living.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 2 months ago

Well I think they are camping there for a point and then going to work. Who knows and why judge them? If they are unemployed they may have been laid off or have lost their job in a different way. We cannot say they are freeloaders at all.

I think their point is important: We gave certain banks $700 billion and they spent it on bonuses for the top executives. That is outrageous!!! We saved their company from extinction and they spend it on parties and bonuses. What CEO deserves a bonus when they almost bankrupted the business?

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

Let's see if anybody goes "ouch" when their dogma turns around and bites them on their assorted places.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

" I suspect, for instance, that Mr. Phoenix would fall into the camp that thinks that Citizens United v. F.E.C. was wrongly decided."

I can't speak for Mr. Phoenix, but the ruling in Citizens United, which basically said that "free speech" primarily belongs to the highest bidder, is clearly a major reason that the great silenced majority has chosen to take their message to the streets, where speech can still be free.

fundamental 3 years, 2 months ago

Where in Citizens United does it say anything about the highest bidder? Forgive my rhetorical question, but the point of my comment is that Citizens United held that political speech could not be suppressed just because the speaker happens to be a corporate entity. My guess is the Occupy Lawrence folk think that's a misinterpretation of the constitution. If that guess is true, then Mr. Phoenix's statement that the First Amendment supersedes all other laws is directly contradictory to his opinion about the regulation of speech.

That's what I'm saying, and I'm not sure how that's really disputable. Citizens United struck down a restriction on free speech. Most OWS folks probably think that was wrongly decided. Ergo, they cannot possibly believe that the First Amendment supersedes all laws. That is all.

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

I think the difference is that the Citizen's United ruling is based on the legal fiction, sadly reinforced by the Court, that corporations are people, and therefore entitled to the same rights as people. It also equated money with speech. If one does not hold to the theory that corporations are entitled to the same rights that humans or citizens have, then one would oppose corporations being sanctioned by the court to use their money to influence government. One could believe that First Amendment rights supersede all other laws for actual human people and not for corporations.

fundamental 3 years, 2 months ago

Do you actually know the text of the first amendment? It says "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech. It makes no distinction regarding who the speaker is; it is speech that is protected. This so-called legal fiction you describe turns out to actually be, how-to-say-it, the law of the land.

Of course, this is all off the topic. My point, again, is that first amendment rights are not absolute. They may be abridged, under Supreme Court precedent, when the government can show a compelling interest and minimally restrictive means to accomplish that interest.

I think it's incongruous to think that the first amendment "supersedes all other laws" and criticize the Supreme Court for its decision in Citizens United. That's all.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes.

And, it's worth noting that 4 SC Justices disagreed with the decision as well - that's not a bad group of folks to be associated with, I'd say.

supercowbellninja 3 years, 2 months ago

I walked past that "group" this morning on the way to work and if they're doing/accomplishing anything more than camping out, I'll eat my shoes. Not even sure what the point of this group is. Why occupy Lawrence? And why fight the city on this? You can't camp in city parks. Take a 10 minute drive out to Clinton Lake and go nuts.

Hudson Luce 3 years, 2 months ago

I've got a bottle of A-1 sauce waiting for you. You need to boil them for a long time, though, and change the water a couple of times, at least that's what they did in the Civil War.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

Very interesting....

It is my best guess that these campers know how to keep warm during the night and day.

Frankly it is my opinion they consider doing 9th and Mass frequently while at the same time encourage passers by to move their money to credit unions and local banks. I think there is only one local bank. Hit Bank of America as well..... one of the original frauds.

Keep a contingency at ninth and Mass, in the park and Bank of America

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

What about your place to protest your environmental abuses?

progressive_thinker 3 years, 2 months ago

Merrill: You provide a good analysis of the situation. From my view, the big problem that this group will have will be getting organized enough to take their protest to the next level and take positive action to address their concerns. Rather than camping out in the park for a protracted period of time, it would seem that their time would be well spent starting to plan and recruit volunteers for a voter drive in 2012, or to engage in some other activist roles that can have some more immediate impact, such as you have suggested.

pace 3 years, 2 months ago

I kind of liked the idea of their camping in front of city hall. But standing at 9th and Mass has history and impact. I also find south park a good place. I do not worry they will not survive a mild frost. That worry seems a bit precious. I hope they can continue, we need to change this country and $ongress.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

"It is my best guess that these campers know how to keep warm during the night and day."

Are you willing to pay the hospital bill of any protestor that is harmed in any way by the weather? Is your guess that good?

Stop guessing. The law is on the books. The Commission/Mayor whatever can kick them out.

Personally, I think the city should ignore them for as long as possible and not do anything until other citizens sue the city to force their hand. Its a shame we have such a law on the books. Maybe you people will think about this the next time you scream for a law forbidding this or that. Less law is better. More law is oppression.

Tandava 3 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence is already occupied. Don't those protesters know that? They should pack up and go home -- if they have one.

itwasthedukes 3 years, 2 months ago

I think they should find a job to occupy.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 2 months ago

Either enforce the ordinance or get rid of it. If they are in violation of the ordinance now then take action.

Food_for_Thought 3 years, 2 months ago

They aren't in violation of that ordinance until Thursday night. They currently have a temporary permit to camp there.

troll 3 years, 2 months ago

It would be interesting to find out if any of these activists are planning on taking part in the non-partisan national general assembly as mentioned in the 99% declaration https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

Hudson Luce 3 years, 2 months ago

"As mentioned above, the working group's suggestions and website have not been adopted by the movement as a whole, or approved by the NYC General Assembly as a whole. The debate over whether or not to even have "demands" within the Occupy Wall Street movement has continued.

One person involved, Andy Stepanian, told HuffPost that this particular declaration has not been approved by the General Assembly in New York and so it can't be said this reflects the movement's feelings as a whole.

"Everyone is entitled to make their own blog or website to post their opinions about how OWS should operate or what they think the OWS demands should be, this 99% group is no different," Stepanian said in an email. "However, all of OWS's official statements are agreed upon by way of consensus-based general assemblies. This matter was not submitted or agreed upon by the NYC general assembly, and therefore by-passed the process all OWS plans have been made through."

repete66211 3 years, 2 months ago

I can't help but take a cynical tone with this Occupy thing when it's on the small scale. New York yes, but in one of the most liberal towns outside Portland, Oregon? It seems like an just an excuse for a hackey sack tourney.

Hudson Luce 3 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence - "one of the most liberal towns outside of Portland, Oregon" ?!? Surely you must be joking. Lawrence is liberal for Kansas, but that ain't saying much.

CreatureComforts 3 years, 2 months ago

Agreed. There are many big cities that I would argue are more liberal, overall, than puny little Lawrence. San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and Denver come to mind.

George_Braziller 3 years, 2 months ago

I've lived in Lawrence for 30 years. It's not as liberal as a lot of people assume it is.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree George. As people age views on liberalism change.

They mature so to speak.

adavid 3 years, 2 months ago

it seems the Occupy movement isn't taking a stance so much on the liberal-conservative slider so much as on the "who bought out politicians?" topic. when only 30 liberals (i'm assuming all the occupants are liberals) show up to stand in solidarity with the global Occupy movement, i'd say it's fair to say lawrence is no longer liberal. welcome to the latest suburb of KC, folks.

irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

i wonder why the mayor wasn't there to explain

kansasredlegs 3 years, 2 months ago

Mayor Cromwell would open that hole in his face, say something stupid and contrary to law, but wait, he already did that, so very good question -- why wasn't he "allowed" to go?

Bouncer 3 years, 2 months ago

Do any of you know why the U.S. Congress and our President did the bailouts and the stimulus? It's because congress passed a law exempting themselves from insider trading statutes, allowing them to use their committees to profit on insider trading. Including passing trade agreements and pushing policies that they use to enrich themselves. All to the detriment of the US, our dollar and our sovereignty. They had to do the bailout to save their millions of dollars, because the market crashed before they knew what happened. Both parties are the same. I've believed that since my junior year of HS(1978). You can't trust any of them. Most of you people have it backwards though. The banks aren't using our elected officials. Our elected officials are using the banks to commit this massive fraud and to confuse the electorate. The bankers are our Senators cronies. It's a partnership. Look no farther than Barney Frank. Him and domestic partner have trashed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, looting millions for themselves. This is one of many reasons that big government can't work. The Fed's are supposed to police the states, not dictate to them. If we can return control of most issues to the states we will be better able to govern ourselves. Then the Fed can do what they are supposed to do. Keep a watchful eye on the states, instead of being the corrupt ones. Think about it. The DOJ
is keeping an eye on itself. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

"Both parties are the same. I've believed that since my junior year of HS(1978). You can't trust any of them. "

Time for a new lesson: Don't trust anyone.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

One more: Never ever trust anyone smarter than you. Always assume they are lying.

jimmyjms 3 years, 2 months ago

Firstly, why capitalize "godless?" Makes no sense.

Secondly, the ACLU represents Christians and churches on the regular...you really don't know what "ACLU" stands for, do you?

bevy 3 years, 2 months ago

This comment shows both ignorance and the inability to use a search engine:

"However, the American Civil Liberties Union is lobbying on behalf of First Baptist Church, which was slated to house the shelter. ACLU representatives say blocking the homeless shelter's move violates the Religious Land Act of 2000. Under the act, churches can use their property to extend their religious beliefs -- which include charitable acts toward the poor."

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/09/ferndale_residents_still_at_od.html

If you listen to Jay Seculo, who runs the American Center for Law & Justice, you will hear him say that they partner with the ACLU to defend churches. Of course they also fight against the ACLU on other matters. I don't agree with all that the ACLU does, but painting them as an organization solely dedicated to protecting pedophiles is ludicrous.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

Why Occupy?

To show solidarity and educate anyone wanting to know.

Think Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs Jobs

Think Fraud: And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities( Bush admin) ignoring their regulatory responsibilities. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

More fraud: The problem is "once the money left the building, the government(Bush Admin) lost all track of it.

There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America, Citigroup, those three were clearly in very weakened form. So, many of the other big banks were not." http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Think about the working people with many years on the job who lost their assets due to lost jobs. These people had been owning homes, able to pay for them yet became victims of the fraudulent home loan scams that sent the economy down the tubes.

Lawrence,Kansas has a new scattered about neighborhood that is home to glass houses.

Bouncer 3 years, 2 months ago

The Fed's forced the banks to lend money to people that couldn't afford it and didn't have stable employment.(Frank-Dodd ring a bell?)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Not true. No bank was forced to loan money to an unqualified buyer. And nearly every qualified buyer was also eligible for an FHA-backed loan, which had stricter requirements, but better terms that almost certainly would have helped these borrowers avoid foreclosure. Instead they got really the horrible terms that went along with most sub-prime loans. And why did lenders push these really bad loans? Because the profits were better for them, especially after they packaged them up and sold them off.

Dodd-Frank might have opened up some loopholes for these crooks, but the crimes were committed by the lenders.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Absolute BS. The liar-loan scam and the choice to steer qualified borrowers to sub-prime loans rather than FHA-backed loans was a decision made solely by the lenders involved. Packaging up these frauds into even bigger frauds to be sold off on the derivatives market was a conscious campaign of racketeering by Wall Street. Dodd-Frank should certainly have been crafted more carefully so as not to create the loopholes big enough for the crooks to drive through, but they knew they were running a scam the whole time they were doing it.

Why are you so ideologically predisposed to deny those facts?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

"Bozo, Calm down - I don't deny what you are saying."

That's exactly what you're doing. There was nothing in Dodd-Frank that required or even encouraged banksters to commit fraud.

You can rightly blame Dodd-Frank for being sloppily written, but why are you so reluctant to admit that the real criminals were in the private sector?

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Not only that, but it was passed in 2010, well after the whole mess melted down.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the clarification, jafs. The Dodd-Frank mantra of the rightwing has become a conflation of lots of things, most of them unrelated. I let myself get caught up in their sloppy remembrance/misinterpretation of history.

Mistrun is conflating Dodd-Frank with the Community Reinvestment Act, and many subsequent additions/revisions throughout the 80's and 90's.

But with the exception of the effective repeal of Glass-Stegall in the late 90's, none of them really had anything to do with the enabling of the sub-prime racketeering that blew up the world economy in 2007/2008.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

The Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010, well after the subprime mortgage mess and meltdown occurred.

Bouncer 3 years, 2 months ago

The Fed's forced the banks to lend money to people that couldn't afford it and didn't have stable employment.(Frank-Dodd ring a bell?)

David Reynolds 3 years, 2 months ago

Hey Merrill did you hear good old Harry Reid today? He said public sector jobs are more important than private sector jobs. Hmmm, I guess if we all work for the government than we can rid ourselves of all this corporate greed.

Hmmm, wonder where the money will come from to pay for the public jobs.

Those darn corporations.

SpicePirate 3 years, 2 months ago

“I believe the First Amendment supersedes all other laws,” Phoenix said. “Our freedom to peaceful assembly is more important than whether the park remains on schedule.”

This is not only malarkey, regarding the 1st superseding all other laws, it's a thinly veiled excuse for squatting. Plain and simple.

Excuse me for being callous, but if the City would enforce fines on residents (without delay) for something as simple as not cutting their grass to the right height , this should be handled in the same fashion. Without exception. Otherwise, they set a potentially dangerous precedent.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

I always wondered why it was the first amendment. Do you think it was just a fluke?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Actually, every provision of the constitution, including the first amendment, unless changed by a subsequent amendment, supersedes each and every law. That's just how it works.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

Shall we start a betting pool on how many "protestors" have the courage to allow themselves to be arrested for the cause? I am calling zero. Price is Right rules are in effect.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

I'll bet you a thousand dollars at least one will be if I can get there in time to get cuffed. I expect you to bail me out (sooner is better than later) and have my money in hand when I walk out of whatever stripey hole they put me in. I prefer hundreds and a few twenties.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

Good luck with that. You won't get bail money from me. Perhaps Merrill will help you out?

Hudson Luce 3 years, 2 months ago

Liberty275 just bet you at least one would, himself, and named a dollar amount, although I'm surprised he didn't say five ounces of .999 fine gold bullion... Either put up or slink away. It's like the lady who bet President Coolidge $100 that he wouldn't answer her question with more than one word - and he replied "You lose."

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

I said a betting pool. I didn't suggest money. This is an exhibition and not a wagering event.

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

Mr Lawhorn: did they specify which code would be broken or what the penalty for violation is? Thank you.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

14-417 ILLEGAL CAMPING (Ord. 7893, Ord. 7960) ... It shall be illegal to engage in camping on any public right of way or public property located within the area of the city zoned CD as defined by Chapter 20 of this code. ... Penalty Upon conviction for a violation of this section, the violator shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $1000 dollars, or sentenced to a jail term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

http://www.lawrenceks.org/city_code/system/files/chapter14.pdf

ljwhirled 3 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, but the city has allowed camping by the homeless in the past.

This is a form of protest by occupation. It could be considered free speech.

Anyway, do we really care? Unless they get a coherent message, this movement will dry up and blow away.

-Hey, hey. LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?

-Hey, Hey. Wall Street Tycoons. We are mad, but don't know what to do, so we are going camping in the hopes that just being angry will get something done.

Doesn't have the same ring to it.

Hudson Luce 3 years, 2 months ago

Here's a suggestion:

"The Occupiers stand for the proposition that the United States Government has been turned into a Corporatocracy - that the only entities which have a real voice in governance at least at the Federal level, and in many cases at the State level, are corporations and individuals with very high net worth (also known as the One Percent.) This Corporatocracy has subverted and corrupted the Government in many ways: 1. Legislation is written by corporate lobbyists and is introduced, carried, and advocated for by members of Congressmen who are financially tied to those corporations, where the legislation and regulations arising therefrom advance the corporations' interests over those of the people; 2. Legislators accept large campaign contributions in many ways from corporations and high net worth individuals, and tend to grant direct access and be influenced by them, and give others only indirect access and very little influence; 3. Legislators accept high-paying jobs with the corporations which they support and work for during their terms in office, or go to work as lobbyists for them after their term in office is over; 4. Judges make decisions in favor of corporations and high net worth individuals which benefit those entities at the expense of the taxpayer - and then resign and go to work for those same corporations: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27059 5. Student loans have been made non-dischargeable in bankruptcy - a law written by the lenders who stood to benefit hugely by it, and introduced and carried by bought-off Congressmen: Collinge, Alan. The student loan scam : the most oppressive debt in U.S. history, and how we can fight back. Boston, MA : Beacon Press, c2009. ISBN 9780807042298 http://lccn.loc.gov/200801223 6. Makers of fraudulent mortgages have remained unindicted and unprosecuted despite large amounts of evidence showing that they committed fraud, and they continue to benefit by their wrongdoing due to collusion by the government in these schemes: http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/2011/10/lenders-put-lies-in-liars-loans-and.html 7. Regulatory agencies are “captured” by the corporations they are supposed to regulate, and corporate lobbyists and executives are appointed to agency jobs - or agency heads are given corporate positions after a long history of making decisions which favor the regulated corporations: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124580461065744913.html
 8. The doctrine of “corporate personhood” and judicial decisions, such as Citizens United, based on it should be legislatively overturned: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125314088285517643.html

This list is not exhaustive or complete, but it’s a start.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes...and it's going to get a lot worse...before it becomes horrific. Please remember that we are simply one more of the many viruses carrying the world down its own road, and that our virus will not die. Even after South Park and this world is gone, the virus will live on...that is...only if you help. Please send in your dollars during this funding drive. Even a few dollars a month can keep our expensive, value added, programming coming to you in your cars, homes and South Park. The South Park (space) Ride must be built, and tail fins ARE important, people. Make no mistake about it! They are as important as the oil in the body of your Christlurv automobile. Drive through South Park in chromed style and electronic rump comfort designed to warm the cockles of your pockets. Drive the new South Park Ride today. And remember that if you use our classic refrain "Into the Ground!", you'll receive a substantive discount on all of the installed tracking devices in your NEW and glorious South Park Ride... "Into the Ground!" That's right, people. Say it loud!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

"The Fed's forced the banks to lend money to people that couldn't afford it and didn't have stable employment.(Frank-Dodd ring a bell?) "

Who forced the bankers to loan people money who couldn't afford them? Frank and Dodd cannot do that. They were in charge of nothing. The Bush admin was the leading authority at the time.

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

And who then forced the banks to break the bad mortgages into tiny little pieces, make a big ol' sausage out of them, and then sell the sausages to unsuspecting investors?

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

The CRA explicitly directs banks to make loans that are "consistent with the safe and sound operations" of the banks.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Look it up.

It's not a matter of "belief".

And, generally, I know that politicians spin, and distort the truth, especially while campaigning, promising everything to everybody, even while knowing they can't deliver on those promises.

HA!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

The protestors would be more effective not in jail but providing information on public sidewalks.

Meanwhile:

Wall Street Is Dazed and Confused Wednesday 19 October 2011 by: Jim Hightower, Truthout | Op-Ed

Astonishingly, some Wall Streeters continue to be clueless about what the Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting. Yoo-hoo, Streeters: Note that the movement's name has the term "Wall Street" in it.

While there is a plethora of particular issues being raised by the protesters -- from the corrupting power of corporate money in our elections to the demise of middle-class wages -- the unifying theme is that each one adds to the rising tide of economic inequality that's enriching the most privileged few by knocking down America's workaday majority.

And, Mr. and Ms. Streeter, guess who is the most powerful perpetrators of this greed-fueled disparity: Yes, you.

Perhaps an example would help you grasp the obvious. Even as the protest was spreading in mid-October to hundreds of cities, tone-deaf executives at Bank of America announced three moves:

  1. One, to goose up their own extravagant pay, they're socking financially stressed debit-card users with a new $5 a month fee.

  2. Second, they're dumping 30,000 of the bank's worker bees onto America's already swollen unemployment rolls. Goodbye, and good luck finding another job.

  3. Third, two top executives who are departing the bank are being handed golden parachutes totaling $11 million.

In the midst of this ... http://www.truth-out.org/wall-street-dazed-and-confused/1319028757

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

On what basis do you make the assumption that the occupiers are mostly homeless? Have you spoken to them?

deec 3 years, 2 months ago

My son is one of the occupiers. I just got off the phone with him. 4 of the 20 or so campers are homeless. About 8 of the 50 or so who came to the meeting this evening were homeless.

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 2 months ago

"Bill Self for Federal Reserve Chairman!"

"Missoura has won no championships of any kind!!"

NOTcrusher 3 years, 2 months ago

Jason Phoenix, you're a bonehead. The First Amendment does not trump all other laws. Try using that defense in a slander suit. Try using that when you call in a bomb threat. Go home and get a job.

Hugs!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Camping in a park is not slander. It's certainly not a bomb threat.

Go home and try to hyperbolize a little less.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

So does mean you'll be voting for Obama, now that he's the darling of Wall Street? (not that it's a new development.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

That's a pretty idiotic statement (but that's hardly surprising, coming from you.)

I dare you to go to any of these demonstrations around the country and find any signs that these are even remotely rallies for Obama.

Grump 3 years, 2 months ago

The city is setting a dangerous precedent here. At some point a group whose politics are not so politically-correct-lefty will try the same thing. The city will have to treat them with the same deference, or get successfully sued.

Let this group stay in the park and have campfires, and you will have the KKK camped in the park, burning a cross.

somebodynew 3 years, 2 months ago

If that doesn't get the City to enforce the ordinances they are way more stupid than I thought.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

I'd go see him if he does snake handling.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

They've all long ago followed David Duke into the Republican Party.

Mixolydian 3 years, 2 months ago

They should resist and get arrested for trespass...that'll show those fat cats on Wall Street. They can't help but notice that a few folks got arrested in Lawrence, KS... those evil 1 percenters will just have to divest, liquidate and give all their assets to the Human Fund.

Well played Lawrence OWS, well played.

bad_dog 3 years, 2 months ago

Or they should just shut-up and accept the rampant corruption and maintenance of the status quo.

Yup, that's the ticket. Complacency and apathy for one & all.

Mark Currie 3 years, 2 months ago

Does this mean that I don't have to shovel snow from my drive, because the snow has a right to occupy it?

Sunny Parker 3 years, 2 months ago

lol Cramwell is probably camping out with them all!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

" Ever heard of the Community Re-Investment Act - a liberal wetdream that turned into everyone's nightmare. "

Where does it authorize fraud and reckless lending practices? Those activities had to have been the choices of lending institutions. Of course with the regulating arm turning a blind eye which was the Bush administration.

Where does it demonstrate that Barney and Christopher ordered banks and the Bush treasury secretary to break the laws?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

Often, government plays a role in bubbles. The housing bubble was in part generated by the Federal Reserve maintaining low interest rates. Easy money meant readily obtainable loans and, at least in the short run, low monthly payments.

Also, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan denied the housing bubble’s existence—not fraud exactly, but deception that kept the bubble going. (Greenspan, whose view was ideologically driven, got support in his bubble denial from the academic work of the man who was to be his successor, Ben Bernanke.)

In addition, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to the highly risky practices of financial firms, practices that both encouraged the development of the bubble and made the impact all the worse when it burst.

Moreover, the private rating agencies (e.g., Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s) were complicit. Dependent on the financial institutions for their fees, they gave excessively good ratings to these risky investments. Perhaps not fraud in the legal sense, but certainly misleading.

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

Where is the special prosecutor,the FBI and the Grand Jury?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

The only bubbles relevant to this story are the ones between the ears of the unhappy campers & their ilk.

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 2 months ago

On a night like tonight, a couple of well placed lawn sprinklers would be all that is required.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

I expect merrill to be on the front line to face the fire hoses and vicious dogs!

John Hamm 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh how Lawrence has changed since the 60s. Brahahahahahaha

weeslicket 3 years, 2 months ago

skipped past all the previous.

not really sure what all the brouhaha is about. these people, peacably* though messily assembled as they may be, aren't harming anyone in any real and tangible way. that's democracy. that's sharing your voice. that's acting on your principles. get over yourselves, already.

what we have here is a choice: tempest in a teapot v. mountain out of a molehill you choose.

  • he, he

yousall enjoy yourselves, now.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 2 months ago

“Lawrence residents shouldn’t only expect civil disobedience but they should participate in it,” said camper David Hughes-Pfeifer.

I wonder if Hughes-Pfeifer would welcome and expect civil disobedience aimed against the shantytown in the park.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

"I wonder if Hughes-Pfeifer would welcome and expect civil disobedience aimed against the shantytown in the park."

There's a difference between civil-disobedience and the assault and battery you appear to be advocating.

ThePilgrim 3 years, 2 months ago

Warm up the paddy wagon!

These Occupy Lawrence campers are a joke. Really occupy Lawrence (in which case all of us consumers would kick your hippie butts) or go home.

It still amazes me that the OWS folks in New York tweet and blog on their iPhones and iMacs, wearing their hippie chic $40 T shirts from Gap, while drinking their Starbucks coffee.

The Occupy Lawrence folks in the park seem to be much less mainstream, and much more grubbier. Are you sure the homeless didn't join them to get some of that "free solidarity" chow and propane heat?

pace 3 years, 2 months ago

I disagree with you. I think the homeless, the unemployed, those that have lost their homes, those who have watched tax money go to secure bankster"s holdings, while leaving the middle class to pay those taxes, those who have lost % of their incomes, lost their pensions or those who think there is financial injustice in our current system have a right to protest. I even think you, who, I don't like, don't like how you think or how you describe people in a denigrating manner, even you , you have the right to protest. You champion for the stop the protests, you want it so people can not exercise their rights, that would be championing everyone to lose them. The powers in charge would find that convenient. but too many have died for those rights to throw them away. If you want to argue the failure to support the 99% while they give money and tax breaks to the 1% is good. Fine, but when you argue that you don't like the hair on a fellow citizen and that is why you want to strip them of their civil rights and silence them. I think you a fool.

Eride 3 years, 2 months ago

It is time to break out the handcuffs. If they want to occupy something let them occupy the Douglas County Jail.

pace 3 years, 2 months ago

You are against the rights to protest?

conservative 3 years, 2 months ago

Not against their right to protest, however when they do it illegally then yes they will have to pay the price. There are millions of ways for them to protest legally, camping in a public park while it is closed isn't one of them.

Eride 3 years, 2 months ago

Exactly. The city already told them they could protest from 6 am until 11:30 pm every day, they just have to vacate when the park closes and refrain from burning things since there is a burn ban.

These so called protesters are violating city ordnance for no other reason then to break the law. No one can see them protesting late at night, the city isn't preventing them from protesting, the city is just asking that they follow the laws which are in place for a reason.

We can't allow meaningless public disorder just because a few people "feel" like they should be able to, that is called anarchy and look how that kind of mindset ends up (looking at you London).

ssteve1 3 years, 2 months ago

South Park. Perfect place for these kids.

Jeteras 3 years, 2 months ago

what the hell is the problem. the bums sleep in the park EVERY nite?

Adrienne Sanders 3 years, 2 months ago

Hm two days ago it was "they can stay as long as they like". I wonder who complained.

tanaumaga 3 years, 2 months ago

Rules of camping: must have long hair, either seen or in the nether regions. no showers team green that is all

lunacydetector 3 years, 2 months ago

"A Marxist ... logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism."

Saul Alinsky (1909-1972)

Centerville 3 years, 2 months ago

By 7 pm last night, there were two small tents, no people visible.

getreal 3 years, 2 months ago

Civil disobedience has a long history in America and has shaped social policy change on many fronts that we now take for granted. Some examples include: 1.) Boston Tea Party 2.) Women's Suffrage Movement 3.) Abolition of Slavery 4.) Workers Rights

I would ask that those staying tell us what those of us who can't stay, can do to help you. What do you need?

weeslicket 3 years, 2 months ago

uhhh..... how were we harmed, by the way?

(i would like to add: german shepherds and fire hoses)

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