Protesters picket Wells Fargo meeting, 24 arrested
(Reuters) – Police in riot gear arrested two dozen people on Tuesday as protesters with a huge inflated rat sought to disrupt a Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) annual shareholder meeting to express anger over foreclosures, executive compensation and corporate taxes.
Several of those arrested were handcuffed and taken away in police vans as hundreds more chanted and waved signs outside the meeting in a building across from the bank’s San Francisco headquarters.
“Wells Fargo is one of the largest and most corrupt Wall Street banks and has foreclosed on hundreds of thousands of homes,” said Charles Davidson, an organizer with Move On East Bay. “I think it’s really important that we stand up to this or the economic crisis will continue.”
Protesters gathered on a street corner near an inflated rat that had dollar bills coming from side pockets. They held signs that read: “99 percent take over, topple the 1 percent” and “Up with the people, down with the bankers.” More…
Protesters urge Saudi to free Egyptian activist
CAIRO — Hundreds of Egyptians protested outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo on Tuesday demanding the release of an Egyptian human rights activist held by Saudi authorities who claim he possessed banned drugs.
The protesters chanted slogans against the Saudi regime as they called for the “immediate” release of Ahmed Mohammed al-Gizawi, arrested on arrival at Jeddah airport last week.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, an Egyptian organisation, said in a statement on Monday that Gizawi was held following a sentence of one year in prison and 20 lashes delivered against him in absentia for criticism of the Saudi government.
Gizawi was being targeted for his activism in favour of Egyptian detainees in Saudi prisons, the statement added. More…
Occupy Wall Street Evicted From Another Base
A group of Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted Monday from a Lower Manhattan space that had served as an informal headquarters and a crash pad for the movement’s stalwart supporters.
A late-day request to stay the eviction was denied by a judge, leaving the group without a central location to plan several coming events, including what they hoped would be a galvanizing May Day march that is being coordinated with labor unions.
Protesters moved into the space in late October, a few weeks before New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered police to clear out the group’s Zuccotti Park encampment. The loft space at 40 Exchange Place is located a few blocks away from the park that served as the heart of the anti-corporate movement until the Nov. 15 raid.
Occupy didn’t have a lease for the Exchange Place loft but had been using the space—dubbed the “Magic Mountain”—at the behest of the original tenant, George Weathers.
Spain’s 15M movement responds to a wave of repression
The 15M movement in Spain has faced repression from the very beginning: 24 young people were arrested and beaten by police in the demonstrations organized by Democracia Real Ya on May 15 last year, which is a large part of why several dozen people decided to camp that night in Sol square, turning the demonstration into an encampment. That first night, the Legal Committee of Sol was created by lawyers and laypeople; similar groups emerged in other camps around the country in order to give legal support to the movement. This has never been an easy job, but it has only been getting harder.
Since May 15, the Legal Committee of Sol has given support to more than a hundred arrestees. There have been another hundred arrested in Barcelona and many more in the rest of the country. Activists have been charged with undermining authority (facing one to three years in jail), disobedience and resistance (six months to one year), and disorderly conduct (six months to three years). Most of all, though, 15M protesters are being punished though economic means. There are nearly 70 people with fines in Madrid, according to the Legal Committee of Sol, and in Barcelona, there have been more than 200 people fined, together amounting to more than €40,000. More…