Protests continue for Occupy movement in Spain
As Spain’s prime minister announced deep austerity cuts Wednesday in order to secure funds from the European Union to bail out Spain’s failing banks, the people of Spain have taken to the streets once again for what they call “Real Democracy Now.” This comes a week after the government announced it was launching a criminal investigation into the former CEO of Spain’s fourth-largest bank, Bankia. Rodrigo Rato is no small fish: Before running Bankia he was head of the International Monetary Fund. What the U.S. media don’t tell you is that this official government investigation was initiated by grassroots action.
The Occupy movement in Spain is called M-15, for the day it began, May 15, 2011. I met with one of the key organizers in Madrid last week on the day the Rato investigation was announced. He smiled, and said, “Something is starting to happen.” The organizer, Stephane Grueso, is an activist filmmaker who is making a documentary about the May 15 movement. He is a talented professional, but, like 25 per cent of the Spanish population, he is unemployed: “We didn’t like what we were seeing, where we were going. We felt we were losing our democracy, we were losing our country, we were losing our way of life. … We had one slogan: ‘Democracia real YA!’ — we want a ‘real democracy, now!’ Fifty people stayed overnight in Puerta del Sol, this public square. And then the police tried to take us out, and so we came back. And then this thing began to multiply in other cities in Spain. In three, four days’ time, we were like tens of thousands of people in dozens of cities in Spain, camped in the middle of the city — a little bit like we saw in Tahrir in Egypt.” More…
Some arrests as LA police break up protest
— Police in riot gear broke up a crowd of about 200 protesters who filled Los Angeles streets during downtown’s monthly Art Walk, leaving one police officer injured and several people arrested, authorities said.
The group started filling streets about 8:40 p.m. PDT Thursday, prompting police to respond to the scene.
Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rayner said some protesters began throwing rocks, bottles and other objects at officers, and police were on citywide tactical alert.
She said there were several arrests and at least one officer injured, but she had no further details.
Police had dispersed the crowd before midnight.
Rayner said police believe at least some of the protesters were associated with the Occupy Los Angeles movement, but that has not been confirmed. More…
OWS Protesters Return to Zuccotti to Honor Woody Guthrie; Clash with Police
Some Monte Rio neighbors fed up with Bohemian Grove protesters
There’s high anxiety under the redwoods in Monte Rio as more than 2,000 wealthy men begin arriving today for their annual retreat — to be greeted by an unknown number of people protesting their presence along the tranquil Russian River.
But it’s not the plutocrats and power brokers of the Bohemian Club who have Monte Rio residents and merchants on edge. It’s the demonstrators, who haven’t always been polite, or good for business.
“There have been some really nice people, and some jerks,” said Suzi Schaffert, who has run the Rio Theater since 1993. “I don’t know what we’re in for this year.”
Tia Resleure, an artist and dog dental hygienist who lives close by the Bohemian Grove gates, questioned the whole idea of protesting corporate power in an economically depressed village.
“It doesn’t do any good for the community, and I don’t think it does anything for their cause, either,” said Resleure, who moved two years ago from San Francisco’s North Beach to a modest house beneath towering redwoods. More…
Quebec student protest organizers kick off tour of Ontario campuses
– Quebec organizers responsible for the longest and largest student strike in Canadian history are spreading their message across Ontario _ one university campus at a time.
And one expert in social movements says the student leaders will likely be heard loud and clear.
“They do have a chance of being successful,” said Vincent Mosco, a sociology professor emeritus from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.
“From the Occupy Wall Street movement to the eruptions in the Middle East and elsewhere, there’s a worldwide phenomenon now that has given legitimacy to protests.”
The nine-day “Student Solidarity Tour” kicked off Thursday night at the University of Ottawa with speakers, including high-profile student protest leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
Canadian Federation of Students spokeswoman Jessica McCormick said the turnout of more than 200 people exceeded organizers’ expectations.
Speakers drew applause as they described the steps students can take “building towards protesting mobilization,” McCormick said. More…
RNC Protest Group Wins Permits For Thousands-Strong Rally
A thousands-strong alliance that includes labor and anti-war groups has received approval to protest during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., later this summer.
The Coalition to March on the RNC said Thursday that city officials approved the permits to rally at Tampa’s Perry Harvey Park on the first day of the GOP gathering. The coalition will then be allowed to march along the official parade route to a designated protest area three blocks from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. City spokeswoman Ali Glisson confirmed the permits.
About 5,000 people will participate in the protest activities, which aim to highlight social and economic issues that coalition members believe are being ignored by both Democrats and Republicans, organizer Jared Hamil told The Huffington Post.
“We feel that both parties have led us down the road to where people are suffering,” Hamil said. “There are wars overseas and there are murders every day, and racism is rampant, still, in the 20th century.”
Many of the same organizations protesting at the RNC will head to Charlotte, N.C., to protest the Democratic National Convention in early September. The groups all oppose “parties of the 1 percent,” the term used to describe the richest Americans targeted by the Occupy movement. More…