The Black Women of Occupy Wall Street

Yes there are black folks in the Occupy Movement – including Occupy Wall Street, despite the disparagement by conservatives that the movement is made up of privileged white kids. This video alone has more black folks than the entire Glenn Beck Tea Bagger rally on the mall last year on MLK’s Birthday.

Time to Occupy the Airports?

One of the things driving consumer and American anger about the current economy and corporate practices is that we have gone from a society where “the price on the sticker is the price” to adopting business practices which consistently and intentionally lie to the consumer about the price – incorporating numerous hidden charges.

Think about it. You walk into a store, pick up a bottle of dish soap – and the price on the sticker is $3.29. When you get to the register to pay, the price isn’t $3.29, or even $3.29 plus the local 5% sales tax – but the store has tacked on a $1.00 “shelf restocking fee” and a $0.50 “parking space fee”, and a $0.25 “cash register fee”…

Would you be a bit pissed off?

Yet that exactly is standard business practice at the big banks, in the cell phone and internet industry…and now the airlines.

The bait and switch really went mass scale in the telecom industry starting in the 90’s with the mass emergence of cell phones. Indeed, outside of banking fees levied on consumers, the telecom industry is probably the most dishonest business in America in terms of lying to the consumer, and covering up hidden charges. The only thing you can be certain of in dealing with a cell phone provider, is the advertised $99 a month subscription fee is a lie. You will always wind up paying, sometimes much, much, more.

The compact between the consumer and corporations in America isn’t broken just in terms of jobs – it’s a break down of basic honesty.

Flying anymore has become a hidden game of “gotcha”. This summer, when flights were shut down at Miami due to the fire at the fuel facility, I had a major go-round with the counter folks over paying a baggage fee. That airline did not charge baggage fees on international flights. It seems though, by having the misfortune of getting stuck in Miami Airport overnight, because flights couldn’t leave – the international portion of my flight was a day later than the domestic portion…

And thus I “owed” the Airline $150 in baggage fees to fly from my home airport in the US to Miami… And spend the night on the floor in my business suit.

This one is the horrifying story of a woman trapped in an airport for 8 days by hidden fees. Now – airports are specifically designed to be uncomfortable places to camp out in – to prevent the homeless from using them. The downside of that is if passengers are stranded, you are screwed in terms of finding any reasonable place to sleep or rest. Don’t even bother to ask the logical question of how the homeless could get through airport security with a shopping cart and no ticket…

It’s just one of those clues that haven’t occurred to airport managers and engineers yet.

Terri Weissinger Trapped In Airport For Eight Grueling Days Due To Hidden Fees

No matter how many 10-minute massage parlors and Wolfgang Puck vending machines they install to entertain weary travelers, getting stranded in an airport for even a few hours is rarely a pleasant experience.

For Terri Weissinger, who was trapped in San Francisco International Airport for over a week, it was nothing short of a nightmare.

With only $30 to her name, the Sonoma native was virtually broke and looking to start afresh in Idaho. She booked a ticket from San Francisco to the Gem State on the travel website Orbitz but, because she purchased her ticket before a new federal law went into effect requiring ticket brokers to disclose all hidden fees, Wessinger was unaware of the extra $60 U.S. Airways would charge at the airport to check her two bags.

Weissinger offered to pay the fee once she got to her destination or leave one of her bags behind; however, U.S. Airways personnel refused, citing airline policy for denying her former request and airport security regulations for denying the latter.

While attempting to resolve her situation, Weissinger missed her plane—thereby racking up another $150 in fees.

Weissinger ended up spending eight stressful days living in the terminal and sleeping in an out-of-the-way stairwell. She was treated for anxiety at the airport medical clinic. When she attempted to plead with airport authorities for help, she was threatened with arrest on vagrancy charges.

“[It's] ridiculous,” said Wessinger to ABC 7. “I couldn’t believe it sometimes, you know, it’s just incredibly ridiculous situation to be in.”

Out of options, Weissinger saw a listing for the nearby Airport Church of Christ in a phone book and placed a call. Moved by her situation, the church quickly raised the necessary $210 to get Weissinger out of her predicament and on her way.

When ABC 7 asked U.S. Airways about Weiddinger’s situation, the airline responded: “We have apologized to Ms. Weissinger for her experience, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund. When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger cannot travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements.”

Airline fees have spiraled in recent years as sites like Orbitz and Travelocity have allowed customers to instantly compare ticket prices between competing airlines. The easy access to this information has pushed airlines to offer cheaper ticket prices up front, ensuring their results appear closer to the top of any given search. As a result, they are relying more heavily on additional fees popping up later in the ticketing process to make up a larger portion of their revenue.

Occupy Baltimore Gets Support of Police and Firefighters Unions

One of the things being challenged by Occupy Baltimore is the failure of the Education System…

The Occupy Movement evening meetings appear to be the only place democracy is actually working in America anymore. There certainly isn’t any democracy left in the big marble buildings just 30 miles down Interstate 95 from Baltimore.

Egyptians March in Support of Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy movement has truly gone worldwide. Yesterday, pro-Democracy Egyptians in Cairo marched in solidarity with Americans in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The brutal assault on the Occupy Oakland protest has gone worldwide.

As they vowed earlier this week to do, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir square to the U.S. Embassy today to march in support of Occupy Oakland—and against police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Tuesday night, and commonly experienced in Egypt.

Yet another battle is brewing in Louisville, where Police were ordered by Tennessee’s Republican Governor to arrest protesters for the second time this week. Once again, a Judge has thrown out the arrests as illegal.

The arrests and harassment of Occupy protesters is beginning to resemble that endured by Civil Rights protesters in the 60’s. It’s not nearly as violent (yet)… But if some of the local authorities don’t get a grip – it may be. As evidenced by the protests in Egypt, people worldwide are disgusted with the assault upon the First Amendment rights of the protesters in the supposed bastion of Democracy.

Occupy Nashville protesters arrested again

State troopers for the second straight night arrested anti-Wall Street protesters for defying a new nighttime curfew imposed by the Republican governor, in an effort to disband an encampment near the state Capitol in Nashville.

And also, for a second time, a Nashville night judge dismissed the arrest warrants.

The Tennessean newspaper reported early Saturday morning that Magistrate Tom Nelson told troopers delivering the protesters to jail that he could “find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza.”

Occupy Nashville protesters – including many of the 29 arrested in a pre-dawn raid on Friday – returned to the Legislative Plaza that evening and remained through the 10 p.m. curfew…

Occupy the Hood!

One of the criticisms levelled at th Occupy protests across the country by conservatives is the “lack of black participation”. Of course, it’s your typical right wing lie, in defense of Tea Party racism. The Lawn Jockey squad of black conservatives brad and butter is dysfunction in the urban black community. Pretending that no one in those communities is doing anything  but “living on the plantation”.

Occupy Boston’ Meets ‘Occupy the Hood’

In Roxbury, as Christians stood with Muslims and as white college students stood with a black woman who recently lost two nephews to gun violence, the voice of the Occupy Boston movement sounded more diverse than ever in the three weeks since protesters set up tents in the Financial District.

“We’re one family,’’ said True-See Allah of the Nation of Islam, addressing a crowd of more than 500 in Dudley Square during a rally for Occupy the Hood, a movement in Roxbury allied to Occupy Boston and other Occupy movements around the country.

“It’s not about black and white; it’s about who’s wrong and who’s right,’’ he continued. “The Nation of Islam stands with you 1,000 percent. This is a beautiful sight, and we want to take this moment, and we want to build from it and continue to grow and grow.’’

While the occupation in Dewey Square has been diverse, whites have been the majority. Yesterday’s Occupy the Hood Rally was nearly evenly divided between whites and non-whites, as students and Occupy Boston regulars joined local residents.

“The message of this movement, when you boil it down, is that we are the 99 percent,’’ said Brian Kwoba, 28, of Cambridge, one of the Occupy the Hood organizers. “There’s the top 1 percent, and the rest of us are denied a voice. But people of color are disproportionately denied a voice. Therefore, in order for us to unite all of the 99 percent, we need all of us to unite together, communities of color and other communities.’’ Continue reading

“I Don’t Think They Know What They Dealing With!” Dick Gregory

 

Son of Bo Diddley Arrested for Occupy Protest… In Bo Diddley Park

Wow…Getting busted in a park named after your Dad! Actually, unlike the New York Police, the Gainsville Police were pretty civilized about things…

Occupy is spreading all over the country.

Bo Diddley’s Son Arrested for Occupy Protest in Park Named After His Father

Not many people plan on getting arrested on purpose, but such was the case with Elias Anthony McDaniel, the 56-year-old son of rhythm and blues legend Bo Diddley who was cuffed for trespassing in a plaza named after his father, according to the Independent Florida Alligator.

McDaniel, who was taking part in the Occupy Gainesville movement, was accompanied by at least four other protesters when he was picked up by the police on Friday morning for being in the park after hours. The protesters claimed they had decided to get arrested in order to prove a point.

“This is my father’s park,” said McDaniel, who resides in Gainesville. “For them to arrest me in that plaza is ludicrous … I’m an American. This is freedom of assembly.”

The members of Occupy Gainesville had procured a permit which allowed them to gather in the park for Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but it did not extend past regular public hours on Thursday night. That’s when the protesters decided to occupy the space for as long as it took for them to be arrested.

Those who were arrested were handcuffed but released several minutes later with a notice to appear. “We’re just enforcing a law,” Cpl. Angelina Valuri said. “We have a job to do.”

Despite being released, McDaniel is still incensed. “There’s a symbolic stone in front of me that says freedom of speech,” he said, referring to a gray stone inscribed with the Bill of Rights. “I feel like a number of my rights have been violated.”

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