Archive | February, 2012

On CHASE CEO’s Birthday, Five Face Trial for Occupying Bank

29 Feb

Please forward this press release to your local media,  movement media, and post on local #occupy websites.

For Immediate Release

On CHASE CEO’s Birthday, Five Face Trial for Occupying Bank

Date:  February 29, 2012

Seattle, WA–The trial of five Occupy Seattle participants, known locally as the Chase 5, will begin on March 13th in Seattle Municipal Court. The date coincides with a National Day of Action against Chase Bank with planned protests taking place in cities across the country. The CEO of JPMorgan CHASE, Jamie Dimon, will be celebrating his birthday on the 13th, while the five occupiers face trial.

Supporters plan to pack the courtroom, hold demonstrations outside, and conduct an action against a local Chase Bank branch.

“We pleaded not guilty because shutting down Chase Bank wasn’t simply the right thing to do,” said Chase 5 defendant Mike Stevens. “It was necessary. We’re looking at jail time for taking a stand. Meanwhile, Chase bankrolls the displacement of working class communities, finances environmental destruction, and profits from the growing poverty and misery of the 99%. From determining government policy to reshaping neighborhoods, Chase plays a heavy hand in suffocating our public sphere. It’s time we started taking it back.”

The Chase 5 are facing a year in jail for chaining themselves together inside a Capitol Hill Chase Bank branch on November 2nd while hundreds protested outside, shutting down the branch for the day. The act of civil disobedience took place during a visit to Seattle  by CEO Jamie Dimon, dubbed by the Seattle Times as “the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent.” Massive street protests continued through the evening outside the Sheraton Hotel, where Dimon was speaking.

“On March 13th, we will once again show our defiance to Dimon and the 1%. They, and their representatives in both parties, have proven that their power is illegitimate and that they have no right to rule,” said defendant Douglas Van.   “We are facing jail time for struggling for a better world when the real criminals, people like Jamie Dimon, roam free.”

“We hope that the Chase 5 trial further unmasks the relationship between corporate power and political repression,” added Hudson Williams-Eynon, a Chase 5 defendant. “Our police and our politicians can’t or won’t protect us from the banks, but we all remember when Chase Bank donated $4.6 million dollars to the New York Police Department the day after NYPD kettled and arrested 700 Occupy Wall St. protesters. It was like a reward.  The banks want Americans to go home and shut up.  Financial institutions like Chase are the real authorities in this country, and now everyone can see who calls the shots.”

Leading up to the trial, local and national supporters are pressuring Chief Prosecutor Craig Sims to drop the charges against the Chase 5.

“For staying in a bank and refusing to be silenced, we have been met with the violence of the system,” said Sarah Svobodny. “We’ve seen people pepper-sprayed, struck with SPD bicycles, tackled from behind by plainclothes police, hit in the head with batons, stomped on by horses, hit with flashbang grenades, and arrested at gunpoint by SWAT teams. Now our movement is confronting a different kind of violence, which is to say the subtle violence of the 1% through their courts and their prisons. We no longer have any illusions about who this system serves and we will continue to fight for a new and different world.”

The Chase 5 are available for interviews. Contact the campaign at itsrighttooccupy@gmail.com

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10 Arrested for Occupying Seattle Mayor’s Office Demanding Resignation of Chief of Police

28 Feb

After marching to City Hall, about 75 protesters Mic-Checked City Council demanding the resignation of Chief Diaz and the prosecution of officers engaged in misconduct, including former SPD officer Ian Birk who murdered John T. Williams.  The group then occupied the foyer of the Mayor’s office.

The actions come after a Federal DOJ Civil Rights report blasted Seattle Police Department for routine and widespread use of excessive force.

Read a Seattle Times article.

Statement from Bring Diaz Down Campaign:

Mic Check!

In consideration of the Seattle Police Department’s abuse of the citizens of Seattle, its violent and unnecessary repression of nonviolent protesters and its disproportionate targeting of the most disenfranchised members of society, we are here to announce that John Diaz does not have the mandate of the people; he will no longer be the Chief of the Seattle police department. We demand the immediate prosecution of all officers found to be repeatedly engaged in misconduct, including Ian Birk, the murderer of John T. Williams.

After the release of the department of justice report, this city government has shown itself to be more interested in diffusing public outrage than quelling the rampant violence of the SPD.

But we also understand that direct police brutality is not the only issue.

Our entire legal system disproportionally targets communities of color, whether by enforcing foreclosure evictions on behalf of the big banks, maintaining enormous Stay Out of Drug Areas, or enforcing mandatory incarceration of those picked up for nonviolent crimes.

So long as some people have to choose between feeding their families and getting their rent paid there is no equality before the law because the law itself embraces that inequality. We will never be equals in ownership, never equal before the police. As our homes are foreclosed on, our wages cut, our futures pulled from underneath us, there is nothing left but for us to disobey, to disrupt.

This police department enforces the rule of the 1%, an untenable, unjust dominion which will not be allowed to continue.

Finally, in honor of all those harassed, beaten and murdered, we ask for a moment of silence.

Sound Familiar? Louisville, KY Police Protect and Serve Chase Bank; Arrest 5 Occupiers

25 Feb

Police arrested five Occupy Louisville participants  today during an anti-foreclosure action at a Chase Bank branch.

Participants report that:

“At least eight protesters were assaulted by the police in various ways, including being shoved, punched and choked. Five of those people, mostly females, were arrested on ridiculous charges like resisting arrest.”

In this video, you can see a cop punch a demonstrator in the face, as #occupiers serve Chase Bank with an eviction notice.

Occupy Louisville reports:

Four of our Occupiers, who were aggressively assaulted and arrested by LMPD yesterday, were released last night pending hearings this Wednesday. The fifth is being held on $1000 bond due to a prior police record. Eye-witnesses report that our brother still in jail was brutally assaulted by police while restrained in their custody, and was visibly bleeding and bruised when he was taken away.
Occupy Louisville requests your solidarity and support in securing freedom for all of our Occupiers. We stood up non-violently to Chase, for their criminal lending practices which are turning many of Louisville’s neighborhoods into ghost-towns, and for that were met with uncalled-for aggression and violence by police. LMPD made clear yesterday just who they exist to serve and protect – the criminal banks.

We will post updates and ways to support the arrestees.  (If you have updates/ways to support, please post them in the comments below.)

Click here to  support the Chase 5 in Seattle whose upcoming March 13th trial falls on CEO Jamie Dimon’s birthday.  Let’s make it a birthday he and the 1% won’t forget!

Speaking of Chase…: Occupy Louisville to Protest Chase Bank

24 Feb

From Occupy Louisville:

Tomorrow we Occupy Chase Bank, and deliver their notice of eviction from Louisville, courtesy of the 99%! Please join us in the Highlands at the corner of Baxter, Bardstown, and Highland Ave. at 1 pm. A Community General Assembly is to be held on location, following the demonstration. Please join us inside, or out on the sidewalk, and tell Chase – NO MORE FORECLOSURES!


UPDATE…

“Chase Emergency”: Occupy Oakland Shuts Down Chase and Union Bank branches

23 Feb

Occupy Oakland Foreclosure Defense Group are fighting Chase and Union Bank to defend an Oakland resident against foreclosure.  Chase is servicing a home loan for Union Bank.  In the course of their march yesterday, both bank branches were shut down.

*Article from Inside Bay Area.

*From Boots Riley

Yesterday,Occupy Oakland marched to Union Bank, physically held the doors open as security tried to shut them on us, and forced a meeting between Katie Mitchell and the bank manager.Katie Mitchell is facing foreclosure and has been trying to get her loan modified. She hadn’t been able to get a meeting with the bank for 3 years.They met with her only when we showed up and forced the issue.They are saying they’ll let her know their answer by Friday, but will most likely give her the runaround.This fight is definitely not over. Stay tuned, because we will stop any auction or action the bank tries to do.We also passed out fliers for an hour with tremendous support from onlookers and passers-by.

We need you to join us in these actions, because the more successful they are, the more people are willing to stand up to the banks and to the 1%.

For folks that are interested in direct action that changes lives, has tremendous community support, empowers and incites, and teaches the world about class struggle- this is an important thing to be involved in.

For more information on getting involved email Brooke at grouchosuave@gmail.com

Who Likes Wheatpasting? Here’s a downloadable Chase 5 Poster

21 Feb

Chase: Climate Criminals

18 Feb

Evidence to consider before the Chase 5 Trial/Actions.

CHASE BANK: CLIMATE KILLERS

Chase Bank is a climate criminal corporation. It has been listed as the “Top Climate Killing Bank” on Earth.

More than any other bank in the world, Chase funds the global coal industry, according to an exhaustive study released at the December, 2011 Durban Climate Conference. This study by NGOs Urgewald (Germany), Banktrack (international), and Earthlife (Africa) documents that Chase has invested $22B in worldwide coal industries since 2005.

Emissions from coal combustion are the largest source of human-made greenhouse gases causing and stoking climate change. Climate change has caused devastating conditions—including unprecedented heat waves, tornados, and historic floods and droughts—in the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Arctic, and Asia. These extreme conditions have already directly killed thousands of humans and other species, caused record property damage losses, crippled agriculture in vast areas, triggered regional famine, and helped spawn war in sub-Saharan Africa.

The December study illustrates how global funding of the coal industry has doubled since 2005 despite Chase and other major international banks claiming so-called “green” credentials.

If banks continue to fund coal projects at this pace, said Heffa Schuckling of Urgewald, “…they will wreck all attempts to limit global warming to 2C.” 2C is widely considered to be the “tipping point” in global temperature rise, beyond which lies runaway and, potentially, catastrophic climate change.

Chase Bank is also a leading financier of mountaintop removal (MTR) for coal in Appalachia. MTR is the practice of using massive amounts of high explosives to literally blow the tops off mountains to expose coal veins for extraction. MTR has already destroyed more than 400 mountains in Appalachia, polluted thousands of miles of streams and rivers, and caused the evacuations of whole towns.