occupy movement

Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Occupy activists take over Kalamazoo park for national gathering

Occupy members from Seattle to Philadelphia are gathering in Kalamazoo this week
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Occupy movement is taking over a downtown Kalamazoo park this week.

Activists old and young are in Kalamazoo from all across the country.   The Occupy activists are talking about a lot of different things from economic issues to racism.  And since this is an Occupy gathering, that means everyone will have a say on everything.

And Iwanka from Philadelphia says they're also inviting anyone else who wants to to take part.

“This is an open invitation to the entire public to come down and tackle some democracy issues,” says Iwanka.

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Politics & Government
8:30 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Michigan Politics: the week in review

Lawmakers in Lansing may have to cut revenue sharing with local governments to fill the $1.8 billion budget hole.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder vetoes election reform bills. Charges reopened against former Highland Park EM. Where are the Occupiers this summer?

Hear Michigan Radio's Rina Miller sit down with MR Political Commentator Jack Lessenberry to discuss state politics stories from the past week.

Politics & Government
6:36 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Occupy Grand Rapids stakes out a new campsite

About 30 people with Occupy Grand Rapids march through downtown towards their new camp.

Occupy Grand Rapids is re-launching the movement after several months of lying low. The group doesn't have specific demands, “it’s not one thing, it’s everything,” the group’s facebook page says.

But several of its members say issues like income inequality, corporate influence, and housing security are important to them.

Anita Finch drove up from Kalamazoo to take part in the renewed effort. She says strong protest movements build over time; like the anti-war movement in the 1960s.

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Politics
1:18 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Occupy protesters rally in Detroit, "slow start" in New York

From an Occupy Detroit rally last year.
Occupy Detroit

The Occupy movement promised more action this spring. "May Day" - today - is supposed to be one of those days.

The Detroit Free Press reports Occupy Detroit protestors are planning rallies in the city today:

They planned to begin at noon at Clark Park in southwest Detroit and then walk to schools, a bus station, and the McNamara Federal Building in downtown Detroit before ending at Grand Circus Park, the site of the group's encampment last year, at about 3:45 p.m., organizers said.

David Sands of the Detroit Huffington Post is live updating today's events. At 12:34 he reported:

A mixed crowd of about 150 people have gathered around the stage in Clark Park, where a huge banner hangs reading, "It's Not One Thing, It's Everything."

Martha Gervatt, 54 and a UAW Local 869 member, said she was there to support workers' rights.

"I'm here because it's important that we revive the spirit of May Day," she said.

Occupy Detroit protestors plan to hold events in Grand Circus Park through tomorrow.

On Saturday, May 5, they're planning an event at Eastern Market in Detroit.

Reuters reports Occupy Wall Street's protest in New York is off to a "slow start" with small gatherings at a handful of spots around the city:

At Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, about 100 activists gathered where the group had promised a "pop-up encampment" emblematic of the movement's early days in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park near the Wall Street financial district.

The crowd soon dispersed to other locations to demonstrate, including directly across the street from Bryant Park at the Bank of America tower. About two dozen activists picketed in front of the building's main entrance. One person was arrested in the middle of 6th Avenue in front of the building.

The group said it expected greater participation in events planned for later in the day as it tries to breathe fresh life into the movement that sparked a wave of nationwide protests against economic injustice eight months ago.

But why take Reuters word for it?

You can watch a livestream of the Occupy Wall Street protest in NY. The "Guitarmy" is currently marching toward Union Square.

Business
6:32 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

GE shareholders meeting met by protests

General Electric shareholders convened for their annual meeting at Detroit’s Renaissance Center Wednesday.

They were met by protesters who say GE and other big companies are not shouldering their fair share of the tax burden.

Thousands of people, calling themselves part of the “99% coalition,” shouted for GE to pay its “fair share.”

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Changing Gears
11:16 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Spring has sprung; 99% spring events are coming

Valerie O'Rourkefrom the 99% Spring Blog from the 99% Spring Blog

Earlier this year, we told you about The 99% Spring, the protest movement sponsored by a variety of political and labor groups including MoveOn.org, the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters Union.

It’s part of a fresh wave of protests that are taking place across the country, in the wake of the Occupy movement.

Starting next week, 99% Spring events will be kicking off across the United States, and especially in the Midwest.

Supporters are vowing to train 100,000 people to “to tell the story of what happened to our economy, learn the history of non-violent direct action, and use that knowledge to take action on our own campaigns to win change.”

Over the weekend, the UAW sent an email to its members, encouraging them to take part.

“We are at a crucial point in America where if we continue to ignore the opportunity to rebuild this great country, then we risk losing the very essence of what has made this country great,” the email said. 

Some 918 events have been scheduled thus far. MoveOn.org, which is associated with the Democratic Party, has a locator for events, where you can put in your zip code and find those closest to you.

Here are the ones for the Detroit area, Chicago and Milwaukee, and Cleveland. To be sure, the 99% Spring movement hasn’t said what will happen once people are trained, but given the training events, it’s pretty clear it will meet its goal of training 100,000 people.

Are you planning to take part in 99% Spring? Let us know where and when.

Changing Gears
9:30 am
Fri February 17, 2012

The next phase in protests: Get ready for the "99% Spring"

The "Occupy" movement in Detroit. Will the movement sprout again this spring?
user k1ds3ns4t10n Flickr

UAW President Bob King referred last week to a “new movement for social justice” this spring, and now we know what he’s talking about. The UAW’s Facebook page on Thursday features a big photo promoting the 99% Spring, sending its readers to a new Web site called The99Spring.com.

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Occupy Movement
1:56 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Occupy Lansing leaves park, plans to continue activities

An occupier in Lansing on October 1. Protesters have broken camp in Lansing.
Peace Education Center Flickr

Occupiers in Lansing have become the latest group in the Occupy movement to pack up their camp for the winter. The Lansing State Journal reports that tents and other shelters have been cleared from Reutter Park in downtown Lansing.

More from the LSJ:

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Arts/Culture
4:10 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

“Buy nothing” day a hit in Grand Rapids park

Celia Perez leads a crochet circle at the 'buy nothing' event in Grand Rapids on Black Friday. 'There's so much stuff in the world - why not just make your own gifts?'
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

In sharp contrast to the chaos at many shopping centers during Black Friday, Occupy Grand Rapids held an event today encouraging people to buy nothing.

“This isn’t the way that Christmas has to be, you know?”

Mandi Creveling lined up clothes, books, kids toys and electronics in neat rows on top of a blue tarp. All of it is up for grabs at the “really free market”. She’s been organizing free markets in Grand Rapids for about 5 years. It’s like a flea market, but where everything is free.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Detroit City Council gives Occupy protestors week-long extension

Occupy Detroit protestors have been given a one-week permit extension.
user k1ds3ns4t10n Flickr

The permit allowing Occupy Detroit protestors to camp in Grand Circus Park expired Monday but city officials granted a one-week extension, allowing protestors more time to clean up and relocate to another venue.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

Some council members likened the peaceful Occupy Detroit to the civil rights movement aimed at extending rights to disenfranchised black people.

"All of us sit here because some people fought, because some people occupied, because some people demonstrated," Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said. "They did it because it was the right thing to do."

Saying the Occupy Detroit protesters have been peaceful and cooperative, Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said he was not opposed to the one-week extension.

Yesterday, Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported that there seemed to be little animosity amongst protestors regarding an eventual move:

Occupy Detroit participants says an extension will benefit everyone.

“[It’s] so we can maintain our peaceful protest within Grand Circus Park, and leave within a reasonable amount of time," says activist Zachary Steve. "We'll be able to clean up the park, and make sure to maintain a good relationship with the community."

Occupy Detroit says it plans to move its encampment to another, privately-owned location in the city for the winter months.

- John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics
9:21 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

End near for Occupy Detroit encampment?

It appears the city of Detroit is looking to clear out the “Occupy Detroit” encampment.

“Occupy" campers have been settled in downtown Detroit’s Grand Circus Park for nearly a month. That site has served as a gathering point for several larger protests.

But the group’s permit is set to expire Monday. Officials indicated they’ll then begin enforcing a 10 pm curfew at the park.

Participant Jessica Dawl said the “Occupy” group applied for permit extensions, which the city denied. She said it’s widely thought the city is cracking down in advance of Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade.

“It’s definitely because of the parade," Dawl said. "They don’t want us here because of the parade. Because the bleachers are in this park…and it’s national, on television. So, they don’t want us there.”

It’s not clear whether all of the protesters plan to clear out voluntarily. Dawl said they will meet Saturday to decide their future course of action.

Politics
12:25 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Permit allowing group to 'Occupy' Detroit park to expire

The group pitched tents Oct. 14 in the park
user: detdan flickr.com

DETROIT (AP) - A permit allowing a group to camp out overnight  in a Detroit park while protesting the roles of Wall Street and banks  in the nation's economic troubles is scheduled to expire next week.

Lucianna  Sabgash of Occupy Detroit said Thursday city workers  have posted signs stating Grand Circus Park closes at 10 p.m. She says the permit runs out on Monday, but the group is  expected to seek a renewal.

Politics
5:41 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

House Majority Leader: People need fair shot, not fair share

Protestors demonstrate outside House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's speech at U of M.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

The majority leader of the U.S. House says wealth redistribution is not the answer to the nation’s economic disparities. Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor spoke at the University of Michigan today.

Cantor was heckled by a handful of audience members for his message that the government should give “a hand up, not a handout” to those who need it.

He spoke to a crowd that included about a dozen people who stood with their backs to Cantor and wore shirts with slogans like “tax the rich.” Cantor said that’s the wrong message.

"The goal shouldn’t be for everyone to meet in the middle of the ladder," he said. "We should be wanting all people to be moving up, and no one to be pulled down."

Dozens of people protested outside the building where Cantor delivered his speech. Several carried cardboard tombstones with the words "RIP middle class."

U of M student Jordan Harris wore a costume to the demonstration. But not, she said, because it's Halloween.

"I'm here as a zombie to represent the lack of humanity I and my fellow zombies... see in corporate America," she said.

Cantor said the national conversation about income inequality should be about how to accelerate income mobility. He said government’s role should be to help encourage family stability, and give tools to small business that will help them thrive.

Occupy Movement
4:43 am
Fri October 28, 2011

Protesters briefly shut down Ambassador Bridge

Traffic on the Ambassador Bridge was backed up briefly coming into Detroit Thursday evening. That’s because protesters targeting bridge owner Matty Moroun blocked traffic.

The demonstrators included a State Representative, members of the ongoing Occupy Detroit movement, union members and southwest Detroit residents. They’re all angry at Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun—who they say has illegally seized land, ignored court orders, and bought political influence in Lansing and elsewhere.

Detroit resident Maya Williamson said the neighborhood is noisy and polluted because bridge traffic is forced onto residential streets—and she’s tired of it.

“The noise, and the traffic through the school area and through the neighborhoods…it’s horrendous. There’s gotta be a stop put to it, you know. You can’t just trample over citizens for money,"said Williamson.

No protesters were arrested. They left after about an hour, chanting “We’ll be back.”