During the week leading up to Occupy Austin’s October 6 birthday, the group participated in the Cop Block’s Chalk The Police Day of Action. We began by chalking at Austin City Hall, where the police monitor was in session and in honor of a recent court ruling that said bans from City Hall were unconstitutional.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday October 17, 2012 2:49 pm|
The Texas fusion center enabled Austin Police to entrap activists in Houston, but apparently it can’t help settle a dispute when that entrapment comes to light. The Austin Chronicle reports that the Austin Police Department would rather drop the charges against the Gulf Port 7 than reveal their undercover officers.
Also a Tar Sands Blockade Update.
|By: Kit OConnell Thursday September 27, 2012 5:45 pm|
A policy which shaped the history of Occupy Austin has been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S District Court. The ruling comes just over a week before the group celebrates its first birthday on October 6.
On that day, Occupy Austin first encamped on the amphitheater steps outside Austin City Hall; because of a legal loophole, the camping and sleeping ban which applies to most of Austin did not apply at that site.
|By: Kit OConnell Monday September 24, 2012 7:15 pm|
What is it about being filmed that makes Austin Police so scared? Why is being filmed equated with physical interference or even threats of violence? Despite the risk that the arrests put on all local journalists, mainsteam media continues to repeat claims by Austin Police Association Wayne Vincent, Police Chief Acevedo and others that PSP presence incites violence rather than simply documents it. Peaceful Streets Project seems unmoved, however, holding emergency tactical meetings over the weekend and planning their expansion into other cities. They held their first rally in Houston, Texas today.
|By: Kit OConnell Thursday August 30, 2012 5:26 pm|
Judge Joan Campbell has threatened to dismiss the case unless these documents are presented along with the names of two other undercover officers at the next hearing, scheduled for September 5 2012.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday August 29, 2012 3:30 pm|
Why did undercover Austin Police Department Detective Shannon G. Dowell provide material support for an activist protest that resulted in them being charged with a felony in Houston?
That’s the question I want answered after speaking with Ronnie Garza, a member of Occupy Austin who faces felony charges resulting from actions at the Port of Houston on December 12, 2011. On this day, the National Port Shutdown day of action, seven activists from Austin, Dallas, and Houston blocked the main entrance into the port by laying in the road and linking arms inside lockboxes (also known as sleeping dragons), which physically linked them together so that they had to be cut apart. The use of these instruments resulted in these seven being charged with Unlawful Use of a Criminal Instrument or Device, while others who merely linked arms and legs faced lesser misdemeanor charges.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday July 4, 2012 4:20 pm|
I intend to spend the 4th at the Texas State Capitol where Occupy Austin is planning a full day of events. The schedule includes teach-ins and the creation of a list of demands in the form of a new Declaration of Independence, using the same visioning process being used in Philadelphia at the National Gathering. The collectively created document will be shared at the end of the day, before we march to dinner at Austin City Hall. Organizers have been calling on participants to bring camping gear, so attempted reoccupation of space may occur.
|By: Kit OConnell Thursday June 14, 2012 6:30 pm|
Last week we heard from the United Steelworkers on behalf of C&M Conveyor, a firm in Mitchell, Indiana. They unionized with United Steel a year ago but have struggled with the company’s owners, vulture capitalists Blue Sage Capital who have refused to give them a contract while cutting their hours, wages, health care and retirement benefits. Though health insurance is theoretically provided, the insurance deductible to cover a family is $10,000, leaving some workers literally bankrupt after medical emergencies. Many workers are so broke that they qualify for food stamps.
Today we protested at Blue Sage’s downtown Austin offices.
|By: Kit OConnell Wednesday June 13, 2012 4:18 pm|
About a month ago, a balcony collapsed at Wood Ridge apartment complex in south Austin, Texas. Occupy Austin has been involved since we first got word of the collapse. We’ve reached out to several residents, making ourselves available to help them organize a response and get the help they need. The group was present at a recent, contentious code hearing where Asset Plus was given 75 days to make repairs to ten of the 15 buildings.
This wasn’t enough for us; here’s a report on the follow up.
|By: johndeand Saturday May 19, 2012 10:00 am|
I had avoided telling my parents about anything involving activism or really any socializing with other LGBTQ people. To my parents at that time, I was a docile gay who was renouncing that “lifestyle” to grow closer to God. But after that march, I knew I had to go to them and come out as an on-fire activist. I spent days writing what I was going to say to them before I had to go back home.