Texas Cities Under Occupation

As of 7:30 AM on Saturday morning, October 8, the list of needs posted at the "Occupy Dallas" encampment in Pioneer Park (Young & Griffin in downtown Dallas) read as follows:

Rain is possible on Saturday and more likely Sunday and Monday. We might inquite if they need umbrellas, tarps, and tents, for they slept mostly in the open air on Friday night, the second night of their occupation. The protestors do not intend to stop. The weekend offers their best chance to draw the mass support that can make a real difference. See their web page at www.occupydallas or check them on twitter at ;occupydallas to see where they are and how you can help.

The Texas AFL-CIO sent out this list of "occupy" web sites as of October 6th:

In Austin, the top union leaders were part of a 1,300 person demonstration that day. In Dallas, more than 400 gathered at Pike Park and marched together to the Federal Reserve Building. The sidewalks there could not hold all of the protesters. A prominent worker activist was arrested, but only because the police recognized him and had outstanding traffic violations against him. He was back with the protesters for Friday night in Pioneer Park. No other arrests were reported as the "peaceful and legal" standard has been upheld.

occupation protesterDallas protesters occupied the Kennedy Memorial downtown through Thursday night. On Friday, October 7, they moved to Pioneer Park where, along with 20 or 30 statues of longhorn steers and cowboys, they intend to stay. Protests for Friday included the Bank of America and the Chase Bank downtown. On Thursday, they had a really good heterogeneous mix of ages, races, attitudes, and social status. On Friday, their numbers were reduced and mostly young students made up the group. However, the word is getting out from their web sites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts.

The weekend may be very instructive!

News coverage has been exciting in Texas. For San Antonio, read http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Cries-of-Occupy-San-Antonio-ring-throughout-2205816.php#ixzz1a6sCikHg

For Dallas: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/politex/2011/10/wall-street-protest-in-north-texas.html#tp#ixzz1a6kSGHPC

For Austin: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/occupy-austin-protesters-air-grievances-without-drawing-police-1900452.html

For Houston: http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2011/10/protesters- target-bank-city-hall-in-houston-this-morning/#1285-4

One of the striking things about the "Occupy..." movement is labor's eager participation. A statement from AFL-CIO national president Richard Trumpka was read to the Dallas crowd in Pike Park on Thursday:

"Occupy Wall Street has captured the imagination and passion of millions
of Americans who have lost hope that our nation’s policymakers are
speaking for them. We support the protesters in their determination to
hold Wall Street accountable and create good jobs. We are proud that
today on Wall Street, bus drivers, painters, nurses and utility workers are
joining students and homeowners, the unemployed and the
underemployed to call for fundamental change.

'Across America, working people are turning out with their friends and neighbors in parks,
congregations and union halls to express their frustration – and anger --
about our country’s staggering wealth gap, the lack of work for people
who want to work and the corrupting of our politics by business and
financial elites.

'The people who do the work to keep our great country running are being robbed not only of income, but of a voice. It is time for all of us—the 99 percent—to be heard.
As we did when we marched on Wall Street last year, working people call
on corporations, big banks, and the financial industry to do their part to create good jobs, stop foreclosures and pay their fair share of taxes.

• Wall Street and corporate America must invest in America: Big
corporations should invest some of the $2 trillion in cash they have on
hand, and use it to create good jobs. And the banks themselves should
be making credit more accessible to small businesses, instead of parking
almost $1 trillion at the Federal Reserve.

• Stop foreclosures: Banks should write down the 14 million mortgages
that are underwater and stop the more than 10 million pending
foreclosures to stop the downward spiral of our housing markets and
inject more than $70 billion into our economy.

• Fund education and jobs by taxing financial speculation: A tiny tax on
financial transactions could raise hundreds of billions in revenue that
could fund education and create jobs rebuilding our country. And it
would discourage speculation and encourage long term investment.

We will open our union halls and community centers as well as our arms
and our hearts to those with the courage to stand up and demand a better