Archive for December, 2011

General Strike Meeting Update, Other Occupy News

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

General Strike meeting for LA region

Tuesday is subcommittees, Saturday is general meeting. All are welcome to come to both.

Tuesday Jan. 3, as well as Saturday Jan. 7, the
meetings will take place at Corazon del Pueblo, 2003 E. First St, Los
Angeles, CA 90033 (that’s near Cummings, east of the Golden State
Freeway I-5 (that’s the easternmost of the 2 I-5’s, further east than
the Santa Ana Freeway).

Tuesday night’s meeting will be at 7:30. Saturday January 7 will
start at 12:00 NOON (not 1:00 PM).

General Strike LA Student Subcommittee meeting is Monday afternoon 4:30 PM at Venice Grind
12224 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
This meeting is on the same day as the events at the Rose Bowl. So for those who can’t make the Monday meeting there will be people at the Tuesday night meeting 7:30 PM at Corazon del Pueblo.

Riverside General Strike Meeting Jan. 5th 7:30 PM
at The Hideaway
3700 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501
All are welcome, this is mainly for people in the Inland empire.

Other events Jan 1 and Jan 2 in Pasadena.
http://occupytheroseparade.org/
Michelle Shocked and other bands will be performing on Monday, Cindy Sheehan will be speaking.

Occupy Long Beach is talking about moving the occupation from Lincoln Park to another site. Interested parties are encouraged to attend the GA outside the entrance to the Main Long Beach Library.
http://occupylb.org/
http://www.facebook.com/OccupyLongBeach
Occupy Long Beach GA Notes 12/30/11

In Friday’s GA several locations were discussed for an overnight occupation. The discussion was mostly surrounding the important factors to consider in choosing another site. We will make this decision in Tuesday’s GA.

In Saturday’s GA, we are only discussing a temporary relocation of our GA’s, meetings and events to Bixby Park until we resolve an overnight occupation site.

The following factors were listed as most important in selecting a location:

Safe place for everyone

Welcoming atmosphere

Bathrooms available late night
Visible to wider community

OK with existing community

Accessible (public transit and parking for cars)
Sidewalk space for sleeping
The parks under consideration were:

Martin Luther King, Jr. (btwn Orange & Lemon, and 19th & 20th)
Veteran’s Memorial (28th & Pine, btwn 28th & Spring St)
Cesar Chavez ( btwn 3rd St & 6th St, and Golden Ave & Shoreline Drive)
Bixby Park ( btwn Cherry & Junipero, and Ocean & Broadway)
Marina Green (E Shoreline Drive - Alamitos Ave south of Ocean Blvd)
Recreation Park (btwn E 7th St & Anaheim St, and Park Ave & PCH)
If you have the time, please do some research or scouting on how much each location address our needs so that our discussion on Tuesday can be more productive.
occupylbmail@gmail.com

Happy New Year!!!

Sweet, Spicy, And Savory Breakfast Crepes

Friday, December 30th, 2011

This morning I made killer crepes. I finally figured out how to avoid turning the crepe shell into a burnt mess, low, low flame on the skillet and don’t add extra oil, just use the oil that is still in the pan after cooking the insides.

This is the recipe, first chop up your veggies, bell pepper, serrano pepper, garlic, onion, zucchini squash, saute in olive oil, throw in some red pepper, cumin, rosemary and fresh thyme.

Whip your eggs, add a little water, place in pan, throw some brie chunks in, add some basil, cloves and sage. Wrap into an egg square, separate from the rest of the veggies. Then take the eggs and veggies out of the pan, place on a plate, add fresh fruit, in this case it was blackberries, divide into however many crepes you are making, in my case two.

Make sure burner is turned down low, place crepe shell, (mine are premade), into the pan, count to ten and turn it, count to ten and then take it out and place it on a second plate (you want the crepes to have a hint of brown but still be flexible), smear some apricot jam on the inside of the crepe, add the veggies, fruit and eggs, wrap it, then put a little salsa on top with some whipped cream. Repeat as many times as needed for all your crepes, place the plate of crepes in the microwave for 30 seconds, then serve. I throw some hot sauce, salt and pepper on top of mine, and it is delicious.

For two crepes

Veggies-
sprinkle extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/3 bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 slice onion chopped
1 serrano pepper chopped (take out the seeds)
1 zucchini squash chopped
liberal dash of red pepper
liberal dash of cumin
sprinkle of rosemary
a twig of fresh thyme

Eggs-
2 eggs,
1/4 cup water
liberal dash of basil
slice of Brie cut into bite size chunks
slight dash of cloves
liberal dash of sage

Fruit-
half a dozen blackberries per crepe washed
one good knife full of apricot jam

Toppings- (to taste I like it spicy)
liberal covering of Peach Salsa
big Spoon full of Whipped Cream
liberal dash of hot sauce
dash of sea salt
dash of black pepper

The idea is to have the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and savory tastes. You will have to experiment to get the combination you like best, but this one works pretty well for me.

Critique of Consensus, Anarchist Process in Spanish Civil War

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The other night on my way back from a general strike meeting I was talking to the person riding with me and we talked about consensus. I said it was a common anarchist practice that had been popularized in the anti-nuke movement in the 1970’s. But I decided to check it out and discovered that it was not based in anarchist theory but among Quakers, Mennonites and the Iroquois Confederacy.

The result below is a series of excerpts from various writers on consensus, anarchist decision making which has become consensual under the influence of the modern anti-nuke, peace, and feminist movements. Prior to recent history it seems that anarchists used democratic process, at least in revolutionary Spain during the civil war.

This blog site has a fairly comprehensive history of consensus, what the article doesn’t say is how it got from historical examples to modern usage. I would think perhaps the Friends Service Committee might have been the connection.

http://rhizomenetwork.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/a-brief-history-of-consenus-decision-making/

This link is to a translation of a German discussion on Anarchist Consensual theory very thorough, but it only really considers recent anarchist theory.

http://republicart.net/disc/aeas/burnicki01_en.htm

Another Anarchist writer on assemblies in the age of the Occupy movement. This writer seems to think that in the age of instant knowledge it is impossible for a few wise me to come up with a working answer to the worlds problems, but he seems to think an assembly can.

http://anarchism.pageabode.com/andrewnflood/occupy-assembly-process-revolution

From Anarchist News Dot Org

Fetishizing Process
Mark Lance
Georgetown University
Institute for Anarchist Studies
Summer 2005

“I can personally attest to the fact that within the Clamshell Alliance, consensus was fostered by often cynical Quakers and by members of a dubiously “anarchic” commune that was located in Montague, Massachusetts. … In order for that clique to create full consensus on a decision, minority dissenters were often subtly urged or psychologically coerced to decline to vote on a troubling issue, inasmuch as their dissent would essentially amount to a one-person veto. … Having withdrawn, they ceased to be political beings — so that a “decision” could be made. … On a more theoretical level, consensus silenced that most vital aspect of all dialogue, dissensus. The ongoing dissent, the passionate dialogue that still persists even after a minority accedes temporarily to a majority decision, was replaced in the Clamshell by dull monologues — and the uncontroverted and deadening tone of consensus. In majority decision-making, the defeated minority can resolve to overturn a decision on which they have been defeated — they are free to openly and persistently articulate reasoned and potentially persuasive disagreements. Consensus, for its part, honors no minorities, but mutes them in favor of the metaphysical “one” of the “consensus” group.”

http://anarchistnews.org/?q=node/231

I have trouble with consensus in groups of more than a couple of dozen people. But even if it works after a fashion for hundreds of people, when thousands are taken into consideration it simply won’t work. There can be serial consensus, or computer voting, but when large numbers are taken into account, there needs to be another process. The Soviets and anarchist assembiles in Revolutionary Russia and Spain were examples of people making decisions that worked for large numbers.

From Lib-com.org

A Critique: Consensus Decisionmaking and its Discontents

Posted on 17 May 2010 by bot

If you’ve been at all involved in ‘the activist scene’ or anti-summit mobilisations in recent years, its highly likely that you will have participated in ‘consensus’ decision making processes. Originating in the feminist and environmental movements, ‘Consensus’ is now the primary mode of organisation for many ‘activist’ groups and campaigns. The current vogue for camps of various kinds, at mobilisations, at protest sites, and as national and international gatherings, has led to an increasing number of small temporary environments which self-govern through linked consensus-based planning meetings.

I have personally participated in many such meetings, and my opinion on the process has shifted from a belief in the emancipatory qualities of the form to a deep unease about its prevalence. A series of negative experiences, and a consistently recurring set of problems has led me to conclude that the consensus decision making process is flawed, anti-democratic and potentially hierarchical. As a libertarian communist, my interest is in seeking a form of self-organisation which negates the possibility of power being entrenched in minorities, and leads to the full participation of all. Consensus decision making is not this form.

Anarchists and other libertarian socialists who choose to invest time in ‘activism’ often defend the consensus decision making process as one fit for a horizontal society based on the socialisation of production and democratic control of the economy by workers. This is based on a flawed belief that this makes it more difficult for minority groups to manipulate proceedings. However, experience of consensus processes at the anti-G8 mobilisations in Heiligendamm, Germany, and other campaigns has demonstrated to me the ease with which recuperative forces such as statist-socialists, liberals, and reformist greens can undermine militant action, pushing conclusions towards their party lines through appeals to the lowest common denominator. But if we turn to the historical record of workers’ self-organisation in syndicates, workers’ councils and assemblies then we see the prevalence of the voting form. From the Soviets to the Spanish Collectives to the Argentinian factory occupations, we see votes being taken. Voting in no way precludes infiltration and recuperation, but it certainly prevents militant action supported by a majority from being watered down or diverted by a minority. The consensus decision making form is alien to the workers’ movement. This is not to attack the movements from which it emerged – for a feminist critique of consensus decision making see The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman [1].

Having said all this, there are examples where consensus can work, for instance in small groups (10 or under) or people who know, trust and respect each other. In many cases this happens anyway and doesn’t need to be fetishised – where we’re deciding to drink, for instance. But it is totally inadequate for large-scale decisions on important issues, or in situations where we want to preclude the development of elites and to establish the emancipation of all participants. A voting procedure with full debate and an elected and recallable chair is much more preferable.

- Luther Blissett, 2008

http://libcom.org/library/consensus-its-discontents

Another argument for Democracy
http://www.diemer.ca/Docs/Diemer-OneVoteforDemocracy.htm

A feminist critique
http://stavvers.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/the-trouble-with-the-consensus-model/

An anarchist analysis of Anarchist actions in the Spanish Civil War, including assasinations, church burnings and collaboration with the Republican Goverenment, there is some description of the workers assemblies and decision making that seemed to be by majority rule.

http://www.spunk.org/texts/places/spain/sp001532.html

“Does revolutionary Spain show that libertarian socialism can work in practice?

the various agrarian and industrial collectives immediately instituted economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, ‘From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.’ They co-ordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, and bettered public services. They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganisation of social life.”

http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secI8.html

“The Spanish Revolution: 70 Years On

The collectives organised during the Spanish Civil War were workers’ economic associations without private property. The fact that collective plants were managed by those who worked in them did not mean that these establishments became their private property. The collective had no right to sell or rent all or any part of the collectivised factory or workshop, The rightful custodian was the C.N.T., the National Confederation of Workers Associations. But not even the C.N.T. had the right to do as it pleased. Everything had to be decided and ratified by the workers themselves through conferences and congresses.”

Thus the individual collective was based on a mass assembly of those who worked there which nominated administrative staff who were mandated to implement the decisions of the assembly and who had to report back to, and were accountable to, that assembly.”

“Regular general membership meetings were convoked weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. . . and these meetings were completely free of the tensions and recriminations which inevitably emerge when the power of decisions is vested in a few individuals — even if democratically elected. The Assemblies were open for everyone to participate in the proceedings. Democracy embraced all social life. In most cases, even the ‘individualists’ who were not members of the collective could participate in the discussions, and they were listened to by the collectivists.”

Regional federations of collectives were formed in many areas of Spain. The federations were created at congresses to which the collectives in an area sent delegates. These congresses agreed a series of general rules about how the federation would operate and what commitments the affiliated collectives would have to each other. The congress elected an administration council, which took responsibility for implementing agreed policy.”

http://anarchism.pageabode.com/anarcho/the-spanish-revolution-70-years-on

Justice Party, Natural Gas Fracking Pollution

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I was taking a look at the Justice Party platform, it is pretty vague, doesn’t have much to say about foreign policy, it has an interesting progressive tax plan, certainly better than most. Rocky Anderson former mayor of Salt Lake City is running for president on the Justice Party ticket. He was interviewed on Al Jazeera today. Amy Goodman was on also complaining about the lack of ability of third parties to gain admittance to the national stage in American politics. The Green Party, Ralph Nader and a host of others could confirm this.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/12/13/ex_salt_lake_mayor_rocky_anderson

http://www.justicepartyusa.net/

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Fracking is destroying water supply around the world. The industry claims it is perfectly safe, but industry always claims what they do is safe. There is a documentary called Gasland, describing the destruction of the water supply due to natural gas development.

From Watershed Post

“The first shots in what is likely to become a statewide battle were fired recently, as two lawsuits in New York State Supreme Court — one filed by a local dairy business, the other by a Colorado gas drilling company — seek to overturn town bans on gas drilling.”

http://www.watershedpost.com/2011/it-begins-lawsuits-challenge-local-gas-drilling-bans

http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46381.html

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/map

From Environmental Working Group

“Hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades. But now, natural gas producers are deploying a new gas drilling method called high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing to release gas locked in untapped shale formations.

According to a report by the Department of Energy’s outside advisory panel on natural gas, in 2011, shale gas reached 29 percent of total dry gas production in the lower 48 states, up from 6 percent in 2006.

Drilling is moving out of remote areas to within range of millions of people in cities and towns – and their water supplies.

High-volume fracking combines two older techniques in a new and controversial way:
•Drilling horizontally as well as vertically;
•Injecting the earth with as much as 8 million gallons of water laced with sand and toxic chemicals, aiming to release gas trapped in bubbles within shale layers.”

http://www.ewg.org/gas-drilling-and-fracking

From the New York Times

“Hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly common method of extracting natural gas that involves shooting a concoction of water, sand and chemicals deep underground, has sparked controversy around the country — in part because drillers mostly keep their chemical formulas secret. But Texas, the leading gas-producing state, could help change industry practices by requiring public disclosure of the chemicals used.

Expanded coverage of Texas is produced by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit news organization. To join the conversation about this article, go to texastribune.org.

Water used for natural gas removal by hydraulic fracturing is cleaned and separated at a Fountain Quail facility in Roanoke.

A bill filed this month by State Representative Jim Keffer, Republican of Eastland, who heads the House Committee on Energy Resources, would create a Web site containing information about the chemicals used in each well. The bill has won praise from both industry and major environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, the Texas League of Conservation Voters and the Environmental Defense Fund.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/us/25ttfracking.html

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Fracking

Occupy Southern California Student General Strike Meeting

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Occupy LA General Strike had a successful meeting tonight. Education Subcommittee meeting met with reps from all around Southern Cali, from UCSD to El Camino College to Occidental College. Several recent graduates from USC, UCLA, and local high schools attended. Next meeting Monday 1/2/12 for student outreach at The Grind 4:30 PM Corner of Centinela and Venice in LA.

We tentatively have come up with a name Occupy Southern California General Strike and support the March 1st action, the May 1st action and the protest at the Regents meeting Jan. 19th in Riverside. We will continue contacting schools, and come up with the text for a flyer and develop a website.

Occupy General Strike Labor, Media, and other committees will meet Tuesday 1/3/12 at Philippe’s Restaurant 1001 N Alameda St. LA 7:30 PM

Occupy Southern California Student General Strike supports the Jan. 19th protest.

http://reclaimuc.blogspot.com/2011/12/protest-uc-regents-meeting-at-ucr-on.html

Reclaim UC: Protest the UC Regents Meeting at UCR on Thursday, January 19th
reclaimuc.blogspot.com..

General Strike Meeting

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Occupy LA May Day General Strike meeting for Southern California region meeting tonight 12/27/11 at Philippe’s Restaurant 1001 N. Alameda St. LA. 7:30 Pm, parking in back, located a couple of blocks from Union Station. This is a meeting to determine direction and goals of general strike as well as a chance to meet activists from around the region. Call Gary at 310-218-7600 if you need a ride from the Long Beach area.

Funny Truthdig Holiday Message

Monday, December 26th, 2011

http://www.truthdig.com/holiday/message

Christmas 2011 Or Perhaps 2061

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

What a world we live in. We are now having much fun, tearing up the capitalist system and recreating reality. I have been unemployed now for a year and a half, participating in the Occupy movement, going to school, relaxing, but now unemployment is over and I have to find work, or lower my living standards. I could try charging for my words, but I have never done that with much success. So I will probably find some way to sell my services in some form of wage slavery unless I can find a coop to work with. These days there are more of them, but will they be able to put up with an irascible person like me?
Fifty- Sixty Years Hence…
Somehow there is nothing left to the world. Loose ends, bits of paper floating around the edges of a universal rubbish heap, the Yeatsian vision made flesh. Slow down the presses, steam pressure released, there is peace; a crumpling of bits of paper and broken two by fours to create kindling for a fire. This is the place where there are thousands of dirty children picking through old plastic bags and laptops, sorting, forever sorting to find a place for it all. Rummaging through the leftovers of the modern world, the past world of fossil fuels, when oil hit $300 a barrel it became more cost effective to recycle, but by then the technology was breaking down. Shortages everywhere, essential components were hard to get, communications became sporadic as the internet became intermittent due to collapse towers, broken cable lines, satellites falling like stray meteorites. At first it was seen as simply a problem of infrastructure needing repair, but for some reason there never was enough money to pay for the repairs.

Horses pulling cars, then simply carts, as the cars were stripped of excess weight, simply frames with wheels and a seat and an umbrella for a roof. Quite a problem with the manure, use it for roof top gardens, flat roofs make great gardens, until they rot. There are some kind of love fests that mean gold when you shit, and there are love fests that end up in disrupted lake side murders. What this vision entails is a state were balloons are used to transport rare minerals from African mines guarded by mercenaries and National Guard units sent over on transport ships powered by cow methane, solar panels and wind. The sails have solar panels on them and below deck is a cow barn. Milk and methane daily. But there is a problem with feeding the cows, the deck is a pasture for growing alfalfa widened like an aircraft carrier, now only balloons land on this deck. Crew quarters are rather limited below deck, perhaps a thousand men able to sit on one ship. This makes it not very cost effective for an aggressive naval force. The Naval oil reserves having been used up, only a few emergency transports remain powered by oil. Nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers function but only by cannibalizing parts from ships that are no longer serviceable. Nuclear power as an option used up due to lack of fissionable material after entire planet tried to go nuclear in the middle of the century and thus only available for emergency medical and military use. Just like fossil fuels, for medical plastics mostly.
It’s not exactly rationing, more like some things simply drop out of general usage. Plastic bags, private automobiles, jet airplanes, all things of the past, these are the sort of luxuries, the sort of thing that even the very rich hoard in their secret redoubts. Normal humans, the kind you would meet, live by taking the trolley to the communal farm, or the repair shop or the dairy, or the stables, or take a walk to the roof garden. Or they scrabble about in the wreckage of 250 years of fossil civilization for some usable materials.

Taking the time to give, people go on about their lives. Merry Christmas.

Nurses Strike, & Protest Police Brutality In Long Beach.

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Thursday 12/22/noon I joined a rally of the Nurses out on strike. There were reps from several regional Unions, the Teamsters, Carpenters, Longshoremen and Teachers were there as well as Progressive Democrats and our Congresswoman Laura Richardson made an appearance. Several of the Occupy Long Beach crew were there and lots of Nurses. This is the kind of solidarity we need with labor, students, homemakers, retired and the unemployed coming together. Vivian Price made a good point linking the Occupy movement with the Union movement and led a chant “We are the 99%.”

Protest today at 4 pm George Diller’s beating and arrest. Occupy Long Beach is marching to protest the police brutality. Meet at Lincoln Park, march goes to city hall and main courthouse.

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From LA Weekly

George Diller, Marine Vet at ‘Occupy Long Beach,’ Claims Police Brutality During Smoking Citation

By Simone Wilson Fri., Dec. 23 2011 at 12:30 Pm

​A brave few campers remain at Occupy Long Beach headquarters in Lincoln Park. Christopher Perkins, an organizer, counts maybe a dozen, tops. Every night at 10 p.m., when the park closes, they drag their tents from the lawn to the sidewalk, then wake up at 5 a.m. to move them back. Such is the in-limbo state of Occupy Wall Street factions all over the country — too strong to die out, yet unsure of exactly where to take things from here.

But as we learned from the LAPD raid of Occupy L.A., there’s nothing like some allegations of police brutality to put the fight back in the movement!

At 4 p.m. today, Occupy Long Beach protesters and their supporters will be marching “against police brutality,” says Perkins.

The “use of force” in question: On Tuesday, former marine George Diller, 24, was tackled to the ground by Long Beach cops after they caught him smoking a cigarette at the edge of Lincoln Park, a violation of the city’s smoking ordinance. (Far cry from L.A. in that respect — where LAPD Chief Charlie Beck simply smiled and waved at occupiers who openly smoked pot on the City Hall lawn. Seriously.)

Susan Williams, a witness to Diller’s arrest and a writer for the indie Long Beach Post, tells LA Weekly that the officers showed “absolutely no restraint” when detaining the young smoker, who was on the phone with his dad when they approached him. Here’s Williams’ full account of the takedown:

Diller was seemingly too slow in getting off the phone in the opinion of Officer Brad Dinsdale (who “has been abusive in the past” to OLBers), and so Dinsdale wrenched Diller’s arm and pulled him to the ground, then put him in a chokehold and held him there 30 seconds beyond when Diller became unconscious, then hit Diller in the head, and then picked him up and dropped him to the ground — all this even though Diller not only offered no resistance but went as far as to say he wasn’t resisting.

It’s a far cry from the Long Beach Police Department’s version of events. Spokeswoman Nancy Pratt tells the Long Beach Press-Telegram that both officers and “multiple witnesses” have claimed Diller swore at Officer Dinsdale, tried to fight him and even hawked a loogie at him.

Here’s the department’s statement in full.

•The officer approached the subject who was talking on his cell phone, advised him that smoking in the park was illegal and asked him to put out his cigarette
•The subject refused to do so using profanity
•The officer advised the subject a second time that he was in violation of the law
•The subject continued to argue with the officer and refused to extinguish his cigarette
•The officer then advised the subject that he was now being lawfully detained, that he needed to put down his cell phone, and that he was going to be cited
•The subject continued smoking while talking on his cell phone, refusing to comply with the officer’s directions
•Due to the subject’s uncooperative behavior and failing to comply, the officer moved toward the subject who was sitting on the grass
•As the officer took the suspect’s arm to place him into handcuffs, the suspect began pulling away from the officer and rolled on to his side, and attempted to kick the officer twice
•The suspect, who is approx. 6′ 2″ tall and weighs approx. 200 lbs., then reached back, hooked the officer’s elbow with his own arm, and pulled the officer on top of him, preventing the officer from moving away
•A second officer had arrived at the location, ran to the officer’s aid, and first removed the cigarette from the suspect’s hand for fear that the suspect would use it as a weapon
•The second officer then attempted to gain control of the suspect’s other arm to place him handcuffs
•The suspect was advised numerous times to stop resisting and to put put his hands behind his back but he continued to resist and fight with officers
•When the suspect attempted to stand-up, the first officer was finally able to free himself and applied a carotid control on the suspect causing the suspect to momentarily lose consciousness
•The suspect was then handcuffed, rolled on to his side to so his breathing could be checked and monitored, which is standard procedure when the carotid restraint is applied
•The suspect regained consciousness right away
•The officers then heard and observed the suspect as he began to form a large amount of phlegm in his mouth preparing to spit on them
•To prevent the suspect from spitting, the officer immediately placed his knee on the left side of the defendant’s face to direct his head towards the ground, and requested an additional police unit respond with a spit mask
•At one point, the suspect did yell that he was going to spit on the officers
•When the additional officer arrived, the spit mask was placed on the suspect
•The suspect was then placed in a police vehicle and transported to a local hospital to be medically cleared for booking, which is also standard procedure when the carotid restraint is used to control a combative suspect
•Once cleared, the suspect was transported to the LBPD where he was booked for obstruction/resisting and for smoking in a public park
•There were multiple witnesses interviewed, several who supported the officers statements

Diller, who was released from jail yesterday, tells a much different story.

“I remember I was talking on the phone with my father and smoking a cigarette on the guardrail,” he says in an interview with the Weekly. “I said, ‘Hold on a second,’ which I was saying to both [the officer and my father]. Like, ‘Hold on, let me set this phone down.’ But when I went to put out my cigarette, [Dinsdale] drug me into the yard and put me in a chokehold and put me to sleep.”

Cops do admit to that last part. (See above.)

Diller says that after being in the marine corps, he has “no problem with authority figures,” and remembers complying with officers’ requests. “I didn’t resist, and I remember telling them, ‘I’m not resisting, just handcuff me,” he says. “They went from asking me to do something to … aggression and animalistic behavior.”

He says he left the station yesterday with “a couple knots” on his head, pain in his back where he was injured in the Marine Corps and charges of “resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and assault on a peace officer.”

According to Diller, he was offered a plea bargain of a year’s probation if he plead no contest. And Lisa Massacani, a media-relations officer for the Long Beach PD, says he accepted the deal. “As part of the plea, the smoking in public charges were dismissed,” she adds.

Ironic, seeing as that’s what got him into this mess in the first place.

Perkins, who’s organizing the brutality march today, doubts the ordinance was ever being violated at all.

The ex-marine was “sitting on the curb on the edge of the park,” Perkins claims. “It was totally unclear as to the boundaries [of the no-smoking zone] — they change the boundaries whenever they deem it necessary.”

Kind of small-town stuff, but reminiscent of a post-Occupy tension between cops and protesters in general, all across the country. Lots of bickering over the protocol of responding officers, the exact wording of local zoning codes, etc. — young people picking apart the actions of their public servants, at last.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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From Modern Health Care.com

Year’s end marked by flurry of nurses’ strikes

By Ashok Selvam

Posted: December 23, 2011 - 1:00 pm ET

It’s apparently the season for nurses’ strikes across the country.

Thursday featured nurses represented by the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United conducting a one-day strike at eight Bay Area Sutter Health hospitals and two Long Beach, Calif., hospitals. Contract talks affected 6,000 nurses at those facilities. At a rally near Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, Calif., union officials estimated 300 came out to protest Sutter’s labor practices. Nurses there have been working without a contract since July. No further negotiating sessions are planned until January, and there have been 29 sessions since April.

The New York State Nurses Association also announced Thursday a planned strike on Jan. 3 at 711-bed St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan. Their contract expired in December 2010, and union officials said there have been 25 bargaining sessions. The NYSNA represents 1,300 nurses.

Meanwhile, sick days are an issue in Houston at 181-bed Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center. NNU-backed nurses held a news conference on Thursday about concerns regarding the hospital’s flu policy, saying it forces nurses to work while sick, contributing to an unsafe environment for nurses and patients.

Union officials in California said they want to maintain the terms of the most recent contract. Sutter officials once more stated that full-time registered nurses earn an average of $136,000 annually, and their pensions would pay them an average of $84,000 a year. Sutter also disputed the union’s estimates of how many nurses participated in the strikes.

Replacement nurses were hired with two-day contracts, Sutter officials said. While union nurses said they are ready to return to work Friday, many will have to wait until Saturday, Christmas Eve. Union officials called that a lockout. Many of the same nurses held a one-day strike in September. Sutter officials that month hired replacement nurses to five-day contracts, delaying the return of union workers. This time, with Christmas on the horizon, firms representing the replacement nurses wanted to stay at home for the holiday, and so only two-day contracts were agreed upon.

Sutter officials ripped the union for the timing of the strike. Holding it near Christmas ignores the holidays-amplified stress suffered by patients and families, Sutter officials argued. NNU officials countered and said while no time is ideal for a strike, there are fewer patients and scheduled procedures during this time of year.

During the September work stoppage, a 68-year-old female cancer patient died at 408-bed Alta Bates, and officials blamed a replacement nurse’s error. The California Department of Public Health is investigating, but didn’t have any update on their probe. The death catalyzed both sides, as the California Hospital Association and NNU mentioned the death in news releases blaming the other side for the tragedy.

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20111223/NEWS/312239984/years-end-marked-by-flurry-of-nurses-strikes

Occupy Long Beach Protests Police Brutality, Join Nurse’s Job Action

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Occupy Long Beach General Assembly had an announcement about the General Strike being planned for May Day 2012. The response was interested and there were questions about union involvement being essential. A short discussion occurred regarding the nature of the unions and how to get them involved. Mostly contacting rank & file and having them pressure the leadership to participate was mentioned. In any case if enough people don’t go to work the unions will have to support the move of the people although under certain terms to be determined union leadership may be supportive.

After that a discussion was held about the arrest of George Diller, a recent Vet., he was smoking a cigarette in Lincoln Park when he was attacked by police. He is now facing $25,000 bail for smoking, clearly a case of police overreaction and brutality as they knocked him unconscious and took him to the hospital before taking him to jail.

Occupy Long Beach is calling for a march against police brutality on Friday Dec. 23 at 4 pm to start at Lincoln Park and then to City Hall and the Court House. People are encouraged to attend the arraignment which is to be announced.

Occupy Long Beach will be joining the Nurses at Long Beach Memorial to support their job action Thursday Dec. 22. Starting at 7 am the action will last until 11 pm and there will be a noon rally. This is part of a state wide Nurses one day strike.

——————————————————————————–

From Long Beach Post

Police Brutality Alleged in Tuesday Arrest at Occupy Long Beach Site

by Greggory Moore | Staff Reports | 12.21.11 |

4:56pm | An incident in Lincoln Park late Tuesday morning led to the arrest of one man and allegations of police brutality.

According to several witnesses, two bicycle-mounted LBPD officers approached George Diller, an Iraq War veteran and recent arrival to Occupy Long Beach, as he sat on the lip of Lincoln Park smoking a cigarette and talking on the telephone. After being informed by officers that he was not allowed to smoke in the park, Diller inquired as to whether he was being cited for his offense, to which officers replied in the affirmative.

As Diller was getting off the phone, Officer Brad Dinsdale is said to have wrenched Diller’s arm backwards and forced him to the ground, then placed Diller in a chokehold, which he maintained well after Diller had been handcuffed and rendered unconscious.
Christopher Perkins, a witness to the incident, says Dinsdale struck Diller in the head three times while he was unconscious.

“[Dinsdale] has a history with us,” Perkins says. “He does not want us here. He has been abusive in the past. […] This officer has some sort of grudge against us.”

Another witness, Susan Williams — who snapped several photographs of the incident — called the “attack” on Diller “absolutely unprovoked. […] He did not attempt any type of resistance.”

Perkins concurs, saying that Diller repeatedly told police, “There’s no reason to do this! I’m not resisting!”

Daniel Franklin, who was also present, says that Officer Dinsdale maintained his chokehold on Diller for 30 seconds after Diller had lost consciousness, with onlookers exhorting officers (including the half-dozen who had arrived as backup) to attend to Diller’s condition.

According to Franklin, when Diller regained consciousness, he asked the officers, “Is this how you treat your veterans?”

St. Mary Medical Center has confirmed to the Long Beach Post that Diller was briefly admitted Tuesday for undisclosed reasons, then released back into police custody.
Diller was booked by the LBPD at 1:35 p.m. for California Penal Code 69, commonly referred to as “obstructing or resisting,” as well as for violating Long Beach’s ban on smoking in public parks.

As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Diller remained in police custody, being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Members of Occupy Long Beach, including Perkins, expressed their distress about Diller’s treatment by police during the open public comment period at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. Councilmember Rae Gabelich commented that she had seen Williams’s pictures of the incident, “and I was pretty upset at what I saw. [But] what I do want to remind you is that we have to look at things from the perspective of, ‘There’s more than one side to a story,’ okay? [The incident] is under investigation.”

Gabelich also referred concerned OLBers to Citizens’ Police Compliant Commission (CPCC), “[which] is there for these very reasons. And I hope that you use the tools that are available to you.”

Williams has filed a report with the CPCC (with Perkins and Franklin listed as witnesses), citing the use of “excessive force,” including (in addition to the above-mentioned) “Officer Dinsdale repeatedly pick[ing] George up and dropp[ing] him while unconscious.”

The LBPD declined Long Beach Post requests for comment.

http://www.lbpost.com/news/greggorymoore/12961

———————————————————–

From California Healthline

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One-Day Nursing Strikes Loom at Several Calif. Hospitals This Week

Thousands of nurses are planning a walkout Thursday at several California hospitals over contract disputes and other workplace issues, the Oakland Tribune reports (Woodall, Oakland Tribune, 12/20).

One strike could involve up to 4,000 registered nurses represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

Meanwhile, up to 2,000 CNA nurses also are planning a one-day walkout at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and its affiliated Miller Children’s Hospital (”L.A. Now,” Los Angeles Times, 12/19). The facilities are not operated by Sutter (California Healthline, 12/12).

Nurses and hospital management at these facilities have been in contract negotiations since July, and their last contract expired Sept. 30 (Robes Meeks, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/20).

According to the union, there are not enough staff to maintain minimum safety standards under state law, and union members often work through breaks and lunches. The union also has argued that there is not a safe patient lift policy in place. In addition, the union has argued that nurses face an increase in benefit

http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2011/12/21/one-day-nursing-strikes-loom-at-several-calif-hospitals-this-week.aspx


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