We'll be participating in Tent City United
Day of Action April 1, 2013 in solidarity with Occupy Austin
, Occupy Wall Street NY, Occupy Oakland, and all homeless people, occupiers, and people who value public space.
Working groups will meet TBA to plan creative, strategic actions. Since this is a solidarity event, we are sharing the link to the Tent City United Facebook Event
and encourage people to follow Twitter hashtag #TentCity and account @TentCityUnited
Plans can include:
- March of the Tentmonsters
- Make and place Tiny Tents in strategic places.
- Pitch tents in strategic public spaces
- Parade with tents in front of surveillance cameras
NOTE: The Occupy NOLA GA
reached unanimous consensus to participate in this action when it convened on February 19.
It's been a busy Mardi Gras season at Occupy The Stage.
On January 19, Occupy The Stage rolled in krewedelusion - the parade that follows Krewe du Vieux, which kicks of Mardi Gras.
Our Krewe "Guise of Fawkes" made a "You can't jail an idea" float to show solidarity with imprisoned hactivists and Free Anons.
We were thrilled to receive donations of flags and stickers from Hammond Support Network
to use as throws during the parade. Along with our own handmade throws (voodoo dolls, chalk with Chalkupy instructions, and buttons we made with our button machine), these stickers made our parade great, and we hope to have raised awareness about Jeremy Hammond's unfair bail denial and the prison sentence he is facing.
Check out our full write-up
and the photo set below!
Guise of Fawkes "Go Fawkes Yourself" in krewedelusion 2013
Full text from slide show is available here
Interview with Local Artist
Interview with NOLA Cab Driver unable to get inspected despite fact that he upgraded to meet city standards.
The Super Bowl Should Not Be NOLA's Cross to Bear
Occupy The Stage met at 3pm in Jackson Square on Super Bowl Sunday and held a creative procession to celebrate our First Amendment right to free speech show solidarity with local artists, vendors, and workers. A female Jesus led a procession of monks who chanted while holding wooden hand-painted signs bearing slogans that included "Thou Shalt Not Create a Police State" and "Honor The Small Businesses." Our slideshow and video are below.
Mardi Gras and #OpValentine
Occupy The Stage's Mardi Gras Krewe - Guise of Fawkes - rolled with the Society of Saint Anne
on Mardi Gras Day (February 12).
Our Free Anons float included paper hearts people could use to write Valentines to mail to political prisoners as part of #OpValentine
! We've collected and addressed the Valentines and will be sending Mardi Gras love to political prisoners.
See our Mardi Gras Day slideshow below!
It's been a busy few weeks, and we are really grateful to all of our online and on ground supporters.
Happy Valentine's Day!
2 Words for Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the National Football League: Our Streets
"Money is not more important than constitutional rights, despite what Clean Zone would indicate.”
“Your Tax Dollars Working to Help the Rich Get Richer”
“Super Bowl XLVII – Sponsored by Corporate Greed”
Under the Clean Zone Ordinance and Guide established by the City of New Orleans, holding banners and signs with the above slogans in the Clean Zone during Super Bowl week would have been prohibited and punishable by a $500 fine and 6 months in jail.
Because no members of Occupy The Stage (or Occupy NOLA) are official NFL sponsors, and none of our proposed signs, flags, or banners contain any NFL branding, one of us asked the Court to intervene preenforcement and protect the First Amendment Rights of the citizens of New Orleans.
Occupy The Stage refused to stand by and watch this violation of citizens' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Moreover, the Clean Zone, which included most of the CBD, all of the French Quarter, most of the Marigny and many of the surrounding neighborhoods is traditionally a public forum. The streets, along Mayor Mitch Landrieu's imaginary "Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard," belong to the people of New Orleans. The City, through the Clean Zone Ordinance and Guide, had effectively established two classes of speech: permitted NFL-branded speech and excluded non-NFL-branded speech. This censorship was simply unacceptable. Moreover, the Supreme Court has noted, “the loss of First Amendment freedoms, even for minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.” Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976). The National Football League's attempt to control the content of signs and other public media in the Clean Zone is not in the public interest, despite Mayor Landrieu's claim that Clean Zone Ordinances will enhance the quality of life.
Members of OTS discussed the Clean Zone's obvious violation of our First Amendment rights at an Occupy NOLA General Assembly; we proposed outreach and action, including making our own mobile signs in the form of T-shirts since mobile signage attached to one's person is prohibited in the Clean Zone. We stenciled, cut, painted, and wore our "This Shirt Is Illegal" T-shirts, spreading awareness about the Clean Zone regulations.
After attending a community meeting about zoning, one of our members got in contact with the ACLU, eager to discuss this obvious violation of the right to free speech.
A PRAYER FOR RELIEF
Thanks to a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana behalf of an Occupy activist and a street preacher, on January 24, U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt granted in part a temporary restraining order.
The Clean Zone just got smaller.
The TRO limits the Clean Zone to an area near the Superdome, where the game will be played Feb. 3. Banners, flags and signs without NFL branding are permitted in the French Quarter, the Marigny, and the whole CBD south of Loyola.
"Even the Super Bowl isn’t an excuse to suspend the First Amendment," said ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman in a statement. "The founders of our country didn’t intend our rights to be suspended for a football game" The Gambit reporter Charles Maldonado quotes in ACLU sues city over Super Bowl "Clean Zone" UPDATE: Judge grants temporary restraining order, city can only enforce signage bans directly around Superdome.
Below is the press release from the ACLU regarding the plaintiffs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2012
NEW ORLEANS — On behalf of Tara Ciccarone and Pastor Troy Bohn, today the ACLU of Louisiana sought an order to block enforcement of the "Clean Zone" enacted as part of the preparations for the Super Bowl. The plaintiffs seek to engage in constitutionally protected speech that is barred by this ordinance, adopted by the City of New Orleans at the behest of the NFL.
The "Clean Zone" establishes an area of New Orleans, specifically the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, and the Central Business District, where between January 28th and February 3rd the following prohibitions apply:
Inflatables, cold air balloons, banners, pennants, flags, building wraps, A-frame signs, projected image signs, electronic variable message signs, and light emitting diode signs of any kind shall be prohibited except for those sanctioned or authorized by the City,
General and mobile advertising (including, but not limited to, signs on or attached to a vehicle, portable device or person) shall be prohibited except for promotional displays sanctioned or authorized by the City (consisting of at least 60% Super Bowl/NFL branding, look and feel, and no more than 40% third party commercial identification) and by the National Football League (NFL), including, but not limited to, those placed on existing public utility poles.
Anyone – business or individual – who wishes to display such signs, flags, banners or other items must apply for a permit, and only official NFL sponsors may apply. Additionally, any such sign, banner or flag must "consist of at least 60% Super Bowl/NFL branding, look and feel, and no more than 40% third party commercial identification."
In other words, within the "Clean Zone" nobody can fly a flag of any kind - Mardi Gras, American flag, Louisiana flag, LSU flag - and simple signs such as "Restrooms for Customers Only", "Buy your King Cake here," or "Roger Goodell will not be served here" are forbidden unless the speaker is an NFL sponsor; the NFL and the City approve the message; and the content is at least 60% NFL branding.
Tara Ciccarone, a member of the Occupy group, plans to display signs and billboards with political messages in the French Quarter and the CBD during the Super Bowl. Among them are signs saying "Money is not more important than constitutional rights, despite what Clean Zone would indicate," and "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech..." Pastor Bohn, of Raven Ministries, regularly preaches on Bourbon Street. He and his congregation wear t-shirts and carry signs that read "I Love Jesus," "Ask Me How Jesus Changed My Life," or similar messages, and carry a large cross emblazoned with the words "Raven Street Church." All of these messages are prohibited by the "Clean Zone" ordinance.
"Even the Super Bowl isn’t an excuse to suspend the First Amendment," said ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman. "The founders of our country didn’t intend our rights to be suspended for a football game."
While the ACLU’s immediate lawsuit concerns only noncommercial speech, the organization is concerned about the Clean Zone’s commercial implications as well. The "Clean Zone" forbids real estate "for sale" signs, and temporary advertisements on vehicles such as taxi cabs and food delivery cars. Esman continued: "Businesses have the right to promote themselves. If our local businesses are to benefit from the many visitors we expect, they must be able to inform customers of their offerings. Prohibiting stores from telling people they sell king cakes, or posting 'for sale' signs at properties, will hurt New Orleans businesses and deprive our visitors of the many options we have for them."
The ACLU of Louisiana’s suit against the City of New Orleans was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans. Copies of the Complaint and related documents are linked below.
Ciccarone et al v. New Orleans – Complaint
Ciccarone et al v. New Orleans – Memorandum for TRO
Ciccarone et al v. New Orleans – Exhibit 1 – Ordinance
Ciccarone et al v. New Orleans – Exhibit 2 – Guide
This is a big victory, but not a complete one.
There is more at stake, including:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Unfair Restrictions on Taxi Drivers
Mardi Gras Krewes Losing Money Due to Super Bowl!
The thousands of dollars some Mardi Gras krewes are losing because Mayor Landrieu has “asked” them to parade a week early so that “the focus stays on football", and the $300 million renovation Michael Patrick Welch describes in "How the Super Bowl Screws New Orleans"
6 Million Tax Dollars at Work!
Even more disturbing is the 6 Million Louisiana tax dollars that were spent by the Super Bowl Host Committee to divert attention away from New Orleans' problems and make sure the world sees NFL branding. "In order to fulfill all of the obligations of the bid, the Host Committee needs to raise $12 Million through public and private sources; $6 Million publicly from the State of Louisiana, and $6 Million through private corporation sponsorship." ~ New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee
The Host Committee explains that a portion of this money will be spend on "Recruiting and managing 8500 volunteers [UNPAID WORKERS] for Super Bowl week" Call the here: 504-525-5678
NFL's non-profit status
Despite the fact that it is a $9Billion/Year Industry, the NFL Commissioner and Owners continue to enjoy status as a non-profit organization.
Petitioning Congress Congress: Revoke the Tax-Exempt Status of the National Football League
Please Contact Us if you are interested in raising awareness about these issues!
~ Occupy The Stage
The Occupy Puppet Theater has really taken off, and today Occupy The Stage participated in a Charivari
against Austerity. The Puppet Theater was involved along with our latest "banker" puppet who printed his own money and denied several bystanders the opportunity to open an account.
Creative Props included a birdcage stuffed with spray-painted orange dolls that represented the prison-industrial complex and over-crowded jails and some "Evict the Rich" punching balloons, along with creative signs and hand-made instruments.
This action was part of "Solidarity Against Austerity" planned in conjunction with The Gulf Coast People's Convention
We had the pleasure of spending a few days with Radical Resistance Tour when they stopped in New Orleans over the summer. The Radical Resistance Tour is an autonomous project by a group of Occupy Wall Street organizers.
Learn more about them HERE
We thank them for the lovely job they did editing their footage of Occupy The Stage! Please consider supporting their work!
99% Voting Booth and Occupy Puppet Theater - Nov 6
Why? Because our two party political system can not produce candidates who represent the people!
Where? On the neutral ground on Orleans Avenue between N. Alexander and N. Murat.
This is near the polling location at Dilbert Elementary School
but is 600 feet away (see RS 18:1462 and 600 feet law regarding polling locations here
All people who live in Louisiana are welcome to vote at the 99% Election Booth including:
• those under the age of 18
• those serving felony sentences
• those judicially declared mentally incompetent
• people who do not have the required mailing address (i.e. homeless people)
Unlike the State of Louisiana, The 99% Voting Booth welcomes write-in candidates
A series of free classes on crafting things for the holidays.
Because we all need to stop buying mass-made Walmart crap!
Want to learn to make these? Pop into the Operation Holiday class on November 25th!
Nov 4th – Knitting a simple scarf on straight needles (intro to knitting)
Nov 11th – Knitting simple fingerless gloves on double pointed needles
Nov 18th – Mixed media bamboo tile accessories & pendants
Nov 25th – Faux quilted holiday ornaments
Dec 2nd – Simple jewelry-making with beads and charms!
Dec 9th – Open workshop day/ Anti-Austerity theme encouraged. The Walmart Elves will be attending as well.
Dec 16th – Help with last minute crafts/catchup/recap
No prior knowledge necessary – classes are aimed at beginners!
All ages welcome but minors must be supervised by an adult.
Tools, needles and yarn are provided but you are welcome to bring your own.
Donations of money or supplies are warmly welcomed and appreciated (but not necessary).
To sign up contact us!
Find Craftivist Workshop online at: craftivistworkshop.wordpress.com
Occupy This Flyer!
Sign Student Debt Petitions
Student Debt Outreach October 18th
Occupy NOLA set up an info booth on the neutral ground between City Park and Delgado Community college as part of the Global Day of Action. We encouraged people to share information about debt and petition for free public education for all, zero interest on loans at private schools, fair salaries for full-time instructors, more jobs for instructors, that the Federal Government eliminate student debt with a single act of relief.
Details on the General Education Strike and its call to action are available at http://ism-global.net/global_education_strike
Livestream from #O18 #1world1struggle
Student Debt Resources
Strike Debt emerged from a series of Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Theory open assemblies that began in May 2012 in NYC. Strike Debt is spreading the word that debt is a global system of domination and exploitation of the 99% by the 1%. Strike Debt links diverse individuals and communities to resist the debt system.
from The Debt Resistors' Operations Manual
“We gave the banks the power to create money because they promised to use it to help us live healthier and more prosperous lives—not to turn us into frightened peons. They broke that promise. We are under no moral obligation to keep our promises to liars and thieves. In fact, we are morally obligated to find a way to stop this system rather than continuing to perpetuate it.
This collective act of resistance may be the only way of salvaging democracy because the campaign to plunge the world into debt is a calculated attack on the very possibility of democracy. It is an assault on our homes, our families, our communities and on the planet’s fragile ecosystems—all of which are being destroyed by endless production to pay back creditors who have done nothing to earn the wealth they demand we make for them.
To the financial establishment of the world, we have only one thing to say: We owe you nothing. To our friends, our families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything. Every dollar we take from a fraudulent subprime mortgage speculator, every dollar we withhold from the collection agency is a tiny piece of our own lives and freedom that we can give back to our communities, to those we love and we respect. These are acts of debt resistance, which come in many other forms as well: fighting for free education and healthcare, defending a foreclosed home, demanding higher wages and providing mutual aid.”
Spoken into a megaphone on October 18th.
Amount of loan: $111,892.53
This is not an attempt to collect a debt.
The total student debt now totals over 1 trillion dollars. The average price of tuition has increased over 900%. In 2011, the Department of Education spent over 1.4 billion to hire collection agencies. These agencies earned about 1 billion in commissions.
My generation is busy quoting philosophers artists and thinkers while we are shackled by debt.
The 1% will continue to cut budgets and eliminate humanities courses that foster the critical thinking skills needed to reflect upon and understand the power structures surrounding us. As you have with all aspects of our lives, you have turned education into a commodity. I come from a generation that believed our devotion to the humanities justified earning degrees in Philosophy, Writing, Art, and Education.
I applied to a state university and earned a MFA believing these were healthy pursuits. They are healthy in every way except financially. Because of Governor Jindal's budget cuts, I am unable to work full-time as a college professor in Louisiana. The adjunct rate is not a living wage. I've been told to publish in order to get a full-time job teaching college students, and I've self-published a book and have written as much as I've had time to while teaching Freshmen Composition for online universities where I do not teach critical thinking. I am teaching students who have taken loans to attend a for profit university. I am not using my degree. Some of my friends from graduate school are able to write, but many are wage slaves to the global work machine.
Obama, I reject your token gesture of debt reform. Income based repayments are not the answer. The more I work, the more I pay, and I will be paying Sallie Mae accumulated interest. All my payments have gone towards interest.
As long as I participate in the global work machine, I deny myself the chance to use my degree to contribute to a body of ideas because there are no jobs. I will not feed you my time and dreams to pay interest.
I will not vote for any candidate who represents corporations. The system does not represent me.
The last thing the 1% wants is to give up one of their most powerful weapons - the idea that decent people always pay debts.
The Federal Reserve has been printing money for the banks who govern it. The government, which can declare student loan debt unenforceable, along with banking cartels, uses debt to funnel money from the 99% to the 1%.
This ends now.
I will save every dollar from collection agencies.
I will give nothing to banks. They are hoarding enough of it.
I will not produce what you consider goods, and refuse to perpetuate the burden of working harder only to consume more. Instead, I will produce ideas that challenge your global capitalism.
There is no place for me in your capitalistic machine. Mainstream media has indoctrinated us to accept debt. Budget cuts over higher education have turned universities into places that produce human capital, commodities, and competitors.
To the collection agencies hired by ACS, as long as you earn commission, I will not answer the phone.
To the government, as long as you are legally entitled to garnish my wages, I will not work.
To the bankers broke their promise, as long as you hoard money printed by The Federal Reserve, I will not feed you.
To the politicians who refuse to repeal bankruptcy laws, until you forgive all student debt, I will not vote for you and legitimize a system that perpetuates the illusion that you represent me or my peers.
To the Department of Education - as long as you are collecting $1.22 for every dollar, I will not pay you.
I was three years old when the Bankruptcy Reform Act passed in 1978. I was two years old in 1977 when the American Bankers Association joined the conference of bankruptcy judges in lobbying - formally, anyway - against the cruel and unusual punishment of making student debt non-dischargeable. I didn't have a say.
I am personally answering the call from Occupy / Real Democracy Now / 15M movement for public and private debt resistance and refusal
To the financial institutions of the world, we have only one thing to say: we owe you NOTHING!
To our friends, families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything.
To the people of the world, we say: join the resistance, you have nothing to lose but your debts.
Letter to Send to Creditors
Slideshow on Student Debt
Are you drowning in debt?
Occupy NOLA Global day of action to reclaim education: Direct democracy now! In Solidarity with the International Student Movement Global day of action to reclaim education - direct democracy now!
Rally to Reclaim Education and Speak Out Against Student Debt Thursday, October 1811 am – 2pm Meet on Neutral Ground between Delgado & City Park (Marconi & City Park)
Because Everyone must have access to education no matter their monetary or social status! PROTEST
- Increasing tuition fees
- Budget cuts
- School closures
- Increased class sizes
- Student Debt
We are all struggling against cuts in education. Only by uniting globally will we be able to overcome these and enable free emancipatory education for all.
Occupy These Flyers! - Printable Flyers
October 18 11 am - Join Us for A Global Day of Action To Reclaim Education
Join Occupy NOLA, Students and Workers!
Thursday, October 18 11 am - 2pm New Orleans
Meet on Neutral Ground between Delgado & City Park (Marconi & City Park) http://goo.gl/maps/NtqI9
Unite in solidarity with students and workers of the word!
We are all struggling against cuts in education. Only by uniting globally will we be able to overcome these and enable free emancipatory education for all.
Because everyone must have access to education no matter their monetary or social status!See the Facebook Event for the Global Day of Action!How to Get Involved!
- RSVP to our Facebook Event.
- Visit http://ism-global.net/call2action_GES for details about the Global Day of Action.
- Contact email@example.com to see how you can get involved in the local action.
- Organize! Learn more at the forum "The Budget, The University and The Student Debt" Tuesday, October 9 at 4pm University of New Orleans Room 129 Kirschman Hall RSVP to Facebook Event for October 9 forum
- Come to the Occupy NOLA GA - Tuesdays at 7 pm Occupy The Stage 2735c Toulouse and Saturdays Cafe Flora 4:30 pm
The Occupy NOLA GA endorsed The International Student Movement
at the Tuesday September 18, 2012 G.A.
“The International Student Movement (ISM) is an independent communication platform for groups and activists around the world to exchange information, network and coordinate activities in our struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education and for free emancipatory education for all!”
Moreover Occupy NOLA will be conducting Outreach on local campuses. This Outreach will include (but will not be limited to) information about the following Events: GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE Oct.18th & Nov.14-22nd 2012
We invited many members of Occupy NOLA to the Facebook event to the Global Education Strike.
Please like the ISM Facebook page
to stay updated.
Also, here are some great links to All In The Red
and other organizations that help students organize. Squarely In The Red The Project on Student Debt EDU Debtors Union Occupy Education
Occupy This Flyer!