Note from J.P. Massar of Strike Debt Bay Area

Strike Debt
On Dec. 8 two tents and protest signs were
confiscated by the USPS Police at the Berkeley
Post Office. I was given a phone number to
recover the property. To date, Mike W has
called four times, and left messages with the SF
Postal Police Division operator but have not received a response.

If you can, please call the number below and
demand that the property be returned or made
available for me to pick up. The signs and
tents are important to our efforts to stop the sale of the post office.

One of the signs is the Strike Debt Bay Area
banner with the Post Office Defenders poster below it.

Here are the phone numbers to call:
877-696-5322 or 877-876-2455

It’ll be helpful if you have to zip code for the
Berkeley Post Office handy, which is 94704-9998.

==========================

Reminder of our meeting on Saturday the 20th at 4:00 PM at the Omni.

Occupy Forum presents . . . Pia Mancini (via Skype from Argentina) on DemocracyOS (Democracy Operating System) on Monday, December 15

Pia Mancini
Monday, December 15th
at Global Exchange from 6 – 9 pm
[STARTING PROMPTLY AT 6PM!]
2017 Mission Street near 16th Street BART
 
Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!
Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue
on all sides of these critically important issues!
 
OccupyForum Presents…
Pia Mancini on DemocracyOS 
(Democracy Operating System)
“Occupy Wall Street. Arab Spring. Greek Riots. We’ve been experiencing a great crisis of representation these past decades, regardless of our location, ethnicity or culture. The political system insists in excluding most of us from the spaces where the decisions are made that impact our lives. The internet has changed everything: the way we share and experience culture, how we engage in commerce, and how we communicate with others. But the internet has failed to change in one key area of our lives: politics. Democracy is in great need of a serious upgrade.
 
We are working on a user-friendly, open-source, vote and debate tool, crafted for parliaments, parties and decision-making institutions that will allow citizens to get informed, join the conversation and vote on topics, just how they want their representatives to vote. A tool that will transform the noise we create during protests into a signal that has a clear, direct and strong impact on the political system. Our vision is that DemocracyOS will become the operating system of a more open and participatory government.” 
 — DemocracyOs.org (Go to www.DemocracyOS.org for more information.)
 
Come hear Pia Mancini speak via Skype from Buenos Aires, Argentina, about the exciting new development called DemocracyOS (Democracy Operating System).
 
Since Buenos Aires is 5 hours ahead of us, it will be 11pm there when we start here at 6pm, so please be on time!
 
Time will be allocated for announcements. Donations welcome, no one turned away.   Study up beforehand (or after the fact) at these sites:
Link to Huffington Post article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thierry-
Link to Wired Magazine article:  http://www.wired.com/2014/05/democracy-os/
Link to Pia Mancini TED talk on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?

“Workers in Hong Kong Begin Dismantling Main Protest Camp” by Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher (nytimes.com)

 

HONG KONG — The police stood guard on Thursday as workers began tearing down barricades erected by protesters who have encircled the political heart of Hong Kong for more than 10 weeks, starting an operation to effectively end the pro-democracy street occupations that have laid bare divisions over the city’s political future.

Dozens of police and court bailiffs watched as the workers dismantled road barriers built from metal railings by demonstrators to protect their street camp in Admiralty, next to the city government offices.

There were no signs of resistance, but this was just the start of a painstaking police operation to clear the entire camp.

“So far, so good,” said Paul Tse, a pro-government lawyer and lawmaker who represented the school bus company that won a court injunction to clear part of the Admiralty protest site. “This is just the easy part,” he added.

The injunction applied to only a small part of the protest site, and after clearing that area, the police planned to move on and clear the entire street camp — a jumble of tents and art that even had its own classroom.

Protesters packed their belongings in the occupied area near government headquarters in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Credit Kin Cheung/Associated Press

After a night when thousands gathered to give a defiant and tearful farewell to the pro-democracy camp, many of the demonstrators busied themselves packing tents and other equipment before the police were to start clearing them out later in the day.

Some protesters vowed to stay and accept arrest as a show of resistance to the government, which has refused to offer concessions on how the city’s leader is elected. Yet most who stayed overnight in Admiralty, for nightlong celebrations and farewells, appeared resigned to a retreat.

“We’ve been here for two months, more than two months, and it’s time to move on,” said Koby Chan, a sales representative in his 20s who was among a group of protesters packing to leave the area that the police have said would be cleared first, in enforcement of a court injunction. “We’ll stop now, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up. We’ll be back for sure.”

The area of the camp that the police have said they will clear first was largely empty on Thursday morning. “It’s just the beginning,” declared a banner that had gone up over a barricade.

Attendance had been shrinking at the protest camp in Admiralty, reduced by exhaustion, cold and disappointment. But thousands returned on Wednesday night to see the camp, representing one of the largest turnouts since the early days of the movement.

Families lined up to collect bracelets and other mementos made by volunteers; other people took pictures of themselves and the posters and art that have covered the camp. Many signed banners demanding democracy and left sticky notes on what is called the Lennon Wall, a side of a government building facing the camp that is covered in the notes.

Even before dawn broke on Thursday, the main camp bustled. Groups packed tents, preparing to leave, although hundreds of tents remained, as many demonstrators were still asleep.

Charlotte Chan, a 19-year-old nursing student, reclined on a sofa that had been used to block an escalator leading to the government offices, and she said that even those who wanted to keep up the demonstrations could see that they lacked support.

Whatever happens, the protests have exposed and widened political fissures, Hong Kong residents say. The government and its supporters have accused the protesters of reckless naïveté and of assisting in Western-sponsored subversion. Many protesters have said the Chinese government’s plans for election changes in the city would give Beijing the power to choose winners.

“The protest culture has changed,” said Alex Chow, a leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, which has been at the forefront of the protests. “The point is that the clearance will not solve the social problems.”

He as well as dozens of pro-democracy politicians and student leaders gathered for a show of unity. Many said they would stay in Admiralty until the police moved in to arrest them.

“We shall not resist nor retaliate,” Mr. Chow told the demonstrators as he stood over them on a ladder. “This is not a show of weakness or giving in, but doing this will give the police no reason to use excessive force on the protesters.”

At supply stations for the protesters, volunteers packed away safety masks, goggles and helmets stockpiled for possible confrontations with the police. Student leaders have said they do not want a repeat of the violence that erupted after the police demolished the other main protest camp, in the Mong Kok neighborhood, on Nov. 25.

Yet in recent weeks, the protesters have become increasingly split between those who favor peaceful resistance and a minority who argue that only escalating the protests, and risking confrontation, can win concessions.

A few have vowed to resist the police in Admiralty, said Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, a pro-democracy member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, who has sought to defuse confrontations during the protests.

The Admiralty protest camp sprang up on Sept. 28, when thousands of protesters seized the streets after a bungled police effort to disperse students with tear gas and pepper spray. The police hope that a tightly choreographed operation to clear it will avoid such misfires.

At a brief news conference as the clearance operation began, Kwok Pak-chung, a police senior superintendent, urged protesters to leave peacefully. Alan Leong, a prominent lawyer and a leader of the pro-democratic Civic Party, said in an interview that he planned to stay and face arrest. “Usually I would serve only my clients in the cell, but this time around I would be in the cell myself,” he said.

Alan Wong contributed reporting.  A version of this article appears in print on December 11, 2014, on page A17 of the New York edition with the headline: Workers in Hong Kong Begin Dismantling Main Protest Camp. 

Berkeley Post Office Occupation — Day 40 (via Mike Wilson)

Berkeley PO 3

Bear, Mike Zint, Charles, Pirate Mike, and Lilith are maintaining our presence at the Berkeley Post Office in spite of heavy rain and wind, and in spite of continued harassment by the USPS Police.

Please go to the post office sometime today and give them an opportunity to leave the site for short periods at least.  Without community members spelling them, they can’t leave.  The USPS Police came this morning at 5:30AM to try to drive occupiers away and seize any unattended property of the encampment.  They may try to take advantage of the bad weather to dismantle our structure if the main defenders can’t stay out in this storm all day without relief.

In addition, our heroic defenders could use:

  • Dry socks
  • Dry clothes of all kinds
  • Dry blankets
  • Wood pallets to elevate their tents
  • Dry cardboard
  • Hot food
  • Cheerful company