Occupy Albany, One of the Longest-Running Occupations, Is Being Evicted

Dan Robins
Protesters have formed a human chain around Occupy Albany's info tent.
Occupy Albany, one of the longest-lasting Occupy encampments -- and the only one to issue specific demands -- is currently being evicted, according to Capital Tonight's Twitter feed.

The Albany occupiers recently issued a list of demands that include ending corporate personhood and changing the incentives structure for elected officials. They also notably put pressure on Governor Cuomo by focusing early on in their demonstrations on the Millionaire's Tax. Cuomo and state legislative leaders recently agreed to change New York State's income tax code, reducing the tax rate for middleclass taxpayers.

As for the eviction, currently ongoing as of 2:46 p.m.: Capital Tonight's Twitter notes that "This is not the 'military style operation' that the NYPD conducted at Zuccotti."

occupy albany eviction .jpg

Occupy Albany spokeswoman Hezzie Johanson just told the Voice that the Department of General Services and the police started moving into the encampment about 20 minutes ago. She said that their permit to camp out overnight in Academy Park across from the State Capitol expired today.

Occupier Dan Robins, 25, who is currently on-site, tells us that there are about two dozen protesters there and that many have formed a human circle around the information tent. Are they willing to be arrested? "Some are, some aren't," Robins said.

He noted that the authorities are currently still taking down tents and removing items and haven't reached the human chain yet.

Update 3:16 p.m.: More photos of the eviction from Dan Robins.

Dan Robins

Dan Robins

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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Should commercial media be allowed to retain their corporate speech and press rights?

Following reports of serious financial abuses in the 1972 Presidential campaign, Congress amended the FECA in 1974 to set limits on contributions by individuals, political parties and PACs. But politicians exempted the commercial press, because the 1st Amendment prohibits abridging their freedom of speech and the press.

2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i) The term "expenditure" does not include any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate;

Since money does not equal speech, perhaps corporate media should be required to carry candidate and political ads for free. That would create a public service argument for allowing "corporate" media to retain speech and press rights while non-media corporations lose their voice!

But that still would not get the corporate voice out of politics.

It is normal for all large businesses to make serious efforts to influence the news, to avoid embarrassing publicity, and to maximize sympathetic public opinion and government policies. Now they own most of the news media that they wish to influence. - Excerpt from The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian

The NRA bought a radio station. Should like minded citizens have to buy a radio station to exercise freedom of speech or a newspaper to exercise freedom of the press? How do campaign laws that give megaphones to corporate media and muzzle the voices of grass roots get corporate influence out of elections?


At least the Albany cops were dressed normally, not the helmeted, vested, militarized cops that rousted Occupy encampments elsewhere. 


I hear the march is headed back with tent to city hall. Backup needed whoever can make it there!

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