City Pays $583,024 to Occupy Wall Street Protestors

Categories: Occupy

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Tessa Stuart
Jennifer Peat, one of 14 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, flanked by her lawyers and co-plaintiffs
The city of New York has agreed to pay more than half a million dollars ($583,024 to be exact) in damages and attorney fees after falsely arresting 14 Occupy Wall Street protestors on January 1, 2012. It's the largest Occupy settlement to date, but the lion-share of the money will go to the protestors' lawyers. Each plaintiff has received between $5,000 and $20,000, but the city will pay Stecklow, Cohen & Thompson $333,000 in attorney fees and litigation costs.

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The Castle Braid vs. Occupy Bushwick Fight Has Devolved Into a Highly Entertaining, Possibly Fake Twitter Brawl

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Image via Google Maps.
Castle Braid's exterior at 114 Troutman Street in Bushwick
For months, there's been a battle raging in Bushwick between Castle Braid, a pricey condo building "custom-built to enable the artist," as their website puts it, and Occupy Bushwick, who accuse Castle Braid of failing to provide affordable housing, despite receiving a generous tax abatement that required them to do just that. OB also accuses Castle Braid of flooding the neighborhood with credit-card-wielding, barely post-college youngsters whose parents will offset the cost of the eyebrow-raising rents (between $1,700 and $2,200 for a one-bedroom, up to $3,300 for a three-bedroom). The local 99 percenters responded to Castle Braid's general existence by circling the property with police tape that read "Occupy" a few months back.

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State Senator Brad Hoylman and 16 Other HIV/AIDS Protesters Arrested During Last Night's March for a "Robin Hood" Tax on Wall Street

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Photo by Stephen Benavides
After a relatively peaceful opening march yesterday, Occupy Wall Street's second anniversary got slightly rowdier, as State Senator Brad Hoylman and 16 HIV/AIDS activists took part in a planned arrest near the U.N. building on 47th and 2nd. The demonstrators blocked rush-hour traffic and held a banner reading "End AIDS With A Robin Hood Tax."

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"The First Amendment Steps Are Over There:" With a Heavy Police Presence, Occupy's Second Birthday Begins

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Photos by Steve Merlan
Occupy Wall Street's terrible twos began this morning with a familiar set of scenes: protesters holding signs. Protesters glaring at cops. Cops glaring at protesters. Dozens of metal barricades lining the streets between them. Everyone pausing to look in unison at the Hipster Cop and his improbably tight pants. After a rowdy first anniversary last year that began on the wrong foot with some two dozen arrests, this morning's march looked downright serene by comparison. The only real moment of tension came on the steps of Wall Street's National Federal Hall Memorial, when the police and park rangers decided together, in a seemingly impromptu sort of way, that only one side of the monument's broad stone steps could be used for free speech purposes.

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Five Events Commemorating Occupy Wall Street Across New York

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Photo Credit: david_shankbone via Compfight cc
It's been two years since Zuccotti Park was briefly the center of the Universe. Occupy Wall Street has since become a massive worldwide struggle against the abuses of finance capitalism and the lack of accountability of governments to their people.To celebrate the anniversary of a squatters' camp that turned into a global movement, rallies, marches, and movie screenings will be held all over the city. Here are five events happening today across New York that celebrate the events of September 17, 2011, and reflect on what's changed since.

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PHOTOS: Turkish Anti-Government Movement Has Friends in Zuccotti Park

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C.S. Muncy
On Saturday, hundreds gathered in Zuccotti Park, roughly three miles from the Turkish consulate, to demonstrate their solidarity with the thousands of Turks protesting Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's regime. Photographer C.S. Muncy was on the scene to capture the action--check out his photos after the jump.

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Here Comes Debtfair, a Market for Art Inequality Across the City

Categories: Art, Occupy

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"Starving artists" may be an affectionate term for the city's legions of struggling creatives, but it belies a more disturbing trend. Art market prices have shot up faster than the GDP, and the globalization of the marketplace prompted NPR's Adam Davidson to conclude last year that the "art market, in other words, is a proxy for the fate of the superrich themselves."

Meanwhile, MFAs have become both increasingly expensive and necessary for any career in the arts, says Tal Beery, one of the organizers behind Debtfair, a radical remodeling of the art market taking over the city this summer. Nationally, student debt has topped $1 trillion, and defaults have increased 36 percent in 2012 alone. "The debt that artists have to accrue in order to start playing the game, the barrier for entry, is much greater," Beery said.

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Occupy Heavily Monitored for Potential Criminal Activity, HSBC Slapped on the Wrist for Actual Criminal Activity

Categories: Banks, Occupy

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Apparently non-violent demonstration against corrupt banking is subject to more criminal scrutiny than actual corrupt banking.

Documents released by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Saturday show that the FBI identified Occupy Wall Street as a "potential criminal and terrorist" threat as early as a month before the OWS movement burst on the international scene with its initial occupation of Zuccotti Park in September 2011.

"These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity," Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of PCJF, said in a release . "These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America."

The release of the documents comes a few weeks after federal and state authorities, including the Department of Justice and the New York East District Attorney's Office, announced a $1.9 billion settlement agreements with British-based bank, HSBC, for allowing major drug cartels and entities with economic sanctions and terrorist ties to launder money through the bank.

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Foreclosure Blockade Activists' "Week of Action" is Indeed Action-Packed

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We are in the midst of a "week of action", a term dubbed by a collective of housing activists--you know, those singing protestors we've written about for the past few months--and homeowners facing foreclosure, and it has been action-packed indeed.

On Monday, about 40 people from diverse backgrounds, made up of members from activist groups such as Occupied Wall Street and Organizing For Occupation, faith groups like Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and Occupy Faith, and righteous students from Columbia and New School, turned up at the Bronx Supreme Court and, like all previous singing protest actions, serenaded court officials, investors, and court guards with lyrics such as "Y'all are speculating off people's pain. With all due respect, you should be ashamed."

Fourteen of them were arrested.

The group will do this again tomorrow and Friday, respectively at Brooklyn and Queen's Supreme Court.

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Occupy Wall Street Offers Shitty Response To Feces-Dumping Allegations

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NYPD
The man in the dark clothes on the right is an alleged occupier. That brown stuff covering the floor is feces and urine.
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When we contacted Occupy Wall Street yesterday to ask about allegations that the group is responsible for dumping two giant buckets of feces and urine at two lower Manhattan locations, we thought we'd get some sort of spirited response either denying or embracing the allegations.

We were wrong -- rather than deny that the alleged dumper, 25-year-old Jordan Brooks Amos, has any formal involvement with the Occupy movement, or admit that he's an occupier and condemn his alleged behavior, or even to simply own it and defend the dumpings as a form of protest, the group decided to punt.

"It appears that individuals may have taken it upon themselves to express their outrage autonomously from any decision making body within OWS," an OWS spokesman tells the Voice. "For further comment, you should contact them directly - whoever they are."

(Sigh).

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