Occupy Providence: Recent Direct Actions

Compiled by Randall Rose.

8/18 Rally for Jobs, Peace and Planet. Joined Green Party and others, including Green presidential candidate Jill Stein.
9/1 – 9/3 At Verizon building, overnight sidewalk occupation to protest Verizon’s sending jobs overseas and overcharging customers.
9/2 Joined SEIU protest at Brown calling on Brown to pay its fair share of taxes.

Labor Day March. Photo by Lou L.

Labor Day March. Photo by Lou L.

OP Loulex 036

Labor Day March. Photo by Lou L.

9/3 Joined Labor Day march by Jobs with Justice for good jobs, immigrant rights, preserving unemployment services, and allowing foreclosed families to rent their homes.
9/16 – 9/17 Overnight sidewalk occupation at State House for an economy that works for the 99%. Called for the 1% to pay their fair share in taxes and for policies that make the economy work for the 99% instead of bailing out 38 Studios.
9/25 Robin Hood protest against EDC and 38 Studios bailout. At Joint Economic Committee hearing, Occupy Providence members opposed the bailout of 38 Studios and protested a plan by the big-business-backed RIPEC lobbying group to rebrand the RI Economic Development Corporation. Occupy Providence called for economic plans that benefit the 99% first.

Occupy Providence members celebrate the one year anniversary of Occupy Providence in October at The People’s Park

Occupy Providence members celebrate
the one year anniversary of Occupy Providence in October at The People’s Park

10/20  First 99% Fair. Tables for social justice groups in Burnside Park to pass out information, start conversations, and discuss future plans together.
10/23 Free Speech is For People. Supported Occupy East Providence in calling on the East Providence city council to endorse the principle that free speech is for people, not corporations, and that corporate spending on elections can be regulated.
10/26 38 Studios banners. Hung banners on highway overpasses saying “Chafee to bail out Wall St Lenders to 38 Studios – Say No!”
11/5-6 Election Day banners. Hung banners on highway overpasses saying “Obama and Romney, Bailout Presidents” “Solidarity not Austerity,” and “Chafee to bail out Wall St Lenders to 38 Studios – Say No!”
11/17 Second 99% Fair. Tables for social justice groups and socially responsible businesses in Burnside Park to pass out information, start conversations, and discuss future plans together.

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Photo by Chloe Chassaing

Photo by Chloe Chassaing

Photo by Chloe Chassaing

Photo by Chloe Chassaing

Photo by Chloe Chassaing

11/23 Walmart Protest. Demonstrated at Walmart stores from Fall River to Providence, demanding fair treatment for Walmart workers.
12/7 Supported George Wiley Center at State House in demanding the release of fuel assistance funds.
12/9 Hurricane Sandy relief. Joined Occupy Sandy in New York City and helped sort and distribute donated goods to Hurricane Sandy victims.
12/22 Demanded respect for Walmart workers with mic check inside Providence Walmart. Speeches from Walmart workers.

photo

Photo by Susan Walker

1/2 Protested RI’s corporate welfare for Hasbro, which outsources many jobs to sweatshops in China.
1/12 Police brutality press conference. Joined press conference to protest a violent raid conducted by police.
1/13 Hurricane Sandy relief. Joined Occupy Sandy in New York City to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
1/29 Rally for low-income tenants facing eviction. Supported rally to save tenants from eviction by restoring funding to RI’s Rental Assistance Program.
2/13 Student protest. Joined Providence Student Union protest at RI Dept of Education calling for improved education, not just high-stakes graduation tests.

Occupy Providence members display the OP banner during a march at the Forward On Climate rally in Washington DC in February.

Occupy Providence members display the OP banner during a march at the Forward On Climate rally in Washington DC in February.

2/17 Climate change protest in DC. Joined other Rhode Islanders and people across the country in calling for action to prevent global warming, working to stop the tar sands pipeline.,
2/27 Pull the Pork from the Pentagon. Joined other social justice groups at the State House calling for reducing bloated Pentagon spending on projects like the failed F-35, closing tax loopholes for the rich, and funding community programs instead.
3/9 Third 99% Fair. Tables for social justice groups and socially responsible businesses at URI-Providence, to pass out information, start conversations, and discuss future plans together. Coordinated with the Hive Archive workshop.

The above actions were approved by votes in the Occupy Providence General Assembly, an open democratic meeting of the 99% where OP’s main decisions are made. Occupy Providence members also participated informally in many other actions.

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Recent Direct Actions

By Randall Rose

Here’s an update on Occupy Providence direct actions which have taken place since we published our last issue.

Photo by Paul Hubbard

2/6 March to AG Kilmartin’s office. Present petition against
lenient settlement with big banks committing foreclosure
fraud and harrassing homeowners.

2/23 Protest VP Biden in Providence, to demand taxing Wall Street transactions (Robin Hood Tax).

2/29 ALEC protest in Groton, CT.  Join other Occupys in Groton to protest Pfizer’s funding of ALEC, a right-wing state lobbying group.

3/1 Occupy Education. Support Occupy RIC march from Burnside Park to RI Dept of Ed for high-quality education for all, opposing education cuts, soaring student debt, privatization and job insecurity.

Photo by Susan O’Connell

Photo by Susan O’Connell

Photo by Susan O’Connell

3/22 Verizon. Join rally to support CWA union in their fight to keep their benefits at Verizon.

3/26 Re-seeding offer. March from Burnside Park to City Hall where we offer to re-seed the park with our own labor.

3/29 Trayvon Martin. Join march from Central High School to demand re-opening the case in the killing of innocent Trayvon Martin.

4/4 First Source. Endorse rally by DARE and People’s Assembly for civil rights on the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, supporting the implementation of First Source rule to hire local residents.

4/4 Occupy MBTA in Boston. Endorse Occupy Boston and Occupy MA rally against MBTA fare hike and service cuts, affecting RI commuter rail.

4/14 Budget rally in Bristol.  Join East Bay Citizens for Peace to support cutting the military budget to free funds for people and economic development.

4/17 Tax Day in Providence. Join American Friends Service Committee, marching to Textron and Bank of America, to support taxing the rich.

4/17 Tax Day in Westerly.  Demand taxing the rich, including a tax on Wall Street transactions.

Photo by Joseph Mendez

4/22 Occupy Sexism.  Support rally, march, dinner and teach-in by RI Anti-Sexism League.

4/24 Robin Hood March.  March in Robin Hood costumes to House Finance Committee hearing, where we testify in support of bills to reverse tax cuts for the rich.

4/25 Robin Hood Tax Rally in New York.  Join ACT-UP on its 25th anniversary to support a tax on Wall Street transactions.

6/7-10 Occupy Netroots.  Four-day sidewalk occupation on Sabin St. during Netroots Nation conference in Providence.  Demands: No bailout for 38 Studios, Tax the 1%, Solidarity not austerity (locally, nationally, and internationally).

6/7 State Budget.  During House floor debate on balancing the budget, OP members mic-check from the balcony, calling for balancing the budget by taxing the wealthy and corporations, not by layoffs and pension cuts.

Photo by Chloe Chassaing

6/8-9 Two days of marches to 38 Studios and State House, opposing the planned bailout of 38 Studios’ Wall Street bondholders. Marches include stop in Providence Place Mall and a portrayal of the dead-on-arrival jobs at 38 Studios’ offices (picture above).

6/10 Chalking: Messages in chalk on the sidewalks of downtown to support the 99%.

6/28 Eviction protest. Support Joann Manning, who is being threatened with eviction from her family’s home even though she is willing to pay rent to the bank that foreclosed on her.

7/4 4th of July parade. Join EBCP “Patriots for Peace” float in the Bristol 4th of July parade.

7/27 Oppose junkfood subsidies for agribusiness.  Join RIPIRG to oppose Congress’s farm bill which pays large subsidies to big agribusinesses for producing junk food ingredients.

The above actions were approved by votes in the Occupy Providence General Assembly, an open democratic meeting of the 99% where OP’s main decisions are made.  Occupy Providence members also participated informally in many other actions.

OCCUPY PROVIDENCE DIRECT ACTIONS TO DATE

Compiled by Will Lambek. Edited by Patricia Raub

In the following list, all marches are from Burnside Park unless otherwise noted. Each report follows as far as possible the structure: When the action occurred. Title and type of action. Who any collaborators were. Where the action took place. Objective of the action.

10/7 March and Rally against Corporate Education. With public education supporters (SLAP, CDPE, JwJ), outside Department of Education Building, to support students inside meeting with Education Commissioner Gist.

10/12 March to Brown University Teach-in on Occupy. Teach-in was organized by professors and students in support of the movement.

10/15 OCCUPY PROVIDENCE Kick-off March. Through downtown Providence, with stops at key locations in local struggles. Rally at Burnside Park and beginning of occupation.

10/17 Bank of America Account Closures Marches (throughout the day). To downtown branch of BoA to support people closing BoA accounts.

10/21-10/22 Occupy College Hill. Overnight encampment on Brown University Main Green on Friday night; march to Brown on Saturday morning; rally outside University Hall to present demands to University Corporation meeting.

10/24 Press Conference and March with Rally to Defend OP against City Injunction. To publicly read and present a letter to Mayor Taveras affirming OP’s intention to remain indefinitely.

10/26 Rally for a Stronger RIPTA. With RIPTA Riders in rally during RIPTA Board meeting to discuss service cuts. To demand transportation justice for the 99%.

10/27 March for Worker’s Rights. With Jobs with Justice and dozens of unions through downtown Providence, stopping at several sites along the way to hear from speakers about various local labor struggles.

10/30 Solidarity Sunday in Burnside Park. To reaffirm Occupy’s commitment to remain indefinitely, with events including an interfaith service, community soapbox, rally, and community potluck dinner.

10/31 Corporate Trick-or-Treat in downtown Providence. In Halloween costumes occupiers went trick-or-treating in down- town Providence, stopping at Textron, GTECH, Bank of America and other corporate headquarters.

11/1 Action and Press Conference for Immigrant Rights: “No to (in)Secure Communities.” To support the We are all Arizona coalition’s rally against mass deportations; march to the State House to present Governor Chafee with a co- sponsored letter demanding an end to RI’s participation in “Secure Communities” deportation program.

11/1 Picket of Mayoral Fundraiser. To pressure the Mayor to end efforts to evict the occupation from Burnside Park; with an alternative dinner for the 99% outside the event.

11/2 Picket Arne Duncan. With CDPE, DARE, RI People’s Assembly and others to picket two events featuring U.S. Education Secretary Duncan for his stances in favor of priva- tizing education.

11/5 National Day of Action against the Big Banks. With DARE and SEIU 615, march to Atwells Ave. Bank of America and rally outside while people closed their accounts.

11/17 Occupy City Hall Rally and GA. In lobby of Provi- dence City Hall, entering City Council chambers to support pro-Occupy resolution introduced in front of the council.

11/19 Jobs Not War. With Brown Anti-War Action and RIMC, march to headquarters of Textron, Inc.; rally to pro- test the war economy and war profiteers such as Textron.

Photo by Savanna Kite

11/20 Rally Against Foreclosures. With DARE and the Tenant and Homeowner Association, outside an empty fore- closed home, to highlight the foreclosure crisis and to support Just Cause legislation..

11/29 World AIDS Day Action. With ACT UP RI, march to RI Department of Health and to Senator Reed and Whitehouse offices to protest budget cuts to AIDS Services.

12/1 Occupy City Hall, pt. 2. March to Providence City Hall and GA in lobby. With mic-check in Council chamber to pressure them to take action in support of Occupy.

Photo by Susan O’Connell

12/3 Occupy the Night: Women’s/Trans/Genderqueer and Queer Caucus sponsored evening including community soapbox, potluck dinner, march through downtown Provi- dence, and dance party.

12/7 Stop “Achievement First” rally. With CDPE, outside public hearing at Robert Kennedy Elementary on the mayor- al push to have charter-school chain Achievement First open a franchise in Providence.

12/8 Stop “Achievement First” rally, part 2. Same action outside second hearing at Alvarez High School.

Photo by Paul Hubbard

12/9 Protest against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). At event honoring Sheldon Whitehouse, picket against his vote in favor of the civil-liberties-stripping bill.

Photo by Susan O’Connell

12/10 State House, Our House. With RIHAP, RICH, and DARE, march to State House, rally on steps. To protest fore- closure and homelessness and to demand passage of three bills to fund affordable housing, stop post-foreclosure evictions, and create a Homeless Bill of Rights. Discussions on housing, community dinner, and sleep-out on the State House lawn.

12/14 Migrant Rights Vigil at State House. To rally outside meeting between We are all Arizona and Gov. Chafee.

12/15 Support Caregivers for Developmentally Disabled. Rally with SEIU and other unions at State House.

1/16 Stop “Achievement First” Part 3. Rally at State House with CDPE.

01/19 Occupy City Hall Rally and GA. In lobby of Provi- dence City Hall, entering City Council chambers to support resolution to tax Brown University.

Photo by Susan O’Connell

01/26 Counter-protest the Right to Life Rally at RI State House. Met up with allies in the RI Anti-Sexism League to support choice and women’s reproductive health care.

1/28 Victory Rally/March. Celebrate winning of homeless day center. Followed by park cleanup as we leave.

2/6 March to AG Kilmartin’s office. Present petition against lenient settlement with big banks committing foreclosure fraud and harrassing homeowners.

The above actions were all officially passed in votes of the Occupy Providence Gen- eral Assembly, an open democratic meeting of the 99% where OP’s main decisions are made. Autonomous actions not voted on by OP include Fidelity Investments, Con- vention Center actions; Student Debt march through Citizen’s Bank; support for Save our Pensions! rally; Joey Quits press conference; mall protest for Buy Nothing Day, etc.