Tag Archives: Occupy Hartford

A little more reading with today’s piece…

To read the piece, go here.

To read more about “Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America,” go here.

To read John-Manuel Andriote’s column in “The Bulletin,” go here.

To read about Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition, go here.

To read about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report on the lack of ongoing medical care for Americans with HIV/AIDS, go here or here. To read some CDC statistics, go here.

To read more about the 30th anniversary of the AIDS crisis in America, go here.

To read more about Center Church, Hartford, go here.

Today, Hartford’s protesters who were arrested last Thursday are going to court

They’re due in community court at 9 a.m. and I’m going because I love to watch democracy (and our court system) in action. Onward!

Today in Occupy Everywhere:

Evicted Wall Street protesters are marching on Wall Street to show that the movement is more than tents. (Some Occupy Hartford protesters say they’ll participate.)

Meanwhile, Occupy Hartford protesters delivered tree branches to CL&P to protest that company’s (in)action and slow recovery after an October snowstorm turned out the lights for most of the state.

Another group with ties to the Occupy movement, Connecticut Action Alliance for a Fair Economy, will occupy the I-84 on-ramp at Broad St. during the early part of rush hour. There’s more here.

Have I missed anything? Let me know.

Rick Hartford photo for The Courant

The Occupy movement outside the camps

A few hours after police cleared out the vanguard encampment of the Occupy movement in New York, the scene at Occupy Hartford was quiet.

But Occupiers are there – or, if not physically in the tents at Farmington and Broad, they’re participating in the movement for economic justice. That’s Ron Paul liberatarians, Obama Democrats, Reagan Republicans, anarchists, socialists, marxists –  “dysfunctional as any other community,” said one self-described Obama Democrat.

Early Tuesday morning, police — some in riot gear — cleared out Zuccotti Park, which since mid-September has been the site of Occupy Wall Street. About 70 people were arrested. Later in the day, a judge said the sweep was legal, and that the city can ban protesters from bringing camping equipment to the park. An appeal is expected.

The move followed raids at Occupy sites in Oakland and Portland, Ore., but no such eviction is planned at Hartford’s Turning Point Park, said police chief Daryl K. Roberts.

“Right now, as along as we continue to communicate, I don’t foresee a problem,” said the chief. “We want to respect their First Amendment rights, but we can’t let them violate health codes in the process. We cannot allow them to oppose the law in order to get a point made.”

City inspectors are a nearly daily presence at the Hartford site, said Jay Kamins, a web designer who lives in Andover. (You can see his work at occupyhartfordct.com.) Ironically, keeping the site going has been a discussion from the moment the tents were pitched in early October, organizers say. Said one, who asked that her name not be used, “For Hartford – unlike Wall Street – the site itself is a subject of internal disagreement.” Organizers will discuss whether to continue the camp along with other issues at a meeting on Saturday, she said.

“We’re starting to see a time when transition is upon us,” said Kamins. “I think certainly the weather is making it clear that we have to prepare for a long stay, or are we ready to leave the camp behind. Have we established enough contacts?”

To strengthen those contacts, OH is hosting a community meeting with representatives from neighborhood and non-profit organizations, as well as grassroots activists at 7 p.m. Thursday at West Indian Social Club in Hartford.

Johnny E. Williams, associate professor of sociology at Trinity College, said New York’s moving the occupiers was a mistake.

“We don’t want to be put out of that park, ” said Williams, whose academic interests include social movements like Occupy. “But the movement is not about the space any more.” He said he thought New York police and city administrators made “a tremendous mistake. The movement is in people’s minds. Zuccotti Park was a symbolic location, but they’ve made the movement bigger than it is.”

“I’d like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for kicking off a new round of recruiting to Occupy Wall Street,” said Kamins.

Regardless, onsite Occupiers continue to observe Hartford’s rules such as no open flames. “We’re abiding by what they were concerned about,” said Williams. “They come back and check, and that’s fine as long as they don’t violate our First Amendment rights.”

Meanwhile, Hartford’s Occupiers have participated in several protests, including one against Bank of America earlier this month. They’re planning another protest against CL&P at 2 p.m. Nov. 19 at 56 Prospect Street in Hartford, for that company’s slow recovery after a freak October storm turned out the lights for most of the state.

“We’re learning as we go how to do this thing,” said Kamins. Meanwhile, General Assemblies – or organizational meetings — are held every three days rather than twice a day.

“We’re looking for other worthy causes to attach ourselves to,” said Kamins. “I think the criteria is always going to be will it affect Hartford and Connecticut and will it be an appropriate action consistent with how we account our internal values and objectives in dealing with corporate greed and mismanagement.

Wes Strong, who has been involved from the beginning, said the natural progression of the movement might be to focus on foreclosures. From RealtyTrac, the most recent figures say Connecticut had one foreclosure filing for every 1,127 households. Issues like that override the importance of a grouping of tents on public property, Strong said.

New York police evict Occupy Wall Street

While you were sleeping, New York police cleared out Occupy Wall Street protesters who’d been encamped at Zucotti Park since September 17. Roughy 70 people were arrested.

They were evicted, say police, because of concerns for health and fire safety. A Twitter message from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said the protesters could return after the park was cleared. This after tweets such as this one, where the mayor sais that Occupy Wall Street protesters are:

“really hurting small businesses and families.”

But the movement, say organizers, goes on.

Police also raided Occupy Oakland earlier on Monday. That movement continues, as well.

What does this mean to Occupy Hartford? I’ll be talking to protesters  today to find out. So far, the consensus is that the movement is more than a physical space (which in Hartford, is Turning Point Park, a slip of land at the spot where Farmington and Asylum split). So…uh…stay tuned? No. That‘s not right. But yeah. Something like that.

Getty Images

Occupy Hartford and faith

In October, a group of clergy from the Hartford area went to the Occupy Hartford site to talk about their commonality.

At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, a group from Occupy Hartford will to to the Unitarian Meetinghouse in Hartford for a forum sponsored by the Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice.

And thanks, Ed, for the head’s up.

Rick Hartford photo for The Courant

If you’re still perturbed at Connecticut Light and Power…

…Occupy Hartford has a working group that intends to address the proper response to the state’s largest power company’s shoddy performance in the wake of both Irene and October’s freak snowstorm. Not everyone has their power yet — nine days after the event. Some people — not necessarily those affiliated with the Occupy movement — are saying they won’t pay their electric bills until everyone’s lights are back on. Someone also suggested in an email that CL&P’s parent company, Northeast Utilities — which just posted $90 million in earnings for the third quarter — let its customers skip their electric bills for 4-6 months.

Having missed their deadline of restoring power to everyone by Sunday, the company nows says Wednesday is its target date.

You can sign up here or you can email occupyhartford.ct@gmail.com