Recently we’ve dealt with an increasing amount of police harassment. On the night of Friday, August 17th, West Tampa endured some of the most ridiculous misconduct we’ve seen in a long time. Someone associated with Occupy Tampa just sent out a text message saying the police pulled her over and questioned her about Occupy. Also, we’ve had ongoing drama with the city and code enforcement. So, to any lawyers out there who support us, please volunteer your contact information so that we may seek your advice during future police encounters. The more contacts we have, the more likely we’ll find someone free to help during the next situation.
Bain Capital represents the epitomy of crony capitalism and the corrupting influence of money in politics. Romney worked with Salvadorian oligarchs to initially fund the corporation. These same oligarchs financed right-wing death squads that killed over 35,000 El Salvadorians, and politically supported the military dictatorships there. This resulted in the death of over 75,000 people.
Bain Capital recently bought the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois. The company was profitable and competitive, but Bain Capital decided to move the plant to China and lay-off all the American workers. To add insult to injury, Bain Capital then brought over Chinese workers and made the soon-to-be-laid-off American workers train their replacements. The American workers had to watch people dismantle their factory and ship it, piece by piece, to China.
Bain Capital bought HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) after HCA settled with various government agencies for over $2 billion dollars due to a massive medicare fraud settlements. HCA seems to have not changed its ways. Recently, whistleblowers have revealed that, under pressure for profits and high returns on investment, HCA doctors misdiagnosed heart conditions and performed unnecessary heart surgeries in order to drive up business at several of its hospitals. After the whistleblowers exposed these dangerous and unnecessary surgeries, HCA fired them.
Earlier this year a Bain Capital subsidiary, OSI (Carabba’s, Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Flemmings, and Roy’s), tried to push a bill through the Florida Legislature that would cut server’s pay in half from $4.65 an hour to $2.13 an hour. Bloomin’ Brands (formerly OSI) made millions this year after a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, all the while advocating to reduce worker’s pay.
In 2010, the DeepHorizon oil rig spilled oil over the entire Gulf Coast. Fish, birds, and other dead animals started washing up on shore. BP had hired Bain Capital to give financial advice on how to cut costs and raise profits. Bain advised BP to make major cuts in safety-related expenses. Regulators cited these very cost-cutting measures as the main cause of the disaster.
Mitt Romney co-founded, served as CEO, and continues to own a major stake in Bain Capital. With the corrupting influence of money in politics, does it really surprise anyone that Romney is running for President?
We will peacefully protest Bain Capital on August 30th, the day that Mitt will give his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. We will use this opportunity to protest and raise awareness about Bain Capital’s business practices. Hopefully this will pressure Bain Capital to behave ethically.
Passed by consensus by the General Assembly.
This is not true.
To ask an occupier to participate in such a debate asks them to speak for the movement. No one individual can speak for the movement; they can only speak for themselves. Official statements can only be released by the General Assembly after everyone has agreed through consensus that the statements represent the entire group. General Assemblies rarely consent to an official spokesperson or representative.
Any group or individual claiming to present a representative of the Occupy Movement has not been honest. If a General Assembly approves an official representative, that person represents only that particular Assembly. Each Occupy group exists as its own autonomous entity at the local level and is not controlled or directed by any other group or entity. For one individual to represent the entire movement, this individual would need to be approved by all the General Assemblies of each and every occupation.
We do not support this partisan farce. This is a tea party hosted event, moderated by a member of the tea party and would include a tea party member in the debate. Debates should be hosted and moderated by objective third parties who will not favor either side.
Moreover, framing the debate in this way perpetuates the misconception of Occupy as a leftist version of the Tea Party. Quite the contrary, we consist of a diverse array of people, ideas, and grievances. Some occupiers do not identify themselves through political affiliations. Others identify themselves as conservatives, progressives, independents, anarchists, republicans, democrats, libertarians, socialists, feminists, and yes, even some who identify with the Tea Party. We are, after all, the 99%.
The conditions effecting the 99% transcend political categorization. Our differences do not preclude us from cooperating to address the issues we agree on. The two-party binary has prevented real progress. To affect change we need to put our political labels aside and work together to find common ground.
Passed by General Assembly consensus.
Earth First! group calls for eco-action during RNC in Tampa
by Clinton Tyree
Organizers from Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) invite eco-activists far and wide to join us in bringing our message to the RNC this month.
While we stand in solidarity with those who will be out struggling for social and economic justice, we also feel there is a need to contribute an action-based analysis which views the ecological crisis as a central concern for those of us struggling to change the direction of this society.
Our primary intention is to bring a message of fighting the energy empire, which controls politics in service of its own agenda. On the local front, corporate energy giants and Republican politicians have pushed to open Florida’s coast to off-shore drilling for oil and gas, permitted thousands of megawatts of new fossil fuel power plants in the state, and collaborated on plans to fuse the biotech industry with energy giants. On the national agenda, Republican politicians and lobbyists are promising industry heads support for tar sands exploration, gas fracking, coal mining and new nukes.
Most groups planning to protest the Republican National Convention next week have focused on the wealth gap and the economy in general. But the history of failed civilizations show us that economic crises begin and end with ecological crisis.
Our environmental message of protecting the planet from industrial pillage is needed here and now, more than ever.
All of us working on issues of pollution, water, development, energy, climate, greed, and the corruption that ties it all together, should be out in the streets of Tampa and St. Pete next week. (And out to protest the Democratic Convention the following week in North Carolina, for most of the same reasons.)
EEF! plans to have a presence throughout the RNC events. In particular, local organizers with ResistRNC.org in Tampa have called for August 30th to have a theme “promoting Environmental efforts.” We invite other environmental activists from across Florida and beyond to join us in taking action on this day to expose and confront the ecocidal elite.
We’ll be having an open meeting for those in South Florida wishing to discuss plans and make props for the RNC on August 22, 5pm at the Night Heron Grassroots Activist Center.
We may also re-convene in Tampa/St. Pete on the 29th to discuss plans for the 30th, Details TBA.
We are working on a series of flyers, posters and other EF! literature to circulate during the week. Please get in contact if you are interested to assist with producing or distributing these.
As mentioned, EEF! plans to participate in the scheduled marches and rallies (see list below), and to stay flexible for opportunities to express our solidarity with other movements and our outrage at the industrial nightmare driven by the corporate politics represented by the RNC.
Get in touch: evergladesearthfirst [at] gmail.com
Anti-RNC events we know abou:
Occupy Tampa and World Food Not Bombs gathering site, for food and tent space. Check here for details
Romneyville camp – All Week. Check updates here and find out how/if you can stay there
12pm, Rally of the 99% at Gaslight Park, Tampa (410 N. Franklin)
5:30pm, Kick-off Party for “March on the RNC” group, 719, Arlington Ave N. St. Pete
6pm, Crashing the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party”, at Tropicana Field, St. Pete
10am – 4pm, March on the RNC, starting at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, Tampa
3pm – 5:30pm, March For Our Lives, by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (details TBA)
11pm – 12pm, Roving Radical Dance Party, 1800 East 8th Ave, Ybor Centennial Park
5pm Voter Suppression Rally, at 1800 East 8th Ave, Ybor Centennial Park
Undocumented youth from the Latino community from across the state of Florida will organize hand-in-hand with African American leaders for a march against voter suppression that aims to rob the vote from communities of color. Across the country, lobby corporations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) who pushed racially discriminatory laws like SB 1070 in Arizona and HB 56 in Alabama are now trying to push voter suppression laws.
“Shut Down Bain Capital” Day of Action (details TBA)
12pm Send off for caravan leaving to march on the DNC in North Carolina (details TBA)
A reminder from the folks at ResistRNC.org, who are calling for decentralized direct actions: “Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.” -Sun Tzu, Art of War
EEF! activists join the front lines of the anti-fracking resistance in the Marcellus region, 2012
End the Energy Empire
Stop the Industrial Nightmare
-Everglades Earth First!
Occupy Tampa has stood in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street since its inception, and will function as the host occupation for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL on August 27th – 30th, 2012.
Preparations have included: 1) Securing sleeping arrangements for as many occupiers as we can fit in our current encampment. In order to maximize available space to accommodate as many people as possible, we will (2) remove individual tents and replace them with large canopies to offer shade and protection from the weather. (3) Our liaison with Fire Dog Lake, Sonja Ebron, continues to work with Occupy Tampa by securing items such as sunscreen, bug spray, bandanas, portable water containers, sleeping bags and mats, UV protective shirts a
nd other useful items.
Occupy Tampa has formed a Regional General Assembly to coordinate Occupy groups throughout the bay area, including: Occupy Lakeland, Occupy St. Petersburg, Occupy Bradenton, Occupy USF, Occupy New Port Richey, and Occupy Sarasota. We have tried to plan as much as possible ahead of time, but we want to leave space open to spontaneously produce additional actions by harnessing the number of people that arrive.
Food not Bombs has called a World Gathering and plans to run feeding operations throughout the duration of the RNC. A week before the Republican National Convention, chapters of Food Not Bombs from every corner of the globe will convene in order to prepare to feed the thousands of protesters flooding into the city. FNB will serve brunch everyday at 10 am, at Voice of Freedom Park, and will also serve dinner before the General Assemblies. We will offer warm-ups at 9 am, including yoga & other light exercises.
We invite everyone to come and take advantage of the preparations we have made, to help ensure that all occupiers and other supporting groups can use this moment of national attention to confront the political status-quo.
We currently occupy a privately-owned, publicly accessible park (fittingly named “Voice of Freedom). The owner has donated the space for use by the Occupy Movement.Facilities include: running water, two port-a-potties, parking, Internet access, and electricity.
Our address is 2101 W. Main St. Tampa, Fl. You can contact us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/occupytampa or through our website www.occupytampa.org.
Peace, Love, & Solidarity,
(Passed by consensus by the General Assembly)
Please spread the word:
Occupy Tampa and the Tampa Bay Regional General Assembly passed through consensus a resolution to send a national call to action, on the day Mitt Romney accepts the nomination, to shut down Bain Capital.
Mitt Romney co-founded Bain Capital. The corporation took part in many “hostile takeovers,” a practice that involves buying a company in order to simply lay off the workers, close the company and sell it for spare parts.
Bain Capital Companies:
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine
Burlington Coat Factory
Clear Channel Communications
Hospital Corporation of America
Michael’s Craft Store
The Princeton Review
Work ‘N Gear
Please spread the word to other Occupy and activist groups near and far. On Sundays @ 8 PM, InterOccupy will host a conference call to finish drafting the national call to action and share ideas about how to shut down Bain Capital.