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Aside 28 Dec

Steve Childs of Cornell’s Maple Program talks innovation and Tradition. Originally broadcast on WRFI 88.1 in Ithaca, 91.9 in Watkins Glen.

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11 Aug

Finger Lakes Action Network

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win!” – Gandhi

Protesters of all ages have been blockading the site for close to two hours at Schlumberger Limited industrial facility. The police are viewing this as a peaceful protest and have not threatened to arrest any of the protesters. A few Schlumberger employees have circled the area, but the corporation has not formally approached the protesters. Schumberger is a 24/7 facility. However, the facility appears to have stopped operation for the day. 

Protesters were prepared to risk arrest blockading trucks from entering the single-entry gate into the facility, but at this point, the goal of the demonstration has been accomplished without arrests: Schlumberger has been shut down.

Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services company with US headquarters in Texas. The company has a revenue of $39.54 billion and currently operates in 85 countries.

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Letter to Ithaca Government regarding corporate criminal Bank of America

2 Jul

Dear Mayor Myrick and Common Council Members of Ithaca

I am writing in support of the Reverend Rich Rose who recently brought attention to the armed guard outside the downtown branch of Bank of America.  I share his concerns, not only about the proximity of the armed guard to the Commons playground, but also about the Bank itself.  The Bank’s response as to why an armed guard is required at this branch was equally disturbing.  Using the threat of violence to suppress dissent from protesters is not only illegal, it’s also highly Un-American.  Furthermore, the Bank’s treatment of Rose is appalling.  After asking the bank manager a simple question about the need for an armed guard, the bank filed a charge of harassment against Rose.  I assert that the bank’s use of an armed guard and the charge of harassment against Rev. Rose were aimed at intimidating protest against the bank and is the real case of harassment.  While the bank has complied with the city’s limpid request to remove the armed security guard, at least for now, we must go further.  A request for information about the case from a local reporter was stonewalled by the IPD.  I’m not excusing IPD’s unethical behavior here, but would like to point out that this is clear-cut example of the unseen hand of corporate power wielded in our community by BoA and other multinationals

As a local tax payer and member of the Occupy movement, I would like to point out several facts about Bank of America which might make you take a harder look at our city’s relationship with a corporate criminal. You may have also heard about the global movement to transfer money out of corporate banks into locally owned community banks and credit unions.  If the city has not already done this, I would urge you to take a very close look at where our money resides and how our choice of banks can have a very real and negative effect on society as a whole.  You might also consider a resolution, as many have suggested, supporting a Constitutional Amendment banning corporate personhood.

Bank of America was and continues to be at the center of foreclosures.  Millions of hard working Americans have been kicked out of their homes after being defrauded with sub-prime mortgages. They have been evicted unjustly due to the Bank’s own errors and fraudulent robo-signing practices, a practice which involves whole departments of the Bank solely dedicated to forging documents.  This practice resulted in the 2008 economic crisis described by some as the worst recession in American history that continues to have extremely negative global consequences.

BoA was the recipient of taxpayer funds to the tune of $45 billion in the initial TARP bailout, plus trillions in emergency loans from the Federal Reserve, despite BoA being an admitted felon.  Much of this money went toward rewarding corporate executives who committed crimes against the American public with fat bonus checks.  Meanwhile, hardworking Americans have still not seen the light at the end of the tunnel despite reports that the recession is over.  Furthermore, the Right wing in this country, backed by criminal institutions just like BoA, have used this financial crisis to call for drastic cuts to our entire social safety net including wildly popular and successful programs such as Social Security, Food Stamps and Medicare.  Millions have been spent by Bank of America to influence both elections and to manipulate lawmakers already seated in Washington.  BoA has also contributed an untold amount to the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, an undemocratic lobbying firm that pays no taxes and influences state-level lawmaking such as Stand Your Ground Laws (cited by George Zimmerman’s attorney as justification for the killing of Travon Martin) and so-called immigration reform laws targeting vulnerable communities for racial profiling, violence and deportation.  All this while paying $0 in taxes in 2009 and 2010.

Bank of America is the single largest financer of the coal industry in the US, an industry which has torn apart 100s of communities throughout Appalachia, contributes to thousands of deaths related to cancer, birth defects and asthma annually and is one of the main contributors of carbon dioxide to our atmosphere.  BoA also uses its undue influence on lawmakers to defeat policy changes which could curb US emissions, setting back the movement toward global climate justice and threatening life on Earth as we know it.

With these facts in mind, please consider a much stronger stance AGAINST Bank of America and all criminal corporate financial institutions.  While the bank has complied with the city’s tepid request to remove the armed guard from the Commons, it is your responsibility as elected officials to protect the people of this city from corporate predators and let Bank of America know that they are on notice.  Let them know that our police force is not here to be bullied into doing their dirty work and that their days are numbered here in Ithaca as long as they continue to act as irresponsible corporate citizens.

Contribute to OIJ #3

20 Mar

The Occupied Ithaca Journal is seeking new input from interested parties to produce our third issue themed for May Day and the May 1st General Strike.  We’re hoping to craft an authentic and informative timeline of the Ithaca area’s social and radical history from the time of the silent city Rhiner’s encampment on the city’s west end inlet to the women’s suffrage movement to the Willard Straight takeover, to Paul Glover’s founding of Ithaca Hours and the St. Patrick’s Day 4’s anti-war sentimental actions and everything in between including May Day celebrations of past years and also a vision of what May Day could look like this year in Ithaca.

We need to do some serious funding; enough $ to print copies to be delivered every. single. household. in downtown Ithaca, or as many as possible in anticipation of May Day.  Interested parties for writing, photography, editing, layout, design, funding, etc. Contact: occupiedithacajournal@gmail.com

20 Mar

OIJ #2 is here!

7 Feb

Pick up a stack if you can… email sapsquatch7@gmail.com for details. Check out the pdf here:

29 Dec

Open Letter to Cornell University: Don’t Collaborate with Apartheid | US Campaign for the Academic