Occupy Christmas

International Day of Action – December 25

Archive for the ‘Family & Children’ Category

Eugene, Oregon Christmas Potluck

Posted by troublemaker on December 25, 2011

Occupy Eugene, Oregon welcomes you to celebrate Christmas in their occupation on Sunday, December 25th at 2pm in the new Occupy 5 building (7th and Polk).

“Bring a dish if you can and a space heater if you have one!” – http://occupyeugenemedia.org/2011/12/23/12-25-christmas-potluck-sunday/

Christmas is more than the religious holiday of some 75% of the population of my country, it is also a secular holiday which marks the value of not only kith and kin but community. In a culture where what you have in the bank often seems more important than what is in your heart, the Occupy / 99% movement has gone a very long way towards reminding us that things other than money have value. Many thanks to Occupy Eugene for reminding folk that community is one of those other things which really does have value.

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Baby Miracle and the First Two Occupy Related Deaths

Posted by troublemaker on November 23, 2011

Jennifer Fox says her unborn child was no more than three months along when it was killed by police. Some readers might wonder why we would call her child “Baby Miracle”. Because that is what Jennifer Fox said she choose to name the child she wanted to bring into this word.

“It hurts. It’s upsetting. I was ready to have a kid, because my family was going to support me in taking care of the child. Her name was going to be Miracle.” – Jennifer Fox(1)

Some readers might be wondering why we would call Baby Miracle a child. Because this is a blog, not a court of law. While judges might insist that an unborn child be referred to as a fetus, we have no such obligation. No matter what your political, moral, or ethical view is; taken at face value, what it is clear is that Jennifer Fox will not celebrate this or future holiday seasons with Baby Miracle.

No formal investigation has been concluded. No formal charges have been filed. In fact, a Google news search turns up only one article at this time. The article on Forbes (2) references quotes and information from an article written by Dominic Holden (3). In the middle of the Forbes article, in a large and bold font there is the statement that:

“Fox did not provide Holden with any medical documentation to back any of this up, and as with all unconfirmed reports take this with a grain of salt” (3)

Dominic Holden’s article and its updates expresses even more mistrust of Jennifer Fox’s claims in language such as: “Acting on an anonymous tip, we heard that…” (3) That anonymous tip reportedly led Holden to a police report with each participant’s name blacked out. The police report, which details several people residing in an abandoned building on the evening of 22 September, 2011, includes a woman with a three lettered name who claimed to be three months pregnant at the time and in need of medical attention. The implied question is how Fox could have been three months pregnant when pepper sprayed and struck by police on 15 November 2011 if she was three months pregnant on 22 September 2011, a difference of about two months. Ignoring the issue that the name in the police report is blocked out, the answer is rather simple. With a stable home and family life, my wife did not know she was pregnant until she entered her second trimester. By all accounts, Jennifer Fox was homeless, thus not likely to be seeing a doctor on a regular basis.

In his article, Ian Awesome explained that Fox, like many people, were homeless until the Occupy encampment welcomed her into their fold. Although Ian Awesome was also clear in pointing that the Fox’s allegations have not been confirmed, he did so in a fairly respectful manner. He also included information on her age, 19, and living conditions in a factual and caring manner. In his article, the term homeless was in no way used as a derogatory.

“If her allegation is confirmed, the inappropriate use of force against peaceful activists exercising their right to free speech has finally cost a protester something irreplaceable: an unborn baby..” – Ian Awesome (1)

Holden’s article (3) seems to have ignored key consistencies and focused instead on inconsistencies. Consider life on the street without work days and weekends. If Fox was the person identified in the police report as having been transported to “HBC” (4), it seems likely Fox would later have “also seen a physician at Harborview [Medical Center] for prenatal care“. It does seem perfectly reasonable to think the police report shorthand “HBC” stands for Harborview Medical Center.

“Fox says she had also seen a physician at Harborview for prenatal care about five week before.” – Dominic Holden (3)

Where, I wonder, is the sympathy in either Holden’s article or the Forbes article which referenced it? Maybe not sympathy for a child they do not seem to believe existed, but for a 19 year old woman who would be living on the street if not for the Occupy encampment. For a woman whose previous home may have resulted in the arrest of one of her companions (4) because survival for people living on the streets often results in charges of criminal trespassing in abandoned buildings.

Ian Awesome indicates that Fox miscarried on 20 November 2011, five days after being pepper sprayed and struck by police (1). There is no claim thus far that her hospital visit of 15 November 2011 indicated there was anything wrong with her child. To this layman’s mind, it seems more likely the child was lost due to the living conditions of a mother being homeless as well as a lack of proper and timely medical care. That is the real story.

We live in a nation where children are punished for their parent’s sin of poverty.

This must change.

At this time, it is not clear if Baby Miracle died as a result of police brutality. At this time, it is not clear that Baby Miracle existed outside of the heart of his potential mother. What is clear is that the first deaths directly related to the Occupy movement have been observed. Those being the death of not only innocence, but of ignorance as well. For my children, I mourn the death of the former and rejoice in the death of the latter.

Thank you Occupy Seattle for feeding, sheltering, and extending human kindness to Jennifer Fox.

Occupy Christmas for the children of this world and for the future children of this world.

 

 

  1. Ian Awesome – One Angry Queer Blog
  2. Forbes – Pregnant Occupy Seattle Protester Has Miscarriage After Being Pepper-Sprayed by Police
  3. Slog – Pregnant Woman Blasted with Pepper Spray by SPD Says She Miscarried (Updated)
  4. Police Report provided by Dominic Holden

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Posted in Family & Children | 2 Comments »

Occupy Department of Education (ODE)

Posted by troublemaker on November 8, 2011

Occupy Christmas because our children are the future.  Should that future be led only by the children of the elite 1%?  By the children of parents who can afford to provide a proper K-12 education?  Should not public schools be forced to provide the same quality in education as private schools?  Why is it that grossly overpaid politicians determine the grossly low salary of most public school teachers?  Should the 1% be allowed to dictate the educational quality for the 99%?

Monday, November 7th saw Occupy Wall Street participants aim their boots and march on the Department of Education.  According to many involved in Occupy the Department of Education (Occupy DOE) that is exactly how education is managed in New York City.  According to protesters on the steps of the Department of Education in New York City, the Mayor Bloomberg’s mayoral control of schools is tightly linked to the underline message behind Occupy Wall street.  That message being that the elite 1% should not control the laws and lives of the 99%.

“What we’re seeing with mayoral control, it’s still part of the one percent versus ninety nine percent type of narrative,We have a mayor who is known for being in the top 20 wealthiest people in the country, who is singlehandedly dictating the reforms that come through the school systems without a lot of input.  There’s no way to intervene once a decision has been made.  Someone [ in the 1% ] has accrued too much power in decision-making in one office and is very disconnected from the needs in the [ 99% ]people in schools and communities but presumes to know what’s better for us based upon his status.”” – New York City English teacher Kelley Wolcott (1)

Kelley Wolcott and others involved with Occupy the Department of Education further illustrates the movement is not a bunch of dirty hippies who do not want to work for a living.  If protesters were as some accuse, instead of protesting at the Department of Education the protesters would be listening to Pink Floyd songs about how we “don’t need no education”.  Instead, the Huffington Post reports that approximately 200 protesters from Occupy Wall Street vented well intended concerns at New York City Department of Education (1). 

Among other complaints aired were concerns about budget cuts for public schools.  Although the tuitions of private schools are met by the 1%, improving their chances of acceptance to a good college, children of the 99% rely on the public school system for their future.  Many feel that as funding for our public schools becomes decreased, so are educational and employment opportunities for our children. 

“to take back the Department of Education, to take back the teachers union.”  (2)

Across the country, teachers and educators have stood firmly with the Occupy movement.  On the West Coast they participated in Oakland’s general strike.  In Oakland Schools, on the day of the general strike, students were provided information on the strike and on the traditions of protest.  Teachers stayed home to observe the general strike. (3)

 An estimated 16% of teachers in the Oakland Unified School District did not show up to class – district spokesman Troy Flint (3)

Oakland school district allowed teachers to participate with the general strike provided they made arrangement to insure a substitute teacher was available or their classroom duties were otherwise covered.

 “We wanted to allow teachers who were fighting for public education and children to have their voice.” – district spokesman Troy Flint (3)

 

1) Huffington Post

2) Gotham Schools

3) Los Angelis Times

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Free Baby Zachariah

Posted by troublemaker on November 7, 2011

Occupy spokes people do not speak for all of the 99%.  In this case, we hope Cordell Cameron of Occupy Dallas does not speak for many.  While speaking about the state’s seizure of Zachariah Carpich (9 months old) from his parents Brian and Cathy Carpich, Cameron reportedly said there was no abuse and that the family tent was heated.  Why then would Cameron have condoned the warrentless seizure of a child by adding:

“[but] obviously you can’t keep a baby out in freezing weather” – Cordell Cameron (1)

Marissa Gonzales, a spokesperson for Children’s Protective Services declined to provide details other than the fact that the family is homeless, until a Judge signed off on the case.  Note that a judge has NOT signed off on the seizure.  The action was taken entirely by Children’s Protective Services PENDING an investigation.  Such actions are permissible by law only when there is an eminent threat to a child.  Just what is it about living in a heated tent that created a threat so horrible that not only would Children’s Protective Services feel it necessary to remove a child but that a spokesperson for Occupy Dallas would agree?

Cordell Cameron and other protesters demand their First Amendment be respected.  One is forced to wonder why it is that these freedom fighters would condone the deprivation of Fourteenth Amendment(2) right to due process and their Fourth Amendment (3)  protection from unreasonable seizure. 

Only if there is clear and eminent danger (exigent circumstances) can such action be taken.  The family had been living in the Occupy encampment in a heated tent for a week before baby Zachariah was taken.  He was in good health.  Why would there suddenly be a problem?  As the only reason given for the seizure of Baby Zachariah is that his parents are “homeless”, the pattern seems to be clear.  So clear that it can be seen in other actions Texas CPS.

In Houston, Texas six children were taken from Prince Leonard and his wife over a similar accusation of unsafe living conditions (4).  In the Leonard’s case, their home had an air conditioner, a refrigerator, electricity and even two personal computers.  It did not have running water.  What exactly is a safe living condition?

Homeless parents beware.  The State of Texas as well as Cordell Cameron of Occupy Dallas seem to believe your children should be taken if your home is not what they decide it should be.  No sign of abuse or neglect is required.  No running water.  No children.  No help.

Shame shame Cordell Cameron.  Free Baby Zacharia.  Let him Occupy Christmas with his parents.

Foot notes:

1 – KHOU Houston Texas

2 – Fourteenth Amendment

3. Fourth Amendment

4. KHOU Houston

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Child Seized in Dallas

Posted by troublemaker on November 5, 2011

Just in time for Christmas, CPS decided parenting in tents is an immediate threat to children.  Zachariah Carpich (9 months old) was seized the care of his parents Brian and Cathy Carpich by Children’s Protective Services.  The claim by CPS and police seems to be that an Occupy encampment is no place for children.   Police claim the child was crying one evening. (1)  True, at least one registered sex offender was arrested at the Dallas occupy encampment but this is also true of many neighborhoods in the United States.  Likely also true is the accusation that Zachariah was crying.  Children do cry. 

According to Brian and Cathy Carpich, a case worker claimed their son was seized because the encampment is an “unhealthy living environment”. (2)  This despite the couple claiming their tent was heated and the child had diapers and other essentials.  One is forced to wonder exactly what it is that CPS consideres an “unhealthy living environment”.  While it does seem likely that a child would better be raised in a house or apartment rather than a tent, are we really living in a time when our government will separate parents and children because the parents have fallen on tough economic times? 

The couple claimers it is already on a waiting list for assistance: “We’re already in a program for housing,” (2) but that those efforts will now be foiled by the seizure of their son Zachariah.  Thus begins the vicious cycle.  The couple may not have their child back until they have a home.  They may not receive assistance with housing until they have their child back.

Across the country, accusations that CPS is a corrupt agency have been made long before the Occupy movement has taken to our city parks.  Thus far, Occupy has ignored the government’s unconstitutional intrusions into family life. Perhaps that is about to change.  Please consider the following facts.

This child (and many others) was “seized” without warrant, court order, or any sense of due process.  There was no immediate danger cited, no abuse, no eminent danger to the child.  While it is the responsibility of our government to protect its people, especially its children, we live in a country which began with the recognition of innate rights.  Rights which are now ignored by Children’s Protective Services who seem to think they know better than parents what is right for a child.  Statistics show otherwise.  With the support of armed police officers, children are routinely taken from their parents without court order.

Certainly conditions exist where a child should be seized without court order.  Those conditions are called exigent circumstances.  They are instances where a child is in such danger where normal court proceedings are skipped to protect the child.  A good example would be clear evidence of beatings.  Are we now going to add community assisted camping to the list of things which present a clear and eminent danger to the welfare of a child?

Take action. Use your First Amendment Rights.  Let them know how you feel.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

701 W. 51st Street
Austin, Texas 78751
By Telephone: 1-800-720-7777

On the Internet at: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/

Dear CPS, Occupy your own damn Children

 

 

External links:

1 – CBS DFW

2. – Pat Dollard

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