It’s like watching the Sopranos.

April 30, 2012

Unless you live under a rock you know that dissent is spreading across America. Occupy Wall Street may have started in New York however it’s spread like wildfire. City after city have revolted against the powers that be.

Unfortunately the DHS in collusion with municipal police forces across the nation have attempted to silence and destroy the Occupy protesters. Demonstrators have been barraged by a wave of police violence and misconduct. In many cases protesters have been told to pack it up and leave. Despite being evicted from their respective cities the Occupiers are far from done.

I caught up with Occupy Charlotte on Saturday, April 28th before their Fight Amendment 1 — Rally, March, and Outreach.

Posted below is an interview with one of their organizers, Craig Glisson.

Blue Scholar Blog: Why should people vote against amendment one?

Craig Glisson: People should vote against amendment one because it is making bigotry and inequality the norm in the North Carolina Constitution. It defines marriage as between a man and a woman. If marriage is a government institution then there should be equality across the board. The amendment also takes a lot of rights away from un-married couples. A couple could be together for 15 or 20 years but if you go by the definition of amendment one they will not receive the same benefits as a married couple. It would mess up the domestic violence laws which would take a lot of rights away from women. If you have a child of two unmarried parents who live together that child will have a lack of resources that would be available to parents who are married.

Blue Scholar Blog: It has come out that the DHS has been working with local police forces on how to deal with and ultimately evict occupiers. What are your feelings on that?

Craig Glisson: I feel that the Department of Homeland Security has a problem with Occupy because we’re actually speaking out against the government. It wouldn’t concern me if I wasn’t an advocate of rights, but since I am an advocate of rights I’m just going to stand up and speak out against atrocities of not only our local and state government but also our federal government. The fact that our federal government is coming in and evicting people who are expressing their first amendment rights, their freedom of speech, their freedom of assembly that is telling me that they are nervous, because what they are doing, the policies they are putting forth, the bills, and the new laws that are being passed show me that they know what they are doing is wrong. If more people speak out and demand change from the government it could change the system. It could change the status quo. Then we could have a system that benefits the majority of the people.

Blue Scholar Blog: Back in January the city of Charlotte evicted Occupy Charlotte. How have relations with the city been since then?

Craig Glisson: Relations with the city haven’t been positive or negative. The city does what it wants and we’re still here being watchdogs over the city. We are aware of what the city is doing. We are aware of what the corporations in our city are doing. They caused a major blow with the eviction. They took our tents but they did not take away our ideology. We still demand from our city, our representatives, and all city employees that they follow their just laws and that they strike their unjust laws.

We have some events coming up soon that speak out against our elected officials and the corporations in our city.

Blue Scholar Blog: What are those events?

Craig Glisson: There is going to be an Occupy Bank of America shareholders meeting on may 9th (Occupy Charlotte’s calendar of events can be found here) . There should be over a thousand people in attendance who have grievances with Bank of America on a national level and we have a lot of people in Charlotte who are coming out on a local level to voice their grievances with what Bank of America has done to the city of Charlotte. They have turned the community into a corporate town that is morally bankrupt.

Blue Scholar Blog: That leads into my next question. How do you feel about Bank of America? They employ a lot of people around here, but they don’t have a good track record with the community as far as fairness in evictions and so forth.

Craig Glisson: I was at a town hall meeting that mayor Foxx set up. Bank of America does employ a lot of people but mayor Foxx made a funny statement. He said that 90% of the people in Charlotte are employed by a small business. Bank of America employs a lot of people but they are not a small business. Not at all. They are a very globalized corporation. They are a multi- national company. They aren’t really Bank of America they are Bank of can we fuck everyone in the whole world. That’s what they are. I’m an advocate of making Bank of America smaller instead of allowing them to consolidate so much power. Bank of America is doing really badly right now. A lot of people are upset with them. We’ve seen the rise of the credit union so a lot of those jobs would be redirected. If Bank of America actually paid taxes instead of being subsidized we would have a stronger community. Citizens wouldn’t be taxed so much and that money could be redirected towards a lot of things. If people have more dollars in their pocket it would stimulate the economy because people stimulate the economy not large corporations. I would like to see Bank of America broken up. We need policies such as Glass Steagall to keep companies like Bank of America from going to the casino with depositors money.

Blue Scholar Blog: Bank of America recently settled with the DOJ concerning widespread mortgage fraud, yet no one has gone to jail. Do you think that justice has been served?

Craig Glisson: Wachovia now Wells Fargo got caught laundering money for drug cartels. Bank of America has it’s own situation going on. Since citizens united corporations are supposed to be treated like people, but they can’t go to jail like people. If I steal a Big Mac and fries my ass is going to jail. They bankrupt our economy and steal the livelihood of millions of citizens and what happens to them? They get a bail out. They get Merrill Lynch for pennies on the dollar. They get subsidies. They don’t pay taxes, and they are allowed to do what they do. That’s just mind boggling to me. No body ever goes to jail. It’s like the BP oil spill. They go after a low level engineer, because the people with the big money can line everyone’s pockets. It’s ludicrous and I’m not talking about the rapper. It’s ludicrous in the sense of what the fuck are we doing. Why are these people still on the streets? The jails are lined with people with minor drug charges and the people who ruined the foundation of our economy are free. Dealing with Bank of America is one of the many steps we need to fight this.

Blue Scholar Blog: Speaking of criminal banksters and the prison industrial complex. What do you think about Wells Fargo investing in private prison companies such as GEO group?

Craig Glisson: That bothers me because prison is supposed to be about reforming individuals. Our prisons aren’t even like that. Our prison system is a business and they are in the business of locking young black men up and using them as slave labor. When a prison becomes a private entity they use prisoners for slave labor. They can pay what people in the third world make like a dollar a day. We are also talking about the contracts people get to build the prisons and to feed the prisoners. There is a lot of money floating around to exploit human life. That’s why our education system is in shambles. That’s why the government only helps you just a little bit and not enough. That’s why they force people to go to prison with their policies and through the stereotypes, the racism, and the classism and through all the fucking isims. They are making money and exploiting people in so many different ways. Wells Fargo wants their cut. That’s basically what it all comes down to. Why is it that Bank of America invests in coal when the people in the area (mining towns) have increased rates of cancer and asthma? There are so many health issues renewable energy would be a way to go, but Bank of America doesn’t want that. Their energy buddies love coal. They don’t have to train people, make changes, or create any high paying jobs. They can keep the same status quo and get their cut. That’s what these banks are. It’s like watching the Sopranos. They just want their cut and that’s all it is. Human life should be more valuable than that.

 

Photos courtesy of Cannie Osborne.


The Walls are Closing in

April 29, 2012

According to MIT we are on the precipice of a complete global economic collapse. A group of researchers at MIT’s Jay W. Forrester’s institute predict that this will happen by 2030 if the world continues to consume resources at it’s current rate. The researchers also predict that there will be a steep decline in population as a result of the economic collapse that is on the horizon.

The Jay W. Forrester’s institute came to their conclusions based on a computer simulation. The simulation accounts for resource usage, farming output, birth control, and pollution.

This research was conducted at the behest of The Club of Rome a think tank that primarily deals with international politics.  According to the Club of Rome’s web site

They created a computing model which took into account the relations between various global developments and produced computer simulations for alternative scenarios. Part of the modelling were different amounts of possibly available resources, different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control or environmental protection. 

 Most scenarios resulted in an ongoing growth of population and of the economy until to a turning point around 2030. Only drastic measures for environmental protection proved to be suitable to change this systems behaviour, and only under these circumstances, scenarios could be calculated in which both world population and wealth could remain at a constant level. However, so far the necessary political measures were not taken.

The report is based on the 1972 book Limits to Growth which states

It is self evident that human resource usage cannot exceed what the globe can provide for very long. The human ecological footprint will have to move back into sustainable territory.  Either through managed decline to sustainable levels of activity or through collapse to the same levels through the brutal work of nature or the market.

I think Serj Tankian said it best when he said

We’re the regulators that de-regulate.
We’re the animators that de-animate.
We’re the propagators of all genocide.
Burning through the world’s resources, then we turn and hide.


Occupy Wall St. South

April 25, 2012

Charlotte is known as the Wall St. of the South and for good reason. Bank of America makes it’s home there. Since 2008 Wells Fargo has based it’s East Coast operations there as well.

I consider Charlotte to be a double edged sword. On one hand it is a fine representation of the New South. The city is very diverse and it is a cultural beacon for the state of NC. Unfortunately it is also a veritable lion’s den as it is home to two of the most evil banking institutions in America today.

It’s no secret that there is bad blood between Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and myself. In the article Politics of Prison I refer to Wells Fargo as Wells Fucko. I even Bastardized their logo.

Over the course of this blog I have continually gone after Bank of America who I affectionately refer to as Skank of America.

Fortunately there are others in Charlotte who feel the same way I do. I recently came into contact with Occupy Charlotte and I was pleased to see that they are still alive and well.

Back in January they were summarily evicted from Uptown Charlotte. Despite this setback they have regrouped and have a big plans for the month of May.

Posted below is text taken directly from one of their pamphlets.

CALL TO ACTION! CALENDAR MAY

1st May Day National General Strike 600 E. Trade St.

3rd Duke Energy 9am 526 S. Church St.

5th Amendment 1 Rally 618 North College St.

8th Vote Against Amendment 1

9th Bank of America 8:45 am Trade & Tryon

11th ALEC 601 South College St.

Though city officials destroyed our tents, they did not destroy our spirit!

Fortunately for the people Occupy Charlotte is alive and well. If anyone wants to get involved they meet every Tuesday at 7pm at Aimile’s Atrium 2424 N. Davidson St.  They can also be reached via the URLs posted below.

Occupy Charlotte | Facebook

Occupy Charlotte

Charlotte Occupy Together Community – Meetup



Oh Canada

April 24, 2012

Apparently there have been massive protests in Quebec over recent tuition hikes. Like most of you I didn’t even know about the situation until things got violent.

Due to a tuition increase of 75% over the next five years about 170,000 students have been on strike for three months, however things turned sour on Friday, April 20th.

According to the Toronto Sun

Montreal police had to call on their provincial police brethren to help control the protesters, some of whom pelted officers with bricks, rocks, and bottles. Protesters also set up barricades made from construction site materials and restaurant patio furniture to impede the circulation of police.

Officers responded with stun grenades, pepper spray and batons.

Student federation spokesman, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said that violence broke out after the authorities “quickly and brutally” intervened at  the Montreal Convention Centre where the Premiere of Quebec, Jean Charest was scheduled to speak.

According to Montreal police

their actions were in response to protesters who entered the centre through the garage and others who started to vandalize the building.

Montreal police say that two protesters were injured, however the QMI Agency reports that many protesters were beaten with batons and that they were bloody and bruised.

Charest was very nonchalant about the whole ordeal saying “The (event) that we’re holding today is very popular. People are running all over the place to get in.”

Nadeau-Dubois was not pleased with the premier’s antics. He told the QMI Agency that Charest’s comments will likely result in more violence. According to Nadeau-Dubois “After (Charest’s comments), all my calls for calm won’t do anything. He’s laughing at us. I don’t know if he realizes were in a crisis right now.”

The protests have been dubbed the Maple Spring and according to Canadian news outlet the Chronicle Herald they encompass more than dissatisfaction with tuition hikes.

According to the Herald

That point was repeatedly driven home Friday by protesters who signaled that the unrest was about more than university fees — it was about the general direction of the province.

Student protester, Alexis Remartini stated “It’s not just the tuition increase, the movement has grown to include other things we don’t agree with.”

Another protester, Nicolas Moran was bloodied by the police. According to him “I wasn’t doing anything violent.  A police officer hit me over the head… But I doubt the education minister will denounce violence from police.”


Pulled Pork

April 12, 2012

Apparently the cops in Santa Fe are jerkin off on the job and I mean that literally. The hero of our story, former police Sgt Mike Eiskant seems to have been caught holding the bag when a team of investigative journalists obtained dash cam footage from his squad car.

After requesting the footage for over a month Santa Fe’s KOB News saw the long arm of the law first hand. The footage revealed that Sgt Eiskant was getting a grip on his man to hand relationship while on the job. Talk about getting caught with your pants down.

The audio from the squad car contained the sound of a zipper and moans from Sgt Eiskant. At one point the officer could be heard saying “Oh show me those big beautiful breasts, baby.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Eiskant KOB revealed their discovery just one day after he plead no contest to ten unrelated charges. According to the Sante Fe New Mexican

Michael Eiskant, 41, entered a plea of no contest Thursday before Bernalillo County District Court Judge Reed Sheppard to two counts of attempt to commit a felony (false imprisonment), one count of stalking, two counts of harassment and others including larceny and possession of marijuana.

Seven of the charges occurred in 2011.

The counts of false imprisonment, stalking and harassment relate to traffic stops involving women drivers, according to the criminal complaint.

In return for pleading no contest, Eiskant agreed, he “will never again become a law enforcement officer anywhere in the United States.”

The New Mexican goes on to describe how Eiskant used police computers to cyber stalk a woman. The paper also reported that he took the marijuana away from a civilian and knowingly kept it.

KOB issued a follow up report that states Eiskant was harassing an 18 year old girl who works at a local coffee shop.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 has obtained a recent New Mexico State Police report, detailing new allegations of harassment against an 18-year-old employee of a local coffee shop by former Sgt. Mike Eiskant.

According to the report, the employee told police Eiskant made her feel uncomfortable and told her “he doesn’t like her having a boyfriend and that he noticed her boyfriend driving her car around a lot.”

Eiskant’s former co-workers are not surprised by his alleged jackin off on the job. Former officer Shannon Brady went on record saying

Eiskant had a reputation for being a “creeper” and stalking women.

Brady said she even tried to bring a harassment complaint against Eiskant years ago to Santa Fe’s human resource division.

That complaint was handled by then human resource compliance officer Raymond Rael.

Rael has since been promoted to chief of police.

The former officer said when she went to file her claim, Rael asked her if she was, “doing this only because of all the rumors against Mike Eiskant stalking women and offered mediation with Eiskant which she declined.”

One of the charges Eiskant plead no contest to were alleged by Brady.

Brady said the charge stems from the same incidents that the chief dismissed when he was working at the city.

Many of you may be wondering what will become of our hero Sgt Eiskant. He has been barred from ever taking a law enforcement position again and he may receive probation for no more than one year. It is unclear if he will have to pay any fines, however it is clear that the citizens of Sante Fe will be paying him as he has been allowed to cash in on his accumulated leave before he officially retires in November. I am assuming he will receive his retirement pay as well.

The masturbation tape was released after all of this was decided, however I’m sure the Sante Fe DA will follow Eiskant’s fine example by pulling his pork when he tries the case.