Archive for the ‘Lawsuits’ Category

National Crackdown on Occupy Protesters

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

During the early morning hours, across the nation, in New York, Portland, St. Louis, Denver, and other cities, a police state was imposed on occupy protesters. Police employed force to beat and arrest protesters in a guise to clean the parks. As soon as protesters were arrested, the police dismantled the occupy camps across the nation.

New York – Emergency-service trucks rumbled up Broadway to positions on two sides of Zuccotti Park. Powerful lights blinked on, illuminating about 220 protesters in tents and sleeping bags. The one-square-block plaza was as bright as day. But it was only 1 a.m.

The voices of the police echoed from loudspeakers throughout the financial district. Officers swept through the park, rolling over tents and sleeping bags. All across America, The predawn operation in New York was repeated by mayors across the country.

But the message was clear: Occupy Wall Street’s two-month encampment was coming to a sudden and violent end. In New York, a full scale media blackout was attempted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg but failed as the event was covered by video that streamed across the internet.

On Tuesday evening, after a judge agreed that officials could ban tents and tarps, hundreds of protesters without sleeping gear returned to the park, began to meet and prepared for the next phase of the battle. One protester said, “This will be a catalyst. This reminds everyone who was occupying exactly why they were occupying” according to the AP.

Mr. Bloomberg’s order to clear out the encampment prompted criticism and praise. Some business owners seemed pleased, while various liberal groups, labor leaders, politicians, and civil libertarians denounced the move as an unjustified infringement on free speech.

The protesters were threatening to disrupt the stock exchange and city subways on Thursday with demonstrations marking their two months’ occupation of Zuccotti Park. This seemed to be the main reason for the eviction notice by the mayor.

NASHVILLE – Two days ago Occupy Nashville protesters won again. Occupy Nashville is delighted that charges were dropped this morning against our members who were illegally arrested last month. In a post on their web page, “We would like to thank our attorneys for their hard work and dedication. We would like to thank our occupiers, supporters.”

A flood of support for Wall Street protesters poured in after Gov. Bill Haslam imposed a curfew that led to the arrests of 55 people in Nashville, according to public records obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Of nearly 400 emails sent to the Republican governor’s office, only 11 supported his actions.

Oakland – A day after the Occupy Oakland camp was cleared out by the police, protesters there on Tuesday planned to march to join Occupy Cal demonstrators at the University of California at Berkeley. Protesters have said that they intend to repitch their tents on campus after an attempt to do so last week was thwarted by the police. Oakland protesters have seen the most violent oppression with one Iraq veteran receiving head injuries due to police actions.

Denver – On Tuesday in Denver, cold weather has affected the turnout. There were only about a dozen people at a park across from the state capitol building, down substantially from the past six weeks, during which the police made approximately 84 arrests of people who had established an encampment there.

Boston – Demonstrators at Occupy Boston, one of the larger encampments in the country, with about 140 tents on Tuesday, said they had been warily watching the raids elsewhere. On Tuesday, the National Lawyers Guild, the American Civil Liberties Union and lawyers representing the Occupy Boston movement asked a Superior Court judge for an injunction barring the City of Boston and the police from removing protestors from the encampment.

Los Angeles – While the numbers of protesters around the country have fallen due to cold temperatures, they grow larger in Los Angeles, where people are camped on the lawn of City Hall. Some have built plywood structures decorated with anti-Federal Reserve murals.

One thing remains certain, across the nation, every time the occupy protesters are evicted, they come back and the numbers grow larger. It seems unwise to crack down on the Occupy movement just two days before their movement’s anniversary.

Haslam Signed Law That Places Price on Life

Thursday, June 16th, 2011
job counter

Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law today his pet project to take away a jury's power in cases where citizens are harmed by businesses. He says it will create jobs. We're keeping track.

The Republican-dominated legislature passed and Gov. Bill Haslam signed into a law a measure that caps damages awarded to victims of horrific accidents, medical malpractice and other life-changing injuries. Mr. Haslam said perverting the justice system would “create jobs” — we’re holding him to it. 

Republicans said their plan to protect insurance companies profits and reckless corporations will increase business prospects in Tennessee, despite the fact that after eight years of Democratic leadership, Tennessee is already continually ranked one of the best states to do business.

An Associated Press story noted that last year in Tennessee, only 14 trials exceeded the proposed caps, meaning there would be no radical change to the state’s job creation climate, as supporters claim. There is no evidence that Tennessee juries have been tossing about outrageous awards, however, or that businesses were afraid to move here because of it.

So instead, Republicans put a price on life. $29 a day for the lifetime of a 20-year-old girl who had suffered just such an injury, Democratic state Sen. Roy Herron pointed out.

“Today state lawmakers put a price on the life of our children. They put a price on the life of our parents and grandparents. They put a price on the life of the weak, the paralyzed, the neglected — all under the guise of economic development,” Senator Eric Stewart of Belvidere said.

FACTS:

Caps on jury awards was Haslam’s pet project, perhaps because his multi-million dollar business is tied up in a lawsuit stemming from a citizen being killed at a Pilot gas station owned by the governor. [WSMV.com, 3/2/11]

Under Haslam leadership, the unemployment rate jumped in June for a third straight month. [wrcbtv.com, 6/16/11]