Occupy Missoula Statement on Police Violence against Occupy Oakland

Occupy Missoula is and will remain a non-violent movement. The General Assembly of Occupy Missoula officially denounces the violence perpetrated by authorities and citizens in Oakland on Saturday as reported by the media. The details of Saturday’s events are still unfolding. What is happening there can be followed by going to OccupyOakland.org. There may be sensational coverage in the coming days and we encourage people to educate themselves rather than counting on the 1% that controls our media to shape the facts. Because as we stated in our declaration, which can be viewed at OccupyMissoula.org, “Many among the economic elite are using their control over politics and the media in the hope that we will dissolve into our constituent parts and melt back into the woodwork. But we will not compromise our futures. “ We continue to stand in solidarity with the non-violent protesters in Oakland, around the nation, and around the world.

Occupy Missoula General Assembly

January 29, 2012

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The Occupation of the Missoula County Courthouse lawn lasted roughly 3 months, 9 days, 6 hours. This is longer than many other Occupations across the United States, including New York City and Oakland, CA.

Throughout its life, The Occupation inspired compassion and exposed deep mistrust. It served to both unite and divide. Our Occupation was a paradox. Looking back, this seemed unavoidable.

So what now? What remains?

The open questions of our Civil Liberties remain: The Right to Freedom of Assembly; The Right to Free Speech; The Right to Petition for the Redress our Grievances.

The houseless remain also; not just the ones visible on the sidewalks and city streets or invisible in the back woods or nooks and crannies of our community, but the countless others who work by day and sleep in their vehicles at night. Unemployed. Under-employed. Facing Foreclosure. Collateral damage from a jobless recovery.

And the Greed remains. Is it getting better? Worse? Does this bother you?

And our Government is still broken. Unable to respond to a world where things on the ground are moving faster than the top.

So what remains is the Work. Much Work to be done. The hard Work for Real Change — not political rhetoric about Change.

You have now seen the Tents and heard each other’s Voices. This will happen again. How can it be any other way? There is nowhere left to go. We are the 99%.

Occupy the Courts: Move to Amend Call to Action January 20th

Money is not speech, and Corporations are not People!!! Join us for a lunchtime rally and March in support of a Nationwide Occupy the Courts Action

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20th, 11:30-1 PM Move to Amend- Occupy the Courts!!! Rally

  • 11:30 meet at the Caras Park Pavilion
  • 11:45 march to the Federal Courthouse on Pattee and Broadway
  • Rally@ Noon

We invite all participants to bring signs , noisemakers, drums, etc.

“I am a PERSON”, “Money is not speech, and Corporations are not People”

On January 20 Occupy Missoula will be holding a protest rally to commemorate the second anniversary of theCitizens United Supreme Court Decision that granted first amendment protection to unlimited contributions by corporations and individuals to political campaigns as a form free speech. This rally is part of a nationwide Occupy the Courts day of action called by the Move to Amend Coalition (not itself an occupy organization) to build momentum toward the passage of an amendment to the US Constitution to overturn this anti-democratic interpretation. Organizations in more than 100 cities throughout the nation will be engaging in similar actions that day.

The idea of a constitutional amendment was supported by the City of Missoula in a city-wide referendum –which passed with a 75% majority – on November 8 of last year. Recently the Montana Supreme court courageously defended the state’s own Corrupt Practices Act against the countervailing Citizens United ruling which held that even state laws that constrain election spending are constitutional.

Missoula’s Occupy the Courts rally will be held in front of the Russell E. Smith Federal District Court, 201 E. Broadway, during the noon hour on January 20. Participants are encouraged to gather at Caras Park at 11:30 with signs, banners, and noisemakers for an 11:45 march to the courthouse.

The noon-hour rally will feature a panel of speakers well-known to Missoulians: City Councilors Cynthia Wolken & Jason Wiener, State Representative Dick Barrett, Political Science professor Paul Haber, Labor Council Executive Officer Mark Anderlik, and Missoula small business owner Aimee McQuilkin.

OccupyCourtsPoster

Release: OccupyMissoula Response to Missoula County Board of Commissioner’s Proposed Resolution

Dear Missoula County Board of Commissioners:

We write this letter to address the implications of Resolution No. 2012-__ “Prohibiting Camping and Structures on County Property Without a Permit,” proposed by the Missoula County Board of Commissioners (the said Resolution may be read in full at www.OccupyMissoula.com).

We understand the ramifications of this resolution to reach far beyond the current political moment of Occupy Missoula’s encampment on the courthouse lawn. While serving as a public sounding board for citizen dissatisfaction with our current political/economic conundrum, Occupy Missoula’s presence on the Courthouse lawn has also illuminated the symptoms of a society that does not take care of its most vulnerable: its veterans, its elderly, its mentally ill, its substance-addicted, and its houseless. While we recognize and value Missoula’s efforts to address this situation (as detailed in a letter from the County Commissioners on Dec. 16th), the resources of these largely non-profit efforts are already strained.

With home foreclosures still on the rise, Missoula’s increasing houseless population will find themselves at the sharp end of this resolution by virtue of their circumstance, which in effect would be criminalized. Sleeping, not just camping, in said areas becomes cause for a citation, thereby compounding a situation which is already intolerable. “Camping,” as broadly defined by this proposed ordinance, would incriminate not only those without houses, but many working poor, who often sleep in their vehicles in pursuit of temporary employment, as well as other populations, such as travelers passing through who could be cited with criminal trespass for pulling an RV off the road in Missoula county.

In fact, many public spaces that Missoulians take for granted would fall under it’s broad definitions, as county properties include: Missoula County Fairgrounds, portions of Fort Missoula, and the Commons of the County Courthouse Lawn.

Whereas hypothetical expenditures of public funds to mitigate the health hazards of camping on said properties are cited, very real and actual expenditures of public funds will be required to administer and enforce the proposed resolution.

Occupy Missoula’s encampment on the Courthouse lawn has, for nearly 3 months, vigilantly asserted a citizen’s right to peaceably assemble and our freedom of speech by demonstrating and promoting the peace and well-being of all who gather there. The proposed resolution is one more swipe in eroding public access to the commons. The common basis of freedom of speech and right to assembly, universal across the political spectrum, would be further truncated by this resolution.

OM strongly encourages the Commissioners and the general public as a whole to carefully consider the far-reaching consequences of the county’s proposed ordinance. It is vital that the public attend the upcoming public hearing on this matter, Wednesday, January 4th at 1:30PM in Room 201 of the Courthouse Annex.

Respectfully,

Occupy Missoula