As Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has said, the nation’s biggest banks have essentially gained “too big for trial” status, and the federal government has failed to prosecute any executive at a Big Bank for financial fraud.
While Wall Street has escaped prosecutions, thousands of Americans have been arrested in the course of protests against the banks. Yesterday, at protests at the Department of Justice, at least 17 Americans were arrested — and there were more arrests today. In October 2011, one month after the start of Occupy Wall Street, at least 1,000 Americans had been arrested in these protests. As of May 2013, that number is 7,736 — according to the website Occupy Arrests, which tracks arrests.
One of many satirical renditions of the pepper spraying incident. (Photo credit: Flickr user maryatexitzero)
One of the most infamous moments from the Occupy protests occurred when a campus police officer at UC Davis pepper sprayed a group of students who were refusing to leave the sidewalk. The incident was captured on YouTube and soon became a source of global outrage. Watch it:
Today it was announced that the students involved won a $1 million settlement from the University of California system:
The University of California has agreed to make payments of tens of thousands of dollars each to the two dozen students hit with pepper spray at UC Davis last November, and to provide the students with individual written apologies from Davis chancellor Linda Katehi.
The settlement, filed in federal court this morning, provides for $30,000 payments to each of 21 named defendants, and a pool of $100,000 to be divided among other students who may come forward. Attorneys for the students will receive $250,000, and the ACLU will be given $20,000 to conduct a review of university policies on demonstrations.
The settlement should serve as a warning to other police departments and government officials who would be tempted to use abusive and heavy-handed force to disperse protests.
Seven liberal House candidates in town this week for Democratic meetings plan to deliver more than 20,000 petitions to Speaker John Boehner’s office this afternoon from people saying they “stand with the 99%.” Participating in the rally, organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, are Eric Griego (NM-1), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Ilya Sheyman (IL-10), Marko Liias (WA-1), Franke Wilmer (MT-AL), Wenona Benally Baldenegro (AZ-1) and Lori Saldana (CA-52). This is part of the broader effort among would-be elected officials on the left to both channel and lay claim to the energy of Occupy Wall Street activists. [more]
A small handful of people made a final transaction with Bank of America on Thursday. They came to close their accounts, to protest debit card fees the bank will start imposing in 2012. “It’s not just the fee, it’s a tipping point as far as their greed,” Cheryl Anderson said. “It’s unbridled and I think that we gotta vote with our dollars and that’s what I’m doing.” The account-closing protest was organized by a group called Progressive Change Campaign, and although other banks are planning debit card fees, they targeted Bank of America as the worst of the worst. [more]
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