City Hall Tells Dallas Occupiers to Get Insurance or Else. They're Leaning Toward "Or Else."

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
At 1:20 this morning Boston police stormed an Occupy encampment in Boston Greenway park, hauled off more than 100 protesters in cable-tie cuffs and tore down their tents.

Everybody in the Occupy Dallas encampment I talked to at about noon today was aware of what just happened in Boston. They're braced for the same thing here if the city tries to toss them out.

A city permit issued late yesterday allows the Occupiers to stay in Pioneer Park near City Hall but requires that they post a million-dollar liability insurance policy by 5 p.m. today. The Occupiers I spoke with told me they think the insurance requirement is bogus, and they don't intend to do it.

OccupyDallasCamp1.jpg
Photo by Jim Schutze, slide show here
They've been talking to lawyers about City Code and First Amendment rights. At their headquarters tent, Michael Prestonise told me: "For special events permitting, their rule is that an event that has over 5,000 people will require a million-dollar insurance policy, and an event that has 2,500 to 4,999 will require a half-million dollar insurance policy."

He said the maximum number of people taking part in the Pioneer Park protest is far below the 2,500-person trigger for insurance. "Since they don't mention anything below 2,500, we are taking the position that it doesn't apply to us," Prestonise said.

The Occupy movement eschews formal leadership, and I got the impression there are diverse opinions about the insurance deal. Another protester in the crowd said to me, "The wisest thing for us to do is to take the legal avenues when we can, and we'll be civilly disobedient when we have to."

The permit issue has more prosaic ramifications than free speech. I asked, "How do you go to the bathroom?" (Sorry, but it happens to be the most common question asked of astronauts too.) Aha. Not easily. Several people chimed in with tips about restaurants, convenience stores and parking garages that have accessible bathrooms. But the city has told the protesters they cannot bring portable toilets into the park without the insurance. I think there may be some people in the movement who would like to get that part of it resolved.

But Reagan Clark, 34, sitting at a laptop in what sure looks like the movement's command tent, told me he believes the city's position on insurance is "untenable" from a First Amendment perspective, and he said they are not going to comply.

"No way," he said. "To ensure that we can continue to exercise our civil liberties we are protesting City Hall indefinitely, and we are encouraging people to phone the mayor's office, email the mayor's office and fax the mayor's office in solidarity with us."

Call me on this when I'm wrong, but I will bet even money that if there's a crackdown, Dallas police will do it the same way Boston did -- wait until after midnight when there is no media presence, give them two minutes, rush in, throw everybody on the ground, cuff them and heave their stuff into a nearby dumpster.

That's just how it's done. It's not necessarily a bad thing for the Occupy movement. Sometimes you have to break a few eggs.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
122 comments
WW
WW

Jim,Tried to email you this, but your email doesn't work ??

SUBJECT :YOU ARE SO CHEAP !!

Your vote is only worth $.21 ( Twenty One CENTS )( 304,000,000 US citizens divided by $65,326,957.00 )

Hard money and soft money

Political money in the United States is often divided into two categories, "hard" money and "soft" money.

"Hard" money is contributed directly to a candidate of a political party. It is regulated by law in both source and amount, and monitored by the Federal Election Commission (maximum $2500).

"Soft" money is contributed to the political party as a whole.."The justices tried to draw a distinction between a direct contribution and an independent  expenditure"AND  ..allow corporate donations on independent expenditures ..on the assumption that these expenses do not raise a significant corruption concern..  ( ha! ha! )"But it turns out that these are the same donors."

"Double Dipping".. ( the act of getting compensation twice from  the same person )

A new analysis by the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 and the Center for Responsive Politics shows that 55 of the 75 individuals that donated to Restore Our Future also contributed to Romney's presidential campaign committee. These double-dipping donors represent almost three-quarters (73 percent) of all of Restore Our Future's individual donors..

Organizations which receive "Soft money" contributions are often called "527s", for the section of the tax code under which they operate. A 527 group is created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office.

There are no upper limits on contributions to 527s and no restrictions on who may contribute.There are no spending limits imposed on these organizations; however, they must register with the IRS, publicly disclose their donors and file PERIODIC reports of contributions and expenditures.[1]

Super PACs report SEMI-ANNUALLY  in an off election year, so there is no information available, for example, on the principal candidate Super PAC supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry, which was formed after the June 2011 reporting deadline..Democracy 21 also has taken the lead in pressing the Internal Revenue Service to properly interpret and enforce the Internal Revenue Code as it applies to campaign activities..The Supreme Court's ruling in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) held that expenditures made independently of a candidate's campaign could not be limited under the Constitution. If expenditures are made in "coordination" with a campaign, however, they may be regulated as contributions.

.Statement of Paul S. Ryan ( not ..Paul D. Ryan  R-WI )FEC Program Director at the Campaign Legal Center

The use of "straw companies" to funnel money anonymously into Restore Our Future does not appear to have been limited to a single company, but seems to be a pattern that places additional urgency on the need for the FEC and DOJ to vigorously investigate these companies and to enforce the laws on the books before this problem becomes even more widespread. Existing laws must be enforced to give citizens a fighting chance of knowing who or what is spending millions of dollars in an attempt to influence their vote and to curry favor with elected officials.The enforcement agencies need to send a clear message to donors that they need to put their name on the check if they’re going to be giving to Super PACs and I hope that reporters are taking a close look at filings by other Super PACs so that these types of abuses are smoked out. The fact that Restore Our Future has been the recipient of all three mysterious $1 million contributions warrants exploration of the PAC’s knowledge of or involvement in this "straw company" donation scheme..As of October 26, 2011, 84 groups organized as Super PACs have reported total expenditures of $65,326,957 in the 2010 cycle.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                  LINKS.http://www.democracy21.org/ind...{91FCB139-CC82-4DDD-AE4E-3A81E6427C7F}&DE={79EE1D8A-56BC-4168-A3DE-8CF4E07503F8}..http://www.campaignlegalcenter.org/in....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S....http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

ericfolkerth
ericfolkerth

I've been visiting them several times this week. I too am inspired by them. It was an honor to march with everyone on Thursday.

Rev. Eric Folkerth

Keep it real
Keep it real

Ugh will you please go occupy Arlington or ft worth or Plano? Spread the wealth, oh and take your trash with you. Thanks

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

City of Dallas Keeps one up its sleeve.I knew when I heard about permit either Mayor Rawling's said issue it or God himself said it.I knew also if Mayor said it the " You ANT Running NOTHING MIKE ,STAFF ,would throw a wrinkle in it to show Mayor Mike who's in CHARGE. (high insurance policy amount) I've been in and out of City Hall since the old building and nothing has changed.Staff is much more Political than Council and Staff knows it. City Staff knows what Council member will forget question ask during meeting,Council members they don't pay any attention to, do thing Council has no idea that they are being done. It's a HOOT.That's why I don't understand all the drama over redistricting. City Manager and City Attorney run City make sure you are in their District.

Mike
Mike

Occupy may want to think it through. They are about to start a battle with a minority dominated city, poorest in the region, with their real so called foes nowhere in sight. Does that make a sound plan?

Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson

I dig how the nazitrolls can only deride our utilization of our enemies tools against them; it's not like we invented the concept: if you find an operable weapon on the battle field and it's of the enemy's manufacture and your gun is empty, you just go full retard with your bayonett instead of using the shitty kalashnikov? not me; I'm USING whatever means available to me and so are my young comrades. suck it, coach! (by 'coach' i mean phelch.)

Jpgreenan
Jpgreenan

Top 1% of income is just over $380,000 per year. Top 5% is $160,000. FWIW.

Phelps
Phelps

Yeah, because the Highland Park Police are really down to help the protest crowd.

Catbird
Catbird

My guess is that the members of the very old Weather Underground operating secretely in support of Obama's re-lection are the brain trust and bank roll behind the "Occupy" demonstrations. Sounds just like the stuff they did in the 1960's.

From what I read back then, Brenandine Dohrn was meaner than her hubby Bill Ayres and was a big fan of Charles Manson's murder of that "pig" Sharon Tate.

Reagan Clark will probably escape the violence that have planned for Dallas but the rest of those innocents are there to be radicalized by the Dallas Police.

Make no mistake, this will not end peacefully. That's not their plan. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

All you snarksters need to think about this for a minute.The current economy is a direct result of the greed and complete disregard for the consequences of their actions of a small group of people. Corporations have been outsourcing jobs for years. Wages have been stagnant or declining. Moneyed interests have bought government and changed the rules and repealed the laws that contained the reckless behavior that brought this on. The average person was told to go shopping when Bush started Cheney's war. The credit bubble started growing. People spent borrowed money to buy crap. Company profits rose. Tipping point is reached. Can't borrow any more money. The 1% hold the world hostage and predict armageddon unless government bails them out.Rich get to keep everything, plus more.Everybody else, screwed.Those holier-than-thou-types belittling the people that say "enough" are dancing on the edge of a knife, or else you're part of the problem.

Rooster
Rooster

"Reagan Clark, 34, sitting at a laptop in what sure looks like the movement's command tent, told me he believes the city's position on insurance is "untenable" from a First Amendment perspective, and he said they are not going to comply."

Hmmmm.....Maybe this needs to be fixed....How about:

"Reagan Clark, 34, sitting at a laptop made by one of the corporations he is protesting, which was founded by one of the gazillionaires he is protesting, and financed by one of the banks he is protesting...

....in what sure looks like the movement's command tent, which was made by one of the corporations he is protesting, founded by one of the gazillionaires he is protesting, and financed by one of the banks he is protesting...

...told me he believes the city's position on insurance is "untenable" from a First Amendment perspective, and he said they are not going to comply."

There.  That should be a more accurate statement.

Jpgreenan
Jpgreenan

More than forty years ago, Stephen Stills did that bit about 1,000 times better.

For What It's Worth

There's something happening hereWhat it is ain't exactly clearThere's a man with a gun over thereTelling me I got to bewareI think it's time we stop, children, what's that soundEverybody look what's going downThere's battle lines being drawnNobody's right if everybody's wrongYoung people speaking their mindsGetting so much resistance from behindI think it's time we stop, hey, what's that soundEverybody look what's going downWhat a field-day for the heatA thousand people in the streetSinging songs and carrying signsMostly say, hooray for our sideIt's time we stop, hey, what's that soundEverybody look what's going downParanoia strikes deepInto your life it will creepIt starts when you're always afraidYou step out of line, the man come and take you awayWe better stop, hey, what's that soundEverybody look what's going downStop, hey, what's that soundEverybody look what's going downStop, now, what's that soundEverybody look what's going downStop, children, what's that soundEverybody look what's going down

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Anyone who is old enough to remember the demonstrations of the '60s and '70s will be watching to see if these protests dither away in nuttiness, sex, drugs and violence, as those did all too often. The cause, Lord knows, is just and long overdue for an expression of collective outrage. But the collective has a way of letting itself get hijacked by the show-boaters, would-be hippies, nostalgia freaks and the occasional bomb tosser. It makes for colorful journalism -- Schutze's writing fingers are already twitching -- and guarantees that nothing will really change.It's in the interests of some protesters, of course, to provoke over-reaction by the city and the cops. The proposed March on the Rich -- which rich? who exactly are we speaking of here? where exactly do they live? how will trampling their rose gardens fix things? -- will make dandy footage for the 10 o'clock news, and those who share the protesters' burden and outrage and might otherwise be expected to enlist in this fight will conclude that it's just another bunch of testosterone-fueled adolescents and stay in their homes. I saw this happen in D.C. in the 1970s protests. Nothing happened until good home-loving middle-class working folk left the comfort of their living rooms and showed up to march by the tens of thousands.  I hope there are some wiser heads down there among the motley crowd down on the Plaza, and also at city hall. But somehow I doubt they will prevail.     

primi timpano
primi timpano

Extended camping at the Washington Mall and other public parks are a proud and glorious part of our right to peaceably assemble.  In 1968 protestors camped at the mall for weeks as part of  martin Luther King's Poor People's campaign.  This will only be a big deal if the City insists on making it one.

Brian
Brian

What the what?

Phelps
Phelps

I dig how you are stuck mashing your slogans together into a word salad rather than coming up with an idea.

Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson

this must be that 'new math' they keep talking about.... in that it is completely made-up fairy tale talk.

Catbird
Catbird

Our two-earner household income is around $150K annually....you guys gonna protest us too?

Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson

*laughing so hard I peed myself; alot, like a whole buch*

Ed D.
Ed D.

You left out the Grassy Knoll, the World Health Organization, and the aliens in cold storage at Area 51,

Observist
Observist

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Catbird
Catbird

You left out the government regulators who are paid to allow "Wall Street" to get away all the bad stuff you mentioned....keep going though, you'll get there some day. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Cool story, bro.

Rooster has it right versus generic "the corporate man is keeping us down" rhetoric. There's quite a few more variables to your equation you're conveniently leaving out.

Phelps
Phelps

The current economy is a direct result of the greed and complete disregard for the consequences of their actions of a small group of people.

Agreed.  And that small group is entirely within two miles of the National Mall.

Rooster
Rooster

Or perhaps some of us snarksters believe in personal responsibility? 

For example, perhaps people buying twice the house they could afford, and using credit cards to live twice the life they could afford, are now facing down the barrel of reality, and have no one to blame, but themselves? 

I didn't see any of the banks putting a gun to their head to make them buy the $500k McMansion they couldn't afford.  It did see plenty of banks put a metaphorical gun to their head when they couldn't make the payments, and they had to move out though.

Moneyed interests have been "buying our government and changing the rules" for 250 years.  There's always going to be a gazillionaire who has more money than you.  That gazillionaire is also always going to have more influence than you.

It's that way is in, well, you know, every government on the planet, whether capitalist, communist, or socialist.

jibba jabba
jibba jabba

that's funny, i was listening to zeppelin's version earlier...

Phelps
Phelps

I believe that busting heads, firehoses and attack dogs were also part of the proud and glorious past around 1968.

Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson

we love you; you are us, we are you. we want billionaire blood, not hardship for those who earned their comfort through dint of honest work. this is a working class movement; you are working class (whether you like to admit it or not!)

Tim in Dallas
Tim in Dallas

Oh man! I just woke my partner up laughing so hard- thank you- gaaawd did I ever need the laugh you provided! I'm being sincere- thanks Ed! Priceless shit right there.

jibba jabba
jibba jabba

have you ever heard of a marionette?

jibba jabba
jibba jabba

as was the white album and electric ladyland...

Observist
Observist

So, Phelps, you think the Government needs to intervene here? 

Catbird
Catbird

Forget the billionaire blood, you're talking like this is the freaking French Revolution or something. Clean out the government with the ballot, get rid of the regulators who are in bed with those guys. Then invent a new product and earn a billion for yourself and your family.

They guys organizing your "working class movement" will use you like a tool. 

Phelps
Phelps

They love you, because you are useful right now.  When the reality sets in that there just isn't enough money between all the billionaires to pay for all the shit they are demanding, you're still OK, because they'll just move to bleeding the millionaires.  Of course, then they will find out that there still isn't enough money with all the billionaires and millionaires put together to pay for their shit.

Then you're fucked.

Phelps
Phelps

True, but the risky behavior was engaged in because they could reasonably anticipate that if it all went tango-uniform, that Uncle Sam wouldn't let them fail because they were too big.  It was and still is the pattern of the government.  We need to let them fail, so that they know that they are operating without a safety net.

Derrick White
Derrick White

That's a false argument.  The bailouts occurred after the "risky" behavior of the financial institutions.  They were simply another bi product.  What you propose as a solution is not only equally as risky, but it totally fails to address the root cause of the problem.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Small edit.  They can and should protest.  Legally, and in accordance with established codes in order to insure good public order and safety.  For remember, when this 1% (actually a lot less) is protesting the other 1%, and jamming the streets, mucking up parks, requiring a larger police presence, it affects the 98% of us who are struggling to make a living.

Phelps
Phelps

I think we do both agree on the situation.  My stance is that no one is going to be able to devise a control method other than the one we have always had -- Adam Smith's invisible hand.  We've removed far too many existing controls "for the greater good".  We removed risk from the mortgage market with Fannie and Freddie.  We removed risk from the fractional banking system with the FDIC.  We've removed risk from investing in Blue Chips with bailout after bailout.

What this country really needs is a handful of "too big to fail" companies failing.  Corporations are excellent at assessing risk.  They took all these short-sighted decisions because there was no downside risk to them.  They still haven't felt the full brunt of their failures.

Derrick White
Derrick White

We're going around in circles a bit, but I think, at least on a few key items we tend to agree.

For clarity, it seems as though we agree on the fact there was "something" that enabled a llot of financial institutions to be increadibly short sited with respect to the management of their income statements.  Further, we seem to agree that this disaster was enabled by poor controls.

The meltdown is a biproduct of whatever the root cause is.  The control/policy aspect of the discussion is a fail safe that should prevent the negative biproduct from occurrying in the event that the root cause fails to addressed.  So the first big question is, "what's the root cause".  Since policy is simply a control mechanism, government (whether private or public) can't be it.  The next big question is, "how do you address the root cause".  Again, this question can't simply be answered with an improved control method. 

I'm not sure anyone is addressing the fundemental breakdown that's driving this kind of corporate negligence.  That isn't a challenge to you by the way - and I'm certainly not implying that I have an answer.  The magnitude of this problem is mindblowing.  I work for a medium sized business and manage a unit that generates several million (USD) per anum. EBIT and cash flow are good, and I'd like to think that I've got a reasonable command of business fundementals.  Even so, I have no idea how to approach conducting a root cause analysis for something this big. 

Having said that, I think that people have an ability that they should excersize when they smell a rat.  They can, and should protest.  They can and should boycott goods and services from corporations that they find to be ethically compromised.  They can and should fire politicians. 

Phelps
Phelps

Strike that, and reverse it.  Take the influence of money out of politics.  Take away the power of corporations to do anything beyond managing their business in a way that does not negatively effect society and environment.  

Here's the problem with that solution.  As long as corporations can make money, they will find tools that let them use that money to make more.  If those tools are purely economic, then the best that they can do is hurt other people's finances.  When they are able to use government -- meaning, naked force -- to make more money, then suddenly they have the influence to start having people imprisoned and killed.

I'm with you on "too big to fail".  They are too big to fail because the government propped them up.  There are no businesses that fit that category that don't enjoy significant privileges from the government.  BoA, for example, wouldn't have gotten that big without FDIC, fractional lending, the privileges banks receive in court, Fannie and Freddie, and a host of other privileges.  Take those privileges away, and a corporation can't get that big in the first place -- they will fail under their own weight first.  Even Standard Oil was already starting to fracture when the trust busters came in.  AT&T wouldn't be as large as it is without the force of government guaranteeing their initial monopolies.  Ditto all the broadcasting and cable companies.

I'm not advocating that corporations are good at policing themselves.  At best they are third rate firemen.  But the government will never be good at policing them, because it is a first rate arsonist.  The best solution is to go back to corporations policing each other in the civil court system, where a dog knows a dog and you can set a thief to catch a thief.  

Derrick White
Derrick White

Strike that, and reverse it.  Take the influence of money out of politics.  Take away the power of corporations to do anything beyond managing their business in a way that does not negatively effect society and environment.  

I'm not talking about forcing fair wages or benefits.  If a person takes a job, they have a responsibility to understand the risks involved, and to perform their job to the best of their abilities.  I'm talking about limiting the ability for a corporation to profit at the expense of our societal ecosystem (the essential tenants of which are protected by the constitution). I believe that a corporation has a responsibility to conduct a risk assessment on items beyond the short term success of their P&L and balance sheets. Successful business is not run as a short term consideration - and short term wins should not come at the expense of long term gain.  This is especially true in a "to big to fail" scenario, where irresponsible business leaders can collapse the global economy, and where the political leaders who are supposed to protect us are rendered impotent in the face of economic and ecological disaster.

You seem to be advocating the idea that corporations are better at policing themselves than the societies that they operate in.  I would assert that there is little historical evidence to support your claim.  This is true now more than ever, in an environment where boards are so adverse to short term losses that they are willing to change CEO's every 6 months.

Phelps
Phelps

So let's run with your premise.  The proposed solution here is "murder the puppeteer."  Which means, of course, that there is a marionette there, waiting for the next puppeteer  to pick up, who you now have to murder, and so on and so on.

The other solution is to cut the strings.  Take the power away from Washington, take the money out of Washington, and the corporations will have no reason to bother with rigging the rules.

Phelps
Phelps

I think that the property owners need to intervene.  If it is on private property, then it is between them and the landlord.  SInce it's a park, then the city should make sure that the park is kept safe and available for everyone, and that the law is applied equally -- and I'm pretty damned sure that no one else is allowed to camp in a city park.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...