FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Deadline in Bangor, Maine

by LAWRENCE REICHARD

Coast to coast, from Oakland to Atlanta, cops are busting up Occupations.  The right is fighting back against what might be the most vibrant, vital, dynamic and fast-growing movement for social change this country has seen since at least the movement against the U.S. wars on Central America of the 1980s.

Enter Occupation Bangor, which starts tomorrow, Saturday, October 29.  With more than 900 Occupations nationwide and more than 2,200 worldwide, Occupation Bangor may be unique in that the City of Bangor has pre-emptively,announced it intends to bust up and clear out Occupy Bangor when the designated park, Peirce (sic) Park, officially closes at 10 p.m. Saturday night.

In fact, in what might well prove a strategic blunder, the city issued a press release to this effect. This essentially guarantees near blanket coverage at 10 p.m. Saturday in Peirce Park by a local media that appears quite interested in this story.  It’s amateur hour at City Hall.

In the second of two meetings between city officials and the Occupy Bangor legal team, the city said it intends to enforce a ban on park camping and nighttime park presence much as it would any city ordinance.  It cited the example of a car parked illegally.  City officials went on to say that while they don’t necessarily follow the will of the City Council in enforcing ordinances that are on the books, they did consult with the City Council, and according to these officials not one councilor rose to defend Occupy Bangor.  This has yet to be verified by Occupy Bangor, but it seems unlikely city officials would lie on this particular point.

But if city officials would treat an “illegal” encampment in the same fashion they would a car parked illegally, is this to say that they consult the city council and issue a press release every time they intend to ticket a wayward automobile?

It will be interesting to see what happens Saturday night.  It is often said that as Maine goes, so goes the rest of the country, at least in presidential elections.  Heart of America and relatively small town Bangor held its own in the fight against the first Gulf War and in the early going of the fight against George Bush’s Iraq War; and the nearby University of Maine performed valiantly in the anti-apartheid and anti-Vietnam War movements.  But greater Bangor is not exactly a hotbed of radicalism.  No ROTC building has ever been laid waste in this neck of the woods.  But inhabitants of these great north woods can be fiercely independent, and the wanton trampling of First Amendment free speech rights might just raise the hair on the back of their necks.

Meanwhile where is Barack Obama in the midst of an Occupation crackdown that seems to be gathering steam in the land?  Where is the man who said he understood the frustrations of Occupiers?  He is of course nowhere to be found.  As always with Barack Obama, talk is cheap, very cheap.

Reportedly Geithner has also expressed sympathy for the Occupiers.  This from the man who did as much as any other to destroy the economy, and the homes, dreams and life savings of millions by turning a blind eye to the gross excesses of his bankster and riverboat gambler buddies on Wall Street.

In 1933, early on in FDR’s presidency, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited a second Bonus Army encampment, in Anacostia Flats, Washington, D.C.  Before that, then-president Herbert Hoover, watched from a White House window while Douglas McArthur busted up the first such encampment and torched the possessions of the Bonus Army’s hapless troops.  An estimated 20 percent of the 20,000 Anacostia Bonus Army was disabled vets, and two veterans were killed in Hoover’s and McArthur’s vicious attack.  According to Disabled American Veterans, a veteran told the Washington Post, “Hoover sent the army, Roosevelt sent his wife.”

FDR then beat Hoover in a landslide and the Hoover administration went down in the flames of its own making.

Occupations, at least so far, are by and large not the Bonus Army encampments of the poor, at least not in this country, but where is Barack Obama while Occupations are being violently busted up?  Where is Michelle?  Talk is cheap, and like Anacostia, there’s an Occupation practically right outside the fine halls and heavy fortifications of the White House.

But perhaps President Obama is too busy scrambling to reach his reported goal of a billion-dollar re-election war chest.  George Bush laid claim to the White House with the backing of less than half the citizenry.  Maybe Obama can reclaim it with 1%.

Lawrence Reichard lives in Bangor and has been involved in Occupy Bangor.  He wrote this as an individual and a journalist, not as a representative of Occupy Bangor.  He can be reached at lreichard@gmail.com.

Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast, Maine, and can be reached at lreichard@gmail.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail