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Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s Police Reported To Be Ticketing People For Horn Honking In Support Of Striking Houston Janitors—Mayor Parker & Houston Council Democrats Can’t Be Looked To For Very Much That Is Hopeful Or Progressive

(Update 7/21-12–Mayor Parker has spoken out strongly  in favor of the strking janitors. Let’s hope this is the beginning of consistent support for working people in Houston from Mayor Parker.)

There are reports that Mayor Annise Parker’s police are writing tickets for illegal horn honking for people honking in support of striking Houston janitors.

This horn honking is taking place as people drive past protests by the janitors.

Above is one such ticket that was posted today on the Occupy Houston Facebook page.

From Occupy Houston—

“So, in the latest attempt to stifle political dissent the Houston Police Department is now ticketing people for honking their horn in solidarity with the Houston Janitors. Way to go Annise Parker, guess you’ve got to have something to do when you’re not drafting legislation that will result in starving the local homeless population. Please show support for the Houston Janitors……”

In addition to the ticket above and the report from Occupy Houston, I’ve read another account of a ticket for the same “infraction” that was written by an acquaintance.

Each of these reports is about a pro-janitor protest that took place yesterday in Downtown Houston.

Here is the Facebook page of the Houston Janitors.

Below is a picture of the janitor’s protest yesterday in Downtown Houston. The picture is from the janitors Facebook page.

Here is the Houston Chronicle report on this protest.  There were 15 arrests at the protest.

The great Houston blog Dos Centavos has been covering the janitor’s strike.

Below is Mayor Parker yukking it up Stephen Colbert. This photo is from Mayor Parker’s Facebook page. 

Mayor Parker was the guest on The Colbert Report last night.

Everything is so funny!

I saw Mayor Parker’s interview with Mr. Colbert. Mayor Parker talked about how Houston is a place where you can get a job.

What the Mayor failed to mention is that Houston also appears to be a place where you can get a ticket from the police for supporting the efforts of people to be paid a living wage while working in Houston.

Burning the flag is protected speech in the United States. It seems though that honking your horn in support of a cause is a problem in Houston, Texas.

In addition to the prospect of a ticket for horn honking , there was the unnecessary and violent arrest of a pro-janitor protester at an otherwise peaceful march last month in Downtown Houston. 

Mayor Parker and Democratic members of Houston City Council are no place to be found in support of Houston janitors.

What Mayor Parker and many Democratic members of Houston City Council have been able to accomplish in recent months is to criminalize many acts of sharing food with the homeless in Houston.

If we don’t publicize these concerns of police overreach, and if we don’t ask more of the elected representatives who should be standing up for working Houstonians, then we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Every Houstonian, every Texan, and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

July 20, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—I’d Rather Take My Chances With Occupy Houston Then Suck Up To Some Elected Official Wasting My Efforts

At the end of this post you will find the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Above you see two pictures from the Occupy Houston strategy and planning meeting held last week. Thanks to Burnell McCray for taking the pictures at the meeting.

I can’t tell you if Occupy Houston will end up making a difference in Houston or not. Though I do think the national Occupy Wall Street effort has had great success in putting wealth inequality and corporate power in the center of the national debate.

All I can say is that I’d rather roll the dice with my fellows at Occupy Houston, then have my picture taken with some politician at a fundraiser, or engage in some other pandering with elected officials who are happy to take my time and resources, but who don’t give much back in return in terms of hopeful progressive actions.

The next Occupy Houston strategy meeting will be held on Sunday, 3/4 at 1 PM on the 6th floor at 2990 Richmond. Here is the Occupy Houston website. There is a Facebook page as well.

Here are details of a 2/28 Occupy Houston event. 

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

As the participants in the meeting you see above understand, every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Here is the Round-Up—

Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones resigned her position to run in the GOP primary for SD25 after finally coming to the realization that her argument that we can’t really know where the capital of Texas is located was completely lame. Off the Kuff provides the commentary.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is really getting worried at how America’s religious culture and the GOP are pushing America backwards into the previous century with barbaric personal intrusions. Virile GOP: American Women Are Property Again and Population Control, Climate Change and Zealots describe how these are taking place.

Nothing will change with school finance in Texas until we change our elected officials. That’s what WCNews at Eye On Williamson tells us in this post: We must “Re-Fund” public education in Texas. Continue reading

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Protest On Tuesday 2/28 For The 99% And For Free Expression

There will be an Occupy Houston Protest this upcoming Tuesday, 2/28. The focus of the protest is the ongoing national official repression of the Occupy Wall Street movement. This protest will address specifically events in Houston as detailed below.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.  There is also an Occupy Houston Facebook page.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Here are details of this event—

Stop the Suppression of the Occupy Movement

Tuesday, February 28 Hermann Square Park

No Rubber Bullets, No Beatings, No Tear Gas, No Mass Arrests, Don’t Suppress OWS!

Please join Occupy Houston in answering the Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement.

On Tuesday, February 28th, Occupy Houston will be standing in National Solidarity to give voice to our concerns over the suppression and to show that no matter what, WE WILL STAND TOGETHER. Even though the Occupy Movement has faced police brutality and harassment, mass evictions, excessive criminal charges, infiltration, and even been labeled as domestic terrorists, we are not going away. We will strengthen our bonds within our communities and with each other. We will push forward in our struggle against the corporate corruption of our democracy. On Feb 28, we stand together in solidarity and prove You Cannot Evict An Idea Whose Time Has Come.

Schedule of Events

2:00 Houston City Council Public Comment- Sign up, before 1:30 pm on Tuesday, to get on stack and voice your objection to the suppression of the Occupy Movement. The number is: 832-393-1100.

“We object to…”
1. The City’s alterations of the Hermann Square Park scheduled hours targeting & limiting Occupiers’ rights to free speech & assembly
2. Police Harassment of Occupiers
3. The City’s excessive charges that are deliberate attempts to intimidate into silence the peaceful protestors of Occupy
4. The lack of cooperation from the City with #OH’s right to use public space to peaceably assemble, day or night
5. Ask the city to not be involved in this National effort to suppress the Occupy Movement

4:00-5:30 Gather
Gather at Hermann Square Park in front of City Hall.
Don’t forget your signs.

6:00 Rally
Get on stack and use this time to show what Occupy means to you.

Focus Topics;
What lit the spark for you to become involved with Occupy?
I Occupy because…
I support Occupy because…
I am the 99% because….

“Movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.”

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Strategy Meeting On Sunday, 2/19

There will be an Occupy Houston General Assembly and planning meeting this upcoming Sunday, 2/19.

This will be a big meeting after the police disbandment of the Occupy Houston camp in Downtown Houston a few days ago.

Here are the details—

This GA is devoted to planning out the future of Occupy Houston. We’ll answer some of the hard questions about what Occupy Houston is , where it’s going and how, specifically, to get there.

The meeting will begin at 1:00 PM on the 6th floor at 2990 Richmond in Houston.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Candor requires me to tell you that the website has not been utilized as well as it could be in recent months. The good news is that we can always move forward and make progress.

There is also an Occupy Houston Facebook page.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Please attend if you are interested in the success of the Occupy movement as the weather warms up and in the big political year ahead.

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Camp Ordered To Disband—There Is A Great Deal To Be Hopeful About

The Occupy Houston camp at Tranquility Park was cleared out this evening by the Houston Police Department at the order of Mayor Annise Parker.

(Above–An Occupy Houston photo from the end of the Tranquility Park camp in Downtown Houston.)

It was a peaceful process.

Here is the press release on this matter from Mayor Parker. 

I could not truthfully argue that Mayor Parker acted in a rash or unreasonable fashion in moving out the Occupy camp. She was patient in this regard.

At the same time, progressives and liberals in Houston should not forget the A- rating on fiscal concerns Mayor Parker received in 2011 from the Texas Conservative Review. Mayor Parker–A Democrat– is no true friend of progressive and liberal aspirations in our great City of Houston.

The camp began on October 6, 2011.  Here is my post from the first day of Occupy Houston.

In the months since October, the Occupy Houston camp had become an eyesore and had stopped serving any useful purpose for the cause of a more just society.

There were many good people who took part on the camp and who are still part of Occupy Houston. Yet this is simply the case as to what the camp at Tranquility had become.

At the same time, the Occupy Houston Facebook page has more than 16,000 followers and the Occupy Wall Street effort continues.

There have been other victories as well.

InterOccupy offers conference calls and news for a growing network of activists and supporters.

As the Occupy effort chooses its next course, it can already claim success in propelling issues of income inequality and economic fair play into the national debate.

I remain hopeful. I’ve come to know a number of good and smart people through my support of Occupy Houston and the Occupy movement.

Just this past weekend I attended an organizing training session in which a number of other Occupy backers also took part.

I don’t know what form the Occupy effort will take nationally or in Houston in the weeks ahead.

I do know that victories have already been won, and that there is much to be hopeful about in the weeks and months ahead.

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

79 Folks At Occupy Forum On Corporate Personhood On A Friday Night In Houston

I’m sitting here at the Occupy Houston forum on corporate personhood and how citizens can fight back against the privatization of the nation. This event is being held on the campus of the U. of Houston.

I count 79 people in this lecture hall. That is a pretty good crowd for a discussion of corporate personhood on a Friday night in Texas.

Day-by-day the Occupy Wall Street movement is showing it is around for the long haul. Day-by-day people are are waking up and fighting back.

The bottom line is that there are many who share the concern that big money is running this nation, and there are many who realize that they can act to take back power for everyday Americans.

Here is Move to Amend.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Forum On Corporate Personhood To Be Held On Jan. 20

(Blogger’s Note–This is a reposting as the event in question draws near. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.)

Below are details of an upcoming Occupy Houston event pertaining to corporate personhood in the United States.

Former Houston City Council candidate Amy Price has worked hard to put this event together.

We say corporations have the same rights as do people in our nation, yet they don’t serve in our wars or get called for jury duty.

Move to Amend is working for a constitutional amendment  to end corporate personhood.

Here are some facts on corporate personhood and on the Move to Amend campaign.

Here is the Occupy Houston event—

On Friday evening, January 20, join us for “Corporate Personhood vs. Your Personhood: Who Has More Rights?”  This panel discussion commemorates the 2nd anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, the latest in over a century of Supreme Court decisions establishing the doctrines that corporations are people and money is speech. Panelists include politician Chris Bell, lifelong activist Arthur Shaw, and legal scholar Leslie Griffin.

This event is from 7:30 PM–10 PM.

University of Houston, main campus, SEC building room 102, FREE PARKING! Drive down Cullen to park in the stadium lot across from Entrance 14. Walk across the street into Entrance 14 and you’ll see the SEC building immediately to your left

January 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Car For Economic Freedom And Justice At Houston Martin Luther King Day Parade—Move To Amend

Here is a great car that was in the 2012 Houston Martin Luther King Day parade.

This car is correct. Corporations and money do rule the nation.

Martin Luther King died in Memphis, Tennessee fighting for the rights of working people. He died fighting for striking sanitation workers in Memphis.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Here is Occupy Houston.

Here is Move to Amend. Move to Amend is fighting the pernicious idea that corporations are people.

People are people. Corporations are not people.

January 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Forum On Corporate Personhood

Below are details of an upcoming Occupy Houston event pertaining to corporate personhood in the United States.

We say corporations have the same rights as do people in our nation, yet they don’t serve in our wars or get called for jury duty.

Move to Amend is working for a constitutional amendment  to end corporate personhood.

Here are some facts on corporate personhood and on the Move to Amend campaign.

Here is the Occupy Houston event—

On Friday evening, January 20, join us for “Corporate Personhood vs. Your Personhood: Who Has More Rights?”  This panel discussion commemorates the 2nd anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, the latest in over a century of Supreme Court decisions establishing the doctrines that corporations are people and money is speech. Panelists include politician Chris Bell, lifelong activist Arthur Shaw, and legal scholar Leslie Griffin.

This event is from 7:30 PM–10 PM

University of Houston, main campus, SEC building room 102, FREE PARKING! Drive down Cullen to park in the stadium lot across from Entrance 14. Walk across the street into Entrance 14 and you’ll see the SEC building immediately to your left

January 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Occupy Houston Meeting

Here is a picture of one of the workgroups at the Occupy Houston meeting I am at right now.

The meeting is about next steps for 2012. I’ll have more to say in the days ahead.

January 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Occupy Houston Involvement Meeting January 7 At 2 PM In Tranquility Park

Above are the details of an Occupy Houston meeting to be held Saturday, Jan 7 at 2 PM in Tranquility Park.

There will be a lot to talk about as the next steps are planned for Occupy in Houston.

Everybody is welcome. Your involvement and your ideas are welcome.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Felony Charges Against Occupy Houston Protestors—When Will We Realize That The Freedom Of All People Is Connected?

The Occupy protestors arrested by Annise Parker’s police and charged with a felony  for engaging in civil disobedience by alleged moderate DA Pat Lykos are a matter of concern for every liberal, progressive, and civil libertarian in Houston and Harris County.

(Above–A scene from the day the arrests in question took place.) 

The freedom of all people is connected.

This is the case if the issue is the Houston police beating of Chad Holley, or anti-gay slurs by a member of the Houston school board.

Everybody is connected. The freedom of all people is connected.

When are civil rights groups in Houston and progressive voters in Houston going to realize this most basic fact?

When will all people realize this most basic fact?

Here is the latest report on the felony indictments from the Houston Chronicle.

Here is the Occupy Houston response to the indictments.

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Occupy Houston Commentary On Felony Charges For Civil Disobedience

Occupy Houston and Occupy Austin protestors are facing felony charges for taking part in civil disobedience earlier this month outside the Port of Houston. The felony charges had at first been dismissed by a judge, but have now be reinstated by a Harris County grand jury empanelled by the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

There is little doubt in my mind that these charges are about scaring off further acts of protest in our county. This is an issue that should be of concern to politically involved people on all sides of the aisle. The rights of all are at risk when any group of people is singled out for excessive punishment by those in power.

These excessive charges should be recalled when anybody gets to thinking that incumbent Harris County DA Pat Lykos is somehow more moderate or reasonable than others who have held her office in recent years.

While we are all busy with the holidays, we cannot forget these Occupy patriots who are now facing serious jail time for charges that were at one point dismissed.

Below is the full Occupy Houston website commentary on the arrests —

Now that we’ve hit national news, thanks to MSNBC, I believe it’s worth collating some pieces of reality together for anyone confused about the happenings of GULFPORT ACTION and #D12 here in the mighty H-Town.

The inspiration came from the first of recent port shutdowns in Oakland. In Houston,  though less fierce, we were still interested in getting noticed. Interestingly, it may make for different news than we originally planned for (which is okay).  For both Austin and Houston, on December 12th, Occupy Gulf Port day, arrestees were detained and jailed for “use of a criminal instrument” (according to legal record), something that didn’t get reported by Oakland or the other port occupations across the nation. The schedule for the day was set down like thus.

If you aren’t yet familiar with this “criminal instrument” in reference here, the tactic is called the “sleeping dragon.”  Protestors on #D12 used this to stay chained (voluntarily) by PVC pipe, arm by arm, while laying down in the road. This way, they make it much harder to individually zip-tie and arrest in isolated fashion.

example of the sleeping dragon tactic which has sparked a controversy over what is considered a felony

All things come to a close; in this case, the doors were literally closed. In the midst of the human mic loud at work, HPD officers block off the crowd from the people in the street and erect an inflatable red isolation room, as seen in this video. Interestingly, this was also the first example, at least in Houston, of the Police and Fire Dept working together to erect an inflatable tent (ah the irony). Why?

According to John Cannon, HPD Spokesman, it “was placed over the protesters to prevent sparks” while Houston Fire Dept. cut through the PVC links. Really? I feel like there’s more to it than that. This is a great tool for crowd control and privacy from the omnipresent electronic eye, determined to record every piece of the happenings of the day, bound to wind up on the internet for thousands to view and rally next to. It’s a shiesty method to block off news cameras–even the choppers in the sky had issues seeing in. I can’t help but remember Nov. 15th, the night  #OWS got ousted from Liberty Square and the NYPD literally corralled the media crews to prevent them from seeing the whole scene. Hey, even a woman got punched that morning, after they already had a court order to come back into the park. I was listening to my police scanner app and tweeting until 3am CST. Continue reading

December 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Occupy Houston To Hold International Migrants Day March On 12/18

Above are details of an Occupy Houston March to be held on Suday 12/18 at 2 PM.

Here are more details of the event from Occupy Houston—

Immigrants are part of the 99%. Locally and nationally, immigrant communities are facing increasing attacks and human rights violations. On International Migrants Day, December 18th, Occupy Houston will join with those in the local immigration community and Occupy movements nationally to take a stand against the assaults and record number of detentions and deportations. In Houston and around the country, these developments have largely developed from local implementation of Secure Communities and 287g. Not only do these acts violate rights of immigrants, but also legal residents and the greater community who face racial profiling during their enforcement.

We will gather in Bellaire – a city with a high number of police racial profiling complaints reported – and march to Bellaire PD to send a clear message that much like our community at large discrimination, profiling and human rights violations against the immigrant community will not be tolerated. Please join us on this day.

Here are facts about International Migrants Day. 

December 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Field Organizing Training Session On 12/18

There is an Occupy Houston training session for field organizing this weekend.

Day-by-day Occupy Houston and Occupy efforts across the nation are showing that they will be around for the long haul.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

Here is Occupy Galveston.

Here are details of the Houston training event—

Occupy Houston presents its first in a series of community organizing teach-ins: Strategic Organizing Workshop presenter: Scott Parkin Scott Parkin currently works as Rainforest Action Network’s Senior Campaigner on the Global Finance Campaign targeting mountaintop removal, the government agencies which allow it and the banks that fund it. Scott has worked in anti-corporate globalization, anti-war, labor and environmental movements for over a decade. 5-7PM in the Oak Room at the Stag’s Head Pub, 2128 Portsmouth St., 713-533-1199 Food and beverages are available, so come thirsty and hungry.

If you are an experienced organizer who would like to contribute to this or future sessions, please email us at heightscp@gmail.com  and be sure to put MOBILE OCC in the subject line.

December 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

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