ACTA: Same shit, different acronym
“ACTA is an international trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia as well as a few other countries, whose aim is to enforce copyright and tackle counterfeited goods (hence its acronym: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). “
“The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreeement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia).”
Here's more from Michael Geist:
This just in:
Apparently Eugene Davidson decided to remain in D.C. after the Occupy Congress event. His latest update shows the D.C. eviction in progress:
The joint military exercises in conjunction with LAPD also took place in Miami and Boston. KCAL provided the aerial footage of military helicopters hovering over US Bank and the Staples Center:
Holder takes action
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - “Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that civil subpoenas have been recently issued to 11 different financial institutions, as he announced new efforts to investigate the residential mortgage-backed securities market.”
“Holder said at a Justice Department news conference that he could not go into the details.”
New wave of foreclosures in 2012
“California and other states are likely to see an enormous wave of long-delayed foreclosure action in the coming year as banks deal more aggressively with 3.5 million seriously delinquent mortgages.”
Occupy to rescue:
A disabled woman that had been following the Occupation Movement was facing foreclosure. Her home was going to be auctioned on Friday after a nightmarish experience with lenders, so she called the local group, Occupy OC which holds its General Assemblies in Santa Ana.
In a matter of hours occupiers were volunteering, then organizing to save her home, first with a demonstration in front of the court, then an occupation if necessary to protect her from eviction. Following the foreclosure actions by OLA protesters here with the help of Insightoutnews.org, it seemed like a worthy endeavor, so I decided to see how the occupiers handled the call for help.
About two dozen protesters showed up with signs, very well organized and ready to disrupt the proceedings. Orange County Sheriffs deputies quickly responded, warning against interference on the property, but allowing Terry the foreclosure victim to attend her own foreclosure auction after objections to her being escorted off the property.
Here's a synopsis of what occurred:
There was a long list of homes to be auctioned, Terry's somewhere down the list. However, in an effort to rid themselves of the disruption caused by the protesters, the Sheriff on scene asked that her property be moved to the top of the list. The auctioneer agreed (for obvious reasons). There wasn't a peep from the buyers attending the auction. No one placed a bid on Teri's home, so when the auctioneer closed the bidding there was a cheer of approval from the attendees.
There are hundreds of thousands of these cases pending in California alone. We have seen action by the Justice Department, now Holder's comments, and we also know that Kamala Harris seems to be standing up for homeowners in California. This action like the others that preceded it, was ignored by the mainstream media of course, but the enthusiasm, and the result of the protest was gratifying to behold.
Note that millions of other properties are in foreclosure across the country which is fine with Republicans like Mitt Romney who think the market needs to “bottom out” before it can become stable. Only problem is that it has been bottoming out for several years, and as long as homes continue to be repossessed by banks, values will continue to fall. This from Huffington Post
“The real estate company RealtyTrac has estimated that the market needs to process another 14 million properties before the foreclosure crisis can be considered over.
“Many economists believe that foreclosures exercise a depressing effect on local property values, and that a broader economic turnaround is unlikely to happen until home prices begin rising again.”
OLA protesters occupied a foreclosure action as well, this video an account of what happened when the group showed up at an indoor auction recently:
The igloos being set up by occupiers at the Davos economic summit as a substitute for tents are in place. Obviously, these occupiers have some experience in this sort of thing. For occupiers in Los Angeles and other warm-weather locales, let us remember that the hardships caused by County officials that pretty much made everything illegal including food distribution and showers are relative to the task at hand. There are occupations that are enduring rain, sleet, bitter cold and often they are deprived of power and basic necessities for survival. These folks take it in stride.
Move in day in Oakland:
Thanks to anoncentral for the top photo that shows Polish politicians in Fawkes masks. There wasn't a lot of detail to go with it, but apparently the message didn't require translation.