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This Saturday, Chris Christie will be occupied with more than attorneys and the press.

In light of the recent disturbing disclosures concerning Governor Chris Christie's flagrant misuse of federal Sandy aid money, the collective of storm survivors and their allies who organize under the Occupy Sandy New Jersey banner are hereby calling on residents of New Jersey to join us in Trenton in Occupying outside the Capitol starting this Saturday, January 18th, at noon. We intend to maintain our camp through Chris Christie's re-inauguration festivities on Tuesday, January 21st.

~ personal email from Occupy Sandy

Occupy Sandy arose from the ruins of Super Storm Sandy. They were often the first on the scene after the disaster, working with and earning plaudits from the National Guard and Red Cross. Mountains of food, water, blankets and supplies were stockpiled in churches with volunteer cars and vans delivering the goods directly to stricken citizens. They have remained committed to the poorer communities of the New Jersey coastline and continue to press for help.

Now they are calling for Camp Sandygate. While national media is focused on Bridgegate, the larger more damning scandal is Governor Chris Christie’s possible misuse of federal relief funds for an ad campaign featuring Christie and his family during his election.

See below the orange squiggle for why.

Occupy Sandy cites many inequities in the distribution of aid to the most vulnerable New Jersey citizens:

Racial discrimination involving both resettlement and reconstruction grants where the rejection rate of White applicants was 14.5% and 13.5%, the rejection rate for Latinos was 20.4% / 18.1% and a whopping 38.1% / 35.1% for African-Americans.

Mishandled recovery for renters where 2.5 million of the 4.7 million fund went to rich Essex County which did not suffer as much damage as poor devastated Ocean County which received $47,484. The fund was paid out to landlords, giving renters no relief whatsoever.

Discrimination against mobile home owners who have faced mass confusion in applying for grants, who by federal law are eligible for funds, with language on the website that expressly excludes them. (Link to news item below in first comment)

Leaving people out in the cold with no comprehensive survey of the needs of survivors who are huddled still in their condemned homes, living in the dunes or in overcrowded motel rooms.

I will let Occupy Sandy have the last word (their emphasis).

To Governor Chris Christie, here is our one demand: do your damn job!
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Comment Preferences

  •  The link for the mobile home news item... (5+ / 0-)

    It would not link but you can find it if you cut and paste this into your url.

    http://www.northjersey.com/...

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:51:19 PM PST

    •  Actually it will link from the comment... (0+ / 0-)

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:52:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you need a permit to occupy the space (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occupystephanie, Amber6541, Pi Li

        in Trenton for two or three days?

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:10:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't need no stinkin' permit... (4+ / 0-)

          ...was the battle cry two years ago. I assume that has not changed. I have always had the utmost gratitude and admiration for the Occupiers who put themselves in harm's way and this will certainly be that. The Gov is angry and he may welcome some "dirty hippies" to take it out on.

          Occupy has not been in the news but then that means nothing as we are still out there. I sense a new invigoration this spring.

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:06:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think the lesson that law enforcement (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            occupystephanie, Amber6541, Pi Li

            and elected officials learned is that they have the strongest legal case the first time the occupiers violate any city, county or state rules or regulations regarding assembly or overnight camping. Any time you have a large group of people assemble you are likely required to secure a permit and certainly for any overnight stay. You should be prepared for a strong response as soon as you violate any local or state time, place, or manner restrictions.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:15:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is why I admire them... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Loose Fur, NancyWH

              ...so much.

              They know what they are getting into. I must note, however, that there have been expensive lawsuits which municipalities have eventually lost which costs the taxpayers. So, they hesitate.

              And it was always the thinking that federal civil rights law and the right of assembly trumped any local ordinances.

              However, that may not stand up in New Jersey this weekend.
               

              We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

              by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:36:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Over the past six decades the SCOTUS has (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pi Li, Heart of the Rockies

                repeatedly stated that reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions passed by cities, counties and states are constitutional. The only really big qualifier is that all groups have to be treated the same. The public agency has to have rules that are "content neutral" and the rules must be in place before the event. As an example OWS and the Tea Party have to be treated the same. Where cities have had problems is using excessive force. The removal of anyone not following clearly stated time, place, and manner restrictions creates no legal liability for cities, counties or states. One of the other lessons of OWS is much larger, clearer signs on the rules of assembly and overnight stays at parks and other public spaces and online resources on the rules and how to apply for permits.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:04:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem is that OWS and the TP (4+ / 0-)

                  were not treated the same in most places. I don't know of any Tea Party gatherings who were faced with fully riot- geared police. Civil rights abuses, excessive force as you say but also destruction of property as camps were destroyed were the major costs to overzealous cities.  All of the above happens to those who are homeless all the time, so in a way Occupy brought them out of their invisibility.

                  The slogan "we don't need no stinkin' permits" is civil disobedience. Occupiers expect to get arrested as it is part of how it works.

                  We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

                  by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:07:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  occupy - the Tea Party and OWS had very different (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nextstep, Pi Li

                    events. I am going to generalize, and I know there were some exceptions on both sides, but here are the big differences. The Tea Party wanted to project an image of clean cut, law abiding citizens who were protesting too much federal government spending. They wanted the focus to be on their message, not them. Tea Party rallies were for one day. The Tea Party obtained permits from the cities where the events were held. They posted the necessary bonds, obtained the required insurance, hired off-duty local police as security, had portable sanitary facilities, and a dedicated clean up crew. By closing time the public space was vacated and clean. That's why there were no police in riot gear, because they didn't violate any time, place, or manner restrictions and left the public space on time and in accordance with their permits.

                    OWS didn't obtain permits, or post bonds, or obtain insurance, or have portable sanitary facilities, and camped for many nights in areas where no overnight stays are allowed without a permit. That created a conflict with local elected leaders and law enforcement officials, some of which were unfortunately violent. OWS could have obtained permits, and a few of them did and some even allowed for a week or two of camping. In those Occupy events where permits were issued, and the participants followed the specifics of the permits, there were no conflicts with law enforcement.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:23:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The original Tea Party... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      divineorder

                      ..did not seek permits, so historically they were more akin to our modern Occupy movement.

                      The modern Tea Party offered no threat to The Powers That Be while Occupy meant precisely to be a threat. The celerity with which Regressive corporate candidates were jettisoned into positions of political power argues for the longstanding criticisms of the Tea Party that they were an Astroturf rather than a grassroots movement. On the ground Tea Party hired busses and had manufactured signs whereas the Occupiers had homemade signs and car pooled. The Tea Party had trouble with the IRS because they were well-financed.  They were also armed in many cases--something that Occupiers never were.

                      The whole point is civil disobedience which has ever been the American Way to effect change.

                       

                      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

                      by occupystephanie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:24:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This doesn't do the movement any favours (0+ / 0-)
                        The slogan "we don't need no stinkin' permits" is civil disobedience. Occupiers expect to get arrested as it is part of how it works.
                        As soon as you break the law, protest without a permit, create unlawful "permanent camps" etc., your civil disobedience is not longer about whatever it is you're protesting, but becomes about permits and parks.  The narrative of what you're do changes, and you've already lost the message war.

                        I'm presuming no one at Occupy was there protesting city park ordinances. But that's what it became about. After a few days of initial success in getting there 99% vs. 1% message across, the whole discussion became about those camps.

                        Conversely, as VClib correctly pointed out, the Tea Party followed all the rules in their protests...and since there were no permanent camps, no need for police in riot gear, no violence, no law breaking, etc...the only story was about their message...government spending, government waste, Obamacare, etc.

                        When Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, or when an African American sat at the white counter, the civil disobedience they were engaging in was against the very law they were breaking.  Is that how occupy wants to make its stand? Civil disobedience against city park ordinances?

                        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                        by Pi Li on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 04:18:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Occupy is credited... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Capt Crunch

                          ..with bringing economic inequality out as a public topic. It also gave people an outlet for their outrage over the banks being bailed out while they were sold out.

                          We did not have any encampments in our town; however, we did have marches and street theater. Occupy enlivened a lot of people who had begun to feel that there was nothing to be done.

                          For a nation founded on a revolution, Americans are very timid about being impolite.

                          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

                          by occupystephanie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:52:22 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Sigh - more fantasyland chatter (0+ / 0-)
                          As soon as you break the law, protest without a permit, create unlawful "permanent camps" etc., your civil disobedience is not longer about whatever it is you're protesting, but becomes about permits and parks.
                          Not on planet Earth.

                          You have the gall to reference the civil rights movement and twist history. You should be ashamed.

                          The civil rights movement was filled with marches that happened in spite of permits being denied. Take a gander:

                          You even spew out this bizzaro gem:

                          I'm presuming no one at Occupy was there protesting city park ordinances. But that's what it became about.
                          Maybe on planet Pi the discussion was the parks but here on planet Earth the Occupy movement changed the entire discourse regarding inequality.
                          THEY were the ones that got the 99% meme going.

                          You need to learn a little recent history.

                    •  Just so much unlinked bullshit.... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      occupystephanie, Capt Crunch
                      The Tea Party wanted to project an image of clean cut, law abiding citizens who were protesting too much federal government spending. They wanted the focus to be on their message, not them.

                      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                      by divineorder on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:52:14 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks, Divineorder! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        divineorder

                        Occupy just pissed off some people.

                        American was founded via revolution, yet Americans seem to have a horror of impoliteness. A docile lot, it seems.

                        I'm convinced that the reason 60 nations have GMO restrictions while we have none is their ability to field tens of thousands in the streets.

                        Being in the streets matters or they would not hate it so very much.

                        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

                        by occupystephanie on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:09:58 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  More crazy talk (0+ / 0-)

                  I LOVE this one:

                  As an example OWS and the Tea Party have to be treated the same.
                  Bwaaaahahaha! I didn't see any Tea Party folks lined up an pepper sprayed in the face.

                  Let's not forget the big truck protest that was supposed to clog roadways in DC.
                  Truckers Plan to Clog Beltway for 3-Day Protest
                  I don't remember any permit issued for that little party.

                  You're just making up a goofball fantasy history and then trying to advise civil disobedience behavior based on the crazy fantasy history.

            •  This is nuts. (0+ / 0-)
              You should be prepared for a strong response
              What are you saying there? Specify what kind of response you would refer to as "strong". My, my my.

              YOU ought to be prepared for a strong response when you spew out BS like this. It's like you're in fantasyland or something.

              They're going to break a minor code in order to grab some media space. That's it.

              It's not like they're going to close lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

  •  re" "Mishandled recovery..." (3+ / 0-)
    ...2.5 million of the 4.7 million fund went to rich Essex County which did not suffer as much damage as poor devastated Ocean County which received $47,484.
    I can't speak to which county had more citizens in need, but I can say that Ocean County is, by most measures, wealthier than Essex County.
    •  I took my info from Occupy Sandy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH, divineorder

      ...I know little of the situation there. But the news items linked to their concerns seems real enough.

      I know that Occupy Sandy was well-respected and included in conversations about the reconstruction and they have remained seized of the issues.

      We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

      by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:08:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, Ocean's per Capita income is less (6+ / 0-)

      than Essex's.  $29478 (Ocean) vs $31,535 (Essex).  

      Ocean has some very poor areas.  It is home to Lakewood's tent city, a settlement of homeless who squat in tents on public land.  Also there are many semi-homeless in the beach communities that took a direct hit.  The landlords rent to vacationers during the summer at high prices and rent to the poor off season. Then there are the many retirement communities.  These people are more middle class, to be sure, but are living on fixed incomes.

      Essex on the other hand, while home to Newark and East Orange,  also is home to some of the riches towns in NJ: Livingston, Short Hills and Montclair among them.

      And Ocean took the hardest hit from Sandy.  There are thousands that still are not back in their homes.

      •  Thanks for the link to tent city... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH, wasatch, divineorder

        ...and the stats.

        Tent City had been there since 2005 and it sounded fairly stable. Homelessness is definitely not going away so solutions need to be found.

        In Eugene, Oregon, they are building moveable Conestoga tiny houses and Portland has had Dignity Village since 2000 which started out as  illegal squatters on unused public land by the airport practicing civil disobedience.

        Often the poor are simply not aware of what programs they can take advantage of because of the isolation from the broader community.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:52:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What fortuitous timing! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch

    Christie left apath of corruption miles wide!

    Hopefully, the media will pay some attention to #OccupyChristie so their list gets added to the allegations.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:10:46 AM PST

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