Streetcar proponents have spent considerably more on their campaign than the anti-streetcar people, probably because Issue 48 is so wide-reaching it has brought out people concerned with things way more important than the streetcar such as regional planning, commuter rail and making Cincinnati not look like it totally sucks. Also being outspent are the SB 5 supporters, who have seen support decline dramatically in recent weeks as people look around their neighborhoods and see a bunch of regular people whose rights would be taken away. And Building a Better Ohio does unethical things like this, which makes people think they are meanies. Here's a blog about City Council candidate Chris Smitherman arguing against all the legal experts who say Issue 48 will block all rail construction through 2020.
As our leaders loudly preach, democracy
is something that we export to the rest of the world — to certain
monarchies and autocratic regimes that rule Arab nations, for example.
And it’s understandable though regrettable, they tell us, that there
would be eruptions of pent-up anger at aloof upper classes in India,
Greece, Spain and Israel. But a genuinely populist uprising to
bring democracy, both economic and political, to the U.S.A.?
Westboro Baptist Church came to town
today to protest at Oak Hills High School and Miami University over
“what the queers are doing to our soil.” When asked to comment on how
exactly homosexuals have ruined the soil around any large U.S. city with
a big underground homosexual population, a Westboro representative said
the queers are in it with the aliens building landing strips for gay
martians and then got really frustrated trying to explain how burrow
owls live in the ground.
There is a certain appropriateness that it
is representatives of Big Business and corporate America who are trying
to have the Occupy Cincinnati protestors removed from their encampment
at downtown’s Piatt Park, which is a public space. In trying to capitalize on their oversized influence with politicians at City Hall, those corporate bigwigs are proving the main point behind the various “Occupy” protests taking place across the nation — that people with money have far more clout in our political system than those who don’t.
Those of us who regularly witness these scenes were not surprised
that it took only two weeks for Ohio to arrest its first legally armed
bar patron for threatening to kill someone. Supporters of the new guns-in-bars law say it worked as intended and
that once the gun-wielding public hears one of its brothers is in jail
for five years the rest will learn to control themselves when someone
plays Dave Matthews Band on the jukebox five times in a row.
After three nights of arrests, Occupy Cincinnati protesters Sunday night chose to leave Piatt Park at its 10 p.m. closing time and march on the sidewalks around the park. Eleven members were arrested Saturday night for staying on the square after a rally past the 3 a.m. time allowed by its permit. The group is still waiting for a federal judge to rule on whether or not Piatt Park's 10 p.m. closing time is a violation of the First Amendment. Chicago Police arrested 130 Occupy Chicago protesters over the weekend, and the group plans to picket Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office in response. Protesters described harsh treatment by police, with some spending more than 24 hours in jail. The picketing at City Hall will reportedly include a nurse's union in response to two nurses and a union organizer being arrested while volunteering at Occupy Chicago.
Cincinnati Police arrested more than 20 Occupy Cincinnati protesters last night. Here's a recap of the events, which notes that a parade to honor local billionaire Carl Lindner was scheduled for this morning. Here's an impressive collection of reports that back up nearly every grievance articulated in its first official press release. The research was done by a young woman in Boston who runs a Congressional watchdog website called C-SPAN geek. You can follow her on Twitter here.
Occupy leaders don't mention coincidence, focus on next steps
More than 20 Occupy Cincinnati protesters were arrested last night just hours before a morning parade was scheduled to celebrate the life of local billionaire Carl Lindner, who died on Monday. The Enquirer's homepage this morning includes a lengthy account of the arrests and reactions by Occupy, along with a live feed covering the parade, which was to begin at Great American Ball Park and end near a Kenwood restaurant where Lindner enjoyed eating. Lindner supporters gathered at various locations along the parade route, including dozens of Cincinnati Police standing outside District 1 around 9 a.m. Students stood outside a school on 9th Street singing songs about going to heaven. (Occupy Cincinnati representatives have not acknowledged the correlation.)
Approximately 50 Occupy Cincinnati protesters attended yesterday's City Council meeting to testify against Piatt Park's 10 p.m. closing time. Negotiations between the city and protesters is ongoing, according to reports, but no agreement was made yesterday after protesters turned down an offer of a new place to stay overnight and the city declined to let the group stay in the park under new restrictions. Councilman Chris Bortz and Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz, both of whom have connections to property along the park, have brought up the possibility that if protesters aren't removed that someday the city will have to let the Ku Klux Klan camp out. Ghiz yesterday was criticized by protesters for posting on Facebook the private information of two people who wrote emails criticizing her (more on that here). CityBeat reflected on the situation again here.
Occupy Cincinnati supporters angry over publication of home and email addresses
Leslie Ghiz has angered some Occupy Cincinnati supporters by posting on her Facebook page the home and email address of one individual and the email address of another who criticized her for pressuring City Manager Milton Dohoney to kick the protesters out of the park. The two individuals wrote to Ghiz's campaign, according to Ghiz.