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SFPD arrest all of Occupy San Francisco after Occupiers stop returning emails

The cops came in the middle of the night and gave everyone 5 minutes to pack up and leave. After that five minutes was up they took all of the personal property of the Occupiers and destroyed it. There have been reports of cops pushing people off the sidewalks and into the streets and then arresting them for illegally being in the street. Mayor Lee released a weirdo statement after the arrest simultaneously supporting and condemning OccupySF. Mayor Lee Releases Statement On Early Morning Occupy SF Raid (Slideshow, Video): News: SFAppeal
In an interview on KRON4 broadcast, Suhr says officials made the decision to raid the encampment late Tuesday afternoon, "negotiations broke down in that there were no emails going back and forth any more with Director Nuru from DPW, who took the lead on this collaboration, and what with the unprovoked attacks on officers last Thursday, the situation appeared to be deteriorating inside the camp and outside the camp." Well over 100 officers, said Suhr, participated in this morning's raid. He says that when SFPD arrived, they a dispersal order was made by loudspeaker. Suhr said occupiers had "5 or 10 minutes" to leave, and that "about half the camp" left immediately. Those remaining were arrested. . . . The Chronicle has more details on the breakdown of arrests and charges: they quote SFPD spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza as saying that 30 occupiers were arrested in the initial raid, and another 40 were arrested when they blocked Market Street. They were all arrested "suspicion of illegal lodging and camping in a public park," reports the Chron, except for the two mentioned earlier, who allegedly threw a chair and an SFPD officer. Those suspects were arrested for felony assault on a police officer. According to Mission Local, "there were a number of incidents where SFPD used force against protesters," including an occupier who reports that "police threw him to the ground and rubbed his face into the pavement," before arresting him. . . .
(Photo via Eric Wagner on Flickr)

Alabama considering forcing convicts to harvest crops now that the immigrants have left the state

Alabama Agriculture Department Advances Plan To Replace Immigrant Workers With Prisoners | ThinkProgress
To stave off the disastrous collapse of state agriculture, Alabama officials are seriously considering replacing immigrant workers with prison laborers who they could perhaps pay even less than immigrants. Earlier this year, the head of Alabama’s agriculture department floated this idea. Now, the department is actively promoting it to the state’s farmers: Alabama agriculture officials are considering whether prisoners can fill a labor shortage the agency blames on the new state law against illegal immigration. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is meeting with south Alabama farmers and businesses in Mobile on Tuesday. Deputy commissioner Brett Hall says the agenda includes a presentation on whether work-release inmates could help fill jobs once held by immigrants.

December 04, 2011

I Said No to My Student Loan: One Borrower's Decision to Stop Paying

I Said No to My Student Loan: One Borrower's Decision to Stop Paying | | AlterNet
I am aware of the total lack of consumer protection associated with student debt. I knew that if I was unable to make my minimum payments, they would hit me with late fees, penalties, etc. They would harass me. In ruining my credit history, they would make it impossible for me to get access to basic services. Forget about taking out another loan – I’m talking about not being able to rent an apartment. And defaulting would not only mean a ruined credit history, it would mean that my debt would double, triple, quadruple, etc…I would be a slave forever. But I took a long, hard look at the numbers, and I realized that I am already a slave. . . . Original balance: $37,099.00 Current balance: $35, 908. 41 I’ve been in repayment since 2006. I had to do one deferral – as to not default. I signed up for a program to minimize my payments that, I was told, was beneficial to someone who is going through financial difficulties – yet I regularly made payments over the minimum payment. Because Sallie Mae helpfully provides a payment history, I was able to whip out a calculator and count up the exact amount I have paid over these last few years. That amount is $23, 449.65 . . .