Friday, October 7, 2011

From the Indignados' Manifesto

From the manifesto of the Spanish indignados protesting austerity earlier this year:

"Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic and social outlook that we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.

[We are protesting on behalf of] the inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development and consumer rights... We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Manual of Conduct

Everyone make sure to take a quick look at this -- we definitely don't want any trouble with the RPD, and if we all know the law, the chances of that happening diminish greatly. We'll have hard copies of this at the Saturday meeting (3 pm, Beattie Park), but I'm posting it here for people who can't make it, and just to have as a resource readily available.



A. Peaceful strikes, pickets and protest demonstrations are legal.

B. The general duties of the Rockford Police Department in connection with labor controversies and other protests are to protect life and property, and to maintain order.

C. The Rockford Police Department alone is also charged with the duty of directing traffic. Outside parties shall not be permitted to assist.

D. The following rules of conduct will be enforced by the Rockford Police Department, and will be observed by those conducting or participating in labor controversies, protest demonstrations, strikes, or picket lines:

1. Picket lines shall form on sidewalks or in the parkway so as not to obstruct the passage of anyone wishing to move along said sidewalk or parkway.

2. Pickets shall not form in or on streets or roads.

3. A picket does not have to be an employee of the company that is on strike in order to act as a picket.

4. No specific number has been set for pickets. Unions and protestors may have as many pickets as they wish, provided they are peaceful and orderly, and do not stop or impede persons or vehicles going in or out of the plant or along the sidewalk, parkway, street, or crosswalk.

5. People working in, or having any business with plants or other businesses, which are on strike or otherwise being protested, have a right to freely pass. Anyone who desires to go into or out of a house or place of business where there is a controversy may do so without being impeded, stopped, or threatened with bodily harm. Anyone desiring to take merchandise in or out of a house or place of business where there is a controversy may do so without being impeded, stopped, or threatened with bodily harm. This applies to pedestrians, vehicles, railroad trains, etc.

6. Pickets may not in any way block a door, passageway, driveway, crosswalk, or other entrance or exit to a struck plant, house, or other place of business. Pickets may not impede traffic - pedestrian, vehicle, or railroad.

7. Union officials, protestors and pickets have a right to talk to people in or out of a struck plant or other location; they may go to their homes to talk to them, or they may talk to them anywhere, provided they are orderly. Intimidation, threats, and coercion will not be permitted, and they cannot require anyone to listen. On the other hand, if a non-striker or non-picket does not want to talk to the union official, protestor or picket, he does not have to, and may freely go about his business without being stopped, impeded, intimidated, coerced, or threatened.

8. Fighting, assault, battery, violence, threat of violence, or intimidation will not be permitted.

9. Weapons prohibited by the laws of the State of Illinois and the Ordinances of the City of-Rockford will not be permitted.

10. A person on public property may pass out leaflets if they do not in any way block any entrance to adjoining property or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Leaflets may be placed on cars on public property if the leaflets are not commercial advertising. Persons on private property are subject to all current laws and ordinances, such as trespassing.

11. Sound trucks are legal, but must comply with the regulations in 625 ILCS 5/12-611 (more commonly known as the boom box law). Other sound amplification devices such as "bullhorns" or stationary sound equipment will be examined on a case-by-case basis subject to the regulations set forth in City of Rockford Ordinances 17-8 and 17-10.

12. Words or actions, which constitute a clear and present threat of danger or breach of the peace, are prohibited.

13. Picketers, demonstrators, or any other persons are not permitted to place any item in or on the public sidewalk or parkway, which completely obstructs said sidewalk or parkway. These items include, but are not limited to, tables, signs and "bum barrels". Picketers may carry or wear signs and distribute leaflets, subject to the above regulations.



Sec. 17-8. Miscellaneous noise sources.

It shall be unlawful to operate the following equipment between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. outdoors within six hundred (600) feet of any building used for residential or hospital purposes or indoors if such equipment is audible from any adjacent property

used for residential or hospital purposes:

1) Power-operated models including automobiles, boats and aircraft.

2) Sound trucks and public address systems.

3) Musical instruments.

4) Radios, television sets and phonographs.

5) Factory time whistles.

6) Church bells and carillons.

It shall also be unlawful to conduct garbage, yard waste or recycling collection between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. anywhere within the limits of the city. It shall be unlawful to play music outside at any time using an intercom system on any property abutting or across the street from property zoned and used for residential purposes, if such music is audible more than ten (10) feet from the property from which the music is operating and it shall be unlawful to play music outside using an intercom system between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on any property which is abutting or across the street from property zoned and used for residential purposes.

Sec. 17-10. Nuisance noises.

(a) It shall be unlawful to cause or create any unnecessary or unusual noise at any time which annoys, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others unless such noise is necessary for the protection or preservation of property or of the health, safety, or life of some person.

(b) No person owning or in possession or control of any building or premises shall use the same, permit the use of the same, or rent the same to be used for any business or employment or residential use, or for any purpose of pleasure or recreation, if such use shall, by its boisterous nature, disturb or destroy the peace of the neighborhood in which such building or premises is situated, or be dangerous or detrimental to health.

(Ord. No. 1974-67-0,4-15-74)

Sec. 19-1. Assault.

(a) A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.

(b) A person convicted of assault shall be guilty of a violation of this Code.

Sec.19-2. Battery.

(a) A person commits battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and .by any means, (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.

(b) A person convicted of battery shall be guilty of a violation of this Code.

Sec. 19-13. Disorderly conduct.

A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:

(a) Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to provoke, make or aid in making a breach of peace; or

(b) Does or makes any unreasonable or offensive act, utterance, gesture or display which, under the circumstances, creates a clear and present danger of a breach of peace or imminent threat of violence; or

(c) Refuses or fails to cease and desist any peaceful conduct or activity likely to produce a breach of peace where there is an imminent threat of violence, and where the police have made all reasonable efforts to protect the otherwise peaceful conduct and activity, and have requested that said conduct and activity be stopped and explained the request if there is time; or

(d) Fails to obey a lawful order of dispersal by a person known by him to be a peace officer under circumstances where three (3) or more persons are committing acts of disorderly conduct in the immediate vicinity, which acts are likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm; or

(e) Assembles with three (3) or more persons for the purpose of using force or violence to disturb the public peace; or

(g) Appears in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other drug, not therapeutically administered, to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity; or

(h) Carries in a threatening or menacing manner, without authority of law, any pistol, revolver, dagger, razor, dangerous knife, stiletto, knuckles, slingshot, an object containing noxious or deleterious liquid, gas or substance or other dangerous weapon or conceals said weapon on or about the person or vehicle; or

(i) Pickets or demonstrates on a public way within one hundred and fifty (150) feet of any primary or secondary school building while the school is in session and one-half hour before the school is in session and one-half hour after the school session has been concluded.

(j) Pickets or demonstrates on a public way within one hundred and fifty (150) feet of any church, temple, synagogue or other place of worship while services are being conducted and one-half hour before services are to be conducted and one-half hour after services have been concluded.

(p) Appears on any public property or right-of-way in possession of or keeping a dog, which dog acts in a manner that, under the circumstances, creates a clear and present danger of a breach of the peace or creates an imminent threat of harm to other persons or pets in the vicinity. Any person in possession of or keeping a dog that engages in activity that meets the definition of a dangerous dog under state law commits a violation of this section.

Sec. 19-21. Trespass.

A person commits trespass when he knowingly:

(a) Enters the property, or any part thereof, of another when, immediately prior to such entry, he receives notice, either oral or written, from the owner or occupant that such entry is forbidden; or

(b) Remains upon the property, or any part thereof, of another after receiving notice, either oral or written, from the owner or occupant to depart; or

(c) Enters upon property open to the public, or any part thereof, and remains thereon with a malicious and mischievous intent after receiving notice, either oral or written, from the owner or occupant to depart.

Sec. 26-32. Generally.

No person shall, in any manner, obstruct or encroach upon any street, alley, sidewalk, or other public place within the city without lawful permission.

Sec. 26-33. Encroaching structures.

No person shall erect, construct or place any fence, steps, gallery or other obstruction in whole or part upon any street, alley, sidewalk, parkway or other public ground within the city, nor shall the owner of such fence, steps, gallery or other encroachment or the person in possession and control thereof permit the same to remain in or upon such street, alley, sidewalk or other public ground within the city.


625 ILCS 5/12-611. Sound amplification systems

§ 12-611. No driver of any motor vehicle within this State shall operate or permit operation of any sound amplification system which can be heard outside the vehicle from 75 or more feet when the vehicle is being operated upon a highway, unless such system is being operated to request assistance or warn of a hazardous situation.

625 ILCS 5/11-1007

§/11-1007. Pedestrians walking on highways

§ 11-1007. Pedestrians walking on highways. (a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. (b) Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway. (c) Where neither a sidewalk-.nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of a roadway, and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway. (d) Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Map of Occupy Wall Street Cities

from Daily Kos

There's probably some way to share the actual Google Map, but I'm not technically astute enough to know how. If anyone does, let me know. Check the link out though and see all those pretty red balloons linking to well over 200 cities, towns, and villages.

Unquestioned solidarity with New York, Boston, Chicago, LA, etc., but when a movement can cause places like Huntsville, Ala., Orange County (!), Cal., Macon, Ga., Moscow, Id., Berea, Ky., Flint, Mich., Utica, N.Y., Ashland, Ore., Knoxville, Tenn., Rutland, Vt., Appleton, Wis., and yes, Rockford, Ill. -- that's when you know you're part of a movement, not an isolated protest, not a bunch of hippies standing on a street corner, but a broad and growing movement of the 99%.

Occupy Wall Street Participating Cities (Thus Far)

This list was compiled by Chris Bowers at, and is being continually updated. Scroll through it just to get a sense of how widespread this movement has become. Solidarity!

Today's Protest in New York

Here's a partial list of unions and other organizations joining the cause and marching in solidarity in New York City today:

  • United NY
  • Strong Economy for All Coalition
  • Working Families Party
  • TWU Local 100
  • SEIU 1199
  • CWA 1109
  • Communications Workers of America
  • CWA Local 1180
  • United Auto Workers
  • United Federation of Teachers
  • Professional Staff Congress - CUNY
  • National Nurses United
  • Writers Guild East
  • Community Voices Heard
  • Alliance for Quality Education
  • New York Communities for Change
  • Coalition for the Homeless
  • Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP)
  • The Job Party
  • NYC Coalition for Educational Justice
  • The Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center
  • The New Deal for New York Campaign
  • National People's Action
  • Human Services Council
  • Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State
  • Citizen Action of NY
  • Common Cause NY
  • New Bottom Line
  • Tenants & Neighbors
  • Democracy for NYC
  • Resource Generation
  • Tenants PAC
  • Teachers Unite
This movement is growing, and we're all getting stronger. If a Saturday protest of dozens in Manhattan can unite tens of thousands in New York alone, and many more across the country, what can we do here in Rockford?

Planning Meeting the Second (and last)

Had a good meeting last night at Katie's Cup, and interest is starting to grow.

Our final planning meeting prior to commencing direct action will be this Saturday (10.08) at Beattie Park downtown at 3 pm. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

General Points

--We fully espouse the principles of nonviolence; whatever course(s) of direct action we, as a whole, decide upon will be strictly peaceful and uphold the inherent worth of every individual.

--We pledge to be fully inclusive, to welcome any and all interested in our movement, and to consider any and all viewpoints that uphold the inherent worth of every individual.

--We recognize that the police and armed forces are part of the 99%, and we will be courteous to them and extend a hand in fellowship and solidarity, even if we are not shown the same courtesy.

--We are the 99%. We are young and old, black, Hispanic, white, and Asian, gay and straight, male and female, ill and healthy, progressive and conservative, married or partnered and single, parents and non-parents. We are everyone who wakes up in the morning to earn a paycheck or to look for a job. We are the many united by far more than divides us.