Joint press release from Occupy Rapid City and South Dakota Peace and Justice, Rapid City Chapter.  For Immediate release.

A protest of the Rapid City Journal’s editorial policy decisions is being organized for Saturday, October 13, 2012.  The protest issues include the Rapid City Journal’s:
□       Rejection of articles and letters to the editor relating to historical and ongoing Native America issues  (see background below)
□       Decision to charge a fee to publish political letters to the editor resulting in suppression of political speech through this, ultimately, discriminatory practice. (http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/opinion/letter-to-editor/)
The protest will meet at the Seattle’s Best meeting room at the Alex Johnson at 11 AM and then march to the Rapid City Journal Building for a one-hour demonstration.
Background
Jim Kent, a thoughtful and frequent columnist for the Journal recently had an important column rejected which addressed the topic of Indian boarding schools.  This is a subject that the community is very interested in addressing as demonstrated by the recent, sold-out showing of a documentary on that topic by the Heartland Film Series.
Jim Kent’s Sept. 28, 2012 message to column readers:
Though many of you have offered comments on the variety of topics I tend to address, one area that I regularly cover is issues dealing with Indian Country. And though we might not all agree on that particular area of discussion – as on other topics, my primary purpose for writing a column is to open the floor for offering different views on any issue.
That said, the Rapid City Journal refused to publish my weekly column on 9/27/12 re: Native American boarding schools – which came about as a result of a discussion I had recently on the award-winning film “The Thick Dark Fog” (shown in Rapid City on 9/24).
In correspondence advising me of its refusal to publish the commentary, the RCJ editorial board noted that the boarding school issue – though painful – took place decades ago, questioned references to genocidal federal practices prior to the 19th century as well as their use at boarding schools, questioned references to Gen. Philip Sheridan, and stated that publishing the column “would further divide Native Americans and whites without justification.”
The editorial board – via editorial page editor Randy Rasmussen – also wondered why I didn’t write about the film if the column was supposed to be about the film; which is odd since the film is about…. the boarding school issue. As I noted to the board, the column was about the very topic that the film explored. A topic, apparently, that the Rapid City Journal editorial board feels shouldn’t be explored.
Excerpt from Madville Times posting October 1, 2012:
The Rapid City Journal cans one columnist for publicly criticizing the paper’s decision to lock its content behind a pay wall. Now it stifles discussion of a crucial part of white-Native history. That suppression of unpleasant views doesn’t seem the best way to celebrate the impending National Newspaper Week.
Next up: we’ll see if the Rapid City Journal and the rest of South Dakota’s white media find it too “divisive” to discuss this alleged instance of anti-Native hate speech at South Dakota State University.
Jim Kent October 9, 2012 comment on the central issues of concern relative to Rapid City Journal policies:
. . . the refusal to publish this column, dismissing an ongoing cultural issue for Native Americans and, ultimately, controlling what’s “permitted” to be discussed within a community.
Excerpt from Lee Enterprises Incorporated Principles for Quality Journalism:
  • Focus on understanding and serving the needs and wants of the people in its community, including those who are most vulnerable, such as the poor, minorities or elderly.
  • Identify and aggressively cover the most important issues to the local community.
  • Play a leadership role and be a force for change in the community through coverage, editorials and civic involvement.
  • Show courage and independence in faithfully reporting both good and bad news.
  • Inform, educate, explore solutions and give readers information on how they can take action or get involved when appropriate.
  • Encourage and involve the community in journalistic efforts, including promoting public contact with staff members, editors and the publisher.
  • Provide a regular opinion page with local editorials, plus local and national content reflecting a wide variety of views.


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The regular second Tuesday of the month meeting of South Dakota Peace and Justice will meet on July 10 and investigate the long-term corporate propaganda campaign to convince Americans that they should give up their constitutional rights in the name of tort reform.  With three hundred and twelve million citizens in our country, it is easy for vested financial interests to find an occasional case where the system has been abused.  The case of the elderly woman who spilled scalding McDonalds’ coffee in her lap was not such an incident!

The multiple film festival winning documentary, Hot Coffee: Is Justice Being Served? will be shown.  This film looks at numerous cases that have been totally distorted, and the subsequent atmosphere thus created, which prevents our system of justice from redressing egregious damage to our citizens.  Local defense attorneys Mike Wilson and Jim Leach will lead a discussion following the documentary.

The general public is always encouraged to attend our free presentations.  We meet at the St. Isaac Joques Church, adjacent to the Mother Butler Center.  The church is located at 221 Knollwood , across the street from the Carmike 10 Theater.   The meeting starts at 7 PM and usually lasts about two hours. Coffee and light refreshment are served.  Please encourage anyone you know who is concerned about the continued erosion of our civil right by the emerging oligarchy in our country to attend.

For further information contact Jim Petersen at 342-6245 or MaryJo Farrington at 716-5166.

Revised Notes from ORC General Assembly Meeting June 18, 2012

Posted: June 23, 2012 by firewalker2012 in General
  1. Word has it that the city is going make things hard for Occupiers to occupy the corner of Main Street Square.  Apparently, people of influence are complaining about our presence there.  Jim is in contact with the ACLU office in Sioux Falls to request immediate legal support if any action is taken to deprive us of our First Amendment rights.  This is a fight we would look forward to fighting.
  2. Discussion of the June 12, panel discussion at the SD Peace and Justice meeting at St. Isaac Joques Church.
  3. Creating an issue based fact hand-out to be used in conjunction with protest themes. Our primary purpose is evolving to be informational for the general public and call attention to specific issues that affect society.
  4. A suggestion to consider political activities to influence the political discussion relating to the upcoming election in order to shift the discussion toward “A Politics for the 99 Percent.”  The idea stems from an article in the June 25 issue of The Nation magazine.  This idea was also offered in a similar fashion as a challenge for individuals to call, write, and post to social media sites of elected officials by Peggy Detmers at the SDP&J panel discussion.
  5. Updates on Billboard rule changes and the proposed mining on the edge of Spearfish Canyon were among other topics of discussion at the meeting.  The billboard blight issue in Rapid City is a classic example of what the Occupy Movement is all about; where powerful companies are acting in their own interest, against the wishes of the people, largely by controlling the decisions of our elected officials.  Occupiers need to call their Council representatives and tell them that they need to pay attention to the vote of the people last June and not the vested financial interests.  It is the same issue with the proposed mining in Spearfish Canyon.  Everyone needs to cal or write the Lawrence County commissioners and tell them that we don’t want our water and tourist industry put at risk for the short term gain of a few.
  6. The protest theme for the month of July is the issue of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission decision.  Emphasis on the fact that the Roberts Court is “legislating from the bench” consistently in favor of the Oligarchy and to the egregious detriment of our Republic.

 

Occupy Wall Street:

One Year Later

 Tuesday, June 12th  7:00pm

St. Isaac Jogues Meeting Room

(Next to the Mother Butler)

It’s been over a year since the Occupy Movement

started in New York City. Since then, the “movement”

has spread across America. But it has many different

meanings to people including the 99% versus the 1%.

What is Occupy about?  What has it accomplished?

What does it mean in Rapid City?

Panel discussion will include members of Occupy Rapid City. Please come out and participate in this discussion.

ORC General Assembly Notes 6-4-12

Posted: June 6, 2012 by firewalker2012 in General

Meeting Place   The group agreed to continue meeting at Seattle’s Best coffee shop in the Alex Johnson Hotel on the first and third Mondays at 5:30 pm.

 

Miss Representation   The documentary Miss Representation will be shown at the Elks Theatre on June 25 at 6:30 pm. The film explores how media misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence. It is sponsored by Heartland Film Society. Proceeds will benefit ProjectRespect.org.

 

South Dakota Peace and Justice will host a meeting on the topic What Is Occupy? with ORC members serving on a panel. The meeting will be at 7:00 pm at the St. Isaac Jogues church coffee shop at 221 Knollwood Avenue in Rapid City. The church is located across from the Carmike 10 Theater and next to the Mother Butler Center.

 

City Depository Task Force   Last winter 15 ORCers attended a city council meeting to ask the council to deposit city money in locally owned banks and credit unions instead of US Bank, Wells Fargo, and other banks based elsewhere. The council voted to create a task force to advise the city on how to manage deposited funds. Two Occupiers, Tom Katus and Shirley Frederick, were appointed to the Depository Task Force, which has now completed its work. All banks and credit unions with offices in the city have been asked if they wish to serve as city depositories. The results of that survey may be seen here:

 

http://www.rcgov.org/pdfs/Finance/DepositTask/BankSurvey052412.pdf A five-page investment policy has been approved by the task force.

 

The task force has created a city investment policy, which will go into effect once it has been approved by the city council. You can read the proposed policy here:

 

http://www.rcgov.org/pdfs/Finance/DepositTask/ProposedInvestPolicy.pdf

 

 

Citizens United Update   Retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has gone on record describing the crack in the foundation of the Citizens United decision that allows corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to Super PACS to influence elections. The decision, he says, allows foreign-owned corporations to donate and the court will have to address this question sooner or later. Stevens also criticized the court for prohibiting Montana from banning corporate money, despite the fact that the law had been on the books since 1912.

 

 

The Casserole Protests   The National Assembly of Quebec, Canada, recently passed

Bill 78, an emergency measure that restricts freedom of assembly, protest, or picketing on or near university grounds, and anywhere in Quebec without prior police approval. The bill is a response to Montreal students protesting against tuition hikes. People throughout Quebec province are protesting Bill 78 in the streets—banging pots and pans, giving the latest round of protests its name. The casserole protests are now spreading to Toronto, Vancouver, and other Canadian cities. Occupy Wall Street has also had a solidarity march.

 

Theme for the Month   ORC will select a different theme for each month and members will make appropriate signs and fliers to display/hand out at Main Street Square on Saturdays. Equal rights and equal treatment of women will be the theme for June. Attention will be given to the proposed fair pay act being pushed by Obama, and the Miss Representation film will be promoted. Relevant info will go on the ORC website.

 

 

 

 

In Quebec a Revolution of Love, Hope, and Community

Posted: June 3, 2012 by firewalker2012 in General

Has anyone seen anything about this in our corporate media? I have not. But it sounds positive. Gives me hope for humanity yet:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/27-2

A concern about Occupiers posting on the Occupy Rapid City Facebook page information promoting Ron Paul was discussed. ORC at a previous General Assembly meeting agreed not to support or promote any political party or candidate. No decision was reached.

 

It was agreed that the next South Dakota Peace and Justice meeting topic will be What Is Occupy? Members of ORC will serve as panelists. The meeting will be on June 12 in the coffee room of St. Isaacs Jogues Church, 221 Knollwood Drive, Rapid City, starting at 7:00 pm.

 

Investors from Boulder CO are trying to get an old mining permit transferred to them for a proposed mine above Spearfish Canyon, and local enviro groups are fighting the transfer. Opponents should send LTEs to local papers and attend a meeting June 7 at the Deadwood City Hall at 1:30 pm to give input.

 

Should ORC have a table on Thursday Nights? Hand out small fliers?

 

Our signs at Main Street Square should have lettering big enough to be read from passing cars. Jim Petersen will make signs for anyone who lacks the materials. Call him at 342-6245.

 

Recommended book: “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” by Mann and Ornstein

 

Marv plans to invite Occupiers to his ranch to repaint the peace and enviro and medicine wheel signs on the hillside near the runway where Ellsworth fighter planes take off.

 

June 25 the film Miss Representation will be screened by Heartland Film Society (again) at the Elks Theater at 6:30 pm.

 

Theme for Saturday protest: the military industrial complex