Occupy movement plans Capitol foreclosure rallyActivists outraged …

The Occupy movement, perhaps more than ever, is still getting a bad rap.

Leading the charge lately is comedian and TV host Bill Maher, who’s repeatedly trashed the movement for not complementing liberalism the way tea partiers complement right-leaning politics.

Consider this recent Real Time With Bill Maher rant: “Instead of organizing interstate hootenannies, maybe it’s time for Occupy Wall Street to actually participate in the American political process. That means boring stuff, like canvassing neighborhoods, raising money, running candidates for office, manning phone banks.

“And making a baby with John Edwards.”

Joking aside, Maher obviously was unaware that Sacramento County saw two Occupy candidates run for supervisor this past election cycle—one of them raking in nearly 30 percent of the vote in his race.

It’s also worth noting that movement does not boast such wealthy benefactors as the Koch Brothers, whose financiering of the tea party during its nascent days was instrumental in establishing its political grassroots infrastructure.

Yet Occupy is far from flat-lining. Witness this Monday, June 25, when organizers say more than 1,000 statewide occupiers will converge on the Capitol grounds to demand a moratorium on home foreclosures in California. The event, called Rally for Homes begins at 10 a.m., ends at 3 p.m. and will include a protest march, plus teach-ins. And even lobbying efforts.

Occupy Sacramento activist Bob Saunders said despite setbacks, he’s still motivated. “The more legislators we meet with and the more they say we’ll never find an author for a bill for a foreclosure moratorium,” he said, “the more we feel that’s what we need. It’s the only thing that’s going to stop the hemorrhaging.”

Find out more about this Monday’s protest at www.rallyforhomes.com. And be sure to send a photo from the rally to Bill Maher. (Nick Miller)

Last week’s Drug Enforcement Agency raid on the city’s most popular medical-cannabis dispensary, El Camino Wellness Center, has sparked indignation among the region’s pot activists. And they plan to take to the streets this Wednesday, June 20, when protesters and Americans for Safe Access will demonstrate outside the downtown federal building at 1:30 p.m.

Pot advocates are shocked that the feds, who said they were only going to target traffickers and criminals, put El Camino in the crosshairs. As local ASA representative Courtney Sheats put it: “If El Camino Wellness, a taxpaying pillar of its community, fails to pass muster with the federal government, then no one is safe.”

El Camino spokesman Max Del Real told SNR that, when the dispensary was raided on June 11, “The immediate reaction on the ground was ‘This was payback’”; El Camino sued the federal government this past December.

Del Real added that the feds seized more than $50,000 in medical cannabis, plus the executive directors’ “computers and cars” while they were handcuffed at their homes, “in front of their kids” for three hours.

He rejected the argument that El Camino was profiteering. “When you have a limited number of dispensaries … and have a lot of patients,” Del Real said, “those patients are going to go through the doors of legal, and limited, dispensaries.”

Indeed, there are fewer pot clubs in town: approximately 15 dispensaries open in the city—and zero in the county. (N.M.)


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