We are certainly allowed to decriminalize possession of marijuana from a city-wide perspective. This is not the same as legalization -- there would still be a fine associated with possession, similar to a parking or speeding ticket.
However, any applicable state or federal laws would still be in effect. State troopers would still be enforcing the prohibition, and the federal ATF officers would still be enforcing the federal laws.
So we -do- have the ability to control the police that we directly pay for on a city level, certainly. It's up to us what laws they enforce, and what laws they don't. However, we cannot control the state or federal police quite so easily.
Regarding the merits of decriminalization itself, I think that's the wrong question to be asking. What I'd like to hear about is the reason why we are choosing to criminalize this drug in particular, from all of those available, such as alcohol and tobacco. Not a single death in recorded history has ever occurred from marijuana, or at least none are attributable. The number of deaths, injuries, and accidental mild poisonings that occur every year in this very town from alcohol are staggering. Tobacco as well, has a long list of fatalities and cancers easily attributable to smoking.
The case for prohibition is really quite poor, imo. It has to do with a desire to control certain undesirable elements of society (e.g. blacks and latinos), to criminalize them and allow for their mass incarceration. It is racist and a national disgrace. Yet we allow it to continue. It's time we brought our culture of incarceration and criminalization of the powerless to an end.posted @ Monday, January 20, 2014 - 16:47
We need a new Mayor, one who cares about people and will make City Hall open and accessible. We need a Mayor who understands what working people are going through, and who will help them get to work via public transit without costing them an arm and a leg. We also need to expand service to include Sundays.
Remember that Nancy Denson was the one who raised our taxes -- and what did we get for it?
Tim's got my vote.posted @ Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 01:00
The taxpayers and the poor are actually by and large the same people. The poor pay sales taxes. The poor pay property taxes too quite often. What is good for poor people is good for Athens as a whole. What is good for the poor is good for the taxpayer. Over 1/3rd of people living in Athens are poor.
You talk about the difficulty of breaking the vicious cycle of poverty, crime, and more poverty. It's not easy to do. No Mayor could do it in one term. But Tim actually cares about these issues, and will work to address them, whereas Mayor Denson only cares about rich out-of-town developers who want to extract profit from us.
Or at least that is all she seems to care about, from her actions as Mayor. Perhaps deep down, she does care. I wish she would show it. I wish we could see it from her actions.
What -are- we going to do about Bethel Homes, Tent City, Rolling Ridge, etc.? It's a valid question. We need a plan to lift these people up. Getting "tough" is only a recipe for more poverty and more prisoners costing taxpayers money. We need a plan that will work for Athens, and it starts with more efficient and cheaper public transit. Nancy unfortunately has no plans or desire to do anything about this problem.posted @ Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 23:40
We will be releasing a budget summary sometime early next year.
But for now, BRING THE BEARD I say!!! Tim for Athens!!!
Check out our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/timforathensposted @ Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 00:51
Check out Occupy Athens' coverage:posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 22:13
All this talk about Obamacare misses the point -- this was something voted on in the budget by the Commission. The article does seem to indicate that perhaps Obamacare had something to do with this, but a much larger factor was that this was voted on at the local level.
It's our government, not the Federal government, that is screwing us here.
Primarily Reddish and the Mayor, although perhaps you're right TJS -- our Commissioners could have done a better job at going over the budget with a fine-toothed comb. But I still don't blame them -- I blame the one doing the deception and burying this thing, the city manager.posted @ Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 22:51
"What are the new days and times that seasoned citizens are allowed to "occupy" city hall in protest?"
24 / 7 -- the "Curfew Law" was defeated. We took care of that already because we know there might be times like this when we'd need it.
I believe I can speak for all of Occupy Athens when I say that we are committed to helping our senior citizens with this. We will stand with you until this problem is resolved.
But everyone please, do not be so hard on Commissioner NeSmith. I have absolute confidence that when he says he and other commissioners were unaware, that it is the truth. I think I also was at the meeting when this was voted on and had no idea what had just happened.
Do NOT blame the commissioners. This one rests squarely on the back of the City Manager, Alan Reddish. Perhaps the Mayor as well. I am sure the commissioners will do their best to solve this problem.
In the meantime though, we need to be organizing. We need to stand up for our seniors. We can't let them be treated like this.posted @ Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 14:02
The entire city needs to rally behind these retirees and demand what they were promised. This is an outrage. These people have put their lives on the line for decades for us, and this is how we repay them?posted @ Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 23:23
I thank the editor for his kind words! I think we in Occupy have been evolving like he says, and I'm proud of us. I don't think we'll ever really give up our disrespect for authority, though. It's definitely still there, simmering underneath the surface.
I have no regrets for the mic-checking and pot-banging ways of the past. But I do think we are growing in really great ways and thrilled that we are still being noticed and recognized! Thank you!
Harassment and noise are really only good when you're shut out (or at least feel shut-out) from the decision-making process. Since our local government is listening to us (yay!), I agree that it's time to leave those things behind.
As far as our agenda, well, we've been deciding our next issue to take on.
It will probably be centered around the minimum wage and on local control over minimum wage laws (something that is illegal in Georgia, I had no idea we were not allowed to change those laws city by city).
We're all about economic justice, democracy, and local decision-making. That is pretty much our agenda.
If anyone would like to help get involved and lobby our local and State governments on this or another topic, shoot us an email at occupyathensga at gmail.
You could also join our Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/203509473052292/posted @ Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 11:06
It seems like they are going to keep pruning this down until there's nothing left. Sounds fine to me! Hopefully then the Mayor will let the LRC focus on things that actually matter to this community. Out of this entire debacle, the thing that stands out at me the most is that our Commission is actually pretty cool. I don't think they will pass it. But our Mayor is just awful! She's gotta go.posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 23:44
Dregs? Are you talking about people? That's a horrible thing to say. Anyway, I don't think the Commission is really sold on this Curfew law idea. Why do we need every strip of median on the highway to be its own park? It's a little silly. Hopefully they will put an end to this nonsense, especially since it might really end up harming the homeless.posted @ Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 00:43
I agree with Speck that we need to make Athens more walkable (and bike-able). A law being considered now by Athens commissioners has a chance to negatively impact that -- the proposed Public Curfew law. Essentially it would designate all public spaces as parks, and give closing hours for those new parks.
The law would be police-enforced. Basically the police would ask you to leave, and if you don't, you would be arrested.
We don't need a curfew for Athens.posted @ Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 16:39
The Athens Occupier was covering this great event too! Check out these photos:posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 12:59
There was an awesome rally last Wednesday to end the ban on undocumented immigrants attending UGA -- The Athens Occupier was there to cover it!
Check out these photos from the event!
Immigrant rights are HUMAN rights.posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 12:57
Like us on Facebook!posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 13:46
Thanks, Bellehowell! I was about to post that myself. It's from the Athens Occupier. Please 'like' us!posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 13:39
You don't know the situation of any of the Occupy members yet you have judged them all. Double standards. Gotta love em. [/quote]
And the funny part is, it's actually him who doesn't have a job apparently!
We had the fair on Saturday so people with jobs could go.
I admit that last year when I slept on the street with Occupy, I was indeed unemployed. However now I am working full-time. As are all current members of Occupy Athens except for the disabled vet as I stated before. Let's just lay that to rest. Even back then, most of us had jobs or were students. We weren't on the street 24/7 although we tried to keep at least some people there all the time.
Besides, there is no shame in not having a job, as long as you are looking. I was looking last year but jobs are hard to come by. It's a tough economy. You know... that was actually part of the reason we were out there.
Thanks to all the well-wishers!posted @ Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 17:46
So I'm the only one here who thinks some of these comments are hate-filled and harassing? I doubt it.
And regarding the employment status of current Occupy Athens members -- We are all gainfully employed except for one.
That one is a disabled veteran of the US Navy.
RightWingExtremist -- you have no idea what you are talking about. You weren't even at the event on Saturday. You're talking about things that happened a year ago. The rest of us are talking about last Saturday.posted @ Monday, January 14, 2013 - 14:30
"We expect our commenters to have lively discussions, but racist, hate-filled, harassing or libelous comments will not be tolerated."
So, this apparently is not true, WTF Online Athens?
What's wrong with you people? We in Occupy hold a fair for community organizations and somehow that inspires hate and harassment?
Or is it just that? That -we're- the ones actually doing positive things in the community and you just can't handle it, can you? You just can't stand to see us succeed at something that might actually bring the community closer together?posted @ Monday, January 14, 2013 - 00:05
And it was a great success! We will do it again.
Occupy Athens has re-launched our Facebook page. We're going to include all the content normally going into our newspaper, the Athens Occupier, as well as videos, podcasts and more. Check it out:posted @ Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 22:40
Perhaps Cowsert is unaware of the concept of public banking. By creating a bank owned by the State of Georgia, we could solve all of our budget issues without having to cut programs.
Check out this article on the Athens Occupier:
Also, write Cowsert and Specer Frye and tell them you want the Bank of Georgia rather than have your taxes raised or programs cut!posted @ Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 14:01
"And I don't consider Carter Kessler a Republican, and neither does the Republican Party."
The current Republican establishment party's days are numbered. Your corrupt party is doomed. It will be taken over by people who believe in LIBERTY or it will be destroyed.
Get used to it. Carter is just the beginning of a massive wave of liberty.posted @ Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 18:40
Capping state employee salaries is not Republican now? Give me a break, that's fiscally conservative of course. It's only if you're one of the corrupt corporate Republicans Carter is trying to fight that you would have a problem with that. That's a conservative and common sense position.
He said he didn't support the Charter school -amendment.- Worlds of difference there.
Why wouldn't you want to go against the Republican establishment, which is corrupt to the core? Republicans should stand for eliminating corruption in government anywhere it can be found. Even in the Republican party itself. Especially in the Republican party itself!posted @ Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 17:44
He's not running from what he believes, he just doesn't want to be labelled by people who obviously have an agenda against him. He did say that he'd "take libertarian over authoritarian" in the debate. How is that not admitting his libertarian leanings?
I'm glad he supports nullification as a general principle. If he's given up on trying to nullify Obamacare, that too I think is probably wise. He should spend his effort fighting for things that will help people in this district, and not on lost causes.
I still fail to see the problem with anything Carter said at the debate. Are you saying you -want- him to try and nullify Obamacare? Don't be worried that he's going to be elected and then all of a sudden have this big push to nullify. That's a lost cause and everyone knows it. He's going to stick to what he said and not attack it. It doesn't make sense for him to do otherwise.posted @ Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 17:17
^^ dawgsmom, Carter is a conservative, that's why he's a Republican. Why do you think he's misrepresenting himself?posted @ Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 16:43
Summary: Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. First, a few thoughts on the winners: read more
Athens-Clarke County police officers responded to Pinewood Estates North on a 911 call concerning a heated domestic dispute. it reportedly was an argument over the lack of heat and food in a family's trailer and a woman was threatening to stab anyone who tried to take away her 7-month-old child. State patrol responded also, from their post nearby on U.S. Highway 29 North. The situation apparently was resolved. An officer reported he was driving the woman and infant to another home in Athens. read more