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Photos: Austin Police Command Post, Wood Ridge and Blue Sage (OATX)

Posted in Archive, Austin, and Occupy Wall Street

This was an exciting week, with two major actions at with Occupy Austin which I wrote about on Firedoglake. First, our occupiers have been supporting residents of Wood Ridge apartments after a balcony collapsed there a month ago, and Wednesday we got to pay a visit during a massive code inspection:

Michael King, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and a registered electrician in Texas, took a walk through the complex with us and within 10 minutes pointed out multiple, potentially life-threatening situations in the wiring. Issues like open power boxes and exposed electrical wiring in drainways and walkways that could set fires or “blow a child’s arm off” to use Mike’s colorful language. Rain drainage grates were broken — some with dangerous looking holes, others warped so badly that a resident told us ‘the kids bounce on it like a trampoline.’

Read more on Firedoglake.

A code inspector looks dismayed
Two Austin Code Compliance agents confronted by Wood Ridge Resident Doug Robb (Photo: Kit O’Connell).

Code inspectors found 760 code violations at Wood Ridge, but somehow the media (at least YNN) managed to portray code compliance as the bad guys.

Then on Thursday we joined a half dozen unions at a protest on behalf of Indiana’s C&M Conveyor, who flew to Austin to make demands at the office of the factory owners, vulture capitalists Blue Sage:

After hearing from two of the visitors from Indiana about their work and the conditions at C&M Conveyor and forming what Dave called “an old-fashioned, Southern picket line,” it was time to deliver our letter. At first the security guards were going to turn us away, and threatened to call the police. But by the time they finished saying that, we were already boarding the elevator. One guard relented and said three of us, plus Austin Chronicle photographer John Anderson, could ride the elevator to Blue Sage’s eighth floor office under his escort.

Below you’ll find my photographs from the Wood Ridge and C&M Conveyor actions, as well as pictures of a huge Austin Police Department command post (with a Department of Homeland Security logo) which the Code Enforcement brass used at the Wood Ridge inspection.

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