Tag Archives: GAIM

Earth First! and Occupy protesters blockade bridge in front of GAIM conference

24 Jan

Support for the bridge blockade gets the message out to a captive audience in snarled Boca traffic

More arrests underway as conference is disrupted by activists inside the resort as well

Palm Beach County, Florida—Protesters from the Occupy movement and Everglades Earth First! blockaded a Boca Raton bridge yesterday, snarling rush hour traffic during a cocktail party of corporate investors at the GAIM USA 2012 conference. Among them was Ana Rodriguez, an editor of the Earth First! Journal, which is also published in Palm Beach County. 

Camino Real bridge shut down with ease

Using colorful lockboxes, three activists, laid on the bridge effectively stopping rush hour traffic from 5-6:30.  Special operations police teams were called to the site to remove the lockdown devices that were linking the protesters together. The blockaders were cited with three charges, including: resisting without violence; obstructing a highway and violation of a municipal ordinance banning what the Boca police called “sleeping dragons.”

Two of the three arrested, Kevin Young and Don Carter from Occupy Miami, were released on their own recognizance. Ana Rodriguez was released today on a $1,500 bond, with the state attorney alleging that she was a flight risk to Venezuela, her country of origin.

“Every day we see corporate power destroying our communities.  From environmental disasters to private prisons, corporations are operating with impunity,” said Ana Rodriguez before being arrested. “While the bank leaders drink cocktails and toast to increased profits, people across the globe are being hurt by corporate greed.”

Another protester scaled a tree alongside the bridge and hung a large banner that read: “What Would Robin Hood Do?” The banner was taken down by a fire truck and confiscated by Boca police.

The protests against GAIM began on Sunday, January 22, with 100 people marching in front of the Boca Resort and a flotilla of boats and canoes along the resort’s waterfront.

More protesters returned this afternoon for day three of the GAIM conference, announced as a national day of action against private prisons and detention centers. At the time of this news post, there are reports of more arrests for immigrant solidarity activists disrupting the conference from the inside.

GAME OVER: Occupy the Corporate Investors, Shut Down GAIM USA 2012

4 Dec

UPDATE: More details and a schedule for the GAIM conference events are now posted here: http://occupypalmbeachcounty.org/gaim-schedule-and-details/

[Message from the General Assembly of Occupy Palm Beach, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.]

A massive conference of banksters, billionaires and buzzards is taking place in south Florida this winter. GAIM [Gathering of Investors and Managers] will be at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, January 22-25. In their own words, “GAIM USA has a track record of delivering 3,000 of  the industry’s leading practitioners, hedge funds and asset allocators from across the globe.”

Occupy Palm Beach is calling for a festival of resistance to converge at the GAIM conference site (or as close as we can get to it.) We want to make our presence loud, bright and beautiful, so we’re asking you to bring banners, puppets, horns, drums and, of course, a tent.

While there is little information available on this conference, Hedgeweek, a news source for investors, said this about GAIM USA in 2008: “…the global hedge fund industry event attracting the largest number of asset allocators, could well be compared to the Bilderberg Group. It is probably the most high-profile global assembly anywhere of investors and asset managers…”

Some of the most egregious aspects of hedge funds, vulture investments, are known for their record of preying on vulnerable economic situations, making investments intended to profit from economic crises, picking over the remains of rapidly weakening companies or entire countries. These multi-billionaire corporate investors are cashing in on debts specifically intended to exploit desperate situations: labor conflicts, land struggles, famine, war, climate change and ecological collapse around the world.

Since details of GAIM 2012 have not been made public and media access to the event is very limited, here is a list of past participants in the conference, to give an idea who may be showing up:

  • Bank of America
  • BP
  • Cargill
  • Corrections Corporation of America
  • Citibank
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Carlyle Group
  • Nasdaq Stock Market Inc
  • Goldman Sachs
  • US Futures Exchange
  • US Securities & Exchange Commission
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Weyerhaeuser Company
  • JP Morgan
  • Wachovia
  • World Bank Group
  • Koch Industries
  • Lehman Brothers

These names sum up the caliber of the people attending this event—this is truly a meeting of “the 1%” and their agents.

There are an additional  200 banks, corporations, investment groups, universities, municipalities, consultants, financial institutions, government bodies and agencies who are listed as past participants on the GAIM 2012 website.

The GAIM USA conference is an event coordinated by The Institute for International Research (IIR), the largest conference company in the world. They also host regular conferences for investors in the energy industry, pharmaceuticals and agri-business giants. For example, IIR is hosting a Marcellus Shale gas investors’ conference in New York City on Dec. 6 to push for more hydrofracking in the Northeast region of the US.

While we work to change the course of our society and defend the ecosystems we live in, these investors are placing their bets on the status quo that has put us where we are today. Worse, they’re hedging those bets to ensure they won’t lose.

Converging against this conference is another important step towards our localized revolution against a globalized dictatorship of the market. We hope you’ll join with us in taking this step.

Help make it happen

We are looking for individuals and affinity groups from near and far to come early to help with preparations for the convergence and a series of actions surrounding the GAIM USA conference.

Come to the General Assembly Of Occupy Palm Beach on Jan 21, 4pm, downtown West Palm (at the occupied City Hall on Olive and Banyon) for an action spokescouncil to coordinate our efforts.

Some other things to know

At this time, there are several established occupation camps in south Florida where people can live in the time surrounding the convergence. There is also a public transit system between Miami and Palm Beach, the TriRail, which also stops in Boca Raton.

There are many other grassroots community projects to get involved with while you are in the area, including: local organizing around immigrant rights, ecological and environmental justice, prisoner solidarity, animal liberation, food security, neighborhood gardens and farms, DIY bicycle repair, independent media production, and more.

Oh, and the weather in south Florida is very nice this time of the year…

For details and updates, OccupyPalmBeachCounty.org

To download a printable formatted PDF flyer for this convergence, click here.