Tag: Occupy Wall Street

Nov 05

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

  Remember, remember! The Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot!   So the poem starts that commemorates the Gun Powder Plot of 1605 and Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had …

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Nov 05

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember! The Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot! So the poem starts that commemorates the Gun Powder Plot of 1605 and Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath …

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Jul 27

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Gaza, and Life in the Global Economy

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat. ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” (Alice in Wonderland)  

The past month or two I have been running from one demonstration and issue to another in support of various causes. I have attended several of the various demonstrations in support of Palestinian rights as Israel, with the backing of the United States, once again, exercises it’s barely hidden genocidal agenda. The past week and a half, Israel has been pounding Gaza with a massive bombing campaign and an aggressive ground war. The Palestinian people have already been devastated from a seven year siege. Many people aren’t aware that Israel, which puts forward the myth that Gaza is an independent entity, still controls most of the power, water and goods going in and out of Gaza – Gazans currently get about four hours of electricity a day and three hours of water once every three days. In the week and a half since the “war” began over 1,000 Gazans have been killed (a majority women and children),  millions of dollars of infrastructure have been destroyed. At last tally, 45 Israeli soldiers and three Islaeli civilians have died in the conflict and Israel gained controlled of approximately 1/3 of the remaining land in Gaza which they now call a “buffer zone.”

This is the third such incursion since 2008.  The other two bombing operations resulted in thousands of additional deaths and demolished neighborhoods and the ongoing blockade prevented Palestinians from rebuilding.  People often forget that the destruction of the infrastructure, once the bombing stops, is often more dangerous to the people’s health when they cannot have drinkable water (95% of Gazans don’t), adequate power and shelter.

For the first time, Palestinian voices are being heard, even by the mainstream —  if only because the devastation is so great they cannot be ignored. Demonstrations in Europe reached over 100,000 in England and France. There is clearly a movement that is stronger today than in the past.  Many of the demonstrations I attended were sizable – between one and two thousand people. In New York City, a stronghold of Zionism, that is no small number and shows the changing landscape in regard to the Palestinian issue – even here in the belly of the beast. And yet, today, as I write, there is no cease fire and the people of Palestine are still under attack.

I could go on about Gaza, but there are so many other issues. Like the 57,000 undocumented children coming across the Mexican border, fleeing from dictatorial states like Guatemala, El Salvador  and Honduras that the United States supported. Most recently the USA supported the coup in Honduras which ousted President Zelaya after he made two fatal mistakes – he doubled the minimum wage and he planned to join ALBA, a group of seven Latin American countries which have formed a coalition to fight the United States neoliberal agenda in the South. President Obama was the only leader in the western world who did not condemn the coup and gave immediate recognition to the new government. The United States government plans to send the majority of the fleeing children back to these states for their “safety” which is the reason that they fled and made the dangerous trek to the United States in the first place.

And then there are the other “domestic issues.” Thousands of poor, elderly and disabled people in Detroit are being denied water because they can’t pay their water bill, often after the state cut off their pension due to the Detroit bankruptcy. A young man brought my attention to another black man, Eric Garner, killed in Brooklyn  due to excessive police force. .(The young man who told me was unaware of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict).I also just learned, today, that there was yet another incident yesterday in which the NYPD stomped on another black man’s head – also captured in a video.  Oh, and there was newspaper headline about the “open carry (guns) advocates who stood on the grassy knoll (where Kennedy was killed) and criticized Obama. Guess what man – you’re still black.

Finally, there is the civil war in the Ukraine which recently resulted in the deaths of 298 civilians in an air crash (many of them AIDS researchers) when the Russian backed rebels shot the plane down by mistake. Many of the US backed forces, which recently took the Ukraine over in a coup are real old fashioned fascists (which feels a lot worse in Europe than it does here given the fact that Fascists have actually held power in Europe and we experienced the results).These new Ukrainian leaders are pressuring Europe to put more and more sanctions on Russia. I’m old enough to remember the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and this certainly feels like de javu.

But I digress.  There is a big demonstration planned in Washington for August 2nd for Palestinian rights. Kerry is negotiating right now for a short cease fire that does not actually change any of the conditions in the siege on Gaza.  Hamas (and it seems like most of the Gazan people including those who don’t back Hamas) say the cease fire must include the ending of the Siege on Gaza (what have they got to lose? They are already being slowly killed anyway with no drinkable water and half their land destroyed). Israel is unlikely to comply (Why should they ? They have our backing and the Seige meets their long term goals for a greater Israel just fine).

IN THE MEANTIME THE DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IS STILL 7 DAYS AWAY – HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE CAN THEY KILL AND HOW MUCH MORE INFRASTRUCTURE CAN THEY DESTROY IN 7 DAYS? Of course, this is just an infinitely small fraction of the devastation we have visited on the rest of the world in just the 20th and 21st century. (Pick a region)

Have you signed your 150th petition today? Have you written your congress person or Obama? Have you gone on a demonstration? Do you feel good about doing your civic duty? I was watching TV the other night and the ad with the dog with sad eyes and the sentimental music came on soliciting donations so that the dog and other dogs could live without abuse. There is a similar ad with a small clearly starving child in Africa.  As Bill Clinton would say “I feel your pain.” Synthetic, televised pain is not enough.



The definition of insanity someone said is to keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results. With the advent of the internet and globalization, the world is turning faster now, and the contradictions are heightening. “We do what we can” we say. We “keep the faith, “we keep hope alive.” But as Mao would say, just “tolling the bell” (doing the usual level of political work or doing the usual rant as I am doing now) is not enough. We need to give ourselves a wake-up call.

Nov 05

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember! The Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and plot;

I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot!

Guy Fawkes photo gty_guy_fawkes_nt_111104_wblog_zps060f73e0.jpg So the poem starts that commemorates the Gun Powder Plot of 1605 and  Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. That night has been celebrated in England on November 5th as Guy Fawkes Night ever since with bonfires and masks inspired by Guy Fawkes’ image. The holiday, the poem and, especially, the mask was made popular again by the 2006 motion picture “V for Vendetta.” Set in the future, “V” is an anonymous masked revolutionary working to destroy the fascist, totalitarian government with  elaborate, violent, and intentionally theatrical campaign that kills the leaders of the government and inspires the people to take back self-rule.

The mask was adopted by the group Anonymous whose members wore the mask during a 2008 protest of the Church of Scientology. The group has been called “freedom fighters,” “digital Robin Hoods,” “a cyber lynch-mob” and  “cyber terrorists.” Whatever you call them they were named of Time‘s “100 most influential people in the world for 2012.

OWS Symbol photo adbusters_occupy-wall-street-590_zps26ba429c.jpg It also became a symbol of the Occupy Wall Street movement that raised the awareness of the world to social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government, especially Wall Street. Their slogan “We Are the 99%” became the probably the best known phrase of the last 2 years and the mask one of the most recognized symbols of the movement next to the dancer on the Wall Street bull.

This Guy Fawkes Day is being remembered by #OWS and Anonymous with day long protests and actions around the world with a call to action to the people to take back their self rule from the corrupt governments and corporations. Battered and scarred, they are still here but the time for revolution is ripening. The lion sleeps no more

Greetings world. We are anonymous. We are the people.

Governments of the world: take this message as your last will and testament. The game is officially over. Social media has given birth to something new. Now it’s time to set the record straight. This video is intended as that spark that gets delivered straight into the hearts and minds of the world. This video is an idea – a shared idea – so listen very carefully and make sure you are sitting down.

On the 5th of November 2013, Anonymous call for a day of global civil disobedience. This time we target all government facilities across the globe. Calling all free thinkers: the time for civil disobedience is now. This time it also seems unions from around the world are supporting this action. The lion sleeps no more. Ask yourself this: where will you be when we make history? November 5th, 2013. Worldwide. Now it’s a vendetta. Now it’s personal. Now it’s time to occupy everywhere. It’s time to throw everything we have at November 5th. It’s time to relight the flame of protest until our demands are met. Now it’s time for our brothers and sisters of the awakening to take to the streets. Austerity means war.

Here’s to the dreamers, the one’s that stand for human freedom, the Occupiers, the people that change things. It’s about solidarity, but more than that, it’s about the people, the people we meet, the people of the world standing together for a common goal. Concerned by numerous ecological and social problems, we stand united. As long as there are young and idealist people that share the views of ultimate human freedom, there will always be hope for the world.

We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. On November 5th, 2013: EXPECT US.

To find a march near you go to The Million Mask March World Event to find a city.

Sep 17

#OWS 732 Days Later: We’re Still Here

OWS Bull photo imagesqtbnANd9GcQOzemvfxReNGeLrgsmE_zpsb44350c5.jpg On September 17, 2011, a leaderless resistance group took over a small public park in the heart of the financial district of New York City. Fed up with the dominance of the financial industry in politics and the direction of the economy, the groups message took hold spreading from city to city and around the world. The message was heard, “We are the 99%

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

That message change the conversation in the media and in the caverns of government. It brought together people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. Yes, Tea Party Republicans and left wing disenfranchised Democrats stood together on economic and social issues, disgusted with undue influence of corporations on government, particularly from the financial services sector and the unequal wealth distribution in the US. Thus began the Occupy Wall Street movement, 732 days ago.  

For two months, the group camped in Zuccotti Park, renaming it Liberty Park, meeting publicly using a unique human microphone when they were denied a permit for the use of “amplified sound,” including electric bullhorns, providing information, building the People’s Library, providing medical care, as well as, feeding the protestors, visitors and the homeless who flocked to the park. The spontaneous marches and demonstrations brought support and opposition. Much of the opposition from the corporate industry whose crimes and undue influence in government were coming under the public microscope

On November 15, 2011, shortly after midnight and a one hour notice to leave, the New York City Police Department raided the Zuccotti Park encampment, destroying private property and arresting over 200 occupiers, including journalists.

Occupy may not be as noticeable as it was back then but the movement is still a force with Occupy the SEC, focused on advancing lawsuits to push federal agencies to engage in more regulation of Wall Street and Occupy Our Homes which is engaged in direct action to protect homes from being improperly foreclosed by banks and have pressed the Justice Department to prosecute Wall Street executives.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Occupy Sandy sprang from the rubble and misery to aid the stranded poor and working in NYC’s housing projects and neighborhoods that were forgotten by Mayor Bloomberg and his band of bureaucrats who were focused on getting their Wall St. cronies back in business. They were vital in saving lives of the sick and elderly stranding in high rises providing note books of information of those in need to Doctors Without Borders in their first mission in the United States. Occupy Sandy operated in all five boroughs and New Jersey with over 70,000 volunteers with just a Tweet and they are still there assisting with rebuilding and helping those still in need.

Occupy is here to stay. We are the voices of the 99% and we will be heard. The revolution continues worldwide.

Jul 27

Chris Hedges: Moving Forward

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In Part 6 of a series of interviews by Paul Jay of Real News Network, journalist and author, Chris Hedges discusses issues of corporate control, and “the grim realities” facing the economy and environment:

The more we create self-sustainable systems that are local, the more we sever ourselves from these corporate forces, the less we need them. And the less we need them-I mean, let’s remember that 70 percent of the U.S. economy is driven through consumption-the less we need them, the more we impoverish them. I mean, the goal has to be to break these corporate power, this entity that has seized control of our government, our systems of communication, our judiciary.

I mean, now we’re watching them eviscerate our systems of education. Anytime hedge fund managers walk into a city like Baltimore and propose charter schools, it’s not because they want to teach people to read and write. It’s because they know the federal government spends about $600 billion a year on education, and they want it, and they’re getting it.

So I think that building local centers that are self-sustaining and that can create forms of community that are not dependent on these corporate forces is a political act, because these corporate forces need us to continue to consume their products and rely on their services. And the less we consume and the less we are hostage, the less we need these forces, the more independent we become.

Now, that has to come with a kind of political consciousness, but I think they come hand-in-hand, that both things-I think that as people take control, once again, of their own lives, that will bring a kind of consciousness, because these corporate forces, especially if they begin to feel threatened, are going to see these acts as political acts and are going to move-as we have seen corporate farming move against organic farming, they are going to move to try and destroy these forces.



Transcript can be read here

Nov 20

Striking Out Debt

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Occupy group offers debt forgiveness for Americans

As lawmakers in Washington continue to intensify focus on  the national debt and deficit, millions of American are dealing with a debt woe of their own. Amin Husain, editor of Tidal Magazine; Sarah Ludwig, co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Project; and Doug Henwood, editor of Left Business join Up with Chris Hayes to redirect attention to the real people who matter.

Astra Taylor of Strike Debt explains how getting out of debt has become the new American dream. The panelist explain Strike Debt’s “Rolling Jubilee” and how they plan to pull off raising money to buy debt from Americans, then cancel it.

#OWS Rolling Jubilee

A bailout of the people by the people

Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.

What is Strike Debt?

Strike Debt is an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street. First started in New York City, but inspired by movements around the globe, Strike Debt now has affiliates across the country. We believe people should not go into debt for basic necessities like education, healthcare and housing. Strike Debt initiatives like the Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual offer advice to all kinds of debtors about how to escape debt and how to join a growing collective resistance to the debt system. Our network has the goal of building a broad movement, with more effective ways of resisting debt, and with the ultimate goal of creating an alternative economy that benefits us all and not just the 1%.

What is Strike Debt?

Strike Debt is an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street. First started in New York City, but inspired by movements around the globe, Strike Debt now has affiliates across the country. We believe people should not go into debt for basic necessities like education, healthcare and housing. Strike Debt initiatives like the Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual offer advice to all kinds of debtors about how to escape debt and how to join a growing collective resistance to the debt system. Our network has the goal of building a broad movement, with more effective ways of resisting debt, and with the ultimate goal of creating an alternative economy that benefits us all and not just the 1%.

Can you abolish my debt?

There is no way to seek out a specific person and buy that person’s defaulted debt. With 15% of Americans currently being pursued by a debt collector, looking for one person’s debt would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Anonymous accounts are bundled together and sold as a whole. Before purchasing debt, there is only limited information as to whose debt we are buying. These peculiarities are part of the scandal that we are trying to highlight.Will the Rolling Jubilee have to file a 1099-C Cancellation of Debt form with the IRS?No. The Rolling Jubilee will earn no income from the lending of money and is therefore exempt from filing a Form 1099-C under the Internal Revenue Code Section 6050P.

Is this legal?

Yes! What should actually surprise everyone is the fact that it is legal to trade in people’s misfortune. As part of the deregulation of the finance industry, the government made it legal to buy and sell charged-off debt. [..]

How Does Rolling Jubilee Work?Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.

Nov 13

CNN Sucks Anyway

It warmed my heart when I talked with a woman close to my age about 96.9 Boston’s Talk radio about the “set up” and ouster of “controversial” Jay Sevrin.

You know how they set him up with that “sexual thing” but it was not about sex he was just too far outside the mainstream approved paradigms.

Yes! Yes! Yes!  A kindred spirit as she understood every word I said!

http://cryptogon.com/?p=32278

Aug 30

Sharp As a Razor Blade

Searching high . . .

Tampa expected 15,000 protesters for the Republican National Convention. So far, the city has seen no more than “a couple thousand,” Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor told reporters this morning.  “There aren’t nearly the number of demonstrators we expected,” Castor said.  One reason could be Hurricane Isaac, which forced some bus companies to cancel planned charters of protesters into Tampa Bay..

Searching low . . .

How little impact are the protests at the Republican convention making?  Well, let’s put it this way, yesterday the Tampa chief of police cancelled a scheduled afternoon press conference because there wasn’t enough to report. The Examiner reported Monday that the crowds were sparse at the protests and they haven’t gotten any larger since then. Reportedly, the largest crowd at any protest was 300 people at one at Ybor City, which is about three miles from the convention center.

Searching everywhere they know . . .

There were several protests Wednesday, but none of them were what city officials had feared.  The largest was sponsored by Planned Parenthood at Julian Lane Park about a mile north of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  It featured speeches and chants like ” Ho ho, hey hey, Planned Parenthood is here to stay.”

At midday, there was a protest at speech featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  During the speech when Rice was talking about the compassionate Bush administration, a Code Pink protester, former Army Colonel Ann Wright, stood up and said, “You can’t be compassionate and kill people!” However, no one was arrested and for the most part, everything has been extremely calm.

Asking the cops wherever they go . . .

Riot Control Police

Have you seen dignity?

Aug 19

I Am You and You Are Me

It’s hard to say where it went wrong,

Decades before me and this song,

Through the banksters and the wars,

I just can’t take it anymore . . .

Aug 17

Every Banker Had a Good Time

As the leaders of the People’s Republic of Plutocracy, Inc. prepare for the corporate coronations of Romney and Obama in Tampa and Charlotte, they’re fervently hoping Occupy Wall Street won’t spoil all the fun by sending dangerous American citizens into the streets to tell the truth all over the place.  In Beltway offices, Homeland Security meetings, and conference calls with the militarized police departments of the One-Percent, the same questions are being asked about Occupy Wall Street. Who are those people?  Why are they going to the national conventions with protest signs and devious plans to say whatever they want about the government, right out loud, in broad daylight where other citizens might hear them?  What the hell do they think this is, a democracy?  

I’ve got a feeling it’s not going to matter how many riot police are in the streets, pepper-spraying everyone in the twilight’s last gleaming, Americans are going to hear what Occupy Wall Street has to say in Tampa and Charlotte about the “government” and the “job creators” and this trickle down train wreck they call an economy.

Oh yeah . . .

Oh please believe me, I’d hate to miss the train.  Oh yeah.

The chorus of our new national anthem is inspiring, isn’t it?  Feel free to sing along Fox viewers, low information voters, brainwashed birthers and cable pundits, pulpit pounders of the Westboro Baptist Church and Obamabots of the Great Orange Asteroid . . .  

Every worker had a hard year,

Every banker had a good time,

Every general had a wet dream,

Every fat cat saw the sun shine.

Oh yeah.

Jul 24

Occupy Wall Street Targets the National Conventions

There’s room at the top they are telling you still,

But first you must learn how to smile as you kill.

The more you smile as you kill, the higher you go. In American politics. In American banking. In American business.  All of those smiling killers have been smiling even more in 2012, because they think the Occupy Movement is dying.  Dying like democracy is, dying like equality is, as dying like justice is.

William Rivers Pitt . . .

We are told that the Occupy movement is over, finished, and irrelevant, but I strongly disagree. It is relevant because it happened: the passion required to bring needed change to this nation is out there, all around you, and the evidence of that was there for all to see last year. That passion, that desire, and those numbers are still there, multiplying and gathering strength for the struggles to come.

Occupy, like all the other great movements in American history, is passing through its infancy. The civil rights struggle was an afterthought in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, until the slow and steady groundswell of popular support delivered the Civil Rights Act and the end of legalized Jim Crow racism in America. The anti-war movement was barely a blip on the screen of popular consciousness for many, many years, until it exploded everywhere, ended a war, and took down a president.

Occupy’s infancy will end, and when it does, we will be participants in and witnesses to another moment in history, a moment when the righteous tide will wash in and sweep away the filth that pollutes us as a people and a country.

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