One of the key activists behind Egypt’s “Facebook Revolution” is now giving advice to a new group of protesters: the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park – and their offshoots around the country – often cite the mass demonstrations earlier this year in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as their inspiration. So maybe it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Ahmed Maher, one of the leading figures in those Egyptian protests, has been corresponding for weeks with the Occupy Wall Streeters, whom he calls “our brothers.”
Maher is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth, which used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to galvanize Egyptians against President Hosni Mubarak. Recently, however, his attention has turned toward America, where he’s been chatting online with Occupy activists. Those conversations center around practical advice from a successful Egyptian revolutionary. Usually, they occur through Facebook. On Tuesday, for the first time, they happened face to face.
“We talk on the internet about what happened in Egypt, about our structure, about our organization, how to organize a flash mob, how to organize a sit-in,” Maher tells Danger Room, and “how to be non-violent with police.”
The “30 Rock” star and newly minted podcaster, Baldwin has, during the protesters’ occupation of Wall Street, advocated for tighter bank regulations and more strict enforcement of those regulations. Arriving around midnight, he tweeted at 1:37, “My thanks 2 Aaron from Brooklyn and Sean from Winnipeg for this evening’s OWS tutorial. My first. A lot of dedicated people at #ZuccottiPark.”
He sent out a series of tweets following his departure, saying, “OWS needs to coalesce around some legislative policy. The ‘occupy’ strategy may be an effective one. But what can each entity agree on?” and “Campaign finance reform remains the linchpin of our democracy’s many problems.”
The star then followed that defense of banks’ existence, saying, “We need a healthy banking system in this country. We need strong capital markets. What is missing are regulations with teeth.”
Two weeks ago we conducted an anonymous poll on this website to learn more about our visitors. We asked Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán Ph.D, sociologist of the City University of New York to look at the data, which he analyzed to create an original academic paper titled “Mainstream Support for a Mainstream Movement” (pdf).
His analysis shows that the Occupy Wall Street movement is heavily supported by a diverse group of individuals and that “the 99% movement comes from and looks like the 99%.” Among the most telling of his findings is that 70.3% of respondents identified as politically independent.
Dr. Cordero-Guzmán’s findings strongly reinforce what we’ve known all along: Occupy Wall Street is a post-political movement representing something far greater than failed party politics. We are a movement of people empowerment, a collective realization that we ourselves have the power to create change from the bottom-up, because we don’t need Wall Street and we don’t need politicians.
Since our humble beginning a few short weeks ago, we’ve helped inspire people around the world to organize democratic assemblies in their own communities to take back public spaces, meet basic needs, make their own demands, and begin building a better world today.
Below is Dr. Cordero-Guzmán’s executive summary of his findings along with a link to his full academic paper.
On this day in 1973, Solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus resign in protest. Cox had conducted a detailed investigation of the Watergate break-in that revealed that the burglary was just one of many possible abuses of power by the Nixon White House. Nixon had ordered Richardson to fire Cox, but he refused and resigned, as did Ruckelshaus when Nixon then asked him to dismiss the special prosecutor. Bork agreed to fire Cox and an immediate uproar ensued. This series of resignations and firings became known as the Saturday Night Massacre and outraged the public and the media. Two days later, the House Judiciary Committee began to look into the possible impeachment of Nixon.
Richardson appointed Cox in May of that year, after having given assurances to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would appoint an independent counsel to investigate the events surrounding the Watergate break-in of June 17, 1972. Cox subsequently issued a subpoena to President Nixon, asking for copies of taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office and authorized by Nixon as evidence. The president initially refused to comply with the subpoena, but on October 19, 1973, he offered what was later known as the Stennis Compromise-asking U.S. Senator John C. Stennis to review and summarize the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office.
Mindful that Stennis was famously hard-of-hearing, Cox refused the compromise that same evening, and it was believed that there would be a short rest in the legal maneuvering while government offices were closed for the weekend. However, President Nixon acted to dismiss Cox from his office the next night-a Saturday. He contacted Attorney General Richardson and ordered him to fire the special prosecutor. Richardson refused, and instead resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; he also refused and resigned in protest.
Nixon then contacted the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, and ordered him as acting head of the Justice Department to fire Cox. Richardson and Ruckelshaus had both personally assured the congressional committee overseeing the special prosecutor investigation that they would not interfere-Bork had made no such assurance to the committee. Though Bork believed Nixon’s order to be valid and appropriate, he considered resigning to avoid being “perceived as a man who did the President’s bidding to save my job.” Never the less, Bork complied with Nixon’s order and fired Cox. Initially, the White House claimed to have fired Ruckelshaus, but as The Washington Post article written the next day pointed out, “The letter from the President to Bork also said Ruckelshaus resigned.”
Congress was infuriated by the act, which was seen as a gross abuse of presidential power. In the days that followed, numerous resolutions of impeachment against the president were introduced in Congress. Nixon defended his actions in a famous press conference on November 17, 1973, in which he stated,
“…[I]n all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life that I’ve welcomed this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President’s a crook. Well, I’m not a crook! I’ve earned everything I’ve got.“
William Black already has a teaching job, but what he really needs is an occupation at Justice where he can kick some fraudulent ass. Here’s vid from Democracy Now with Amy Goodman that I doubt gets front-paged at any high-traffic liberal blogs:
Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River. It was a redneck sort of place, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.
In summer in that part of Arkansas it got extremely hot from the early part of June through late September. In the early 1960s air conditioning was quite rare, at least in my part of the of the state. Thus, we slept with the windows open. We lived in an old two story house and slept upstairs.
With no air conditioning, fans were the only alternative. We had an attic fan in the house, which because they are large and slow moving, make little noise. Because of this, it was easy to hear the nighttime sounds.