As midnight approached in New York City’s Washington Square Park on Saturday, 14 occupiers sat in the center of an empty fountain playing Woody Guthrie songs. “If you would like to remain in the park past midnight, you will be subject to arrest,” a policeman had just broadcast through a bullhorn, sending thousands who’d come for a political rally fleeing. Backed by some 100 riot cops in face shields, an exhausted-looking community affairs officer moved in to try to talk reason. “We marched with you guys; we treated you with respect,” he said, pointing out that some officers had been on duty since 3 a.m. “We understand your cause. We understand your voice. We understand what you are saying. But all we want is for you to vacate the park.”
“This is political,” said a man in black glasses, between drags on a cigarette.
“C’mon guys,” the officer pleaded. “Why get arrested?”
The New York City Police Department has dealt with a heavy dose of criticism for the way that it has handled the Occupy Wall Street protests, with an unprovoked pepper spraying, questionably legal arrests, and a dressing down by a US Marine at Times Square all caught on videotape. But in the interactions with police that I have witnessed and the conversations I’ve had with officers, a more nuanced picture has emerged: one of overworked rank-and-file cops torn between following orders and sympathizing with the movement and its goals.
“We are all in this together,” says an off-duty cop—let’s call him Jim—who described himself to me as a 99 percenter and supporter of the occupation. Jim says he believes that most of his fellow officers feel the same. “We have no problems with what goes on there,” he says.
Jim has stubble, thinning hair, and circles under his eyes. He’s been posted to Occupy Wall Street since Day One, and all the mandatory overtime is wearing him down. “I’m really working hard for this,” he says. “I’m getting yelled at, I’m getting cursed out; I’d rather be at home with my family right now.”“We are in a union as well,” says one NYPD veteran, “and we are not rich.”
And yet he understands that the same group that’s squaring off against him at Zuccotti is fighting for his future. A 10-year NYPD veteran who helped escort people out of the Twin Towers on 9/11, Jim has seen his retirement fund cut in half by a declining stock market, from $40,000 to $20,000. He worries that his kids won’t be able to afford college or find jobs. And he’s frustrated about not being able to talk about it openly. “We’re getting lost in the shuffle,” he says, pointing out that other public-sector unions, unlike his own, have backed OWS. “We are in a union as well, and we are not rich.” (more)
Despite his moves to tighten regulation of the financial sector, President Obama has more Wall Street money in his war chest than all of the Republican hopefuls combined, the Washington Post finds. Obama’s campaign has received $3.9 million in donations from employees of financial firms, compared with $7.5 million for Mitt Romney. But as president, Obama can also include Democratic National Committee donations, which brings his total up to $11.7 million. Rick Perry has received $2 million from financial workers, Jon Huntsman $401,000, Ron Paul $289,000, and Herman Cain only $129,000.
Because donors are allowed to give more money to party committees than to candidates, Obama has raised more cash than Romney even at Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney co-founded. Some 18 donors at the company have given $34,000 to the Romney campaign, but Obama outdid him with $76,600—from just three donors. Reports of widespread disaffection with Obama in the financial sector are “exaggerated and overblown,” says a banker who raises money for Obama, “but it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy.” (source)
We have not come to work within the system. We are not pleading with the Congress for electoral reform. We know electoral politics is a farce. We have found another way to be heard and exercise power. We have no faith in the political system or the two major political parties. And we know the corporate press will not amplify our voices, which is why we have a press of our own. We know the economy serves the oligarchs. We know that to survive this protest, we will have to build non-hierarchical communal systems that care for everyone.
These are goals the power elite cannot comprehend. They cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered.
What the elites fail to realize is that the rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished. It will not stop until the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites, stops. It will not stop until foreclosures and bank repossessions stop. It will not stop until students no longer have to go into massive debt to be educated, and families no longer have to plunge into bankruptcy to pay medical bills. It will not stop until the corporate destruction of the ecosystem stops, and our relationships with each other and the planet are radically reconfigured.
And that is why the elites, and the rotted and degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in serious trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t know what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind. [full story]
There are a lot of people who love to ridicule internet activism, they call it arm chair activism, sofa activism, along with other names. These people have completely missed the point of the last 10 years. The people have taken over the internet, the voice of the people has infiltrated every avenue of the cyber world and it is spilling onto the physical world.
Here are 10 reasons for the effectiveness of Internet Activism:
1)It is extremely cheap, it costs a person nothing to take up activism on the internet.
2)Extremely convenient, people no longer have to choose between their crappy jobs and activism, both can be done, easily.
3)Extremely liquid, ideas and thoughts move at a very rapid pace, which actually destroys the capitalist flow of information.
4)It proves the actual inefficiency of the capitalist system, because all internet activists and bloggers will move to the more honest, coherent, stance of activist socialism. There is no model for activist capitalism, because capitalism is based on pacifying the minds of the people.
5)Internet Activism sucks the life out of the capitalist economy because of its cerebral nature. Internet activism by its nature is extremely mental, it is psychological, the perfect tool to launch a psychological war on capitalism. Also, the fact that activists do not need to drive and consume gas, or go out in the streets and buy things, adds on to the effectiveness of destroying the capitalist economy.
6)Extremely egalitarian, everyone on the internet is one race, one human race, one class. Again, capitalism and its classist model is extremely weak in the face of internet activism.
7)No racism, on the internet racism dies, the anonymity along with the ability to manipulate images and spaces, destroys the racist constructs. Constructs which serve to provide cheap labor and war targets for the capitalist machine. An American blogger with Iraqi blogger friends will have a hard time justifying an invasion and the murder of countless innocents.
8)The organizational potential is infinite and again free.
9)It does not need the financing of the bankers. Internet Activist organization do not need funds, thus do not need to allow bankers and corporate foundations to taint the message.
10)There are no borders, which in my opinion is the greatest advantage of Internet Activism. There are no countries, no borders, which supports and reinforces the internationalist revolutionary goal.
That said, we should still take the streets, we should embark upon the physical struggle. But those who mock internet activism are completely mistaken and they will soon realize the consequences of this mistake. Sun Tzu once said that wars are won before the battle ever starts, in the human mind. The Internet is symbolic of the collective human mind and the people have risen to control it and revolutionize it.
Party Member #4
Anonymous: ***URGENT*** #GOVERNMENTS ORDER #YouTube TO #CENSOR PROTEST VIDEOS: #US, #UK, #EUROPE. Et Al.
requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
The latest example is You Tube’s compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.
Peake was ruling on a case involving Roger Hayes, former member of UKIP, who has refused to pay council tax, both as a protest against the government’s treasonous activities in sacrificing Britain to globalist interests and as a result of Hayes clearly proving that council tax is illegal.
Hayes has embarked on an effort to legally prove that the enforced collection of council tax by government is unlawful because no contract has been agreed between the individual and the state. His argument is based on the sound legal principle that just like the council, Hayes can represent himself as a third party in court and that “Roger Hayes” is a corporation and must be treated as one in the eyes of the law.
The British government doesn’t want this kind of information going viral in the public domain because it is scared stiff of a repeat of the infamous poll tax riots of 1990, a massive tax revolt in the UK that forced the Thatcher government to scrap the poll tax altogether because of mass civil disobedience and refusal to pay.
When viewers in the UK attempt to watch videos of the protest, they are met with the message, “This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request.”
We then click through to learn that, “YouTube occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to remove content from our site, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.”
Thanks to Exposing the Truth :)
by: Fiona James
After 10 days out of town, I finally made it to Occupy Wall Street on Tuesday and had a chance to see for myself what’s going on. My conclusion: almost everything the media told me about the protest is wrong.
Based on my observations, here’s what I consider the Top Ten Myths About Occupy Wall Street.
Myth #1. The Movement Is Violent.
One of the most striking images I witnessed at the demonstration was a young black man holding a sign that read “End NYPD Violence!” in front of a group of police officers.
The officers quickly challenged his accusation. But the young man didn’t leave. Next, the police turned away and ignored him. But he still didn’t leave. Then the officers chuckled and let out an unexpected laugh when they realized the man wasn’t going away. The scene was confrontational, but definitely not violent.
In fact, one of the first things I noticed was a sign posted on a wall that embraced “Kingian Nonviolence,” the peaceful principles that guided Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Myth #2. It’s Just A Bunch Of Pampered Kids.
Although I supported the concept of the Occupy Wall Street movement when I first heard of it, I admit I didn’t think the group had much to offer me. From what I could see in the media, they were well-educated, well-intentioned young white people, but they didn’t really represent me.
I was wrong.
What I found was a wide-ranging group of people from various backgrounds, young and old, male and female, black, white, Latin, Asian and mixed. It was the essence of New York, the reason why I moved to this city 10 years ago.
Myth #3. There Are No Black People Involved.
I was taken aback by how many black and Latino participants I noticed at the demonstration. I hadn’t seen them on the television coverage of the movement, but they were clearly there.
Myth #4. They’re Anti-American.
In my experience, I saw a lot of American flags being waved proudly at the demonstration. The protesters may not all think the same things, but many of them were clearly hoping America would live up to its promise as a land of opportunity where the rules are fair and all are welcome.
Myth #5. They’re Just Modern-Day Hippies.
To watch some of the media coverage of the movement, you would think the protest was filled with long-haired hippies left over from the 1960s. In fact, from my experience, I saw a few people who might fit this description, but I also saw just about every type of person you could imagine at the demonstration.
There were high school-aged kids with their parents, college students in their school sweatshirts, men in business suits, mothers with baby carriages, people with jobs, people who were unemployed, white-haired retirees, African drummers, rhythmic dancers, and one person who appeared to be wearing pajamas.
Myth #6. They Don’t Know What They Want.
I found many different people gathered in Zuccotti Park with many different interests and agendas, but they seem to be unified by one common purpose. They’re tired of a system that seems only to cater to the rich and powerful while ignoring the concerns of the vast majority of Americans.
Myth #7. The Labor Unions Are Behind This.
I saw only one labor union table at the demonstration, but most of the people seemed to have no connection to organized labor. Even if they had, there’s nothing wrong with that. Labor unions are an important part of our country, and while not perfect, they’ve helped throughout history to improve working conditions for millions of Americans.
Myth #8. They’re Pro-Obama. They’re Anti-Obama.
“I don’t have facts to back this up,” Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in an interview recently, “but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration.” That seems unlikely.
Not long after I arrived I found a Hispanic man in a camouflage jacket complaining about Obama to a small crowd of onlookers. “Obama is not the savior,” he cried out. Moments after he finished, a young black man in a sweat jacket stood up to defend Obama to the crowd, acknowledging that the president wasn’t perfect but he was doing the best job he could to clean up the mess he had inherited.
Both sides had their points to make and both were respectfully acknowledged.
Myth #9. They’re In The Wrong Place.
I love to hear conservatives complaining that the protesters should be in Washington instead of Wall Street, as if the conservatives were really concerned about the most effective way for the demonstrators to make their case.
This location-based argument suggests a limiting “either/or” mentality that you can’t be in both places, and also assumes that there’s no reason to be on Wall Street at all.
As Herman Cain said recently, “Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.
But there’s a good reason why Wall Street serves as an ideal venue for the demonstration. Unlike politicians in Washington, who have to answer to voters every few years, corporate executives on Wall Street don’t have to answer to the public, even though their actions have a huge impact on all of us. It seems to me, the protesters picked a reasonable venue to launch their movement. In fact, judging by the row of satellite trucks parked outside the protest, I’d say Wall Street was exactly the right place to draw attention to their cause.
Myth #10. They’re Taking Over Wall Street.
I’ve lived in New York City for 10 years, but I’d never been to Zuccotti Park until the Occupy Wall Street protests took place. I assumed the protesters were camped out at a park somewhere at the end of Wall Street, throwing around garbage and creating a mess.
Once again, I was wrong.
First, the group was clean, neat and orderly when I saw them. The park was actually cleaner than any park I’ve ever seen in New York City. Some demonstrators even walked around with brooms to clean up any mess that might have been left, and signs were posted advising the occupiers to observe a “good neighbor policy.”
Finally, as it turns out, Zuccotti Park isn’t even on Wall Street. It’s a couple blocks away. As you can see from the image below, the only mess on Wall Street came from the police horses standing guard in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
- Follow Keith Boykin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/keithboykin
- Original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith-boykin/occupy-wall-street-media_b_1019707.html
A Moral Focus for Occupy Wall Street
I think it is a good thing that the occupation movement is not making specific policy demands. If it did, the movement would become about those demands. If the demands were not met, the movement would be seen as having failed. […]
Publicize the Public
Tell the truth about The Public, that nobody makes it purely on their own without The Public, that is, without public infrastructure, the justice system, health, education, scientific research, protections of all sorts, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, That is a truth to be told day after day. It is an idea that must take hold in public discourse. It must go beyond what I and others have written about it and beyond what Elizabeth Warren has said in her famous video. The Public is not opposed to The Private. The Public is what makes The Private possible. And it is what makes freedom possible. Wall Street exists only through public support. It has a moral obligation to direct itself to public needs.
All OWS approaches to policy follow from such a moral focus. Here are a handful examples. […]
This movement could be destroyed by negativity, by calls for revenge, by chaos, or by having nothing positive to say. Be positive about all things and state the moral basis of all suggestions. Positive and moral in calling for debt relief. Positive and moral in upholding laws, as they apply to finances. Positive and moral in calling for fairness in acquiring needed revenue. Positive and moral in calling for clean elections. To be effective, your movement must be seen by all of the 99% as positive and moral. To get positive press, you must stress the positive and the moral.
Remember: The Tea Party sees itself as stressing only individual responsibility. The Occupation Movement is stressing both individual and social responsibility.
Way too much to post and don’t want to hog up the main page of the site. Starting here:
The People’s Mike:
The evening meeting of yesterday’s General Assembly in Zuccotti Park opened with a vocabulary lesson—a demonstration of the latest hand and arm signals that the group is developing to use at these meetings. Since the cops shut down the possibility of amplification at the march, the protesters came up with a novel way to get around the ban: the “People’s Microphone.”
The first part of this technique is well known by now—the main speaker (or speakers, for in these militantly non-hierarchical groups, people often speak in pairs) says something, and then the people up front with the loudest voices repeat it as a chant. One or two of the loudest even stand up on the shiny, pink granite park benches and shout the words out to the back rows of the people gathered in circles.
The People’s Microphone might have been forged by necessity, but it’s turned into a brilliant tool, something truly innovative in the political/organizing arena. For it accomplishes two things at once: it forces everyone to edit group public speech down to the essentials (since you must pause between phrases). And because getting your speech heard depends entirely on the good will and lung power of others, it makes it impossible for any single person to hog the “mike”. (And, just in case someone tries, there are special hand signals to “shout” them down)… (more)