Tag Archive: Occupy Wall Street

Nov 05 2017

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 2016

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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Nov 05 2013

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 2013

#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 26 2013

Chris Hedges: Moving Forward

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

Jun 12 2013

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

America is a wonderful place where everyone is caring, competent, conscientious and above average.

America’s law enforcement agencies have never gotten the wrong guy.

A mistaken identity arrest occurs almost every day, said policing experts and officials at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

America’s courts have never convicted the wrong person, and certainly no innocent person has ever gone to jail in America.

Freddie Peacock of Rochester, New York, was convicted of rape in 1976. Last week he became the 250th person to be exonerated by DNA testing since 1989. According to a new report by the Innocence Project, those 250 prisoners served 3,160 years between them; 17 spent time on death row. Remarkably, 67 percent of them were convicted after 2000-a decade after the onset of modern DNA testing. The glaring question here is, How many more are there?

 

Why, our American anti-terrorist infrastructure is virtually infallible in choosing whom to single out for investigation and actions which challenge their rights to participate in our society.

The meeting had all the hallmarks of an ordinary Congressional hearing. There was Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, discussing the problems faced by ordinary citizens mistakenly placed on terrorist watch lists. Then, to the astonishment of the crowd attending a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Kennedy offered himself up as Exhibit A.

Between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States, his aides and government officials said.

Instead of acknowledging the craggy-faced, silver-haired septuagenarian as the Congressional leader whose face has flashed across the nation’s television sets for decades, the airline agents acted as if they had stumbled across a fanatic who might blow up an American airplane. Mr. Kennedy said they refused to give him his ticket.

“He said, ‘We can’t give it to you,’ ” Mr. Kennedy said, describing an encounter with an airline agent to the rapt audience. ” ‘You can’t buy a ticket to go on the airline to Boston.’ I said, ‘Well, why not?’ He said, ‘We can’t tell you.’ “

Individuals working for law enforcement have never abused their authority and knowingly sought to obtain punishment or leverage over another person for political reasons.

Hoping to prove the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was under the influence of Communists, the FBI kept the civil rights leader under constant surveillance.

The agency’s hidden tape recorders turned up almost nothing about communism.

But they did reveal embarrassing details about King’s sex life — details the FBI was able to use against him.

The almost fanatical zeal with which the FBI pursued King is disclosed in tens of thousands of FBI memos from the 1960s. …

When King learned he would be the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the FBI decided to take its harassment of King one step further, sending him an insulting and threatening note anonymously. A draft was found in the FBI files years later. In it the FBI wrote, “You are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that.” The letter went on to say, “The American public … will know you for what you are — an evil, abnormal beast,” and “Satan could not do more.”

The letter’s threat was ominous, if not specific: “King you are done.” Some have theorized the intent of the letter was to drive King to commit suicide in order to avoid personal embarrassment. “King, there is only one thing left for you to do,” the letter concluded. “You know what it is … You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”

Individuals working for law enforcement have never abused their access to digital materials for any reason.

Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia. …

“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.

She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and “collected on” as they called their offices or homes in the United States. …

Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.

“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out.

America has never prosecuted Americans under the Espionage Act for political reasons.

The impassioned speeches of labor organizer, Socialist leader and five-time presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs were nothing short of evangelical in tone and effect. (He once called socialism “merely Christianity in action.”) Debs inspired groups large and small, and his remarkable charisma is what most concerned the powers that were. …

According to historian Ernest Freeberg, it was precisely Debs’ virtuosity that forced America to grapple with the limits of dissent. In 1918, Debs was convicted under the recently minted Espionage Act for questioning America’s entry into World War I. …

“People should go ahead and obey the law, keep their mouths shut, and let the government run the war.” Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. dismissed criticism of the court’s unanimous ruling against Debs as “a lot of jaw about free speech.”

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Average American citizens have never been targeted inappropriately by the government using authorities intended to combat terrorism

Documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal new details of Pentagon surveillance of Americans opposed to the Iraq war, including Quakers and student groups. The documents show that the Pentagon was keeping tabs on non-violent protesters by collecting information and storing it in a military anti-terrorism database.

President Obama’s got your back.

President Obama would never allow average American citizens going about their business of participating in American politics to be targeted as terrorist enemies.  

A Department of Homeland Security division produced daily briefings on “peaceful activist demonstrations” during the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests, documents released Tuesday revealed.

The 252 pages of documents were obtained in a March 14 letter from DHS by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which in November 2011 launched a campaign to unearth public records that would show whether the federal government was spying on Occupy Wall Street. FBI records obtained by the group in December showed that the bureau investigated Occupy as a potential “domestic terrorism” threat.

“Taken together, the two sets of documents paint a disturbing picture of federal law enforcement agencies using their vast power in a systematic effort to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said in a statement. “The federal agencies’ actions were not because Occupy represented a ‘terrorist threat’ or a ‘criminal threat,’ but rather because it posed a significant grassroots political challenge to the status quo.”

May 20 2013

Barack Obama, Occupy Wall Street and Martin Luther King’s Mission and Legacy

Barack Obama is the largest governmental obstacle to the continuation and completion of Martin Luther King’s mission.

Bill Moyers had an excellent conversation with James Cone and Taylor Branch about what could be called, “MLK’s unfinished business;” Moyers called it, “James Cone and Taylor Branch on MLK’s Fight for Economic Equality.”  I recommend checking out the whole conversation, which starts out this way:

You may think you know about Martin Luther King, Jr., but there is much about the man and his message we have conveniently forgotten. He was a prophet, like Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah of old, calling kings and plutocrats to account, speaking truth to power.

Yet, he was only 39 when he was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th, 1968. The March on Washington in ’63 and the March from Selma to Montgomery in ’65 were behind him. So were the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In the last year of his life, as he moved toward Memphis and fate, he announced what he called the Poor People’s Campaign, a “multi-racial army” that would come to Washington, build an encampment and demand from Congress an “Economic Bill of Rights” for all Americans – black, white, or brown. He had long known that the fight for racial equality could not be separated from the need or economic equity – fairness for all, including working people and the poor. That’s why he was in Memphis, marching with sanitation workers on strike for a living wage when he was killed.

Popular notions of Martin Luther King’s work celebrate his mission as one that was fundamentally about racial justice.  Moyers and his guests point out that this conventional wisdom seriously understates the scope and scale of King’s vision and mission. King’s mission was not only to advance the interests of African-Americans but to demand and implement a culture of social and economic justice.

Mar 20 2013

Don’t Pretend You Care About These Issues When Defending the President

This is an older piece of mine that appeared on Daily Kos on Thursday December 29, 2011.

 

It's an important one because it destroys the argument you hear from some Obama supporters hoping to deflect the inhumane treatment of whistle blower Bradley Manning. They say that since African Americans in our prison system suffer torture and injustice in our prison industrial complex, then that means what is happening to Bradley Manning is not really an issue. Of course what they don't mention is that yes, African Americans have been and are indeed suffering atrocities in our prison industrial complex, yet they don't want to talk about President Obama continuing this trend and even making it worse even hiring a for profit private prison lobbyists in his Justice Department where some of the worst offenses happen making him involved in the state issue and federal issue.

 

You can see the failed deflections in the comments of that diary and how the truth about this really hit a nerve with some people, whether they claim to be a fake Marxist in a past life making their support of the PIC and neoliberalism OK now under Obama or not. The facts show that they don't really care about these issues when hoping to shield Obama from them in the case of Bradley Manning.

Part of the reason the Occupy movement exists and are out in the streets is because of the massive failures of this Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. This can’t be denied. However, because it can’t be denied there are certain implications going around in their defense by those who are in denial about this. They imply that what’s going on with Bradley Manning’s confinement and his sham of a trial doesn’t truly matter.

They imply Occupy protesters getting beaten, sprayed, and handcuffed until they get nerve damage doesn’t matter because of the fact that African Americans and Latinos have been feeling the brunt of police brutality and a corrupt racist justice system for years. It is very true that African Americans and Latinos have felt the brunt of a corrupt racist justice system for years.

However, these injustices still matter regardless, because as MLK said, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and that still holds true today. The issues the Occupy movement are fighting for affect all races, especially on income inequality and economic justice. That is an acknowledged fact that can’t be denied.

The people of Occupy Wall Street are protesting our country’s growing inequality–and nowhere is this inequality more acutely felt than the makeup of our prison population.

Recently at a city council meeting in my home of Jersey City, a 46-year-old formerly incarcerated man told the council, as reported in the Jersey City Independent: “I’ve served 16 years in prison. I came home three years ago and tried everything possible you can do. I got my high school diploma and a driver’s license…The job system failed me.”

When I went to Occupy Wall Street, my friend carried a sign that read: “Troy Davis would still be alive if he had been rich and white.” We had attended a protest earlier that month, when Davis was still alive, where signs and demonstrators proclaimed, “We are Troy Davis.”

We are Troy Davis. We are the 99 percent.

Nov 19 2012

Striking Out Debt

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%.

Aug 23 2012

When the Next Crash Comes Remember Which Side You Were On and Learn

Cross posted at our new beta site Voices on the Square and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Yes, another crash is coming. I can’t predict precisely when as that would be a fool’s errand, but much closer than you think. It will probably be after our President is reelected and will care very little what you or I think once he and his treasury push for criminal TBTF banks to bailed out once again. Doctor Doom: the nickname for economist Nouriel Roubini: one of the relatively few outside the mainstream(part of the Got It Right (pdf) project) who predicted the last crash thinks 2013 is a perfect storm for another one which will be even worse and it makes sense.

Despite on theoretical fiscal policy limits with regard to the US, Roubini is absolutely right on the political deadlock with the coming crisis. We wasted our last crisis and that’s something Conservatives have not done whether we’re talking about the stagflation crisis of the 70s or 9/11. There won’t be as many political options this time to prop up the underlying economy in 2013 because Democrats have failed to change the Senate rules because most of them secretly like the way things work or don’t work in Washington. Sadly, if Republicans take over both houses again, they will change the Senate rules as they threatening to do in 2005 and 2006.

Anyway some might still want to scoff at Roubini’s prediction, but that will come back to bite them in the ass. Not even Roubini can predict the exact moment it will happen, but if one knows anything about the history of financial crashes, since the 80s when the 1933 banking reforms passed by FDR started slowly being dismantled, they started happening once again in a 5-7 year time-frame(and even closer than that if you count global stock crashes which count now more than ever since our markets turned dark with OTC derivatives and Information Asymmetry all around); some worse than others as the 2008 bust was on par with 1929 but you get the idea.

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