Over the last few days, over 2,700 Everest College students woke up to find that someone had paid off their private student debt. This was no act of goodwill by the government, which is currently suing Everest parent Corinthian Colleges for its predatory lending practices. Nor is it a gift from Everest itself, which is expected to shutter its doors and possibly leave 72,000 students out of their time and tuition. Instead, the disappearing student loan debt is the second major piece of financial activism by a group of Occupy Wall street activists.
Unlike the tea party, the Occupy movement hasn't involved itself much in elections. But that hasn't stopped a slew of progressives and political outsiders from capitalizing on the movement's energy. Here's a rundown of 10 electable House and Senate hopefuls who, one way or another, have made Occupy part of their campaigns:
In the months since Occupy Wall Street pitched its first tents last September, one criticism of the movement has been that it does not offer much in the way of solutions. Enter Occupy the SEC, an Occupy offshoot made up of activists and veterans of the financial sector. Instead of taking the public stand of OWS, they re using a different tactic: They ve written a detailed 325-page analysis of the Volcker rule. And, in my view, they ve got it exactly right.
As winter fades, the Occupy Wall Street movement is heating up again. But don't expect the same focus on physical encampments and rowdy protests. While the blood of the 99 percent is still boiling at the injustice of growing inequality, in organizing meetings and workgroups, cooler heads are prevailing. This is Occupy 2.0 - the mainstreaming of momentum.
Occupy the SEC held the march to celebrate the release of its 325-page comment letter to the SEC calling for it to strengthen - and then, more important, enforce - the Volcker Rule, which will go into effect on July 21, 2012. According to Aaron Bornstein, who helped organize the march, Occupy the SEC's comment is about twice the size of the next longest letter, drafted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a financial interest lobbying group.
Policies that boost economic growth don't necessarily accelerate income inequality -- they can actually reduce it, a group of economists from developed nations suggested on Monday. A new report from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recommends that cash-strapped governments choose "win-win" tax and spending reforms that simultaneously spur growth and shrink income disparities.
How does one learn nonviolent resistance? The same way that Martin Luther King Jr. did by study, reading and interrogating seasoned tutors. King would eventually become the person most responsible for advancing and popularizing Gandhi s ideas in the United States, by persuading black Americans to adapt the strategies used against British imperialism in India to their own struggles. Yet he was not the first to bring this knowledge from the subcontinent.
Our Sustainable Profit Sharing Occupy Communities could save your life in event of economic collapse, marshal law, new world order, etc. Occupy Communities are a partial cashless system that take "The 99%" away from consumer slavery by making you a PROPRIETOR of everything within your own Community (home, jobs, businesses, profits, infrastructure, foods, financing, commodities), and includes organic farms, natural springs, rivers, creeks, water falls, wildlife, ocean, resort & business amenities, communications, utilities, medical, dental, etc, and enjoy the added benefit of living peacefully among like minded occupy brethren to brainstorm in paradise, overlooking pristine ocean!
Building on our Transforming Finance initiative and statement of 2010 that finance is part of the global commons and must return to serving not exploiting people, their communities and the Earth, the group reaffirmed their commitments to continue their pioneering reforms. Notably, there was wide agreement on the need for the now-popular financial transaction tax (FTT) which had seemed radical to some in 2010 at our Transforming Finance 1.0
In order for change to happen it is not enough to be against greed or even for stricter government regulation and corporate accountability, you have to have a program, a plan to make this change. And this program has to be well thought out, rooted in a deep understanding of the present system and a high but also practical vision of the changes that have to be made. The whole systems economics paradigm of the Omnius Manifesto is that vision and is a true plan of action to change the system that forms not only our economy, but also our very consciousness.
I empathize with the frustration of the Occupy Wall Street folks, but feel they are slightly misdirected. For one, what needs to be "occupied" is Congress. Did you read how many millionaires are in Congress? Using Newt Gingrich as an example, he couldn t legally become a lobbyist, so he became an "adviser" instead. I understand that was about $2 million worth of advising.
With encampments being closed across the country it is important to remember the end goal is not to occupy public space, it is to end corporate rule. We seek to replace the rule of money with the rule of people. Occupying is a tactic but the grand strategy of the Occupy Movement is to weaken the pillars that hold the corporate-government in place by educating, organizing and mobilizing people into an independent political force.
Elect one man and one woman from each of the 435 congressional districts in March 2012 plus six delegates from Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories. Voting will be online, possibly telephone and at local polling places.
If hermeneutics can become the philosophy of our protesters it is not only because it shares a discredited condition, revolutionary goals or ethical resistance, but also because it suggests that human coexistence is possible without imposed truth, that is, a single global financial system.
If you come into contact with pepper spray, experts say the best thing to do is first, calm down. Then, find some water to rinse your eyes out with. "It's quite painful and the [intense burning] can last a while," said Robert J. Kaminski, an associate professor in the department of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina.
Recently, Alexis Madrigal, the technology editor of The Atlantic and pretty much the smartest young journalist round these parts, re-described occupy Wall Street as an API, or Application Programming Interface. #
esterday, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto threw the book at these people, with 606 felony and gross misdemeanor charges for supervising the "robo-signing" of documents to speed forecloses on Nevada residences. These are mid-level employees for a company called Lender Processing Services, a medium size company with over 8000 employees. But it s not a bank. It s not Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan. So why is this so important? Because LPS is a contractor to banks, and it handled a good chunk of the foreclosures around the country. If your mortgage goes into default, there s a good chance that your servicer would hand over your file to LPS, who would then initiate foreclosure proceedings. That these people are charged with forging paperwork suggests that the foreclosures themselves might not be legal, and that the banks may not actually have originated the mortgages properly. After all, why not just do the paperwork properly if you have the right to foreclose?
Money talks, but not loud enough for the 99%. By circulating dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics, Occupy George informs the public of America's daunting economic disparity one bill at a time. Because money knowledge is power.
No movement should be beholden to a limited set of tactics. The colonial Americans didn't just keep throwing boxes of tea into bodies of water. The civil rights protesters didn't stop at sit-ins and bus boycotts. Similar to the "Move Your Money" campaign calling on the 99% to divest their checking and savings accounts from the top job-killing banks on Wall Street, I think we'll start to see more experimental tactics that draw on mass action and public engagement without necessarily being rooted in outdoor sleepovers.
As the cops and the Sanitation Department dismantled tents and occupied the area, keeping pedestrians out, the Occupy Wall Street media team was issuing a statement that began, You can't evict an idea whose time has come . The statement continued: This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation, and more than any tactic. The 'us' in the movement is far broader than those who are able to participate in physical occupation. The movement is everyone who sends supplies, everyone who talks to their friends and families about the underlying issues, everyone who takes some form of action to get involved in this civic process.
We have fertilized the future with our revolutionary spirit - and a thousand flowers will surely bloom in the coming Spring. But as winter approaches an ominous mood could set in - hope thwarted is in danger of turning sour, patience exhausted becoming anger, militant nonviolence losing its allure. It isn't just the mainstream media that says things could get ugly. What shall we do to keep the magic alive? Here are a couple of emerging ideas:
The recent police raid on Occupy Oakland shows how Web 3.0 technology can make a crowd a smart crowd. The image before shows a large demonstration before the 15 of November police raid. Several hours later the police raided the area and cleared the tents and arrest a number of people. The crowd dispersed but as you can see below via social network technology like Twitter the group can remain in contain, tweeting to each other, using txt messages, streaming and making phone calls.
The term and meaning of a Resource-Based Economy was originated by Jacque Fresco (http://www.thevenusproject.com/). It is a holistic socio-economic system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude (terminating all forms of manipulation and control). All resources become the common heritage of all the Earth s people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative.
First I thought I'd discuss something that is often overlooked in any revolution. What comes next? What happens if the banks fail, if they are not bailed out with your taxes, or if they burn and disappear.
This year s Equity Summit 11 is organized around the notion that racial and economic equity is the best growth model for the increasingly diverse, and increasingly unequal, U.S. I joined a panel on the topic today with HUD Secretary Shawn Donovan, the Harlem Children Zone s Geoffrey Canada, Antonio Gonzalez of the William C. Velasquez Institute and Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California. Pastor shared research showing that both countries as well as American metropolitan areas with the least inequality and gaps between rich and poor are growing faster than those with the starkest gaps.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement spreads to locations across the world, questions arise regarding how long local movements can sustain themselves. With generators confiscated from the New York protesters' camp in Zuccotti Park, this past week, people have immediately looked to alternatives. Influence from Occupy Boston has seeped in and a newly established working group called Sustainability has arisen in response to needs, bringing with it green solutions like bike-powered generators.
Argentina, while defaulting on its debt has pumped money into subsidies and social programs. And while the rest of the world has been circling the drain, financially speaking, Argentina s economy has been booming, with GDP growing last year by more than 9 percent.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is driven, I believe, by the failure of two key societal functions: opportunity and accountability. We should address these imbalances through, among other things, a stronger voice for workers to boost their bargaining power and, in turn, produce a fairer distribution of productivity gains; a higher minimum wage; strong wage subsidies so adults in low-productivity jobs can earn a living wage; direct job-creation measures to put people to work (to help address infrastructure deficit); and a Federal Reserve that gives full weight to the employment side of its mandate.
How to Start a Revolution documents how Gene Sharp's ideas and tactics have inspired and guided democratic activists, notably contained in his book From Dictatorship to Democracy, originally written in 1993 for Burma's freedom movement. The free downloadable book -- which offers 198 steps for overthrowing dictators -- has been translated into over 30 languages.
We asked @CynthiaBoaz, a proponent of Mahatma Gandhi's satyagraha (nonviolent) activism methods, for a set of principles to help guide #OccupyAmerica. She gave us back this series of seven direct messages.
Marxism, or Scientific Socialism, is the name given to the body of ideas first worked out by Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). In their totality, these ideas provide a fully worked-out theoretical basis for the struggle of the working class to attain a higher form of human society--socialism. While the conceptions of Marxism have been subsequently developed and enriched by the historical experience of the working class itself, the fundamental ideas remain unshaken, providing a firm foundation for the Labour Movement today.