Free and independent journalism is under attack. From violent police suppression to corporate media censorship, the need to create and defend movement-based journalism has never been greater - especially as we prepare for May Day and beyond
Callng mass transit a genuine civil rights issue, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), which represents transit workers across the nation, joined with the Occupy Movement, community organizations and transit riders to demand a revitalization of our transit systems. Citing such problems as "older vehicles, deferred maintenance and longer wait times for overcrowded buses and trains," the ATU was also critical of service cuts and higher fares which have hit working class riders the hardest.
"Banks and financial services firms have now shifted their focus from liquidity and financial performance to customer satisfaction and their own employees," said Scott Tangney, an executive at Makovsky. "The Occupy Wall Street Movement has indicated to firms where they need to be focusing."
The Sovereign People's Movement, represented nationally through the people occupying the various Liberty Square locations across this great country, have laid out and democratically submitted and are currently voting on the list of following Demands to then be distilled into one Unified Common demand of the people.
The Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) has been evolving over the last few months and I have been observing them with great interest. They began as a seemingly ragtag group of demonstrators but have grown into a very influential movement. OWS has demonstrably raised awareness regarding the growing wealth disparities and corporate malfeasance within the United States and the world. Their commitment to this cause in the face of inclement winter weather, a paucity of amenities, and the growing police crackdowns around the country has been nothing short of inspirational. I myself have wished that I could support them in person on Wall Street. After all, I worked there for 27 years before falling victim to the financial chicanery which took place in those institutions.
The latest off-shoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement - Occupy the SEC - has submitted a 325-page comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission that calls on regulators to resist the financial industry's lobbying efforts to water down the Volcker Rule, a section in the Dodd--Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, that aims to prevent large banks from making certain kinds of risky, speculative investments.
The Rev. Harold Mayberry stood before his First African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation Sunday morning in Oakland and outlined how it was time for members to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Nationally, many African American leaders have acknowledged a disconnect between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the larger black community.
Bernard Hyland, a software analyst and progressive activist from the Los Angeles area, attends Occupy LA on November 19, 2011 - eleven days before police forcibly expel protestors from their encampment on the City Hall lawn, arresting 290 people in the process. Hyland shares his thoughts on how the Occupy movement could leverage its power with elected officials to reform the existing system, even as it seeks to make deeper, more revolutionary changes to the economic and political order.
Some say that we don t have a single unifying message but this is only because they don't fully understand what is going on. In fact, we are all trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together and we are even more hopeful because now more of us are uniting and sharing what we know. We are awakening to the shocking realization that central banks owned by private individuals and large corporations actually control the money supply. As unbelievable as it is, many of our governments do not directly control their own money supplies, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, and are therefore not fully in control of the country. Instead, a group of privately-owned central banks and their anonymous owners control it all. Although research shows that many central banks insist on the importance of being independent of government control, it should be noted that throughout the history of central banks, the issue of who directly controls the currency has been hotly debated, especially in the United States. We are ready for change and this requires transparency, and by more than a group of people whose institutions are driven by the financial gain of its relatively small group of owners. The system created in a previous century that is controlled by the few is clearly not working for the many.
On December 19, Occupy Harvard will launch the next phase of its occupation, with a focus on moving beyond physical occupation to occupying the hearts and minds of those beyond the university s walls. "Occupy Harvard 2.0 will focus on education, activism, and strengthening the connections between Harvard's Occupy outpost and the world outside our university's gates," said Maggie Gram, a doctoral student in English. It is our hope that with this action, Harvard administration will respond by returning access to the Yard to the larger community it belongs to.
A handful of activists went to Obama's nondescript office in a downtown strip mall after larger rallies to mark the three-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York. They had hoped to read a statement demanding Obama cut military spending by half and "dismantle our U.S. military empire ... so we can create jobs, balance the budget, meet our peoples' needs here and help the human community to heal our dying planet."
I asked members of Occupy Wall Street to talk about fixing our broken system and their vision for the country. What follows is my interview with Lex Rendon, Ryan Hoffman and Jesse LaGreca, three founding members of OWS who demonstrate a profound understanding of history, government, and the mechanisms for creating a democratic society.
The monopoly of power by means of violent force must be eliminated immediately and nonviolently - on all fronts. We will not fail. We cannot fail. We must not fail. We demand freedom immediately and the only one who can answer that demand is of course yourself, not an imagined X percent who will ignore your signs, your chanting, your tents and your signed petitions. You were brainwashed into giving your freedom away. You didn't know better. I didn't know better. But now that we have looked behind the curtain we simply no longer have any more excuses. You can decide right now to wake up and take your power back. What the so-called 1 Percent is doing has nothing to do with me. Together we will Occupy.
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
I would like to submit a request for a different kind of care package, if you don t mind. I would like it, very much, if the American people would do more than camp out in a park, burning effigies of bankers. I would appreciate it if you would please vote in the next election, whether it be presidential, congressional, state, or municipal. I would like you to actually sit down and Google the candidates, and pick the ones that advocate what you advocate. I would like you to sit down with your kids at night and teach them not only how to read the Constitution, but how to understand it.
President Barack Obama s spokesman is suggesting the president believes it s up to New York and other municipalities to decide how much force to use in dealing with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Spokesman Jay Carney also says Obama hopes the right balance can be reached between protecting freedom of assembly and speech with the need to uphold order and safeguard public health and safety.
The Supreme Court and the political elites have forced you and me into another of those when-in-the-course-of-human-events moments that Jefferson wrote about in the Declaration of Independence. This is a time in which ordinary people are called forth by history to do what our leaders won t: Assert the American people s independence from authoritarian rule by corporate plutocrats.
The disconnect between Congress and the people is vast. For decades, Congress has been passing laws that benefit the 1%, their campaign donors and big business interests, rather than creating a fair economy that serves all U.S. citizens. With this report Occupy Washington, DC shows that Congress is out of touch with evidence-based solutions, supported by the majority of Americans that can revive the economy, reduce the deficit and wealth divide while create millions of jobs.
A group of NYC high school activists called The Resistance from The DreamYard A.C.T.I.O.N Project in the Bronx showed up at the People's University teach-in in Washington Sq. Park today. These young people were a big hit at Occupy DOE on the steps of Tweed last week.
As thousands are in the streets demanding Wall Street accountability, high-ranking officials in the Obama administration are actively pushing state Attorneys General to cut a terrible deal in the next few weeks with mortgage firms that lets these giant institutions off the hook for what appears to be widespread mortgage and foreclosure fraud. President Obama needs to step in and put a stop to this.
The #Occupy movement has frequently been accused, in media coverage, of not having a clearly articulated demand for the outcome of the protests. These posters were designed by participants at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City. They are in the public domain. You are welcome to print them out and post them in your own location. You're also invited to make your own.
The hope and ambition of the Occupy movement has reminded us that we need to remake financial and economic systems so that they serve people and the planet, not the other way around. We are challenged to consider ways in which we can not only resist market fundamentalism, but help create new models that promote prosperity, social equity and environmental sustainability.
Occupy London protesters outside St Paul's have put demands to the City of London Corporation which, if accepted, may prompt them to leave the cathedral area. The camp already planned to move further back on Friday to avoid impeding Remembrance Sunday commemorations, but now conceivably might leave entirely at the weekend
The current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country. America needs to reduce the power of major banks and corporations and demand greater accountability and transparency. The government should not provide financial aid to corporations and should not provide tax breaks to the rich.
Occupy Wall Street could be occupying your television this weekend. Supporters chipped in more than $6,000 to a crowdfunding campaign that will put a video of protesters explaining their objectives in the commercial lineup of cable television channels.
Get rid of all Left/Right arguments for now. Even if you believe deeply in them. The people united can never be defeated. Do not engage in left/right based discussion. It is a distraction. Focus on getting money out of politics and returning equal voice to the people. That means equal voice for all those that have become disenfranchised. The tea party, OWS, and Everyone who doesn't have a lobbyist. This is largely the goal required by the people of both sides of the spectrum. The only one who is standing in our collective way are the 1% who want to see us fighting each other so they can get back to doing whatever they want.
On Saturday, a Connecticut branch of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement took their protest to GE CEO Jeff Immelt s front lawn. Now, an Atlanta affiliate is targeting two even higher-profile members of the 1%: America s richest brothers, Charles and David Koch.
The mainstream media won't say this, or acknowledge it, but OWS is evolving a serious list of demands. Good ones; demands that will give answers and explanations and will lead to conclusions. Dave DeGraw and Bill Black are brilliant and eloquent. This is a demand that will scare the shit out of TPTB.
1. Prohibit Corporations and Unions From Financing Political Campaigns by Amending The Constitution - 2. Enforce Anti-Trust Laws against Oligopolies and Monopolies! - 3. Bring Our Deficit Under Control and amend tax code!
Occupy Wall Street has already won, perhaps not the victory most of its participants want, but a momentous victory nonetheless. It has already altered our political debate, changed the agenda, shifted the discussion in newspapers, on cable TV, and even around the water cooler. And that is wonderful.
Sure, bank executives may work a lot harder than you and me or a mother of three doing checkout at a grocery store. Maybe the bankers work ten times harder. Maybe even a hundred times harder. But they re compensated a thousand times more.
Most of us actually think the deck is stacked these days against entrepreneurs and that it was done so by bipartisan coalitions. Most of us do think the deck is stacked against the little guy. It is not, however, that the top 1% stacked the deck against the rest of us. It is that the government, in its expansion of the nanny-state, drove up costs to everyone and only the rich had the capital to overcome it.
OWS is not the Brookings Institution. But its implicit grievances are plain enough: the mass pain of mass unemployment, underemployment, and economic insecurity; the corrupting, pervasive political influence of big money; the outrageous, rapidly growing inequality of wealth and income; the impunity of the financial-industry scammers whose greed and fraud precipitated the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; a broken political system hobbled by a Republican right willing and usually able to block any measures, however timid and partial, that might relieve the suffering.
The time is rapidly approaching when the movement is going to have to offer concrete solutions to the problems posed by Wall Street. To do that, it will need a short but powerful list of demands. There are thousands one could make, but I'd suggest focusing on five:
The lobbyists for U.S. health insurers surely have to be feeling a little uneasy knowing that thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who have been marching and protesting in Washington as well as New York and other cities might target them in the days ahead.
The corporate media has recently criticized the #OccupyWallStreet movement for not articulating specific demands. Here are my Top 3, please respond to this video with YOUR TOP 3 DEMANDS or leave in the comments
The message - and the solutions - should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.
October is OPT OUT Month! Stop Military Recruiters from having easy access to our children!!! Help leaflet local high schools to inform students and their parents of their right to OPT OUT of giving their private information to military recruiters.
Industrial Era Capitalism was great for the PAST and it worked in that context; however, today we are obliged to build a system for the NEXT 50, 100, 200 years; bringing to bear the best of our collective intelligence, quantitative rigor, and intuitive forecasting capabilities, moving forward. For more than 50 years America's best and brightest have called for unconditional #BasicIncome. It's time to join them. Here's why
"My biggest fear was that the Obama presidency was was going to lead this generation of young people into political cynicism and political apathy," Klein says. "But instead, they are going to where the power is. They are realizing the change is not coming in Washington because politicians are so controlled by corporate interest, and that that is the fundamental crisis in this country."
"I want the bankers who screwed this up to be prosecuted," he explained. "Did you know -- this generation is the first one that'll be less educated than its parents? Now, why is that? We're cutting everything. We've made it too expensive. $30,000 for school and you can't find a job." So he wanted tax hikes? "When Eisenhower was in there, the top tax rate was 91 percent. Bob Hope was the richest man in America, and he made a $1 million, paid taxes on 75 percent. And that was so bad?"
We all know, or at least sense, that the world is upside down: we act as if there is no end to what is actually finite - fossil fuels and the atmospheric space to absorb their emissions. And we act as if there are strict and immovable limits to what is actually bountiful - the financial resources to build the kind of society we need. The task of our time is to turn this around: to challenge this false scarcity. To insist that we can afford to build a decent, inclusive society - while at the same time, respect the real limits to what the earth can take.
We wouldn't be on Wall Street if we didn't already have an implicitly unifying message: We hold the banks, the millionaires, and the political elite they control, responsible for the exploitation and oppression we face -- from capitalism, racism and authoritarianism to imperialism, patriarchy and environmental degradation. We have a diversity of grievances, complaints, demands, principles, and visions, but it is clear that we have planted ourselves in the financial capital of the world because we see it as one of the most deeply entrenched roots of the various systems of oppression we face every day. The clue is in the title: Occupy Wall Street.
Occupy Wall Street is still a nascent, amorphous protest movement without a specific policy agenda. But in the movement s DC offshoot, one target has begun to come into focus: the outsized role of corporate money in politics.
As the Occupy Wall Street protest enters its third straight week in New York and continues spreading all across the country, what is abundantly clear is that "the other 99%" - as opposed to the super-wealthy 1% who've been coddled for decades under the failed economic premise that cutting their taxes and providing them with countless tax shelters, loopholes and other breaks will "trickle down" to the masses - are simply fed up with the status quo. So they are doing the one thing within their power to make their voices heard.
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
#Occupywallstreet will come up with a list of demands for the congress of the united states - these demands will be presented to congress - if congress doen't pass these demands within 3 days of sumission we will block the entrance to congress with non-violent action to force negotiations
BELOW THIS BRIEF INTRODUCTION is a numbered "LIST OF PROPOSED DEMANDS" we would make in DC. These would not be empty demands. They would be made in the context of engaging in non-violent direct action / peaceful non-resistance, proven tactics that produce real results.
Today, the America I see is more corrupt than I have ever seen in my entire life. I am ashamed of this country, angry, because our current political order mocks the phrase "we the people".
Alright. You have a bunch of guys and gals who make very good money and get great health insurance and pensions and perks are able to publish books and go on television and parlay connections into making even more money and then we ask them to vote and put the people first and not their own jobs. Right. That's going to happen. Not in this I got mine economy.