Occupy Wall Street - a first hand assessment

246 posts / 0 new
Last post
Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 248
Occupy Wall Street - a first hand assessment

Here is an honest assessment of what's going on with the Occupy Wall Street protest by someone who has been part of it for, it seems, at least several days.  It was forwarded to an email list I monitor by a friend of the writer.  If is assessment is correct, it's important to pay attention to this movement as it could lead to all sorts of big and unpredictable changes - some of them positive and some not (think about the response of those in high places if this movement grows enough to pose a serious threat to the status quo).

Good night all.  I'd love to hear other opinions - especially from folks with first hand experience of what's happening in NY and other protest sites that have sprung up.

Dear Friends

This is a communique intended for you individually.  I have been extremely busy, and have had only time to post to Facebook regularly, but not to further networks.  I hope that this note can be shared more widely.  (so please do your part ;))

first off... if you are in the dark, I highly recommend checking out some videos on these links

http://youtube.com/occupytvny

http://livestream.com/globalrevolution

and then google or youtube search "occupywallstreet"

Where I am... 

As many of you know, I have been part of the group of people occupying a park in the vicinity of wall street.  The Occupation is 13 days in and shows no signs of slowing up, but rather signs of growth. I meet people from all over the place who are new here everyday both from within NYC, but also as far as Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Philadelphia and more.  Moreover, this model of occupation is being replicated in cities all over the country as citizen activists begin occupations in places such as Boston, Sacramento, Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, Portland, OR, SF, St. Louis, Detroit, LA…. and that is just off the top of the heads of people sitting around me right now.

what is happening

In short 'future kulture' is happening.  We have organized a micro city on purely democratic principles in which anyones voice can be heard.  There are two General Assemblies per day and many meetings of separate working groups, some discussing solutions, demands, and tactics on a global and local scale, and others managing operations of our camp.  Working groups include but are not limited to Food, Comfort, Sanitation, Medical, Library, Media Production, Streaming Media, Media Relations, Finance, Direct Action, Security, and many more.  I hesitate to call this a protest.  It is an Assembly and a Call to Action.  Three days ago, I would not have necessarily believed that I would be writing this, feeling the way I do about all of this, or even still here.  This is real. It is growing, and it IS the beginnings of a new, young, social movement that has real potential (and those of you who know my typical cynicism will be surprised by this) to steer our country towards the necessary General Strike of working people, unemployed people,  owning class people, students, and everyone else.

a call to action

I want to personally urge people to come here.  On first reading that, the impression might be that we need more people on the ground here.  That is only partly true.  The camp grows to multiple thousands of people everyday, and more every day. However, that is a small part of why your presence (even for a day) is useful and necessary.  Really, what is going on here is political education of a profound and new kind. Activists and concerned citizens need to witness the model that is happening here in order to replicate and allow the Occupation of the US  to virally grow as quickly as possible.  The virus will mutate.  Occupations will look different as they spread, but to those of you within traveling distance of NYC, please hear me that this is something like I have never experienced and it has changed my life, and I would like to share that experience in a deeper way than posting to Facebook and telling people about it.

who is here

all kinds of people are here, and as I said more and different people every day.  the overwhelming majority at this moment are young people who have never been part of past actions or movement.  That alone is jawdropping to me.  it is not the typical lefty crowds that are found at peace marches etc.  it is those folks too, but it is more far-reaching, and i think that is highly significant.

what to expect

expect to be fed for free as much as you can eat.  expect to witness true democratic decision making.  expect to have genuine conversations about everything that matters to you about the future of our society and planet with fellow occupiers, passersby, and police. expect truly horizontal organizing and decision-making expect participate teach-ins.  expect to lead teach-ins if you so desire. expect to work (join a working group and help with whatever your particular skillet provides).  expect to be slightly overwhelmed at first.  expect to be interviewed by television stations, radio reporters, and writers.  expect to participate in different kinds of peaceful marches.  expect to march in solidarity with unions (CWA, Airline Pilots, Postal workers, etc) expect to meet a LOT of people.  expect the unexpected.

when to come

I have put my life on hold and taken considerable risk personally to come here.  I intend to leave to rejoin my life of employment and local activist responsibility Saturday night.  I urge people to come here on Friday night or Saturday.  If you come Saturday, try to arrive early as marches generally leave at 9am, and activities build from there.  The weekday climax of events tends to be in the after-work hours when thousands of people converge here for a daily General Assembly in which anyone can have the 'peoples mic' (a system of human amplification) that can be witnessed on various youtube videos out there.  I don't know what specifically will be happening on that day, so I can't provide any more details… but I don't think it necessarily matters.  This is ongoing, daily, and is not stopping.  It is building, and in a few months this will be bigger than you or I can imagine.  it's not a promise, but it is an honest prediction…. and I would not have predicted it 4 days ago.

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 248
article mentions Andrew Lynn, writer of first hand account above

Towards the end of this LA Times article.

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
It's Inevitable

The hardships brought on by resource depletion along with the elite jockeying to protect their wealth and stay on top of a shrinking economy(which entails the heavy hand of an expanding national security state) will only strain the social fabric even further in the future. The result will inevitably be even more protest movements such as the one now developing. Before the fall of Mubarak earlier this year, there had been labor protests building every year in Egypt for the past decade. This is all the result of 'neoliberal capitalism', a more virulent form of capitalism:

-- Alternative globalization addressing peoples and earth (AGAPE)

Silence = Death

frobn's picture
frobn
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 28 2010
Posts: 184
The LA Times is feeling left

The LA Times is feeling left out and is attempting to push THEIR own agenda. I get the distinct impression that mainstream media is desperate to get noticed and to pigeon hole the movement in order to slant public opinion to the benefit of their corporate bosses. Good luck with that. Compare the LA article to the above 1st hand account and that of Matt Stoller:

#OccupyWallStreet Is a Church of Dissent, Not a Protest.

Quote:
You can tell this is a somewhat different animal than other politicized gatherings. No one knows what to expect. There are no explicit demands. It’s not very large. And yet, celebrities are heading to Zuccotti Park. Wall Street traders are sneering and angry. The people there are getting press, but aren’t dominated by it. People are there just to be there, because it feels meaningful. The camp is clean and well-organized, and it feels relevant and topical rather than a therapy space for frustrated radicals. Just a block away is the New York Fed, a large, scary, and imposing building with heavy iron doors, video cameras, and a police presence that scream “go away”.
Quote:
The protesters are what you’d expect, a kind of hippie dippie group of students, anti-globalization activists, and antiwar movement actors. There are backrub circles, innumerable pizzas (“the food of revolutions”), but these people do not think of themselves as fringe in any sense. They believe themselves to represent all Americans who are frustrated by politics and finance. Whether or not this is true, what is happening is that there is a belief that their actions matter, that they themselves are moral beings who have dignity and power simply by the very act of self-expression. This is rare in radical activism, most of it is so infused with cynicism that self-marginalization, deadly irony, and mau mau’ing by professional liberals works to persuade protesters to believe themselves a sort of libertarian nihilists. Not so here. There are people wearing tape over their mouths, grandmothers for peace, signs about new death penalty icon Troy Davis, and signs with coherent messages about debt, the Fed, and various wars. Many of the organizers were inspired by Wisconsin and Egypt, by attacks on teachers, by corruption on Wall Street, by money in politics, and are just happy to be out in the streets after a long period of absence of formal protest.
Quote:
Many of the angry establishment liberals are frustrated that this protest has no top-down messaging strategy (this tweet from Dave Roberts of Grist in which he calls the protests “horrific” and “designed to discredit leftie protest” is representative). But these people, who represent the rump of support for Obama, are not part of the conversation here. The conversation is global. And you can sort of tell that this protest really bothers the community on Wall Street, stirring up deep existential questions for the people that work there, many of whom know there is a spectacle going on in the streets below.
frobn's picture
frobn
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 28 2010
Posts: 184
Xray, Thanks for posting the

Xray,

Thanks for posting the Henry Rollins clip. Exercising our freedom of speech is exactly what the protest movement is about.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1560
On Free Speech...

The protests in NYC certainly were a wake up call for me... the NYC white shirt (Mgt/Leadership) cop who pepper sprayed a group of young women who were corralled in a "pen" was the last straw for me.  This is part of a bigger whole... the Supreme court granting the same free speech right to Corporations... etc.  My own response as a suburban NYC resident is to email everyone I know (in suburban NYC) about the incident and indicate that my own form of protest is to keep my own business out of NYC.  I will not be going in for any shows, events, or dinners until the NYPD reins in the brutality against those simply exercising free speech.  To me, this is more fundamental than whether I agree with the protesters or not.  I wrote in to the NYC police civilian complaint board as well to voice my boycott.  

Note:  This is not an indictment against all police officers.. in fact many I think were just as flabbergasted as I at the pepper spray incident.  This is an indictment of NYPD leadership, and the creeping forward of Fascism. 

Warning.. don't watch this video unless you are prepared to get boiling mad... especially if you (like I) have a daughter who is young and idealistic;

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=194965 

jneo's picture
jneo
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 7 2009
Posts: 738
  WOW crazy video

WOW crazy video Jim.

I'm guessing the COP was yelling "Liberal, Unemployed, pot smoking Hippie"  I have been on a few other sites (yahoo news and others) to read peoples reaction.  The ignorance is endless.  The majority of people think this is about poor people complaining and so on, and sticking to their left/right indoctrination programing coupled with their Talking Points and name calling.  Exactly when did the unemployed/laid off make derivative bets that needed bailed out? .....i herd crickets 

These Protest are about TRILLIONS going to Banks who did not earn what they got, fueling this insane derivatives bubble that cannot be funded, fractional reserve banking SCAM and people not being able to find livable wages.  A great Trend Forecaster, Gerald Celente said this would eventually happen, and finally the chaos will be coming to America we see it.  

Hmmm I wonder how much of those trillion in bailouts have a address that in located in the Cayman islands?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3keYZHHj7CM&feature=feedu

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Is JP Morgan Getting a Good Return?

Is JP Morgan Getting a Good Return on $4.6 Million “Gift” to NYC Police? (Like Special Protection from OccupyWallStreet?)

No matter how you look at this development, it does not smell right. From JP Morgan’s website, hat tip Lisa Epstein:

JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.

“These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Dimon said. “We’re incredibly proud to help them build this program and let them know how much we value their hard work.”

Perhaps I remember too much of the scruffy and not exactly safe New York City of the 1980s, where getting your wallet pinched was a pretty regular occurrence. My perception has been that police-related charities have relied overmuch on the never-stated notion that if you didn’t donate, you might not get the speediest response if you needed help. As a mere apartment-dweller, I can’t imagine that anyone could scan incoming 911 calls against a priority list. But the flip side is if I owned a retail store and thought the beat police would keep an extra eye on it if I gave to a police charity, it would seem like an awfully cheap form of insurance.

But what, pray tell, is this about? The JPM money is going directly from the foundation to the NYPD proper, not to, say, cops injured in the course of duty or police widows and orphans. But that is how the NYPD Police Foundation works. From its website:

The New York City Police Foundation, Inc. was established in 1971 by business and civic leaders as an independent, non-profit organization to promote excellence in the NYPD and improve public safety in New York City.

The Police Foundation supports programs designed to help the NYPD keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, strategies and training.

The New York City Police Foundation:

Provides resources that are not readily available through other means – to date over $100 million has been invested in 400+ innovative NYPD programs;

Serves as a vehicle for tax-exempt gifts and grants from individuals, businesses, and philanthropies;

Is the first municipal foundation of its kind in the country, and serves as a model for similar organizations in other cities;

Is the only organization authorized to raise funds on behalf of the NYPD and;

Does not solicit by telephone or use telemarketers.

The Police Foundation works closely with the Police Commissioner to develop a strategic program agenda. The Foundation encourages and supports NYPD programs in two main areas:

Projects, research studies, and equipment to improve the effectiveness of police activities; and

Education, training and skill development to strengthen the partnership between the police and the public.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
OCCUPATION WALL STREET NYPD backs off

OCCUPATION WALL STREET NYPD backs off when they are told "The Whole World is watching "

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 248
Occupy Albany Organizational Meeting

Tonight I attended the organizational meeting of Occupy Albany (New York) with about 150 other people (on 4 days notice).  There were about a dozen folks  who have been at Occupy Wall Street for a few days to as long as 11 days.  It took place outside in a small park in Albany between two busy streets.  The facilitators did an excellent job of allowing many people from the group to express their ideas, make proposals and ultimately reach consensus on several of them.  There was a diversity of political viewpoints represented and a willingness among most to put politics aside in order to address issues that we for the most part agreed on.

It will be interesting to see how much traction this movement gains over the coming weeks.  I suspect that it could grow rapidly, but time will tell.  I have mixed feelings about where this is all going. It is empowering to see people working together efficiently to build consensus and make their best effort to restore some sense of economic and political equality. I am also nervous about what kind of response this could provoke from the powers that be if the movement grows very large.  I wonder just how quickly any semblance of respect for the law, due process, etc. could go out the window.  On the other hand, sitting around and letting the status quo play itself out doesn't sound like a good idea either.  I also wonder how much consciousness of impending resource limitations there is in the group and how much insight people have about how to build a long term strategy in light of these limitations. 

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
steveyoung wrote: ... It

steveyoung wrote:

...

It will be interesting to see how much traction this movement gains over the coming weeks.  I suspect that it could grow rapidly, but time will tell.  I have mixed feelings about where this is all going. It is empowering to see people working together efficiently to build consensus and make their best effort to restore some sense of economic and political equality. I am also nervous about what kind of response this could provoke from the powers that be if the movement grows very large.  I wonder just how quickly any semblance of respect for the law, due process, etc. could go out the window.  On the other hand, sitting around and letting the status quo play itself out doesn't sound like a good idea either.  I also wonder how much consciousness of impending resource limitations there is in the group and how much insight people have about how to build a long term strategy in light of these limitations. 

I'm with you in spirit since I can't be there in person. Growing resource constraints are all the more reason you should continue with what you are doing. Jeremy Grantham is one of the few financial investment advisors I listen to:

Suffice it to say that if we mean to avoid increased starvation and international instability, we will need global ingenuity and generosity on a scale hitherto unheard of.

We need a paradigm shift away from a growth and exploitation based economy to a more cooperative, community-based, and egalitarian model. That's really the only way to avoid chaos and bloodshed in the decades ahead.

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
Advice for the protestors

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 248
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

There might be a few points that are exaggerated, but I find myself agreeing with most of their grievances:

http://nycga.cc/2011/09/30/declaration-of-the-occupation-of-new-york-city/

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Platinum Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 639
Agenda for the protests

Here's an agenda I can endorse and get behind for the protests and occupation:

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=195248

How about you? 

frobn's picture
frobn
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 28 2010
Posts: 184
xraymike79 wrote: We need a

xraymike79 wrote:

We need a paradigm shift away from a growth and exploitation based economy to a more cooperative, community-based, and egalitarian model. That's really the only way to avoid chaos and bloodshed in the decades ahead.

Right, we need a paradigm shift. I have stated it a slightly different than you, we need to put people and nature above goods, in other words in the egalitarian world you speak of our consumer society must be reduced to a minor role and replaced by gifting, coops and the commons taken back from the 1%. I don't think we will be able to avoid chaos in the decades ahead, my hope is that it will be limited.

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 248
Addition to agenda

thc0655 wrote:

Here's an agenda I can endorse and get behind for the protests and occupation:

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=195248

How about you? 

I agree and I would add one more.  Some way to remove the influence of money from politics.  Perhaps public funding of campaigns with no or very limited private donations allowed.  Perhaps something else.  There would also need to be a way to limit money used in lobbying.  I don't know how to make it work, but I believe it's essential.

Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 248
xraymike79 wrote: steveyoung

xraymike79 wrote:

steveyoung wrote:

...

It will be interesting to see how much traction this movement gains over the coming weeks.  I suspect that it could grow rapidly, but time will tell.  I have mixed feelings about where this is all going. It is empowering to see people working together efficiently to build consensus and make their best effort to restore some sense of economic and political equality. I am also nervous about what kind of response this could provoke from the powers that be if the movement grows very large.  I wonder just how quickly any semblance of respect for the law, due process, etc. could go out the window.  On the other hand, sitting around and letting the status quo play itself out doesn't sound like a good idea either.  I also wonder how much consciousness of impending resource limitations there is in the group and how much insight people have about how to build a long term strategy in light of these limitations. 

I'm with you in spirit since I can't be there in person. Growing resource constraints are all the more reason you should continue with what you are doing. Jeremy Grantham is one of the few financial investment advisors I listen to:

Suffice it to say that if we mean to avoid increased starvation and international instability, we will need global ingenuity and generosity on a scale hitherto unheard of.

We need a paradigm shift away from a growth and exploitation based economy to a more cooperative, community-based, and egalitarian model. That's really the only way to avoid chaos and bloodshed in the decades ahead.

Thanks for your support.  I agree this is important work.  I'm also aware of the potential it has to precipitate a strong undemocratic response if it begins to have widespread support and I have some fear around that.  I agree the alternative - doing nothing - is worse because if the consolidation of power continues into the future as it likely will, it will be harder to effect positive change.

jumblies's picture
jumblies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 13 2010
Posts: 244
xraymike79 wrote:

xraymike79 wrote:

This chap not heard of torches? Or porch lights? Or even waiting till daylight to show his decking? *sigh* I gave up after 90 seconds of blurry shadows.

darbikrash's picture
darbikrash
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 573
And here is the requisite

And here is the requisite Fox News response, first responders to subvert the movement into the the enemy and portray the protesters as anti-American....we've seen this movie before.

Hannity Tells Occupy Wall Street Protester ‘You Don’t Believe In Freedom’ | Today on his radio show, conservative host Sean Hannity interviewed an Occupy Wall Street protester named Heather, who attempted to explain the demonstrations through the Fox News host’s repeated interruptions. Hannity barely let her speak, instead taking time to engage in ad hominem attacks, calling her names like “Marxist” and telling her “you don’t believe in liberty, you don’t believe in freedom.” When Heather responded, “I’m definitely a person who takes things upon myself,” Hannity protested, starting to say, “no you don’t,” before telling her she wants to destroy America. Listen to the exchange:

Link to audio

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
jumblies wrote: This chap

jumblies wrote:

This chap not heard of torches? Or porch lights? Or even waiting till daylight to show his decking? *sigh* I gave up after 90 seconds of blurry shadows.

Those thoughts ran through my mind as well, but if you'll wait for what he has to say about the banks, that's the redeeming value.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Platinum Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 639
xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
darbikrash wrote: And here

darbikrash wrote:

And here is the requisite Fox News response, first responders to subvert the movement into the the enemy and portray the protesters as anti-American....we've seen this movie before.

Hannity Tells Occupy Wall Street Protester ‘You Don’t Believe In Freedom’ | Today on his radio show, conservative host Sean Hannity interviewed an Occupy Wall Street protester named Heather, who attempted to explain the demonstrations through the Fox News host’s repeated interruptions. Hannity barely let her speak, instead taking time to engage in ad hominem attacks, calling her names like “Marxist” and telling her “you don’t believe in liberty, you don’t believe in freedom.” When Heather responded, “I’m definitely a person who takes things upon myself,” Hannity protested, starting to say, “no you don’t,” before telling her she wants to destroy America. Listen to the exchange:

Link to audio

Freedom for whom? For corporations to game the system, ship jobs overseas, cut benefits, avoid taxation through offshore tax havens, funnel more profits to the upper echelon? Yes, they don't want to continue the freedom of the banks and corporations to continue farming America and the world like one big serf plantation guided by a bought-and-paid-for bureaucracy and under the surveillance and enforcement of a security/police state.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1844
Marine Vets Joining OccupyWallStreet

From the Reddit community, a discussion on OccupyWallStreet:

Calling All Military Veterans Of Reddit. We Took An Oath To Protect The People And The Constitution of the United States of America. Meet me on Wall St.
"I'm heading up there tonight in my dress blues. So far, 15 of my fellow marine buddies are meeting me there, also in Uniform."
http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/kwtjl/calling_all_military_vet...

One of the comments on that page:

"Former Marine here. What you are doing is right, but it is also possibly illegal. While I love the idea of a group of Marines, in uniform, backing down the NYPD thugs, I don't want to see you guys get in trouble.

"Having said that, I believe the country is in dire straits and it needs 'illegal' actions to combat our domestic threats; the same threats all Marines swore to fight against.

"If you guys do get pounced on by the NYPD, be smart. Take the hits. Even if you can win the fight, LOSE IT. Video clips of NYPD beating on U.S. service men will go worldwide viral in about 30 minutes."

Poet

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Anti-Wall Street Protests Spreading

Anti-Wall Street Protests Spreading to Cities Large and Small

A lloose-knit populist campaign that started on Wall Street three weeks ago has spread to dozens of cities across the country, with protesters camped out in Los Angeles near City Hall, assembled before the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago and marching through downtown Boston to rally against corporate greed, unemployment and the role of financial institutions in the economic crisis.

 

Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Anti-Wall Street protesters gathered Monday outside the courthouse in Los Angeles where Michael Jackson's doctor is on trial, hoping to maximize their media coverage.


Connect With Us on Twitter

Follow @NYTimesNational for breaking news and headlines.

 

With little organization and a reliance on Facebook, Twitter and Google groups to share methods, the Occupy Wall Street campaign, as the prototype in New York is called, has clearly tapped into a deep vein of anger, experts in social movements said, bringing longtime crusaders against globalization and professional anarchists together with younger people frustrated by poor job prospects.

“Rants based on discontents are the first stage of any movement,” said Michael Kazin, a professor of history at Georgetown University. But he said it was unclear if the current protests would lead to a lasting movement, which would require the newly unleashed passions to be channeled into institutions and shaped into political goals.

Publicity surrounding the recent arrests of hundreds in New York, near Wall Street and on the Brooklyn Bridge, has only energized the campaign. This week, new rallies and in some cases urban encampments are planned for cities as disparate as Memphis, Tenn.; Hilo, Hawaii; Minneapolis; Baltimore; and McAllen, Tex., according to Occupy Together, an unofficial hub for the protests that lists dozens of coming demonstrations, including some in Europe and Japan.

In the nation’s capital, an Occupy D.C. movement began on Saturday, with plans to join forces on Thursday with a similar anticorporate and antiwar group, October 2011, for an encampment in a park near the White House.

About 100 mostly younger people, down from 400 over the weekend, were camped outside Los Angeles City Hall on Monday morning. Several dozen tents occupied the lawn along with a free-food station and a media center. People sat on blankets playing the guitar or bongo drums or meditating. Next to a “Food Not Bombs” sign, was another that read “Food Not Banks.”

At the donations table, Elise Whitaker, 21, a freelance script editor and film director, said the protesters were united in their desire for “a more equal economy.”

“I believe that I am not represented by the big interest groups and the big money corporations, which have increasing control of our money and our politics,” she said, adding that she was not against capitalism per se.

Javier Rodriguez, 24, a former student at Pasadena City College, held a sign that read “Down with the World Bank” in Spanish, and said he was anti-capitalist.

“The monetary system is not working,” he said. “The banks are here to steal from us. Everybody is in debt whether it’s medical bills or school or loans. People are getting fed up with it.”

In Chicago on Monday morning, about a dozen people outside the Federal Reserve Bank sat on the ground or lay in sleeping bags, surrounded by protest signs and hampers filled with donated food and blankets. The demonstrators, who have been in Chicago since Sept. 24, said they had collected so much food that they started giving the surplus to homeless people.

Each evening, the number of protesters swells as people come from school or work, and the group marches to Michigan Avenue.

“We all have different ideas about what this means, stopping corporate greed,” said Paul Bucklaw, 45. “For me, it’s about the banks.”

Sean Richards, 21, a junior studying environmental health at Illinois State University in Normal, said he dropped out of college on Friday and took a train to Chicago to demonstrate against oil companies.

He said he would continue sleeping on the street for “as long as it takes.”

Strategists on the left said they were buoyed by the outpouring of energy and hoped it would contribute to a newly powerful progressive movement. Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, in Washington, noted that the Wall Street demonstrations followed protests in Wisconsin this year over efforts to suppress public employee unions and numerous rallies on economic and employment issues.

The new protesters have shown a remarkable commitment and have stayed nonviolent in the face of aggressive actions by the New York police, he said. “I think that as a result they really touched a chord among activists across the country.”

But if the movement is to have lasting impact, it will have to develop leaders and clear demands, said Nina Eliasoph, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California.

With the country in such deep economic distress, almost everyone is forced to think about economics and politics, giving the new protests a “major emotional resonance,” she said.

“So there is a tension between this emotionally powerful movement,” she said, “and the emptiness of the message itself so far.”

Ashley Southall contributed reporting from Washington, Ian Lovett from Los Angeles and Steven Yaccino from Chicago.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
From Occupy to Withdraw

From Occupy to Withdraw: The Simple Plan to Let Wall Street Be Its Own Undoing

October 2, 2011

[snip]

What is needed is a simple plan that resonates with nearly all the People, regardless of political stripe.  And no matter what one's background, nearly everyone is united in abject disgust at the reckless greed of Banksters run amok and its deleterious effects on the United States' economy, political process, and national sovereignty.  Fortunately for the People, the very system of greed the Banksters established will be their own undoing.

 

While we have discussed the intricacies of the fractional reserve banking system elsewhere, all that must be understood here is that for each $10 deposited in a bank, only $1 is kept on reserve and $9 are lent out at interest in the form of loans to other people.  The bank is statistically confident that not everyone will arrive on the same day to withdraw their money, so they can keep this house of cards standing, making money hand over fist all along the way.  And typically speaking, the People will not come and withdraw their money all at once.  But we are now in atypical times, and a fervent, impassioned movement can turn mere shouts of protest into the seeds of watershed change.

The Withdrawal Plan:

  1. Each and every member of #Occupy commits to opening an account and depositing $100 at Bank of America (Bank #1 of 6).
  2. $90 of each deposit is quickly lent away by the bank.
  3. #OccupyWallStreet participants focus on spreading this one message; to current B of A customers, to newcomers, to Tea Partiers, to all who would listen and participate, over the next several months.
  4. On an undetermined day in the future, the call goes out: "Withdraw from Wall Street" (suggestion for the one to make "the call" is Max Keiser and/or Alex Jones).
  5. All participants immediately return to Bank of America, withdraw their $100, and close their accounts.
  6. Bank of America, overwhelmed by the sheer number of withdrawals, will not have enough money in reserve to cover all of them and will shut down, on the verge of collapse.  Other B of A depositors will not be injured by the run, as their money is insured by the FDIC.
  7. B of A will ask for bailouts, ultimately turning to the Federal Reserve to backstop them through money printing.
  8. The sham of the circus that is central banking will be thrown wide open into the teeth of a now VERY angry public, and any type of bailout of B of A may simply prove politically untenable.
  9. The first of the six mega-banks will fall, the sham of central and fractional reserve banking will be thoroughly exposed, and a public growing in awareness will remove their deposits from any Wall Street bank, in favor of local banks and credit unions which help their local communities.
  10. The Wall Street system will implode under the weight of its own greed, and the fraud which is the Federal Reserve will at last be undone, approximately 100 years after its creation.

From Protest to Action "It Has Never Been Easier"

As we have stated elsewhere, despite the disenfranchisement of the People in a political system almost completely given over to corruption, the power of the People is perhaps greater than at any time since the Revolution.  In the Information Age, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and the ability to communicate this knowledge into actionable steps en masse is more powerful than ever.  We, the People, can simply "vote" through our everyday choices, whether that be what news outlets we listen to or which banking institutions we choose to patronize.

Want to take down the corrupt banking system which has lead to the serfdom of the masses?

Don't occupy Wall Street. Withdraw from it.

frobn's picture
frobn
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 28 2010
Posts: 184
Declaration: Occupy Wall Street Says What It Wants

Declaration: Occupy Wall Street Says What It Wants

Finally a fair and mostly accurate article from mainstream media (ABC).

Quote:
Warren compares Occupy Wall St., at this stage of its life, to the nascent Tea Party, when protesters were seeking a vehicle through which to express frustration with the Obama administration....

What's different here? "The Tea Party seemed to be a movement of older Americans, more conservative, whiter," he says. OWS protesters "are younger, more diverse." They've got a sense of humor and they play better music. Some protesters Monday dressed as zombies so that financial workers could "see us reflecting the metaphor of their actions," according to OWS spokesman Patrick Bruner.

Quote:
There are almost as many grievances as there are protesters. "We're tired, we're mad, and we're standing up," protester Hero Vincent today told ABC News. He complains that the movement is "degraded" by the news media for not having a limited and well thought out set of goals. "Our constitution took a year to make," he says. " We've been here for three weeks, and we're supposed to have an agenda? That makes no sense."
Quote:
Professor Yochai Benkler, co-director of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, calls Occupy Wall Street still very much a movement in the making. "One of the beautiful things about it," he says, "is that it is a movement defining itself as it 'becomes.'"
Quote:
If there is a single, clear theme, it's this: Occupy Wall Street says it represents the interests of 99 percent of the American people, against the 1 percent it says controls 50 percent of the wealth.
Quote:
Scott says news organizations have been wrong to describe the movement as being made up of hippies and peace activists. "That's not representative of all of us involved. We have students and young people, and the unemployed. But we also have families and the self-employed, who can make their own hours. It's broader than anarchists and hippies." Scott says news organizations have been wrong to describe the movement as being made up of hippies and peace activists. "That's not representative of all of us involved. We have students and young people, and the unemployed. But we also have families and the self-employed, who can make their own hours. It's broader than anarchists and hippies."
frobn's picture
frobn
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 28 2010
Posts: 184
On Wall Street, a Protest

On Wall Street, a Protest Matures

Quote:
Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times. From the best paid reporter at the NYT and lapdog to bankers. Notice the repeated and obvious effort to make the protestors seems potentially dangerous. source...
Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1844
It Only Takes 20 Minutes To Shift The Blame

Yep...

Poet

Saffron's picture
Saffron
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 29 2009
Posts: 247
on that note ...

Poet, your keen observation got me thinking that since the protestors are being well-behaved and starting to garner sympathy and attention (at least that is the feeling I get ... that despite the number of arrests, people are seeing this might just be a movement that takes hold) that the way it might be squelched is for them to be infiltrated by "others" who are not peaceful and start causing trouble. Right now it is costing the city in terms of police time, and costing Wall Street in terms of negative attention ... but there hasn't really been a good excuse to round up groups of people and start trying to harass them - hence "allowing" them onto the bridge only to then arrest them for impeding traffic. Even the wording the NYT used ... "a *tense* showdown!?" Really? Reserve the word tense for when lives are at stake ... this was more of an annoyance that was built up out of proportion so they could haul a good number of people off to jail, hoping to deflate them and get them to move on. 

All it would take to really mess things up is to bring in a bunch of hooligans carrying similar signs and chanting similar phrases ... with instructions to start looting. 

~ s

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments