Monthly Archives: September, 2011

“Communist-Trained” Obama’s “Massive” “Conspiracy”: Extremist NRA Goes Over The Edge | Media Matters for America

President Obama, when will you get it through your ivy league educated head that these people hate you and will never be appeased, no matter how far you slide towards them and away from your base and your values.  It is the great tragedy of the modern Democratic Party that it seems to crave the approval of those who despise its basic tenants and despise those who support them.

NRA President Wayne LaPierre:

LaPIERRE: “[I]n public, [President Obama will] remind us that he’s put off calls from his party to renew the old Clinton [assault weapons] gun ban, he hasn’t pushed for new gun control laws, and he’ll even say he looked the other way when Congress passed a couple of minor pro-gun bills by huge majorities. The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the Second Amendment.”

via “Communist-Trained” Obama’s “Massive” “Conspiracy”: Extremist NRA Goes Over The Edge | Media Matters for America.

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/pl55.swf

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What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

I was gonna write this article, but Glenn kinda beat me to it.

Cheers, SP

“I’m beginning to wonder whether the right to assemble is effectively dead in the US. No one who is a wage slave (which is the overwhelming majority of the population) can afford to have an arrest record, even a misdemeanor, in this age of short job tenures and rising use of background checks.”

via What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests? – Wall Street – Salon.com.

Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control

…and then there’s this.

“The experts say the newly developed hack could change voting results while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.”

via Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control – 2012 Elections – Salon.com.

SP

Real power is always expressed obliquely.

This is how it works.  You don’t need Bull Connor and his police dogs and fire hoses to suppress the vote, you just make it incrementally harder and harder for poor people to exercise their rights.  This isn’t about withholding the franchise from every poor or black or young person, it’s about the ruling class putting their thumb on the scale just a little bit every time… just enough in a country where half the population is already so disheartened or distracte or bored or fed up with the lack of choices to vote. It only takes a few percentage points here and there and an angry, resentful, self-pitying minority can retain power.

Just remember, real power is always expressed obliquely. SP

Few ask for rides to get voter ID – Local / Metro – TheState.com.

#Occupy Wall Street -What you said!

Our outrage has an ethical source and our solutions must be ethically rooted. ~Quote from activist at #Occupy Wall Street, worthy of Ghandi (from Jack Johnson)

Here are a few posts, comments, conversations and personal experiences about #OccupyWallStreet from around my Facebook this week. Thanks to all!
This post updated from here.

(Peter Tosh, posted by Gabriele Kreichgauer)

A Few Notes on the Occupation of Wall Street or…The resistance continues at Liberty Plaza, with free pizza 😉
by Jack Johnson on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 1:45am

It’s hard not to think of Henry Miller’s Cosmo-Demonic Telegraph agency traipsing through the Bowery just before the break of dawn. The sounds of China Town waking from its slumbers, delivery trucks plying their way down Canal street, wailing and clanking with brake squeals and engines trembling in morning fog…. it’s  like the sound of  Charon delivering souls to Hades through the land of the dead. Or almost.

I’m looking for a place called Zuccotti park which is reputed to have live souls. In fact, the place has been rechristened Liberty park by its newest residents, a disparate band of activists, anarchists, socialists and general do gooders who have spent the last two days here, protesting Wall Street’s and America’s sleepy compliance with a Capitalist system that they argue is sorely in need of radical reform. They call themselves ‘Occupy Wall Street’  and outside of their exceptional demands—not just one, but many, which we’ll get to—they don’t look so out of the ordinary for a downtown New York City park, around the corner from Washington Square and Soho. In fact, not unsurprisingly, most of the folks here hail from the New York area; but not all. Some come from surprisingly far distances. Belgium. Italy. Spain. California. Austria. They’re from all sorts of demographics as well. In fact, I’d wager they are a better representation of America than our congress: black, white, Asian, Indian, male, female, gay, straight, young, old, businessmen, students. For awhile, I even marched with an ex-Wall Street trader. All share a single desire to do something about the toxic mix of  Wall Street money and American politics.

“I’m 22 and I’ve got over 25,000 dollars of students loans and no job prospects. My life has ended before it’s even begun in this system.” He stands next to a sign that reads: “Do you feel the trickle down?”

“My mom and dad lost their house and we’ve been living with grandma—it’s six of us in a two bedroom one bathroom house.” She wears ear muffs in the shape of a bear to keep warm on the cold concrete of the park where the activists sleep. Beside her a sign reads: “End Corporate Personhood.”

But for every hard luck story—and there were many—equal numbers camped here out of a desire to effect change, to make a stand in history, a demarcation, the beginning of the end.

“This system – what we’re doing now–is not sustainable”

“If we don’t start the change, who will. If not us, who? If not now, when?”

They talk about throwing their bodies into the machinery of finance. They talk about Tahrir square. They talk about finally making a difference. Demands are as concrete as re-enact Glass Steagall, a law that stiffly regulated exotic financial products, or as simple as ‘forgive student loans’ or ‘get money out of politics’….

The owner of the Zuccotti property has given permission for the activists to stay there so long as they keep it clean.  And so they do. They sleep on cardboard and thin blankets, some have sleeping bags but not all and it’s going to become increasingly necessary. Breakfast is served from a center table which is a re-engineered park bench for the purpose of serving up the food donated from local pizzerias and vendors. (For those interested in contributing to their food supply, check out this link: https://www.wepay.com/donate/99275) They hold general assemblies of various breakout committees where actions and demands are determined. Since the city cut their electrical power, they’ve developed a kind of call and response to make sure everyone stays informed of group decisions. When I arrived, a committee leader was standing in the early morning cold and talking about the coming march. “Okay everyone listen  up!”

And his words were dutifully repeated so that everyone in the area could hear what he was saying…”Okay everyone listen up!”

“We’re going to hear reports from our media committee. Would the media committee please come forward.“

There’s a media committee, a medical committee, a street theater committee, a food committee (https://www.wepay.com/donate/99275). Each committee works by consensus with its members which make recommendations to the general assembly which, in turn, is a consensus decision making body. The information is transmitted and– despite the elaborate –and sometimes hilarious– moments involved with all the repetition– the information is conveyed. These people are sincere as a heart attack, and well organized too. In fact, an activist from Spain suggested that their organization was well in advance of anything their Spanish counterparts had.

Although  estimates as high as 20,000 ranged for their numbers during the initial Saturday occupation, these have since dwindled to about 350 or fewer. The weather will turn colder and the NYPD—already edgy—will surely take out their frustrations sooner rather than later. Four protestors were arrested today on what are frivolous grounds (one was arrested for wearing a V for Vendetta mask ON TOP of her head)…but, for the time, there seems to be a grudging set of guidelines to ensure peaceful protests. While marching, if the protestors continue to move so that people ultimately can get to work –albeit getting an earful along the way– the NYPD  has promised not to make arrests. Barricades have been set up all around Wall Street so that protestors and workers are herded like cattle through the canyon maze of Wall Street, past Trinity church and George Washington’s statue that stands at the front steps of the Federal Building, overlooking it all. …More later.

And then more people started to comment, report their experiences, ask questions and share updated information.

Stephanie Rodriguez: They only call it class warfare when we fight back. #takewallstreet #occupywallstreet
People get on board! Please share!!! They are doing this for all of us!!

Mike Harrell: At the Wall St. protest today. Maybe a couple of thousand people. Day 5 of camping in Zucotti Park for many of them. They are young, and informed (and tired) but many seem intent on staying with it. Typically there is a morning march to the Stock Exchange, which inconveniences the Wall St. workers arriving for work, and a second march at the end of the day when the traders are going home. Throughout the day are “general assemblies” at which speakers must speak without amplification, due, I presume, to noise and permit issues. Consequently the crowd repeats in unison what is being said in a kind of call and response that I associate with church. The mood is calm, peaceful, and steadfast. There are “committees” for food, sanitation, medical care, legal assistance, and the media. I don’t know what will come of it, but I’m happy to see there are people among us who think the time has come for action.

Scott Price: I assume none of this will make the news since the protesters are not old and white and dressed in cut-rate colonial outfits and sporting signs with pictures of the president with a bone through his nose… Oh and funded by secretive billionaires… The revolution may not be televised, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be on!

Beca Fulcher: Once again Corporate Media, at the behest of our Corporatist Government, has blocked all coverage on this protest against Wall Street.

Bill Altice: We’ll do the reporting — share it and pass it along.

Sportscar Workshops: Oh come on, there is nobody protesting up there or we would have seen it on the news. The news papers would have printed much about it, if it was true. And those Photoshop pictures you sent, well, it just couldn’t be true. We have a free press, brought to us by K street.

Harry Kollatz Jr.: Protests are good to wrap commercials around provided that they are happening in other countries among people we’re not sure whose side we should be on. The reporting makes one thing clear: one man’s protestor is another man’s dirty hippie freak who doesn’t deserve coverage, except for scorn. If it was Tea Partiers out there, damn right there’d be wall-to-wall coverage.
The gyrations on Wall Street serve as our economic daytime serial with its dramatic mood swings making for good television. Meanwhile, converging on the Manhattan financial district are people actually affected by layoffs and rising costs. They’re demanding another way of doing things. Peaceful protests don’t make for good television unless the camera can pan back to show an ocean of faces, or, if it all suddenly goes bad.

Jack Johnson: Marginalization is easy. Just squint and sneer. But what gives me faith–at least in the short term–these young people are sincere. And they’re practicing passive resistance, which is not easy in the face of some of the ugly intimidation coming from the NYPD. They had some real weight lifters out there they other day-(-must be their special ‘punch hippies’ shock troops.) But these activists handled it well, shouting, yes, but no violence, no return of blows even as they were being punched (and they were punched often and unjustly). The media has to become us, however. Because I’m convinced the major networks are afraid of coverage because it will increase protests, fire the flames if you will….You’ll like this–I actually interviewed a CNN reporter who was in the march with me–young girl in her 20s. She refused to answer my questions. Didn’t say why she was there, why there was no coverage. Nothing. She wasn’t taking notes. She was just walking with the crowd keeping her head down.The only reason I knew she was with CNN –I saw her press tags. My assumption is she was a scout, keeping the newsroom filled in without having to do actual reportage. She didn’t look especially happy.

Mike Harrell: I think any claim that the protest is not to be taken seriously is refuted by the enormous police presence at the site. The powers that be know the potential–they’ve seen it unleashed lately in the Mideast and North Africa. Mayor Bloomberg warned of unrest a week or so ago.

John Marshall: The right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution includes the right to protest. It is bad enough that people’s economic freedom is under assault, it is inexcusable, dangerous and Un-American that their right to protest is also under attack. If the press is going to shirk its responsibility to cover Occupy Wall Street, then citizens will do what they’ve been doing – covering it anyway. What does it say about a country when the press and the police are afraid of the very people they are sworn to protect?
Yesterday, my wife was coming out of a movie theater and found herself in the middle of screaming protesters, many of them young women, who had just been maced by the police. She was able to capture much of what was going on with her iPhone, in still pictures and video. The clip speaks for itself.

Kevin Zeese: They are all leaders. They are stepping forward in the pre-history stage. A year from now as these types of protests grow we will look back and recognize their leadership more clearly.

Mugsy Lunsford: I kept thinking of the similarity to the classic Greek Chorus as I watched the live stream. I have had serious concerns about this country in the past, (I spent the night we invaded Iraq glued to the TV, screaming NO and crying, because I always believed we were the ones who protected people against aggressive invaders, yet there we were, invading a country that had not attacked us) but have never been this completely disheartened before. I’m torn between concern for those protestors and pride in their perseverance. Wish I had money, time, or clout and could help in some way, but I’m way down at the bottom of the 99%.

Leslie Joy Little: Maybe part of the problem is that no one working on Wall Street is affected by the protest. They weren’t elected, and thus are not worried about re-election, so what do they care if the majority of Americans think they and the whole system are messed up? They’re doing very well, and I doubt they went into the world of high fiance because they wanted to improve the lives of average Americans. The change has to come from our elected officials, who make the laws – and bailouts – that allow Wall Street to run this country.

Jack Johnson: Interesting point. I agree the change has to come from Washington DC ultimately, but the focus of the protest is, of course, symbolic. In one of the most densely populated sectors of one of the most densely populated cities of the world, 2000+ protestors have been camping out for 6 days directly interfering with Wall Street traders ability to get to work and ‘do their job’….such as it is. Yet the coverage approaches a complete freeze out? The problem is the media at this point. Their pulling the same nonsense with the tar sands protest in DC. It will be international media that ultimately reveals how utterly supine our media is, or, how utterly unimaginative and caught in an internal loop of their own so called editorial priorities without any real connection to the world that exists outside of their 8th floor offices.

Melody Ann Cartwright: And conservatives label the media “liberal!” Ha. Then I guess, thar goes dat LIBERAL media again! Aaack!

Tim Sullivan: Just listened to a call in show on NPR. When a caller asked why there was no coverage of the protest on wall street, none of the guest would answer. Instead they talked about their extensive coverage of wall street since 2008. One panelist did mention in an off hand way of “some folks protesting”.

Mugsy Lunsford: if nothing else good comes from #occupywallstreet but “the people’s mic,” that will at least be an advancement for civil society and basic human communication, despite its ancient echoes.

Stephen Wilson: I like all of this. The NY Times published a mocking piece about this – how dare these uncouth hippies.

Mike Harrell: What Ms. Bellafante’s piece ignores is the real mistrust of Wall St. that is present, not only in these “shiftless hippies,” but also across much of the rest of the country.

Jack Johnson: –I just read that piece: Ginia Bellafante wrote it; really a masterpiece of snarky put down. No mention of the committees, the general assembly, the people’s microphone, the hours and hours of discussion on the corruption of Wall Street money influencing politicians. I spent a day interviewing folks there– The topics of discussion ranged from re-enacting Glass-Steagall to Reagan’s reprehensible Tax Reform Act of 1986. One lady had done a paper on it and we sat there and discussed such ‘soft’ information as the implication of the top tax rate being lowered by nearly 23% from 50% to 28% while the bottom rate was raised by only 4% from 11% to 15%. I talked with a marching Wall Street Trader who very cheerfully described the cynical attitude with which his comrades would view the protests–“They’ll probably try to figure out a way to make money on it. Some kind of short…” With him talking to a small crowd of ‘ignorant protestors’ there was a lively discussion on the need to firewall insurance products from financial products and why a credit default swap is such an egregiously bad idea. These protestors knew far, far more about the financial system than your average ‘middle class’ American (what’s left of them), probably more than most members of the tea party coalition elected to our House and, I’d wager, more than Ginia Bellafante who has somehow managed to file a report almost completely devoid of reporting.

Beth Stanford Tubb: Yup. I seriously value the info gotten from my friends and community more than anything I see on TV, etc. It reminds me of how, in the Little House books, Laura Ingall’s dad would go hang out on the front porch of the General Store to exchange info and ideas.

Jay Tubb: I think people should come before profits. Fight the Power. “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” – Thomas Jefferson

Patrick M Arthur: Just got back from the Occupation tonight…crowds were bigger than the night before and were joined by another group rallying against Troy Davis’ execution. Two arrests and some injuries but the movement remained peaceful and strong. We aren’t going anywhere!

Mike Harrell: Yeah, the numbers are hard to estimate–people go away to shower and take a break, and then they come back, so the crowd ebbs and flows. Today there were several women protesting topless, which undoubtedly increased the crowd, though not necessarily for the right reasons. Friday, “Critical Mass,” the bike advocacy group, rides, so it will be interesting to see if some energy is derived from that. I’m impressed by the participants efforts to promote non-violence, and to react appropriately when arrests are being made (there were a couple when I was there).

Jack Johnson: Yep, more old farts would help — and it wouldn’t hurt to get a high profile politician to speak positively of this ‘Democracy in action.’ One thing, which Mike noted and I saw too was the organized fashion with which they have arranged themselves, committees flowing into a general assembly etc… Using consensus decision making throughout. In a real sense, and not just a slogan, this is what Democracy looks like.

(Here’s one of my favorites.)
Nonamer: the thing is
i’m serious.
http://www.ecouterre.com/need-space-portable-home-is-a-skirt-that-transforms-into-a-tent/

And last, but not to be missed:

Patrick M Arthur: Occupation We Can Believe In

Standing in the center of Liberty Plaza feels like surfing the pulse of a rising American moment. In this place, halfway between where Washington gave his first Inaugural address to a new and uncertain nation and where the Twin Towers once stood and fell on a single day, there is an overwhelming sense of purpose. A primal national charge runs beneath this ground, coursing from below the thick Manhattan bedrock and jumping to the rhythm of the drumbeats lined up along Broadway. At any minute, facing any direction, you can close your eyes and hear the orgasmic howls of a new Democracy in the throes of wild conception, proud voices of passion and conviction not heard from American masses in over forty years. Being in the middle of the frenzy can get you lost in an endless cascade of emotion–exuberance, frustration, defiance, empathy, confusion, patriotism–but as you absorb the chaos, you begin to understand the drive, to see the beginnings of a sustainable movement and finally must start to wonder. Is this what it was like to be in Philadelphia all those years ago, witnessing another small group of passionate radicals boldly voice ideas that might very quickly grow to revolutionize a tyrannical world?

The Occupation began on September 17, twenty-eleven with thousands marching on Wall Street in what many called a ‘Day of Rage’. Inspired by mass uprisings in cities such as Madrid, Cairo and Madison, protesters came because our own political and economic systems have corrupted themselves beyond repair, marginalizing the people’s voice and stealing back the prosperity created by the hands of Americans’ hard labor. Judging by the reality at ground level, the United States in our hearts has become an unrecognizable mess. A ‘superpower’ where seventy million live without sustainable means, where the largest impoverished group is comprised of children, where more citizens are needlessly incarcerated than anywhere else in the free world and all at a time when there can no longer be any doubt that our public servants willfully abandoned the 99% long ago for far more profitable employers. Despite all the justification in the world, there is actually little rage to be found here at Liberty Plaza and there is an astonishing lack of fear from a movement resiliently aware that it is staring blindly into the unforgiving gaze of world history. Over a week later, any apprehension or anger haunting the frigid night air has long been exorcized by the brazen unity of purpose.

Some people believe that we are here to bring down the crooked politico-economic paradigm that feeds on the willing consent to be swallowed by it, but the truth is well known, that this old idea will soon collapse under its own obscene mass, hyper-inflated with the worst kind deadly greed. What the Occupy movement is actually working to achieve is a principled state of humane solidarity, an evolved Democracy for a new millennium of enlightened thought, an alternate social haven where no one must live in fear of the imminent corporate black hole suddenly consuming everything they have left.

The Occupation has dug in and it is growing, here in New York City and in major cities across the continent. It began one historic day in September and will continue to flower until the time finally arrives when such dissent is unnecessary. With every new voice heard crying out from lower Manhattan, that time moves closer. In every new dawn breaking over the skyline, true hope shines brighter and with every waking breath our communal voice, the music of humanities’ strongest force, grows even more powerful than the night before. We humans have no control over our Fate, the circumstances surrounding our births and deaths, but we do wield incredible power over our own Destiny—the times and places we choose to make our lives worthwhile and the accomplishments that others will remember after our wakes have passed. Use this vibrant American moment to shape your own destiny, come witness the Occupation from the very center of Liberty Plaza, contribute your considerable voice and experience for yourself what it feels like when the world truly begins to change.

11 Things You Can Do to Help the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement

DCKennedy

Occupy Wall Street with or without MSM – Days 4/5

Updated from here.

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence, or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. ~Martin Luther King Jr. delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

Whatever Occupy Wall Street is, it is full of people willing to work hard and suffer at downright insulting odds, to try create something better for people. There is pizza. They have blankets. The medic appears promptly when someone twists an ankle. Looking up from the plaza one sees only vast towers of wealth; looking round about one sees a struggle. Maybe they are having fun. Maybe it’s misery. Probably it’s both. Whatever it is, it exists where it did not before, which is always a marvel. ~Joel Chaffee, Common Dreams, Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some of you may know Kevin Zeese, above, as a Facebook friend. He’s a devoted activist for change in America, discussing in the video our plight with the media and plugging an upcoming event, October2011.org, a non-violent, anti-war occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 6, 2011.

Building on what we already have in place, not waiting for the media to announce, “Coming soon to a protest near you!” seems like a smart move toward hastening solidarity. But fizzled efforts and false starts aside, the movement to change what’s ailing us is underway and it’s not going to stop just because the media ignores it. Whiners, complainers and activists alike – we can all do something to help energize those marching on Wall Street today.

And though it’s been a tough day or two, they’re still there and doing the best they can with no thanks to good ole American coverage. I find it terribly disturbing that the reporting and articles not slanted to demean protest efforts are coming from international sources and bloggers. Even Rachel Maddow didn’t cover Occupy Wall Street. Her guest, Michael Moore, brought it up quite incidentally while commenting on his new book.

Daily Kos had a thing or two to say about it yesterday, though:

And what could possibly be more embarrassingly unsavvy than taking seriously the ambitions of a band of granola-eating missed-the-60s dirty bleeping hippie wannabes — crazy enough to think that they can change the world.

And so actually changing the world is something that only happens halfway around the world, in places like Cairo.

It can’t happen here.

Maybe some editors somewhere can put down their slice of Ray’s Pizza for a minute and think about the news brownout in lower Manhattan in the context of Tahrir Square, and what are the big-picture things that are really important in America in 2011. Like deep unrest over the wrong track this nation is headed down.  Maybe one or two of those newsroom chiefs will be ashamed at how it’s played out so far, but I kind of doubt it.

“The space was not surrendered.
To the Party of Wall Street: see that light at the end of the tunnel? It’s a train.

And that, my friends, is what democracy looks like.

The video below shows the kind of coverage that I think turns people away from critical issues. There’s no encouragement to it. Both sides are talking, but it’s just a time-slot partisan argument indirectly promoting division.

Aside from the fact that the protesters on Wall Street are persevering, there is some other good news. “Samuel Cohen, a civil rights lawyer with the firm Wylie Law, offered pro bono assistance to the activists stating, “Our top priority is in being sure this is allowed to continue. What these people are doing really is the essence of the First Amendment.”
That alone is a good reason to get involved:

One setback that happened yesterday – for whatever reason – is that Yahoo admittedly blocked transmission of all emails relating to “OccupyWallSt”, a hash tag for communicating protest information. Later in the day they said it was an accident, and that it would take some time to get it straight. Not being able to anticipate and adjust their spam filters by day 4 in a situation like this reflects some technological incompetence at best, if in fact that’s what happened.

There’s also been a bigger dose of the NYPD for the protesters to contend with lately – some arrests, some injuries, and what seems like a lot of harassment. If they haven’t had a chance to get their second wind, some may not stay the night or come back tomorrow. But somehow, even in their calls for reinforcement, they seem to be getting more determined. I hope that’s the case. And I hope they’re feeling some justified satisfaction.

Outside in the cold Tuesday morning, the demonstrators continued their fourth day of the protest with a march amidst a heavy police presence and the ringing of an opening bell at 9:30 a.m. for a “people’s exchange,” just as the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange is rung. While the bankers remained secure in their bailed-out banks, outside, the police began arresting protesters. In a just world, with a just economy, we have to wonder, who would be out in the cold? Who would be getting arrested? ~Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now!

And yet … here’s how the protests and our first amendment right to peaceably assemble are being framed by neoliberals: “American radicals are planning hundreds of simultaneous violent uprisings to topple our system of capitalism … I’m talking about anti-capitalist terrorists in our own country.” ~Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

An Invitation for the Weekend from OccupyWallStreet: Come take the square with us at Liberty Plaza.

DCKennedy

Update – Wall Street protest

Updating from here. New update here.

September 17, 2011, The crowd seems peaceful, diverse, and informed.
A side note: On September 17, 1787, forty-two of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day, to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.

The protesting seems to have been an overall good experience so far. It’s peaceful and all accounts, other than in the MSM, agree that the protesters are intelligent and deeply concerned about our government. “Like many of the protestors, Laxon expressed strong disappointment with President Obama, but said the Republican presidential field was even more demoralizing. “They’re a social psych experiment.”

Yesterday, comedian Roseanne Barr made an appearance to support and thank the protesters and call for a government with basic compassion.

The good news is, they are still on the job today. The livestream is here, but with numbers varying between 3,000 and 5,000 viewers, audio and video have been going on and off. The feed at the bottom of it is reporting that picketers have gone through the light barricades that the NYPD put in place identifying “an inadequate amount of space” allowed for use by protesters. Those bottlenecks were said to be responsible for several arrests.

An officer reaching for a man who was later arrested on charges of jumping a police barrier and resisting arrest at the protests in the financial district Monday morning. (Robert Stolarik/The New York Times)

Media reports have called this movement “Marxist,” “Guerrilla” … Indeed, it is quite apparent, that these protestors love their country and stand united against … cronyism economics. It is clear that everyone was there as part of a movement that is simply You Vs. Wall Street. Chants of “Occupy Wall Street,” and “Banks get bailed out, we get sold out” were chanted as hundreds of people paraded by the NYPD …”

People protesting the economic system flood financial district behind cramped barricades as office workers head to work on September 19, 2011 in New York City.

The “sentiment is likely global in scope. Tourists strolled through the park throughout the day yesterday, inquiring about the demonstration. Many agreed with the protesters’ message.”

“The financial industry has messed up not only their own country,” said Miriam Dervan, visiting New York City from Ireland, “but also ours and the rest of the world.”

“Food and supplies have been donated from supporters across the country and around the globe. Liberato’s Pizza, located a few blocks from the park occupied by protesters, reported yesterday that their phones had been ringing off the hook. People had been calling in from all over the world placing orders for pizza to be sent to the park encampment.”

It also seems like the protesters are a pretty good mix of Americans. “There are many young people in their 20’s and 30’s, but there are also a fair number of baby boomers and veteran activists. There are students, professionals, workers, and unemployed among them. In the crowd, one can find disillusioned Democrats, Ron Paul Republicans, third-party and Independent political activists, anarchists and members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, among others.”

Hacker collective Anonymous has released a fresh statement and live video feed explaining and chronicling its involvement:

(If you are not too familiar with Anonymous, start here, and hang on to your hat.)

Together we can defend ourselves so that our privacy is not overrun by profiteering gluttons. Your hat can be white, gray or black, your skin and race are not important. If you’re aware of the corruption, expose it now, in the name of Anti-Security. ~Anonymous

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said, “As long as they do it where other people’s rights are respected, this is the place where people can speak their minds, and that’s what makes New York, New York.” Then, in typical corporatist, security-state style, he had the police partition “Wall Street’s pedestrian walkway throughout the weekend, preventing the protesters from gaining a toehold there.”

The problem with that, as many see it, is the city sidewalks belong to the people – you, me and protesters, not Wall Street or any other protected entity in our government’s favor. You do not need a permit to occupy or peaceably assemble on public sidewalks. According to a 2000 federal court ruling, the use of “public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression” is allowed on public sidewalks in New York City as long as you do not block pedestrians or doorway entrances and exits. See METROPOLITAN COUNCIL, INC., Plaintiff, -against- HOWARD SAFIR, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, et al., June 12, 2000 [99 F. Supp. 2d 438; 2000 U.S. Dist.]

I am delighted by the protesters and the action they’re taking. It’s serious business for obvious reasons and I hope they have energy and stamina, good luck and good weather. It’s our right and obligation to protest wrongful actions by our government, and they are “taking the bull by the horns” – setting a good example for Americans young and old.
Their way has been paved and they’ve earned our support.

Kent State, May 4, 1970

DCKennedy

Protesting Wall Street – Is there a fire in your belly?

(Update here.)

Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky…. Hope is an ax you break down doors with in an emergency.~ Rebecca Solnit

3:15 AM 9/18/2011, Protesters put out requests online for logistical support, including the delivery of a mobile generator to charge their cell phones, and to coordinate efforts to reinforce with goods they will need to remain on the scene.

3:45 AM Police have blocked off the area and are not letting new protesters join the crowd already on the scene; protesters on the scene urging more people to join them tonight, tomorrow, or as soon as possible.

Yesterday, some Americans and others around the world began a well planned effort to protest our governments’ ills by occupying the Wall Street area in New York City among other locations. Whether it is the first of many, or the only effort needed by the people – how successful they will be depends largely on those who join, support and share information about the progress and deterrents of their noble peaceful efforts.

“Even though estimates have varied from hundreds to as many as 50,000 – protesters flooded into Manhattan and others cities to take part in events around the country to, “nonviolently disrupt the disloyal, incompetent, and corrupt special interests which have usurped our nation’s civil and military power, spawning a host of threats to our liberty, lives and national security,” the three cable news networks have devoted no airtime to the story.”

As anticipated as the news blackout may have been by the planners of the movements, it is still disconcerting – or should be, to realize that the Wall Street “news” in the Wall Street segments of our mass media sources in America yesterday excluded all news of the protesting.

This morning, the coverage is scant, but will improve as the movement gains strength. As Daily Kos puts it, “The way these protests are portrayed by the mainstream media tends to send a negative image about the protests, sometimes in subtle ways, and other times in not so subtle ways.” Suggestions, as in this article, for improving the effectiveness of solidarity in peaceful protests will not come from the main streamed media, but from those whose efforts are rooted in helping the people.

The Joint Solidarity Statement by US Day of Rage and the October2011 Movement serves to explain some of the nonviolent resistance actions that have been planned and the different demands made by the groups.

This Internet channel, globalrevolution, features live streaming from the protest revolution spreading across the globe, with the first broadcasts from the Wall Street Occupation in NYC. The channel also features live streaming from events in Spain, Greece, France, Belgium, Iceland and other places around the globe.

Internet links to information about current solidarity protesting tend to “time out” for whatever reason, and that isn’t surprising either, so be patient, don’t give up, and please be kind enough to share updated information with others. I notice that it has been stalled for now, but some updates, videos and pictures should be available soon, here.

This morning, Thinkprogress asks, “Given these facts, the question is not why more than a thousand people demonstrated on Wall Street yesterday. The question is, why aren’t even more people in the streets of the financial district in New York City?”

The answer to why Wall Street is being protested is simple: “Their Actions Impoverished More Than 60 Million People.” The answer to the second question is largely unknown by experts, though they blame it in part on the media and seem to believe Americans have become fearful of our government and those in power. But that is clearly something we need come to grips with if we want to have country, a world, worthy of passing on to our children. The power rests with the people, and we should not be resting this one out.

If there’s a fire in your belly, let’s see it. If not, Keith Ollberman’s speech from Current’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, broadcast Aug. 1, 2011, is a poignant reminder of why we need to do what we can, peacefully, to change the direction of neoliberal politics and the corruption it has seeded and fertilized in governments world-wide. Watch it to the end … get mad, and please help.



DCKennedy

Robert Reich, 6 Big Lies, and Cynicism

Noted author and former U.S. Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, speaking at the Summit For A Fair Economy in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 10, 2011. “The greatest enemy we have is mass cynicism.”

The big lies:
1) Tax cuts to the rich and corporations trickle down to the rest of us.
2) If you shrink government you create jobs.
3) High taxes on the rich hurts the economy.
4) Debt is to be avoided and it is mostly caused by Medicare.
5) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
6) We need to tax the poor.

The worst thing is, because these facts from the right-wing are repeated over and over, the media repeats them without challenging them and people accept them as truth. This is intentional! The greatest enemy we have is mass cynicism. When people really get to the point where they think nothing can be done, the other side wins. That’s what they want, by the way. That’s what they want. They want government, because it is starved for money, because it is going to be underfunded – all the regulatory agencies – they want government at all levels to function so badly that people say, “Well government can’t work. I told you.” And they also want politics to be so bad and so paralyzed that most Americans say, “Nothing can be done. I’m going to give up on our democracy.”

Cynicism, now and then ~ an interesting cycle

“Modern cynicism has been defined as an attitude of distrust toward ethical and social values and a rejection of the need to be socially involved. It is often regarded as a product of mass society, but one where political engagement has no option but to be cynical. Unlike mere depression, cynicism can be said to be more active; in his bestselling Critique of Cynical Reason, Peter Sloterdijk defined modern cynics as “borderline melancholics, who can keep their symptoms of depression under control and yet retain the ability to work, whatever might happen … indeed, this is the essential point in modern cynicism: the ability of its bearers to work – in spite of anything that might happen.”

Late 5th century BCE: [Cynicism] meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions.
The ancient Cynics rejected conventional social values, and would criticise the types of behaviours, such as greed, which they viewed as causing suffering.

The name Cynic derives from the Greek word κυνικός, “dog-like” … the word dog was also thrown at the first Cynics as an insult for their shameless rejection of conventional manners, and their decision to live on the streets.

Diogenes of Sinope – depicted by Jean-Léon Gérôme

DCKennedy

APV Comments on the TRAP Regulations passed yesterday by the Virginia Board of Health

“These regulations have nothing to do with protecting women’s health and everything to do with proscribing women’s reproductive choices.”

Scott Price

APV Public Policy Director.

APV Comments on the TRAP Regulations passed yesterday by the Virginia Board of Health