Archive for the ‘#OccupyWallStreet’ Category

by Pete Talbot

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Pearls Before Swine

This is in response to the Polish Wolf’s post over at Intelligent Discontent.  While some of his stats are interesting, his premise is flawed.  Basically he says that the 99% are responsible for their economic plight by shopping at WalMart, buying imported clothing and purchasing gasoline.  There’s a grain of truth to this, I suppose, but I’m thinking that the policies of the last few decades have more to do with wealth inequalities: economic policies that favor Wall Street over Main Street, Free Trade agreements that benefit corporations more than workers, and energy policies that promote carbon-based fuels over renewables and conservation.

Montana Supreme Court rules

Or maybe I should say the Montana Supreme Court rocks!  I certainly have more respect for the majority of Montana Supremes than the majority of SCOTUS justices.  In a 5-2 vote, the justices ruled against the kooky triumvirate of Western Tradition Partnership, Champion Painting Inc. and Gary Marbut’s Montana Shooting Sports Association Inc.  Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, Montana justices don’t believe corporations should be able to buy and sell elections.

Look up pompous ass in the dictionary

And you’ll see a picture of George Will.  In his latest column, he promotes the Keystone XL pipeline, the Canadian tar sands and fracking in general.  He pooh-poohs climate change, the EPA, the National Labor Relations Board and student loans.  He believes “conservatives should stride confidently into 2012” … “because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people … ”  He has that backwards, of course, but because he uses a lot of two-dollar words, people think he’s smart.  He’s not.

And locally

Usually reliable reporter Gwen Florio reports on a woman who’s attempting to disqualify Justice of the Peace John Odlin.  This stems from two misdemeanor charges against the woman for “community decay.”  What the hell does that mean?  Did she beat up on some curbs and gutters?  Forget to paint her porch?  Dump raw sewage into a neighborhood park?  I’m dying to know.  Anyway, the Montana Supremes call her case against Odlin “frivolous.”

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by jhwygirl

There’s been some pretty shocking video out of University of California-Davis over the last several days. 99% of the reaction has been that people were horrified and disgusted by the police actions.

For myself, I must be numb. The blatent disregard the UCDavis cops had for the students they are paid to protect – protect – has been played out all over the country in cities across America. Police beating with billy clubs and people beating them with fists and body slams? Police pepper spraying – pepper spraying randomly and with malice? Police firing guns with rubber pellets and tear gas and other various projectiles? It’s been played out in NYC, in Portland, in Phoenix, in Denver…Pittsburgh…LA..Oakland. Everywhere.

All of this directed at masses of peaceful protesters. People angry at the banking system and corporatization of America. An America that is making money on money – and leaving real America- the 99% – out floating in its wake.

And let’s make not mistake – peaceful protestors shouting angrily about their protest issues does not necessitate a need for mob control. We are not seeing mass vandalism, people. We are seeing mass protest and over reaction by police which incites mobs and results – sometimes and not all the time and you all know this to be true – some actual property destruction.

On Friday, UCDavis chancellor ordered the #occupy occupation tents removed. Cops come in with full riot gear, and..well…started beating on not only students, but also a poet laureate and Wordsworth scholar, along with their colleagues who had gone down to bear witness to the alleged violence of the students. Here is the first video that I saw of Friday’s removal:

It’s bizarre. It’s troubling – and again, remember my numbness to these scenes of violence. I see this stuff day in day out on twitter – regular network news doesn’t even have time in their 20-second sound bite rule to cover this stuff, yet alone fit it into their corporate-biased agenda. But did you watch to the end? At 8 minutes long, I wonder how many of you bailed about half-way through?

Sometime late Saturday someone posted the video below which shows the same situation from another angle, with a longer lead in – and it cuts out the events that occurred late in the video I posted above:

It was this second video that sickened even the numb jhwygirl. The vitrol the one lead officer directed at peaceful students – children for crying out loud! – is stomach-turning. I feel the pain of the woman you can hear in the background screaming (and later crying) “you are supposed to protect them!” as the cops, with determination and deliberation, pepper spray those kids at close range while they sit peacefully on the sidewalk of their campus.

Goddess, what has this nation come to?

My numbness though requires me to try and find something good – a sanity mechanism I’m learning ;) – and it is the end of that first video (and less so the second) which shows the police’s full retreat.

Those police stood there in full riot gear facing down peaceful protesting students sitting on a sidewalk. Hundreds stood there in witness – all of which included cameras and cell phones and video cameras. It wasn’t just students standing there – it was news media and university personnel. Yet those cops stood there as a handful pointed guns (likely loaded with pepper spray balls or rubber bullets) at eye and head level. Those cops stood there in bullet proof vests and masks and watched as a colleague stood like some sort of cattle master over those peaceful students and shook up that pepper spray – and at one point double-fisted himself with the stuff, having grabbed a fellow cops can – and marched up and down in attempts to intimidate peaceful students sitting on a sidewalk with that pepper spray.

For what? Control of the sidewalk?

And yet even after he emptied a can of pepper spray on those kids and only one or two ran after the pain was inflicted, those cops were safe. The only rush was to the safety of those students – and yet those cops who are sworn to protect left those students in bodily harm (pepper spray is NOT harmless folks…it can blind, and in this case it did cause bleeding) and beat back the people who attempted to protect and assist.

What is moving about those two videos is the safety of those disgusting officers who violated multiple laws and policies by doing what they did…

What is moving is the safety they had as they retreated from their failed attempt to clear a sidewalk. A friggin’ sidewalk.

What is moving is the obvious fear that the same officer who inflicted the pepper spray exhibited as he retreated – and his companion officers who continued to point those rifles at the heads of those peaceful protestors and their accompanying witnesses.

Did they cry when they shut the door of their office or their car after they completed their retreat? Do they look at this video and realize the complete shame of what they did? Do the ones that stood guard realize the sin of their complicity?

I have some understanding of mob mentality, I’d like to think – so I wonder what those cops thought after they exhaled that evening. After they saw themselves on film.

Finally – last night UC Davis’ Chancellor Katehi took a late night walk to her car. The campus is now filled with protesters. And Chancellor Katehi – who had said on Saturday that the police use of pepper spray was justified because her and the staff at the university felt threatened – walked in silence and shame to her car.

I bet she was shaking once her and her companion drove away. And I bet she cried too.

by jhwygirl

The artist who did the original Hope poster for Obama – LA artist Shepard Fairey – has just designed his second #occupywallstreet poster.

Quite the message.

By CFS

After more than a year of protests, general strikes, and clashes with authority, the Greek people have been given a chance to decide their own destiny and it looks very likely that voters will reject the debt deal put forward by the EU.  Financial markets reacted very negatively to the news, it would seem that markets aren’t very confident that Greek voters have international banks’ best interests in heart.

Ordinary people given the chance to decide the future of their own democratic country seems almost like a novelty.  I wonder what would have happened had Americans been given the chance to vote on TARP?  We might not have seen the rise of the Tea Party and OWS had it not been the shoveling of trillions of dollars tax payer money down the black hole of Wall Street’s quarterly reports.

Of course, Europe’s and America’s power brokers are just a little displeased, as the Greek PM, George Papandreou, is threatened by the fall of his government for his decision to put this issue in front of voters and will face angry EU leaders who will push for implementation of the plan even in the face of the Greek vote.  I guess he’ll learn his lesson that governing is for technocrats, not people… silly socialist.

The financial deal would force Greece to accept large cuts in public spending and is projected to increase already high unemployment rate partially caused by austerity measures adopted in 2010 in return for another bailout package.  But, as we’ve seen with Wall Street bailouts, such measures aren’t meant to help Greece, but to insure the profits of the bond holders, and of course, the only answer to debt is more debt.  Sound logic if you ask me.  The Naked Capitalist blog has a good post on the success of another country that rejected a financial bailout, even in the face of rising social spending.

I’m personally very interested in how a democratic vote will end up effecting this year’s Christmas bonuses at financial firms.

By CFS

People will do anything to claw their way to the top, and anything to stay there.

by jhwygirl

OccupyHelena is calling for an Occupy Our Capitol for Saturday…and they’ve got a full agenda, starting at noon in Hill Park.

Highlighting the day is a soapboxing event at 2:30 on the steps of the capitol…and then later at 5 p.m. there’s a soup & bread supper and General Assembly.

If you’re looking for ride-sharing, it looks like this post from OccupyMissoula is helping out with that.

And from a comment I saw on one of the posts, it appears that OccupyButte will be there, as will the OccupyDillon atfolks.

So muster up, people….there is nothing better than a good old peaceful protest gathering on the steps of the capitol in Helena Montana on a gorgeous crisp fall day. I’ve done it in January, and it’s a fabulous venue.

by Pete Talbot

“I shouldn’t say this …” Conrad Burns said. It was the only accurate statement he made all day.

He then went on to insult Indians, Wall Street occupiers and the President.

He was talking to a small tea party crowd in Billings, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity and underwritten by the billionaire Koch brothers.

I’ve been waiting for another Montana blogger to write about this (Montana Cowgirl, Pogie?) but haven’t seen a thing. Maybe Conrad’s speech was so obtuse it didn’t deserve notice. I, however, think it might because it mirrors the far-right’s rhetoric of ignorance, intolerance and racism.

Ignorance: “Burns was there to ‘expose the Obama administration’s $40 billion energy tax grab that will destroy jobs, decrease government revenues at a time of exploding national debt and make America less competitive.'”

In reality, the idea is to eliminate taxpayer-financed oil subsidies and tax breaks, and reinvest the $40 billion into social programs, green energy and job creation, according to Forcechange.com. C’mon Conrad, continued subsidies for oil companies with record-breaking profits are going to reduce the deficit, destroy jobs and make America less competitive? Well, it might give the oil companies slightly less money to employ corporate mouthpieces such as yourself.

Intolerance: On the Wall Street/Missoula/Helena/etc. occupiers, Burns said: “I feel sorry for these kids. They’re kind of spoiled. They’re down there having a hissy fit. They don’t know who they’re mad at.”

Oh, they know who they’re mad at, these spoiled kids, it’s the likes of you: politicians who push economic inequality, and advance the financial institutions responsible for a recession that’s crippling middle-class Montanans and devastating the poor.

Racism: “We got a guy in the White House (who) believes all of us should be dependent on the government,” Burns said. “I shouldn’t say this, but he wants this whole country to become like an Indian reservation.”

Conrad is on the record as a bigot: Arabs, African-Americans and now, Native Americans. Those damn Indians … and after all that the government has done for them. (R.I.P. Elouise Cobell. Please ignore Burns’ spiteful comments.)

So Conrad is still out there. He’s working for GAGE, a Leo Giacometto/Son-of-Rehberg Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, and spewing far-right rhetoric.

In these troubled times, do we really need the former Senator sowing seeds of hate, divisiveness and malice. I think not.

By JC

It was only a matter of time till people started coming to the same conclusion that many of us have made recently, that there may be more overlap between the tea party and OccupyWallStreet than is readily apparent. James Sinclair over at howconservativesdrovemeaway draws an interesting comparison of the two movements:

We should pay less attention to the individual lunatics, and more attention to what a movement is really about. Occupy Wall Street, at its core, is a reaction to the increasing power and influence of large corporations. The Tea Party, at its core, is a reaction to the government’s constant interference with private enterprise. But wait a minute—aren’t those things connected?

Bailouts, subsidies, tax breaks, special rights and privileges, regulations designed to restrict competition—to name a few of the many ways the government protects and stimulates corporate interests, and those things are every bit as anti-free market as, not to mention directly related to, the high taxes and excessive bureaucracy that gets Tea Partiers riled up. In other words, aren’t these two groups—Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party—raging against different halves of the same machine? Do I have to draw a Venn diagram here?

Oh, alright, I’ll draw a Venn diagram:

While I might quibble with his characterizations of the two, the important part of his analysis is the following:

Yeah, I’m oversimplifying, but only a little. The greatest threat to our economy is neither corporations nor the government. The greatest threat to our economy is both of them working together. There are currently two sizable coalitions of angry citizens that are almost on the same page about that, and they’re too busy insulting each other to notice.

The overlap between corporations and government — the intertwining of corporations and government — is a fundamental feature of creeping fascism in this country. And it will be the undoing of this country if it isn’t stopped.

We all have been educated about the 3 branches of government, and the separation of powers between the executive, the judicial, and the legislative. What the OccupyWallStreet movement needs to do is illuminate the need for another separation of powers, one between corporations and the government’s other three branches.

Congress and the Courts over the years have created a de facto 4th power in this country. Now the people need to raise up and separate it from the other three branches.

By JC
(This is but the opinion of one Occupier in Solidarity, and not the consensus of OccupyMissoula) 

Many people do not understand what the Occupy movement is all about, and preconceptions and prejudices abound. I have spent most of the last two weeks working to understand this movement and help organize OccupyMissoula. I’m not sure why I stuck my neck out, and devoted all my time, but it has changed the way I look at politics, movements, and my community.

In the words of an elderly gentleman I have known and respected for the 25 years I have lived in Missoula, “this is the most important movement I have seen since the the Great Depression.”

Similarly, last night I had the honor to meet 4 young high school students who had decided to put on suits and come down to the County Court House and OccupyMissoula to “check things out.” We had a great conversation and I felt inspired that our youth feel the same concerns that our more experienced community members do, and felt compelled to participate, and to write about their experience (one of them was a writer for their high school’s newspaper).

It took an article in no less than Fox News, tweeted across the internet in a “Holy Shit” moment to put it all into perspective for me: “The key isn’t what protesters are for but rather what they’re against.” Continue Reading »

by jhwygirl

This post has been updated

Mainstream media is reporting that #occupywallstreet is calling for a Global Day of Protest tomorrow (Saturday), with over 800 cities participating.

OccupyHelena get’s the nod here as Saturday is their first General Assembly (GA). Hill Park, time apparently unspecified. I found this link (warning: facebook link) on twitter.

Also giving a nod to OccupyButte which as Turner reports below gets underway Saturday morning at the Butte Plaza Mall, noon. There was a meeting earlier this week at the Butterfly Cafe if I’m remembering my twitter feed.

I have to say that it can be maddening to some to watch something so truly organic get up and running. Me? I’m loving watching it. It’s a beautiful thing. Beautiful.

OccupyBozeman got underway Friday with a march on Main Street.

OccupyMissoula starts off tomorrow morning (it’s one-week-old birthday) at 11 a.m., at the fishes near the Higgins Street bridge at Caras Park. They’ve got a rally and march planned – and then from 1 to 10 p.m. is a OccupyMissoula ArtJam, of which I’m sure we’ll hear Lizard down there jammin’ on some poetry.

Not only that – don’t forget that Missoula still has the wonderful Farmer’s Market going too – so there’ still time to stock up on locally grown and produced preserves and cheeses. I’m thinking this is the next-to-the-last one.

~~~~
I want to explain what a General Assembly is, as I’ve had people ask. I can only describe it how I’ve seen it.

GA’s are like a people’s congress. Everyone get’s to participate and everything is a negotiation – all the while, everyone works together in organization towards a goal of determining what it is that government should be. One general cause that morphed this together is the skewed wealth distribution system of government that essentially has Wall Street running the show (and anyone can call me on that and I don’t mind), but from there the search for commonality is very much part of the GA process.

People of all ages and backgrounds are attending OccupyMissoula. There are even people driving in from outside Missoula. I’ve seen 3 generations of a family (Grandparents, Daughter and grandaughter). It’s wonderful.

OccupyMissoula is facing some issued down there related to security (yet alone weather!) I have much respect for the organizing going on down there as not only are they working on their own structure, they’re feeding and clothing and generally addressing homeless issues down there.

I can tell you that the very first late afternoon as they were just getting started down there last Saturday I had a homeless woman come up and berate me because all that was left to eat was salad. And potato soup. She didn’t eat potato soup because of the starch and the salad was..well SALAD as she clearly had to let me know. No protein! What was she to do?

I was a little dumbfounded (I wasn’t in charge..but really, no one was in charge) and rolled out a response about the Poverello serving dinner and she literally screamed at me and said that she hadn’t “planned to go there and now she was hungry!”

OccupyMissoula is in need of a number of things – here is a list – things like blankets and gloves…food…propane (done with that grill for the season? Why not just donate that gas?). Tarps are another thing. Garbage bags.

Anyways…I will update this as info comes in (either in the comments or email me at hotmail dot com)

by jhwygirl

This is rich, all things considered. Here in Montana we’ve got two Canadian companies working on condemnation of private property (via the gift of Governor Schweitzer and this past legislative session’s HB198) for their Canadian-incorporated tar sands pipeline and the MATL transmission lines.

And in New York City there’s Canadian company Brookfield Properties, incorporated under the laws of Canada prepping to evict peaceful political protesters from the open and publicly used Zuccatti Park in Wall Street.

I’ve pondered Montana’s colonialism often here – this one’s a favorite – and even most recently, I’ve noted how the Keystone pipeline for Exxon’s tar sands seems to parallel that same move towards our own national colonialism.

And now we have a Canadian company on Wall Street evicting political protesters? With the blessing and assistance of the NYPD?

America has gone 360…from colonizing to being the colony.

by jhwygirl

A private park, right? Is it the NYPD planning on coming in to remove the protesters? Is it their job to enforce trespassing?

And are the trespassers really trespassing on a public space that has been open without discrimination to people of the public?

In other words – Does the public have a prescriptive right to this public space owned by Brookfield Properties? I’m pretty sure a lawyer could make a pretty good case for public use of this space.

And certainly, free speech is a long-standing public use pretty much everywhere. As is political speech.

It’s unclear what is planned for Brookfield Properties to clear the area – and of course, we’ve moved so close to corporatism (or fascism, for those of you with stronger opinions – like me) – what with NYPD bought and paid for by JP Morgan Chase – that it’s entirely possible that Mayor Bloomberg is going to utilize NYPD to remove peaceful protesters from what is inarguably a public space, albeit owned by a private entity.

That’s a George Ochenski link people…don’t miss it.

I’m not a New York City taxpayer here (obviously) but I’d have a problem with my tax dollars being used to provide security to private property for unregulated public uses that have been allowed on the property for years.

On the other hand, perhaps Brookfield Properties is planning on bringing in the Pinkerton Guards, like Andrew Carnegie brought in to try and bring and end to the Homestead Strike of 1882.

That didn’t go well. Blood spilled on the streets, and Carnegie carried that guilt with him for the rest of his life.

Incidentally, when Andrew Carnegie sold Carnegie Steel, he sold it to JP Morgan.

Swing it now to 2011…perhaps it’s Halliburton-KBR they’re going to bring in to Zuccotti, who knows.

What I do know is that whatever happens down there is going to happen under the watchful eye of the nation.

~~~
This nation could benefit from an immersion course in American history if you ask me. And a dose of constitutional history and law thrown in, too. That wiki link on the Homestead Strike would be a good start.

Another good mandatory history lesson I would assign if I were queen – and this isn’t just for Montanans, though current conditions here make the lesson especially relevant – is a read on The Copper Kings and the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. There’s a whole lot of lesson learning to go on in there – and not the crap written by Ayn Rand in ….in everything that hypocritical corporate whore ever wrote.

By JC

Well, somebody didn’t get any sleep last night, and OccupyMissoula has a new website up. It’s chock full of information, links and resources so go check it out!

And OccupyMissoula will be having its first GA on saturday. The GA has been moved to the fish sculptures at Caras Park, as the XXX’s at the Farmer’s Market was going to be too small, due to the anticipated large assembly. Here’s a note about the change:

To clarify how this came about. The initial planners who are just trying to get things moving initially picked the xxxx’s because of the high visibility on what is the main street of town. We are very happy that it is likely that will be too small of a space for everyone. and the goal is in no way to obstruct the circle square market. SO, the 99% won’t fit at the xxxx’s, and perhaps it is inappropriate in general. We hear that, and will be moving the GA to fish sculpture next to the river market, so we won’t interfere with traffic by overflowing into the streets. Again I want to stress that these decision was only made to get the ball rolling and get everyone in one place so we could reach consensus on a Occupy Missoula location. Please bring your ideas to the general assembly and they will be heard.

There also will be a planning meeting on thursday at 4pm at Break Expresso:

Missoula activists and family–please meet at Break Expresso, 4pm this Thursday. We need your creative minds to prepare for a General Assembly in Missoula. The invite is including everyone–artists, veterans, writers, politicians, freedom-fighters, journalists, concerned parents, houseless, legislators–if you feel you have something to contribute to a Missoula General Assembly and wished to be involved in the planning of such…get thee forthwith–to the Break. If you are a seasoned activist, trained facilitator or legal expert–we would like to leverage your experience, as well, although you would only be a person with an opinion.

 And how can we forget our NYC #OccupyWallStreet compatriots who are putting on a huge demonstration today? Thousands marched from Foley Square to the Financial District. The march represents the joining of over 40 union and community organizations in the movement. As material becomes available, I’ll post it up. Until then, join the LiveStream.

By JC

OccupyMissoula had its first meeting in downtown Missoula yesterday and was a great success bringing folks together to identify local support and resources and planning how to move forward. Today, October 4th is the kickoff public event. Look for much more information as we get this puppy moving, and get our website up and running.

From OccupyMontana:

Join us for 10-4 WeWantMore (People)! an initial planning event at the U of M Tuesday 7pm between the UC and Library, rain or shine. Saturday at the Fish Sculptures at Caras Park Missoula Farmer’s Market near the XXXs, starting at 10AM, will be a practice run at General Assembly. These events are in solidarity with #OWS.

by jhwygirl

Bringing it back. As always, consider this an open thread

If you watched only one The Daily Show this week, hopefully it was this one. He starts off with “Democracy” – brings in Saudia Arabia’s lack of it with regards, especially, to women. Slaps the U.S. for embracing Saudia Arabia and then whips it all together with #occupywallstreet and the NYPD attacks on peaceful protesters.

On that note, here’s The Nation’s FAQ on Occupy Wall Street. Just the basics, for those still wondering what it is.

For your visual pleasure and cultural and even perhaps political curiosity, some pics from an expat living in China, twitterer @lonniehodge – who’s also a TED speaker.

I was seriously asleep on this one – Supermontana reporter John S. Adams broke the story, then Don Pogreba took the Rep. Denny Rehberg Federal land-grab story and pulled it all together with a very thorough analysis.

More hypocrisy from Rehberg. Against National Monuments, but fine with handing over unilateral authority over Montana’s borders to the Department of Homeland Security. Kinda like a double-dip of hypocrisy there, isn’t it?

Speaking of hypocrites..the face of Montana’s reasonable conservatism Montanafesto absolutely rips on Reverend Harris Himes’ criminal activities in this post titled Hypocrite, Meet Karma – Another Righteous Right Winger Down.

Himes, if you haven’t heard, is Blaming the gays.

Jack over at The Western Word had a piece this week about a local drinking-and-driving tragedy there in Great Falls. He has written quite a bit on the topic of drinking and driving, and I had, in fact, had reason to come across this tough criticism on the legislature from this past session just today.

Are you reading James Conner? Because you need to be. James’ latest piece at the Flathead Memo is on the bullying incident at Glacier High School. The story is pretty sick, and I knew it was going to get ugly when the coach resigned as the story broke. For all that, read this earlier post from James, which really rings together the whole sordid thing, along with a local history of the issue, together.

Montana is one of only 5 states in the nation without anti-bullying laws. Congressional candidate and state senator Kim Gillan sponsored SB141 this past session in an effort to address bullying. While it passed the Senate, it was tabled in the House Education Committee. A blast attempt on the floor failed also, 63-34. That’s not a party-line vote, btw – looks like 2 Republicans might have voted with the Dems to try and get the thing a fair floor hearing.

Disgraceful.

2nd Grade Bike Rack got linked to in an Huffington Post piece on the Keystone XL pipeline this past week. Pretty sweet! Kudos to James for that. Wanna read it? Republicans Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline.

That’s all I got – what about you?

 
When the history is finally written, though, it’s likely all of this tumult – beginning with the Arab Spring – will be remembered as the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire. — Dave Graeber in The Guardian

By JC

One has to look overseas to get some perspective on the movement that is growing in Liberty Plaza just a few blocks away from Wall Street and the World Trade Center. Mainstream American media has turned a jaundiced eye away from the true happenings in NY City. Instead, we will get a few sound bites and scenes of arrests, as the media always looks to the confrontation, instead of the substance of any protest movements on the left. Some of the media will attack them for who they are, posing them as juveniles in nothing more than an extension of their culture wars.

#OccupyWallSt and its rapidly expanding national movement Occupy Together, with occupations in over 52 locations across the country, are truly an organic grassroots organization. They are not faux grassroots pretenders like the Koch brothers’ funded rebranding of the activist right wing GOP and conservative movement as tea partiers. There is little doubt remaining that the tea party only serves as cover for corporatist America and a distraction for the media, so they can ignore the real revolution that is growing in America.

The UK’s Guardian News and Al Jazeera have done vastly better jobs covering the emerging movement as it grows from the ideas of a few organizations like Adbusters, Anonymous and the U.S. Day of Rage.

The following quote from an article in The Guardian clearly examines the birth of the #OccupyWallSt movement as a generational movement built out of other similar movements of the last 40 years. So we undoubtedly will get a bunch of pejorative statements about how they protesters are all young, or unemployed, or college kids, or lgbt, or dress funny, or homeless… And that is exactly why they are protesting. Because our society no longer takes their concerns or needs seriously

Why are people occupying Wall Street? …

There are obvious reasons. We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Most, I found, were of working-class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates.

This movement springs directly out of the anti-globalisation, global justice, and anti-transnational/WTO corporate rallies and protests of the last few decades. Take a look at the protests and accompanying police brutality, and it all begins to look familiar.

The response from the police, and lack of interest from mainstream corporate media and the corporations they are protecting will only serve to amplify the call out to people to join this movement.

When the history is finally written, though, it’s likely all of this tumult – beginning with the Arab Spring – will be remembered as the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire. Thirty years of relentless prioritising of propaganda over substance, and snuffing out anything that might look like a political basis for opposition, might make the prospects for the young protesters look bleak; and it’s clear that the rich are determined to seize as large a share of the spoils as remain, tossing a whole generation of young people to the wolves in order to do so. But history is not on their side.

We might do well to consider the collapse of the European colonial empires. It certainly did not lead to the rich successfully grabbing all the cookies, but to the creation of the modern welfare state. We don’t know precisely what will come out of this round. But if the occupiers finally manage to break the 30-year stranglehold that has been placed on the human imagination, as in those first weeks after September 2008, everything will once again be on the table – and the occupiers of Wall Street and other cities around the US will have done us the greatest favour anyone possibly can.

Is there any question as to why a whole generation is coalescing together to rise up against an establishment that seeks to disempower and repress them? “Grown-ups” will dismiss all of this as idealist leftist propaganda and poo-poo it, and attempt to ridicule and cast it aside. Remember the “don’t trust anyone over 30” mantra of the 60’s protest movement? Payback is a mo-fo. But this movement will not wither in the night, nor will hundreds or thousands of arrests deter it. The only thing that will assuage this movement will be when their voices are heard, and America changes.

Yes, Wall Street is our street. And that point will be hammered home until its ivory tower denizens and police protecters are brought back down to earth.

Feel free to post your favorite article or resource about #OccupyWallSt. We’ll keep posts like this going for the duration of the occupation, so that we can keep abreast of what is going on.

By JC

A hot saturday afternoon of playing tunes and guitar, and a slew of photos arriving in my Google+ inbox reminded my of an old John Hartford elegy, “Going to Work in Tall Buildings.” For those who may not remember, John was the accompanist to Glen Campbell in the Goodtime Hour about 40 years ago, during my “formative” days. This is a mild exhibit of Hartford’s subtle subversive nature.

A person (a recently discharged marine) I met a few weeks ago in Missoula as he was hitchhiking across America to the Occupy Wall Street demos, finally arrived and will be feeding some live updates back. His photos as he entered the Wall Street district were foreboding. I hope he sends me more good stuff, so I can give folks a street-level view of the happenings.

These are the the tall buildings where the raveling and unraveling of our financial system’s catastrophes takes place. This is where the people that control the fate of our country’s political and economic future might clash. But just maybe it won’t be those that live and work in tall buildings that get to make the final determinations on our future. Maybe it will be those who take to the streets, and eschew working in tall buildings.

Here’s what Nathan Scheider at Truthout had to say about the fledgling movement yesterday:

A lot of what you’ve probably seen or read about the #occupywallstreet action is wrong, especially if you’re getting it on the Internet. The action started as an idea posted online and word about it then spread and is still spreading, online. But what makes it really matter now is precisely that it is happening offline, in a physical, public space, live and in person. That’s where the occupiers are assembling the rudiments of a movement…

What’s actually underway at Liberty Plaza [at Wall Street] is both simpler and more complicated: music making, sign drawing, talking, organizing, eating, marching, standoffs with police and (not enough) sleeping. It’s a movement in formation…

Ted Actie, who lives in Brooklyn and works for On the Spot, a minority-owned talk-show production company, called on the protesters to speak more directly to the communities around them. “You do so much social networking,” he said, “you forget how to socialize.”

Those barons of finance might do well to come down out of their gilded towers and do some socializing with the rabble down below. Otherwise, they may find that their president–and maybe their next president–can no longer stand between the pitchforks and the doors barring entry to tall buildings.

Lyrics after the jump:
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