Tag Archives | OccupyWallStreet

What Is Money, How Is It Created, And What Are The Consequences?

USCurrency_Federal_ReserveWhen money drives almost all activity on the planet, it’s essential that we understand it. Yet simple questions often get overlooked, questions like: Where does money come from? Who creates it? Who decides how it gets used? And what does this mean for the millions of ordinary people who suffer when the monetary, and financial system, breaks down? We have yet to see an election fought on these grounds and as political philosopher John Gray, commented, “We’re not moving to a world in which crises will never happen or will happen less and less. We are in a world in which they happen several times during a given human lifetime and I think that will continue to be the case”

People are waking up to this fact: the Occupy movement and the European indignados have erupted as a response to the current status quo. The media and ‘myth makers’, however, have found it much to easy to pigeonhole these movements into a “spiritual malaise” that provides no meaning or direction for our modern world. This is the response expected from a dominant neo-conservative economical world. This ever-adaptive financial system has been as such for centuries and those who can control it see no reason to steer a course elsewhere. Indeed the economics of emancipation can impart to us an interesting insight to the cyclical and prevailing nature of this economic paradigm…

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Banks Cooperating With Each Other and Police to Track Occupy Protesters

BankstersMax Abelson reports in the San Francisco Chronicle:

The world’s biggest banks are working with one another and police to gather intelligence as protesters try to rejuvenate the Occupy Wall Street movement with May demonstrations, industry security consultants aid.

Among 99 protest targets in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday are JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America offices, said Marisa Holmes, a member of Occupy’s May Day planning committee.

Events are scheduled in more than 115 cities, including an effort to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, where Wells Fargo investors relied on police to get past protests at their annual meeting this week. “Our goal is to kick off the spring offensive and go directly to where the financial elite play and plan,” she said.

After evictions and arrests from Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to London that began last year, the movement against income inequality and corporate abuse will regain strength, said Brian McNary, director of global risk at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations.

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Are You ‘Spring Training’ For May Day?

May Day 2012

Stand fast, then, Oh Workers, your ground,
Together pull, strong and united:
Link your hands like a chain the world round,
If you will that your hopes be requited.

When the World’s Workers, sisters and brothers,
Shall build, in the new coming years,
A lair house of life—not for others,
For the earth and its fulness is theirs.

—Walter Crane, The Workers’ Maypole (1894)

When you hear the term “spring training,” most of us think baseball, but, this year, it has a different context because the Occupy Movement has appropriated the term to describe educating and preparing activists for nationwide protests and a hoped for General Strike slated for May Day 2012, this May 1st.

The idea of “spring” may be more connected to the “Arab Spring,” a time of revolt than the season we’ve entered.

Can this relatively new movement pull off an ambitious General Strike to shut down a city like New York? In many ways, the success of this tactic requires alliances and coalitions that take far more time to build.… Read the rest

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Occupy Protesters Attempt To Crash Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting in San Francisco

Wells FargoThe police are ready for this. Good luck. Reports the AP via the Washington Post:

Police were guarding the entrance to the annual meeting of Wells Fargo shareholders on Tuesday as protesters associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement geared up to crash the gathering.

Dozens of officers were stationed around the Merchant’s Exchange Building in the city’s Financial District in advance of the 1 p.m. meeting. Bank stockholders were asked to show certificates or other proof of ownership before being corralled past gates erected in front of the doors.

Many of the early arrivals represented community groups from across the country that purchased Wells Fargo stock so they would have a say in the bank’s practices.

Shareholder Mark Richmond, a 59-year-old Portland member of the group We Are Oregon, said he hoped he could voice his concerns specifically about predatory lending and home foreclosures. He said he expected some raucousness inside and outside the meeting.

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Battle for The ‘Soul’ of Occupy: Fear of Co-option Leads to Self-Destructive Polemics

Make OccupyPerhaps my problem is that I live in too many worlds at the same time, while many political eras live in me.

That may be why I responded so negatively to a recent polemic wrapped up in a poetic communique from Adbusters, the culturejammers in Canada, who do so much good work (and often so creatively) battling the consumption virus promoted by big corporations many of us have grown to despise.

I respect their magazine and marvel at the impact they have had in helping to stir Occupy Wall Street into existence. They clearly feel a sense of ownership in the movement and act not just as the midwife that promoted the occupy idea, but as the guardians of their version of the movement’s essence, as if they own the copyright and have to defend it aggressively in the court of public opinion.

Their latest communique, directed to “jammers, occupiers and Springtime dreamers,” is offered up almost like a new commandment from the mountaintop of political purity, warning one and all “that a new enemy is in their midst that is … threatening to neutralize our insurgency with an insidious campaign of donor money and co-optation.”

Batten down the hatches!… Read the rest

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It’s Tax Time: Time to Occupy the IRS

IRSEvery year I trek down to a nondescript office building near Wall Street with a bag full of receipts and a belly full of anxiety.

When it’s tax time, I always hope for the best but … I also had an accountant who I trusted to keep me on the up and up. He was recommended years earlier by the Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman, who wanted to avoid the Al Capone problem.

Abbie had been busted enough for his political activities and didn’t want more jail time for non-payment of taxes. So he had to be like the driven snow to withstand any audit. And he was. He was a revolutionary who held his nose and paid the man.

Back in the day, the government used IRS investigations to threaten political activists and intimidate activists that paid their taxes as opposed to those who became tax resisters to refuse to pay for wars.… Read the rest

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Ask Not What Occupy Can Do For You…

Via Open University of the Left:

With more than 1,400 Occupy sites in the U.S., the success of Occupiers as a social movement and as a force for challenging austerity on the ground — supporting labor union struggles, reversing home foreclosures, opposing deportations, and raising awareness of education cuts and college loans — has raised the inescapable question of “which way forward?”

Mainstream and independent media have been quick to offer the Occupy movement an endless stream of advice. Yet, even when offered with the best intentions, much of this counsel is misguided.

OUL welcomes a panel of Chicago Occupiers to demystify the actions and experience of this creative and vital movement; demonstrate that the movement remains most connected to the needs of its immediate communities, rather then external guidance; and discuss the ways in which Occupy remains open to all levels of commitment by individuals and communities, as these panelists will introduce and outline. Participants were: Joe Macare, Brit Schulte, Rachael Perrotta and Natalie Wahlberg.

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The TSA Precheck Program for the 1 Percent

TSA PrecheckBecause rich people sure do hate being inconvenienced. Via the WSJ:

Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle.

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called “Precheck.” It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.

To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “Global Entry” program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.

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The “99% Spring”: Co-Opting Occupy or Helping Spread its Message?

Jake Olzen writes on Alternet:

Next month, activists and organizers across the country are planning to train 100,000 people in nonviolent direct action for what they call The 99% Spring. But despite borrowing one or two of the Occupy movement’s favorite slogans, The 99% Spring hasn’t been called for by any general assembly.

Rather, this massive and controversial effort is coming from the institutional left — a diverse coalition of labor unions, environmental and economic justice groups, community organizations and trainers’ alliances. While some celebrate what appears to be a mainstreaming of resistance thanks to Occupy, others are crying co-option.

“This spring we rise!” write 99% Spring organizers in a letter to “America.” “We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.

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