Tag Archives | OWS

Measuring the Impact of the Occupy Movement

Occupy Wall Street, Unofficial LogoLucy Townsend asks “Activists from the Occupy movement held their latest campaign in London this weekend. The protest movement, now three years old, has global recognition. But how can its impact be measured?” at BBC News Magazine:

The campaign started in New York, on 17 September 2011. They camped in Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, protesting against corporate greed. Celebrities visited – Kanye West and Susan Sarandon among them. Press coverage followed and President Obama said he “understood their frustrations“.

The Twitter handle @OccupyWallSt has 205,000 followers. The @OccupyWallStNYC and @OccupyWallStNY have 185,000 between them. The Facebook page has 660,544 likes.

The initial action spawned hundreds of similar protests around the world. In London, a month later, activists erected tents at St Paul’s Cathedral. Again it was the city’s financial heart. For more than four months they camped, gave speeches, tweeted and networked before being removed forcibly by bailiffs following a court battle.

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Why Street Protests Don’t Work

Demonstrations and protests 1212“How can so many demonstrations accomplish so little?” asks Moses Naim at The Atlantic:

Street protests are in. From Bangkok to Caracas, and Madrid to Moscow, these days not a week goes by without news that a massive crowd has amassed in the streets of another of the world’s big cities. The reasons for the protests vary (bad and too-costly public transport or education, the plan to raze a park, police abuse, etc.). Often, the grievance quickly expands to include a repudiation of the government, or its head, or more general denunciations of corruption and economic inequality.

Aerial photos of the anti-government marches routinely show an intimidating sea of people furiously demanding change. And yet, it is surprising how little these crowds achieve. The fervent political energy on the ground is hugely disproportionate to the practical results of these demonstrations.

Notable exceptions of course exist: In Egypt, Tunisia, and Ukraine, street protests actually contributed to the overthrow of the government.

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OWS Founder Calls on Obama to Appoint Google’s Eric Schmidt ‘CEO of America’

Eric SchmidtOK, so who can sort this one out: the founder of Occupy Wall Street wants the President of the United States to resign and appoint her boss, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt, to a new post, CEO of America. The Guardian reports but let’s hear from you in the comments if any of it makes sense:

One of the co-founders of the Occupy Wall Street movement has called on Barack Obama to resign as president, and “appoint Eric Schmidt CEO of America”.

Justine Tunney, a self-styled “champagne tranarchist”, is now a software engineer at Google, but remains involved with Occupy Wall Street, through the occupywallst.org website, which she created.

In the petition, which currently has two signatures (a far cry from the 195,000 who follow the Occupy Wall Street twitter account Tunney started in 2011), she calls on Obama to arrange a national referendum to:

  1. Retire all government employees with full pensions.
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Documents Reveal FBI Teamed With Corporations To Spy On Occupy Wall Street, Classified As A “Terrorist Threat”

Acting as “a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America,” the FBI surveillance of Occupy Wall Street from the beginning, and shared its findings with private corporate interests. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund writes:

FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.

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Portland Protesters Pepper Sprayed

Via Komo News: Protesters associated with Occupy Portland and a group calling itself Portland Action Lab were pepper sprayed by riot gear-clad police during a Saturday march. Apparently the police felt that large wooden shields carried by the protesters posed a threat. Take a look in the video below and see what you think:
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Evolver Network Now on YouTube: ‘New Edge of Radical Economics’

Our Friends at Reality Sandwich/Evolver have launched a YouTube channel to share all of their video content. Suscribe here: Via Reality Sandwich:
"Our first video features the full video from "The New Edge of Radical Economics," an Evolver network event with David Graeber, Occupy Wall Street activist and author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years, and Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, moderated by RS's own Daniel Pinchbeck. Graeber and Eisenstein tackle the loaded question: What is money? They aptly compare money to magic, and explore the notion that money works because we all believe in it. You can watch it on our YouTube page, or check it out below."
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Nobel Mass Murder Prize, NDAA Plaintiff Speaks Out, Europe Riots

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to the host of RT's Capital Account, Lauren Lyster, about the austerity protests in Greece, and across Europe; Plaintiff and activist against the NDAA's indefinite detention provision, Alexa O'brien, speaks out about her personal experience fighting the government against unlawful detention; BTS wraps up with a look at who Alfred Nobel was, and highlights a few of the most controversial Americans to have received the coveted Nobel Peace prize.
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