Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Rolling Jubilee Well Into Third Year, Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 22, 2015

One of the more interesting things about the critics of Occupy offshoot Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee program is that they keep warning of Big Problems Lurking Just Around The Corner.

Well, it’s been over two years now since the Rolling Jubilee was started, and the insinuative warnings are still coming, even as there is no evidence that any of the Big Problems have ever come to pass.

And, yes, we would know very, very quickly if any Big Problem did come to pass, because all of the members of the right-wing, Occupy-hating corporate puke funnels that dictate America’s news diet (as well as creating the right-wing email smears that your nutty uncle sends to everyone in his mail contacts list and his Facebook friends list) would be all over this before you could say “gold bug”.

One thing the critics of the Rolling Jubilee like to do is to complain that the program doesn’t strike at the root of the debt crisis. One finds it surprising that all these super-smart and super-honest critics (well, maybe, um, not so much) are for some strange reason ignoring what the Rolling Jubilee’s creators have been saying about it all along, as in this November 27, 2012 article in The Nation (an article that’s linked to on the Rolling Jubilee homepage, by the way):

The Rolling Jubilee was not designed to be a feasible, long-term solution to the debt crisis in and of itself. Instead, it is a “bailout by the people, for the people,” a chance to offer others support and solidarity where the government has failed them. While critics like Yves Smith and Doug Henwood have focused on the limits of this tactic, what interests us are the possibilities this experiment opens up, the good will that is fostered, the conversations that it sparks and the new ideas and action plans that are percolating. Who knows where the jubilee will roll next or what its impact will be? Regardless, organizers are well aware that the result of debt cancellation, even on a mass scale, would be negligible unless it was coupled with a far deeper restructuring of our economic system. That is the prize our eyes are on, and that’s why Strike Debt chapters are now springing up in cities all across the country.

And in fact, the Rolling Jubilee stopped accepting donations as of December 31, 2013, so the program is being wound down in any event, having served its main purpose of bringing attention to America’s true debt crisis.

But even as Phase One (the Rolling Jubilee) is being wound down, Phase Two is about to be initiated:

Strike Debt is wrapping up the Rolling Jubilee project. [Strike Debt spokesman Thomas] Gokey estimates it has enough money left to buy two or three more debt portfolios before it exhausts its funds.

And then ….. the debt fairy morphs into a debt demon.

In what should make veins in the blue blood community run even colder, the group plans to move on to organizing “debt strikes” in which selected groups of debtors who share a common debt or creditor strategically stop payment in an effort to force creditors to renegotiate a yet-to-be defined “unjust” debt by, for example, reducing the principal or interest.

“It’s a waste of time to work through a political system bought and paid for by industries,” Gokey said. “We need to organize mass resistance.”

Whether trying to destablize the credit system is a good idea is debatable. And whether enough consumers would buy into the idea of a strike to make it effective, considering the huge risks involved to them personally, remains to be seen.

But it certainly should get people talking.

And getting people talking is indeed the whole point. Changing the terms of debate paves the way for eventual and long-lasting success; in fact, success — especially enduring success — is not possible unless the terms of debate are changed.

When Occupy first started in the fall of 2011, the debt being talked about the most was the debt or deficit the Federal government was running up, and the people doing the talking were all right-wingers and corporatist types who wanted to keep doing the main thing that created the debt, which was to cut taxes on rich people and big businesses. Occupy abruptly stopped that in its tracks, and the “deficit hawks” have never been able to regain control of the national dialogue since.

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From Jailbait To Essential Partners: How Occupy Won Over New York And Jersey

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 11, 2012

Less than two months ago, Mayor Bloomberg was still tossing Occupy Wall Street members into jail on the thinnest of pretexts.

Now, when in the wake of Sandy the OWS folks have shown themselves to be the most effective on-the-ground aid workers imaginable, they are valued partners in the relief effort.

Here, courtesy of an FDL commenter, are some recent and relevant Occupy-Sandy-related tweets:

Some incredible tweets this evening from Red Hook. Check out the photos.

Libor Von Schönau‏@LiborVonSchonau
Over40 #NatGuard #NYPD Mayor’s Office,business”leaders”@ #OccupySandy mtng @GREEDKILLS @NaomiAKlein @northaura @Remroum http://yfrog.com/kebxkug

Libor Von Schönau‏@LiborVonSchonau
#OccupySandy mtng #transparency @mafathom @DiceyTroop @shawncarrie @shushugah @rdevro @mikeburke999 @billmckibben @350 http://yfrog.com/eswxqexj

Libor Von Schönau‏@LiborVonSchonau
#OWS in logistical mtng w/ #NatGuards #NYPD & #Bloomberg’s Office™@MMFlint @NaomiAKlein @350 @sharifkouddous @cyberela http://yfrog.com/kkhrynhnj

Dicey‏@DiceyTroop
In Red Hook, @OccupySandy (!) hosts a meeting b/w local leaders, a Mayor’s rep, the Nat’l Guard, & the NYPD. pic.twitter.com/HPQEe4MK

reformatted link for above tweet:
http://twitter.com/DiceyTroop/status/267453374373445632/photo/1

And this: (!)

Dicey‏@DiceyTroop
Tonight @OccupySandy’s Red Hook team hosted a meeting where a Mayor’s rep, the Nat’l Guard, & NYPD all got on stack w/ community leaders.

The changed status of OWS is reflected in the changed media coverage, which is almost entirely positive to glowingly positive nowadays.

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New York Daily News Says Nice Things About Occupy Sandy; Minnesota Blogger Nearly Faints

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 8, 2012

Yeah, you read that right. The New York Daily News, which spent much of the past year hating on OWS, just did a favorable article, without a trace of snideness or hippie-bashing, on the Occupy Sandy movement:

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Occupy Wall Street has occupied itself with a humanitarian effort: getting supplies to the victims of the storm.

And you don’t have to be in New York to help. Occupy has launched online “wedding registries” on Amazon.com so people wishing to give aid can contribute from anywhere.

Anyone can purchase a gift from the Sandy Registries, which include fleece blankets, coolers, extension cords, flashlights, trash bags, diapers, and even clothing items like socks and underwear.

The items on the New York registry are shipped to the Brooklyn chapter of Occupy’s Sandy relief operation at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Clinton Hill, where they will be taken to those in need. Gifts from the New Jersey registry are sent to Occupy’s outpost at Barrow Mansion in Jersey City.

Looks like the NYDN has joined the ranks of Occupy’s fans. Hey, well, better late than never.

UPDATE: Here’s the main Occupy Sandy link: http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/

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Ray Kelly Prefers Beating OWS Protesters To Policing St. Paddy’s Day Drunks

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 18, 2012


Gregg Levine attended the six-month semi-anniversary of Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park yesterday. It was a day filled with fun, dancing, music and peaceful frolic — until the cops arrived (see also the videos he took, posted above):

The mood in the park was light and celebratory when the sounds of bagpipes were heard, approaching from the west. Hundreds in the park moved toward the noise, only to witness NYPD officers preventing the pipers from entering the park, arresting at least one. Some on the scene said that the pipers were not affiliated with OWS; they had come to NYC from Brittany to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and later decided to play for occupiers.

While the pipers had drawn much of the crowd to the southwestern part of the park, uniformed NYPD officers moved in to remove a makeshift tent (a plastic tarp thrown over a rope strung between two trees). As police were doing this, loud shouts of “get out” were heard. That order came from a blue-shirted community affairs officer, though, and was not directed at protestors but at the uniformed cops that had just moved in to remove the tarp. Those officers complied and filed quickly toward the east side of the park.

Shortly after that, however, dozens more uniformed NYPD moved into position around the park, and at around 11:30 PM entered the park en masse. Though no announcement was audible on the east side of Zuccotti, reports say police told protestors the park was being closed for “cleaning.” While many occupiers moved out of the park, a large number remained, some linking arms, others behind orange netting recognizable as the material police have used to “kettle” protestors in the past.

At that point, police began grabbing protestors and placing them in plastic cuffs. Some were escorted out of the park to waiting wagons on Broadway. Other occupiers lay down or went limp and had to be carried out of the park.

But other protestors encountered a more violent response. Accounts include reports of a broken thumb, possible broken jaw, and police using their boots to hold protestors’ faces on the ground. Others said they were pushed forcefully down the street; one visitor to the park reported being hit from behind with a nightstick.

In the second video, a cuffed woman is shown being loaded onto one of the buses the NYPD had handy. Minutes later, she is taken off, jerking and shaking involuntarily from what appears to be a seizure. Medical help was not immediately summoned despite the pleas of other arrestees and witnesses.

More at Gregg’s link.

Think about this. Ray Kelly and Michael Bloomberg thought that arresting and beating up a few hundred peaceful protesters and triggering at least one medical emergency — and in the case of the Breton bagpipers, risking an international incident — was far more important than keeping tens of thousands of wild and dangerous St. Patrick’s Day drunks from being dangers to themselves and others.

To which I can only reply as follows:

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Minister And Schoolteacher Among Occupy “Rabble” Per Murdoch’s New York Post

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 17, 2011

The guy in the long white robes getting pepper sprayed is a Methodist minister.

The lady with pepper spray covering her face is an 84-year-old retired schoolteacher.

But that’s OK. They’re both just ‘rabble’ as far as the New York Post’s concerned.

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OWS: Toward A New Idea Of Community

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 8, 2011

The fine folks of the Occupy mothership, Occupy Wall Street, continue to amaze me with their creativity and resourcefulness.

When the NYPD and NYFD took away their biodiesel generators, the Occupiers set to work on creating bike generators to power their kitchens and media center and first-aid station. Earlier, Greenpeace had sent their “Rolling Sunlight” mobile solar power station up from Washington, DC, to give them four days’ worth of juice that helped show what solar power can do, and plan to return once a few problems with the power inverters get fixed. Other Occupy locations, such as Occupy Boston, are also very into mobile and even portable DIY solar power.

Wonder why you’re not hearing much anymore about “those awful Occupiers causing Wall Street businesses to lose customers”? It’s because the totally unnecessary police barricades that were choking off the foot and other traffic finally came down last Friday.

Wonder how the Occupiers are being fed? In part, through a partnership with the local street vendors who are themselves victims of NYPD harassment.

Many people are thinking that the coming of winter is the end of the movement. Thing is: What if the movement’s don’t go away with winter’s onset?

What if they can use bike generators and solar panels and DIY solar heat collectors to provide power and warmth?

What if the warm-weather places like OccupyLA can use potted-plant gardens to grow some of their own food onsite? (OccupyLA had to get rid of their onsite garden, but don’t be surprised if one appears elsewhere.)

It sounds like we may be watching experiments in physical sustainability that are just as important as the promotion of the message of economic justice and fairness.

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Occupy Protesters Throwing Bottles – To Each Other, To Rinse Tear Gas From Their Eyes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 26, 2011



Video streaming by Ustream

When you hear about “protesters throwing bottles in the crowd” as it’s being tear-gassed or pepper-sprayed by the cops, here’s what probably actually happening:

Left a comment over at the NYT. They captured video that shows protesters throwing what they themselves identified as “water bottles”, and they contend they are throwing them at the police. But in the video, you can hear someone forward in the tear gas cloud calling out for water. The people aren’t throwing the water at the police. They are throwing it to the people calling for water. It’s for rinsing eyes. But this is how the media gets to report that the protesters were throwing projectiles at the police.

By the way — as TBogg and others have noted, isn’t it interesting that two of the major TV networks covering Occupy Oakland both cut their feeds at the same time just seconds before the cops rolled out the tear gas and the flash bang grenades and the beanbags and the rubber bullets?

See the video above to see what happened once the establishment media turned off its cameras. Or go here. Or see KTVU’s coverage (they’re the largest FOX affiliate that’s not actually owned by FOX but still has vestiges of independence from the NewsCorp party line).

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Occupy Mordor

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 23, 2011

The thing speaks for itself.

Here’s the Facebook page.

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Occupy Wall Street Just Stopped A Foreclosure In Its Tracks

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 14, 2011

David Dayen has the deets:

California Democrats sent a sharply worded letter to the President to deal with the foreclosure crisis. Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street shut down a Brooklyn foreclosure auction today. Who was more effective?

But of course they’re just a bunch of useless professional protesters, right?

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OWS: Lech Walesa Likes ‘Em, Marty Peretz Doesn’t. Too Bad for Marty.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 12, 2011

Once again, Marty Peretz picks the wrong side of history. From an e-mail blast earlier today:

Good morning,

The Editors of The New Republic take a stand against Occupy Wall Street in the November 3 issue of the magazine.

How should liberals feel about Occypy Wall Street? TNR says, “deeply skeptical.” Click here to read why.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information.

Thank you,

Annie Augustine
Media Relations, The New Republic
aaugustine@tnr.com / (202) 508-4482

Please click here to learn more about TNR’s new iPad App.

That’s right: Everyone’s favorite neoconservative neoliberal and hater of FDR and LBJ, the guy who bought what once rivaled The Nation in terms of helping to shape the American liberal mindset and turned it into a slightly spiffier version of The National Review, the guy who actual liberals (as opposed to the straw ones Peretz’ fellow traveler Howard Kurtz has discussed over the years) have laughed at, if not ignored, for over three decades, has come out against Occupy Wall Street.

I know, I know, I’m shocked too. NOT.

Meanwhile, an actual liberal, a bonafide hero, a Nobel Prize winner, and a man who’s put more on the line every week of the past four decades than Marty Peretz has during his entire adult life (well, besides the $380,000 of his Singer-heiress wife’s money he used to buy TNR in 1974), has come out in favor of Occupy Wall Street — and has promised to visit it soon:

Solidarity hero Lech Walesa is flying to New York to show his support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“How could I not respond,” Walesa told a Polish newspaper Wednesday. “The thousands of people gathered near Wall Street are worried about the fate of their future, the fate of their country. This is something I understand.”

A former shipyard worker who led Poland’s successful revolt against Soviet communism, Walesa said “capitalism is in crisis” and not just in America.

“This is a worldwide problem,” he told the Lublin-based Dziennik Wschodni newspaper. “The Wall Street protesters have focused a magnifying glass on the problem.”

Oh, dear. Just another “professional protester”, as Dana Milbank and Marty Peretz would no doubt call him. (Y’know, just like Joseph Stiglitz, that other professional protester and Nobel Prize winner who’s endorsed Occupy Wall Street?) But then again, that epithet does have a touch of truth in it. He did parlay his protesting into not only freedom for Poland, but the presidency of Poland – if that’s not opportunistic self-promoting professional protesting, I dunno what is!

If I have to choose between the hot-tempered bigoted ass who used his wife’s money to ruin The New Republic and the guy who freed Poland and won the Nobel Peace Prize, I won’t be siding with the ass, that’s for sure.

(Crossposted at MyFDL.)

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