Make A Stand (Occupy Wall St)

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Ocuppy Denver – Police Spill Protesters Blood

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State Concedes Defeat For Now in Occupy Nashville Battle; Judge Bans More Arrests

From The Nashville Scene:

Posted by Jeff Woods
Mon, Oct 31, 2011

In a surprise victory for Occupy Nashville today, the state of Tennessee declined to defend the governor’s crackdown on protesters at Legislative Plaza and accepted a court order banning more arrests—at least for now. Federal Judge Aleta Trauger said she’d already decided to issue her temporary restraining order anyway, even if the state opposed it.

“I can’t think of any more quintessential public forum than the Legislative Plaza,” she said, calling the governor’s actions “clear prior restraint of free speech.” She said she was “most gratified” and “not too surprised” that the state was conceding the first round in the lawsuit filed this morning by Occupy Nashville and the ACLU.

The two sides agreed to negotiate ways to accommodate the protesters while maintaining public safety at the Plaza. They were given until Nov. 21, at which point they’ll go back to court. If there’s no deal, then Trauger will decide whether to make her injunction permanent. Oh yes, the state also agreed to return the protesters’ tents, soggy sleeping bags and other possessions that troopers confiscated on the first night of arrests and tossed into the back of a pickup truck in the Plaza garage.

The lawsuit catalogs all the many ways the protesters say the governor and the state of Tennessee have trampled on their rights. Free speech and free association have been denied at probably the most prominent public forum in the state of Tennessee, and it was done on the fly with flimsy legal authority and without notice, the lawsuit says.

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Occupy Demands: Let’s Radicalize Our Analysis Of Empire, Economics, Ecology

From Counter Currents:

By Robert Jensen
31 October, 2011

There’s one question that pundits and politicians keep posing to the Occupy gatherings around the country: What are your demands?

I have a suggestion for a response: We demand that you stop demanding a list of demands.

The demand for demands is an attempt to shoehorn the Occupy gatherings into conventional politics, to force the energy of these gatherings into a form that people in power recognize, so that they can roll out strategies to divert, co-opt, buy off, or — if those tactics fail — squash any challenge to business as usual.

Rather than listing demands, we critics of concentrated wealth and power in the United States can dig in and deepen our analysis of the systems that produce that unjust distribution of wealth and power. This is a time for action, but there also is a need for analysis. Rallying around a common concern about economic injustice is a beginning; understanding the structures and institutions of illegitimate authority is the next step. We need to recognize that the crises we face are not the result simply of greedy corporate executives or corrupt politicians, but rather of failed systems. The problem is not the specific people who control most of the wealth of the country, or those in government who serve them, but the systems that create those roles. If we could get rid of the current gang of thieves and thugs but left the systems in place, we will find that the new boss is going to be the same as the old boss.

My contribution to this process of sharpening analysis comes in lists of three, with lots of alliteration. Whether you find my analysis of the key questions compelling, at least it will be easy to remember: empire, economics, ecology.

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Is Capitalism Losing the Debate?

From Common Dreams:

by Carl Finamore
Published on Monday, October 31, 2011 by

A remarkable shift in mass public opinion is occurring right before our eyes. It does not happen often. Normally, only when there is a severe breakdown in public confidence about the future.

Now is such a time.

Millions are demanding clear explanations for the economic turmoil surrounding their lives and rejecting en masse standard platitudes from an increasingly discredited political establishment.

Fox-News pundits, Heritage Foundation business scholars, glib right-wing loud mouths and two-faced politicians from both major parties have been exposed as stand-in ventriloquists for the wealthy – shockingly, all in a few short weeks.

It all began with only a few hundred protestors camped out on Wall Street challenging conceited notions of the one percent.

Through it all, the Occupy Movement is discovering what my generation learned during the civil rights, antiwar, feminist and gay rights struggles begun some 65 years ago – the ideas of the rich and powerful just don’t stand up.

They don’t hold water. That is, they do not accurately explain what is happening around us, the measure most rational people use to determine if something is true or false.

There was bitter political conflict with the status quo during the conformist “American Dream” decade of the 1950s.

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Angela Davis “This Is The Beginning Of Something Really Wonderful! Really Vast! And Really Great!”

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Can America survive without its backbone, the middle class?

From The Telegraph UK:

As the gaps within the classes widen, American society is starting to fracture.

By Anne Applebaum
28 Oct 2011

My friend J grew up in Chicago, but spent his summers in a small town on a Michigan lake. His family, because they came from the city and because they were “summer” visitors, were slightly more privileged than those who lived in the town. Nevertheless, the town considered itself “middle class” and the children observed no social distinctions playing together. J told me recently that he had been back to that town and found it utterly changed: shops were boarded up, houses were being repossessed, cars were old. He no longer had much in common with people he had known as children, some of whom were now unemployed, all of whom had far lower incomes than he.

J isn’t a hedge-fund manager or a plutocrat, but he is a member of the American upper-middle class, a group which is now sociologically and economically very distinct from the lower-middle class, with different politics, different ambitions and different levels of optimism. Thirty years ago, this wasn’t the case. A worker in a Detroit car factory earned about the same as, say, a small-town dentist, and although they might have different taste in films or furniture, their purchasing power wasn’t radically different. Their children would have been able to play together without feeling as if they came from different planets.

Now they couldn’t. Despite all the loud talk of the “1 per cent” of Americans who, according to a recent study, receive about 17 per cent of the income, a percentage which has more than doubled since 1979, the existence of a very small group of very rich people has never bothered Americans. But the fact that some 20 per cent of Americans now receive some 53 per cent of the income is devastating.

I would argue that the growing divisions within the American middle class are far more important than the gap between the very richest and everybody else. They are important because to be “middle class”, in America, has such positive connotations, and because most Americans think they belong in it. The middle class is the “heartland”, the middle class is the “backbone of the country”. In 1970, Time magazine described middle America as people who “sing the national anthem at football games – and mean it”.

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Hartmann: 1% – It’s not about your bank account but your patriotism

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Occupy movement can win with nonviolence

From People’s World:

by: Juan Lopez
October 31 2011

Wisconsin state police earlier this year escorted protestors into the state capitol so they could sit-in and sleep-in, in an act of non-violent civil disobedience. Police could just as easily have blocked demonstrators from entering, by any means necessary.

Why this course of action by state police in Wisconsin? After all, it could easily be argued that police and firefighters, whom Republican Governor Scott Walker had exempted from his attack on public employees, had no immediate incentive to cooperate with demonstrators. But they did.

They understood that in broad unity lay the secret to victory for all: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” They understood they would be next on the chopping block.

Now, obviously no such gesture can be expected from the Oakland Police Department, which has an ugly history of use of excessive force in African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American communities in Oakland.

The latest tragedy inflicted on Iraq veteran Scott Olsen, a peaceful man, by Oakland cops is becoming a galvanizing moment to root out right-wing and racist elements long embedded in the city’s police department.

We can expect no less from public officials and even from forces within the police department itself who recognize they are part of the “99 percent,” as filmmaker Michael Moore so aptly pointed out recently at Occupy Oakland.

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Donate to the Transgender Law Center, Because a Dead Body is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Note:  Ever since the 1960s when I was involved in the anti-war in Vietnam Movement there have been parasites who use every single event, commemoration or protest as a fund raising opportunity.  While I am a socialist the Trotskyites of the Socialist Worker’s Party have been extremely annoying over the years, showing up at every single event to sell their newspapers.

When Matthew Shepherd was murdered and turned into a martyr I saw this tendency among the organizations I refer to as Gay Inc.  No tragedy is too horrible for people to use as a fund raising tool or as a lever for a political agenda that often times lacks even the barest link to the agenda that it is being used to push. Now Transgender Inc with its national offices and “Professionals” seems to be following a pattern laid out by Gay Inc.

From the start I have been skeptical regarding the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  At first due to how Gwen Smith seemed to be using it as a spring board to national fame and a paying career.

But I also saw it as problematic due to its failure to use these deaths to create discussion about some of the major issues within the transsexual and transgender communities. High risk behavior including street prostitution, drug abuse, silicone pumping and high risk sexual behavior.

While we worked hard to pass hate crimes laws which were relevant to these murders and violence we have fallen down when it has come to the preaching of measures that might help people avoid becoming martyrs.  We are told that is “Blaming the Victim.”  As if pointing out that street sex work is more dangerous than patrolling downtown Kabul while wearing body armor and carrying an M16.

Where are the programs?  The ones offering alternatives.

Instead we get fund raising piggy backing on to a memorial service, and not even fund raising for a project directly related to lessening high risk behavior and the violence including murder that accompanies such behavior.

From TransAdvocate:

By Marti Abernathey
October 30, 2011

Reposted with Permission

Donate to the Transgender Law Center, Because a Dead Body is a Terrible Thing to Waste

I hate writing this post, but every year I have to write it. From 2010 I wrote:

“I’m pissed. Every year I write this post. EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN YEAR. You just can’t help but feed off the dead. You did it in 2007, in 2008, and 2009, and you’re doing it again this year. What am I talking about? Every year I do a post about a group that is either exploiting or misusing the Transgender Day of Remembrance.”

And here I am, another year later, and I have to essentially write the same post.

Today I see this on Facebook by the Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director, Masen Davis, asking:

“In honor of Trans Day of Remembrance, please join the Remember.Respond.Renew campaign and help the Transgender Law Center reach its $10,000 goal.”

To Davis, I’d like him to  listen to the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Gwen Smith.

“Now as you can guess, I do have an investment in the Day of Remembrance. As its founder, I cannot help but cringe when it is tacked onto a party – or when a beer bust is added. It’s not about me, however, as the event is much bigger than that. It is out there, and has a life of its own.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a moment of activism, when we honor those we’ve lost, when we seek justice for the victims of anti-transgender violence, and where we make a silent commitment to those lost that we will make a better world for those who come after: a world where we have the right to exist.

It has also been a day that brings a sense of closure to friends and family of the victims, where they can see that their loss was not in vain, and that there are people out there who do care about these people.

It can also be a time of solidarity, when people of all stripes, transgender and non, can come together as one people to say, plainly, that the issue of anti-transgender violence is not to be tolerated.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is for Pickett and Hester. It’s for Brandon Teena and Gwen Araujo. It is for hundreds of those we know were killed, and for thousands more we may never know.

This year, too, it is about people like Roy Jones, a 16-month-old infant who was pummeled by his babysitter for acting like “a little girl.” It’s about Ashley Santiago Ocasio who was stabbed to death in Puerto Rico and Azra, a Turkish transwoman who was shot in the back of the head. It is about them and many more.

The event is not about dance parties. It is not about being funny nor bitchy. As important as issues of bullying and suicide are, the Day of Remembrance should not be overshadowed for the sake of ratings or remaining topical. It is a somber, sobering event – and should probably not have cover charges or cheap beer mixed in with the sorrow and anger.”

“It leaves me cold, and questioning exactly how does one ‘bring the community together’ by co-opting a date for an event that has been around for more than a decade. I wonder if their response would be the same if they had scheduled their celebration on December 1 (World AIDS Day) or if they might find that in bad taste. If the latter is true, what makes the Day of Remembrance any different?

Also, why host an event on bullying and suicide at your anniversary celebration? Why did they not do that on Spirit Day? Why conflate so many things into such a hodgepodge? But I digress.

Over the last few years, I have heard reactions from people, indicating that the Transgender Day of Remembrance is a “depressing” event. I don’t disagree. It is difficult to hear these stories, and realize that this remains such a large-scale problem.

For that matter, I’d fully support an event that is a celebration of who we are. I’d love to see, for example, a really big party held every August – the anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria riot where transgender people stood up against the police in San Francisco – where people of every hue of trans identity could shake their groove things.

I’m all for laughter, dancing, and even a drink or two – but not on this one day. This is not a day to dance on our graves.” – Gwen Smith (via ebar)

If the day isn’t for parties or uplifting events, it’s most surely not a day to fund-raise for your non-profit. You might as well put The Transgender Law Center NASCAR type graphics on coffins or get a organ grinder and a monkey and troll for cash on trans victim’s graves.

I support the work of Masen Davis and the Transgender Law Center. But the Transgender Day of Remembrance isn’t a day to fund-raise over. Please save it for another day.

Related content:

  2. Exploiting The Transgender Dead: The Irresistible Temptation Part II
  3. If You Don’t Like The Word Transgender, Please Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya…
  4. Press Release from TransMaryland Concerning HB235
  5. The Daily Transadvocate Twitter Digest for 2009-11-21
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Police In Richmond Virginia use Bulldozers to Break up Occupy Richmond

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Christian Groups Make Plans To Protect #OccupyLSX Protesters At St. Paul’s Cathedral

From Crooks and Liars:

By Susie Madrak
October 30, 2011

I’ve seen lots of online Christian bloggers express their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. I wonder if they’re ever going to get involved like these British Christian groups? It would be a great thing:

Christian groups have drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.

As the storm of controversy over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration deepened on Saturday, Christian activists said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul’s. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: “We represent peace, unity and love. A ring of prayer is a wonderful symbol.”

With senior officials at St Paul’s apparently intent on seeking an injunction to break up the protest, the director of the influential religious thinktank Ekklesia, Jonathan Bartley, said the cathedral’s handling of the protest had been a “car crash” and predicted more high-profile resignations from the Church of England.

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Occupy LA as a leadership school

From LA Observed:

Bill Boyarsky
October 29 2011

Walking through the Occupy LA encampment the other day, I stopped to listen to a small meeting being held on the north side of city hall. A dozen or more occupiers were discussing how and when to serve food.

A couple of people wanted to post serving hours for the free food. There was intense discussion of varieties of food. One person was a vegan, another, wanting protein, was not. And, naturally, there was the question of who would cook or serve, and whether their assignments should be posted.

“Interesting, isn’t it?” said my friend Art Goldberg, a lawyer who has been protesting since his Berkeley Free Speech Movement days and probably even when he was in elementary school. Goldberg had just finished talking to the group on the best and most humane way to treat the mentally ill in the encampment. He said he stops by Occupy LA every day during breaks in a trial in the nearby courthouse.

“If you’re interested in food service,” I replied, rather sarcastically, indicating that the group’s discussion hadn’t grabbed my attention. He said he thought if I had concentrated more, I would have seen the dialogue wasn’t just about serving food .If I had listened carefully, I would have heard the dynamics of Occupy LA played out on a few levels.

I saw what he meant a few minutes later when a young woman came over to us to thank Goldberg for his remarks on the mentally ill. She had been one of those discussing food. Goldberg talked to her about the need to post schedules and to work out differences that had been evident in the discussion.

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Occupy Denver protesters, law enforcement officers clash; 20 arrested

From The Denver Post:

By Jordan Steffen and Michael Booth
October 30, 2011

In the most violent Saturday in more than a month of Occupy Denver demonstrations and marches, Denver police fired pepper spray and pepper balls at a crowd of protesters in Civic Center and arrested 20 people.

Two of the protesters were held for felony charges after police said an officer was knocked off his motorcycle and other officers were kicked, as they moved into the park to tear down illegal tents.

The first midafternoon confrontation had police and state troopers shoulder-to-shoulder pushing a group of marchers off the state Capitol steps, which is out-of-bounds to protesters without a permit. Some of the Occupy Denver sympathizers then raced to set up tents in Civic Center, where city officials have allowed ongoing food tables and sleeping bags but not sleeping structures.

Protesters there surged around about eight police officers. Other officers responding to calls for help fired the pepper bullets, which resemble paint balls. One protester filming the scene — one of hundreds of cameras documenting police activity — was knocked out of a tree in the melee.

Five people were arrested in the first conflict, before 3 p.m. Hundreds of officers and SWAT members converged on the park, and Broadway was shut down for hours as police and protesters reached a tense stalemate.

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Occupy Baltimore hunkered down through Nor’easter

From The Baltimore Brew:

“I’m more worried about the winter than I am the mayor.”

Fern Shen
October 30, 2011

In the relentless Saturday rain, we visited Occupy Baltimore to see how they were doing after a morning of “wintry mix” (i.e., wet snow) and a night of intermittently pounding rain and temperatures in the high 30s.

Most were apparently huddled in the tents, though a few were out at the food tent, eating donated pizza and talking to passersby.

“It was pretty horrible out here last night,” said William Kutschbach, a Vietnam vet who has been sleeping in the back fountain area at McKeldin Square. Kutschbach said he didn’t get too wet and stays warm with a quilt and a moving blanket.

Kutschbach bummed a light from Vince Rogalski, a research coordinator at Johns Hopkins who has been supporting Occupy, though not sleeping there.

We asked Rogalski if he worries about the city pushing the “occupiers” out, and he gestured toward the windy, rainy scene around him.

“I’m more worried about the winter than I am the mayor,” he said. “We win if we’re here in the spring.”

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After Violence in Occupy Oakland, Remembering FDR’s Engagement with Another Occupation

From New Deal 2.0:

by David Woolner
Friday, 10/28/2011

DR engaged with the Bonus Army instead of cracking down. Today’s mayors should take note.

The violence that broke out in Oakland earlier this week and the wounding of Scott Olsen, a Marine veteran, recalls a similar “occupy movement” involving veterans that took place in Washington at the onset of the Great Depression.

In 1932, thousands of unemployed World War I veterans, desperate from lack of work, converged on Washington, mostly by riding the rails, in support of a bill that would have allowed them to receive immediate cash payment of the war service “bonus” they were due in 1945. The veterans called themselves the “Bonus Army” or “Bonus Expeditionary Force.” By the end of May of that year, more than 20,000 had occupied a series of abandoned buildings near the Washington Mall and a sprawling shantytown they built on the Anacostia Flats not far from the Capitol. On June 15, 1932, the House of Representatives passed a bill in favor of the veteran payments, but as both President Hoover and a majority in the Senate opposed it, the “Bonus bill” went down to defeat two days later.

In the wake of this defeat, roughly 15,000 members of the Bonus Army decided that they would continue their occupation as a protest against the government’s decision. By late July, President Hoover decided it was time to clear the city of the protesters, using four troops of cavalry under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Late in the afternoon of July 28, General MacArthur’s troops — with sabers drawn — cleared the buildings near the Mall. They then fired tear gas among the men, women, and children encamped in Anacostia (many veterans were accompanied by their families); stormed the area on horseback, driving them out; and intentionally burned the shantytown to the ground in the process. More than 1,000 people were injured in the incident and two veterans and one child died.

In attacking the shantytown, MacArthur had exceeded his orders, which were simply to clear the buildings and surround the camp so as to contain it. But this meant little to the public, who were outraged at the treatment the veterans had received at the hands of the government and furious at Hoover for ordering the operation. Hoover, nevertheless, remained publically unrepentant and refused to apologize to the veterans — moves that contributed greatly to his massive loss to Franklin Roosevelt a few months later.

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It’s Always Been a Class War

From FireDogLake:

By: Glenn W. Smith
Sunday October 30, 2011

Whenever conservatives get caught with their hands in the till they shout, “Class Warfare!” at those of us who would like to stop their looting. Thinking this a negative, they forget, I guess, that the American democratic experiment was and is just that: a class war.

It has always been about equality vs. aristocracy. It was in the beginning, is now, and will always be. No one has described the class war and the American spirit of equality as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood. He recognized equality as America’s home-grown radical philosophy.

Wood wrote:

As early as the 1780s the principal antagonists in the society were no longer patriots vs. courtiers but had become democrats v. aristocrats.

Today’s political and cultural antagonists – progressives vs. conservatives, OWS versus Wall Street – are engaged in the very same battle. It’s muddied up a bit by the agitations of a populist Right, people charmed by hierarchy and the aristocracy’s slight-of-hand into believing their real enemies were those beside them and not the Machiavels above them. But propaganda’s tissue-thin; the reality it presumes to wrap is always visible beneath it – for those who look.

By any measure – political power, income distribution, educational opportunity, access to health care – it’s frighteningly clear that aristocratic anti-egalitarians have been winning. As the suffering caused by their anti-democratic movement becomes more widespread and widely seen, however, they grow ever more nervous. It’s not Wall Street we occupy so much as the fevered nightmares of an  embattled elite. They wave their wands still, but the magic deserts them.

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7 Billion Is Many Too Many: Time To Humanely Limit Population Growth Is Now

From Counter Currents:

By Steven Earl Salmony
30 October, 2011

Much more intellectual honesty, moral courage and humanistic action is needed. Tomorrow we will become a species of 7 billion overconsumers, overproducers and overpopulaters on a finite and frangible planet where resources are dissipating and environs degrading rapidly. As we observe absolute global human population numbers continue to soar exponentially, despite reduced fertiliy rates in many places, we also recognize that never in the course of human events have so few taken so much from so many and determined to leave so little for others.

During my lifetime, when human numbers explode from less than 2.3+ bn to 7+ bn worldwide, many experts may not have known enough about what they were talking about when they spoke of human population dynamics and all causes of the human overpopulation of Earth. Their research appears not to be scientific, but rather issues from ideological or totalitarian thinking, or from a specious group-think consensus. Their all-too-attractive thinking, as viewed by greedmongers, is willfully derived from what is politically convenient, economically expedient, socially agreeable, religiously tolerable and culturally prescribed. Widely broadcast and long-accepted thinking from an astonishingly large number of so-called experts in the field of population dynamics appears to have an unscientific foundation, and is likely wrong. Their preternatural theorizing about the population dynamics of the human species appears to be both incomplete and misleading. Most disturbing of all, a widely shared and consensually validated theory about a benign “demographic transition” leading to automatic population stabilization a mere four decades from now is directly contradicted by unchallenged scientific research. As a consequence, and it is a pernicious consequence, a woefully inadequate and fundamentally flawed theory has been broadcast during my lifetime and continues to be broadcast everywhere by the mainstream media as if it is not only science but the best available scientific evidence. The implications of this unfortunately dishonest behavior, inasmuch as it appears to be based upon contrived, ideologically-induced logic as well as an undeniable misperception of what could somehow be real regarding the human population, appear profound. This failure of nerve by ‘the brightest and the best’ has slowed the momentum needed to confront a formidable, human-forced global predicament, one that looms ominously before the human family in our time.

In their elective mutism regarding an incredible error of thought and perception during my life cycle, are first class professional researchers with expertise in population dynamics behaving badly by allowing the “ninety-nine percenters” to be misguided and led down a primrose path by the “one percenters”? The power of silence on the part of knowledgeable human beings with feet of clay is dangerous because research is being denied that appears to shed light upon a dark, non-recursive biological problem, the understanding of which appears vital to future human well being and environmental health. Too many experts appear to be ignoring science regarding the human population. By way of their willful mutism they effectively consent to the leviathan scale and unbridled expansion of global overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities that are being actively pursued as well as silently condoned by greedmongering masters of the universe, the tiny minority among us who are primarily responsible for ravaging the Earth, ruining its environs and reducing its fitness for habitation by the children. If this assessment of human behavior is indeed a fair representation of what is happening on our watch, then the desire to preserve the status quo, mainly the selfish interests of ‘the powers that be’, could be at least one basis for so much intellectually dishonest and morally bereft behavior. Could it be that the outrageous per capita overconsumption, large-scale corporate overproduction and unrestricted overpopulation activities of the human species worldwide cannot continue much longer on a planet with the size, composition and ecology of a finite and frangible planet like Earth?

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Portland police arrest 25 Occupy Portland demonstrators overnight

From Oregon Live:

Published: Sunday, October 30, 2011

Twenty-five Occupy Portland demonstrators were arrested early this morning after refusing to leave Jamison Square.

The arrests capped an intense hours-long standoff between police and dozens of protesters who refused to leave the Pearl District park after it was declared closed at midnight. Officers, some in riot gear and others on horses, faced off with protesters who remained in the square, despite being ordered to leave.

Mayor Sam Adams early this morning spoke to reporters at Central Precinct about the arrests, saying while he’s been supportive of the movement so far, he disapproved of the protesters’ action overnight.

“I look forward to the occupy movement’s next phase, next iteration, of really finding a way to act on its mission,” Adams said. “This, though, was, I think, an unnecessary confrontation that we tried to minimize.”

After the park’s closure at midnight, a group of demonstrators remained, facing off with police. Officers used night sticks and horses, shoving people to the south end of the park. A circle of protesters remained seated in the center of the square wearing bandannas over their mouths and making peace signs with their hands. The crowd on the edges of the park, meanwhile, grew increasingly agitated, yelling at police: “Whose park? Our park,” and “You guys are bullies!”

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The Great Depression Right Outside Our Doors

From Truth Dig:

By Bill Boyarsky
Posted on Oct 28, 2011

While Occupy Wall Street and similar movements around the country take aim at financial institutions and their political cronies for taking the country into recession, let’s not forget those at the very bottom who were victims of economic depression long before the current collapse.

Connie Rice, a Los Angeles civil rights attorney, writes about their plight in a powerful new book, “Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman’s Quest for Social Justice in America, From the Courtroom to the Kill Zones.” She tells the story of how she and her colleagues have worked to free poor neighborhoods of the evils of gang killings, police brutality, poorly run schools and bad health. They are doing it in a civil rights organization with a hands-on approach called the Advancement Project.

“Our experts fret over a Great Recession but ignore the permanent Great Depression beneath their penthouses,” Rice writes.

Recalling Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for a radical restructuring of our society, Rice says his dream “barely survives 40 years of Southern Strategy race baiting, wrecking-ball destruction of safety nets, failure of public institutions, unhinged greed from our banking and financial sectors, a caste of American untouchables abandoned to prisons and an underground economy increasingly dominated by gangs that grow in power and reach.”

“It was the mission [of the Advancement Project] to make sure our poorest kids also reached the mountaintop that Martin Luther King Jr. glimpsed right before he died—and to sound the alarm that the final cost of their chronic destitution would be our own destruction,” she writes.

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