Occupy Times Square – approx 5:40pm – 10.15.11

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Argentina to Wall Street: Latin American Social Movements and the Occupation of Everything

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/15-1

by Benjamin Dangl
Published on Saturday, October 15, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

Massive buildings tower over Wall Street, making the sidewalks feel like valleys in an urban mountain range. The incense, drum beats and chants of Occupy Wall Street echo down New York City’s financial district from Liberty Plaza, where thousands of activists have converged to protest economic injustice and fight for a better world.

As unemployment and poverty in the US reaches record levels, the protest is catching on, with hundreds of parallel occupations sprouting up across the country. It was a similar disparity in economic and political power that led people to the streets in the Arab Spring, and in Wisconsin, Greece, Spain and London. Occupy Wall Street is part of this global revolt. This new movement in the US also shares much in common with uprisings in another part of the world: Latin America.

This report from Liberty Plaza connects tactics and philosophies surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement with similar movements in Latin America, from the popular assemblies and occupation of factories during Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001-2002, to grassroots struggles for land in Brazil.

Latin America: Economic Crisis and Grassroots Responses

Almost overnight in late 2001, Argentina went from having one of the strongest economies in South America to one of the weakest. During this economic crash, the financial system collapsed like a house of cards and banks shut their doors. Faced with such immediate economic strife and unemployment, many Argentines banded together to create a new society out of the wreckage of the old. Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment were countered with barter systems, factory occupations, communally-run kitchens, and alternative currency. Neighborhood assemblies provided solidarity, support and vital spaces for discussion in communities across the country. Ongoing protests kicked out five presidents in two weeks, and the movements that emerged from this period transformed the social and political fabric of Argentina.

These activities reflect those taking place at Occupy Wall Street and in other actions around the US right now. Such events in Argentina and the US are marked by dissatisfaction with the political and economic system in the face of crisis, and involve people working together for solutions on a grassroots level. For many people in Argentina and the US, desperation pushed them toward taking matters into their own hands.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/15-1

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Grace Lee Boggs’ message to Occupy Wall Street – 10/9/11

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We Are Everywhere, Like A Wildfire on a Prairie

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If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is…

From Dented Blue Mercedes: http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/if-all-the-occupy-movement-accomplishes-is/

And Rabble Ca: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/mercedes-allen/2011/10/if-all-occupy-movement-accomplishes

By Mercedes Allen
October 15, 2011

Reposted with permission

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to remind a public that protests and activism aren’t merely something that “fringe activists” do, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to politically re-energize a public that has largely grown too apathetic to vote, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to remind society that it has a responsibility to witness, voice and act on issues in our nation, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to teach people to ally, to build consensus, to act, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to make people feel empowered about participating, and make them feel able to have a say in the socio-economic issues that are important to them, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to give people hope and make them realize that together, they can influence true change, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to create new ways to connect, communicate and peacefully engage, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to set the nation on alert that the escalating disparity between a miniscule elite and the overwhelming majority has not gone unnoticed by an overwhelmingly significant portion of the population, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to create a realization of oneness with people who have sometimes very different views and perspectives, but nevertheless face similar challenges, and

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to remind the 1% of the population that increasingly controls and hoards the nation’s wealth that the remaining 99% have power, and

To offer more than faint hope…

Then it has been an incredibly worthwhile effort indeed.

But we’re not stopping there.

The Occupy movement has either already accomplished many or most those things, or is poised to do so. Now, it has acquired the power to shape the change that it has called for.

And you can experience and participate in that. You can add your voice to the conversation about what we are now asking.

But you can’t do it sitting at home.

You.

You are the 99%.

You are going through university or college and holding out hope that afterward you will be able to find work that will help you repay your student loans, or

You invested your life in a trade and have framed or drywalled or installed utilities or carpeted or painted or decorated peoples’ houses in an effort to ensure a comfortable home for you and your family, or

You have worked the front-line of retail or fast food for minimum wages because the shrinking value of money makes it hard to exist on a pension or medical subsidy or one income for your family, or

You have been sidelined by an injury or tragedy or depression that changed your life into a hand-to-mouth struggle, or

You have worked technical support or customer service while enduring peoples’ dissatisfaction over a product you have little power to improve, or

You have built a fairly comfortable life for you and your family, but keep watching it shrink as everyone else seems to have a better use than you for your money.

And you have done it all out of the belief that if you work hard you can succeed, or

You have succumbed to despair because this promise failed you.

You contributed.

You built the roads and infrastructure that business uses to transport corporate goods, and

Your skilled trades built the structures, the offices and factories and equipment, and

You funded and trained and staffed the emergency services that served as a safeguard for the status quo and made our society one that is safe in which to do business, and

You needed the utilities and groceries and clothing and homes and a little extra for luxury and diversion that made it profitable for corporations to develop them, and

You built and staffed the schools that trained skilled workers, and

You funded and filled the ranks of the military that protected national interests at home and overseas, and

You elected and funded the governments that enacted ordinances and programs that very often favoured companies, protected them from theft and fraud and enforced the status quo, and

You bought the products that continued to decline in quality and increase in cost so that corporations could continue to show record profits over the previous record profits, and

You trusted your money to the banks that loaned it to corporations for assets and capital, and

You carried the tax burden in the name of job creators who withdrew from the economy whenever it suited them, or who chose to create jobs in cheaper countries, or who chose to be economically punitive by tossing you aside whenever they wanted to prove a point about how unhappy they were.

And it is not unreasonable for you to expect some return on the life and wealth you have invested for the public good.

You didn’t get that return on your investment.

You were rewarded with economic terror to justify taking away collective bargaining rights.

You were rewarded with escalating prices on food and gas and utilities and products while companies cited rising costs and reaped record profits.

You were rewarded with an increased tax burden in the name of job creation that never happened.

You were rewarded with fears about your pension or your medical benefits which have been eroded and slashed to a point of unsustainability.

You were rewarded with deflection, with rhetoric that made you blame a racial group or immigrants or “promiscuous” women or gays and lesbians or poor, homeless and dependent people or unions and teachers or other religions or “degenerate” youth or transsexual and transgender people for the growing unfairness.

You were rewarded with a campaign to claw back employment benefits that exist because employers had to compete in order to attract quality workers.

You were rewarded with divisions designed to keep the working classes from mobilizingd for some economic parity.

Today, the responsibility falls upon us to regain some of that economic parity.

So.

If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to return to your hands the power that rightfully belongs to you…

Then…

It is worth everything.

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Fight & Chaos: First video of ‘Occupy Rome’ rally turning violent

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Riot police fire tear gas at Occupy protesters in Rome

From The Globe and Mail Ca.: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/riot-police-fire-tear-gas-at-occupy-protesters-in-rome/article2202244/

ALESSANDRA RIZZO, MEERA SELVA and SYLVIA HUI
ROME, LONDON— The Associated Press
Published Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011

Italian police fired tear gas and water cannons as protesters in Rome turned a demonstration against corporate greed into a riot Saturday, smashing shop and bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles.

The protest in the Italian capital was part of “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations against capitalism and austerity measures that went global Saturday, leading to dozens of marches and protests worldwide.

Black smoke billowed into the air in downtown Rome as a small group broke away from the main demonstration and wreaked havoc in streets close to the Colosseum.

Protesters clad in black with their faces covered threw rocks, bottles and other objects at police in riot gear. Some had held clubs, others had hammers. They threw incendiary devices and firecrackers at banks, destroyed bank ATMs and set trash bins on fire, news reports said.

Two news crews from Sky Italia were assaulted.

TV footage showed police in riot gear charging the protesters and firing water cannons at them.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/riot-police-fire-tear-gas-at-occupy-protesters-in-rome/article2202244/

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Occupy Capitalism: ‘No freedom of press in London’

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Yetta Kurland reacts to NYPD’s defense after injury at Occupy

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‘Global day of revolution’ sees Wall Street protests spread across the world as activists turn violent

From The Daily Mail UK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049466/Occupy-Wall-Street-protests-spread-world-global-day-revolution.html

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:56 PM on 15th October 2011

Demonstrators worldwide shouted their rage on Saturday against bankers and politicians they accuse of ruining economies and condemning millions to hardship through greed and bad government.

Galvanized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protests began in New Zealand, rippled round the world to Europe and were expected to return to their starting point in New York.

Organizers hoped to see non-violent demonstrations in 951 cities in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa in addition to every state in the United States.

But in the Italian capital of Rome, activists turned violent as the demonstrations turned into all-out riots.

Italian police fired tear gas and water cannons as protesters who had smashed shop and bank windows, torched cars and hurled bottles.

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Naomi Klein: ‘The Stakes Are Too High for Us Not to Make the Absolute Most of This Moment’

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Little insurrections of hope

By Waging Non-Violence: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/10/little-insurrections-of-hope/

by
October 14, 2011

As I mentioned in this space earlier, I was recently in Barcelona at the War Resisters International’s seminar on War Profiteering and Peace Movement Responses. It was a really interesting time to be a Yankee abroad. The streets in the city center filled up with protests against budget cuts each evening, and everyone at the meetings was talking about OccupyWallStreet in slightly awed and disbelieving tones—as though to say “even the U.S. of A. is getting with the program.”

I was repeatedly asked where I thought the Occupy Movement was headed, a question I cleverly avoided—“look, is that a tapas bar over there? How do you say, ‘more wine, please’ in Spanish?” It is a good question, but as Donald Rumsfeld used to say: “that’s above my pay grade.”

At the end of each long day participating in different seminar tracks (war and exploitation of natural resources, exposing the bad guys, new trends in war profiteering) and workshops on how to research the arms trade, use social media and campaign against drone warfare, we gathered in the city center for the Trobada, convened by the Center for Study of Justice and Peace (Centre d’Estudis per a la Pau JM Delàs). Lots of people turned out for these nightly events, the one at which I presented drew more than one hundred people on a Friday night (but no one in Barcelona eats dinner before 10 pm anyway).

I spent my 20 minutes trying to sharing some of the peace movement responses to war making and war profiteering. The people of Barcelona found this helpful and inspiring (at least those who were there, or at least that is what they told me) and so I thought I would use my blog post this week to share some of what I said there.

When we spend all our time focused on exactly what is wrong and how big and powerful the wrongdoers are, we can inadvertently give short shrift to the people organizing and struggling and (sometimes) winning, so I want to share some snapshots of U.S. resistance. The international news media has focused some attention on the Occupy Movement, but here are some things you are probably not hearing about:

Continue reading at:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/10/little-insurrections-of-hope/

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UNITED FOR GLOBAL DEMOCRACY

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Protesters Take to Streets; Clashes in Rome

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/world/occupy-wall-street-protests-worldwide.html?_r=1&smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=WO-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-PAW-101511-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

By and ELIZABETH A. HARRIS
Published: October 15, 2011

ROME — In dozens of cities around the world on Saturday, people took to the streets, clutching placards and chanting slogans as part of a planned day of protests against the financial system.

In Rome, a protest thick with tension spread over several miles.  Protesters set fire to at least one building and clashed violently with police, who responded with water cannons and tear gas.

In other European cities, including Berlin and London, the demonstrations were largely peaceful, with thousands of people marching past ancient monuments and many gathering in front of capitalist symbols like the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Elsewhere, the turnout was more modest, but rallies of a few hundred people were held in several cities, including Sydney, Australia, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Protests were also held in New York and several other cities in the United States and Canada.

But just as the rallies in New York have represented a range of messages — signs have been held in opposition to President Obama yards away from signs in support — so Saturday’s protests contained a grab bag of messages, opposing nuclear power, political corruption and the privatization of water.

Despite the difference in language, landscape and scale, the protests were united in frustration with the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/world/occupy-wall-street-protests-worldwide.html?_r=1&smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=WO-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-PAW-101511-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

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Occupy Wall Street — 28 days later

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Wall Street protesters trigger protests in other US cities

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Politics and the international Occupy movement

From The World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/into-o14.shtml

By the WSWS editorial board
14 October 2011

The spread of the Occupy Wall Street protests internationally has undeniable political significance. On October 15, occupations will begin in cities in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, South America and Africa.

The movement that is developing is, in its essence, anti-capitalist. The protests are animated by aspirations for social equality. Their banner slogan, “We are the 99 percent”, is imbued with working class hostility to the monopolisation of society’s wealth by a tiny financial and corporate elite—the “one percent.”

In the United States, the myth of the superiority of “free enterprise” has been discredited in the minds of tens of millions, particularly in the three years since the onset of the global financial crisis. The conditions facing workers and young people in the centre of world capitalism are forcing them to seriously consider radical social change and the perspective of socialism.

The occupations emerged outside the influence of official political institutions, parties, trade unions and pseudo-left protest organisations and are implicitly directed against their subservience to big business interests. They are giving voice to the opposition to mass unemployment, the slashing of wages and conditions, soaring education and health costs, environmental degradation and war.

The resonance of such sentiments around the world expresses the fact that the experiences shaping the attitudes of the American working class have been universal.

Three years after the financial collapse, it is clear that the speculative and semi-criminal financial operations that came to dominate the wealth accumulation of the capitalist “one percent” have led to the breakdown of the entire structure of world capitalism and a descent into economic depression and inter-state tensions.

In every country, the mantra of the ruling elite is the same. They are demanding that the full burden of the crisis they caused be imposed on the working class through job destruction, wage cuts and the elimination of essential social programs and rights. Capitalism has failed as a world system. It offers only a future of poverty, degradation, environmental catastrophe and, if not overthrown, the threat of devastating new wars between rival capitalist nations.

Continue reading at:  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/into-o14.shtml

Rice professor accepts Gulf article’s fate

From The Houston Chronicle: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Rice-professor-accepts-Gulf-article-s-fate-2213565.php

By HARVEY RICE, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

GALVESTON – A Rice University oceanographer said he accepts a decision by the state’s environmental agency to kill an article he wrote on sea-level rise in Galveston Bay, ending a standoff over the article’s references to rising sea levels and human-caused environmental change.

“I’m willing to live with not having it published,” John Anderson said Tuesday. “I refuse to have it published with their deletions.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said late Monday it will remove Anderson’s article on sea-level rise in Galveston Bay from a collection of 10 articles written for The State of the Bay, a periodical publication of the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

TCEQ, which had contracted with the Houston Advanced Research Center to produce the report, decided to discard the article after Anderson refused to agree to a number of deletions, dealing with climate change, sea-level rise and human-caused changes to the environment.

An agency spokeswoman gave no reason for the deletions but said the agency disagreed with portions of Anderson’s work.

Continue reading at:  http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Rice-professor-accepts-Gulf-article-s-fate-2213565.php

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Marrying for love, marching for equality

From The Dallas Voice: http://www.dallasvoice.com/marrying-love-marching-equality-1092082.html

Dallas lesbian couple 1 of at least 5 couples participating in a marriage equality march and mass wedding Saturday in downtown Dallas

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
Posted on 13 Oct 2011 at 6:23pm

Ashlyn Jones and Amanda Evans are getting married in downtown Dallas this weekend. They invited 50 of their friends, but would like everyone to attend.

“I want people I don’t even know to come and say, ‘Congratulations,’” Jones said. “That would be awesome.”

Jones and Evans are one of at least five couples that will participate in a mass wedding on Saturday evening at Founder’s Plaza in front of the Dallas County Records Building, as part of a protest in support of marriage equality.

Event organizer Daniel Cates said the couples are encouraged to apply for a marriage license inside the Records Building earlier in the week, even though those applications will be denied.

Similar events sponsored by GetEQUAL and P-FLAG are being held in about 10 cities across the state. In addition to the major cities, Harlingen, Brownsville, Huntsville and Odessa also have marriage equality events planned.

Cates said that while Texas is not close to granting marriage equality, LGBT Texans must demand the right.

“Since the New York marriage victory, people in other states are fighting back,” Cates said. “Once we lost the marriage battle here, we stopped fighting.”

Jones said that the Saturday wedding ceremony will also be a celebration of their five-year anniversary as a couple.

“In front of all of our friends, we’ll tell each other that we love each other,” Jones said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dallasvoice.com/marrying-love-marching-equality-1092082.html
By the way.  This is a test to see how many of y’all read these posts.  Even though it is only symbolic and more an act of protest than an officially recognized marriage Tina and I have decide to go and get married at this event.

Street Heat Nation

From The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/163968/street-heat-nation

Katrina vanden Heuvel
on October 13, 2011

Three years ago, when the banks took down our economy—and people’s homes, savings and lives with it—we wondered, Why aren’t more people out in the streets?

When the banksters were bailed out with no strings attached—no foreclosure relief, no megabank breakups, no controls on exorbitant salaries—we wondered, Why aren’t more people out in the streets?

And finally when those same corporations returned to record profits but hoarded the cash, keeping credit frozen and jobs scarce—we wondered, What will it take for people far and wide to hit the streets?

It took Occupy Wall Street.

The occupation in downtown New York began with shamefully little and mostly derisive media coverage. But now the pundits, the Democratic Party and the guardians of the wealthy elite are scrambling to keep up with it, make sense of it, challenge it, co-opt it.

They can’t. It’s an exploding star—gathering energy in enormous and potent quantities, and bursting outward to all corners of the country. Occupy Wall Street is now in over 1,400 cities and counting, each grassroots operation reflecting the local culture of protest.

Check out these encampments:

Continue reading at:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/163968/street-heat-nation

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