By David Ferguson
Saturday, September 15, 2012
In a speech to the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, former presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) marked out the media and “smart people” as permanent enemies of the Republican Party, according to BuzzFeed.
“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country,” he said. “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”
From Truth Out: http://truth-out.org/news/item/11541-occupy-wall-street-is-back
By Mike Ludwig
Friday, 14 September 2012
Occupy Wall Street and the 99% are preparing to rise back up – evolved, re-energized and looking forward to “starting some trouble” to celebrate where it all began.
Monday, September 17, now dubbed #S17, marks the one-year anniversary of the protest and occupation in New York City – an event that captured the world’s attention and ignited protests, occupations and grassroots community organizing around the globe.
To celebrate and continue challenging the corporate elite, activists in New York City are preparing for three days of teach-ins and direct actions in the heart of the Wall Street financial district, where it all began.
In New York, a weekend of gatherings and free educational events will culminate in a day of action on #S17. Organizers are calling for massive civil disobedience, mobile intersection takeovers and an evening gathering at Liberty Plaza, aka Zuccotti Park, where the original Occupy Wall Street camp was held for two months last year.
New York police also are preparing for #S17 and have erected giant concrete walls around Zuccotti park, according to reports from activists.
It remains to be seen if #S17 participants will attempt to establish another campout-style occupation. After confronting police and city officials across the country, activists within the Occupy movement say they are ready to tactically evolve beyond the campout spectacle. In fact, much the movement already has.
“The actual camping was as [a] spectacle to get people who were interested in anti-capitalist action to come together,” said Joan Donovan, an InterOccupy.net and Occupy Los Angeles organizer. Donovan was preparing to travel to New York City for #S17 when Truthout spoke with her on Thursday.
The national network of Occupy campouts established in late 2011 and the spring of 2012 became a media spectacle as well, especially when police at occupations in New York, Oakland and Berkeley started cracking skulls and spraying tear gas in response to protests.
As winter and frustrated police forces closed in, the camps began to disappear, and so did much of the mainstream media coverage.
But the end of the camps did not mark the end of the movement. Local and national networks formed in camps across the country, and Occupy soon gave birth to campaigns addressing a range of pressing issues, such as fighting to save families from foreclosure evictions, challenging the indefinite detention clause in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and, most recently, taking on the infamous genetically engineered seed purveyor Monsanto.
Continue reading at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/11541-occupy-wall-street-is-back
by Yates McKee
September 15, 2012
“The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!” cried voices across Zuccotti Park on Wednesday night as 30 people sat with their arms interlocked, surrounded by cameras and sympathetic onlookers. NYPD officers were positioned some distance away at the concrete barricades that had begun surrounding the park. Confronting the sit-in with mock dispersal orders were Sam Corbin and Logan Price, OWS Direct Action trainers tasked with helping to prepare participants for the People’s Wall, a nonviolent civil disobedience action in the Financial District planned for the morning of Monday, September 17.
September 17 (S17) is of course the one-year anniversary of the occupation of Zuccotti Park, a reclaiming of public space that galvanized the political imagination of the country and the world with its proclaimed opposition between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, its prefigurative emphasis on horizontality and mutual aid, and its linking of grievances from climate change to Stop and Frisk to predatory debt. All summer, OWS organizers have poured their energy into preparing for a three-day convergence of “education, celebration and resistance” to mark the anniversary — which will include assemblies, trainings, a concert, and a day of direct actions including the People’s Wall, 99 Revolutions and the eco-themed Storm Wall Street. At the same time, those of us working to organize it are keeping our eyes on the prize of long-term movement building for campaigns like the fight against the expansion of fossil fuel extraction and Strike Debt, an effort to organize a mass upsurge of debt resistance.
Chastened by the disappointed expectations surrounding the May Day call for a general strike, throughout the S17 planning process organizers have been wary about “overpromising and underdelivering,” in the words of Aaron Bornstein. And yet, as S17 approaches, a messianic sense of expectation and promise has taken hold of crazy-eyed Occupiers working 24/7 to pull together the final pieces of the convergence as an unknown number of sympathizers from around the country make the pilgrimage to Lower Manhattan to share in the anniversary observance. Rather than simply a backward-looking commemoration of occupied Zuccotti Park, OWS organizers have stressed that the convergence is designed as a launching pad for what they call “Year II” — a phrase that boldly suggests a new calendric cycle on the order of the French Revolution.
As Michael Hardt and Toni Negri have argued in their recent book Declaration, OWS and related movements around the world have practiced what they call an “autonomous temporality,” refusing to play by the expectations of the electoral system, the news cycle, and predetermined metrics of success and failure. And yet, though many are loathe to admit it, the global media presence will be a crucial ingredient for S17. Indeed, the S17 anniversary is unique in the recent history in that it provides a moment in which international media will be turned to a progressive social movement because of a milestone of the movement’s own making (rather than because of a convention or a summit where there happen to be protesters). The challenge facing OWS organizers is to strategically take advantage of this spotlight and to demonstrate that the movement of the 99 percent has only just begun.
See also: Naked Capitalism: Occupy Wall Street 2.0: The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual
Posted byDamian Carrington
Friday 14 September 2012
Our planet is waving the white flag of surrender. But as the polar flag becomes ever more tattered, with holes scorched by hotter ocean waters, humanity pumps ever more globe-warming gases into the air.
The story of the Arctic ice cap is the story of modern environmentalism. In 1968, as satellites began to document the vast ice field blanketing the north pole, the iconic Earthrise image was beamed back to the ground. It revealed a planet of awesome beauty, deep blue oceans, verdant continents and crowned with at least 8m square kilometres of gleaming ice. The image kickstarted the global green movement.
In 2007, a new record was set for the minimum summer sea ice cover in the Arctic had halved. This furious flag waving attracted attention. That year, the world’s scientists declared the end of any doubt that our addiction to burning fossil fuels was changing the face of the planet. Al Gore expounded his inconvenient truth and the world seemed set to act.
Today, that 2007 record is smashed and the shredded white flag is now flickering rathering than flashing. But the danger is greater than even, even if the alarm signal is frayed.
The last great global ice melt the planet witnessed came 10,000 years ago at the end of a deep ice age. As glaciers retreated, a benign and balmy climate emerged in which the human race has flourished. Our entire civilisation is built on the warm soils left as the ice sheets melted.
This new great melting heralds the polar opposite: the gravest of threats to civilisation. Removing the lid from the pole will release heat equivalent to fast-forwarding human-caused climate change by two decades, say scientists.
The competitive edge is always front and center in this country. But it’s not the best way to run a society.
By Frank Joyce
September 13, 2012
While I was watching a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, I was reminded all over again of the power of the competition meme. Were the contestants talented? Yes. Did they sincerely hope they could find their way to fame, fortune and escape from a precarious working class life? To be sure. Were the judges witty and clever? You betcha. Was the audience, both live in the studio and on TV passionate and engaged? Very. Well then, apparently the competition system is working just as the 1% wishes it to.
The competitive edge is always front and center in this country. Football season is here. And The Hunger Games, the movie where things get really extreme is now out on DVD. The Hunger Games is a movie worth seeing if you missed it and watching again if have already seen it. It is a deeply subversive film that exposes the rigged nature of the system by which the one-percent rule and the rigged nature of the Hunger Games through which the system distracts, manipulates and paralyzes the ruled.
It is also a commercial blockbuster. At least in part that’s because the movie—and the books on which it is based—connect with the American Idol, DWTS, Survivor, Iron Chef have contest and conquest at their core.
Is this an argument that all competition is bad? No. Competition is an intrinsic component of nature. It’s essential to evolution. That said, how competition is managed is the hallmark of civilization.
Continue reading at: http://www.alternet.org/culture/why-do-americans-have-crush-others-get-ahead