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Shut Wall Street down


Poster image by r.black

Via the Occupy Wall Street website:

Tomorrow, Thursday November 17th, marks two months since the start of Occupy Wall Street as well as International Students Day. To commemorate this two month anniversary, Occupy Wall Street will take to the streets in celebration and in solidarity with people around the world participating in a massive global day of action in hundreds of cities.

7:00am — Shut Down Wall Street
We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00am, before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice.

3:00pm — Occupy the Subway
We will gather at 3:00pm at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the “People’s Mic”. Details here.

5:00pm — Take the Square, Festival of Lights on Brooklyn Bridge
At 5:00pm thousands will gather at Foley Square in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country’s infrastructure and economy. They will encircle City Hall and march across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying thousands of handheld lights, as a festival of lights to celebrate two months of a new movement to reclaim our democracy.

“We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent. ”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Occupy London: A New Age of Rebellion


 
Rumors are flying around that the Occupy London encampment outside of St Paul’s Cathedral will be evicted tomorrow. Describing what he calls the “greatest upsurge of student radicalism since the 1960s,” Owen Jones, author of the important new book Chavs: The Demonization of the Underclass (Verso), takes stock of what’s been achieved so far, and what’s still ahead for the Occupy and student movements in Great Britain in a thought-provoking essay posted on Dazed Digital:

Ever present in the minds of Occupiers and student radicals alike is the legacy of the anti-war movement. Up to 2 million marched against the Iraq war but – as is frequently raised at meetings of British radicals – the invasion happened anyway. It’s seen as an indictment of the strategy of the so-called ‘A to B march’ – turn up, demonstrate, go home. That’s partly what’s given the impetus to Occupy: the strategy is that protests have to be made impossible to ignore.

Occupy doesn’t offer a direct challenge to the power of the economic elite; but it has certainly transformed the debate. Questions that the media likes to ignore – like the nature of capitalism – are being discussed in newspaper comment pieces and radio phone-ins. The Tories have turned a banking crisis into a crisis of public spending; Occupy reminds us of the real villains. And it has broad public sympathy, too: one poll showed that, while 38% felt the protesters were “naïve” because “there is no practical alternative to capitalism”, a whopping 52% thought that “the protesters are right to want to call time on a system that puts profit before people.”

Both Occupy and the student radicals should be seen as different – but overlapping – wings of the same movement: indeed, on the latest student protest, held on 9th November, activists attempted to march on the City in solidarity. While there are Occupiers from a range of age groups, younger activists are particularly prominent outside St Paul’s.

It’s not surprising that young people have taken the lead in the protest movements that have sprung up under Coalition rule. There’s the obvious: one of the Government parties promised the abolition of fees, but instead the cost of a university education has been tripled. But students in particular are often the first to move because – frankly – they have more time on their hands than working people; they are not dependent on a full-time job for sustenance; and they do not have responsibilities like keeping a family fed. With less of a stake in the system, there are fewer consequences when it comes to take off their gloves and fighting back.

But it’s also a symptom of a perfect storm hammering British youth. Unemployment has now hit one in five among 18 to 24-year-olds; what work there is available is often in the form of low-paid, insecure, poorly regarded service sector jobs; there are 5 million people languishing on social housing waiting lists while private rents soar, leaving a generation without the prospect of an affordable home; cuts are hitting youth services; and, as well as the trebling of tuition fees, the Educational Maintenance Allowance has been abolished. For the first time since World War II, the promise that the next generation will be better off than the last has abruptly ended.

Occupy and the student radicals are just two symptoms of a generation without prospects. As an ideologically charged austerity programme reshapes British society, the ranks of this so-called “lost generation” will only grow. But so too will the protests, occupations and strikes. A new age of revolt is upon us.

Occupy London: A New Age of Rebellion (Dazed Digital)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Karl Rove gets mic-checked, loses his shit: ‘Who gave you the right to Occupy America?’


 
Let me jog your memory Karl: That would be the framers of the Constitution. It’s their birthright as Americans, fuckwit!

Hilarious. Last night at Johns Hopkins University, the man who history will ruefully recall as “Bush’s Brain,” Fox News commentator Karl Rove, got the business from Occupy Baltimore. He didn’t handle it too well…

Via Think Progress:

“Karl Rove is the architect of Occupy Iraq, the architect of Occupy Afghanistan!” yelled the demonstrators. Occupy Baltimore had infiltrated the crowd and began chanting against Rove. “Who gave you the right to occupy America?” asked Rove to the protesters, apparently unaware of the Bill of Rights. As they repeated their slogan, “We are the 99 percent!” Rove petulantly responded, “No you’re not!” He snidely added, “You wanna keep jumping up and yelling that you’re the 99 percent? How presumptuous and arrogant can you be?”

Johns Hopkins spokeswoman Tracey Reeves told the media that around 15 people, none of them students, were asked to leave and that some were forcibly removed by campus security. No one was arrested.

If you don’t want to listen to this lying turd’s lips flapping, you can scroll right to the 1:48 mark when the fun begins! As astonishing as it may sound, Karl Rove, one of the chief architects of the invasion of Iraq—not to mention much of what’s wrong with this country—seems to think he’s got a leg to stand on when lecturing people on “moral cowardice”! Incredible.

WHY should people be expected to be polite to a class warrior/war criminal like Karl Rove? He was the troll under the bridge of the Bush administration and now he’s getting paid as a propagandist on Fox News. HE deserves respect and politeness? He deserves to be dropped in the middle of the streets of Baghdad in the nude is what the fuck he deserves!

Get used to the rest of your life, doughboy. This isn’t going away. And even if your side wins a few battles along the way, our side is still going to win in the end.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Raid on Zuccotti Park


Above, “fair and balanced” Fox News graphic. Apparently even the art department there is staffed with braying assess.

Casey Neistat put together this “music video” of this week’s eviction of the Zuccotti Park protesters, cut to the music of guess which Frank Sinatra standard?

My office isn’t far from Zuccotti Park and when I heard it was being cleared I went down with my camera. I ended up filming for 18 hours until the Park was reopened at 6pm on November 15, 2011. The police presence was overwhelming, more than I’ve ever - more than during the blackout, more than the days after September 11th.

 

 
Via Glen E. Friedman

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Meet the pepper-sprayed face of the Occupy Wall Street movement


Dorli Rainey 84, after being pepper sprayed at Occupy Seattle protest: Photo by Joshua Trujillo, SeattlePI.com

An 84-year-old woman pepper-sprayed by cops during the evicition of Occupy Seattle has become the accidental poster girl for the movement in a photo that’s getting seen around the world this morning:

Via the Keep Your Boehner Out of My Uterus Tumblr blog:

I have only posted about OWS one other time. I just can’t let this go by. 

This is what can happen to you and your body if you just show up, place your body somewhere that freaks out the establishment, and actively protest the problems inherent and rampant in the system. This type of over-reaction by the authorities is something that people of color and minorities face ALL THE TIME simply for being, let’s remember. But seriously, Holy Fuck.

We owe it to this woman to look in her eyes, to see her face, to SEE her. We owe it to her to hold her gaze, to not move our eyes away because it is hard to look. We need to keep looking at her specifically BECAUSE it is hard to look. 

Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street ain’t going anyplace... Here’s a nifty history lesson via Rachel Maddow. This is some damned good reporting.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Clash bassist Paul Simonon arrested as an ‘undercover’ Greenpeace activist


 
“When they kick at your front door, how you gonna go?”

God bless former Clash bassist Paul Simonon. I’ve always considered him to one of the coolest motherfuckers alive and this only elevates my opinion of him even further into the stratosphere: According to an article in today’s Guardian, Simonon recently spent time as an “undercover” activist on board the MV Esperanza, one of the ships of the Greenpeace fleet, working as a cook, and apparently quite a good one, too:

Simonon was one of 18 activists arrested in June, after the Esperanza launched speedboats at the Leiv Eriksson oil rig off the coast of Greenland. Greenpeace was protesting against the Arctic rig, whose owners had allegedly refused to disclose their oil-spill disaster plan. “It’s obvious why Cairn [Energy] won’t tell the world how it would clean up a BP-style oil spill here in the Arctic, and that’s because it can’t be done,” campaigner Ben Ayliffe explained at the time.

“We stormed the oil rig,” Simonon said. “They said if you don’t get off … we’re going to phone the authorities in Greenland and say you’ve hijacked the oil rig, and the police will come and arrest you. And that’s pretty much what happened.”

According to Greenpeace, Simonon joined the mission weeks before. He first approached the group’s UK action coordinator Frank Heweston, asking if he could “make a stand against Arctic oil drilling” by becoming part of a ship’s crew. Heweston agreed on the condition that Simonon go undercover. “Paul the assistant cook” was embraced by his peers, recalled third mate Martti Leinonen, as a “quiet, humble and funny guy”. “He worked really hard, cooking even on Sundays, which is usually the cook’s day off.”

After the Esperanza protesters were arrested, Simonon spent two weeks in a cell – still keeping his identity a secret. “The food was so bad, we finally got the guards to agree to let Paul cook,” Leinonen said. “He makes excellent vegetarian food.”

Although he is no longer a member of the Esperanza crew, Simonon paid tribute to his former associates at a gig earlier this week. Together with Damon Albarn and the rest of the Good, the Bad and the Queen, Simonon performed for Greenpeace supporters on the deck of the Rainbow Warrior II, moored in the Thames.

The man is a total bad-ass. I love this story!
 

 
After the jump, some live concert footage of The Good, The Bad & The Queen performing on the Rainbow Warrior II a few days ago…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Official statement from Occupy Wall Street regarding the eviction from Zuccotti Park


 
Here’s the press release sent out today by Occupy Wall Street in answer to last night’s eviction of Zuccotti Park:

New York, NY — A massive police force is presently evicting Liberty Square, home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world

The raid started just after 1:00am. Supporters and allies are mobilizing throughout the city, presently converging at Foley Square. Supporters are also planning public actions for the coming days, including occupation actions.

Two months ago a few hundred New Yorkers set up an encampment at the doorstep of Wall Street. Since then, Occupy Wall Street has become a national and even international symbol — with similarly styled occupations popping up in cities and towns across America and around the world. A growing popular movement has significantly altered the national narrative about our economy, our democracy, and our future.

Americans are talking about the consolidation of wealth and power in our society, and the stranglehold that the top 1% have over our political system. More and more Americans are seeing the crises of our economy and our democracy as systemic problems, that require collective action to remedy. More and more Americans are identifying as part of the 99%, and saying “enough!”

This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation, and more than any tactic. The “us” in the movement is far broader than those who are able to participate in physical occupation. The movement is everyone who sends supplies, everyone who talks to their friends and families about the underlying issues, everyone who takes some form of action to get involved in this civic process.

This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all.

Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces — our spaces — and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people — all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. We believe that is a highly popular idea, and that is why so many people have come so quickly to identify with Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.

You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.

Below, footage from last night’s eviction of protesters from the park by heavy-handed NYPD tactics (tear gas, billy clubs and A BULLDOZER?)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Capitalism is like cigarettes


 
Capitalism is like cigarettes by diomedes77, blogging at Daily Kos. Since this is so short and there’s no way to elegantly excerpt it, I’m posting the whole thing here with apologies to diomedes77. Something tells me that diomedes77 probably won’t mind seeing this message spread here, too:

And neither liberals, progressives or conservatives understand what that means.

The right wants their ciggies without filters. Liberals and progressives, OTOH, want to smoke, too, but they want filters in place. Even smart liberals and progressives, who seem to get that smoking is bad for you and why, don’t want to get rid of cigarettes. They just want to “contain” the damage they do. They can’t make the logical leap to ridding the planet of those ciggies entirely. They can’t seem to draw the logical inference that even filtered cigarettes cause cancer.

Conservatives and right-wing libertarians (propertarians) want their capitalism straight up, no mixer, no ice. Progressives and liberals want to add soda, pour it on the rocks, and drink a lot of water afterwards. But they still get drunk, just like righties, and their livers are still rotten.

No matter what we do to capitalism, no matter how we filter it or mix it with soda or pour it on the rocks, it’s never going to be anything more than an infernal machine to create economic apartheid and destroy the planet. Its very nature is to extract wealth and resources from the earth, workers and consumers and hoover it all up to the very top, thus forever creating massive inequality. Baked right into the system is theft—theft from workers, consumers and Nature itself. It’s very nature is irredeemably in conflict with the interests of the vast majority of humans and the planet itself.

It can not be “managed” or “filtered” or sustained. It must always expand, and its expansion means greater and greater instability, inequality and the destruction of our environment. It is nothing but a cancer, and its own “success” means the destruction of its host.

If the OWS movement is not “anti-capitalist” at its very core, then it is nothing but a movement to filter and manage and contain some of the damage fomented automatically by our economic system. If it is not in favor of an entirely new, structurally egalitarian economic system, then it might as well just call itself “The Third Way” or “No Labels” and be done with it.

Want to reverse the tide of inequality that has swept the world? Want to reverse the damage wrought on our environment, our seas, our land? Want to create a livable future for everyone? Then we must stop deluding ourselves that capitalism can be “fixed”. It is beyond redemption.

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Egyptian women’s group calls on men to try out the veil

Men_Veil1
 
Aliaa El Mahdy, an Egyptian university student, is changing the way men view women by setting up a Facebook page, where Egyptian men can post photographs of themselves wearing veils. The page called Resounding Cries, was launched on November 1st and has had dozens of men sending in their snaps - though not everyone is happy with what El Mahdy is doing, as she explained to France 24:

For me, the veil is not a personal choice in Egypt, but the result of social and religious pressure. The girls I know who wear the veil do so because of their families or to avoid being hassled in the street. I don’t see why we should always dictate what women must wear and never what men must wear. Asking guys to put on the veil, if only for the time it takes to take the photo, is a way of saying to them ‘See how this feels!”

The other reason I launched this page is because society still considers women as sex objects. [83% of Egyptian women claim to have been victims of sexual harassment. Some women feel that the veil is a necessary form of protection against assault] . Many people, even on television, denounce the harassment of women in Egypt, but in my opinion this is not enough.

Obviously, I have been attacked and insulted because of this Facebook page. Some Internet users have responded to me by citing verses of the Koran. I realise that this is shocking for a conservative society like ours, but I am not going to change my ideas because of that.

Though there has been some controversy over Aliaa El Mahdy’s idea, there has been some support for holding a peaceful demonstration in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, which would be a very positive thing to see happen.
 
Veil_Men2
 
2 more pics, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Eric Cantor gets ‘mic-checked’ by Occupy Houston


 
A look at lick-spittle lackey of the 1%, Republican House Majority leader Eric Cantor, getting “mic-checked” by Occupy Houston and some Rice University grad students.

There is no schadenfreude quite as satisfying for me as Republican schadenfreude, but when something uncomfortable happens to Eric Cantor in particular, hey, it gets even better!

On a related note, read The Republican Party’s time has come— and gone by Laurence Lewis over at Daily Kos:

The Republican Party needs to be put out of its misery. A functioning Republic needs at least one opposition party, but the current and likely final iteration of the Republican Party is not it. The current iteration of the Democratic Party could be it, should it continue to fail to live up to its greatest history and increasingly mythological ideals, but that would depend on the creation of a legitimately viable progressive party, and for now at least that is not going to happen. But for the Democratic Party to recapture the magic of its greatest history, or failing that for a legitimately viable liberal party to emerge from the wreckage that is our current political system, the Republican Party must be put out of its misery. Whether you are a loyal Democrat, a wavering frustrated Democrat, a progressive Independent, or whether you are dreaming of the emergence of a legitimately viable liberal alternative, the Republican Party must be put out of its misery. All liberals and progressives should be able to unite behind that idea. Because if the Republican Party is put out of its misery, the Democrats no longer will be able to use the Republicans as excuse or foil and will once and for all finally be forced to prove what they are or aren’t really about.

The embarrassment of embarrasments that is the Republican presidential field ought to be the final proof that the Republican Party has ceased to serve any valuable role in our political system. The lunatics have taken over. The Republican rejection of science and rationality once served various tactical purposes, but in previous generations it always was a feint to the theocrats whose primary political purpose for the Republicans was to enable the kleptocrats and the neo-Royalists. But while the Republican financial base continues to be those extremely wealthy who lack all conscience, its voting base now is the ignorant and the reality challenged. Most of the current Republican presidential field is not merely playing to this base, it is of it. No serious person can look at Herman Cain or Rick Perry or Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum and see a future president. In a less surreal world these would be but cartoon characters. And yet one of them or someone equally absurd still may become the Republican presidential nominee. The base of the party desperately hopes so.

Continue reading The Republican Party’s time has come— and gone (Daily Kos)
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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