The new video for Miley Cyrus’s “Liberty Walk” single goes out in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement with clips of protests from all over the world. A caption at the beginning reads “This is dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in…”
Predictably there have been hilarious comments left all over the Internet, both pro and con. Me, I’m all for a pop video that introduces 11-year-old girls to the evils of capitalism and the concept of mass civil disobedience. In fact, I think it’s fucking great!
If Fox News isn’t already feigning outrage about this video, surely they will be soon!
In the past few years the City of Los Angeles has painted over and buffed into oblivion more than 300 murals effectively destroying the city’s reputation as the mural capitol of the world.
Some of the problems started in 1986, when the city was looking for a way to alleviate the growing scourge of billboard blight. The city was being blanketed with unsightly commercial advertising, so the Los Angeles City Council adopted a code to reduce commercial billboards. The new restrictions exempted artwork. Advertisers responded by suing the city, arguing that they had the same right of free speech as the muralists. So in 2002 the Council “solved” the matter by amending the code to include works of art. “The law left many murals technically illegal,” wrote the Times in an Oct. 29 editorial, “no matter how talented the artist or how willing the owner of the wall or how inoffensive the subject matter.”
Since then, murals that were already in existence have come under increasing threat from two sides: from graffiti “artists” who mark their territory by defacing murals, and from a city that seems determined to find any pretext to paint over them. This is the subject of Behind the Wall: The Battle for LA’s Murals (above), a six-minute documentary by students in the Film and TV Production MFA program at the University of Southern California. It was directed by Oliver Riley-Smith, shot by Qianbaihui Yang, and produced and edited by Gavin Garrison.
The loss of these murals is not just a blow to the world of art it diminishes the culture of the people who’s lives and history are depicted in the murals. L.A. is a lesser place without these glorious human creations.
As L.A rejects these artists, they are being welcomed in cities all over the world who want art to beautify the walls of their buildings. Check out El Mac’s website and see the possibilities.
The Rap Board is the go-to place to bone up on rapper catch-phrases and hip hop blurts. Click on a rapper’s head and be prepared to hear some funny shit. Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Kanye, The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z’s noggins are waiting to be poked.
Jesse LaGreca, the articulate young man who effectively “schooled” Fox News creep Griff Jenkins in an amusing encounter that has become one of the defining “viral videos” of the Occupy Wall Street movement so far, has been with the encampment for two months. Speaking for himself, but on behalf of the movement, LeGrecca summarized what the movement is seeking, on his Ministry of Truth blog at Daily Kos.
I think this is a pretty good to-do list for the progressive movement in this country, and as LaGreca correctly points out: We know the Republicans are our enemies, but with friends like the Democrats… I mean, come the fuck on, it’s time to get real!. The Dems are in a rough spot: They have to decide which side they’re on and if they can’t decide, it will be decided for them.
Are millionaire Deomcrats in the House and Senate going to vote against their own interests and the people whose money got them elected in the first place? You’re dreaming if you think that.
I keep hearing from people that Occupy Wall Street protests don’t have a clear message, so here is a short rundown of the “message” as far as I have seen.
It is time to invest in infrastructure and education
It is time to STOP busting labor unions, whether private or public
It is time to defend Medicare and Social Security tooth and nail from phony reforms or baloney cuts
It is time to STOP the spending cuts and start investing in America, and if we have to raise taxes on the rich and corporations in order to force them to invest in America, then so be it.
It is time to STOP the racist and discriminatory practice of “Stop and Frisk” and other tactics of racial profiling
It is time for civil rights for ALL, and that means equal rights for LGBT Americans to serve our military and marry whom ever they will
It is time for ACCOUNTABILITY for the men who lied us into war and crashed our economy
It is time for immigration reform that does not punish workers, but provides a clear pathway to citizenship for everyone
It is time for investigations that lead to prosecutions on Wall Street in response to the crimes that have been committed in the last decade.
It is time for a serious discussion about the Federal Reserve and it’s role in this economic disaster
It is time for universal health care that everyone can afford. It is time to talk about Single Payer Health Care.
It is time for alternative green energy instead of Oil and Coal.
It is time to protect our civil liberties and our constitution.
It is time for a discussion about free trade and how it has undermined the working class while enriching only the wealthiest among us.
It is time to end corporate personhood.
There are sooooo many things that need to be fixed, reformed and addressed, and this short list does not do justice to the many grievances that the 99% have, but we must accept the fact that the GOP only serves the rich and the Dem Establishment only serves to cave to the GOP. They are NOT going to help us. We are going to have to do this ourselves.
It is time to have the BIG conversation about what kind of country we want America to be, and the lobbyists and corrupt career politicians and the corrupt corporate media are NOT going to hijack our conversation. Do we want America to be a nation where 1 out of 5 children live in poverty while the wealthiest among us get ever more wealthy and more powerful? Do we want to live in a nation with crumbling infrastructure that can only reward the rich with ever decreasing tax rates while our schools go unfunded? Do we want to live in a country that can always fund these never ending wars but must cut spending on everything else?
It’s time to forget about the park, that’s over and it’s probably a good thing that it is. There’s work to be done this winter. It was never about sleeping in a park in lower Manhattan in sub-zero weather in the first place.
After today, the movement needs to figure out what it’s going to do next. Phase one has been a rousing, inspiring success. Bring on Phase two!
Read the rest of Welcome to PHASE 2 of Occupy Wall Street, now here is a message (Daily Kos).
Occupy TVNY caught up with long time activist, singer and actor Harry Belafonte backstage at a screening of Sing Your Song—a new documentary about his life, organized for members of Occupy Wall Street and Local 1199.
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. ”
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.