Friday, March 27, 2015

OWS: May Day, Charter Schools, support reoccupation! etc.

May 1st Blockade Called For New York Bridges, Tunnels, and Ferries — Commuter Delays Expected

NEW YORK – On May 1, 2012, autonomous direct action groups within Occupy Wall Street, as a part of the global mobilizations for general strike and economic non-compliance, will block one or more Manhattan-bound bridges or tunnels to protest the shameful opulence of the 1%. Working and unemployed people across this country have seen no improvement to their lives in spite of all of the chatter about a recovery from the Financial Crisis of 2008. We don’t care what Obama or Romney say because only working people —domestic laborers, rank and file union members, undocumented workers, restaurant, retail and chain-store workers— can solve today’s problems.
Last fall, when Occupy Wall Street blocked the Brooklyn Bridge for several hours, we were acting within a long line of protest in New York City that stretches back to the so-called Fiscal Crisis of 1975, which much like now, was a bank led assault against working people. In the summer of 1975, striking hospital employees, including doctors and nurses, blocked the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was even blocked by thousands of laid-off police, the very people who act as the guard dogs of the 1%. More recently, both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Holland Tunnel were shut down during protests of the shooting death of Sean Bell. But this May 1, we will create the biggest shut down the city of New York has ever seen.

We are announcing these blockades now as a fair warning to the rest of the working people of New York and New Jersey who are considering joining the strikes and mobilizations of the day: the city will be shut down, so enjoy the day without the 99%! original article additional May Day protests updates

Occupy Wall Street has been preparing for a large month of protests starting on May 1st. This has apparently led to Barack Obama’s decision to hold his summit at Camp David where he won’t be so close to the protests as part of his effort to downplay and ignore the Occupy Wall Street movement. This is a clear indication of the fact that the government is paying little attention to the will of the people as any sincere democracy is supposed to do; which is all the more reason why we should make an effort on our own to support the OWS movement and spread the word among ourselves. The corporate media clearly can’t be trusted to report on this in an accurate manner; this includes the seemingly more liberal MSNBC network.
This is part of a semi-regular update of some of the latest stories from the Occupy Wall Street web page for additional details see previous post introduction to series.

Occupy Piccolo! Chicago Communities Occupy School In Protest of Privatization

The Brian Piccolo Specialty School in Humboldt Park, Chicago is currently Occupied by parents, teachers, and students. Occupy Chicago and other allies are outside the building in solidarity and have set up an encampment. Around one hundred people are present and are taking shifts to ensure the safety of the occupation. The Chicago Teachers Union has expressed support for the action. Piccolo, an elementary school with a student body that is almost entirely from low income communities of color, is one of 16 Chicago public schools slated to be closed by Mayor Rahm's service cuts to the poor…… Full article 

See also: May 1st Public High School Walkout Called by Occupy High

This is actually an old post from February but it is important enough that it shouldn’t be forgotten. This is part of a major effort to corporatize schools and enable the people in the board rooms at Wall Street to control the education that is provided to children and either restricts it if it serves their purposes or turns it into propaganda. Another part of the effort at corporatization of schools is the effort to increase advertising in schools which has been research by several academics including Susan Linn who wrote the following:

In-school advertising began escalating in earnest in 1990. It now includes (but isn’t limited to) corporate-sponsored newscasts, field trips, classroom materials, vending machines, gymnasiums, walls, and whole buildings. Have you visited your child’s school lately? Perhaps she’s learning about energy production and consumption through the lens of companies like Exxon Mobil or professional associations like the American Coal Foundation (“Unlocking Coal’s Potential through Education”). Her inspiration for reading may be coming from Pizza Hut-complete with coupons to be redeemed at your local franchise. She may be attending mandatory assemblies where she can learn about job interviewing from McDonalds. If she lives in Washington, D.C., and wants to go into the hotel business, she might be attending the Marriot Hospitality Charter School. If she’s a kid in trouble, she could attend a Burger King Academy.

If she’s on a school athletic team, her shoes may come from Nike or Adidas. Her school’s scoreboard could owe its presence to the countless bottles of Coke or Pepsi she’s bought from school vending machines and a sport company logo. Access to her opinions and ideas may have been sold to a market research company. Her only exposure to current events might be brought to her courtesy of the aforementioned Ed Winter. He’s the guy who thought of Channel One, the twelve-minute news program that includes two minutes of commercials that her school is obligated to show daily for 90 percent of the school days each year. (Susan Linn "Consuming Kids" 2004 p.75-6)

They have indicated with their actions that they may attempt to use people that have been portrayed as consumer advocates to advance this agenda, like Elizabeth Warren, who has indicated that she support Charter Schools and as I have indicated previously may not be a sincere consumer advocate. Other Researchers have also looked into the effect that advertisers have on children at an early age including Roy Fox author of “Harvesting Minds” which indicates that Channel One is being used for propaganda purposes not education. there is much more to their efforts to control the educations system and ensure that it is maintained for the benefit of the ruling class and the rest get a second tier system; this hasn’t been openly acknowledged but a close look at many similar activities clearly indicates the intentions of those in power.
The following is a link that was pointed out on the OWS page with a couple articles worth taking notice of:

Arne Duncan and the Chicago Success Story: Myth or Reality?

When ex-President Bush was elected in 2000, he brought with him former Houston Superintendent of Education Rod Paige to be Secretary of Education. He also brought the "Texas miracle"—supposedly increased test scores attributed to Texas' strict accountability system. All eyes smiled on Texas as those measures quickly became part of No Child Left Behind, passed into law in 2001 by both political parties. Before the end of Bush's first term, Paige would leave in disgrace, thanks to revelations of cooked scores, forced-out students, and other barely legal means of inflating test results. ……

The Corporatization of Public Education 
Before an audience of big-city mayors and school superintendents in late March, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offered an early - and troubling - indication of his vision for the future of public K-12 education in the United States. Duncan told audience members at the Mayors' National Forum on Education in Washington, DC, that more mayors need to take control of low-performing, urban school districts, and that he was prepared to do whatever it takes to shift leadership of urban districts from school boards to City Halls. "I'll come to your cities. I'll meet with your editorial boards. I'll talk with your business communities," Duncan said. "I will be there." ……. full articles

Occupy Earth Day!
Jazz Funeral for the death of Earth as we know it 12pm Noon BP Gas Station, 300 Lafayette St (@ Houston), NYC Occupy Earth Day will begin with a New Orleans-style jazz funeral march for the Gulf Coast led by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra and commemorating the anniversary of the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill, which began on April 20, 2010. Full article

Earth day has come and gone by now but it is important to keep in mind that the corporations and the government are clearly not doing anything to repair the damage that ahs been done let alone even slow down the destruction that continues. Some of them may provide some propaganda intended to indicate that they’re doing so but a close look indicates that this isn’t so. The Occupy Wall Street movement and the Green Party have both demonstrated that they’re much more sincere on this subject as I have previously indicated in my comments about Natural Born Killers of the Planet and my attempt to take a closer look at Jill Stein which clearly indicates that she is far more qualified than the candidates considered viable by the corporate media.

Four Ways to Support Re-Occupation

As the weather warms across much of the world, Occupiers are retaking public space. Even after we were violently removed from many of our home encampments last fall and winter, we never stoped organizing - and now we are back outside. With the rebirth of spring, re-occupation has begun in earnest.

For a full week, Wall Street - the original target of our indignation - has been #Occupied. Thanks in part to a 2000 decision by a federal court in Manhattan, protesters are legally allowed to sleep on the sidewalk, as long as they don't block building entrances or take up more than half of the sidewalk. Occupiers have used similar tactics to occupy sidewalks in cities like Tucson since last year, while Occupy D.C were among the first Occupiers to use sidewalk sleeping in front of banks earlier this month. Empowered by the federal court ruling, #SleepfulProtest first came to New York as a way to escape constant police harassment at Occupy Union Square and soon spread to the heart of the financial district. This new tactic allows us to rebuild the face-to-face community and constant public presence that were so crucial to the Occupation of Liberty Square, without the complex logistics of maintaining a permanent encampment. Our new Occupations are mobile, viral, and targeted right at the heart of the 1%'s power. …… Full article

Without support from as many people as possible the Occupy Wall Street will eventually fizzle like the Tea Party; I don’t expect this to happen but how much success it does have depends on how much support they receive from the public. One of the things that any movement needs is money however this should always come with accountability and in a grass roots movement I wouldn’t consider this as important as the contribution of time and ideas as well as any new ways to protest. One of the methods that I have been recommending is to stand up to planned obsolescence and deceptive advertising by not buying things that aren’t necessary and when it comes to necessities saving receipts and demanding accountability when products turn out to break down much sooner than they should; I have indicated in Loud complaint brings quick free replacements that simply by speaking out in front of other customers about the details of the fact that merchandise falls apart faster than it used to that it will encourage corporations to replace it fast before they interfere with the other customers and put them on notice that if they go to far consumers won’t be so complacent.

There is always more where this came from at the OWS web site; at least until we have a sincere reform effort and even then it will still be necessary for the public to continue to stay alert.

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

It's incredibly encouraging to see the Occupy movement waking up again. I love the idea of occupying sidewalks. There's something incredibly energizing about a large segment of the population that simply refuses to be sheep like the corporate elite wants them to.

Danny Weil wrote an excellent series of articles awhile back documenting some of the awful stuff Arne Duncan and Obama have done to the public schools. It was Weil who first widely reported the condition Obama imposed on states to qualify for school stimulus money - they had to pass legislation transferring more public school monies to charter schools.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall April 21, 2012 02:14 AM

Stuart, agreed although the most important things should follow or accompany it; the public needs to be better educated about the issues and they need to control the system then it will no longer be necessary to sit on the sidewalk while those in power try to ignore them.

The people on the sidewalks should move into the legislature without forgetting where they came from.

zacherydtaylor April 21, 2012 09:26 AM

[r] this is inspiring, Zachd!!! thank you!!!!

the corporatization of schools is sub-basement evil. gutting teachers' pays and corporations trying to get federal money for education for their own aggrandizement at the expense of kids.

the advertising feature is nauseating. and the propaganda to be shoved out at the kids is outrageous.

The demonization of teachers, like the demonization of unions, like the demonization of single payer people as "socialists" (like the totally backward demonization of obama from the right that unfortunately doesn't even fit him) ... is so far out of hand. Titillating schandenfreude so nobody gets nuttin'. In some people's warped hearts better that everybody suffers including the nation's children. always believe the worst. and the media is so dirty and craven with all of this. change we don't and can't believe in.

I am heartened to hear OWS spirit once again! Thank you. I hope more and more people join in and have their backs.

best, libby

libbyliberalnyc April 23, 2012 02:46 AM

Libby, a lot of the demonization of Obama is unjustified and absurd, while the legitimate criticism of Obama is downplayed or ignored; this enables him to portray himself as the one that is standing up to the fanatics. However this won’t stand up if scrutiny which is ignored by the Mass Media, is applied; the fact that he supports Charter Schools and other methods to indoctrinate kids and that he’s taking a record breaking amount of money from the corporations should clearly indicate his lack of sincerity.

The growing protests by Occupy Wall Street, as well as other unrelated organizations is providing an indication that many people aren’t being fooled.

You may have noticed that the latest are a bunch of people in wheel chairs protesting cuts to Medicare and instead of allowing them to carry out their protests they arrested them; there were pictures of cops lining up to put handicapped people in handcuffs so that they can indirectly protest tax cuts for those that are looting the country.

zacherydtaylor April 24, 2012 09:27 AM

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