Friday, March 27, 2015

OWS: Not Dead Yet!

OWS: Not Dead Yet! The protestors at Occupy Wall Street still at it despite the fact that the corporate media isn’t reporting on them much if at all; or if they do report on them they distort things as usual. However, in all fairness, some segments of the movement have been less visible in the alternative media and their web site hasn’t been as active as they have at some times in the past.

(This was originally posted on Open Salon June, 19, 2011)

This shouldn’t be seen as a sign that they’re fading away for several reasons; one of them is that no organization can be expected to continue the same pace nonstop so some peaks and surges are inevitable. Another is the fact that the protest movement isn’t limited to one organization; while one may be slacking off slightly others are out there protesting their causes. Another thing to consider is the amount of coverage most of us saw on September 16th 2011.

There was none!

Then after the protest took place in the 17th the corporate press acted as if it was surprised.

Sound familiar?

They also acted as if they were surprised when the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions began, despite the fact that the people organizing these protest contacted the corporate media and attempted to draw some coverage to their grievances and the fact that they were planning a major protest. They also waited to the last minute when other protests rose again until the last minute like the May Day protests.

The corporate media has been ignoring them until the last minute and as I indicated recently in my previous post about OWS they’re planning another major protest, June 30 - July 4: Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. If the corporate media reports this as usual they may act as if it was a surprise.

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’s introduction to series.

Reports of Occupy’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

People can’t seem to stop eulogizing the Occupy Movement.

Since the eviction of the protestors at Freedom Plaza last November, it’s become a media cliché to report on the “Death of Occupy.” Articles pop up all over the web, blithely reporting on the failed second wind of Occupy, this lackluster “American Spring,” and the May Day general strike that didn’t quite shut the system down.

It should be no surprise that the mainstream media is eager to report on Occupy’s supposed demise. Even ignoring the fact that the corporate-owned media has a strong desire to never see social movements such as Occupy succeed, the media, as a rule, generally needs to put a dramatic narrative to everything it reports. To them, every story ought to have a captivating story arch with a beginning, middle, and an end. …. Full article

While the corporate media is trying to downplay the Occupy Wall Street movement they have been acting as if the tea Party is still a strong movement and that it has always been a grass roots movement. Unlike the Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party had plenty of media coverage especially from Fox news before it first began on tax day and many of the leaders were establishment politicians like Dick Army and Sarah Palin. This has of course been described as astro-turf and of course for the most part it is. This doesn’t eman there isn’t some grass roots aspect of it; however it was organized by demagogues and political operatives who tried to find people that would support an agenda that would serve their purposes. Most of these people followed one leader or another but it didn’t always work out as the leaders like Dick Army and Sarah Palin wanted; occasionally the follower’s actually did act on their own, although it wasn’t always the way many other people would have wanted either. This might be partly because the type of people that they attempted to recruit weren’t the most educated or well informed people in the world.

Regardless of how the corporate media covers it there are more protest that they’ve been ignoring including a Stop and Frisk protest that they provided some limited coverage on and a LGBT protest that didn’t get covered at all; and presumably there may be many other protest that people won’t find out about unless they know where to look or they do enough research, since we can’t rely on the corporate media to inform us and most of us that are trying to pick up the slack have limited resources.

A “Silent March” Against the Police Stop-and-Frisk State

After ten years of escalating police aggression on the streets of New York, a broad range of political actors have combined for a Silent March Against Racial Profiling, this Sunday. Under Mayor Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk regime, “every young Black and brown man in New York is treated as if he is walking contraband, and that he is ‘too hot’ to allow to walk about freely.” In practice, the policy is little different from racist South Africa’s apartheid pass system.

Before 9/11, it seemed that racial profiling was on the rocks. After years of successful litigation and agitation, it was no longer acceptable in polite white society to defend police departments that accosted Black drivers and pedestrians for no legally justifiable reason. Prominent Republican politicians denounced racial profiling in no uncertain terms. Then, the Twin Towers came down, the Constitution flew out the window, and racial profiling became the de facto law of the land, once again. Arab-looking people – whatever that means – caught hell like they had never before experienced on the streets of the United States. But, in hindsight, we now know that the return of aggressive and unapologetic racial profiling had its heaviest impact on…the usual suspects: Black people. …. Full article at Black Agenda Report

See also OWS: Sunday, NYC: Silent March to End Stop and Frisk

LGBTQ workers & militants take to the streets

Ever since the Los Angeles Compton Cafeteria and New York City Stonewall rebellions of the 1960s, Pride marches have brought lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, and their friends and supporters into the streets in the month of June, and in some areas in July or August, to honor and carry on the traditions of struggle. The commercialization and corporatization of Pride over the years has not been able to dim the essential spirit of fightback.

That spirit was on full display in the Boston Pride march on June 9. Well-organized and forceful contingents representing Free CeCe McDonald, ACT UP Boston, Local 26 of UNITE HERE, the Stonewall Warriors and the Anarcho Queer Bloc marched one after the other through the streets, passing hundreds of thousands of onlookers. ….. Full article

This is just a small sample of many other interest groups that have been protesting because they don’t have adequate representation in the government and the corporate media, unlike the special interest group controlled by Wall Street and those with an enormous amount of money and political power. Additional groups that haven’t been properly represented and have been protesting include handicapped groups, woman’s groups, immigrant groups and many more. The fact that there are so many groups that have been protesting and that the government and press continues to ignore them when ever possible should be another indicator that this country isn’t nearly as democratic as we pretend to be.

We still have some more stories for you but first a word from our sponsor, who seems to be a lot like our other sponsors, more than 90 days past Due on their damn account. However I’m sure they’re good for it.

Shop at Starbucks where you’ll always receive courteous service and good products as indicated with all our cashiers:

Welcome to Starbuck, how may I help you?

I'd like a Venti, sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with light whip and extra syrup, a Raspberry Swirl pound Cake and a marshmallow dream bar.

That will be thirty seven dollars and seventeen cents please.

Actually I was hoping you would decline to pass on all you excessive advertising costs and sponsorship of propaganda programs like Morning Joe and provide a more reasonable price like one dollar and twenty five cents, or pass on the influence that you have with the corporate propaganda machine to me along with the excessive prices you charge.

Excuse me?

I’ve been coming here for a long time and watching Morning Joe and thought this through; you’ve spent an enormous amount of money on that propaganda and it is clearly designed to distort the perceptions of naive people and convince them that this is actually news and sincere commentary on the political establishment. The truth is that this is clearly propaganda to promote the political agenda of a bunch of greedy people in the corporate office and that you’ve been passing these expenses on to your customers without the influence in the propaganda.

So my request is quite simple; either give me a reasonable price without all the hype and crap or invite me on the show so it will actually be more diverse in the views it presents instead of carefully selected views approved by the corporations.

Hold on just a second. [backing away]

Security! Security!

Why I love Starbucks!!
I’m sure that’s not the way it usually goes at Starbucks and they really do care about you; but back to our stories.

At Senate Hearing, Jamie Dimon confronted by Occupy Our Homes DC 
Occupy Our Homes DC - Wednesday June 13th, five members of Occupy Our Homes DC temporarily silenced former J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon while he stood in front of a Congressional hearing.

Deborah Harris, a disabled former paramedic who lost the title to her home due to J.P. Morgan’s unethical business practices and is now facing eviction, confronted Mr. Dimon over a microphone, asking him to face the thousands of homeowners like herself that are loosing their homes because of his work. She was quickly dragged away while fellow Occupy Our Homes members chanted and loudly accused Mr. Diamond of being a crook.

The protesters, including Ms. Harris, were held in jail for most of the day and by 6:00pm all had been released. Full article

This didn’t receive much coverage in the corporate press and what coverage it did receive wasn’t repeated over and over again as they cover some things that serve to distract the public without informing them much. This is typical of the way they treat this subject and many others. The protesters had to go to jail for the day but the Wall Street crooks were treated with much more respect despite the fact that they’ve been implicated in numerous acts of fraud.

Furthermore as far as I can tell they received more coverage on this when the victims were other investors, presumably including many others that were also wealthy and had political clout. When lower of middle class people lose their homes as a result of fraud they may not receive nearly as much coverage and the Wall Street bankers may get away with it.

And of course they’re arguing for more deregulation!

However this doesn’t include regulations that protect secrecy.

Regulations that make fraud easier are being preserved; it is only the regulations that protect the public that they want to eliminate.

The War on Whistleblowers 
When a democracy functions properly, media revelations of executive branch misconduct typically result in an investigation by the legislative branch. Watergate epitomized this healthy dynamic—illegal acts exposed by the Washington Post prompted congressional hearings and ultimately prosecutions. In other words, checks and balances functioned properly, and the system both cleansed itself of wrongdoers and rejected the Nixonian notion that no matter what a president does, it is inherently legal.

So when the New York Times this week ran the headline “Senate Will Investigate National Security Leaks About Terrorism ‘Kill List,’” it was a frightening sign that something has gone horribly wrong since the Woodward-and-Bernstein days. ….. Full article

Ironically since this came out there have been more stories like this about the leaks of the drone strikes and the cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear programs. Calls for investigation weren’t made in these cases because the drone strikes often killed civilians nor were they made because they have reason to believe that an escalating cyber war could backfire on the US sicne the US is the most vulnerable country to a cyber attack, or the fact that the Iranian nuclear program escalated after they provided covert information about al-Qaeda and were put on the “Axis of Evil” list anyway. Instead these investigations were called for because they think they may have been done to make Obama look good.

In other words it is a political investigation not a security investigation they’re calling for.

The next story isn’t from Occupy Wall Street but I thought it was worth pointing out since one of the mot important issues that clearly needs to be address is the unequal education system; this was brought to my attention by Lyn Lesch in Inner City Parents: The Cavalry isn't Coming. 
Selling out public schools
Here in the industrialized world’s most economically unequal nation, public education is still held up as the great equalizer — if not of outcome, then of opportunity. Schools are expected to be machines that overcome poverty, low wages, urban decay and budget cuts while somehow single-handedly leveling the playing field for the next generation. And if they don’t fully level the playing field, they are at least supposed to act as a counter-force against both racial and economic inequality.

That vision, however, is now under assault by both political parties in America. On the Republican side, the Washington Post reports Mitt Romney just unveiled “a pro-choice, pro-voucher, pro-states-rights education program that seems certain to hasten the privatization of the public education system” completely. On the other side, Wall Street titans in the Democratic Party with zero experience in education policy are marshaling tens of millions of dollars to do much of what Romney aims to do as president – and they often have a willing partner in President Barack “Race to the Top” Obama and various Democratic governors. Full article

The author makes five very good points including use of private Charter Schools and the serious problems being caused by reliance on property taxes that clearly ensure that the wealthiest people will always get a much better opportunity from the start clearly making it almost impossible for most people to get ahead. The few exceptions that are often highlighted by those that tout rags to riches stories are usually not put in their proper context; very often a small percentage of people are allowed and even helped to rise from to bottom as long as they support the agenda of those already at the top. This often includes politicians like John Boehner, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton who weren’t born into big money but served it when they rose to power.

One additional point that should be pointed out is the fact that the corporations have also been attempting to use advertising dollars to help finance schools after political allies have been lobbying to cut public funds. These advertising dollars have often come at a great price and they have done far more damage than good to the quality of education. As many researchers, including Roy Fox author of “Harvesting Minds” have found children who have been subjected to enormous amount of advertising in school and other locations have a harder time focusing on educational material and in many cases the advertiser that have funded them have insisted on educational criteria that isn’t in the best interest of the student. The use of Charter Schools is just another example of how they’ve been attempting to influence the quality of education and prevent children from the lower and middle classes from learning how to recognize corporate propaganda and advertising deceptions.

There is no natural right to free education; however that doesn’t mean that we can’t create one or that we shouldn’t. In a sincere democracy we should find some way to fund education for everyone. This should involve cutting the cost when ever possible if it doesn’t reduce quality of education; this could include revising copyright laws that are being used to drive up the cost of education and other tactics instead of searching for ways to deprive the lower and middle classes of a quality education. Other methods to control cost could include an end to subsidies for expensive sports programs; although more moderate programs that serve every one, not just the highly publicized ones probably can get by with modest funds.

Conference to defend education as a right 
The world crisis in education and the attack on public workers is the theme for a special U.S./Cuba/Mexico/Latin America/North America conference Aug. 17-19 in Tijuana, Mexico, which is next door to San Diego.

It’s not just another conference to talk about how bad things are for workers battered by the global capitalist crisis.

Participants include working-class leaders who fought for and won free, quality education for all. These leaders are spreading that right throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. They will meet with young workers and students fighting against foreclosures, tuition hikes and student debt, racism, police brutality, the school-to-prison-pipeline and for immigrant/migrant rights and the right to a future with meaningful work. Full article

Breaking news: Terrorist arrested at Starbucks

Police have arrested a terrorist at Starbucks who attempted to force them to air his ideology on Morning Joe by using intimidation tactics.

Starbucks claims that the rumors that he was a peaceful customer that was tired of being used to provide funding for propaganda and asked to have his share of influence that has been bought with the proceeds from past sales that he made are all from disgruntled fringe groups.

Starbucks has indicated that they continue to be benevolent as they always have been and that there was no excessive force used by security to detain the terrorist who clearly had evil intentions despite the fact that he was totally unarmed.

Starbucks has claimed that their customers always speak well of them and they deserve the right to control the propaganda.

(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.

I absolutely agree with you on the education front: "we should find some way to fund education for everyone." As it stands now, we are creating a generation of automotons, whose education is geared towards test-taking, not imaginative thinking. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, as someone said. Education should be available to all and affordable. A family shouldn't have to go bankrupt sending their kids to college.

Erica K June 19, 2012 03:08 PM

It now seems that the only way to get media attention for change is through negative attention. It's not that the protests are negative -- the coverage is.

The tactics of power:
Propagandized Messages
Forceful Arrests and Censure
Confinement and Legislation to Stop Protest

These are the tactics of Kings, Queens, Despots and Tyrants.
These are the tactics of the US Powerful Elite through their Bought and Paid for Representatives.
These are the tactics that our forefathers ended up in a shooting war to end.

What will it take for us to wake up and avoid the bloodshed of another Civil War or Revolt?

Occupy America


dunniteowl June 19, 2012 06:54 PM

[r] Zachd!!!!

EP, how very much deserved!!!! I was very excited! And of course I love, love, love your attention to craven, amoral, propagandizing big media that points its tiny penlight onto where corporate profiteers wants them to, and leaves all else in the dark until the most titillating exploitive moment to "discover" reality reframed beyond recognition henceforth by them.

You used the expression "sincere democracy". Wow, that says it all. What we are not and have not been for decades. A "sincere democracy". The Arab Spring, inspired by what some of them actually thought we have. But no. And we are losing the remnants of one faster and faster.

Morning Joe. Hard for me not to throw my cup of coffee at the screen. Smug, arrogant, amoralists and sycophants!

Sadly, too many of our peers are still talking "pragmatism" speak. Obama lesser of two evils, so we must hold our breath and our noses until after 2012 and THEN WHAT?

Jill Stein is there. But a citizenry of learned helplessness and cowardly cronyism. bleccccchhhhh!

My 2 cents. This is such a rich blog, hope to be back and access all the "full article" links.

best, libby

libbyliberalnyc June 19, 2012 07:30 PM

im (NOT SO) ho, OWS is but in the first inning - keep eyes, peeled, folks, these will be folks to be reckoned with.

Thanks for this Zachery.


markinjapan June 19, 2012 07:34 PM

I thought it was funny that during our spring-like winter I kept reading on Salon: "Spring is coming", the implication being that Occupy was going to do something big and important (why they couldn't do it on a 64 degree "winter" day, I don't know). So now spring has come and gone and even Salon has stopped running very many "news articles" about Occupy. Today I read about a guy running for office, and it was supposed to be big news. Meanwhile, the Tea Party has about 70 people in Congress. Now if there is one thing I dislike more than a left-wing populist it's a right-wing populist, but I can't help but grant the Tea Party a grudging nod of respect, because at least they ran and elected a few candidates. Most 99 percenters will remember Occupy for nothing more than drum circles, tents, mic checks, and some smashed glass.

peterchullo14 June 19, 2012 09:34 PM

[r] ~ Thank you

Inverted Interrobang June 19, 2012 11:56 PM Thanks for posting. It's good to see the political resistance is alive and well in the US.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall June 20, 2012 12:36 AM

i'm a little confused

power rangers June 20, 2012 03:07 AM

Who is this "corporate media" that you keep referencing? Does it only employ corporate robots throughout its ranks? Wouldn't all employees (except the senior executives) at a large company (like this mythical "corporate media") be part of the 99%ers who would want to join an OWS protest? And since they work in media, wouldn't they get the word out, either through official channels or underground ones?

Maybe it's just the case that OWS is truly a fringe element of the population.

Joisey Shore - Redux - June 20, 2012 04:37 AM PeterChullo wrote:

I thought it was funny that during our spring-like winter I kept reading on Salon: "Spring is coming", the implication being that Occupy was going to do something big and important (why they couldn't do it on a 64 degree "winter" day, I don't know). So now spring has come and gone and even Salon has stopped running very many "news articles" about Occupy. Today I read about a guy running for office, and it was supposed to be big news. Meanwhile, the Tea Party has about 70 people in Congress. Now if there is one thing I dislike more than a left-wing populist it's a right-wing populist, but I can't help but grant the Tea Party a grudging nod of respect, because at least they ran and elected a few candidates. Most 99 percenters will remember Occupy for nothing more than drum circles, tents, mic checks, and some smashed glass.

It is worth repeating, because the OWS was a rabble looking for respect.

The rabble got as much respect as it deserved.

Frank Apisa June 20, 2012 04:56 AM

There is NO rabble equal to the rabble which is the train wreck known as apisa sh*t on numerous boards - mr willfully ignorant is gonna' lead a revolution..

He calls it "idiots united."

markinjapan June 20, 2012 05:36 AM

Hey Frank, what's it like to be followed everywhere and have off-the-MarkinJapan up your butt all the time? Does it hurt or feel good?

Joisey Shore - Redux - June 20, 2012 07:31 AM

Thanks for keeping us informed and stoking our anger.

Chicken Mãâàn June 20, 2012 07:55 AM

crazed, he loves it, craves it - having anything up his butt crowds his head out - you, of all "people" should try it, di*khead.

markinjapan June 20, 2012 07:59 AM

May it Live, Thrive, Effect Change.

r. Jonathan Wolfman June 20, 2012 07:59 AM

So happy to hear that OWS is alive and well. Its clarion call is so valuable, its behavior so civilized. Without it, however would the police and sanitation engineers find things to do.

Gordon Osmond June 20, 2012 08:55 AM

First of all thanks to the editor, if he or she is reading this, for the editor’s pick.

Erica, it is actually as bad if not worse than that with some of the corporate influence that is going on including advertising and the fact that they’re allowing energy companies to influence educations about environmentalism without adequately pointing out the enormous conflict of interest.

Dunniteowl, this is all the more reason to have major media reform and control of an engaged public from the bottom up instead of the top down. However when it comes to making information and some resources available that can be better done at the national level it should be done, with control at least to some degree at the local level especially when it comes to discussing the issues.

Libby, a sincere democracy has to start with reforming the educations system and making it available equally to all; and it needs to have sincere media as well that is well funded and at least to some degree accountable to the public just like the public officials.

Peter, that view seems like it might be based on information from the corporate media that ignores some of the things that the Occupy movement has been doing and plays up the Tea Party because it serves the purposes of the elites.

Joisey Shore, thanks for your input; I’m sure you’ll figure out who the corporate media is when you want to.

Frank, the “rabble” is getting plenty of respect from those that will count in the long run, so I agree.

Thanks to everyone else for responding. There’s plenty more of these stories where these came from; the alternative media outlets are alive and well but for the time being it takes time to sort through them and find the best. Sometimes it isn’t too much trouble and I benefit as much from the articles others point out to me as anyone else.

zacherydtaylor June 20, 2012 09:45 AM

I guess there is no clear sunset for this one yet?

.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★

Algis Kemezys June 20, 2012 10:14 AM

Thanks for doing a heavy duty job of covering the affairs around OWS. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

old new lefty June 20, 2012 10:37 PM

I'm involved with Occupy Chicago and one of our projects now is supporting the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) in its battle to defend public education from corporate assault. We are working with CTU organizers to build a coalition not only to defend public education in Chicago, but to move it away from the corrupt racist bureaucratic morass that it was mired in.

Privatization of education will only make a bad situation worse, creating more class and racial inequality even as it bores and stresses everyone with endless(but very proftable) hi-stakes testing.

Bob Simpson June 21, 2012 11:13 PM

Bob, I’ve heard a little about that and have commented on it; but I’m sure I haven’t heard nearly as much as you have. If you write about it I’ll be sure to take a closer look, or perhaps if you already have I’ll look at that when I have the chance but it probably won’t be today.

It is clearly as bad if not worse than you describe and this is all the more reason to stop the corporations from destroying the education system. In the long term it is even in their best interest to stop what they’re doing; their business won’t do well if the country is turned into corporate zombies that can’t function well or base decision on accurate facts.

Thanks all

zacherydtaylor June 22, 2012 10:44 AM

It's not dead yet, but God knows, they're trying. I almost wish Romney would get elected. People would snap out of their complacency and get pissed.

Snoreville Ledenrocker June 24, 2012 01:59 PM

That sounds good, sort of, but from a practical point of view the most important things should be that we actually have reform that enables the majority to have real participation. Presumably unless the majority has a major wake up call many of them won’t wake up.

Which means that Romney could provide that wake up call; but at what price; or what will be the price if Obama continues to provide a more subtle wake up call?

zacherydtaylor June 25, 2012 09:30 AM

With writing like this you make me feel alive Z!

Algis Kemezys June 25, 2012 08:30 PM

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