Friday, March 27, 2015

OWS: permit fees, assault on education, is democracy “ugly?”

Occupy Wall Street is gearing up for a long summer of protest to stop the assault on the democratic freedoms and the education system being brought on by the corporations and the privatization movement; and Fox News has reported this in passing by featuring them in there regular commentary “the good the bad and the ugly” referring to the movement as the “ugly.”

(This was originally posted on Open Salon July, 6, 2011)

Is that the best they can do??

You would think they could come up with better propaganda than that. Perhaps they think their audience has been saturated with so much of their propaganda that they’ve become accustomed to believing anything they’re told without question. Perhaps they’re relying on the other networks to provide enough coverage that will indoctrinate those that haven’t been so thoroughly fooled by Fox and then they can play each other off as the lesser of two evils.

If so how many times do they think the public will fall for the same scam over and over again?

They may be in for a rude awakening sooner than they would like.

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.

Occupy Wall Street is began a March from Philadelphia to New York City as I began writing this; the live stream is now on for those of you who are interested.

National Occupy Guitarmy 99 Mile March, July 5-11 2012

The Occupy Guitarmy is spearheading #99MileMarch from Philadelphia to New York City from July 5 to July 11, 2012 in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday (July 14, 2012) and in celebration of the National Gathering of Occupy movement.

We call on Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York musicians, social justice activists, union members, and occupy supporters to help support our action. We actively seek: daily, overnight, and long haul marchers, daily location event organizers, street medics, guitar techs, kitchen staff, live-streamers, caravan vehicles, oral historians, and general volunteers. We ask that marchers, volunteers, and on-site supporters of our action visit our website ( to engage with us in advance. Please contact us if you plan to march with us!

For more information and details on how to get involved, visit and @99MileMarch Full Story

I won’t be able to go myself but best to luck for those who do make it.

Some of these stories are a couple weeks old but they hardly received much if any attention in the corporate press and it is virtually guaranteed that there are many more stories like these that they’re ignoring which is why we need to rely more on Alternative media outlets (long list of more reliable outlets) to get our news.

After NATO: From Chicago Spring to Occupy Summer and Beyond

On May 22nd, the day after the NATO summit concluded, the Chicago Tribune’s leading headline read: “Chicago keeps its cool.” Reading these four words at the airport before flying back to the east coast, I couldn’t help but laugh in disgust. Images of police repression from the past week raced through my mind; of unwarranted house raids and arrests, infiltration of activist groups, and violence against protesters in the streets. With the ghost of 1968 occupying the city’s collective consciousness throughout the month of May, NATO certainly could have been worse. But even if it is true that Chicago did not completely devolve into the chaotic melee of the Democratic National Convention over four decades before, suggesting that the militarized “Global Crossroads” managed to “keep its cool” still seemed dishonest.

Standing there in the airport terminal trying to put this whole experience into perspective, I also thought of the dozens of military veterans who courageously returned their medals of honor from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. In opposition to NATO policies that have devastated these two countries, each of the veterans took turns hurling these medals toward McCormick Place where the delegates were meeting. Then I thought about the 17 busloads of Occupiers from the east and west coasts who traveled countless hours and miles just to have their voices heard in Chicago. Not all of those who traveled from out of town, though, were able to have their voices heard during the NATO summit; some of whom remain imprisoned to this day. Mostly I was thinking about the current state and trajectory of this movement of movements known as Occupy, which had such a strong presence there all weekend, and throughout the month. I thought about its vast challenges, as well as its unknown, but seemingly infinite possibilities ahead. …. Full Story

If our government was really fighting to defend democracy all over the world as they claim then it wouldn’t be necessary for all these protest to happen in the first place. Furthermore they wouldn’t have to suppress them or ignore them in the press; instead they could and should listen to their grievances and allow them representation within the government. The fact that they’ve been treating the democracy movement in this manner is overwhelming evidence that they aren’t supporters of democracy on top of much more evidence from other sources.

Occupiers Disrupt Closing Press Brief at Rio+20 Earth Summit

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Two members of the occupy movement disrupted the final press briefing of the United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit on Sustainable Development, denouncing the final document as not representative of the voices in struggle against the degradation of the environment and oppression. Occupy Wall Street member Alexandre Carvalho and Ocupa Sampa Maryana Sant' Ana infiltrated the media conference room P3 - 7 with no press credentials, sat close to the panelists, and waited until the brief started, at 2pm.

When one of the speakers started his address, state that the cause of environmental degradation and the crash of the world economy wasn't due to banks but instead to the failure of governments to take action, the two activists took to the center of the room, grabbed two flowers that were decorating the front of the panel, and said: “They do not represent us! We want a real democracy! We are here to announce a new time; a time of imagination, poetry and no ecocide! NO GENERATIONAL GENOCIDE!” when they were seized and forced out of the room by UN personnel. …. Full Story

This is just one of many protests that are virtually ignored and then quickly forgotten by the corporate press. Others include a recent protest when Jamie Dimon was at a senate hearing and other environmental protest that were arrested during the BP hearings. In most cases the protestors are the ones that are thrown in jail, even if only briefly, while people like Jamie Dimon and Tony Hayward return to their lives in their mansions and yachts without doing much if anything to repair the damage they’ve done. This is true even through they do much more damage while the protesters are the actual victims. At the same time the corporate press is attempting to present candidates that truly represent the publics interest and protect the environment like Jill Stein (Blog with a closer look) as fringe candidates that don’t have a chance. According to the corporate press in order to be “viable” candidates have to collect an enormous amount of bribes thinly disguised as campaign contributions from the corporations and agree to ignore the will of the majority except when creating propaganda pretending to address their concerns. Fortunately there are many more people that are learning that the corporate press no longer has any credibility and these “fringe” may actually have a much better chance than the corporate press is letting on.

This propaganda can only work for so long and it may be much sooner than the Mass Media realizes that they sop fooling more than a small percentage of the public.

Louisiana: Permit Fees for Free Speech?
The following speech was given by Justin Warren of Occupy The Stage. Justin is currently behind bars for making this speech on the steps of the Louisiana state capitol without purchasing a permit. See below for more information and find out how you can lend your support!

Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow free peoples of the world. Our governing bodies in their current state have proven themselves ineffective within regards to the interests of the common man. The beautiful ideal that was Democracy has been perverted and totally replaced by the repugnant and relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar, Capitalism. For our entire lives we have been fed lies that lead us to assume such absurdities as the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and there is simply nothing to be done about it. We are told our fates will be better off in the hands of soulless, faceless, and socially irresponsible corporations.

We're told cutting education and expanding our prison systems are the sure fire treatments of our social ills. The heart of Democracy now has more people in prison per capita than any other nation in the world. And we are told this is the land of the free. Full Story

The demand for permits have become common place; they’ve also asked for them in Chicago and they have Charlotte has “given permission” for people to protest during the Democratic convention. These are just a handful of examples where the free speech of the majority is with permission only in many cases.

The point of the first amendment was supposed to be that we shouldn’t need permission to speak at all.
At least that is what many of us were taught in school!

Obviously that isn’t the case anymore, assuming it ever was; however while the speech for most of us is heavily regulated the Supreme court ahs indicated that the corporations have overwhelming amounts of protection when it comes to their speech and they can control the vast majority of the propaganda that is presented to the majority.

Campaign contributions are protected while real speech is regulated.

For all practical purposes the first amendment now provides more protection for bribes than speech!
We have more stories but first a word from our sponsor who should pay their advertising bill on time from now on!!

Buy insurance from Alex Trebek at Colonial Penn
Hi I’m Alex Trebek host of Jeopardy and I’d like to ask you to please buy insurance from colonial Penn.
We might offer some kind of a return on your payments that will pay for a portion of your funeral after you drop dead.
That isn’t the important thing though; the real issue is that I need to be paid for this commercial and the network needs to collect money to finance the propaganda they provide the zombies that buy into every crock of shit they give them.
This is why we need you to call at once and buy our insurance; don’t think just call and pay.

Commercial Director: Cut Cut Cut!!!

Quick go back to the show; go back to the show we’ll get this right in just a minute. Full Story

HHmmm I’m not sure what that was about but back to the stories about occupy Wall Street.

We Demand Real Healthcare for the 99%

On Thursday, June 28th, between 10am and 11am, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision to uphold or strike down all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare.”

The same day from 11:30am to 1:30pm, workers and the community will rally against layoffs, healthcare cuts, and hospital closings at Downstate Hospital, a state hospital in Central Brooklyn that handled 75,000 ER visits last year and plays a vital role in the community.

What does the Supreme Court decision have to do with hospital closings in Brooklyn?
It’s quite simple. Both of these events were determined by policy written by and for the 1%.
Health Insurance Reform

Even if the ACA is upheld, and despite the best intentions of many advocates to defend it, the law was largely written by Liz Fowler, Vice President of Policy at the nation’s largest and most profitable health insurance company, WellPoint.

The law will deliver 20+ million new customers and $447 billion in taxpayer subsidies directly to the private health insurance companies, but leave at least 23 million uninsured, and millions more under-insured with inadequate health insurance coverage. Full Story

This health care debate would be a bad joke if it was remotely funny. Since it began neither party has been willing to address some of the biggest problems with the health insurance situation in this country. Health care in the USA is more than twice as expensive as in most if not all other developed countries and the quality is worse according to most reliable sources. We spend an enormous amount of money in this country on health care advertising, lobbying, campaign contributions from the health care industry and other bureaucratic expenses and allow the insurance companies to keep an enormous amount for profit.

This money has to come from somewhere and it does nothing for the health of this country.

It is passed on to the consumer of course without any of the representation that goes along with the lobbying expenses or campaign contributions.

One of the reasons the government doesn’t do many things well is because they’re collecting so much money from people that want the government to fail.

Other countries do a much better job providing health care for much less money and the only candidate that is promoting Single Payer is Jill Stein who the corporations don’t consider “viable” presumably because she hasn’t sold out to them.

Occupy Santa Rosa: A Statement Of Solidarity With Students

On Sunday, July 1st, Occupy Santa Rosa is sending a written statement and visual message of solidarity to the masses of peaceful protestors taking to the streets in Mexico City, Montreal, and across Canada. July 1 is Canada Day, as well the day of the Mexican presidential election. Our messages of solidarity are attached, and can be found
This latest North American tide of peaceful, democratic protest began in Montreal, Quebec in February, when students went on strike to protest a 75% tuition hike. The protests spread and swelled when the government attempted to limit the students’ right to assemble, and on the 100th day – May 22 – 500,000 people took to the streets across Canada. The protests continue daily, and have been amplified by events unfolding in Mexico.

The #Yo Soy 132 protests were sparked on May 11, when an influential supporter of conservative Mexican presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto accused students protesting Nieto’s proposals of being “not real students, but part of a mob hired by one of Peña Nieto’s political opponents,” according to Latin American News Dispatch. ( The students responded by videotaping their student IDs and posting them on YouTube. There were 131 students, and Mexicans across the country rose up in solidarity by proclaiming, “I am number 132″ – “Yo Soy 132.” Full Story

Oakland: Lakeview Elementary Occupation Raided; Rally at 5pm!

Since June 15, parents, teachers, students, and allies from Oakland have occupied Lakeview School in response to the closure of five public elementary schools. Officials want to convert the buildings into private charter schools and offices, forcing students into different schools ten miles away without offering transportation. On the last day of class, community members began an on-going sit-in. They set up a community space complete with a library, free classes for children, social justice training, and more. Members of Occupy Oakland and other local Occupations have offered support and security patrols for the brave community members inside. Full Story

The ability of the public to participate in the democratic process is directly related to the quality of the education system. In order to be able to make decisions about many important subjects people need to understand them and they need to have equal access to education, not one system for the rich and another for the poor.

Charter Schools are clearly another way of increasing the control the corporations have over the schools. They’ve also used advertising to attempt to do this. There has been an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that this is having a detrimental effect on the education of children some of which was indicated in Roy Fox’s study “Harvesting Minds.” This has also enabled the corporations to suppress education about issues that impact profits including the destruction of the environment and the ability of children to scrutinize advertising.

In addition to preventing the take over of the school system by corporations that control the Charter School systems we need to stop the reliance on property taxes to provide funding. This is clearly designed to make sure that the best schools are kept in the neighborhoods of the wealthy and that those without money don’t have much if any chance to get ahead.

July 2-10, San Diego: Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership

We are waking up. The fog is lifting. We are sweeping away the lies and secrecy.

From July 2 to July 10, the political leaders of the Pacific Rim nations are meeting in San Diego to turn the Pacific Ocean and its peoples into a giant privatized corporate lake characterized by non-union workers, Wal-Mart supply chain feeders, poisoned, landless agricultural laborers, a dying biodiversity, and rising, drowning sea levels. We cannot and will not let this happen.

The TPP meeting is officially referred to as the 13th Round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Talks. The nations involved are the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile, and Peru. Japan, Mexico and Canada have indicated a desire to join. The economic power of this group is more than 40% larger than the 27-nation European Union. The claimed purpose of TPP is to promote development and create jobs. However, this meeting is in fact one of the final conclaves to secretly negotiate the economic structural adjustments necessary to appease the world’s largest multinational banks and multi-unit corporations. Make no mistake, these talks have nothing to do with free trade between equal nations. Rather, they are negotiations being conducted on behalf of these corporations and banks by their willing and highly-paid governments (supported by their militaries and police departments) to systematize the exploitation of the Pacific Rim peoples and increase the capital acquisition rates of the 1%. Full Story

The farther they can keep the decision making process from the public the more corruption they can get away with; this is why they want to promote this treaty that would enable them to claim that they have no choice when it comes to workers rights, environmental rights and many other rights.

The Obama administration that pretends to be standing up to the corporations when it suits their purposes has been trying to push this when no one has been watching and Romney clearly would like to do so as well if he thinks he can get away with it.

With an enormous amount of protest and solidarity in Mexico, Canada, the USA and around the world it will be much more difficult for the corporations to get away with this.

If you review most if not all of the major issues that impact the public when ever there is a conflict of interest between the best interest of the corporations and the majority of the public, which includes most issues that have any financial needs, the political system virtually always takes the side of the corporations with little or no regard for the majority. Instead the majority gets an enormous amount of propaganda and distractions or other manipulation tactics. This is clearly directly related to the enormous amount of campaign contributions the politicians collect from the corporations.

They don’t donate unless they believe they can get a return on their money.

That return has to come from somewhere and it is virtually always at the expense of the majority of the public.

They can only ignore the protest for so long without bringing everything to a standstill.

To do so would be even more destructive than to cooperate and allow major reforms; it is a matter of time before those in power realize they can’t ignore the will of the people in a society that pretends to be democratic if the people don’t submit to corporate tyranny.

Commercial director: enough of that clowning around Alex; can you imagine what would happen if that tape got out to the public. It would be much more difficult to run our scams if they started standing up for their rights.

Alex Trebek: These zombies will never learn how to think for themselves all we have to do is create more spin to keep them running in circles. Sometimes I just can’t believe how easy this can be.
Commercial director: If your jokes actually make it onto the internet or something like that you’ll find out whether or not the zombies learn how to think for themselves.

Alex Trebek: Are you kidding they’ve been buying every crock of shit we give them for decades why would they stop now; hell they even keep buying that scam about only considering candidates that take their marching orders from the corporations and they run the same scam every two or four years. They can’t even present a candidate from the grass roots level unless we give them permission.

Actually Alex it may be sooner than most people think that the public stops believing the claim that either of the two traditional parties is even trying to represent the public and they start looking elsewhere.

(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.

Great post. After 33 years as a grass root activist, I'm nasty, cunning and vicious, as well as ugly. And proud of it.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall July 06, 2012 07:33 PM

Thanks Stuart, These protest are bigger than anything they've had since I was a little kid at least and they still ignore them. One way or another they can't continue this.

Apparently there may have been some technical difficulties for some people trying to post. I suspect they were probably temporary and this should work again, assuming this posts.

zacherydtaylor July 09, 2012 09:45 AM

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