Friday, March 27, 2015

OWS: Surprise Mass Media ignores convention protests

Occupy Wall Street hasn’t gone away and has been protesting the conventions although you might not know it judging by the coverage that the corporate media has been providing for it. In all fairness the protest haven’t been as big as they expected them to be; however it appears that part of the reason for that may be because a portion of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been trying to collect donations to help the victims of Hurricane Isaac.

(This was originally posted on Open Salon September, 7, 2011)

There was some discussion in the media about the Republican plans for the convention with the hurricane coming in and if they would alter their plans. For the most part they didn’t; although it was delayed by a day. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats had much to say about the hurricane although a reporter was fired for pointing out this in a joking manner when David Chalian said Romney and the Republicans “are happy to have a party with black people drowning.” This was followed up by an enormous amount of outrage over the insensitivity of the reporter. What they declined to do is consider the possibility that he may have had a legitimate point. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have been doing much if anything to repair the emergency response following disasters like this since Katrina. They both had their tours after the hurricane to show they cared but they haven’t reported much if at all how the recovery has been going.

In another incident the police have arrested a protester and accused him of making “terroristic threats” after he led a sign in a bank saying "You're being robbed;" and another saying "Give a man a gun, he'll rob a bank. Give a man a bank, he'll rob a country." He left the bank when asked and was pursued anyway even though there was no threat; while the people involved in white collar crimes that involve the theft of billions continue to go unpunished and remain in control of the banks.

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.

Watch the March on the RNC
As of noon eastern, the March on the RNC has begun. The corporate media won't report on it, so follow and find livestreams on Twitter: #resistRNC #marchontheRNC #OccupyTheRNC #frnc, @OccupyRNC and @OccupyTampa. The protest will continue throughout the week. Nonviolent direct action marches will take place every day at 10 am as an alternative to the official, barbed-wire enclosed “event zone” (cage) declared by the city and police to keep protesters far away from the eyes of the media, while the wealthy are given lavish parties and the ears of the politicians inside the heavily-guarded walls.

Tomorrow at 5 pm, there will be a Rally and March Against Voter Suppression at Centennial Park (1800 E. 8th Ave, Tampa), and several other actions will be held at various times during the rest of the week, including a pro-labor rally, a rally in support of reproductive rights, and various autonomous/unpermitted marches against capitalism and police brutality. If you are in Tampa and need legal assistance, the number for the NLG is 813-241-0101, or find them online: You can also donate to the Occupy Tampa bail fund here. …..

The city spent tens of millions of dollars on police equipment, including a tank, surveillance drones, and helicopters, with reinforcements from the Dept. of Homeland Security and National Guard. ….. Full Article

Jill Stein: Let's Crash the Conventions!

The Republican Party convention had absolutely nothing to offer but lies and appeals to patriotism. The policies that they’ve been promoting have become so insane that it makes the Democratic Party seem rational by comparison; this is the only way they can appear to be a decent part anymore; and it only works as long as they don’t cover any other people and ignore other issues which is what they’re doing.
The fact that the establishment feels the need to spend so much money on security while they’re cutting so many other programs that actually help the majority of the public should be raising enormous doubts about how sincere they are about their claims to represent the will of the public. This is especially true when you consider the fact that they have little or nothing to consider the demands of the Occupy Wall Street movement or any other grass roots movement while continuing to take an enormous amount of money from corporations that continue to call the shots.

Jill Stein has shown up at the protests at Romneyville and it should be clear that all this security wouldn’t be necessary if they were doing their job to begin with and representing the public. The security is so important because they don’t do their job and they have to control the situation so that no one interrupts the carefully script that has been written for the conventions and lets people know more about the policies and alternatives that could and should be available.

Jill Stein is one of the few presidential candidate that is advocating for Single Payer health Care, an end to wars based on lies, protection of the environment, an end to the corporate influence on schools and many other positions that the majority of the public support but the campaign contributors oppose. This may be why the corporate media refuses to give her a reasonable amount of air time and they’re trying to make it seem as if she has little or no support. The truth is that the support that both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama has is based primarily on the propaganda being put out by the corporate media while the support that Jill Stein has was developed at the grass roots level.

If there is another candidate that has sincere support it isn’t Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, both of whom obtained their support thanks to the help of political establishments controlled by corporations; it is one of the other presidential candidates that actually filled out their Project Vote Smart questionnaires unlike Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs And Occupy Movement Form Coalition To Help Isaac & Katrina Victims 
The Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs, and Occupy have come together to aid the Common Ground Health Clinic and set up mobile kitchens to feed those left in need by both Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina. PLEASE DONATE!

A ground breaking coalition of activists from the Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs, and Occupy have come together in a Relief Effort to aid not only the victims of Hurricane Isaac, but also the nearly 10,000 people who remain displaced from Hurricane Katrina. Occupy activists are using a communications platform called InterOccupy, that combines conference calls, discussion boards, email listserves, rss feeds and social media links to organize the efforts of the coalition.

Occupy activists are urging Occupy camps nationwide to organize donation drives to collect staple food goods and medical supplies. A partnership with Continental Expedited Services, a trucking company, will allow food collected in food drives nationwide to be distributed to those in need in New Orleans through Occupy Distribution Hubs being set up in several cities throughout the South East. Occupy Distribution Hubs are operating in Jackson, MS; Tuscaloosa, AL; and Birmingham, AL. Tonight, drivers will transport the first load of aid from Jackson, MS to Occupy NOLA. Aid collected by camps nationwide will be routed to the Common Ground Clinic and Occupy NOLA. Full Article

The Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t nearly as well set up as many powerful institutions but they’re trying to do what they can anyway with what little they have anyway. The government and the donors that contribute to the major political parties have much more resources but instead of doing much if anything to contribute to hurricane relief they have toured the area with an enormous amount of media coverage to show ”they care,” without actually doing anything more.

Group: Occupy Protester Accused Of Bank Robbery For Holding ‘You’re Being Robbed’ Sign

EASTON, Pa. (CBS) – An Occupy Easton protester faces an attempted bank robbery charge following an arrest at an organized event at a bank – during which the “Occupier” was holding a sign that reportedly read “You’re being robbed.”

According to The Express-Times, Dave Gorczynski allegedly held cardboard signs outside a Wells Fargo Branch that read, “You’re being robbed,” while the other said, “Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country.”

Occupy Easton reports on their Facebook page that Gorczynski “was at the bank protesting the theft of our tax dollars, our homes, and our economy by the criminal banksters.”

Gorczynski allegedly did the same thing a short time later inside a Bank of America, prompting an employee to activate the panic alarm – reports The Express Times.

Police reportedly responded and located Gorczynski with the signs in question and arrested him.
“He is not the criminal. If the police were truly there to protect and serve the taxpayers, the banksters would be arrested and this man would be called a hero,” posted the Occupy Easton group. Full Article

Robbery Charges Dropped Against "Nature Dave" 
District Attorney withdraws attempted robbery charges against man accused of bringing "You're being robbed" signs into banks. Other charges still stand.

Northampton County's chief proseuctor has withdrawn robbery charges against a man accused of bringing a "You're being robbed" sign into two Easton banks earlier this week.

But John Morganelli said Wednesday another set of charges -- terroristic threats and disorderly conduct -- still stand against David Gorczynski, otherwise known as "Nature Dave." Full Article

They’re attempting to portray David Gorczynski as a terrorist dispite the fact that it is obvious that he wasn’t trying to rob the bank and that they were familiar with him and knew it or should have known it. He clearly left the bank and had no weapon and there is no evidence that they’ve released to indicate that there was ever a real threat. If the picture above is the strongest evidence they have of some kind of crime it is clearly inappropriate; especially when they continue to do little or nothing about the Lehman brothers, Jon Corzine, Jamie Dimon and many other financial executives that have clearly either been involved in the embezzlement of an enormous amount of funds or negligence that resulted in the loss of billions of dollars.

The biggest difference by far seems to be that those that have been involved in the real crimes have also donated to political campaigns and had connections while those that try to stop the real crimes have little or no political power.

Oakland Obama Office Occupied in Support of Pfc. Manning. Video.

from Scott Olsen:

I was there. When it came down to it we decided that I would not be arrested. One of the reasons for that was so I could upload and distribute this video I took within minutes of us entering. This is before the march and media made it up here. In the video you will see Obama's staffers push us when we tried to move chairs so we could sit in the middle of the office. I got pushed which made me drop my phone and then a man brandished a chair against me.

8/17, 11:30am: Livestream replaced with video clip recorded last night. Six of the seven people, including veterans, were arrested during the nonviolent sit-in. The office was shut down for the night.
11pm Eastern: Scott Olsen and members of Iraq Veterans Against War are currently sitting in an Obama Campaign Headquarters in Oakland demanding Pfc. Manning's release. Dozens of supprters are also rallying outside; some police are on the scene. Full Article

The protests continue during the convention:

Bradley Manning Demonstrations Planned for September 6 
On Thursday, September 6, supporters of Bradley Manning are planning to hold several nonviolent demonstrations around the country. The protests are timed to occur at the same time President Obama delivers his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This isn’t the first time those advocating for the release of the Army private have clashed with President Obama. In August, Manning activists “occupied” the Obama campaign headquarters in Oakland and Los Angeles in California, as well as the office in Portland, Oregon.

Protesters reportedly targeted the Obama campaign offices in response to a comment made by the President in 2011 wherein he said that Manning “broke the law.” This statement has been interpreted by Manning activists as a declaration of Manning’s guilt before a trial on the merits of the charges has been held. Full Article 
Bradley Manning support network

The holding of Bradley Manning while postponing the trial on numerous occasions with the latest date in February or March of 2013 is clearly unconstitutional. Manning doesn’t seem to have endangered anyone but clearly when George W Bush started a war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction he caused thousands of deaths and he hasn’t been charged with anything. Recently Desmond Tutu said Bush, Blair Should Face Trial Over Iraq. There is an enormous amount of evidence to justify this, possibly including new undisclosed evidence of further torture, )Human Rights Watch says it has evidence of wider U.S. waterboarding by CIA, allies) yet both Bush and Blair remain free.

In a sincere democracy the public needs to have access to the information that should be required to make decisions about holding their officials accountable and voting out those that aren’t accountable. If Manning released information about these wars based on false pretenses then he would have been helping the public with this not harming them.

We have more news for you but first a message from our sponsors, who seem to have joined the club of falling behind on their bills.

Education Connection

I love learning new things in my pajamas.
That’s why I go to the Education Connection
Education Connection

I love the really cool jingle and looking like the cool girl on national TV.
And I love being paid for it out of the money they collect from the people that fall for this scam.
That’s why I go to the Education Connection
Education Connection

Where we repeat slogans that people like and dance around to attract people that want to believe that education is all fun and games and sign up for big contracts then give up as soon as they realize that they have to actually work at it.
That’s why I love the Indoctrination Connection
The Indoctrination Connection

Where we repeat slogans over and over again without scrutiny.
And corporations make an enormous amount of money collecting from people that want the songa and dance and quite with a big debt when we pull the bait and switch. That’s why I love the Indoctrination Connection

The Indoctrination Connection
Please go to our wen site and order now so we can raise the money to pay for this ad and for all the lobbyists rooting for us on Capital Hill.
That’s why I love the Indoctrination Connection
The Indoctrination Connection
Education Connection

Global Education Strike: Oct. 18 & Nov. 14-21

We are calling for a Global Education Strike. It is the first time that an education strike is being coordinated worldwide. We will UNITE in solidarity, because no matter where we live, we face the same struggle against national state and profit driven interests, and their hold on education. Increasing tuition fees, budget cuts, outsourcing, school closures, as well as other phenomena are linked to an increasing commercialization and privatization of education. Only by uniting globally will we be able to overcome these and enable free emancipatory education for all.

We are all struggling against cuts in education. Most of us are drowning in student debt. The increasing pressure to perform just makes us sick and the restrictions on education and ever-increasing tuition fees, among other barriers, make us angry! Everyone must have access to education no matter their monetary or social status. We have had enough of the pressure to measure everything - even the unmeasurable! We are sick and tired of competitiveness being the only criteria dictating everything! It is about time that we do something about this together – UNITED!

We are all people affected by the increasing commodification and commercialization of education. This is vividly portrayed by the symptoms affecting us, such as schools and universities being de-democratized and the further implementation of more hierarchical structures. The education market and competition between institutions is being facilitated by governments around the world, which are increasingly privatizing education, health care, and all other social needs. Full Article

Reforming the education system is one of the most important issues that we face. The discussion about it in the current political establishment is being controlled almost entirely by those that want to turn it into a privatized system that puts profits or in many cases corporate ideology ahead of the most effective way to educate children. The educations system clearly should doing the best they can to educate children in the most effective way possible and this doesn’t involve corporate control.

One of the biggest problems driving up the cost of education is the fact that it is being funded by property taxes and the excessive use of copyright laws to create what they call “intellectual property” out of knowledge. This means that an enormous amount of the information that is in the books that are used to educate children are consider the property of those that own the copyrights and that they should be able to decide who can access it and who can’t.

They have even been creating an enormous amount of propaganda to convince many of us that some of the people running for office are advocates for the middle class like Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren who is supporting charter schools not unions and contrary to the way the corporate media portrays her a close look clearly indicates that she’s Not a consumer advocate as we’ve been led to believe! Instead they present her and others as our advocate based on an enormous amount of propaganda then once they get her in office they use the trust people give her to increase corporate control over schools by increasing charter schools.

#YoSoy132 Blockades Mexico's Largest Media Company; Support Them At #OccupySaks! 
On July 26, 2012, members of the #YoSoy132 movement and other Mexican social movements held a siege of Televisa, Mexico's largest TV broadcaster and media conglomerate. Afterward, the following statement from the Student Assembly was read (translated by
Closing remarks from the siege of Televisa

The symbolic and peaceful siege of Televisa is an historic and unprecedented accomplishment, the first action directly resuming our program of struggle, particularly our number one point: the democratization and transformation of the media and dissemination of information, as our letter states: "We fight against media monopolies and oligopolies that concentrate and manipulate information, particularly in the current electoral context where collusion between political parties and media companies is evident." We note that the current model of commercial media, represented by Televisa and TV Azteca, are excluded from society and civil organizations in general. We believe that only the socialization and collective management of the media will allow for a true open media and guarantee the right to information and freedom of expression.

Summoned by shame, indignation, and suffering, we are here today at the gates of the media company which has been tasked to misinform and manipulate the Mexican people.

#YoSoy132 is a nonpartisan, nonviolent, autonomous, anti-neoliberal social, political, and student movement independent of the parties, candidates, and organizations who respond to an electoral program -- a democratic movement where decisions emanate from the local and general assemblies which has transcended the electoral situation and continues to be organized and to fight to profoundly transform Mexico, to act as a counterweight to any decision and policy that violates the rights and interests of our people. Full Article

For more information see #YoSoy132: Reclaim Media From the 1%

As indicated in my previous post about why alternative media is an absolute necessity, this issue is as important if not more important than education since it enables the public to get the information they need to continue getting the information they need to participate in the democratic process. The fact that the corporate press hasn’t been reporting on the protest movement nearly as well as they could and should have is evidence of the fact that they can’t be trusted to provide us with the most important news which is why I have been compiling a long list of alternative media outlets for people to use. These outlets are on a Wiki, so if you think I should add one you can do so or let me know.

Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On

Republicans and Democrats, like Romney and Obama are of one mind on many more things than they disagree about. From war and empire to their policies on Big Ag, Big Energy, “clean coal and safe nuclear power,” and the war on drugs their areas of agreement are vast and troubling, and perhaps far more important than the rhetorical and stylistic differences highlighted by US political campaigns.

Too much agreement between Republicans and Democrats has always been bad news for those at the bottom of America's class and racial totem poles.

Back in 1875, Frederick Douglass observed that it took a war among the whites to free his people from slavery. What then, he wondered, would an era of peace among the whites bring us? He already knew the answer. Louisiana had its Colfax Massacre two years earlier. A wave of thousands upon thousands of terroristic bombings, shootings, mutilations, murders and threats had driven African Americans from courthouses, city halls, legislatures, from their own farms, businesses and private properties and from the voting rolls across the South. They didn't get the vote back for 80 years, and they never did get the land back. But none of that mattered because on the broad and important questions of those days there was at last peace between white Republicans and white Democrats --- squabbles around the edges about who'd get elected, but wide agreement on the rules of the game.

Like Douglass, the shallow talking heads who cover the 2012 presidential campaign on corporate media have noticed out loud the remarkable absence of disagreement between Republican and Democratic candidates on many matters. They usually mention what the establishment likes to call “foreign policy.” But the list of things Republicans and Democrat presidential candidates agree on, from coddling Wall Street speculators, protecting mortgage fraudsters and corporate wrongdoers to preventing Medicare For All to so-called “foreign policy,” “free trade,” “the deficit” “clean coal and safe nuclear power” and “entitlement reform,” is clearly longer and more important than the few points of mostly race and style, upon which they disagree. Full Article at the Black Agenda Report

Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama collect the vast majority of their campaign funds from the same corporations and they use this to buy up an enormous amount of propaganda that they expect the majority of the public to base their votes on; so it shouldn’t be surprising that they agree on many of the most important issue to these contributors. They don’t donate all that money without expecting a big return and they’ve been doing much less to answer to the will of the public lately so they need a better scam than they have had in the past.

For the most part they haven’t got a better scam at all!

Unless they convince the public that the only people they have to choose from are those that are presented to them by the corporate media. The conventions that are just coming to a close are a masterpiece of propaganda for people that rely almost entirely on the traditional corporate media for their information or those that don’t pay more than a token amount of attention to politics. For the most part they’re much more effective for the Democratic party this year thanks to the extremist positions of the Republican Party that have stirred up many people. If these people accept the lie that they can only chose from the two candidates presented to them by the corporations then Obama should easily win this election; however if the Occupy Wall Street protests and alternative media outlets have done a good enough job informing the public about alternative parties then they could be in for a big surprise. Unfortunately there are many alternative media outlets that have bought in to this lie and are reinforcing it and others that are actually fronts for traditional corporate media but not all of them and if enough people recognize the difference then it could mean major reform.

If not then the corporations will continue to believe they can maintain control and corruption will continue to escalate at the expense of all of us.

U.S. is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers
There’s no getting around the fact that the United States is the Mother of All Police States. China can’t compete in the incarceration business. With four times the U.S. population, it imprisons only 70 percent as many people – about the same number as the non-white prison population of the U.S. Even worse, 80,000 U.S. inmates undergo the torture of solitary confinement on any given day.

When U.S. corporate media operatives use the term “police state,” they invariably mean some other country. Even the so-called “liberal” media, from Democracy Now to the MSNBC menagerie, cannot bring themselves to say “police state” and the “United States” without putting the qualifying words “like” or “becoming” in the middle. The U.S. is behaving “like” a police state, they say, or the U.S. is in danger of “becoming” a police state. But it is never a police state. Since these privileged speakers and writers are not themselves in prison – because what they write and say represents no actual danger to the state – they conclude that a U.S. police state does not, at this time, exist.
Considering the sheer size and social penetration of its police and imprisonment apparatus, the United States is not only a police state, but the biggest police state in the world, by far: the police state against whose dimensions all other police systems on Earth must be measured. Full Article at the Black Agenda Report

The consideration of whether this is a police state should take into consideration more than the numbers, of course, they should also take into consideration what the conditions are in prison as the Black Agenda points out in the rest of their article and other things, including the ones mentioned in this blog, like the enormous police presence they feel is necessary for the scripted conventions that don’t allow dissenting voices; the arrest and detention of many people that disclose information about corrupt government activity like Bradley Manning allegedly did; the fact that they arrest people like Dave Gorczynski for protesting corruption while the corrupt go free; the fact that the grass roots candidates for office that don’t have the approval of the corporations can’t get any air time and many other details. This police state could come to a screeching halt if enough people wake up and let the politicians know that we’re not dumb enough to fall for it anymore!!
(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 update on the upcoming elections and the real issues the campaign should be based on - but isn't. The whole convention coverage for both parties is incredibly surreal. It bears no connection to the everyday lives Americans lead. It's noteworthy that Jill Stein is the only candidate who lays out a substantive campaign platform with promises about what she would change. Obama seems to have learned his lesson in 2008. If you don't lay out any policies, you can't be accused of breaking your promises. Great post.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall September 08, 2012 03:36 AM

[r] Zachd! fabulous round up. Thank you. Dave G's plight is disgusting. Can you imagine? Well, yes, all too well. What evil weasels. So we are colluding with Al Qaeda in Syria but we are locking up people of conscience in America. WTG, Barack! Reminds me of Jill Stein's using the expression "bullshit" and her ad being threatened to be pulled. Actual pandering bullshit is welcome on the air waves but someone calling it out for what it is, brings censure. And Don Siegelman going to prison for a decade cuz he got framed by Rove and his cronies and their selective and extreme prosecution. Orwellian. Sadistic. Evil.

Did your read that there were 15,000 media people in Charlotte and 5000 delegates and reps. What does that say? All the money flowing and all the schmoozing and cronying up the elite political class and the ruling class and the celeb media class. Where's my vomit bucket.

I couldn't stomach seeing Obama so I was watching another network, maybe the Mentalist? and suddenly on tnt or one of those stations there is a commercial saying to immediately to go to CNN to watch the president's speech. Yes, let's get the ratings of the plastic pep rally that defies the nightmare betrayals of BOTH major parties.

Take care. Great work.

Best, libby

libbyliberalnyc September 08, 2012 07:29 AM

Dr Bramhall, they’ve been pushing for so much that it may give the impression that they think they can get away with anything; and many people have become complacent or distracted by the enormous amount of distractions provided by the propaganda machine so they’ve been having more success then I would have previously expected. This may be why it is so surreal; however on the plus side they’re so obvious now that it should be clear to all but the most complacent that they’re running a scam and people are waking up.

This is just as well since they’re on an unsustainable course and it isn’t even in their own best interest to maintain it.

Libby, I have mixed feelings about that ad which I saw for the first time on Cenk Uygur last night; I’m glad she’s getting some air time but a thirty second commercial isn’t the way to get messages across and they shouldn’t be used at all. Instead we should have an interview process and sincere candidates shouldn’t have to stoop to fund raising and rushing catch phrases without discussion of issues. My main objection to it isn’t Jill Stein but the absurd system we have; her commercials aren’t nearly as bad as the crap being put out by the corporate candidates saturating the airwaves with lies. I’ll get to that more after the election since it is too late to make a point for this one.

Didn’t hear those numbers but they aren’t surprising and they’re the tip of the iceberg. I think I watched one of those pathetic Wrong Turn show the convention was so bad and surfed around. They’re mainly for entertainment and propaganda not democratic purposes as they should be.

zacherydtaylor September 08, 2012 09:34 AM

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