By lambert strether. Cross-posted from Corrente.
8:50AM Oddly, or not, a Google news search on #oct15 yields no useful hits at all (nifty promotional video for same). So let’s check what turned out to be the semantic web, twitter. No, let’s not. Let’s do the ADD thing and read the Onion:
Nation Waiting For Protesters To Clearly Articulate Demands Before Ignoring Them. Or bribing them. Or gunning them down, heaven forfend, those bright, often young, smart, funny, earnest people. OK. Back to work. After my coffee. Slurp.
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So, some quick coverage before. Slurp. Heading out soon to button up the garden and then stack the wood.
Demonstrators worldwide shouted [Why, they are almost like out of control children who need a timeout! Reuters, you can do better than this, surely] their rage on Saturday against bankers and politicians they accuse of ruining economies and condemning millions to hardship through greed and bad government. [So what’s their point?]
Yeah, Jeebus, who’d be mad about a little thing like that? Move along, people, move along. There’s no story here. Srlsy, the “rage” trope, which the usual suspects habitually deploy against the left — even though, typically, the left doesn’t advocate, let alone practice, “open carry” at its events — is a consequence of lazy journamalism.* The real story at the Occupations is not rage, but relief and above all, joy, partly from self-organizing, and partly from the “opening out” of public space for use by the public. Do the occupiers resemble post-modern flaneurs?
Anyhow, check the Reuters story for more #Oct15 cities: Rome, Auckland, Sidney, Tokyo, Taipei, Paris, Athens, Frankfurt. To name a few.
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9:36AM Here’s what looks like a useful site organized by country, though I can’t claim to have curated it. (I’m always a bit leery of sites that look a little too buff, because I wonder who’s funding them or whether there is marketing again. Old school paranoia! Then again, all these bright young people are good with the intertubes. Or at least with WordPress themes!)
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Julian Assange now speaking at the Assembly #occupylsx #globalchange
9:44 AM Assange, whatever else he may be, is a celebrity, and I’m two minds about all celebrities becoming involved in the Occupations, even [genuflects] Michael Moore, because celebrities tend to get the stack popped until they’re on top of it. Nevertheless, LSX is just as belly of the beastly as the NYSX, so this will be an interesting story to follow.
I’ve got to go greet my fellow gardeners now. Backson. Readers, please add your thoughts (and links) below! And if any of you are attending #oct15 events, please share the experience! It occurs to me. Slurp. That I never did find a general explanation of what #oct15 was about. Who are they? What are their demands?
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10:32AM Kettling at Saint Pauls, #OccupyLSX:
Good natured rally on the steps of St Paul’s but police now encircling area in what appears to be a kettling operation.
Not sure why the difference in tactics and outcomes in London vs. Wall Street. Surely both cities are urban canyons?
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12:20PM True (almost?) everywhere:
Staff in shops/restaurants within kettle ignoring Met ‘advice’ & allowing ppl to use toilets, get tap water, etc #occupylsx
12:22PM Talking point, from Assange, propagating (hope the Japanese characters display):
アサンジ：このムーブメントは法律を壊しているのではない。法律を作っているのだ。”This movement is not about the destruction of law, but the construction of law.” #OccupyLSX #OWS
Much more shortly. Gardening and firewood are my personal hedging strategies against Big Food and Big Energy, respectively. Sorry, but and besides, gardening is a self-disciplinary charkha.
1:15PM Via (FB), Italian agent provocateurs fomenting violence in Rome? Repubblica: (Occhiali scuri ed impassibile. L’uomo appoggiato al muro della banca guarda un gruppetto di black bloc distruggere la vetrata della banca Carim in via Cavour [“Dark glasses and impassive. The man leaning against the wall of the bank looks at a group of black bloc to destroy the window of the bank’s Harim in Via Cavour”]. Hmm. Click the red circle in the photo for what could be an earbud, too.
If you’ve got the right plugins, there’s a ton of videos from Rome at Il Repubblica.
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1:26PM AP round-up. Rome, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Vienna, Zurich, Sidney, Tokyo, Manila. Impressive.
1:31PM Via alert reader wendy davis, the continuingly excellent Guardian live blog covers #OccupyLSX (if only we our provincial dailies in New York and Washington were so good), and finally Al Jazeera English. Just a hint to the AJE editors: A live cam from a high place at Zuccotti Park, just as at Tahrir Square, would not go amiss.
1:39PM Readers, if you know of other live blogs from the ground that cover the Occupations, no matter where, will you post them in comments? Then I will repost here. Spanish voices in the Paris occupation; interesting. [UPDATE Other blogs: The Confluence; FDL, where Kevin G has been doing great work.]
1:54PM Uh oh? Via CO11MetPolice Metropolitan Police
St Paul’s Cathedral need to prepare for its Sunday services. We advise anyone outside St Paul’s to start leaving #occupylsx #occupylondon
Cf. Matthew 21:12.
2:03PM Tents going up at #occupyLSX (via eDahms).
See, the point of Occupations is to occupy. From the Barcalounger: I wonder if tactics need to be different when tents are along the street, as opposed to being in a square or park.
2:16PM Last of the tomatoes. And mozzarella. Sigh. Here is the Guardian’s wrap-up of OccupyLSX:
In London about 1,000 protesters massed outside St Paul’s Cathedral in a bid to occupy the London Stock Exchange in the nearby Paternoster Square. But the square was closed off by police and private security and the demonstration remained focused on the steps around the cathedral after attempts to enter failed. Police moved in to kettle the crowd and three people were arrested.
I note that this contradicts the encampment photo above. I guess I’ll have to go check that out!
UPDATE ON #OccupyLSX 2:38PM Looks like the square is surrounded but occupied. From Tim Hardy:
[Tim Hardy]#OccupyLSX enough people now holding space it seems. Police far more relaxed now
[via] #OccupyLSX police scrolling sign “This containment is to prevent a breach of the peace” in front of hundreds of people dancing, chatting
And via Steven McLain:
Nooo. Everyone partying and wandering about. Crowd patchy. Police could move. Stupid. Sit together! #occupylsx
So, from the Barcalounger, “kettle” doesn’t seem quite right. I wonder if there are food vendors around? If the food vendors leave, is that a sign the cops are going to move in? Rather like when small animals sense the approach of a predator?
Another excellent and dynamic map, using the open source OpenLayers, and not GoogleMaps.
2:50PM A happy result of fraternization (Non-Violent Method of Protest And Persuasion #33), or a tactical memo from the higher-ups?
[via] Despite the kettling and some harassment of protesters today at #occupyLSX, most police chatting to protesters were sympathetic of aims
Or both? Nothing wrong with a little slackness, sometimes…
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2:54PM Daily Mail (!): “Tents now being put up in the Square Mile.”
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3:04PM Let’s see if WP is happy with live feed embed code from what looks like the steps of Saint Paul’s. (being served from elsewhere, so NC’s servers shouldn’t be brought to their knees). Broadcast started, local time: October 15 2011 20:36 Europe/Stockholm… Looks like a GA?? Using the people’s mic? Damn, wish I could embed this. Go here! Terrible quality, but if like me, you’ve never been to a GA, now’s your chance! Normally, being a WASP, I’d never experience, let alone express, a surge of emotion, but….
3:22PM Anybody going to the party in Times Square at 5:00pm this evening? I’m really enjoying the image of Izvestia’s Pinch Sulzberger looking down from on high on the party from his (no doubt) lavishly equipped executive suite, from which he sallies forth daily to destroy his once-great paper’s reputation with dis- and misinformation campaigns that rot the minds of those behind his pay wall. Yes, rather like one of the grey-colored Soviet apparatchiks looking down from the reviewing stand at the signs of incipient collapse, or, to pick an example from yet another sclerotic rentier state, Marie Antoinette looking down from her balcony in Versailles at the canaille…. Oh, forgot the purple patch alert. Sorry. UPDATE: Earthcam of Times Square (via).
Irony alert! Izvestia:
“The irony is that this place represents in many ways the epitome of free-market capitalism,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “But [and by “but” we mean “and,” right?] its transformation is due more to government intervention than just about any other development in the country.
“Free market?” Stop it, you’re killing me!
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3:40PM Another useful map.
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3:35PM The “turned violent” trope in action. I hate that one; there’s no agency. Why the turn? Who turned? Who was turned? Who did the turning? Quiet men in sunglasses and earbuds? And so forth. “The weather turned cloudy.” La la la, nothing to see here.
#occupylsx still going strong, assembly meeting 12pm Sunday at st Paul’s #globalchange
4:33PM Rome: Consensus Big Media narrative seems to be that the events — not even sure if it’s an occupation, where’s the GA? — were infiltrated by “black clad” militants who caused the violence. AP has the same narrative, which is a narrative, because I don’t see any attempt to quote or interview the militants. In fact, I don’t see any sourcing at all. So who the black clad militants were is unknown. Bultigaya? Anarchists? Football hooligans? All or some? And the framing also seems to be rioters vs. protesters, a false dichotomy, since occupation matters more than either protesting or rioting. But hey, Violence is photogenic, bleeds, leads, and so forth. Reminds me of the coverage of the London riots, where the same closely cropped photograph of the same, rather small, burning building ran over and over and over again. Sure, a real story with real impact, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, mkay?
5:03PM More on Rome violence. At least according to Bloomberg cited by the SF Chronicle, the number of “black clad” whosises was… 500. And from the FT, the violence started when a group of about “30 to 40” men torched SUVs along the march route, attacked a bank and a supermarket, and torched some of those flags hotels fly where the limos pull up. Al Jazeera says “several dozen” who broke away from the main demonstration. 30 or 40 is not very many, is it? Baltigaya? Were they wearing sunglasses and earbuds?
4:52PM Big Media begins to grapple blindly with horizontal scaling: “How does a group like Occupy Wall Street get anything done?”. Amazingly, or not, the article quotes a management consultant, a clinical psychiatrist, and one of those guys whose inspirational works you see in the “Management” section of bad airport bookstores, but doesn’t even cite to the occupier’s own materials. Down with the ship!
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5:36PM Arrested for trying to close their account at Citibank (hat tip, MsExPat). That’s pretty appalling. What next? Arrested for not putting money into your account? Though I guess that would solve the aggregate demand problem. One way or another. YouTube here.
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5:52PM Chat room (with live stream) for #OccupyWallStreet and for “Global Revolution” (Times Square, now).
6:30OPM My favorite quote today:
James, 32, a protester [Occupier] from south London, said: “The [general] assembly that started here today is based on a methodology that’s been going on inspired by the May 15 movement in Spain and is being employed by the occupy groups all over the world now.
Exactly. A method.
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6:43PM Best Japanese sign: “Let’s Complain More.”
6:36PM Latest from #occupyLSX, Via JoshAJHall:
Back at #occupylsx. Weird atmosphere, like no one knows quite what to do. 30ish tents up now.
Small groups can still come and go at #occupylsx.
Discussion on the human mic going on about whether to move off steps. Wifi arriving in half an hour! #occupylsx
Police seem relatively calm atm but people look really underequipped/unprepared to resist if they try to clear it. #occupylsx
So, interesting. Bottom line for now is that LSX is occupied, with tents set up, a General Assembly in action, and WiFi coming. I have to go do some insulation now, so I’m checking out. We’ll see if the Met decides to clear the square, say at 4AM London time, about four hours from now.
6:53PM But, uh oh?
And…..now all the lights have been switched off #occupylsx
7:06PM Shift change, or something more? Still JoshAJHall:
On the stroke of midnight, a big new column of police arrive on the steps #occupylsx
Guess I’m not putting up that insulation!
7:29PM Looks like a shift change, via (#OccupySLX media person?):
Riot squad have left. Just regular met remain #occupylsx #occupylondon
Live stream and media tent set up www.livestream.com/occupylsx #occupylsx #occupylondon
Best defense against an assault from the state: Shining light on it. I’d dearly love to know whether they’ve got a generator and, if not, how they’re powering their equipment when surrounded by police. Zuccotti Park and Tahrir Square, let alone Puerto do Sol (which was backed by a Spanish WiFi magnate) seemed a lot more porous than the area around St. Pauls. (And “the steps of St. Pauls…” If you’ve ever been to London, could you or anyone have imagined this would be happening there? Amazing and unbelievable.
8:18PM, Thomas Ryan, #ows snitch. Gawker has the sordid detail. Of course, this is expected behavior; it probably makes sense to assume infiltration, undercover cops, and legacy party ratf***ing, and just be open and transparent, eh? I mean, as long as they pay me to mine my data. Oh, wait… Anyhow, revolutionary cells are so twentieth century!
8:34PM Fine report from the Montreal Gazoo. 400 staying overnight in Victoria Park, temp 11& degrees C. But where’s the Rhinocerous Party?
8:43PM A very good question: “Where were the clergy of St. Paul’s?”
Standing in solidarity with those protesting the impact of injustice and greed on the innocent and vulnerable would seem to have been the obvious course for followers of Jesus. As would opening the cathedral doors to offer shelter from the night air and sanctuary as violence erupted. The presence of clerics might well have defused the situation – Met officers would presumably be aware of the kind of publicity which would result from raising their batons to the Dean or hurling members of the Chapter down the steps of their own cathedral
There is no suggestion that the protesters presented any threat to the fabric of the cathedral or were behaving in anything other than a non-violent manner. Their cause is essentially a moral one with which the church could have no possible quarrel. That it apparently did not recognise this is a cause for sorrow.
An opportunity to witness to the way of the rabbi who threw the money changers and traders out of the temple was lost. It seems that the caution of Establishment has once again obscured his radical message.
What’s wrong with this person? Anyone would think she regarded the church as some sort of sanctuary!
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8:52PM My question on whether #occupyLSX has a generator is answered:
There’s a request for petrol for the media centre. RT and let me know if anyone can drop some off #occupylsx #occupylondon
So how do they do that? Get petrol in? Air drop?
9:04PM A handy list of #occupy live streams.
9:15PM Anonymous money manager, of Schumer (D) and Gillibrand (D) , and why they haven’t come out swinging against the Occupiers: “They need to understand who their constituency is.” Exactly.
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11:24PM First Stiglitz, then MMT. Note the hat:
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1:42AM Holy Communion at St. Paul’s is at 8:00AM BST, says the Beeb. I’m guessing that if the Met wanted the Occupiers out by that time, they would have moved by now. So I’m signing off.
10:09AM Sunday. Update on OccupyLSX:
St Paul’s deacon happy for assemblies to happen during mass. The word used was “co-existence” #occupylsx #occupylondon
Unfortunately, St. Paul’s won’t sell the Occupiers electricity, so they’ve got to keep using their generator. Isn’t that covered by Luke 10:25-37?
Anyhow, two of the financial centers in the Western world now have Occupations in their midst. Tents are set up, General Assemblies have been held, and media center[re]s, complete with generator and WiFi, have been established. I believe that the average winter temperature in London is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So. A state of affairs that is not without interest.
NOTE Also, on #ows, Global Guerillas is running a nice series on “Back Door” Bloomberg and the Occupiers. Here he scores Round One. Tactical-minded, but nothing wrong with that.
NOTE ** Our famously free press also consistently reinforces the top 1%’s view that debt, rather than aggregate demand, is the problem. Any occupier who uses the “government is like a household” trope gets quoted!
When has “open carry” been a problem at a Tea Party event? Tea Partiers are universally neat and peaceful people. The only thing worse than a gratuitous slam is a gratuitous made up slam.
If you’ll re-read the sentence, you’ll see it has to do with coverage in our famously free press; in fact, I think Marshall Auerback has the right of it at point 4 here. So let’s not look for offense when none is meant, eh?
Ive seen plenty of it.
more than one example on this page
I could go on posting examples of something everyone watched, everyone saw happen. Its on record, but i dont have the interest or the time
15October.net is reporting occupations in 951 cities – 82 countries.
Gandhi’s 4 stages of winning – “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”
#occupy is at the beginning of the third stage.
They are still laughing. Besides, “winning” is what a happens to a movement as the seeds of eventual failure are sown. The 99% have been struggling since “civilization” began for economic and social relations that don’t leave them stripped of their dignity and capacity for self expression. We have a long road to walk before we start seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
No one said it was going to be quick.
“There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” – Ronald Reagan
What irony that I found this quote. Mmmm – wonder if we could get any of the candidates to quote this at the next GOP debate.
It has been 500 years since the Enlightenment and still we have the global inherited rich that have the crazed fundamentalist in a deadly embrace that still runs our world.
IMO. this is the nut that needs to be cracked.
Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into rooms at the Hague.
that have the crazed fundamentalist in a deadly embrace that still runs our world. psychohistorian
Crazed is right. My Bible warns about usury, counterfeiting and oppression of the poor. If the Left knew the Bible they could point out the hypocrisy of the Religious Right.
“The spirit of the Lord is on me
because he has anointed me;
he has sent me to announce good news to the poor,
to proclaim release for prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind;
to let the broken victims go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
His audience will have known that when Isaiah, and Jesus inspired by the same spirit, proclaimed the “year of the Lord’s favour”, the reference was to the Sabbath Year cancellation of debts and the Jubilee Year restitution of land (PS3).
If the effects of accumulated debt were recognised and mitigated against 4000 years ago then it shouldn’t be too difficult today…lots more smoke and mirrors to navigate these days…
So protests from the left and right get mislabeled as violent. Isn’t that curious? Perhaps the establishment just cares about the establishment and wants to turn theses movements against each other? Once the people figure out this fight is about the state vs. people rather than left vs. right, we may make some progress.
If this movement ends up handing more power to the state, the joke will be on all of us
If by the “state” you mean the whole apparatus of control and profit that people are subject to, then sure, we need to limit it’s power. The main problem we face in doing so is the artificial semantic division of public/ private power. Checks and balances are required throughout the whole system, not just within the “public” sphere.
The public sphere is where the private sphere is exerting it’s control. Private profits but public losses (bailouts). Barriers to entry created by regulation (the big companies love this restriction on competition). Do you think the raw milk crackdown is really for our safety or because the big milk producers are asking their cronies in the government to reduce the competition?
Because of an inherent trust of government, these things continue. This is exhibited by the fact that the protesters aren’t opposed to state power, they just want it pointed in a different direction. It ain’t going to end well.
I don’t trust corporations or government. The only way to help is to reduce their influence. Creating more regulations that only the giant companies can afford to comply with will not reduce their influence. It will just reduce the chance that someone who really wants to do right by people can afford to create that business.
Your thrust to hobble government does not get at those at the top of the food chain and therefore is misdirected.
Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into rooms at the Hague.
I don’t see this inherent trust of government that you get from standard issue liberals in the occupy movement.
You are projecting.
It’s about up vs. down, not left vs. right, although, yes, it’s about the nature of the state as well. That’s what the 1% vs. 99% trope expresses so well.
Just came back from Occupy Amsterdam situated at Beursplein (stockmarketsquare) where about 2,000 people gathered. The turn-up is partially explained by the exceptionally sunny weather. I have strong doubts that there will be many people staying overnight as there were only three tents.
I met an African-American lady from California. She told me she was working with the Dutch unions but forgot to ask her about the details. We talked about the American situation and about the fact that Obama is such a disappointment.
The people at the square were a very eclectic mix. Obviously, the hippie-dippies were present and so were the anarchists. I saw the Zeitgeist movement and also some well-known journalists and politicians. Having said that there were no worries about co-optation :- )
I will go back tonight because at 19.30 CET, we will watch a documentary together called INSIDE JOB !!!
Which reminds me of the litmus test of litmus tests. For REAL now, where do you stand?
INSIDE JOB is a superb film. Although it won the Academy Award for best documentary (2011), it has NOT been widely shown.
I have seen it three times, and got more out of it each time. Don’t miss it!
What on earth is the Zeitgeist Movement? So much ferment right now it’s impossible to keep track of it all, and a good thing that is, too!
“Founded in 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement is a Sustainability Advocacy Organization which conducts community based activism and awareness actions through a network of Global/Regional Chapters, Project Teams, Annual Events, Media and Charity Work.”
I highly recommend the following documentaries made by Peter Joseph.
• Where are we now?
• Where are we going?
• Social Pathology
• Moving Forward
Here are a couple liveblogs of global Occupy events I just posted:
An Insidious Threat to the Occupy Movement: Beware the Democrats!
from the article: “Barack Obama’s promise of change in the 2008 elections in pursuit of garnering the grassroots’ vote was only the latest of the Democrats’ strategy of playing the good cop in order to contain radical energy. Two years earlier they had managed to undermine a vigorous antiwar movement by voicing the protesters’ demands to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if they won the majority seats in the Congress. Having thus gained the control of both houses of the Congress in the mid-term election of 2006, they shamelessly backed away from their promise to antiwar voters.
One can only hope that the Occupy Movement is armed with the knowledge of the Democratic Party’s record of cooptation and betrayal of radical movements; and will therefore chart a political movement of the working people and other grassroots independent of both parties of big business.
This is why process, which is the Occupiers immune system against legacy party infestation, is key.
I wonder how many of those bright, often young, smart, funny, earnest people left the OWS demonstration site to go pickup an Apple 4S when it launched? Paid for by their parents since they all claim they have no jobs… I wonder if there were more folks standing in line for an Apple 4S than demonstrating at OWS sites around the country.
I still contend, no one cares about OWS. Not Even Remotely…
So how long have you been in Banking? Or is it law enforecement?
Both those professions require a brain, though a rather feeble one might suffice.
Eugene’s lack in that department makes him a tabula rasa where his obsessions with OWS, being contentious, marketing release hype, and Apple 4S can bump against each other and eventually swirl into the delusional ravings he mistakes for his own opinion.
A troll? Yes. A plant? Who would hire him?
Gee, I don’t know. Of course, as Nooners famously said, “It would be irresponsible not to speculate.” Then again, you could check the link I gave. Just a thought.
“I still contend, no one cares about OWS. Not Even Remotely…”
Interesting. That’s how I feel about your opinion.
If no one cares, what are you doing here?
That’s right, Eugene – they’re just a bunch of spoiled trustifarians, newly emerged from their parents’ basements where, btw, they wore footed Pjs and yelled for Mom to make them a grilled cheese (and cut off the crusts this time!) whenever they were hungry.
Meanwhile, tell me again what you’ve done to improve the lives of … anyone? FYI, ridiculous, cliched slandering people of who are sleeping on cement because they see how fucked up the world is and would like to change it does not count!
But as someone who ‘doesn’t care’ you cared enough to leave a comment relating to how ‘nobody cares’….HMmmmmm – interesting.
If that were so, then why are most polls (even those done by fox news) showing about a 50% approval rating for OWS, a 25% disapproval, and 25% no opinion. No opinion would be much higher if your statement were true.
Actually, if Eugene’s assertion were remotely true, no one would even be polling about OWS.
Maybe this applies to you:
Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into rooms at the Hague.
Hey, Why not? Rich people like me hate criminal bankers too. More than most in fact, because we’re better educated and more resistant to party propaganda than you are, so we know which end is up. They haven’t only lost the 99%, they’ve lost the 99.8 percent that earned their money without fraud.
big cigar wrote: they’ve lost the 99.8 percent that earned their money without fraud.
Without fraud, you are likely correct. Without exploiting the other 99%, whether on a conscious/intentional level or not, very few of the 1% are innocent.
You Sir, are an idiot
There was a turnout of about 100 people protesting near Bank of America this morning in my town on Cape Cod (population 31,000). I was surprised that nearly everyone was my age or older (58) and some were much older.The local UU’s were well represented. Lots of signs, good spirits, horn tooting by passing motorists, and waving.
Is the OWS inviting people on the right to join? every message board where i look, there are right-wing people who are fearful to join even though they agree that this society is not working and the banksters control everything. I am one such person too. The right wing needs to be invited ASAP, clearly, in the most prominent of ways.
We cannot allow the media to equate Tea Party and OWS. Inviting the right will alienate the tea party, the republicans and the democrats. It is a necessary step if this is to succeed.
I think what you say is very important; see point 4 of Marshall Auerback’s post here, which I agree with. And you can contact me through my blog; I’d like to think more about this. Thanks.
I think it is important to keep left/right out of this issue. Although many leftists are supporting the movement, it is important to remember that this is about the 99% who are both left and right. Keep politics out of the Occupy movement.
I would say, rather, recognize the new way of doing politics that the Occupations are all about. I agree that electoral politics as practiced by the legacy parties is, in essence, a form of strategic hate management.
right but…then maybe a message needs to be sent that it’s not about left and right. Maybe on the cover of the next issue of Occupy WS Journal the big headline should be “THIS IS NOT ABOUT LEFT AND RIGHT”
If I can make so bold as to sum up OWS in one word, that word would be FAIRNESS (or JUSTICE, if you like). And that is NOT a left or right issue. It is a universal.
From what I’ve read, the OWS people have repeatedly stressed that they are non-partisan and welcome all of the 99%. I don’t believe it’s a left-right thing, it’s a bottom 99% v. top 1% thing. The top 1% use the left-right, Republican-Democrat thing to keep the 99% from challenging their looting, IMO.
Of course, some of the suggestions that are being bandied about to fix the problems – like higher taxes on the rich and more regulation of Wall Street – may be associated with the left. Although in my mind, many of those things used to be mainstream American views and a return to them in many ways would be a conservative thing to do.
tiger, if right/left is the most powerful self-identification in your mind, you have a lot more thinking to do before you join anything.
Soros in 2009 wrote in an editorial that the purchase of toxic bank assets would, “provide artificial life support for the banks at considerable expense to the taxpayer.”
He urged the Obama administration to take bolder action, either by recapitalizing or nationalizing the banks and forcing them to lend at attractive rates. His advice went unheeded.
Spent a couple of hours at OccupyDallas this afternoon. The camp is in Pioneer Plaza, a pretty park area within walking distance of the trophy towers of the TBTFs. There are dozens of neatly organized tents set up, tents which will have to be moved to City Park tomorrow as the people are being evicted from their public space.
A protest march was conducted from Pioneer Plaza to the Goldman Sachs building. It looked to me like there were maybe 250 to 300 people in attendance, which isn’t bad considering that this is all happening in very red Texas just 6 to 8 miles or so from the Shrub’s retirement hacienda. People driving by, including firemen in trucks, honked, waved and gave thumbs up.
The crowd was mainly young but had a decent representation of the middle-aged. There was some ethnic diversity but I’d have liked to see more. Hopefully, that will happen since 99%ers of color have suffered disproportionatly in the Great Recession.
I had arrived empty handed but was at least able to give them money today. Tomorrow I’ll be back with books for their library and some of the supplies they have listed on their website.
These occupations have to go on. We’ve all got to help because things in the country just can’t continue along as they have.
Awesome! Excellent to have these reports!
Correction: Dallas police are saying the protestors numbered more than 350. Guess my crowd estimating skills are a little rusty.
Don’t be so sure about your skill set. The ‘authoriries’ are notorious for overestimating the size of crowds of protesters. The rational is to inflate the ‘threat’ so as to underpin requests for more resources to counter such ‘threats.’ Try to find out what methodology the Dallas Police used to come up with their figure. I understand that there are some pretty sophisticated electronic counting methods available.
Have courage and keep the faith.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss Texas as “red”….the Populist movement, which was the great grandaddy of OWS, started in Texas.
At the end, you say:
“Our famously free press also consistently reinforces the top 1%’s view that debt, rather than aggregate demand, is the problem.”
Unbelievable! What is about you ‘aggregate demanders’? Is one supposed to believe that what’s need in this consumer-driven society is more consumption? When will this belief that what ails the economy is a lack of consumption, that we need to re-start the engines of economic growth that depends on more spending. No, the problem goes much, much deeper.
When will you aggregate demanders finally get it? Its about inequality, the gross disparity of (social) wealth, NOT a lack of consumption. I’ll say it, even if it is taboo: what’s needed is a re-distribution of social wealth. I’ll add to that: what’s needed is less consumption, starting with the 1%, then the 10%, while, if I may say so, reducing the work week, instituting a livable wage, etc.
Democratizing the economy is the essence of what OWS is all about (moving away from re-enforcing social divisions by way of culture wars), and that means bringing back another old term that needs to be restored: equality.
I’m not sure that those positions are in necessarily in contradiction. And nobody in the 99% get what they want — no, need — if the 1%’s debt frame is imposed. All I’m saying,
With all due respect, I find no consensus that debt is a 1% frame. On what basis did you determine that – or might it just be one man’s opinion?
Aggregate demand will not inspire – will not capture the imagination – and offers nothing from a pragmatic point of view, in my opinion. As I see it, ideal government is NOT one that governs the least, but one that governs best, in the interest of the commons. That government does not exist.
What is lacking is just that commons, as the mega corporations and finance market dictatorship has resulted in the colonization of the public sphere. To turn this around is a matter of restoring the commons, implying formation of mass movements for radical social change.
Lets face up to it: big government is aligned with big corporations. Increasing government spending in hopes of re-starting the economic growth engine with the assumption of later coming back to reforming our economy (as one the serves society, rather than the reverse), as nothing short of phantasy . . . in my opinion, one best left to the policy wonks.
No consensus? Sheesh. Did you follow the ZOMG!!! Teh Debt!!!! in DC? Surely you don’t think that discourse was driven by some force other than the 1%?
You are now making a distinction between debt in particular as opposed to debt in general. But that does not distract from the merits of my argument which, as I attempted to do above, has a direct relationship to OWS, for which you have not responded.
In any case, I do not wish to minimize the work you have done in putting this post together. It is much appreciated.
Which policy wonks would you like to leave these questions to? The ones who gave us 30 years of disastrous trickle down economics? Or maybe the ones who screamed on every channel that we had to invade Iraq to find and destroy the WMD? Or the ones who engineered decades of deregulation leading to unfettered corporate looting at an unprecedented scale?
People are in the streets because they understand that all three branches of government and all its wonks, advisors (I mean, Jeffy Immelt as Jobs Czar for Christ’s sake?), Super committees, and appointees are in their positions because and only because they will toe the corporatist line.
There’s a word for a government that no longer represents the 99%.
“…..big government is aligned with big corporations.”
donn, I agree with everything you say. Separation of church and state is sacrosanct. So what the hell happened to separation of government and business? Shouldn’t that also be sacrosanct?
For the exact opposite prevails today: government and business are now welded into one monstrous MACHINE which takes far more from the people than it gives back.
And what is the point of the people greasing (with stimulus) such a machine? I say, none. Rather, it should be destroyed.
FYI there is no constitutional or other law regarding separation of church and state. That is one of the big lies.
Not saying that wouldn’t be good, just saying the legal basis does not exist now, although it is pretended to exist.
call me crazy but i don’t see how to contact you. But please contact me though *my* blog :) i would love to discuss this…
Tiger, your blog doesn’t match the logins I’ve got available, and I don’t want to pay money to upgrade my LinkedIn account. Over to you, link above.
Occupy Wall St protesters managed a pretty big turnout tonight in Times Square. Mainstream media estimates around 7000. Pretty intense atmosphere with lots of cops and confused tourists. I showed up around 7:30 and left a little after 8:00 when I noticed a good number of the faithful OWS crowd that was trapped outside the centrally barricaded protest group began to trickle away. The main group of protesters who were trapped in and surrounded by the police were still going strong and i’m really wondering if this standoff is going to end peacefully. The atmosphere did seem a bit ominous, but it was a glorious sight to see, 7000 or more protesters in the heart of American Capitalism surrounded by giant LCD screens blasting commercials and army recruiting videos.
I feel like things in NYC may have entered a new phase today. I think the powers that be are officially nervous.
thanks for that report.
Trying to cross Times Square on 46th to reach a theater on 44th last night, we were met with a shoulder-to-shoulder phalanx of NYPD blocking all vehicular and pedestrian traffic. An NYPD helicopter circled overhead. Someone asked an officer what’s going on. ‘PROTESTERS!’ was the one-word, non sequitur explanation.
We had to detour up to 48th just to cross frickin’ Seventh Avenue. The disruption and chaos were entirely the work of the ‘authorities’ and their policy of massive over-reaction … not the protesters.
‘OVERTIME!’ we mocked the blue-clad ranks. ‘Free O.T.!’ Of course, Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon won’t pay for that free O.T. — WE WILL.
This is the same sh*t we experienced in Feb. 2003, protesting the pending Iraq War, when Bloomberg’s snarling cops blocked the streets, herded us in pens, and aimed sniper rifles at us from the rooftops.
No matter how many billions Bloomberg accumulates, they will never confer an ounce of class on this greasy, fascist little thug. Eat me, Mayor Mike …
It ended beautifully. What happened last night is a HUGE WIN for this tactic of using portable orange plastic holding cells against demonstrators all over the world. Kettling, corralling, indeed. People are being illegally ‘held’ by police, and worse entrapped into physical contact with each other, with cops, their vehicles and horses; easy targets for photographing them from the ever present ‘eye in the sky’ present overhead at every event in the street.
Last night’s crowd has been estimated at 10,000-20,000; reminding police they are outnumbered against a determined population police even after bringing on reinforcements last night. The police all over the world need to being behaving themselves and refusing orders from rogue government authorities.
The demonstrators penned in by NYPD last night in Times Square stood their ground and peacefully forced NYPD to end their barricade, a military tactic used all over the world by US and UN trained police under the guise of drug prohibition and UN drug control.
The demonstrators last night while being repeatedly urged by NYPD to back up, stood their ground and shouted back to white shirted cops demanding that they, the police ‘move back.’ There were other chants, i.e.; in answer to the NYPD need to protect sidewalks for pedestrian traffic, demonstrators chanted back “we are the pedestrians,”
It was tense, a standoff for about a half hour. Eventually the standoff forced NYPD to end their armed barricade that allowed demonstrators to continue their march out of the Times Square area.
Its amazing that nothing has been said about this happening that I’ve seen. But I shouldn’t be surprised at this point by anything the MSM neglects or the alternative media for that matter.
Nice to se that the world’s first exporter of wars and debt, now wants to paint itself as the only one exporter of 15-O.
In a few months we all will learn in USA media that spring revolutions started in NY, in fall, year and a half late, but originated in NY and spread backwards in time.
It’s like the maxiko-narco-iranian connection.
Let’s go to Hollywood.
I was in New York yesterday (October 15) and the OWS was very active outside of “Wall St”.
There was a rally in Washington Square that lasted for hours. I had a few places to visit so I left & returned several times and the speeches continued. The theme was focused on college students. In addition, there was a group marching through Greenwich Village. The group was varied in age, political affiliation (socialist through Ron Paul 2012 signs), and causes (end war, end the Fed, jobs, Congress).
I later moved uptown at approx 6 PM. At this time, there was a march along 6th Ave. As they crossed 42nd Street, they stopped across from the Bank of America Tower & chanted “shame, shame, shame”. I moved westward along 43rd St and found the Times Square assembly. There was a third group marching on 42nd Street. As you might expect, the tourists were snnapping pictures & video. The police seemed a diverse group: some wore happy faces & some wore “game” faces.
I attended a concert from 8-11 at Town Hall. After the show, I avoided Times Square. From 42nd St, it appeared clear.
who is not a jounalist
Would you please send me the URl of ‘Dog’, the lab/pitbull who rides ‘dogpak’ with Gary? Plzplz.
You do a great job.