1. Urgent: Winter Donation Needs #occupywallstreet

    spkent:

    Posted Oct. 29, 2011, 10:54 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

    It’s been dumping snow here in NYC all day, high winds and 3 inches of slush on the ground. With the NYPD and FDNY confiscating six generators on Friday and this unprecedented October snow, those occupying Liberty Plaza in downtown NYC are in need of emergency supplies crucial for cold weather survival (and occupation).

    We’ve made a lot of headway on getting winter gear here in the last 48 hrs but definitely need more. Please help by purchasing or donating supplies directly. Winter gear and other necessities can be dropped off in person, delivered, or shipped.

    Needs

    • insulated gloves, wool hats, scarves
    • long underwear / smart wool thermal socks
    • 300 hand warmers, 300 foot warmers
    • waterproof boots in all sizes
    • disposable shoe covers
    • winter coats
    • hot beverages
    • thermal heaters
    • all weather sub-thermal sleeping bags
    • tarps
    • all-weather tents
    • foam padding / insulation for inside of tents
    • wooden pallets to get tents off the ground
    • cots to get people off the ground (don’t currently have any - could really use these)

    Dropping Off In Person In NYC

    Daily until 9pm at the OWS storage space at 52 Broadway Ave, ground floor.

    After 9pm at the OWS Comfort Station on the east side of Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park)

    Where To Ship

    Occupy Wall Street
    118a Fulton St
    PO Box 205
    New York, NY 10038

    Please show your support for the stalwart occupiers who are braving the winter storm!

     
  2. paxamericana:

    National Public Radio on Wednesday discovered that a woman named Lisa Simeone who produced/hosted a show about opera called “World of Opera” had been participating in a nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., organized by October2011.orgThat same day, NPR persuaded a company for which Simeone worked to fire her, cutting her income in half and purging from the so-called public airwaves a voice that had never mentioned politics on NPR.

    This frantic email was sent to all NPR staff:

    From: NPR Communications
    Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:12 PM
    Subject: From Dana Rehm: Communications Alert

    To:      All Staff
    Fr:       Dana Davis Rehm
    Re:      Communications Alert

    We recently learned of World of Opera host Lisa Simeone’s participation in an Occupy DC group. World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. The program is distributed by NPR. Lisa is not an employee of WDAV or NPR; she is a freelancer with the station.

    We’re in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously.

    As a reminder, all public comment (including social media) on this matter is being managed by NPR Communications.

    All media requests should be routed through NPR Communications at 202.513.2300 ormediarelations@npr.org. We will keep you updated as needed. Thanks.”

    Your “liberal” media, ladies and gentlemen. 

    #YLMLAG

     
  3. Jay Smooth breaking down the mainstream media’s reaction to Occupy Wall Street. I particularly love the analogy of corporate journalism to being the ringer at Wall Street’s three-card monte game.

     
  4. Oakland police will no longer indiscriminately use wooden or rubber bullets, Taser stun guns, pepper spray and motorcycles to break up crowds, under an agreement announced Friday.

    The changes followed criticism and lawsuits against police for their tactics at a large demonstration against the Iraq war outside the Port of Oakland on April 7, 2003.

    The new policy settles part of a federal class-action lawsuit filed by 52 people who claimed their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly were violated as they targeted two shipping companies with contracts tied to the war in Iraq.

    "What we’ve done is create a comprehensive policy that really provides a much more sensible, reasoned approach to managing demonstrations and crowds," said Rachel Lederman of the National Lawyers Guild in San Francisco.

    Oh, really?

     
  5. Want to read about OWS? Check out international coverage

    By the way, all of my posts about corporate journalism apply to American media outlets only. I’ve found that there’s way better coverage of OWS outside the U.S. The Guardian's coverage, in particular, has been very good. Most recently, their news blog wrote an excellent piece about the Oakland police department to give some background for their deplorable actions towards the Occupy Oakland protest.

    It’s fucking sad that I have to turn to the foreign journalists to get decent coverage of events happening in my country.

     
  6. OWS highlights the increasing irrelevance of corporate journalism

    Dahlia Lithwick makes a point about the media coverage of Occupy Wall Street that needs to be repeated over and over and over again (all emphasis is mine):

    One of the most fatuous themes of mainstream OWS coverage is the endless loop of media bafflement at this movement that doesn’t have a message. Here’s CNN’s Erin Burnett in a classic put-down of the OWS’ refusal to tailor its message to her. It takes a walloping amount of willful cluelessness to look at a mass of people holding up signs and claim that they have no message.

    Occupy Wall Street is not a movement without a message. It’s a movement that has wisely shunned the one-note, pre-chewed, simple-minded messaging required for cable television as it now exists. It’s a movement that feels no need to explain anything to the powers that be, although it is deftly changing the way we explain ourselves to one another.

    […]

    Mark your calendars: The corporate media died when it announced it was too sophisticated to understand simple declarative sentences. While the mainstream media expresses puzzlement and fear at these incomprehensible “protesters” with their oddly well-worded “signs,” the rest of us see our own concerns reflected back at us and understand perfectly. Turning off mindless programming might be the best thing that ever happens to this polity. Hey, occupiers: You’re the new news. And even better, by refusing to explain yourselves, you’re actually changing what’s reported as news. Because it takes a tremendous mental effort to refuse to see that the rich are getting richer in America while the rest of us are struggling….

    By refusing to take a ragtag, complicated, and leaderless movement seriously, the mainstream media has succeeded only in ensuring its own irrelevance. The rest of America has little trouble understanding that these are ragtag, complicated, and leaderless times. This may not make for great television, but any movement that acknowledges that fact deserves enormous credit.

    It is sad and frightening that the coherence and relevance of your political stance is now judged by how well you can put together a soundbite.

    (Source: Slate)

     
  7. Lies, damned lies, and GOP economic policy

    I highly recommend this piece. It pulls together a lot of recent data and analysis on the economy, tax policy, and income inequality in the U.S. It seems like it’d be useful to have on hand for discussions about both the Occupy movement and the upcoming presidential campaign:

    [E]ven with the wildly popular surcharge [proposed by President Obama on annual incomes over a million dollars] beginning in 2013, the tax bite for America’s millionaires would look little different than during the Clinton era (35 percent income tax rate now versus 39.6%; capital gains rate of 15% now versus 20 percent then) when they and almost everyone else enjoyed a booming economy. More importantly, with income inequality at its highest level in 80 years while the federal tax burden is at its lowest in 60, the top 1% has already triumphed in the class war Republicans continue to fight on their behalf.

    Economic data from the past few decades overwhelmingly shows that GOP trickle-down type economic policies are actually quite harmful to the economy:

    [H]istorically lower tax rates for the richest Americans did not produce either more job creation or faster economic growth. (In fact, the Bush years produced what David Leonhardt of the New York Times rightly labeled as “The decade with the slowest average annual growth since World War II.”) But what the conservative cornucopia for the gilded-class does reliably produce is unprecedented income inequality.

    […]

    Analyses by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showed that the Bush tax cuts accounted for half of the deficits during his tenure, and if made permanent, over the next decade would cost the U.S. Treasury more than Iraq, Afghanistan, the recession, TARP and the stimulus - combined.

    […]

    [T]he Washington Post summed up data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to explain the origins of the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt. As the numbers show, history did not, as Republicans pretend, start on January 20, 2009:

    The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts. Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt.
     
  8. image: Download

    azspot:

Matt Bors
     
  9. paxamericana:

    “Q. Did the Police deploy rubber bullets, flash-bag grenades?

    A. No, the loud noises that were heard originated from M-80 explosives thrown at 

    Police by protesters. In addition, Police fired approximately four bean bag rounds 

    at protesters to stop them from throwing dangerous objects at the officers

    Q. Where there any injures?

    A. At this time, there are no reported injuries”

    Check AnonMedics Twitter for documented cases of injuries from tonight. 

    WTF? Is the Oakland PD really saying that protestors threw explosives at them?

    I call bullshit!

     
  10. image: Download

    inothernews:

@NorthOakland: “Single navyman faces riot police after they fire tear gas. he holds a copy of the US constitution #occupyoakland”
     
  11. image: Download

    I’m sure the residents of Oakland feel safer knowing that the top priority for the Oakland PD today was to disperse a peaceful protest on public land.

    I’m sure the residents of Oakland feel safer knowing that the top priority for the Oakland PD today was to disperse a peaceful protest on public land.

     
  12. inothernews:

    Raw video from the instant the Oakland Police Department fired tear gas canisters at Occupy Oakland protesters around 7:45 PM Pacific / 10:45 PM Eastern. (via BoingBoing)

    Deeply scary. This is happening in California to peaceful, unarmed protestors on public land. What happened to this country?

     
  13. If the people who were supposed to fix our financial system had actually done it, the people who have no idea how to solve these problems wouldn’t be getting shit for not offering solutions! And while we all fight, the real victims, as always, continue to suffer. (Rolls tape of ‘Fox And Friends’ douchebag Steve Doocy complaining that an Occupy Boston protest led to ‘a thousand people between me and a steak dinner.’) Steve Doocy on the revolution: ‘Let me eat steak!’
    — 

    JON STEWART, on epic fails by Congress and regulators in keeping banks under control, leading to the financial collapse which was the impetus for OWS — as well as laying the smackdown on Fox idiot Steve Doocy — on The Daily Show (via inothernews)

    Repeating for emphasis:

    If the people who were supposed to fix our financial system had actually done it, the people who have no idea how to solve these problems wouldn’t be getting shit for not offering solutions!

     
  14. We’re talking about a democratic awakening. We’re talking about raising political consciousness, so it spills over; all parts of the country so people can begin to see what’s going on through a different set of lens. And then you begin to highlight what the more detailed demands would be, because in the end we’re really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution; a transfer of power from oligarchs to every day people of all colors, and that is a step-by-step process. It’s a democratic process, it’s a non-violent process, but it is a revolution, because these oligarchs have been transferring wealth from poor and working people at a very intense rate in the last 30 years, and getting away with it, and then still smiling in our faces and telling us it’s our fault. That’s a lie, and this beautiful group is a testimony to that being a lie.

    When you get the makings of a U.S. autumn responding to the Arab Spring, and is growing and growing—-I hope it spills over to San Francisco and Chicago and Miami and Phoenix, Arizona, with our brown brothers and sisters, hits our poor white brothers and sisters in Appalachia—-so. it begins to coalesce. And I tell you, it is sublime to see all the different colors, all the different genders, all the different sexual orientations and different cultures, all together here in Liberty Plaza; there’s no doubt about it.

    — 

    Cornel West, interview. Democracy Now!, 29 September 2011

    A good response to people who keep demanding that the OWS protestors draw up some sort of platform of demands. That rarely happens in the early stages of liberation movements. At the moment, it’s about raising the consciousness of everyday Americans who have thus far accepted the notion that the U.S. is a democratic, fair, and equal society. It may be a strange notion to most Americans, but our country is one that—like the countries involved in the Arab Spring—is crying out for a democratic revolution.