We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, October 6, 2011

NOTICE: During this week I am in a rather remote area of Washington state.  I will not be able to maintain the blog at anything like the usual level of activity. I should be back at full production by Sunday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is The War On Terror A Hoax?

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from Information Clearing House. 

This former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan makes this astonishing statement:
For ten years, the “superpower” American population has sat there, being terrified by the government’s lies. While Americans sit in fear of non-existent “terrorists” sucking their thumbs, millions of people in six countries have had their lives destroyed. As far as any evidence exists, the vast majority of Americans are unperturbed by the wanton murder of others in countries that they are incapable of locating on maps.
Because American citizens are being placed into perpetual debt servitude, unemployment, homelessness, etc, they are now emerging from the 9/11 induced coma, they are beginning to examine all these lies thanks to writers like Roberts, and they are testing the waters of a genuine, direct democracy, and--most dangerous of all to the reigning 1%--feeling their power. 

Bringing down the wall: Occupy Wall Street and the Brooklyn Bridge arrests.

Click here to access article by Laurie Penny from her blog, Penny Red.  
Activists wandering back from the bridge are greeted by strangers with open arms, as members of the 'comfort' team dash around taking care of everyone. There is free coffee, free food, a young lady with a lip-ring offering free hugs, and painted signs saying "Freedom". Nobody expected the occupation at Liberty Plaza to last this long or to become this important, but the mass arrests today have ignited public anger and drawn the attention of the press across the world. Whatever happens next, Occupy Wall Street is sending a message to the American people: the 99 percent are still here, in the shadow of the glittering palaces of global finance, and they are beginning to dream dangerously, and they will not go away quietly.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On the Occupy Wall Street ‘Media Blackout’

Click here to access article by Nathan Schneider from Indypendent. 

I find that this author introduces a considerable amount of confusion to the issue of mainstream media coverage and how the current "Occupy Wall Street" movement should relate to media reporters.

First, the author is critical of people who complain about the lack of mainstream media coverage by writing that they should expect this and some forms of censorship. Then he blames the poor media coverage on the movement itself, and that they need to become media savvy because such media coverage is very important. Next he claims that the movement is gaining substantial media coverage and should prepare to gain as much as possible. 

I think that this confusion mirrors the present lack of consensus about what Occupy Wall Street is really all about. Wall Street is at the very center of the Empire, its system of capitalism, and class rule. There are some people, like this author, who essentially view this as a reform movement or a movement with a specific objective like "stop the war". But, there are also many people who know that they are in a very serious class war and up against a very well-armed and powerful foe. The latter are aware that they are at the early stages of what is really required if any significant changes are going to be made--a revolution: the replacement of rule by a small class of people called capitalists with a genuine democratic rule by the people. A movement with a specific and limited objective like "stop the war" or ending segregation is very different from that of a class war which is by definition a revolutionary movement. 

If it is, indeed, a revolutionary movement, then it follows that mainstream media will be used by the ruling class as another weapon to destroy it. Thus, cooperation with this media should be opposed. Instead, what is required is the further development of alternative media that is tied to the movement and the people. 

And, activists must understand that the entire social system has been organized to serve the interests of the ruling class. Hence, not only media, but several other important alternative institutions must be developed in order to win this war: welfare, education, health care, and employment.

Welfare is needed immediately to support those who are on the front lines of this war and suffering casualties in the form of imprisonment, loss of income, and direct assaults on their health due to beatings and gas. We, the people, must organize ways of supporting these brave warriors. We, the people, must immediately engage in political education for the people through alternative media so that they can understand what is really happening and what the movement is fighting for. We must organize alternative medical services for people without adequate health insurance. And, we must set up and support worker enterprises to employ people to produce what is needed to sustain their local communities. Any successful efforts along these lines will greatly attract more support from the people and aid in building a powerful revolutionary movement.

Finally, the new alternative institutions can serve as a testing ground and nucleus of a future society whose goals are social justice, peace, and sustainability.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Class Warfare Indeed

Click here to access article by Michael Parenti from Common Dreams.

The author points out the many ways the Empire's thought police have reconstructed words so that people find it difficult to think critically about the system of capitalism.
...once we learn to talk about the realities of class power, we are on our way to talking critically about capitalism, another verboten word in the public realm. And once we start a critical discourse about capitalism, we will be vastly better prepared to act against it and defend our own democratic and communal interests.

Raising the voice of protest

Click here to access article by Lee Sustar from Socialist Worker. 

This excellent left-wing journalist offers some perspectives and advice on the growing protest movement in the US. 
So while the creativity, flair and visibility of the occupation movement has been crucial to spreading the struggle, a lot of patient and systematic organizing is necessary, too--as any Egyptian or Greek activist will tell you.

OCCUPY TOGETHER

Click here to access website

This is a good place to keep up to date on what is happening all over the US and to learn from each other through our experience as activists who are determined to make social justice a reality in our country.
Welcome to OCCUPY TOGETHER, an unofficial hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the country. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Look deeper, a new democracy is waiting to be born

Click here to access article by Chaz Valenza from OpEd News.
Occupy Wall Street educates the newly arrived in a philosophy of consensus building and creative solutions to problems that consider not just two, but three or more possible creative solutions.

Occupy Wall Street is determined to stay as long as necessary to achieve tangible objectives of recognition, substantial growth and future prospects before ending the current protest action.

Inside Occupy Wall Street: A Tour of Activist Encampment at the Heart of Growing Protest [11:30m video & transcript]]

Click here to access video & transcript from Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! interviews people who are occupying Wall Street.
Hundreds continue to camp out in a park in Manhattan’s Financial District for the "Occupy Wall Street" protest. The encampment got a boost this week when one of New York City’s largest unions, the Transit Workers Union, announced its backing. In this report, Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke gets a tour of the private park, open to the public, that people have occupied, and and speaks with demonstrators, including a woman who was pepper sprayed by New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna last Saturday. Special thanks to Hany Massoud.
One occupier said:
I’m definitely not scared. It gives me more reason to want to be out there now, to participate in every march, and every general assembly. I want to be more active. I want to be more a part of it because people out there have seen what happened and they want us to keep going, and I’m going to keep going. I see no ending for me in the future. I’m going to keep fighting.

Stop the Machine! Create a New World!

Click here to access article from October 2011.
A Call to Action - Oct. 6, 2011 and onward

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.



The People Are the Media

Click here to access article by Kevin Zeese from October 2011.
We have the power to be the media, to spread the word and tell vast networks of people the truth.  Media is being democratized and we can speed that process by recognizing we are the media. When you come to Freedom Plaza in October one of your roles will be to be the media. 
(Note: there is one error in the article referring to a meeting at Bus Boys and Poets in Washington, DC: the meeting was held on September 13th not October 13th.)

Green capitalism: a dangerous fiction

Click here to access article by Liam Flenady from Green Left (Australia).


Because saving the planet for humans poses many fundamental contradictions with the practice of capitalism, capitalists, like drug addicts who refuse to end their habit, are engaging in denial and all sorts of deceptions in order to continue to satisfy their addiction to profits. The author examines each of these deceptions.