Ruby Brown with members of her family in front of the north Minneapolis church where Ruby serves as a deacon.
After a five-year battle over now-illegal lending practices, a bank error that dropped her from a loan modification program, and a campaign with Occupy Homes MN, north Minneapolis homeowner Ruby Brown has received a mortgage renegotiation from Bank of America, just days before her home was to be auctioned off.
“This is an incredible victory for Ruby, who has been in the struggle for so long. It’s also something that can and should happen for everyone facing the loss of a home right now,” said Susan Kikuchi, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. (website - http://www.occupyhomesmn.org ) Read the rest of this entry →
Minneapolis, MN — After a several month campaign pressuring Citibank to negotiate with Colleen Mckee Espinosa and a last minute blitz of social media, petition signatures, and calls to the office of CEO Vikram Pandit, Citibank canceled a scheduled sheriff’s sale and approved a loan modification for the Espinosa’s home. An official with CitiMortgage’s Executive Response Unit contacted the Espinosa family with news that Citibank had approved a loan modification that would keep the family in their home and reduce their payments by one-third on a 7.5 year payment plan. The dramatic news came less than 24 hours before the house was to be sold at auction on Wednesday, June 13. Read the rest of this entry →
NATO Protest 2012 - Chicago Police Violently Oppress Protesters, using unnecessary violence and brute force batons to the skull, just as they had told some protesters in a May 9th video, as routine tactics. Snatch and grab tactics were also used, people were picked up on charges that did not float to the surface for weeks while they were in jail... Police state anyone ? It appears to anyone we have talked to that was on the frontlines, that protesting, and dissent are now illegal in the United States.
Six months after police violently evicted peaceful protestors from Occupy camps across the US, activists now see a program of local engagement and international coordination as central to advancing their movement.
Global economic and political systems continue to be delegitimised in the eyes of many, as communities are squeezed by the ongoing manifestations of the global financial crisis. While mainstream political forces attempt to absorb and deflect citizens’ dissatisfaction, activists within popular protest movements, rather than merely venting anger, are beginning to offer alternatives to the status quo.
In 2012, the Arab Spring appears to have become mired in sectarian conflict, repression and infiltration by religious fundamentalists, but non-violent direct action remains an effective tactic for movements in other parts of the world. Recent national and regional elections in France, Greece and Germany, saw voters reject parties advocating a continuation of economic austerity policies that cut government spending and services in order to service national debt, while in Spain the Indignados returned to the streets in their tens of thousands.
In the United States, the Occupy movement consists of no central organisational structure but is composed of independent collectives in various cities covering a variety of issues. Read the rest of this entry →
Wednesday October 26, 2011 in reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza. 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.
This May Day brought the explosive global resurgence of Occupy, one of the most significant social movements in decades. In New York City, the heart of global capitalism and center of the movement, the New York Civil Liberties Union estimated that 30,000 demonstrators took part in a massive rally and march down Broadway, led by a score of city taxicabs. As has become alarmingly common for a country that constantly proclaims its zealous devotion to democracy, the day ended with brutal police violence and arrests.
The visible success of Occupy in creating a space for the voice of the people impelled uncontrolled thousands to pour onto the streets of New York City, Oakland, and elsewhere around the country and across the world on May Day, in the start of what US organizers have called an “American Spring.” Touting its message of class solidarity–”we are the 99 percent” – Occupy has revealed the profoundly undemocratic nature of a democratic consensus expressed by corporate-sponsored political representatives, demanding direct popular involvement in areas of social and political life normally dominated by ruling class power.
The powerful rejuvenation of the Occupy movement, however, was used by the US media – owned by the very same interests that Occupy directly threatens – as an opportunity to finally kill the Occupy movement and marginalize the voices of its participants. Since September, the mainstream press in the US has systematically ignored and demonized the Occupy movement. The nakedness of the class bias in this case, however, was especially jarring: the size and significance of the protests were downplayed, reports of police brutality were largely ignored, and the movement was portrayed as violent and dangerous. Many of the most prominent US news outlets, such as The New York Times, practically ignored the protests altogether. These shameful distortions by the corporate press display the function of the media as an organ of the rule of “the 1 percent,” and reveal how threatened elites are by organized, direct action and democratic participation. Read the rest of this entry →
What is the Occupy Bodyguard Initiative?- The Occupy Bodyguard Initiative is an a group of volunteers who provide close protection services for the independent media covering Occupy events. If your Occupy doesn’t have an OBI group yet, you can form one of your own!
Why do we need bodyguards?- Because the police have repeatedly made a point of targeting anyone with a camera for intimidation, arrest and violence. They have attacked journalists, destroyed equipment and erased footage to cover up the truth. Bodyguards make it easier for independent media to avoid harassment and keep filming.
Do the bodyguards help people resist arrest?- No, absolutely not. Occupy bodyguards are strictly nonviolent and we would never interfere with an arrest in progress as that would only further endanger the person being arrested.
So what does a nonviolent bodyguard do?- Journalists are often so focused on their work that it can be difficult for them to maintain continuous awareness of what may be happening behind or around them. The job of the nonviolent bodyguard is to pay attention to what is happening in all directions at all times, to warn the journalist of approaching dangers and to try to spot traps such as “kettles” ahead of time in order to help the journalist avoid the trap. Read the rest of this entry →
EU bankfail as everyone relishes Spain’s ‘successful auction’ – American bankfail continues as homeless spirals, inflation & money velocity drift
On the MN front, well the Occupy movement in Minneapolis really flushed out a lot of authoritarian over-reactions in the last couple weeks, starting with a haphazard police action slapping a KSTP photographer, arresting a dozen occupiers including an indy videographer (which the tut tutters ignore, etc). A meeting with the mayor and police chief was achieved. Videos & stills from the street incident by various folks including myself and roguemedia.org at youtube.com/hongpong & quickly circulated as far as Iran’s state news service PressTV lol.
A few days later, Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson tried to sneak an unlawful resolution without any public notice, which would have instantiated shutting down many inalienable rights between midnight and 6 AM on Nicollet Mall and Peavey/Greenway/Riverside plazas etc., including my right to collect stories and media as a journalist, a proselytizer’s right to preach the Gospel, a protesters right to protest, a homeless person’s right to exist, etc., in the name of the hellish blandness demanded by corporate psychopaths who want peace & quiet and these damn kids off their publicly owned lawns. The Council kicked it to committee 9-4 after the mayor lobbied for the corrupt resolution.
For the moment, anyhow, this pushed Johnson from the perceived ‘center’ to the ‘right’ of the DFL-dominated city political continuum. With an embarrassing defeat for the mayor, with the high stakes Vikings Stadium deal to rail thru without a vote in Minneapolis on the rocks at the Capitol, and Barb’s greasy Peavey Plaza plan whacked in at least one committee, it seems the wheels of shadiness have trouble turning when a little sand gets in the gears. (the next hearing is May 2nd or 3rd, this would be a public hearing for the public safety committee vote, don’t have info on hand. see facebook.com/occupymn or occupyminneapolis.mn )
According to one source, Mayor Rybak & Johnson’s defeat last Friday was enough to spur one pol to discuss finally taking on the city machine — the notion is that this new shakeup could finally crack open some political space in Minneapolis for an alternative after years upon years of stasis and acquiescence to top-down control (on behalf of the big banks and police union types in particular).
If nothing else then, it shows that the Founding Feathers insisted upon enough cracks in the machine to get the sand into. They never really could guarantee that the machine would work, but it seems like the saving grace for the last week was basically our dwindling freedom to throw sand in the machine. Good times. Even in Big Stone County people are standing up against massive mining projects.
New York (CNN) — In the spirit of spring rebirth, the Occupy movement is ramping up activities as warm weather blankets the country. But while the season is typified by a reawakening of life outdoors, demonstrators are using sleep to get their points across. They call it “sleepful protest.”
The sleeping bags started appearing on the corner of Wall and Broad streets across from the New York Stock Exchange on April 9. A civil rights attorney sympathetic to the Occupy movement provided the legal justification for the move in the form of a court ruling from 2000. A federal district court judge said people can sleep on sidewalks as a form of political expression as long as they take up no more than half of the sidewalk and don’t block any doors.
Occupy organizers declared a month ago that the movement would be planning a comeback in the spring and summer. Some city and state governments, armed with new ordinances aimed at the Occupy movements, are ready to prevent demonstrators from re-establishing encampments. Read the rest of this entry →
We win a small victory with the pigs over sidewalk chalk. They claim that you cant draw on the public sidewalk, we question this to the fullest extent. You can clearly hear the “Supervisor” claim he is not dealing with this one!
The camp was the most beautiful experience of my life. Then they tore it down. We responded by bringing tens of thousands to march on the Port of Oakland, declaring a General Strike in the city of Oakland. The night of the General Strike, everyone came back to the plaza and the police shut down the buses so I couldn’t go home. Someone let me use their tent and I didn’t mind staying out all night. It was my first time ever encountering police in riot gear, but the way that my comrades hurled things at them and chanted “fuck the police” gave me a whole new sense of empowerment.
Oakland Port Shutdown - margaretkilljoy http://www.flickr.com/people/26353674@N05
I love Occupy Oakland because it has given me a new voice and a new strength that I never knew I had. It also gave me confidence and the knowledge that I can fight back; I do have a voice and a choice in this world. I can push change forward. I love being in such a diverse movement: Being surrounded by different races, different sexes, different cultures, different thoughts and opinions and different, creative ways we all come up with to communicate with one another makes me feel wiser, helps me think more creatively and inspires me to act more responsibly. Every time I go to a general assembly or a committee meeting I work with other people that feel the same way and that really is a beautiful experience. I’ve always helped people, always wanted to affect people’s lives positively, and Occupy has given me another way to do that.
I’m getting my SSI check cut every three months while my food stamps dwindle away. Housing isn’t easy either. I’m on Section 8 and they want you to bend over backwards to stay in your home. Then I got with occupy and I realized that everyone’s dealing with some bullshit. I’ve been homeless before, for four years in a row, and I don’t ever want to be homeless again. That’s why I fight to help homeless occupiers get what they need to stay on their feet. Read the rest of this entry →
Early Thursday afternoon US Army veteran and SF Occupier Nick Anthony Shaw apprehended the suspect wanted in the stabbing of Occupy San Francisco member “Boston” earlier this week.
As Shaw physically contained the suspect, nearby policemen were summoned by Shaw and fellow protesters, and the suspect was arrested. Shaw later filed a report at the police department.
*Continued Repression at Protest Site
Police continue to interpret a century-old anti-lodging law in such a way as to infringe on the rights of the protest to continue in the rain. This past Tuesday they insisted on removing a canopy and tarp during pouring rain which resulted in the destruction of the protest’s petitions and signs. Tonight further rain is expected and the protesters expect the police to continue their misinterpretation of the law in order to stop the protest’s ability to maintain its activity.
Several hours after Shaw’s police arrest, the police insisted a second table with anti-fracking petitions be removed.
When Occupy Wall Street appeared last fall, it was a breath of fresh air in what had become a decidedly stale a depressing political landscape. From the broad collection of issues being represented, to the actual “occupying” of a major public space in plain site of one of the world’s most powerful economic institutions, OWS brought people alive and brought people together – sometimes across astoundingly challenging differences. As the movement spread across the country, and went international, it was like watching the flashbulbs of cameras at the World Series or Super Bowl. Everywhere you looked, the lights of grassroots democracy were being switched on. And even those with some sympathy, but also with a lot of questions and reservations, couldn’t help but express some astonishment that this was happening at all.
Then the coordinated police repression set in. The untended roots of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and the like rose to the surface, and sprouted all over the place. The attraction to power, and greed, began to overtake the egalitarian processes and structures that had been formed, sending decision-making into a tailspin. The secular activists began to shun the spiritual ones, and many of the spiritual ones either retreated from their messages, or simply disappeared all together.
And then winter came. Stealing the sun. Swamping most of the remaining occupations with snow, or cold, or both.
At 1:30 pm approximately 20 police officers appeared at Civic Center Park (known by the Occupiers as Marvin Booker Plaza) and began removing personal effects of the people who sleep there. Amidst essential tarps and blankets they took crucial medications for conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes as well as various individuals’ legal identification papers. All items were thrown indiscriminately into a public works disposal truck. The police informed everyone in the surrounding area that they could reclaim their belongings within 30 days. The officers did not say where or how and left without responding to further questions such as how the property would be identified or reclaimed without their identification papers. The police refused to provide any information on how these individuals could reclaim their personal property.
According to Lieutenant Matthew Murray of media relations for the Denver Police Department, the Department of Public Works is requesting enforcements for the city ordinances, encouraging the DPD to respond to violations that DPW see as detrimental to the city.
From the Public Works’ website (denvergov.org/dpw) “Our responsibilities include all – year-round road maintenance and repair, weekly household trash collection service to 163,000 households, design and construction management of streets, bridges, and public buildings, transportation services through our parking management, transportation planning, engineering and operations offices, and protection of our urban environment.“
Public works is known for creating the DRMC sec. 49-296 “Encumbrance law” which defines any “thing whatsoever” as an “encumbrance”. (See the end of the article for the full notice of this law.)
At 4:20pm members of Occupy Denver held an impromptu meeting with the Dept of Public Works for clarification as to why they are sending police to enforce city municipal ordinances on such an extreme scale.
What was ascertained is that Public Works is concerned with perceived health risks and how community members view a zone of their city, over the actual health, safety and human rights of individuals.
They consistently stated that the area is a health hazard to every ordinary citizen that walks by via the simple “threat” of a single person alleged to have scabies.
Tom Morello formerly of Rage Against the Machine and NOW with singer/songwriter Ben Harper as the Nightwatchmen, has been a familiar face at Occupy Wall Street and L.A. as well as on programs such as the Real World With Bill Maher on HBO.
In this video, before he performs at the So Cal Interoccupy Meetup at MacArthur Park, he interacts with fellow occupiers, stops to listen to artists and occupiers Michelle Shocked and Esteban Gil perform en espanol and then talks to me about the future of Occupy.
In addition, Michelle, Esteban, and I break out into a spontaneous multi-part harmony with a rendition of ‘Solidarity Forever’ with our fellow occupiers.
Stay tuned for more videos of music and interviews with fellow occupiers at the meetup and even more dialogue from around the world!
Occupy NOLA with Occupy the Stage went to Baton Rouge to assist OccupyBR. Brought out tent monsters and signs outside. Tent monsters caused issues so moved to steps outside. Told to run around and do what tent monsters do, meaning be silly and chaotic.
Do artists contribute to real change? Or are we just “peripheral”? Is art something strange people do in their “spare time”, or is it an essential part of human growth and expression? Why would we waste our time adding an arts-element to our rally? Why would we play theater-games in the middle of a meeting?
I don’t know who you are, reading this blog, or what your understanding or experience with art has been. Over the years, as an arts-teacher, it’s become clear to me that something in the culture has driven a huge block between people and their natural and free expression of self. I have taught kindergarteners who have told me, with a self-resigned sigh, “Oh, I’m not an artist.” As if we expect their construction-paper cutouts to look exactly right the first time.
This expectation for instant perfection is disturbing and entirely false. It seems many people think artists are natural geniuses, and call their skills “gifts.” As if I didn’t have my own trail of crappy refrigerator-drawings flying behind me. As if I don’t have hundreds of songs I don’t remember and were probably worth forgetting. My heart still thumps whenever I sing in front of people. But I do it anyway. It’s where I need to grow. When I was a young adult, I was a terrible introvert. People had to ask me three times to repeat what I said, I was speaking so softly. (It’s likely they still didn’t catch what I said, but got tired of asking…) Through my art, I pushed the edges of my comfort-zone. Through my performance-work, I made myself get on stage again and again, until I could do it without shaking. Art can help us access pieces of ourselves we didn’t know were there. Now, when I have something to say, I say it. I’ve gotten in front of Occupy-General Assemblies as a facilitator, confidently and with a strong voice. But people don’t see those layers of effort, the many moments of embarrassment and self-forgiveness I’ve worked through, to be able to do what I do. Read the rest of this entry →
This year the Queen is celebrating her 60th ‘jubilee’ but the original meaning of jubilee had a lot more to do with righting injustice than an extra bank holiday and Brian May on the roof of Buckingham Palace, says Tim Jones of www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk
The word ‘jubilee’ comes from the Jewish scriptures, and describing an ancient event occurring every fifty years. In the jubilee year everyone, remarkably, took a whole year off from working the land – not just one day – living simply off surpluses from previous years. All debts were to be cancelled. All slaves were to be released. All land was to be returned to the original sharing between the Hebrew tribes.
Jubilees were instituted in order to restore a sense of equilibrium into the economy. People working on the land got in debt when harvests failed. To feed their families they borrowed from their neighbours – supposedly without being charged interest, though many found ways to get round this law. As debts accumulated and families became unable to pay, they had to sell off their land to their creditors. Rent was charged on the sold land, so as creditors got richer, the debtors got poorer – and their debts were only likely to increase. As David Graeber sets out in his book Debt: The first 5,000 years, farmers often became stuck in debt and even had to sell their children into debt slavery. Read the rest of this entry →
The occupations were brilliant. They created facts on the ground—many grounds. They pumped oxygen into the global atmosphere. They are, or were, not only symbols of a need (community, shelter, expression) but public spaces for contact, information, and conversation, as well as attractors of the curious. At their best, they are, or were, recruitment centers. At their worst, they were the opposite.
But the merits of the encampments are largely beside the point now because the authorities took a hand, often a heavy one, to bust them up. So now the question is, how can the most useful functions of the encampments be carried out in other ways? What becomes possible now?
For one thing, direct actions need to continue—partly because they gin up enthusiasm, partly because they ensure that the movement continues to exist in public sight, and partly because they can win concrete victories. When the actions are well chosen, and (crucially) nonviolent, then the movement attracts the public eye. (When the black bloc moves in, however, the movement repels. Not all publicity is helpful publicity.) Actions need to be chosen with a mindful eye to both symbolic meaning and concrete consequences. Read the rest of this entry →
The panicked emails and texts sounded like a prank worthy of the Yes Men. Occupy Wall Street — which like some comic book character only grew stronger after each attack by nefarious forces, whether pepper spray, mass arrests or New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s threat to close the park for cleaning – had finally been brought to its knees.
What was about to kill the most successful American activist movement in decades? The drum circle.
Drummers possessed with a Dionysian fervor were demanding that they be allowed to pound their bongos and congas late into the night because they were the “heartbeat of this movement.” In response, a letter circulated with the dramatic warning that “OWS is over after Tuesday.” With equal doses of Middle East diplomacy and Burning Man theatrics, the writer explained that weeks of negotiations between a drummers’ working group called Pulse, the OWS General Assembly and the local community board had collapsed.
The rogue drummers did not recognize the GA as a legitimate body whose decisions they had to obey. In fact, some drummers turned Occupy Wall Street’s rhetoric against itself, claiming that the GA “suppressed people’s opinions” and were “becoming the government we’re trying to protest.” A compromise was eventually reached to allow two hours of drumming in the middle of the day, but everyone I spoke to afterward confirmed that one of the most powerful American social movements in years was nearly undone, not by its political message, but by its rhythm section.
Last Tuesday, opponents to SB 469 packed the Insurance and Labor committee hearing. Lawyers explained that the bill was unconstitutional and unenforceable; teachers spoke of the First Amendment and called the bill un-American. None of that mattered, because the committee members weren’t taking their cues from the people of the state of Georgia. They were taking orders from the American Legislative Exchange Council. AT&T, which recently announced layoffs of 740 workers in the Southeast despite record profits last year, is on the board of ALEC, and four committee members are members. An ALEC lobbyist was one of only two people who spoke in favor of the bill…but his voice spoke loudest.
On Saturday, the General Assembly of Occupy Atlanta adopted this simple demand: End corporate influence in politics and government. SB 469 is one example of how corporate interests dominate our state government. AT&T and other ALEC members are using the legislative and legal mechanisms of our state to further their own interests, against the interests of the tax-paying working people of Georgia. Tomorrow, Occupy Atlanta and a coalition of other groups and individuals will rally to put a stop to this example of ALEC legislation and corporate subversion of democracy. 5 pm at the Georgia State Capitol.
End corporate influence in politics and government. Start with SB 469.
The idea that the 99% can actually stand up to the 1% is contagious. How can stewards build on this moment of opportunity? Several unions are drawing members into home defense actions. Photo: mpeake.
Every steward in North America must have members who are talking about the Occupy movement. Maybe your union has endorsed Occupy officially. Perhaps you have participated in some Occupy action yourself.
Certainly the rapid spread of the movement made many union members optimistic in a way that we haven’t been for a long time. The idea that the 99% can actually stand up to the 1% is contagious.
How can stewards build on this moment of opportunity to strengthen the union? After all, the issues Occupy has been raising—economic inequality, thievery by the banks, failure of the corporations and rich to pay their share in taxes, increasing unemployment and insecure employment—are the same issues the unions have always fought.
As the encampments have mostly been destroyed across the country, the movement has morphed into thousands of actions pursuing the same general goals. Some places are focusing on protecting residents from foreclosure and evictions, some are holding actions at banks, and some, like Occupy Education or Occupy Post Office, take the Occupy idea back to where people work or need services. Read the rest of this entry →
Both the occupation of squares and the squatting of buildings are seen as strategies for re-claiming public space. Recently, some occupations (Sydney, Oakland, London) have turned to squatting in order to utilise empty space as community centres or housing options, in particular after facing eviction from parks or squares. This week we ask: Is squatting the same as occupying? What are the pros and cons of taking empty buildings? And should squatting be an integral part of the Occupy strategy?
YES/ MICHAEL SABBAGH (MIKE D.)
The relationship between squatting and Occupy is far more complex than the contrast between the camp and indoor spaces. The Bank of Ideas in London is (or was) a fine example of why squatting, especially of large spaces, is and should remain an integral part of Occupy.
Traditionally squats are living and communal spaces. The sheer amount of community-oriented events that went on at Bank of Ideas over its short two and half month stint is mind-boggling. From the early days with Mark Thomas to a long evening of films, conversations and heart breaking stories with activists from No Borders South Wales, to some guy named “Thom”, not to mention the weekly clowning and yoga workshops – Bank of Ideas was truly a community space. The ground floor provided computers with web access open to the public, whilst the first floor consisted of a large communal space anchored by the kitchen – as an ideal communal space should be. Read the rest of this entry →
A bill passed Monday in the US House of Representatives and Thursday in the Senate would make it a felony—a serious criminal offense punishable by lengthy terms of incarceration—to participate in many forms of protest associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests of last year. Several commentators have dubbed it the “anti-Occupy” law, but its implications are far broader.
The bill—H.R. 347, or the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011”—was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate, while only Ron Paul and two other Republicans voted against the bill in the House of Representatives (the bill passed 388-3). Not a single Democratic politician voted against the bill.
The virtually unanimous passage of H.R. 347 starkly exposes the fact that, despite all the posturing, the Democrats and the Republicans stand shoulder to shoulder with the corporate and financial oligarchy, which regarded last year’s popular protests against social inequality with a mixture of fear and hostility.
Among the central provisions of H.R. 347 is a section that would make it a criminal offense to “enter or remain in” an area designated as “restricted.” Read the rest of this entry →
Call for a National Day of Action for Public Transportation
Public transportation is a right. It is also an integral part of our sustainable future. Rather than fighting price hikes and service cuts, we should be focusing on expanding service and innovating more sustainable and convenient systems for mass transit that are free for all. The economic downturn has been used as a reason to cut back service, raise fares, and layoff workers in Boston and elsewhere. We are told again and again that there is no money, but we have had enough of this lie! Read the rest of this entry →
The weather looked ominous Thursday as Bay Area Occupiers calling for more money for education got ready to spend four days marching to Sacramento. But by an early afternoon kick-off rally at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza the skies were clear, with no other rains expected for the trip that will culminate with thousands rallying at the state capitol Monday.
“It’s not time to be begging anymore folks,” Peter Brown, 61, a machine technology teacher at Laney College, said to the few hundred gathered at the plaza. Read the rest of this entry →
We need to keep focused on why we are here, and realize that we are a natural continuation of the civil rights movement that was left unfinished. There was a great man who fought and gave his life for this struggle some time ago, his name was Martin Luther King Jr.
It was a struggle that he took up, when it was his time, that had already being going for some time before he was born. He had heroes before him, like Gandhi, to look to for advise as well.
This struggle has been going on since the dawn of man in some respects, and I believe it will need to be fought in some fashion for much longer. The struggle will continue as long as any human can be considered to be worth less than another.
WE are the heroes we’ve been waiting for – The time to act is NOW
The analogy I would like to use to describe this is that of a car engine. The engine itself is the broken and corrupt system we currently have. I am referring to the Global System of predatory lending and private control of world finances, and due to this governments being privately controlled as well
Like many around the U.S, and even around the world to some degree, I have been excited by the appearance of the Occupy Wall Street movement and it’s numerous off-shoot groups. In fact, I have been involved in the work of our local Occupy group in Minneapolis since the day it sprang up last October. It has been a wild ride. I have developed wonderful friendships with people I might otherwise have not met. The sheer ability to discuss the state of the world with people who genuinely care, want change, and are passionate about the issues has been a blessing. It’s lifted some of the isolation and marginalization I have long felt as a person deeply committed to jettisoning capitalism, overturning all forms of human oppression, and liberating not only ourselves, but the planet itself.(Actually, I believe that the planet has the skills to liberate itself, if only we’d stop destroying it at every single turn.)
However, at this juncture in the movement, it’s quite clear to me how much we all need to heal. How many divides cannot be mended simply by declarations of solidarity and calls to attack a tiny group of uber wealthy folks and their minions. We might be the 99%, but so much of our individual and collective experience has been tamed by conformity, distorted by false notions of power, and trapped in us vs. them mindsets. Read the rest of this entry →