(Once again, the Klown was right. The Klown is always right.)
Nutroots Nation is meeting again:
Americans who work multiple jobs are being sexually repressed by society because they don’t have time for sex, according to a panel at the 2013 Netroots Nation conference.
The panel, called “Free your Ass: Defining and Creating a Progressive Sexual Culture,” featured sex educators and activists. Several of the panelists expressed that low-income or homeless people have limited access to their sexuality because of their economic situations.
“When we’re working on housing, we’re working on housing because it’s a basic human right, but also when you have access to stable secure housing, you have access to privacy to experience your own body,” said Jaclyn Friedman, an author and host of the podcast “F**king While Feminist.”
Friedman also said that all other social justice movements, such as race or economics, directly affect the ability for one to have sexual agency.
“What ability, what agency does a queer homeless kid have to pursue their sexuality?” she asked. “Even basic issues of privacy, different abilities, different accesses to education, leisure time, right? Like if you’re working three jobs to make ends meet, you don’t have access to your sexuality either.”
Another panelist, Kierra Johnson, executive director of Choice USA, took Friedman’s point farther, saying that poor people also don’t have the abilities to expand their families like they want.
“If we don’t reclaim our bodies and what it means to have agency, sexually and politically, we get these family cap bonds, where if you’re poor, you’re only allowed to have two children if you’re receiving federal assistance,” she said.
You can’t make this shit up.
Never argue with the Klown. The Klown is always right:
According to a new study from sociologists at the City University of New York, more than a third of activists in the Occupy movement in New York City had household incomes above $100,000, placing them at the cusp of the top quintile of income distribution in America. Researchers surveyed 729 people who participated in a May 1 rally last year and were involved in the “occupation” of Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011, and found that they were more affluent, whiter, younger, much more highly educated, and more likely to be male than the average New Yorker.
Non-Hispanic whites constituted 62 percent of all respondents, though they make up only 33 percent of New York City residents. While only about a third of Americans hold bachelors’ degrees, 76 percent of respondents who had completed their education had a four-year college degree and 39 percent had graduate degrees. Among college graduates, more than a quarter went to top-ranked schools, which might help explain why the majority of graduates under 30 had some student debt. While 10 percent of participants were unemployed, 71 percent were employed in professional occupations. Eight percent were “blue collar.”
The study found that “white respondents were also significantly more likely to be ‘actively involved’ than people of color” in the movement. The protests were largely organized by a core group of experienced activists who were “disproportionately white and male,” according to the researchers. One interviewee involved in training sessions described the leaders as “a predominantly young white male group.” Another said they were “more privileged and more college-educated, and sometimes beyond college-educated.”
Though most respondents were highly educated and employed, about a quarter of those with jobs worked less than 35 hours a week. They had time to participate in protests, the authors write, because they were “unconstrained by highly demanding family or work commitments.”
“It’s a pretty affluent demographic and highly educated,” Professor Ruth Milkman, one of the authors of the study, told the New York Post. “Many were the children of the elite, if you will.”
Despite what you might have read on *other* blogs, I had it nailed from the beginning.
Occupy Wall Street was a group of spoiled rich kids. When the real poor started showing up everything started coming apart.
Rebels without a clue.
Yes, I am strutting like a rooster.
Vindication tastes even better than schadenfreude.
Naomi Wolf in the Guardian:
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society – people’s income streams and financial records – is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.
Remember that only 10% of the money donated to WikiLeaks can be processed – because of financial sector and DHS-sponsored targeting of PayPal data. With this merger, that crushing of one’s personal or business financial freedom can happen to any of us. How messy, criminalizing and prosecuting dissent. How simple, by contrast, just to label an entity a “terrorist organization” and choke off, disrupt or indict its sources of financing.
Why the huge push for counterterrorism “fusion centers”, the DHS militarizing of police departments, and so on? It was never really about “the terrorists”. It was not even about civil unrest. It was always about this moment, when vast crimes might be uncovered by citizens – it was always, that is to say, meant to be about you.
The only thing mystifying about the OWS crackdown was what took the cops so long to get around to it. OWS wasn’t just breaking the law, they were openly defying it. In every case I am aware of the OWS protesters were given the opportunity to peacefully disengage and walk away before any arrests were made or force was used.
Naomi Wolf neglects to mention that OWS members regularly engaged in criminal acts like vandalism, assault, trespassing and arson and that some members planned terrorist acts. Not to mention the various and sundry OWS-related crimes like rape and drug use.
Personally, I am not bothered by the idea of law enforcement agencies keeping an eye on protests and protest groups so long as they stay within constitutional boundaries. The Ku Klux Klan has a legal right to peacefully assemble and protest but if they are planning to march in your town wouldn’t you want the police to know about it and be present?
I am also not bothered by the idea of law enforcement agencies communicating with each other and with interested parties (like banks in this case) to coordinate their actions. We thought that kind of stuff was a good idea after what happened on 9-11, remember?
But the lie that really needs to be laid to rest is the idea that the reason for the crackdown on Occupy Wall Street was that they represented a threat to the powers that be. OWS was a bunch of rebels without a clue and the only thing they were a threat to was each other and to public health and sanitation.
Remember last year’s Shiny New Thing?
Occupy Wall Street, the global movement against inequality that ignited in Manhattan last year, will mark its first anniversary by trying to block traffic in the financial district and encircle the New York Stock Exchange.
Planning for the Sept. 17 protest, dubbed S17, follows months of internal debate and flagging interest, according to interviews with organizers. The morning action may include attempts to make citizens’ arrests of bankers, and some activists intend to bring handcuffs, they said.
“We are here to bring you to justice,” said Sean McKeown, a 32-year-old chemist and New York University graduate who’s helping organize the demonstration. “We’re offering you the chance to repent for your sins.”
What is it with all these chemists breaking bad? Is that a career-related psychosis like mailmen going postal? Oh yeah, bring handcuffs. Make sure they’re comfy because you’ll be wearing them after the police take you away for false imprisonment and various other felonies.
Organizers said there has been more fatigue than fresh thinking this year. Occupy’s New York City General Assembly, which oversaw planning by consensus, ceased functioning in April because of infighting, ineffectiveness and low turnout, according to organizers and minutes of meetings. The group’s funds were frozen to preserve money for bail, ending most cash distributions, they said.
“Movements calcify, and it’s difficult to maintain the vigor and camaraderie,” said Travis Mushett, 26, a novelist who helped organize an Occupy reading group. He was one of six who used the word “burnout” to describe the recent mood.
Attendees at general assemblies had long and circuitous talks about allocating money, not about “what they wanted in the world, or how they were going to change it,” said Nicole Carty, 24, a Brown University graduate who helped run meetings.
Hornbein said that online forums became venomous as “systems broke down.” A separate oversight body, the Spokes Council, also dissolved, he and other participants said.
That means there’s no nucleus to a movement that had already rejected leaders, a central website, unified fundraising drives, administrative headquarters or a national advertising initiative. A working group that tried to come up with a list of essential demands wasn’t able to, organizers said.
Anarchists are at the heart of Occupy, organizers said.
“In a way, the fringe is the core,” said Mushett, the novelist. “That’s where you find a huge anarchist presence.”
“If they’re promoting ideals that don’t ring sensible to large numbers of people, what they want doesn’t go anywhere,” said Todd Gitlin, 69, a former president of 1960s protest organization Students for a Democratic Society and now chairman of Columbia University’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in communications. “It doesn’t become a social reality. It becomes the expression of a subculture.”
“This isn’t over,” said Dana Balicki, a member of Occupy’s press team. “This isn’t over until the last person calls it quits and goes home, wherever home is.”
Last year Obama and the Democrats came up with what they thought was a brilliant plan. They would create their own version of the Tea Party. Just as the Republicans rode the Tea Party to victory in 2010, the Democrats would ride Occupy to victory in 2012.
Things appeared to go well at first. The Democrats needed plausible deniability so they couldn’t be directly involved in organizing the movement, but they could funnel financial assistance through anonymous donors and provide covert political support. They got the unions to lend a hand too.
It is no accident that the Occupy movement was strongest in cities controlled by Democrats. Even though there were supposedly no leaders the group coordinated very well with SEIU and other unions. The police initially bent over backwards to accommodate the Occupiers and half a million dollars in donations flowed in within the first couple weeks.
If things had gone according to plan the Occupy movement would have become a left-wing version of the Tea Party – a grassroots activist group simpatico with the Democratic party. Obama and the Democrats would promise them the moon to get their support and then throw them a few bones after the election. With any luck the Occupiers would provide the momentum to retake Congress.
The Democrats failed to learn the lesson of the Tea Party – when you create something real from astroturf the monster will run amok. But they had an even worse problem.
Take a look at your typical Tea Partier. They tend to be middle-aged and older, hyper-patriotic, middle-class and financially independent. They are politically focused and conservative. Most of them have children. Despite the media caricatures they are mostly well-behaved and law-abiding. They are not a bunch of white supremacists or gun-toting militia members. They are right-wing but not lunatic fringe.
Now consider your typical Occupier. Younger, no kids, no job (or bad job) still dependent on their parents. They are anarchists and socialists and nihilists. They are starry-eyed idealists and rebels without a cause or clue.
When the Tea Party monster escaped from the lab and began to run amok, the Tea Partiers seized control. They got shit organized and started getting shit done. They agreed on some demands and goals. They supported candidates and started winning elections.
When the Occupy monster escaped from the lab and began to run amok, nobody seized control. Their shit was disorganized and they couldn’t get shit done. (They even had trouble finding places to shit!) They could not (or simply would not) agree on anything. They squatted in parks and occasionally tried to disrupt businesses. They made fools of themselves.
Despite what Riverdaughter and others might think, nobody did it to them – they did it to themselves. After things spun out of control Obama and the Democrats ran for cover. The money stopped flowing and the political support was withdrawn. Finally the police were called in to end it.
Yes, I am gloating. I was right. She was wrong. Nyah, nyah, nyah! I told you so!
Never argue with the Klown.
I'm all for helping the helpless, but I don't give a rat's ass about the clueless anymore.—
Dennis Miller Show (@DennisDMZ) August 29, 2012
Remember when the Democratic Party saw the Occupy movement as the Left’s equivalent of the Tea Party? That lasted until it became obvious that 1) Occupy wasn’t actually much of a movement, and 2) to the extent it existed, it was an embarrassment. Occupy is in the process of fading away, not with a bang but a whimper, and with more criminal prosecutions to its credit than normal citizens converted to the leftist cause.
But, much as a dead frog’s legs will continue kicking for a while, a few remnants of Occupy cling to a fitful existence. To see what the “movement” is up to these days, check out this online diary that documents the Occupy Caravan. The Caravan is a group of nine leftists who are driving, in two minivans, from California to Philadelphia. The diary, by one James Jennison, is hilarious but sad. You can’t help feeling sorry for this ragtag band of misfits who evidently think they are making some kind of political statement.
But wait! There’s more! From the diary:
Well, it’s been an interesting past couple of hours. I’m really having some doubts regarding one of the people in the van I am in. He is extremely confrontational, controlling, and, in my humble opinion, thinks way to [sic] highly of himself.
I don’t know what is going to come out of this with him. I’m definitely not comfortable with having him on this trip. I’m really wishing I had voiced my concerns about him before we left yesterday. Now I worry about how miserable I am going to be for most of this trip.
I have the option of switching to the other van when we reach Elko, however the van I am in is the only one with a power inverter, and I need to be able to charge the phone and battery pack to be able to stream.
These happy campers took seven days to reach Okemah, Oklahoma. I once drove from Merced, California to Norman Oklahoma by way of Reno, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Denver, Wichita and Oklahoma City. That trip took two days. If you look at a map you will notice that Oklahoma is not even on the route between Oakland and Philadelphia.
How pathetic are these losers? If you have ever spent time on the Interstate Highway System you know what boredom is. There is a reason it’s called “flyover country,”
These losers have been live-streaming their trip.
BTW – Why aren’t they all crammed into a psychedelic VW Mini-van? If you’re gonna do it, do it right.
How does the US Army know if its less-than-lethal armaments are effective without being deadly? Live fire training exercises employing a mob of volunteers, of course.
That’s right, if you are over 18 and live in the greater New Jersey area, you too can get $20/hour to be whacked with batons and shot with rubber balls! The testing takes place in a non-descript one-story building, known as the Target Behavioral Response Laboratory, located a few miles from Picatinny Arsenal, the Army’s research and development center. Here, a nine-member team of engineers study how effective non-lethal technologies perform and, more importantly, the psychological reasons they do.
This really sounds like the perfect fit for all those unemployed Occupiers. Do you know anyone in the Greater New Jersey area that is looking for work?
I’m guessing they won’t be showing the rapes.
If you are running for office as a Green or some other emergent party candidate, you should be working the theaters running this movie. Stand in front of the theater and shake hands with viewers as they approach the theater. Wear a name tag with LARGE letters and have some brochures.
If you want to get elected I wouldn’t recommend wearing a Guy Fawkes mask or waving the commie flag. Disrupting the movie to do a mic check might get you a few laughs though.
I’m no fan of Sean Hannity but what he does to this pinhead is brutal:
For several months Riverdaughter at The Confluence was a vocal advocate of Occupy Wall Street. Yesterday was the long-advertised reboot of OWS, with demonstrations planned across the country.
So where was Riverdaughter?
She didn’t do any posts promoting yesterday’s activities. She didn’t travel to Zuccotti Park to live-blog the events. She didn’t even mention OWS. Is she okay? Did she
finally see the light have a change of heart? Did she not see the bat signal?
Inquiring minds want to know. I would ask her myself but she banned me.
BTW – Lambert and the Corrente Crew were pretty quiet too.
Protesters trash Mission District businesses, cars
Broken glass littered several streets in San Francisco’s Mission District after protesters vandalized cars and buildings Monday night, including a police station.
The vandals were in a group that marched from Dolores Park shortly after 9 p.m., following a rally in advance of Tuesday’s planned Occupy general strike, police said. Traveling down 18th Street and onto Valencia Street, the black-clad, masked protesters smashed windows with crowbars and signs, threw paint on buildings and spray-painted anarchy symbols on the hoods of parked cars.
“All I heard was, ‘bang, bang, bang,’ and some dude had the valet sign, trying to break our window,” said Adam Koskoff, manager of the Locanda restaurant on Valencia. “I didn’t even see the crowd, and I ran outside and got egged.”
The vandals threw paint and eggs and smashed windows at more than 30 businesses, including Tartine Bakery at 18th and Guerrero streets and clothing store Weston Wear on Valencia.
Both luxury and everyday vehicles along Valencia and Guerrero streets were damaged. An Aston Martin had its windshield shattered, and brown paint covered the hood.
“They’re coming through the Mission, where there aren’t any corporations, just a lot of small businesses, which is what they’re all about,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Although the march sprang from a rally for an Occupy action, other Occupy protesters shunned its participants as outliers. Some business people, however, said Occupy bore responsibility for the damage.
“Occupy is saying it’s not them, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Occupy, now would we?” Michelle Horneff-Cohen, a real estate broker, said as she shivered next to the broken window of her workplace, Property Management Systems.
She said she had been dragged out of bed to deal with the damage. Although her company has insurance, she said, it will have to pay for much of the cost of repairs.
“I think it’s bulls–,” Horneff-Cohen said. “We are the 99 percent, and this is bulls–.”
This is in San Francisco, the most liberal city in the country. Nancy Pelosi’s home turf.
The Occupy manual should be titled “How To Lose Friends and Alienate People.”
It’s mere days from what Occupy Wall Street organizers say will be one of their biggest protests yet, and the people down in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan’s Financial District are hopping mad. Well, at least they’re hopping.
On the afternoon of April 27 in the park, one Occupier called out a signal, and the 100 or so demonstrators-in-training began jumping up and down and converging around a single protester—a tactic intended to keep marchers together in the event of police action. It was the seventh in a series of “Spring Training” protest refresher courses held by Occupy Wall Street in preparation for May 1, a day rich with progressive significance: May Day is celebrated internationally as a day to recognize workers and labor.
OWS organizers say protests scheduled for that day will involve thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of protesters in Manhattan, the cradle of Occupy, and additional protests in other major cities, most notably Los Angeles, where organizers have called for a general strike.
They’ve got their new spring wardrobes on and their smart phones are charged up! Look out you evil 1%ers, the Occupiers are coming for YOU! (There’s a free concert at Union Square afterwards.)
Check out this ‘graf:
Mark Bray, a 29-year-old history Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University, said he’s been involved in planning for May Day on OWS’s side since January. A core group of about 60 or so people has been meeting at a variety of locations, Bray said, including at a Greenwich Village church, at the offices of SEIU Local 1199, and in an artist’s space near Wall Street.
Let’s connect the dots. Whenever OWS needs to pump up their numbers they join forces with SEIU. No union is more closely identified with Barack Obama than SEIU. But OWS has nothing to do with Barack Obama.
A number of unions around the country are planning on demonstrating tomorrow. From what I have seen most of them are government or quasi-government employees.
So place your bets. Will tomorrow be the beginning of an “Occupy Spring” or a pathetic last-ditch effort by the OWS movement to seem relevant?
Here’s a hint:
UC Berkeley plans to use words instead of police power to remove about 50 Occupy members who on Sunday started farming a plot of university land in Albany called the Gill Tract, a spokesman said Tuesday.
“There’s dialogue going on and discussion going on so we can bring it to a peaceful conclusion,” said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. “Discussion may lead to a better outcome.”
The land near San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street is currently used for agricultural research, Mogulof said. A separate parcel of land just south of where the Occupy farmers have set up is slated for commercial development, including a Whole Foods and a seniors housing complex.
Mogulof said UC Berkeley police are administering daily admonishments to the group about trespassing, but the university has not issued a deadline for them to leave.
Occupy the Farm to Take Back the Gill Tract member Gopal Dayaneni said the university cut off water to the area, so the farmers are bringing in their own and hand watering 15,000 seedlings they planted to grow beans, chard, squash, broccoli and other edible items.
He also said the group has one “completely closed” composting toilet for farmers and two portable toilets.
“Our primary purpose isn’t to camp, it’s to farm” Dayaneni said Tuesday, although people are camping overnight.
To understand how stupid this occupation is you really need to see Zombie’s post:
Before the Occupation, the Gill Tract was an agricultural research farm where twenty-somethings getting their PhDs would work the fields to grow crops, as they researched biology or how to raise better, healthier plants. But now, after this incredible revolution by Occupy, the Gill Tract has been utterly transformed into a farm where twenty-somethings work the fields to grow crops. The only difference is that before, the farm served a scientific function to improve society, and was managed by experts and hard-working students doing meaningful research; but now, it’s run by a bunch of smug amateurs and dropouts who plant store-bought seedlings in the middle of what once was a controlled research environment. Meet the new farm — same as the old farm, except worse.
But I had to laugh at this part:
Dayaneni said the group hopes to avoid an Occupy situation where the site attracts criminals and substance abusers by imposing a rule that anyone who shows up must work.
“We’re super clear about the fact that this is a farm,” Dayaneni said. “Those who do the work make the decisions.”
They are starting to sound like Republicans.
Over at Corrente danps has been running a great series of posts on the Occupy movement, the Black Bloc and violence. The most recent post discusses how disorganization and the lack of transparency is damaging what’s left of the Occupy movement:
One of the, ahem, benefits of shutting down efforts at openness is that those who are calling the shots can hide in a cloak of anonymity and make decisions from behind the scenes. Occupations that have shut down what began with a robust culture of openness have constructed a neatly self-contained universe – one that permits them to wield substantial authority but disclaim ownership of anything produced by it. (It also tends to create its own self-reinforcing structures.) Decision making done by a few, responsibility shared by all.
Those who want to constructively criticize that dynamic are then left grasping at straws: with no transparency, there is no way to know who in particular is driving these unhealthy developments.
If it seems that, say, facilitation has turned into a power center where much of the direction is set, but there is no way to see or read exactly what is going on, how does one even begin to offer a critique? Those who are happy as clams with this state of affairs can simply demand to know who in particular is the source of the problem. With no transparency into the process, this is unknowable from the outside. So those who wish to be insulated from accountability get a free ride. A nice arrangement, if you can manage it.
Perhaps not coincidentally, opacity tends to work well in conjunction with violence advocacy. A culture of repression is very congenial to chaotic notions of autonomy, “no snitching” orders3, and an apocalyptic mindset that insists if revolution does not happen immediately then all is lost.
I told you so!
I told you so a long time ago. For the crime of being prematurely correct I have been accused of being a wingnut.
But at the end of the post danps dropped this interesting link:
I participated in the #MillionHoodies march in New York City’s Union Square this past Wednesday, March 21st. When I arrived I noticed a lot less hoodies than I thought I was going to see. I assumed this was simply because of the warm weather. There was still an enormous crowd of people there to deal with the tragedy that was Trayvon Martin.
With chants of “We are the 99%” and signage to that effect as well, I was a little thrown off. I thought the purpose of this march was to bring awareness to the death of a young boy. Soon after the march started confusion was all around. Which way were we marching? Who was leading the charge? After we walked a few blocks members of the Occupy section of the march started running down the street knocking down trash cans. I was told later that some attempted to knock down police barricades and police scooters used to guide the marchers. I immediately became uncomfortable because that’s not what I signed up for. I wanted to speak out against injustice—just causing general destruction wasn’t on my agenda. Soon some Occupiers started chanting “F**k the POLICE,” one young white male wearing skinny jeans and a Justin Bieber haircut started yelling “THIS IS WAR, WE WANT WAR!” To which a hoodie-clad young black adult said “Hey, uh we don’t really want war, why don’t you tone that down. I’m about to graduate college in a few months.” The white male kind of laughed and kept moving forward yelling something else.
At various points in the march, as organizers tried to make statements, they were drowned out by Occupiers chanting whatever they saw fit at the time. It didn’t matter if there was a full-on people’s mic happening, they would attempt to push things their way. I asked Daniel Maree, one of the organizers of the #millionhoodies march what he thought of the co-option by Occupy and their actions.”Honestly,” Maree replied “I feel like this is what happens when these emotions build up and they go unchecked and you know, injustice continues, you get it boiling over like this. I’m just happy nobody got hurt.” And while Occupy did help swell the ranks of marchers, I found their actions unacceptable.
This isn’t simply about emotions. This is a consistent streak within certain sections of Occupy. Their goal isn’t a specific action within our current system. Often they want to make a point, show that they’re movement is doing things. In DC, their goal was to get arrested. In NYC, they seemed less concerned with marching for Trayvon and more concerned with occupying as much space as possible with whatever issue that would gather folks to their cause. Occupying.
When Occupy Wall Street first got the national spotlight they were so worried about the co-option of their message, yet they have no problem co-opting others. A couple of Occupiers recognized me and asked if I noticed some of the nonsense that was happening. I said yes and one of them explained that after this march and two months of working with Occupy, she and her friends no longer wanted to be associated with them.
I guess if you can’t get people to come to your party the next best thing is to crash theirs and try to take it over. Of course they may not appreciate you crapping on their rugs.
At 5:30 p.m. on January 16, Ben Zucker was in full planning mode. Zucker is a key organizer within Occupy DC in McPherson Square Park, which at that time was the movement’s largest and longest-running encampment, and Occupy Congress was his baby. Organizers had put out the call for thousands of supporters to come greet their elected officials and raise the public’s awareness of corporate influence in government. And after two and a half months of bad press and in-plain-sight hibernation, this was a chance for a fractured Occupy Wall Street to win back mainstream America.
“We are protesting the influence of the ‘one percent’ on our society and no better way to do it than take it right to the doorsteps of power,” Zucker said, wide-eyed and beaming. It had to be organic, symbolic, and structured, he thought, since it was disorganization, a muddled message, and clashes with police that had damaged the movement’s reputation and stunted its growth. His dark sweater and black jacket seemed too large for his frame, but along with his overgrown auburn beard, they helped protect him from the biting cold. The next day promised to be warmer.
At 23, Zucker has the organizing gene. He’s a fresh graduate of Tulane University, where he studied public health to get a foot in the door of social justice work, and his family lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, just inside the Beltway. He once spent a semester running a health program in Senegal, and upon his return, he got involved with a protest by dining services workers. Zucker, who was hooked after first swinging by McPherson in early October, represents the liberal side of the movement. He wants universal health care and federal takeovers of big banks, and he thinks Occupy Wall Street is a good way to make it all happen.
That’s a sharp contrast with Murphy, a Long Beach native who earned his high school diploma in 2004 but never graduated. At 17, he was sentenced to more than two years in the California Youth Authority for stabbing three people at a coffee shop after his friend was punched.
Murphy was released in February 2006, then enrolled at a local college and found work with United Parcel Service. Two years later, after transferring to another university, he landed an internship through the Panetta Institute for Public Policy in Representative Stark’s congressional office. It was a thankless position that allowed him to walk constituents through marble hallways during the day and then liven up with hotel parties at night.
After the internship, Murphy went back to UPS in California and stayed there until early 2011, when he set off for some travel. He first heard about Occupy Wall Street last fall when he was with his then-longtime girlfriend on Utila, the third-largest Bay Island off the coast of Honduras. He initially thought it was another leftist demonstration that wouldn’t go anywhere, but grew excited when he saw it lasting for months.
Two guys in their early twenties. Two rebels without a clue. Maybe we need a new rule that says don’t trust anyone under thirty.
Here’s the best part:
Zucker is planning smaller efforts around Washington, too, and acknowledged that regaining the momentum Occupy Wall Street had in October will be crucial to its future. “It’ll be hard to bring that sort of spontaneous, grassroots energy back to the movement,” he said. “It’s going to take energy and organizing and intention.”
Murphy has a different plan. In April, he’s heading out to Oakland; protesters there know how to have a good time and aren’t afraid of a little confrontation. But despite his frustrations, he thinks Occupy Wall Street is perfect right now — not too organized, not too destructive. “It’s above ground, it’s legal, it’s nonviolent. It’s the ideal front organization for a revolutionary movement,” he said. “You can filter in money to this place, you can get volunteers, you can start vetting people to make sure they’re not cops, all in a very above-ground manner.”
He won’t go into details, but he’s brainstorming. Something along the lines of a group, conceivably within Occupy Wall Street, organizing itself for actual regime change and using the demonstrations as a disguise. But should the movement sputter out, Murphy said he’d reluctantly find a college in New York and finish the last few credits of his political science degree, then get a job. He would again become part of the system that he intends to destroy. He would have no choice.
Murphy could go all-in and declare war on the United States. Then after robbing a few banks and setting off a few bombs he could go back to prison calling himself a freedom fighter and telling people he was a political prisoner.
All those “Free Mumia” people would have another martyr to adore. Maybe Bill Ayers would write a book about him. Matt Damon could play him in the movie.
Maybe he could even get his face on a line of T-shirts.
I kid thee not. Via Corrente, they’re back:
On Friday, March 16, 2012, at 2PM, Occupy Wall Street will converge in the streets once again and launch the first in a series of spring training marches from Liberty Square to Wall Street in preparation for May Day, a day of massive economic non-compliance and strike. These marches will occur weekly and will allow occupiers to practice various street tactics and theatrics. For the first march, participants are encouraged to wear athletic gear, don their game face, and prepare to make the 1% feel the burn!
Organizers say besides growing comfortable employing various tactics with each other in actions, the intention of these marches are to strengthen the community to make upcoming campaigns and efforts, like reoccupation, as successful as possible.
After organizing, training, learning, growing, and working together for the winter months, Occupy is returning back to the basics as done in September: accessible direct actions to strengthen our community and voice our grievances to the 1%. Crimes by Wall Street brought us here and the 99% will continue to drive the message home and make civil unrest tangible.
This time they have a plan:
1. Occupy public spaces
Declaration of War on the United States Government.
To the Citizens of the United States and the United States Government.
We are Anonymous.
In the past few months, our collective has been organizing the operation known as Operation Blackout. Part of the operation’s purpose was to alert the people of the coming bill that was to be called the Stop Online Piracy Act.
This Act would give Congress the power to censor any internet website they wish without consent from the Citizens of the United States. This act would’ve also had the power to jail any person who infringed on its new copyright law for an equivalence of five years. This copyright law would’ve had the power to destroy social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. Video gameplay and free movies would cease to exist.
However, Operation Blackout was a success. As a collective, we’ve managed to spread the word and alert the masses. Internet giants such as Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit became hand-in-hand with us as we all managed to make an impact on the decisions of our, “free government”. But as we’ve seen with Megaupload, the government may not need a bill to be passed to get their way. Other operations we’ve conducted over this time period have awaken the people to the nightmare that is the United States Government. Sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act have been ratified. Yet we face new threats.
The United States Government is seeking to pass the Cyber Security Act of 2012. This act is as Orwellian as it sounds; it will endanger our collective and we will not stand by and watch while this government of lies prepares to take away our freedoms. The National Security Agency insists on labeling us as a leaderless, terrorist organization. The question is, “who do we terrorize?”. Can it possibly be that the United States government is truly scared of us? Nevertheless, The time for action is now.
Our collective has realized, along with many United States citizens, that the current government is no longer functional. Our economy is unstable, our representatives uncooperative, and our system, destroyed.
We are not calling upon the collective to deface or use a distributed denial of service attack on a United States government agency website or affiliate. We are not calling upon the people to occupy a city or protest in front of a local building. This has not brought on us any legislative change or alternate law. It has only brought us bloodshed and false criticism. For the last 12 years, voting was useless. Corporations and lobbyists are the true leaders of this country and are the ones with the power to control our lives. To rebuild our government, we must first destroy it.
Our time for democracy is here.
Our time for real change is here.
This is America’s time, to have its own revolution.
Therefore, Anonymous has decided to openly declare war on the United States government. This is a call to arms. We call upon the Citizens of the United States to stand beside us in overthrowing this corrupted body and call upon a new era. Our allegiance is to the American people, because they are us, and we are them.
Operation V, engaged.
We are Anonymous.
We are Americans.
We never Forgive.
We never Forget.
To the United States government, it’s too late to expect us.
These are the fucksticks who started OWS.
It was after 10 pm on Tuesday, January 10, in the stale, bright basement of the Arlington Street Church, where now-nomadic Occupy Boston was holding a meeting. At issue was something that would seem straightforward: a proposal to prevent level-three sex offenders from being a part of Occupy. But suddenly, it felt as if the entire movement could be splintering. Two nights earlier, the sex-offender proposal was blocked. And now, as the Occupiers attempted to deal with the aftermath, the room filled with a tense whirlwind of emotional outcries about feeling triggered and targeted by misogyny, sexism, and homophobia.
Within the first half-hour of the assembly, it was clear that a typical GA wouldn’t work for the night’s anxiousness. So instead, it became more of a Quaker-style community speak-out, with rows of about 75 chairs reorganized into a circle. The facilitator told the group to “let a spirit guide them,” and to speak as they felt inclined, without being called on. Someone handed out stress-relieving clay; the room even took a moment for “spiritual grounding” as someone from the Faith and Spirituality working group sounded a Tibetan singing bowl. It all worked surprisingly well for the first three hours.
But eventually, it broke — people started lashing out, yelling, antagonizing, walking out of the room. A new hand gesture was soon established for the night’s GA — a fist covered by an open hand, to signal oppressive language or verbal abuse — but it wasn’t working. Overall, the night confirmed that, as one Occupier put it, “Shit’s boiling over right now.”
The fight over whether to ban level-three sex offenders has become an even larger issue — highlighting the weaknesses of the open, consensus-based process that Occupy GAs rely on. And according to representatives from other Occupy cities, the issue isn’t unique to Boston.
“As it went on, it became really painfully obvious how broken things are and how far we have to go to repair them,” Women’s Caucus member Ariadne Ross said the next morning. “By the end of the night I was feeling worse than when we started.”
The conversation surrounding sex offenders began percolating after December 20, when the GA passed a “Mutual Aid Working Group Proposal” allotting cash to help homeless persons who’d been displaced by the dismantling of Occupy’s Dewey Square camp — a pool that at least one registered sex offender attempted to access.
So on December 27, an Occupier named Sarah Barney brought a proposal to the GA to ban sex offenders. Her proposal generally states that if a member of Occupy Boston is found to be a level-three sex offender (a person convicted of a sexual crime whom the court deems to be at especially high risk for reoffending), the Safety working group would ask them to leave for one week, during which time the GA would vote on whether the accused should be asked to leave Occupy Boston permanently.
For Barney, a mother who often brought her five-year-old son to Occupy Boston, the issue was larger than the mutual-aid proposal.
“It stemmed from one specific incident, finding out that someone who lived at Dewey Square had gone to jail for nine years for two counts of sexual assault and rape of children under the age of 16,” said Barney.
When Occupy Wall Street began they intentionally adopted a strategy of “occupying” public spaces in defiance of the law. They didn’t want permission, they wanted to engineer confrontations with the police in order to get publicity and sympathy. That strategy worked fairly well for the first month or so.
It was easy to foresee the flaw in that plan – the encampments would be magnets for the professional homeless and other dregs of society. Free food, shelter and a group of people who refused to cooperate with the police is a criminal’s dream.
At first the Occupiers didn’t mind these newcomers. It swelled their numbers and provided a core group willing to physically live in the encampments through the oncoming winters. But some of these newcomers were predators. The rebels without a clue found themselves dealing with people their sheltered lives had not prepared them for.
The Occupiers had painted themselves into a corner. They couldn’t deal with the sexual assault problem themselves and they couldn’t call the cops. They were terrified the publicity would harm the movement but they couldn’t cover it up. They tried to cover it up and that ended up making things worse.
They sowed the seeds of their own destruction.
Occupy 90210 protesters will gather more than a mile from the home of a daytime drama TV show producer’s mansion Wednesday night when President Barack Obama visits the home for a $35,800-per-ticket fundraising dinner.
The group will gather at Will Rogers Memorial Park — which is indeed in the Beverly Hills 90210 ZIP code — to protest what they call the “corrupting role that Big Money plays in politics.”
“While Obama dines at a $35,800 a plate fundraiser in the home of a 1% TV producer, we will be one and a half miles away occupying Will Rogers Memorial Park,” according to the Occupy 90210 Facebook page.
Obama’s fundraising campaign in the run-up to the 2012 election in November is expected to shatter records. The fundraising effort in LA will benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee for Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
“The buzz is that Barack Obama will have the first billion dollar campaign expenditure,” said NBC4 political analyst, Sherry Bebitch-Jeffe.
The Occupy 90210 event also serves as a fundraiser to support Hunger Action LA’s Veggie Voucher Program.
90210 is Spoony’s backyard. No word yet on which event he’ll be attending.
We are excited to announce that plans for OCCUPY AIPAC are under way and we hope you will join us March 2-6 in Washington DC.
With the Occupy movement that has swept the country demanding social and economic justice, many have concluded that AIPAC—the powerful pro-Israeli government lobby that distorts U.S. policy in the Middle East— is a mandatory “occupy target”. Adbusters, the magazine that issued the initial visionary call for the takeover of Wall St. on September 17th, has declared: “The time has come for the Occupy Movement to demand an end to the Occupation of Palestine… We need a hashtag, #occupyAIPAC” (Kalle Lasn).
Yeah, this will settle all those unfounded rumors about antisemitism and the Occupy movement.