Occupy Movement: We’re Here To Stay In 2012


mentalfloss
#1



Occupy Movement: We’re Here To Stay In 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS Washington) – The Occupy movement has taken a backseat in the national spotlight after a controversial rise to prominence last year as protesters clashed with police and stayed in public parks across the nation for months.

But while it might be all quiet on the Occupy front for now, that doesn’t mean the group won’t make its voice heard once again in 2012.

“In 2012, we’re going to transition into having more events that are actually designed to show people how to occupy and organize within their communities, to improve situations on a day-to-day basis,” Mark Bray, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team, told CBS Washington.

The movement began on Sept. 17 of last year, with roots in New York City’s Financial District. The location was chosen for maximum impact, to get the attention of Wall Street by occupying nearby Zuccotti Park. From there, the movement spread, and occupations sprang up throughout the United States, as well as internationally.

“For the first three months, our actions were designed to raise awareness of economic injustice and inequality … poverty and so forth. In my opinion, we saw a good amount of success,” Bray said, adding that this foundation allows the movement to morph and change into something that is simultaneously more motivational and less sensational. “In the long run, we want the movement to have less to do with what’s going on in lower Manhattan, to be less about the big, catchy things.”

One of the more headline-grabbing elements of the Occupy movement was the gradual increase in tension between protesters and local law enforcement agencies, with protesters decrying brutality while police officers defended their actions.

An especially notable and visually recognizable example occurred Nov. 18 during an Occupy protest at the University of California, Davis when an officer was photographed and videotaped using pepper spray on a line of seated protesters.

The incident became something of a defining moment for the movement as documentation of it quickly went viral, aiding in giving Occupy new life despite widespread encampment evictions and arrests.

Occupy Wall Street hopes to cultivate branch initiatives, such as Occupy Our Homes and Occupy Student Debt, as well as to create new niche activist groups that focus on economic issues such as labor union organization.

“We want to make Occupy something where people don’t feel passive, to get engaged and to work with (government),” Bray said, alluding to more visual, public demonstrations in the future and adding that he hopes these models will promote proactive citizenry and hyper-localized applications.

The Occupy movement is also looking to makes its voice heard leading up to the 2012 election.

Occupy D.C. is starting the election year by organizing a D.C.-based movement called Occupy Congress. The group says it wants to teach Congress “a lesson in what democracy looks like” when members return from recess.

“Though our grievances are many, the common theme that runs through them will be amplified on the steps of Capitol Hill: corporations, special interests and money from the autocratic elite has created a government that is unwilling to govern for the people,” a release (external - login to view) on the movement’s website states. “Activists who cannot join us will occupy Congress’ phone lines and email inboxes [sic], making sure their representatives hear their voices.”

Bray concurred with the movement’s frustration with government, but was also quick to stress the non-partisan nature of their frustration.

“We see ourselves as a social movement, not a political party or advocacy group,” he said, adding that people who participate in Occupy bring to the table a wide range of political views and backgrounds. “People can vote, or not vote, for whomever they want. We’re not trying to tell people what to do about that. We’re trying to organize people around the issues.”

Though the movement is staying neutral, prominent figures in the election have publicly offered their opinions.

President Barack Obama lent a safe measure of support to the Occupy movement in its early days.

Meanwhile, prominent figures in the GOP presidential primary race have also weighed in on the Occupy movement, their reactions ranging from politically correct disapproval to flagrant castigation.

Perhaps most memorable was the response from GOP presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who was quoted as saying that protesters should “go get a job right after (they) take a bath” during the Thanksgiving Family Forum, a GOP candidate roundtable held late last year.

Bray also noted the economic implications of elections themselves, stating that it’s “the nature of the game” to play ball with large corporations and fiscally powerful entities to add clout and power to election campaigns.

“If you really look at the history of American social movement, when an outside group leverages a politician, that’s when you get change,” Bray stated. “Government wasn’t falling over itself to enact civil rights legislation in the 1960s.”

Occupy Movement: We’re Here To Stay In 2012 « CBS Washington (external - login to view)
Last edited by mentalfloss; Jan 13th, 2012 at 08:50 AM..
 
JLM
+3
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post




Occupy Movement: We’re Here To Stay In 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS Washington) – The Occupy movement has taken a backseat in the national spotlight after a controversial rise to prominence last year as protesters clashed with police and stayed in public parks across the nation for months.
But while it might be all quiet on the Occupy front for now, that doesn’t mean the group won’t make its voice heard once again in 2012.

Whoever is leading that movement should be embarrassed! There is no credibility to start with. Whoever can live for months on end without a job hasn't got much to whine about. If they are indeed poor, then the fat cats aren't bothering them anyway. If you really want to fight them burn your credit cards and don't buy their products. To try something that doesn't work a second time is a sure sign of an idiot.
 
DaSleeper
+5
#3  Top Rated Post
They will become seasonal........mosquitoes and black flies.......and about as usefull...
 
wulfie68
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Whoever is leading that movement should be embarrassed! There is no credibility to start with. Whoever can live for months on end without a job hasn't got much to whine about. If they are indeed poor, then the fat cats aren't bothering them anyway. If you really want to fight them burn your credit cards and don't buy their products. To try something that doesn't work a second time is a sure sign of an idiot.

The problem with the Occupy movements is that there is no real leadership and no unified message, but rather a laundry list of issues that the protestors feel need attention. I'm not saying that there is no validity in what many of the protestors are angry about, because there is: there HAS been repeated abuse of our economies and laws by some corporate entities and in some cases it has been systemic but least the Tea Party identified a main issue and attempted to action on it (even though they missed the boat on a lot of the causes and people responsible, and still do). The Occupiers need focus but I don't see that happening because their anger is diverse and they all want their pet issues to be a priority.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+4
#5
I rate the Occupy movement right along with Octo-mom and Charlie Sheen. Interesting to watch for a while, but simply a distraction from watching streaming porn, eating Cheetos, and masturbating. Enough said. Time wash up.
 
captain morgan
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

I rate the Occupy movement right along with Octo-mom and Charlie Sheen. Interesting to watch for a while, but simply a distraction from watching streaming porn, eating Cheetos, and masturbating. Enough said. Time wash up.


Patient: Doctor! Doctor!... My dick's turned orange!

Doctor: Son, have you been eating cheezies and watching porn again?
 
PoliticalNick
#7
Why the big downer on the occupy movement? Doesn't everybody want a government that is more accountable to the general population than the banks and big corporations? Don't you want a police force that serves and protects you instead of corporate interests?
 
ironsides
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

Why the big downer on the occupy movement? Doesn't everybody want a government that is more accountable to the general population than the banks and big corporations? Don't you want a police force that serves and protects you instead of corporate interests?

Winter arrived and they became boring.
 
L Gilbert
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

Why the big downer on the occupy movement? Doesn't everybody want a government that is more accountable to the general population than the banks and big corporations? Don't you want a police force that serves and protects you instead of corporate interests?

Sure. But I'm waiting for a coup, not just a sitin.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+2
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

Why the big downer on the occupy movement? Doesn't everybody want a government that is more accountable to the general population than the banks and big corporations? Don't you want a police force that serves and protects you instead of corporate interests?

A video is worth 1000 rebuttals.

Guy cries over library being torn down during Occupy Toronto HILARIOUS - YouTube




Actually this guy is hilarious.

httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvXoYMlytgAVw

Last edited by Retired_Can_Soldier; Jan 13th, 2012 at 04:13 PM..
 
Locutus
+2
#11


It's time these douchebags realize that almost nobody gives a crap about them and their incessant whining.
 
Cannuck
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNickView Post

Why the big downer on the occupy movement? Doesn't everybody want a government that is more accountable to the general population than the banks and big corporations? Don't you want a police force that serves and protects you instead of corporate interests?

It would seem not. While I think a large portion of the Occupiers are nutty, I hope they make some headway making politicians more accountable. I'm not holding my breath mind you but I really don't understand the hardon against them. Jealousy maybe?
 
Cliffy
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by LocutusView Post



It's time these douchebags realize that almost nobody gives a crap about them and their incessant whining.

And not everybody is a neanderthal dickhead either.
 
mentalfloss
#14
Does Occupy movement continue Martin Luther King's push for social justice?

"Yes, it will be a Poor People's Campaign. … This is America's opportunity to help bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots … we now have the techniques and resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to action – spoken four days before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 – resonates powerfully in the hearts and minds of many in the 99 percent.

More than 20,000 are expected to join Sacramento's 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. march today, including 1,000 under the banner of Occupy Sacramento.

"King would say, 'Please finish what I started.' That's what we're doing," said Sean Laney, head of Occupy Sacramento's education committee.

Not since the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s have so many Americans been galvanized in the fight for economic equality.

The Occupy movement arguably has drawn even greater numbers, thanks to social media and the more than 46 million Americans living below the poverty line – the most ever in U.S. history.

Since the first Occupy Wall Street protest in New York's Zuccotti Park last September, "all of a sudden (the protests) ended up being in over 1,000 places, and upwards of 1 million people have participated," Laney said. "At least one in 10 American adults have either gone to check it out, been active online or at least had discussions about it."

There's plenty of common ground between the civil rights movement of 1954-68 and Occupy – including nonviolent civil disobedience and calls for jobs, health care and redistribution of wealth.

But observers say Occupy still has much to learn from King.

The first lesson: Identify and articulate achievable goals and rack up some wins, said Clayborne Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University.

In 1968, King called for $30 billion a year to build 500,000 affordable housing units and guarantee every American a job and/or an income "pegged to the median income of society, not the lowest levels."

That's in line with Occupy's goal "to rectify this vast widening gap between rich and poor," Carson said. Occupy could press for a steep inheritance tax, since a large portion of the wealth of the richest 1 percent has been passed on, he said.

"The gulf is getting harder and harder to bridge" because of the deterioration of public schools and the lack of access to health care, said Carson, the son of a security guard and seamstress who worked his way through UCLA in the '60s, when tuition was $99 a semester.

Carson was one of 250,000 Americans who joined King's 1963 March on Washington where specific goals and solutions were addressed. By contrast, the Occupy Oakland protests Carson attended seem like a blur to him: "It was the good opening phase of a movement, but it wasn't a movement. We will see whether it grows or peters out."

How do you go from an expression of generalized discontent to effecting change?

"Can Occupy sway elections to the point where the movement's so strong it's irrelevant who wins?" Carson asked.

It takes time for protest movements to congeal around key issues, said Sam Starks, director of Sacramento's annual King celebration. "I'd strongly advise Occupy to create a 10-point plan."

King's marches gained steam from nightly TV images of African American boys and girls being sprayed with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs. His rich voice, charisma and ability to inspire "transformed small movements into big movements," Starks said.

But one of King's most enduring lessons – paid for with his life – is that a true movement for change depends on values and ideas, not personalities, Starks said.

The actions of individuals doing what they think is right are often the most powerful change agents, Carson added. "I don't think we wait for leaders to tell us what to do. King didn't tell seamstress Rosa Parks what to do when she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white person, or the students sitting at the lunch counters – they figured it out for themselves."

More than 100 people have been arrested at Occupy Sacramento events, said Laney, who also was arrested at Occupy Oakland.

Occupy has yet to focus on specific targets, other than public funding of political campaigns so that corporations and the rich can't buy elections, Laney said. "But these are a group of people who didn't know each other four months ago and we're making some measurable progress."

"Some people just like to be angry and shout about it," he said. "You can't build a long-term movement without some anger, but you also need some critical thinking. Let's start identifying solutions that are pragmatic, that we can do now."


Does Occupy movement continue Martin Luther King's push for social justice? - KansasCity.com (external - login to view)
 
mentalfloss
#15
Costa Concordia: a floating RBS with a sudden liquidity problem
The comparisons between failed banks and sinking boats are striking

Do you know what the overnight graphics and pictures of the Costa Concordia's top-heavy hull (external - login to view) reminded me of? One of those fancy credit default swaps (CDS) (external - login to view) that helped to wreck much of the western banking system.

Dangerously over-engineered to make someone more money, it was self-evidently risky – as marine engineers have been warning, unheeded – and likely to fall over as soon as it hits the unexpected. For Bear Sterns or Royal Bank of Scotland (external - login to view), we can now read Costa Concordia (external - login to view).

I mention the comparison because the Sunday papers were quick to deploy another one, the over-worked Titantic analogy (external - login to view) whose deckchairs are used to describe everything from a lost football match to a spot of political difficulty.

Much more sinister in our present uncertain times, the Titanic is used to invoke the overweening arrogance of imperial Europe – classical Greek hubris – which foreshadowed the outbreak of the first world war two years later. It was the European civil war that ruined a civilisation. Are we about to ruin what's left of it by fumbling the eurozone crisis?

In this context Michael Gove's plea for a new Diamond Jubilee royal yacht – "a gift from the nation" to the Queen, according to Patrick Wintour's entertaining account of the education secretary's leaked letter – is an enjoyably frivolous sideshow in what we are being told is already a renewed recession (external - login to view).

He's a nice chap, Gove, but as some of the ministerial colleagues admit, occasionally a bit mad, as journalists-turned-politicians often are. Cabinet meetings must be dull when he's away.

It turns out that Gove has the Daily Mail on his side which, in coalition terms, is a bit like the US Sixth Fleet (external - login to view) sailing to the rescue. The Mail's resourceful royal biographer, Robert Hardman, was on the airwaves on Monday morning saying that all sorts of rich types – here and around the Commonwealth – are prepared to write off some of their tax bill by chipping in.

Build it in a UK yard – on the Clyde perhaps, to annoy Alex Salmond – and present it as a bit of Keynsian pump-priming, who knows it may gain traction as part of what the first minister calls Plan McB.

At least we can be confident that the doughty monarch will live long enough to see it completed, however long the construction over-run, though I sometimes have my private doubts about Charlie Windsor's blood pressure. Do the medics check it regularly?

I digress. In nautical terms, the comparison between the two stricken liners is absurd, of course. The Titanic struck the famous iceberg on 15 April 1912, 375 miles south-east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, at night, while the Costa Concordia hit rocks not 300 yards off the Italian shore in the Med (external - login to view). Six have died in the Costa Concordia accident. In 1912, 1,517 lost their lives.

Then Titanic sunk without most of the sophisticated navigating equipment that is now routine, even in yachts, let alone in 951ft gin palaces like the Costa cruise fleet.

GPS satellite technology allowed Costa Concordia's hapless Italian captain, Francesco Schettino, to know exactly where he was, to within a few feet. Except that, as with the sat-navs in our cars, it does not protect any of us from computer error (my new sat-nav is always telling me to go the wrong way), technical failure (the rumoured electrical failure seems unlikely) and the magnificent capacity of over-confident human beings to screw up.

We will find out in due course. My money is on human error. One allegation is that Schettino was allegedly seen in the bar with a glamorous companion before the ship struck the submerged rocks – rocks which weren't on his maps and (says the captain (external - login to view)) could be the product of underwater volcanic activity.

But the Costa seems to have been too close to the shore – its rocks and shallow water – possibly to show off to friends on the cliffs, according to one daft theory.

My late father was a Cornish master mariner who captained cargo vessels across the seven seas for 25 years and liked nothing better in his old age than enjoying a good shipwreck caused by what he always said was poor seamanship, preferably by foreign skippers.

It was a small family tragedy that he died the very day the Torrey Canyon (external - login to view) finally broke its back – 25 March 1967 – on the rocks off the Scillies. But he had enjoyed the drama while he – and it – lasted. The ship's captain was an Italian then too, a bonus point for Dad.

Of course, a captain is not supposed to be on the bridge of his ship all the time. But as my old Dad never tired of saying, he is "Master under God'' and therefore responsible for its safety – that is true in the Royal Navy even when a captain has his admiral on board.

So Schettino is in big trouble – even if CDS-style design faults are now revealed – especially if he was, as seems to be the case, not the last man to leave the ship.

Captain Smith went down with the Titanic after what was a steering error on the bridge – covered up for 90 years for commercial reasons, according to Louise Patten (external - login to view)'s recent research.

(external - login to view)As Gwyn Topham and Andrew Linington's report (external - login to view) suggests, alarm bells have been ringing about cruise ship design for years: you must have seen how weird they now look – skyscrapers of the seas, the Costa Concordia (external - login to view) weighing 114,500 tonnes – roughly the same size and length of a Nimitz class US aircraft carrier (external - login to view), the largest warships in history. Obviously the Costa fleet has less firepower except in the drinks department: US warships are dry.

On the Today programme this morning, the man from Nautilus International, the maritime professionals union, said some cruise ship designers have been extrapolating the rules of construction for years, packing on more cabins, especially cabins with outside portholes – to please the paying customers.

The Costa Concordia is 177ft tall, eight feet more than Nelson's Column (external - login to view) but had a below-water level draught of just 26ft.

It could survive in Caribbean storms, arctic winter storms and the Bay of Biscay, protested a spokesman for the cruise industry, and was safe in deep water channels. Ah yes, but that's not where she was at 9.45pm on Friday.

Not all such ships are built like this. "The Queen Mary 2 (external - login to view) is a very different ship, not a hotel turned on its side. It's a ship in every sense of the word," said the Nautilus man with a hint of pride.

Yet even the QM2 lost power off Barcelona in September 2010. As with all ultra-sophisticated systems that do the work for us much of the time, we seem to be helplessly inexperienced when things go wrong.

Perhaps it was ever thus. My brother, a Cornish marine engineer, reminds me that when the Amoco Cadiz ran aground (oh dear, another Italian master) off Brittany in 1978 – the largest oil spillage to date at the time – the board of inquiry could not establish what course was being steered between 7.26am and the steerage breakdown at 9.46am.

She did not run aground under power, but none of the officers seemed to know where she was when the crisis began – though the pre-GPS positioning system was pretty good.

"Familiarity breeds contempt," my brother tells me: they knew the coast and THOUGHT they knew what they were doing. So it is likely to prove this time: people not paying proper attention.

That takes us effortlessly back to credit derivative swaps and the banking community's over-confidence that it knew where it was and what it was doing.

Michael Lewis's book The Big Short is an astonishing glimpse into that greedy and arrogant world that takes your breath away. The financial edifice constructed since deregulation – hey, who needs lifeboats now we're so smart? – simply wasn't fit to cope with unforeseen rocks.

You might say that the banks and the boat each suffered from an acute liquidity crisis: suddenly there wasn't enough cash or water to keep them upright.

In Europe and the US, the economic ship has been taking on water since reckless seamanship drove it on to the rocks/iceberg in the crisis of 2007-8. The banking captains were mostly fired, some jailed in the US – not in Europe – and the salvage teams are making a poor job of floating us all off.

Crew and passengers have been hysterical, angry or stoical, according to circumstance and national character. If the ship sinks who will be saved?

I will end on an ambiguous backward-looking note. Three days after the Titanic disaster, Winston Churchill, by then First Lord of the Admiralty, wrote to his wife, Clemmie, about how the sinking reflected well on the "great traditions of the sea towards women and children that reflects nothing but honour on our civilisation ...." This was Downton Abbey civilisation remember, the series starts with the news.

He pours passing scorn on Sir Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line (and the man blamed for not wanting to slow the ship down in pursuit of a record Atlantic crossing) who got into a boat when "he should have gone down with the ship and crew".

He wonders if the suffragettes who made his life a misery as home secretary will be less "bitter in their sex antagonism and think men so base and vile" – another topical line there! – because so many women and children were saved.

Two days later he is back on the theme: "It fascinates me. It shows that in spite of all the inequalities and artificialities of our modern life, at the bottom, tested to its foundations, our civilisation is humane, Christian and absolutely democratic. How differently Imperial Rome or Ancient Greece would have settled the problem

"The swells and potentates would have gone off with their concubines & pet slaves & soldier guards, & then the sailors would have had their chance, headed by the captain.

"As for the rest whoever could bribe the crew the most would have had the preference – and the rest could go to hell. But such ethics can neither build Titanics with science nor lose them with honour."

Forgive the lengthy quotations from an age of social conflict, plutocracy and gross inequality – far worse than our own – which stood, unknowing, on the brink of disaster. But there's plenty there to ponder. Romantic twaddle or just romantic?

Costa Concordia: a floating RBS with a sudden liquidity problem | Michael White | World news | guardian.co.uk (external - login to view)
 

Similar Threads

no new posts