Category: Occupy Wall Street


Dedicated to the 99%

This is more than prohibiting flights by the nights
It is about awareness
It is about guarding our human rights

We have come together
We are grand
We are taking a stand
Maybe you don’t understand

The world lost
Princess Diana
Malcolm X
Dr. King
Gandhi
JFK
RFK
Back in the day
They represented
Collective voices

Today a movement has taken shape
Something astounding has taken place
Those superficial differences are being erased
Prejudice is unattended
The 99% have arisen

Collectively, we have become our own voice
And in togetherness
We know that we have a choice
To change course
In a tour de force
The world around has reinforced

And I have never felt so alive
Felt life so surreal
Felt so sublime
This feeling no longer an internal rhyme
Empathetic togetherness
A mountain of injustice we must climb

From racial profiling to corporate greed
Gapping and unjust income inequality
To lack of opportunity
All the way to banking and Wall Street crime
To the mountain top of democracy
We will climb
We will strive and thrive
Compassion
We will imbibe

Our Forefathers wisdom and constitutional design
Is still pulsating in our hearts and minds
This great nation shall surpass
This fascist attack
On the working class
At long last
May that greedy shadow that was cast
Become the dead hand of an un-American past

Authored by Shellie Blevins

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La Rage (The Rage) by French female rap artist Keny Arkana, released in 2006.

Keny Arkana is part of La Rage Du Peuple (The Rage of the People), a music collective formed in 2004 in Marseille, activists in the alter-globalization

Slavoj Žižek at Occupy Wall Street. Photo by Kashish Das Shrestha

A quote from philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who spoke to the New York Occupiers at Zuccotti Park on October 9:

‘They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classic scenes from cartoons. The cat reaches a precipice. But it goes on walking. Ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath. Only when it looks down and notices it, it falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street – Hey, look down!’

By Maura Judkis

Lt. John Pike, the U.C. Davis campus police officer who pepper-sprayed passive student protesters, is popping up in some of the world’s most famous paintings as part of an Internet meme intended to shame him for his actions.

 

On Friday, Pike casually pepper-sprayed protesters in a video that quickly went viral. “The apparent absence of empathy from the police officer, applying a toxic chemical to humans as if they were garden pests, is shocking,” The Post’s Phil Kennicott wrote.

Over the weekend, Pike’s visage popped up in Photoshopped into other scenes of languid passivity, such as Edouard Manet’s “Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe” (The Luncheon on the Grass) pictured above.
Archibald Willard’s “The Spirit of ‘76” has a new addition.

The images are a cheeky way of fighting back against what students say was an unwarranted use of forceful policing tactics. The university has defended Pike’s actions, though he and two other police officers have been suspended pending an investigation.

View the entire article
More at the Pepper Spraying Cop Tumblr.

New York City Public University Students are assaulted by NYPD while protesting tuition hikes.

By Arundhati Roy

The text of the speech by Arundhati Roy at the People’s University in Washington Square, NYC on November 16th, 2011.

Tuesday morning, the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We’re not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for justice. Justice, not just for the people of the US, but for everybody.

What you have achieved since September 17th, when the Occupy movement began in the United States, is to introduce a new imagination, a new political language into the heart of empire. You have reintroduced the right to dream into a system that tried to turn everybody into zombies, mesmerized into equating mindless consumerism with happiness and fulfillment.

As a writer, let me tell you, this is an immense achievement. And I cannot thank you enough.

We were talking about justice. Today, as we speak, the army of the United States is waging a war of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. US drones are killing civilians in Pakistan and beyond. Tens of thousands of US troops and death squads are moving into Africa. If spending trillions of dollars of your money to administer occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan is not enough, a war against Iran is being talked up.

Ever since the Great Depression, the manufacture of weapons and the export of war have been key ways in which the United States has stimulated its economy. Just recently, under President Obama, the US made a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia – moderate Muslims, right? It hopes to sell thousands of bunker busters to the UAE. It has sold $5 billion-worth of military aircraft to my country, India, which has more poor people than all the poorest countries of Africa put together. All these wars, from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Vietnam, Korea, Latin America, have claimed millions of lives — all of them fought to secure the “American way of life”.

Today, we know that the “American way of life” — the model that the rest of the world is meant to aspire towards — has resulted in 400 people owning the wealth of half of the population of the United States. It has meant thousands of people being turned out of their homes and their jobs while the US government bailed out banks and corporations — American International Group (AIG) alone was given $182 billion.

The Indian government worships US economic policy. As a result of 20 years of the free market economy, today, 100 of India’s richest people own assets worth one-quarter of the country’s GDP while more than 80% of the people live on less than 50 cents a day. Two hundred and fifty thousand farmers, driven into a spiral of debt death, have committed suicide. We call this progress, and now think of ourselves as a superpower. Like you, we are well-qualified. We have nuclear bombs and obscene inequality.

The good news is that people have had enough and are not going to take it any more. The Occupy movement has joined thousands of other resistance movements all over the world in which the poorest of people are standing up and stopping the richest corporations in their tracks. Few of us dreamed that we would see you, the people of the United States on our side, trying to do this in the heart of Empire. I don’t know how to communicate the enormity of what this means.

They, the one percent, say that we don’t have demands” perhaps they don’t know, that our anger alone would be enough to destroy them. But here are some things — a few “pre-revolutionary” thoughts I had — for us to think about together:

We want to put a lid on this system that manufactures inequality. We want to put a cap on the unfettered accumulation of wealth and property by individuals as well as corporations. As “cap-ists” and “lid-ites”, we demand:

One, an end to cross-ownership in businesses. For example, weapons manufacturers cannot own TV stations; mining corporations cannot run newspapers; business houses cannot fund universities; drug companies cannot control public health funds.

Two, natural resources and essential infrastructure — water supply, electricity, health, and education — cannot be privatized.

Three, everybody must have the right to shelter, education and healthcare.

Four, the children of the rich cannot inherit their parents’ wealth.

This struggle has re-awakened our imagination. Somewhere along the way, capitalism reduced the idea of justice to mean just “human rights”, and the idea of dreaming of equality became blasphemous. We are not fighting to just tinker with reforming a system that needs to be replaced.

As a cap-ist and a lid-ite, I salute your struggle.

Salaam and Zindabad.

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives, and has worked as a film designer, actor, and screenplay writer in India. Her latest book, Walking with the Comrades, recalls her time with indigenous Maoist rebels of the Indian forests. A tenth anniversary edition of her novel, The God of Small Things (Random House), for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize, was recently released. She is also the author of numerous nonfiction titles, including An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire.

(as we gather together)

 

By (about the author)

opednews.com

For days now surrounding Veterans Day, we have endured demonstrably false propaganda that the fallen soldiers of U.S. wars sacrificed their lives for “our freedoms.”

Yet, as that noxious nonsense still lingers in the air, militarized police have invaded OWS sites in numerous cities, including Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, and, in the boilerplate description of the witless courtesans of the corporate media, with the mission to “evict the occupiers.”

U.S soldiers died protecting what and who again? These actions should make this much clear: The U.S. military and the police exist to protect the 1 percent. At this point, the ideal of freedom will be carried by those willing to resist cops and soldiers.

There have been many who have struggled and often died for freedom — but scant few were clad in uniforms issued by governments.

Freedom rises despite cops and soldiers not because of them. And that is exactly why those who despise freedom propagate military hagiography and fetishize those wearing uniforms — so they can give the idea of liberty lip service as all the while they order it crushed.

When anyone tells you that dead soldiers died for your freedom, it is your duty to occupy reality and inform them of just how mistaken they are. And if you truly cherish the concepts of freedom and liberty, you just might be called on to face mindless arrays of fascist cops and lose your freedom, for a time, going to jail, so others might, at some point, gain their freedom.

Liberty Plaza emptied of liberty. by Mickey Z

 

I was born in Birmingham Alabama, at slightly past the mid-point of the decade of the 1950s. Many of my earliest memories involve the struggle for civil rights that was transpiring on the streets of my hometown.

My father was employed at a scrap metal yard but also worked as a freelance photojournalist who hawked his work to media photo syndicates such as Black Star which then sold his wares to the major newsmagazines of the day.

A number of the iconic photographs of the era were captured by his Nikon camera e.g., of vicious police dogs unleashed on peaceful demonstrators; of demonstrators cart-wheeled down city streets by the force of fire hoses; of Dr. King and other civil rights marchers kneeled in prayer before arrays of Police Chief Bull Connor’s thuggish ranks of racist cops.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in poster by Robbie Conal (Robbieconal.com)

In Birmingham, racist laws and racial and economic inequality were the progenitors of acts of official viciousness. The social structure in place was indefensible. Reason and common decency held no dominion in the justifications for the established order that was posited by the system’s apologists and enforcers; therefore, brutality filled the void created by the absence of their humanity.

And the same situation is extant in the growing suppression of the OWS movement in various cities, nationwide, including Liberty Park in Lower Manhattan. The 1 percent and their paid operatives — local city officials — are striving to protect an unjust, inherently dishonest status quo. Lacking a moral mandate, they are prone to the use of police state forms of repression.

Dr. King et al faced their oppressors on the streets of my hometown. Civil Rights activists knew that they had to hold their ground to retain their dignity ” that it was imperative to sit down in those Jim Crow-tyrannized streets when necessary in order to stand up against the forces of oppression.

At present, we have arrived at a similar moment. If justice is to prevail, it seems, the air of U.S. cities will hold the acrid sting of tear gas, the jails will again be filled, the brave will endure brutality — yet the corrupt system will crumble. Because the system’s protectors themselves will bring it down by revealing its empty nature, and the corrupt structure will collapse from within.

Yet, when riot police attack unarmed, peacefully resisting protesters, the mainstream media often describes the events with standard boilerplate such as “police clash with demonstrators.”

This is inaccurate (at best) reportage. It suggests that both parties are equal aggressors in the situation, and the motive of the police is to restore order and maintain the peace, as opposed to, inflicting pain and creating an aura of intimidation. This is analogous to describing a mugging as simply: two parties engaging in a financial transaction.

Although mainstream media demurred from limning the upwelling of mob violence at Penn. State as involving any criteria deeper than the mindless rage of a few football-besotted students unloosed by the dismissal of a beloved sport figure. Yet there exists an element that the Penn. State belligerents and OWS activists have in common: a sense of alienation.

Penn. State students rioted because life in the corporate state is so devoid of meaning ” that identification with a sports team gives an empty existence said meaning. ” These are young people, coming of age in a time of debt-slavery and diminished job prospects, who were born and raised in, and know of no existence other than, life as lived in U.S. nothing-villes i.e., a public realm devoid of just that — a public realm — an atomizing center-bereft culture of strip malls, office parks, fast food eateries and the electronic ghosts wafting the air of social media.

Contrived sport spectacles provisionally give an empty life meaning. ” Take that away, and a mindless rampage might ensue. ” Anything but face the emptiness and acknowledge one’s complicity therein, and then direct one’s fury at the creators of the stultified conditions of this culture.

It is a given, the cameras of corporate media swivel towards reckless actions not mindful commitment ” are attuned to verbal contretemps not thoughtful conviction — and then move on. And we will click our TV remotes and scan the Internet ” restless, hollowed out ” eating empty memes ” skimming the surface of the electronic sheen. “

These are the areas we are induced to direct our attention — as the oceans of the earth are dying ” these massive life-sustaining bodies of water have less than 50 years before they will be dead. This fact alone should knock us to our knees in lamentation ” should sent us reeling into the streets in displays of public grief. “

Liberty Park in October by Gerard Cruz

Accordingly, we should not only occupy — but inhabit our rage. No more tittering at celebrity/political class contretemps — it is time for focused fury. The machinery of the corporate/police state must be dismantled.

If the corporate boardrooms have to be emptied — for the oceans to be replenished with abundant life — then so be it. If one must go to jail for committing acts of civil disobedience to free one’s heart — then it must be done.

Yet why does the act of challenging the degraded status quo provoke such a high degree of misapprehension, anxiety and outright hostility from many, both in positions of authority and among so many of the exploited and dispossessed of the corporate/consumer state.

For example, why did the fatal shooting incident in Oakland, California, on Nov. 1, that occurred near the Occupy Oakland Encampment — but, apparently, was wholly unrelated to OWS activity cause a firestorm of reckless speculation and false associations.

Because any exercise in freedom makes people in our habitually authoritarian nation damn uneasy ” a sense of uncertainty brings on dread — the feeling that something terrible is to come from challenging a prevailing order, even as degraded as it is.

Tyrants always promise safety; their apologists warn of chaos if and when the soul-numbing order is challenged.

Granted, it is a given that there exists a sense of certainty in a prison routine: high walls and guards and gun mounts ensure continuity; an uncertainty-banishing schedule is enforced. Moreover, solitary confinement offers an even more orderly situation ” uncertainty is circumscribed as freedom is banished.

The corporate/national security state, by its very nature is anti-liberty and anti-freedom. Of course, its defenders give lip service to the concept of freedom ” much in the manner a pick-pocket working a subway train is very much in favor of the virtues of public transportation.

A heavy police presence has ringed Zuccotti Park from the get-go, and whose ranks have now staged a military style raid upon it, a de facto search and destroy mission — because the ruling elite wants to suppress the very impulse of freedom.

These authoritarian bullies don’t want the concept to escape the collective prison of the mind erected and maintained by the corrupt jailers comprising the 1 percent who claim they offer us protection as, all the while, they hold our chains ” all for our own good, they insist ” for our safety and the safety of others.

Although, from studying on these prison walls, the thought occurs to me ” that what we might need is protection from all this safety.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. Visit Phil’s website: http://philrockstroh.com/ or at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499

 

It is Rare that the Media Gets it Right. Here is One Instance.

Hear Keith Olberman take Bloomberg to task on the evening after the sneak paramilitary dispersal of the Occupy Wall Street protestors from Liberty Park.  He also calls for the resignation of Bloomberg and NYC police commissioner Raymond Kelley.

Bloomberg Now, Bloomberg Tomorrow, Bloomberg Forever!

In a Special Comment, Keith contextualizes Mayor Bloomberg’s actions against Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park and how they have – unintentionally – vaulted the movement from a local nuisance to a global platform for the disenfranchised.