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LQD : OccupyWallStreet

by vbo Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 12:50:35 AM EST

I am just linking to whatever information I found on Internet...
Is it going to grow (and takes Europe and others too)? Is it going to be taken?Can this in any way unite people with left and right political views because it affects 99% of people?
What is the point? Where it could go? Who is to organize it (if it's not orchestrated already)? What are demands and where exactly they are directed? We have asked before: where is the outrage in USA? Is this it? Could it be stopped having in mind that future predicted is so grim?

We all have more questions than answers...But something is moving finally...in right direction...

http://www.news.com.au/business/breaking-news/occupy-wall-street-protests-spread-across-us/story-e6f rfkur-1226158110369

PROTESTS against Wall Street have spread across the US as demonstrators marched on Federal Reserve banks and camped out in parks from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine, in a show of anger over the wobbly economy and what they see as corporate greed.

In Manhattan, hundreds of protesters dressed as corporate zombies in white face paint lurched past the New York Stock Exchange clutching fistfuls of fake money.

In Chicago, demonstrators pounded drums in the city's financial district. Others pitched tents or waved protest signs at passing cars in Boston, St Louis and Kansas City, Missouri.
The arrests of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge at the weekend galvanised a slice of discontented America, from college students worried about their job prospects to middle-age workers who have been laid off.

Some protesters likened themselves to the Tea Party movement - but with a liberal bent - or to the Arab Spring demonstrators who brought down their rulers in the Middle East.
...Since then, hundreds have set up camp in a park nearby and have become increasingly organised, lining up medical aid and legal help and printing their own newspaper, the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
...City bus drivers sued the New York Police Department (NYPD) today for commandeering their buses and making them drive to the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to pick up detained protesters."We're down with these protesters. We support the notion that rich folk are not paying their fair share," said Transport Workers Union president John Samuelsen. "Our bus operators are not going to be pressed into service to arrest protesters anywhere."
...Websites and Facebook pages with names like Occupy Boston and Occupy Philadelphia have also sprung up to plan the demonstrations.
 

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/10/first-we-take-manhattan-.html#comments

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaXBWpN7ii8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIJAZ90Dk8o&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwmAayBn1Uk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG_TKAJyV6k&NR=1

Hahh...Are they going to be hijacked?

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/occupy-wall-street-is-a-tea-party-with-brains-2011-10-04

Actually, they have more in common with the tea party movement than the hippie dream, with one key difference. They're smart enough to recognize the nation's problems aren't simply about taxes and the deficit.

They want jobs. They want the generation in power to acknowledge them. They want political change. They want responsibility in a culture that abdicates it. They want a decent future of opportunity.

If that isn't American, then what is?

http://occupywallst.org/


Display:
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/10/first-we-take-manhattan-.html#comments

A different type of occupation is supposed to start later this week in Washington, D.C., with a specifically anti-militarism/end the wars/cut the war spending focus. I believe the intent is similar in that it is an open-ended occupation of a central plaza in downtown DC just a couple of blocks from the White House.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 12:54:30 AM EST
The "anti-war" group attempted an invasion of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum due to a display of drone aircraft.

So expect a round of bad press on the OWS movement because of a bunch of juvenile idiots.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 03:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turns out some magazine editor, acting as a self-appointed(?) agent provocateur, charged the security guards and set off the whole fracas. Jeez. It's a weird world, but I like it.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 05:33:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 01:05:40 AM EST
I finally managed to put video, ha-ha

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 01:07:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brutal crackdown? I guess it is if you're white.
by Jace on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 04:44:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://occupywallst.org/

On October 05, 2011, at 3:00 in the afternoon the residents of Liberty Square will gather to join their union brothers and sisters in solidarity and march. At 4:30 in the afternoon the 99% will march in solidarity with #occupywallstreet from Foley Square to the Financial District, where their pensions have disappeared to, where their health has disappeared to. Together we will protest this great injustice. We stand in solidarity with the honest workers of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFnVfMCydKI&feature=player_embedded



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 08:40:39 AM EST
It's becoming Occupy Everything
And now it seems that protestors in every major city in the U.S. -- and even some cities in Canada -- are joining in. In Chicago, protesters banged on drums in the financial district. In Boston, 3000 people marched through the downtown area. Protesters set up campsites in Atlanta's financial district. Crowds camped out outside Los Angeles City Hall.

And there will be even more in the coming weeks. Occupy D.C. plans to move their protest outside the White House on Thursday. Portland, Oregon's demonstration will be on October 6. Ft. Lauderdale's got one October 8. The Canadian news outlet CBC News reports that on October 15, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver will all have their own demonstrations. And the list goes on.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 08:50:36 AM EST
As its spreading police will become more brutal...But interestingly as police become more brutal more and more people will join. People don't like to be scared and humiliated.
In my opinion this is just a beginning...and this kind of sentiment will last and grow simply because there will be no change (actually there will be but for the worse).
So stay tuned for more...
Are there any protests at the moment in Europe (except Greece that seems to be permanently in protest)? What happened with Spain? Any sign in UK? France?


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 09:52:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New York Fed to Take Propagandizing to New Level With More Intense Social Media Monitoring  naked capitalism

We can all look forward to higher quality trolls in comments courtesy of the New York Fed (assuming we don't have them already) thanks to a more thorough blogosphere/social media monitoring program the Fed is planing to launch (hat tip reader Tom via TPM):

New York Fed Social Media Request for Proposal



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 11:19:59 AM EST
From Tuesday's Baxter Bulletin, Mountain Home, AR:



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 11:31:32 AM EST
if only...

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 11:45:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. I regretted not having added that below the image.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 11:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OccupyWallSt discussed on Democracy Now



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 12:11:06 PM EST
Laurie Penny writes about it on her blog

The big bronze bull is surrounded by metal fences and strategically placed members of NYPD's finest. The famous statue, the symbol of aggressive market optimism, is normally open for tourists to grope and fondle, but today, in part because of the "Occupy Wall Street" protest, it has been penned. Today, the Wall Street Bull looks amusingly like a panicked animal in a cage.

It might have been spooked by the couple of thousand activists, hippies, union members, laid-off workers and schoolkids camped out around the corner in Liberty Plaza. When I arrive at Occupy Wall Street, they've already been there for a fortnight, and have turned the square, which is normally scattered with City workers snatching lunch and chattering on their smartphones, into a little peace village, complete with a well-stocked library, free kitchen, professional childcare centre, sleeping areas, meeting spaces, and crowds of young people dancing and playing music.

The protest, which began on 17 September after a call-out by activist magazine Adbusters and the hacker collective Anonymous, has swelled from its original few hundred members after a weekend of police crackdowns. Images of New York police pepper-spraying young women in the face and arresting peaceful protesters spread around the world, which has been shocked not so much by the response of the police in a city where the term 'police brutality' was coined, but by the fact that here, in America, at the symbolic heart of global capitalism, ordinary people have turned off their televisions and come out to shout in the streets. "I never thought I'd live to see this in New York City," says my friend, a native New Yorker, as we watch a drum circle forming underneath the looming skyscrapers of Manhattan's financial district, speckled with rain.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 12:12:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bridges are the most dangerous places for protesters. Police brutality happened few times in Belgrade while students (who have their "Student's city" in New Belgrade and there for HAVE to cross the bridge to come to the CBD) were crossing Sava river. Milosevic's police even trow tear gas on them (can you believe it) while they were in the middle of the bridge and nowhere to run (and you need to run in panic from that gas).After that they waited for them on another side of the bridge and beat them and arrested them. Idiots. When we would see police in smaller groups we used to bark to them expressing our feelings for them as vicious dogs. I have seen video (I was not there at the time) from 6 October revolution when a small group of them found themselves amongst thousands of protesters, being scared to death and running for their lives ( they are people too).Regular police wouldn't do that stuff but they have "special forces" made of some real "killers". Also they wouldn't dare to send Belgrade police to these operations (they were not willing to go against their neighbours and to be recognised) but they brought some forces from other cities. Police brutality is not going to work...if anything it will bring more people on the streets.
Also they would let people "camp" but they hate marches and we used to march on all kinds of institutions (TV was always hard one to reach and it is in the centre of the city so they couldn't stop us). Once they tried to march to Milosevic's house. Boy the police was brutal and they couldn't make it...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 08:22:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the corporate overlords is that the "Tea Parties" that were provoked and then redirected are in serious danger of noticing that the Occupy Wall Street DFH's are doing what the Tea Partiers should have been doing ... since anger at the bail out was cynically used to recruit people to be the tools of the very people who benefited from the bailouts.

Which is to say that Occupy Wall Street offers the prospect of possibly unifying progressives and progressive populists while wedging radical reactionaries.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 12:53:50 AM EST
There have been quite a few diaries on Kos about this in the past few days, both informational and and organizing.

I'm a bit busy to link, but I've seen a report that the Los Angeles city council is set to pass a resolution in favor of the protests.

by Zwackus on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:20:15 AM EST
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 10:47:00 AM EST
I'm trying to embrace these guys, I really am, but somehow, even after talking to people involved including last night to my brother, I'm having a tough time.

Just what they're after? Power? I'd say they're being naive at best: I'll just sit here in this square until you give me the power that I so deserve. Saying fuck you to the older generation (i.e. their parents)? Possibly, but it seems more of a whisper than a shout. Attention? Well they're getting that. Given the focus on media and packaging, maybe they just want to star in their own movies. I don't know. Perhaps this is just one small step...

by Jace on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 07:06:41 AM EST
It is one small step. The same observations could be made about the Spanish 15M movement when it got started (don't forget that take the square originated in Madrid).

At the moment what's important is that these people are sharing a space and talking to each other. They will eventually organise themselves into assemblies and workgroups and they'll figure out what they want.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 07:13:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
knowing clearly what you don't want is a great way to find out what's left.

clears the -stacked- deck!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 09:36:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They try to keep fire...until something big happens or until things are so bad to provoke wider crowd to join.
Ah...it is war (yes class war)...not just single battle. Things will go up and down. Peaceful demonstration will not solve anything but if crowd at some point reach critical masses they (unfortunately) will not be so peaceful any more.
Do they want power? I don't think so at this stage...because they do not have any opposition political party involved. Yes some Republicans are trying to hijack protest here and there but probably not that successfully. People know them. Are they naive? Probably yes because never in history mega rich gave up on their wealth peacefully. It always took violence, revolutions, wars etc. People in power may change but for things to change takes much more then peaceful protest.
We were naive thinking that if we can just get rid of Milosevic and his ilk, things will simply fall in their place. It did not happen. All those people that made their wealth during Milosevic's years are rich today owning everything worthy in Serbia...They now "own" (pay) different political parties but if anything changed for the most of the people it changed for worse. Yes Serbs now have "freedom" (laws) like westerners, but they can do nothing with it because most of them are poor, in debts (like westerners) and with economy as weak as it is they wouldn't know where to start to help them. And they are now jobless (literally) while during Milosevic they "had" jobs...just not salaries.
When you think about all this mess seriously it's really hard to be optimistic.
Looking back now one can say that all those social benefits that westerners used to have and laws and taxes that allowed them actually came while world was bipolar and while socialism in Russia and China "flourished". Now with socialism gone and buried western politicians seems not to see any need for continuing with those rights and benefits.
Things are actually very simple and can be fixed but there is no will on political field. Why? Because nowadays politicians are either also very rich (or in position to get rich) or widely and truly corrupted.
What we need are fresh new people (parties) in politic...new ideas...but...not only that it's a slow process for new party to position itself on political field, trouble is that politicians generally are prone to corruption by corporations. And not only out of greed but very often out of fear...
Well I am not very enthusiastic about future but I still support any effort on people side to voice them. If we are to go back to slavery then at least we do not go in silence...We are not sheep.
I am sorry that we are leaving world in this sorry state to next generation but they are the only people with dream (naivety /innocence) to keep this fire and make it bigger. They are fighting for their lives (future) , so no wonder they have strength. Task is sooo big...no wonder they wouldn't know where to start...and trouble is that they can easily be manipulated...
We can only watch...this catastrophe will last...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 09:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The four habits of highly successful social movements - The Washington Post

Americans--infatuated with the next new thing, and proud to believe they are outside the constraints and burdens of history--love neophytes, gifted amateurs. We're action-oriented and suspicious of elitist expertise, and we thrill to the idea that anybody with moxie can jump in and deliver a baby or land a 737. Right now, it appears that anti-hierarchical, relatively inexperienced people are "running" the Wall Street protest. And they are doing big demonstrations really well. So far, so good. Anger can beget action. And action itself can be a battering ram that knocks down the doors of history.

But anger alone can't sustain action. And action alone can't sustain political militancy. Much like today's Wall Street movement, the French students who struck their universities during the Events of May 1968 had a charming way with utopian sloganeering: "Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!" as they said back then. But the students couldn't work out a sustained alliance with their working-class allies or move to making structural demands for change that their militancy could leverage. They were not, in fact, realistic. In the end, a massive Gaullist backlash cleaned their clocks.

Movement building is exhausting, highly skilled work. What appears to be "spontaneous" is the result of painstaking organizing and--just like Oscar Wilde never said--constant meetings. Over the decades, social movements have convened meetings of every kind and size, from the farmer's alliances of the Populist movement to the consciousness raising sessions of the second women's movement. There have been meetings to assign mundane tasks of list building and phone calling to volunteers; meetings to debate and decide changes in strategy; meetings to hold people accountable for the stuff they promised to do at the last meeting--meetings meetings meetings.

Experienced organizers teach the less experienced and expand the circle of competent leadership. Rosa Parks was an activist veteran. Key CIO staff who organized the steel industry in the late 1930s got their start by organizing the great 400,000 worker strong steel strike of 1919. Betty Friedan was no novice housewife--she worked for a militant, leftist union in the 1940s. And today academics are learning that the Tea Party is composed not only of the newly disgruntled, but also of many people who have been politically active, some of them since the Goldwater campaign.

this:

vbo:

Looking back now one can say that all those social benefits that westerners used to have and laws and taxes that allowed them actually came while world was bipolar and while socialism in Russia and China "flourished".

was a good point, i never quite saw it like that before...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 09:34:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree - reacting is the first step to acting. "Hell no, this is NOT ok!"

Social media has made it much easier to organise reaction as the outrage can be shared easily over large groups and a suggested action can be shared with more ease. Not minimising the role of organisation here, but the task of the organisers has become easier. As an aged peace activists asked me after the FRA-demonstration outside swedish parliament in 2008: "Where did all the young people come from?" My answer was "they came from the internet". Don't know if she got it, but the joy of seeing lots of people instead of the usual small bunch of aged activists was visible.

After the demonstration had filled the street outside parliament for hours (which in swedish political terms is extremely rare) the media finally realised that there was a story here, although their main question was "How come this could happen when we did not think there was a story here?"

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 04:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
jace they're there for (good) negative reasons. they want the systemic raping of the planet and our human rights stopped, details later.

suffering unites seemingly disparate sectors of society.

back to the wall? head down to wall st!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 09:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What they want is not reducible to a set of policy decisions. They are, in essence, rejecting the existing way in which social, political and economic affairs are organized and conducted, starting at the core: the presumption that everything revolves around money. It does and that is the problem.

I have been expressing similar sentiments far longer than I have been on ET. I have expressed that critique as the observation that, were we to take all of the values we in the USA profess to hold, other than return on investment, and put them in one pan of a balance and put return on investment in the other pan all the other "values" would not even move the pan with return on investment off its stop. It's not even close. All aspects of our society and lives have been reordered to the requirements of the market.

But that does not work for any but a tiny minority of our population. Neither does our political system. That is what must change. The problem is determining how best to accomplish such a change and developing a new working model of society that includes human needs as an integral part and at the core. The first step is spreading an awareness of the problems with the existing system. This is well stated with the slogan "We are the 99%!"

When >60% of the electorate develop a deep understanding of that concept and when enough of them engage with a process of developing an alternative fundamental change will be possible. Fundamental change will come because the current system is not sustainable, perhaps not even in the medium term. The real question deals with what will follow and how liveable it will be.

See some of Matt Stoller's article in naked capitalism, starting with this one.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 03:12:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the whole point, and they seem to know it.
To offer policy demands up for inclusion into a broken, sold-out policy machine is suicidal behavior, when the stakes are this high. It's how we got here in the first place.

And that number 60% is close, or has been already reached. Lots of polling on individual desires and outcomes shows that. But that will not be enough. The problem is that a decent minority of the society needs to also know two things:

-- We can do this thing!
and

-- We will stick it out till we do!

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 05:47:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They could make a couple simple demands: " Money out of politics" and "Criminals to jail."

These would resonate with a majority of the American people.

by Upstate NY on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 10:48:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But is this what they want? If so, great, but I'm not so sure. Aside from the anarchist types looking for a fight, any fight, I'm starting to see this is a sort of job fair. Look at how creative and resourceful we can be: we've set up this little community from nothing, with nothing, right in your backyard. We should get some sort of recognition (and presumably some money) for this. If I were a Wall Street venture capitalist type, I'd see this as an opportunity not a threat.
by Jace on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 07:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well in USA it may be the case that everything revolves around money /any money)...or so you people are trained to think. But of course apart from the fact that everyone needs job/money to live sometimes it is not only money as such that makes people act...Obviously people see their money ( and living) disappearing and that bothers them to do point where they try to find reasons for this. List of reasons (as we see below) is so huge so that one wouldn't know where to start with "demands". They are expressing frustration because of it. As this is going to last they are trying to keep the flame (people just would not simply stand on a street for months). I remember some protests in Serbia were also organised to kind of entertain people (with rock groups and programs) and to bring more people to the streets. They also want to make sure everyone (including government and police) understands that this protest is peaceful. That way they will bring more people in and also avoid trouble with police...so they are making it more like "happening".
Of course it is just overture. Real protest will come when anger and frustration culminate amongst most of Americans. It will take time. This is just an exercise to show people that protest is possible (and not that scary).
That is if all of this was not orchestrated from the beginning to channel frustration...one never knows...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 10:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jace:
If I were a Wall Street venture capitalist type, I'd see this as an opportunity not a threat.

lol, now you're talking...

iMaybe

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 11:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It all depends on how popular it becomes.
by Upstate NY on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 10:06:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Making individual demands carries a big risk.
 As anyone who has ever posted to a blog knows, the graveyard of good ideas is fenced with a million little threads that were pulled from imperfectly stated but good ideas.
It's the dark side of rhetoric- an otherwise perfectly useful tool.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 05:53:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

[Note: Quoted in full]

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers' healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people's lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 05:12:52 PM EST
that's an entirely sane list of criticisms.

no wonder people had to protest!

well summed up, crisp and clear

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 11:35:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 02:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure what to make of this very? positive editorial from the Times of Wall Street.   HERE


It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That's the job of the nation's leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself. It is also the first line of defense against a return to the Wall Street ways that plunged the nation into an economic crisis from which it has yet to emerge.


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 03:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two good finds.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 05:55:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how important it is to understand the complexity of the problem. My guess is that the general public doesn't read specialist journals about how the underlying systems work: It's easy to see the big buildings on Wall Street, but do they understand, for example, that the real trading is done by computers, and that sophisticated computer technology, constrained by fundamental laws of physics, has an immense impact on how things really work? When protesting the system, do they understand that "the system" is not just the 1%, but also includes a bunch of academics, technologists, real estate brokers, and ditch diggers? "Wall Street" is a lot more complicated than it looks on the surface.

Two interesting open articles about electronic trading show the problem. In the NYT today is an article about the need for regulation of high speed trading. It talks about the issue in a general way and makes some good points.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/business/clamping-down-on-rapid-trades-in-stock-market.html?_r=1&a mp;ref=business

Regulators are playing catch-up. In the United States and Europe, they have recently fined traders for using computers to gain advantage over slower investors by illegally manipulating prices, and they suspect other market abuse could be going on. Regulators are also weighing new rules for high-speed trading, with an international regulatory body to make recommendations in coming weeks.

Coincidentally, an article in IEEE Spectrum magazine this month provides some technical detail:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/it/financial-trading-at-the-speed-of-light

[Lots of editing in this summary; read the whole article to get a better picture.]

Today, virtually all stock trading is done through massive, globally interlinked computer systems. The rates of these transactions are now limited only by technology and, increasingly, by the speed of light. So a costly arms race has begun for telecommunications and network links that can give traders a competitive edge as small as a few tens of microseconds.

The impetus is a recent phenomenon called high-frequency trading. Typically, a high-frequency trading firm--or rather, its computer systems--buys and sells financial instruments while holding on to them for perhaps just fractions of a second. High-frequency traders make money by exploiting tiny and fleeting disequilibriums in the markets--say, when the price of one asset changes and the price of another that should be equivalent in value doesn't shift immediately to match.

One reason the high-frequency traders can beat others to the punch is that they often locate their computers in data centers run by the exchanges. The New York Stock Exchange, for example, moved its computer infrastructure last year to a facility it built in Mahwah, N.J., where it also leases space to trading firms. It can command premium prices for that space because close physical proximity means fast access to the exchange's raw trading data. Most other market participants don't see that data until milliseconds later, after it's been consolidated and combined with information from other exchanges

High-frequency traders also gain an edge by having the fastest telecommunications link possible between distant trading centers where the prices of what is being bought and sold are fundamentally related. The fate of some companies whose stocks are being traded in New York City, for example, hinges on the price of commodities being traded in Chicago, and vice versa. If the computerized trading platform in one of these cities has access to information about the market in the other sooner than anyone else--even just a few milliseconds sooner--it can execute profitable trades.

That's why Spread Networks, of Ridgeland, Miss., invested what probably amounts to a few hundred million dollars last year to install a new fiber-optic cable along the shortest route it could find between New York and Chicago and then began marketing the connection to high-frequency trading firms. The round-trip travel time of a signal along its new cable, 13.3 milliseconds, is 3 ms faster than competitors can offer. With electronic trades now taking less than a millisecond to execute, firms with access to this fast connection can profit handsomely.

Hibernia Atlantic appears to be thinking quite far ahead here. One of its advisers is Alexander Wissner-Gross, a research affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory who (with Cameron E. Freer, a mathematician at the University of Hawaii at Manoa ) published an article last year in Physical Review E titled "Relativistic Statistical Arbitrage." That article investigates, in a rigorously quantitative way, what happens when the kinds of trading opportunities that high-frequency traders exploit are limited only by the speed of light, or at least the speed that light travels at in optical fiber.

"The naive solution is to put preprogrammed computers on either side of a low-latency link," says Wissner-Gross. That's what's happening now, and it's led to "an arms race to reduce point-to-point latencies," he says. But his research highlights a different strategy for making money. "The next phase is setting up at nodes." He means that the most advantageous position to be in, if you're trying to wring a profit from tiny discrepancies in price between two distant trading centers, is at an intermediate point between them. For example, if prices are fluctuating rapidly in New York but shifting only slowly in London, you should set up your trading machines between the two cities--but closer to the U.S. end of the connection. (Of course, this might put them, awkwardly, at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

So the "Wall Street" image of guys madly using hand signals to buy and sell at the direction of their corporate bosses should be replaced by a picture of mathematics professors, computer engineers, and data center real estate brokers. And if you want to change how the system works, you have to figure out how to change--or at least regulate--the massive but almost invisible technical infrastructure that makes the modern trading system work. That is a BIG problem, it seems to me...

by asdf on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 04:31:13 PM EST
If we put a 0.1-1.0% tax on each financial transaction in securities markets the frequency of trading would decline significantly; or even a 1% tax on positions that are held for less than a day, or a week or a month, depending on the item held. Entering and exiting positions on microsecond or millisecond intervals could get expensive fast.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 06:15:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, the Internet spam problem could be solved the same way. Charge $0.0001 for every outgoing message from each IP address and things would change fast.
by asdf on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 08:21:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah that'd work, so why not do it? spammy lobby power?
the fraud generated by it has become such a huge part of the economy? TBTF?

fear of unemployment skying even higher?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 05:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's cheaper to design good spam filters than to change the business model of all the world's ISPs.

Besides, spam these days seems to be mostly sent by participants in MLM schemes suckers who have fallen for a Ponzi scam. In other words, the people sending the spam are not the ones making money off it. And suckers being suckers, they won't be discouraged by having to pay a little more up front. If they were, they would not be buying into the scam in the first place.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 09:57:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would also discourage botnets.
by asdf on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 03:32:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how important it is to understand the complexity of the problem.

It helps, but it's not an absolute requirement. Your common Wisconsin wheat farmer c. 1870 probably couldn't tell you precisely how the railway companies were ripping him off. But I bet he could tell that they were.

The computers and academics and stuff are products of the power relationships. Knowing about those products is important if you want to reform the system from the inside, because then you can only challenge the power relationships themselves in the most oblique fashion. But if you want to throw the bums out and start over - and have the warm bodies you need to do that - then you don't need a fine appreciation for which sort of bums you're dealing with. You just need to be able to spot a no-good grifter when you see one.

Take high-speed algo trading, for instance. You only need to understand the intricacies of algo trading if you want to design rules that allow people to continue to do algo trading while minimising the harm it does. The only reason you would want to allow people to continue to do algo trading is because you're a regulator, who (as all regulators) has to work within the Overton window. If you're disenfranchised by the current Overton window, you don't have to do that. And then all you need to know about algo trading is that it serves no useful purpose, and can therefore be relocated to Las Vegas with no loss of economic function. Preferably on a rail and covered in tar and feathers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 09:50:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They just said here on TV (sbs) that in USA every 4th child is literally hungry and parents are sacrificing and they do not eat in order to feed their children. American dream...puhh. Sesame street just introduced new puppet giving massages against hunger in USA...Africa comes to mind.
Yet politicians are still going with same old preaching: If you do not have money and if you are not rich, don't blame government, do not blame banks, blame your self...Either they are idiots or they hold you people for idiots...
Where is outrage?


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 09:44:15 AM EST
I think that's a bit of an overstatement, based on this summary:
http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm

However, it is still a big problem. Unfortunately, in order to get political power, you have to pull in votes, and too many people either don't vote their own interests (the poor) or don't vote the interests of the poor (the middle class and rich).

by asdf on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 04:22:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll just leave this here because it is both very sad and very funny. Also contains Monthy Python.
by generic on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 04:40:16 PM EST
I do not know what is wrong with Americans. They seem to me so brainwashed and masochists. Really isn't it just obvious by now how things work in this world?
Here in Australia, during Howards years (prosperity all over the world but on credit of course), people also started to believe those bastards that they can be rich too and very easily (sentiment is still here because here consequences are not so visible for everyone YET). If you had any money in your equity or you had good salaries, everyone (from your accountant to bank manager) would advise you to "make money" with it and pay less taxes that way. So you were advised to buy more and more properties or buy shares. And if you have some cash , for Christ sake do not put it in a bank and get JUST 6-7%of interest. No one (even very smart people) would not dare to question this or do some simple math...why would they? Everything sounded so great. Having experience I would always question if something is too good to be true...because it always ended bad in what I saw in my life. But people generally call cautious people as pessimists, ha-ha.
OK.  Dream is over...the other shoe is yet to drop but they still look in disbelieve assuming that they will be spared even if everything around is falling apart. Incredible.
Interestingly Americans are willing to sacrifice their own lives to an unpredictable end (or even very predictable to end bad). They do not question WHY the hell they need to work so hard and have no life just to go through collage...and with increasingly more and more collage diplomas they can either "wipe their asses" or will work for very humble salaries just to make ends. They do not ask themselves many questions that they should...
Europeans were not like that...all tho they were infected with Anglo disease for last few decades. I am worrying about militarist aspect of it...At least for Europeans this catastrophe is something to wake them up...but Americans are still dreaming...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 10:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
vbo:
If you had any money in your equity or you had good salaries, everyone (from your accountant to bank manager) would advise you to "make money" with it and pay less taxes that way. So you were advised to buy more and more properties or buy shares. And if you have some cash , for Christ sake do not put it in a bank and get JUST 6-7%of interest.

many became rich on this bubble, and now they don't want their assets' value eroded by inflation.

many also, like you, distrusted any 'quick, easy, legal' scams, even if you can see people getting rich around you and feel like you might be missing the bus to wealth being over-prudent. what goes up so unhistorically quickly, your intuition and life experience told you will crash equally rapidos.

but many, many people thought their assets were that reliably inflation-proof, and jumped deeper into debt thinking the 'holy grail of infinite growth code' had finally been cracked by those clever economists, and it was easy street from now on if you had a bit of gumption and drive to take risks. if so many others were cashing in, why shouldn't you?

now many pipers want to be paid... duct tape and string are holding the illusion together that assets have their declared value, while facing the truth of real mark-to-market reappraisal of banks' capital is pushed further and further down the road, leaving us all in limbo, and the central banks' needle stuck in the 'anything's better than inflation' groove so investments are slowing down, dragging the economy into stagnation and no/low growth and increasing unemployment, further exacerbating consumer demand destruction, downward spiral of quality of life for all but the 1%, who engineer the whole kit and caboodle because with their supercomputers they can shave the kebab every time money moves, up, down or sideways. the more markets bet on futures, the more churn and velocity they create, but it doesn't benefit anyone else! the volatility makes investors nervous, and weeds out the cautious in favour of higher and higher risk-takers, who know the inner secrets of how the tables tilt, and are always ahead of the curve.

the media oblige by spreading feelgood fuzzies when the bubble grows and the doubters are pushed to the edge and discounted as griping cassandras, lacking fire and trust we need to get out economy up and running again. such BS, like all we need to do is keep shooting bailout tax payers' money like cocaine into the poor dead horse that is the 20th century industrial model marx wrote about, that now asia is using to heave their own downtrodden masses into riches for the few and pollution hell for everyone on the planet.

while westerners twiddle their thumbs waiting for a job that flew south long ago, anger building at the grim realisation how few people really benefited from finance capitalism's hold on politics, and how much misery austerity will bring as peoples' illusions of being middle class crumble.

eastern europeans and asians have not drunk any 'leisure society' koolaide and will work rings around the average european or american worker.

if leisure is the paid privilege of only 1%, while the rest toil in squalor, then it will need an ever more repressive level of thuggery to keep the boundaries in place, and the palaces safe behind their barbed wire and guardposts, while petty crime, untaxed drug money and gang warfare increases.
in WW2 we killed 50 million people and destroyed 1700 cities.

what will we do now, as so many face destitution they are psychologically ill-prepared for, and far right loonies assemble in the wings, waiting for their moment in the dark sun?

will our children outwork the chinese and indians?

the only hope is in peaceful revolution, which is why the occupy wall st phenomenon is interesting. towering Goliath is getting its feet tickled by tiny ant Davids down on the sidewalk, i wonder which way it will go.

will europe birth such a movement too? where is europe's equivalent to wall st? dusseldorf? brussels? frankfurt, paris, milan?

occupy the city of london?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 03:29:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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