Recently a bill was introduced in the senate that would require the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes, the bill would also eliminate tax loopholes for big businesses. It’s no surprise that our senators (many of them in the top 1 percent) didn’t pass this bill. Here is a list of senators that voted against the bill and how you can contact them. Please write at least a few of these senators everyday, and hopefully we can get this bill re-introduced and passed. Remember that you have to be the change you wish to see so you can’t sit there and expect other people to write these senators it has to be YOU that does it. Here is the letter that I sent to every senator:
Hello, I am emailing you because recently a bill was introduced that would require some of the wealthiest American citizens to pay their fair share of taxes. Those funds could be used to pay down some of the federal debt, and could be used for education, or helping our homeless veterans, or any number of good causes which is why I believe you should re-consider your vote on this bill. I can not understand why anyone would oppose making some of the most fortunate Americans help some of the most unfortunate Americans, or at the very least make these Americans pay a little more than the average citizen.
Here is a list of the contact information for all senators who voted against this bill:
Over 1000, 1-percenters are meeting at Waldorf Astoria (April 23-25), for a major farmland investment event that will decide the fate of millions of Africans.
Dubbed as “the next big thing in finance” some of the largest hedge funds, private equity groups, university endowment managers, and other high rollers will meet to discuss how to continue to make money from food and water shortages. The event is organized by HighQuest Partners, a heavy hitter in the hedge fund market of big agro, bio-tech and bio-fuel companies. Entrance fee to attend is a mere $3,000. These money managers are there because they are promised to make more than 25% return on investments in areas of the world where there exists incredible food insecurity. In 2009 only, nearly 60 million hectares of arable land – an area the size of France – was purchased or leased, 70 percent of it in Africa. It’s impossible to acquire that much of land without the continued taking of land previously held by small indigenous farmers. That number has only been increasing as more and more land has been leased off to companies and governments in Africa – by corrupt dictators, that have no moral qualms about displacing millions from their ancestral lands. On their website, HighQuest partners brag about representing $3.5 trillion in aggregated institutional assets and 25 million acres under cultivation in 2011 alone. This year they are expecting to double. BTW 25 million acres is the size of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts combined together, OR 11 times the size of Yellowstone National Park. Please join in solidarity with food justice activists, Environmental ORGs, OWS groups, African students and communities in exposing these cabal of evil doers -that their “next big thing in finance” is nothing more than the next financial bubble with far more ill-consequences for humanity and the planet.
Day of Action: April 24 2012 Where: The Waldorf-Astoria 301 Park Avenue. NY, NY
With hindsight gained by googling “MoveOn” and “co-opt” after the fact, I can’t claim that nobody tried to warn me. Many websites with left and even liberal politics had said in so many words, “Be wary of this organization called The 99% Spring. It is a Trojan horse for the Democrats.” I just didn’t read that anywhere in a timely fashion. I’ve had a lot of stuff on my plate lately. That’s my excuse. And in my ignorance, I responded to some spam about “nonviolent direct action training” organized by MoveOn and got invited to this 99% Spring thing on April 10 at the Goddard Riverside Community Center in Manhattan. Somebody even called me all the way from San Francisco to make sure I was a sincere seeker on the left and would be attending, along with 120,000 others in training sessions around the country.
Which I did. The meeting was a few blocks from where I live. The spam said it was “inspired by Occupy Wall Street.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was vaguely hoping that whatever The 99% Spring was, it would start a chapter of Occupy Wall Street on the Upper West Side, conveniently near my abode, and agitate for the Democrats and MoveOn to move left.
The first clue that my evening might go otherwise was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the “inspired by Occupy Wall Street” vibe right there. No piles of literature from a zillion different groups, as there had been in Zuccotti Park. No animated arguments among Marxists, anarchists, progressives, punks, engaged Buddhists, anti-war libertarians and what have you. Just Obama buttons, which didn’t appear to be selling. [++]
(04-01) 17:57 PDT San Francisco — A group of marchers led by Occupy movement protesters has entered a vacant building at Turk and Gough streets in San Francisco, claiming the property as a “permanent occupation” and refuge for homeless people in the city.
The group entered the building at about 5:45 Sunday evening, after marching there following a really at Union Square. Police were on the scene, but there were no immediate arrests or confrontation.
The march, which numbered a few hundred, was peaceful along the route. Marchers were playing music, chanting slogans and carrying signs saying “House Keys Not Handcuffs” as police officers looked on and blocked traffic.
When marchers reached the building, a two-story commercial structure at 888 Turk Street, they were met by activists dressed in black who had already entered the building and allowed them inside.
The march followed an afternoon rally in Union Square. The event, described in a press release as “poor people play April Fool’s prank on Union Square,” was promoted as part of a supposed 12-city April Fool’s Day action designed to “demonstrate poor peoples’ right to exist in public space.”
Speakers protested laws that keep homeless people from sitting, lying down, hanging out “and-perhaps worst of all-sleeping,” organizers said. They claimed that citations for offenses like these comprised “roughly one third of all prosecuted offenses in San Francisco at the end of 2011.” Paul Boden, one of the organizers, told the crowd at Union Square that area businesses “are targeting poor people as being bad for business. If you ain’t shopping, they don’t want you around here.”
Before leaving Union Square, those assembled were joined by a contingent from Occupy Oakland, who arrived on an old AC Transit bus. The bus, decorated with graffiti and fitted with a screen door at its entrance, followed the marchers along the route.
I saw OWS people trying, not to integrate with but to change the direction of the route. I saw OWS people screaming for everyone to go to Zuccotti Park. After seeing this and then seeing the arguments of people saying that this was not about OWS, only to have the OWS people say that it WAS, I became physically ill. If there was ever a time when you should have worked to keep the focus on the actual cause, this was it […]
He tried to remain calm while he explained what he saw. He saw the same thing that I did. Only in a different form and at a different location. He saw OWS people yelling that it wasn’t about race and that it would be best to incorporate this into the OWS movement.
This behavior is unacceptable.
These are real concerns. They are legitimate concerns. Listen to what people have to say without being patronizing. That people in this movement are acting like this is a serious problem (and don’t think for a second this is an isolated incident) and this blog will no longer turn a blind eye to it.
Including concerns of POC, women, queer folk, etc. does not mean making them take a back seat to what you think the “real issues” should be, and it does not mean making them assimilate into what you think the movement should be. It is a racist, imperialist attitude and it is an insult to the democratic ideals this movement was supposed to have been built on.
In no way is the idea that we should figure out economic issues first and get to everyone else later acceptable. In no way is deriding people’s concerns because you think yours come first acceptable.
I care about this movement and I have since the beginning, but it is worthless - absolutely worthless - while these serious problems go un-addressed, and while we continue to let racist, alienating garbage dominate the discussion. Read this post, listen to other concerns, learn what the fuck intersectionality is, and use your goddamn brains.
These concerns aren’t “divisive,” your bullshit is.
OWS needs to become more POC-friendly and address the issue on wealth inequality amongst racial minorities. A large majority of people at Occupy Wall Street are white and do not realize that the recession has effected POC a lot more than it has effected whites.
That is why Occupy The Hood and POCcupy is essential to the movement. What upsets me is that we have to separated ourselves because the entire movement does not recognize the issues latinos and blacks go through. Our median household income is significantly less than whites and the Stop & Frisk policy in NYC (which OWS has protested) is directed at blacks and latinos.
I repeatedly tried to convince Occupiers to march in Harlem, Washington Heights and Bushwick because we desperately need things to change over here. There are 8 million people living in New York City, why are we limiting ourselves to downtown Manhattan and why are we completely ignoring the issues racial minorities face in America.
We also need to appeal to Asians. In Chinatown there are a massive amount of undocumented people there. They are afraid and often exploited. There is no excuse for not marching in Chinatown because it is only blocks away.
If we’re going to grow as a movement we need to recognize our internal flaws and fix them. There is no reason why OWS is more than 80% white in a racially diverse city like NYC. This is a serious flaw in Occupy and OWS cannot defend themselves by saying all races are welcomed because they don’t feel welcomed. Whites do not face this issue so they wouldn’t understand but it’s time that they do.
If Occupy doesn’t change I have no choice other than to abandon the movement. I believe OWS has the power to change things but if you ignore racial inequality then you are ignoring blacks, latinos and asians. At this point Occupy Wall Street should call themselves the 80% to represent the amount of whites in America.
Just be careful with how you word that and how you present those ideas. It’s way to easy for “we need to include” to end up meaning “we need to lasso their concerns to be part of our concerns and direct their message toward what we think it should be.”
“Appeal to” sounds like politician pandering. Like “we need to get “the Asian vote.”” No. What we need is to support their issues, and for their concerns to be our concerns without expecting them to sit down and take a back seat. What we need to do is stop othering.
And we need to stop making excuses for ourselves.
OWS definitely needs to work to support EVERY group within the 99% - we all have to work together to get what we need, or we will never succeed in getting the change that would make life better for all of us.
However, that does NOT mean it is at all in any way right for OWS to invade and try to take over the events and rallies of other causes. OWS wants to still be noticed and included, I get that - but you cannot steal the spotlight from other issues. You cannot force this cause into another cause, even when they are related; he was not target by the wealthy, he was targeted by a racist, and although his lack of prosecution is because the police, an institute often owned by the wealthy, failed to act… even though you have issues and concerns with police in general, which is the ONLY reason I can think why they would try to come into this protest and claim it’s “not about race”, it is not right to try and take the focus away from this. Justice for Trayvon is what must come first and foremost from these protests, and not the furthering of OWS’s goals.