The past 17th of September, the world experienced almost unknowingly the first taste of the new global protest movement of our time. Initially this was the date marked as the beginning of the Occupy Wall St. movement (now a nationwide phenomenon), however it also served to launch an international campaign of protests in front of local banks and stock exchanges dubbed as ‘Anti-Banks Day’. For the first time, the rising global civil society movement, based on democratic assemblies and structured around an ever-growing network of activists, tested its capacity to rally people worldwide and not only in a national framework. They created task-forces for media strategies, both online and offline, set up independent live-streams and coordinated globally for spreading information. Consequently, the 17th was like an excuse to prepare for the main course on October 15th, which will be the consolidation of this structure, and will set the standard for its future success or failure.
Last night Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD notified Occupy Wall Street participants about plans to “clean the park”—the site of the Wall Street protests—tomorrow starting at 7am. “Cleaning” was used as a pretext to shut down “Bloombergville” a few months back, and to shut down peaceful occupations elsewhere.
Bloomberg says that the park will be open for public usage following the cleaning, but with a notable caveat: Occupy Wall Street participants must follow the “rules”.
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that they will move in to clear us and we will not be allowed to take sleeping bags, tarps, personal items or gear back into the park.
This is it—this is their attempt to shut down #OWS for good.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION
1) Call 311 (or +1 (212) NEW-YORK if you’re out of town) or text 2311692 and tell Bloomberg to support our right to assemble and to not interfere with #OWS.
2) Come to #OWS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT to defend the occupation from eviction.
For those of you who plan to help us hold our ground—which we hope will be all of you—make sure you understand the possible consequences. Be prepared to not get much sleep. Be prepared for possible arrest. Make sure your items are together and ready to go (or already out of the park.) We are pursuing all possible strategies; this is a message of solidarity.
Here are the highlights:
- Of those who had an opinion on the occupation, 54% were favourable to the movement, with only 23% against (25% very favourable and 29% somewhat favourable, compared to 10% somewhat unfavourable and 13% very unfavourable)
- 86% agree that Wall Street has too much influence in Washington.
- 79% agree that the income gap in the United States is too large.
- An amazing 71% agree that financial executives who had a hand in the 2008 crisis should be prosecuted!
- 68% agree that the rich should pay more in taxes, and 73% agree that we should raise taxes on those who make $1 million or more a year. 74% agree that raising taxes on millionaires would NOT ‘hurt the economic recovery,’ contrary to the Republican panic.
- Unfortunately, 56% believe that the protest will have little impact on the overall situation, but 30% believe it will have a positive impact.
While we should always be careful not to put too much stock in these polls, this one at least has some good news for those who support #OWS.
KEEP IT UP! People are listening!
From an Email apparently going around:
“As you all may have seen over the last number of years and particularly the last number of weeks. The seditious left is attempting to strike at the heart of Capitalism itself - Wall Street!
“We can no longer stand idly by, while these Leftist radicals attempt to collapse our free market system.
“Using the left’s own playbook - Rules For Radicals, we will “Infiltrate and Humiliate” the Marxist hoards. We will NOT reveal ourselves, We will NOT have a website, We will not have any visible leaders. Our goal is to humiliate and embarrass. We will sow the seeds of paranoia and doubt among the left. We will expose them for the fools they are.
“Our plan is simple : Infiltrate and Humiliate.
“If you are with us, please respond.
“For God and The Republic”
Reeks of astroturfing, really. Here is some information on “protest warrior,” a group dedicated to distrupting peaceful protests on behalf of war mongers and oligarchs.
200+ police in Boston surrounded the park Vets for Peace were situated in.
They waited for the media to leave then they began to go into the park and make arrest.
They tossed tents, chairs and other belongings into two sanitation trucks.
50 arrests were reported.
17,000+ people watched this happen live @ Global Revolution & OccupyBoston livestreams.
Two ambulances waiting to treat protesters who may be hurt during the mas arrest.
Police told protesters that there will be a mass arrest sometime today.
Hundreds of protesters marched silently at night while cops followed.
|—||Slavoj Zizek at Open Forum, Occupy Wall Street, October 9. (via domesticterrorism)|
And Then Kanye West Appeared at the #OccupyWallStreet Protest…
A capitalist symbol of excess and fetishism, attempting to get some attention at a popular movement. Why is this important? Tell him to GTFO.
An Overview of Occupy Wall St, From a Fledgling Protester
After briefly visiting OWS earlier this week, and having friends visiting from Boston [and attendees of Occupy Boston themselves] we decided to return to the epicenter of the movement.
I can’t even begin to express my awe of the “village” the protesters have built and their near-impeccable organization. The People’s Library, the buffet-style food distribution [free and warm meals], the sleeping arrangements, and the seemingly infinite signs located everywhere. It was beautiful.
Recycling, sharing, and music were some of the things that stood out to me the most. The generosity and, well, solidarity displayed by the 99% is so apparent. The peaceful nature and creative ways to circumvent and still obey regulations was probably the highlight of it for me.
Whenever someone would ring out “Mic check!” among us, we were sure to reply in kind, in order to get the message out due to the inability to use megaphones.
As I sat on the wall with my sign [“Can’t afford a $ign”] and like minded people, the idea of nobody listening or paying attention seemed ludicrous. Honestly, if I had a dollar for every tourist/citizen/spectator who made a comment about or took a picture of me and my sign, let alone the entire movement….well, I’d probably be in the 1% right now. Throughout the march, our chants and invitations to any spectator to come join us filled the sidewalks [we didn’t want another Brooklyn Bridge incident on our hands] almost as overwhelmingly as our presence. The NYPD, thankfully, was peaceful and I didn’t witness any altercations or words exchanged for my time there.
The only time I really felt insulted or heated was when someone felt the need to comment to me to “get a job”, to which I yelled back “I have two and I’m still in debt, what’s your excuse?!” Really now, critics have been so quick to assume that the movement is a bunch of jobless whining brats who won’t get anything done. And I agree, there are plenty of those, and trustafarians whose parents corporate jobs are allowing them to come out, but those are not a reflection of the whole. This issue affects 99% of us after all, so we need to start acting like it does.
This has already spread nationwide, and I’ve had friends go to Occupy Boston, LA, and Miami. I’ve read accounts of Denver, Seattle and Tulsa. We are growing. It’s already been proven this is more than some angry hippies in a park. If you haven’t stopped by a protest near you, at least research the movement. It’s pretty amazing, and worth looking into. Even if you don’t agree. Hell, especially if you don’t agree.
|—||Lo and behold, after weeks of terrible Occupy Wall Street coverage, The NY Times publishes a strong, clear, and well-reasoned editorial expressing wholehearted support for the movement. (via wespeakfortheearth)|