OWS Updates for the Week of May 23

Your inbox: occupied. News and calls to action from #occupywallstreet in NYC. View online.
#OccupyWallStreet >> New York City General Assembly
Last weekend, scores of occupiers took buses from New York to Chicago to join thousands of people from the social justice movement, peace advocates, occupiers, students, and labor to face the forces of the self-appointed world police: NATO. The demonstrators protested the culture of militarism, war, and oppression pursued by NATO, by creatively bringing their messages to the streets. Once again peaceful demonstrators were pushed back violently and then blamed for the violence. The only suitable answer for those who try to silence us is to speak even louder, take more streets, occupy more public space, and continue to inspire the 99% to create democratic change.

Occupy these Upcoming Events

Every Wednesday, 4pm
The People’s Gong
This Wednesday, and every Wednesday thereafter, we call on all people to join Occupy Wall Street in ringing the People’s Gong. We first meet at the steps of Federal Hall, mic check, and afterwards we return to Liberty Plaza to debrief and work on projects across OWS. We invite all working groups to re-occupy Liberty Park with us and join the report-back circle at 7:30pm.

Wednesday May 23, 6pm
Winning at Work: Labor Law for the 99%
Communication Workers of America, 6 Harrison Street
“If it’s effective, it’s illegal”. This is common wisdom for anyone trying to organize in workplaces today. The OWS Labor Alliance presents a workshop with Daniel Gross and Sonia Lin about how to challenge the hurdles facing workplace organizing.

Wednesday May 23, 8:30pm
Occupy: Chicago was a TRIP
The Yippie Cafe, 9 Bleeker Street
We’ve all heard it: Chicago was freaking CRAZY. So if you were there, come out to Occupational Hazards: we’ll have free food for Chicago Occupiers (and anyone else) and a soapbox to tell your story. This event features Sumumba of OccuEvolve, here to discuss how Occupy can reach the next level, and a musical guest.

Thursday, May 24, 8am
Goldman Sachs 2012 Shareholders Meeting
Goldman Sachs, 30 Hudson St, Jersey City
This year most financial groups are holding their shareholders meeting outside of NYC – away from Wall St. and OWS. Citigroup is having theirs in Dallas. Goldman Sachs is holding theirs conveniently across the river in Jersey City. Field trip anyone?

Thursday, May 24, 630pm
National Occupy Networking This Summer – A Town Hall Meeting
The Brooklyn Commons – 388 Atlantic Ave.
Seven months ago to the day, the Occupy movement spoke to each other for the first time on the first ever InterOccupy conference call. Join us this Thursday to celebrate how far we have come, and discuss how we can build together through the summer and into year two!
Learn about what is happening and how you can plug in!

Saturday May 26, 12pm
Summer Disobedience School
Bryant Park, 42nd Street and 6th Avenue
The OWS Direct Action Group is launching Summer Disobedience School. We’ve completed Spring Training – and we’re moving and communicating in the streets like never before. Join us!

Saturday May 26, 1pm
Critical Walking Tours
The Gandhi statue in the southwest corner of Union Square
Engage the city, your body, and others, by putting yourself in motion on a set of 6 summer discussion-walks to engage the political, ecological, and your embodied urban environment – New York City. Each walk will start at different point in the city with a short inspirational text and space from which to launch our journey and discussion.

Sunday, May 27, 2pm
OccuPicnic at Astoria Park
Astoria Park, 23rd avenue and 19th street, Astoria, Queens
Occupy Astoria Long Island City would like to invite everyone to an Occupy Picnic! We’d like to celebrate the Occupy movement, catch up with all our friends throughout the five boroughs and make new friends.

Tuesday, May 29, 630pm
OWS Summer Reboot
33 West 14th Street
In the Community Dialogues there was a break-out group around GA, Spokes, and structure.
These points came up consistently: intentionality, inclusivity, community, communication, coordination, access, transparency. Now, we must ask ourselves what a structure looks like that meets these needs. Come to the Summer Reboot! Create the OWS you always imagined!
(re-scheduled from Wednesday, May 23)

This week’s featured Occu-Project

INDIGNACIÓN
Indig-Nación is the first Spanish language newspaper of OWS, and we aim to be an instrument that mobilizes and builds bridges between Latino occupiers, grassroots organizations and those yet to enter the conversation. Although a wide spectrum of Latinos have participated within the Occupy movements, the media discussion in Spanish regarding Occupy is underwhelming at best. We believe it’s essential for diverse voices in Spanish to intervene in the public conversation by sharing their personal stories and connecting Latin American history and experiences of struggle to our current situation.

Learn More

Daily #OccupyUnionSq Info Table, 9am – 9pm
@OWSUnionSquare
Every day Occupy Union Square has an info table open and staffed, acting as a hub to promote the constant flurry of events and meetings occurring in the park and across OWS. Click here to find out how you can help out with immediate needs of the Union Square occupiers to keep it running and growing. Help is particularly requested for providing content on the new website: occupyunionsquare.wordpress.com.

For Text Message alerts on your cellphone about daily events, actions, and important information, sign up for the ComHub SMS blasts by texting @owscom to 23559.

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BREAKING NEWS — Senators call on Supreme Court to Overturn Citizens United

United Republic
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Dear Curtis,

Just now, Senators McCain and Whitehouse sent a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking them to reconsider the Citizens United case. This is a huge opportunity to reverse the ruling and retake our democracy.

We can help if we act fast. Take a minute, right now, and add your name to the senators’ letter. Demand that the highest court stop billionaires from buying our politicians and laws.

Then forward this email to three friends who are disgusted by politicians auctioning themselves off to the highest bidder.

Stand with the senators, and tell the Supreme Court that we’re not going to take it anymore.

It’s time to rev the engines back up.

Join Senators McCain and Whitehouse.

It’s a rare moment when something good happens in Washington. Seize the moment. Join this bipartisan, right-left revolt.

Get money out.

Thanks,
Josh Silver

P.S. The letter is about a case in Montana. Learn about the details here.

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VFP E-Mail Blast: VFP Protests Against NATO and Drones in Chicago & More

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www.veteransforpeace.org
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Friday, May 18, 2012

VFP Protests Against NATO and Drones in Chicago

Yesterday started with Leah Bolger, Ann Wright and Erik Lobo attending the IVAW press conference at the Vietnam Memorial.

By noon VFP members and other activist groups were meeting at Chicago Obama Headquarters and Consulates to present letters expressing our outrage about NATO operations. Demands are also being made to put an end to military operations, particularly drone operations, to four NATO countries: the United States, Canada, Germany and the UK. Several VFP members were present: Steve Bray, Gerry Condon, Helen Jaccard, John Spitzberg, Ken Ashe, and Will Covert.

<More on Chicago>

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Petition Response: Helping Homeowners Stay in Their Homes

The White House
Helping Homeowners Stay in Their Homes

By Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council

Thank you for taking time to weigh in through the “We the People” petition process. The issue that you have highlighted — how to help the struggling homeowners and a struggling housing market turn the corner to recovery — is enormously important to the Administration, and your thoughtful position is greatly appreciated.

As you well know, millions of families owe more money on their home than it is worth, which puts considerable economic strain on many households. This is not only a problem for these families, but also for their communities and for the housing market as a whole.

So we have taken steps to ensure that principal reduction is a tool that is available to borrowers struggling with negative equity — and that that tool is being used appropriately when it makes sense for borrowers, investors, and the taxpayer.

  • We have tripled incentives for lenders to provide principal reduction through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a program designed to help homeowners in distress modify their mortgages to more sustainable terms. While not appropriate in all circumstances, principal reduction modifications are an important tool in the overall effort to help homeowners achieve affordable and sustainable mortgages. By increasing these incentives, we are seeing a substantial increase in the number of program participants receiving principal reduction, with roughly two thirds of deeply underwater program participants now getting some principal reduction.
  • We have also reached an historic settlement with the nation’s largest lenders, and as part of this agreement, the lenders have committed to do no less than $10 billion of principal reduction on the loans they service.
  • We have proposed legislation by which the Government-Sponsored Enterprise’s (GSEs) and Federal Housing Administration would cover closing costs for borrowers who choose to use the proceeds from refinancing to pay down principal and rebuild equity in their homes. For the majority of underwater borrowers, this step alone will bring them back above water in less than five years.

In addition to these important measures, we have asked the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide principal reduction through HAMP where it is in taxpayers’ interest. Today, HAMP borrowers who have loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac do not benefit from principal reduction loan modifications. To encourage the GSEs to offer this assistance to its underwater borrowers, the Treasury Department has notified the GSE’s regulator, FHFA, that it will pay principal reduction incentives to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac if they allow servicers to forgive principal in conjunction with a HAMP modification. As is clear by the uptick in principal reduction modifications happening in HAMP currently, we believe strongly that expanding this program to GSE loans is in the interest of borrowers and the American taxpayer.

President Obama and his Administration have worked tirelessly to help responsible homeowners to stay in their homes. In addition to principal reduction efforts, several others are worth highlighting:

  • We have overhauled the way in which lenders service loans for struggling homeowners, leading to millions of homeowners getting their mortgages modified, either through government or private sector modifications.
  • We have opened the refinancing market up for those who would otherwise be stuck in high interest rate loans because they don’t have enough equity in their homes to get a new loan. This has helped an additional one million families lower their monthly payments, saving each family thousands of dollars a year.
  • We have provided a year of forbearance to unemployed homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages while they look for work.

While each of these steps has had a positive impact, more must be done. Too many families are still struggling and the recovery is still too fragile to turn our backs on the problem.

That’s why President Obama is pushing for legislation that would make it possible for millions of responsible owners to easily refinance their loans to the current, historically low interest rates. You can learn more about this proposal here:

http://whitehouse.gov/whyrefi

The bottom line is that we agree that more needs to be done to help families and the market recover and that principal reduction should be part of that solution. The President has said that for the housing market, “we need to do everything in our power to repair the damage and make responsible families whole again.” And this is an important tool in that effort. We appreciate your engagement on this issue and ask that you continue to provide us your thoughts as we work together to help to turn the housing market around.

Tell us what you think about this petition response and We the People.

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OWS Updates for the Week of May 16

Your inbox: occupied. News and calls to action from #occupywallstreet in NYC. View online.
#OccupyWallStreet >> New York City General Assembly
Join us in returning to Wall Street and Liberty Plaza every Wednesday for the ringing of the People’s Gong and a common space for meetings and discussions.

Whether you occupy a labor law workshop, an algebra course, a feminist general assembly, or something else entirely, the People’s Gong is a perfect way to connect with other change-makers in the Occupy movement.

Occupy these Upcoming Events

Every Wednesday, 4pm
The People’s Gong
This Wednesday, and every Wednesday thereafter, we call on all people to join Occupy Wall Street in ringing the People’s Gong. We first meet at the steps of Federal Hall, mic check, and afterwards we return to Liberty Plaza to debrief and to have a Direct Action Working Group meeting. We invite all working groups to re-occupy Liberty Park with us and hold their meetings on Wednesday evenings.

Thursday, May 17th, 6pm
Occupy the NRC hearing on Indian Point
DoubleTree Hotel, 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is hosting a public meeting about the safety of Indian Point on May 17, and OWS Environmental Solidarity and a broad coalition need your help to send it a loud message: Don’t Let it Happen Here! Shut Down Indian Point Now! RSVP for a seat on a bus from Manhattan. Buses leave at 3:45pm sharp from Grand Central.

Thursday, May 17th, 6:30pm
Feminist General Assembly
Washington Square Park
The Feminist General Assembly (Fem GA) will be a space for building strong networks and promoting collaboration amongst feminist groups across NYC and nearby areas. The intent is to hold a Fem GA periodically to foster ongoing cooperation.

Sunday, May 20, 8am
#Occupy Wall Street AIDS Walk Team
Central Park, 59th & 5th Avenue entrance
Our message for the day is that we are the 99%, that we raise the issue of HIV/AIDS awareness and more importantly that we care about our brothers and sisters who are infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. We invite your participation by pre-registering for the #OWS Team (#9339) at aidswalknewyork2012.kintera.org/ows or calling (212) 807.9255 to request to be placed on the Occupy Wall Street Team (#9339).

Wednesday May 23, 6pm
Winning at Work: Labor Law for the 99%
Communication Workers of America, 6 Harrison Street
“If it’s effective, it’s illegal”. This is common wisdom for anyone trying to organize in workplaces today. The OWS Labor Alliance presents a workshop with Daniel Gross and Sonia Lin about how to challenge the hurdles facing workplace organizing.

Wednesday May 23, 630pm
Community Cluster Meeting
33 West 14th Street
Many of us have been working in clusters. There’s the eco-cluster, outreach cluster, action cluster, and many more. In the lead-up to May Day we used clusters, which helped us organize a massive day of action. Come to the OWS Community Cluster if you are already in one, want to join one, or are curious about where we’re at.

Saturday May 26, 12pm
Summer Disobedience School
Bryant Park, 42nd Street and 6th Avenue
The OWS Direct Action Group is launching Summer Disobedience School. We’ve completed Spring Training – and we’re moving and communicating in the streets like never before. Join us!

Saturday May 26, 1pm
Critical Walking Tours
The Gandhi statue in the southwest corner of Union Square
Engage the city, your body, and others, by putting yourself in motion on a set of 6 summer discussion-walks to engage the political, ecological, and your embodied urban environment – New York City. Each walk will start at different point in the city with a short inspirational text and space from which to launch our journey and discussion.

This week’s featured Occu-Projects

Occupy NYC Project List, Issue 3
The Occupy NYC Project List, formerly the OWS Project List, is a monthly printed free publication informing thousands of NY area people with up to date details on the courageous political projects currently under development by Occupy groups across the NYC metro area. The Occupy NYC Project List provides direct contact information so that readers can get involved in shaping action to defend our communities. Check out Issue #2 and submit your project for Issue #3!

Learn More

Saturday, May 19, 2pm
Weekly Occupy Wall Street Orientations
The Gandhi statue in the southwest corner of Union Square
Learn more about how to get involved with Occupy. Can’t make it? Email Tascha and the rest of the crew at orientation for more information.

Daily #OccupyUnionSq Info Table, 9am – 9pm
@OWSUnionSquare
Every day Occupy Union Square has an Info Table open and staffed, acting as a hub to promote the constant flurry of events and meetings occurring in the park and across OWS. We need good outreach people to take shifts at the table! Click here to sign up. And click here to find out how you can help out with other immediate needs of the Union Square occupiers to keep it running and growing!

For Text Message alerts on your cellphone about daily events, actions, and important information, sign up for the ComHub SMS blasts by texting @owscom to 23559.

VFP E-Mail Blast: Roll Call for Chicago! & More

If you’d like to view this email in a Web browser, please click here.

www.veteransforpeace.org
Join or Renew Membership | Donate | Chapter Contacts | Online Store
Friday, May 11, 2012

Roll Call for Chicago!

Lobo and/or <a href="mailto:nateg know if you intend to come to the NATO protests in Chicago. They are trying to get a head count.

Thanks.

Here's some information you may find helpful:

Veterans Peace Team in person meeting in Chicago to adopt bylaws, volunteer for committees, select committee chairs, and elect "officers" (treasurer, coordinator). (More)

Join UNAC’s Peace Train to Chicago!

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