Occupy Write

This page displays Occupy personal protest experiences & testimonials, writings,
opinions, observations, speeches, commentary, & documentation of abuses for legal purposes and historical posterity.

Please leave comments concerning your personal protest experiences and information that might be helpful or useful for prosecution of individuals who abuse peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
-Martin Luther King


The New Common Sense of the 99%

  1. In Unity,
  3. A Declaration of INTERDEPENDENCE, born of necessity, from and for the collective conscience of the “99%” to and for the oligarchic “1%” of the United States of America.
  5. SECTION I: The Right to Equal Participation in Government has been taken from the People and is explained. — A Plan is offered to restore the Right to Equal Participation that requires only the use of tools and procedures that have already been proven to work. — The restoration of Equality must take priority above all and reasons are given. — Outside damaging influences must no longer be allowed privileged access to Elected Representatives in a Constitutional Republic. — An Offer in Compromise that would reunite this Nation with its Foundation is clearly stated. — A clear, workable and simple method by which we may rebuild ourselves as a Prosperous Nation and return to being One Hundred Percent is explained. — A New Litmus Test of our government is declared and explained. — A plan and petition to rebalance the Branches of Government is outlined in detail.
  6. SECTION II: Monitions are forwarded to our Leaders, to the Congress in specific, to the Media, to Law Enforcement and the Domestic Militia, and to the “1%” — A direct message and plea for the “99%” from the author(s).
  7. SECTION I – Common Sense from the “99%”
  9. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for the Citizens of a Nation to petition their own Government for a redress of grievances, the People have a duty to exercise their rights under the First Amendment collectively if they so choose. To this end, We the People hereby assert our right to peacefully assemble and petition our Government for redress when we feel that this is our best, and perhaps only remaining option to seek remedies.
  10. We affirm that any lasting and workable solution must reach beyond mere politics, that political issues do not matter at a time when our collective voice has been nearly silenced. We believe that the current political climate has caused a paralysis of our Government. We find that our individual opinions mean little when we are no longer being properly represented. In fact, we believe that the Balance of Power between the Branches of our Government has been corrupted to the point where it can answer only to members of an affluent and politically active upper class. The impending result of this imbalance is that government of the People, by the People, for the People has almost perished from Our Nation. We believe that government has been influenced by an external source that has conspired to control it to the point of stalemate. We believe that this was forced upon us by “special interests”, corporations, lobbyists, the banking and the financial sector including Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, who together have used unrestrained financial leverage leading to the corruption of many politicians, regardless of their political party, resulting in great damage to the People and to this Nation.
  11. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal regardless of their financial status. — That we free Citizens of the United States are without exception endowed under a Federal Constitution granting us certain unalienable Rights. — That among these Rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure and protect these rights, our forefathers drafted this Constitution, ratified by the then several States and agreed to by the People. — That this Constitution defines and protects us all with a system of Checks and Balances by which the powers and responsibilities of government would be divided amongst the Federal, the States and the People. — That this original Social Contract in which those powers were granted has been repeatedly violated by the Federal government. — That we no longer are represented by our Government. — That we no longer have a voice in our Government. — That the limits of power of the Federal Government have been deliberately and repeatedly breached. — That our Government has become destructive towards the vast majority of the same People that they are supposed to protect. — That outside influences have gained unreasonable power and influence within our Government. — That the Fair Election system is being systematically dismantled and no longer allows for a full, on paper, verification and accounting of actual balloting. — That We the People have the Fundamental Right and Patriotic Duty under the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to peacefully assemble and to demand that the Government cease and desist from or correct any of these violations. — That the Government cede back to the States and to the People all such Powers that they have unconstitutionally seized, regaining such Powers from the States via Constitutional Amendment if they are to have them at all. — That our Government must Right these encroachments on the People by realigning itself to the Constitution. — That vague interpretations of the Constitution should be clarified through civil discourse leading to a series of new Amendments and with full participation by the several States.
  12. We also hold that the Constitution was originally designed to prevent the Federal government from encroaching upon the rights of the People and the States. Adjustments to Federal Powers were to be made only via Constitutional Amendment. We hold that this Amendment procedure has largely been ignored in recent history. In fact, when the Constitution was originally crafted, the political party as we know it today did not even exist. The modern era of rampant partisanship was not even envisioned by the Founders. We thus believe that the current “political party system” as it stands has served to divide this Nation to the point of paralysis. As a Great former President once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
  13. While we who have named ourselves the “99%” may each have our own individual personal concerns and grievances, we know that we must set them aside at this time due to a more pressing need to demand the return of the Representation that has been taken from us. Until such time, we contend that nothing can be accomplished in a spirit of true discourse.
  14. Collectively we can all certainly agree upon these Truths that have led us to our outrage.
  16. We hold that the branches of Federal government have been corrupted, convoluted and debased, that they have all strayed from their intended purpose, standing idly by while their effectiveness and objectivity have been debased by a conglomerate, known to us as the “1%”.
  17. By “1%” we mean specifically those from an aristocracy who manipulate government in their own self-interests: the affluent “elite”, the bankers, the corporations and the special interests who use their wealth and financial power as leverage to gain an unreasonable lobbying influence on government legislation and policies. They most often do this in ways that harm the common People.
  18. We define the “99%” as the common citizen, the employed and the unemployed, the poor and the disabled, the aged, the disadvantaged, the students, the public and civil servants with a conscience, the lower and middle classes, even those honest politicians and members of the “1%” itself who refuse to “buy into” this oligarchy. We include all of these and more regardless of our individual affiliations, political leanings, opinions, beliefs, religions, our race, ethnic background, sex, age or even financial status. We are the People of real flesh and blood. We represent all walks of life from all corners of this Nation.
  19. We shall offer and elaborate on examples which will help illustrate where we believe that the four branches of government have now failed us.
  21. Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution reads in part, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior…” yet there is no clear definition of “good Behavior” given, nor does recent history show us any consistent method of accountability that protects the People or the States from judicial “bad Behavior”. Indeed, the phrase “good Behavior” has been historically misinterpreted to mean “appointed for life.” These permanent appointments result in Judges that become firmly entrenched and nearly unaccountable to the People for the decisions that they make.
  22. We believe that due to this misinterpretation, the Supreme Court has obtained unbalanced, far-reaching powers well beyond the intention of our forefathers. The People have no reasonable recourse if these Judges prove to be partisan and refuse to rule in the Best Interest–or if they fail to uphold and defend the Constitution. Justices appointed for life terms can easily dodge accountability, as history has so proven.
  23. Many examples of truly questionable Supreme Court decisions exist.
  24. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), the Court decided that corporations were recognized as “persons” for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment. This gave corporations the same legal rights as a living, breathing individual. Yet, the corporations enjoy other legal protections not afforded to real persons, such as tax shelters and loopholes, liability shields and others. This grants them unbalanced protections that lead directly to unfair opportunities for governmental influence at a disproportionate level than that of the People.
  25. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, (2010), the Court ruled 5-4 that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. This decision in part lead to the creation of the “super PAC”, by which corporations, special interests and the affluent can donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously through 501(c)(4) corporations, leaving the entire political process unaccountable, untraceable and with the People unable to execute a Public audit of the funding of political campaigns. The Supreme Court also struck down those provisions of the McCain–Feingold Act, Public Law 107-155 (2001) that prohibited all corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, as well as unions from broadcasting “electioneering communications.” Alarmingly, the decision itself also notes that, ‘It might also be added that corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their “personhood” often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.’ If this is the case, why then were they given the same rights as flesh and blood persons under the Fourteenth Amendment when they arguably are not equal? How can the common People compete against such invisible and unaccountable financial influence upon politics? The consequences of this have been disastrous. This form of court-sponsored “political “money laundering” has served to corrupt our system in favor of the “1%”.
  26. The general attitude that the Supreme Court is perfect and void of corruption internally and thus remain immune from scrutiny has caused yet more damage. Our history is rife with examples of the Judiciary overstepping their bounds. In fact, one case illustrates their large contribution towards the start of Civil War. In Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), the Court ruled 7-2 that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution, could not sue in court and could never be U.S. citizens. It took the Civil War, the loss of countless lives and not one but two Constitutional Amendments (Amendments Thirteen and Fourteen) to even begin to repair the damage that the Court inflicted on the People with this decision.
  27. Yet, even with two Amendments ratified after the War, that were in part intended to prevent the supreme and all lower courts from continuing to make such socially divisive decisions of this nature, the Supreme Court later opted to breach even these key additions to the Constitution in future decisions.
  28. Over thirty years beyond the end of the Civil War, in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), the Court voted 7-1 in favor of upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in private businesses (particularly railroads), under the doctrine of “separate but equal”. This segregation between races remained standard doctrine in U.S. law until its unanimous repudiation in the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), fifty-eight years later.
  29. Thus, a decision that the court made in 1857 helped launch a Civil War and it took two Constitutional Amendments in 1862 and 1868 followed by approximately one hundred more years of civil unrest and divisive Court decisions until these issues finally began to resolve. To this day these issues still remain unresolved to a certain degree; such is the damage that has been done.
  30. In addition, a more recent decision that clearly illustrates how the Court exceeds its jurisdiction and breaches Constitutional authority can be offered. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962) was a landmark case that for the first time retreated from the “political question doctrine” (the test of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear a specific case). The details of this case itself are far less important than the effect that it had on our System of Justice. In this case, the Court ceased to limit themselves only to cases based upon a legal question per the doctrine. Instead, they chose to exceed their jurisdiction and authority by ruling on a political dispute instead of a legal one, and over an issue internal to a single State no less.
  31. Baker v. Carr not only violated the doctrine but it set a new precedent that has, under the banner of  stare decisis (a legal principle by which judges are generally obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions), has led to even more violations by the Court going forward. Never was it intended for the Court to decide individual internal State issues, but now the Court takes on many of these cases regularly.
  32. These cases prove the need for an urgent return to a staunch reliance upon the Constitutional Amendment procedure as our method of restraint against the Court and we must remember to rely on it as our first course of action in these situations. This was the intent of the Constitution as it was written. It is what made our Constitution a “living document” in the first place.
  33. But as we have now shown, sometimes even Amendments fail to keep the Court in check. We suggest that a serious reconsideration be given regarding term limits for Justices or for some other remedy upon which we can all agree to further curtail this danger.
  34. We maintain that the liberty of “vague interpretation” is not for the Court to enjoy for they are bound by oath to remain impartial and not stray too far from their constitutionally defined boundaries. Clearly they were not meant to hold power that gives them the right to decide cases that are beyond the scope of the Constitution and that lie out of their jurisdiction?
  35. According to Title 28, Chapter I, Part 453 of the United States Code, each Supreme Court Justice takes the following oath:
  36. “I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
  37. This oath, we believe, is no longer respected as a matter of policy.
  38. The People have lost their ability to seek redress against such injustice due to the failure of government at all levels to pursue the Constitutional Amendment with which to enforce and more clearly define Court boundaries. Since appeals or requests for reviews are not allowed by the People, apathy from Congress and the States has nurtured a Supreme Court that need answer to no one, not even to the Constitution itself.
  39. This is no longer acceptable by The People.
  41. We hold that much of the fabric of the Constitution has been deliberately dismantled by the Congress. Over the course of time Congress has debated and passed numerous laws of questionable constitutionality, laws that the Supreme Court then upheld without comment or simply refused to review. Many of these laws served to create and endow Federal agencies with expanded Powers that were originally reserved to the States. Instead of petitioning the States to relinquish these officially via an Amendment, Congress merely took these Powers anyway, often through threat to withhold federal funding to the States, and with other forms of political blackmail.
  42. In fact, they use a series of vague interpretations of parts of the Constitution itself, from which they achieve this.
  43. These breaches have occurred slowly and over time through repeated violations of the Tenth Amendment, an amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
  44. This piecemeal seizure of Power from the States and the People also relies upon the following two Constitutional Clauses being used as excuses by which they have further effected this breach.
  45. Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution (“The Necessary and Proper Clause”) states, “The Congress shall have Power – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer there of.” This clause was meant only to grant Congress the power to make Federal Laws in order to aid them in executing Powers already granted to them in the Constitution and nothing more.
  46. Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 (“The Commerce Clause”) states, “[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;” and has been used in combination with “The Necessary and Proper Clause” as a loophole by which they encroach upon and legislate to the States.
  47. In addition, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 states that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”
  48. Examples of wholesale breaches of this clause by all Branches include: The privately issued “Federal Reserve Note” being forced upon us as our sole currency even though Congress only has the constitutional authority to “coin” money under Article I, Section 8. — Debasement of our currency and private control of its value. — Secret bailouts in the amount of trillions by the Federal Reserve (some to foreign entities including foreign banks). — Covert military actions combined with apathy by the Legislative Branch who have failed to seek estoppel of multiple undeclared wars.
  49. Congress and the private Federal Reserve have ceased to be fully accountable to the People in the reporting of actual receipts and expenditures, proof of which lies in their combined refusal to present a completely detailed audit to the People.
  50. Transparency in government and the Right of Participation by the People does not cease once an election is over. Those who are elected must continue to answer to their constituents for the duration of their term(s). The Congress now acts independently of the People that they swore to represent. They now answer only to the special interests of the “1%”, not to the People, all while they ignore the Constitutional limits and procedures that they swore an oath by.
  51. Their oaths, we believe, are no longer respected as a matter of policy.
  52. This is no longer acceptable by The People.
  54. There is no Constitutional provision or statute that explicitly permits Executive Orders. Instead, there is a vague grant of “executive power” in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution as well as the phrase “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” in Article II, Section 3.
  55. We fail to see how only the phrases “executive power” and “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”, when taken on their own or even in combination can serve as de-facto justification for any sitting President to claim under the Constitution the right to issue Executive Orders at all.
  56. Furthermore, while most Executive Orders may attempt to justify themselves by claiming that their authority has been granted merely from these two phrases, history makes clear that the original intent of these orders was merely to help direct Officers of the US Executive to carry out their delegated duties and the normal operations of the Federal government itself.
  57. Could it be more obvious that this has clearly not been the case?
  58. Executive Orders through the years included orders that — authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones — arrested and relocated Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II — criminalized the possession of monetary gold by any individual, partnership, association or corporation and forced U.S. citizens to deliver all but a small amount of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned by them to the Federal Reserve (with violations of the order punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or up to ten years in prison, or both) — waged war without a Declaration from Congress — restricted access by the People to the non-classified papers and communications of certain Presidents — made up most of the “New Deal” itself — allowed INTERPOL to operate inside the U.S. with more authority than our own FBI — created FEMA, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Safety Administration and many other agencies that dramatically restructured government agencies as a whole, then transferred incredible amounts of unjustified Power to them.
  59. In fact, it can be argued that multiple Presidents have overstepped their Constitutional bounds using the Executive Order, or via Presidential Proclamations, Determinations, Memorandums, Directives and Signing Statements by which they exceed their authority. They even use them to legislate.
  60. While the use of these Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamations, Determinations, Memorandums and Directives as well as Signing Statements may or may not be unconstitutional per se (as this has rarely been challenged), we believe at the very least that they stand on shaky Constitutional ground and that their use should be reevaluated and clarified, perhaps even limited by law or by an Amendment. After all, if the permitted scope of these orders are not clearly defined, then how can anyone, even the Presidents themselves, ever know the limits of their authority?
  61. The oath of President, we believe, is no longer respected as a matter of policy.
  62. This is no longer acceptable by The People.
  63. The failures of the first three branches of government to abide by the Constitution have caused so much drift away from our Foundations that we now suffer the grave consequence of political paralysis. In fact, these failures have resulted in the creation of a new “fourth branch” of government that is also in large part responsible for this.
  65. Multiple questionable rulings by the Supreme Court that “money equals speech,” in combination with the privatization of the central banking system, have given rise to a new oligarchical and unconstitutional branch of government that we now term “The Special Interest Branch”.  This new branch has corrupted the Balance of Power between the original branches of our government.
  66. While the piecemeal creation of this new branch occurred slowly over the course of years, some particular actions by the government including (but not limited to) The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the more recent Supreme Court decision Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) were instrumental in its implementation.
  67. The now infamous “money equals speech” doctrine was enshrined into law with Buckley v. Valeo. This decision saw the Court uphold a Federal law (The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971) which set limits on campaign contributions yet rule that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech. The court also ruled that candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns. Although this decision actually upheld restrictions on the size of outside campaign contributions, it also struck down limits on expenditures, albeit temporarily. As of 2010, those with great wealth can effectively drown out the speech of average citizens anyway because Citizens United paved the way for unlimited anonymous “back door contributions”, often laundered through the 501(c)(4) corporation then funneled into the “super PAC”. We must also point out that the phrase “back door contributions” was intended to be a double entendre.
  68. These decisions have served to grant unprecedented leverage, influence and power based solely on wealth. They have created a method by which the affluent, the corporation, the unions and other well-funded “special interests” may unduly influence and shape legislation that is contrary to the Will of the People. These entities now have the ability to “buy” their way into the political arena anonymously, influencing those who have sworn to be the Representatives of the People in a manner which actually forces them to represent only these entities’ own self-interests.
  69. We submit that such unrestrained non-elected influence is mainly responsible for the utter stalemate and paralysis that exists in government today. Through the promotion of unreasonable partisanship combined with the outright purchasing of both candidates and those who hold office, combined with the unrelenting pressure from well-funded and powerful lobbies, a series of hard political lines have been drawn which greatly diminish the ability of the Legislative, the Judicial and the Executive branches to function impartially.
  70. We refuse to recognize this new perverse and corrupt “branch” of the Federal Government and we demand that it be expunged. No one among us, “99%” or “1%” alike should be given any more of a voice than anyone else in any capacity. Our Representatives themselves can no longer respond to the Will of the People due to this outside influence. This modern doctrine of “money equals speech” is wholly outrageous and must be ostracized from the government landscape at all levels and without delay.
  71. We believe that only full transparency in all political campaigns and the full public disclosure of the activities, affiliations and financing of all lobbies, PACs (Political Action Committees) and “super PACs” can correct these inequities. In addition, The 501(c)(4) corporations must fully disclose their donor list or be barred from contributing to a “super PAC” or political campaign fund. Their contribution amounts and political expenditures should be limited if they are to participate at all, or otherwise they need to be forever barred from participating in political financing. In fact, the “super PAC” itself should be outlawed as it serves no true democratic purpose.
  72. Money verses more money isn’t democracy; it’s a cancer on our Republic.
  73. Laws that guarantee the full transparency of this and of all other matters not related to National Security must be drafted, passed and vigorously enforced. And finally, a loophole free litmus test must be designed by which matters of National Security may be verified as such in order to protect the Public Right to Disclosure from any more abuse.
  74. As this branch consists of the non-elect and non-appointed, its members need take no oath whatsoever and it is clear that they believe that they are exempt from and thus need not show any respect for the Constitution as a matter of policy.
  75. This is no longer acceptable by The People.
  77. A litmus test shall be used by the people henceforth.
  78. We ask of our government at all levels, to those holding corporate or financial power and to the media, that we be given a serious and prompt response to The New Common Sense. We call for you to accommodate it as a priority and to publicly acknowledge it without delay.
  79. This serves an important purpose as it will allow us to learn your individual true colors.
  80. If you lend this your assistance, we will then know that you are worthy of election, reelection and/or our consumer support and respect.
  81. If you choose to speak out against this unfairly or if you make an attempt to discredit, slant, misreport, distort, slant, misstate, exaggerate, falsify or suppress it, then we will know that you are beholden to the “1%”.
  82. And be forewarned: if you do opt to ignore this entirely then we will be forced to assume that you guard the status quo and we will embrace you as if you were opposed. We will consider it to be similar to a plea of “no contest”.
  83. While in a criminal court a plea of “no contest” is given the same effect as a plea of “guilty”, in this case such a plea will not protect you from the civil consequences of our negative judgment.
  85. Firstly, we must state that we already understand the historical truth that whoever fires the first shot often loses the war. Thus, let it be known that our resistance and petitions for redress are by all intentions nonviolent and limited to lawful and rightful forms of expression under our Rights given to us by the First Amendment. We feel driven to these ends and believe that we must use these and other rightful methods because we have been otherwise precluded from equal participation by recently erected financial barriers that give unfair influence in the government to the affluent members of corporate, political and financial society. We collectively term this invading class the “1%”, who have together formed an oligarchy that clearly takes its position against the People, one that has used its collective financial power as a weapon against us in an attempt to reduce or even eliminate our fundamental right to participate in our own government.
  86. We also believe that the government has allowed for this to happen deliberately and has actually welcomed this infiltration by the “1%”.
  87. This has lead us to reach the following conclusion, of which we can surely all agree: the system as it was originally designed is now broken. Thus, we stand in protest against those who wish for it to remain broken because it is broken in their favor.
  88. We submit that if a candidate for office is running at all, then they are most likely bought and paid for by the “1%”. Those who truly care and are trying to participate for the common good, however few, we see them ostracized, character assassinated, politically destroyed and harassed by the mass media and other tools of the “1%”. We can only conclude that while in this climate, any candidate that we are given the opportunity to vote for is meaningless because we have already lost the chance to gain actual Representation for ourselves. We view any two competing candidates as two sides of the same worthless coin.
  89. This “1%” now owns and controls the mass media, funds the lobbyists and sit at the heads of many  corporations including the financial institutions. With such power, they greatly intervene in the affairs of the House, the Senate, the Presidency and the Judiciary.
  90. Who can blame us for the outrage we share and now express? If we still had an equal voice in our own government we would not be driven to this.
  91. As we have previously stated, we believe that the problem is now beyond politics. Another election will solve nothing because the “99%” no longer have anybody to vote for who will represent us once they achieve office. Beyond this lies our serious concern for “electronic voting” systems that by design do not allow for a paper trail. This must also be remedied if our faith is to be restored. We can no longer place trust in the fairness of our own elections in large part because of this.
  92. Thus, mere political issues do not matter at this time and our opinions do not matter when we are not being heard. Until we get our voice back, we must demand redress until such time as our Right to Equal Participation is returned to us.
  93. We repeatedly affirm that our personal issues and affiliations (political or otherwise) while important and needful of resolve in due time, must be set aside temporarily until such a time as we regain our Equal Voice in our government. We realize that until we truly reconnect with our government that our concerns will fall upon deaf ears.
  94. We believe that we as a Nation have lost our ability to be an example to the World of a working Representative Democracy. In order to regain the world’s respect, we believe that our government must again completely realign itself with the Constitution that this Nation was founded upon. We cannot sell our way of life to the rest of the world through force while we can only display a ridiculous inability to solve our own problems. Instead, we must bring about an honest desire in their collective hearts to emulate our system by fixing it. Only when we can stand again as an example to the World as a sound Constitutional Republic can we possibly regain that respect. The reality is that respect cannot be earned merely through force and these recent pursuits against parts of the world are some of our greatest mistakes.
  95. We also believe that this One Problem must be corrected before the solutions to any of our other problems can again be within our reach. We absolutely must realign ourselves with our Foundations as the priority. The paralysis will continue if we do not and we as a Nation are running out of time. How much longer can this go on? Compromise in government discourse will remain impossible if we do not repair the Platform that we all absolutely must stand upon and recommit to It our full respects. If we do not do this immediately then we as a Nation face certain doom!
  96. This is strong language, we know. Therefore, we must now make clear that we are not petitioning that our System should be abolished. We are merely stating that it is in dire need of repair. This is a Declaration of Rights and a Petition, not a Declaration of Independence. We cannot stress this enough. We believe that the system as it was originally designed does work; that we can again be the envy of the modern world just as we once were. We have lost touch with ourselves and our Constitutional Foundations and are now politically paralyzed. We must reconnect with the Ideals that the United States was founded upon and we absolutely must do this before anything positive can occur. We see it as our hope by which we can save ourselves at this point.
  97. Please allow us the liberty to preface our proposed detailed solution and plan for execution in terms that even a corporation or bank would understand. Any business that does not take regular inventory or does not do regular internal audits will eventually lose control of itself and self-destruct. To put it another way: poor self-management is the best recipe for failure.
  98. We believe that the same is true with government.  Therefore, we now propose an Exact Method by which we may exorcise every last one of the corruptions and usurpations that have occurred from within our realm.
  99. — A Complete Inventory and Audit of Powers of all Federal Branches, Institutions, Procedures, Laws and Entitlements of our government should be taken and evaluated piecemeal in full view of the People.
  100. — All that are enumerated would then be checked for Constitutionality against the Federal Constitution.
  101. — All found to not be compatible can be given a notice of cease and desist or be granted a Constitutional Amendment by the States through the Amendment Procedure.
  102. — All that fail to gain an Amendment from the States would then be returned to the States themselves under the Tenth Amendment.
  103. — The States can then debate these items as a possible Amendment to their own individual State Constitutions, thus making them legal in their individual States.
  104. — In the case where each State does not ratify the proposed Amendment and if it is judged as incompatible with their Constitution and there is no other State Law preventing it, then the People can implement it if they so choose at the State or Local Levels via Law or Ordinance.
  105. — If that fails, then it wasn’t a power that the Government or the People should have assumed in the first place. It should then be regarded as fundamental in the interest of Liberty if there is no other Law preventing it.
  106. — During this process, anything enumerated specifically in the Constitution as unconstitutional or already prohibited by it (such as the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery) shall remain  inaccessible to implementation at any lower level. The Federal Constitution always retains priority over the States. State Constitutions always retain priority over Local Ordinances and Laws.
  107. — To prevent a reoccurrence of any future encroachments at the Federal level, an Amendment fully defining and clarifying both Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 (“The Necessary and Proper Clause”) and Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 (“The Commerce Clause”) and any other ambiguous clauses should be debated by the States and ratified into the United States Constitution for the sake of clarity. The litmus test for that is a simple one. If any disagreement exists during the piecemeal review and evaluation, then they are enumerated and then subjected to further clarification or repeal using Amendment(s).
  108. Through this process, Liberty is thus fully restored and then preserved and protected.
  109. In no case will these inventoried powers and institutions remain with the Federal government without a Constitutional Amendment that gives each of them full legitimacy or without a full verification of the preexisting intrinsic constitutionality of same.
  110. In this way, the overreaching power of the current Federal, State and Local governments can be rebalanced and placed firmly back under the scope of the Constitution. Powers improperly taken from the States can be returned or given back to the People. This also will realign the Constitution with all aspects of the corporate, financial, housing and banking systems automatically. It will also allow for all other issues from the People to be addressed in their rightful order and in due time. This re-enumeration of Powers rebalances the Federal government with itself, with the States and with the People resulting in a much needed sense of clarity. It will serve to stem the tide of corruption that has been infecting our government. With a Unified and Informed Nation, whole once again and working together again in the Spirit of True Discourse and with such a renewed Collective Spirit, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.
  111. It has been said that the best ideas are simple. We submit that this idea of realignment with our Constitution is the Cornerstone by which we may all reunite as One People and truly solve many of our Nation’s problems. We submit that for this Nation to continue to exist, we absolutely must take heed of and implement this proposal at once.
  112. Duly signed,
  113. _____________________________________________
  114. X
  115. SECTION II – Monitions
  117. We must wonder who among you could possibly take issue against an honest implementation of this proposal, save for those of you who would continue to profit from the status quo or would wish for a deliberate debasement of our way of life?
  118. We realize that there are many among you who are just as concerned as we are. We also acknowledge  that many of you possibly may not have realized, while you were campaigning for office, just how pervasive and influential the “Special Interest Branch” truly is. Perhaps only after you were elected did you learn just how entrenched they really are? Perhaps this is why you have so readily abandoned your campaign promises to us so predictably?
  119. Due to these possibilities, surely we can offer you the temporary benefit of the doubt. But let us be clear: it is now up to you to decide our future opinions of you.
  120. You must immediately and publicly recommit to both the “99%” and “1%” alike. In addition, you must declare that you will serve the recombined “100%” equally and without partisan favor. You must reaffirm your oaths to uphold, preserve and protect the Constitution as well and above all else. You then must start to act like it. The opaque influence of the “1%” must be made transparent and then equally balanced with transparent influences of our own. You may well continue to agree to disagree with each other as usual but you must temper your discourse and debate with a new sense of mutual respect and restraint at all cost.
  121. In other words, you need to start doing your jobs.
  122. Have you forgotten that no matter your party affiliation, that once elected you are supposed to serve everyone equally?
  123. The age-old phrase, from fable, lyric and motto, that “United we stand, divided we fall” rings true to this day with the exact points that we make.
  124. You must also cease your political infighting and cross the party lines that you have drawn that constrain you and strive to reach an accord with your brethren regardless of political party. You must do this in order to regain our trust and respect.
  125. We can agree that there are radicals among us in the “99%” just as we can surely agree that there are radicals among you. Regardless, we both know that between us there lies a Voice of Reason. We hope that this New Common Sense proves that to you.
  126. However, even reason demands that you should take heed of the following monition.
  127. We hereby inform you that we will also be taking our own Inventory and Audit of all current and future representatives at all levels of government. The New Common Sense is but the start and we offer it to you as the First Fair Notice of only one way by which we will go about it.  Because we wish to support and will embrace only those who are willing to come forward to help repair this damage, we must identify you from where you stand. We certainly do not wish the continued mutilation and destruction of our beloved Constitutional Republic to continue. Do you?
  128. We affirm that we wish to help repair our Nation in the true spirit of INTERDEPENDENCE. We demand that you do too.
  129. We need to remind you that you are not the ones in charge. We are. This is a Nation of the People, by the People, for the People, remember?
  130. If you choose to declare The New Common Sense to be extreme, then we declare that it must be true. After all, if a mere request that we recommit to obeying our own Constitution is extreme, then we’ve made our point, haven’t we. If, however, you choose to declare it as not extreme then it must also be true because then that means that we are right. You can’t win a propaganda war against us this time. We now have you in a corner and you surely must realize this.
  131. We the People have already chosen to rise above the fray. We have delivered to you this document, eschewed all opinions temporarily to open a discussion over some Simple Truths. We’ve boiled it down to one clear demand that no one who is a patriot could possibly disagree with: That the Constitution of the United States should be placed back at the “center” of active government.
  132. As we have so painstakingly pointed out, inventory of ourselves and the government from top to bottom should have been what we’ve been doing all along. Can anyone truly disagree with the idea of holding all that we are up to the Light of our Federal and State Constitutions? Could they object to this with a straight face? Can anyone who is a true patriot honestly say that they do not wish to rid our system of corruption, or level all playing fields once again, that they do not wish to obey and see enforced only the legal laws of this country? And most importantly: would they not wish for all involved to declare a new respect for our Constitution and would a patriot not wish to witness the process of repairing it back into the Living Document that is was designed to be?
  133. There’s but one more item of needful mention. Political attack ads need to cease. They are not constructive and will no longer help your cause. If you can find nothing good to say about yourselves then perhaps you shouldn’t be running for office. If you instead show respect for the other candidates and their ideas by refusing to run attack ads, then you will be sending us the message that you may be able to field diverse opinions and ideas. You will show us your ability to be flexible and will show us true Statesmanship. Attack ads only serve to inform us that you are not willing to compromise and thus not worthy of our vote. This type of politician we no longer need in office. So please, stop it if you wish to gain or keep your job. This tactic will no longer secure you any votes from us.
  135. That there are three basic levels of human societal structure. From least to most evolved, they are dependence, independence and interdependence.
  136. We seem to be at odds because the “1%” appears to want to force us into the lowest state of dependence with your help.
  137. Our Nation, however, was founded via The Declaration of Independence which was then followed by a social contract (The Constitution) that guaranteed that we would all participate in a society based solely on interdependence. The “1%” has broken that contract with us in league with you.
  138. Dependence is not an option for We the People, for we would have to give up the freedoms and liberties that our hard won, hard kept and wholly cherished interdependence grants us. We simply are not willing to endure a forced state of dependence and our continued interdependence is the only option that we will accept.
  139. You must understand this.
  140. To be clear: if you want Unity with the People again it can only be accomplished at the level of interdependence. If you wish to continue to try to force unwarranted dependence upon us, with or without the aid of the “1%”, then we shall continue our petitions for redress under the protections of the First Amendment.
  141. You must also declare your independence from the influence of the “1%”. You must protect yourselves from their attempts to also make you dependent on their money. You must find your own interdependence with each other, again, and with the Whole of the People.
  143. Before you try to analyze The New Common Sense in an attempt to label it as politically slanted or discount it as extremist rhetoric, let us state that this message is by its design well beyond the bounds of political partisanship. Otherwise, it will not stand up to the “divisive for the sake of being divisive” political scrutiny that we all bear daily witness to.
  144. We realize that you may also attempt to lambast or ridicule the language and carried tone that we used in this missive as a strategy of your scrutiny. You may have noticed that the document begins in a more “classic” language style and then proceeds to slowly change its language, punctuation and overall tone into a modern one as it progresses, becoming almost informal and overtly personal towards the end. This was by design. It was our intention to begin the document in the same tone as (as well as to borrow liberally some of the language of) various historical documents and then to slowly modernize this tone as we ultimately connect it firmly to the now. In addition, the nonstandard use of capitals is a way for us to retain emphasis in a document that in some forms may be distributed as plain text and without formatting. This technique has been used before by writers greater than we (including the composer(s) of the Declaration of Independence) so we cannot apologize for it. It, too, was deliberate. We hope that this explanation of some of our grammatical intentions help to clear up what you may consider to be unintended inconsistencies and that it removes an opportunity for you to criticize it on its face.
  145. But let there be no doubt about this: the political system in this country is fundamentally broken and no amount of political rhetoric and slanted “expert” opinions broadcast to the public by which you can fix a broken political system. Therefore, the only true answer to the Problem must come from a source that is not only above and beyond politics, but it must also be a solution that can include the voluntary input of literally everyone who would bear the equal burden of responsibility in implementing it. That includes you. You must return to a state of genuine balance in your reporting.
  146. The New Common Sense asks only for our government to — Immediately reject what we term “The Special Interest Branch” and kick them out of backroom politics. — Put laws in place giving equal voice to  anyone who wishes to speak regardless of their financial status. — Respect and uphold the laws that are constitutional and abolish and/or correct those that are not. — Take an inventory of all agencies and branches of government, using the Constitution, and only the Constitution, as the de-facto guide with which to go by.  — Recommit to the Constitution as the first word on the boundaries of government. — Reduce the ability for anyone to (mis)interpret the Constitution so broadly by discussing and then passing Amendments which will serve to clarify and modernize it. — Restore to the People a transparent, open and fair election system nationwide that allows for a full accounting by the people of all elections.
  147. It asks for nothing more. Do not try to read further into it. We’re tired of your spin.
  148. If you want our respect then show us that you have the courage and honesty to speak out in favor of this proposal’s existence, even if you disagree with it as a matter of corporate mass media policy.  Help us promote The New Common Sense for the good of the Nation. Offer time and space for its discussion and open yourselves to all ideas that may stem from it and give it a platform. This is a unique chance for you to prove to us that at least you are not promoting imbalance.
  149. For the sake of clarity, please let us remind you of something of which you surely are already aware:
  150. For the first time in history, technology has given us all a level playing field in terms of our ability to share information and communicate. We know that this must scare you. We know that, even apart from mere greed, this is most likely why the “1%” have instigated such an insane power grab in the first place.
  151. Thus, we ask almost rhetorically, “What will prevent The New Common Sense from being ridiculed or simply ignored?” We protest, for example, to remind the “1%” that while they may have the largest share of the wealth, we, the People retain control of most of the other numbers. While the “1%” controls the mass media, we have the internet, social media and each other in great numbers. The “1%” can no longer silence us with mere money, for they (in this case, by “1%” we mean those who speak through you and reward you for your performance with a paycheck) no longer have a monopoly on the distribution of information to the masses with which they have attempted to manipulate us.
  152. We know that the moment in history is upon us where we finally have the tools with which we can level the playing field with you. We can accomplish these goals with or without you. You see, we’re not buying your disinformation anymore, thus it’s time for you to have a real and serious dialog with us.
  153. Thanks to the internet and our growing awareness, the “1%” can no longer operate in the shadows. We shall expose their greed and mockery of our way of life through our protests. our collective voice, our individual efforts, all guided by the Light of this Declaration and with this New Common Sense.
  154. After all, the roaches scatter when a light is shined on them, do they not?
  155. The filters that the “1%” have attempted to install on reality, we can now remove. The New Common Sense itself stands as proof of this.
  156. You have asked us where we stand. You have asked us what we want. We have now given you your first detailed answer.
  157. It’s time to change the conversation, will you not agree?
  158. We have a monition for you as well.
  159. We will no longer believe your “anonymous sources,” your “unnamed insiders,” your unverified “experts” nor do we care for your unsolicited opinions. You can stop telling us what to think and save from extinction the legacy of the media just reporting the facts. Believe it or not, we are fully capable of drawing our own conclusions and do not need your help in that regard. The very existence of this New Common Sense proves that.
  160. We demand complete media transparency. We want accountability in our media and demand that you always declare your sources.
  161. And you may mock The New Common Sense and/or this monition at your peril.
  163. You are part of the “99%” too. Thus, we realize that you must be victims in this as well.
  164. Please stand with us. We wish for nothing more than for you to join us in solidarity.
  165. For your badges we have no monition. We have only a request plea for you.
  166. We hereby recommit to obey the law as we seek our redress and we respectfully ask that you enforce only the law as it pertains to us, without preventing our right to peaceful assembly.
  167. Thus we should have no conflict.
  168. TO THE “1%”
  169. We certainly do not define you as the whole of the affluent 1% based upon your portfolio and assets. We define you as the affluent who use your wealth to gain self-serving leverage over government.
  170. We understand that you are merely following human nature. We know that you have justified as good the things that you do. We are aware that our own apathy has contributed to this situation that we all find ourselves in today. We can even admit that given the opportunity, we might have done some of the same things you’ve done.
  171. After all, who doesn’t want more wealth? It’s the American Dream after all.
  172. However, the rift between us has become too wide. You have become too consumed by greed. Do you see all of this as a game? Are you addicted to Wall Street in the same way a gambler is addicted to the casino? Cannot you even see that ultimately you will destroy our way of life, yours included, with your greed and lust for power? And do you not realize that by destroying the Middle Class you are actually eliminating your main source of income?
  173. The games that you insist on playing with our society will ultimately become your own ruin. Destroy our economy and you destroy yourselves with it.
  174. But do you not feel it? Do you not realize that time is running out? Don’t you know that it might be “game over” soon?
  175. You may feel that in this race against time, that you must “lock us down” and control us. You urge the government to violate our privacies and attempt to scare us with propaganda churned out by your various mass media machines. You try to silence our collective voice, pollute our conscience as if it were the environment itself and divert our attention in the hopes that we may waste time arguing with ourselves and never realize what you are up to. But we are on to you now. We have found a new common sense.
  176. Lower and lower you do sink, not even realizing that we are all in the same boat. We have news for you. We’re going to occupy your life raft too if this continues.
  177. From where we stand in protest. we see your problem as this: Your money cannot buy Truth and this is the lesson that you must learn.
  178. In fact, it is your Achilles’ heel.
  179. By now you must have realized that this isn’t a “Declaration” at all, but that it is actually an edict. We the People are the rightful holders of true Power in this Nation, shared equally with all, including you, even though we know that you probably do not see it that way. The Truth is the Truth and we are in possession of It now. Your money can only buy you more lies and a false sense of security.
  180. We absolutely do not wish for a “class war” between us. You need to understand, however, that we are quite serious. We’re not asking. Stop your corruptions now.
  181. Your monition is as follows:
  182. Do not judge The New Common Sense unfairly and do not attack it. Work with us. Show us proof that you are willing to clean up your act and we shall work with you and for you. Police yourselves and reign in your greed. If you truly want to save this Nation then stop gaming this broken system for your own ends.
  183. If after reading this missive you dare still hold the opinion that we are “sheep”, then by all means, allow the sheep to give you a message: No longer may you force us to consume the defecation that you call grass.
  184. TO THE “99%”
  185. By its design The New Common Sense is nothing more than a “voice of reason” that is designed to be compatible with all other past, present and future voices. It was crafted by persons just like you in a true spirit of cooperation and in the hopes that it will serve as a tool by which we can be further unified. It is our hope that it will aid in the start of a new dialog with the “1%” who, by reading this also, will hopefully realize that it’s time for them to listen and engage us with respect. It also points out, explains and offers a fully detailed and workable solution to the real core problem that affects us all. It then petitions the simple request for all of us to work together to implement it.
  186. If you suspect that this is an “infiltration” of some sort, then please read it again. We believe that it speaks for itself .
  187. The New Common Sense was crafted to be above and beyond our individual issues, yet it still includes them “under its umbrella” as it shows how we can have our individual issues ultimately addressed. It makes the argument that we first have a serious problem to fix in government before anything else can matter.
  188. This makes it a “first word” on our common plight, but surely not the last. We believe that this is what makes it so special. It’s not combative by nature yet it is firm in its demands and explicit in its proposal. It deliberately avoids specific issues that do not directly support the main thesis. It’s merely honest and forthright in its tone. It is also designed to breed inspiration and is meant to be used as a starting point upon which you are all encouraged to follow up on with your own forms of public discourse going forward.
  189. Please embrace The New Common Sense fully and help distribute it as fast and as far as you can! If this so much as touches your hands or crosses your eyes then it is critical that you must help distribute it immediately. If you can afford to print copies, please do so. If you can upload it and share, please do so. If you can tell others about this or share links to it, please do so. An “audio book” version is also being released for the benefit of the blind (who are of course part of the 99%, too!) and distributed as well.
  190. Each and every one of us must stand together and treat all ideas such as this with the utmost of  importance. We must act now! If we show apathy or delay then we may lose our opportunity to help instigate true change and we may never have another chance to be heard. Don’t think for a minute that the “1%” isn’t plotting and scheming for a way to prevent us from being able to speak out like this again. If we show any weakness at this point, if we make the same mistakes that other failed movements have made (such as by not staying decentralized or by choosing sides on issues instead of standing together against a problem– BIG difference!), if we don’t act now and unite, then we may lose what could be our last chance to ever right these wrongs.
  191. The author(s) have decided to remain anonymous in order for this to stand as a true gift to the masses. All ego has thus been removed as there is now no personal credit to be had. However, there is another reason that is not so altruistic that we must be honest about. We are also anonymous for our own protection. The “1%” is playing hard ball. They might go to great lengths to make sure that Truths like this do not see the light of day. Therefore we do it as a protection for all of us. We also do it to keep them guessing, right out of the Sun Tzu playbook. For all they know, this could have come from anywhere, even from their own back yard. This is to our advantage (because it very well might be true).
  192. Also, in order to protect this document, an insurance file has been made that can be opened only by the actual author(s) and it is also being distributed. In the unforeseen case that the document should ever become corrupted and it becomes necessary to prove the source of the original (or the actual text of the original itself if it becomes diluted or corrupted), then we will be able to do so. The insurance file also allows us to release true updates for this if they are ever needed and allows us to prove source because we can then release the old insurance password to prove that since only we could know it while providing a new one for the update which would replace it. In this way, you can be sure that it came from the same source.
  193. If you see this insurance file, please download it and copy it. Please distribute it also. It is the only thing that stands between this message and its destruction. It is what will allow this to stay whole long enough to distribute without being infiltrated and diluted (or worse).
  194. An MD5 sum (a sort of “serial number” generated from the data of a file that can be used as a way to insure that a file hasn’t been modified, please Google it if you’d like to learn more about it and do not know what it is) is also included in the insurance file so that anyone can check and verify that the digital release of this document is in fact the original, since the MD5 sum will change if it was altered in any way.
  195. Now for a necessary word about copyright. While this document is being given freely to the public domain without any duplication or distribution restrictions so long as they remain non-profit, the copyright is being reserved and all modifications are discouraged as another means of a protection from those who may wish to modify it with the intention to dilute and/or discredit it. So please make no changes to this? Just pass it on, if you would.
  196. Did we say that there is no credit to be had for this? Well, we misspoke. The credit belongs to you! Since this document was originally gifted to our minds through the process of carefully collecting public opinion, it really does come from you, the “collective conscience” that is mentioned at the very beginning. We merely collected the ideas that we found to be most popular and attempted to put them into words.
  197. So go ahead, take the credit, you’ve earned it!
  198. May we digress for a moment and inject a few personal notes? This was originally written with the intent for it to be nothing more than a simple Declaration. It had the working title of “A New Declaration of Interdependence”. Only when it was completed and fully edited did we see it as a whole and realize that we may have actually achieved something beyond just that. In fact, we received a great surprise when we compared it to the classic historical treatise by Thomas Paine, known as “Common Sense” (published in 1776 and yet completely out of our minds during the period that we crafted this). When we compared it, we noticed that it too was written with the exact same intentions as ours and that we have indeed achieved a document that we believe is at nearly the same level. Hence, it became obvious that this should be given the title of The New Common Sense. We can only hope that it has the same impact of the original. W can make no apology for its length. It needed to be complete and unabridged because there is no time to do this piecemeal. We wish we could have made it shorter, but we truly believe that everything in it had to be said. Therefore, we worked hard on it up front to make it as thorough and as complete as possible so that it can be catapulted as is into the public discussion, and fast! Oh, and “Common Sense” was much longer than this even if we include the monitions section when we compare size.
  199. How you can easily and immediately help:
  200. By affixing a signature, you may convert The New Common Sense into a letter and make it your own. Send it to your congressmen, the media, to friends and family, to corporations. Send it to anyone and everyone that you can.
  201. By collecting signatures, you may transform it into a petition. You can even combine it with others who have done the same and create larger petitions.
  202. By working together to distribute The New Common Sense to the “99%” and “1%” alike, we will turn this into a unifying movement and change the course of history!
  203. Please, don’t allow The New Common Sense to be in vain. Sign it, own it, send it, copy it. Please help spread it far and wide, as fast as possible. We have no more time to lose.
  204. Lets “Occupy The Constitution!” And may we receive our Due Justice and see a speedy and peaceful return to the Constitutional Republic that we were supposed to inherit.
  205. A space for signature(s) is placed at the bottom of the “Our Petition” chapter. We hope that by now you have already seen it?
  206. Good luck! Thank you for embracing and sharing The New Common Sense in advance, and may we all further unite and take our country back as One (but without the percent, unless they shape up of course)!



Washington Post: Police worry about their image in wake of Occupy incidents

The videos have been viewed millions of times: protesters on a California campus sidewalk being pepper-sprayed by police as they sit motionless, onlookers chanting “the whole world is watching.”

Those images and sounds are now iconic symbols of the relationship between Occupy Wall Street-related protesters and those charged with protecting public safety around them. It’s an image that law enforcement officials say they want to avoid.

“What keeps police chiefs up at night is that somehow the purpose of the movement will become about actions that the police have taken,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a District of Columbia-based law enforcement think tank.

Police relationships with Occupy protesters were largely noncontroversial as the movement spread into U.S. cities this fall. They have remained so in some places, particularly where police have stayed mostly in the background and protesters have limited their actions to camping and marches even when their numbers have grown.

But not everywhere. At the University of California at Davis, students called for Chancellor Linda Katehi‘s resignation after the Nov. 18 pepper-spray incident. And the D.C.-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund last month filed a class-action lawsuit against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the City of New York for allegedly escorting hundreds of demonstrators across the Brooklyn Bridge with the intention of arresting them.

The move, the lawsuit states, “was a calculated effort to sweep the streets of protesters and disrupt a growing protest movement in New York.”

“Police forces and local government authorities treat demonstration activity as if it’s presumptively criminal,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, an attorney with the partnership.

Local police chiefs have turned to one another as the protests have evolved. About 40 police chiefs or deputies compared notes during two recent conference calls, according to PERF, which organized the calls.

The first call, on Oct. 11, came at the request of Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who was concerned about the growth of the Occupy protests near South Station, the city’s bus and train terminal. The chiefs spoke hours after Boston police arrested 140 protesters after they attempted to move into a larger area.

“We wish that didn’t happen, and we hope it doesn’t happen in the future,” Davis said of the arrests. “The more low-key you are in dealing with the demonstrations, the better off it is for the police, the demonstrators and the community.”

After a second call Nov. 4, PERF faced allegations that it was trying to coordinate a police crackdown on Occupy protesters. Wexler has denied the accusations, and PERF this week posted a statement calling accusations of collusion “not true.”

Police dealing with protesters aim to enforce laws with minimal force, said Andy Mazzara, director of the Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies at Pennsylvania State University, which studies how the military and local law enforcement can use nonlethal options. The level of force the public will find acceptable “is always a consideration,” Mazzara said.

That is factored into both techniques and technology, Mazzara said. Police have adjusted tactics over time: They now rarely use dogs or water cannons to control crowds after they stoked public outrage during the civil rights era, he said, while horses remain effective because of their size and the fact that people respect them.

A bigger shift has come as Twitter and videos of police response, such as those created in California, have sparked debates over tactics, Mazzara said.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Police-want-to-stay-out-of-Occupy-story-2294569.php#ixzz1f3jaRf9L


Occupy movement signals an awakening

Updated: November 22, 2011, 6:26 AM

For most of us participating in the Occupy movement, the answer to the “what do we want?” question is basic. We want a systemic return to the rule of law.

No more tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally corrupt and rotting system. Tinkering that accomplishes nothing but a minuscule slowing of an inevitable decline into a poverty existence for the masses. Inevitable, unless the masses fight back.

This movement begins as an awakening, a means by which to shake the American people from their apathetic slumber of acceptance at being ever-increasingly pushed down and ruled over by wealthy elites and transnational corporations.

Once the undeniable volumes of awakened people are achieved, and corporate- controlled media and entrenched establishments can no longer ignore, mock or easily crush those volumes, the movement transitions into the “demands” stage. When demands are fully developed, they won’t be comprised of small, meaningless calls for corporate-authored legislation or implementation of a neutered regulatory item, also crafted by the very industry it would seek to police.

This movement does not aspire to find a way in which to best play the game with the cards already on the table. This is about sweeping those dirty cards off the table completely, presenting an entirely new deck and new rules for how the game will now be played. The demands this movement will make will be fundamental and paradigm-altering. Those looking for a simple or easily packaged list of what the movement wants right now will continue to struggle with understanding what this is truly about. This is no “answer to the tea party.” This is much more complicated and fundamental.

For those who extol the virtues of, or are looking for pragmatism, this likely will not be the movement for you—yet.

Fai Borowiec Buffalo


11-15-11 4 – Special Comment – Mayor Bloomberg – Countdown with Keith Olbermann

We Are the 99.9%

Published: November 24, 2011

“We are the 99 percent” is a great slogan. It correctly defines the issue as being the middle class versus the elite (as opposed to the middle class versus the poor). And it also gets past the common but wrong establishment notion that rising inequality is mainly about the well educated doing better than the less educated; the big winners in this new Gilded Age have been a handful of very wealthy people, not college graduates in general.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Krugman

Readers’ Comments

“Greed. Not for nothing is it one of the Seven Deadly Sins… . It is, in fact, destabilizing our democracy.”

John L, Manhattan

If anything, however, the 99 percent slogan aims too low. A large fraction of the top 1 percent’s gains have actually gone to an even smaller group, the top 0.1 percent — the richest one-thousandth of the population.

And while Democrats, by and large, want that super-elite to make at least some contribution to long-term deficit reduction, Republicans want to cut the super-elite’s taxes even as they slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the name of fiscal discipline.

Before I get to those policy disputes, here are a few numbers.

The recent Congressional Budget Office report on inequality didn’t look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, did. According to that report, between 1979 and 2005 the inflation-adjusted, after-tax income of Americans in the middle of the income distribution rose 21 percent. The equivalent number for the richest 0.1 percent rose 400 percent.

For the most part, these huge gains reflected a dramatic rise in the super-elite’s share of pretax income. But there were also large tax cuts favoring the wealthy. In particular, taxes on capital gains are much lower than they were in 1979 — and the richest one-thousandth of Americans account for half of all income from capital gains.

Given this history, why do Republicans advocate further tax cuts for the very rich even as they warn about deficits and demand drastic cuts in social insurance programs?

Well, aside from shouts of “class warfare!” whenever such questions are raised, the usual answer is that the super-elite are “job creators” — that is, that they make a special contribution to the economy. So what you need to know is that this is bad economics. In fact, it would be bad economics even if America had the idealized, perfect market economy of conservative fantasies.

After all, in an idealized market economy each worker would be paid exactly what he or she contributes to the economy by choosing to work, no more and no less. And this would be equally true for workers making $30,000 a year and executives making $30 million a year. There would be no reason to consider the contributions of the $30 million folks as deserving of special treatment.

But, you say, the rich pay taxes! Indeed, they do. And they could — and should, from the point of view of the 99.9 percent — be paying substantially more in taxes, not offered even more tax breaks, despite the alleged budget crisis, because of the wonderful things they supposedly do.

Still, don’t some of the very rich get that way by producing innovations that are worth far more to the world than the income they receive? Sure, but if you look at who really makes up the 0.1 percent, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, by and large, the members of the super-elite are overpaid, not underpaid, for what they do.

For who are the 0.1 percent? Very few of them are Steve Jobs-type innovators; most of them are corporate bigwigs and financial wheeler-dealers. One recent analysis found that 43 percent of the super-elite are executives at nonfinancial companies, 18 percent are in finance and another 12 percent are lawyers or in real estate. And these are not, to put it mildly, professions in which there is a clear relationship between someone’s income and his economic contribution.

Executive pay, which has skyrocketed over the past generation, is famously set by boards of directors appointed by the very people whose pay they determine; poorly performing C.E.O.’s still get lavish paychecks, and even failed and fired executives often receive millions as they go out the door.

Meanwhile, the economic crisis showed that much of the apparent value created by modern finance was a mirage. As the Bank of England’s director for financial stability recently put it, seemingly high returns before the crisis simply reflected increased risk-taking — risk that was mostly borne not by the wheeler-dealers themselves but either by naïve investors or by taxpayers, who ended up holding the bag when it all went wrong. And as he waspishly noted, “If risk-making were a value-adding activity, Russian roulette players would contribute disproportionately to global welfare.”

So should the 99.9 percent hate the 0.1 percent? No, not at all. But they should ignore all the propaganda about “job creators” and demand that the super-elite pay substantially more in taxes.


Letter to the Occupiers & the 99% — by Annabel Park
Sun, 10/02/2011 – 12:30pm


Why Occupy Wall Street will keep up the fight. By Kalle Lasn and Micah White, Published: November 18, washpost.com.The people’s assemblies will continue with or without winter encampments. What will be new is the marked escalation of surprise, playful, precision disruptions — rush-hour flash mobs, bank occupations, “occupy squads” and edgy theatrics.And we will see clearly articulated demands emerging, among them a “Robin Hood tax” on all financial transactions and currency trades; a ban on high-frequency “flash” trading; the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act to again separate investment banking from commercial banking; a constitutional amendment to revoke corporate personhood and overrule Citizens United ; a move toward a “true cost” market regime in which the price of every product reflects the ecological cost of its production, distribution and use; and with a bit of luck, perhaps even the birth of a new, left-right hybrid political party that moves America beyond the Coke vs. Pepsi choices of the past.

In this visceral, canny, militantly nonviolent phase of our march to real democracy, we will “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” We will regroup, lick our wounds, brainstorm and network all winter. We will build momentum for a full-spectrum counterattack when the crocuses bloom next spring.

additional quote from a blog: Railing against income inequality, job loss, and banking abuses is thus understandable, but it doesn’t do any good…But if the movement attracts charismatic leaders amidst a stagnant or worsening economy, it may become a force in American politics. Already Kalle Lasn and Micah White, who appear to be the nearest thing the movement has to leaders, have published an articulate manifesto, “Why Occupy Wall Street Will Keep Up the Fight,” (visited Nov. 20, 2011), which reminds me of Tom Hayden’s 1962 “Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society,” www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/huron.html(visited Nov. 20, 2011). from: http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/11/occupy-wall-street-posner.html


A manifesto for the movement’s future.


All of us–and university presidents more than...
Dillon Culbreth 11:12am Nov 21, 2011
All of us–and university presidents more than anyone else–know the state of higher ed today demands critical attention. Yet, instead of working with the protesting students, too many university leaders are calling in police to “maintain order” or to preserve “safety” or “security” or “sanitation.” But the police don’t come to preserve order; they come in post 9/11 anti-terrorist SWAT gear and the result is brutality incommensurate with minor crimes such as camping over night on university property. There are real choices that need to be made about how to address the Occupy protests. We’re at a turning point, a Gettysburg Address moment, where moral authority and moral force needs to be eloquently articulated before this historical moment devolves into violence and polarization. Our students are not wrong in the content of their protests. Calling the police does not address their issues; as we have seen too often, it can foster violence –with an ever-more imminent potential for tragedy.
Where are the university leaders, today, who will take the moral high ground

Possibility for a New Society


Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi


THURSDAY, NOV 17, 2011 4:30 PM EST
The NYPD has discredited itself…
Tough tactics and intolerance favor the rich and flout the rule of law.

What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished in Two Short Months – November 16, 2011 By Mark Naison


The 99 Percent Declaration

1. Elimination of the Corporate State. The...
Bella Cennato Wade 1:54pm Nov 17, 2011
1. Elimination of the Corporate State. The merger of the political system of Republican Democracy with the economic system of Capitalism has resulted in the establishment of a Corporate government of, by and for the benefit of corporations. Therefore, the American People demand an immediate ban on all private contributions of any thing of value, to all politicians in or running for federal office. This ban shall extend to all individuals, corporations, “political action committees,” “super political action committees,” lobbyists, unions and all other private sources of money or any thing of value. Private fundings of campaigns shall be replaced by the fair, equal and total public financing of all federal political campaigns. We, the American People, categorically REJECT the concepts that corporations are persons or that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest people and corporations would have a voice in our society. The complete elimination of private contributions must be enacted by law or Constitutional amendment because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who indirectly and directly spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions when they attain office and ensure their reelection year after year. Our elected representatives spend far too much of their time fundraising for the next election rather than doing the People’s business and labor under conflicts of interest that make it impossible for them to act in the best interest of the American People. The current system’s propagation of legalized bribery and perpetual conflicts of interests has reduced our once great Republican Democracy to a greed driven corporatocracy run by boardroom oligarchs who represent .05 to 1% of the population but own 38% of the wealth and whose incomes have increased 275% since 1979 while most other salaries have remained virtually flat or declined.


Occupy Houston November 17th Day Of Action Rally

November 18, 2011 By  Leave a Comment

imageThe Occupy Houston November 17th Day Of Action was peaceful, successful, and effective. Both the protesters and the police were well behaved.

The rally started in Market Square Park in Downtown Houston at about 4:00 PM. There was a moveon.org speaker and several others from other organizations. Minister Robert Mohammed gave likely one of the most powerful working class messages of the evening in support of the movement.Andrea Gardner, a Coffee Party USA member gave a passionate interview detailing the reasons she felt a need to be at the rally.

After a short program, protesters marched to the bridge near the University of Houston Downtown. Twelve occupiers sat in the middle of the street and blocked traffic. They were then arrested by officers of the Houston Police Department. Houston Police and Occupy Houston are displaying a tense cooperation that is holding so far.

The protesters then marched back to Market Square Park where the rally ended with speeches byOccupy Houston representatives Dustin Phipps & Remington Alessi.

OCCUPY (Encourage and Create) JOBS!
The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending.

René Upshaw 1:24am Nov 20, 2011
An excellent editorial from the Washington Post in support of the Occupy movement…

“Only a soft regime change can end the pervasive corruption at the heart of our political system, in which corporate money wins elections, drafts laws and trumps citizen desires. Only the plural voices of everyday Americans, The 99%, have the capacity to wake up The 1% to their greedy, self-serving ways, and to dismantle the global casino in which $1.3 trillion worth of derivatives, credit default swaps and other financial instruments slosh around every day without a hint of concern or regard for the millions of lives that such speculation can destroy.”



Sherry Dunbar: I just saw footage on Davis California!! Totally disturbing to say the least, gut wrenching really…one of my children is learning about the holocaust in school and the footage at Davis with the pepper spray when they were all sitting and crouched and an officer spraying it on them in the sitting line up made me think of those horrible things. I can not believe that a person of authority is able to do these things with no remorse or no being held accountable for such a criminal act!!! A person of non authority would be punished to the highest degree for assault with intent to cause bodily harm to say the least!!!!! THIS has got to stop, the protestors they were spraying were not violent at the time at all on the footage (there were those being loud and hollering and such trying to get the officers to stop) but the ones SITTING certainly did not deserve to be lined up and sprayed! WE try to teach our children that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable and then the LAW does these things, what kind of example are they setting? I realize protestors and enforcers are frustrated but authority can not teach anything or have anyone take them seriously when they act out worse than a common criminal …. they are certainly acting worse than criminals themselves, criminals who afflict harm and cause others pain, suffering, etc are suppose to picked up by officers, charged, held and wait for their day in court of sentencing, they are not to be THE officer participating in crime…The officers doing these things should be the first the new Harper bill get to put AWAY !


The SC Progressive Network is asking South...
Angela Tabranri Abbott 1:16am Nov 20
The SC Progressive Network is asking South Carolina citizens to gather at the State House on Monday, Nov. 21, to challenge Gov. Nikki Haley’s order against protesting on the grounds after 6pm.“We are urging citizens who believe that our First Amendment right to petition our government doesn’t end at sunset to join us at the State House from 6 to 7pm on Monday,” said Network Director Brett Bursey. “We will peacefully protest on the grounds, and are inviting legislators to join us in taking a stand for free speech in South Carolina.”Network Co-chair Virginia Sanders said the prohibition against protesting after 6pm reminds her of Columbia’s old Jim Crow practice of running the last bus to the black communities before dark. She also remembers 1961, when 187 black students were arrested for protesting racial segregation on the State House grounds. The US Supreme Court threw out the conviction, ordering that the state could not “make criminal the peaceful expression of unpopular views.”Participants in Monday’s protest will not be arrested unless they refuse to leave after being ordered to do so by the Bureau of Protective Services.Neither the Governor’s Office, the Dept. of Public Saftey or the Bureau responded to repeated requests Friday for clarification of the new limits on First Amendment expression on the State House grounds. “It’s my guess that they don’t have a clue how to enforce an illegal order,” Bursey said.

The Declaration of the Occupation of Washington D.C. 11/15/2011

by InterOccupy on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 1:33pm

Public Release of the Declaration of the Occupation of Washington DC (a document from Occupy DC). November 17th, 2011

For the past month, a 50+ person committee of Occupy DC (authorized by the General Assembly) has been working on a document to represent the sentiments of the movement. The committee has now finished their work and the resulting document is attached. Modeled in a way that it works-in-concert with the declaration to come out of Wall Street, The Declaration of the Occupation of Washington, DC is the first official document to come from those occupying McPherson Square. There was an open submission process for proposals, and 1000s of personhours were spent condensing those 200 plus proposals into the attached document. This will not be the last document to come from Occupy DC. It is only the first.

The committee was a very diverse group of peoples of differing ages, ethnicities, genders, ideologies, religious affiliations, and world views. Enriched by our different experiences, we worked together to unanimously agree on the ideas and words that should be included in this declaration.

The Declaration of the Occupation of Washington D.C.

Consented to in committee November 15th, 2011

We have been captives of corrupt economic and political systems for far too long. The concentration of wealth and the purchase of political power stifle the voices of the increasingly disenfranchised 99%. Corporate dominance subverts democracy, intentionally sows division, destroys the environment, obstructs the just and equitable pursuit of happiness, and violates the rights and dignity of all life.

Occupy D.C. is an open community of diverse individuals, founded on equality for the common good. We are peaceably assembled at McPherson Square, practicing direct democracy on the doorstep of K Street, the center of destructive corporate and governmental relationships. We insist that our political and economic systems serve the people’s interests. Now is the time to advance and complete the struggles of those who came before us.

We are assembled because.

It is absurd that the 1% has taken 40% of the nation’s wealth through exploiting labor, outsourcing jobs, and manipulating the tax code to their benefit through special capital tax rates and loopholes. The system is rigged in their favor, yet they cry foul when anyone even dares to question their relentless class warfare.

Candidates in our electoral system require huge sums of money to be competitive. These contributions from multi-national corporations and wealthy individuals destroy responsive representative governance. A system of backroom deals, kickbacks, bribes, and dirty politics overrides the will of the people. The rotation of decision-makers between the public and private sectors cultivates a network of public officials, lobbyists, and executives whose aligned interests do not serve the American people.

The entrenched 2-party system overlooks public interests by pursuing narrow political goals. This climate encourages candidates to polarize voters for individual power and personal gain. Citizens’ meaningful input has been compromised by gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, and unresponsive politicians. Residents of Washington DC continue to lack autonomy and legislative representation.

Those with power have divided us from working in solidarity by perpetuating historical prejudices and discrimination based on color of skin, perceived race, immigrant or indigenous status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability, among other things.

Corporations broke the financial system by gambling with our savings, property, and economy. They needed the public to bail them out of their failures yet deny any responsibility and continue to fight oversight. They loot from those whose labor creates society’s prosperity, while the government allows them to privatize profits and socialize risk.

Corporate interests threaten life on Earth by extracting and burning fossil fuels and resisting the necessary transition to renewable energy. Their drilling, mining, clear-cutting, overfishing, and factory farming destroys the land, jeopardizes our food and water, and poisons the soil with near impunity. They privilege polluters over people by subsidizing fossil fuels, blocking investments in clean energy and efficient transportation, and hiding environmental destruction from public oversight.

Private corporations, with the government’s support, use common resources and infrastructure for short-term personal profit, while stifling efforts to invest in public goods.

The U.S. government engages in drawn-out, costly conflicts abroad. These operations are often pursued to control resources, needlessly overthrow foreign governments, and install friendly regimes. These wars destroy the lives of American soldiers and innocent civilians and are a blank check to divert money from domestic priorities.

Government authorities cultivate a culture of fear to invade our privacy, limit assembly, restrict speech, and deny due process. They have failed in their duty to protect our rights. Exacerbated by profiteering interests, the criminal justice system has unfairly targeted underprivileged communities and outspoken groups for prosecution rather than protection.

Corporatized culture warps our perception of reality. It cheapens and mocks the beauty of human thought and experience, while promoting excessive materialism as the path to happiness. The corporate news media furthers the interests of the very wealthy, distorts and disregards the truth, and confines our imagination of what is possible for ourselves and society.

Leaders are trading our access to basic needs in exchange for handouts to the ultra-wealthy. Our rights to healthcare, education, food, water, and housing are sacrificed to profit-driven market forces. They are attacking unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, creating an uncertain future for us all.*

A better world is possible.

To all people,

We, the Washington D.C. General Assembly occupying K Street in McPherson Square, urge you to assert your power. Exercise your right to peaceably assemble and reclaim the commons. Re-conceive ways to build a democratic, just, and sustainable world. To all who value democracy, we encourage you to collaborate, and share available resources. We stand with you in solidarity.

*These grievances are not all inclusive.

Lobbying firm’s memo spells out plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street

"Two of the memo’s authors, partners Sam...
René Upshaw 11:59pm Nov 19, 2011
“Two of the memo’s authors, partners Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, previously worked for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Geduldig joined CLGC before Boehner became speaker; Cranford joined CLGC this year after serving as the speaker’s assistant for policy. A third partner, Steve Clark, is reportedly “tight” with Boehner, according to a story by Roll Call that CLGC features on its website.”The memo is from Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford (CLGC) and addressed to one of their clients, the American Bankers Association (ABA).CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/19/8884405-lobbying-firms-memo-spells-out-plan-to-undermine-occupy-wall-street?mid=531

OCCUPY MAYORS! – Where do They Stand?

November 15, 2011 · By Matias Ramos
These mayors have a decision to make about who they stand with: The 1% or the 99%.

Walt Roberts  3:20 pm Nov 18, 2011
Share this widely please. The message to Mayors is: Please support the 99%, support the occupations, eliminate police brutality, crackdowns and evictions of Occupy encampments. We hope Mayors will join the Occupiers, support our message and help to work with us to bring about a just society that works for all of us. http://ow.ly/7wlgy



Bruce Jones 5:31pm Nov 18, 2011
Have we lost our “Destiny” and now declining? Hungarian revolutionary Louis Kossuth in 1848: It was “America’s destiny,” Kossuth said, “to become the cornerstone of Liberty in the world. Should the Republic of America ever lose this consciousness of this destiny,” he continued, “that moment would be just as surely the beginning of America’s decline as the 19th of April 1775 was the beginning of the Republic of America.”
Author: Gary Hart

We reveal ourselves not only by our treatment of each other but also by our response to revolutions in the world.

The great American historian Gordon Wood relates a statement by the Hungarian revolutionary Louis Kossuth in 1848: It was “America’s destiny,” Kossuth said, “to become the cornerstone of Liberty in the world. Should the Republic of America ever lose this consciousness of this destiny,” he continued, “that moment would be just as surely the beginning of America’s decline as the 19th of April 1775 was the beginning of the Republic of America.”

In his new and profound collection of essays, “The Idea of America”, Professor Wood documents our consistent support, political and moral, for republican revolutions that liberated peoples around the world from monarchy. Then came the Russian revolution, soon co-opted by the Bolsheviks, and we reacted against an alternative revolutionary narrative by supporting–especially during the Cold War–repressive, undemocratic, anti-republican nations and dictators.

The Cold War ended twenty years ago and the U.S. has yet to recapture its historic support for republican revolution. Much more could have been done during and after the Gorbachev years to encourage in Russia and Eastern Europe the ideals of the republic and the institutions they create. We are confused and ambivalent regarding the Arab Spring, as much as anything because we endorsed and supported repressive government in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. In Latin America and Asia we seem more interested in nominally pro-American “stability” than in the aspirations of the people for freedom.

Those Americans opposed to our Cold War anti-democratic policies offered as an alternative support for human rights. Commendable as the inspiration for the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, as a central organizing principle human rights do not necessarily insure the ideals of the republic. While we cannot and should not dictate to others the form of government they should adopt, what Kossuth and other mid-19th century revolutionaries saw in America was a Constitution that framed republican government institutions and incorporated their highest aspirations in our Bill of Rights.

As a basis for conditioning America’s role in the world of the 21st century, “human rights” lacks the gravity and specificity of the republican ideal. By proclaiming those ideals, we place certain moral demands on ourselves. The thinkers of the 18th century at our founding, according to Professor Wood, “knew that republicanism required a special kind of people, a people who possessed virtue, who were willing to surrender their private interests for the sake of the whole.” This sense of a greater good, of ideals greater than greed and power, is what has inspired republican revolutionaries throughout the better hours of our history.

During those Cold War years, America established a global presence, both military and commercial, that resembled the empires of history. More than a century and a half ago, Kossuth knew that if we placed our interest in power ahead of our destiny as the cornerstone of republican liberty our decline would begin. It is now for us to decide who we are. Will we seek to perpetuate our power as a military and commercial empire, or will we recapture our destiny as the beacon of republican liberty and an ideal for all the people of the world still longing for that light.




Power in Numbers: Millions Crowd to Occupy Life

Bruce Jones 6:16pm Nov 19, 2011
This lady has a way with words and this quote show how right she is, “Its lack of a consolidated power structure or the control of one mastermind compelling allegiance has strengthened the movement in ways that confounded not only the mainstream media but also the mainstream mindset.
What we used to call the establishment in the 1960s had become so enamored with itself and so entrenched that its generals cannot fathom what happened or why. Rest assured, what has been reported by many as a lack of specific demands or direction coming from OWS ought not be confused with a lack of specific demands or direction. Abusers often act confused when the abused dare to finally confront. They deflect attention back to the abused. So the coward bares its cowardice.”
Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is a national single-payer healthcare advocate and community organizer.
Sheryl Wells wrote: “I’m hoping to see a plethora of cases moving through the courts over the coming years. This has to be a long game. Occupy has gotten EVERYONE’S attention which is an essential first step. Returning our democracy back to what it was intended to be will take perseverance. That quality has already been demonstrated by those courageous enough occupy our public spaces.”
Frank Ostaseski November 19, 2011:
This week police pepper sprayed their neighbor’s children, shoved a batton in the ribs of Robert Hass our Poet Laurete, shot a man on a university campus. History not appreciated repeats itself…the Pullman strike of 1894, the Ludlow strike of 1913, the US Steel Strike 1937, Kent State 1970. All ended in violence as industrialists and institutions hired arm guards or used police to break strikes. Please stop the madness. – Occupy Sanity.
There is a gov-corp political agenda which is becoming clearly noticeable to stop this movement which has not gone away but as of recent, continues to grow with participants coming from a broad spectrum of backgrounds.
You see, 99% is not enough, we are looking at 100% coherence, to bring an end to the paradigm of indifference and human suffering…resistance of the Truth is futile…

“Cowardice asks the question- is it safe?
expediency asks the question- is it politic?
Vanity asks the question- is it popular?
But conscience asks the question- is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe nor popular;
but one must take it BECAUSE it is right.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

‘The more authorities try to quiet OWS – the bigger it grows!’

Andrew Scheurich Adam wrote: “it’s time for the occupiers to quit occupying the park and start occupying the court room. otherwise, all they’re doing is camping. the vietnam war protestors didn’t save 58,000 american soldiers by playing naked in the mud at woodstock. the occupy protestors need leadership, a legal team, and nation-changing legislation to introduce to the house floor. dear occupiers: i love you for standing up for yourselves, your courage in the face of everything so far, but quit screwing around and get serious. corporate lobbyists don’t pass legislation from their camping tents, neither will we.”


Bella Cennato Wade 12:14pm Nov 11
I am one of the 99% who doesn’t need a hand out or a hand up. But I’ve watched year after year as hardworking friends (in the wrong careers fields to survive) have struggled. I’ve watched our kids struggle to get a job much less a job that provided a living wage. I’ve watched congress for almost 30 years pass one bad piece of legislation after another that was MEANT to further impoverish the 99%. I have argued, debated and researched for years against the insanity of our gov’t. I said two years ago, nothing is going to change unless the American people revolt. I am a pragmatic who KNOWS that lack of compassion is the hallmark of brutality in any society. I am taking a stand and I AM ONE OF THE 99%. I salute OWS for standing up and shouting loudly enough that the world has begun to hear!

Threw the week I have spent lots of time between Internet browsing and at occupy Miami to try and gain some other peoples perspectives and WOW! Our generation has a beautiful and loud voice. It was amazing seeing all these people from all walks of life coming together to better their communities for everyone and have their voices heard.

One thing I noticed, I think goes with out saying, is the American people are pissed off. Student loans are at an all time high. Unemployment rate is sky rocketing. Social security is very unstable. Our troops are still overseas. Our prisons are becoming sardine cans. And all most of Americans can do is attend yoga and buy small dogs.

People! You have the right to be mad. This country needs your anger. And I personally thank you. However I feel we the people need to re-centralize back to why we occupy. And that is the most dangerous problem in America today. Corporate endorsement to electives in office. Quite frankly, lobbyist.

We will never be able to fix any problem we face until we fix that. Never. As long as our politicians win there campaigns with “strings attached” money then they are not the ones in office. The company that gave them the campaign money are. Wether that company is a tobacco company, car company, banks, or in most cases, big pill companies, that is who the politician is loyal to. Not you.

We must remember this: lobbying is killing the integrity of this country. As long as we stand and do nothing then we will continue to give all we have to the people who have it all. This whole movement is to stop lobbying and keep our government honest and faithful to us.

Right now the news is successfully turning this to a “rich Vs poor” thing. They say we are just a bunch of hippies trying to get a hand out when we are simply 99% of the American people looking for a hand up.

I urge you to never forget the things you just simply don’t like however remember that no matter what your issue is with the government it is merely a symptom of the real problem. That money buys elections. Keeping government dishonest. That is why we occupy.

I have no problem with a successful person who has accomplished and achieved the American dream. I personally inspire to be like them. What the problem is, is that day by day it is becoming harder to achieve that dream.

I urge you to copy and paste this wherever you see fit to remind all why we occupy. To end agenda bought elections.

– Barricade Bennett –


Interview with creator of Occupy Wall Street “bat-signal” projections during Brooklyn Bridge #N17 march

By  at 11:15 pm Thursday, Nov 17

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Earlier this evening, tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters marched throughout New York City, manymaking their way on to the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying LED candles and chanting. As Occupiers took the bridge in a seemingly endless sea of people, words in light appeared projected on the iconic Verizon Building nearby:


A few hours later I spoke with Mark Read, who organized the “bat-signal” project. He tells Boing Boing why and how he did this, and what technology he used.:

XJ: How did this come together?Mark Read: It came up at an action coordination meeting. We were talking about what to do on the 17th. We had a sense that the morning on Wall Street would be forceful and confrontational, and we wanted to not do the same kind of thing in the afternoon. Initial talks focused on having a thousand people taking the bridge in the afternoon, and continuing in a militant mode of activism. But we started thinking about creating a more unifying moment. A celebration of the birthday of Occupy Wall Street. Maybe taking the roadway and having lots of arrests might not be best thing. What if we took the pedestrian walkway, and gave out LED candles? We would give out 10,000 LED tea candles, a river of light streaming over the walkway.

And a guy named Hero, who has been central to a lot of facets of the occupation since the beginning, turns to me and says, “We need a bat signal. The 99%.”

I said, I think I can do that. I know just enough about how the technology works that I think I can pull that off. And for the past two weeks, I’ve worked full time on figuring that out.

My friend Will Etundi, who I know from these renegade street parties, the alter-globalization movementcarnivals against capital—he’s part of a community of friends who deploy spectacle and art in the service of radical politics. Will and I have done other events that were about getting people into public space. Transforming the normal way we use space, turning it into a party, a roving community, something festive and mobile. Through that work, I’d already met people with a variety of skill sets, strange and magical abilities. I got in touch with them right away, and started pulling together a team. Who would have a 12K lumen projector, a big expensive piece of equipment, the most powerful projector you can get?

I knew I wanted to throw it on the Verizon Building. Everyone who lives in New York has looked at that big monolithic structure. For some of us, every time we look at it we think of how cool it would be as a projection surface.

I knew we’d need a powerful projector. But if you had something that expensive on loan for free, you couldn’t just sneak it up on some roof and be in jeopardy.

I knew I had to find someone who lived in a building nearby.

XJ: How did you go about finding someone nearby who would allow you stage this from inside their home?

MR: Opposite the Verizon building, there is a bunch of city housing. Subsidized, rent-controlled. There’s a lack of services, lights are out in the hallways, the housing feels like jails, like prisons. I walked around, and put up signs in there offering money to rent out an apartment for a few hours. I didn’t say much more. I received surprisingly few calls, and most of them seemed not quite fully “there.” But then I got a call from a person who sounded pretty sane. Her name was Denise Vega. She lived on the 16th floor. Single, working mom, mother of three.

I spoke with her on the phone, and a few days later went over and met her.

I told her what I wanted to do, and she was enthused. The more I described, the more excited she got.

Her parting words were, “let’s do this.”

She wouldn’t take my money. That was the day of the eviction of Zuccotti, the same day. And she’d been listening to the news all day, she saw everything that had happened.

“I can’t charge you money, this is for the people,” she said.

She was born in the projects. She opened up her home to us.

She was in there tonight with her 3 daughters, 2 sisters. The NYPD started snooping around down on the ground while the projections were up, it was clear where we were projecting from, and inside it was festive.

“If they want to come up they’re gonna need a warrant!,” her family was saying. “If they ask us, well, we don’t know what they are talking about!” They were really brave and cool.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

XJ: Who wrote the words?

MR: I did. A lot of it is just chants that we’ve heard. “We are the 99%,” everyone knows that one. “We are unstoppable, another world is possible,” a bunch of chants that have circulated around. “We are winning.” There’s one you’d see internationally, when Zapatistas are marching on the zocalo, and it circulated thorugh radical circles. “Failure isn’t possible” is another I wanted to use, which I don’t think made it in there.

And “It’s the beginning of the beginning.” I loved that one. So frequently, things happen in the world that make it feel like we’re at the beginning of the end. But—”the beginning of the beginning,” what a radically optimistic statement that is.

The scale of the environmental and economic crisis we are facing, it’s extraordinary. This movement is a response to that crisis. Our leaders aren’t responding to any of that in a way that is commensurate to the crises we face. And that one sign has always spoken to me. We have to throw off our despair about the future world we might be facing, because if we come together as people and humanity, we can change it. And what Occupy Wall Street makes me feel is that for the first time in a long time that might be possible.

That means a lot to me. This is choosing hope over despair. This is actively and resolutely making that choice. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be over in two months. It’s not going to be just the result of conversation.

XJ: How old are you?

MR: I’m 45. The people who worked on this are a diverse range of ages. Some are in their 20s, but not all of us are that young. It’s hard to study what’s happening in the environment and with the global economy and not feel afraid. There is a lot to fear. One of the things we were projecting tonight, it was Max Nova‘s idea. “Do not be afraid.” And I think that’s so important.

XJ: This event was to mark the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. We recently passed the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, and in a way, your message seems like a kind of antidote to the climate of fear that followed.

MR: I guess it is. I watched 9/11 happen from my rooftop in Park Slope. I was there. It’s been a crazy decade since then, a fearful time. And our leaders have stoked those fears, there’s been a lot of fear-mongering. It’s been like that for a decade, and it feels like we are turning a page. I know we’re heading into winter in New York, but this feels like springtime.

XJ: Who did the graphics, and what tools did you use to create the sequence, and project it?

MR: Max Nova and JR Skola, from the art group Dawn of Man. They are video projectionists, and artists.

They have done stuff in Zuccotti Park. I didn’t know how I was going to put together the graphics, I’d been running around for the last two weeks trying to coordinate the team—you have to be able to live mix it, you need to understand how to make projections look right coming to the surface from an extreme angle, you need to be a VJ, and I’m not. So Max wound up being the guy. They used Modul8 VJ mixing software, a Sony 12K lumen projector that sells for around $10K. It’s huge. It’s more than 3 feet long, about 2 feet wide.

The whole thing was a combination of high tech and super jerry-rigging on the fly. The Modul8 software we were using can do amazing things: sense the angle you’re projecting at, even if it’s extreme, and modify the image so it looks straight. But then, we held the projected in place with gaffer tape, a broomstick, some baling wire. We only had 20 minutes to get it ready.

XJ: Were you worried about getting in trouble with the police?

MR: I was so sure it was not against the law, but I didn’t ask my lawyer friends. I didn’t want to really know. The police knew where we were, they were pointing up to the window. But no one stopped us when we left.

XJ: When did you get a sense of the reaction the Occupiers had, when they were marching on the bridge and saw the projections?

MR: Oh, we could hear the crowd from the window. We heard them screaming, yelling. We had this idea that we would be able to mic check a short speech, and we timed the words so that it would fit with exactly how people would chant, just as they had been chanting these things for weeks.

XJ: Now that it’s done, how do you feel?

MR: I feel immense gratitude to these youngsters for kicking my ass into gear. I’m feeling so much gratitude to everyone, for putting their bodies on the line every day, for this movement. It’s a global uprising we’re part of. We have to win.
(Special thanks to @gemini_scorpio)


Arin Crumley posted on Occupy Democracy Resources’s Wall.:
“We are at a crossroads. Access to jobs, homes and resources are dwindling. Our right to peacefully gather to discuss what to do about it is aggressively being fought by nationwide police coordination. It is a decisive moment on this planet. One option is to keep being occupied with our daily grind and individual struggles. Or we can take control of our collective destiny and design a future worth living. Worth waking up in the morning for. Worth defending. Worth birthing new life into. This movement is not centrally controlled which is what makes it yours. You create it. You bring your talents, your time and your resources. This is the platform for our Big Ideas. This is the place to find challenges worthy of your passion. Worthy of your life. What is our one demand? You. With strength in numbers there is no limit to what we can do. We need to continue to occupy Wall st. Occupy your street. Occupy this country. Occupy our world. Occupy our future. Occupy Now. “——————–
Bruce Jones 8:49pm Nov 17
More and more people are steping out and saying out loud what they have known all along but until now were afraid to tell the truth about the greed and corruption bringing ruination to the 99%. Some have hoped for a long time, ““Indian people have never given up hope that some day there will be justice,” says John Bird. “Our elders teach us that, so we carry it on. Some days, it all seems pretty hopeless. But this” – and he waves at the huge throng of protesters in Zuccotti Park, located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District – “this is hope. And what we’re hoping for is not only economic justice, but also environmental justice.”
Dr. Donald Soeken is a social worker with 40 years of professional experience.


You Can’t Evict an Idea By Published November 15, 2011

The “occupy” camps were just a tactic. The 99% is a growing movement whose time has come.

In the middle of the night, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hundreds of police in full riot gear crept up on peacefully sleeping American citizens early Tuesday morning and evicted them from Occupy Wall Street, reportedly using pepper spray and aggressive force.

You can physically push protesters off public land but there’s no way the powers that be can push out the idea taking hold in America’s conscience — that it is unacceptable for our economy to systematically benefit the rich while making it harder and harder for hardworking Americans to survive.

Think what you will about the protests. Maybe they weren’t your cup of tea. But do know that our forefathers who destroyed private property by dumping crates of tea into the Boston Harbor were not initially praised as heroes but attacked as criminals. But we look back with deep gratitude that they stood up to the fundamental inequity and injustice of the British monarchy and its stranglehold over the colonies. Without their bold action, we would not be a nation.

Such protests often look prettier with the distance of history. Standing up to the status quo is, by definition, counter-cultural in the moment — even if those doing the standing up have the support of the majority of Americans.

Senior citizens struggling to get by on eroding Social Security benefits and laid off construction workers and public teachers may not have all been sleeping under tarps in lower Manhattan, but millions were cheering the protesters on.

Even many among the 1%, many who work on Wall Street, signaled their support. After all, you’d have to be blind or willfully ignorant to think that our current economy is working as it should for working people.

Over the last generation, worker productivity has gone up as have corporate profits and CEO pay packages — but the wages for ordinary working folks, the people doing the work, have fallen. That’s not capitalism. That’s corruption.

To be clear, officials argued the eviction was necessary due to an “increasing health and fire safety hazard” in Zuccotti Park, where the protesters were encamped.

But such concerns were already being addressed. A volunteer team of doctors descended on the camp last week to give flu shots and prevent other infections from spreading and protesters had set up their own internal monitoring systems to prevent sexual assault and other violence.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that there’s been a recent spate of rape and attempted rape cases across New York City in the last several months to which many argue the police response has been lax at best, which casts questions on the claim the police merely wanted to help the protesters.

More significantly, the last time officials used the argument of needing to clean the park as a pretense for eviction, the protesters thoroughly scrubbed the place themselves. It’s clear the only thing Bloomberg really wants to protect is his political power and the power of his economic cohort.

Ironically, it’s possible the police did the 99% movement a favor and the eviction is a blessing in disguise. It’s getting darn cold in New York City and elsewhere and the occupy camps take a lot of energy to maintain.

Perhaps now organizers can focus on new tactics, engaging the broad majority of Americans across the country who support the movement and want ways to be involved.

From the conversations on the ground, I don’t expect any one new tactic will emerge right away but, over the coming days, expect to see a flurry of new activity as the 99% movement looks for its next incarnation. And, just as many Tea Party activists have supported the 99% movement because of shared opposition to TARP and Wall Street influence over Washington, you may find yourself inspired to join in as well.

Our system is broken. Government serves the interest of big business and big business only serves the interest of a very few, wealthy elites. It’s time to make our economy and our politics work for working people.

Time will tell if the end of occupy camps is upon us, but without a doubt, the larger movement for opportunity in America is just beginning. You can evict hundreds of protesters, but you cannot evict an idea whose time has come.

Sally Kohn is a political commentator and grassroots strategist. You can find her on Twitter or at Movement Vision.org.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/11/15/cant-evict-idea/#ixzz1dvA4zQaf


“Cookie Monster” Offers Best Explanation Yet for Occupy Wall Street

By Alan Scherstuhl Fri., Oct. 21 2011 at 2:05 PM
“C is for Corporate Malfeasance”
​A guy calling himself Cookie Monster has written what looks to us like the most clear and persuasive explanation for the Occupy movement we’ve seen anywhere, a copy-and-pastable screed that everyone should send to their crazy aunts and skeptical grandfolks.Admittedly, we don’t know for sure that the following bit of Cookie Monster/#OWS brilliance was penned by a guy. But it turned up in an Onion AV Club comment thread on an article about how some “Muppet insiders” are feeling squeamish about that upcoming new Muppet movie, and to argue the fundamentals of the American economy in such a forum seems awfully boyish, so the evidence is good enough for us.(The Av Club, remember, is the not made-up Onion site that lavishes serious attention on everything that matters in pop culture, especially Community. And Cookie Monster, remember, is these days a reformed glutton, so who better to school the world on the ways of the 1 percent?)Anyway, this “Cookie Monster” — who writes in full-on, dead-perfect, no-article Cookie-ese — has long been one of the AV Club’s best gimmick commenters, but also one of the Internet’s most astute and thoughtful writers, period. The AV Club should sign him (?) up immediately, because, seriously, he ranks right up there with Sean O’Neal and Steven Hyden — the site’s sharpest writers.Anyway, here’s a burst of Cookie truth that should be copy-and-pasted everywhere all across the Internet. Today, we are all Cookie Monsters!

Yes, there always going to be rich and poor. But we used to live in country where rich owned factory and make 30 times what factory worker make. Now we live in country where rich make money by lying about value of derivative bonds and make 3000 times what factory worker would make if factories hadn’t all moved to China.Capitalism great system. We won Cold War because people behind Iron Curtain look over wall, and see how much more plentiful and delicious cookies are in West, and how we have choice of different bakeries, not just state-owned one. It great system. It got us out of Depression, won WWII, built middle class, built country’s infrastructure from highways to Hoover Dam to Oreo factory to electrifying rural South. It system that reward hard work and fair play, and everyone do fair share and everyone benefit. Rich get richer, poor get richer, everyone happy. It great system.

Then after Reagan, Republicans decide to make number one priority destroying that system. Now we have system where richest Americans ones who find ways to game system — your friends on Wall Street — and poorest Americans ones who thought working hard would get them American dream, when in fact it get them pink slip when job outsourced to 10-year-old in Mumbai slum. And corporations have more influence over government than people (or monsters).

It not about rich people having more money. It about how they got money. It about how they take opportunity away from rest of us, for sake of having more money. It how they willing to take risks that destroy economy — knowing full well that what could and would happen — putting millions out of work, while creating nothing of value, and all the while crowing that they John Galt, creating wealth for everyone.

That what the soul-searching about. When Liberals run country for 30 years following New Deal, American economy double in size, and wages double along with it. That fair. When Conservatives run country for 30 years following Reagan, American economy double again, and wages stay flat. What happen to our share of money? All of it go to richest 1%. That not “there always going to be rich people”. That unfair system. That why we upset. That what Occupy Sesame Street about.

(There’s also a great Cookie Monster follow up, in which he says “In theory, this country a democracy, where everyone who share resources also have say in how resources used. In practice, ordinary monster have very little say, and super-rich basically do whatever they want and make government do whatever they want.”)

And Sean O’Neal’s piece on the Muppet movie is pretty hilarious.

Follow Alan Scherstuhl on Twitter at @studiesincrap, and SF Weekly‘s The Snitch blog@TheSnitchSF


What’s next?

Crystal ZevonCrystal Zevon is author of ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon’
November 15th, 2011 1:18 PM

A Cold Day for Occupiers
Occupy Washington D.C. By Crystal Zevon

I crawled out of my tent at about 6 a.m. and looked around for a Peacekeeper who would have the keys to the portapotties (which now are kept locked because of unfortunate incidents with our homeless brethren).  Jonathan, a young and very committed occupier, emerged from the medical tent and rushed over to inform me that Occupy Wall Street had been overwhelmed by police in riot gear in the dead of the night.  He’d been watching whatever was available to watch since 3 a.m.  It’s hard to describe exactly how the decimation of one occupy site impacts other sites.  We are separated by miles; we make decisions within our communities independent of one another; we don’t really even have time to keep up on the actions going on from one encampment to another.  Yet, when one occupation is struck, we are all struck.  The solidarity that binds our loosely strung network across the country, and indeed, around the globe, becomes electrified.  We feel the shock and suffer the pain, then we regroup and consider how we can support them while keeping our own occupation site safe and thriving.  I am occupying Washington D.C.  As the New York occupation is to Wall Street, we are to the nation’s government.  Every day there are criminal acts being committed by ‘elected officials’ and lobbiest in our names and we can’t let down our guard for a moment.  At the same time, the cold weather is coming and we need to winterize.  I know my $39 tent isn’t going to provide much protection soon.  And so, while someone is watching Amy Goodman’s coverage and keeping us up-to-date, someone else is using recently donated dollars to purchase some military tents where we can move our kitchen, media, medical and community gathering/emergency housing for the coming winter months… where we will organize a bus tour to link us closer together and build momentum for the coming of AMERICAN SPRING… a convergence of occupations everywhere on the Washington D.C. Mall beginning March 30th.  In solidarity and peace, we will survive, thrive and overcome.  Be ready for NATIONAL OCCUPY WASHINGTON D.C. (NOW DC).  www.october2011.org

Stop Congress’s Insider Trading! Sometimes a story breaks that leads to jaw dropping even among the normally jaded. This past week, a new book by conservative muckraker Peter Schweizer and a memoir by the disgraced and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff both shed light on the degree to which members of Congress profited from trading stocks that were directly affected by pending government policy. The insider trading ran the gamut of Republicans and Democrats and in all cases involved knowledge of pending contracts or legislation that would benefit or penalize specific industries. The amounts gained ranged from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.

As the old cliché goes, the scandal here is what is legal. The SEC and federal prosecutors have in recent years cracked down on Wall Street insider trading with a vengeance. The multi-year prosecution of hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam is only the most high-profile example.

Yet insider-trading laws do not apply to what many members of Congress have done. Because their privileged information does not come from company insiders and because congressional representatives are not employees of any public company, their trades do not fall under the definition of illegal insider trading. In short, because they trade on material nonpublic information about spending that they acquire as elected representatives, rather than on material nonpublic information provided by companies, they have not broken the law.
– Steven Mantz


November 16, 2011

NOT the books too!….
The police state confiscated and disposed of a library of over 5000 books in it’s recent clean up of OWS…

To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list. ~John Aikin

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves. ~Claude-Adrien Helvétius

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. ~John F. Kennedy
– Mark Colburn

Crackdown on OWS camps coordinated by US city mayors.:
It would seem that you could make the case that the mayors and police chiefs conspired and passed edicts designed to deprive people of their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, AND freedom of the press.

Amendment I of the United States Constitution:
Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press; rights of assembly and petition:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

November 15, 2011

Chris Hedges has pretty much become the de-facto spokesperson for the Occupy movement. He has had considerable experience covering and writing about revolutions all over the world. The dinosaurs will not prevail…

This Is What Revolution Looks Like by Chris Hedges

Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.

Occupy DenverOur decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke.

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional super committee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street.

The rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks, such as Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs, Howard Milstein at New York Private Bank & Trust, the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co., no doubt think it’s over. They think it is back to the business of harvesting what is left of America to swell their personal and corporate fortunes. But they no longer have any concept of what is happening around them. They are as mystified and clueless about these uprisings as the courtiers at Versailles or in the Forbidden City who never understood until the very end that their world was collapsing. The billionaire mayor of New York, enriched by a deregulated Wall Street, is unable to grasp why people would spend two months sleeping in an open park and marching on banks. He says he understands that the Occupy protests are “cathartic” and “entertaining,” as if demonstrating against the pain of being homeless and unemployed is a form of therapy or diversion, but that it is time to let the adults handle the affairs of state. Democratic and Republican mayors, along with their parties, have sold us out. But for them this is the beginning of the end.

The historian Crane Brinton in his book “Anatomy of a Revolution” laid out the common route to revolution. The preconditions for successful revolution, Brinton argued, are discontent that affects nearly all social classes, widespread feelings of entrapment and despair, unfulfilled expectations, a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite, a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class, an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens, a steady loss of will within the power elite itself and defections from the inner circle, a crippling isolation that leaves the power elite without any allies or outside support and, finally, a financial crisis. Our corporate elite, as far as Brinton was concerned, has amply fulfilled these preconditions. But it is Brinton’s next observation that is most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making impossible demands that if the government met would mean the end of the old configurations of power. The second stage, the one we have entered now, is the unsuccessful attempt by the power elite to quell the unrest and discontent through physical acts of repression.

Occupy OaklandI have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop us.

Despotic regimes in the end collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers who are ordered to carry out acts of repression, such as the clearing of parks or arresting or even shooting demonstrators, no longer obey orders, the old regime swiftly crumbles. When the aging East German dictator Erich Honecker was unable to get paratroopers to fire on protesting crowds in Leipzig, the regime was finished. The same refusal to employ violence doomed the communist governments in Prague and Bucharest. I watched in December 1989 as the army general that the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had depended on to crush protests condemned him to death on Christmas Day. Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak lost power once they could no longer count on the security forces to fire into crowds.

The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s deputy, Sharon Cornu, and the mayor’s legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first cracks in the edifice. “Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators,” Siegel tweeted after his resignation.

There were times when I entered the ring as a boxer and knew, as did the spectators, that I was woefully mismatched. Ringers, experienced boxers in need of a tuneup or a little practice, would go to the clubs where semi-pros fought, lie about their long professional fight records, and toy with us. Those fights became about something other than winning. They became about dignity and self-respect. You fought to say something about who you were as a human being. These bouts were punishing, physically brutal and demoralizing. You would get knocked down and stagger back up. You would reel backwards from a blow that felt like a cement block. You would taste the saltiness of your blood on your lips. Your vision would blur. Your ribs, the back of your neck and your abdomen would ache. Your legs would feel like lead. But the longer you held on, the more the crowd in the club turned in your favor. No one, even you, thought you could win. But then, every once in a while, the ringer would get overconfident. He would get careless. He would become a victim of his own hubris. And you would find deep within yourself some new burst of energy, some untapped strength and, with the fury of the dispossessed, bring him down. I have not put on a pair of boxing gloves for 30 years. But I felt this twinge of euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall.

© 2011 Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us MeaningWhat Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.

Tuesday 15 November, 20111

When I was a kid my older brothers and sisters were fighting for rights. Some of them were fighting for civil rights for women, some for gay people, some for black people. Others were protesting the Vietnam war. Within each movement were folks who thought that using guns and bullets to fight back was the answer and the rest knew that the patient path of political activism and non violence was the only path.
The violent folks didn’t listen, teamed up with undercover police to instigate violence and the police used the violence as an excuse to crack down and crack down hard. Malcolm X was assassinated, King was an assassinated, too liberal politicians were assassinated too for good measure.
The movements were broken up. The womens movement was told it had achieved its goals — an “equal rights amendment” for women was passed and sent to the states where it died. The civil rights laws were passed and blacks could now eat at the same lunch counters if they could afford it, enabling the rise of folks like Herman Caine and Clarence Thomas in society. The protesters helped elect Richard Nixon who promised ‘peace in our time’ even as he used any pretext to encourage his governors and mayors to stomp on demonstrators and the civil rights of protestors. Oh yes, it was a high time for some.

And the radical violent folks in those movements got all the attention while the world ignored that the business was unfinished. Discrimination in the USA has always been a predominantly green thing; the green being the color of money. The SDS broke up and its violent parts went off to form the Weather Underground and to be hunted down until their leaders finally outed themselves and became irrelevent professors at liberal colleges. The black panthers, the weather undeground, were hunted down, and any group that even looked like them too. Laws were passed criminalizing being poor, the equal rights amendment for women died in the States. Oh yes, assassinations worked. The violent fools with their bombs and their masks played right into the hands of authorities. Divide and rule works. Violence doesn’t. The Berrigan brothers kept dumping blood in military records, but people stopped paying attention. Even million man marches only got attention for 10 seconds.

The business of Occupy is the business of the folks who rose up in 1776, of the Abolitionists, of the suffragettes, of the progressives and of the Bonus Marchers, and the Hoovervilles; of civil rights and economic equality. It is the establishment of integrity to our political process and the building of a firm foundation for the pursuit of happiness for the people of this country and their progeny. But each generation joins the fight and then has to move on. Children have to be raised, careers pursued, money made. Our system punishes people for fanaticism unless it is well paid. Let us regard this battle as part of a long war. Religious folks should date it back to the founding of their religions. The fight against tyranny is also a fight against hypocrisy, bad laws and bad policies; and “private separate advantage” of the few at the expense not only of the many but of the integrity of their own lives. It’s not just tyranny its bad business. It’s not just violence, its bad governance.
– Christopher Hartly Holte

Thursday 10 November 2011
Across the country, police have used undercover and/or plainsclothed police officers to monitor occupations and protests that are a part of the 99 Percent Movement. Earlier today, the Tennessean published excerpts from emails sent by the Tennessee Highway Patrol that confirmed not only that police were infiltrating Occupy Nashville but that they were hoping for the movement’s demise.Undercover Cop at Occupy Oakland Condemns Police Brutality, Supports the Movement


Nov. 10, 2011
DEVELOPING / BREAKING: The man who was shot today in the Oakland Occupy Protest has reportedly died today.
If this is true, and if this person was exercising his peaceful constitutional right to freedom of assembly, and was not breaking the law in any way, we should all get together and contribute to a legal fund so a proper lawsuit can be brought against the city administration, the police, and anyone else who were the perpetrators of this tragic abuse. (It was later determined that the person killed was the victim of gang violence in the area, and not a result of a police reaction to protest activity.)

This is a very good explanation of what caused the Wall Street financial crisis, abuses, and problems which contributed to the economic downturn.
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10 Reasons America Will Be Judged as the Most Brutal Empire in History (Unless we change our ways.)

A must read for Occupiers:http://www.openculture.com/2011/02/from_dictatorship_to_democracy_open_text_changes_egypt.html
“From Dictatorship to Democracy.” Open Text Changes Face of Egypt.
There’s something wonderful about this …
– Via Bob Weil
(From various Occupy individuals and Websites.)
“Why am I here? Why am I standing up for Democracy with the 99%? Why am I a part of the Occupy movement? What should be our movement goals and demands? What changes do we want to see? How can we all help make it a better world?”
These are some of the questions we have asked the people who take part in the Occupy movement online, and in person.

By: Member X:

Why am I here? I grew up with the notion that if you worked hard you could get somewhere — or at least feed your family. My father worked as manufacturer at a local company. He started as a young adult in the 70′s. He wasn’t ambitious, he just wanted to provide for his family and keep and maintain social relationships through church and sport activities. He worked hard, eagerly gulping up any overtime and when none was available he often found part time work to supplement his income. Though he was able to avoid many of the perilous layoffs of the nineties his pay stopped rising with the cost of living and our family went into significant debt. He eventually fell victim to a layoff several years after his function had been sold. It didn’t matter how many decades he put into the business, the timing was just off when the function had transitioned. He has no pension. My parents are in debt, the house that they built their dreams on they could no longer maintain and is going through foreclosure. They believe in hard work so much that they blame themselves. They are humiliated.

I myself took a job through a temp agency when I was 19 and was “contracted” out to a company who, only a few years prior, had told their temps that going from “temp” status as a direct employee to working through a temp agency as a contracted employee was a good move for their employment. I stayed with it for many years until I found work at a local manufacturing plant. Starting from the bottom I had no choice but to go in on 3rd shift. My body just couldn’t take it. I left after 6 months, the headaches had become unbearable. This was a good thing in the long run, as this company ended up closing. I was eagerly picked up by my old employer, without losing anything but that 2nd week of vacation that I could never recover due to policy changes. Getting loans is difficult when you work for a temp agency, even when you have open-ended contracts. The health coverage that was extended was a joke. The maximum benefit allowance wasn’t much more than what you had to pay into it to begin with. After 10 years (cumulative) with this company, I was hired by our client. There are two of us that have been hired out of the hundreds (thousands?) that have come through here, some having been here nearly 15 years. People would sometimes ask why I stayed. Most people that I knew that had left for greener pastures ended up layed off mere months after leaving.

Now I make decent enough pay. I have a 401(k) (have you ever looked to see what companies are bundled into your mutual funds? Ask yourself, “do i really want a stake in THIS company thriving?”) and I have benefits. And everyday I see people walk through these doors that make barely more than minimum wage, no benefits to speak of and a variety of 4 yr. degrees. When it floods and they can’t make it into work – they don’t get paid and I do. Have I worked hard? I’d like to think so, but I can acknowledge that the difference between me and them is due to a variety of factors, many of which I have no control over.

I’m here because my avgeragish income shouldn’t be a “success story” among my peers. I’m here because I have relatively low debt that I can barely keep up with, I can’t imagine the folks who stayed in school thinking it was the right thing and now cannot find employment. I’m here for all those who utter “I just want to feed my family” or “I just want to know what it feels like to have a future.” I’m here because I see a chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of direct democracy. I’m here because I want my daughter to grow up in a society that values equity. I’m here because I’m sick of the Wall St. Casino determining when we thrive and when we starve. I’m here because the corporate/government empire has no clothes and regardless of whether or not it “changes” anything we need to at least stand up and say it.

I’m here because though I’m pegged as a progressive liberal and identify myself as an anarchist, I have more in common with the right wing libertarian than either of us has with our counterparts on the hill/in the white house and those whose money comes from hard speculation, not hard work.

The motto appeals to the 99%, but I do not begrudge many of those in that 1% who have worked hard to get there (though I do find it difficult to comprehend how one person’s time can be valued at several times more than another person’s).

We have all heard that power corrupts. For too long we have allowed corruption to empower. We keep playing the same game hoping for a different outcome. We have left our rage to the devices of the voting booth and allowed the pulling of a lever to release our steam. Our anger can be put to better use. I hope to see more people deciding to get involved in their own destinies rather awaiting the marching orders of the latest corporate propaganda. My desire is that Americans become comfortable in being a part of the solution instead of hoping that government will stop servicing the larger corp. interests over the interests of the people. I hope that we learn that we do not need to fear the collapse of the mighty because we can take care of each other. That’s what is going on right now on Wall st. A group of people democratically deciding how to take care of one another in direct defiance to those who normally use that street to play their power games.

What is my one demand? I only demand things from those whose power I acknowledge. Therefore I demand one thing – I ask of myself to root out the ways my dollar supports the tyranny of corporate interests. It’s a hard demand. I hope I’m up for the challenge.

What do I desire? I desire that the federal government and large corporations choose to clean up their acts and put employees before stock holders, that wall street stops playing games, that our gov. stop warring against the world in the name of “democracy” — while folks are still content on showing their anger in mostly legal, peaceful ways. I’m not holding my breath.

What do I hope? That more and more of us decide to work together in networks of solidarity, choosing to acknowledge our common needs over the claims of those who have so effortlessly divided us.

Why I’m Here – Nico

September 30, 2011

By: Nico Meyering

My name is Nico. I’m part of the Occupy Binghamton movement because I see the exact same faces at nearly all of my area-based volunteer efforts. The men and women who come to my weekly soup kitchen are the same men and women I see in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, and these are also the same men and women who are suffering most from the region’s recent flood.

I come from an upper-middle class family, and I was raised to believe that I had a duty to help the less fortunate. Sadly, this belief isn’t shared by the vast majority of the American uber-rich. We’re not just living in a “me first” world. We’re living in a “me first, you last” world. I’m here because honesty is an incredibly important trait for me, and if I look at my life honestly, I have to reconcile myself with the fact that there are things I will never be able to do.

America’s society and sociopolitical environment is rapidly growing into one where we’d sooner slash Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other government assistance programs than narrow the gap between the Rich and the Rest Of Us. We have a new American dream these days: it used to be something like, “If you work hard, you will succeed.” Now, it’s “If you have a lot of money, you can do anything!”

I rely on Social Security. I rely on Medicaid. I have relied on college loans and on public transit. I am unspectacular in this regard; remember, if the Rich win, I will suffer. We will all suffer.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied to the American public and were indirectly responsible for the murder of many US servicepeople and Iraqi civilians. They got away with it. With few exceptions, big honchos on Wall Street fleeced investors and the American public out of millions of dollars. They got away with it. I am a firm believer in punishing those who do wrong things, and it grates on me to know that these bastards got away with murder, sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively.

We must not fracture, we must get angry. We must not lay down, we must speak out. We must not be easily placated, we must demand our share. My sense of social justice is tied heavily into my sense of social retribution.

My goals for the movement are these:

  • Increased outrage over the aforementioned income gap.
  • An increased call for more entry-level jobs.
  • Reduced college costs.
  • An increase in the number of white-collar criminals tried and convicted for various money-based crimes.

What is this about?

September 29, 2011

For those of you who read this blog, I would like to announce we will soon have a series of posts, from different members, as to why we are in this movement and what we want the end result to be.  The reason for this is threefold:

1) The movement is very diverse politically. It will help to know where we each stand, so we can establish what *common* goals we have – so we can move forward toward those common goals.

2) Unless we start recognizing what we have in common and what to do with that, all we’re doing is saying we don’t like something – which isn’t proactive.

3) This could help inspire other Occupy groups, and could really push bringing out what the movement as a whole has in common, so we can start moving in that direction.


September 29, 2011

We are here to stand, allied with our brothers and sisters on Wall Street who have begun the revolution against consolidated economic power, and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters here in America and across the world who suffer due to adverse conditions.  We occupy together – not just in New York, but in America.  It’s ime to take back what is ours.

If you wish to raise your own voice to be heard, please leave your reasons for being involved with the Occupy movement in the comments field below.



One thought on “Occupy Write

  1. From Barricade Bennett:
    Through the week I have spent lots of time between Internet browsing and at occupy Miami to try and gain some other peoples perspectives and WOW! Our generation has a beautiful and loud voice. It was amazing seeing all these people from all walks of life coming together to better their communities for everyone and have their voices heard.

    One thing I noticed, I think goes with out saying, is the American people are pissed off. Student loans are at an all time high. Unemployment rate is sky rocketing. Social security is very unstable. Our troops are still overseas. Our prisons are becoming sardine cans. And all most of Americans can do is attend yoga and buy small dogs.

    People! You have the right to be mad. This country needs your anger. And I personally thank you. However I feel we the people need to re-centralize back to why we occupy. And that is the most dangerous problem in America today. Corporate endorsement to electives in office. Quite frankly, lobbyist.

    We will never be able to fix any problem we face until we fix that. Never. As long as our politicians win there campaigns with “strings attached” money then they are not the ones in office. The company that gave them the campaign money are. Wether that company is a tobacco company, car company, banks, or in most cases, big pill companies, that is who the politician is loyal to. Not you.

    We must remember this: lobbying is killing the integrity of this country. As long as we stand and do nothing then we will continue to give all we have to the people who have it all. This whole movement is to stop lobbying and keep our government honest and faithful to us.

    Right now the news is successfully turning this to a “rich Vs poor” thing. They say we are just a bunch of hippies trying to get a hand out when we are simply 99% of the American people looking for a hand up.

    I urge you to never forget the things you just simply don’t like however remember that no matter what your issue is with the government it is merely a symptom of the real problem. That money buys elections. Keeping government dishonest. That is why we occupy.

    I have no problem with a successful person who has accomplished and achieved the American dream. I personally inspire to be like them. What the problem is, is that day by day it is becoming harder to achieve that dream.

    I urge you to copy and paste this wherever you see fit to remind all why we occupy. To end agenda bought elections.

    Barricade Bennett-

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