Posts Tagged 99%

Powerful, Shocking, Truthful Rhetoric

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“This Is What Revolution Looks Like”
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by Chris Hedges
“Occupy Wall Street protesters react and wave copies of the court order allowing them back into Zuccotti Park as police block them from re-entering, in New York, November 15, 2011. Hundreds of police officers arrested about 200 demonstrators early Tuesday in an operation to clear the nearly two-month-old camp. (Photo: Todd Heisler / The New York Times)
“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.

Our 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.

I 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.”

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Graphic: “The Most Powerful Weapon on Earth is the Human Soul on Fire”
POSTER#118 – Alex Noble

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Occupy Wall Street

NYPD clearing Zuccotti Park - image newsday.com

The bastards did it!

They cleared Zuccotti Park in a surprise move. No publicity this time, no time for the OWS to get organised.

Quote from Twitter: “NYPD laughed as they destroyed 5,000 volumes of #OWS library. Like Fahrenheit 451 meets Clockwork Orange.” @jeremybloom

“Protesters and police officers clashed in the streets of lower Manhattan this morning, hours after dozens of NYPD officers in riot gear entered Zuccotti Park to clear out the Occupy Wall Street headquarters.”Newsday.com

“The area around the park was sealed off and journalists were prevented from entering. Some of the activists accused police of using excessive force and pepper spray.”BBC News

Can’t have witnesses, they might tell the truth.

““After this we get bigger. There is no question we get bigger. This is our chance to be heard,” added Jennifer Sarja, 38, who had been bringing blankets and food to protesters staying in the park. “The Globe & Mail

“One protester at Foley Square, Nate Barchus, 23, said the eviction was likely to galvanize supporters, particularly because a series of gatherings had already been planned for Thursday, the protest’s two-month anniversary.

“This,” he said, referring to the early-morning sweep, “reminds everyone who was occupying exactly why they were occupying.””New York Times

Opinion:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (arsehole) has made the biggest mistake in political history. He has fueled the OWS beyond their wildest hopes. If ever the 99% wanted more free publicity, they just got it. The best political publicity available… a politician being an arsehole!

The OWS will expand exponentially. Every New Yorker of the 99% variety should be descending on Zuccotti Park right now. They should flood the city, they should make it untenable for the 1% and Michael Bloomberg, they should make it bigger than the authorities can handle, bigger than the military can cope with.

This is their chance; the match has been struck.

This is the chance for OWS to be heard thundering throughout the land. And the 1% should be trembling with fear.

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Treating People like Cattle

Passengers stage sit-in on plane at Birmingham Airport

Viking Hellas

Some 100 passengers staged a sit-in on a plane at Birmingham Airport refusing to get off for several hours.

The Viking Hellas flight was originally scheduled to leave from Manchester for Athens at 13:00 BST, but passengers were then taken by bus to Birmingham.

They boarded a plane due to leave at 17:00, but were then told to get off, which they refused to do.

At about 01:30 BST they finally agreed to leave and left the airport by bus to return to Manchester.

West Midlands Police boarded the plane during the dispute.

A police spokesman said: “It was just a civil dispute and the police were there monitoring the situation to make sure it didn’t get out of hand.”

He said there had been “an issue between the airline and the passengers”.

A passenger named Dorota said the flight had been chartered and they were originally due to fly on Friday, 21 October.

She said: “People are hungry. They have not eaten since this morning.

“The air conditioning has been switched off and it is getting hot. The airline will not give us food, only water.”

She later said: “We decided to leave the plane because there was no point in staying on there.

“We are going home. We have got a letter from Viking Hellas and we can get a refund.”

The letter said the plane could not take off due to unforeseen circumstances, she said.

No-one has been available for comment from Viking Hellas.

Opinion:

Just another example of companies trampling over the rights of people. Delays, transfers, no food, no explanations.

Is it any wonder the 99% are getting fuckin’ angry?

 

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History Repeats – Ragtag Armies

George Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas 1776, leading what historians also called a “ragtag” Continental Army, surprising the British

All this was so obvious, so predictable. America is at a crossroads. Occupy Wall Street buildup has emerged as America’s last great hope to restore democracy. Last week when USA Today called the Occupiers a “ragtag assortment of college kids, labor unionists, conspiracy theorists and others” hinting they’re a flash-in-the-pan “devoid of remedies,” I smiled, reminded of that famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas 1776, leading what historians also called a “ragtag” Continental Army, surprising the British, and winning the Battle of Trenton.

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America’s collective conscience wants true democracy restored: Yes, USA Today sees a “ragtag” army: No mission, no goals, no organization, no agenda, no leaders, and no staying power. Wrong. Look deeper: The Occupiers are the voice of America’s collective conscience demanding a return to our 1776 roots, to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Our collective inner voice knows America’s moral compass is broken. We’ve become a government “of, by and for” special interests, the wealthiest 1%, Wall Street insiders, CEOs and Forbes-400 billionaires. It happened fast: In one generation the Super Rich grabbed “absolute power,” killing the middle class American dream.

Source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly read more

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No Agenda – My Opinion on OWS

I have been following the Occupy Wall Street progress over the last few weeks like many.

It has been pointed out by people more in the know than I that this protest is different from all the others whereby people protested and went home, however this time they’re not.

I have read many reports, newspapers, seen YouTube clips, heard speeches, etc and have come to the conclusion that the people who criticise the OWS are the ones that myopically are in the wrong. They are, or they support the 1%.

One of the main criticisms is that the leaderless OWS doesn’t have an agenda, a list of demands. I find this quite correct; they don’t need a list of demands, a specified agenda to say that something (in this case many things) are seriously wrong.

The 1%, inc government, inc president, inc etc… know what is wrong. They don’t need a bloody agenda to tell them, they know already, and have known for decades.

OWS is the people simply saying “Fix it!”

The unwritten, unsaid rider is, “Because, if you don’t we will!”

And I do believe the time has come that OWS will; and it won’t be pretty.

The 1% at fault, inc et al, should be quaking in their boots. They should be frothing at bung, their sphincters should be quivering 90 to the minute and they should be sweating as the noose tightens.

Because this is not going to ‘go away.’ The 1% think they are bullet proof because they own the government and the government will be the cavalry that wade in to save the day. But when push comes to shove, the 99% are greater than all the forces the government can muster. Oh, they will try, it will be bloody, but necks will be stretched until the last of the 1% piss their pants on the scaffold of justice.

Who is worth more, the poor citizens or the robber politicians? Brazilians show your face!

This is not just America, this is becoming global. In fact this didn’t even start in America, this OWS started in Tunisia and Egypt as the Arab Spring and spread. Even here in Brazil 16 capital cities saw mass protests over corruption this weekend, are we also seeing the beginning of a Latin Spring?

The people do not need to announce an agenda nor a list of demands. The people who are in the wrong already know what’s wrong. The people who can fix it, already know how to fix it. But the big question is, will they?

From what I have seen and read, the OWS is the government, they are the politicians, they are trying to rescue their lot as best they can, because the elected morons are too busy squabbling over their seats to worry about the people.

My view of the global political arena is that it can be compared to a circus… why? Because it’s full of freakin’ clowns!

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