"It Was Eight Years Ago Today, Occupy Taught Us How To Think"

Greetings C99 family. Haven’t been around in a while, but that’s too long to get into now.

This is gonna be quick, but the date kind of commands something is published. Not much for anniversaries myself but as I sat for breakfast with the little ones this morning WBAI had a segment on in which they were talking to people about OWS. Sept 17th, why of course! (I can hardly keep track of what day of the week it is anymore, let alone the date).

I’m finishing this now as I ride the ferry down there with the kids. Before we boarded my son was on the playground nearby singing, “Power To the People - Right On!”

The following was an essay I wrote after my first couple of visits to OWS (some of it contains painful naivete about Obama that I cringe at today). So much has transpired since then, both personally and socially, including an obvious transition away from the way I thought about politics and my involvement in it then.

For posterity I’m offering it now, along with some moving video of those glorious days when we truly thought we were on the cusp of changing the world.

People seem more and more curious about Occupy Wall St. Here's my take and how I came to it:

During Obama's campaign, I hardly ever hesitated to volunteer to elect him, working selflessly and tirelessly for many reasons. I have no regrets. In his defense he's been given the toughest job in the world after the catastrophic mess left by Bush. It was clear then, but even more so now - cleaning up that disaster is gonna take MANY years (I'm willing to have this conversation with any Repug anytime, but that's not where I'm going with this - hang on). He's done the right thing in many areas by putting front and center issues that make lots of sense ( i.e. healthcare bill, credit card regulations, student loan grants, focus on sustainable food system, etc.), but has been disappointing in his reticence, especially toward prosecuting Wall St , ending Guantonomo Bay and trying the war criminals who invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and also for choosing some of the same DC players for his cabinet. All of this however must be parsed in this light: that his hands have been tied by Repug opposition that resorts to slander, bigotry and malicious attacks that form a froth which represents the core of the most dysfunctional and obstructionist party in the history of American politics. And for that I'm inclined to cut him some, not a lot, of slack.

Dream deferred. Wall St speculation wreaks havoc and destruction on life as we know it; everyone but the top 1% is hurt by it big-time. Bernie Madoff can't be a lone renegade wolf; it just doesn't make any fucking sense. Still not one Wall St exec prosecuted, while Big Business keeps announcing record profits. No amount of GDP numbers in the black can cover up the destitution and doom people are feeling. There is a MALAISE that hasn't been given an outlet.

Enter Occupy Wall St.

Anyone whose either been laid-off, asked to take salary cuts but pay higher health insurance premiums, had their collective bargaining union rights stripped, been foreclosed because of malicious predatory lending schemes have stolen their life's savings, opposes the Citizens United decision, demands campaign finance reform, wants an end to foreign occupation and all wars, demands protection of collective bargaining rights for unions, agrees that a progressive income tax on the wealthy must be instituted, demands serious overhaul of Wall St regulations starting with re-instituting the Glass-Stegall, wants more money put into schools and higher education, wants a more sustainable food program, wants strengthened not weakened federal agencies that protect our food, water, air and consumer goods and maintain our roads, bridges and airports - this is YOUR movement.

If you can't get beyond "who" is doing the protesting and "what" the one goal is, or even worse - resort to denigrating those committed to bringing this to forefront of our consciousness - then you're completely missing the point. The message in a nutshell could probably best be described as "People Before Profits." But the implication requires a nuanced and contemplative discussion for adults and a grasp of connect-the-dots. Ultimately, it all points in one direction: the Wall St debacle and money in politics. If you're used to having everything in nice, tidy, easily digestable soundbites delivered by primetime tv pundits and half-page newspaper articles, it may take you a while to come around.
But you will.
You are also of the 99%.

As for the protests themselves, there is nothing more quintessentially American than the act itself. It's how the country was indeed founded. And the disenfranchised occupying public space? How about the great example in 1932 when 20,000 WW1 veterans set up a tent city in Washington DC, blocked the steps of the Capitol Building and refused to leave until they got their unpaid pensions.

As far as I know, the non-violent civil disobedience perfected by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr is what Occupy Wall St adheres. It is not a movement for weak and malleable people looking to party and hang out idly. Quite the contrary. The prospect of police intimidation, being arrested and being subject to ridicule keeps many neutralized. But as Chris Hedges said last week, ""Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave." If you feel you're not in a position to participate in the marches, there are other ways than direct action. You can publicly lend your voice in support of the movement, donate to their cause, and stand up to challenge the fear in others who want to cling to the status quo.

My own personal observations at Liberty Square have been this: I saw a high school teacher grading test papers on a bench who told me that she was among a group of about 100 teachers who had come to show their support; another guy is a stand-up comic who had just flown in from a gig in Las Vegas at 6:30pm, but was committed to return back to the protest by 8 that same night; another was a middle-aged well-dressed man who told me of how the students in his native Puerto Rico occupied a state college when austerity measures wanted to force higher tuitions and how citizens driving by the occupied college threw food to the protesters to sustain them (only in America it seems is there this confused reaction by the mainstream public that reflexively sides against protesters); and what was a myriad of college students, secretaries, nurses, war veterans, white, black, young and old, democrats and republicans, etc.

Do yourself a favor if you're still not sure about what this all means to you and try this: randomly ask the next few people you see if he or she or anyone they know personally has either lost their job, been laid-off, had their health insurance premiums go up, been denied coverage, asked to take a cut in salary and/or a reduction in benefits, and see where that takes you.

I did something similar yesterday and here's what I found in my first three interactions:

In my van on a job I took a young Italian doctor who works for UNICEF and his humble belongings to Brooklyn. He told me he's married to a woman from Detroit whose father just recently lost his lifelong business because he went bankrupt. His wife's brother and sister are both out of work. The description the Italian gave of the urban blight in Detroit was harrowing (e.g. riding the people mover elevated shuttle system that circles through the city and observing two of the three tallest buildings unoccupied and boarded), though I knew similar scenes abound across the entire Midwest and in fact in every city and town in this country it was eye-opening again. The conversation went deeper. Even as a foreigner he could reel off the staggering fact that something like 95% of the US Senate is in the top 4% of our country's money earners (in other words, they spend the majority of their travel time in personal jets and private runways, not exactly having to see or interact with the citizenry they're elected to serve).

Then at a parking meter I met an elderly, black woman who told me she had been down to the Occupy Wall St protests and the students at the center of it reminded her of the civil rights movement in the South. She told me she was from Augusta, GA and as a 13yr old was already 5 1/2 ft, and when she saw the sit-ins at the restaurants over the deplorable back-door, segregated eating conditions blacks were forced into (imagine that current Libertarian Congressmen Rand Paul actually thinks the Civil Rights Act denies the rights of the proprietor to deny service based on skin color) she lied about her age and joined the movement. To her the protest on Wall St. is the same kind of revolution, one also based on massive non-violent civil disobedience and driven by students.

My third interaction was getting a phone call from a college buddy who I just reacquainted with after 20 years. He said he was so moved by the events at Occupy Wall St that he said he was going to take off on Friday, drive 3 hours to NYC with his 5 year old son and participate in the protest. In other words, stop listening to the pundits and start talking to people on the streets and in your communities.

Make no mistake about it - these protesters are the same righteous people who through the ages were willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They're at the heart of every pivotal moment in history. Look beyond the dates in your history books and you'll find brave and unified people willing to shoulder on their backs the fear and resentment the ruling classes always uses to manipulate the masses against one another. Don't fall for it. Protesters, demonstrators, and marchers throughout time have never lost sight that their actions today would ensure a better life for future generations. Whenever we've benefitted at all in bettering our living conditions, it was because of people like those down at Occupy Wall St right now.
Show 'em some support.

Scenes from the Occupation:

This story seems to have gotten lost, when the airline pilots came in full uniforms to protest with their own set of grievances and in solidarity with OWS:

Was here in the thick of this, with a high school buddy. We rode our motorcycles in together. Still get chills every time I re-watch this. Occupy marched on the NYPD's main headquarters downtown:

Hypocrisy of the state (w/Hillary & Obama's words). Very powerful:

Beautiful, heavy:

Question Everything. George Carlin thought it was the best advice one could give one’s kids. I agree.

Occupy Forever.

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mimi's picture

to beat a little faster with joy. Thanks for the work and videos. Can't say more, just makes me happy to have an essay like that to come back to for my remaining days.
Yes 3

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Mark from Queens's picture

@mimi
I suppose that's a big part of what we're here to do for one another: inspire each other, to do/be better, to help us all to understand better that we literally all are in this together, to recognize that the depressing disconnectedness many of us feel is because of a inhumane and destructive system that's engulfed us and not any thing we've done or not done personally, etc.

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4 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Before Occupy, practically nobody knew what that meant.

Now eight years after Occupy, practically nobody does NOT know.

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Peace Sells

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

"The 1%"

Before Occupy, practically nobody knew what that meant.

Now eight years after Occupy, practically nobody does NOT know.

If OWS had accomplished nothing else, this fact alone justifies all their efforts in full.

And OWS accomplished quite a bit more than that, albeit not as much as they wanted.

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24 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Not Henry Kissinger Up until OWS talking about class involved using ideas and words that were foreign to Americans. And when used, media and authority figures would deride simple words like "class warfare" or forget the Frenchie words "Petite bourgeoisie". OWS recast class warfare and class analysis with the simple phrase "the 1%" and "the 99%".

I am convinced that OWS gave Obama his victory over Rommey. Remember the fund raising dinner where Rommey spoke about useless 46%. OWS and the language it used gave context to those remarks and showed them up as completely about vicious class warfare. That was the beginning of the end for Rommey.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@MrWebster

referred to “deplorables.” The same Democrats who howled over Romney’s comments saw nothing wrong with Hillary calling a significant portion of the electorate “deplorables.” Of course it’s all part of “divide and rule.”

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady Hillary was so blantantly engaging in class warfare with that remark. People saw through it.

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OzoneTom's picture

@MrWebster
... she also characterized Donald Trump's voters as all being from from "less productive parts of the country."

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@OzoneTom If I remember she made those remarks in India.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@OzoneTom

She might as well just read from Herbert Spencer.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

to direct it primarily at the upper middle class and stop talking about the upper class. To blame managers and forget the owners who employ them.

But it hasn't completely worked.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Mark from Queens's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
Reclaimed the idea of class that all the socialists, communists and radical Left have been marching behind for years.

It's no longer taboo, which is a big thing in such a reactionary country. Bernie deserves a lot of credit for carrying the torch that Occupy lit, which is what he's been saying for decades anyway. Occupy just struck the match and lit it bright; Bernie held it proudly and defiantly, fostering a whole new burgeoning generation of self-proclaimed socialists

The Repugs are so tone deaf to think they can keep dragging out the same boogeyman when nobody's afraid of it anymore, except for older folks who still think and behave like children with their same unfounded nightmares.

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7 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Holding this up as a banner.
To doing better.
Not giving up.
We have it in us.
I believe

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

Mark from Queens's picture

@QMS
antecedents, of whom Hedges and West, to name just two of my top favorites, speak so eloquently and edifyingly about. You sit up to take notes and then go out to discover.

In that next-to-last clip of Hedges at Occupy (in which, as casually-dressed and at ease as I've ever seen him, he actually curses - ha!) he gives another rousing advanced class in the history of activism, class struggle and politics. Names Dorothy Day, Mother Jones, Malcom, Martin, among others, and then Randolph Bourne, who I realized was on my radar but I hadn't looked into. Lo and behold there it was in the stacks of books in my living room. Took that one in bed with me last night.

To me, especially in how we feel and process the insanity these days, it matters so much that we read. But not just articles online or current events. History. As in where we've come from, who's laid the groundwork and how. There's inspiration everywhere. If only it was mandated that we knew the real history of this country (or world), as written from the perspective of the people as Howard Zinn had made it his life's work, we'd better know how to deal with the same old stories that we find ourselves rehashing today. Financial crashes? Our history is littered with them. How come we haven't found and enacted the mechanisms to ensure against it? Because we don't teach that history. If we did the 99% would have instantly been able to recognize the scam of 2008 and reacted in unison to demand the Economic Terrorists of Wall St be prosecuted and tighter regulation instituted, but to such a degree that the government be scared not to.

Because as every great writer knows and at some point professes, we read to feel a little less alone, to commune with the so many others who feel just as we do, to discover there are people who believe what we do. It's just that our ilk don't quite have the gravitas to get on the big mainstream shows, or can be bothered trying to navigate the corporate doorkeepers who only book flunkies who will serve to bolster their status quo, divide and conquer, fear-mongering scam.

It's also so vital that we have and support alternative Left media outlets. There are lots of good ones now, which is one good result in the reaction against lies and collusion of the Democratic party and the MSM.

And never get rid of your books, too. Pass them on to young, hungry activists who want to change the world.

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5 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

thanatokephaloides's picture

Forever Occupy!

Give rose

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Raggedy Ann's picture

It’s really nice to hear from you. I think of you often (how are the kids?) and miss your voice around here.

I remember during OWS I watched everything I could. People were streaming in real time - those were my favorite. I felt the energy and thought of the possibilities. It was before it’s time, but people got a taste of resistance. We’ll see what happens.

Pop in now and again. ‘til soon ~~
Pleasantry

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

snoopydawg's picture

The police unions better be paying attention to what is happening to other unions because once the PTB are finished with cops and just go with private mercenaries their pensions will be on the chopping block.

IMG_3261.PNG

Imagine if the police joined with OWS and told their bosses to go pound sand instead of following orders?

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25 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg
Just like the soldiers refusing to fire at the workers at the Winter Palace.
Once their police and soldiers turn, their time is up.

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janis b's picture

I appreciate its celebration and contribution to that which furthers ‘nuanced and contemplative discussion’.

We may or may not successfully ‘ensure a better life for future generations’; we may not yet even be able to identify what might qualify as a better life in the future, but we can still trust in the power of our intentions.

I listened to some of each inspirational video clip you included. As the featured commenter in One Man’s Hope expressed so eloquently, there is still the possibility to endure, undeterred by “synchronized depravity”. I also now just recognized the kindred spirit shared by Cornel West and George Carlin.

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Mark from Queens's picture

@janis b
in their animation, passion, sagacity, broad knowledge and arresting intellect.

Always appreciate the ways in which you can speak from the heart in your observations, janis.

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

lotlizard's picture

Was one of the main people in the “Eyes on Egypt and the Region” group on TOP, dedicating several hours a day to aggregating all the reports I could find in various media.

Not only did Obama crush OWS, Obama crushed the Arab Spring too, by giving the green light for Saudi Arabia to send troops and tanks across the causeway into Bahrain. Obama had the final say because the U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain.

Basically, in practice, this was how the West deals with its equivalent of Hong Kong. The West also has “one empire, two systems” — (fake) democracy at home, absolute monarchy and/or military dictatorship (including Israeli occupation) in the Arab “special administrative regions.”

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Mark from Queens's picture

@lotlizard
glued to Al Jazeera for two or three days straight (when I had tv), so filled with emotion and hope. Then the Wisconsin Uprising, in which teachers, firefighters and farmer occupied the state capitol, with those incredibly moving shots of tractors being driven into the city in solidarity. People forget that that was before Occupy.

Whoever it was that were the creators of that video deserve great commendation. It appeared just as Occupy was starting to gain momentum and was a perfect refutation and exposure of the typical American hypocrisy wagging the finger at foreign despots while hiding behind the empty platitudes of American liberty and justice.

I love the way they close in on Obama and Hillary's faces for added effect too. The images of beatings during the Arab Spring juxtaposed with those at Occupy also were perfect.

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6 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

gulfgal98's picture

First, I want to thank Mark for this wonderful essay. It is so good to see you post again, Mark! Now, below is my story.

I remember watching Occupy Wall Street via live stream and being so inspired by the original Occupiers in New York. Then the movement began to spread across the United States, often taking on various forms according to the locale. It finally came to Tallahassee when, if I recall correctly, the first Occupiers tried to Occupy the Capitol building. The City Commission took notice and offered Occupy Tallahassee the use of a vacant downtown property owned by the City. The offer was on a month to month basis. The only string attached was the Occupy Tallahassee had to provide their own port-a-lets, and thus Occupy Tallahassee was born.

Occupy Tallahassee was not large with about thirty to forty full time people at its peak. It was also a very different Occupation from many others around the country because Occupy Tallahassee was allowed to exist without much confrontation. I was curious and went to the camp one day to see what it was about. The full timers at the camp consisted of a mix of college students and young adults, several older adult men, and some homeless people. The second time I went back, I met a guy who told me his occupation was tile work, but he was also an artist. He gave me a tour of the camp and showed me his Occupy bus that he had painted. The bus served as a meeting room during bad weather. After that I began to attend the GA's which were held on Wed. evenings and Saturday afternoons. The GA's often lasted hours and could be excruciating. I also participated in several events Occupy held including educational events and protests at the Capitol.

Occupy Tallahassee was very fortunate that we had the backing of the City Commission at that time and were treated fairly well by the general public. We even once had a police escort for a march we did on the Capitol. The two officers who escorted us seemed to both enjoy doing so and were very supportive of us. The high point for me during Occupy Tallahassee was the visit of Dr. Cornel West who came by and gave a wonderful speech and then stayed around to talk to each of us individually prior to his having a paid speaking engagement at Florida State University. My first tag line is a quote from Dr. West's speech to us.

When I left to return to North Carolina, Occupy Tallahassee was still going strong. However, about two months later, the camp was shut down after a homeless man died on the property. Still Occupy Tallahassee had a positive impact upon me and many others, including people who did not even participate. It was Occupy that got me involved in a weekly Peace vigil in NC and it was Occupy that really opened my eyes as to the extent of how we the people have been hoodwinked. Some say Occupy was a failure, but I believe that Occupy was a tremendous success in opening the eyes of so many people and changing how we see ourselves in relation to the powers that be in this country.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Mark from Queens's picture

@gulfgal98
Thanks for sharing it again.

I wish there was a repository for these to be collected and kept for posterity. My mind gets dizzy with joy when I think about the scene there and the countless amazing interactions with folks.

Saw a graduate student on Twitter attempting to get people to share theirs to him for a project on Occupy. Sadly, he didn't seem to be getting much traction.

Holy shit, when I just went to look for it found this (have to admit I haven't really been following the Hong Kong Uprising - if anyone has and wishes to fill us in please do)

This says it all about the State and "freedom of speech" and the true motives of all law enforcement agencies, which is (if you're reading in your first time here or happen to be peaking in, because everyone here already know full and well that it's the absolute dirty truth about this country) to crush LW social movements.

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6 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Lookout's picture

Loved your story of Occupy. I'm curious to see how the climate strike goes Friday in NY. Hear the NYC schools are letting the kids participate without penalty.

Planet and people first.

...and sounds like the young one is with the program..."power to the people - right on".

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Mark from Queens's picture

@Lookout
and she's thrilled about the Climate March tomorrow. Kind of crept up on me but I'm feeling like I might just take the boy out of PreK tomorrow to go to it also. I like doing things spontaneously so this could work.

Yeah, was a welcomed surprise to hear of the NY BOE to allow for students to go.

Although on another note I'm still livid to have discovered that in PreK they're saying the Pledge of "Allegiance." And, just think of the irony of this: of all the people to have this happen to, it was my son who in this first full week of school was given the task of holding the flag in front of the class. I fucking blew a gasket. We sent an email to the teacher last night to remove him from such duties, and that he also didn't have to participate and could sit if he chooses.

Jesus, I'm already in a tizzy - and he's not even in full-time, regular school yet. Depressing, the whole goddamn brainwashing, conditioning propaganda, not to mention the rote curriculum, focus on memorization for tests, lack of arts programs, rigidity of schedules, and on and on, etc.

Carlin's words, again, come rushing right to the forefront, in which he described school as:

"The indoctrination center where a child is sent to be stripped of his individuality and turned into an obedient, soul-dead conformist member of the American consumer culture."

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4 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Lookout's picture

@Mark from Queens

Did you get him into the school you were hoping for? That school sounded like it was modeled on Deborah Meier's approach - https://deborahmeier.com/ portfolio driven rather than grades and each child with a committee more like grad school rather than grade school.

Best of luck with it all!

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Mark from Queens's picture

@Lookout
I began reading it and there’s a lot of things that make sense, though my impulse is to be leery of charter schools. Will read more.

Friend here teaches in one and it sounds pretty progressive; same school was also recommended by a pretty radical Swiss-born mother I met recently.

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1 user has voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Lookout's picture

@Mark from Queens

However not all charters are equal...some are corporate and some are community driven. A world of difference between the two.

None the less, I spent my career trying to help create quality public schools based on democratic control by the teachers, parents, and students. Sadly didn't make much headway.

All the best. PM me if I can be of help.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

helped set the stage for Bernie. The Occupy movement was as inspirational for a huge number of people just as Bernie's first run was incredibly inspirational. It was a very public recognition and rejection of how screwed we are by our political leaders. And yes, Obama crushed it, just as the DNC crushed Bernie.
Thanks Mark for putting this together.

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@randtntx
Outside New York we heard little. Like five seconds about protesters at wall street, now to the football scores!

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11 users have voted.

@The Voice In the Wilderness that does the bidding of the 1%? That media? I've forgotten all about them.
But you are right. The corporate media coverage of Occupy was pathetic.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

to all those videos. There was a point at which most Occupy videos disappeared from YouTube.

Bless you for remembering this and writing about it.

And here's a video I didn't lose that's always worth rewatching:

We were a world-wide movement.

I get tired of people accepting the "Occupy? Oh, that was so lame. What did they accomplish anyway?" bullshit retrofit of history constantly handed out by the mainstream media, and even some other people who should know better (Jimmy Dore, I'm looking at you).

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Mark from Queens's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
the spirit and breadth of Occupy. Thanks, sister!

Love those shots of people with signs of the 99% from places as disparate as the tundra, Auckland, parts of Africa and Asia, and even Antarctica.
It really was a global phenomenon, that answered in solidarity a group of Dreamers in Public committed to staying put in downtown NYC, who were calling attention to the fundamental problem of the world's governments: money in politics, which turned goverements into auction houses to the highest bidders - and Wall St were the biggest villains.

I haven't heard Dore disparage it (is that what you were saying). In fact I've thought the opposite, that he's one of the only ones to keep it in the public conscience. Often in his rants about Obama he'll always mention how he cracked the heads of Occupy.

Like your idea about celebrating it like a holiday. Took my kids there on a whim and though there weren't many in the late afternoon the couple of dozen stalwarts lifted my spirits immensely. Just as it did when it was going full force. Remember the extraordinarily candid, edifying and brilliant conversations that took place seemingly in every direction one next turned? That's what I miss most: a public commons in which it is expected to share one's grievances and plot solutions. Can only ever be done fully when in person .

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10 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Mark from Queens's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
and was pleasantly surprised (or cynically relieved) that there did seem to be more than usual. Which is why I spent the morning collecting as many as I could, especially the ones I've really been clamoring for which simply showed what it was like just to be there (something called OccupyTVNY did some really great daily roundups, of which I could find only two. Would love to see the rest). Those clips of what it was like down there really inspired this be put together.

You're so right though. There has most definitely been a concerted effort to vanquish the online presence of the movement. Website like Occupy The Banks, the WeArethe99percent Tumblr and others have been wiped. As well as the evil RW tactic of buying up the domain names and redirecting it somewhere else or to espouse their concocted, think tank lies.

And another thing, how many times did we have to, at TOP, go into correct the record mode to beat back against all the lies and deception being thrown about by the Neoliberal douchebags there? It got tiresome always having to jump in to clobber yet another asshole who attempted to say Occupy just "went away," or didn't really do much, or wasn't organized, etc etc.

You're right also that the message seems to be slightly co-opted these past couple of years to take the pressure off the 1% by expanding it to the top 10%. There are reasons to attack the meritocracy that makes up a large part of the top 10%. But it is most definitely the handful of monopolist economic terrorists who wield the most power and influence doing the most damage.

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Mark from Queens @Mark from Queens

That really sucks. Like SorryEverybody but better, WeArethe99percent represented something truly special online: a genuinely populist and democratic digital gesture (like what the whole Internet is supposed to be).

I just found a WeArethe99percent Tumblr...looks like what I remember except with more comments interjected by RW elitist trolls.

What I can't find is its partner Tumblr: We Are the 1%--We Stand with the 99%

God forbid we should allow rich people of conscience to publicly express solidarity. Like John Kerry testifying before Congress that the Vietnam War was atrocious shit, it kind of throws a wrench in the works.

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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11 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

"But they don't know what they're protesting about? What's this all about?"

is that I actually found a place where the one demand was stated. I don't remember where I found it, but it may have been in Adbusters, where the call to Occupy was originally put out.

The one demand was that Obama end corporate control of democracy.

While I don't think Obama could have done that even if he were heroic rather than a tool, it boils all of the demands down to one essence.

Give the power back to the people.

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Mark from Queens's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
purposefully relied on the tired, old hit book of predictable disparagement of smelly hippies who didn't want to work, etc, what got lost in the shuffle was that there was a highly contextualized and moving document that spelled out exactly what it was saying, or their "demands."

Really, it was a clear fingering of exactly what was transpiring right in front of our eyes but no one had actually verbalized, especially the "media" to whom we've been trained to look to be informed (another fallacy exposed by Occupy, who showed how unbridled capitalism always leads to monopoly, which means, among other things, no "free market" and loads of deception in keeping the status quo in favor of the current ruling elite).

"Declaration of the Occupation of New York City"

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on
September 29, 2011

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of
mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us
together. We write so that all people who feel wronged
by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are
your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the
future of the human race requires the cooperation of its
members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon
corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect
their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a
democratic government derives its just power from the
people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract
wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true
democracy is attainable when the process is determined
by economic power. We come to you at a time when
corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest
over justice, and oppression over equality, run our
governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our
right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure
process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and
continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the
workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender
identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence,
and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel
treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these
practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the
right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of
dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that
outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights
as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look
for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health
insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent
freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products
endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic
failures their policies have produced and continue to
produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who
are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us
dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could
save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect
investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty
bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful
through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners
even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent
civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in
order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall
Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public
space; create a process to address the problems we face,
and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the
spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation,
and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

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11 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Creosote.'s picture

@Mark from Queens
Your contributions are invaluable and resonate deeply here.
It's as if we are all deeply lonely for these principles now.
May Greta bring us some air to breathe together again.

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7 users have voted.

@Creosote.

It's as if we are all deeply lonely for these principles now.

The sincerity and purity of Occupy brought echos from 40+ years to a different time before corporations took over everything. One of the most moving things about Occupy was how they organized and conducted themselves as a group.

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wendy davis's picture

dunno who did the kinda silly graphics mix, but the original live version's been disabled for embedding.

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