Welcome Lynn Parramore and Sarah Jaffe,(Alternet.org) and Host, Lindsay Beyerstein (InTheseTimes.com).

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America

In the summer of 2011, 14 million Americans were unemployed and 16% of the country was officially poor. Student loan debt eclipsed credit card with over $1 trillion outstanding. One in five mortgages was underwater. Our leaders said the economy was recovering from the recession caused by the financial crisis, but their soothing pronouncements seemed to mock the evidence of our senses. On September 17, a group of activists converged on a small concrete plaza in lower Manhattan, determined to Occupy Wall Street.

The 99% opens with some founding texts of the occupation including speeches by author Naomi Klein, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and union leader Leo Gerard. Person-on-the-plaza interviews capture the voices of a striking Teamster, a farmer/mental health technician working the medical tent, and a Wall Street insider-turned-digital activist.

The next section describes the nuts and bolts of a communal occupation: Staying safe, keeping warm, charging cell phones, making decisions as a group, and cataloging the People’s Library. Sarah Jaffe describes the ingenious system of solar panels used to generate energy and the grey water filtration system that protesters rigged up to water the park’s flowers. Richard Kim writes about the practical and symbolic impact of the human mic. Journalist and illustrator Susie Cagle offers a helpful graphical guide to the hand signals of the occupation.

Subsequent chapters describe critical events in the history of the occupation, including the mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the early morning standoff to prevent Bloomberg from clearing the park for cleaning.

The book devotes considerable space to analysis of the economic crisis that sparked Occupy Wall Street: the consolidation of wealth, the mortgage crisis. Lynn Parramore explains how the consolidation of bank deposits in the hands of a few mega banks contributed to the current crisis. Josh Holland describes how Citizens United short-circuited democracy. Economist Jamie Galbraith dissects the meaningless claim that smaller government is inherently better.

The final chapters explore possible futures for the Occupy Movement beyond physical encampments.

The 99% is an important early work on a defining social movement of our times.

120 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lynn Parramore and Sarah Jaffe, The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America”

BevW December 10th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Lynn, Sarah, Welcome to the Lake.

Lindsay, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Thanks, Bev. Welcome to the salon, everyone!

dakine01 December 10th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Good afternoon Lynn and Sarah and welcome to FDL and welcome back this afternoon Lindsay!

How difficult was it to pull all these pieces together into a book in such a short period of time?

I hope it is an attempt to get out ahead of the nay-sayers and those wanting to denigrate or co-opt the Occupy movement and pull it into the veal pen

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

The first question for Lynn and Sarah: What’s your most iconic memory of your time covering the occupation in Zuccotti Park?

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hi, Dakine01, great to see readers jumping in with questions!

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

For me it was the morning that Bloomberg sent the cleaners to drive the protesters out. It was a real showdown, early in the morning, and you just felt the power of shared action and a shared voice as we were chanting together. The excitement following the realization that the occupation would continue was just amazing. I also had a moment of real fear when violence broke out – the police jumped a young man trying to get past a barricade and I was struck not only by the intensity of the police aggression but also the commitment to non-violence on the part of protesters.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Hello and thanks for having us!

@dakine01

We’d been covering Occupy pretty extensively at AlterNet for a while, so one of the biggest challenges was what to leave out! There’s so much great writing about the movement and we could’ve made the book twice the length it was, but we needed to make sure we covered certain bases and didn’t bore you all to tears.

We worked hard, making sure we were covering everything that needed covering, and we have a really great team that pulled together to make it happen. Special credit to Tara Lohan, who did a lot of the heavy lifting as far as organizing the book is concerned, and of course to Lynn.

Kelly Canfield December 10th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Greetings!

I also echo dakine’s question, but with a little more; today is the 85th day since OWS started in Zucotti Park on 9/17.

So how did you draw a time-stop to decide what to include in the book? So much happens every day/week, that probably had to be an excruciating editorial decision.

dakine01 December 10th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Lindsay! I know that I and many others here at the FDL borg have been following the OWS efforts from the very beginnings thanks to the reporting/blogging by Kevin Gosztola at The Dissenter plus the folks around the country writing their personal diaries about the Occupy efforts in their cities at MyFDL

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Lindsay asked my favorite question.

Lynn’s moment is mine too–I wrote about it for the book, the way it felt standing there when the unions marched in. I turned to my friend and said “This is what solidarity feels like.”

Also, I’ll never forget walking over the bridge on November 17th and turning to see the projections on the Verizon building. That week had been so tense and so hard and that whole day had been wild, and to turn around and see “We are Winning” on that building made it hit home for me.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:09 pm
In response to Kelly Canfield @ 8

Hi Kelly!

You know, it actually wound up ending almost perfectly (and sadly) right after the Zuccotti Park eviction. We hadn’t planned it that way! And the book covers the nationwide movement as well as New York, but for me here in the city I feel like we actually managed to capture what’s become cliche to call “the first stage” of the movement–the park occupation here in New York.

Hopefully there will be many more books covering the next stages. I’m thrilled–seriously thrilled–by the response to Occupy Our Homes, and can’t wait to see that grow.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Hi Dakine01 – It was crazy, but so thrilling, too. Personally, I was at a low point by the end of the summer after the debt ceiling debate dragged out and there was all that awful gridlock and focus on the wrong issues in Washington. Here we were, 3 years after the financial crash, and it felt like we had gotten nowhere trying to change the national conversation. I was out of the country in Crete in September and I remember the Greek manager of the little hotel where I was staying coming up to me and saying “They are protesting the Wall Street, yes?” And I thought “Wow! This is really turning into something.” To be a journalist at a time when things are really happening fast and changing before your eyes is the best thing. And I was so inspired by all the reporters at AlterNet who were down there 24/7 risking their safety to get the story.

ThingsComeUndone December 10th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Our leaders said the economy was recovering from the recession caused by the financial crisis, but their soothing pronouncements seemed to mock the evidence of our senses.

More on this I never noticed the economy getting out of recession except in the Media. heck I would argue we have been in a Depression all this time. Banks claiming huge profits based on ponzi scheme profits is not what I would call an improvement in the economy.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for being here.

Why did you pick the documents that you chose as the “founding documents of the movement”?

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

The unions were a big part of OWS. Sarah, can you say a little more about the ways–big and small–that unions contributed to the occupation.

ThingsComeUndone December 10th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Where are all these broke cities laying off people getting the money to fund overtime for police to stop OWS? Is the WH slipping them Homeland Security funds?

BevW December 10th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

As a technical note, there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Pressing the “Reply” will pre-fill the commenter name and number you are replying to and helps for everyone in following the conversation.

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

@TarheelDem–just to clarify–the authors don’t call the texts the founding documents. That was my term. But I feel like those speeches are among the founding texts of the movement. The big speeches that are being quoted, and will be quoted in years to come. The oral histories of the students and workers who were there… That sort of thing.

Sarah and Lynn, how did you go about choosing the texts to include in the first section?

Michael Whitney December 10th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Good question Lindsay. I’d also like to hear thoughts from Lynn and Sarah on the pseudo-occupation this week in DC, and what SEIU’s evocation of “the 99%” framing in their endorsement of Obama means to you all.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

ThingsComeUndone, that’s a great question. I was struck in NYC by the repeated use of mounted police, which are extremely expensive to maintain and of questionable use in controlling crowds. Many cities have done away with them. But in NYC, there were more of them than I’d ever seen in the city at various OWS marches and gatherings, pushing into crowds and endangering people. Bloomberg, it seemed to me, could have no credible way to justify this expense.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Michael Whitney, attempts to co-opt the movement are certainly a sign of its power. But I don’t think it’s really going to work. Everything I’ve seen in the DNA of OWS suggests a real resistance to traditional, top-down organizing approaches. Various forces will align themselves, but I don’t think they’ll be allowed to “claim” the movement for themselves. It’s too organic.

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Also, David Graeber’s detailed first-person account of the earliest days of Occupy Wall Street is rapidly becoming the seminal account of that phase of the protest. You can see the influence of his first-hand account in George Packer’s New Yorker piece on OWS.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hello Sarah, Lynn & Lindsay – Thanks for writing and getting together this important book.

As dakine01 mentioned, I have been covering Occupy Wall Street since Day 1, when most people wondered if it would have any impact or be significant at all. The tactic of “occupying” has been a necessary component but the crackdowns on the camps have many skeptics saying it may not be worth it to occupy. It looks like the movement isn’t abandoning the “occupy” tactic in the face of repression but is instead choosing to “occupy” spaces they have not been “occupying” yet.

So, what do either of you have to say about this tactic of “occupying”? That’s a broad question, one you could probably write a lot about but briefly what are your thoughts on the skepticism or outright cynicism toward occupying?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I was actually really impressed that one of the first working groups the early occupiers made was to reach out to organized labor. It can be hard to get young people of our generation to see organized labor as something relevant to their lives, but these kids knew that NYC is a union town and that the unions can bring out serious numbers and serious leverage.

They’ve done absolutely amazing work with the Teamsters local that represents the art handlers at Sotheby’s, the auction house–check out some video.

Like I said–the unions came out the morning of the first attempted eviction, and they’ve come out since pretty solidly, especially 1199 SEIU, the transit workers, etc. And in return the occupiers have supported them. It’s nice for me to see organized labor getting involved.

ThingsComeUndone December 10th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Luntz told attendees that he’s “scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” The pollster warned that the movement is “having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.” So the pollster offered some advice for them about how to fight back. Here’s a few snippets of what he said, according to Moody:
Don’t Mention Capitalism: Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/12/01/379365/frank-luntz-occupy-wall-street/

My bold notice GOP pollster Frank Luntz is telling GOPers don’t mention Capitalism but then he quickly says Capitalism still out polls Socialism.
Given the Main Stream Media’s pro capitalism, anti Socialism bias the fact Frank is telling GOPers don’t say Capitalism is telling.
The GOP should be calling OWS a bunch of socialist, commie etc but instead they are afraid to say capitalist?
The world has changed the Powers that Be are scared.
What other evidence do you have that the Powers that Be are taking you seriously and are scared? When can we expect a series of fake reforms offered up to OWS in an attempt to get you all to go home?
The Powers that Be always try and give fake reforms to put off the Left.

Roxanne December 10th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
In response to Lynn Parramore @ 21

In that same vein, I’m wondering what people think of Michael Moore’s secret meeting and manifesto.

[Disclosure: I work for AlterNet, but am not a journalist.]

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 24

It was really impressive that the TWU went to court to fight the commandeering of their buses by police during the mass arrests.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Choosing the texts in the first section was about finding people who had become part of the movement –whether through early organizing, or curiosity, or happenstance, or whatever — early on. We didn’t just want to hear from famous people — though there were certainly several of them who contributed — but also from regular folks who felt some kind of solidarity with the movement and the 99% message: artists, teachers, students dealing with debt, war veterans, etc.. I was struck by the broadness of the spectrum of issues (joblessness, debt, housing, etc), but also how they all tied back to this over-arching theme of income inequality.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:24 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 23

Hi Kevin.

I’d love your thoughts on this too since I know you’ve visited nearly all the camps!

For me, I miss Zuccotti Park when it was LIberty Plaza. I miss just going down there to talk to people, to see what had changed, what was growing, who would show up. I think there was something deeply special about that reclamation of public space and the way services were provided there.

That said, I love the way the tactic of “occupy” has been adapted and moved to occupying foreclosed homes. Like I said above, I’m really excited to see where this goes.

To get a little meta about it–this movement is about us reclaiming our ability to be in public, to be visible, to take up space. If you think of the 1% vs. 99% idea–think about the way in which the 1% has literally taken up so much space. They have 8 bank-owned homes on the same block as the one occupied in East New York. We’re taking some of that space back, whether it be public or private space.

December 10th, 2011 at 2:24 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 24

Like I said–the unions came out the morning of the first attempted eviction, and they’ve come out since pretty solidly, especially 1199 SEIU, the transit workers, etc. And in return the occupiers have supported them. It’s nice for me to see organized labor getting involved.

When the national day of action took place in St. Louis there were 8-10 Unions that came out in support of the march. It was amazing.

ThingsComeUndone December 10th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Can you compare how OWS and the Tea Bagger rallies were treated different by the police and local government and why?

Michael Whitney December 10th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 29

For me, I miss Zuccotti Park when it was LIberty Plaza. I miss just going down there to talk to people, to see what had changed, what was growing, who would show up. I think there was something deeply special about that reclamation of public space and the way services were provided there.

+1 million

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to Lynn Parramore @ 28

Did you include any of the statements or records from the general assembly as seminal documents of the movement? Which ones?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I think everyone’s using the 99% language–and will keep using it. I’m sort of shocked at the early endorsement of a president who’s done nearly nothing for organized labor (Anyone remember EFCA? I remember EFCA…). SEIU’s attempt to play both sides of the game, endorsing the president while also supporting OWS, Mary Kay Henry’s getting symbolically arrested on November 17….well, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it, I suppose.

I didn’t really pay much attention to what went on in DC this week–I was following Occupy Our Homes and writing about the millionaire’s tax here, so not really sure what went down there…

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I think that there are a lot of encouraging signs that the powerful are listening. Obama’s recent populist speech, for example, or NY Governor Cuomo’s change of stance on the Millionaire’s Tax. The national conversation really has changed significantly.

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Mahalo, Lynn and Sarah for writing the book and Lindsay for hosting today…! *g*

What do ya’ll foresee as an Occupy 2.0…?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Definitely.

I mean, think about the ways in which public services have been co-opted to serve the purposes of the surveillance state–how public buses were used, how sanitation workers were pressed in to help evict…these are public workers who are there to help the community, not police it. And yet they’re being pressganged into policing instead. Not cool, and I’m glad TWU didn’t want to go along with it.

ThingsComeUndone December 10th, 2011 at 2:29 pm
In response to Lynn Parramore @ 35

Cool:)

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:32 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 36

Speaking of Occupy 2.0, do you guys think Occupy Our Homes (occupying foreclosed properties) is going to be the next big thing for OWS?

With millions of properties in default or foreclosure, does it have the potential to take Occupy to every street?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:32 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 36

I don’t think we’re necessarily done with Occupy 1.0!

That said, I’ve already mentioned Occupy Our Homes a lot, so how about my other favorite topic: student debt. There’s already been a student debt strike pledge announced–more details here and hereand student debt is the next big bubble–but it can’t pop the way the housing bubble could, because the debt is basically guaranteed.

I also want to mention the Occupy Education activists here in New York, who were some of the first folks I saw
“mic-checking” a public event when they took over the Panel for Education Policy. They’ve been working really hard, and the most inspiring thing about them is that it’s very seriously a movement of parents, teachers, and students working together for better schools. This has actually just reminded me to check in on them!

ThingsComeUndone December 10th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

What factors make one city support OWS with a big crowd while another city does not? Local Unemployment? Educated people being unemployed, Young People being unemployed, a huge amount of Daily Show viewers vs Fox News Viewers, pissed off Lefites?
Who is OWS and what drives them. What do they read, watch on TV, I assume they read Lefty blogs but I would like confirmation.
If unemployment etc are factors in OWS getting crowds then we might be able to predict what cities are next to get an OWS crowd.
I assume the FBI is already doing this research.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 2:37 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 29

I heard you say that in your Plutocracy Files interview.

What it comes down to here is we are seeing a battle in public against the corporate and wealthy purveyors of privatization. But, to me, it is also deeper.

I know you talk and write about student debt. That is a hustle and I think this country has a tradition of people trying to hustle and make as much as they can without worrying about who they are hurting in the process. Occupy is forcing Americans to question how people profit in a way that can make many resent the existence of Occupy. I’m thinking about how Americans reacted to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise speech” and wondering if one of the periods where people were most critical of Occupy was when they were challenging Americans on Black Friday.

So, one more question from me: Do you see Occupy pushing up against American traditions and, if so, which traditions?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

In response to that, there was a great segment on Chris Hayes’s show this morning featuring Alfredo Carrasquillo, the father of the family moved into the home in East New York, and he talks about this move into the neighborhoods as the way the movement can really reach out to the neighborhoods hit hardest by the recession.

I think that these tactics–well, here’s an example. My mother is 64, a Republican who watches Fox News. And today on the phone with her, I was telling her about the home occupation and how the bank had left the house empty since 2008–and she said “Well I agree with you.” My Republican mother can support occupying vacant foreclosed homes.

That says something.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I can only imagine how the mainstream media would have responded if OWS protesters were caught caring guns to gatherings and marches. But there was far too little substantive criticism from mainstream journalists and pundits when that happened at Tea Party rallies. The reaction of the MM to OWS was notoriously hostile and snarky to OWS at first — CNN’s Erin Burnette was a notorious example. She dripped contempt for the protesters in the first segment of her new show. Why? Because her view is completely Wall Street-centric. She has worked on Wall Street, she is engaged to a Wall Street executive, and so naturally considers a protest movement as a threat. That she was allowed to do such shoddy “journalism” in the name of expressing this bias is a stain on CNN’s record. Of course she wasn’t alone. David Brooks in the NYT spread the idea that OWS was somehow anti-Semitic. It’s hard to conceive of someone getting away with that kind of fear-mongering on the pages of a respected newspaper in response to a more conservative protest movement. I suppose the basic reason this passes is that the mainstream media is owned by people who support the 1%.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:42 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 36

Occupy 2.0 – that’s what we’re all thinking about. The student debt and mortgage crisis will continue and they’ll certainly be informing the next stage, however it manifests. One of the big questions is the eurozone crisis and how that will impact the American economy. We could very well see an uptick in unemployment, etc. in a few months as a result of contagion from recessionary conditions developing in Europe. IN which case there could be added fuel to the movement in the spring.

Kitt December 10th, 2011 at 2:42 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 24

It’s nice for me to see organized labor getting involved.

I agree, but what are we going to do to expose and fight back against Labor Leaders who are propagandizing and basically lying about rank and file labor being against the upcoming Port Shut Down on the West Coast?

The labor leaders work in the same way as many Washington lobbyists do to get their statements and concern trolling into the hands of the Media Stenographers and onto the pages of major and minor newspapers and the TV sets of America via the local and national TV stations.

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 40

I don’t think we’re necessarily done with Occupy 1.0!

*heh* I agree…! Here in the Isles we’re making noise, but, we’ve still not been able to establish a physical Occupy outside of Honolulu’s…! Altho, Occupy Hilo is about to do so after some delays…! We’ve at least been holding 3-4 protests a week since October, we may be small but we’re determined…! ;-)

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 42

The Government Accountability Office came out with a really interesting report this week proving what we already know: That vacant foreclosed properties trash the property values of all the surrounding homes. That should be a ammunition for Occupy Our Homes. Everyone can get behind saving the property values of people who are still paying their mortgages.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:46 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 42

You know, my friend and someone I look up to, John Nichols, wrote a great book last year about the American tradition of socialism (The S Word). And since Occupy started, I’ve been going back to lots of different parts of American history. Everyone wants to compare Occupy to the 60s, but I keep wanting to compare it to the 30s. (I bet Lynn can speak very well to the New Deal and the Depression since she ran the New Deal 2.0 blog for so long!)

So I mean, I think Occupy harks back to a lot of American traditions too. It’s just that in the last 30 years, we’ve essentially been pushed to abandon all of the traditions of mutual support, of organizing, of solidarity, of the welfare state, and instead to just SHOP SHOP SHOP SHOP. I’m 31, I’m a Reagan baby, so it’s been my entire life.

But I don’t think Black Friday stampede crowds are somehow a deep American tradition–I think they’re a late capitalist invention that is being sold to us as a tradition.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

In your view, do the general assemblies matter in the development of the movement? Or are they something that has to be put up with in order to get people involved in the various actions of the movement?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 47

I would LOVE to hear more about Occupy in Hawaii! Drop me an email sometime…sarahjaffe@alternet.org

Tammany Tiger December 10th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Should the Occupy movement make any effort to launch a takeover of the Democratic Party or form a third party?

(My $.02: it should wash its hands entirely of party politics, and vigorously fight any effort by Team Obama to co-opt it and its message.)

PhilPerspective December 10th, 2011 at 2:50 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 49

But I don’t think Black Friday stampede crowds are somehow a deep American tradition–I think they’re a late capitalist invention that is being sold to us as a tradition.

You are 100% right. Just look at stores being open on Sundays. I am only a couple of years older than you, yet I can remember when only a few gas stations were open on Sundays.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:51 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 50

I would say the general assemblies are the heart and soul of the movement.

I spoke to Nelini Stamp, one of the most badass OWS activists here in NYC, when she was at the occupied home in East New York the other day, and she said that the family in the home wants to start hosting general assemblies in the neighborhood.

The general assembly is modeling a different type of democracy–direct democracy as opposed to representative democracy, that I think we all know has been taken over by corporate money. It’s a way to learn to deal with one another face to face. It’s hard and complicated, but it’s a learning process and one that I deeply, deeply appreciate.

I said once, as I sat there listening to every complaint about a possible money expenditure, that “When the GA is at its most frustrating is when I have the deepest respect for the process” and I still believe that.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

And the creeping pressure to open earlier and earlier–like the Target workers who petitioned to not have to go in to work at MIDNIGHT on Black Friday. That’s not American tradition–that’s just greed.

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 2:52 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 51

I can do that for ya, Sarah…! ;-)

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 2:52 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 49

So, maybe more accurate to say we are finally seeing a populist movement rise up to roll back the onslaught of Reaganism this country’s experienced?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
In response to tammanytiger @ 52

I’m with you–this is a movement that’s making an end run around the structures that don’t work anymore, and party politics would seem to be one of them.

And just as an example, this week in NY, our formerly-intransigent Governor “1%” Cuomo changed his mind about taxing the rich. Not because there was an electoral campaign to vote him out, but because there was a movement in the streets in NYC and Albany calling him Governor 1% and calling him out for siding with the rich over the struggling folks in his state, the ones who elected him.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 57

That’s how I feel, yes. And hopefully fight back further than Reaganism, but if we can roll back Reaganism that’d be a wonderful achievement.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 2:55 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 54

Could you explain what the recent turn in Occupy Wall Street NYC to a spokescouncil form is in terms of the evolution of that direct democracy model? How does it seem to be working? And how vulnerable is it to co-option?

bgrothus December 10th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I look forward to reading more of the day to day developments/actions of our movement. I really enjoyed the recent New Yorker article on the man from Seattle. I hope he has been able to maintain his “crew” after the eviction.

I have been a little surprised to learn that most of the occupiers have come from the “unhoused” population. I mean, it makes total sense, and it is what I have personally witnessed. But that is not the impression that I think has been cast from the media. I think we should stress it more, because it helps to reinforce the fact of the serious human toll that is a result of foreclosure and job loss.

I can’t stick around long, but OWS is the main reason I have any scintilla of hope after Obama.

bgrothus December 10th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 54

x 2!

Phoenix Woman December 10th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I noticed this passage by Roseanne Barr. I hadn’t heard about or from her in a long time, and I think I now know why — the 1% media don’t like it when she says things like this:

I mean, we’re all royally screwed. Anyone who makes less than $250,000
a year is royally screwed in this country and it’s only going to get worse until
they have labor camps and they get your free labor. And that is where it’s
headed. It’s not going to stop. Just want you to know that I hear you and I
know you hear me and pretty soon the whole world will hear us. Pretty soon
it won’t be 500 people. There won’t be a choice. We’ve already won by sheer
numbers alone. We’re asking the police and the people in the military to join
us, because we’re on the same side against the same people. Same hands, same
people. Just let it sink in.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 2:57 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 49

Looking back to the New Deal, which came as the result of popular pressure following an earlier financial crash, I’m always amazed the depth and breadth of the impact it had not only the economy — employing millions of people, but in the culture at large, which we don’t really think about. For example, the pressure on FDR to get Americans working again resulted in the creation of the WPA, which arguably brought us something as fundamentally American as rock-and-roll! The Federal Music Project sent music historians to out-of-the-way regions of the country to study local music folkways, and through this work, Delta blues musicians like Muddy Waters were discovered and also hillbilly musicians in the mountains of Tennessee, etc. Bringing those musicians to the radio popularized their work and created a fervor for “roots” music, which became the building blocks of the new rock-and-roll sounds. I get excited to think of what wonders may arise from this new movement–how our values and perspectives may evolve in the way it impacts the culture.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:01 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 63

Yes, I am glad Barr’s speech is included in the book. She and Lupe Fiasco were the first celebrities to really step out and support Occupy Wall Street.

Jane Hamsher December 10th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Thanks so much for being here today Sarah and Lynn, and thanks for hosting Lindsay.

What do you think will be the next major challenge for the occupations? We talk twice a week with our local liaisons for OccupySupply (we have almost 110 now in almost every state in the country). What we’re hearing is that when the occupations get broken up, there are a core group of people who simply do not have any place to go, so they are relocating in less public, more stable places. But the same challenges — of how to provide for people who have simply fallen through the giant holes in the social safety net — are still there.

What kinds of solutions are you hearing?

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 60

The spokescouncil is an interesting development–from what I understand, it was originally started to make sure that little decisions like spending small amounts of money on trash bags didn’t have to go through the entire GA. I know that it’s been rough getting it going and that people complain of a few people who manage to disrupt the whole process–which is a problem that Occupy as a whole has to deal with, and was a problem when the Zuccotti occupation was in.

But: these are experiments in democracy, as Manissa McCleave Maharawal, one of my absolute favorite writers on Occupy and a contributor to our book, says. Some of them won’t work. Some of them will. But they are trying.

madma December 10th, 2011 at 3:04 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 40

sarah. is there any talk of striking college? with the report at common dreams talking about the corporate take over of our colleges and then with the debt situation, why haven’t the students just gone on strike and hit the streets?

bgrothus December 10th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 66

That is so true. Some of our “unhoused” continue to come to GAs, and I run into a couple of them here and there. I am really disturbed by the fact that so many of the people just do not like the shelters, and the weather is just unforgiving. People with illnesses, without sufficient clothing and protective gear (no place to store it if they have it, either), who stay up all night because that is the only way to stay alive in the cold.

Phoenix Woman December 10th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 59

The ground was prepared for the current ultra-hateful John Birch conservatism by men like Lewis Powell and the Olin Foundation’s William Simon. These former Nixon cabinet members wanted not just revenge for Watergate, but to subvert the existing institutions tasked with finding truth (college-based research facilities, etc.), disseminating truth (media), and educating persons truthfully (schools from pre-K to college). Why? Because as Stephen Colbert says, reality has a well-known liberal bias.

As early as the mid-1970s, Simon urged conservative businessmen to stop donating to traditional colleges and research outfits, but instead to set up their own — along with their own media. They gamed the system to make it easy to take over AM radio, starting first in rural areas before taking on the big cities.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:06 pm
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 66

Hi Jane! Thanks so much for having us–your support means a lot.

I know that here in NY there were a lot of questions about where people would go that are still unsolved. I know some people are staying at the occupied home in East New York while working on it, and I would think that as more foreclosure defenses/home occupations go in, that’s a good solution for people (especially during a New York winter–it’s been relatively mild here so far but that one night of snow over Halloween weekend was a nasty reminder of how miserable sleeping outside gets).

I do think a few people went to Occupy New Haven, and some people who had come in from other states may have gone home, but the core group is still in need of solutions and I really hope that this movement continues to try and create them.

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 54

It’s a way to learn to deal with one another face to face. It’s hard and complicated, but it’s a learning process and one that I deeply, deeply appreciate.

I so agree with ya there, it is truly inspirational to see dedicated individuals coming together for the betterment of all…! It is messy at times, but, the goodwill and the determination to succeed is awe-inspiring…!

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 70

Very interesting points. I want to ask our guests: How has Occupy Wall Street set up its own media?

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 3:10 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 63

*heh* Roseanne Barr has participated in several of our protests in Waimea, which is near to her Macnut farm here on the Big Isle…! We’re trying to get her to one of our GA’s in either Hilo or Kona…! ;-)

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:11 pm
In response to madma @ 68

There have been strikes at colleges–UC Davis after the pepper-spray cop incident, and walkouts here in New York at CUNY Baruch and other schools.

I think there’s some tension between the students who are in school and those who are out of school and paying their student loans off. The kids in school maybe don’t realize the impact their student loans will have on their life, while those of us who are out of school are hurting from the payments right now.

But I am fascinated by the student organizing going on, and I certainly see this as an important part of the movement going forward. If we don’t do SOMETHING about the student debt crisis, well…

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 66

Hi Jane,

Thanks for having this conversation on FDL. I visited Occupy New Orleans a few weeks ago and have kept in touch with the folks down there. For a while, it looked like some of the southern camps (Nashville, Austin, etc) were having better success in keeping the physical occupations going and so people were beginning to move down there from other cities where camps had been broken up. The NOLA mayor was very hesitant to interfere because the police have such a terrible image down there and he wanted to put the mayor’s office in a more positive light. But the number of people coming started to alarm him and now the camp is probably going to be broken up.

In NYC, I’m hearing that the more socially engaged protesters have largely been able to find people to stay with, and that some churches are active in putting up people for the night. But you’re right, it’s a real challenge. Keeping up presences in foreclosed houses or having displaced protesters gather in and around the homes of those who are in danger of foreclosure is becoming popular. But there are certainly safety concerns that one would want to be vigilant about in homes where there are children and so on.

madma December 10th, 2011 at 3:16 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 75

I am just thinking a national end of quarter/semester, take one off and see what the administrators think of that, especially after what happened at UC Davis and in view of there not being any jobs anyway, why not. I do understand why many would not do it.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

In following the Twitter streams and livestreams of the many Occupy locations, one sense I get is that two things motivated people to come out: (1) the sense that no institution in our society works anymore and (2) the demonstration of that fact in the incredible debt ceiling debate this summer.

And that through protest they are pointing out that fact to see if anyone else has noticed and through action they are trying to rearrange the components of society to ensure that people are served.

The building seizure and the paramilitary response it drew in the most liberal enclave of North Carolina illustrates that logic of action. A commercial building that was standing vacant on the main street of one of the more affluent cities in NC was being repurposed into a community center of some sort. Something that could be fixed up and used.

Reoccupation of foreclosed houses is one future I see for the movement, but repurposing vacant commercial buildings–especially in the small towns that have been decimated by WalMart and fast food chains on the bypass–is another.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Good question, Lindsay!

This whole thing reminds me of Jello Biafra’s old adage–don’t hate the media, become the media.

Without the livestreams and the Twitter feeds, this movement wouldn’t be what it is. It is of the Internet age, and since I’m saying this on FDL, I know most of you will agree with me–the ability to create our own media is invaluable. We can get around the money media (my old boss Laura Flanders’ favorite term) and tell our own stories, and reach each other on a peer-to-peer level.

I like the Occupied Wall Street Journal and other tangible things, but really I think the livestream (and youtube clips–cannot forget the original YouTube clip heard ’round the world of Tony Bologna and his pepper spray) has been the thing that’s made the difference.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
In response to Lynn Parramore @ 76

Occupy NOLA was broken up on Tuesday morning. Then, hours later, a judge granted them a TRO that allowed Occupy NOLA to return to Duncan Plaza. You’re right – the camp will probably be broken up after the judge looks at the situation again this Tuesday.

Kitt December 10th, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 75

I think that the pressure continuing on Chancellor Katehi of UC Davis to resign would go a long, long way, if successful, to make the point that we are aware of how the 1% plays the ‘look forward, not back’ game to their and only their advantage.

See this letter from UC Davis faculty published on December 8th. Excellent letter calling of her resignation.

http://mesa.ucdavis.edu/community/open-letter-calling-for-resignation

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 78

I would love to see commercial buildings being repurposed–they privatized public space, let’s turn them back into public spaces.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:23 pm
In response to Kitt @ 81

I wrote about the pressure on Chancellor Katehi in my essay on horizontalism and OWS (here).

I think it’s interesting, because the movement doesn’t have a “leader” that can be taken out and provide the other side with a victory. Yet there are clear targets like Katehi, like Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo here, like Jean Quan in Oakland, that OWS can try to take down. It shows the advantages of a “leaderless” movement, I think.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 82

Occupy Philly and Occupy Detroit seem to be moving toward turning vacant lots into urban agriculture – something small groups in those cities have been doing for a while but could get a boost from the exposure through the Occupy movement.

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 83

What do you guys make of mayors like Jean Quan and Antonio Villaraigosa–generally progressive, with lefty bases–who started out supportive of the Occupiers and were among the first to call in the riot cops. What changed?

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Lindsay, Lynn, Sarah –

What do you think of the Occupy Wall Street library and its importance to the movement? I noticed it is evolving online now with OccupyEducated.org.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 84

That actually pre-dates Occupy. When I attended the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit, food security was an important issue, one many groups were organizing around.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I think that they realized that they couldn’t co-opt this.

Seriously. I think at first they thought it would be the typical protest, that they’d stick around for a little while and then get tired, and when they realized that this was different, they pushed them out.

Kelly Canfield December 10th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 87

So much to Occupy, so little time!

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

The control of the media capabilities has become an issue in several active Occupy general assemblies. Facebook administrators are disciplined by the general assembly for taking unilateral action in the name of the general assembly. And so on.

How did Occupy Wall Street NYC handle media so that these issues either didn’t come up or were dealt with?

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 3:33 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 78

I’m so excited to see a Tarheel here – I’m a Tarheel, too, originally, from Raleigh. My mom has been checking out the N.C. State Occupy Faculty gatherings (she’s a retired professor). I attended Pullen Memorial Baptist church growing up with the great liberal pastor W.W. Finlator, and people are often surprised when I tell them that two men got married in my church — in the eighties!

I think you are correct in what you say about the summer of frustration, which was also fueled by the Arab spring and the sight of protesters in Spain and Greece standing up to economic injustices. The debt ceiling debate in the U.S. brought home the fact that our system was broken. The spectacle of bought politicians wrangling over an issue that shouldn’t have even been the focus given the unemployment crisis sent a strong message that guerilla tactics were necessary and that trying to push tweaks within the system wasn’t going to cut it. I do believe that the Occupy Homes aspect of the movement will become increasingly significant.

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 87

One of our largest Work Groups is our Sustainable Ag. group, in which we’d planted Taro, Sweet Potato, Kava, and other native staples, in many of the median strips in Downtown Hilo…! A week ago, I’d participated in a weeding event in support of it…! ;-)

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:38 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 86

THE LIBRARY.

I miss it more than anything, I think.

My friend, Melissa Gira Grant, is working on a project about the library from Zuccotti Park. The librarians are still really tight and are still working on ways to renew the library.

I love the idea of a library. I love physical books, and having a space where you can go and read them, browse them, talk to people about them. I think it’s very telling that libraries have been targets of the austerity budgets around the country–when I was living in Philly from ’07 to ’09, there were huge protests and lots of fundraisers dedicated to keeping libraries open. And then the Occupations create libraries.

It contributed to the idea of public space for public learning and public conversations.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 86

I was so moved to see the library and its influence. The very idea of the lending library, as has been pointed out, was so symbolic — the currency is knowledge and the focus is sharing. I would see young people down in Zuccotti Park huddled over a copy of Voltaire’s Candide or a compilation of Jonathan Swift’s essays and it made my heart, as a former English professor, go pitter-patter.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 92

Occupy New Haven was planning on getting off donations when I visited. They had a warehouse where they were going to grow food.

The nature of Occupy promotes localism or decentralization. That is one of the best side effects of Occupy.

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 93

The idea of bringing libraries to the people is very big in mainstream library science these days. So, I expect the People’s Library phenomenon to grow. There are lots of professional librarians who are excited about the concept. And the symbolism really resonates with the public.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 90

You know, one of the issues was the text message service–the night of the eviction, I think there were problems with knowing who was in charge of the message service, who was authorized to send it out. It’s a problem with a nonhierarchical movement–control of information is so important and so hard to really decentralize.

I’m not super closely involved with any of these decisions–I’m just an observer–but I think this is an issue that will remain hard to solve. Rapid response media systems require snap decision making, which is obviously sort of hard to do by consensus.

sarahmarian December 10th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Hi! This is (the other) Sarah, an AlterNet staffer who helped out with the book. I just wanted to thank Lynn and Sarah and Lindsay for holding down an amazing conversation and responding to the excellent and thoughtful questions from the FDL community. I was wondering if anyone had good talking points that might work when more hesitant folks who are otherwise on board say “I agree with their message, but are they going to encourage people not to vote/inspire another ’68/lead to President Romney?”

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:43 pm
In response to sarahmarian @ 98

Hi, Sarah! Thanks for joining us.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 80

Yes, I’m afraid the injunction won’t do much good. A shame.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to Lynn Parramore @ 91

Pullen-Raleigh, Binkley-Chapel Hill, and Myers Park-Charlotte are still carrying on their traditions. The Occupy Wall Street movements here have had a rough time. Occupy Raleigh just recently moved to private space that a donor is renting for $400 a month. Occupy Greensboro dispersed. Occupy Asheville was raided. Occupy Chapel Hill wasn’t raided but some “anarchists” marginally connected occupied the building. Occupy Greenville NC is not been terribly visible although it still exists. Occupy Boone has had events, and there has been an attempt to create Occupy Sylva-Cherokee. Occupy Hendersonville is going still. Occupy Wilmington had two attempts at parks.

And Occupy Charlotte is having to deal with the “Will 2012 in Charlotte be 1968 in Chicago” question by the media.

Things are bubbling.

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:48 pm
In response to sarahmarian @ 98

Maybe the talking point is that most of these people wouldn’t have voted anyway. Occupy is bringing in new people. If they don’t vote, that’s too bad, IMO–but at least they’re not shifting votes to a third party candidate. At least they’re shifting the conversation in the right direction. They’re creating space for Elizabeth Warren to talk about inequality even if they never vote for her.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
In response to sarahmarian @ 98

I am glad you asked this question.

dakine01 December 10th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

That is actually a revival of an older concept. The public library in my small hometown in Kentucky had a Bookmobile that took s a subset of the library around to the various cross road villages throughout the county so that the farmers and other folks in these towns that couldn’t get into the “city” could still get access to books.

I think most bookmobiles have been discontinued though due to those infamous budget cuts

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 101

“Will 2012 in Charlotte be 1968 in Chicago”

*heh* I hope so, without the violence tho…! *g*

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I wish Occupy would take a page from the Tea Party and form local groups that vote religiously. Maybe not in state or national level elections that are dominated by parties, but in local elections based on issues.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
In response to sarahmarian @ 98

Yayyy, Sarah S.! Everyone should know Sarah Seltzer–one of our wonderful colleagues who did some amazing work on this project.

Anyway: for me, personally? I don’t think there’s anything preventing people from both working on Occupy actions and pushing the party to be more progressive and then turning up election day to keep a President Romney out.

Also, I’m just tired of this argument. Look what the Dems did to us just this week. They sold women out again on Plan B, and the groups whose job it is to fight for such things gave them a pass because they’re afraid of someone worse. How much defense are we going to play because we’re scared of things getting worse? Things ARE worse for so many people in this country. I’m just simply tired of the idea that we have to crouch down and huddle over the things we have left while we’re losing more each day at the hands of Democrats.

Kevin Gosztola December 10th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Or, making it more likely President Obama gives speeches in places like Osawatomie, Kansas that remind people of the history of Teddy Roosevelt.

Lynn Parramore December 10th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

It will be interesting. I kept thinking last time I was down there about the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in and how it sparked a movement across the country. It’s interesting how different regions connect with different aspects of American protest history. I had no concept of the labor movement growing up in N.C., but I was deeply aware of the Civil Rights movement. Hopefully the energy of the past movements (and their successes) will continue to serve as an inspiration.

BevW December 10th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

As we come to the end of this lively Book Salon discussion,

Lynn, Sarah, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and the Occupy Movement.

Lindsay, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Lynn and Sarah’s website (Alternet.org) and book

Lindsay’s website (InTheseTimes.com)

Thanks all, Have a great weekend.

Sunday – Vanessa Williamson / The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism; Hosted by Paul Street

If you want to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

Lindsay Beyerstein December 10th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for having us, Bev.

Sarah Jaffe December 10th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Bev–thanks so much!

sarahmarian December 10th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Yes, I agree with Lindsay/Kevin and Sarah Jaffe. Encouraging more people to vote and putting more faith in the Democratic party are not the same thing! One is vital, the other gets us little. But –what I’ve been responding to this (admittedly tired Zombie argument) is that they’re giving Dem politicians cover and that raising political consciousness in general rarely leads to less voting…

Thanks again to FDL for hosting us!

Kelly Canfield December 10th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to Sarah Jaffe @ 107

One of the better lines from an article near the end of the book; “There’s nothing to eat at the Establishment Cafe.”

People rejecting that offense/defense only posture as regards today’s problems really changes the dynamic.

As regards Plan B I could see folks buying it in advance to have available for the minors who couldn’t – you know, something like that to neutralize these stupid decisions that are made.

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Tip O’Neill’s (All politics is local) town today showed the power of that insight. Police forces are controlled locally still. Unlike some other countries. The most important elections in the next four years are going to be city councils, county comissions, mayors, and county executives. That will determine the degree of repression that can be brought down on the movement.

Mayor Daley was determinative in what happened in Chicago in 1968. For all the paranoia about DHS it is still the mayors making the decisions (unless their police chiefs have gone rogue). And they are making based on local political pressure from the local manifestations of the 1%.

CTuttle December 10th, 2011 at 3:58 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 104

Hawaii County, the largest county outside of Texas, had to discontinue their excellent Bookmobile service due to budget cuts and the exorbitant cost of gas here on the Big Isle, $4.60+ a gallon…! Our local DentistMobile suffered the same cruel fate…! 8-(

TarheelDem December 10th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

At this point, Osawatomie was one of the places he could be guaranteed not to be mic-checked.

Kitt December 10th, 2011 at 4:03 pm
In response to sarahmarian @ 113

Shouldn’t we be concentrating on exposing the Oligarchy and taking it apart, either through prosecutions or To-Be-Announced actions before we consume energy on ‘get out the vote’ campaigns in a completely corrupted system?

That does not necessarily rule out voting on local issues–but national and even local politicians are all, I repeat, all a part of the oligarchy. If we feed into that, we strengthen it and are then left with fewer and fewer crumbs and more and more of “Liberty and Justice for Some”.

independentvoternews December 10th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

My apologies if this has already been discussed.

Who are the original poeple that started OWS [as in the actual names of the real people who started the organization]…

And

What is the political background and political affiliations of those original people who started OWS…? from it’s first inception.

independentvoternews December 10th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I’ll answer my own question.

It appears the people at Ad Busters started the whole thing. Thats cool because they have been advocates for change for a long time. Great magazine as well.

I started out as a huge supporter of OWS… but then alarm bells went off when secrecy issues came out [secrecy is one of the arch enemies of the truth].

I’m really hoping, OWS organizes and puts Third Party candidates on the ballot in 2012… is so they will have my full support.

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