Monday, October 3, 2011

The Whole World is Watching

Are you The 99 Percent?

On Saturday, the Occupy Wall Street protesters intended to march from Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park) over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park and gather there to eat. Since the police blocked the footpath over the bridge for no apparent reason but to force marchers onto the road, the protesters filed onto the road. 700 arrests were made. Well done, crime starters - I mean, stoppers.

A few months ago, JP Morgan Chase bank donated $4.6 million to the NYPD. Considering officer Anthony Bologna's random macings of already-penned-in women on their knees and other officers punching and slamming people head-first into parked cars just for filming the protests, the stomping of people not doing anything and zip-tying their hands so tight that their hands turned blue, what conclusion do you reach?

(Officer Tony Baloney already stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations during the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. The case is to be heard next year.)

I don’t know if Chase bank influenced the actions of the NYPD, but I am thankful for what happened. It is shining a much brighter light on what is happening in America. It certainly isn’t making it go away.

With banks keeping all our bailout money, foreclosing on mortgages they don’t even hold, charging you for using your own money, CEO’s giving themselves huge pay raises (earning an average of 343 times more than a typical employee) and multi-million-dollar bonuses for destroying companies while laying off thousands of workers, shifting jobs overseas, cutting workers’ benefits, pay and pensions, politicians attacking unions and preventing people from voting, giving corporations huge tax cuts that create no jobs while cutting social programs, education, health care, food for children/mothers, taking bribes – I mean donations – from corporations to get what they want, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc… these protests were only a matter of time. When the four hundred richest individuals in America have more money than the bottom one hundred fifty million people, I only wonder what took so long.

400 people have more money than half of the country. If you think they earned it simply by working hard and creating jobs, you are a, as Bugs Bunny would say:

In New York, the Transit Workers Union Local 100 (in a unanimous vote) and SEIU 32BJ, which represents doormen, security guards and maintenance workers, will be joining the protest. And the New York Metro Area Postal Union and SEIU 1199 are also strongly leaning toward joining the movement. The Transit Workers Union Local 100 alone has 38,000 active members.

 Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO said about the protests, "I think it's a tactic and a valid tactic to call attention to a problem. Wall Street is out of control."

In a Village Voice interview, TWU Local 100's Jim Gannon said, "...the protesters, it's pretty courageous what they're doing...and it's brought a new public focus in a different way to what we've been saying along. While Wall Street and the banks and the corporations are the ones that caused the mess that's flowed down into the states and cities, it seems there's no shared sacrifice. It's the workers having to sacrifice while the wealthy get away scot-free. It's kind of a natural alliance with the young people and the students -- they're voicing our message, why not join them? On many levels, our workers feel an affinity with the kids. They just seem to be hanging out there getting the crap beaten out of them, and maybe union support will help them out a little bit."

In the same interview, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said, “We plan to be down there from now on. Previously there were individual rank and filers, but now there will be a coordinated presence from the Transport Union; we’ll be joining the protest, standing in agreement and solidarity.”

“What's so great about it is they've managed to capture a feeling that's out there that decisions are being made that aren't helping 99% of society. We are all being left out. It's something labor should have been saying for a long time,” said Jason Ide, president of Teamsters Local 814.

Although these young, new activists are being joined by old-school activist organizations and big unions, it is still uncertain whether or not this movement will create a lasting effect. And unless and until we remove money from the political process, lasting effect seems, to me, unlikely.

“The challenge is, how do you transfer protest into power? At the end of the day, you have to figure out a way to take this energy and turn it into legislation that really changes people's lives,” said Robert Master, legislative and political director of the Communications Workers of America and a co-chair of the Working Families Party.

Other activist groups - The Working Families Party,, Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education, Community Voices Heard, United New York and Strong Economy For All – are also going to join the movement. And The National Lawyer’s Guild is providing legal assistance to the protesters.

And this is an actual grassroots movement. Not like the Republican PAC/corporate sponsored, uneducated Teabag bowel movement.

The Occupy Wall Street protest movement is now spreading all over the United States: 

Occupy Chicago
Occupy Cincinnati
Occupy Cleveland
Occupy Columbus
Occupy Indiana
Occupy Indianapolis
Occupy Kansas City
Occupy Michigan
Occupy Minnesota
Occupy OKC
Occupy Omaha
Occupy OSU (Stillwater)
Occupy St. Louis
Occupy Tulsa
Occupy Wisconsin
Occupy Youngstown

Occupy Binghamton
Occupy Boston
Occupy D.C.
Occupy Hartford, CT
Occupy Maine
Occupy New Haven
Occupy New Jersey
Occupy Philadelphia
Occupy Pittsburgh
Occupy Providence, RI
Occupy Rochester
Occupy Vermont

Occupy Arkansas
Occupy Birmingham, AL
Occupy Charlotte
Occupy Clarksville, TN
Occupy Columbus, GA
Occupy Daytona Beach
Occupy Durham
Occupy Florence, SC
Occupy Greensboro, GA
Occupy Jacksonville, FL
Occupy Knoxville
Occupy Lexington, KY
Occupy Louisville
Occupy Memphis
Occupy Miami
Occupy Mississippi
Occupy Nashville
Occupy New Orleans
Occupy Orlando
Occupy Richmond, VA
Occupy Tallahassee
Occupy Tampa
Occupy Winston Salem

Occupy Albuquerque
Occupy Austin
Occupy Dallas
Occupy Houston
Occupy Phoenix
Occupy San Antonio
Occupy Tucson

Occupy Boise
Occupy Colorado Springs
Occupy Denver
Occupy Eugene
Occupy Las Vegas
Occupy Olympia
Occupy Portland
Occupy Sacramento
Occupy Salt Lake City
Occupy San Diego
Occupy San Francisco
Occupy San Jose
Occupy Santa Cruz
Occupy Seattle
Occupy Spokane

And into other countries:

CANADA: Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Ottowa, Vancouver and Victoria.

MEXICO: Tijuana.

JAPAN: Tokyo.

AUSTRALIA: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

GERMANY: Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg.



DENMARK: RĂ„dhuspladsen.


SLOVENIA: Ljubljan.

ENGLAND: London, Manchester, Norwich.


SWEDEN: Stockholm.

Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner did 
declare that he got 98% of what he wanted. 
I hope the Republicans are happy.

 We Are The 99 Percent

Call them stupid hippies if you wish. 
You’re just wearing your ignorance on your sleeve. 
Note the lack of period costumes.

I am The 99 Percent.

Good day.

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