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Two weeks into Occupy Wall Street protests, movement is at a crossroads

 
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 07:58 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Seriously though, what is the physical focus of the ire of WS Protestors in cities like Washington, DC?

People are in McPherson Square next to K Street. The focus here is still on the money systems, but at their main interface with the political sphere.

Thursday is a large protest, where the group plans to go to Freedom Plaza between the Capital and the White House on PennsylvaniaAve & 14th st. This is a hard to miss area of super high visibility.

A
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 08:02 pm
@failures art,
But that's what the Buffet tax IS. So are these pro-Buffet-tax demonstrations?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 08:02 pm
All we need now is a little police brutality to really get this thing going...There seems to be extensive concerns that cops over recent years have spent so much time training for 9/11 type events that they have lost some of their protest containment skills. It looks like we will get a chance to see if this is so.
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 11:47 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

But that's what the Buffet tax IS. So are these pro-Buffet-tax demonstrations?

That's one way to put it. Another is that Buffet didn't come up with the idea, but rather he defied the mythology preventing it. That makes for a quick bridging of the gap, but it would be hasty to simply say this is a pro-Buffet party.

Part of the organizing and message is "the other 99%" which carry's signs that say "pay your fair share."

With the current political goings, if Obama starts to loose his spine when things get tough, I'd say it's good for him to recognize that a large progressive force that knows how to mobilize is watching. A failure to do the right thing can cost him. Seriously, what push back from liberals has any Democratic politician actually had to fear?

Personally, I feel this is the true potential of this movement: That it demonstrates an ability for people to organize without the vetting/censorship of political power brokers.

While it's slow to catch on in many media outlets, it's not as if the group was waiting for them. They were going to advance and do their thing whether the media was on board or not.

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failures art
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 12:04 am
@hawkeye10,
There has been police brutality. In fact, had there not been, the OWS protests might have gone completely ignored. It was in the second week when the mace incident happened, and that went viral on the web.

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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 07:33 am
@failures art,
You misunderstood -- not pro-Buffet, but pro-Buffet TAX.

Quote:
Drawing clear battle lines for next year's elections, a combative President Barack Obama on Monday demanded that the richest Americans pay higher taxes to help cut soaring U.S. deficits by more than $3 trillion. He promised to veto any effort by congressional Republicans to cut Medicare benefits for the elderly without raising taxes as well.

"This is not class warfare. It's math," Obama declared, anticipating Republican criticism, which was quick in coming.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/obama-deficit-plan-buffet-rule-taxes-medicare_n_969403.html

That's something that's coming from the Obama administration.

That proposal (and spine) came well before these demonstrations.

So are they demonstrating in favor of it?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 07:52 am
@sozobe,
Funny thing in Boston some of the protestors were saying they were also fighting to legalize pot. It just seems that there is a hodge podge of items they are fighting against.

Not really I am not against these sorts of demonstrations (especially as they are not impacting my commute) - but I think they would be more effective if they have a little more organization or clear message.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 07:55 am
@JTT,
The thing is - these protestors may have some valid points, but it is lost in their lack of organization and clear message - they become more of a joke - ie a bunch of young lazy kids without anything better to do - rather than an organization group that is in support or against xyz and this is their solution.

Not sure I've seen some sort of suggested change to make things better 0ther than - let things collapse.
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 08:27 am
Quote:
Wall Street protesters arrested in a march across the Brooklyn Bridge sued New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly for allegedly violating their constitutional rights.

Five of the protesters, seeking to represent about 700 people arrested in the Oct. 1 march, filed a civil rights complaint yesterday in Manhattan federal court. They claimed officers from the New York City Police Department lured them onto the bridge’s roadway to trap and arrest them.

“After escorting and leading a group of demonstrators and others well out onto the Brooklyn Bridge roadway, the NYPD suddenly and without warning curtailed further forward movement, blocked the ability of persons to leave the bridge from the rear, and arrested hundreds of protesters in the absence of probable cause,” they said in the complaint.

The protesters, whose demonstration continued yesterday with as many as 1,000 people in Lower Manhattan, seek a declaration nullifying the arrests, that police violated the U.S. Constitution and an order barring the city from using similar tactics in the future. The group also seeks unspecified damages.

Police have said protesters were warned not to block the roadway and that those at the rear were allowed to leave.

source

I thought in our country people are allowed to protest for whatever reason without fear of arrest?
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 08:47 am
@failures art,
Quote:
We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary, and that's crazy. It's time we stopped it.

That was the president, making the case for why our tax code—riddled with unfair breaks, loopholes, and subsidies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy—requires fundamental reform that ensures the wealthy pay their fair share.

But it wasn’t President Barack Obama. It was President Ronald Reagan. In 1985.


source
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  4  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 04:28 pm
@revelette,
Quote:
I thought in our country people are allowed to protest for whatever reason without fear of arrest?


What country is that? Thus far, I have been in a lot of demonstrations starting in 1966, in all but about two, somebody has been arresting for something.

Joe(all.we.are.saying)Nation
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 05:08 pm
@Joe Nation,
Quote:
somebody has been arresting for something.


Back in those days, many of the women protesting were quite arresting.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 05:28 pm
This may have already been said, and if it has I apologize.

Has anyone actually read the list of demands from these OWS people?
It reads like a fantasy novel, with some of the demands being contradictory in nature.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-for-occupy-wall-st-moveme/

Here are just a few of their demands...
Quote:

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr


Why stop at $20/hr?

Quote:
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment


So what if the living wage in a particular area is less than $20/hr?
Does the living wage apply or does the minimum wage apply?

Quote:
Demand four: Free college education.


Paid for by our tax dollars.

Quote:
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants


And exactly where is that trillion dollars going to come from, especially when I post another of their demands.
And if we shut down all of the nuclear power plants, exactly what will take their place?



Quote:

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.


So that would eliminate that pesky matter about sovereign borders, wouldnt it?
And, will every other country on earth go along with this?

Quote:
Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.


This one takes the cake.
These people cant be serious.
To forgive ALL debt on the planet is not possible, nor would it work. The OWS people want the govt to spend $2 trillion on their pet projects, and that isnt possible without going into debt.
Even if you forgave ALL debt tomorrow, how long do you think it would take until govts and people and corporations were back in debt?

Quote:
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies


And if you do this, exactly how are you going to eliminate debt?
How are you going to decide who is credit worthy, so they avoid going into debt?

IMHO, these people are just part of the generation that has had everything handed to them, without having to work for it.
They are living in a fantasy world, and have no sense of reality.
.
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 08:25 pm
@mysteryman,
Its a start!! Dont you understand the meaning of the word proposed?
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 08:27 pm
I became a bit dubious when I read that it (OWS) is a "leaderless organisation".

A collective I could understand, but without any leaders, it clearly is not an organisation.

The "movement" is wide open to any and all input, which, while on the face of it, seems like a collectively good idea, a quick read through some of the forum entries reveals spammers and shills.

I, personally, would like to see less cash influencing election results, less monopolising of goods and services, and some closer scrutiny of public cash being handed out in corporate bail-outs.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Keep the demands simple, and get a game plan happening. If true democracy is what is desired, select some representatives, view their proposals/policies, and cast your votes.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 08:59 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

You misunderstood -- not pro-Buffet, but pro-Buffet TAX.

Quote:
Drawing clear battle lines for next year's elections, a combative President Barack Obama on Monday demanded that the richest Americans pay higher taxes to help cut soaring U.S. deficits by more than $3 trillion. He promised to veto any effort by congressional Republicans to cut Medicare benefits for the elderly without raising taxes as well.

"This is not class warfare. It's math," Obama declared, anticipating Republican criticism, which was quick in coming.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/obama-deficit-plan-buffet-rule-taxes-medicare_n_969403.html

That's something that's coming from the Obama administration.

That proposal (and spine) came well before these demonstrations.

So are they demonstrating in favor of it?


Well, I'll report back tomorrow. Right now most of what we see is second hand. I'm going to Freedom Plaza tomorrow to see for myself and talk to people. Then I feel I'll be able to share my own sentiment, and get a feel for other's thoughts.

I read an interesting article by Ezra Klein on the potential for this to fracture and a more conventional political movement to arise. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not one of those who think that this needs to fit the typical political frame for easy digestion and... ahem... exploitation.

It could be mobilized and supported into a liberal powerhouse. such a thing could advance many progressive causes that I'd be happy about. On the other hand, I like that as it is it's setting the queue for the media (not the other way around), and creating a platform that is accessible to many people. To the casual observer, it may seem like this lends itself to being unfocused, but compared traditional political and social platforms, a lot of these things get thrown to the background.

A
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failures art
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 09:05 pm
We have become observers (less participants) in politics and society. We have pundits who argue and model a very bitter and divided relationship that we then emulate. I kind of like that many of the demands are varied (even contrary). It means we are directly interacting with each other, and not relying on others to argue as our avatars. Even some libertarian types have started to show up. It's not uncommon for them to bond with liberals on many issues of civil liberties, but the junction of the two has rarely actually met to discuss crony-capitalism.

It may seem chaotic, but at some level I feel it must be culturally therapeutic.

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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 09:14 pm
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

We have become observers (less participants) in politics and society. We have pundits who argue and model a very bitter and divided relationship that we then emulate. I kind of like that many of the demands are varied (even contrary). It means we are directly interacting with each other, and not relying on others to argue as our avatars. Even some libertarian types have started to show up. It's not uncommon for them to bond with liberals on many issues of civil liberties, but the junction of the two has rarely actually met to discuss crony-capitalism.

It may seem chaotic, but at some level I feel it must be culturally therapeutic.


You are finally beginning to understand what the Tea Party is all about, why they say that it is time to take back America...

Given a bit more time you might come around to understanding that the left and the right have many of the same grievances, and that that which we share is bigger than is our differences. Me being a radical on the fringe I have seen this for a long time, but mainstream righties and lefties tend to not see that what binds, they are always seeing the D or the R as the opposite, as the enemy. Wrong, it is apathy which is the opposite, is the enemy.

I am extremely optimistic that we are getting close to having once again, after a long absence, the capacity for Americans to work together to build America.

As anyone who has truly recovered from abuse or addition knows, pain is good....pain teaches that something is wrong, it is an opportunity to learn how to live better, it is a gift. The Great Recession/Depression is the balm that America needed.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 10:10 pm
I personally think they need to keep the same perspective they started with, which is a vague motivation. Some people say they need a concise agenda so others can decide if they should partake or not. I think that is only a method to try and weaken the movement. I think the only reason this movement doesn't have the numbers that other countries have is because Americans right now are complacent. Our leaders have done a really good job of making people feel like they don't need to worry about what the government is doing, to keep focused on monday night foot ball, dancing with the stars and jersey shore.

The leaders have also done a really good job of polluting the public school systems with terrible lessons which have made americans unable to determine what is right and what is wrong with our political system. So it tends to be the very small groups who investigate and self educate themselves who see the reality of the situation and are finally fed up enough to actually put in the time and effort to seek change.

I highly doubt this movement will get large enough numbers to actually make wall street and bankers take notice. The failure won't be that they aren't focused on actual demands, it is with the american people as a whole who are dumbfounded by the politics and economic problems. I really hope that I am wrong about this but I really doubt that I am.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Oct, 2011 10:15 pm
@Krumple,
The Bitch about the protesters is that they dont seem to now the solutions, they only seem to be saying that something is wrong.....we have seen this tactic used on A2K, where those who complain about problems are told to shut up until they have solutions to propose. I think this is a tactic of the elite to keep the riff-raff quiet, knowing full well that those who have not devoted their life to the specialty have no hope of understanding the specialty well enough to propose reforms. It is a dishonest attempt to ignore criticism, one that is designed to make others feel stupid as part of the manipulation scheme. It is also solid proof that there are a great many people running around American who dont actually believe in equality, no matter how many nice things they say about blacks and homosexuals.
0 Replies
 
 

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