Occupy Wall Street. Police vs people in NY.

Kraint wrote:

I think that there is actually a lot of common ground between the original Tea Party and OWS. From either side's POV, the middle class is getting hosed on taxes and the government is not using that money very well. Both want people to have a fair chance at succeeding in life.

Is there anyone that *doesn't* believe that to be true? Everyone seems to agree the middle class pays too much in taxes, so that's the common ground of...everyone. It's like saying two movements are both against putting babies on spikes.

As for the government not using that money very well, is that even accurate? Again, it's a 'babies on spikes' issue, where *everyone* has a problem with the government not using money well no matter where you are on the political spectrum. I don't know if OWS was ever about the message that bailouts were wrong, but instead was about the only people to get a bailout was Wall Street while students and homeowners and the rest of the 99% get told their problems are their own fault and they should take personal responsibility when they asked for a bailout for the rest of us.

edit: as for both want people to have a fair chance at succeeding in life, that's real 'babies on spikes territory. Is there anyone who *doesn't* believe that? If one group thinks government needs to get out of the way in order to do that, and the other thinks government needs to step up and level the playing field, I can't think of two more radically different positions without going off into truly fringe territory.

Farscry wrote:
Ulairi wrote:

I actually don't mean to mock OWS. I think the intentions of OWS are noble, just like I thought the tea party's intentions were noble. We do need to get the corruptible influence of corporations out of the public square. I just think that OWS like the tea party lacks the right solutions and brings more anger and divisiveness to the public square. I wish OWS would actually stop protesting and causing a bother for people and actually participate in the political process.

I do agree with your entire statement here, but with the caveat that sadly I think the system is so corrupt that it's stacked against the introduction of a meaningful force of individuals representing either group who could manage to change things from within.

That's the foundation of the argument for why OWS needs to take a path outside of the current political system. This system is too big of a monster to slay from within because grassroots politicians either end up converting to the status quo as a result or many factors or they are simply marginalized through a variety of strong-arm tactics. This beast has to face an equally large and powerful force, which is going to be the 99% that rises up against it. The only question is when and how this will play out.

A Kenyan who is in NY participating at OWS, wrote a letter to an Iranian prisoner. It's pretty heart wrenching to hear this guy lose it emotionally.

Some photos from Seattle's port blockade.

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Time gave person of the year to.....'The Protestor'. Obviously it's primarily for the uprising in the Middle East but OWS and Russia deservedly get recognized.

Thank goodness, our CEOs are managing to thrive in spite of the economic downturn. I was so worried.

This year's survey shows CEO pay packages have boomed: the top 10 earners took home more than $770m between them in 2010. As stock prices began to recover last year, the increase in CEO pay outstripped the rise in share value. The Russell 3000 measure of US stock prices was up by 16.93% in 2010, but CEO pay went up by 27.19% overall. For S&P 500 CEOs, the largest companies in the sample, total realised compensation – including perks and pensions and stock awards – increased by a median of 36.47%. Total pay at midcap companies, which are slightly smaller than the top firms, rose 40.2%.

GMI released a preliminary report on 2010 CEO pay earlier this year, before all the data was available. Paul Hodgson, a senior research associate at GMI, said that report had shown a significant bounce but he had expected a wider sample to dampen the effect.

"Wages for everybody else have either been in decline or stagnated in this period, and that's for those who are in work," said Hodgson. "I had a feeling that we would see some significant increases this year. But 30-40% was something of a surprise." Bosses won in every area, with dramatic increases in pensions, payoffs and perks – as well as salary.

Thanks Dimmer. Now I can finally sleep at night.

I would have liked to have seen a comparison within those companies between the executive level and the plebians.

absurddoctor wrote:

I would have liked to have seen a comparison within those companies between the executive level and the plebians.

Not a direct comparison, but still useful.

Bureau of Labor and Statistics wrote:

Real average hourly earnings fell 2.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from October 2010 to October 2011. The decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6 percent increase in average weekly hours resulted in a 1.7 percent decline in real average weekly earnings during this period.

[Edit to add: found at least one direct comparison]

Time[/url]]Walt Disney’s CEO Robert Iger, who received a $13.5 million bonus. That was an increase of 45.5% from a year ago.

[trimmed]

Workers at Disney’s Florida amusement park Walt Disney World fought for months last year and early this year for higher wages. What they finally ended up getting, in a new contract settled earlier this month, was an annual raise of 3% to 4% over the next three years. The workers will get a bonus, too, of $650, a mere 20,769 times less than Iger’s bonus.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
absurddoctor wrote:

I would have liked to have seen a comparison within those companies between the executive level and the plebians.

Not a direct comparison, but still useful.

Bureau of Labor and Statistics wrote:

Real average hourly earnings fell 2.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from October 2010 to October 2011. The decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6 percent increase in average weekly hours resulted in a 1.7 percent decline in real average weekly earnings during this period.

[Edit to add: found at least one direct comparison]

Time[/url]]Walt Disney’s CEO Robert Iger, who received a $13.5 million bonus. That was an increase of 45.5% from a year ago.

[trimmed]

Workers at Disney’s Florida amusement park Walt Disney World fought for months last year and early this year for higher wages. What they finally ended up getting, in a new contract settled earlier this month, was an annual raise of 3% to 4% over the next three years. The workers will get a bonus, too, of $650, a mere 20,769 times less than Iger’s bonus.

Thanks, I failed at the googles today. While I suspect that is the norm with most of these companies, its nice to see the numbers put together.

  • Civil Disturbance and Criminal Tactics of Protest [Scribd] It's a 2003 document for law enforcement agencies.
  • Seattle High School students walk out to protest cuts to education funding, taking a cue from recent protests. [Seattle Times]
  • Occupiers, Writing Their Own News Article, Call Yesterday's Port Action "Wildly Successful" [The Stranger]
  • More photos from the Oakland port shutdown. [Turnstyle News]
  • ILWU: Workers Will Not Be Paid for Lost Shift at Terminal 18 [The Stranger]
    Work was disrupted at Terminal 5, but not canceled, so the ILWU dispatched work orders "through completion." However, ILWU says that the shipper, American President Lines, is refusing to pay workers for the disrupted shift, a contractual dispute that will ultimately be worked out between the shipper and the union. "It's being discussed," the union says.

    Considering the scope of yesterday's west coast port protests, I'd have to call shutting down all or parts of four ports a bit of a success. But when they're impacting the livelihoods of fellow members of the 99 Percent, Occupiers need to honestly own up to the consequences of their actions, even if they're unintended.

    So here's a free PR tip to the Occupy Seattle media team: It's more effective to spin the facts than to ignore them.

[Crooks and Liars]

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I saw this in our local press, looks like it came from an AP article.

With the loss of its Manhattan base camp, Occupy Wall Street movement is at a crossroads

[b]

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/with_the_loss_of_its_manhattan.html

My concern has been OWS's lack of organization would cost them their momentum, and subsequently, their movement. If OWS breaks into smaller movement I think they have a very limited window to impact government at the local level or they risk becoming an afterthought.

Well, when you're constantly deriding them as bongo-playing hippies, I'm not sure why you ever thought they'd be effective in the first place.

Bear wrote:

I saw this in our local press, looks like it came from an AP article.

With the loss of its Manhattan base camp, Occupy Wall Street movement is at a crossroads

[b]

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/with_the_loss_of_its_manhattan.html

My concern has been OWS's lack of organization would cost them their momentum, and subsequently, their movement. If OWS breaks into smaller movement I think they have a very limited window to impact government at the local level or they risk becoming an afterthought.

Yeah. It's interesting to actually see what a local general assembly looks like. For all intents and purposes they're basically paralyzed from making significant decisions by the very methods that get people in the movement so energized. They eschew strong leadership and "traditional" democratic methods because they see those as corruptible.

It's all at once inspiring and depressing. Inspiring that they want to do things differently. Depressing because you quickly realize that you're not going to have a dialogue with longshoremen or other unions about general strikes with mike checks.

Edit: nm

DSGamer wrote:

Yeah. It's interesting to actually see what a local general assembly looks like. For all intents and purposes they're basically paralyzed from making significant decisions by the very methods that get people in the movement so energized. They eschew strong leadership and "traditional" democratic methods because they see those as corruptible.

It's all at once inspiring and depressing. Inspiring that they want to do things differently. Depressing because you quickly realize that you're not going to have a dialogue with longshoremen or other unions about general strikes with mike checks.

That's where I was going earlier in this thread when I talked about them needing to engage at the local level and focus on winning some elections.

You're not going to overturn the system fighting it from the outside. You need to infect it like a virus and kill it from the inside.

It's pretty interesting how everyone sitting on the sidelines knows exactly what OWS should do next. If you want to see OWS go in whichever direction you think is best then the best way to do that would be to go an participate, find the like minded people already there and organise the thing you think should happen.

If you support the movement and you honestly think it'll flounder if it doesn't go in the direction you think would be best then it's kind of on your head to go out there and help.

Bear wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Yeah. It's interesting to actually see what a local general assembly looks like. For all intents and purposes they're basically paralyzed from making significant decisions by the very methods that get people in the movement so energized. They eschew strong leadership and "traditional" democratic methods because they see those as corruptible.

It's all at once inspiring and depressing. Inspiring that they want to do things differently. Depressing because you quickly realize that you're not going to have a dialogue with longshoremen or other unions about general strikes with mike checks.

That's where I was going earlier in this thread when I talked about them needing to engage at the local level and focus on winning some elections.

You're not going to overturn the system fighting it from the outside. You need to infect it like a virus and kill it from the inside.

How do you fight an entrenched two party system without more money than at least one of those parties? Until we change campaign finance and install alternatives to First Past the Post voting, third parties with no money will not be able to noticeably affect the system. Unfortunately, you need a third party to affect the system to change campaign finance and modify the voting mechanism. Catch-22.

Mixolyde wrote:
Bear wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Yeah. It's interesting to actually see what a local general assembly looks like. For all intents and purposes they're basically paralyzed from making significant decisions by the very methods that get people in the movement so energized. They eschew strong leadership and "traditional" democratic methods because they see those as corruptible.

It's all at once inspiring and depressing. Inspiring that they want to do things differently. Depressing because you quickly realize that you're not going to have a dialogue with longshoremen or other unions about general strikes with mike checks.

That's where I was going earlier in this thread when I talked about them needing to engage at the local level and focus on winning some elections.

You're not going to overturn the system fighting it from the outside. You need to infect it like a virus and kill it from the inside.

How do you fight an entrenched two party system without more money than at least one of those parties? Until we change campaign finance and install alternatives to First Past the Post voting, third parties with no money will not be able to noticeably affect the system. Unfortunately, you need a third party to affect the system to change campaign finance and modify the voting mechanism. Catch-22.

The current Tea Party (and much of the modern GOP now) has its philosophical beginnings in the John Birch Society. They infected the GOP from within starting in the 1950's and demonstrate exactly how you play the long game. And it all begins with retail politics.

They figured out that using churches as political grassroots organizations gave them the ability to maximize their bang for buck at the local level. They recognized that a disproportionate amount of power in republican (small "r") government resided in underpopulated bass-ackward rural bergs that missed out on the Age of Enlightenment. And they discovered that gaining a 10-15% core constituency in off-year elections when voter participation was lucky to be 25% meant they had a stranglehold on the political process.

After that, it was mostly just a question of running ideologically reliable candidates for every position on the ballot from dog catcher to county supervisor. And once they got control of local politics, state wide politicians were at the mercy of the local implementers. They could pass whatever the hell they wanted, but the local tyrant was going to screw it up for everyone.

When it became clear that statewide politicians were "not getting it done", the inattentive voters got frustrated and looked for alternatives. Since the alternatives with the strongest retail organizations were the very ones that crapped in the well, they were in perfect position to take over at the state level. After that, it was the national level. That's how we got the Congress we have today.

If you want it to stop, you need to play the long game as well and actually be an attentive and active participant in the political process.

So OWS would need to take over one of the current parties from the inside, or create and maintain a third party long enough and well enough to acquire enough money to overthrow one of the current parties.

I just don't see either of those things actually working without major campaign finance reform and alternative voting mechanisms.

DanB wrote:

It's pretty interesting how everyone sitting on the sidelines knows exactly what OWS should do next. If you want to see OWS go in whichever direction you think is best then the best way to do that would be to go an participate, find the like minded people already there and organise the thing you think should happen.

If you support the movement and you honestly think it'll flounder if it doesn't go in the direction you think would be best then it's kind of on your head to go out there and help.

I have nothing to add to this post but my admiration. Spot-on, concise, and well-written.

Mixolyde wrote:

So OWS would need to take over one of the current parties from the inside, or create and maintain a third party long enough and well enough to acquire enough money to overthrow one of the current parties.

I just don't see either of those things actually working without major campaign finance reform and alternative voting mechanisms.

I think you'd be surprised how little money it requires to make your political opinion relevant at a local level. It just requires a coordinated effort across a wide area to make that effort significant on a national level.

This is precisely what happened with the Civil Rights movement. Sure, there was the high profile stuff, but the real work was done at the retail politics level. And it still very much matters today.

Mixolyde wrote:

So OWS would need to take over one of the current parties from the inside, or create and maintain a third party long enough and well enough to acquire enough money to overthrow one of the current parties.

I just don't see either of those things actually working without major campaign finance reform and alternative voting mechanisms.

I don't believe they'd actually have to "take over" a party but getting a few people elected that actually campaigned on an OWS based platform would be an excellent start. It would lay the foundation for actual, meaningful change. Congress's approval rating is in the freaking toilet. People HATE our current system of government and they're begging for alternatives. We can bitch about it all we want but nothing is going to change from protests and shutting down ports. Neither party aligns with the OWS values so they've got to do it themselves.

I think the harsh reality is that the current system is NEVER going to change because the people currently holding office don't want it to. Until you start to peck away at the current power structure, you simply aren't going to get any type of meaningful campaign finance reform and you'll never get your agenda considered.

I despise the Tea Party for their antics this year but it's a fact that they had a HUGE impact. Albeit, not a positive one, but a band of a few Tea Party elected officials were almost able to bring down the U.S. government. I'm not saying their actions were a good thing, what I'm saying is that OWS can learn from what they did and how it worked.

IMAGE(http://craphound.com/images/onePercent.pdf-pages.jpg)

Nicko from the Sunlight Foundation sez, "The Sunlight Foundation published a very detailed analysis of campaign contributions from the 2010 cycle with accompanying infographics and profiles of the top political donors that show just who holds the power in U.S. electoral politics. Our analysis reveals a growing dependence of candidates and political parties on this 'One Percent of the One Percent, resulting in a political system that could be disproportionately influenced by donors in a handful of wealthy enclaves. Sunlight's examination also shows that some of the heaviest hitters in the 2010 cycle were ideological givers, suggesting that the influence of the One Percent of the One Percent on federal elections may be one of the obstacles to compromise in Washington.

"How does their giving compare to the average American's wealth? In the 2010 election cycle, the average One Percent of One Percenter spent $28,913, more than the median individual income of $26,364. Additionally, Sunlight's analysis shows that lobbyists make up between 15 and 20% of The One Percent of the One Percent."

http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2...

Bear wrote:

I despise the Tea Party for their antics this year but it's a fact that they had a HUGE impact. Albeit, not a positive one, but a band of a few Tea Party elected officials were almost able to bring down the U.S. government. I'm not saying their actions were a good thing, what I'm saying is that OWS can learn from what they did and how it worked.

The one thing the Tea Party accomplished that I know of besides removing fluoride from the water supply of some county in Florida was exactly what hard right Republicans had spent years fighting for: the idea that taxes and deficits are bad. Is that really accomplishing something, or is that getting used by the rich and powerful? Sure--as long as the Tea Party was going after the things acceptable to corporate lobbyists for attack they found success, but beyond that...how far did they actually get?

Well, they got our credit rating downgraded.

  • Oakland Cop ID'd, Investigated For Firing Projectile At Videographer [Photography is not a Crime] Glad to see some cops are facing consequences for violating human rights.
  • The Terrible, Boring Ways That Money in Politics Ruins Democracy [The Daily Show] I have no way to embed the videos so I'll just link to a page that has them.
  • The war on cameras continues – #OWS and elsewhere [dvafoto] That's actually from one of my photography blogs that I read. Did not expect to see a political post there.
  • Why does the transit police have a "Civil Disturbance Unit" bus? [Boston.com]
  • #Occupy & 350.org Stage "Human Oil Spill" at John Boehner's Office [Tree Hugger]
  • China gets in on the action.
    Thousands of residents of a Chinese village under police blockade rallied on Thursday to demand the government take action over illegal land grabs and the death in custody of a local leader.
    The people of Wukan — a fishing village in the wealthy southern province of Guangdong with about 13,000 inhabitants — accuse corrupt local officials of stealing communal land without compensating them.
    Wukan has been the scene of repeated and at times violent protests over land seizures, a hugely contentious issue in China, where authorities are accused of colluding with developers in lucrative real estate deals.
    Local anger boiled over with the death Sunday in police custody of a village leader tasked with negotiating with authorities over the row. The village, which has been abandoned by local officials, is now surrounded by police checkpoints.
  • LAPD Threatens to Arrest Youth Group for 'Occupying' Local Library [LA Weekly]
  • Clergyman Who Alleges He Was Beaten by Police Files Complaint [His Personal Blog]
  • City of London police class Occupy movement with terrorists such as Al Qaeda [Yahoo News UK]
    The Occupy movement is listed alongside threats posed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), Al Qaeda and Belarusian terrorists.

    Thank god there is no way that a non-violent citizen can have their rights violated, arrested on trumped up charges, unjustly imprisoned with no due process and whisked away to never be heard of again.

Edwin wrote:

LAPD Threatens to Arrest Youth Group for 'Occupying' Local Library [LA Weekly]

It's a good thing that this country is so dedicated to civil liberties that people can't be punished until they are found guilty by a trial of their peers.

Oh I forgot, this is the United States of America, the police can just threaten them with $5000 in bail so that they are punished regardless of whether or not a Jury makes a mistake and decides these teenagers are actually innocent.

Yonder wrote:

It's a good thing that this country is so dedicated to civil liberties that people can't be punished until they are found guilty by a trial of their peers.

Oh I forgot, this is the United States of America, the police can just threaten them with $5000 in bail so that they are punished regardless of whether or not a Jury makes a mistake and decides these teenagers are actually innocent.

You're right. Police should not be allowed to arrest anyone until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Jayhawker wrote:
Yonder wrote:

It's a good thing that this country is so dedicated to civil liberties that people can't be punished until they are found guilty by a trial of their peers.

Oh I forgot, this is the United States of America, the police can just threaten them with $5000 in bail so that they are punished regardless of whether or not a Jury makes a mistake and decides these teenagers are actually innocent.

You're right. Police should not be allowed to arrest anyone until they have been found guilty in a court of law.

Where in my post did I say I have a problem with arresting people?

(Also, I cannot believe someone is actually defending this detestable practice.)