The Elephant in the Room
Posted by Janet on October 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Link to today’s show on biological weapons on RBN:
The discussion ranged from the involvement of Dr. David Kelly, whose alleged suicide was anything but, with Dr. Basson of Project Coast (kill off the S. African blacks through plausible deniability)infamy, on to who is really running the BWC (international Biological Weapons Convention) to what is a CBM anyway?
And yes, this is pertinent to Occupy Long Beach!! The show points to the direction that we are headed if we don’t clean up the corruption now.
Occupy Movement At Crossroads
Posted by jonathan on October 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM
October 25th, 2011
By Gary Crethers
I have noticed on line talking to people in Denver, San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach that the energy seems to be dissipating in the occupations. This could be because the weather is getting colder, or wetter in the case of Southern California. It could be because some of the smaller groups have trouble staying motivated when there are so few persons involved. Some places are being infested with conservative activists or as in the case of LA, there seems to be a party spirit that has taken over and turned the occupation into Burning Man South. Long Beach people are getting burned out, I saw fights break out in Los Angeles. It is time people. We have to come up with demands, elect leaders, move from consensus to majority rule and get spaces in every city from which to organize out of.
The hard working people who have taken care of security and food for people, who have organized events need a break or a change of staff. The cities with small occupations need to give people breaks, get more people involved and become involved with coordinating regional and national events.
It is important that the spirit of change does not get lost in the hassle of day to day functioning of living in parks and using porta-potties. Those of us who cannot participate in the occupations are not aware of how after a week or so of street living, most people will not want to stay without something like the situation in New York to motivate.
I recommend we demand that the city give us an abandoned building or empty office to use, or if we don’t want to be beholden to the city that we rent an office in a marginal neighborhood. Some cities have abandoned buildings that can be squatted. Each city needs to determine what works best. But I say lets head indoors and get a work space, like the organizers for the anti-Convention events.
Some people are worried about process, to tell the truth I think that is somewhat selfish, or indulgent. We should be about spreading the word of social revolution and peoples democracy. That may seem contradictory, but ultimately we may have to have a training period for people working in the GA getting used to one another and then for people who are more active and aware work in the committees. I am not about dividing people, but practically speaking we need to have a mechanism similar to that of many coop communities where the new people went through a trial period and then as they got used to the routine and working with the people who had been involved, then people can move into more responsible positions. That can be based on the experience people have had in organizing, business or other areas of practical experience, how well they understand the basic concepts of the group dynamic, and how willing they are to put in the energy needed.
But we also need to create functions that don’t demand full time commitment. Jobs that only take a couple of hours a day can be done by people who are only available for a few hours. We could have a sign-up sheet with various functions that need to be done like passing out flyers 2-4 pm at XYZ location on Tuesday, or Security from 7-11 pm on Sunday, etc. If we begin to itemize the functions then we can delegate work easier. There is no reason why the same 5 people should be doing everything.
It’s time to get on with practical measures, doing teach ins, flyer distribution and setting up literature tables, speaking before school and church groups, going to city council meetings. Working out sets of demands, that make sense to us and promoting social revolution.
Belmont Shore March
Posted by tpotts on October 21, 2011 at 3:50 PM
Be sure to post information on the Belmont Shore March – I would love to be a part of that!! We need to get out where the people are to spread the word.
Called Mayor and Suja
Posted by Vivian on October 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM
I want to urge everyone to call our council members and mayor and support the right of folks to sleep overnight and occupy long beach! Just called them….Suja’s office was wary. Mayor’s office asked for my address and phone number. We need to represent! I showed up at the tail end of thursday’s bluff park meeing and hope to visit again soon,
Occupy Symbolic Financial Districts & City Halls Together to Share Your Rage
Posted by jonathan on October 6, 2011 at 2:30 AM
A monumental movement is beginning to awaken. One can hope. On Saturday, Sept 17th in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and New York, a protest was held by US Day of Rage and Occupy Wall Street. I attended the one in LA but we disbanded after not having enough involvement from the community with the intention of rebuilding our efforts, and it has since grown rather sizable, with about 3,000 protestors attending the Oct 1st occupation and hundreds camping out near the city hall. As many know the protests are still going on in NYC and growing a broader base of dissenters. The goal is to bring a voice to the voiceless and make it loud with impact so that Wall Street knows, and politicians hear and implement a set of laws to begin to reign in corporate spending on campaigns. One man, one vote, one dollar is the slogan for USDay of rage.
Before I venture into the protest further, I would like to provide reasons why students should become mobilized by the financial collapse of 2007/2008. The University of California’s three tiered system (UC, CSU, and junior colleges) have felt the brunt of privatization in the school the system, beginning in late 2009 with the 32% tuition hikes and growing each year since, all while increasing compensation to its unelected Board of Regents, appointed by the actor governor Arnold Schwartzeneggar. The UC Solidarity Alliance in 2009 made clear the importance of the student component in the Labor Movement; Mainly the organizing effect students have on the Labor Movement and the recognition that solidarity is necessary from the bottom-up. Traditionally, education has served as a tool for social mobility and a recreation of the mainly white middle class, but trends in demographics have changed as more multicultural students have begun to enter the education system (1) . In my view, privatization has been encroaching on public spheres for over a century and has been the main culprit in stagnating mobility for the working poor and middle class in education and in general through various tactics in the media and public relations campaigns; though privatization has been most pernicious since the Reagan Administration implemented pro business initiatives to deregulate the economy in the early Eighties. Efforts to rely on increasing class room size, decreased compensation to teachers, and exhaustive resources have left many in education mentally debased.
The multicultural students who have tended to come from rather poor backgrounds have brought with them the grievances of their working poor to middle class families. Obviously a liberal arts education, humanities, and philosophy contributes to the backdrop of understanding class struggle. Furthermore, these students do not share a history of social mobility, but of social stagnation. Couple this with the Labor Movement’s weak standings in organizing, due to destruction by private interest, and you will find a void that many students are increasingly filling to compensate for what has been missing: solidarity.
Let’s not forget, the Middle Class have been in line with elite interests for some time and usually looked ahead toward increased amenities that the rich covet, having hardly looked back at poor and working poor interests. It is only now, when the aberration of plutocracy is beginning to erode middle class ideals that this subsection of serviceable power to elites is outraged. They realize what the destitute and working poor have always known: a bitter class war. Nonetheless, many such as myself see unions, protests, pickets, sit-in and rallies in solidarity among various class stratum as a means towards democratizing our economy, restoring our dysfunctional political system and rebuilding an egalitarian society.
What does this have to do with the Occupy Wall Street event?
The introduction of tuition hikes in the UC three tiered school system by a board of regents appointed by the Governor should alone offer evidence that those who are elected are in positions of power because of corporate finance, and in turn those in power implement policies which will overwhelming benefit the private sector, much to the dismay of the public. If corporations are not allowed to finance campaigns, and instead each living, breathing individual is given an equal voice in the electoral process, then we can elect politicians from our own ranks at every level in government to represent actual public interest.
The recent decision in Citizen’s United vs Federal Election Commission has overwhelming tilted the scale in favor of corporate backed financing of career politicians. The decision by the Supreme Court gave corporations the First Amendment of individuals, allowing them to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns.
Here is a view of one protestor, “Corporate interests seem to be controlling both parties,” said Ryan Rice, a student from Chapman University who has attended the protests continually being thwarted by police in LA .“The ‘little man,’ the ‘American every man,’ just isn’t getting their voice heard. When you need $35,000 to donate to a campaign to get your voice heard, to have a meeting, that’s not democracy.” It is plutocracy according to political science.
There are many issues relating to Wall Street’s major influences in Washington and on campaigns for politicians. It’s important to understand the financial crisis in order to take meaningful action. The bulk of the issue, for me, is the removal of the Bretton Woods Agreements in ’71 and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in ’99, both of which provided regulation of financial and banking activities in the international and domestic arena, respectively. Since the 1970′s wages have declined or remained flat, yet executive pay, profits, and production have steadily increased. This trend was a manipulation by large financial institutions and companies, such as General Motors, in search of ever increasing profits. Since the financialization of the economy, as it is appropriately called, large sums of money have been held in increasingly fewer hands leading to increased economic power for the privileged few, and therefore increased political power for highly concentrated elite sectors, and a silencing of public opinion. As a measure, a functioning (representative) democracy can work only by listening to public opinion. Since the vanguard parties don’t care about public opinion as a means for implementing policy, it’s the public’s job to turn words into meaningful action. (Of course none of the elected officials on either side were ever truly representing the public’s interests from the start, because they were overwhelmingly chosen for us by the Business Political Class, who institute their own agenda for the economy and body social; we simply play the part of a spectator).
The electoral process can be changed by popular struggle, such as the one hosted on Saturday, Sept. 17th . Will you do the community a favor and join these events?
1) Randall H. McGuire’s Archaeology as Political Action