occupy wall street: the most important thing in the world right now

In case you missed any of these, here's some great stuff on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Naomi Klein: Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now:
If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over.

And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.”

That slogan began in Italy in 2008. It ricocheted to Greece and France and Ireland and finally it has made its way to the square mile where the crisis began.

“Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”
Chris Hedges: Why the Elites Are in Trouble:
The lords of finance in the looming towers surrounding the park, who toy with money and lives, who make the political class, the press and the judiciary jump at their demands, who destroy the ecosystem for profit and drain the U.S. Treasury to gamble and speculate, took little notice of Ketchup or any of the other scruffy activists on the street below them. The elites consider everyone outside their sphere marginal or invisible. And what significance could an artist who paid her bills by working as a waitress have for the powerful? What could she and the others in Zuccotti Park do to them? What threat can the weak pose to the strong? Those who worship money believe their buckets of cash, like the $4.6 million JPMorgan Chase gave* to the New York City Police Foundation, can buy them perpetual power and security. Masters all, kneeling before the idols of the marketplace, blinded by their self-importance, impervious to human suffering, bloated from unchecked greed and privilege, they were about to be taught a lesson in the folly of hubris.

Even now, three weeks later, elites, and their mouthpieces in the press, continue to puzzle over what people like Ketchup want. Where is the list of demands? Why don’t they present us with specific goals? Why can’t they articulate an agenda?

The goal to people like Ketchup is very, very clear. It can be articulated in one word—REBELLION. These protesters have not come to work within the system. They are not pleading with Congress for electoral reform. They know electoral politics is a farce and have found another way to be heard and exercise power. They have no faith, nor should they, in the political system or the two major political parties. They know the press will not amplify their voices, and so they created a press of their own. They know the economy serves the oligarchs, so they formed their own communal system. This movement is an effort to take our country back.

This is a goal the power elite cannot comprehend. They cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered. What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished. It will not stop until there is an end to the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites. It will not stop until foreclosures and bank repossessions stop. It will not stop until students no longer have to go into debt to be educated, and families no longer have to plunge into bankruptcy to pay medical bills. It will not stop until the corporate destruction of the ecosystem stops, and our relationships with each other and the planet are radically reconfigured. And that is why the elites, and the rotted and degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t understand what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind.
Mark Ruffalo, actor, director, screenwriter: We are the 99 per cent:
It is a thing of beauty to see so many people in love with the ideal of democracy, so alive with its promise, so committed to its continuity in the face of crony capitalism and corporate rule. That should be celebrated. It should be respected and admired.

Their message is very clear and simple: get money out of the political process; strive for equality in taxation and equal rights for all regardless of race, gender, social status, sexual preference or age. We must stop poisoning our food, air and water for corporate greed. The people on Wall Street and in the banking industrial complex that destroyed our economy must be investigated and brought to justice under the law for what they have done by stealing people's homes and savings. . . .

The 99% of us have paid a dear price so that 1% could become the wealthiest people in the world. We all pay insanely high energy prices while we see energy companies making record profits, year after year. We live with great injustices in the land of justice. We live with great lawlessness in the land of the law.
Bonus Canadian content: "The Bill O’Reilly of Canada Ambushes Chris Hedges". I was wondering who the "Bill O'Reilly of Canada" would turn out to be. To my surprise, it was not Ezra Levant.

Tonight I'm attending a report-back from an IS member who has just returned from occupied Wall Street. He's a USian attending school in Canada; I look forward to hearing his perspective and will report back to you all as soon as I can.


M@ said...

I saw the Hedges video late last night and was going to send it to you this morning. Glad you have already seen it!

I've never watched Dragon's Den so I have no idea who that guy is, but the CBC must really be in trouble when they need someone to comment on financial affairs and the come up with a guy who's no more than an asshole with a superior attitude. What he doesn't realize, I guess, is that commentary of the same quality can be found by wandering down to any bar and listening to some drunks talking about how they'd fix the world's problems.

laura k said...

I've only seen ads for Dragon's Den, but I can scarcely imagine a less interesting show. I recognized that a'hole from the "Lang & O'Leary Exchange" (which I've also only seen on promos). It appears to be a business show in which a right-wing apologist for capitalism debates a righter-wing apologist for capitalism.

Glad to know the Hedges vid is making the rounds.

Lorne said...

I just mailed a letter of complaint to the CBC about the disgraceful 'interview' with Chris Hedges. For anyone interested, you can contact the Corporation through the following address:

Audience Relations, CBC
P.O. Box 500 Station A
Toronto, ON
Canada, M5W 1E6

I decided to use snail mail for a change in the belief that a physical letter cannot simply be ignored and deleted.

If, however, you wish to send an
email, the contact information can be found here: http://www.cbc.ca/contact/

laura k said...

Two weeks ago, 15 people attended the first meeting of Occupy Toronto. I just heard that this week, 300 people attended.

laura k said...

Thank you, Lorne! I will do the same.

laura k said...

Richard Seymour: First we take Manhattan

Jere said...

The first two articles you linked are also the two on the front page of the physical "The Occupied Wall Street Journal" that they were handing out this past weekend at OWS. It's really cool lookin'! (And it was fun to have it out while on the subway and watch people's reactions to it.)

laura k said...

The first two articles you linked are also the two on the front page of the physical "The Occupied Wall Street Journal" that they were handing out this past weekend at OWS. It's really cool lookin'! (And it was fun to have it out while on the subway and watch people's reactions to it.)

We saw a copy last night!! I had heard of it and was so glad the guy brought a copy. So cool!

Thanks for reminding me, I'll add it to the most recent post.