You Can’t Leave Occupy Wall Street by Max Bean

My last post was called “ Why I came to Occupy Wall Street and Why I Left," and I caught a lot of grief from my readers for not giving them what the title promised: I explained why I came to OWS — that’s the easy part — but I didn’t really say why I left. It’s going to take a whole series of posts to properly explain why I stopped working on the movement, but I think it’ll help ease the suspense if I write a few words about what it even means to "leave" Occupy Wall Street. That verb, I’ll be the first to admit, was an inappropriate one.

My first month at OWS was characterized by a wild optimism, a hope unleashed. I lived in a state of constant excitement, running on so much adrenaline I would forget to eat and dropped ten pounds in two weeks. I was surrounded by dozens of others in the same state of mind. I remember one day in late October, crossing Broadway at Exchange Place, wolfing down some street food and barely tasting it, and some girl I’d never met crossing in the other direction said to me, “That’s how you know an Occupy Wall Street protestor: He’s trying to eat lunch while running through the street.” And it was true: We were all running around like maniacs, working our hearts out, because finally we’d found something worth working our hearts out for.

Like many in my generation, it seems, I had waited my whole life for a social movement whose dimensions and ambitions were commensurate with the shortcomings I saw in the world around me. By now, I am convinced that OWS is not that movement. Maybe it will grow into that movement, or maybe that movement will grow out of it. Then again, maybe that movement will never come. But this rise and fall of hope has left me and so many others not less hopeful, but more. It has been suggested that the excitement generated by Obama’s election and dashed by his presidency was re-channeled into the Occupy movement; and so many of us who have stepped back from the movement in recent weeks have departed only to search for a better movement — or else to build one. The shroud of despair, it seems, once torn, is not quickly mended.

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dreams-from-my-father

dreams-from-my-father

occupyonline:

Not a sentiment I am proud of, but one that is my reality. I’ve been struggling for some time with the idea of seeking change in a world where I often feel so powerless and helpless. I’m surrounded by maddening and disheartening injustice that I am helpless to change. I am…

“And I can tell you this much - that isn’t a problem of Occupy. That is a problem of humanity.”

I actually stopped reading there. 

OWS failed and has been failing SINCE DAY 1 not because humanity is imperfect but because the movement claimed to be something it NEVER was. It claimed to be David taking on Goliath, it claimed to fight injustice and stand for the oppressed, which it never did. Despite claims that the movement is headless, it was and still is  unofficially led by cis white middle-class men, these are the people who started the first protests. All the attempts to GENUINELY take into consideration the plight of PoC, women, and queers were either ignored or abruptly shut down. We told you time and time again, yet you refuse to listen, you were only interested in unity in YOUR terms. Without unity, OWS is doomed to failure

Let me rephrase. That isn’t a problem specific to Occupy. I would ask you what the social movement groups you do support have done for the oppressed in China, India, tribes in Central and South America? I ask that not to question your integrity or willingness to help those who are oppressed, but to illustrate that there will always be a group that goes ignored (which is NOT to say that is okay). The reason for this goes beyond Occupy. I feel this is a problem with humanity. It is our myopic, self-serving nature as a species. We serve and stand by the issues we identify with. 

Would you really have wanted Occupy to speak for PoC? For the most part I have found that it has been an unwelcome intrusion. Black people specifically make up a small % of the US American 99%, so by definition, if Occupy was to represent the 99%, black people would be out numbered and buried in the voices. Hence the problem of living as a minority here in the states and in many countries. Those in the minority feel they continually go unheard, largely due to prejudice and also largely due to statistical reality of being a minority (fewer voices are harder to hear). So how do you get heard? By asking other PoC and whites to stand beside you. On issues specific to black people, white people should take a back seat. Those in the majority have no right to champion the causes of those in the minority. Granted, many who do are not doing so to control poC or overpower PoC - their motives are often well-meaning, but unwelcomed or misplaced. 

But what of economic inequality and other issues that affect and oppress all colors of people (which is what Occupy was all about)? What would you have Occupy do? What is the proper way for white activists to approach social and economic issues that affect them as well as PoC? This is a genuine question and I am genuinely listening. 

 ”We told you time and time again, yet you refuse to listen, you were only interested in unity in YOUR terms.”

Because I write under the name Occupy, you presume I am all of those things. In fact, I am a mixed-race, queer, disabled, lower class female. 

Occupy was an idea. An idea “co-opted” by people who make a life out of activism. Many of whom being more concerned with arguing over proper terminologies and going by the book of Marxist ideology than about truly understanding what it means to be oppressed and helping those who are. The real 99% are your average citizens (yes some of them white who are poor, dumb, scared and/or oppressed), all people who feel trapped and scared and tired. The thousands of people who went to the street in NYC and Oakland, those are your Occupiers, that is what this was really about, who it was about. It was Occupy the Hood, it was Occupy Homes, it was Occupy Banks, it is not and will never be (unless we redefine it to be) just a bunch of cis white male pretentious elitist racists arguing over proper use of the term “liberal”. I am not Occupy, no one person or one group is Occupy. Therefore the actions of some are not the actions of all. I have never once disregarded the opinions of PoC or other minorities, nor do I accept anyone who does and claims to speak for Occupy.

I’m not defending Occupy. “Occupy” doesn’t matter. Call it whatever you want, I don’t care about brand name and frankly no one should. Prior to Occupy, I have never affiliated myself with any group or movement. For me, Occupy served as an umbrella that heretofore happened to encompass many social issues I supported and changes I wished to see happen. I still support those issues and those are still the changes I wish to see happen. Nothing has changed. All that has changed is the perception of what Occupy stands for or failed to accomplish or failed to represent. 

Do we take Occupy back and define it by our terms, by the terms we all believed Occupy to originally stand for or do we toss it aside and go back to square one? What is the most productive way forward?

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Matt Taibi: Another Hidden Bailout: Helping Wall Street Collect Your Rent.

abaldwin360:

Here’s yet another form of hidden bailout the federal government doles out to our big banks, without the public having much of a clue.

This is from the WSJ this morning:

Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are lining up to become landlords to cash-strapped Americans by bidding on pools of foreclosed properties being sold by Fannie Mae…

While the current approach of selling homes one-by-one has its own high costs and is sometimes inefficient, selling properties in bulk to large investors could require Fannie Mae to sell at a big discount, leading to larger initial costs.

In con artistry parlance, they call this the “reload.” That’s when you hit the same mark twice – typically with a second scam designed to “fix” the damage caused by the first scam. Someone robs your house, then comes by the next day and sells you a fancy alarm system, that’s the reload.

In this case, banks pumped up the real estate market by creating huge volumes of subprime loans, then dumped a lot of them on, among others, Fannie and Freddie, the ever-ready enthusiastic state customer. Now the loans have crashed in value, yet the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) are still out there feeding the banks money through two continuous bailouts.

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Congratulations, America, your quasi-governmental housing entity is about to subcontract out mass-landlording/slumlording jobs to the likes of John Paulson and Warren Buffett…

mochente

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

After police arrested dozens of Occupy Wall Street participants over the weekend, protestors marched to New York City Police Department headquarters today to demand the resignation of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement marched from Foley Square to One Police Plaza, the Lower Manhattan headquarters of the NYPD.

Besides wanting Kelly to resign, the demonstrators also sounded off about the arrests of about 73 people who clashed with police at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan last weekend.

Police say they cleared Zuccotti because protestors were breaking park rules, but some protestors say those arrested were mistreated and attacked by police.

“On Saturday night, as I simply sat in a park, I was violently arrested with my friends and watched as blood-thirsty cops stomped on their faces, knelt on their necks, pulled them by their hair and slammed them into windows,” said Occupy Wall Street protestor Jen Waller.

Occupy and “The American Spring”: Time for Occupy To Blossom?

National Occupation of Washington, DC Will Bring Occupiers Together to Share Experiences, Educate Each Other and Build an Independent Movement to Shift Power from Concentrated Wealth

Many in the corporate media like to think the Occupy is over, but those of us involved know better.  We do not rely on the corporate media to validate the work of Occupy, we see it in our communities.  And, we know to look to our own media for accurate information. The Occupied Wall Street Journal reports on the actions of the Occupy, it’s weekly “Reports from the Front Lines” is something many of us look forward to so we can see the movement taking action across the country.

Another visible presence of Occupy will be evident this spring in Washington, DC when the National Occupation of Washington, DC begins on March 30th.  The event, which will continue through the month of April, is being organized by members of dozens of occupies from around the country.  Twenty-five General Assemblies have passed statements of solidarity for this national occupy event.

NOW DC begins with a lot of activity.  On the first day, Occupy the EPA, will bring people together to protect the planet for a sustainable future.  It will feature Helen Caldicott, a pediatrician nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, known for her anti-nuclear activism, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo an EPA whistleblower and Margaret Flowers, also a pediatrician, noted for her advocacy for single payer health care among others. The march will include a pack of alpaca’s, a giant Earth and a giant polar bear puppet.

The weekend of March 31st and April 1st includes a two day “Bail Out America” direct action training organized by the Backbone Campaign which will provide information on strategies and tactics and developing creative actions that advance the causes of Occupy. Also that weekend will be the Occupation of the Department of Education, which will include teach-ins about how to end high stakes testing which is destroying schools and being used as a tool to privatize education.  Finally, that weekend will include trainings for peace keepers who will help to ensure NOW DC remains non-violent in its challenges to the Washington, DC power structure.

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Re: Teacher Salaries

taqwcorekid replied to your photo: Let’s be honest, teachers are glorified…

are you fucking serious! this country is one of the stupidest ever and you really want to take money out of education!? are you fucking serious? why do you think theres so many kids doing drugs and killing each other? if youwanted to REFORM teaching so that teachers got paid MORE when they produce good results and put better teachers in bad schools we would not have nearly as much problems. but cutting how  teachers trully meager salaries are only going to drive otherwise willing and good dedicated teachers away fromthe profession alltogether. my mother is a teacher and you have no idea how many UNPAID hours of work she puts in making entire lesson plans, grading hundreds of papers, and going to meetings, and not to mention tutoringstudents. her day may TECHNICALLY end at 2:30 but she still has to go home and do work somtimes only getting four hours of proper sleep not to mention cooking and raise me and my family. not counting the housework all this is STILL almost equal to the amount of  paid work hours she puts in. SO THE LAST THING WE NEED TO DO IS CUT TEACHERS SALARIES IF ANY THING THEY SHOULD BE RAISED!!. WHY NOT BASEBALL PLAYERS. OR OUR FUCKING MILITARY BUDGET! PLEASE DON’T BE STUPID BY TREATING POORLY ONE OF THE FEW GROUPS OF PEOPLE THAT CAN ACTUALLY HELP US!

I urge you to re-read the graphic. It is a satire playing on the absurdity of paying teachers so little.  It approaches the topic from the logic of someone who does not value the work and efforts of teachers the way that you or I do. From that perspective, the logic goes to show that, even if we paid teachers at the rates we pay babysitters (each parent paying $19.50/day/child, for a classroom of 30, teachers would make over $100,000/year, twice what they currently make). The conclusion drawn is that teachers are paid half as well as we pay our babysitters or nannies for daycare service; and teachers are not only watching your children, but responsible for educating them.  I’m Occupy Online…cutting teacher pay is in the same goal bucket as paying CEO’s bigger bonuses for schmoozing, pushing paper, and making callous, exploitative decisions.

The graphic is playing on absurdities ;)

The 2nd Circuit Slams Occupy Wall Street ‘Hero’ Judge Rakoff
By MASSIMO CALABRESI
Remember how last fall that “heroic” Manhattan-based U.S. district court judge Jed Rakoff “ripped the SEC a new one” by blocking a massive settlement the agency had proposed  with Citigroup for the bank’s allegedly knowing and fraudulent acts in the run-up to the great recession? At the time of Rakoff’s decision last November, I wrote:


When U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff rejected a $285 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup on Nov. 28, he effectively marched out of the federal courthouse on Foley Square and took his place as the most powerful protester in Zuccotti Park. In a blunt court order, Rakoff broke with decades of judicial deference to the feds and suggested that regulators were enabling Wall Street’s efforts to hide allegedly “knowing and fraudulent” acts from the public. While the decision’s long-term effects depend on the case’s future in the courts, it could immediately impose new standards of accountability and disclosure on an often too cozy system of financial oversight.

It turns out that whole “breaking with decades of judicial deference” thing is a problem, legally speaking. On Thursday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees district courts in New York, Connecticut and Vermont, ripped Rakoff a new one, staying his ruling and suggesting that his decision misunderstood their previous rulings, overstepped his authority to challenge regulators and made unwarranted assumptions about what had actually happened in the case. The stay can be found here (pdf). Reports the New York Law Journal:

The Second Circuit said Judge Rakoff (See Profile) failed to show proper deference to the SEC’s judgment that the settlement of fraud claims stemming from the sale of mortgage-backed securities was not against the public interest… [and] stayed Judge Rakoff’s ruling ordering a trial in the case while the circuit considers appeals by both the SEC and Citigroup. The panel said both parties showed they would probably prevail in their challenges to Judge Rakoff’s decision… [and said Rakoff] “prejudges the fact that Citigroup had in fact misled investors.”… “[Further Rakoff] does not appear to have given deference to the SEC’s judgment on wholly discretionary matters of policy,” the circuit said [and]… “misinterpreted” certain rulings in holding it was against the public interest to approve a settlement in which Citigroup made no admission of liability, when in fact, those rulings “stand for the proposition that when a court orders injunctive relief, it should insure that injunction does not cause harm to the public interest.”… Finally, the court said it had “no reason to doubt” the SEC claim that the settlement was in the public interest…
Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement, “We are pleased that the appeals court found ‘no reason to doubt’ the SEC’s view that the settlement ordering Citigroup to return $285 million to harmed investors and adopt business reforms is in the public interest. As we have said consistently, we agree to settlements when the terms reflect what we reasonably believe we could obtain if we prevailed at trial, without the risk of delay and uncertainty that comes with litigation. Equally important, this settlement approach preserves resources that we can use to stop other frauds and protect other victims.

So will Rakoff’s decision still compel higher standards of disclosure by banks making settlements with the SEC? Maybe. This win by the SEC will receive a lot less attention than the initial Rakoff ruling, even though the latter is clearly going to be reversed. So perhaps Rakoff’s goal of attracting attention to the SEC’s deal making will turn out to have been an end in itself.

The 2nd Circuit Slams Occupy Wall Street ‘Hero’ Judge Rakoff

Remember how last fall that “heroic” Manhattan-based U.S. district court judge Jed Rakoff “ripped the SEC a new one” by blocking a massive settlement the agency had proposed  with Citigroup for the bank’s allegedly knowing and fraudulent acts in the run-up to the great recession? At the time of Rakoff’s decision last November, I wrote:

When U.S. district judge Jed Rakoff rejected a $285 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup on Nov. 28, he effectively marched out of the federal courthouse on Foley Square and took his place as the most powerful protester in Zuccotti Park. In a blunt court order, Rakoff broke with decades of judicial deference to the feds and suggested that regulators were enabling Wall Street’s efforts to hide allegedly “knowing and fraudulent” acts from the public. While the decision’s long-term effects depend on the case’s future in the courts, it could immediately impose new standards of accountability and disclosure on an often too cozy system of financial oversight.

It turns out that whole “breaking with decades of judicial deference” thing is a problem, legally speaking. On Thursday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees district courts in New York, Connecticut and Vermont, ripped Rakoff a new one, staying his ruling and suggesting that his decision misunderstood their previous rulings, overstepped his authority to challenge regulators and made unwarranted assumptions about what had actually happened in the case. The stay can be found here (pdf). Reports the New York Law Journal:

The Second Circuit said Judge Rakoff (See Profile) failed to show proper deference to the SEC’s judgment that the settlement of fraud claims stemming from the sale of mortgage-backed securities was not against the public interest… [and] stayed Judge Rakoff’s ruling ordering a trial in the case while the circuit considers appeals by both the SEC and Citigroup. The panel said both parties showed they would probably prevail in their challenges to Judge Rakoff’s decision… [and said Rakoff] “prejudges the fact that Citigroup had in fact misled investors.”… “[Further Rakoff] does not appear to have given deference to the SEC’s judgment on wholly discretionary matters of policy,” the circuit said [and]… “misinterpreted” certain rulings in holding it was against the public interest to approve a settlement in which Citigroup made no admission of liability, when in fact, those rulings “stand for the proposition that when a court orders injunctive relief, it should insure that injunction does not cause harm to the public interest.”… Finally, the court said it had “no reason to doubt” the SEC claim that the settlement was in the public interest…

Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement, “We are pleased that the appeals court found ‘no reason to doubt’ the SEC’s view that the settlement ordering Citigroup to return $285 million to harmed investors and adopt business reforms is in the public interest. As we have said consistently, we agree to settlements when the terms reflect what we reasonably believe we could obtain if we prevailed at trial, without the risk of delay and uncertainty that comes with litigation. Equally important, this settlement approach preserves resources that we can use to stop other frauds and protect other victims.

So will Rakoff’s decision still compel higher standards of disclosure by banks making settlements with the SEC? Maybe. This win by the SEC will receive a lot less attention than the initial Rakoff ruling, even though the latter is clearly going to be reversed. So perhaps Rakoff’s goal of attracting attention to the SEC’s deal making will turn out to have been an end in itself.

Inquiries on Violence at Occupy Protests Moving Slowly

More than four months after an Occupy demonstration shut down the Port of Oakland and devolved into violence, at least nine separate investigations into the ways police officers dealt with the protests in Oakland and on University of California campuses in Davis and Berkeley remain unresolved.

Many of the investigations have been delayed for reasons that range from a court challenge to the difficulty of scheduling meetings with college students. And while people on both sides of the Occupy issue applaud the efforts, experts said the sheer number of investigations could be counterproductive.

There is a danger that excessive investigation “can actually lead to greater obfuscation, because no one understands what each investigation is doing,” said Linda Lye, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which is representing protesters in lawsuits against Oakland and U.C. Davis. “Delay is always a concern, because it can lead to diminished public interest and distraction.”

At U.C. Davis, where a campus policeman pepper-sprayed a group of seated students and others on Nov. 18, a task force report was expected last week. However, a judge granted a temporary restraining order at the request of the police union. A hearing is scheduled for Friday in Alameda County Superior Court.

At U.C. Berkeley, several groups are reviewing the events of Nov. 9, when campus police jabbed demonstrators with batons and dragged two protesters, including a professor, to the ground by their hair. The professor, Celeste Langan, was one of five people charged by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office last week with misdemeanor resisting arrest in connection with the protest.

Lt. Eric Tejada of the U.C. Berkeley police said the results of one investigation were expected “any day now.”

Meanwhile, a report by U.C. Berkeley’s Police Review Board, initially expected in January, may now be finished in April. “We had a subcommittee of five people,” said Jesse Choper, a professor at the university’s law school and chairman of the review board. “Two of them are students. It’s very hard to get meetings together.”

In Oakland, investigators are working through hundreds of complaints of police misconduct, many of them related to Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who sustained a fractured skull during a protest on Oct. 25. Mr. Olsen’s lawyer, Mark Martel, told The Bay Citizen this week that Oakland police had acknowledged that a bean bag round hit Mr. Olsen in the head. It is still not clear who fired the shot.

“I think that it’s been plenty of time by now,” Mr. Martel said. “It doesn’t take five months to find out who shot him.”

Sgt. Chris Bolton, the Oakland Police Department’s chief of staff, said his department was reviewing hundreds of videos, documents and other evidence related to Occupy protests on Oct. 25 and Nov. 2.

“I don’t want anyone to think that it’s ever our hope or intention to let things die down and never address it,” Sgt. Bolton said. “We have never backed down from telling people that where appropriate we will investigate, and we will hold ourselves and each other accountable. So at some point those investigations will conclude.”

6 Ways to Get Ready for the May 1st GENERAL STRIKE



Yesterday, 60,000 people marched on Madison to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker’s drastic dismantling of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Last year, Walker’s attacks on labor rights sparked massive protests that saw hundreds of thousands occupy the Wisconsin capital building. Their actions prefigured Occupy Wall Street and inspired countless others to take a stand against economic inequality, political injustice, and the tyranny of the 1% enforced through politicians and banksters alike. 

This is just one example that people across the globe are actively resisting attacks on the 99%. This year has already seen the largest-ever strike on record in India, hundreds of thousands marching for democracy in Bahrain, general strikes in Montreal and Spain where students once again occupied public space in protest of the austerity measures and spending cuts being enforced by the European banking elite, massive uprisings in the streets of Moscow, and more. Even in the United States, the movement grows. The corporate media claims that Occupy’s strength is waning, but they are merely in denial. During the coldest months of this year, the United States has already seen more revolutionary momentum than it has in decades. 

This winter, we refocused our energies on fostering ties with local communities, saving homes from corrupt banks and jobs from greedy corporations, and building and expanding our horizontal infrastructure. This #GlobalSpring, we will take the streets again. On May 1st, Occupy Wall Street has called for a General Strike.  We are calling on everyone who supports the cause of economic justice and true democracy to take part: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking - and most importantly, TAKE THE STREETS! 

Occupy May Day

We are getting ready. Planning is already underway in dozens of cities. Labor organizers, immigrants’ rights groups, artists, Occupiers, faith leaders, and more have all joined in the discussion to get ready. Now, all we need is you. 

May 1st, also known as International Workers’ Day, is the annual commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a General Strike for the eight-hour workday. In many countries, May 1st is observed as a holiday. But in the United States, despite the eventual success of the eight-hour-workday campaign, the holiday is not officially recognized. In spite of this, May Day is already a powerful date in the U.S. In 2006, immigrant’s rights groups took to the streets in unprecedented numbers in a national “Day Without An Immigrant” - a general strike aimed at proving the economic power of immigrants in the U.S. At least one million people marched in Chicago and Los Angeles alone. Hundreds of thousands more marched throughout cities across the U.S.

mayday chicago 2006

Now, in response to call-outs from Occupy Los Angeles,Occupy ChicagoOccupy Oakland, and other General Assemblies and affinity groups, the Occupy Movement is preparing to mobilize a General Strike this May 1st in solidarity with struggles already underway to defend the rights of workers, immigrants, and other communities who are resisting oppression. Dozens of Occupations in cities and towns throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia have already endorsed May Day. Here is just a taste of events in the works for New York City:

  • 8am-4pm: Midtown action staging zone in Bryant Park.
  • Disruptive actions in midtown all day! Hit the 1% where they live and prevent them from getting to work. Let’s make this a Day Without the 1%, as well!
  • Family friendly, free food, a really, REALLY free market, skillshares, workshops, lectures, art, fun and more!
  • 4pm: March to Union Square for solidarity march
  • 5:30pm: Solidarity march from Union Square to Wall St.
  • 7pm: March to staging area for evening actions

And this is just the beginning. To quote the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, a major Spanish union, who recently called for a national General Strike in Spain on March 29th to protest labor reforms:

For the CNT, the strike on March 29 must be only the beginning of a growing and sustained process of mobilization, one which includes the entire working class and the sectors that are most disadvantaged and affected by the capitalist crisis. This mobilization must put the brakes on the dynamic of constant assaults on our rights, while laying the bases for the recovery and conquest of new social rights with the goal of a deep social transformation.

None of this would be possible without the grassroots support of everyday organizers who volunteer their time to grow the movement against Wall Street greed and political corruption. Here are eight simple things you can do to help advance the cause of equity for all:

[1] Work with Your Local Occupy: There are hundreds of Occupy groups still holding regular meetings and events. Chances are, there’s one nearby. (And if there isn’t yet -it’s easy to start one!) General Assemblies are open to everyone, and everyone has a voice in the consensus planning process. So find your nearest Occupation and go to a GA! If they haven’t already endorsed the General Strike, propose it to the group and start planning marches, distributing fliers, and forming direct action groups.

[2] Spread the Word on Social Media: Follow #M1GS,@OWSMayDay@OccupyWallSt, and @OccupyGenStrikeon Twitter. Also be sure to RSVP on Facebook and followfacebook.com/OccupyGeneralStrike. You can also look for city-specific events, like these from Chicago and Detroit.

[3] Start an Affinity Group: You can take action on your own. All you need are a few friends. Affinity groups are groups of people who know each other and come together autonomously for a particular action. Find a few people who are interested in helping you out on a project you have in mind - whether it’s making fliers and literature to distribute, or shutting down a Wall Street bank in your hometown. Get creative, and get to work! (Here’s a hint: OccuPrint collects, prints, and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, and they have a ton of amazing General Strike posters!)

[4] Join the General Strike Conference Calls: InterOccupyhosts regular calls to organize May 1st activities. Check out their schedule and join in the conversation!

[5] Talk to Labor: Due to federal laws, most unions are forbidden from organizing strikes for political reasons. However, unions and labor groups are still some of our strongest allies. During last year’s General Strike in Oakland, many unions encouraged their workers to take the day off or attend demonstrations after work. Not long after Occupy Oakland shut down ports in solidarity with striking Longshoreman, their employers caved to the union’s demands in a new contract. Get in touch with local unions and labor organizations, let them know about the plans for a General Strike, find out what they’re working on and how you can help, and encourage them to let their members know about May 1st and get involved in organizing directly.

[6] Organize Your Workplace, Campus, or Community: If you’re a unionized worker, encourage your union to support the General Strike. Whether your workplace is union or not, you can encourage co-workers to take a sick day on May 1st. If you can’t afford to lose out on pay, that’s okay - there will be plenty of celebrations, marches, and direct actions throughout all hours of the day. Invite your community to attend. If you’re a student at a high school or college, spread the word to walk-out of class on May 1st. If you’re not a worker or student, organize your friends!

More information: [MayDayNYC.org] | [OccupyMay1st.org] | [StrikeEverywhere.net] | [NYC General Assembly - May Day]

may day

theriverwanders reblogged your link: Insurance Industry to Senate: Global Warming is Hurting Our Business

Well.  Now that the insurance industry says climate change is bad because it costs them money, we’ll probably see the gop on-board.  Completely.  Because insurance companies are people and people vote.  With money.

Makes you ill, doesn’t it? Well, whatever gets it done…

Which makes me ponder, what actions can we take to realistically affect the market in such a way as to force corporations to chase the money down the right paths, e.g. sustainability, transparency, etc.?