Did You Know That…
Benjamin Franklin, in a speech to delegates to the US Constitutional Convention prior to the final vote, on 17 September 1787, said, “[The U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism … when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”
The pro-fascist leaders of J.P. Morgan, US Steel, Remington Arms, and Standard Oil all joined the DuPont family in plotting a military coup against President F.D.Roosevelt in 1933. Twice decorated Major General Smedley Butler testified before the McCormack Dickstein Congressional Committee in 1934 that a cabal of pro-fascist Wall Street financiers had approached him to lead the coup. The Committee confirmed Butler’s testimony, but deleted extensive excerpts from their report relating to the above and other corporations.
Lawrence Summers, as Chief Econonomist for the World Bank, in a leaked memo, December 12,1991, wrote of the “impeccable economic logic” of dumping the West’s “health impairing” toxic waste in “under polluted” Africa, because the resultant cancers wouldn’t have time to develop in a population with such a low life expectancy. Brazil’s Environment Minister, Jose Lutzenburger, wrote to Summers that his proposal was “perfectly logical but totally insane”. Lutzenburger was fired for writing the letter. Summers went on to greater things, initially as Treasury Secretary in the final 18 months of the Clinton administration, and now as Barak Obama’s Chair of the National Economic Council.
Q:What would you suggest would be the best way for a college student to get involved? There is an Occupy camp in the city I go to school in, but General Assembly meetings are at 5:30 (after dark) and I'm scared to go downtown after dark alone. I don't know who to connect with or what to do, and I am worried that I've missed the best opportunities like today's rallies.
If you are a college student, I would imagine there must be some sort of political group that meets on campus. I would ask around or look up student life groups on your college’s website. You might attend one of these and attempt to find someone who is similarly interested in the movement who might go with you to the GA’s downtown. That is, if you truly want to attend the GA’s.
If you cannot attend the GA’s, that does not mean you cannot be a part of this movement, by any means. I suppose my first question is, how involved are you wanting to be? If you want to take a more activist role in the planning and organizing of occupy events, then I would highly recommend finding a safer way of getting down the the camp’s GA (or finding an affiliated Occupy group on campus). If you are more interested in simply contributing to the movement, what you are doing now is a very good first step - asking and educating yourself.
Sooo…what you can do (these are truly just suggestions) to contribute less to the corporate scheme/live greener, etc.):
1. Educate yourself. I typically recommend the documentary Inside Job to people to give them a nice background on the financial injustices that have taken place. I won’t tell you want to believe or think, but I strongly recommend you try to do as much research into the topic as possible. You can follow blogs, twitter updates on live events, go to various Occupy websites and read information or participate in forums. I am actually working on putting together an information page to attach to my tumblr that will provide basic, easy to digest information, videos, infographics, etc. to explain the movement overall (my mother asked me to ;)).
2. Donate. If not your time and physical presence, then food, blankets, supplies (if your city still has a camp). Contact your local Occupy group and ask them what you can do from a distance to help. Do you do graphic design, do you write?
5. Don’t buy water. Buy a reusable water bottle and use a water filter. Watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.
6. Buy used or trade. Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle. Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items and you’ll be supporting your local economy.
7. Re-purpose things e.g. save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts. Re-purpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.
8. Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
9. Join the Collaborative Consumerism movement. Collaborative consumption is a catchall term that includes many different ways to save money, reduce consumption, and build community, including peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing, P2P renting, bartering, swapping, fractional ownership, and more.
10. Join a health insurance cooperative. Non-profit health insurance cooperatives are available in some regions of the country and offer affordable health insurance and more patient-friendly terms than most corporate-owned insurance providers.
Here are some other people’s suggestions: