Tag Archives: Occupy Movement

The 1 Percent Under Siege?

By exposing the sheer scale of offshore finance, the Panama Papers have re-fuelled global resentment towards tax-avoiding elites. Are the rich immoral?

By Brooke Harrington. Published by ROAR Magazine

Years before the Panama Papers broke, many of the world’s richest people felt unappreciated and under attack. In 2014, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared the position of the rich to that of the Jews in 1930s Germany, warning of a “progressive Kristallnacht” and “a rising tide of hatred of the successful 1 percent.” Though a few of his fellow billionaires distanced themselves from these remarks, several jumped vigorously to his defense, expressing their agreement that the rich were being “pummeled” and “picked on.” Continue reading

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Do Ongoing Global Events Prove the World Is Ready for Revolution?

By Claire Bernish. Published 4-13-2016 by The Anti-Media

Paralleling the increasingly draconian policies marking a worldwide descent into fascism, are massive protests — born in the Arab Spring, but arguably an angrier, more potent extension of the Occupy movement — indicative of an unprecedented tipping point.

We, the people of this planet, now stand together, gazing over the precipice whose murky depths of State repression demand we ask one imperative question: have we finally had enough?

“[W]e have lost the way,” Charlie Chaplin implores us to consider in his renowned and timeless monologue from The Great Dictator, because“Greed has poisoned men’s souls — has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.” Continue reading

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Still Occupied?

The Washington Post ran a story on Wednesday, “Occupy Wall Street just won.” With the 2016 Presidential campaign heating up, the article claims Occupy just won because the discussion of the 99% is the center of this election cycle.

Our victory is not new or recent; the media has refused to credit Occupy with the numerous conversations that began with the 2011 Occupy Movement. The public that didn’t pay attention then is realizing that what we were talking about had merit, and maybe they should have listened.

Zuccotti Park, September 18, 2011. Photo by David Shankbone (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Zuccotti Park, September 18, 2011. Photo by David Shankbone (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The media back in 2011 wanted to cover the Occupy story the same way they covered everything: show up, interview 4 to 8 people, shoot some film and head back to the office. They made the story about tents and parks, about homeless hippies and jobless layabouts. Instead of listening to what the real message was, they did the old reliable trick of pleasing the editors by finding the strangest, most unusual person and ask them questions until they can’t answer one with articulation, and that’s what makes the news.

My first visit to Occupy in 2011 was quite different than what the press told me I would find. There were college professors, doctors, lawyers, retired teachers, people from all walks of life. The conversations that were taking place were the most interesting. I wasn’t sure about Monsanto, and I didn’t know much about GMOs. I heard a lot about “People Over Profits,” Banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” “Who’s streets? Our streets!,” and a multitude of messages about wages, inequality, discrimination, corporate dominance, women’s rights and yes, even anti-war sentiments.

The heavy-handed response from local police in each encampment then became the focus of any news coverage. Gone were questions about why we were there, what we wanted, and why we felt change was mandatory. Any gaining public support was quickly destroyed with the media showing only the worst, not the good parts, of the fracturing camps. Continue reading

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That Which Weaves Us Together

In December, 2010, a man in Tunisia protested his treatment by police by burning himself to death. As the world took note, the events that followed led to what is now an unstoppable force, a genie let out of the bottle which is often referred to as “the Arab Spring.”

Photo By Hiart (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo By Hiart (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In a breathtaking timeline of collective consciousness, people began to say “ENOUGH!” to their oppression, suppression and brutality. They gained strength through solidarity, found in the social media as well as the streets they poured onto. City squares in major middle eastern countries were occupied by immense throngs of people, demanding change. (The Guardian offers an actual interactive timeline here.)

Governments responded by all imaginable means, using everything from water cannons to tear gas to live bullets and chemical attacks to stifle the rising voices. The attempts were too little, too late, and the surge took off across the world. By September, 2011, the Occupy Movement was well established throughout the United States and many other countries, and continues today through use of the very social media that gave birth to the early roots of the Arab spring.

Why? Never before have we, as humans in general, been so connected to others. A mom in California identifies with a mom in South Africa. A textile worker in Thailand finds solidarity with a cotton grower in Australia. Kids in Kurdistan want the same things as kids in Palestine. The borders of countries are invisible, as are the prejudices of race, education and economic class. Social injustice is an outrage to all.

It is this connectivity that will enable us to reach the next level of our progression of humanity: the acceptance of others in exchange for acceptance of one’s self. Solidarity in the belief that all humans deserve equal, respectful and meaningful participation within their world is not a new concept, but had deteriorated to mean something to stifle when defined by governments and powerful forces of opposing views.

As the threads of this collective consciousness begin to weave themselves into a fabric of humanity that will blanket the world in a new spiritual understanding of all people, we will prevail. Our solidarity, our united voices, our consistent outrage for the continued same wrongs will not be silenced. We can and will bring the change humanity needs and begs for.

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