Post by Admin 9/17/2012
We Will Have Our Cake and Eat It Too
Happy Birthday Occupy!
John Knefel, Molly Crabapple, and Julia Reinhart were arrested on September 17, 2012 reporting the protests in the financial district of New York City. All three were peaceful and arrested unlawfully (if only this was the exception instead of the rule for the NYPD). Clearly, intimidating the press is not beyond the scope of the NYPD but it is a stark reminder of our daily lives this past year. Today was no different from what we have seen over the last 365 days; repression and suppression epitomizes the state. Unfortunately for these institutions that represent state interests, this has only solidified their defiant opposition. We have seen our brothers and sisters recruited, trained and supplied with materials that have later been used against them. The parties responsible for this are the same ones responsible for their sentencing. We have seen the reemergence of mcarthy era grand jury subpoenas. We have witnessed the consistent targeting of organizers and community leaders. We have continued to document abuses by the ones in charge of sustaining law and order, often by filming them against their consent (see the first line naming the three journalists arrested earlier today). Footage from citizen journalists has even been used as evidence and resulted in multiple individuals being exonerated. September 17, 2012 was no different from every other day since September 17, 2011; occupy = 7,500 arrests in 365 days. The people have been resisting the state every day since Occupy Wall Street set up the first tent. We are unstoppable. We are taking action. We will have our cake and eat it too. Solidarity with the Silent. Resistance is Fertile. In Silence We Roar!
Priests and Bankers: Impunity from the DOJ due to Omnipotent Employers
“Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.” Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?-Matt Taibbi
“The Vatican is afraid, and it has reason to be. Police with search warrants are confiscating diocesan records in Belgium; a complaint has been filed against the Vatican with the International Criminal Court; the Vatican for the first time has been forced to produce documents in a U.S. civil case; and three dioceses and the orders responsible for abuse in Catholic residential schools have been investigated by the Irish government.”- Terence McKiernan, president of the sex abuse database BishopAccountability.org
It should come as no surprise that the Catholic Church and executives on Wall Street are immune to legal accountability, moral rationality and self-regulation. The Wall Street banker and the priest are not innately corrupt; however their employers create a work environment conducive to destructive behavior and apathy to the subsequent consequences. Clearly, the lower level bankers and priests are a symptom of a much more comprehensive predicament. Whether your employer is shuffling around a wanton ring of pedophiles or ensuring employees a cannibalistic lust for wealth, is ultimately irrelevant. The financial conglomerate encourages preying on the weak and uneducated as much as the Catholic Church denies and blames the victim (noting that less than 2% of the cases turn out to be false accusations). The rampant disregard of culpability by the media has blunted criticism to the institution’s that produce these types of parasites. They have colluded with the justice system and avoided the wrath of the populous. Now, Wall Street executives and ordained Cardinals are perhaps two of the most degrading, unnecessary and harmful occupations to have much less respect. To conclude, greed and corruption do not discriminate whether it is a “man of the cloth” or a “Gordon Gekko.” At what point do we decide to hold our own accountable, especially when these crimes are being perpetrated against the weakest among us?
“The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industry wide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted.”- Matt Taibbi
By the numbers:
Alleged crimes committed by Wall Street Executives as of April 10, 2012: Fraud, theft, and mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities. All of which collapsed the global market economy in 2008 and generated hundreds of billions in losses.
Number of arrested CEO’s and bankers as of April 10, 2012: 0
Alleged crimes committed by Priests as of April 10, 2012: 25,383 – using the current United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) rate of victims per priest (2.6) and the New Hampshire level of accused priests (8.9%). 46,125 – using the Boston archdiocesan count of victims and the Boston share of U.S. Catholics. 100,000 – using Rev. Andrew Greeley’s 1993 partial estimate of 2,500 accused priests and 50 victims per priest. 280,000 – using the USCCB’s current count of accused priests (5,600) and Greeley’s estimate of 50 victims per priest. Michael Bemi and Pat Neal (two American experts that presented to the summit in Rome recently) estimated the American church has spent at least $2.2 billion settling litigation related to the crisis, and that there may have been 100,000 total victims in the United States alone.
Number of arrested Bishops, Cardinals, and or Popes as of April 10, 2012: 0
Governments Are Unable to Solve This Global Crisis
It is unreasonable to expect the ones responsible for this Global Crisis will also be the ones to correct it. Governments understand stability is upheld by its legitimacy. They also understand erosion of this legitimacy carries the potential to cascade into more serious dissent. Increasingly, the vanguard is the educated and alienated seeking solitude in like-minded individual’s aware of their (shared) precarious future. This spread of discontent has already hit Europe, the Middle East, parts of North Africa, South America and has now landed at our own shores. With the growing fear of a collapsed Eurozone, governments are scurrying to prevent what is already an inevitable conclusion due to its reckless disregard of its constituents. There is no damage control to be done on a broken system. This system has become synonymous with previous imperial empires keen on resource exploitation, forced assimilation and insatiable sprawl. Fortunately and not surprisingly, the individuals with the power to change the course are not the same individuals employed to do it. The time for governments’ and their officials to act has long expired and their repeated failures are a clear forecast of our collective obligation. An obligation that we are not fiscally bound too but rather ethically and morally bound too. It is impossible to predict what will happen if we act as a collective block. However, it is quite possible to realize the predicament we will be in if this crisis is left unresolved by this time in November. This is not a call to action; our call to action is each other. Our strength is our cohesiveness, our enemy is the assumption you are too insignificant to make a difference. Bradley Manning refused to be quiet, Tim DeChristopher refused to watch idly, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja refused to eat, Dimitris Christoulas refused to beg, Rima Dali refused to be afraid. Welcome; we were waiting for you.
Our Success Will Be Determined By Our Cooperation
Our communities are connected by shared suffering: oppression, racism, war, and poverty are common enemies to many communities. This is not a report on Intercommunalism and Individualism, nor is it an attempt to determine which is the more pragmatic system. It is a notice. We are no longer looking over the edge at non-sustainable human interaction; instead we are hurtling through the void and will soon realize the only brace for this fall is one another. Choice, inaction, and indifference are no longer plausible. Cooperation is the only anti-venom to the impending conclusions that will soon dawn on the collective conscious. Our struggles are all interconnected and so are our communities. Today, defiance to corporations and the state require international cooperation of connected communities. By replacing artificial barriers that continue to divide us we must come to understand the power we possess in collective action. Global struggles in countries like Greece, Syria, Egypt, Russia, Sudan and Iceland may appear to operate in isolation; however each autonomous action taken within a given state can have far reaching global consequences. If you doubt this, reflect on Tunisia at the close of 2010 which cascaded into the Arab Spring. We no longer live in a time where the people’s struggles (and resources) are confined within state sanctioned borders. Noncompliance to the state apparatus can now be garnished with international support making these non-conformists exponentially more versatile. Even without sharing tangible resources, indigenous movements can share ideas, tactics, and models for fundraising as well as present another forum to disseminate information. Thus, it is in the best interest for all communities, especially those of which are oppressed, to network and work collaboratively to further goals and attain justice.
By discovering our common humanity we can tap into the human capacity of cooperation, collaboration and compassion. Solidarity to the oppressed communities; your liberation is inexplicably dependent on the apathy of those considered unaffected.
“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
“In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Goldman Sachs is the United States Treasury
Goldman Sachs has heeded the advice of a political statement attributed to Law professor William Black, “the highest return on assets is always a political contribution.” It is widely known that Goldman Sachs dictates legislation, oversight and enforcement upon the United States economy; simultaneously preforming the roles of the SEC, Congress as well as the Federal Reserve. In 2009 Goldman Sachs had the most profitable year in its history, and this post-crisis record was available because of the charter set up by Henry Paulson (the Treasure Secretary that was previously CEO of the bank the legislation is bailing out) and Timothy Geithner. Both names ring synonymous with Goldman Sachs even though the latter has never been directly employed in the banking industry. The recognition of Goldman Sachs influence on the Executive Branch is found in Michelle Malkin’s April 2010 article, “All the President’s Goldman Sachs Men.” The article illuminates Goldman’s cozy relationship with the Obama Administration noting his financial strategists consist of Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Gary Gensler and Mark Patterson.
Setting aside mortgage fraud, dangerous derivatives, and insider trading (among the ever growing list of criminal allegations against Goldman Sachs) the bonuses awarded post-bailout reveal rampant corruption. However, the problem is not Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan nor Bank of America. The problem is the political structure, particularly the financial arm of the US Government, sustains and solely serves the banks as opposed to its constituents. Goldman Sachs collapsed the economy and drove the country into a recession while doling out executive bonuses at a rate that was double the corporation’s yearly earnings. Another recession is guaranteed by the greed and corruption of the only individuals with the political power to stop it. The United States Treasury is Goldman Sachs.
Breakdown of Goldman Sachs 2008 bonuses from the Attorney General’s report http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Goldman_Sachs#cite_note-95
Tarp funds received: $10 Billion
2008 Earnings: $2.3 billion, or $4.47 a share.
2008 total bonuses: $4.82 billion (includes $2.24 billion in cash)
The top four received a combined $45.9 million
The next four received a combined $40.81 million.
The next six received a combined $56.40 million.
Number of individuals that received more than $10 million: 6.
Number that received more than $8 million: 21.
Number that received more than $5 million: 78.
Number that received more than $4 million: 95.
Number that received more than $3 million: 212.
Number that received more than $2 million: 391.
Number that received at least $1 million: 953.
“Occupier movement put widening inequality and corruption of democracy by money on front pages. Movement must be sustained.” Robert Reich
Tomorrow marks the fourth month that cities have been declared, “occupied” within the US. This follows after similar occupations in revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. These protests coincided with the movement in Wis. Egypt and its immediate predecessor in popular uprising, Tunisia, demonstrated ideas, strategies and models of transformation. Tunisia initiated the cascade, which would be dubbed the finite term “Arab Spring” as if to insinuate the movement(s) has a temporary existence. The occupy movement has arguably accomplished its initial goal; change the public and political discourse to address the social/political issues not being discussed by the forums intended for such a discussion.
The following are my suggestions for sustaining the movement as an effective tool for creating social and political change. Everything mentioned below are ideas already suggested by others and the analysis of the movement attempts to evolve in tandem. The order is not important and is still a work in progress. It’s important to note that the strategies occupied cities develop must be as adaptive as possible; stressing that the movement relies on continued progression and even regression at times but never can it remain in a static state. Thus the largest obstacle to sustaining the movement is stagnation.
a Organize, Strategize, Execute and Adapt (OSEA for those who prefer acronyms).
b Always continue the process of disseminating information.
c A diversity of tactics and strategies must always initially be considered.
d Stay vigilant and creative.
e Try to consider abstract situations as opposed to linear situations, (i.e. we act, state responds, we respond…etc) Preempt response by putting the opposition in vulnerable positions. If this seems too ambiguous consider using what Gene Sharp described as “political jiu-jitsu”, using the states superior power against itself.
g Leadership should be recognized as an illusion.
h Make public the objectives as well as the means to achieve them, transparency is crucial to developing credibility.
i Respect the opinions, ideas and actions of those under represented and oppressed within and outside the movements.
j Understand the connection movements have with each other regardless of nationality. Learn from one another, discuss with one another, the success of one movement can propel another, show solidarity with individuals resisting human rights abuses.
k Educate the ill-informed, realize logic and reason are not necessarily understood as important tools. This affects their rational reasoning and many lack a decent education. Tailor your message and objectives to the audience you are trying to help.
l Recognize privilege, as it nearly always exists.
m Nonviolence is the most successful way to reform and transform political systems. It is the only mode of political transformation that produces long-term democratic transitions.
Nonviolent Resistance is a Tool for Social and Political Change
Published on: Jan 4, 2012 @ 17:52
1. The prerequisites for change have already occurred.
2. This movement of awareness is in its infancy, organization and preparation are the most critical at this time.
3. With planning comes the diversification of tactics, the evolution of the movement makes the possibility of revolution real.
4. A unified, determined and persistent opposition is what fuels the movement.
5. We must eradicate the myth that change is inevitable and rapid. Both notions are contrary to realpolitik.