Monthly Archives: November 2011

Occupy Providence

by Jill Dalton

General Burnside

While visiting my good friend and director, Jack McCullough in Providence, Rhode Island, we decided, one sunny, unseasonably mild afternoon, to visit Occupy Providence.

Occupy Providence joined Occupy Wall Street and the global movement on Oct 15, 2011 by marching from College Hill to Burnside Park carrying signs and chanting, “We are the 99%,” “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” etc.  They, like thousands of others, are marching against corporate greed, foreclosures and joblessness.

About 70 people pitched tents in Burnside Park and took up residence there.  They have a medical tent, media booth, table to donate food, a Solutions tree and drum circle.  The Solutions Tree sign reads,

“This tree is a collaborative community art piece to symbolize our vision.  This tree asks “what is at the root of the solutions we wish to see?” The leaves of the tree grow and flourish as a result of strong roots—what solutions would we like to see come forth as a result of our movement and roots/values?  –Grab a marker—add your ideas!”

The Solutions Tree

Then on October 17th many honored National Bank Transfer Day and went to Bank of America to close their accounts and put their money into small community banks or credit unions.

As of this date these protesters haven’t been beaten or pepper-sprayed but according to “Street Sights” a local paper that sheds light on homelessness in Rhode Island,which I picked up there,

“On Thursday, October 27th, Steven Pare (Public Safety Commissioner) went downtown to Occupy Providence to hand deliver a letter that stated they had 72 hours to vacate, the end of the 72 hours was Sunday, October 30th

Pare said that the police won’t forcefully beat up their camp or physically remove them, even after the 72 hours is up.  But will force them out “peacefully and civilly through the court system” which could take up to several weeks.” 

Drum Circle

But on Monday, November 7th when we visited the protesters were still camped out.  There wasn’t much going on when we were there.  A few people were sitting quietly around the park and several sat in a drum circle.  The place was very clean and serene.  However, we did learn the next day, someone had stolen the large Occupy Providence banner that hung on the statue of General Burnside.  In fact, I took photos of the statue and it was already gone when we visited.

As Jack and I left the peaceful park we came

Jack, Patty & Hooligan

upon Patty, a Providence police officer on her magnificent, 17-hand high steed, Hooligan.  Jack and Patty go way back so he introduced us and I asked her how she felt about what was going on in Occupy Providence and she smiled and said she’s behind them 100%.  She agrees with their grievances and told me she’s there to watch over them.  She also mentioned the park is divided.  On one side are the homeless and on the other the occupiers and although they may not “like” each other they co-exist there.

From the looks of things it appears Providence is a lot more civil then the brutality we’ve seen emanating from New York, Oakland, Berkeley and beyond and have chosen to change the laws instead. 

In fact, it appears our government has decided not to honor our first amendment rights. 

 Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The love of money is the root of all evil.

Seems peaceful assembly is a little too radical for the corporate powers that be.  But, “this is what democracy looks like” and I for one am so grateful for the Occupy movement.  I kept thinking the young people have to get involved.  We need their energy, their consciousness, their compassion, their sense of truth and justice and low and behold they’ve come forth to reclaim their birthright and take back our country from the corporate forces that have co-opted our republic, bought off our politicians, stolen our jobs, our rights and our future.  Now, if only Patty could watch over us all we’d be set.

 

 

 

 

 


Anonymous: DO NOT Be Fooled Again by the Lies

The US empire is trying to get us involved in yet another illegal war to distract us form our power here at home from our fight for our rights. They have done this twice before. DO NOT be fooled again by the lies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbddi4rD_mM

The powers that be have no ideas.  No answers.  Their system is dead and only comes to search, seek and destroy.  They are afraid and have decided to fight back with the only thing they know.  Violence.

The Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t going away so the powers that be pull their trump card, war, to distract us.  No matter there’s no evidence for it.   It’s WMD’s all over again and the corporate media propaganda machine parrots the lies.  This way when American’s aren’t numbing out on “Dancing With the Stars” or some other mindless entertainment they can be afraid.  Fear is how they control us.  It’s the oldest trick in the book.  The Russians used it in the 50’s and now the U.S. uses it. 

Throughout history all totalitarian regimes have eventually turned on their own citizens.  The violence always comes home to roost.

A Course in Miracles teaches, “You become what you defend against.” And we have become a culture of war.  Claiming to have no money for schools, pensions, healthcare, social safety nets while spending millions on war and pitting militarized police against peaceful protesters and now with the Patriot Act, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice all working together the police state is in place.

The powers that be would like nothing better then for our peaceful protests to turn violent so they could instill marshal law and use all their high-powered weaponry on us.  We cannot allow this to happen.  We must remain ever diligent and win the hearts and minds of those who still do not understand.

We deserve a better world and it is up to us to create it.  But Americans have been asleep since the gunshots rang out at Kent State and four college students were murdered in cold blood and now our sleeping giant, America’s youth, have once again awakened and I have faith with truth and justice on their side, God willing, they just might save us from ourselves.

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
—-Isaac Asimov

Write, call your representatives and let them know you know this war is b.s. and they’re just trying to distract us from the Wall Street criminals and the inequalities in economic and political justice and you won’t be fooled again. 

“Get angry, be heard, be seen, do the right thing, join the human race.”  Anonymous

Seymour Hersh: Propaganda Used Ahead of Iraq War is Being Reused over Iran’s Nuke Program.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/21/seymour_hersh_propaganda_used_ahead_of

Please check out ANONYMOUS NEWS

News about Anonymous continually updated from thousands of sources around the net.

http://www.topix.com/who/anonymous



THERE IS NO HONOR IN POLICE BRUTALITY

by Jill Dalton

Sgt. Shamar Thomas

I met Sgt. Shamar Thomas at the rally against Police Brutality on 10-22-11 in Union Square, New York City right after his famous rant against the NYPD had gone viral.  Sgt. Thomas served 14 months in Iraq and the war’s been going on so long both his parents served there as well but when he came home and saw how the police were treating United States citizens, well; let’s just say he lost it. (see Sgt. Thomas’ rant. ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6ZronqIzeI

“This is not a war zone.  These are unarmed people.  It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people.  You want to fight?  Go to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Leave these people alone.  They are U.S. citizens.  Why are you doing this to our people?  They don’t have guns.  How do you sleep at night?  There is no honor in this, etc.”

Across our nation our police forces have been turned into Para military units complete with tanks, tasers, riot gear, sound guns, machine guns, mace, etc.  And they are using this force against unarmed, nonviolent protesters.  I realize not all police are guilty of this but what does it say about a system of government that allows this violence to occur?  What is the difference between Hitler’s SS storm troopers of Nazi Germany and our militarized police forces?  This unchecked violence will only escalate.

The amount of mace blasting from their canisters looks like the fire hoses that were turned against the Civil Rights protesters in the south in the 60’s.  However, in the 60’s they had to deal with Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General.  Kennedy demanded these racist actions be stopped and when the Governors, Mayors and police chiefs ignored him he sent in the National Guard to stop the violence.

Image by Tracy Knauss

Obama condemns the use of violence in Egypt while remaining mute here at home.  By not speaking out against these atrocities, Obama, Bloomberg, Pisti Basile (UC Davis), Mayor Jean Quan (Oakland), whomever are complicit with these actions and like we said in the 60’s, “If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.”

Do these recent violent events reveal the true state of our country?  Are we now a police state ruled by the oligarchy at the expense of the many to protect the few? These oligarchs, the 1%, along with the blessings of many of our bought off elected officials, as it turns out, have systematically been hollowing out America from the inside for the past 50 years. 

Both Democrats and Republicans it seems have been more than willing to sell America’s future out from under us.  Corporate welfare has spiraled out of control and many of our largest corporations do not pay taxes and in fact receive millions back from our government:  GE, Bank of America, AIG, and Citicorp, to name a few.  (see 16 More Companies That Pay Almost Nothing in Taxes.)

http://www.businessinsider.com/16-more-profitable-companies-that-pay-almost-nothing-in-taxes-2011-3

Taxes for millionaires/billionaires have diminished from 91% under Eisenhower, when America was at her zenith, to 70% under Nixon, to 50% under Reagan, to their current lowest point under Bush and then Obama extended the tax cuts for the rich.   Clinton sold American’s NAFTA by assuring us this would be great for creating jobs.  Unfortunately, he failed to mention those jobs would be created overseas.  Clinton also deregulated Wall Street by killing the Glass-Steagall Act, which was put into place in 1933 after the stock mark crash to protect us from that ever happening again and sure enough without these regulations the banks went about the business of gambling with our money and caused the global meltdown of 2008, which we still have not recovered from.

The too big to fail banks are now larger than ever and the limp bank regulations have done nothing to change that or rein in their salacious behavior.  It’s all smoke and mirrors.  So while hundreds of protesters are beaten, maced, and arrested the bankers go about business as usual.  And then  our Supreme Court anointed corporations personhood (Citizen’s United) thus allowing unbridled and undisclosed amounts of cash to further bribe and corrupt already compromised politicians. 

Our system is rotten to the core and our elected officials are no longer serving us:  homes foreclosed on or underwater, jobs sent overseas, students bridled with school loan debt, pensions and savings stolen and now they’re trying to kill Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  So out of sheer desperation, with no where else to turn, we’ve finally taken to the streets to stand up against our incarceration and say” “Enough is enough!”  

Image by Tracy Knauss

The powers that be have no ideas.  No answers.  Their system is dead and only comes to search, seek and destroy.  They’re afraid and have decided to fight back with the only thing they know.  Violence.

Obama’s not a president.  I don’t believe we’ve had a real president since JFK and we all know what happened to him.  Obama is a brand that was put in place after the Bush brand collapsed.  I believe Obama is the Trojan horse put in office to do what no Republican could have gotten away with and that’s to take all our rights and social safety nets away in the name of safety, austerity and balanced budgets. But his “hope and change” brand is collapsing around him.  The only thing keeping him afloat is fear of the crazy Republicans.

And as long as money’s the name of the game and elections cost outrageous amounts of cash (Obama needs to raise $1 billion) a mere politician is left with no alternative but to serve his corporate puppet masters and when things get rough best to leave the country or beat the drums for war with Iran.  Well, sure why not.  It worked twice before.  Why not again? 

*The Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t going away so the powers that be pull their trump card, war, to distract us.  No matter there’s no evidence for it.  (see Seymour Hersh interview on Democracy Now!).  

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/21/seymour_hersh_propaganda_used_ahead_of

  It’s WMD’s all over again and the corporate media propaganda machine parrots the lies.  This way when American’s aren’t numbing out on “Dancing With the Stars” or some other mindless entertainment they can be afraid.  Fear is how they control us.  It’s the oldest trick in the book.  The Russians used it in the 50’s and now the U.S. uses it. 

Image by Tracy Knauss

Throughout history all totalitarian regimes have eventually turned on their own citizens.  The violence always comes home to roost but like Gandhi said,

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.” 

A Course in Miracles teaches, “You become what you defend against.” And we have become a culture of war.  Claiming to have no money for schools, pensions, healthcare, social safety nets while spending millions on pitting militarized police against peaceful protesters and now with the passage of the Patriot Act and with Homeland Security and the Department of Justice all working together the police state is in place.

This is our moment, perhaps our only chance.  We must remain nonviolent.  This is the key.  I recently listened to a talk Marianne Williamson gave at Occupy Oakland and she had a very valid insight.  “In the 60’s we stopped the war but we did not create peace.”  We cannot solve our problems from the same level of consciousness that created them.  The powers that be would like nothing better then for our peaceful protests to turn violent so they could instill marshal law and use all their high-powered weaponry on us.  We cannot allow this to happen.  We must remain ever diligent and win the hearts and minds of those who still do not understand.

Image by Tracy Knauss

Think of all the brave souls who’ve risked their lives by putting their bodies in front of the machine, from New York City to Seattle to Oakland to Egypt and beyond. 

Scott Olsen – Iraq war Vet seriously injured @ Occupy Oakland

Kayvan Sabeghi – Iraq war Vet seriously injured @ Occupy Oakland

Elizabeth Nichols – pepper-sprayed @ Occupy Portland

Dorli Rainey – 84 year-old activist pepper-sprayed @ Occupy Seattle

UC Davis students – pepper-sprayed @ University of California

Brendan Watts – Beaten @ Occupy Wall Street

Ydanis Rodriguez – NYC Council member arrested/detained @ Occupy Wall Street

Pancho Ramos Stierle – meditator arrested/faces deportation @ Occupy Oakland

Robert Hass – 70 year-old Poet Laureate beaten @ Berkeley

We deserve a better world and it’s up to us to create it.  But Americans have been asleep since the gunshots rang out at Kent State and four college students were murdered in cold blood and now our sleeping giant, America’s youth, have once again awakened and I have faith with truth and justice on their side, God willing, they just might save us from ourselves.

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
—-Isaac Asimov

*(Since this writing Occupy encampments around the country were systematically destroyed by police in a coordinated effort, many believe, by the Obama White House and the Department of Justice and without a base of operations the Occupy movement hasn’t recovered their strength.)

Image by Tracy Knauss

LINKS:

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles of Nonviolence

http://paceebene.org/power-nonviolent-change/martin-luther-king-jr-s-principles-nonviolence

 Dorli Rainey interviewed on Keith Olbermann

http://current.com/shows/countdown/videos/occupy-seattle-octogenarian-activist-dorli-rainey-on-being-pepper-sprayed-by-seattle-police-importance-of-activism

 Dylan Ratigan’s brilliant rant about what is really going on in this country.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1lJd2eLG0M&feature=youtu.be

The Dirty %&#@*!* Hippies, WERE RIGHT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNgiQAyS7OQ



“This is What Giving a Shit Looks Like”

by Jill Dalton

Occupy Wall Street Goes Global  (10-15-11)

It’s a beautiful day for a protest.  Unseasonably warm.  I’m headed to meet my friend Pam and a few of her friends at the New York Public Library and then we’ll head over to Times Square and join up with the OWS protesters who’re marching from Zuccotti Park (Liberty Square).  I get there first and see a young couple with southern accents speaking with a female NYPD officer asking if this is where the marchers will be coming? 

I immediately pull them aside and find out they’re from Memphis, TN and have driven up to NYC in solidarity with the 99% and are planning on staying at the park with the protesters.  They’re both adorable.  Her name is Demi Moore; I’m not making that up and his name…Mohammad, Mo for short.  After a short conversation I discover their car’s parked somewhere in New Jersey and they want to know what they should do about that.  I don’t own a car but as soon as my friends arrive I hook them up and they assess the situation.

Image by Tracy Knauss

Turns out my friend, Pam, just happens to have a sleeping bag in her car, which she gives them since they don’t have one and from the looks of things they don’t have coats either.  I remember when I first moved to NYC from South Carolina and didn’t have a winter coat.  I didn’t need one down South and figured how cold could it be?  Well, I soon found out and it took me about five years to collect all the gear I needed to survive the elements in NYC. 

There’s a small protest going on at the library and they’re heading over to one of the corporate banks I believe it’s Bank of America to do a ‘die in’ and warn us of the possibility we’ll get arrested so our group decides instead to head over to Times Square and await the OWS marchers.

Soon we hear via Twitter two dozen people are arrested at Citibank when they try to withdraw their money.  As sirens blare and police cruisers and vans sped up the Avenue several of us give them the black power salute.  Soon thereafter the marchers descend upon Times Square by the thousands.  And I do mean thousands.  The place is packed to the gills with protesters.  It’s glorious.  I feel very proud to be a New Yorker.

After a couple of hours we decide to head uptown and began making our way via the east side of the sidewalk on Broadway.  It’s slow going and packed.  Two young girls with thick southern accents are outraged, “I can’t believe we came to New York City and get in the middle of a dang protest!  We just want to see a Broadway show!”  I turn to them, “Isn’t New York grand!”  But this gives me a great idea and at one point when we stumble upon a police headquarters trailer on one of the side streets I proclaim in a very loud, very southern accent, “Hey come on ya’ll.  It looks like a protest.  Let’s go check it out.  Don’t you love New York City!” 

Finally, we manage to make it to 45th & Broadway where it became impossible to move any further so we decide to backtrack and maybe see if we can head over to 6th Avenue to get out of the crowds.  By this time it’s late and dark and I need to go home so I can pee and eat something.  Once over by 6th we decide to walk up to 50th so I can catch a train when Pam reads on Twitter a horse has gone down at 46th Street.  Are you kidding me? 

BofA @ 46th & Broadway

Turns out at 6:22 NYPD entered on horseback at 46th Street and try to get people to move.  Well, there’s no place for people to move so the police officers try to get their horses to ram into the crowd but you see horses have more brains and sense when it comes to these matters and refuse to plow into the crowd and instead the animal had gone down on one knee but quickly recovered, thank God.  Luckily, a high-ranking police officer appeared and demanded the horsemen back off and they did. 

Pam, reads another tweet out loud, “This is what giving a shit looks like.” I immediately retweet it.  So yes, this is what giving a shit looks like.  As for Demi and Mo, last I heard, they left Occupy Wall Street and are now residing in Occupy L.A.  You’ve got to admit the weather is certainly easier to deal with. 

Turns out protests erupted in over 1,500 cities worldwide that day.

So, if you give a shit, come join us.  It’s time to Occupy. 

Pam & friends

 


Gandhi

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”


Occupy Wall Street Marches with Unions and Progressives

10-5-11

At this point the OWS movement’s only three weeks old.  The corporate media’s making fun of the protesters claiming they’ve no idea what their demands are.  Well, anyone with half a brain could figure that out.  OWS is here to bring focus to the foreclosure crisis, student loan debt, income inequality, joblessness, Wall Street greed, illegal wars, corporate personhood, paid off politicians and to wake people up.  I must say I’m still amazed at how many people worship at the altar of corporate news, which isn’t even news in any remote shape or form. The brainwashing’s very well executed.  Like Chris Hedges says, “We are the most entertained and least informed people on the planet.”

Once downtown I realize there’s no way I can get through the throngs to find my friends at our designated meeting place.  I’m carried along by the tide of humanity, energy and hope.  I try calling my friend on my cell phone to find an alternative meet up spot.  As I walk along I remark to my friend,  “This is amazing.  It’s huge.  As big as Vietnam!” at which point the 20 something woman in front of me turns around with a look of amazement on her face to see who could have been attending the marches in the 60’s.

My friends and I finally met up at Foley Square.   We’re all union members and I’ve been attending marches and rallies about Wall Street greed since the global meltdown occurred and sometimes there’d be only me, Reverend Billy and 50 or so other protesters and I’m being generous.  Needless to say, I was thrilled by the throngs of people. 

The tremendous turnout was due in part to the 700 arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge the Saturday before as well as the viral video of the NYPD pepper spraying four unarmed young women who’d been kettled.  I guess they forgot or didn’t care we all carry smart phones and can transmit, tweets, photos, videos in a matter of seconds. 

The march traveled from Foley Square to Zuccotti Park and the permit was from 4-7 p.m.  So at 7 sharp my friends and I decided to call it quits and get the heck out of Dodge because sadly the NYPD would be looking for any excuse to start banging on, beating up and pepper spraying protesters.

Rev. Billy

My friends and I bid adieu and sure enough many protesters were arrested after we left and God bless them for having the courage and fortitude to keep putting their bodies on the line and standing up to injustice.

In solidarity until the next one.  We are the 99%.

 

 

 


MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE

1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

• It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

• It is assertive spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

• It is always persuading the opponent of the justice of your cause.

 

2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.

• The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.

• The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.

 

3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.

• Nonviolence holds that evildoers are also victims.

 

4. Nonviolence holds that voluntary suffering can educate and

transform.

• Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.

• Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.

• Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it.

• Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and

transforming possibilities.

• Suffering can have the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.

 

5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.

• Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as of the body.

• Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility.

• Nonviolent love is active, not passive.

• Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.

• Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.

• Love restores community and resists injustice.

• Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.

 

6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

• The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S

STEPS OF NONVIOLENCE

 Step 1:  Gather Information

Learn all you can about the problems you see in your community through the media, social and civic organizations, and by talking to the people involved.

 Step 2:  Educate Others

Armed with your new knowledge, it is your duty to help those around you, such as your neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers, better understand the problems facing society.  Build a team of people devoted to finding solutions.  Be sure to include those who will be directly affected by your work.

Step 3:  Remain Committed

Accept that you will face many obstacles and challenges as you and your team try to change society.  Agree to encourage and inspire one another along the journey.

Step 4:  Peacefully Negotiate

Talk with both sides.  Go to the people in your community who are in trouble and who are deeply hurt by society’s ills.  Also go to those people who are contributing to the breakdown of a peaceful society.  Use humor, intelligence and grace to lead to solutions that benefit the greater good.

 Step 5:  Take Action Peacefully

This step is often used when negotiation fails to produce results, or when people need to draw broader attention to a problem.  It can include tactics such as peaceful demonstrations, letter-writing and petition campaigns.

 Step 6:  Reconcile

Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful and constructive.  Agree to disagree with some people and with some groups as you work to improve society.  Show all involved the benefits of changing, not what they will give up by changing.