Thursday, October 27, 2011

One Suggestion to #OccupySeattle's General Assembly


Publicly Owned Park in Central Seattle. Why? Operated by City of Seattle with whom you can probably negotiate successfully. This all depends on whether you can get over the tendency of your central message being dominated by anti-cop or anti Mayor McGinn themes, instead of the more appealing out reaching public message of economic injustice. Or if you continue to be fixated on Westlake Park by letting dogmatic, tedious, chaotic and  buzz killing ideological anarchists influence you, whether they have a big A or small a.

Denny Park has a lot of vehicle traffic passing by, it's near downtown, the financial district and Capitol Hill, public transit and is more vehicle traffic accessible. It has more parking, has trees to shade occupiers from elements, has toilets, it's near MSM outlets, it's in the center of Paul Allenville and it's not Seattle Central Community College. It also has the possibility of better complying with the OWS good neighbor policy. SCCC does not want you and you will be forcing other users of SCCC, like the small community farms that vend there on Sunday as well as other worthwhile community activities, out. Plus SCCC has a daycare facility that would be more or less in the middle of the occupation. That's not outreach or good. In fact it will most likely be considered by the 99% you need to reach as inconsiderate and selfish.

Update: Oakland Police Riot

Via: Nation Of Change and The Ed Show

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great WADOT Photos Of Viaduct Demolition

Great WADOT photos of Viaduct demolition. And then there is this....

#OWS Co-founder Warns Against ‘Totalitarian Nightmare’ Unless Citizens Take Action

Alexa O'Brien co-founder of the Occupy Wall Street movement is interviewed by RT News 
"It’s not right to say that these are ‘activists’ who are part of the OWS movement – mostly these people are just normal citizens who are concerned about the level of corruption in the government,”

Video: Oakland Policeman Throws Flash Grenade Into Crowd Trying To Help Injured Protester

In spite of claims by Oakland Police that they were attacked by protesters I have yet to see any video or photos that substantiates that. The action by the authorities is a complete overreaction and on its face a police riot not a riot by protesters who are attempting to simply exercise their constitutional right to assemble.

Update:  Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen has been identified as the protester injured. He condition is being described as critical with a fractured skull and brain swelling after being hit by a police projectile.

#OccupyOakland Protesters Injured In Brutal Overnight Police Crackdown

Occupy Oakland Wall Street protesters were again assaulted with rubber bullets, beanbags and tear gas by Oakland police last night. Several protesters were injured by the rubber bullets or other projectiles fired by the police. The video shows the chaos at the height of the police riot. Photos of the police action also give a dramatic account of the crackdown.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet Musical Interlude

Michael Moore - Dr Cornell West On #OWS Iraq - Progressive Discontent

"Because what Martin (Luther King) was talking about was revolution. And that’s what I’m talking about, but it’s a Kingian revolution. It’s a love-based revolution that says we’ve got warped priorities, that says we need a trans-valuation of our values and a fundamental transformation of our public life and a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats. It is not a matter of hating. It’s a matter of hating injustice. We don’t hate any persons; you hate injustice. And when you have that kind of righteous indignation and holy anger and moral outrage, that I have, that Brother Michael (Moore) has, that the people, part of Occupation movements all around the world, that’s the makings of the kind of change we want." Dr. Cornell West 

Via: Nation Of Change

Monday, October 24, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet Pope Says Jesus Would Be Protesting Too With The Carpenters Union

I was raised in an Irish Catholic family. My father MacAllister O'Brien was an union organizer and Machinist Union Vice President who played a major role in the organizing of Machinists at the Boeing Company in the late forties. My grandfather "Telephone" Jack O'Brien was also an union organizer who participated in the creation of the Communication Workers Of America. I later became an union organizer an business agent myself.

Nowadays I'd say I'm agnostic rather than Catholic because I disagree with most of the church's policies and beliefs. Church policy has often worked at cross purpose, for example, opposing abortion, birth control, gay rights and even supporting war making while at the same time calling for fairness and equity in the area of wealth distribution and social justice. From a historic standpoint the church has been generally supportive of workers, the poor and middle class on strictly economic issues.

The motivation for many Catholics to become early leaders of the American labor movement stems in part from an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891. The encyclical known as Rerum Novarum was interpreted by many Catholics as a divinely guided infallible ruling of the church. With Rerum Novarum Leo XIII in effect became the first pope to speak out against the abuses of capitalism in the midst of the industrial revolution though the encyclical stopped short of supporting outright Socialism. Leo XIII encyclical indicated that workers should join together to address the abuses of their capitalist masters rather than controlling the means of production themselves. The encyclical became a clarion call for Catholic workers to take collective action against the capitalist system that was exploiting them. Pope Leo's encyclical has been reinforced and reinterpreted by a long line of Popes and continues to be an underlying nexus of church dogma related to social justice even today as the video points out.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fake Fox News Guy Gets Interviewed By Sam Seder Of Majority Report

Chris Cobb is the fake Fox News guy at Occupy Wall Street's Zucotti Park in New York.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Artistdogboy's First Blog Post Called For And End To The Iraq War

Six years ago my first post on this blog called for a end to the Iraq War. In many ways this blog was created because of my opposition to the war.  I realize that there is a question about the number of advisors, contractors and other security personnel who will remain in Iraq after combat troops are withdrawn. But I still see this as a significant milestone and victory for the anti-war movement and a fulfillment of a 2008 campaign promise made by Obama.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Audio Interview With Alexa O'Brien Co-Organizer Of Occupy Wall Street And Founder Of US Day Of Rage

Alexa O'Brien talks about co-organizing the Occupy Wall Street protests and what role US Day Of Rage and others played in the birth of the movement.

Via: IndyBay and Felipe Messina

WTF - Old School Rap Video - Scrap The Cap On Social Security

"Right now, everyone pays Social Security taxes on the first $106,800 they earn, which means most people pay Social Security taxes on their whole paycheck. But since $106,800 is the cap (unless Congress acts to change it), a whole lot of wealthy people don’t pay a dime in Social Security taxes on most of what they make.

Not to get all parental - it's your life - but this is important stuff. Because unless you tell Congress to "Just Scrap the Cap," they could cut Social Security benefits -- and we might be movin' in."
Via: a project of the WA based EOI (Economic Opportunity Institute)

Twitter - YouTube - Hashtags #OccupyWallStreet Revolution - Weapons Of Mass Destruction

From the stories comment section:
"Occupy Wall Street is also successful because of the marketing savvy of today's media generation. "Occupy" is in every way a 'cloud coalition'; that is, a loosely affiliated group aligned enough in values to inspire action irrespective of central leadership - and even perhaps opposed to it. I am a marketing and communications consultant and collegiate instructor. I recognized the power in this possibility back in 2008 when I coined the term ‘cloud coalition’ and put the concept to personal and international use. I outline its positive potential in my just-launched book "You And What Army? How to Neutralize Conflict and Negotiate Justice for the totally Outgunned, Inwardly Timid, Burnt Out or Socially Defunct"

"As in noted in a recent interview with Trending Sideways, and outlined in an article for the Negotiator Magazine, The Occupy Wall Street movement heralds the new model of social change in America. Whether it’s Occupy Wall Street, Madison or Main… because it robustly capitalizes on social media, those of us familiar with branding and communication strategies could learn much from its applicability across all channels to build affinity for brand... and cause." Commenter: Lisa Bracken - Corporate Management
Complete story here.
Via: Advertising Age

Will #OWS Be America's First Major Political Revolution Organized Through Social Media?

Tom Hartman visits The Dylan Radigan show and discusses the origins of Citizens United and the phenomenon of the Occupy Wall Street movement with a panel of guests. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#OccupySeattle Needs To Get Its Occupation Together

Seattle’s occupation seems to be floundering. Several divisions and fractures in the group are evident if one takes the time to read their often rambling facebook group page or the observations and reports in the local media or blogosphere about the occupation or you’ve actually attended one of the disjointed daily Occupy Seattle General Assembly meetings held at Westlake Park.

Don't take me wrong. I think there is broad support in Seattle for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Most of this support has manifested itself on the weekends when people who have jobs or other personal commitments that preclude them from camping have shown up at Westlake Park to protest or when Organized Labor, students or other like minded groups have shown up in force to join in the protest.

In the mean time the actual occupiers seem to be ruled by a group of people who's main concern is to maintaining the occupation and setting up tents at Westlake Park at all cost and being arrested for it. The pattern then seems to be to focus their rage and police overreaction message on Mayor McGinn and the police who’ve come to arrest them. This continuing cat and mouse game of camping being arrested and complaining about the police brutality when protesters are arrested has been for the most part the main story of Occupy Seattle since they began the occupation at Westlake on October 2nd. The problem with this tactic is that the actual message of the broader Occupy Wall Street movement based in economic injustice often gets lost in the personal drama and agendas of the protesters hell bent on maintaining the Westlake occupation. It also works to keep people away who for good reason want to avoid confrontation, trouble or arrest at any cost.

Mayor McGinn actually has visited Westlake Plaza occupation and made it clear he would like the protest to move to City Hall Plaza were camping, portable toilets and other amenities would be available. He has also voiced his open support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The protesters who seem to be in charge have rejected the Mayor’s proposal and seem to be attempting to vilify him for making it. In their minds McGinn is trying to co-op the protest to his advantage. There is a wider Occupy Seattle group of sympathizers and supporters who wonders if rejecting the Mayor’s offer of the use of City Hall Plaza is the correct tactic.

Because of this insistence by the controlling members of the group to remain at Westlake Occupy Seattle has never been able to establish the open and welcoming public space that’s needed if the occupation has any hope of expanding and growing the number of campers and participants. A space where people can meet and exchange ideas and freely participate in the process and General Assembly decision-making if they chose to do so. It also would be a place where more creative tactical decisions could be made free of the a constant threat of arrest.

Whether it ends up being City Hall Plaza or some other place it must be a space that’s conceived by the general public as a safe place to go. Frankly, the occupation at Westlake appeared unsafe much of the time because of the ongoing threat of arrests,  ongoing atmospheric problems, a lack of solidarity amongst group members, a general lack of enforceable rules of decorum, a sometime ambiguous message about nonviolence or the seeming lack of concern by the group about what it means to be a good neighbor to the downtown community.

Who knows what will happen. Taking into account the organic nature of the Occupy Wall Street movement maybe Seattle can get it act together and some intelligent adults will step forward to rescue the occupation here. The group has shown some signs of doing this over the last few days. There are a great number of people involved who could help the group get to where it needs to go. The problem seems to be that these people cannot spend the time that’s needed at Westlake where they could guide the group’s General Assembly decision-making process.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First 1,000 Cities Always The Hardest -To Occupy

American main stream media remains clueless about Occupy Wall Street movement. Meanwhile!

Via Aljeezera English

Friday, October 14, 2011

In Solidarity With October 15th Global Revolution Movement - Video Via Spain's Indignados

"On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares. From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest."

Could Canada Arrest Bush For Human Rights Violations?

No Amnesty For Bush

Vesnovskaya Maria Voice Of Russia

The Amnesty International human rights group is urging the government of Canada to arrest former US President George W. Bush on charges of torture, violence against prisoners and kidnapping. The ex-leader’s visit to Ottawa is slated for October 20th.The organization claims to have found all evidence of Bush’s involvement in human rights violations, namely the detention of terror suspects and their containment at the Guantanamo military base in 2002-2009. Indeed, many of those events were approved by the United States’ Central Intelligence agency (CIA), says chairman of the Agora interregional human rights association Pavel Chikov.

Source:  Voice of Russia

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review Of Herman Cain's 999 Plan Shows It Should Be Renamed The 911 Plan

Lawrence O'Donnell actually read Cain's plan and found some gaping holes. It calls for the axing of Social Security and Medicare and many basic social safety net programs and ends with a massive tax cut for the rich and a massive tax increase for the middle class and poor.

Wise Old Radical Talks About How Occupy Wall Street May Play Out

Tom Hayden if nothing else knows something about protest and civil disobedience. He offered his thoughts on where he sees the Occupy Wall Street Movement going. He also offers some compelling advice for President Obama on what he could do to positively respond to the underlying economic and social issues that are driving the OWS movement.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

US Day Of Rage Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Overturn 'Corporations Are People' Court Decision

US Day Of Rage, one of the founding organizations behind the Occupy Wall Street Movement, continues to focus on their one demand. The organization has been calling for the reversal of the Citizens United vs the FEC Supreme Court decision that degreed that "corporations are people". USDOR believes that overturning Citizens United in conjunction with the reform of our election laws will remove corporate control over our elections, politicians and political system. They are calling for an Article V Constitution Convention to address this issue.
"Free and fair elections remedy the myriad ills and abuses of a corrupt and illegitimate government, which preys on the resources and spirits of citizens."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Economics Professor Richard Wolff Speaks To Occupy Wall Street Forum

"Speaking in Liberty Square near Wall Street without microphones, Wolff focuses on the economic crisis and the problem of capitalism as a system as they relate to the new social movement being achieved by Occupy Wall Street and all those inspired by it across the country."
Via: Nation of Change

Permission to reprint Professor Wolff's writing and videos is granted on an individual basis. Please contact to request permission.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rally For Good Jobs Now - October 13th Westlake Park

An Open Letter To #OccupySeattle - Hindsight Is Twenty-Twenty

Like many others I believe that this new movement has touched a chord with the people of this nation who are fed up with corporate and government corruption of our lives and of our election process and all that it means. I’m writing this open letter because I’d like to share with you some of my observations about the occupation of Westlake Plaza here in Seattle. I intend for this to be constructive criticism. I support those who have put themselves out there and facilitated and organized a Seattle Occupation and those of you who have been arrested based on your believe in a principle. It took courage and work to do what you have already accomplished.

Much of what I say here indicates that in hindsight there probably should have been more advanced planning before the occupation actually took place. A better formation of a working Occupy Seattle General Assembly prior to the takeover of Westlake Park would have been helpful. The first occupation in New York took months of tactical planning and work before September 17th. I’m not saying that the same thing is necessary or even possible here in Seattle now, but some sort of concrete advance plan would have certainly helped the occupation.

The truth is occupations may flounder at first or even fail. This does not mean a new or revamped occupation will not be possible. Tactical flexibility is the key. A General Assembly formed prior to an occupation could of worked out policies and rules that govern group conduct as well as a set of principles to govern the occupation. When the public space was actually occupied protesters joining the occupation would have known what was expected of them should they wish to remain welcome participants in the protest. Also the founding General Assembly members would have worked out basic rules on how their General Assembly would be facilitated. Working sub-committees would be in place, which I believe are vital to any occupation’s survival and success, and the process of conducting the GA once the occupation took place would have gone smoother.

It appears to me that the Occupy Seattle’s GA choice of Westlake Plaza may have been done without proper legal help or any real liaison with authorities. Perhaps an alternative site could have been occupied. There are a number of locations I think that would of served the purpose as a base camp of the movement in Seattle. I believe that the location should not get in the way of the overall message. The Mayor's offer of the use of City Hall Park seemed generous. The choice of the Westlake Plaza in the center of Seattle I believe was a tricky decision. Perhaps it was too grandiose a ploy on the part of the Occupy Seattle. Apparently the occupiers believed that the City Of Seattle would allow the use of tents in this location if they chose to be defiant about it.

This presumption was incorrect and lead at times to the protest deteriorating into more or less one of name-calling and insults by some of the protesters aimed at the mayor and the police when the authorities indicated that tents had to be removed. The confrontations that ensued I believe turned into an unproductive exercise of self-will that detracted from the real message of economic injustice and the ideals of compassion and humanism that the OWS movement needs to project in order to grow and survive. In other words during the first week of the occupation in Seattle the main issue became more about whether people can have tents than about the ideals of the OWS movement.

Please remember Zucotti Park (liberty Plaza) in New York has never been allowed to have tents. They worked around it. Yes it was a cat and mouse game at first in New York with the authorities, but common sense won out and the New York General Assembly members never got to the point where being able to stay in a tent was the paramount issue. Nor is the movement about confrontations with the police or blaming police. Many of the front line cops in New York and Seattle are probably supportive of the protests and Mayor McGinn has publicly supported the protests. This is the beauty of it. They too are also members of the 99%.

So far the Occupy Seattle General Assemblies seem incapable of even establishing basic policies and principles that are badly needed for the success of the occupation and protest. I understand that this is to be expected to some extent given that the General Assembly horizontal leaderless model is a new concept for many of the participants to grasp, especially when an occupation in already in place. The Occupy Seattle General Assembly is also hampered by the fact that many of the key facilitators and infinity group members are working people who are not actually on the ground occupying the space. The key facilitators seem to come and go as their schedules allow. This is understandable. But, because of this many of them have not been able to participate in shaping matters in the General Assembly. I suspect they have not had time to be involved in infinity groups either that should have been shaping the principles and rules that govern how the group operates and occupies the public space. It appears the infinity groups have not made much progress on several badly needed basic policies and rules, i.e. how to conduct a coherent General Assembly, how decisions will be made by the group in an assembly, following an agenda and probably most important the occupiers solidarity and security.

One of the main reasons I think misjudgments have been made is that I believe the Occupy Seattle protest in the beginning were hijacked by a small group of individuals or groups of individuals who actually have a different agenda then that of the OWS movement. What is troubling to me is that several of these occupiers involved in the Westlake Plaza occupation believed that violence is acceptable on some level especially against the police. I know for a fact this is not what the Occupy Wall Street movement believes. Violence on some level may be acceptable to some other protest movements, but it is NOT acceptable in the OWS movement. This type of ideology can actually destroy the movement. The early occupiers also appeared to include provocateurs types who have some personal bone to pick with the police or authority in general. The demeanor of these protesters was confrontational and mean spirited. Also several protesters I’ve talked to did not seem to have a grasp of what the Occupy Wall Street protest movement was really about. This has hampers the group cohesiveness and outreach.

There also seemed to be a number of people at the occupation that really had nothing to do with the protest at all, other then being there. There were several people meandering around aimlessly. This would indicate to me that the security and solidarity of the group has not been established. This type of atmosphere makes the protest susceptible to people with a different agendas fouling up the process or presenting the protest as made up of people who can be easily marginalized by those who wish us ill. I’m not saying all are not welcome. I’m saying that the group must maintain the space in such a way that it remains presentable, secure and attractive to a broader base of people interested in joining the protest.

Provocateurs must be eliminated from the group. Provocateurs usually will leave a group when they see that the group is not there to be a vehicle to deal with their personal issues, drama or ideology. A strict adherence to nonviolence must be maintained. Protesters who believe that violence is acceptable must be told by the General Assembly that they are not welcome. Occupy Seattle must be a place that ordinary working people and families with children would consider as a safe place to come and participate in or learn about the OWS movement. These are the people the movement will need to attract if it has any hope for its success and growth.

Occupy Wall Street Protests Need Another Viral Video - This Maybe The One

"The demands are pretty damned easy to summarize:
--Reinstate Glass-Steagall
--Audit the FED
--Reverse Citizens United (via Constitutional Amendment)
--Overhaul the tax code for the mega-rich (1%) and corporations"
 Via: Daily Kos and Brainwrap

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Michael Hudson on #OccupyWallStreet And The Need To Treat Banks As Utilities

Michael Hudson discusses some possible ideas for reforming finance to deal with the concerns raised by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
"I’ve noticed both here and on some news stories I heard in passing on MSNBC on Friday that the OccupyWallStreet movement has already succeeded in expanding the space of what is now being discussed as remedies."
 Via: Naked Capitalism