Archive for October, 2011

“Keep Wall Street Occupied”

By • on October 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm

One of the things I’m enjoying most about the OWS movement is the creativity of some of the offshoot efforts. Like this.

By themselves, such efforts aren’t going to change or rock the world. But multiply these sorts of ideas by thousands – or millions – and you’ve got a movement that only channels massive amounts of pent up frustration and anger over our broken economic and political systems, and not only has a strong identity, but is life-affirming and fun. And as any good organizer knows, you can have the most committed people and the most righteous cause possible, but if people aren’t having fun participating it’s very difficult to sustain. The encampments may fade as the novelty wears off and the weather worsens in much of the country, but if the creativity and fun blossom, the movement will simply shift to other tactics. It doesn’t look like this is going to fade away any time soon.

1 CommentContinue»

More Articles

Can I Have Osama’s House?

By • on October 21, 2011 at 6:19 am

No CommentsContinue»

American Autumn: Progressive Populism Rises Up

By • on October 21, 2011 at 3:59 am

Occupy Wall Street and related occupation efforts are quintessentially a movement to reclaim democracy. “We are the 99%!” expresses the growing understanding that the one percent have concentrated enormous wealth and power in their own hands and now wield hugely disproportionate influence in economic and political life. Call it plutocracy, corporatocracy, kleptocracy, oligarchy, whatever—this is [...]

3 CommentsContinue»

Some solutions

By • on October 21, 2011 at 3:30 am

The Occupy movement has been notoriously lacking in specific demands and goals. That’s okay—in fact, it has so far probably been a strategic advantage for various reasons. What’s important is that this movement has created a new political space and national conversation where such proposals can be offered up and discussed. Now is the time for all who have prospective solutions (such as the organizations listed here, as well as—inevitably—every pundit and blogger in the world, even us) to offer them up for consideration. Here are a few we collected at ETS!—not intended as an exhaustive or definitive list, but simply a reminder that it’s not solutions that we lack, but the political power to implement those solutions, which is what this movement is helping to build. You may have some solutions of your own—you can add yours below in comments.

FINANCIAL REFORM—Stop gambling with our economy & lives
• Break up big banks. “Too big to fail” is too big to exist.
• Investigate financial crimes and prosecute criminals. Long overdue.
• Reinstate Glass-Steagall separation between commercial banking and investment banking.
• Tax financial transactions to reduce risky speculation and raise needed revenue.
• Revamp the Securities Exchange Commission, an agency tightly wed to the Wall Street interests it supposedly regulates that failed miserably in its oversight duties in the lead-up to the financial crash of 2008.
• Strengthen the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

TAX REFORM—Toward greater fairness
• Close tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy at local, state, and federal levels.
• Raise income tax rates on the rich and remove the cap on social security taxes.
• Implement “Buffett Rule” to ensure minimum tax on corporations and individuals.
• In Washington state, create a progressive income tax and reduce regressive sales taxes. Our state has most regressive tax system in the country, with the top 1% paying less than 3% of their income in taxes, while those earning less than $20,000/year pay more than 17% of their income in taxes. Only a progressive income tax can fix this imbalance.

POLITICAL REFORM—Get money out of politics
• Create a system of public financing for elections.
• Pass a Constitutional amendment that would reverse “Citizens United” decision by US Supreme Court. Amendment would declare that money is not speech and that corporations are not persons.
• Reform and regulate the lobbying industry which has grown to ridiculous proportions in recent decades. This should include ending the revolving door between elected officials, government contractors, and paid lobbyists and requiring greater transparency and public reporting.

4 Comments

Resources for a populist uprising

By • on October 21, 2011 at 3:03 am

As the Occupy Wall Street movement enters its second month, with more than a hundred additional occupations across the country and around the world, here is a list of occupations and organizations that can move this progressive populist uprising forward (links in red).

OCCUPATIONS

Occupy Wall Street
The front lines, where it all started.

Occupy Seattle
Calendar: occupyseattle.org/calendar
Livestream: www.livestream.com/owsoccupyseattle
Discussion forum: forum.occupyseattle.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/OccupySeattle
On Twitter: @OccupySeattle, #occupyseattle

Occupy Together
Hub for occupations across the country and beyond. More than 100 & counting—my how we’ve grown!

Oct 2011: Stop the Machine
This occupation in DC was actually planned well before Occupy Wall Street started; includes explicit focus on war (timed to begin on the 10th anniversary of Afghanistan invasion), as well as reclaiming democracy from Big Money. Includes various direct actions in the Capitol to coincide with new session of Congress.

ORGANIZATIONS

Rebuild the Dream
Inspired by Van Jones as well as the populist uprising in Madison, this movement aims to reclaim patriotism from the wingnuts and rebuild the American Dream. Includes support from a broad coalition of groups.

The Other 98%
Started more than a year before the “99%” slogan emerged. Advocating for all those not super-rich — no need to quibble over a percentage point…

US Uncut
Inspired by UK Uncut, this US counterpart launched early this year to highlight corporate tax evasion instead of cuts to public services.

Anonymous
Anonymous played a big role in mobilizing for Occupy Wall Street. Is it all just part of “the plan”?

Coffee Party
Progressive antidote to the Tea Party, started in 2010.

Move to Amend
Response to Citizens United decision, pushing for constitutional amendment to declare that money is not speech, corporations are not persons, and to guarantee a right to vote and participate to all.

The New Bottom Line
Advocating for the victims, holding the perpetrators accountable.

A New Way Forward
Aims to “restore the economy in the public’s interest” with a focus on breaking up big banks.

Bankster
“Updates on the financial services re-regulation fight in Congress and for progressive net-roots campaigning against the big boys on Wall Street.”

United for a Fair Economy
Since the ’90s, UFE has been “raising awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart.”

Public Citizen
Defending democracy and resisting corporate power since 1971.

Backbone Campaign
Local heroes, based on Vashon Island, bringing creativity and great visuals to empower citizen democracy.

5 Comments

Behold! What Is This Mysterious Thing Called “Newsprint”?

By • on October 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Whatever it is, we’ve got a lot of it, because we just got thousands of copies of the first new print edition of ETS! in a year back from the printer! It includes our election endorsements, lots of analysis & photos of the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Seattle movement, and more!

Since our volunteer distribution network is a bit rusty, we could use your help getting our papers to different parts of town, including libraries and businesses, where free periodicals are distributed. Right now, we have the near north side (U-District, Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard) pretty well covered, but it’s hit and miss in the rest of the city and region. If you’d like to get a few papers and help us get them into the hands of eager (or mightily confused, or whatever) readers, drop Lance an e-mail at lanscot@drizzle.com.

Oh, and the main reason we don’t do this more often? Money. It costs money to print these, and we don’t have it. So if you’d like to see us do this more often, the “Donate” button is in the upper right hand corner. You know what to do!

No Comments

November 6, 1970: The Seattle Seven

By • on October 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

“Did you ever hear of ‘The Seattle Seven’? … That was me … and six other guys.” And that stonily-intoned quote, culled from the script of the Coen Brothers movie classic The Big Lebowski, has likely introduced many to the memory of Seattle’s radical-historical counterpart to the Chicago Eight, the antiwar troublemakers so famously indicted [...]

No CommentsContinue»

Election ’11: Occupy the Ballot

By • on October 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Welcome to the Eat The State! endorsements for the November 8 elections. This year, our local election season has coincided nicely with a national political event of truly promising proportions: the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that has unfolded in Seattle and nationwide in recent weeks. Many of the same themes that are driving the [...]

12 CommentsContinue»

The Citizens’ Initiative to Get Costco Out of the Retail Business

By • on October 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

A popular initiative to get Costco out of the retail business in Washington is rapidly gathering signatures for the next election. The new initiative requires that: 1) Costco close all of its Washington State stores and sell at auction all of its inventory to the people of the State of Washington; 2) Costco shall be [...]

2 CommentsContinue»

Reclaim Our History: Oct. 16-31

By • on October 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Special Mass Murder Edition Oct. 16, 1973: War criminal Henry Kissinger is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, less than a month after he had secretly overseen the bloody military coup in Chile. Oct. 17, 1961: Paris police massacre over 200 Algerians protesting against police oppression and the curfew imposed against their community in Paris. The [...]

No CommentsContinue»