Tomorrow’s Day Of Action – A Big Deal

Thursday’s National Day Of Action looks like it will be really big. People will be out doing things all over the country. There will be all kinds of events that say, “We are the 99%!” My favorite is people will be gathering in front of various decaying bridges, to demonstrate that our #1 need is jobs and our #1 place to put people to work is rebuilding our decaying infrastructure.
To find events near you see American Dream Day Of Action at http://november17.org/ and We Are One at http://we-r-1.org/
Isaiah Poole writes about the Day of Action in his post today, The Evictions Won’t Stand: Make Nov. 17 A Day Of National Occupation,

“You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.” That was the message posted on OccupyWallSt.org as early this morning, police began to storm the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
To prove it, supporters of the Occupy movement have vowed to pull out all the stops to make November 17 a day of national occupation. That day is the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests that sparked a national and international movement. There were already 303 “We Are the 99%” protests scheduled for that day around the country, organized with the help of MoveOn.org. Now those gatherings have added urgency as a rebuke to the efforts to squelch the occupations and silence their voices. As the OccupyWallSt.org statement says, “This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation, and more than any tactic…This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all. Such a movement cannot be evicted.”

Bridges
Here are just some of the bridge events this Thursday, Nov. 17:

These demonstrations are part of a National Day of Action against policies that have enriched the 1% and impoverished the 99%. People nationwide will march and rally at structurally unsound bridges and other sites in need of repair to demand that America be put back to work now and that the economy work for the 99% once again.

  • New York, NY – 6 p.m. March on Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chicago, IL – 3:30pm, LaSalle Street Bridge
  • Washington, DC – 4:30 p.m. protest at Key Bridge
  • Los Angeles, CA – 7:00am, 3rd St. and Hope St. in downtown LA (to march and demonstrate at the structurally deficient 4th Street bridge)
  • Philadelphia, PA – 4 p.m., Market Street Bridge, near historic 30th Street Amtrak Station
  • Pittsburgh, PA – 3 p.m., Greenfield Bridge
  • Seattle, WA – 4:00pm, Montlake Bridge
  • Miami, FL – 40p.m., Brickell Drawbridge
  • Baltimore, MD – 4:30 p.m., Howard Street Bridge
  • Boston, MA – 4:30 p.m., Charlestown Bridge
  • Portland, OR – 8:00am, Steel Bridge (east side of bridge)
  • Houston, TX – 3:30pm, Travis Street Bridge
  • Detroit, MI – 3:00pm, 2nd Avenue/94 Bridge
  • Milwaukee, WI – 3:30pm, North Ave pass over I-43
  • Minneapolis, MN – 4:00pm, 10th Avenue Bridge

CWA / Verizon Worker March
The biggest labor action right now is Verizon’s workers who are trying to preserve middle-class jobs from a predatory giant corporation that is trying to send all the money to the 1%. Verizon workers have been marching from Albany to New York City and will arrive at Verizon HQ on Thursday.
I received this statement from the Communication Workers of America:

“The Communications Workers of America strongly condemns the decision by Mayor Bloomberg to forcibly remove protesters from Zuccotti park. In two short months, Occupy Wall Street has focused the world’s attention on the deep frustration felt by working people about an economy that no longer works for the middle class. The 99% have seen good jobs disappear while the rich get richer and the big banks make billions with impunity. Mayor Bloomberg may have cleared the park for now, but Occupy Wall Street’s message cannot be silenced. No one can evict an idea whose time has come.
“Now more than ever, CWA members will join the massive day of action on Thursday, November 17. Verizon workers who have been walking for over a week from Albany, NY — over 150 miles in total — will arrive at Verizon Headquarters at 140 West St in New York City on Thursday at 4 pm to join hundreds of their coworkers in a March to Foley Square. Their message is the same message we are hearing from Occupy Wall Street and beyond: The 99% are standing up against corporate greed and against a government that more and more puts the interests of the 1% ahead of the middle class.

See also from The Nation, Occupy Verizon, Occupy the Labor Movement,

Forty-five thousand union members at Verizon, no longer a majority at their company, are negotiating with a company set on imposing conditions more like those of their non-union co-workers: higher healthcare costs, job insecurity and raises left to management discretion. Workers (most from the Communications Workers of America) struck for two weeks when their contracts expired in August, then returned to work with an agreement to “restructure bargaining.” Since then, Verizon has relented on some insulting but comparatively low-cost concessions, like eliminating the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. But overall it maintains “pretty much the same position they had when we went on strike,” according to Bob Master, who coordinates CWA actions against Verizon in New York and seven other states.

Social Security
If you are in DC, there is a Wake Up Washington rally to stop the “supercommittee” from cutting Social Security, which would harm seniors and the economy. Here is info:
What: Rally with Sen. Bernie Sanders, other Champions in Congress, and hundreds of activists
Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 608 (Corner of Constitution and First St., NE)
When: Thursday, November 17, 10am-11am
Repeat:
To find events near you see American Dream Day Of Action at http://november17.org/ and We Are One at http://we-r-1.org/
Also, if you follow Twitter, follow the #N17 hashtag for ongoing information, by clicking here.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Egypt-Style Attacks On Several Occupy Camps

When Egyptians stood up to Mubarak they were met with tear gas and clubs. Once upon a time American had freedom of assembly, speech and protest. Even now, as long as protests don’t take on the 1%, they are OK. But in today’s America-for-the-1% protests, assemblies and speech against plutocatic, 1% rule are met with tear gas and police batons to the head.
Occupy Movement camps around the country follow strict practices of nonviolence and democracy. As with any diverse community of people, there are troublemakers who take advantage of loose organization and predators who prey on others. This is why we have police departments in every city and town. But plutocratic government response is to discourage the Occupy Movement, so government services are denied these citizens. Instead of helpfully serving communities, the frown of disapproving authority is cast upon their activities.
Disgust and fear are powerful propaganda tools, and there has been a remarkable “soften up public opinion” media drumbeat using repeated accusations of bugs, thugs, drugs, muggings, disease, rats, filth, and other disgust and fear-invoking imagery. (Perhaps worst of all in the “shame them” index, even beards and general non-consumerism and non-conformity are described!) So with the ground prepared and the way paved for police actions, Occupy camps in Portland, Oakland, Chapel Hill, St. Louis, Albany, Salt Lake City, Burlington, San Francisco, Denver and other cities were raided over the weekend.
“The 1% And Its Government Facilitators”
Of course in one form or another Occupy actions will continue as long as the 1% continues its extreme shock-doctrine power and wealth grab. There are still scores of other Occupy actions taking place in cities around the country and world.
In Oakland the mayor’s legal advisor posted on Facebook that he has resigned over Monday’s police raid of Occupy Oakland.

His Facebook post: “No longer Mayor Quan’s legal adviser. Resigned at 2 am. Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators.”

Report From Oakland
AlterNet’s Joshua Holland reports on the police action in Oakland, in Thousands of Riot Cops Descend on Occupy Oakland, 32 Arrested,

It’s the explosions and large volume of gunshots that made these actions excessive. The generous use of flash-bang grenades, tear gas and “less lethal” rounds deployed by police in heavy black body armor felt more like the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan than footage of, say, protests against the Vietnam War being broken up by helmeted police swinging batons. While the weapons deployed by police are designed not to kill or maim (if used properly), the visceral sensation of walking through streets dodging explosions and chemical agents while rounds crackle in the air creates an effect similar to that of actual combat – abject terror, disorientation and a sense of unease that lingers for days.

Roundups And Videos
RT has a roundup of of some of these actions, Occupy camps under attack across America
Here is an AP video roundup of some of these actions:

Here is CNN footage of various actions around the country:

Here is footage from an early Occupy event:

What You Can Do
Attend at least one Occupy event.

You may have heard about the “Occupy” protests that are occurring in cities around the country. They aren’t what you are hearing. Please come to one and see for yourself. If you are young, old, white, black, brown, poor, rich, left, right, centrist, even Tea Party you will find people just like you. You might agree, you might disagree, you might love it, you might hate it, but you owe it to yourself to come and see for yourself.
A lot of people feel frustration with the huge and increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the effect this is having on our country, culture, politics and the way we relate to each other as Americans. It seems like everything in the country is now geared toward the top 1%, and the rest of us are divided and supposed to keep quiet and accept this. Somehow the Occupy movement started at just the right time, when just the right number of people were fed up with the way things are going and the lack of solutions coming from our political leaders. It grew quickly, because people were tired of keeping quiet while our government seems to operate only for the benefit of the top few and expects the rest of us to sacrifice to pay for that.
This all brings us a chance to restore democracy not just in our communities, but within ourselves. By attending and participating, we are exercising the “muscles” of democracy, of speaking up and being part of something. The thing is, you won’t just see it, you’ll feel it. You’ll feel what it is like to have so many people around you who agree with you. You’ll feel what it is like to be part of something important.

How To Find One Near You
The “Occupy” movement has now been going on for just over six weeks, and has spread to hundreds of towns across the country. You can probably find one near you. Start at Occupy Together which is at http://www.occupytogether.org/. Take a look at the page where they show you what is happening in your area, using a map. Also, try typing ‘Occupy’ and the name of your town into Google just to see what pops up.
Also see them on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/occupyeverywhere, and http://www.facebook.com/Gilded.Age . Also visit the Rebuild the Dream movement, and, of course, MoveOn.org.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Why You Should Attend An Occupy Meeting

Please forward this to friends, relatives, “centrists” and conservatives you know. You may have heard about the “Occupy” protests that are occurring in cities around the country. They aren’t what you are hearing. Please come to one and see for yourself. If you are young, old, white, black, brown, poor, rich, left, right, centrist, even Tea Party you will find people just like you. You might agree, you might disagree, you might love it, you might hate it, but you owe it to yourself to come and see for yourself.
A lot of people feel frustration with the huge and increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the effect this is having on our country, culture, politics and the way we relate to each other as Americans. It seems like everything in the country is now geared toward the top 1%, and the rest of us are divided and supposed to keep quiet and accept this. Somehow the Occupy movement started at just the right time, when just the right number of people were fed up with the way things are going and the lack of solutions coming from our political leaders. It grew quickly, because people were tired of keeping quiet while our government seems to operate only for the benefit of the top few and expects the rest of us to sacrifice to pay for that.
This all brings us a chance to restore democracy not just in our communities, but within ourselves. By attending and participating, we are exercising the “muscles” of democracy, of speaking up and being part of something. The thing is, you won’t just see it, you’ll feel it. You’ll feel what it is like to have so many people around you who agree with you. You’ll feel what it is like to be part of something important.
How To Find One Near You
The “Occupy” movement has now been going on for just over six weeks, and has spread to hundreds of towns across the country. You can probably find one near you. Start at Occupy Together which is at http://www.occupytogether.org/. Take a look at the page where they show you what is happening in your area, using a map. Also, try typing ‘Occupy’ and the name of your town into Google just to see what pops up.
Also see them on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/occupyeverywhere, and http://www.facebook.com/Gilded.Age . Also visit the Rebuild the Dream movement, and, of course, MoveOn.org.
So now that you know where one is, come on down, and see for yourself. If you need a ride ask your niece or your aunt. If your aunt needs a ride, give her a ride.
What To Expect
Warning, there might be some people with beards, and God forbid, drum circles.
People are out there speaking for themselves, and learning how to be citizens again, instead of just consumers. This will have a lot of interesting outcomes, most of them good, some of them won’t work out. But it will be people who want to be involved again.
Depending on your community, there will likely be a turnout of some people with signs and leaflets, maybe some people set up with tables to do things like register people to vote, organizations with literature, groups that know each other, people who don’t know each other standing around, etc. There will be a diversity people people.
These events are self-organizing, no one is “running” these events, but volunteers will be helping to organize them. The character of the event completely depends on who shows up, who volunteers to help run it, and how much the people speak up. So it’s up to you to do your part.
See the website How To Occupy and the Field Manual wiki.
Occupy events have a “General Assembly” meeting once or twice every day. In New York the meeting is at 7pm. At the recent Redwood City, CA Occupy event it was at about 6pm. As I said above, volunteers run things, which means that after you get to know the ropes you might want to volunteer.
From the Occupy Wall Street website:

The occupations around the world are being organized using a non-binding consensus based collective decision making tool known as a “people’s assembly”. To learn more about how to use this process to organize your local community to fight back against social injustice, please read this quick guide on group dynamics in people’s assemblies.

These meetings are the heart of the movement. Please come attend one, even if it is just to watch. You’ll feel what it is like to be say what is on your mind. (And you’ll feel what it is like to sit there while so many other people say what is on their minds. ;-) Don’t worry, it works, and people keep comments short.) This is what democracy looks like.
Occupy Redwood City
Friday I attended Occupy Redwood City (California), and took some pictures. It was the first Redwood City event, maybe 50 people showed up, and the General Assembly lasted a couple of hours. They’ll meet again next Friday, and probably should expect a lot more people now that it is up and in operation and people are telling each other about it. If 50 people doesn’t seem like a lot, this is not a huge city, and there are more than a hundred events like it going on, some with thousands of people turning out.

Scary, no? Especially the guy (me) with the little white dog. Was that a beard? Of, that first one is a short video, click here in case it doesn’t work in this post.
Don’t Let Them Scare You Away
Speaking of being scary: There will not be violence. This is a non-violent movement. The media outlets, talk show hosts, columnists, etc. that tell you there is violence are trying to keep you from showing up. They are trying to scare you. When they send large numbers of police to shoot tear gas into these events, it is an attempt to intimidate people, not just there but people who are thinking of showing up.
Another way they are trying to keep people from showing up is with humiliation. This is a remarkably effective technique. Make people ashamed to show up, tell them they will be laughed at, or shunned, and people will stay away. They tell you the “protesters” are “dirty,” even “urine-soaked.” They tell you they are “hippies” and thinkthis will make you ashamed to show up and speak your mind.
This is about what speech is “permissible” and what is not. The corporate-conservatives on the Supreme Court say that corporations are people who “speak” and can use all of their money to swamp our elections. But when people show up to complain about the 1% running everything, they are met with force. The big banks can crash the economy and commit crimes and are offered modest “settlements,” but when people show up to complain they are beaten, maced, tear-gassed and arrested.
Don’t let them make you feel scared or ashamed to stand up for your rights.
Show Up & See For Yourself
If you want democracy you have to fight for democracy. You have to stand up for your rights or they will go away. Please visit at least on Occupy event in your area, and see for yourself.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Washington Ignored The People, And Now You’ve Got #Occupy

What did the politicians in Washington think would happen? They forgot about the “We, the People” part of our Constitution. After bailing out the banks and bankers and interests of the top 1% they fiddled while our jobs burned and mortgages defaulted. With people losing their incomes, pensions and healthcare they worried about deficits instead of jobs and cut back on essential services. They smugly spouted slogans at us and thought we’d be fooled and pacified. People voted for change and they didn’t get change. And now people are in the streets.
Part of the fiddling was by plan, Republicans obstructing efforts to create jobs and help the economy hoping this will give them an edge in the next election. Part of it was an attempt at “bipartisanship,” trying to accommodate the ultrapartisans who only wanted to to advance their obstructionist agenda, thusly deprioritizing the needs of the people. Whatever — change did not happen.
One Spark Could Bring Trouble
The problem with big groups of angry people is that it is very difficult to maintain control. This sudden enthusiastic energy of people taking to the streets to voice their anger at Wall Street and Washington is growing fast and there is really very little to control and channel it. Large groups of people concentrated into crowds can become mobs all too quickly. One cop-with-baton too many and it could turn into something no one wants. Or one too-clever Wall Street type, hiring agent-provocateurs to start violence, thinking it will “discredit” the movement… (Yes, nonsense like this happens and never works out the way the strategerizers hope.)
Look what happened in England, with terrible riots. Did it happen as a result of the austerity – putting the top 1% ahead of regular people? Maybe, maybe not. But the tensions in England, where they still have a good safety net and everyone has health care, were certainly not greater than they are here.
Do not take the people for granted. Do not think you can engineer a population with slogans and ignore solutions. And when they take to the streets to express their unhappiness do not ignore them or think you can finesse things. It shouldn’t have gotten to this point. People have had it, they are fed up, and they are telling the leadership that they have to remember just who is supposed to be in charge here.
The New Left Pole
So the “incoherent” street occupiers and marchers represent the new left poll of the spectrum. Suddenly groups like Campaign for America’s Future, labor unions, MoveOn.org, and especially the coalition making up the Rebuild The Dream Movement now represent the center. More importantly, they represent a controlled, organized path to sensible solutions that give the people what they need.
The Path Forward
There is a path forward that has been clearly defined by the responsible organizers and members of Congress who have been trying to push the political system to respond to the needs and demands of We, the People. Start by passing the President’s jobs bill. Then pass The People’s Budget. Take a look at CAF’s “Big Ideas” for a bold jobs agenda.
It’s time to get moving, and finally get to work on the side of We, the People. That is how it is supposed to work here.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Occupy Wall Street Day 12

“We are occupying Wall Street. We will not be moved.”
Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”
We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent. ”
People Have Had It
This is what happens when people have had it. The “Occupy Wall Street” crowd has been there for almost 2 weeks, camping out, saying they’re fed up and are going to stay until American democracy is restored.
Video: Wall Streeters mock the people marching in the streets, drinking champagne, from above.

“This video shows unidentified occupants watching protests from the balconies of Wall Street in amusement while sipping champagne.”
Pilots Union marches:

United/Continental pilots march on Wall Street
Pilots marching to Wall Street strike

Report: NYC Transit Union Joins Occupy Wall Street,

New York City labor unions are preparing to back the unwieldy grassroots band occupying a park in Lower Manhattan, in a move that could mark a significant shift in the tenor of the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street protests and send thousands more people into the streets.
The Transit Workers Union Local 100’s executive committee, which oversees the organization of subway and bus workers, voted unanimously Wednesday night to support the protesters. The union claims 38,000 members. A union-backed organizing coalition, which orchestrated a large May 12 march on Wall Street before the protests, is planning a rally on Oct. 5 in explicit support. And SEIU 32BJ, which represents doormen, security guards and maintenance workers, is using its Oct. 12 rally to express solidarity with the Zuccotti Park protesters.

Video: Michael Moore talks about what is happening with Lawrence O’Donnell:

Video: See Richard Eskow: Occupy This! TV Interview On The Economy And The #OccupyWallStreet Protests

“Wall Street’s fear is understandable. If the public is ever given a voice to express its outrage, their party train will have to stop and some people will pay for their crimes. But when Americans can only express their right to free speech after they’ve been coralled into a “free speech zone,” one that’s far from the subject of the protests, that’s not free speech at all.
And it’s not America.”

Go visit the Occupy Wall Street site
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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