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A first step is made

October 5, 2011

The “Occupy Wall Street” campaign, where thousands of people now for weeks convene on Wall Street and near the New York Stock Exchange to express their anger and frustration with economic policies and increasing social injustice, was at first not covered by any major news outlet. There were more than hundred protesters arrested, people were roughed up, with cops pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators, pulling the hair of young women, slamming protesters to the ground. These events were not televised — police brutality never is televised, sometimes you will find a clip on YouTube and sometimes video clips go viral and reach a broader audience.

One of these YouTube video clips showed a NYPD officer (Deputy Inspector Tony Bologna) pepper spraying two young women who were already kettled and defenseless. He just walked up, sprayed right into their eyes, and walked away, leaving them writhing on the ground.The video was not only a documentation of police brutality but also of male scorn and disdain against women.

After the arrest of some 600 protesters on Brooklyn Bridge the media slowly started reporting the protests, often characterizing the participants as neo-hippies who only participated out of boredom. The NY Times called it “A loose-knit populist campaign”.

Some protests are just too big, to be ignored.

Protests against Wall Street are spreading now across the USA and demonstrators show their anger by marching on Federal Reserve banks and camping out in parks from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine.

I just read the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City”, which is a list of the plutocrats misdeeds:

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011, with minor updates made on October 1, 2011. It is the first official, collective statement of the protesters in Zuccotti Park.

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

  • They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the
    original mortgage.
  • They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives
    exorbitant bonuses.
  • They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the
    color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
  • They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
  • They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay
    and safer working conditions.
  • They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education,
    which is itself a human right.
  • They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut
    workers’ healthcare and pay.
  • They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the
    culpability or responsibility.
  • They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of
    contracts in regards to health insurance.
  • They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
  • They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
  • They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of
    profit.
  • They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have
    produced and continue to produce.
  • They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating
    them.
  • They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
  • They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or
    provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
  • They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive
    ingredients in pursuit of profit.
  • They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the
    media.
  • They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with
    serious doubts about their guilt.
  • They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
  • They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
  • They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government
    contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

In comparison to that the Tea Party Core Beliefs:

1. Illegal Aliens Are Here Illegally.
2. Pro-Domestic Employment Is Indispensable.
3. Stronger Military Is Essential.
4. Special Interests Eliminated.
5. Gun Ownership Is Sacred.
6. Government Must Be Downsized.
7. National Budget Must Be Balanced.
8. Deficit Spending Will End.
9. Bail-Out And Stimulus Plans Are Illegal.
10. Reduce Personal Income Taxes A Must.
11. Reduce Business Income Taxes Are Mandatory.
12. Political Offices Available To Average Citizens.
13. Intrusive Government Stopped.
14. English As Core Language Is Required.
15. Traditional Family Values Are Encouraged.

I sympathize with the Wall Street protesters, though I consider the lack of clear plans and visions as a shortcoming.

Protests undoubtedly can move things ahead and facilitate or lead to positive changes. The history of protest movements, though, shows that the rare successes came at an often terrible high price and the longtime results were mixed and overall not encouraging (Arab Spring). It is for sure energizing to be part of a broad movement and to challenge the authorities in a mass uprising. But it is risky because protesters face the overwhelming force of the security apparatus. Participants in protests expose themselves to be easily registered and included in central databases. Agent provocateurs may incite violence to give the authorities a justification for a bloody crackdown. The corporate media will take any chance to ridicule, smear, and defame the protest movements.

As for the lack of plans and visions, there are many proposals, suggestions, recommendations, where one could draw from. Renowned people like David Suzuki, Gene Sharp, Lester Brown, only to name a few, have laid out their plans but these plans are not coherent and there are no detailed roadmaps how to go from here to there (to the envisioned ideal situation).

I wrote in this blog countless times about dreams and visions and concrete steps. Here is a short compendium, details are in preceding blog posts and I will publish more ideas as soon as my time allows:

1. Change yourself. The status of human society reflects the combined individual statuses, society will only change if all members change.

2. Join or create small local networks, disconnect from the big corporate owned networks.

3. Learn as much as possible, hone your skills. We need experts in:

Mathematics and programming (for taking over the worlds computers, the computer networks, the computer controlled machines and weapons).

Physics and engineering (for developing smart tools, renewable energy sources, new organization models and material flows, new ways of manufacturing, reuse, recycling, upcycling, for disabling weapons).

Biology and Chemistry (for repairing ecological damages and developing a sustainable agriculture, for disabling weapons).

Neuroscience, linguistics, psychology (for foiling and defeating media brainwashing, for spreading “the seeds of doubt”, for implanting subliminal messages and unconscious conditioning, for optimizing education, social organization, for managing conflicts).

4. Find out the vulnerabilities of the old system, test alternative systems. Develop tools and detailed plans to destroy and replace the old order.

The current economic and social system is unsustainable and on the brink. We will be astonished how easy it is, to crash the old structures, they will come down like a house of cards (like a city of cards). But we must be careful not to leave a vacuum — the “disaster capitalists” are waiting for their chance.

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