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DC: We Can End AIDS Mobilization For Economic Justice & Human Rights

Posted 12 years ago on July 23, 2012, 7:57 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

large crowd of protesters holding banner reading ACTUP & Occupy. Tax Wall Street, End AIDS
The labor/Occupy/ActUp contingent

Updated, 7/24, 1pm ET: Livestream of Robin Hood / Tax Wall Street with National Nurses United march added below. Protesters currently massing around Bank of America with large banner reading "End Poverty, End AIDS!" Occupy & ACT UP! contingent present. Everyone in D.C. should head down ASAP! Follow #endAIDS for updates.
1:25pm: March now in front of U.S. Chamber of Commerce on way to White House. Speaker explaining need for Robin Hood Tax: "They do have the money to fund treatment and prevention. It's on Wall Street. Wall Street got bailed out, people with AIDS got sold out."
1:30pm: All 5 branches of the mobilization have converged in Lafayette Park.
2pm: As thousands gather at the White House, speakers from around the world continue to lead crowd in song and chants of "Power to the People!" Speakers calling for policies that address HIV/AIDS by protecting sex workers, drug users, LGBTQ people, and other vulnerable communities, and demanding that leaders stop caving in to right wing pressure to criminalize these same communities.
2:40pm: Sit-in on White House lawn while large crowd chants in support: "ACT UP and OCCUPY, how many more have to die?" "Pills cost pennies, greed costs lives!" "Pills not prisons!!" ""AIDS can be defeated, if the people are treated!"
2:55pm: Many more photos added below the cut.

via InterOccupy



The Robin Hood Tax march will assemble at Mt. Vernon Place and 9th St. NW (across the street from the conference site at the Convention Center) and proceed along New York Ave. before concluding with a rally in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at 1615 H St. NW (across the street from Lafayette Park). The Robin Hood march will then join four other marches involved with the “We Can End AIDS” day of action converging in front of the White House for a final civil disobedience.

For background on Occupy's support for the struggle to Tax Wall Street and End AIDS, see here.

crowd carrying signs including "State homophobia kills",
Harm reduction contingent arrives at White House calling for an end to the Drug War and criminalization of sex workers, which hinder the fight against AIDS



SHOCK-YOU-PY! Jello Biafra's Tribute to Occupy

Posted 12 years ago on July 23, 2012, 1:16 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Legendary punk rocker Jello Biafra has written a new anthem for the Occupy movement. We at OccupyWallSt.org wholly encourage supporting Jello's radical genius by paying what you can!

SHOCK-YOU-PY! is my own tribute about the Occupy movement. It's called SHOCK-YOU-PY! because I come from the side of resistance that has a soft-spot in my heart for pranks and creative sabotage of the non-violent variety. Not everyone involved will totally agree with that, but I like when protests incorporate theater. I realize not all resistance is going to be fun and games, but it should be (whenever possible) uplifting and a celebration of the fact that we are raising awareness and fighting against runaway dictatorship, looting by large corporations, and people who have so much money they can't figure out what to do with it all (which is Occupy's main goal.)

SHOCK-YOU-PY! is meant to be a sing-a-long song that can be played acoustically at protests, at least most of it can. I was torn between making it completely a sing-a-long song or the usual skull-crushing Guantanamo School Of Medicine type-song, so we mixed it and re-mixed it a lot. The forthcoming EP has the sing-a-long version on it. There is also the rock-a-long version where the electrified guitars are considerably louder which is exclusively available on bandcamp. I had trouble making up my mind between the two. I liked the warmth and the spirit of the sing-a-long version but the rock-a-long version - with the guitars really loud - sounded best in my car.

Since it takes a few weeks to get CDs and vinyl made especially before the Fall rush, we are throwing SHOCK-YOU-PY! up now before it's mastered. And for this download you have freedom of choice - weigh-in, pick your favorite, tell your friends. There will be a 3rd mix of SHOCK-YOU-PY! that is the best of both worlds which will be on the full-length album.

SHOCK-YOU-PY! is part of a larger project from the Guantanamo School Of Medicine's new album called White People and the Damage Done which is not going to be out in time before the election. It will probably be out in either November or in January, I'm not sure which yet. We thought we would throw SHOCK-YOU-PY! up immediately for people who are willing to help us out (please! please! please!) You can pay for the song otherwise it's going to be spread around anyway and it is meant to be spread around. Anyone who wants to put it on an Occupy comp can. I am way in debt trying to record this album and our label is struggling to survive so we are hoping that people will be willing to throw down to check out the song.

And what does this say about Occupy as a whole? It says that it is a ground-up movement that doesn't have central-planning and some people would think not enough planning. Who knows where Occupy will be in a year, it may even have a completely different name but what it means to me is the resurrection, rebooting, reigniting and strengthening of the spirit of Seattle which was the first outbreak of mass-protest against corporate rule and recognizing it as such in the mainstream media. That is going to go on because more and more people are losing their jobs while climate collapse gets even worse (witness all the droughts and fires, especially in my home state of Colorado.) I don't think the Occupy movement in spirit is going to go away, quite the opposite.

See below for lyrics:



It didn’t start with Occupy, and it won’t end with the student strike! The persistence of anti-authoritarian politics in Quebec

Posted 12 years ago on July 23, 2012, 11:43 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

massive march through the streets of Montreal
Tens of thousands of students and allies march against neoliberalism yesterday, July 22, 2012

The following article is published in Out of the Mouths of 'Casseroles': Textes Qui Bougent Au Rythme du Carré Rouge, a "special open-wi issue of wi: journal of mobile media on the Quebec student strike, the ongoing remarkable demonstrations and the odious bill 78." The analysis of this essay struck us as a vital contribution to the evolution of #OWS and social movements across the world, and we reproduce it here in hopes of contributing to this on-going dialog. For even more brilliant articles, essays, interviews, background information, and more, please read the full issue at http://wi.mobilities.ca/.


What we are seeing today in Quebec, and particularly in Montréal, is a public moment of a much more ingrained movement that has been around for decades. If we use the rhizome analogy, we can better understand what is happening. A rhizome is like a root that runs underground: once in a while little shoots pop out above ground, and sometimes an enormous shoot breaks the surface. It is an analogy that suits the description of the anti-authoritarian movement in the province.

We could go back quite far in the history of social movements in Quebec to identify traces of this movement, but let’s start with what is now considered as the first large contemporary shoot which erupted through the surface, signalling a shift in the province’s political sphere. April 2001, Quebec City: huge street demonstrations took place protesting against the Third Summit of the Americas to negotiate the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Building on a major wave of counter-globalisation protests that first erupted in North America in Seattle 1999, in Quebec City opposition to the FTAA was so widespread that politicians had a massive chain-link fence perimeter built – a perimeter that was rapidly torn down by protestors!

Prior to this pivotal moment, however, several smaller shoots were beginning to poke through the surface of calm in Quebec: 1) in 1997, Complexe G, which houses the Ministry of Education, was blockaded; 2) in 1998, a “commando bouffe” (food commando) was unleashed, where community activists went into the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and served themselves at the lunch buffet, bringing food to hungry people outside; 3) also in 1998, the Conseil du Patronat du Québec was occupied for three days. More recently, in June 2010, another big shoot sprang up, as Montreal activists were involved in the protests against the G8/G20 in Toronto. From our perspective, the Occupy Montreal movement that started in the Fall of 2011 following Occupy Wall Street, and the social justice mobilisation anchored in the on-going student strike, can also be seen as new shoots of this rhizomatic movement.

These moments of public protest represent a turning point in recent Quebec history for several reasons: 1) activists began explicitly targeting symbols of capitalism; 2) many people have been arrested with subsequent politicized trials; and most importantly, 3) they signalled the emergence of an anti-authoritarian movement that is at the heart of what we are seeing today. Indeed, all of these shoots emerged from a shared root, a political culture – a way of thinking, doing and being – grounded in shared values and principles which can be defined according to three main characteristics.



Cameron Whitten: Hunger Striking for Housing Justice

Posted 12 years ago on July 23, 2012, 11:17 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Cameron speaking to media; photos via his Facebook

21-year-old Cameron Whitten, a formerly-homeless African American youth and social justice activist who has been involved with Occupy Portland since its inception early last October, has been on hunger strike since June 2nd, 2012 as part of a 24-hour vigil outside Portland City Hall that has existed since the eviction of the original occupation. His three demands are ending homelessness by calling on the Portland City Council to implement a housing levy measure, dropping needless fines against service providers, and demanding that the Sheriff issue a 1-year moratorium on home foreclosures in Multnomah County.

According to his Facebook page, he advocates "improving government to give the People more oversight, authority, and accountability over elected officials, [...] implementing reforms that enable fair taxation, living wages, and campaign finance reform to provide equal opportunity for all," and "empowering marginalized communities to become champions, dismantle stereotypes, and reverse systemic oppression." He has been arrested four times seeking "redress of his grievances towards a government which has allowed economic, political, and social inequality to go on for far too long."

The following is a speech given by Cameron announcing a Day of Economic Justice on the 70th day of his hunger strike, August 10th. Find out more about Cameron, the specifics of his campaign, and how you can help at his blog: http://www.cameronwhitten.com/ You can also follow him on Twitter: @CameronWhitten

I would like to thank the speakers, and the rest of you all for attending. There is a coldness in the heat of our society. As the highest tier of Americans continue to profit, the gap of inequality widens, and invaluable lives are deprived of the basic essentials for survival.

Some may think that a hunger strike is a dangerous, ineffective tactic to address this crisis. Some may think that its not enough, where even in the worlds most prosperous nation, every 53 minutes an American child dies due to poverty. How many more are we willing to let die, before we act?

The theory of “housing first” states that providing a stable place to sleep significantly enables a person to find employment, recover from substance abuse, refrain from violence and crime, and seek mental health counseling at a lower cost to government. In a Progressive and Thriving City such as ours, if we were able to adapt such a powerful resolution, we would be more successful and resourceful in combating systemic poverty, rather than having our police force sweep vulnerable human beings from bridge, to doorways, to jail cells.

We entered this protest with three distinct goals. So far, advancement with the City has appeared a little bleak. But if you pay close attention, you can see a subtle change in our approach on the issue. I’d like to thank the Mayor and City Council for their responsiveness, their advocacy, and endless work behind the scenes to address our general welfare. We have their attention, and are beginning to broaden their policies to deal with the housing crisis.

Now, it is time for the citizenry do to their part. August 10th will be an observance of the 70th day of my hunger strike, and the day the United States’ Declaration of Independence first reached the streets of London. Beginning right here, we will host a rally, march, potluck, dance party, and slumber party. I strongly encourage the students, the workers, the unemployed and poor, those left in endless debt, and all others looked as being less than “middle class” to participate in our Day of Economic Justice.

There is so much visibility for this great cause, the whole world is watching. Now is the time for unity, not to divide amongst ourselves. I can see the light inside of every single one of you right now. Never surrender that power. Thank you.