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We are the 99 percent

Take Back The Commons! #D17

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 19, 2011, 1:37 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt



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[-] 7 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

There is an irony here that a protest movement essentially against greed, has decided simply take what it wants when it wants. People seem to want to protect freedom and civil rights until there is a conflict between someone else's rights and your desires. You can't battle the theft with theft or greed with greed.

Nice jacket on the woman by the way. North Face, made in China runs what, $150-200? Way to fight that corporate greed while taking over land you don't own.

[-] 6 points by Bambi (359) 12 years ago

"Nice jacket on the woman by the way. North Face, made in China runs what, $150-200? Way to fight that corporate greed while taking over land you don't own."

I noticed that jacket right away...........I'm 99% and can't afford a jacket that expensive. Then I started looking at others in the video........Rich moms and dads........These kids have expensive stuff...hmm

[-] 1 points by athos (-3) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

what's your point? that middle class people who might be able to afford a nice jacket don't have any values or any credibility? that to participate in OWS you have to be poor? how about responding to the rest of the content of the video rather than wasting time talking about a logo?

[-] 0 points by Bambi (359) 12 years ago

Her wearing that logo tells a lot. It means she does support big corps. If she didn't she would remove the logo. Simple as that.

[-] -1 points by BystanderDC (91) 12 years ago

It means she knows quality (which North Face is known for), but I agree if you are going to do a video you should hide it with some duct tape or electrical tape. Bambi, do you own anything name brand? Do you own an apple product?

[-] 0 points by Bambi (359) 12 years ago

Of course I do but then again I am not against Wall Street or big corps.....I don't own an apple product

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

The jacket comment was a little snide on my part. I was more bothered by the drive to take over private property. I don't feel it's right to unilaterally decide someone else has too much and you want it for yourself. That meets a definition of greed and that is what OWS was supposed to be against.

[-] 2 points by Bambi (359) 12 years ago

No one should ever think they have the right to take over private property. That is stealing......flat out thievery. Doesn't make many good points with me trying to understand why they prefer to do things in a wrong manner.

As for her jacket...........it shows me a lot. The PROMOTING of a corporation. If someone is against big corp.......don't give them FREE advertising, I personally never wear anything that has a "logo" on it. I am not their walking billboard................and she shows she is a hypocrite by merely having that jacket on.

[-] 1 points by TheEqualizer (42) 12 years ago

maybe the jacket was a gift. maybe she bought the jacket years ago before she woke up to the realization of what is going on in this world. should it just be thrown away and wasted now. and actually what they we're doing is called trespassing not stealing. maybe you critics should learn to properly and correctly asses a situation before thinking your are so wise as to make ASSUMPTIONS and INCORRECT STATEMENTS about the legal nature of a matter.


[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 12 years ago

She does not understand that she protests against corporate greed on one hand, but supports them with the other by buying their products.

[-] -1 points by BystanderDC (91) 12 years ago

Or how about everyone you always see at the protests who are on their iPhones? The Foxconn plant in Shenzhen with their suicides from their workers...mind you, it is less than 1% of their workforce who are doing this, but it is still ironic that you see people in the videos on their iPhones, using iPads, and typing away on their MacBook Pros. Too funny.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Gothenburg, NE 12 years ago

Woah, woah, .... isn't that what the United States did when it took over the land of the Americas? Why shouldn't the un-"landed" do the same if they need land? Obviously, this land is not even used, so it's even less than the original land of the US. They are putting it to more productive use at zero to little cost to anyone. There is no moral right to land entitlement.

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Of course it was what was done to the Native Americans, that wasn't right either. The whole thing is more a PR mess though, doing something illegal is usually the point of Civil resistance, Here it's being done against an organization that has supported you and it's being done for a selfish reason.

As far as the land being unused, I believe the owners are planning some use for it and probably had some liability concerns about letting it be used by occupy. That would be the owner's concern though. I'm not sure it's a good idea to bring morality into this. Moral values are set by a society, not a small group. Under our social system OWS was the immoral one here.


[-] 3 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago


[-] 2 points by NewEnglandPatriot (916) from Dartmouth, MA 12 years ago

I do not disagree. However look from another point of perspective - they are pointing it out by doing it.....If one reads between the lines...More will wake up.It shows that there is still energy, there are watchdogs amongst us, and if we push, the greedy ones may take another look and back up a bit. They are wasting this property - instead of finding a way to put it to use. There is money to be made, the community is where its at. We once were a culture of community, I think they are trying to re-ignite a spark to light a fire with people - who are the embers of community. Those embers have been extinguished for the most part for some time. Some have been smoldering. I remember a time when I knew all the neighbors, now a days most keep to themselves and don't even participate at city hall/town meetings - which for the most part are occupied by the trolls, which is why our voices go unheard. There is a lot to take from this, a message of hope, that there are others in the boat, and that boat is sinking. Stop bailing out wall st, bail out the people. Put people to work. Work with us. Sure there are deadbets amongst the group, but the message is clear.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

OWS is free to protest and it obviously thought taking over a vacant lot was good for them. The actual owner of the property doesn't, under our system of laws, need to explain why it doesn't want you there. When you trespass on private property you are simply wrong.

Attempt to occupy it as you wish, but expect to be thrown off by the legal authority. You might believe property rights are bad laws, but until they are changed it is the law we live by.

[-] 1 points by NewEnglandPatriot (916) from Dartmouth, MA 12 years ago

I agree with you. The points they make to me only put into context what is really going on. There are laws that protect private property, and mainly for reasons of liability. Some deadbeats are sure to "hurt themselves" and attempt lawsuit, and for this alone the locks remain on the gates. Thanks to lawyers/ambulance chasers in the name of greed many have forced the rules to be changed. IF I tripped on a brick, I should have been watching where I was going. Somebody like me wouldn't sue, but many would.


[-] 1 points by occupiedwithOWS2310 (11) from Shaftsbury, VT 12 years ago

To JPB950: I think before we condemn any of the actions of OWS we need to re-call our American history and the actions of the patriots that founded this nation and are so championed in our schools, institutions, and collective memories. The original patriots routinely tarred and feathered (i.e. battery, assault, and terroristic acts by today's standards as well as back in Revolutionary times) low level employees of the customs agents immortalized in a piece of artwork labeled "Bostonians Paying the Excise Man". Further the Boston Tea Party, so championed in our collective American history and the namesake of the counter movement in this country, was an act of domestic terrorism and the destruction, not the mere occupation, of corporate property that in today's terms would equal roughly 1 million dollars. In fact, the Boston Tea Party was not called the Boston Tea Party until 1834 because early American historians were uneasy with the idea of glorifying such actions. What's more, these two examples were only some of the questionable tactics used by the Patriots.

Nothing OWS has done so far compares with these actions and either we need to re-consider how our history is taught and presented to our citizens or we need to condemn the patriots as well. We are not talking apples and oranges. The patriots criticized the policy of taxation without representation and in the same way OWS is voicing the frustration of living under a government that is unrepresentative of the everyday Americans.

I leave you with these words from a glorified patriot: "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience [has] shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:429

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Just because something has happened before doesn't make it right. Everyone seems willing to rationalize the situation. Trinity Church has so much land, they are so rich. What we're doing isn't so bad, other people have done things much worse in the past.

We could just as easily draw a comparison between this and the theft of the native American's land. They certainly seemed wealthy in land to the Europeans. The native peoples seemed to have had much more land then they needed (or had a right to, in the invader's opinion). It's been done and people have gotten away with it. Was it right? This particular attempt to occupy is made worse in that Trinity Church had helped OWS.

[-] 2 points by occupiedwithOWS2310 (11) from Shaftsbury, VT 12 years ago

Really? You think that is a fair comparison? I have a hard time understanding how pushing over a fence in the attempt to occupy a vacant lot where there is NO ONE is comparable to slaughtering, enslaving, and interning millions of individuals under the guise of divine right. You're not even close to making a reasonable comparison.

Again from Jefferson: "When patience has begotten false estimates of its motives, when wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality." --Thomas Jefferson to M. deStael, 1807. ME 11:282

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

It never started with murder, here today it couldn't come to that without serious repercussions. At first permission was sought or the land was paid for. Sometimes areas were just cleared and built on because they were vacant, then defended with force. Today armed force isn't much of an option because the owners of the land have more force on their side. The fact is the land didn't belong to the European settlers.

As to your quote of Jefferson, it could just as well be the owners of the property standing with the police saying it. They certainly have been patient and helpful with OWS, the Church's reward was to have someone else decide they don't deserve their property rights. Their resistance to OWS trespass became a moral obligation.

The ends don't justify the means. I don't see how a group can hold itself to be against corruption and greed, if it's going to selfishly take land it has no right to.

[-] 2 points by occupiedwithOWS2310 (11) from Shaftsbury, VT 12 years ago

I am confused. The lands were vacant and unused and yet they were stolen? At first permission was sought and the land was paid for and yet it was stolen? You are contradicting yourself. Not to mention, the Native Americans had no concept of owning land. John Alexander Williams describes this in his book, West Virginia: A History for Beginners:

"The Indians had no concept of "private property," as applied to the land. Only among the Delawares was it customary for families, during certain times of the year, to be assigned specific hunting territories. Apparently this was an unusual practice, not found among other Indians. Certainly, the idea of an individual having exclusive use of a particular piece of land was completely strange to Native Americans."

And what gives any person the right to hold land or for that matter legitimacy in this system? Money and power. That is one of the many paradigms we are trying to shift at OWS because it a paradigm that is broken and is not compatible with democracy . So broken in fact, that the same men who read from the Bible fail to follow the 4th principle in the Corporal Works of Mercy in Romans (1:5, 16:25-27): Shelter the homeless.

Now I realize the Church has helped OWS and in fact the clergy members continue to do so even going so far as to get arrested along side of us. We thank them for that and continue to petition for the right to use the space.

But there are times, when direct action in defiance of the rule of law is necessary like when the rule of law applies to some (OWS) but not to others (bankers & corporations). In that realm, we have no legal recourse, only the conviction we hold in our hearts. I'll stand with the Bishop, who without the constraints and special interests that comes with being a leader in one of the richest diocese in the city, followed the path of civil disobedience.

As for your statement that the ends don't justify the means, I think in our discussions here we came to an agreement that the means upon which this country was built- whether it be through slavery, the slaughter of Natives, the exploitation of Chinese labors to build the railroads, the destruction of the environment, etc., etc., etc.- were wrong. What's more, the fact this country remains built upon means that are unjustifiable is hard to deny. So I can't help but wonder, why the end effect of all those means, in this case the ownership of land, is so defensible that it can not be challenged. I don't see why the status quo must remain despite the fact the deciding factor in who has the "right" to stay on that land is the direct effect of the means you yourself don't feel are right.

And one last thing, I too wish OWS were able to push members into Congress. I myself plan to run in my district 2014 when I turn 25. However, I, and many in OWS, feel the political system is long gone. Remember the Election of 2000? You can call it old news, but that stolen election lead to 8 years of the rising inequality and the constant erosion of our liberties. And I rode the Obama train in 2008 and continued up until this November to defend him as a President who was screwed by a party standing in the way of everything he did. But when I read about the NDAA and Section 1031 and I learned Obama asked for the language to be added to include the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens (see Carl Levin saying exactally that on the floor of Congress on youtube), I lost my hope. And I realize the final NDAA did not include that provision in the law, but what it did say is not much better. Instead of granting the President the right to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, the Congress decided to let the courts decide if the President had that right under the Constitution when and if he chooses to exercise it. An excerpt from a Mother Jones article from Dec. 16th:

"It does not, contrary to what many media outlets have reported, authorize the president to indefinitely detain without trial an American citizen suspected of terrorism who is captured in the US. A last minute compromise amendment adopted in the Senate, whose language was retained in the final bill, leaves it up to the courts to decide if the president has that power, should a future president try to exercise it. But if a future president does try to assert the authority to detain an American citizen without charge or trial, it won't be based on the authority in this bill."

If the 2000 election and Citizens United tells us anything about the back flips the Supreme Court will do with the Constitution, we should all realize Obama has that power. Even if the Supreme Court does not grant Obama the authority, which is highly unlikely, people would still have to sit in detention as the legal process played out, that is if they were granted a legal process. I hope for your own sake you consider the implication of this. I don't say this in jest or sarcasm, you truly seem like an intelligent person and I have enjoyed our back and forth. It's refreshing to speak with someone who does not simply spew the stereotypes peddled in the media and I thank you for taking the time to think critically about these issues. I have no doubt your heart is in the right place and at the end of day we agree on bigger issues if not the tactics being used to address. So please use your critical mind, and don't assume these developments won't effect you or that they don't speak volumes to how broken our political system and government and were their interests lie.

[-] 4 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I'm not writing a text for you it's a simple short example. Land not belonging to the European settlers was taken by them. In some cases they sought permission to take it, in some they paid, in other cases they simply took it and held it by force, and in the later years they took land by force. The concept of the land that native Americans had only makes things worse.

Poke holes in a short simplistic analogy all you want. It doesn't change the fact that OWS decided on its own that Trinity Church was too rich or too greedy or whatever, and did not deserve the right to their own property. You had a right to public space and everyone was quick to defend the original occupation on first amendment grounds. This is simple trespass on private property and OWS was wrong to do it. It's just a baby step, but it's walking toward corruption.

[-] -1 points by occupiedwithOWS2310 (11) from Shaftsbury, VT 12 years ago

I am sorry I believe in developing my arguments and not relying on simple overarching statements that are misrepresent the whole of the argument. Not to mention, Zucotti Park was private property as well. I fail to see the distinction.

[-] 4 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

As was pointed out at the time Zuccotti was privately owned public space. Giving anyone the right to be there any time. When the owners wished OWS removed it ended up being decided by a judge. That's the way our society has agreed to work things. You may not like it, but that's how it is.

As far as arguments go, this could be settled on it's own merits without reference to the Boston Tea party, tar and feathering or native Americans. The land isn't yours, if however you think you have a claim to it you are free under our laws to take your case to a judge. OWS is free to ignore this social contract believing perhaps it's unfair, rationalize things, and do what it did, try to take the land. That does not make them right in our society.

[-] 0 points by occupiedwithOWS2310 (11) from Shaftsbury, VT 12 years ago

Then its our society that is wrong not the social movement trying to change it. It's not the first time in history that's been true. There is a higher law than civil law and that's is the law I want to discuss the merits of these actions upon, but you seem intent to only on following a narrow vision of a civil law made under corrupt circumstances and an apathetic public who thought the development of our social contract was finished. You can live in within the social contract where people can't break the laws until they have even money, but I refuse to comply with laws until the powerful, who have committed even act from murder to fraud to extortion to torture are held accountable. And that won't come under this society.

[-] 4 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

It's true I've got the idea of personal and private rights ingrained in me as part of my culture. I see change as possible but through the system that we live in. This is an option the occupy movement has ignored, perhaps it fears its numbers are too small to work successfully toward electing it's own representatives to change laws. Perhaps the movement is too distracted by trying to please all its diverse segments advocating democracy, or socialism, or anarchy to be effective at anything other then protest. Coordinating election campaigns across the country may be too difficult for it. Whatever the reason, they have decided to just protest. To be the lapel ribbon for social justice awareness.

This particular action is a reflection of simple greed. OWS doesn't have a place to camp, this land is empty, they want it for themselves and they don't care if someone else has rights to it. They are not protesting for some greater good, they are taking property for themselves. That meets the definition of greed.

The violation of property rights is really a small matter. They are wrong to take what isn't theirs, wrong to rationalize away someone else's rights, but it's the normal wrong of protests. Draw attention to things through violations of the law, make a statement. To go back to my original post there is irony here that OWS is taking for themselves (greed) while protesting greed. I find it more bothersome morally that OWS acted against an organization that had been supporting it.

You seem to say that because others have done great evil, you have the right to do small wrongs. Fine. I'm simply pointing out that you are doing a small wrong. I understand why it would upset people to point this out, no one likes their own flaws.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Occupy is an organization full of people who believe that they're accomplishing something through symbolic acts. Regardless of the debatable question of whether that counts as real accomplishment, the morality and ethics of each small act become even more significant when the act is purely symbolic.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I agree, that's what makes this act against a formed supporter worse to me then the actual desire for the property.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

Getting caught up in the "Occupy" part and forgetting about the "Wall Street" part was also a symbolic act.

I saw the part in the video about how Trinity Church is now the enemy because they have connections to Wall Street. It's an obvious, thin rationalization at best, and it's McCarthyism at worst. A lot of people in my extended family had barely heard of the Occupy movement before the movement turned against the church. But now they're against Occupy as much as they would be against anybody who is against the church. And they're Catholic. Not even the same church. The idea of any group of protesters storming any church property for any reason horrifies them, regardless of denomination. As they learn about how Trinity Church has been a supporter of the protesters, that doesn't help with anybody's impression of Occupy. In my family, at least.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

It was a foolish move for a Robin Hood to steal from a rich friend and then try to keep the proceeds for himself. Too bad too that every supported refuses to see that. I'm in favor of change, but see it as something that can be obtained through our present system. Groups that develop a strong base have always been able to influence government. OWS seems to have more then its share of anarchists though. Eventually only the anarchists will be left and the group will fade away, missing an opportunity to make real change.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago



[-] 1 points by independentmind (227) 12 years ago

So... what happens with an Occupier walks past my house and decides my back yard isn't being used in a manner that suits their ideals and purpose... do they just get to come "occupy" my backyard? And if I ask them to leave and they refuse, am I suddenly now part of the problem because I ultimately call the police for their removal?

Before you claim "it's not the same!"... it is though. Technically, I don't "own" my land yet. My mortgage is held my Wells Fargo. A very big, very dirty banking institution. They own my land still. Making it exactly the same....

[-] 1 points by Concerned (455) 12 years ago

And we are back to the "stolen 2000 election".

he National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, sponsored by a consortium of major U.S. news organizations, conducted a comprehensive review of all ballots uncounted (by machine) in the Florida 2000 presidential election, both undervotes and overvotes, with the main research aim being to report how different ballot layouts correlate with voter mistakes.

"The media reported the results of the study during the week after November 12, 2001. The results of the study showed that had the limited county by county recounts requested by the Gore team been completed, Bush would still have been the winner of the election. However, the study also showed that the result of a statewide recount of all disputed ballots could have been different. The study was unable to review the ballots in Broward and Volusia that were counted as legal votes during the manual recounts thus analysis included those figures that were obtained using very loose standards in its calculations. Since these recounts resulted in a sizable net gain for Gore (665 net Gore votes) they have no bearing on the assessment that Bush would likely have won the recounts requested by Gore and ordered by the Florida Supreme Court. They do however play a major role in the assessment that Gore could have won a recount of the entire state if overvotes were taken into account. Without these votes Gore would have lost a recount of the entire state even with all overvotes added in. Unless 495 or more of those votes were actual votes then Gore still would lose. Note these figures also do not take into account a dispute over 500 asbentee ballots that Bush requested to be added to the certified totals. If found to be legal votes that would put Gore totally out of reach regardless of any manual recount standard."

Gore didn't want a statewide recount. He wanted to cherry pick those counties that were more democrat than republican. He wanted to count "over votes" where folks too simple to understand that you needed to request a new ballot if you made a mistake; he wanted to count dimples on those ballots where it "appeared" that the person would have been voting for him.

There is a responsibility that comes with voting - that is that you understand HOW to vote. The confusing ballots (butterfly) were in counties led by Democrats - not Republicans. Even those counties had sent out sample ballots or had the samples printed in their newspapers prior to the election.

The election was not "stolen" despite the continued cry of that by uninformed people - since you are under the age of 25 we can assume that you were but a child in 2000 - perhaps you should do some reading on the election that doesn't come from those who hope you never do....(read up on it that is).

[-] 0 points by JDub (218) 12 years ago

Way to put it. Especially the part about actual land ownership to begin with. What defines ownership? Possession. And the force and intent to use it, to protect it. Any place occupied is at that moment, owned by the occupiers.

More interesting, is that this tactic is straight from the playbook of the US military. We regularly take land and resources, justifying it by passing domestic laws, that mean nothing to the rest of the world. It is actually our MO, as in we declare manifest destiny on the planet, because, well, we feel we can.

Abolish land ownership. Abolish home ownership. Institute stewardship instead. No one owns land or homes. they are simply the current steward. There is no reason to pay a mortgage to a bank for a piece of property they won't ever utilize. Nor should people go homeless when we have the means and the ability to offer shelter(maybe not awesome, but maintaned) to anyone, and a decent occupation to provide a means of external funds. There is no reason for people to be unemployed. We have more than enough work to do, and many willing to do it.

[-] 1 points by independentmind (227) 12 years ago

This is a slippery slope.

You mean to aim this at corporations, but some of the people you care most about will be at risk of violently losing their homes because some bully with more guns shows up to claim it.

You cannot simply "abolish" a system that has been in place since long before this country even existed. This is a world wide, centuries old practice, owning land. The ramifications would be devastating. And people would revolt at merely the thought of losing the rights to their property.

And even "stewards" implies ownership.

Steward: a person who manages another's property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.

Who's property does it become in this scenario?

With you on the housing the homeless, though. In my city alone there are more than enough structurally sound, vacant buildings to provide for the small society of homeless people. It would take minimal effort and, if implemented properly, minimal funding.

[-] 1 points by JDub (218) 12 years ago

Well the steward idea represents you stewarding for later generations. So it would be your responsibility to leave it the same or better than you found it. Lets all be honest, the price of maintaining a building is more than enough cost for habitation. There is no reason to charge people exorbitant fees to live somewhere that is already built. Only because bankers want to make money off of it, to make up for the fact that their industry doesn't fulfill an actual physical need.

The idea is to remove the habitation chain from society, allowing people the chance to actually pursue their dreams/ambitions. Instead of being shackled to the ground by rent/mortgage. We have the resources to do so. We have the manpower. We have the ability, and the skills. The only thing lacking is the will. There is no reason people should be unemployed, nor is there a good reason people should be homeless, or hungry. It is greed that produces those results. Compassion is what we need. And foresight. We can't keep expanding indefinitely. The world is finite. So our its resources. Digging up every form of fossil fuels ruins our planet, and destroys lives, ours and innocent animals and plants. It is also not needed. Greed is the only reason to continue this destructive practice. But it seems that the government is moving backward in terms of conservatism and energy independence. And the rolling back of Air and water cleanliness is atrocious. But so many people are more concerned about 4$ a gallon gas. Its pathetic.

With these and so many more problems, we need to realize that what we are doing is killing ourselves. We talk about the dangers of smoking cigarettes/tobacco, but what about the fact that we spew more toxic waste into the atmosphere every day just to get somewhere.And we don't even bat an eye at that. Not one. And we CAN simply abolish a system that isn't working. That's called REVOLUTION.

[-] 2 points by independentmind (227) 12 years ago

People care more about a $4 gas price for two reasons: A: it's in their face, they simply cannot ignore it and B: gas prices rising creates an immediate effect. They feel the difference immediately, as soon as they go to the pump.

The other issues are almost intangible... and therefore, easily ignored. And there is so much information to wade through on both sides. Sure, I think most people care and deep down know that clean air and water are vitally important... but if it means finding an alternate way to work? If it means costing them more money in the short term for something better (and cheaper) in the long term? Well, their liable to bury their head in the sand and hope someone else figures it out.

I agree the cost of maintaining a home and its grounds is expensive. I do it routinely and even though I boast that my mortgage payment is far less than what I would pay in rent for the same sized apt... when you factor in the upkeep, that is simply not the case any longer.

Revolution is a scary word. It implies war. Bloodshed. There is no such thing as a peaceful revolution, not one that will garner real change. Not to mention such radical change. You will have a lot of people who's first reaction to what you suggest will be just like mine in my 1st response. They will run out and arm themselves against you... rather than to join your cause.

It is not just banks that are the problem. You have to change the mindset of every (or pretty near) current homeowner in the country before you can affect this change on a grand scale. I think what you suggest is a noble idea, I truly do. And I would love to see every American (every citizen of the planet, really... but one thing at a time) housed and self sustaining... but what you dream takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Be prepared for resistance and for your sake I hope you are diligent to a fault. Persistent... to a fault. And very convincing.

Enjoy your holidays. I wish the best to you and yours.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

Go occupy a cave.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Your skull is cavelike and apparently vacant - we could occupy that.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

:) You'd feel comfortable there.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

In a haunted house kinda way... :-)

[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Agreed. Along with this should be a mandate of self sustainability for all of us. Your concept of land stewardship is expressed well by the works of Henry George in his work Progress and Poverty. But this concept also is a design for peace on this planet, for without the need for jobs to shelter and feed us we cannot be manipulated into military jobs or into voting for the continuance of corporate expansionism because that is where we get our wages to pay for these necessities of life. What it means is a truly free people for the first time in our history.

[-] 2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

Well said, JP!



[-] 1 points by shatan8 (2) 12 years ago

the jacket comment is true but occupying an empty space hardly qualifies as greed. Good tactics and actions are what make movements succesful not hippie peace love new age power of belief nonsense.

[-] -1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

It doesn't belong to them, they asked and were told no they couldn't camp there. They tried to take it anyhow. That would seem to qualify it as a selfish desire. It isn't supposed to be about getting your own personal camp ground.

[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

It is not intended to be somebody's "personal" campground. Your intellectual filter has something stuck in it that is blocking new ideas.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

No? In the video the people moving into the lot referred to the area as an intended encampment for OWS. That would indicate a personal use of the land by OWS.

Most of this discussion is drifting from the point. Based on the video, it seems that OWS feels that without an encampment their effectiveness is diminished. I can understand the rationalization, they felt their needs were more important then the owners desires. My original point was that this is a selfish motive and no matter how you justify it, it is a form of greed to place your desire to acquire something over the owner's right to keep it.

[-] -1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Still using the same filter...

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 12 years ago

There´s no irony in the people taking back/occupying property and wealth that have been stolen thru exploitation, speculation on the stock exchange, buying politicians etc etc. It´s called democracy. A more democratic society is what we should strive for:


And about the jacket; seriously? Global state-Capitalism is all encompassing.


[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

You throw around the words "the people" as though they have given you some mandate. So far every one associated with occupy has avoided the idea of participating in elections to find out what the people actually want. Any mandate exists in the laws we have. Civil disobedience is a valid form of expression, stealing from any group, let alone one that has been helpful and supportive is just wrong.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 12 years ago

Voting for millionaire politicians who are in the pockets of wall st billionaires once every 2nd year is what we call a democratic deficit: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1321956132_our_democratic_defici.html

There are more ways to build democracy than just voting once in a while for representative leaders. Building direct democratic communities and workplaces is a much better solution:


We don´t need the politicians, we can do the job ourselves!

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Maybe you can, but not within the present system. No one has even tried to work within the system. It's worked for other groups. If you're going to advocate scraping government completely then you've probably already passed your peek level of support.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 12 years ago

No, scraping government is long term. That´s part of the final result.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 12 years ago

You're so silly, morality and rules are always for someone else.

[-] 0 points by Doc4the99 (591) from Washington, DC 12 years ago

wow totally ... irrelevant

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Thank you for your input. Opinions often aren't relevant to others, it's only a response to what I saw. More of a PR gaff for OWS then a complaint really. It's not a point of view that is totally unshared, even here, but that too isn't relevant.

[-] 0 points by OccupyLink (529) 12 years ago

Rubbish, JPB. The lady has to wear something. Most items are made in China these days.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Granted the jacket comment drifts into being snide. There should be more attention to PR if you're going to go on camera as a spokes person though. The movement constantly gets cast as a bunch of spoiled rich kids and this picture doesn't help fight that image. I wouldn't expect anyone to go the Gandhi route and make their own garments, but spokespeople should probably be aware of the image they present.

[-] 1 points by OccupyLink (529) 12 years ago

Yep. That's a fair enough comment. We are learning as a movement all the time.



[-] 0 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

This action was supported by no less than Desmond Tutu. Also the Bishop was the first man over the fence. These are examples of community leaders who, as part of the effort to create space for reflecting on ways our society can change for the better, have understood the value of engaging in civil disobedience.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I don't care who supports it. I did read his message urging the church to reconsider, but I didn't know he approved of the actual trespass. Under our laws OWS is free to protest and try to occupy a vacant lot. It shouldn't be surprised however if the owner doesn't want them breaking in and using it, then the police come and throw them out. Under our laws OWS was wrong.

I'm not bothered by the illegal nature of a protest, I dislike the attitude that this was somehow something moral. OWS simply tried to take land for it's own use. Making a judgement that their desires were more important then the owner's property rights. This placing or your desires above that of others fits the definition of greed. The irony is, of course, that greed was what this movement started out being against.

It's unfortunately changed the whole debate from corporate corruption and greed to a fight over campgrounds. Is the main message so fragile that it can't survive without a physical presence in a tent city?

[-] 0 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

Desmond Tutu has been arrested, jailed and has his passport revoked twice. He has also been attacked as a "loose cannon" and as "scandalous man". Civil disobedience, as is commonly known, is the intentional breaking of rules and laws to emphasis the importance of human rights that are being neglected. Good wishes.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

Wrong about Tutu. He supports the movement, and called on the church to work with OWS, but he specifically said that nothing in the situation would justify breaking the law. You can't hide behind Tutu on this. It was a stupid tactic that reinforced the widespread impression that the protesters feel entitled to stuff they haven't worked for and don't deserve. In terms of winning people to the movement, it was catastrophic. If this is how friends of OWS are treated, who wants to be their friends?

[-] 0 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

Here is the link to that letter containing no mention of the law and written by a man who has been arrested, jailed and has his passport revoked twice. He has also been attacked as a "loose cannon" and as a "scandalous man". God bless him and everyone who is willing to stand up against injustice. Peace and good wishes. http://occupywallst.org/article/message-solidarity-archbishop-desmond-tutu/

[-] 2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

Yeah, Nate, that's the one that made the OWS site. It's no surprise that his second statement would not have received lots of attention among the protesters, because it would have affected their spin of his views. You can read about it here: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/12/desmond-tutu-sides-occupy-movement-sort/46341/. Sad to see a movement calling for transparency in government that doesn't practice what it preaches.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

The more I think about this, the more frustrated I get, so I started a new post that you can go to here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/is-ows-becoming-that-which-they-are-protesting/. Feel free to chime in on that thread, Nate. I'd be interested in what you think.

[-] 0 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

It appears that OWS did not publish the message Desmond Tutu sent to Trinity Church (the "further comment"). Nothing wrong with that. It was made available the next day on the Trinity Church website. Both groups published from what was sent to them. Breaking rules or laws for a greater cause is the whole point of civil disobedience. That's why Gandhi illegally burned passes, marched all the way to the coast to make salt, etc. Best wishes and take care.

[-] 2 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

So you think the call on the protesters to not break the law was sent only to the church? The archbishop figured that the best way to communicate his message to the protesters was to send it to the church? You seem to think pretty poorly of the intelligence and communication skills of a man you so admire.

The church posted the call on Dec. 16, the day before the attempted seizure of it's property. This web site didn't, leaving people like you with the false impression that "this action was supported by no less than Desmond Tutu," and leaving the movement open to the charge of manipulation. If that doesn't bother you, I guess I can't change your mind. Take care.

[-] 0 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

Of course I could be wrong in my assessment, which is based on the wording of the post on the Trinity Church website. If I am, I apologize. Occupy posted on Dec 15, Trinity Church, after receiving "further comment" from Tutu, posted on Dec 16 and the civil disobedience action took place on Dec 17. Bishop George Packard, as I mentioned above, was the first man over the wall. I don't see manipulation on the part of the church or OWS. It seems to me Tutu supports the protesters but wants to also maintain good ties with the church, which was so supportive of him in the past. I doubt he has a black and white view on things, so he could easily make separate statements to the groups that would seem contradictory if put side by side. I think mature people do this all the time. As to the matter of changing my mind - I am always open to changing it, if I have been convinced of the need to do so. In this case, I have not been convinced. No worries and good wishes.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

We're having a civil discussion, which I appreciate and which tends to be rare on these pages, so I'll take a risk on one more post in the hope that it will be well recieved on your part. Please understand that I have no problem at all with what Tutu said, and see no inconsistency in it. My problem is with the admins of this site controlling what the readers hear, and creating a false impression. Tutu's statement of the 15th was considered newsworthy here, and it was. His statement of the 16th was apparently not considered newsworthy, despite the fact that it was. Yeah, I have a problem with that.

If fox news had pulled a stunt like that, reporting only on his statement of the 16th and not mentioning what he had said the day before, they would have been crucified in these forums, and rightfully so. And no one would have been pacified by their excuse that the previous day's statement was available elsewhere. It would have been branded for what it was - media manipulation. I just think there needs to be consistency.

Again, thanks for the civil discourse. Take care.

[-] 1 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

The following statement by Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper, that was posted on the Trinity Church website: http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/news/articles/statement-by-reverend-dr-james-h-cooper-rector-of-trinity-church

Here is the message I sent in reply:

Dear Reverend Dr. James H. Cooper,

Regarding your statement on the OWS D17 action, I am writing to tell you I couldn't help noticing another message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu that was ignored. In his letter to the protesters he says, "May God bless this appeal of yours and may the good people of that noble parish heed your plea, if not for ease of access, then at least for a stay on any violence or arrests." Clearly the plea of the protesters was not heeded regarding the matter of ease of access. Additionally, although there seemed not to be excessive violence, most news sources have reported that about 50 people were arrested - including Bishop George Packard.

It seems to me the protesters, along with those clergy persons who supported and participated in this action, where going against the Archbishop's advice on the grounds of civil disobedience (which I understand to be the breaking of certain rules or laws in order to bring attention to a lack of greater human rights). What I don't understand, is why Trinity Church, given its 300 years of reputable service, chose to also ignore important aspects of the Archbishop's message. Can you explain? Or perhaps address this question in a post on this website?

Thank you for your consideration.

Good wishes and God bless,


[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

Thanks for including me in this, Nate. Please let me know if there is a response.

[-] 1 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

I certainly will. Best wishes to you, Sir.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

Wow, that's twice you've called me "sir.". I could get used to this kind of political debate. I've been called lots of other things here, and several times it has been suggested that I should commit acts that in my experience are anatomically impossible. Nice change. :-)

[-] 1 points by nate (48) 12 years ago

Thank you for saying what you say about civility, Sir. It is very difficult to discuss anything without civility and mutual respect. I have found that especially comment threads on posts relating to politics are usually the last place where people are inclined to be civil. I think this is because politics is perhaps too often viewed as a team sport rather than as what it is - the application of morality to the society. Naturally there are always a lot of questions about how this should be approached.

It helps me to not view this site as a news source, but rather as a running blog, mostly about the NY group. I have noticed a number of inaccuracies like I have on many other blogs - and, in fact, even reputable news sources can bungle the facts.

Aside from this, I personally believe that every person has the right to be inconsistent; this often involves acting without justification, being illogical when making decisions, and behaving independently of the good will of others before coping with them. I think the protesters have done all of these things leading up to and during the action on D17, as I think we all have.

(Btw, how inconsistent human beings can be is made quite evident by the application of Socrates dialectic in the writings of Plato, for example. Probably one can not get away from this inconsistency without going to the spiritual/philosophical depths to which these writings are pointing. But this could be another conversation.)

I am always grateful, too, when seeing civility on comment threads like this, since it is rare as you say - but we each give to others what we think we deserve ourselves. Very best wishes and thank you again.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Weighing the plight of outraged victims claiming an empty, unused parking lot against the super-excessive concentration of power and wealth to the few elites, who abused them in the first place, weighs lightly on the scales of justice, and your observation of irony fails to balance properly.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Rationalize it anyway you want, no one starts out being totally corrupt. I think it's wrong to try to take over private property, and very wrong to do it to a church that has offered help and support to you.

[-] -1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Jeffrey Friedman argues that natural law libertarianism's justification for the primacy of property is incoherent: if...the liberty of a human being to own another should be trumped by equal human rights (62), the liberty to own large amounts of property [at the expense of others] should... also be trumped by equal human rights. This alone would seem definitively to lay to rest the philosophical case for libertarianism... The very idea of ownership contains the relativistic seeds of arbitrary authority: the arbitrary authority of the individual's 'right to do wrong.~wiki

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

His arguments are not relevant to the basic matter at hand. We don't have the right to set aside a law, that is the function of the courts. Allowing anyone to interpret any and every law using anyone who has ever published a polemic would lead to anarchy. It may be where we end up, but we're not there today.

Under the social contract of laws we are all under right now, Trinity Church has the right of ownership. When you disregard their rights and rationalize an action against a private group, you are wrong.

[-] -1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Friedman's arguments are exactly relevant to the matter at hand. This whole movement is about equal rights. When the laws work for the few and not for the many, it would be irrational to follow them blindly and regard them as just. When a few own all the wealth in the land, it is rational to work toward equality, you may be right in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of equality and justice, you are wrong.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

You're free to fight them, challenge them in courts, and free to protest as OWS did. Presently under our laws private property rights do exist. I found it ironic from the start that a group that started out against greed and corruption decided to occupy land to satisfy it's own desires over the wishes of the actual owners. This placing of desires for self above others is a definition of greed.

Pull out any political scientist you like, quote passages, make any rationalization. In the end OWS simply placed their desire for the land above that of the owners.

[-] 0 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

In the end, if everybody followed your standards of rationalization, slavery never would have ended.

[-] 4 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I'm not rationalizing anything, I've stated what I have observed. From the video, OWS seems to feel that without an encampment their movement is in danger. This lot is vacant and they asked for permission to use it. They were turned down and tried to take it. This was done out of self interest, OWS placed it's desires above those of Trinity Church. A selfish desire for something is one way to define greed.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

My problem lies in the status quo. Either you are an ardent defender of the status quo, or you firmly stand against it in solidarity with the movement. My observation is this, the status quo is corrupt (don't even get me started!). It is wrong. By default, you are wrong. If you defend a greedy, corrupt, protect the rich system, you are wrong. End of story.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I wasn't defending anything, what seems to have gotten me into trouble was pointing out some minor moral flaw in OWS.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Don't backtrack on me. I don't jump down someone's throat for no reason. It is your own moral flaw that is in question here. You did defend the laws of a corrupt system. Enough!

woman in video: -- "a billion dollar real estate corporation, and, we thought, because they have this beautiful abandoned plot of land right here, that they can't build on right now, there was a chance that would allow us to work with them, and work with the community to create a place for free speech, and right to assemble -- really thrives in lower Manhattan.......Power is consolidated in the hands of a few, and we talk about Trinity Church and they've been our ally, absolutely, but the people calling the shots right now the vestry, and the people who are sitting in the vestry and have that position are people who work on Wall Street, and I'm not saying those are bad people, they are probably amazing people who have done incredible things for the community, but I'm saying that ..power in this city, and in this world; it's concentrated on Wall Street......"

Conclusion: It is in one's moral best self-interest to stand up to excessive greed. End of story.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Of course I defended the laws of the system, it's the system I live with. I still believe it can be retaken if the electorate bothered to become informed. They'll get nothing more then a change in master if they don't. I have very little respect (not that it's important to anyone) for the anarchist, socialist, or advocate of pure democracy that is unwilling to even attempt to make change through our present system.

In the video she was being creative with the truth, "because they have this beautiful abandoned plot of land", it wasn't abandoned, they haven't started to build on it yet. When the attempt to occupy was made the land was defended at its owners request.

You wish to be the judge of what is excessive greed, fine. When standing up to greed drifts into breaking the laws the rest of us have agreed to live with, your protest either gets the law changed or you briefly held in jail. These are the rights you have through our system.

The move to take Duarte Square wasn't a very smart move against greed. In it Robin Hood took from the rich, but wanted to keep for himself. That's greed, if left alone and unacknowledged it will grow, if OWS somehow manages to ever get a new government installed, it will simply be a change in masters for the ordinary person. A master as unwilling to see its own flaws as the present one.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

...Inherent danger in acting like that which you oppose. Ahem, I got it the first time you said it --you can't fight theft with theft or greed with greed.

But the premise is a cop out. It allows the observer to escape any moral obligation to weigh justice, in favor of laws that don't fit the situation. In other words, it's okay for a cop to give a pregnant lady in heavy labor a speeding ticket for excessive speeding on the way to the hospital -- because that's how the system works. It is a convenient excuse to escape any moral obligation, when it would be more appropriate to use better judgment. Again, it's a moral weighing of a circumstance or situation against the existing legal boundaries. My better judgment tells me OWS gets a pass in light of the much corrupter system they are up against.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Sorry I was sharing my opinion, not playing a game trying to get you or anyone else. We've wandered a long way from the original observation. I accept that protests, by their very nature are going to seek conflict, violate small laws and regulations to provoke a response and hope that response is excessive. All to get change.

This particular protest over Duarte Square, may have been good for the troops on the ground, give them something to do and keep sprits up. From a distance though, it looked to me like it was closer to self serving greed then, to paraphrase a slogan, helping the 99%.

Yes I am definitely a supporter of change through the system of government we now have. It could work if the electorate were to put in the effort to make it work. If they are simply led by soundbites and slogans, "yes we can", "compassionate conservatism", "we are the 99%", they will simply be trading masters.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

Take. Take. Take. Take. I want that North Face jacket!

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

Are you writing lyrics to a song? It's kind of catchy.

[-] 0 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

If she wore something hand made by a co-op in the Ozarks, you'd just make fun of that, too.

http://expeditionsustainability.com/ North Face happens to go farther in corporate responsibility than most. Until the perfect corporation comes along, chosing a better, rather than a worse one, is constructive.

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

The jacket was just an aside for me. I don't expect everyone to mimic Gandhi and make their own garments. You have to admit though she could have presented a better image. Hard enough to deal with the spoiled rich kid image without going out in front of the camera looking like one.

Thing is I actually support economic equality, a reform of the tax code, and removing corporate money from politics. Just hard to align myself with a group that thinks property rights are only a suggestion. Who's rights will get in the way next?

[-] 1 points by shainzona (23) 12 years ago

I probably qualify for close to the 1% in terms of economics and I'm sure you would lambast me for whatever I wear - but you're missing the point....this is not a "dirty filthy hippie" movement - it's a movement to take back our democracy from the bribed politicians and greedy corporations who are dictating policy for this country, All are invited!!!

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Hippies are something out of the past for newscasters to relate to. Spoiled rich kid is what I said and is probably the image for those under say 50. I'm all for taking back democracy, I've thought a national movement like OWS could run candidates in primaries for congress all across the country and make a difference.

I see too many from this forum willing to give up completely on using the system before they have even tried. All that though is beside the point of this post. You don't build a better world by deciding to take what isn't yours just because you have good intentions.

[-] -1 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

The 99% have been trying to use the system for 220 years. Actually sometimes it worked a little. The system is played out.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Maybe some of them have tried to use the system, but no where near enough of them. Not enough people bother to learn about the issues most seem to vote based on a soundbite or one candidate's ability to make people fear the other candidate. Many don't vote at all.

The real 99% is by and large politically lazy and uninformed. That's why we have the government we have. OWS has stepped up and made valid points. I don't know why they eschew recruiting candidates. They may fear voter ignorance or not feel secure they actually have much popular support.

We're stuck no system will work with an apathetic electorate. Conditions in the country are bad but no where near bad enough for a majority to actually rise up and do anything. If they were we could make a change.

[-] 4 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

OWS does not believe in politicians or government for that matter. The most radical anarchists running this movement want to eliminate government altogether. The moderate anarchists just want to replace our Representative form of government in favor of direct democracy. They have no interest in something so mundane as campaign reform or anything like that.

The entire purpose of this movement is to push their agenda for direct democracy. David Graeber himself said that this is an "experiment" in direct democracy. We're really just all guinea pigs here.

The very direct democracy that the anarchists see as a solution is the same thing being used to manipulate the movement for the anarchists own agenda. OWS main purpose really is to keep it's direct democracy in existance, as some sort of model for society.

The lack of leadership, the horizontal structure of this thing, the direct democracy - all anarchist principles - was put into place precisely because it is difficult to break through. It prevents the movement from being co-opted, above all, by the moderate voices in the movement.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

That explains the need for an encampment, with no real organized structure the whole thing will slowly decay into nothing. I suppose they somehow see themselves being able to sway the nation to magically give up a system that a vast majority think works better then any other system of government? Too bad they could have actually accomplished something.

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

The thing is, they DON'T need a camp to experiment with direct democracy. No direct democracy is happening while people are sleeping. They could just as easily hold a series of meetings in public parks or halls all over a city and accomplish their goal. I think they're just married to the term "occupy." and the media attention that it attracts.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I don't see why they need an encampment at all, they could certainly do the whole thing through a chat room, monitor it themselves and be miles apart.

[-] -2 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I'm among those who consider the electoral system to be of almost no value to the 99%. In my humble opinion OWS does not have the resources to mount effective electoral campaigns in any case, and that the kinds of actions OWS has been taking are the best use of its resources.

There are good reasons that most of the 99% don't even vote.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I'm not sure what you'd do then. If you lack the people to make the system work you certainly lack the power to scrap it and start over.

[-] -2 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

OWS is still in its infancy. It does reflect majority opinion but has not yet found a way to move that majority into action. It's a hard fight and I am not meaning to attack OWS in saying that. Of course OWS today does not have the power (today) to scrap the sytem and start over, to use your words. That's going to take months, years, possibly decades.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

You could be right but personally I don't see it. The downside to being surrounded by like minded people is you tend to see your ideas reinforced by the members of the group. From the outside I see the vast majority of the country employed, living their lives. You get bits of discontent, but it's more normal complaining then outrage. No where near what would ever lead to any kind or rebellion.

With no real leadership, no clear plan offered to reach the vague goals it offers, I see a movement that is likely to shrivel up. Just my opinion, but it looks like it's already started. Traffic in the forum is slowing, views on the live stream is way down, and the demonstrations have a sort of pointless protest du jour feeling to them. Too bad, I would have liked to see them try to make a difference.

What are your feelings on the 99% declaration? Is that a lost cause too?

[-] -1 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I think the symbolic attempt at Duaerte Square was right on. Of course it wasn't about to succeed, but it made a point about the 99%'s right to have space to meet, discuss, debate, plan and be seen. The 99% can't blanket the airwaves or even the internet and needs to do whatever it can to get space to breathe in. Public opinion opposes the rule of money in our political system, believes things are rigged against the majority of hard working honest people, distrust virtually all established institutions, agrees that the rich need to pay more taxes, beleives job creation is more important than the national debt "crisis." That's a lot of agreement.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

That has always been there, that "you can't fight city hall" feeling. Over all though people still have a certain faith in the system. That faith could be tapped if anyone within OWS wanted to use the system. Obviously the group on the scene felt this move was a good one. They probably also knew it was likely to fail.

Standing from outside I saw it as flawed for two main reasons. It made them look selfish, wanting the lot for their own use, and it made OWS look ungrateful toward a church that had helped them in the past. Both are more PR problems, as was the young woman's choice of jacket. OWS should make an attempt to lose the spoiled rick kid image.

As you said above, OWS is in its infancy, but these little things can seriously stunt it's growth.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Trinity Church may be a church but it is a giant real estate company that has been holding this vacant lot for who knows why or what for some time now. http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/about/real-estate I find it significant that the retired bishop George Packard and other Episcopal clergy (Same confession as Trinity Church) took arrests to make the point that OWS is a legitimate expression of popular discontent with injustice that needs space to breathe in. They did as they believe Jesus would do were He here to do it. http://www.eurasiareview.com/20122011-episcopal-clergy-arrested-at-occupy-wall-street-protest/

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

I neither know their personal motives nor do I care. I'll see what people do and judge them by their actions. Churches filled with their own politics. OWS seems to be playing political games as well, publishing only one of two letters from Desmond Tutu. Leaving out the one where he said "in a country where all people can vote...it's not necessary to forcibly break into property".

To keep to my original point OWS seems to want to cultivate a Robin Hood image, but in this particular case Robin stole from the rich with the desire to keep it for himself. It's that action i find interesting. It simply looks to me like the beginnings of rationalizing corrupt behavior.

[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Great! We could use your support in creating a model of a shared community that protects the environment by reducing the ecological footprint of each person in it among other valuable ethics. See www.the-communal-solution.us

[-] -1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

The concept of property rights also gives individuals the right to hoard land and deny "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to others. It justifies war. There is a lot to be said about the commonwealth of resources encouraging cooperation and peace. See Henry George's Progress and Poverty.

[-] 3 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

There are many issues you can bring into this if you wish. There are justifications or rationalizations for just about anything anyone wishes to do. I'm not commenting on anything beyond this single situation. A small group decided on its own that their desire to use land that belonged to someone else took precedence over someone else's rights. This desire to take something placing the desires of one's self over the rights or desires of others makes an adequate definition for greed.

My original point was that it was ironic that an organization against greed gives in to it when it suits them. Violation of our laws is wrong, but can serve a purpose in protesting. OWS, in my opinion, threw away any claim to the moral high ground when the took this action, not to benefit others, but to benefit itself.

[-] 3 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

Excellent point! If we legally pursue precepts established in our Constitution, the freedoms our founding fathers fought for will remain. If not, anarchy will embrace our next generation.

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 12 years ago

There are times I think anarchy in the point, nothing much is really getting done. Lots of protests for all different reasons and nothing leading anywhere but to chaos.

[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

We are now fighting the "freedoms" that our founding fathers fought for which were the right to hoard for selective ownership, to keep slaves, and to withhold resources needed by others through the use of force.

[-] -1 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

it is always some fight and stealing from rich to poor. but it is gotta be smooth

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Doesn't make it right and it's disheartening to find so many people praising an action against the rights of a group that has been supportive.

[-] 0 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

i'm sure its wrong. but what to do with people who dies without food and shelter. And with them who have so much money, so even their grand grandchildren never be able to spend that huge amount.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

No one climbed that fence to help give food and shelter to anyone except themself. They tried to take over an empty lot for their own use. You can twist things any way you like but it comes down to the church had something, OWS wanted it and tried to take it.

[-] -1 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

in my country where i from you can do whatever you doing in constructing area until security guard detect your location. and then you must leave the area. it nothing bad to occupy those propertys. graffity is just a paint. it's not supposed to be legal all the time, - it is opposition

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 12 years ago

Opposition to whom? In this case it was Trinity Church that had up until then been supporting OWS. What do they call it in your country when you turn on a supported because you want what they have?

[-] -2 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

its all about gold and glory. Some figas want another figas money. It's simply called sharing. Cite as an example couple good words like this: lease, debt, loan, a borrow. And don't try to understand my logic here. In jungle world you have to play by the jungle rules

[-] 3 points by isupportoccupywallstreet (38) 12 years ago

i did not agree with this action. occupying private property that we are just going to get immediately kicked out of achieved nothing and was just bad press no matter how great the speeches were. we have got to get smarter and more selective in our actions. and by the way, where was lou reed that day?? we must stop promising things unless they are definitely going to happen! this undermines the movements credibility.

[-] 1 points by Binh (83) 12 years ago

We should have never conceded to the eviction. There's no reason not to be in Liberty Park every day minus tents.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

It undermines credibility with those that want to maintain the status quo, because they have a vested interest in things as they are.

[-] 1 points by isupportoccupywallstreet (38) 12 years ago

When you say you are going to do something and then you don't, that undermines your credibility to everyone, no matter who they are.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago


[-] 3 points by AstraStarr (71) from New Paltz, NY 12 years ago

his is not an accurate depiction of what happened that day. im embarrassed to say the protestors baited the cops and destroyed property. i was devastated.

[-] 3 points by MichaelB (128) 12 years ago

What was actually accomplished? You showed a group that had been helpful that you're ungrateful.

[-] 2 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

You most likely, as we, live on expropriated land. Would you kindly return yours to our first nations people?

[-] 2 points by BrianMid (132) 12 years ago

Does this mean that OWS supports all expropriation of land from the native peoples?

[-] -2 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Perhaps, instead, we can ask them to share as we should have then.

The United States of America has a land mass of 3,717,813 square miles; the US government holds and controls around 30% of that land and is targeted to acquire 50%. What they hold now is equivalent to 1,115,344 square miles and is equal to the combined land masses of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, New Zealand, Ireland, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, and Bermuda.

What is needed is a social design system that sustains itself financially and does not require constant replenishment by federal or state funds. What is needed is an affordable way of housing and feeding the many millions without jobs or income or land on which to grow their food. This is in line with the mandate of the Declaration of Independence which states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Thus,

• Allocate federally controlled arable land in every state for the creation of free, self-sustaining eco-villages to house and feed those Americans in need. • Allot funds to hire designers of sustainable constructions to create the building plans and layout of landscaping so the prospective residents are able to build their sustainable housing and common buildings themselves. • Hire or elect coaches from the prospects group to organize and run work crews to build buildings, prepare and plant organic food gardens and teach animal husbandry. • Allot funds to purchase materials for building supplies, sustainable farming equipment, seeds, and furnishings for common buildings such as kitchens, cafeterias, laundries, libraries, business centers, medical centers, minimal shared-housing complexes similar to those in university dorms, schools, etc. • Educate the communities so they can govern themselves, maintain discipline, and provide training and apprenticeships in various skills. • Create national awards for the best organized and best run communities with another category for the most aesthetic. In exchange for these benefits require each resident to contribute a certain number of work hours daily to maintain the grounds, buildings and food supplies and meals. Residents may be given training in these skills that result in certification that can be used in later job applications.

Such community projects can be started immediately. Land must be allocated, funds must be appropriated for materials, the unemployed must be contacted, organized and programs written. They must be told “Start!”

[-] 2 points by Thisisthetime (200) from Kahlotus, WA 12 years ago

Yes! Now this is the Occupy Wall Street that I believe in. Keep Up the Good Work. Fair-ness.

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

That's a wonderful video, anyone know the name of the band??

p.s. Its a sad day when a church which owns billions in property (expropriated from first nations people) won't even let others use a vacant piece of land to advance the same issues as Jesus used to advocate for.


[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

It shows how deeply pervasive the cancer of hoarding of money and power and resources really is.

[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 12 years ago

Where does this type of thing end? Good intensions don't give you the right to take things. You break little laws first to get what you want, eventually you become as bad as the corporations you fight.

[-] 1 points by HavanaLibre (1) 12 years ago

I am reading a lot of comments here that little or nothing have to do with our real problems. And I am inclined to think that these type of comments are written by people who are sabotaging the movement, the protest and what we stand for. Subversive, poisonous and pointless, they are just distracting our attention from what is really important: the end of greedy corporations, get better jobs and salaries, better healthcare and so on. It is hard to believe that one person mentions the woman's jacket and starts wasting our time. The ones that say that wearing it is supporting a corporation, should stop buying food and other goods since they belong to corporations too.

[-] 1 points by TheEqualizer (42) 12 years ago

I think the wise thing to do if it is absolutely inevitable that your are going to have your home taken away from you is to completely destroy it while it still belongs to you. You cannot get into trouble for destroying your own home. Completely destroy the house from the ground up the day before they come to remove you. Then all the bank gets back is a worthless pile of junk.

[-] 1 points by rosa999 (8) 12 years ago

I am not going to read 214 comments however this talk about her jacket is the tackiest, most ridiculous, non-issue. She could have bought it at Goodwill and who cares??? If that's all the anti-occupy people can come up with ("Bambi," please) then we should at least win a contest on intelligence. This video is a wonderful explanation about why it was correct to try to take that lot. As a Catholic nun once told me, "There is also class war within the church." Thanks OWS for your incredibly brave and hard work.

[-] 1 points by assasin (25) 12 years ago

2010s are the new 1960s

[-] 1 points by liam82797 (5) from New York, NY 12 years ago

D17 was a great day for OWS. However we need to TAKE OUR PARK BACK. On #J6 (January 6 ) reassemble THE PEOPLES LIBRARY across from zuccotti, reassemble THE PEOPLES KITCHEN across from zuccotti, OCCUPY zuccotti. BRING TENTS!!!!

[-] 1 points by ToLdHoWiTiS2121 (4) 12 years ago

the reason most of these socialist bum's are doing this is because they have an attitude that they are entitled to something with out working for it and for God's sake stop with this 99% bull crap this is the land of opportunity and most every one has a fair shot at making it to the the top and the people on wall street have made it to the top so ask you self do you have the right to deprive them of there hard earnings because of your own financial stupidity

[-] 1 points by stanchaz (36) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

You don’t need to be religious to understand -and embrace- the idea that "Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." But many of the 1%, in blind greed and endless schemes, have forgotten this. They have closed their eyes to what the word "society" should really means, what it can mean. But due to Occupy Wall Street, we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING. Instead of demanding m-o-r-e budget cuts -to be borne by the middle class and poor- we are FINALLY focusing on the shameful bleeding that the poor and middle class has endured, for all too long. Instead of talking about even m-o-r-e cuts in the taxes of millionaires....we are now talking about fairness and justice - about an economy and a political system that is increasingly run for the rich, and by the rich. Instead of talking about LESS government, we are talking about a government that WORKS FOR ALL OF US, not just a favored few. Thank you OWS, for reminding us that people -ordinary working people- really DO matter, and for helping open our eyes to what’s really going on in this country. Occupy’s attempt to occupy Duarte Square (the empty lot owned by Trinity Church), is much more than a plea for sanctuary. For like Zuccotti Park, it’s an attempt to carve out a protected space, a living conscience for the city, amid the repression. A refuge ...in a city where control-freaks would sweep us under the rug, and out of the way....in a city where they would pen us in, and permit us to death....in a city that tells us to “move on, move on”..... you don’t belong, you don’t count, you don’t have a right to be here...don’t assemble, don’t block the street, don’t trespass, don’t EXIST! They would deny us, deny our lives, and deny our very futures. IF WE LET THEM. But OWS responds, both in word and in DEED, and says: we’ve had ENOUGH - we BELONG, we STAND our ground, and we DO matter! This IS our land, and we want it BACK! The word OCCUPY...says it all! That’s why OWS has captured our imagination. That’s why a living breathing OCCUPIED public space is important for OWS. Like Lady Liberty’s never extinguished torch that burns in our harbor, OWS needs to have a concrete, continuing, persistent presence.. to remind us of what we’ve lost, of what we are, and what we can be ..to affirm, illuminate, and inspire. Trinity Church, with its oft-proclaimed ideals (and its huge land holdings), should look deep into its collective soul, do the right thing, and help OWS secure a space of refuge and hope. For if Christ were physically among us today, as He was 2000 years ago, He would be among the FIRST to climb those fences, and occupy Trinity’s Duarte Square. Of this I am certain...

[-] 1 points by cmcgrath (2) 12 years ago

The woman speaking in the beginning of the video makes a terribly weak argument about why Trinity Church is now an acceptable target for the protesters...because, in her (and presumably others') view, they represent Wall Street. Because "it's all connected." But, you know what? Trinity Church didn't collapse the economy and they didn't take huge government bailouts. They aren't a huge multinational corporation that pollutes our rivers and air and lines the pockets of our elected representatives. In other words, while they might be a major landholder in Manhattan, they are NOT THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM. And to treat them as if they ARE (via the "it's all connected argument") is to trivialize the true causes of our current situation (Wall Street). It is also a horribly unnecessary diversion from where the real fight needs to be.

I do agree that we need "a commons" and that people have a right (and a duty) to occupy public space, but this movement does not NEED physical encampments in order for this to happen. Aren't people at OWS reading their own signs? "You can't evict an idea whose time has come." This movement is about people coming together to solve problems. There are myriad ways that this can manifest. Be creative and stop focusing on the roadblocks that you perceive others to be putting in the way.

In short, Trinity Church is not the problem. Wall Street is. Stay strong OWS and stay focused.

[-] 1 points by SuzannahBeTroy (28) 12 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2OFcErnB6A breaking news!!!! Spoke with Norman Siegel watch tube for details but no more sign prohibition 60 Wall Street. Very tired to listen for details !!!!

[-] 1 points by wupta (25) 12 years ago

It is naive to think that the establishment is going to hand over that which it controls to have it used against itself. I support the movement because it is a call for justice and equality under the constitution of this country which I still respect. I can't say the same for it's branches of the government. In the end this movement will only be able to achieve true tangible results through strife and agitation, I don't see it any other way. Sacrifices have to be made, and it us the 99% which has thus far, now it's their turn. Take that which isn't being used and use it for good. Isn't that what eminent domain is all about? By the way I own some very nice and expensive jackets, this still doesn't mean I didn't loose my house or my rights!

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 12 years ago

In reality there is no 99%, it's an economic grouping not a political one. Only about three quarters of the electorate bothered to vote in 2008. Most voted for a slogan rather then a position they understood on either sides.

The politicians have control because the voters know more about celebrities then they do about the issues. We have the government we deserve, as long as we're too lazy to do much more then complain things will at best stay the ay they are, at worst the population may change masters from capitalists to socialists or anarchists.

As far as eminent domain is concerned OWS would have to become the government first to invoke it. They have decided not to enter into the political arena at all, just protest and hope someone else makes the changes they want.

[-] 1 points by hardworker78 (1) 12 years ago

Nice comments on the jacket. I'll bet she also owns a cell phone and laptop. If you really believe that the large corporations are wrong, than stop spending your money on their products. Do without them. Your actions show what you really believe. I agree that the big corporations have too much influence on how our country is run, and change is needed. However, we cannot make these changes by leaps and bounds. We need to take it one step at a time. We need to stop wasting our tax dollars and giving it away. I hate welfare! Those people don't do anything to earn the money that they receive. And now we have generations of welfare families! Make them earn it! They can pick up trash and clean the sides of our roads. Ever see a prisoner work crew doing it? It cost over $1000. a day to have them out there. And they are out there 5 days a week, all across the country. Do the math. Ever look up how much it cost to cater for Congress when it's in session? No one buys my lunch when I go to work ... Why should we buy theirs? Why should we pay for the gas for them to get to work? They can afford it. There are a lot of changes we can make that will save us hundreds of millions of taxdollars every year. That will help us to start to climb out of the hole that we are in. THEN, we can start to tackle some of the larger problems. Common sense folks, common sense.

[-] 1 points by WEPartyMentor (20) 12 years ago

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A Simple Shift in Consciousness From I to WE "WE can make a difference" - "Yes WE can" - United WE stand" - "WE can be the change WE wish to see in the world" - "In God WE trust" - "WE the people" - "WE are the world" - "WE are family" - "WE are one"


[-] 1 points by degimedia (2) 12 years ago

Nice jacket : http://luterano.blogspot.com/2008/05/north-face-and-sweatshop-in-el-salvador.html

Check out my satirical song: Occupy a G.D. Job http://www.tunecore.com/widgets/show/79024

I wrote the song after reading about on this site the quest for walmart plastic bins for the OWS campers.

Don't get me wrong, I am radical liberal and total anarchist... but if you can't laugh at yourself...


[-] 1 points by Reason2011 (1) from Tehachapi, CA 12 years ago

Great sentiment whose time has come.

The only objection I have, being an Atheist, is that religious speakers and representatives are sought out and allowed to spew their religion upon the 99%?

If they really wish to show their solidarity, then take off your god collars and become anonymous amongst the 99%. Leave your a-mens and bless-yous in your religious palaces built by the funds of the poor, indigent 99%.

Remember: Separation of church and state. It's in the constitution. It's 'THE LAW'.

Even the speech by Charlie Chaplin has to reference a passage in the babble/bible.

Not only do the rich 30%... yes 30%!! have to pay more of their share, we also have to free ourselves of the lies of religions and gods.

You cannot be a Free Thinker while still encumbered by religions. No hay dios! Make the rich worry about a ten cent gasoline price increase!! OCCUPY!!!! Range

[-] 1 points by Confusedoldguy (260) 12 years ago

"We are in favor of diversity of all kinds - except religious diversity. We call for tolerance - except religious tolerance. When it comes to religion, you MUST think like I do." Yeah, that's gonna sell. Let us know how that helps your movement grow.

Btw, until OWS becomes a state, the separation of church and state won't apply.

Oh, and good luck finding a successful civil rights movement in history that didn't have a religious component to it.

[-] 1 points by freeows (84) 12 years ago

Awesom! I am so appreciative to the Bishop and those Reverends. Woohoo! :-))

[-] 1 points by elevenfoxtrot (5) 12 years ago

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah - this property did not belong to OWS so OWS isn't allowed on it- simple and to the point

[-] 1 points by BarbGantt99 (14) from Mexican Hat, UT 12 years ago

SANTA ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS 2 things for Occupy Wall Street all of U.S. 99% 1. THE ROOT OF ALL OUR PROBLEMS: and getmoneyout.com petitions for a 28th Amendment; Stop Corporatism Amendment; to overturn Buckley v. Valeo and eliminate all private finance from the electoral process and lobby. See: Republic Lost written by Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig.

2. Criminally Prosecution of Wall Street for their ponzi voodoo weapons of mass destruction and crimes against humanity and crimes against national security.

[-] 1 points by Jonahl (11) 12 years ago

When did this happen? When did people physically go for the vacant lot? ... is there a way to get timely updates on events like this by cell phone? While I'm in NYC (until 1-2-2012), I'd like to help with something like this.

[-] 1 points by SuzannahBeeTroy (14) 12 years ago

Tomorrow small protest -- peaceful by Rudin sales office 120 W 12th street....We don’t need civil disobedience tomorrow -- our presence alone it enough to upset Rudin, Bloomberg, Christine Quinn Mike’s mini-me and wannabe mayor that is a real estate sell-out she and Scott stringer both sold out the People to greed and stupidity -- real estate and wall street http://suzannahbtroy.blogspot.com/2011/12/west-village-hospital-protest-tues.html 6:30PM Peaceful and Christmas Eve by ambulance port

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 12 years ago

What's next, violence?


[-] 0 points by Doc4the99 (591) from Washington, DC 12 years ago

well done. bravo


[-] 0 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

What substantiates OWS protests? To compare corporate greed with a repressive King is a far reach. The Declaration of Independence warrants governmental overthrow only when the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” of its citizens is jeopardized. The British parliament and king George destroyed American life and property, confiscated American ships at sea, quartered British soldiers in private property without consent, removed trial by jury, etc. Our founding fathers established a Constitutional Republic with representation. Until these founded rights are abridged, OWS’ only legal recourse is at the voting booth, not the parking lot.

[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Tell that to all those Americans living in tent cities or worse. Tell that to all those people who have lost their jobs and cannot PAY a hoarder of land and wealth for the right to live someplace. Tell that to the 25% who have lost food stamps because the funding is not there. You have not been paying attention.

[-] 2 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

I’ve paid more than attention – I’ve paid my taxes. No utopian society has ever existed. Poverty and wealth inequities are a mainstay of human existence. It reeks. But no better governmental structural society has, or ever will be established outside a Constitutional Republic. Protest all you wish, but until our present Government functions outside the established guidelines of Constitutional Law, citizens must protest within them. Any action beyond established laws generates hostility and anarchy.

[-] 0 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

Apparently you missed the point that the game is rigged against those with little money. This also generates hostility and anarchy - thus OWS.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

Worldwide, societies are rigged with advantaged and disadvantaged. America offers opportunities for success other countries don't. Anarchy tends to gravitate toward Socialism, Communism and Despotism. All eventually come around full circle. The question is, "What will OWS gravitate too?"

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

And nothing can ever change for the better, right? If your read Milton Meltzer's book, Slavery A World History you would learn from the writings of Columbus that native populations of islands he "discovered" were incredibly sweet, generous, trusting, kind, and they shared their resources with each other. Of course our ancestors killed or enslaved them all and stole their land and resources for their own personal ownership. But, that's just us.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

You're right. I've read similar detailing atrocities of Western Colonialism. But my question remains unanswered. if OWS accomplishes its objectives. . . .what next - Meritocracy, Socialism, Communism? Ultimately, what ideology does OWS embrace?

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

I can only tell you what I embrace and that would be a sharing of resources to protect the earth and environment. The common right to land and resources necessary to be self sustaining. An economy that is for and by the people and not exploitive economics. Fierce local government with minimal central government. A military that protects our borders and does not fight external wars.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

I agree with most of the above. Limited government would relieve us from this financial mess we're in. It appears you recommend nationwide Eminent Domain, which would require massive government intervention, application and oversight. Jefferson warned us: "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." Are you willing, for the benefit of all, to bestow your property (possibly all possessions) in attaining "the common right to land"? Military might for a nation's defense requires a force equal or greater than all armed forces combined. An agrarian society couldn't grow enough potatoes to sustain the expense. Totolitarian Dystopias eventually enslave the masses.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 12 years ago

I think you have it wrong about massive government ruining things. If it was managed through fierce local government while it would be massive if done throughtout the country it would also be very specific to the location, its needs, and the will of the people affected by it.

I also think that with the technology that we have today we could easily feed everyone locally. Let's face it, if everyone was housed and fed and their debt was forgiven there would not be a need for jobs. People could get busy right away creating a local, sustainable food supply. Most would likely stay in the homes they occupy. We will be creating a self sustaining eco village of around 300 people. See www.the-communal-solution.us

I believe it is a matter of education rather than war that will make it happen - remember it is ideas, not wars, that mark the forward progress of mankind.

[-] 1 points by inquisitive (20) 12 years ago

I'd rather have U. S. Constitutional rights vs. Totalitarian Communal rights. Sounds like "Animal Farm" to me. Don't choke in the trough.


[-] 0 points by CarlTilchenSingerSongwriter (3) from Rye, NY 12 years ago

Would you like to view my song OCCUPY WALL STREET at http://www.youtube.com/user/ctilchen What's your opinion? Carl Tilchen Singer/Songwriter



[-] 0 points by julietaregina (2) 12 years ago

how absolutely beatiful...only sad I miss this event, but there is so much more to come! en solidaridad siempre, familia

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 12 years ago

agree. Love this. The struggle for freedom continues for as long as necessary!


[-] 1 points by shainzona (23) 12 years ago

OCCUPY CONGRESS ON JANUARY 17TH. Be there - make it huge and let's send those fools a message.

[-] -3 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 12 years ago

Muchas gracias!

Viva los indignados!

[-] -1 points by ToLdHoWiTiS2121 (4) 12 years ago

you ungrateful stunad's you live in a great country and your jealous of the the rich because of you own mistakes if you worked hard you be there too but your too busy marching around wall street with your commie idea's cause you dont wanna work if you wanna be communist so bad move to china

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 12 years ago

Communist ideas? Give me one example.

[-] -1 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

OWS vs. fraudulent capitalist democracy http://www.workers.org/2011/us/ows_1222/

By Fred Goldstein Published Dec 19, 2011 9:50 PM The police campaign to wipe out the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country should drive home a truth that has long been experienced by oppressed communities, workers on strike, fighters for civil rights, immigrant workers and many others. The regime of capitalist democracy in the United States has a violently repressive character — side-by-side with its controlled “democratic” institutions.

This latest wave of police assaults demonstrates in particular the profound fear among the “1%” of an attempt by any genuine grassroots movement to establish even the most rudimentary network of popular democratic forums outside the framework of the corrupt political system — especially when they are directed against the rich.

In city after city there has been harsh, violent police suppression of Occupy Wall Street sites. Batons, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, bicycles, horses and helicopters have been used by battalions of cops dispatched by mayors in a nationally coordinated effort to destroy peaceful occupations of public spaces. More than 5,000 people have been arrested and hundreds injured, pepper sprayed or gassed in police assaults.

Tents, sleeping bags, personal belongings, kitchens, medical stations and libraries have all been illegally confiscated and/or destroyed. Even the capitalist media have been put behind barricades and prevented from covering the brutality brought down on occupiers. In the style of the Pentagon during its wars, embedded reporters approved by the city and the cops are sometimes allowed coverage — but from afar and only in the aftermath of the attacks.

OWS stronger than ever

To be sure, OWS has not been defeated by a long shot. Police repression has failed to halt the movement. In fact, OWS has only expanded, both in the number of active locations and in its many targets.

OWS has invaded housing auctions, protested and stopped foreclosures, defended immigrant workers, engaged in union and strike support, showed the connection between banking and the prison-industrial complex, showed solidarity with the Egyptian revolution, and engaged in many other areas of solidarity. And of course it has continued its campaign against the banks and other symbols of the “1%.”

In places, the OWS movement has reoccupied areas cleared by police. In most places, it has kept General Assemblies (GAs) going. It has camped on streets and met in parks. It holds meetings, workshops, teach-ins, marches, demonstrations and direct action across the country.

But with all the movement’s resiliency, a major political question must not be lost sight of. Why has this powerful ruling class, with all the force it has available to it — the FBI, Homeland Security, the National Guard, state and local police forces — been seized by a wave of fear when confronted by unarmed, peaceful groups who are doing nothing more than setting up camps in public spaces and discussing politics? Why have the democratic rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech been trampled under police boots using the completely manufactured pretext of protecting public health and safety?

Establishment fears popular democracy

The reason is that the OWS movement burst onto the scene with an indictment of the rich and with the creation of a nucleus for a popular form of grassroots democracy outside the framework of the top-down, completely controlled and orchestrated political system that prevails in the U.S.

The prevailing system has been an un­obstructed vehicle for the millionaires and billionaires to completely control the poli­ti­cal, economic and social agenda of the country — to pile up trillions of dollars while impoverishing the people, to throw people out of their homes, to lay off workers, to break unions, to set the cops on the oppressed communities, to build the high-school-to-jail pipeline, to superexploit and deport undocumented workers at will and — above all — to shut an entire generation out of the labor force or condemn them to low-paying, low-skilled jobs without a future.

The OWS movement has declared that enough is enough! The occupations are a rebuttal to the sham of the elections and the two capitalist political parties. The General Assemblies, the open exposures of the domination of the rich 1%, and above all the open invitation to the masses of people to witness or participate in the deliberations, for free, at any time of day, on their lunch hours, before or after work, without any restriction, is a bold challenge to the fraudulent “democracy” rigged up by the millionaires and billionaires who control Congress.

In other words, in addition to trying to stop agitation against the “1%,” which is really shorthand for the rulers of this country, the establishment is afraid of the very form of the protest as much it wants to silence the content. OWS is counterpoising an elementary form of popular democracy to the democracy that serves the rich in this country.

Lenin on capitalist ‘democracy’

In this connection, it is worthwhile to recall some key passages written by V.I. Lenin, the leader of the world’s first successful socialist revolution, which occurred in October 1917 in Russia.

The revolution was vilified by the world capitalist press from day one. And in 1918, Karl Kautsky, a former socialist leader who turned against the revolution, wrote a slanderous pamphlet attacking the right of the workers and peasants to defend their victory from what amounted to the “1%” of Russia – the capitalists and landlords who had exploited and oppressed the people mercilessly. Kautsky did this in the name of defending “democracy,” without saying democracy for which class: the oppressed who had taken power, or the oppressors who had been ousted?

Lenin, in his pamphlet, “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky,” described the state under capitalist democracy:

“Take the structure of the state. … Under bourgeois democracy the capitalists, by thousands of tricks which are the more artful and effective the more ‘pure’ democracy is developed — drive the people away from administrative work, from freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, etc. … The working people are barred from participation in bourgeois parliaments (they never decide important questions under bourgeois democracy, which are decided by the stock exchange and the banks) by thousands of obstacles, and the workers know and feel, see and realize perfectly well that the bourgeois parliaments are institutions alien to them, instruments for the oppression of the workers by the bourgeoisie, institutions of a hostile class, of the exploiting minority.” (Emphases in original.)

Lenin went on to show how under capitalism the rich control the state bureaucracy. They have all the connections and privileges. They own the great buildings and mansions. Freedom of the press is pure hypocrisy because the rich own the printing presses, the publishing houses, the paper supplies.

Wherein is this any different from so-called “democracy” under present-day U.S. capitalism? The bosses own and control radio and television, the newspapers, the magazines and the educational institutions.

They own all the meeting halls, stadiums and even the smallest gathering places. This all costs money — unlike the occupations set up by OWS. No workers ever get to have nightly talk shows on prime-time television, with the right to invite their own guests and to expose the evils inflicted on the people by the rich.

The two capitalist parties are wholly bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists. This can be seen in all the pro-big business legislation passed, year after year. The Congress is notoriously a millionaires’ club.

The workers and the poor are shut out of the electoral process by extreme, obstructive ballot requirements, by lack of access to publicity, by lack of funds for significant campaign organization. All of this is reserved for the Republicans and Democrats — each serving the rich in the long run, despite their different styles.

Lenin continued: “Take the fundamental laws of modern states, take their administration, take freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, or ‘equality of all citizens before the law,’ and you will see at every turn evidence of the hypocrisy of bourgeois democracy with which every honest and class-conscious worker is familiar. There is not a single state, however democratic, which has no loopholes or reservations in its constitution guaranteeing the bourgeoisie the possibility of dispatching troops against the workers, of proclaiming martial law, and so forth, in case of a ‘violation of public order,’ and actually in case the exploited class ‘violates’ its position of slavery and tries to behave in a non-slavish manner.”

The occupations have been attacked so furiously by the ruling class precisely because they hold the potential to become centers of genuinely popular democracy. They very quickly became magnets of attraction for workers, the unemployed, students and youth who have been shut out by the system. They have already spread to the campuses and have the potential to expand into the oppressed communities, e.g, “Occupy the Hood,” or into factories and working-class neighborhoods.

As such, they have the potential to go far beyond their modest beginnings and beyond what anyone intended or could foresee. In the midst of a gigantic, unsolvable and deepening capitalist economic crisis, the occupations, especially in the giant urban centers, could take on a truly mass character.

The ruling class fears the embryo of a rival authority that is inherent in the form of the General Assembly, open to the masses with the freedom to denounce and expose the rich and the capacity to launch actions that challenge the rule of the “1%” – the capitalist class.

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

[-] 1 points by Binh (83) 12 years ago

"Stronger than ever"? No. OWS is at its weakest point yet. Let's not deceive ourselves. See http://links.org.au/node/2657 for more socialist analysis.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

You make interesting points and I think people should read your article linked here. BTW I'm not part of WWP. I believe in encouraging this uprising as you correctly call it.When you consider there was nothing going on 11 weeks ago OWS has done plenty and changed the scenery for the better. Best of luck to you.

[-] 1 points by Binh (83) 12 years ago

I'm not denigrating OWS's achievements. I just think we should be honest about problems/difficulties we face.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

Holding that small piece of real estate down near Wall Street was a great thing, it is sorely missed, that's why the oligarchy finally decided that they could not tolerate it any longer. The movement has a lot of passive support but not enough people were there to contest for the park the way Egyptians are fighting to hold Tahrir Square. The people who were there did their best, they accomplished a lot and I don't doubt we have not seen the last of occupations in NYC and other places.

[-] 1 points by Binh (83) 12 years ago

Planning is ongoing through neighborhood GAs for neighborhood and citywide actions. Things will heat up next year, especially after the city and state budget cuts are announced.

[-] 0 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

I hope so.

[-] -1 points by jk1234 (257) 12 years ago


[-] -1 points by radicalhumility (56) 12 years ago

i love you :)





[-] -2 points by TheScreamingHead (239) 12 years ago

Sweet. Occupy Xmas! http://occupyxmas.net

[-] -2 points by shainzona (23) 12 years ago

An idea whose time has come is an idea that MUST be acted upon. Occupy Everywhere!

[-] -2 points by BlueRose (1437) 12 years ago

This is really good.

[-] -2 points by alouis (1511) from New York, NY 12 years ago

You are the greatest, OWS activists!

[-] -3 points by ForwardWeGo (99) 12 years ago

We all love corroboration here's a little something that I just learned. Chief Arvol Looking Horse Speaks of White Buffalo Prophecy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHqVdZmpRgI Peace