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The 1% Own Everything, Including the Supreme Court

Posted 2 years ago on May 13, 2013, 6 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: capitalism, occupy houston, supreme court, hush money, enron, 1%

Former Enron CEO and current jailbird Jeffrey Skilling should be out of jail in just four years, skipping nearly a decade of his prison sentence for corporate fraud and graft.

As the world's richest people are prone to do, Skilling is getting out of jail early with a combination of cash payments and legal maneuvers.

In exchange for early release, Skilling is paying Enron's victims some $40 million in shut-up money and has generously agreed to stop suing everyone involved with his conviction and sentence in 2006.

Skilling's promised payments would equal 0.1% of the $40 billion Enron stole under Skilling's leadership. He was originally sentenced to 24 years behind bars, but his total sentence would be half of that if his lawyers get approval on this latest scheme.

Skilling's appeal went to the Supreme Court in 2010, and the justices agreed with his attorneys that the original conviction was "based in part on an invalid legal theory known as the 'theft of honest services.'”

The same judge who sentenced Skilling will rule at the next hearing, on June 21 in Houston.

Occupy Houston, game on.

Reprinted from Gawker with slight edits


Direct Action Idea #2: Laughing at the 1%

Posted 2 years ago on May 13, 2013, 6 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: philanthropy, capitalism, carlos slim, direct action

When people from two different countries hate you, that means you are a public enemy. Last week, the richest man in the entire world, Carlos Slim, attempted to use a philanthropic gift to cover up the fact that his monopolistic practices have impoverished all of Latin America, with headway being made to raid the coffers of the United States with over $451.7 million taken in from subsides from the government of the United States every year.

The 1% control access to and the rules around supporting badly needed social services, from education to healthcare. We live in an unsustainable system in which the very richest in society dictate with their dollars the world that they want to see, not live in, and certainly not engage with on a day to day basis.

We laugh at this preposterous system in which we live, and we will continue to bring you inspiration about how it can change.


Artists Demand Fair Labor Standards!

Posted 2 years ago on May 8, 2013, 2:34 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: labor, union, frieze art fair, ows arts and labor

To artists, gallerists, workers, and fairgoers attending Frieze Art Fair New York:

For the second year in a row, Frieze Art Fair and its subcontractor Production Glue have hired low-wage, non-unionized workers to construct their fair, bringing in people from as far away as Wisconsin. This breaks with the industry standard: the major New York City art fairs including the Armory and the ADAA, as well as many other cultural and business expositions, employ unionized workers to construct and run their shows.

Frieze is a for-profit private event that takes over a municipal public park for two months to serve a global clientele of wealthy art collectors. The fair pays less than $1 per square foot to lease the land from the city. With a ticket price of $42 per day, Frieze is inaccessible to many working New Yorkers. However, despite the cheap rent and high admission prices to an event that generates millions of dollars in art sales (and not to mention the event's main sponsor, Deutsche Bank), Frieze still claims it cannot afford to pay decent wages to local workers.

Labor organizations including Teamsters Joint Council 16, NYC Central Labor Council, IATSE Local 829, IATSE Local 1, NYC District Council of Carpenters, and District Council 9 have all called on Frieze to employ their union members and guarantee local workers a fair, living wage with benefits. This demand has been repeated by City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (representing Randall’s Island), as well as City Councilmembers Jessica Lappin and Mark Weprin, and U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY12). As Weprin said recently, “Frieze NY Art Fair, or any private business that chooses to use public parks, should hire local New York workers and adhere to fair labor standards.”

If you are an artist or gallerist showing at the fair:

We ask you to refuse to serve as a fig leaf for exploitation. We ask you to decline to lend artistic cachet to an event that does not support New Yorkers, and that desperately needs the stamp of cultural seriousness to justify itself to the public.

Even if you cannot withdraw from the fair at this point, we ask you to consider speaking out publicly against Frieze’s unfair labor practices by making information about this issue available at your booth. We would be glad to provide you with a sign and/or flyers you can display.

We also urge you to tell Frieze organizers that you are an artist or represent artists in the exhibition and that you support organized labor.

If you are attending or work at the fair: Urge everyone you know to contact Frieze to demand they engage in fair labor practices, and consider not attending the fair until Frieze agrees.

It takes courage to speak the truth when many wish to deny it, but rest assured that should you decide to stand up and speak out, you will not be alone.

The arts are an economic engine for New York, bringing millions of people and billions of dollars to the city each year. Yet each year, more jobs become unpaid internships, artists are denied payment for their labor, real wages go down, and benefits are lost; meanwhile, the city becomes more expensive and the distribution of wealth more unequal. We believe in the importance of holding institutions such as Frieze accountable for their impact on New York and the people who live and work here. We want to see art bloom across our city, but we know there is a better, fairer way to foster this growth.

Sincerely, Arts & Labor

Arts and Labor

To contact Frieze:

Frieze New York Office 41 Union Square West, Suite 1623 New York, NY 10003 +1 212 463 7488 info@frieze.com

Production Glue www.productionglue.com Facebook

Directors Amanda Sharp Matthew Slotover

Assistant to Director Amanda Sharp Renee Browne +1 212 463 7488 renee.browne@frieze.com

Frieze London Office 1 Montclare Street London E2 7EU, UK +44 (0)20 3372 6111

Twitter [@FriezeNewYork](twitter.com/FriezeNewYork]

FNY13 #FriezeRatFair

For more information on this struggle, see:

Arts & Labor, “NYC Labor Leaders Demand that Frieze NY Art Fair Hire Local and Union”

Mostafa Heddaya, “Labor Issues in Spotlight as Frieze NY Prepares for May Art Fair”

Whitney Kimball, “Unions, City Council, Congresswoman Protest Frieze”

Rozalia Jovanovic, “New York Union Members Speak Out at City Hall Against Frieze's Labor Policies”


LIVE: Students Occupy Cooper Union President's Office

Posted 2 years ago on May 8, 2013, 2 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: student debt, cooper union, direct action, education