About Me

My photo
We stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the rest of the 99% throughout our country and the world. We stand in protest of the greed and corruption of our government and the 1% who bankroll them. We are striving to affect change locally by raising awareness through marches, sit-ins, and other non-violent tactics, as well as through social outreach.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nicole's Merry Christmas Post

A George Frederick Handel and Shane MacGowan Christmas Wish: A better time when all of our dreams come true and the mighty are cast down from their thrones

One of our Occupiers, Joyce, is non-religious, but she made a couple of signs to attract Christians: “WWJD: Occupy” and “WWJD: Not Foreclose.” She didn’t know it, but she was thinking on the same lines as the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams when he stated that, if he were here, Jesus would occupy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/rowan-williams-jesus-occupy_n_1132724.html). Jesus is in my heart, and he is occupying.

I am one of the members of OM who attends church regularly, and, much to everyone’s amusement, I used to be an Episcopal nun. My theology is a mixture of influences from the 19th century Oxford Movement, Liberation Theology, and Catholic Worker, in case anyone is interested.

Frankly, the consumerism that has attached itself to the Holy Day of Jesus’ birth angers me to no end. I find it ironic and a twisted play laid on us by capitalism that consumerism and buying is used to commemorate the birth of the one who began his ministry by boldly refusing the materialism of “the tempter” in Saint Matthew’s gospel. And, today, when most clothing which the 99% can afford is made in a sweatshop, it would be a good idea to “consider the lily of the fields” instead of what we are going to wear – or buy—this holiday.

I am all about the traditions of the holidays, and, one of the traditions in America is the singing of Handel’s The Messiah. The Messiah actually debuted during Lent, in of all places, Dublin http://www.cantate-choir.info/ProgrammeNotes/0903HandelsMessaiah.php) So, in British-occupied Ireland, during the season when every Tory and supporter of British imperialism should have done (and still should do) severe penance for their utter greed and cruelty, The Messiah debuted and all of Handel’s proceeds released 142 Irish men from debtors’ prison. A small sum, this 142, when we consider the tyranny, and oppression of British colonialism, but, large when we consider the lives of these men and their families. Their debts, caused by oppression, were “forgiven” by their oppressors – yet, sung that night were the words of The Messiah which contain the promise that God will “scatter the proud in their conceit,” “cast down the mighty from their thrones” and “lift up the lowly.”

If I did not believe that this is going to happen, I would lack what Vincent de Paul would call “holy trust” –and I wouldn’t want that. So watch out, banksters and oppressors – your hubris has been noted.

I actually listen to The Messiah on Easter Sunday (along with Patty Smith’s Easter album), but, this year, I must say that it is a part of my Christmas because I think of those 142 men released from debtors prison so long ago. I wish for the people of today who are overcome by debt to have their debts forgiven and for those who are held wrongly in prison to be released, particularly those without trial.

Even though it begins in jail – the drunk tank, to be exact- for my friends in Occupy, I think this year of my very, very favorite Christmas song, “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues because “I’ve got a feeling /that this year is for me and you.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv0hlbWpa1w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9jbdgZidu8&feature=fvsr

May the blessed bless you this holiday season, Love, Nicole

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Many thanks to Nicole Taggart of Occupy Martinsburg for contributing today's blog post!

I feel like I was in the wrong place during the first week when Zuccotti Park was occupied by protestors. Instead of being with like-minded people, I came off a camping trip with people whom I didn’t know were racist. I put my truck in 4 wheel drive and speed away from a misconception. In a way, my experience is the small town equivalent of what was happening in New York: I pointed out racism and slothful malignance; the occupiers did something about the big picture that causes both.

I have heard some small city occupiers discuss the need to grow and they look towards people who have already made affiliations with other populist movements, notably the Tea Party. A couple of people whom I know, tell me that the Tea Baggers they know are a well-healed people, or “rich white Republicans,” as one friend told me. I know only Tea Party supporters who called Obama the n-word before knowing anything about him and who want to deport a lot of people.

These disenfranchised Faux News watchers are intensely afraid of losing what they have, and they want to hold on to a patriotic, homogenous image of America. Certainly, they need to be afraid of losing what they have: we all do and that is why we Occupy, whither it is in a park, a building that was foreclosed, or in our states of mind. But, the image that the Tea Party supporters have of America is a mirage in both America’s ever-changing melting pot and in citizens not being rewarded equally due to their work, or, not being able to achieve the American dream via the current political and economic system.

To think that members of the Tea Party and Occupy will automatically find “common ground” is na├»ve. This can take place over time. Years ago, one woman in Scotland, told me about her work with the 1984 Miner Strike. She told me that the miners had been a “rather nasty sexist lot,” but this changed once they were being supported in the picket line by women, who also fed them. One week a cheesecake picture, “Page 3” from Murdoch’s The Sun was up at the picket line, and the next week, it was a feminist article. More common is the experience of our veterans, one good ol’ boy who served in Vietnam told me, “I used to be a racist until I went to Vietnam and had a black guy on one side and Puerto Rican guy on the other protecting my ass.” It will only take time and struggle to change the people who comprise the Tea Baggers that I know. For, as we know, we all have been ripped off by the 1% and the government which protects it.

We cannot water down our discontent. But, we cannot forget the unity that we have with our brothers and sisters of color or who are gay or transgendered in order to appease any other group of people who are being hurt by the 1%. To do this, would be to sell out our own and would be as morally corrupt as scabbing. No – instead, let’s be ourselves and let them awaken from the slothful malign and ignorance to taste the bitterness of their discontent, for what we have to offer them is the same unity and sense of empowerment which we are experiencing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Occupy The Caucus

Thought everyone should know about this!

American Winter of Discontent Starts with the Occupy Iowa Caucus, Dec 26 - Jan 3

Occupy Des Moines expects hundreds from occupy movements across the country to converge in Iowa´s capitol one week prior to the first in the nation Iowa Caucus


As the largest Occupy Wall Street encampments around the country are forced indoors by a coordinated wave of police state repression, and discussion turns to both how to broaden and deepen the movement´s base in local communities while also laying the groundwork for large national mobilizations at the Democrat and Republican national conventions next summer, Occupy Des Moines proposal for a national "Occupy Iowa Caucus" mobilization in Des Moines, Iowa prior to the Jan 3 first in the nation Iowa Caucus is starting to gain momentum.

Occupy Des Moines plan, laid out in detail at www.occupythecaucus.org, calls for a week of action and civil disobedience Dec 26 - Jan 3, with a "People´s Caucus" on Tuesday, December 27 that will bring representatives from occupy movements across the country together to formulate an "Occupation Proclamation" that will serve as one proposal for how the national Occupy Wall Street movement should voice its grievances, turn sentiment into action, and take the power back from greedy corporations and corrupt politicians in 2012.

"The People´s Caucus is a chance for occupy movements from across the U.S. to converge in Des Moines, Iowa in the twilight of 2011 and discuss the way forward for this movement at the dawn of 2012," said Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs, a 36-year old Occupy Des Moines member. "We're starting to get a number of Midwest occupy groups on board and the next step is to bring the East and West Coasts and the Dirty South into the fold as well."

The rest of the week will be filled with direct action street protests - specifically, occupying the campaign headquarters of Democratic President Barack Obama and his GOP challengers like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

"President Obama and the entire GOP field are beholden to the corporate 1 percent, and so by going after them, we are going after Wall Street," said Megan Felt, a 24 year old Occupy Des Moines member. "Both major political parties have become the tools of the 1% and I believe our aim is for nothing less than to systematically dismantle the corporate power structure and replace it with new, decentralized and local institutions of community power representing the 99 percent of everyday people."

"This is an outside the system movement, and I personally believe it´s much bigger than just ending the corrosive influence of big money in politics," Felt said. "I´m occupying because I want to build a more just and democratic society to get corporate control out of our democracy, our hospitals, our schools, our newspapers, and our lives. It´s time to put people first - communities before corporations and people before profits."

For more information, visit www.occupythecaucus.org or email firstinthenationoccupation@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter at #occupydsm, @OccupyCaucus, and @OccupyHawkeye.

Here is the link for the space/rideshare.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Which America do you want?

Right now the real question is do you or don't you believe in the constitution? Whether you agree with the occupy movement or not is beside the point.
The constitution says that we have a right to free speech, free press, and assembly. We fight wars in other countries to make sure that they have those same rights. Our president says that the protestors in Egypt and the middle east are heroes for standing up to dictatorial governments.

Meanwhile back at the ranch; 67 senators voted on Tuesday to allow the military to detain and hold US citizens without charge or access to attorney indefinitely. This goes against due process. Obama violated the constitution when he authorized Homeland Security to coordinate a crackdown on peaceful protests across the country. Whether you agree with the occupy movement or not is beside the point.

How long do you think it will be before a group you affiliate with is deemed a threat? Have you read the MIAC report? If you are Christian, you may be a terrorist. If you support Ron Paul, you may be a terrorist. If you carry a pocket constitution, you may be a terrorist. This is the new America. This is an America where police literally shred the American flag. This is an America where you have cops literally stick pepper spray in your mouth for sitting in a public place in protest.

Is this the America that you want to live in? The America that you want for your children?

Punk Rock Is Not Dead

Many thanks to Don Diego Ramirez for his guest post today!

Punk is not dead. Punk will only die when corporations can exploit and mass-produce it.

Jello Biafra

My friend Jake asked me to write a blog about my recent trip to OCCUPY DC.

Please be patient with my mind is not as sharp as it once was. I have suffered much tragedy in the past few years and it has taken a toll on my ability to concentrate. So perhaps this exercise will do me some good.

The Occupy Wall Street occupation began on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, New York City, as Keith Oberman later said,” The park is the spark”. Most Occupy activist said to me’ this movement begins with the anti-Globalization movements that began to erupt around the world in recent memory.

I made my pilgrimage to Occupy DC during the Thanksgiving Holidays. I was fortunate enough to be there in our nation’s capital, shortly after the Activist from Occupy Wall Street had completed their historic 231-mile hike from New York City to the District of Columbia. I spoke to members of the Zucotti Park Occupation and members from DC’s Occupation at McPherson Square. This movement is alive and well.

For any member of Occupy Martinsburg I want to share the basic information on how best to contact Occupy DC: location: McPherson square (15th and K street, North West-walking distance to the White House), General Assembly Meetings are held nightly at 6pm, Occupation period INDEFINITE. An Occupy DC Activist named Kelly offer to be a contact person for any member of Occupy Martinsburg who wants to visit or assist in any way. Kelly can be reached directly at 301 237 5040 or email her at planesawdust@hotmail.com. Occupy DC’s official web site is:

www. OccupyDC.org.

First, I want to say that I have been a proud and loyal member of OCCUPY MARTINSBURG since October 12, 2011. The day I meet most of you. A week earlier I had met Bethy and a few others in front of the Federal building on King Street doing their first Occupation. I was immediately interested in having an opportunity to partake in this historic movement. I want my voice to be heard. So I became an Activist with Occupy Martinsburg, I offer and have given my experiences as both an Artist and as an Art organizer to our movement.

I will continue to the best of my ability to support this historic Revolution of CONSCIOUSNESS! I am a member and Occupy activist with in our Art Group. Despite the cold Race Street Artist Cooperative remains committed to facilitating this group in any way it can. I can be reached at 304 616 8760 or email: dondiegoramirez@gmail.com.

As many have heard me say, I believe this movement OCCUPY WALL STREET to be a battle cry for all of us to truly exercise our most fundamental rights and to fulfill our individual civic responsibilities that come with this cherished idea of American Citizenship. We are American Citizens -not mere consumers of corporate detritus.

We the people can forge a better tomorrow. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Occupy Wall Street and all the other global occupations are in essence a non-violent Civil call to action. My trip to Occupy DC only strengthens that belief!

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy DC are seeking a method of TRUE Social change. First: We are the 99%- We must call out, then drag these corporate criminals and elected officials in to the public square to be tarred and feather. These Wall Street 1% guys are DOMESTIC TERRORISTS who became politically insulated Wall Street thieves, liars and corrupted corporate criminals who have defrauded the world of it’s wealth with their insatiable greed, incompetence and treasonous acts. HOLD ALL THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS ECONOMIC MESS ACCOUNTABLE!

That is the only HOPE we have for CHANGE.

As American citizens our goal must be; to hold accountable all Government officials and the Corporate Elite, who have allowed these crimes of the past decade, to go uninvestigated and unpunished. We must seek to end once and for all the vast corporate corruption of our most cherished American institutions.

“ Democracy not Corporatocracy”.

We must demand a truly transparent Federal Government.

We as Americans must demand legal accountability for the institutional corruption of American politics by major Multi National Corporations. We must demand the equal amount of sacrifice made by the 99% -by those select few in the 1% who have received such benefit from the growing disparity of wealth, not only in America but also around the world. We are the 99% who demand Economic Justice for all. We have the numbers- we must shape our destiny. We cannot continue to destroy the future- it does not belong to us. This is a fight for the future, a fight for the world a fight for justice, equality, and true representative DEMOCRACY!

Lastly, I must stress at the fundamental core of this occupation movement are ‘Old School” PUNK ROCK ETHOS! That came of age in the American Hard Core scene of the Reagan years. We must D. I .Y. -‘do it your self”. For any one who wants to understand punk ethos to try to understand what I am talking about Google: Henry Rollins, Ian McKay of Jello Biafra.

Don Diego Ramirez, Artist