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November, 2011 | Occupied Stories - Part 2

Archive | November, 2011

I’m In Love With a 1%er

ALBUQUERQUE, NM-

I should have been alarmed
When you started speaking in equations
Numerical manipulations
And your stories didn’t add up

Human expression cost too much
So you began sending me
Bank statements instead of love letters
You,
The one I trusted with my parents’ retirement
And my children’s future
Promised to be there when I needed you
That we were in this together
And then bailed

Out with every red cent
I worked so hard for
To keep you in the black

I should have known
That you would bleed me for everything I own
When our conversations…
Became computations
Before you stopped speaking to me at all

You looked at me differently
I was the 1st customer of your mom and pop’s shop
You were dowered in store credit
Carded cause you looked too young to qualify
For your first small business loan
You LOVED government assistance then
And only love socialism for the rich now

Then
Your eyes glinted like a castrated bull
And you began seeing me
Flush with rouge and sweat and stress
I was YOUR employee then
Did what was best for “the team”
Took the pay cuts
Gave the benefits up
Because what was good for you
Was good for “US”

You traveled
Left me home
With kids and student loans
To man your phones
While you said
“Baby, I’m only gon be gone for a few months
Once we get these factories stacked up, I’ll send for you…
I’m doing this for us.”

And soon
You had more employees there
Than here
They were younger and cheaper
Than me
Barely legal
You and your off shore whores

The last time I saw you
You did not see me
You crept into our apartment
At 18 Broad Street
To grab your account paperwork
Take it back to your island bank
Without so much as kissing me on the forehead
Son and daughter laying in bed beside me
And you didn’t even kiss your future goodbye

Because you didn’t want to wake them
But now they are awake
Screaming for you
…To leave

You look
At me differently
Like an obstacle
Like you could have been more
Without taking care of my freeloading ass
Like you could have HAD more
Without overpaying wages to my lazy ass
Like you could have made more
Without the rules
Without thinking about other people besides your self
Without me nagging you about human rights
Environmental protections
And genocide

But you did.
You made more SHIT
Than we could possibly need
More than we could possibly greed
And when you ran out of a middle class to feed
You were made paranoid by YOUR dogs eating each other
And made the competition
Me

I should have seen it coming
When we began breaking dishes and bedroom doors
Over which Presidential Candidates we’d support
You wanted the ones you could buy
I wanted the ones I voted for
You began acquiring houses
By selling them to people you knew couldn’t afford them
You picked up a gambling problem
And kept lying about some shit that didn’t exist on the stock market
Then one day
You got drunk on your own stories
Told some may lies you forgot where they started
Almost got stung
Ended up buying your own junk
Bonded out of jail just in time to OD our economy
Put that stuff so deep in your vanity
That we all felt like our hopes and dreams had collapsed with your arteries

But there’s always a silver lining
Silver I’ll never put in your possession again
I used to be in an abusive relationship with a Bankster, before you
But I promised myself that never again
Will I believe anything a junkee says
Cause I seen you selling since
New car, new suit, new parachute, looking like a bonus
Yo ass could almost pass for a man, but I know…

If there’s one thing I learned by seeing the entire financial industry
On their knees begging for a piece of my tax dollars
like it would save their life
Flatlined on the floor of 11 Wall St.
Black three piece suit,
Not a drop of blood
After being shot in the head twice

Still alive
While my hands
Cup my insides
And the floor of my country floods
With all ten pints of me

I learned
That corporations aren’t people
Because people
Die
In the streets.

 

 

video@  http://www.youtube.com/v/ws7oOLjvulc?version=3&hl=en_GB
Written on Day 26 of the Occupy Wall St. protest in New York City and Day12 of the Occupy Albuquerque protest. They’re making their move on NYC and Denver. Be prepared, my people. Love. – Hakim Bellamy- www.hakimbe.com

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First, You Laughed

ALBUQUERQUE, NM –

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you.
Then you win. -Ghandi

We couldn’t even afford to protest
Until you gave up our jobs, America
You wanted us on the streets
And now we’re home

Built elaborate institutions of hired learning
Taught us nothing, except
How to go into debt

We’re right where you want us
Sleeping in the park
Next to garbage can
Erupting with diplomas
That will finally be worth
Their weight in paper and
Keep the heat on

The constitution will not be televised
Broadcasts
Or brought to you by Citibank

Assembly is a right
Not a permit

Employed media and fear
To keep us in homes we don’t own
In these times
Where it takes more paperwork
To congregate
Than segregate

Welcome to you, America
Home of the Dollar Store
Where everything is 99 percent

Land of the Free…
For now…
And for the first six months

But after that
Interest is a bitch

Gave us banks
Instead of better standards of living
Where the average worker
Puts life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
On lay-a-way
gave us credit
Instead of competitive wages
Cheapened our children’s education
Then said
If we want the good shit
We can pay for it

Said there’s too much overhead
To let us retire
Which is about as American
As McDonald’s apple pies

Made the Statue of Liberty a liar
Gave her our tired, our poor
As we’re here
Huddled en masse yearning to breathe free
In the name of freedom
We’re dying in the streets

Dying at our desks
Noose a life insurance policy around our
Just to pay the rent
Pays out better than health insurance
Cause when we’re dead there’s less risk
While our premiums are spent
On financial instruments that don’t
fuckin’ exist

Orphaned us to a system
That blames us when we die
Use the market to hide behind
Statements like
“Health care is not a human right”
Blame our death on our love of freedom
When the heart attack and hypertension

necks

fries

Come from being under attack
Every working day of our lives

The bottom line
Is not just to separate us from our money
It’s to separate us from one another
Cause when people get together ‘round some
bullshit
They’ll organize the fcuk out of each other

So I won’t listen to you tell me that
Unions are the problem
And the WTO is here to help
Or that
“For quality purposes”
You gotta privatize the information
Cadillac plan the internet
While the bought and sold
Corporate media BEEN for sale

Tell me another one
Cause laughter is the only thing I can afford right now
Tell me that job creation
Isn’t the furthest thing from the minds
Of the 1%
Cause you ain’t gotta be noble prize winner in economics
To know that low wages and labor equal high profits

Tell me another one
Like being a patriot means being silent
Like Dr. King’s legacy wasn’t manufactured
Into a corporate icon
Like he didn’t get a bullet in his head
As soon as he started talking about poverty
Like he didn’t say
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal”

Tell me another one
Herman, fuckin’, Cain
To blame myself
For being 99 and not 1
For being on the losing end of a class war
Started by “people”

(In tax designation only)
With their hands so far up your ass
That you Muppet Marie Marionette phrases like
“Let them eat cake”

This is not a laughing matter
We’ve been out here for months
And winter is coming…

Our homes don’t have heat
And yours do

You’ve even banned us from the park benches
SO guess who coming for dinner

What used to be a problem of the poor
Is now a problem of yours…

There’s a Russian Proverb that goes:

The rich would have to eat money if the poor did not provide food

But what do we eat
When we have nothing else to lose…

To you.

 

© Hakim Bellamy 11.11.11

 

Full audio http://soundcloud.com/hakimbe/first-you-laughed-for-un

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Six Days Under A Tarp–Is The Sun Setting On Our Economy, Not If We Join Together and Change Our Future!!

LIBERTY PLAZA, NY – I spent from 9-30-2011 to 10-5-2011 in NYC with Occupy Wall St. at Zuccotti Park (Liberty Plaza). I arrived Saturday about 1:30 AM  EST from LAX on a Delta airplane. After riding the subway the rest of the night I located the Occupy Wall St. Group at Zuccotti park at first light. It looked like the Occupy group had received  a soaking from the rain that had fallen that night. They were all under colored traps. It was wet, cold and a light drizzle of rain was falling. I found out later that it is best to cover yourself completely to stay dry and warm by breathing the warm air under the tarp.

My name is Leonard C. Tekaat. I am a retired small businessman, financier, investor, author, and economic scholar, with over forty years experience in the world of home financing and housing investment. I have a special life-time California teaching certificate. I am 67 years old and a great-grandfather. I am the Chairman of a special Committee For Economic Reform and A Better Economic Future. I have been working, since the early 1980s to change the guiding policies of our economy. I was an Occupier before Occupy was cool and didn’t know it. In 1981, during the first Great Reccesion, I started writing a book, Inflation The Economy Killer–How to create, control and stop high inflation, which discusses a flaw in our economic guiding policies that were created during the early twentieth century and have been used extensively since the 1960s in our economy and the world economy. The book was published in March of 1982 by International Economy Publications. This flaw in our guiding policies is what is causing the wealth gap to continually widen between the 1% and the 99%.
I arrived at the Park at about 6 am Saturday the 1st of Oct. 2011. I started the morning by checking things out and reading the cardboard signs that were taped to the walls and laying on the ground. There were a few police standing on the sidewalk and sitting in cars across the street. It was quiet except for an occasional delivery truck accelerating from the traffic lights on Broadway and at the other intersections at the other side of the park. About 7 am people began to stir. I found a place to stash my carry on bag and settled in.

The six days that I was with the Occupy Wall St. group I slept on the ground on a small backpack air mattress, under a tarp. I slept fairly well. Most nights I didn’t get to sleep until around 12 am, because of the activity and noise level. There was music being played, dancing going on, General Assembly meetings and continuous conversations between occupiers, visitors and supporters. The park was alive with the passion of democracy and economic debate. The air was filled with the love of humanity, mother earth and the universe.

I ate the same food they ate, which was good and healthy food, thanks to the kitchen work group. Oh, I guess I’d better fess-up I did give McDonalds a little business. All the Occupiers, homeless people and I send our thanks, to all the donors. All your donations are greatly appreciated. I went to the bathroom down the block at McDonald’s. We all would like to thank the owner, employees and manager of the McDonald’s franchise for their patience and effort to accommodate our needs and immediate pressures. There were no showers available other than the rain. I didn’t see anyone strip to take advantage of that opportunity. The security forces at the airport had taken my half empty toothpaste and my half empty shaving cream can, so I had to replace them at the store.

The time that I was in the park was spent talking to Occupiers, and news reporters about the People’s Economic Recovery Plan. There are two parts to the Plan. The first part is to revive the economy and put people back to work by increasing aggregate demand. With aggregate demand increased, businesses large and small will start hiring more people to satisfy the increase in customers. The second part encompasses changing the guiding policies that create the deep recessions and high inflation cycles that are so damaging to the middle class and the working class’s financial condition. The continuing cycles of high inflation and deep recessions continues to increase the gap between the 99% of the population and the 1% supper rich.  Through the lobbing and election contributions, big business and the big banks have gained the ear of Congress even though the people on the lower part of the economic ladder out-number the supper rich 10 million or more to 1.

It is my belief that it is better to create an economy were people have the opportunity to provide for themselves. In this way they can work to increase their wealth to close the gap between the rich and the poor. Currently the guiding policies create deep recessions and high inflation cycles or dangerous speculation bubbles that pop and create deeper recessions like the one we are currently experiencing, where many of the people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder lose everything they have earned after many years of working to increase their standard of living.

Of all the people I talked to, even the police officers, that are also on the economic ladder, agreed the Plan would reduce the unemployment and foreclosure rate and improve  the efficiency of the economy to create real wealth and maintain the standard of living for all of the citizens of our great nation.

I was interviewed on camera by 4 or 5 national and local television stations. I met and talked to Matt Miller from Bloomberg News, Dylan Ratigan, from MSNBC, Paula Reid a digital journalist with NYC, CBS News and other host and reporters from other stations. I gave them all additional written information about the Plan and also contact information. I have not heard back from them yet.

Some people gave me their business cards so I would be able to contact them later. I talked to newspaper journalists that did not give me their name or contact information. I should have asked, but it was very hectic with the crowds, and the news people looking for stories to beat their publication deadlines. There were reporters from other countries that were involved in getting the story they wanted.

There were website owners and video cameras everywhere, recording this historical plea for help and understanding from the citizens of the USA that are hurting the most from the financial crisis, that created the Great Recession of  2008. For every Occupier that was staying at the park, they were a representation of the tens of hundreds of thousands that could not get to the park, that had lost so much by way of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

I marched with the Occupiers down Broadway and across the Brooklyn Bridge. I watched helplessly from the top of the bridge walk-way as a group of marches were stopped and then blocked from the rear and between the bridge and a fence. We learned later that 700 people had been arrested for walking peacefully on the side road after following a few policemen down the road. I was in the front section of the group that had taken the correct route.

I moved to the very front of the march where the grandma brigade , in their yellow vests, was marching. I managed to get beside a policeman and explain my recovery plan after he asked what I was protesting about. I told him I wasn’t there to protest anything, but to draw attention to the problems of our economy and society. After I explained how the Plan would work to him, he agreed that the Plan was better than what the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government were doing, because their plan had not created a strong enough recovery to decrease the unemployment rate very much and it put everyone  further in debt to the government.

I talked about the Plan at a couple of General Assemblies, where people are able to express their views, make announcements, suggestions, and report on the activity of the working groups. I explained to them that I had traveled more than 3000 miles to join their demonstration and provide them with the information, I thought they needed, to form a united voice to improve their world and their children’s future. I proposed that a working group be put together to formulate policies that would decrease the unemployment and foreclosure rate, which will improve the economy, housing is intertwined with so many other parts of economy and societal problems. I had to leave before this occurred because of pressing responsibilities at home. But other groups have been formed to tackle the increasing economic and societal problems facing the people of our nation.

I had the opportunity to speak at the news conference that was held in front of NY City Hall. There were a small crowd of reporters and about 6 to 8 people that spoke. When it came my turn to speak I explained that the people at the bottom of the economic ladder were the people most affected by the deep recession and how we could improve our economic policies, to change the policies that were causing their misery. I explained how the “Big Boys” the “Political Connected” and the “advantaged” got the “Gold Mine” and the middle class and the working class had gotten the “Shaft”.(Bill). I explained that they, sooner than later. were going to pay for the mess the Government, Big Banks, irresponsible home buyers and refinancing homeowners had created, with higher inflation or higher taxes.

The day before I was to catch a plane to come home, I paid Staples Office Supply stores to print and laminate two sets of posters that copied the flier for the Plan and the About Page on my web site titled ” Is the Sun Setting On Our Economy”. Because of complications it took all day to create the posters, so I did not get to display the posters that day. I made arrangements with Ian and Kathryn, a nice couple I had met at the park that understood how the Plan would work. They were willing to get involved and display the posters each day they were at the park. They said they liked the plan because it was a plan that has a balanced approach to economic recovery and all parties involved were giving a little to facilitate an economic recovery.

Wednesday the 5th of Oct. 2011, I had a reservation for the flight home at 11:15 in the morning. I figured that I would have to leave the park by 8:30 to take the subway and the bus to get to Laguardia Airport on time. I missed my flight on the flight from LAX and I didn’t want to repeat that mistake again.

The morning I was to leave I woke up at about 6 am. I figured I had sufficient time to set up one poster display before I had to leave. I used the posters I didn’t give Ian the night before to set up a display on the sidewalk next to the center steps facing Broadway. While I was setting the display up several pedestrians stopped and read the Petition and the Setting Sun page. Some of the people were in a hurry and did not have time for me to explain in more detail the Plan I was purposing. The two men I was able to talk long enough, to give more details, liked the Plan and were willing to support it. One of the people I talked to was George Tillman an Affiliated Broker MLS with Eagle Real Estate out of Memphis TN. After he learned more about the plan he agreed it would help the real estate market and improve the economy. The other person I talked to in length about the Plan was John A. Haerty. He works in NYC, in the global investment sector. He was well versed on economic principles and said he understood what I was doing, and that he would support the Plan, and sign the Petition.  He also said, “He would tell all his friends and contacts to do the same.” I talked to him again on the phone, on Thursday, the day after I arrived at home. He said, “He had a little trouble logging onto the White House site to vote on the petition but he was going to try again after I gave him all three web addresses.” I had posted two additional petitions the White House site. He said, “That the prospect of changing the Pledge Of Allegiance  was an interesting idea. He said, “ He would checkout the other petitions and probably sign them after he read them.”

The majority of the Occupiers at the park were in their mid twenties or younger. There were older generations there also. They truly believe in what they are doing. They must, to endure the conditions that they are living with in the park. At no time did I feel that I was at risk. All the Occupiers I talked to were smart and eager to express their views. They were pleasant to talk to and were helpful.

I would like to give a special thanks to Brendon, He is one of the security personal, a tall well build, bald headed young man with military training, that helped me in many ways. He stands at the entrance of the media center answering questions politely and with patience to all that inquire and want to tell their story. I told him my story and he understood the Plan perfectly, the benefits of it and what it could mean to our nation if implemented, he became a supporter of the Plan. He surly is a premium Occupier.

On the trip home I met Kay Long in Memphis TN. He was in the seat beside me on the flight to LAX. We got to talking. He said he was unemployed at the moment, and was collecting unemployment insurance. He mentioned he had worked as a real estate appraiser during the bubble years of the housing bubble. He told me that he had been to a dedication of the rehab of an old walking bridge in Arkansas, that was hosted by his best friend, that was attended by former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary. He was very proud of the pictures of him and  the former President together. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. They had big smiles on their faces and Bill had his arm high up around Kay’s shoulders. Kay said that it would be good for me to get to met his best friend after I explained the Plan to him, Kay liked the Plan a lot. He posted the WH web page address to my petition on his facebook page. He wrote on his wall that he supported the Plan and the Petition 100 percent and asked all his family, friends and contacts to sign the petition and then post the information on their facebook pages to have their friends sign the Petition. Kay was very nice. He was smart and I would like to get to know him better. We exchanged contact information, so he could contact me after he talked to his best friend about the Plan. He thought it should go right to the WH as soon as possible. Since his best friend has political connections he figured they could make it happen. I will be calling Kay back in the near future after he gets caught up with his sleep. He was very tired on the fight back.

I enjoyed every minute of being at Occupy Wall St. I wish I could have stayed longer. I am going to try to gain support to occupy Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the bottle neck that is keeping millions of underwater mortgages from being modified and homes from being bought and sold. If they would agreed to purchase the mortgages with the terms I outlined in two of the Petitions, the banks would offer the new mortgage terms to the primary home buyers and home owners that want to refinance their mortgage. If they restructured (refinanced) all the mortgages they hold in their portfolio, the economy would improve, the unemployed would be employed and the Federal Debt would decrease without large cuts. I am going to need your help and all the members of Occupy Wall St to change economic policies, to increase economic opportunities so the working class and the middle class can work to improve their financial condition, helping to end the misery and decrease the large gap between the impoverished 99% and the riches 1% in our economy. Larry liked the idea of changing the Pledge to include the words responsibility and opportunity on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/leonardctekaat/  I need everyone to be proactive and click the link and sign the Petition at http://wh.gov/b9G. We will need all the support we can get to make it happen, so share this info with your friends, family and contacts. Go to www.whitehouse.gov/ click the contact the President button and leave a link to this article. If he gets a flood of links someone will pass it on to President Obama or one of his economic advisers. We can do this! Let’s make all seven Petitions links go viral! Share all six other links http://wh.gov/bUT  http://wh.gov/bUB http://wh.gov/bUK/  http://wh.gov/bUO/  http://wh.gov/bU9/  http://wh.gov/bUX/  Sign all seven petition to make a real difference in our future!

The Plan is a practical private sector recovery plan that does not cost the tax payers a dime and posted at www.recoverygovforthepeople.wordpress.com/ and www.foreclosurecrisissolved.wordpress.com/  Thanks.
Leonard C. Tekaat
Occupy Wall St. Occupier
member, in full support of the
movement, For inquires or comments
firstoccupier@yahoo.com

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Peace in Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ – After 5K running race…finish line, found peace.

 

-Cat-

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Occupy Wall Street Footloose

LIBERTY SQUARE, NY – On Wednesday, November 9th down at Liberty Square, Occupy Wall Street had a real life Footloose moment. A young man was arrested for dancing on the sidewalk and charged with disorderly conduct.

It may be one of the less significant moments in Occupy Wall Street history but the resulting action epitomized so much of what is driving the Occupy movement.

The next evening a group of musicians came together and suggested we sing and dance our way down to police headquarters. Soon there were probably fifty or more Occupiers surrounding the impromptu Bluegrass band.

We started with a couple trips around Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) and then headed up Broadway with a huge contingent of police who kindly escorted us (sarcasm), even stopped traffic for us.

Lots of great songs were sung. People danced. People laughed. At one point, as we neared police headquarters, we even sang to the NYPD: “NYPD won’t you come out tonight and dance in the pale moonlight.” The caravan of police were mostly laughing as they heard this.

When we got to police headquarters the violin player (pictured to the far left) used the people’s mic to inform the 50 or so police of what happened and assure them that if they wished to apologize we would accept it with open arms. We also asked them to please not arrest us for having a good time.

What followed was a great little Square Dance on the steps of police headquarters followed by a joyous march with more singing and dancing back to Liberty Square.

It was fun. It was creative. It was openly defiant of police repression and yet jovial enough that the police had a hard time not laughing or smiling. Onlookers couldn’t help but smile. It was beautiful and but one of the many reasons we occupy.

OWS Serenades the NYPD (video)

 

-David Buccola –

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My OWS Story

NEW YORK -Let me start off by saying I had no idea what to expect from this visit to New York. An acquaintance of mine that I had met through the college I currently attend told me she was going to Zuccotti Park in Manhattan to see what was going on with the protesting. She was leaving 8am Friday morning (it was already 11pm Thursday night). Being an amateur photographer and long time insubordinate I was immediately attracted to the idea of getting out of our small college town for our 4 day weekend and soaking in some of NYC’s lively atmosphere. It had seemed as an opportunity to catch some great event photos and a call to arms had found me. I thought about it for roughly 5 short minutes, charged the battery for my Nikon D80, grabbed 2 lenses, packed 4 days worth of clothes and the next day, got my ass to Manhattan. This is what I saw.

The drum circle was audible for at least 10 blocks. There were people playing music everywhere. People were shouting about why they were there. They wanted to be heard.

People of all ages. All races, genders, people of all faiths. Some tired of the same old system we’ve been living with. Some there just for the company of a warm welcoming environment, which for many native New Yorkers is a spectacle in itself.

At first I thought it was just a mob of people babbling on about our economy, the war, justice system, politics, anything they could complain about. Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is. A melting pot of every protest you’ve ever seen or heard about. But that’s just it. This isn’t like the rest. The sheer magnitude and media attention this thing was getting is hard to describe. It’s the people’s megaphone. They, or WE were there to be heard and we weren’t going to leave until something gave. That was it for me. I spent my first night in Zuccotti park. I was in and I wasn’t going anywhere.

Day 2

I was tired and sore. I slept maybe 2 hours on the hard concrete that the city had provided us for our stay. There were no fresh towels here. I spent a few hours getting some free coffee and breakfast  (which was all gourmet and delicious by the way!) and reflecting on the first day. To say the least, I was still unsure of my surroundings. I noticed some sketchy characters lurking in the night. I later found we would all eventually become one of those people. Showerless, exhausted and wearing the same dirty pants for days. Walking down a nearby city block, it was easy to separate the occupiers from the observers. People were tagged with all sorts of clever attire and make shift signs.

My second day there I started to pick up on the whole purpose of the occupation and got to see some  inner workings which showed me how organized everything really is. There was energy everywhere, as always.

People helping.

People dancing, playing music.

Groups coordinating.

People protesting.

Making friends.

Sharing ideas.

 Mic Check!

A lot of parents brought their children. It was really wonderful to see that people trusted the movement. It’s a lot to ask of a parent to bring their child to such a seemingly chaotic environment.That didn’t stop most.

The faces of fallen soldiers were among the living.

As well as those who still speak for us every day. It was inspiring to see the amount of love and support for the cause from even the most unsuspecting celebrities.

I slept well that night in a sleeping bag given to me by the comfort center work group. A vital asset to the occupied community. I’d also like to shout out to the sanitation work group who kept our living space cleanliness to a tolerable level. Without those working groups, there would be no community.

Day 3.

I experienced my first march.

It was loud, courageous, chaotic behavior that left police feeling threatened by unarmed protesters. Why would police be afraid of unarmed civilians? Because there were a freakin’ lot of us and we all wanted a piece of the media. All it took was one stunt to set off a chain reaction of angry protesters willing to go to jail for the cause. These non-violent direct actions are the lock stock and barrel of the movement. It’s an ongoing battle of legalities and loop holes. I attended an entire class describing direct action right in battery park! I learned a whole lot about non-violent demonstrations.

Day 4.

I walked right into the belly of the beast. What had started as a covert surveillance mission to find an appropriate point of entry to the golden streets, had turned into just getting a few good shots of life in a day on wall street. Prestigious golden towers hung way above the heads of those who live without worry. No financial struggles, just the comfort of their fortune. Pigs rolling in mud. It was sickening. I didn’t belong there. I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out a way to bring down wall street.

Day 5.

Things were calming down. Less Marching, less protesting, more coordination and more building of the community.Unfortunately, I had to return to my home in upstate New York to attend classes. It wouldn’t make sense to fight against loans I’m not going to make use of ;P

I returned home, eager to get back to the park. I was obligated to go to my classes and to finish what I started. 3 short days later, I went right back to the park.

Day 6.

The energy was still flourishing. Drums drumming, crowds crowding, protesters protesting. I felt back at home.

I  felt stronger, I wanted to do something! I was piss drunk on helping the cause, I started going to meetings, writing down ideas, interviewing people. I didn’t care about the photos anymore. I just wanted in. I helped coordinate a march! (which later turned out to fall through the cracks after discussing the idea with some more experienced protesters.) It taught me something. There was no room for leadership here. All decisions were made based on a general consensus of the community’s population. A true democracy. My work had already been done long before I got there. The start of a new political party owned by the people, not corporate interest.

Zuccotti park was occupied. And no one was leaving until something changed.

My journey ended on day 7. I had been occupying for a week now. I felt a sense of accomplishment, enlightenment, relief, confidence, hope…really just a combination of emotions that equate to a plain good feeling. Most of all I was smelly and tired. I am one of the fortunate souls that has the comfort of a place to call home outside of the park. I felt I had done my due diligence. Something is being done out there, and with occupations spreading, this movement’s goal is starting to seem more and more plausible. I miss my people at Zuccotti park, and I wish you all the best of luck and sincere gratitude. My hopes are to return as soon as I can WITHOUT an expensive camera to worry about losing, so I can focus on occupying wall street!

-Mike Cosentino –

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How Do The Banks Care?

MERCED, CA – Today I spent less than 30 minutes at Occupy Merced and in that time I was approached by a bank employee who was offended by my sign against corporate greed, he was there to defend his bank and he challenged my knowledge of credit unions. After conversation had ended by his departure, I called after him: I love you.

“You don’t love me, you don’t even know me!”

“I have love for all humans.”

“That’s your problem.”

I have a heart and a mind and I’m not afraid to use them both.

 

-anonymous-

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At Occupy Philadelphia I Have Met:

The old

The new

The well off

The poor

The houseless

The most rational

And the most metally ill

The Ron Paulers

The Marxists

The Atheists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Quakers, Hare Krishnas and the Agnostics

The agressive

and The calm

The complainers

and The co-operaters

The complainers

and The motivators

Subarbanites

and The innermost city residents

The black

and The white

The asian

and The native American

The latino

and the others

The disabled

and The able bodied

Those active in the movement

and Those who have simply come for comfort.

This is why we say we are the 99%

not because we represent the opinions of the 99%

but because we represent every slice and stripe

of the 99%

who are tired

who are angry

who are hopeful

who are hopeless

The poor

The still employed

and The unemployed

the “retched refuse”

of your and our teeming shores.

The 1% has shown by their actions that we are their retched refuse

We deny this ascribation

we are human beings

what you have done to the least of these

you have done to me.

We are one

no man is an island

if I fight for me

I fight for you

if we fight for our survival

we fight for yours.

 

-Matt-

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How A Few Bad Apples Turned Into Several Bushels

NEW YORK – I feel that you may shy away from posting this.  I can understand that a message like this may not have been your intention, but we all have some serious problems on our hands.

I’ve spent a large part of my life actively protesting against injustice.  I can say that I’ve spent more time doing so in my life than I haven’t, and I’m only 28 years old.  At a young age I was exposed to more than the average kid and throughout adulthood, I’ve applied the experience in my attempts to build awareness, and create a better life for those around me, near and far.

I can speak about what brought me into the OWS movement and what had kept me there.  I’ve told the story, verbally, upwards of a thousand times.  I can share my experiences with police abuse and kettling, unlawful detainments, and all of the other external injustices.  After all, that was my occupy story for what feels like a great deal of time, when in reality, it was just the first 4 weeks of the occupation.

The implementation of the tents initially sparked my concern.  With tents comes a great risk to our personal security.  Steps were not taken to ensure the safety of our fellow occupiers.  When attempts were made to raise concern, they were quickly shot down.  Why? Because these tents are a victory!  We must be excited about this!  This is progress!  This is also an open invitation to every creep in the park.

Can we all say that after these tents were erected, the police presence had taken a few steps back?  Their violence has been suppressed?  With the exception of the removal of our generators, we have not heard of any police misconduct.  Why do you think that is?  It’s simple.  They’re leaving us to our own devices.  It’s a common method used to control people.

When government authorities interfered with our rights, we remained passionate!  Our message was clear and important!  I felt genuine love for the person marching beside me.  I haven’t felt that way in 2 ½ weeks.  In those 2 ½ weeks I see boredom and ambivalence.  I hear reports of rape and other assaults.  I see, with my own eyes, syringes and crack pipes.  More importantly, I see people perpetuating all of what we claim to fight against!

You can say that I’m making sweeping generalizations and that the small group of bad apples should not deter how I feel about the movement.  But what happens when there seems to be more rotten than ripe?  Don’t get me wrong, I do have many allies there, but they’re dropping in numbers.  I often find myself looking out for a familiar and friendly face and cannot seem to locate as many as I would’ve been able to just 2-3 weeks ago.

This wonderful Women’s Tent gave me a lot of hope.  Great idea!  Maybe, through strength in numbers, women occupying can prevent sexual assaults from happening.  If they cannot, at least there’s a safe place for them to rest.  I was very excited by the idea.  I found my way to the tent on the Friday night it was put up, a miserable night weather-wise.  Organization was a bit off but the tent was full and that’s all that mattered to me.  This truly felt like a success.  On the next night, I took a shift guarding the tent from 2am to 4am (with it being ‘spring ahead’ weekend it was actually a 3 hour shift).  Things went well.  All of the women seemed to sleep well and my relief took over right on time.  I came away from that experience with positive vibes.

Fast forward to Tuesday, just four nights after the tent was put up, and vibes are not so positive anymore.  A woman seems to have hijacked the tent, claiming it as her own, verbally assaulting anyone who questions her.  It has now been turned into a working group, that is not very inclusive to women that are from other female working groups.  She spends a great deal of time speaking about how hard she worked to put a tent in place yet she is downright rude to anyone who speaks to her, turning what should be a welcoming place into a very ugly idea.  I wanted to know more about her intentions so I signed up for a 2 hour shift at the tent.  In those two hours I listened to her berate me about working groups I affiliate myself with, and accuse us for things that I can say with most certainty are not true.  At one point I realized that she wasn’t working with a full deck of cards, but did what I could to assure her that no one wanted to hurt her in any way.  While I was doing this I was also trying to assure those that were inquiring about the tent (many were new to the occupation entirely) that it would be alright for them to stay in the tent.  She was very paranoid, fearing that the tent would be taken away from her, and wanted to control those staying inside of the tent.

I stayed longer than two hours.  It didn’t feel right to leave this idea behind.  Then when the woman turned to me to let me know that a friend of hers would be coming back to the table with a few bottles of vodka, I knew it was my time to walk away.

I’m not sure if I will be returning, to the tent, or to the park at all.  It seems that the occupation of Zuccotti has fallen out of the hands of the remarkable people it sprung from, and is now in the care of those who have lost the will to treat one another with respect.  I truly hope I can be proven wrong, though I don’t think I have the strength to make it right.

 

-Sarah Quinn-

 

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OWS I’m Not Alone Anymore!

Hi my name is Laura Serrano. I have been in a 6 year battle by myself fighting for justice and the truth. I have watched time and again laws being broken by the higher ups; and it seems that they have been allowed to destroy everything that my son and I have worked hard for. Then I went to OWS at Zuccotti Park, and I could stand there with my signs. WOW! I was no longer alone. We are all here for justice and to hold those accountable for breaking the law! Like OWS the media coverage was very little. Now because of OWS it only confirms to me that our media is being told what to say and do! Unacceptable! This is my story, this is why I Occupy:

Long island is a beautiful place to live. We are surrounded by water! We have theGreat South Bay, parks, boating and all of the beauty of the Ocean. In 2001 I bought a home on the water. I was so happy until Oct 14, 2005 when that beautiful home, my happiness and all my dreams for my son and I abruptly ended. The quality of the ocean that I loved is now questioned in my mind after what I have seen.

The South West Sewer District #3, Department of Public works and Suffolk Countyshut down the sewage plant because of a malfunction. The sewage went in reverse and entered homes through drains, doorways, burst pipes in homes as well as on the street, and came out of manhole covers etc. This caused horror and sickness to my family and others also became ill. The area that was affected with Raw Sewage was fromIslip to Copiague. If they keep connecting others to South West Sewer District #3 and not make necessary upgrades of the sewer plant then the same thing will happen again.

In my investigation I have talked to hundreds of people including politicians, EPA, DEC, Environmental groups, Department of Public workers, and South West sewer District #3 workers.  The information that I have is immense with documentation that is shocking regarding what is going on inSuffolk County in relation to sewage flooding.  For example, why was secret air testing done on so many homes with high levels of severe bacteria, without notification to the residents? This is completely unethical.

Now what I have to ask is why 7 million dollars was paid out to homes affected by raw sewage and somehow 26  Homan Ave in Bay Shore has been forgotten. Where did that money come from? When they were dotting there I’s and crossing their T’s why were we forgotten?  I often wondered if it was because of my last name Serrano PR (a Latino last name!)  Or was it because I’m a single mom? Or possibly was it that they felt that this cover–up would go away in time?  NO!

Now the time that has passed has made me and my case stronger and has proven the incompetence ofSuffolkCounty, Department of Public, and South West Sewer District #3. This happened to my home and the homes of others again March 30, 2010. I was not surprised that it happened but was still in a state of shock. That smell of Raw Sewage, fumes and gases that came from the flood was a sickening reminder of what occurred in 2005.  If we do not fix what is broken, this is what happens? Lives have been changed and scars have been left!

Well I have never forgotten and never will.  I’m the home with the large signs!  I’m the mom who begged you for help when I was sick. I was a hardworking, loving, trusting, HEALTHY single mom. I’m a person who trusted my County, only to find lies, corruption, cover ups and a lack of respect for human life. I have information here that would blow Suffolk County out their dysfunctional Department of Public works, South West Sewer District and political toilet. You know I read an Email from the town and county and it said “I wonder what Copiague is waking up to the smell of coffee or sewer.” I find this remark disgusting.

This Raw Sewage Flood is my day, my night, and my dreams or should I say nightmares. How do they think that they can destroy, someone’s home, health, lively hood and disappear?  How about our Environment do they care about Suffolk County’s future, the Great South Bay, soil, air and water?

I would also like to read a letter my son gave to me a year ago. This was when I went to some of our politician’s offices asking for help and I was ignored. The Subject was: I am my Mother’s son, and I am here to say she needs help.

To, whom it may concern

Hello, my name is Marcello Iaboni. I’m a 21 year old from Long Island N.Y, more specificallyBay Shore N.Y. I’m writing to express and communicate my discontent pertaining to a very sensitive subject. I speak of the loss of my home at 26 Homan Avenue in Bay Shore N.Y, and the near death of my mother Laura Serrano.

On October 14th, 2005 our home that my mother worked so hard for was devastated by a sewage backup that directly entered our home. Very shortly after, my mother contracted meningitis, which nearly killed her. After the fact, conclusive soil and air testing was conducted on our property and revealed the presence of high levels of bacteria directly linked to meningitis and other serious illnesses.

This cruel reality forced my mother and me to move out of our house with our health as the highest priority. My mother has the soil report and findings along with 5 years of detailed documentation of her efforts to seek justice.

The inadequate, aging and failing sewage infrastructure onLong Island and all over the nation is no longer something we can turn our backs too. It is impacting lives and the pursuit of happiness. My mother is not a money hungry sue happy individual. Instead she is an individual who seeks to rebuild our property, replacing the contaminated soil with new soil to pursue the future prospects of either living in our house once again, or having a clear conscience to sell our property.

Despite multiple attempts at a more then deserved trial with Suffolk County, she has been stood up several time’s. The individuals refuse to come to a settlement with my mother, let alone show up. The immaturity of these types of decisions cannot be emphasized enough. I want my mother to get what she deserves for the last 5 years of stress and neglect. On an even broader scale, I also seek recognition of the urgency behind the neglect of our sewage infrastructure. It would be horrible if something like this happened to anybody else. This is why I am writing to you. If there is anything you can do to hold the mentioned individuals accountable, or to put this letter in the right hands, I would be completely and sincerely indebted to you. Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely, Marcello Iaboni

When my son gave me this letter, I realized that this raw sewage flood had changed us forever. The dreams of ever moving back came to an end the 2nd time that my home was inundated, with raw sewage on March 30, 2010. Just imagine someone pouring raw sewage into your home! How would you feel?

I will tell you this!  I will never go AWAY!  I want my 6 years back! I want the County to stop adjourning my day in court. This December will be 34 adjournments. Let me repeat that 34 ADJOURNMENTS.  How is this fair! Is this corruption so deep that I can’t get a trial date? I question this every day. The only thing I do know is that I will never, never stop pursuing this issue.  Why because I am my Son’s Mother!

Any help that you can give us to expedite this nightmare would be helpful. Media attention is very much needed in this matter since Suffolk County has this silenced when it comes to raw sewage in the suburbs. I will continue to Occupy Everywhere!

Sincerely Laura Serrano

[Youtube rawsewageinjustice]

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