I started posting on HowieinSeattle in 11/04, following progressive American politics in the spirit of Howard Dean's effort to "Take Our Country Back." I decided to follow my heart and posted on seattleforbarackobama from 2/07 to 11/08.--"Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle."--Michael Hood.
Organizers of today's march and rally of Garfield High School students couldn't have hoped for a better outcome. Several hundred students walked out of school around 12:30 pm to protest continued cuts in education funding, and marched to a rally in the city hall plaza. It was a large, enthusiastic, and diverse crowd—"The most diverse Garfield event I've ever been to," one student told me—and well behaved almost to a fault. Every time a student strayed into the street, others would call for them to stay on sidewalk, and bike cops had to repeatedly yell at students to continue crossing against the crosswalk light. It made for slow going.
Students, parents, teachers, and administrators should be proud. MORE...
Protesters, including Regan Bailey, center left, and Heather McKimmie, center right, both of Seattle, demonstrate against budget cuts outside the capitol in Olympia on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, on the first day of a special session of the Washington state Legislature.Photo: AP, Ted S. Warren / AP
The Legislature ought to be putting on the ballot a proposal to close tax loopholes enjoyed by out-of-state banks, or perhaps a modest per-barrel tax on oil companies to restore cuts in cleanup and conservation programs.
Still, sometimes, you take what you can get and come back later for more. The approach has worked -- to near perfection -- in establishing and expanding rights for same-sex couples. Marriage equality is a distinct possibility in next year's regular session of the Legislature. MORE...
Until this fall, Ray Kachel had lived virtually all of his fifty-three years within a few miles of his birthplace, in Seattle. He was a self-taught Jack-of-all-trades in the computer industry, who bought his first Mac in 1984. He attended Seattle Central Community College but dropped out; not long afterward, he was hired by a company that specialized in optical character recognition, transferring printed material into digital records for storage. Eventually, Kachel was laid off, but for a long time he continued to make a decent living; keeping up with advances in audio and video production, he picked up freelance work editing online content. He also programmed and played keyboards in a band, and had a gig as a night-club d.j.; sometimes, between technology jobs, he worked in his adoptive parents’ janitorial business. He spent his money on a few pleasures, like microbrewery beer and DVDs. His favorite movie was “Stalker,” the 1979 sci-fi film by Andrei Tarkovsky. “Three guys traipsing through the woods—it’s visually and aurally very, very strange,” Kachel said. “Tarkovsky is famous for painfully long takes, creating an environment that’s uncomfortable without it being clear why.” MORE...
Occupy Wall Street protests are staying at the top of the news across the country this week after students across the country hit the streets in a planned general strike — mostly in reaction to the pepper spray incident at the UC Davis campus, and to planned tuition hikes at public universities. MORE...
'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.
We’ve already accepted it’s a slow news day, so we might as well talk about Miley Cyrus. The teen pop sensation (I think that’s the right word) released a new music video this week standing up for the Occupy Wall Street protestors. And by “standing up for,” I mean using footage from the protests and combining them with generic messages about standing up for what you believe in and never giving up and whatever else pop music is about these days. MORE...
When the residents of Saranac Lake, NY were faced with having a Super Wal-Mart put in, some 600 residents came together to open their own department store. CBS News business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis reports.
Most political analysis of America’s awful economy focuses on whether it will doom President Obama’s reelection or cause Congress to turn toward one party or the other. These are important questions, but we should really be looking at the deeper problems with which whoever wins in 2012 will have to deal.
Not to depress you, but our economic troubles are likely to continue for many years — a decade or more. At the current rate of job growth (averaging 90,000 new jobs per month over the last six months), 14 million Americans will remain permanently unemployed. The consensus estimate is that at least 90,000 new jobs are needed just to keep up with the growth of the labor force. Even if we get back to a normal rate of 200,000 new jobs per month, unemployment will stay high for at least ten years. Years of high unemployment will likely result in a vicious cycle, as relatively lower spending by the middle-class further slows job growth. MORE...
President Obama came into office with expectations that Superman couldn’t have met. Many on the left believed what the right feared: that Obama was an old-fashioned liberal. But the president’s cautious centrism soured the left without reassuring the right.
Like many, I have disappointments with Obama. He badly underestimated the length of this economic crisis, and for a man with a spectacular gift at public speaking, he has been surprisingly inept at communicating.
But as we approach an election year, it is important to acknowledge the larger context: Obama has done better than many critics on the left or the right give him credit for. MORE...
One group has been especially vocal about shaping a new narrative of the credit crisis and economic collapse: those whose bad judgment and failed philosophy helped cause the crisis.
Rather than admit the error of their ways — Repent! — these people are engaged in an active campaign to rewrite history. They are not, of course, exonerated in doing so. And beyond that, they damage the process of repairing what was broken. They muddy the waters when it comes to holding guilty parties responsible. They prevent measures from being put into place to prevent another crisis.
Here is the surprising takeaway: They are winning. Thanks to the endless repetition of the Big Lie.
A Big Lie is so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. There are many examples: Claims that Earth is not warming, or that evolution is not the best thesis we have for how humans developed. Those opposed to stimulus spending have gone so far as to claim that the infrastructure of the United States is just fine, Grade A (not D, as the we discussed last month), and needs little repair.
Wall Street has its own version: Its Big Lie is that banks and investment houses are merely victims of the crash. You see, the entire boom and bust was caused by misguided government policies. It was not irresponsible lending or derivative or excess leverage or misguided compensation packages, but rather long-standing housing policies that were at fault.
Indeed, the arguments these folks make fail to withstand even casual scrutiny. But that has not stopped people who should know better from repeating them. MORE...
Last month I wrote about the growing failings of the Occupy Seattle movement and the Occupy movement in general.
I said Occupy is a failed effort that lacks, among other things, organization, unified messages and overall purpose. Aside from taking up space, demanding attention and stroking each other’s misguided interpretation of revolution, Occupy, especially in Seattle, isn’t actually doing much to create the change it claims to want so desperately.
A month later, the same observations ring true. Things have only gotten worse. MORE...
We remind the people of Portland and the people of the world that we have come together to address the deepest problems of our economic and political system, and that these problems have no easy solutions— especially when those openly seeking the solutions are painted as filthy, ignorant, violent hooligans by those with a vested interest in maintaining the current broken system. We remind them who we are: mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, the unemployed and underemployed, students, teachers, government employees, laborers, and pensioners. We remind them, two months after this movement began, and on the eve of the most lucrative commercial day of the year, to not lose sight of the original animation of this movement. MORE...
How does the Occupy Wall Street movement move from "the outrage phase" to the "hope phase," and imagine a new economic model? In a Democracy Now! special broadcast, we bring you excerpts from a recent event that examined this question and much more. "Occupy Everywhere: On the New Politics and Possibilities of the Movement Against Corporate Power," a panel discussion hosted by The Nation magazine and The New School in New York City, features Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore; Naomi Klein, best-selling author of the "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"; Rinku Sen of the Applied Research Center and publisher of ColorLines; Occupy Wall Street organizer Patrick Bruner; and veteran journalist William Greider, author of "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country." [includes rush transcript]
Howie P.S.: Naomi Klein, underlying the significance of the Occupy Movement, says "This is a no kidding around moment." Joe Biden, if he could, might say it in his own way.
Appearing on Countdown Wednesday evening with guest host David Shuster, actress-comedienne Janeane Garofalo criticized the Republican’s 2012 political strategy of labeling President Obama as elitist — or “uppity” as Rush Limbaugh has on his program. “It always works on a certain segment of the population. If you are trying to appeal to the worst in us,” Garofalo observed. “Quite literally, the worst in us and you’re trying to go to the limbic brain of anxiety, fear, intolerance, hatred, bitterness, ignorance, you have to just use these very simple, as they say, dog whistle words.” MORE...
President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus bill which was passed in Congress during the first month of his Administration and which received opposition from all but three Congressional Republicans has thus far resulted in the employment for 5 million or more Americans according to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2011 third quarter ARRA accounting report released on Tuesday. MORE...
...the tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey only dates back to 1989, with president George H.W. Bush’s first official Presidential turkey pardon. According to politicususa.com, an old story had circulated that President Abraham Lincoln had pardoned the first turkey in 1863.
The story says that Lincoln’s son Tad became so attached to a Christmas turkey that it was kept as a pet. Lincoln didn’t pardon the turkey, he just let his son keep the bird. MORE...
Jill Wakefield requested a special meeting for noon today (11/23) so the district's board of trustees can vote on an emergency proposal to ban camping on college property. The ban, which would take effect immediately, is aimed solely at Occupy Seattle's camp at the Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill.
Special Board Meeting Notification
Please be informed that a special Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled to be held on November 23, 2011, at 12 noon in the Seattle Community College District Office Boardroom, 1500 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122.
CALL TO ORDER
INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS (please sign in)
APPROVAL OF AGENDA / ACTION
PUBLIC COMMENTS Fifteen minutes are regularly set aside for others to express their views on any matter except those restricted to Executive Session. Anyone wishing to speak to the items on this meeting Agenda will be recognized when the item is being discussed.
RECOMMENDED BOARD ACTION Proposed Emergency Rule on Camping ADJOURNMENTS
Following a speech at a Manchester high school in New Hampshire, an Occupy protester handed President Obama a note that criticized his “silence” over the “police brutality” going on over the protests. Obama took the note, paused and studied its contents for a few moments before continuing on to shake hands at the event.MORE...
On Monday, Nov. 28, the Washington State Legislature will convene for a special legislative session called by Gov. Chris Gregoire with plans to cut another $2 billion in state services. This is on top of the $10 billion in cuts over the past three years, which have eliminated thousands of jobs, cost families their health care coverage, increased school class sizes, sent college tuition skyrocketing, and shredded our social safety net.
Washington citizens opposed to these cuts plan to occupy our State Capitol in Olympia during the special session to tell our lawmakers that we have had enough! The Washington State Labor Council is urging all union activists and supporters of good jobs and our quality of life in this state to participate in these actions. MORE...
I got to debate Jonathan Chait about his much-discussed New York magazine piece, “When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?” on “Hardball” Tuesday night. He’s aiming at President Obama’s liberal critics, but in fact his article proves that criticism is nothing new. Apparently, we’ve always been unreasonable, because Chait’s survey of Democratic presidents going back to FDR finds that the left has always found a reason to squawk. But he seems to think we’re particularly unreasonable when it comes to Obama. With Thanksgiving ahead, I found myself wondering whether liberals should be more grateful to the president. MORE...
After she announced her drive for a half-cent sales tax increase yesterday, Governor Chris Gregoire was asked the above question by a reporter.
In response, Gregoire, clearly pissed, gave an uncharacteristically tough defense of her "demoralized" state workforce.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute," Gregoire said, leaving the podium to grab a large chart that she could hold over the reporter's head. "I don't know how you can say that."
State workers are already sitting next to empty desks and having to do more because so many of their colleagues have been let go, Gregoire said. Now she's proposing to lay off another 1,500 state workers to deal with the current $2 billion budget shortfall. Plus, out of the $10.5 billion that's been cut from the state budget over the last three years, 19 percent of those cuts—almost $2 billion worth—have come out of salaries and compensation for state-employed K-12 workers. "They have stepped up," Gregoire declared, returning to her point that it's now time for voters to step up and approve a small, temporary revenue increase to pay for basic state services.
Watch the video and see a new Gregoire emerging, finally, as she heads into her last year in office.
Howie P.S.: "Why should the voters be willing to sacrifice for themselves if the state worker unions are not willing to do the same?" was the original question Gregoire was asked. Gregoire's defense of state workers comes at about 38:00 in the embedded video above.
Today's show, w/ @chrislhayes & Janeane "Katherine Harris" Garofalo from our 12 Hour Anniversary Show, is now up!
Howie P.S.: This is what you call a "podcast." Hayes is the 'serious' one and Janeane is the 'funny.' If you're like me, listening to Janeane is the treat you get after hearing Chris Hayes being very intellectual and analytical.
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street: MORE...
Rob McKenna keeps promising to spend billions more on education, which is a good thing, I guess, except he won't tell us how he plans to pay for it, other than diverting money from revenue growth and efficiency savings that simply are not there. Essentially, either McKenna can't do math, or he's hoping we can't.
Think about it. Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposed half cent sales tax increase would raise a little more than half a billion dollars a year, and only stave off some of the proposed further cuts to education. Yet McKenna is proposing spending an additional $5 billion on education, without raising taxes.
No doubt it's smart politics for McKenna to run as the "education governor," but unless he backs it up with actual revenue, it's just plain dishonest. MORE...
You've been seeing this across the country... Americans assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed... Why? For exercising their right to free speech and assembly -- protesting the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the top.
And what's Washington's response? Nothing. In fact, Congress's so-called "super committee" just disbanded because Republicans refuse to raise a penny of taxes on the rich. MORE..
Say "NO" to gutting WA State Public Education---To be delivered to: The Washington State House, The Washington State Senate and Governor Christine Gregoire Stop the cutbacks to Washington state public education. Find another way to make up for the shortfall in the state budget. Sign the petition here. MORE...
When a small group of protestors began to Occupy Wall Street two months ago, no one could have imagined that the movement would have spread across the globe in just a month's time. Instead of disappearing like the folks at Fox News had predicted, the movement is growing with each passing day, as more and more people are becoming fed up with the way corporate America has treated them. The big question now is, what is the next step? Mike Papantonio talks about that next step with investigative journalist Daniel Denvir.
First Lady Michelle Obama talks to students about the importance of following their passions and chasing their dreams before a workshop with musicians Lyle Lovett, Darius Rucker, and Kris Kristofferson.
Thanksgiving week is a milestone for Barack Obama, but not one that many are likely to commemorate. The president who seemed poised to inherit John F. Kennedy’s mantle—in the eyes of Kennedy’s last surviving child and brother as well as many optimistic onlookers (me included) in 2008—will now have served longer than his historical antecedent. Obama, surely, does not want to be judged against any JFK yardstick, longevity included. It’s his rotten luck that he incited such comparisons at the start by being a young and undistinguished legislator before seeking the presidency; by giving great speeches; by breaking a once-insurmountable barrier for African-Americans, as Kennedy did for Roman Catholics; and by arriving in the White House with his own glamorous wife and two adorable young children in tow. He has usually shrugged off these parallels gracefully. These days, with his honeymoon long over, it’s particularly in his interest to do so. But Obama can’t escape JFK’s long shadow, and neither can we. Another wave of Kennedyiana has arrived just in time for the holidays: three major new books, all three already best sellers. But in the second decade of the 21st century, what, exactly, are the customers buying? (SNIP) ...read Manchester or 11/22/63 or any other account of that time, and the vitriol that was aimed at Kennedy in life seems as immediate as today. It’s as startling as that “You lie!” piercing the solemnity of a presidential address like a gunshot—or the actual gunshots fired at the White House last week by another wretched waif. In the end, that political backdrop is what our 44th and 35th presidents may have most in common. The tragedy of the Kennedy cult is that even as it fades, the hothouse brand of American malice that stalked its hero stalks our country still. MORE...
Speaking before television cameras at the supercommittee’s packed inaugural hearing in September, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the panel “has the opportunity to show the American people we can still come together, put politics aside, and solve a problem plaguing our country.”
Now, both parties are quickly trying to figure out how to turn the committee’s embarrassing failure into a political win for their side.
The Democratic message: We stood up to Republicans looking to gut Social Security, slash Medicare and permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts for high income Americans.
The Republican counterattack: Democrats wanted little more than tax increases and refused to consider changes to deficit-driving health care entitlements. Both sides are positioning themselves as the party that compromised and sought a middle-ground. MORE...
A couple of weeks ago, activist Mark Read was preparing to project a message—now dubbed the "bat signal"—onto the Verizon Building for Occupy Wall Street's two-month anniversary. He had gotten a 12K lumen projector from an anonymous donor. He had secured collaborators Max Nova and JR Skola of the art group Dawn of Man. But in order to sustain the projections for more than a few minutes, he needed a room to set up shop. He posted signs in the public housing complex across the way from Verizon, offering $250 for three hours of window use.
"None of the calls seemed to be working out," Mark Read says of the days leading up to last Thursday's protest. "I was preparing to just go back and stalk the building or the lobby."
That's when he heard from Denise Vega, a native New Yorker and single mother of three who was down for the OWS cause from the get-go. MORE...
The Sacramento City Attorney’s office today dismissed nine misdemeanor cases of protesters arrested at the Occupy Sacramento encampment at Cesar Chavez Park – and pro bono lawyers said they expected dozens of cases to be dismissed over the next week.
Another seven people are scheduled to have their charges dismissed Friday. Another nine, including anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan, will have charges dropped early next week.
In all, charges are expected to be dismissed or not filed against 40 individuals, the City has indicated to Occupy Sacramento lawyers. The Sacramento Police have made 84 arrests at the park since October 6. (SNIP) As the police crackdowns continue, an investigative news piece in the examiner.com on November 15 revealed that the repression of the Occupy movement was apparently aided by officials from Homeland Security and other federal law enforcement agencies (http://www.examiner.com/top-news-in-minneapolis/were-occupy-crackdowns-aided-by-federal-law-enforcement-agencies).
“Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict ‘Occupy’ protesters from city parks and other public spaces,” wrote Rick Ellis, Minneapolis Top News Examiner. “As was the case in last night’s move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.”
“The official, who spoke on background to me late Monday evening, said that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement,” according to Ellis.
“According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present,” said Ellis. MORE...
Occupy Sacramento said this afternoon that it will protest in front of Gov. Jerry Brown's Sacramento loft on Saturday.
But the Democratic governor is unlikely to be there: He spends many weekends at his Oakland home.
Cres Vellucci, a spokesman for Occupy Sacramento, said Brown's presence doesn't matter. The protest, he said, is "symbolic of the movement."
Occupy Sacramento said in a release that protesters and labor advocates will rally at Cesar Chavez Park before leading a "noisy march right to the front door of Gov. Jerry Brown's Sacramento home."
Brown has kept quiet about the Occupy Wall Street movement and recent student protests in California.
Vellucci said protesters "don't have a lot of faith in politicians, generally." They are specifically critical of Brown because they think he has not aggressively enough pursued tax increases on the wealthiest Californians, even as the state reduces services.
In the opinion of Gritt TV host Laura Flanders, the next step in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement needs to come not from the protesters but, instead, the media.
Responding to a question posed by Chris Hayes on his MSNBC show Saturday morning, Flanders placed responsibility on her colleagues with larger platforms to focus on the core elements of the movement instead of mass arrests and police brutality.
“This is why the media are so important, and why I worked in independent media for so long,” Flanders said. “Are we going to allow this story to become what you have describe, which is the image taken away by a lot of people this week? Or are we going to take our cameras where the movement actually has been? MORE...
The key is not just emotional investment in election-year saviors but also an engagement with policy. A commitment to organized expressions of political desire — like those that have been harnessed so effectively in recent years on the right — have been absent for far too long in Democratic politics. Now, with labor protests, campaigns to block voter suppression and personhood measures and the occupations of cities around the nation, there seem to be some small signs that liberals are remembering that politics requires more of them, that they need movements, not just messiahs. But their engagement must deepen, broaden and persist beyond last week’s elections and well beyond next year’s elections if there is any chance for politicians like Warren to succeed.
Because while she might provide her supporters and her constituents a voice that, if properly tuned, will rattle doors that are now gummed shut, what Elizabeth Warren cannot do is fix this mess herself. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I can see Howard Dean nodding his head vigorously in agreement with the above.
"Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures as he speaks during a rally at the Jacksonville Landing, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)"
In the wake of such a massive, popular and nonviolent win like the Egyptian Revolution and with the seemingly similar phenomenon of Occupy movements sweeping the US, it is easy to want to sift for gold in the form of organizing lessons. But for a moment, let us also remember that Egypt is simply a different society, economy and country than our own. Just because some lessons look attractive does not mean they are transferable.
That said, the most valuable organizing nugget I carried back with me is the continual necessity for acting and thinking boldly. As an organizer here in the US, I was taught to be pragmatic and practical - go for what you can win in a specific time horizon. As an organizer, we ask leaders to dream, to name the things that hold them back from being happy, free and prosperous. And then, we set limits on those dreams, or cut them into bite-sized chunks that are so small, they sometimes bear little resemblance to the massive, audacious canvas that the leaders first painted for us. We negotiate ourselves down before we even get to the real negotiation table. MORE..
Howie P.S.: "Mehrdad Azemun is national field director for National People's Action, based in Chicago, Illinois."
Gov. Chris Gregoire said Friday that she is “worn out” from all the budget cutting she has been forced to do the last three years. (SNIP) Gregoire had already departed the luncheon when she received a stern message in return. A husband-wife team, Tom and Sonya Campion, received an “Outstanding Philanthropists” award at the luncheon.
Sonya Campion spoke her mind. “I hope when the governor presents her next budget next week, it is not just cuts but revenues that she proposes,” Campion said. She received a strong ovation.
“Expanding philanthropy is not replacing government,” argued Campion, who helps non-profit groups tell their stories, and led a fund raising campaign to preserve open space and crucial wildlife habitats and migration corridors in the Methow Valley. MORE...
A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.” MORE...
What is missing from America is a healthy fear in the hearts and minds of the most powerful political and financial factions of the consequences of their continued pilfering, corporatism, and corrupt crony capitalism, and only this sort of movement — untethered from the pacifying rules of our political and media institutions — can re-impose that healthy fear. When both parties are captive to the same factions, then — by design, as AIPAC has so effectively shown — one can’t subvert the agenda of those factions simply by voting for one party or the other. MORE...
In front of the municipal tower, two security guard concierges politely directed protesters to their destination—SPD headquarters and the department's Office of Professional Accountability—where fresh-eyed 84-year-old activist Dorli Rainey waited, surrounded by members of the press, eager to talk about the Occupy movement and police accountability.
"I would like to get all elected officials in one spot and create a plan that would allow us free speech with more teeth than the resolution the council passed on Monday," Rainey said. "Tuesday, they let loose the cops. So I would like to see some accountability over there [she gestures at City Hall] and over there [she gestures at the King County courthouse].”
Rainey said she has no plans to file a complaint with SPD's Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) for being pepper sprayed on Tuesday. Still, she'd like to see SPD pay for how they've treated protesters. “I want their budget cut," she said. "They need to clean house. Get rid of the poisons. [That pepper spray] was big, like a fountain.”
And she doesn't regret blocking the street during Tuesday's protest. "I’d do it again. And if it happens again, it happens... We are losing our freedoms every second we stand around and do nothing.”
Today 200-plus people were arrested before 1:00 p.m. in New York City for participating in peaceful, non-violent protests related to Occupy Wall Street, which has seen perhaps its most trying turn of events in the past week. Among those arrested was retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis (pictured above), who said, “All the cops are just workers for the one percent, and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited.”
Ray Lewis, who retired in 2004, has a lot of interesting things to say, and I want you to hear as much of it as possible.
“They complained about the park being dirty,” he said over the OWS Livefeed last night. “Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting.” MORE...
The FDL Membership's Occupy Supply fund has raised an incredible $120,000 - 100% of which has been committed to preparing occupations across the US for the cold winter months.
We've already spent $81,835.71 on union and American-made winter weather gear, like -40 degree socks, hats, scarves, base layers, generators, food, sleeping bags and a lot more. Our reporter Kevin Gosztola has brought the Occupy Supply fund to over 50 occupations across the country, meeting with protesters and purchasing the things they need with the help of FDL members, the Machinists union, and volunteers.
FDL Members have also organized a dedicated national supply chain of 'Occupy Liaisons,' working directly with the occupations to assess needs and then collaborating with the Supply Fund to quickly distribute cold weather gear to those who need it most.
Every day, more and more occupations ask for our help - but we need your support to continue to fulfill their requests through the winter and beyond.
An if you think their civil disobedience has been an inconvenience to you, trying being a participant. Do you think the protesters like marching through the freezing rain? Do you think they enjoy camping out on the pavement, or getting themselves arrested or beaten or doused with pepper spray? Do you think the organizers of yesterday's action wanted to piss off motorists and bus commuters? Of course not. But this is what works. Faced with corporate media hostile to their agenda, if they want to get their message heard, the protesters have no choice but to give reporters the one thing that they can't resist: A great fucking story. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Like Herman Cain, I've had all these thoughts about the "inconvenience" argument spinning inside my head. Goldy got me straightened out.
Protesters gather on the University Bridge in Seattle during an Occupy Seattle and labor union protest. Occupy Seattle protesters and labor union members gathered on the bridge to call for the government to spend more money on infrastructure. The protestersshut down the Seattle bridge during rush hour. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM
Rush hour was jammed in Seattle on Thursday evening as hundreds of Occupy Seattle and union protesters occupied University Bridge.
Some protestors came north from Capitol Hill at around 4:30 p.m., while others came down from a rally at the University of Washington.
Police estimated a peak crowd size of about 600, but at one point the event looked like it reached a crowd size of about 1,000. The crowd swelled quickly as people marching from various locations met on the bridge. But the masses didn't stay long, thinning to about 300 people shortly after 6 p.m. MORE...
When you step back and think about it, it’s kind of striking how central the Bush tax cuts have proven to our politics in recent years — and how central they will continue to be through at least next year, when the argument over them will help decide the Congressional elections and presidential race.
They are a defining issue at the heart of the broad ideological argument between the two parties. They were central during the 2010 elections, and they will again be central in 2012. They are a key cause of our current fiscal problems, and now they’re at the center of the supercommittee’s likely failure to do anything to solve those problems. MORE...
Let's get a few things straight right from the jump.
First of all, despite all the gleeful obituaries that have been appearing across the scabrous landscape of the "mainstream" news media, the Occupy movement is not, in fact, over. Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have sent in cops like thieves in the night to dispossess peaceful protesters and destroy books in New York City, but there are hundreds of Occupy camps still standing from one side of this nation to the other. As for the seedcorn New York protest, well...if you're one who opposes what they've been doing, you can cross your fingers and toes to your heart's delight in the hope that matters are settled in the Big Apple, but you best be prepared for disappointment, because those people have set their caps to accomplish what they endeavored to do back in September, and they are far, far more organized and determined than people like you seem capable of apprehending.
A setback like this only adds fuel to the fire. We're talking about people who are so committed to the ideals of the Occupy movement that they abandoned the soft conveniences of modern existence - walls, a roof, a bed, plumbing, locks on the doors and the soothing babble of cable TV - to sleep in a park surrounded by strangers for almost two months. Raise your hand if you've ever gone camping for two full months, anywhere. It has been hot, it has been cold, it has rained, it has snowed, and, oh yeah, there was the ever-present threat of catching a billy club over the head or a face full of NYPD mace for their trouble. You think they're going away after enduring all that? MORE...
In the pantheon of billionaires without shame, Michael Bloomberg, the Wall Street banker-turned-business-press-lord-turned-mayor, is now secure at the top. What is so offensive is that someone who abetted Wall Street greed, and benefited as much as anyone from it, has no compunction about ruthlessly repressing those who dare exercise their constitutional “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” that he helped to create.
You would think that a former partner at the investment bank Solomon Brothers, which originated mortgage-backed securities, a man who then partnered with Merrill Lynch in the high-speed computerized trading that has led to so much financial manipulation, would have some sense of his own culpability. Or at least that someone whose Wall Street career left him with a net worth of $19.5 billion would grasp the deep irony of his being the instrument for smashing Occupy Wall Street, the internationally acknowledged symbol of opposition to corporate avarice. MORE...
Are the nation’s police officers against the Occupy movement? “Yes, no and maybe,” said former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, in an interview on WNYC’s The Takeaway. Drawing on his own struggle to ethically police Seattle’s WTO protests in the 1990s, Stamper urges police forces to strike an appropriate balance between safeguarding civil liberties and enforcing local law.
“I’m very discouraged by what I’m seeing today,” he said. “It suggests that they [national police forces] haven’t learned from our mistakes—and specifically from my mistakes.” You can read Stamper’s recent analysis of paramilitary policing here.
Eighty-four-year-old activist Dorli Rainey tells Keith about her experience getting pepper-sprayed by the police during an Occupy Seattle demonstration and the need to take action and spread the word of the Occupy movement. She cites the advice of the late Catholic nun and activist Jackie Hudson to “take one more step out of your comfort zone” as an inspiration, saying, “It would be so easy to say, ‘Well I’m going to retire, I’m going to sit around, watch television or eat bonbons,’ but somebody’s got to keep ’em awake and let ’em know what is really going on in this world.”
Howie P.S.: Dorli puts the Occupy Movement in historical context by recounting her experiences living in Nazi Germany. She gets in a few jabs at the tunnel project that is under construction on the Seattle waterfront to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct.
Asked why the US capital has not come down on the Occupy movement, as New York did on Tuesday, Gray said his staff has been “closely” in contact with organizers of both local occupations since they took root last month. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Bloomberg used similar rhetoric but left out the “closely” in contact part.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, both known for fighting the excesses of Wall Street, are teaming up for joint fundraising events on Dec. 9 in Seattle.
Tickets to the luncheon cost $1,250, while the dinner costs $40 per person.
According to the Seattle Times, "Rose Kapolczynski, Cantwell's political consultant, called the Cantwell-Warren pairing 'a natural fit' given their work on financial regulation. Kapolczynski said more than 200 people are expected to attend the reception while 'a few dozen' are booked for the luncheon."
Indeed, in his new book Confidence Men, Ron Suskind wrote that Warren and Cantwell had "been right, and right early, about the way America's financial system was drifting toward crisis." They, along with a few other women, "had been shooed away and shouted down by the men, both those manning Wall Street and those atop Washington's regulatory or economic policy posts, who quietly asserted that high finance might be the final mountaintop stronghold of 'man’s work.'"