As long as there has been a thing called Occupy Wall Street, there have been people who've suggested it should become the left's version of the Tea Party. Josh Harkinson's piece is a notable contribution to the conversation because it comes after eight months of in-depth reporting on the movement. Harkinson, like Jennifer Granholm, suggests that Occupy should recruit and run candidates, so the left has champions in Congress and can credibly threaten less ideologically aligned Democrats. According to this logic, it doesn't matter if Occupy does this itself or essentially outsources the job to our progressive allies -- the point is to find ways to elect more good Democrats.
For a generation, America's political-economy has been gripped in a vicious cycle. Those at the top of the economic pile have taken an ever-growing share of the nation's income, and then leveraged that haul into ever-greater political power, which they have in turn used to rewrite the rules of “the market” in their favor. Wash, rinse and repeat.
“If we appear to seek the unattainable, it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable.”
Sotheby’s New York auction house made international headlines last week, selling Edvard Munch's painting “The Scream” for a record $119.9 million. But few stories mentioned what was happening outside the auction: picketing by 150 artists, activists, and locked-out art handlers.
When Mainstream Media Coverage of Occupy Fell Off, So Did Their Coverage of Inequality and Corporate Greed
Occupy Wall Street is rightly credited with helping to shift the economic debate in America from a fixation on deficits to issues of income inequality, corporate greed and the centralization of wealth among the richest 1 percent. The movement has chalked up other victories as well, from altering New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax plan (New York Times, 12/5/11) to re-energizing activists and unions, but bringing some discussion of class into the mainstream dialogue has been one of its crowning achievements.
This article is based on the pamphlet, May Day – The Secret Rendezvous with History and the Present, by the Occupied Media Pamphlet Series, and the forthcoming book, Occupying Language, also with the same series as well as Adelante Alliance. http://www.zuccottiparkpress.com/posts.html
“The Tombs” is the less-than-endearing nickname for New York City’s Central Booking, the jail you get sent to if you are arrested in Manhattan and set to be arraigned before a judge. This spiraling dungeon below the courthouse at 100 Centre Street is about as ominous as it sounds. Above, the court itself is pristine and immaculate, adorned in mahogany and full of quiet, proper, well-dressed people. But all you have to do is open a door to the back of the courtroom to reveal an underground complex made up of filthy jail cells, violent correctional officers and hundreds of (mainly) poor people (mainly) of color, awaiting their arraignment for anywhere between 10 and 72 hours.
Occupy DC Forcefully Evicted, Protesters Injured, Arrested, Under Pressure from Congress's Richest Member
“Move back!” shouted the cop wielding a clear Plexiglas shield emblazoned with the words “U.S. Park Police” as he moved into the crowd of demonstrators thronging McPherson Square on Saturday afternoon. The photographer next to me was shouting “I’m press!” but that didn’t seem to impress the phalanx of officers advancing on us, applying their shields to our shoulders.
The militarization of America’s metropolitan police forces was on full display in recent months as police from Los Angeles to New York cracked down on Occupy protests, decked out in full SWAT gear and occasionally using strange pieces of military hardware.
The 99% Versus Wall Street: Stephen Lerner on How We Can Mobilize To Be the Greedy 1%'s Worst Nightmare
Earlier this year, long before Occupy Wall Street turned Zuccotti Park into Liberty Plaza, Stephen Lerner, a longtime labor organizer with SEIU and mastermind of the Justice for Janitors campaign, wrote in New Labor Forum of “large-scale sit-ins, occupations, and other forms of nonviolent civil disobedience that must inevitably overcome court injunctions and political pressures.”
The evening is rainy and quite warm, which is disconcerting since it is almost December. A hundred or so people gather on the east side of what we may safely call Zuccotti Park, for their General Assembly.