(Photo) At yesterday’s Tea Party rally in Boston, protesters from Occupy Wall Street and Join the Impact MA shouted down Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” architect, Scott Lively’s, address to the crowd about the dangers of “faggots.” During the non-violent culture clash Boston’s police stepped in to rough up the young queers and their supporters. Photographer Paul Weiskel captured this young man getting choked for holding a dangerous object - a pink wig. Here’s his account of the incident:
Hi, This is a picture of me. The “pale violet material” I’m holding was a wig I was wearing that a Tea Partier had just knocked off my head. I was asking the tea partier to explain to me why he thought it was okay to knock my wig off (“My hand slipped”, he replied sarcastically) when the officer came up and said something along the lines of “okay, take your shit and get out of here” and shoved me a few feet. I turned to him and said “Don’t push me”. he replied “Don’t push you?!” then did this. You can decide yourself if this was deserved or not.
Ah, I wish I could go up to Seoul and give them my support! I also think the materialism and dominance of brand names in this country will eventually break down. I hope so, anyway. The 99% Spring is coming!
This is what Occupy Seoul looks like. A little small, but I suppose protesting goes against the Confucian way. You know, like getting up in a sea of people and saying “Hey, this is wrong!” But maybe I’m too harsh. At least they’re trying, right?
I accidentally stumbled across this little gathering while trying to find the Seoul Museum of Art. It took me forever to find someone who spoke enough English to tell me what it was all about and when I did, the very kind young lady said, “We are 99%”.
“Oh, so like Occupy Wall Street?”
She clapped her hands enthusiastically and shouted, “Yeah! Yeah!”
Good luck y’all, but Seoul is so enamored with this new capitalism thing (Louis Vuitton handbags and smartphones and designer shit) that I don’t think you’ve got many sympathizers at the moment.
Now I could be wrong, especially because I’ve only been here for 8 months, but I think they will find some major support in the future—that there will be a huge backlash to this crazy consumer mentality. I wish I could be here to see it.
”Since [its inception], an estimated 6,500 people in 110 American cities have been arrested in connection with Occupy Wall Street protests. And now, it appears plans for a new phase of the groundbreaking protests have taken root.”
Fighting fire with fire?
Occupying from within the system: Today, OWS created a super PAC called the “The Occupy Wall Street Political Action Committee.” John Paul Thornton is the treasurer of the committee. “It’s going to be fairly democratic. We’ll take opinions on how much candidates need and in what areas,” Thornton said. The point of this super PAC is to raise money … to stop politicians from raising too much money. “I am out to get the bloated amounts of money out of politics but to do that, we need to support candidates looking to do that,” Thornton said. source
It’s been a long, cold winter already for Occupy Wall Street, the protest movement that burst onto the scene in September to focus national attention on income inequality and the perceived greed of the rich and powerful.
Police have cleared the signature “Occupy” encampments in New York, Los Angeles, Oakland and other major cities. Cold weather, and perhaps protest fatigue, have weakened the handful of camps that remain around the country. The lack of a coherent set of demands has made it difficult for the young movement to affect policy or otherwise score victories that might keep recruits coming.
But the movement has clearly influenced the national political conversation, with even President Barack Obama echoing some of its themes in calling for a “fair shot” and “fair share” for all.
Now, as Occupy heads into 2012, participants in the leaderless movement are developing a range of new strategies and tactics to keep what they view as the injustices of the economic system in the spotlight.
Here are some ways the Occupy movement is trying to evolve:
- OCCUPY THE ELECTION
- OCCUPY THE ECONOMY
- OCCUPY HOUSING
- OCCUPY CYBERSPACE
- OCCUPY REAL SPACE
- OCCUPY CULTURE
In an OWS Era, Americans Are Much More Aware of Class Tension
It looks like Occupy Wall Street’s message has resonated even after Zuccotti Park cleared out. A new Pew Research Center survey reveals that two-thirds of the public believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between America’s rich and poor—a number that’s up 19 percentage points since 2009. According to the survey, income inequality now trumps tensions arising from race or immigration—popular answers only a few years before.
Librada Martinez, a member of the Ava Guarani ethnic group, scuffled with police officers who worked to clear a square in Asuncion, Paraguay, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. People have been occupying the square, demanding government aid.
[Credit : Jorge Saenz/Associated Press]
— Captain Ray Lewis, a retired Philadelphia police officer arrested in November at Occupy Wall Street. (via thismarks-theend)
Some protesters from Occupy Sacramento with a pretty awesome sign.
“This primal cry for democracy sprang from young people who could no longer ignore the angst in their gut — the premonition that their future does not compute, that their entire lives will be lived in the apocalyptic shadow of climate-change tipping points, species die-offs, a deadening commercialized culture, a political system perverted by money, precarious employment, a struggle to pay off crippling student loans, and no chance of ever owning a home or living in comfort like their parents. Glimpsing this black hole of ecological, political, financial and spiritual crisis, the youth and the millions of Americans who joined them instinctively knew that unless they stood up and fought nonviolently for a different kind of future, they would have no future at all.”
Yes, America’s youth are the voice of the 99%, Americans inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions. American youth are fueling “the greatest social-justice movement to emerge in the United States since the civil rights era.”
“This kind of military mindset and violent response to nonviolent protesters makes no sense. It did not work in the Middle East, and it’s not going to work in America either. This is the bottom line … you cannot attack your young and get away with it.”
Repeat that “bottom line … you cannot attack your young and get away with it.” And yet, that’s exactly what Wall Street, America’s superrich, their lobbyists and all their bought politicians are doing: “attacking our young.” Attacking our next generation. Attacking America’s future.
“I don’t think they have a sense of what it means when tax dollars are spent in this way,” a spokeswoman for the Oakland, Calif., city government, Karen Boyd, told The Daily. “Oakland is very much a city that has been devastated by the economic downturn. We don’t have an extra $2.5 million to spend.”
Oakland police estimate that overtime eventually will top $3 million, and Boyd said this may lead to cuts in senior services and libraries. Last year, Oakland laid off 500 city workers, including 80 police officers, to close a $58 million deficit.
Well, excuse us while we try to change the world!
I wonder: Why have the Europeans figured out they are getting screwed, and we haven’t? Why are they taking to the streets en masse, while we seem to be watching our own control over our own futures slip from our hands almost as if from afar?
In America, we are too busy dropping the kids off at soccer, running around looking for sales and bargains, racing to keep our heads above water. We seem to forget to get outraged. Our control over our once Democracy — the one we had a revolution against a monarchy dictating decisions from afar — slips away from us. Not with a bang, not even with a whimper, but with a 1000s acts of gradual ceding of power to the new Monarch. We have given up hard won rights to a coordinated attack from all three branches of government; Our Congress has become the legislative branch of eBay — Congressmen are auctioned off to the highest bidder; they even have a Buy It Now button to get specific legislation passed. The executive branch has fallen under the sunk cost fallacy, afraid to prosecute banks because we spent so many billions bailing them out. It turns out that even our once venerable Supreme Court is just as corrupted, with lobbyists partying with Justices and backdooring ethics by hiring their wives.
In short, our new overlords are enormously well funded, well connected, relentless and perhaps most of all, patient. This new King was not appointed by primogeniture, or even Divine Right, but by acquiring enough profits in the free market that they can buy control over society, even as they thwart that free market ideal for their own ends. We have become, in short, a Corporate Monarchy.
The right question isn’t why am I angry, sad and outraged. The proper question is, why aren’t you?