There is a scene I always recall when I try to remember the exhilarating effect that Occupy Wall Street had on me when it was first getting going. I was on a subway train in Washington, D.C., reading an article about the protests in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan. It was three years after the Wall Street bailouts. It was two years after everyone I knew had given up hope in the creativity of Barack Obama. It was two months after the bankers’ friends in the Republican Party had pushed the country right to the brink of default in order to underscore their hallucinatory economic theories. Like everyone else, I had had enough.
When Occupy Wall Street pitched up at Zucotti Park in New York over a year ago, many people, even those of us involved, doubted it would be much more than a predictable street battle with the cops before we were all dispersed and sent home. I had the same feeling a month later when Met officers kettled thousands of us around St. Paul's Cathedral during our attempt to occupy the London Stock Exchange. The following morning, when Canon Giles Fraser kindly asked the police to leave, and announced that the protestors were welcome to stay, that kicked off, for me, months of intense organizing with amazing people, both within and without of, Occupy London. We definitely changed the conversation and made some interesting allies, but concrete achievements are harder to identify.
"Occupy Sandy has cooked and distributed between 10 and 15 thousand meals each day; enlisted more than 7,000 volunteers; created three major distribution hubs from which it dispatches both workers and supplies; and established dozens of recovery sites in New York and New Jersey."
There is not much left of the Occupy movement as such — almost all the encampments were destroyed in November or December 2011 and virtually no new ones have emerged. On the other hand, the movement was in no way “defeated.” With few exceptions, the people arrested were quickly released and totally exonerated. The elimination of the encampments simply had the effect of forcing the participants onto other, more diverse terrains of struggle. Countless people all over the country continue to meet regularly, to network with each other and to carry out all sorts of actions — picketing banks, disrupting corporate board meetings, blocking home foreclosures, protesting environmental policies (Monsanto, Tar Sands Pipeline, fracking, etc.),
After a long, rollicking and vintage Occupy-style concert and telethon last night called the People's Bailout, which included music, talks about debt, and performances the Rolling Jubilee has raised enough money to forgive over 5 million dollars of debt.
It was a beautiful sight -- throngs of volunteers lining up outside a local church on Sunday, Day Five of the local recovery initiative spearheaded by Occupy Sandy. The number of willing helpers had tripled over the last three days alone, a response as dizzying as it was encouraging for the coordinators at the relief hub in St. Jacobi Lutheran Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York.
Medical debt is the cause of 62 percent of bankruptcies, say organizers of Strike Debt, which threw last night's offbeat fundraiser for their new “Rolling Jubilee.” Ordinary people donated enough money to collectively buy an estimated $5.9 million in bad debt in order to cancel it.
Two hundred people were lined up at a hurricane relief center in a park in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood on Sunday morning when three volunteers hoisted the banners of two enemy camps that had come together in an uneasy collaboration: the Occupy movement and the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
NEW YORK (AP) — The social media savvy that helped Occupy Wall Street protesters create a grass-roots global movement last year is proving to be a strength in the wake of Superstorm Sandy as members and organizers of the group fan out across New York to deliver aid including hot meals, medicine and blankets.
It was Tuesday afternoon. The hurricane had swirled offshore, but the floods had yet to recede. Red Hook was seeping from the cellars of its rowhouses, dripping from the tips of every awning, blacked out all the way to the 20th floor of its NYCHA housing projects. FEMA was nowhere to been seen. The Red Cross was nowhere to be seen. The National Guard was nowhere to be seen. Those massive bureaucracies were processing the paperwork, reviewing protocols, checking boxes and getting everything in place.
The Rolling Jubilee project is seeking donations to help it buy-up distressed debts, including student loans and outstanding medical bills, and then wipe the slate clean by writing them off. Individuals or companies can buy distressed debt from lenders at knock-down prices if it the borrower is in default or behind with payments and are then free to do with it as they see fit, including cancelling it free of charge.
We can not thank you enough for your support. It is so amazing to see so many people come together to help with Sandy Relief. This is a critical time to help as the media moves to cover other events there will be a danger that the ongoing emergency will fade. We saw this after Katrina. Please consider becoming a long term Food Not Bombs volunteer helping with our groups on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island and Manhattan. Our volunteers are preparing huge amounts of food but the need is so great we could use more donations and help. There will be many hungry and cold people struggling for many more months so your help is urgently needed.
Some were standing, some were sitting, some with their backs to the altar on the thick red velvet cushions that are usually reserved for knees on Sunday morning. Tammy Shapiro, an Occupy Wall Street and Interoccupy organizer, faced several dozen volunteers and organizers who crowded to the front of St. Jacobi's church in Sunset Park for their nightly debriefing. It was Friday, November 2, and Occupy Sandy was wrapping up its third full day of work.
At the St. Francis de Sales church on B-129th Street, the church hall has been taken over by Occupy Sandy—an offshoot of the still-active networks of Occupy Wall Street. Supplies have been driven here from all over Brooklyn: back there are piles of blankets; on the tables here are diapers, baby food, and cleaning supplies; over there, clothes (grownup, child, baby); more than a hundred pairs of shoes lined up neatly on the bleachers. Residents of the neighborhood wander around the hall, filling bags. In the front entranceway Occupy volunteers are unloading cases of bottled water from a truck, handing the heavy cases one to the next, a bucket brigade to the back of the church. The volunteers move fast but the job lasts more than half an hour—it’s a big truck. In front of the church, long tables have been set up on the sidewalk, where volunteers are serving hot food and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
Corporate America is concerned solely with profits... period. Therefore, America’s foreign and domestic policy is quite logically geared towards that financial end -- without any accountability. The no-accountability part is made possible by the “other wing” of the power elite -- the corporate media. Through incredibly effective thought control, the press can “manufacture consent” for the policies of the CEOs and the ruling class.
Recent provocative and irresponsible statements by the previously unknown DOOM (Defend Our [sic] Oakland Movement) and the well-known decredentialed OO Media Collective, claiming to represent the general interests of the now-defunct Occupy Oakland community, demonstrate the advanced decomposition of the Occupy phenomenon. Explicitly anti-radical elements were present at Occupy Oakland from the beginning; for example, some tried to get the General Assembly to adopt vaguely conceived principles of non-violence that implicitly rely on the respect for property rights -- enforced by … the police!