Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

Bank Lobbyists Terrified of Occupy Movement

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford sent a proposal to the American Bankers Association, offering to implement an $850,000 strategy to undermine the credibility of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The plan was leaked to MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who made the memo available on the net.

The authors of the proposal have exposed just how scared the banking industry really is. Should the Occupy movement co-opt the Democratic party in the same way the Tea Party did the Republicans, according to the lobbyists, such events could “have very long-lasting political, policy, and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The document goes on to caution that Tea Party protesters could potentially join forces with Occupy Wall Street because “well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where [OWS] protesters and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism. [...] This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”

Of course, for less than a million dollars, how much could the lobbyists really hope to accomplish? JP Morgan Chase dumped $4.6 million directly into the NYPD, and so far the cops have only exasperated the situation.

But, like you’ve read here many times before, the occupy movement will not be stopped. There is too much at stake, and too much already wrong with our system for us to simply give up. The point of no return has been breached and now we cannot stop until we’ve reclaimed democracy for the world.

Joe Rogan on the Occupation

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

It’s that time of the week again when we forgo heady pieces concerned with ending the global drug war or abolishing conditions of apartheid in Israel and instead we watch a few videos.

First up comes some piercing insights à la Joe Rogan et. al in one of the best Occupy compilations yet:

Next we enjoy the musical styling of crooner Frank Sinatra, sharing his classic tune ‘New York, New York’, accompanied by the striking visuals of people being struck by police in Zuccotti park last night.

Finally, a video from yours truly, made more than 5 years ago. (Yikes! What the hell was I smoking?) Well, the medium might lack but the message is pretty solid: if we want to do away with extreme poverty a great place to start is with extreme wealth.

Obstructing the Occupation

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The modern day bastions of democracy – sprawling tent cities which have sprung up in nearly every major city in North America – are under threat from the establishment. Several of them, like those in Oakland, Denver and London, have all seen their property demolished and/or seized. Others, like Vancouver, are desperately fighting court orders for their removal.

Yet one wonders, do the front lines of the  #occupy movement really deserve such scorn?

Sure, for those people whose understanding of this movement comes from what little information trickles through the mainstream media (or the MSM as the kids are calling it) it can be easy to dismiss the encampments as major nuisances deserving the boot.

Unfortunately, with such contentious issues on the line, the potential for violent clashes runs high. Plus it’s just all around bad publicity when politicians crush free speech and squash the right to protest.

But whether or not to evict is really beside the point. The powers that be can clear out the protesters all they want – this uprising isn’t going anywhere. Any demonstrators forcefully removed will come back, in greater numbers, even more mobilized and determined than ever before.

What we see right now on the streets is just the initial call to action. These young, engaged activists from everywhere around the world are simply lighting the beacon. Over the coming years, as the world’s inherent injustices become further exposed by our newfound interconnectedness, more and more of us will be awakening to answer the very same call.

#Occupy Video Roundup

Monday, November 7th, 2011

First up is Joe Rogan’s take on the ham-handed police tactics used to suppress peaceful protesters. Bear in mind that it is Joe Rogan, meaning there is strong language:

Next, we see what happens when you give a bully free licence to brutalize people. In this case, it’s some power tripping riot officer, shooting a cameraman for absolutely no reason, other than the sick sadistic thrills the cop gets from hurting civilians:

Finally, here’s a chopper-cam view of the marches in Oakland, showing many tens of thousands of people in what was reported to be just one of three marches of similar size:

The mainstream media neglected to accurately report the size of the protest in Oakland, saying there were only several thousand participants. This error might have arose because what is happening in the Californian city is quite possibly the most frightening thing the US establishment has seen in years.

And we can’t have viewers all around the nation getting the same crazy notions, now can we?

But it doesn’t matter what the mainstream media does. People everywhere are rising up. The same revolutions that overthrew tyrants in the Arab World will continue to manifest themselves here in North America.

Pretty soon, the oligarchs who’ve stolen our political and financial systems will find themselves replaced with policies and people more favorable to the population as a whole.

People Today are Most Peaceful and Prosperous Ever

Friday, October 28th, 2011

If you’re one of the unfortunate who’ve succumb to the reality distortion field known as the 24-hour news cycle, the following may come as a shock to you: the world today is more peaceful and prosperous than it has ever been before!

Sure, the mainstream media’s Chicken Littles are always trying to trick the social consciousness into believing the world is falling apart. But the opposite is much closer to the truth.

Take global poverty, for example. The percentage of humans living in extreme poverty is expected to soon drop below 15% – the lowest it has ever been – and we are lifting people out of poverty at a faster rate than ever before!

Fewer humans are starving. That is fantastic! Better still, and not entirely unrelated, is that humans are hurting each other at the lowest rates in modern times.

Canadian evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker has pulled together all the data on violence and war from the past 15,000 years, concluding that “Violence has been in decline over long stretches of time, and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.”

As long as the trends continue just as they have for the past few thousand years, a world without starving humans senselessly murdering one another on industrialized scales should be here within a decade or two.

Amazing, isn’t it? The culmination of thousands of years of struggle and strife by billions of people, all unfolding over the coming few years. And to think that people alive today won’t just be witnesses, we will actually have the chance to play a key role in making it all happen.

Yes! Humans FTW!!!

Oakland PD Dun Goof’d

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Well, all credit to the Oakland Police Department for stirring up a hornet’s nest. As predicted by myself and others, the outrageously shocking videos of peaceful protesters being brutalized by riot squads – like that of former Marine Scott Olsen getting a dose of brain trauma from a rubber bullet – has only drawn more ire from the population.

We’ve already seen what can happen when a single Marine goes up against the police. Now just imagine what hundreds or thousands of them will do on the side of the activists.

With calls for a strike in Oakland, and others demanding a nation-wide strike, politicians and policy makers will no longer be able to ignore the voice of the people.

Vive la revolution!

Helicopters and Tear Gas used on Activists

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

(Take that, democracy! – OPD)

At five o’clock this morning, Occupy Oakland met up with some heavy-handed security tactics. Arrests, beatings, tear gas, smoke bombs, flash grenades and rubber bullets were used by police to disperse peaceful protesters trying to engage in free speech.

Once again, the world’s emerging police state reveals its ugly face. The people have legitimate reasons to be unhappy, but if they try to say anything about it, they will be bitch-slapped by the establishment.

All the more reason to take to the streets right now. Why wait until the act of protesting can get you shot?

Corporatist Network Exposed – How the 1% Rule

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The 99% of the world who’ve been getting the shaft by today’s system now have a definitive target on which to set their sights, thanks to a team of Swiss mathematicians.

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has revealed that a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, control a disproportionate power over the global economy.

The team found that a core of 737 companies (mostly financial services companies) control almost 80% of the global economy. See #occupy haters? The world is controlled by just a few corporations!

To get a better understanding of what this corporatist network can look like, check out the excellent visualization tools available at theyrule.net. There you can delve into the US’s ruling class and explore the inner workings of the American oligarchy.

One of the criticisms of the Occupy movement is that most of the protesters who are speaking out against corporations are clearly consumers of corporate products themselves.

But the issue shouldn’t be about whether or not we need corporations. Instead, the discussion should be what kind of relationship with corporations do we want to have?

In the not so distant future, we won’t be so dependent on corporations like we are today. We’ll have the means to produce our own energy with residential renewable solutions. We’ll be able to grow our own food in automated greenhouses. And we’ll manufacture whatever products we need with our very own 3D printers.

Yet, until this day arrives, we will need corporations around to provide us with the stuff we need to live. We can’t simply get rid of them without devastating consequences. But that doesn’t mean we have to endure the tyranny of corporatism.

Instead, we can hold these international businesses accountable to the people. Treat corporations like part of the public commons. Make these big businesses a shared resource, necessary for our world to function, but kept on a very tight leash for our security.

Now that the face of our foe has been exposed, there’s nothing left to do but declare all out war. It’s time to take the power back and usher in a more just civilization for everyone, not just the lucky ones.

What Populist Success Looks Like in Bahrain

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Score one for the people’s movement. Bahraini medics who’ve been handed down very long prison sentences for the outlandish crime of providing help to injured activists have been promised a full retrial by Bahrain’s government.

That’s what success looks like when you live under a corrupt dictatorship.

Sure, the rulers won’t share any of their great fortune with the rest of the population. And anyone trapped in poverty could be shot for voicing their deserved discontent. But maybe, just maybe, should a physician dare treat one of these injured protesters, they won’t be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

It’s easy to dismiss the plight of the people of Bahrain, or anyone else living under an authoritarian state, as something happening to someone else. But we should instead pay close attention, because if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. No population is safe from the problems which arise when too much power concentrates into too few hands.

The only way to counter this is for the people who are getting screwed by the system to get their voices heard. Government goes to whoever shows up, and if average citizens don’t take action, they’ll get shafted by big business and special interests.

Thankfully, the momentum is shifting back into the hands of the people. Finally! The Internet is continuously bringing us to unprecedented levels of cooperation and interconnection. Mass movements are springing up everywhere around the globe.

The whole world is waking up, ready for something new. Ready for the days when injustices – like those happening to the Bahraini people – will be utterly squashed by the giant blob of anger and disgust which arises when tens of millions of discontent humans all speak out in unison.

Gaddafi’s Gone

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

(You don’t have to go gently into that good night, but you do have to go.)

Libya’s evil tyrant Muammar al-Gaddafi is dead, killed by a mob of angry Libyans after his convoy was demolished by NATO bombs.

A milestone achievement. A clear sign the troops can come back home. A chance for the Libyans to begin a better life. They could certainly use a democracy-in-a-box right now.

But let’s be clear about one thing:

The death of Gaddafi and the Libyan intervention were NOT part of the Arab Spring.

The fall of Libya’s repressive regime came via western powers – Canada, US, France – who divvied up the spoils of war well before Gaddafi was killed.

And therein lies the problem, and why Libya’s revolution differs from the rest of the uprisings.  You simply cannot bomb freedom into a society. It just doesn’t work that way.

An open and free society has to spawn within, from an organic movement driven by the very masses whose voices are neglected by tyrants. Otherwise you could just end up swapping one corrupt government for another.

This great awakening we’ve all be taking part of – that which will bring peace and prosperity to our planet – it won’t come from bombs, guns and killing. Instead, it will arise from hope, community, and a shared belief in brighter possibilities.

While I wish nothing but the best for Libyans in this time of transition, with their new found ‘freedom’ being bought and paid for by outside interests, whatever democracy emerges will likely contain the same corporatist corruption faced here in the West.