Archive for December 12th, 2011

Occupy is in Dozens of Small Towns

The sure-fire way to find occupations in small cities is to head for the center. After leaving Philadelphia on our Occupy America tour, we drove an hour north to Allentown. Pennsylvania’s third-largest city at 118,000 residents, Allentown has been weathered by years of deindustrialization in the steel, cement, and textile industries that once made it an economic powerhouse.

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Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch finally got their way in 2011. After their decades of funding the American Legislative Exchange Council, the collaboration between multinational corporations and conservative state legislators, the project began finally to yield the intended result.

For the first time in decades, the United States saw a steady dismantling of the laws, regulations, programs and practices put in place to make real the promise of American democracy.

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As many as 25,000 people marched in New York City Saturday from the offices of Koch Industries to the United Nations to protest a right-wing effort to roll back voting rights. Koch Industries sponsors organizations that work to rollback voting rights. Many supporters of the Democratic Party are poor, which may be why they are being targeted.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous helped organize the protest. He said, “We’re here today to stand for freedom in front of the U.N., more than 25,000 people from a range of civil rights and religious and labor organizations all outraged about the massive attack on the right to vote in this country. This year we’ve seen more than 30 states attack the right to vote. We’ve seen 268 electoral votes, of the 270 needed to become president, potentially impacted by these laws. Disproportionately in each case, it’s black people and brown people and students who are being impacted.”

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Occupy Oakland Shuts Down the Port of Oakland: Other Port News

10:00AM PST: It has been confirmed that the union arbiter has told the first shift at the Port of Oakland not to come to work. The port of Oakland is CLOSED. Protesters danced and celebrated in front of lines of riot police at the entrance of the port. Occupy Oakland plans to rally at 3PM PST and return at 4PM PST for the second shift.

click here for the latest results of the west coast port shutdown campaign

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By John Hively

Hundreds of American patriots swarmed over terminal 5 and 6 of the Port of Portland and successfully shut the port down. They came in all ages, but most were young, probably in their twenties. They came in cars, pedaling bicycles, walking and even wheelchairs. They came carrying their signs saying to restore democracy in the United States, end corporate rule, and globalize resistance.

Technically, the United States has a democratic form of government, but it’s a democracy ruled by money, thanks to a corrupt Supreme Court that says money is free speech and that large sums of money are people, so long as that money is organized into legislatively created, publicly traded, limited liability corporations. Ultimately, that’s what corporations are when you peel away their names and reputations. Perhaps that’s why the corporate wing of the Supreme Court (Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy) ruled that the original intent of the founding fathers was to ensure that organized money are people. Of course, you’ve got to wonder how much money the justices received in order to make such an absurd ruling.

And so the patriots came, to throw off the shackles of corporate tyranny and restore democracy for people in the United States.

The police also came. There was a tense period around 7:30am when riot police appeared ready to reopen terminal 5. As a helicopter buzzed overhead, the patriots linked arms. The police backed off, which was a sensible thing to do. It made victory possible for the protesters and the police.

But the victory will end when the port reopens tomorrow. The Occupy Movement is but a flea to a lion. It bites and the lion may scratch. In the long run, the lion is not bothered; it continues to live its life unchallenged. And so it is with the one percent and their mechanisms for control of the political process, which allows them to continue to rape and pillage the middle class. They will continue to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to the one percent.

Hopefully, the Occupy Movement (like the flea) will increase its numbers to the point where it can’t be ignored. It’s a young movement and, because in the long run the economy will continue to disintegrate as income and wealth are redistributed to the top, the movement will continue to grow.

Today’s actions were just one battle of many to come. It’s the beginning, not the end.

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