Occupy Wall Street

One Thing That Occupy L.A. Accomplished

By Mike Hurst
Blade of Grass

As I look back at the Occupy movement of late 2011, I ask myself “what happened?” I think it will become clearer as time progresses, but one thing I am certain of, there was a strong message sent by the Occupy encampments.

The Occupy movement, commonly credited with beginning with Occupy Wall Street and spreading throughout the United States, really began in Israel with the Israeli Social Justice Protests earlier in 2011.

“Heist” Chronicles Theft of American Dream

By Steven Mikulan
The Frying Pan

Heist, a new film by Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher, joins the growing list of angry documentaries chronicling the destruction of America’s economy and its middle class by powerful corporate forces. Like Inside Job and just about any title in the Brave New Films catalog, Heist gets our blood boiling with its money-pile graphics and occasional glib comments exhaled by Wall Street fat cats. Call this genre the Cinema of Outrage.

Subtitled Who Stole the American Dream?, the film breaks away from the pack, however, by drilling deep to explain how we came to find ourselves on the verge of where Argentina was a dozen years ago. The film also eschews conspiracist viewpoints and refuses to offer up, say, Alan Greenspan or the Koch brothers as villainous piñatas for us to vicariously bash.

Building a Blue-Green Coalition in California

By Marcy Winograd
Former Democratic Candidate for Congress

After the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, with its codification of imprisonment without charge or trial, I could no longer register voters for the Democratic Party – even with the hope of involving new registrants in the California Democratic Party’s popular Progressive Caucus. If I could not ask someone to join the Democratic Party, I could not in good conscience stay in the party, even as an insurgent writing resolutions and platform planks to end our wars for oil.

Unfortunately, too many corporate Democrats, beholden to big-money donors or to a jobs sector dependent on militarism, vote for perpetual war and the surveillance state, replete with secret wiretaps, black hole prisons, and targeted assassinations. Far too many who are fearful or bought by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee vote for legislation that relegates Palestinians to second-class citizenship and threatens to take our country to the brink of an unthinkable war on Iran.

Why Is the Oakland Police Department Hiding the Truth About Its Violent Crackdown on the Occupy Protests?

By Joshua Holland

After three notably violent crackdowns on protesters in as many weeks, Oakland Police Department officials have refused a request by the ACLU of Northern California to release police reports documenting their use of force as required by law.

“We saw events that we found extremely troubling, and which violated provisions of Oakland's own crowd control policy,” Linda Lye, a staff attorney with ACLU of Northern California told AlterNet.

After recent police actions in Oakland gained national attention, “there was a lot of lip service paid to transparency and accountability and the public's interest in monitoring the situation,” she said. “But then OPD proceeded to say that it was invoking one of the statutory exceptions to the Public Records Act for the vast majority of our requests.”

Occupy Movement Is Spreading And Growing

By Dave Johnson
Campaign for America's Future

Our captured government won’t do its job. It doesn't keep Wall Street and banks and giant corporations from ripping us off and doesn't prosecute them after the do. It doesn't stop polluters - even as the effects of climate change increase. It doesn't enforce employment and labor laws, so all of us who work fall further and further behind. It doesn't take care of those in need even as more and more of us are in greater and greater need. It just helps the connected rich get richer. So people finally got fed up, and started "occupying." Now the occupy movement is spreading to more and more cities, growing with more and more people, and expanding people's understanding of the power that comes from speaking out.

A Movie for the Movement: Heist: Who Stole The American Dream?

By Linda Millazo

As the Occupy Wall Street movement pushes forward, evolving daily in mission and meaning, its cinematic companion has arrived on the scene. Heist: Who Stole The American Dream? is the latest socially and politically relevant documentary executive produced by Earl Katz, President of Public Interest Pictures. Heist will soon premiere as the fundamental primer on the historical and present-day inequities which gave rise to the Occupy Movement. From its 1930s depiction of Depression Era breadlines to Wisconsin Governor Walker's current assault on Collective Bargaining, Heist tells the story of America in decline due to the excessive greed of corporate executives and politicians bent on destroying the middle class.

Welcome to the Oakland General Strike

By Ken Knabb

As most of you probably know, the police raid and destruction of the Occupy Oakland encampments last Tuesday, followed by the notorious police violence against protesters later the same day, provoked such an immense expression of outrage from thousands of people in the Bay Area and around the world that the Oakland city government was thrown completely on the defensive.

The next day police were scarcely to be seen. The fence surrounding Frank Ogawa Plaza was still in place, but the occupiers calmly took it down and began reoccupying the same spot. That evening, by a vote of 1484 to 46 (with 77 abstentions), the general assembly decided to call for a General Strike in Oakland on Wednesday, November 2. You can see their declaration and other information at www.occupyoakland.org.

Plutocratic Government Tries To Beat Down #Occupy

By Dave Johnson

In Oakland peaceful #Occupy demonstrators were camping out in front of city hall. The city launched a police raid to clear out the camp, using tear gas, flash-bank grenades, rubber bullets and beating people with batons. An Iraq war vet was hit in the head by either a rubber bullet or tear gas canister and critically injured. These days this is the typical government response to non-Tea-Party "protesters." Let's look at how the Occupiers and protests would be treated if we were a functioning democracy -- a government of by and for We, the People -- instead of a dysfunctional plutocracy serving the biggest corporations and the billionaires behind them.


The first thing to understand about every single person involved in the #occupy movement is that they are citizens and human beings. Even the ones with beards. Alas, even the drummers. (What do you call a drummer who breaks up with his girlfriend? Homeless. What do you call a drummer with half a brain? Gifted.)

Oakland Police Violence Raises the Stakes for the OWS Movement

By Joshua Holland

Occupy Oakland has been the target of a notably vicious smear campaign mounted by the conservative media. They didn't just offer the usual pabulum about how the occupiers hated America or were closet socialists. They painted them as sub-human: mired in filth and gripped by violent anarchy. One right-wing blogger likened it to "The Lord of the Flies." The campaign's racist and classist undertones were none too subtle.

When I first visited the camp on October 22, I found a very different scene. About 150 tents made up a small, self-sufficient community in Frank Ogawa Plaza, located steps away from City Hall. The kernel of truth behind the smears was that it was located in downtown Oakland, a city with some serious problems and a long history of distrust between the community and a police department tasked with serving and protecting it.

Jobs - Still The #1 National Emergency

By Dave Johnson
Campaign for America's Future

We are in an absolute national jobs emergency and everyone outside of Washington, DC understands this. But if you read the DC-oriented press, you would think that the "issue" of jobs has come and gone. You would read that "each side" has "scored points." You would read that each side has "offered a plan." You would read that "Congress is deadlocked" and "neither side is willing to compromise." This is "horse-race" coverage, where they talk about the politics of who is up and who is down, and not coverage of what is important in the lives of regular Americans.