Yesterday, Occupy Mary Wash marched to the Keep the Ban rally shouting “2, 4, 6, 8 help us keep our water safe.” The rally was held at the University of Mary Washington and included a statement from state senator Edd Houck. Governor McDonnell is trying to lift the near 30 year ban on uranium mining that would lead to a toxic water supply here in Virginia. Occupy Mary Wash is in solidarity with various environmental groups on keeping the ban on uranium mining.

We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us. These include:

  • The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
  • We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
  • Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
  • Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
  • Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.

We know the media will either ignore you or frame the issue as to who may be getting pepper sprayed rather than addressing the despair and hardships borne by so many, or accurately conveying what this movement is about. All this goes on while corporate profits continue to soar and millionaires whine about paying a bit more in taxes. And we have not even mentioned the environment.

We know that words are relatively easy but we wanted to act quickly to demonstrate our support. As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But we realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy.

   — Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors

We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Most, I found, were of working-class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates.
—  David Graeber
Whats going on with #occupymarywash this week?!

Monday at 6:30 pm in Monroe facilitation committee will meet to plan an agenda for our Thursday assembly. This meeting is open to anyone.

Monday at 7:30 pm in the OSACS office (downstairs Seacobeck) SGA leadership would like to meet informally with members of #occupymarywash. Come if you can (strength in numbers).

Monday at 8:30 pm in front of Ball Circle we will meet up for dorm-storming recruitment. We’ll knock on dormitory doors in teams to advertise for our Thursday assembly.

Tuesday at 5 pm in Lee 411, SGA will hold an open forum to discuss their their work and hear student concerns. Let’s all go and tell them what’s up. Bring along some topics to raise.

Thursday at 5 pm on Ball Circle will be our next General Assembly (rain location: Monroe Lobby). 

Ralph Nader on #occupywallstreet

The frustration seen in the protests on Wall Street over the past few weeks demonstrates a widespread and growing citizen discontent with the two political parties in Washington, D.C. and with a political system that is dominated by corporate interests.

It is time for citizens to push their elected officials to break the corporate stranglehold on our economy. Congress should start by enacting a financial speculation tax that would help curb the wheeling and dealing on Wall Street and that could raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue to help with the our country’s economic recovery.

Congress has done more to bail out Wall Street than Main Street. Wall Street crooks have avoided penalties and prosecution and continued to receive bonuses and excessive compensation while pensions and savings have been looted.

Wages have remained stagnant while the largest corporations and executives have seen record profits and bonuses year after year. Congress has done little in the face of a staggering - and growing - income inequality in this country, where the top 1 percent of the population has financial wealth equal to the combined financial wealth of the bottom 95 percent of the people.

And Congress has done nothing either to disclose or stem the flow of millions of corporate dollars into the electoral process. Corporate Political Action Committees are corrupting the electoral process and blocking the voices and concerns of millions of people.

These are not the signs of a healthy democracy. Those taking part in the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and in similar protests cropping up across the country are working hard to make their voices heard. It is way overdue for the President and Congress to listen.

Notes from 2nd General Assembly 10/19

Overview of consensus based organizing- Peter and Claire facilitate

Goals of 1st general assembly
Tuition rates
Local food
Student faculty staff union
Living wage
Administration investment
Free speech zones

Motions passed in the first general assembly
Endorsement of occupy wall street statement
Open group and membership
Autonomous actions
2nd general assembly

Abbie Rogers- 100% Inflatable
Thursday October 27th 10am-4pm
Natural gas- fracking occuring at UMW
Need for wind, solar, geothermal energy

Discussion of setting priorities
UMW centered vs. occupy movment centered
Focus on tuition rates
Our targets are what lead to high tuition rates

Goals (proposed by the entire group)
Local Food
Free speech
Student Reps
Living Wages
Faculty allies
Fund appropriation
Administration transparency
Environmental Justice
SFS Union

Broad vs. specific campaign debate
Union, tuition and fund allocation are all directly related
Focus on access to BOV
What is politically visible and viable
SFS union- use to pressure the BOV
Action committees

Action vs. Job Based Committees

Sasha- Outreach
Dawn- Advertising
Evan- Facilitation
Michael- Information
Colleen- Fundraising

[Breakout into Committees]

Committee Reports

Outreach- focus on making connections on and off campus with students, faculty and staff

Advertising- Take advantage of social networking outlets, dorm storming sunday

Fundraising- Monetary donations (as needed), allocations of resources, skill share

Facilitation- Meet Friday to discuss agenda for next meeting.

Information- proposed point of unity, look into other occupations

Discussion of adding a logistics committee- group decided committee was extraneous

Discussion of creating a directory with skill and resource share

Points of Unity introduced by Information group
[get list from Jason]
Group moves to vote on individual points and passes 9 points

Discussion of occupations in other cities

Sasha- DC

Amiptheatre, signs, extremely organized

Michael- DC

Readings, clarification questions and addressing concerns in voting procedure

Evan- Wall Street and Providence

Spirit was the same in both locations

Hannah- Boston

Oppression workshops, open environment to discuss inequality within the movement

Group will attend the keep the ban rally and 100% clean energy sit in

Social Justice Brown Bag November 9th- Allie will bottom line facilitation group