OCCUPYWALLST

University students with their necks painted protest at Bolivar square in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday Nov. 3, 2011. Their signs read in Spanish “We have the right to be outraged,” left, and “Excellent education and for all!!” Students are protesting education reforms planned by the government that propose private funding for public institutions. (Fernando Vergara)

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OWS Invests In Unmanned Surveillance Drone Dubbed The ‘Occucopter’

For years we’ve seen images of the military’s unmanned aerial vehicles aiding soldiers in combat zones, and their evolution from surveillance tools to the heavily weaponized Predator drones. Now, the Guardian reports, Occupy Wall Street livestreamer Tim Pool hopes to use that technology as an additional set of eyes on the police department.

Tim Pool, an Occupy Wall Street protester, has acquired a Parrot AR drone he amusingly calls the “occucopter”. It is a lightweight four-rotor helicopter that you can buy cheaply on Amazon and control with your iPhone. It has an onboard camera so that you can view everything on your phone that it points at. Pool has modified the software to stream live video to the internet so that we can watch the action as it unfolds.

The Occucopter comes in response to police departments, across the country, stepping up efforts to prevent their actions from being recorded. Some have started covering up their names and badge numbers. Others attempt to stand in the way of recording devices, or declare “frozen zones” that are off limits to even the most credentialed reporters. Tim hopes that the Occucopter will allow protesters to monitor the police, and record any cases of brutality that may have otherwise remained undocumented.

In addition to modifying the Parrot’s software for internet livestreaming, Pool is also currently working on modifying the software for multiple controllers. He even hopes to add 3G functionality, so that even protesters and supporters outside of New York could aid in the monitoring process. When asked about his plans by the Guardian, he explained:

We are trying to get a stable live feed so you can have 50 people controlling it in series. If the cops see you controlling it from a computer they can shut you down, but then control could automatically switch to someone else.

Now you, much like myself, might find yourself wondering, “Isn’t he concerned that some officer(s) will just shoot it down?”

No…They can’t just fire a weapon in the air because it could seriously hurt someone. They would have no excuse because the occucopter is strictly not illegal. Their only recourse would be to make it illegal, but it is only a toy

So it would appear that we finally have an answer to a twenty five year old question. Tim Pool is watching the watchmen.

And doing a damn good job of it.

(images courtesy of Time/iPhoneZA/GeekAlerts)

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As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. I can’t think of any reason why as a population we should be expected to stand by and see a gross reduction in the living standards of ourselves and our kids, possibly for generations, when the people who have got us into this have been rewarded for it.
It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it/ I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favor of it. We would definitely have to agree to differ on that one.

Ben And Jerry’s Statement on OWS Call to Action

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

I am 19 years old. I graduated from high school with almost a straight A average. I was set to go to college to become a literature teacher. My dreams seemed so real at the time. After my mother found out about my religious beliefs I was forced to leave home. I started college in the fall of 2011 wile living with my cousins. I was working as a waitress making $2.14 an hour. The tips that I made were enough to get me back and forth to work in gas. Until my car gave out. I had to scrap it for money. My financial aid at the college ran into a snag that I still do not understand. No one would help me. I was told to “check my account online” that was all the advice they could give me. I had no way back and forth to college anymore. I am now living with  my cousins and my aunt with no car, not money, and no school. No one in the house has a job. My cousin has been denied disability after working as a welder for years. He can not even kneel to put his knees on the floor. We live off of food stamps and pawning any valuables that we have. But the valuables are running out. Food stamps can not [ay for Christmas dinner plus food for the rest of the days of the month. My family went 4 days without eating last month because we were determined to have an okay Christmas dinner. I have a job interview at McDonald’s on the 30th where I will be making min wage and getting paid every 2 weeks. My cousins will take me back and forth to work. $20 a day for me in gas. I will be the only one working in a house of 5. I owe the college $800.

I am the 99%….

I'm sorry but every single organized protest throughout modern civilization has inconvenienced someone just trying to go about their day.

and when the dust settles and the world is hopefully a little bit better do you really want to look back on it and say “Boy, I’m sure glad I complained about the traffic.”?

-Joe

The first rule about the NYPD’s Sky Watch tower is you do not talk about the Sky Watch tower.  The second rule… well, you probably get the picture. 

My latest dispatch from the Occupy Wall Street protests recounts just how the cops reacted when I tried to report on their metal monster at Zuccotti Park.

Read the full story at AlterNet.

After that, take note of where the main camera on the roof of the Sky Watch tower (pictured above) is pointed.  (Hint: It’s at Zuccotti Park!)

photo credit: Tam Turse

Occupy Protests Shift Focus From Encampments to Reclaiming Foreclosed Homes


The Occupy Wall Street protests are moving into the neighborhood. Finding it increasingly difficult to camp in public spaces, Occupy protesters across the country are reclaiming foreclosed homes and boarded-up properties, signaling a tactical shift for the movement against wealth inequality.

Groups in more than 25 cities held protests Tuesday on behalf of homeowners facing evictions.

In Atlanta, protesters held a boisterous rally at a county courthouse and used whistles and sirens to disrupt an auction of seized houses. In New York, they marched through a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn carrying signs that read “Foreclose on banks, not people.” Southern California protesters rallied around a family of six that reclaimed the home they lost six months ago in foreclosure.

"It’s pretty clear that the fight is against the banks, and the Occupy movement is about occupying spaces. So occupying a space that should belong to homeowners but belongs to the banks seems like the logical next step for the Occupy movement," said Jeff Ordower, one of the organizers of Occupy Homes.

The events reflect the protesters’ lingering frustration over the housing crisis that has sent millions of homes into foreclosure after the burst of the housing bubble that helped cripple the country’s economy. Nearly a quarter of all U.S. homeowners with mortgages are now underwater, representing nearly 11 million homes, according to CoreLogic, a real estate research firm.

Photo Credit: (presstv)

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acanerd submitted

You’ve probably seen this already, but it’s so powerful I had to share just in case. It’s Chancellor Katehi’s “walk of shame” to her car. Hundreds of students line the path and just stare at her in absolute silence. I was moved almost to tears. 

___________________________

No, we hadn’t seen this yet. Thanks for submitting, that is chilling to say the least.

-Joe

youtube

Keith Olbermann on a brief history of “American freedom”, protests, mayor Bloomberg, and Occupy Wall St.

This is amazing.

I am a middle-aged man working three part-time jobs that pay anywhere between $11 and $17 an hour.  I have three different college degrees to my name but full-time work is still an elusive endeavor.  The only reason I have medical insurance is due to my wife. Our medical premiums continue to rise, doubling this past year, as our out of pocket expenses exponentially increase. This while the insurance company cries poor and posts quarter profits in the billions.  

Still, I consider myself very lucky to have what I have. I am deeply concerned with what has transpired in this country for the last thirty years.  Our country was once known for its commitment of upward mobility and the “American Dream.” That commitment has been called into question as more of us struggle to make ends meet on whatever meager incomes we garner. Many of us are facing a crisis in confidence in many of our personal and professional lives. It has been said that great civilizations die from suicide rather than homicide. What we are experiencing is the hijacking of our political system from the corporate oligarchs that have swayed the judicial and legislative process for decades and have thus created a plutocracy where malfeasance is a common occurrence. Our current economy favors consumption over production; debt over saving; and self-indulgence over altruism. We Americans must insist on complete transparency, clarity and accessibility when it comes to conglomerates dictating policy and procedure. This goes for K-street as well as Wall Street. 

The first step in overhauling the mores and values of Wall Street is setting up a system of checks and balances that would make the framers of our constitution proud.  All corporate entities that were on the receiving end of the bailouts should be subjected to unilateral fiscal and management audits conducted by reputable & independent firms. These audits would not only track every transaction, settlement, and agreement; it would disseminate where money went and to whom. The mantra of “trust but verify” would echo the halls of all federated entities that have parlayed public monies. However, it would be naive to think that pure unadulterated accountability would ever happen in our current capitalistic paradigm where it’s every man for himself; capitalism without a conscience; and profits before the people. As Lord Action once stated: “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 

The next step towards reform is to bring government back to “We the People” … Not, We the Directorate. Both political parties have contorted and blended themselves into an amalgam of dishonesty and distrust that depend on the deep pockets of big business.  Lobbyists have taken away the principle of “one person one vote” and have rigged and exploited the political process to the detriment of the Middle Class. In 2009, over 13,700 registered lobbyists spent well over 3.5 billion dollars to control and manipulate the legislative process. That comes out to 6.5 million dollars for each legislative member. I have learned from OWS that change comes from within, that democracy is not a spectator sport and that we all need to get into the game.  I want to believe that we can create a fair and equatable capitalistic environment where everyone can be held to the same standard, no matter how much money they have.  We have always taught our children to work hard, be honest, have integrity and they will succeed in life.  That is no longer true.  The people who succeed lie, cheat, and steal at any cost to advance in life. That’s why I am proud to be part of the 99%. Occupywallstreet.org