Watch on occupywallstreet.tumblr.com

VIDEO 4: NYPD officer runs over observer for the National Lawyer’s Guild with a scooter, and leaves it on him, before another officer lunges in with a baton. They later “brutally dragged the injured man away, flipped him over, and kneed him full force in the small of the back as they handcuffed and arrested him.

misogyny is live and well folks

here’s what i wrote to the “hot chicks of wall street”:

“thanks so much for making me feel like the only thing of value i have to contribute to the OWS movement is tits and smile. thanks for making me feel like i can’t go down to an OWS movement without being hyper vigilant about who is looking at me and why. thanks for making the women of OWS aware that they will be looked at first as a body and second as a voice in a community. thanks for showing me how far we need to go to get to equality. (ps. one mom and a face painter don’t make what you did ok)”

*here is this guys  tumblr incase you want to make a comment (my ps is in response to a woman in the video who wrote to him saying she liked the video and a mom of a girl in the video who wrote in and said that her daughter looked beautiful in the video. those women are entitled to feel however they want, but their approval does not free this dude from the gross assumptions of his actions and nor should their voices be put forward as a “free pass” to continue to take pictures of women who are protesting about their unhappiness and dissatisfaction with society and then frame them in a sexualized context)

*here is my favorite article i’ve read about this situation in which the author talks about rape jokes this guy makes on his facebook page, which i will reblog shortly, and tells an awesome story about how the hot chicks guy got mad about what she wrote, google image searched her, found a picture of her modeling a dress in a friend’s fashion show and wrote her an email saying she had no right to criticize him based on how she’s dressed in these photos! for really reals. if you want to feel like slitting your wrists please scan the comment section.

*i just want to say that (in my opinion) it doesn’t matter how arty the video is, the fact that it’s a well shot video doesn’t excuse it’s intention which can basically be boiled down to “wouldn’t it be great to get your dick wet with one of these hot protestor girls?”. it doesn’t matter how twee and indy-film like it is, it doesn’t matter that “that’s how boys look at girls and if that’s a crime then every man is a criminal” which is what matt on salon.com was arguing. what matters is that this video was even shot in the first place, that in our society male gaze is so rampant that there is literally no where a woman can go to be free from it. this is so rarely examined or spoken about because to change this core of our society and allow women (50+% of the population) to have space to simply be without taking into account the “hotness” of their physical forms really *would* be a revolution. what also matters is this that the video shows how far, far away we are from this change. if we’ll ever get there, i don’t know.

*i also want to say that i don’t blame the face painter or the mom on the hot chicks website for writing in and saying oh thanks for making me/my daughter look beautiful. it’s a wonderful thing to be told you are beautiful or to see something that feels like it could be empirical evidence of this fact. wouldn’t it be nice if it were true, this proof of beauty, this comment on your edifice? wouldn’t it be nice if you could know it was true forever and you could carry it around with you like armor to protect you from the world? to shield you from male gaze? to make you always, always, always feel safe and good? i struggle with these feeling myself because women live in a patriarchal society in which we are only trying to survive. especially in a “post-feminist” society that bristles at these very questions, trying to protect it’s self from the ratification it would have to undergo if these basic tenants of society were changed. but i also want to say that this focus on beauty, this chopping up of women into body parts, of women into boxes marked “worthy” (based on looks alone) and “unworthy” (based on looks alone) KILLS WOMEN EVERY DAY AND IT MUST STOP! IT MUST BECOME PART OF THE OWS MOVEMENT IN A MAJOR WAY!

Polls show positive public opinion of the #OCCUPYWALLSTREET movement - Time Magazine

Here are the highlights:

  • Of those who had an opinion on the occupation, 54% were favourable to the movement, with only 23% against (25% very favourable and 29% somewhat favourable, compared to 10% somewhat unfavourable and 13% very unfavourable)
  • 86% agree that Wall Street has too much influence in Washington.
  • 79% agree that the income gap in the United States is too large.
  • An amazing 71% agree that financial executives who had a hand in the 2008 crisis should be prosecuted!
  • 68% agree that the rich should pay more in taxes, and 73% agree that we should raise taxes on those who make $1 million or more a year. 74% agree that raising taxes on millionaires would NOT ‘hurt the economic recovery,’ contrary to the Republican panic.
  • Unfortunately, 56% believe that the protest will have little impact on the overall situation, but 30% believe it will have a positive impact.

While we should always be careful not to put too much stock in these polls, this one at least has some good news for those who support #OWS.

KEEP IT UP! People are listening!

My Piece In The Paper Today About My Experience Down At Occupy Wall Street

“This is what democracy looks like.” 

That’s one of the common chants of the protesters down at Occupy Wall Street. After having spent a lot of time there over the last couple of weeks, I couldn’t agree more.

Millions of folks out there are still calling this movement unorganized and “anti-American,” including the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, R-Va., who referred to the protesters as a “mob” (a word one historically associates with lynchings and gangsters, not democracy and freedom of speech).

It’s not just the corporate-owned media or politicians, either; even little old ladies deride what is perceived as a shiftless, pointless movement. Two days ago, after my stepmother posted on her Facebook wall that she was proud of me for being a part of Occupy Wall Street, her cute elderly “friend” replied that protesters like me are lazy, need to find jobs and that hopefully the cops would end it all soon by “tear-gassing all of them out of there!” (That, by the way, is what a police state would look like.)

What many people fail to understand is that I, like many of the folks down there, do work—hard, in fact. After a 12-hour workday, we are still willing to go down there to support our jobless friends because we believe in what they’re doing for the rest of us—the employed 99 percent.

Many Americans also don’t know that Occupy Wall Street is a democracy in its purest form, the kind of democracy upon which this country was founded. Its members not only have the courage and freedom to question a system that isn’t working for them (or for the rest of the 99 percent), but they also truly govern themselves.

Now that megaphones and microphones have been banned, an occupier wanting to address the crowd has to say “mic check” first. After the people closest to the speaker repeat what he or she has said, the words flow like a wave through the crowd until the statement reaches everyone. This means there’s little room for proselytizing or long-winded speeches. And if the crowd does not agree, it simply won’t repeat what the speaker has said. Unlike in our current media system, the people themselves control the distribution of information, not the privileged folks who own the microphones.

I myself doubted that a movement could really work if it didn’t have a chosen leader, but on Oct. 5, I was proven wrong. After a huge parade of over 20,000 occupiers, union leaders, teachers and students ended, one protester lost his cool and threw something at the police. When someone called for a mic check and reminded the people that we are fighting for the police’s pensions too, the crowd listened and repeated: “They are not the enemy; they are part of the 99 percent!” As in a truly democratic government, the people looked out for everyone—even the ones on the other side of the riot shields.

Some have criticized the occupiers for their loose, fragmented approach. The media wants you to think they are lost souls, dirty hippies who bong on their drums and believe anarchy is the answer. OK, some might smell because they can’t shower very thoroughly in a McDonald’s sink. And they’re dirty because they’re camping. The protesters in suits and the ones pushing strollers are rarely featured on Fox News because that would confer legitimacy on this movement, and those in power don’t want that. 

I’ll let you in on a secret: These occupiers are not only extremely organized, but they’ve also created an eco-friendly, sustainable community and government, complete with its own newspaper, library, make-shift hospital, cell phone charging station, free clothing center, cyber café, arts and crafts center, media center, recycling center, composting area, sleeping area and community kitchen with a water-filtration system. How could they be unorganized drifters when they hold daily general assemblies?

Their reach is national: Americans from all over the country donate food online, which is then delivered directly to the community kitchen. People throw cash in the donation buckets during meal times and drop off much-needed supplies (sleeping bags, tarps, clothes) throughout the day. Occupy Wall Street feeds and clothes anyone—even tea partiers or cheapskates passing by on the way to the subway. Unlike in the rest of our country, nobody at OWS ever goes hungry. 

OWS also feeds souls, giving jobs, a feeling of belonging and a sense of purpose to people who desperately need them. The other night, while I washed dishes in the community kitchen, people kept approaching me, thanking me for my service and begging to help wherever it was needed. Countless others asked how they could donate money or food.

Contrary to what Fox News will have you believe, these occupiers are role models for what most Americans believe we once were and should be: a democracy with integrity. We could learn a lot from them, for unlike our current government, OWS is not sponsored by anyone, nor is it for sale. 

This is what a democracy looks like.

(Featured in the Santa Fe Reporter)

To the reactionaries:

Let me spell this out for you.

If an anti-Semite thinks #OCCUPYWALLSTREET is a good idea, that doesn’t mean that we think anti-Semitism is a good idea. Endorsements don’t go both ways. The same is true when it comes to the support we have received from unions and politicians.

In the same way, many white supremacists consider themselves to be Christians. But most of you would agree that Christians don’t endorse white supremacy, by any means.

I understand you are mostly being paid to spout illogical nonsense, so this will likely go through one ear and out the other. But to the rest: I would ask you to see this for what it really is, an institutional reaction to a legitimate threat to wealthy privilege. It’s a smear campaign from those who already know they are on the losing side of the argument – so they have nothing of substance to come back with.

After all, there is a vast amount of support within the movement for things like this – I think if Jewish people felt so threatened by our allegedly “anti-Semitic” movement, they wouldn’t be saying things like this about #OCCUPYWALLSTREET.

We have been clear from the beginning: we do not condone violence. Towards anyone. This movement is about equality and social justice, not the division and hatred that the elites and the media are paid to encourage.

(Note: this is the only post I intend to make on the subject. Things like this are intended to distract, and we have too many problems to face to be subjected to the reactionaries’ games. As always, my opinions are my own and this is not intended to be an “official statement” of any kind. – carton-rouge)

This afternoon’s #OCCUPYWALLSTREET march has drawn thousands of people, by most accounts being the most well-attended march yet. They have shut down the Brooklyn Bridge to traffic as they march across its lanes. This came after an earlier march by the United Way and anti-poverty activists, which also shut down the bridge.

More photos:


VIDEO 2: Bank of America REFUSES to let #OWSers close their accounts - suits and security guards keep a group of BofA ‘customers’ outside. (Saint Louis, MO - 12 October 2011)

Hugo Chavez condemns ‘horrible repression’ of Wall Street protests

Not surprisingly, Mr. Chavez expressed solidarity with American activists who have been staging rallies and marches against what they view as corporate greed by Wall Street.

The U.S. protests, which began last month in New York and have spread to Tampa, Florida, Seattle and other cities, have mostly been peaceful but sometimes resulted in confrontations. Dozens were arrested and police used pepper spray in New York earlier this week.

“This movement of popular outrage is expanding to 10 cities and the repression is horrible, I don’t know how many are in prison now,” Mr. Chavez said in comments at a political meeting in his Caracas presidential palace shown on state TV.

UPDATE 10:09 - At least twenty arrested.

UPDATE 10:33 - Liberty Square is kettled.

UPDATE 10:40 - Liberty Square is still barricaded on all four sides but police are now allowing protesters in and out.

Please call:

1st Precinct: +1 (212) 334-0611
NYPD Switchboard: +1 (646) 610-5000
NYPD Central Booking: +1 (212) 374-3921
NYPD Internal Affairs: +1 (212) 741-8401
Mayor Bloomberg: +1 (212) NEW-YORK or +1 (212) 374-3921

To the Mayor of Seattle and SPD: Stop Harassing the Occupiers!

So being a Seattle native, I still have a soft spot for my fellow rabble-rousers in the Northwest. Especially when I read that Occupy Portland had 3-5,000 people marching last weekend! The last thing Seattle needs is more of an inferiority complex about competing with Portland :) so I was glad to hear that Occupy Seattle is picking up some steam this week, slowly winning over the local unions and local media (The Stranger!) alike.

However, reading about how the Seattle Police Department and the Mayor’s Office have treated the occupiers is really disappointing. Over the past few days, they have been harassed by SPD and Park Police constantly, forbidding them from setting up tents, trying to drive them from the square, and generally being assholes. It’s gone so far that the Seattle Police have been ticketing drivers who drive by the occupation and honk in support. Can you believe that? Now, fast-forward to last night:

Mayor’s office spokesman Aaron Pickus said about an hour ago that cops wouldn’t bug protesters at Westlake Park tonight as long as they didn’t have a “structure.” But other than that, things were hunky-dorey.

Cut to right now.

Police are aggressively clearing people out of the park. Cops are telling people they can’t stand underneath the awnings, can’t wrap themselves in a tarp, and

can’t even sit down with an umbrella. “You can’t have an umbrella open unless you’re standing and holding it,” a cop reportedly just told a few people who were sitting down next to their umbrellas. Paul Contant, intrepid reporter, just called to confirm that person’s account. And he added, “The cops are lined up under the awnings—I tried to get under an awning to type and and they told me I cannot be under the awning at all.” Police are also telling people they can’t lay under a tarp.

That’s right: you can now be arrested in Seattle’s Westlake Park for sitting down while holding an umbrella to protect yourself from the rain. All because the Mayor’s new ‘rules’ for the park, updated a couple days ago (conveniently), forbid erecting a structure in the park. And umbrellas apparently count as a structure to the police.

So, this is bullshit, right? I’ve already written the mayor to let him know that he can kiss my vote for his re-election goodbye if he doesn’t cut this out immediately. But we need as much help as we can get. If you can spare a couple minutes today, please let Mayor McGinn’s office know that you DO NOT approve of his strong-arm tactics to break up this demonstration!

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s Office: Phone (206) 684-4000 or email form: http://seattle.gov/mayor/citizen_response.htm

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes: Phone (206) 684-8200 and tell him to stick to his word and to not prosecute those who have been arrested!

Seattle Police Department: West Precinct (206) 684-8917. Tell them what you think of an 'umbrella’ being classified as a structure!

Thanks for your time :)

- Jake