wearethe99percent

October 1, 2011 - TAMPA, FL - The Occupy Wall Street movement may have just received an unexpected surprise – United States Army and Marine troops are reportedly on their way to various protest locations to support the movement and to protect the protesters. Army serviceman Ward Reilly posted the following on Facebook: “I’m heading up there tonight in my dress blues. So far, 15 of my fellow marine buddies are meeting me there, also in Uniform. I want to send the following message to Wall St and Congress: I didn’t fight for Wall St. I fought for America.

Former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis Joins With Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Highlights of Interview with Captain Lewis (click here for full article and video):

“You should, by law, only use force to protect someone’s life or to protect them from being bodily injured OK? If you’re not protecting somebody’s life or protecting them from bodily injury, there’s no need to use force. And the number one thing that they always have in their favor that they seldom use is negotiation–continue to talk, and talk and talk to people. You have nothing to lose by that,” Mr Lewis said. “This bullrush–what happened last night is totally uncalled for when they did not use negotiation long enough.”

“They complained about the park being dirty. Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting,” Mr. Lewis said.

“They’re trying to get me arrested and I may disappear OK?” Mr. Lewis said. “As soon as I’m let out of jail, I’ll be right back here and they’ll have to arrest me again.” [Btw, he’s just been reported arrested. here. - Ari]

Mr. Lewis clearly doesn’t think the NYPD likes him, but he told the protesters he doesn’t think cops are their enemy. “All the cops are, they’re just workers for the one percent and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited,” Mr. Lewis said.

Most of the biggest Occupy Wall Street camps are gone. But their slogan still stands.

Whatever the long-term effects of the Occupy movement, protesters have succeeded in implanting “We are the 99 percent,” referring to the vast majority of Americans (and its implied opposite, “You are the one percent” referring to the tiny proportion of Americans with a vastly disproportionate share of wealth), into the cultural and political lexicon.

First chanted and blogged about in mid-September in New York, the slogan become a national shorthand for the income disparity. Easily grasped in its simplicity and Twitter-friendly in its brevity, the slogan has practically dared listeners to pick a side.

“We are getting nothing,” read the Tumblr blog “We Are the 99 Percent” that helped popularize the percentages, “while the other one percent is getting everything.”

Within weeks of the first encampment in Zuccotti Park in New York, politicians seized on the phrase. Democrats in Congress began to invoke the “99 percent” to press for passage of President Obama’s jobs act — but also to pursue action on mine safety, Internet access rules and voter identification laws, among others. Republicans pushed back, accusing protesters and their supporters of class warfare; Newt Gingrich this week called the “concept of the 99 and the one” both divisive and “un-American.”

Perhaps most important for the movement, there was a sevenfold increase in Google searches for the term “99 percent” between September and October and a spike in news stories about income inequality throughout the fall, heaping attention on the issues raised by activists.

“The ‘99 percent,’ and the ‘one percent,’ too, are part of our vocabulary now,” said Judith Stein, a professor of history at the City University of New York.

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The New York Times, “Camps Are Cleared, But ‘99 Percent’ Still Occupies the Lexicon.”

And further down in Brian Stelter’s story:  “A Tumblr blog that was set up to compete with 'We Are the 99 Percent,’ called 'We Are the 53%,’ (referring to the estimated percentage of Americans who pay federal income taxes) has not been updated for two weeks.”

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‪#‎OccupyWallStreet‬: The fourth anniversary of the movement that changed the way America views capitalism, corporate America, and banks.

freespeechforpeople.org
Congressman McGovern Introduces the People's Rights Amendment

CONGRESSMAN JIM MCGOVERN INTRODUCES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL TO OVERTURN CORPORATE PERSONHOOD

‘Corporations Are Not People’

‘PEOPLE’S RIGHTS AMENDMENT’ WOULD REPEAL CITIZENS UNITED RULING AND THE CORPORATE RIGHTS DOCTRINE

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced today a constitutional amendment bill to overturn the US Supreme Court’s January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and to make clear that corporations are not people with rights under the US Constitution. The introduction of the bill – the “People’s Rights Amendment” – marks a major breakthrough in the growing movement across the country to end corporate personhood and restore democracy to the people. 

“Corporations are not people,” said Congressman McGovern. “They do not breathe. They do not have children. They do not die in war. They are artificial entities which we the people create and, as such, we govern them, not the other way around.”

“The Citizens United ruling,” McGovern continued, “marks the most extreme extension of a corporate rights doctrine which has eroded our First Amendment and our Constitution. Now is the time for a 28th Amendment that lifts up the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people.”

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC swept away a century of precedent barring corporate political expenditures and unleashed a torrent of corporate spending in US elections. The ruling applied the doctrine of corporate constitutional rights, a doctrine which corporations have used in recent years to strike down various federal and state laws designed to protect the public interest. 

“We are proud to stand with Congressman McGovern at this historic moment,” said John Bonifaz, the co-founder and director of Free Speech For People, a national non-partisan campaign launched on the day of the Citizens United ruling which authored the People’s Rights Amendment and has been mobilizing support throughout the nation for its enactment. “For the first time, the United States Congress now has the opportunity to debate a constitutional amendment bill that raises the fundamental question of whether people or corporations shall govern in America.”

“The nation is ready for this debate,” Bonifaz added, citing public opinion research that Free Speech For People commissioned showing widespread support across the political spectrum for a constitutional amendment like the one Congressman McGovern has introduced. “Americans understand that our democracy is at stake and that we must fight to preserve it. We see Congressman McGovern’s proposed amendment as another important strike on behalf of the 99 percent.”

Click here to view Congressman McGovern’s amendment.

Click here to download the press release.

Follow this Tumblr: “We Are the 99 Percent.”

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This may seem like an odd post for me to kick-off my return to tumblr, and perhaps especially as my first real post after moving to a new town with a new life and new opportunities. I don’t see it that way.

I love science. But science is very little without people. It is everyday people who practice science in all its myriad forms, whether they work in academia, practice medicine, design apps, are hobbyists, or are merely curious. People. And the bottom-line is that all our science, as cool as it is, is ultimately a tool for us to better serve humanity and our planet. 

We are people and we are a people. We are a species. We are part of a complex ecosystem and a planet. Even Darwinism - renown for “selfish genes” and being “red in tooth and claw” - allows for some altruism. If you believe in the love of a parent for a child, then you can believe in giving a damn about your fellow man and probably the rest of existence as well.

And personally, a great amount of the science I post has to do with bettering the lot of mankind, whether it’s transhumanist technology that restores sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, alternative energy sources which can help repair our planet and save its inhabitants (yes, that includes us!), or whether it’s a new app that can help monitor heart-health. It’s about people. Helping people. 

Perhaps it’s because our society is so fragmented - ironic in a time of globalization, though it may be - with people relegated to pushing buttons behind cubicles, riding cubicles home, and eating dinner from tiny frozen cubicles, often without sharing any moments with our fellow humans or our natural environment (when there’s any left). Or maybe it’s because “the people” we hear about are billionaires, celebrities, & politicians (or just fictional characters). I don’t know. But those aren’t “the people” of the world. They are a narrow slice, a very narrow slice, of humanity - and often a narrower slice if considering “humanity” in an ethical context. 

Who are we? Who are the “rest” of humanity? We are the rejected and dejected faceless masses (yes, I love that symbolism of the Anonymous group). But we aren’t really faceless. We are real. And so is our pain. There are literally millions and millions suffering horribly across the globe. Horribly! But even in our own U.S. of A., people are suffering. People are suffering from a system that’s largely designed for and by that narrow slice. 

Painfully, it’s often science which is used for these ends. Economics and psychology, weapons-research and even the suppression of certain sciences (*cough*climate-change*cough*). Yes, science is very much a part of this.

How will we get out of this mess?!

I don’t know, of course. I’m just some jerk with a blog. But I have a lot of faith in science: the process, the knowledge, and the people who practice it (though no group of people is perfect). I think science can do much to help us out of this, if we’d only heed its wisdom, follow its ways - and stop slashing its funding! 

But as much as I love and have faith in science, we’re not going to get anywhere without people. There are two types I have in mind. Firstly, take a look at the linked tumblr site. Seriously, I insist. Take a look! Those are representatives of 99% of Americans. Those are the real people. And yes, those are your people. Secondly, take a look in the mirror. You. You are part of the 99%. And the 99% needs you! We need you to give a damn about your brothers and sisters. We are one species, on one planet, and don’t think it’s impossible for us to enter a new dark-ages or worse. 

Science has always been advanced by men and women of passion, people who cared. Society works that way too. Don’t be apathetic. You may not decide to go to your local “occupy” event - hell, you may not even agree with much of what’s said! - but take a look, see what’s happening, and give a damn! (Btw, two good tumblrs on the “occupy” campaign are WeSpeakForEarth and OccupyWallStreet.)

I don’t always agree with the complaints or the offered solutions, but without recognizing a problem, without a conversation about it, solutions of any kind will never be reached and progress of any sort will not happen. And personally, as a rule of thumb, in a situation of doubt I’ll almost always side with people over institutions. It’s not a perfect rule, but it seems like a much better bet for society. 

“Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings." - Helen Keller

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Do you think Fox News will show this interview with a Occupy Wall Street Protester?

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Police in the UK may begin testing lasers to temporarily blind rioters. Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8949060/Police-to-test-laser-tha…

A few days ago I posted about a device that could temporarily inhibit breathing (here), also for use in case of riots (*cough*peaceful*protests*cough*). Well, this device, which temporarily blinds people, is a great addition to our government’s control over its citizens.

“Mother should I trust the government?”