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Occupy Wall Street: a REAL grassroots movement for change?





handfleisch
Just yesterday one of my international clients asked me why the New York subways are in such embarrassingly bad condition, despite the fact that New York is wealthier than most countries. I tried to explain the bad situation the USA is in concerning taxing the people who have most of the money (the 10% of the population who own 90% of the wealth) to pay for basic public services.

But now suddenly there is a growing movement centered on "occupying" Wall Street. Unlike the Tea Party, this one seems to really reflect the working people and all those being hurt by Wall Street's activities, the tax policies, the government policies that benefit the rich to the detriment of most Americans.

I really hope it continues to grow into a national movement. But without the strong support of the major media or huge financial backing (like how FOX inc. and megarich donors fabricated the Tea Party) I am dubious about its ability to prosper in the 21st century. Remember the anti-war demonstrations against the Iraq invasion -- one million people on the streets, to no effect. I don't see how to break through that impediment. But I wish them luck, since the USA's political system is locked down against change that in any way takes away any of the power of the rich that makes it a de facto plutocracy.

http://www.lohud.com/article/20111005/NEWS05/110050326/Occupy-Wall-Street-protesters-vow-stay-indefinitely
Occupy Wall Street protesters vow to stay indefinitely

http://www.examiner.com/christianity-politics-in-national/mainstream-mulls-focus-of-occupy-wall-street
Mainstream mulls focus of Occupy Wall Street

deanhills
This is WONDERFUL news you've made my day Handfleisch. Finally people are standing up for themselves. This is exactly how it should be.
jmi256
Grass roots? Hardly. George Soros and his Adbusters organizers are simply using the fools who don’t even understand what they are protesting or what their demands are to deflect attention from the far-Left’s failures.


deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Grass roots? Hardly. George Soros and his Adbusters organizers are simply using the fools who don’t even understand what they are protesting or what their demands are to deflect attention from the far-Left’s failures.



Laughing Laughing Laughing
Long time since I've laughed like this. I love these Hitler adaptations, have checked out many, but this IS the best one yet. Did you do it? Absolutely precious!!!! The wording right on and the facial expressions matching them exactly, including that piece about the Black Panthers.

Cancel dinner with Hillary ..... indeed!

Are there more of these?
Very Happy
Bikerman
Soros 'detracting from the far left's failures'? I'm lost. Is the implication that Soros is a leftie? Or maybe he has an interest in defending the left? Nope, can't quite see how that could work....

As for not knowing what they are protesting against....I think most of them probably know.
ocalhoun
*ignoring videos*

From handfleisch's sources:
Quote:
Occupy Wall Street has a loose agenda, with corporate greed as its main target, and blames the financial industry for the state of the economy and its related woes, such as unemployment, foreclosures and the debt crisis.

Fair enough, though a more specific agenda would be helpful.

Quote:
Among her biggest complaints are the millions of unemployed and uninsured and the trillion dollars in student-loan debt.

Unemployed? Yes, partly due to wall street.
Uninsured? Didn't we already cover this?
Student loan debt? No sympathy at all for that one. They took on that debt voluntarily; nobody forced them to.

Quote:

Mainstream media’s general consensus seems to be that the Occupy Wall Street crowd isn’t particularly organized

From what I've read so far, I'd have to agree.
Plenty of grumbling about obvious problems... but not much proposing of solutions.

Quote:

Interestingly, Hornbein claims that Occupy Wall Street encompasses Tea Partiers and that the Tea Party movement was dismantled by “corporate influence.”

Wouldn't be surprising. The tea partiers who actually believed in the original ideals of the movement would probably like this movement as well.

Quote:

Barro claims that the poor focus of Occupy Wall Street means that it can’t be a successful political movement because a policy agenda is necessary for results. He went on to point out that “if you don’t know what you want the government to do, you can’t figure out who in Washington is your ally, who you want elected to office, or how you get policy change made.”

It's true that they do need a clear policy agenda...
But it is not true that they need to figure out who their friends in Washington are... They don't have any friends in Washington. An anti-corporate agenda will find no support in the current political system.

Quote:

If the Occupy Wall Street actually becomes a movement that goes global, it could certainly be a tool that the anti-Christ could use to help usher in the New World Order


Wait... WHAT?
I sure wasn't expecting that...
Reading a somewhat informative, well written article... and suddenly, anti-christ paranoia appears!
...And the semblance of objective reporting abruptly vanishes...


Handfleisch, what kind of sources are you linking us to!?!

I thought you liked this movement... but you give us sources that comment about the movement's usefulness to the anti-christ.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:

Quote:

If the Occupy Wall Street actually becomes a movement that goes global, it could certainly be a tool that the anti-Christ could use to help usher in the New World Order

Wait... WHAT?
I sure wasn't expecting that...
Reading a somewhat informative, well written article... and suddenly, anti-christ paranoia appears!
...And the semblance of objective reporting abruptly vanishes...


Handfleisch, what kind of sources are you linking us to!?!
I thought you liked this movement... but you give us sources that comment about the movement's usefulness to the anti-christ.


Hilarious. Good catch, OC. I must say you do your homework. I just linked to the first few seemingly legit news links in an internet search as a general introduction. I thought it was the SF Examiner, but it's a crypto-Christian fundie site that has insinuated itself into the "new" articles.
deanhills
What do you think of this guy's speech Handfleisch? I was really impressed with it. I thought he would make for a great President one day?

jws325
I know a few people who have taken part in the protests, and they basically just wanted to have a good time. While I'm sure many protestors are seriously angry at the loss of jobs, wealth disparity, war, etc., there is no specific thing the protestors are trying to accomplish. This makes it hard for the protest to succeed, since there is no clear definition of success.
myleshi
These people need to go and occupy the White House front lawn, and stink up that place. Maybe the "one" will divine a job on them, god knows they want one handed to them, don't want to earn one.
c'tair
I dunno if the million-strong anti-Vietnam protest had any power, I think these people would need more than a million people to join them to make a change.

I think that the core-movement is right - the government should not have bailed out banks for errors that were the banks own fault. That's essentially rewarding bad behaviour, it will only continue. There's also the problem of greed and corruption.

But I also see that a lot of angsty people joined up the movement and are stinking it up with their complaints. "OMG I HAVE LIEK 50 THOUSAND IN STUDENT DEBT! THE GUBBAMENT PROMISED ME A JOB AFTER GETTING A BA IN ENGLISH!" or "I'M 19, HAVE A CAR AND KIDS AND THE BANKS DARES TO ASK ME FOR THE MONEY IT LOANED ME!" or basically people who are looking for a free ride. I even have on guy on facebook who posted something along the lines of "there are more Americans with no healthcare and problems getting food than there were during the great depression". This is a guy who gets about 10k$ from the IRS because he is supposedly the only supporter of 3 other people, this is a guy who bought a 15" MacBookPro last year for his tax return, who gets high and drunk almost every weekend and has started college at least two times and quit because it was boring.

I just wanted to point out that nearly half the world population lives on 2$ or less per day. 10 million children die of hunger in Africa alone, per year (WHO, 2006). There are tens of thousands of Asians who work 16 hour shifts for next to nothing.

And then I see pictures of people who complain that they can't afford payments on their car, the picture taken in a house, using an iphone. Man, that's some steep poverty right there, only one iphone, damn, I dunno how that person can make ends meet.

Anyways, like I mentioned in the other thread, I'm scared that the whiners will swamp down the movement and render it harmless. The whiners aren't organizing, the whiners aren't setting clear points for their agenda. They just go out and whine. Like that guy I mentioned earlier? He doesn't do anything for the movement - he doesn't donate his time, his resources, his skill or anything, he just goes there to be part of something.
deanhills
I don't think I agree with you c'tair. I believe those guys have very valid complaints. Most of the people I've seen complaining however lack a little in the sophistication department to communicate their complaints properly. Maybe they don't stand a chance as of course the 1% filthy rich would have Government and the legal system completely on their side. Probably going to take at least a few million people to really get their message through.
Hello_World
Quote:
I just wanted to point out that nearly half the world population lives on 2$ or less per day. 10 million children die of hunger in Africa alone, per year (WHO, 2006). There are tens of thousands of Asians who work 16 hour shifts for next to nothing.


Yep, that is perfectly true. But do you really think people should wait until their situation is that bad before they are entitled to voice their concerns? You don't think people who are lucky to live in a wealthy country like US shouldn't be able to share in that wealth?

Sure, there are a lot of people out there without consise political objectives, who are essentially saying "I am feeling under a lot of financial pressure meanwhile the government is helping the big money" and "things don't seem right" or even "the problem seems to lie somewhere with the inequity of powerful monied interests and the rest of us".

People are feeling and people are hurting. Why should they not have a voice?

As the political objectives do get clearer, the media will inevitably start with the whole "they are a rent-a-crowd mob" and "they are getting led by communists" etc. That would be the typical strategy to silence people's concerns. And they do need to silence them, if they wish to hold onto all their money and power, because there are plenty of valid claims in this movement.

Still,
Quote:
"there are more Americans with no healthcare

hasn't Obama brought you guys free health care now? I thought he did.

Quote:
The whiners aren't organizing, the whiners aren't setting clear points for their agenda. They just go out and whine.

Quote:
While I'm sure many protestors are seriously angry at the loss of jobs, wealth disparity, war, etc., there is no specific thing the protestors are trying to accomplish. This makes it hard for the protest to succeed, since there is no clear definition of success.


nevertheless, I think this could be a problem too. I remember the WTO and S11 protests, they were HUGE but were incredibly disparate and failed to get across to the general public exactly what the problem was and what they thought could be done about it.

And there was a lot of passion in those protests. They essentially dwindled out after 911 (conspiracy lol?)
Quote:

I know a few people who have taken part in the protests, and they basically just wanted to have a good time.

it happens. But you can still assume these people are vaguely unhappy with the government/situation.


Quote:
Quote:
Interestingly, Hornbein claims that Occupy Wall Street encompasses Tea Partiers and that the Tea Party movement was dismantled by “corporate influence.”


Wouldn't be surprising. The tea partiers who actually believed in the original ideals of the movement would probably like this movement as well.


The tea party appeared to have similar concerns, but misplaced the anger, and turned to the right. So, yeah.

Quote:
They don't have any friends in Washington. An anti-corporate agenda will find no support in the current political system.

Yep.

Quote:
Remember the anti-war demonstrations against the Iraq invasion -- one million people on the streets, to no effect. I don't see how to break through that impediment.


This attitude is the one which encourages people to give up and put up. People choose not to protest because they don't believe we are able to change anything. We can, if people decide to stand up in great numbers, and get a clearer agenda. In any case, we can't just give up and let the rich and powerful control us, we have to continue to try to be heard. And government channels do not allow us to do that.
c'tair
^ The group of whiners are hurting, as you worded it, not because someone decided to take away their hard earned money, no, they're hurting because they made incredibly irresponsible financial decisions ie. taking huge student loans. Also, the group of whiners is hurting not because they are going hungry, not because they have to brave the elements in a mud shelter - no, they are hurting because after buying an iphone and a car and bearing a child, all for borrowed money, someone is bothering them to pay that money back.

Sure, one could argue that this situation was made possible by banks being irresponsible with lending to people who could not pay back - I believe this was the original seed of the whole global economical problem, but no one forced people to take those loans.

If I'm standing on a street corner and offering drugs and people buy drugs from me, who is responsible?

If you look at my first post, you'll see that I think that both sides are responsible - banks (drug dealers) offering credits with bad contracts for consumers (drugs) and consumers who acted completely irresponsibly and used those offers (drug users).

I'm merely stating that if we're to fix the problem, we must look at BOTH sides to see BOTH groups of mistakes made by both consumers AND banks. Simply pointing the finger at banks, like the whiners do, doesn't give us a holistic solution.
deanhills
c'tair, I totally differ with you on this. The BIG BANKS have been selling investment products to their clients even when they knew they had been unsafe during the period leading up to the Real Estate crisis in 2008. They were the ones who channeled the savings of the poor and middle class into risky investment products of the Banks, which coincidentally HUGE incentive bonuses were paid to the Investment Advisers as well as Management of those BIG BANKS. Not only were those banks bailed out, but all of the management and investment advisers are still employed and earning bonuses and commissions as before. BUT those who had bought those risky investment products have been bankrupted and lost their properties and jobs.

Something smells real rotten for me. All you have to do is see a mental image of the whole process where huge amounts of money had been moved from your poor and middle class into the Banks Coffers. When the Banks started to bleed, all that happened was for the Government to print lots of money to replenish their coffers. NOTHING went back to where the original funds had been coming from. Out of the whole situation I would say the Banks that got bailed out, actually made money both ways.

To me the real problem is the deregulation that had happened to Banks during the eighties and nineties. Before that happened, Banks were not allowed to sell investments or be involved in properties. Those were also the days I believe that people still earned interest on their current savings. I'd like to see a movement where citizens try and get the Banks regulated again and they move back to your local Coop type Building Societies (local small banks) where they can see their Bank Manager face to face. And everything is transparent and easy to understand again.
handfleisch
Really quite funny to see how some Tea Baggers and right wingers like JMI on these forums are so threatened by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and it reminds us of an important fact: The Tea Party was all started by a loony pro-Wall Street rant from the Chicago stock exchange by reporter Rick Santelli on CNBC (where he calls regular home owners having trouble with their mortgages "losers"). Basically the Tea Party and right wingers represent Wall Street, the mega-rich, and that's why Occupy Wall Street scares them into their usual smears and lie tactics.

Hello_World
Yeah, the funny thing about right-wingers and tea-baggers etc is that they can see something is wrong but turn to the very institutions who cause ordinary people pain for their heroes...
ocalhoun
It is true that the recent smear campaign is disgustingly transparent.


Stop with the character assassination, and make arguments about the group's beliefs and stance instead.
All political groups contain criminals and various undesirables... Pointing out the ones from a particular group accomplishes nothing.
jmi256
"Grass roots" my a#s. The "Occupy" mob is nothing but the Left Wing's pathetic attempt to protect Obama and the Democrats from criticism of their failed policies by creating fake “protests” to take the limelight off of them. They don’t even know what they are protesting.


Quote:
‘Occupy CPAC’ protesters paid $60 for the day

Protesters at Friday’s “Occupy CPAC” event, organized by AFL-CIO and the Occupy DC movement, told The Daily Caller that they were paid “sixty bucks a head” to protest outside the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

One protester told TheDC that all the “Occupy” activists were being paid to protest, and that his union, Sheet Metal Workers Local 100, approached him about the money-making opportunity.

“I have nothing nice to say about Local 100. … They just told me ‘you wanna make sixty bucks? So c’mon,’” the protester said.

Other “Occupy CPAC” protesters were unwilling to speak on camera because they were unaware what they were protesting and what the CPAC event was about.

Source = http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/10/occupy-cpac-protesters-paid-60-for-the-day/
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