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Author Topic: Occupy Spring?  (Read 2059 times)

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Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Occupy Spring?
« on: March 07, 2012, 06:26:30 PM »
I don't know if it's more media coverage or if Occupy has simply gotten more active in the past few weeks. I do know that advocate activities and protesting has become more frequent on my campus as the weather warms. I wonder if we're going to see a resurgence of Occupy comparable to what was going on in the fall. I've kept track of Occupy newsfeeds on Twitter and Facebook, and it's been a lot fewer calls to action and more "Here is some news so you can stay informed". One news piece was an opinion piece in the Guardian about how NYC is practicing active media management in choosing which cases they prosecute.

It seems to me that many people my age and younger have been keeping one eye on the GOP primaries and one eye on the snow, watching it all go down and waiting for spring. It's been a dismal winter of evictions and frustration. Even more, it's been a disappointing race full of rhetoric and hyperbole that attack our rights rather than focus on the economy, and accountability for those who crashed it. I know I personally feel like I helped shout out a message this past autumn, then went about the business of being a student, a voter, a wife, and an employee while I took in the reactions. Some legislators have responded with placating speeches that ring hollow while trying to recruit us as a base. For the most part, we (and when I say 'we', I do mean the Occupy movement, both the hardcore camp-in-Dewey-Sqare Occupiers and the milder show-support-when-we-can-and-spread-the-word Occupiers - I fall in the latter category) have been lampooned, derided, and then ignored.

This makes me angry, and energizes me. I think to myself, maybe we didn't send a loud enough message before. Maybe we need to get louder, get more vocal, get more inconvenient. I don't think I'm the only one. In fact, from my discussions with others on campus and at other campuses, I know I'm not the only one.

So I thought I would open a discussion here.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 06:48:22 PM »
I am quite sure that it's going to get really really nasty this year as the campaigns start up and really ramp out. (Anyone want to bet what Tampa will be like the week of the GOP convention?).


Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 07:16:34 PM »
I don't doubt for one minute that there will be more protests and more tense discussion about big banks, bailouts, unemployment, fat cats, perceived feelings of entitlement, about what we have politicians for if they only seem to serve themselves and the big banks, and about "who is gonna pay?". It's going to pick up again; I hope some of the debate will be fruitful and constructive, even though angry. Most people this side of the ocean who have taken some time to think or look into the problems would agree that the "fiscal union" (or "Euro pact") that's just been signed by bigshots of almost all EU states except Britain, is _not_ going to solve the underlying problems about the economy: it might even make them worse and more lasting (the 'pact' still has to be ratified by the national parliaments and that's going to be messy in some places; in Ireland there's a referendum coming up).

And lots of people are against the very idea of such a pact; it would mean cut-outs into national sovereignty and would erode the accountability of those people whom you actually do elect and who are supposed to be in charge - it might shift even more of the decisionmaking towards Brussels or to closed and non-accountable meetings between envoys and ministers of the national governments: the European parliament, although its mebers be formally voted directly by the citizenry of all member states, is a good deal less accountable than the US senate seems to be of late, and has little real power to channel opinions from all over Europe and make them politically potent vs governments and eurocrats.

There's´evidently a brimming feeling both in Europe and America that the government is no longer for the people in any real sense, and that they might sell your future to the banks or the "market" with impunity. But unlike five or six years ago, these questions are now really being asked in the public arena, they can no longer simply be all ignored.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 03:35:37 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 07:38:00 PM »
Just got off the phone with my folks.. I'm not going to visit their place up in NC during the Democratic Convention (too close to Charlotte). It's going to be BUG NUTS crazy at both conventions.

I really do expect a LOT of events going on in Charlotte, NC and Tampa, FL at the national conventions. Given the mild winter, the occupy movements have kept up..but I am willing to bet with the spring coming up.. it will 'rebloom' again.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 03:23:27 AM »
This makes me angry, and energizes me. I think to myself, maybe we didn't send a loud enough message before. Maybe we need to get louder, get more vocal, get more inconvenient. I don't think I'm the only one. In fact, from my discussions with others on campus and at other campuses, I know I'm not the only one.

Mind if I ask what you mean by more inconvenient?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 04:04:09 AM »
Since I mentioned "fiscal union" on the EU/Eurozone level, I'd just like to add that there are no law or treaty change proposals atm to directly create "European taxes" - the talk on gov't/big banks/EU level over here is about creating a kind of budget pact that would put an iron limit on the amount of permitted deficit relative to GDP that a country would be allowed, and a process of submitting national budgets to the EU centrally for assent before stamping them into law (these two would probably only be mandatory for those countries that have the common currency, but it's not quite clear at present). Of course, those two things are serious and lasting cuts into national sovereignty. Plus there's the setting up of a huge safety fund to take care of the need for any national bailouts in the future - whether the EU countries can really pay for that kind of fund is anybody's guess, of course.

The concept of "fiscal union" has been floated before, and as an ultimate goal, but it's not part of the current scheme. Personally I'd say the euro as it is functioning now only makes sense long-term if it would be supported by euro taxes and common policies on employment, financial/national banking issues, industry and so on, all through the euro zone. You sometimes hear economists voicing that opinion too, but there is no real mandate, little real  wish for that kind of "United States of Europe" on voter level anywhere.

The reason I'm bringing this to the table is to show that the U.S. unrest and angry debate about banking, unemployment, evasive government talk and ditto spending, poverty and so on has a parallel over here. It seems to be, much of it, the same issues: what separates us is that there are really no institutions Europe-side who have the undisputed rights and powers to take charge of the situation across the EU as a whole. The idea of a "budget pact" and so on could be seen as a first step to putting some such institutions in place, but it seems like many of the ordinary voters and citizens don't want it in that way and do not feel committed to it, while national governments are not clear about how it would really function in the long run, or where it would take us; at least they won't tell us, but I seriously think they don't know in a clear sense. And that's going to fuel more protests, more  arguments, more discussion.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 04:09:28 AM by gaggedLouise »

Online Vekseid

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 08:58:40 AM »
Occupy, or whatever succeeds it, needs to begin fomenting a voter education movement. OWS needs to encourage critical thinking, honest evaluations of issues (i.e. accept the idea that you can be wrong about individual claims and issues, which helps you more adequately address your goal), and, most importantly, get involved in primaries. Of both parties. This last is the only real way that Americans can easily influence their political scene in the sort of general fashion that Occupy seems to want.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 10:28:52 AM »
Agreed Veks, that is something I had hoped that the younger voters had learned with the Obama election in 08. Change will only come with a more active and informed voting public. The electorate in the US has been less and less active than it should for Decades. Since Watergate but slowly moving upwards over the years.

Sadly it was more 'no successor to Bush' than an actual awakening. We, the US, have typically the most apathetic voters of any representative government.  Typically less than 50% of those eligible vote. That is why the special interests have taken hold and decisions like Citzens United take place. Because we the people, have become to lazy as a whole to stand up and vote. If 75% or more of the eligible voters voted consistently with a modicum of study and forethought, we'd still have two parties where the voter mattered.

We EARNED the people who represent us but our laziness and indifference. Don't like the idea? Good, spend an hour or so a week reading up on you senators and representatives. Find out who they truly support. You might be surprised

Offline BraveEarth

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 01:19:53 PM »
I would play devil's advocate here and state that in today's modern society more and more time is being demanded by employment or the search of it, many people have children in what I could consider a largely commuter based country meaning traveling to places for education or recreation takes up time as well. Not to mention the fact such an education can induce more stress on the individual which leads to a host of problems. I'm not so much disagreeing with your statement Callie, in fact I usually am in good agreement and a 1/16th of the day the average American may stay awake could be much worse spent, it's just I can easily see Society facilitating this indifference.

Edit: I know there is more to America than working families but I could really stretch this out in trying to pin down every single group and that would be more of an arguement that I really don't want to continue at a long length.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 01:21:37 PM by BraveEarth »

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 01:40:41 PM »
Mind if I ask what you mean by more inconvenient?

Just a quick clarification from my phone, I'll address the other stuff later. What I mean by more inconvenient is turning out en masse to elections, I mean speaking at whatever platform you have access to, I mean physically sitting on top of the desk of the president if thats what it takes. Essentially, doing whatever it takes to get results if past actions are not effective.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 01:49:00 PM »
I would play devil's advocate here and state that in today's modern society more and more time is being demanded by employment or the search of it, many people have children in what I could consider a largely commuter based country meaning traveling to places for education or recreation takes up time as well. Not to mention the fact such an education can induce more stress on the individual which leads to a host of problems. I'm not so much disagreeing with your statement Callie, in fact I usually am in good agreement and a 1/16th of the day the average American may stay awake could be much worse spent, it's just I can easily see Society facilitating this indifference.


So you're saying one or two hours a WEEK is too much time to see what your elected representatives are up to? To look into the issues and listen to what they are saying?

I'm saddened by that sort of cynical outlook a lot.

Sorry, I'm a full time student looking for a job (looks at the dozens of resume notification emails in folder) and when I was in the military (working up to 16 hours a days overseas on deployement) I could find a few minutes to read a few sites and listen to the news on occasion. Using a little common sense and some digging I kept track of my candidates, read what they did, and VOTED while people here were 'too busy' to vote.

If I can do the full time grind of a military deployment and my friends who were on IAs (Indivigual Augmentations) in the middle of nowhere Afganistan can look, I'm sorry.. folks here can do the same.

My outlook, if you don't vote and participate in the process, your right to complain is curtailed.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 03:49:33 PM »
Just a quick clarification from my phone, I'll address the other stuff later. What I mean by more inconvenient is turning out en masse to elections, I mean speaking at whatever platform you have access to, I mean physically sitting on top of the desk of the president if thats what it takes. Essentially, doing whatever it takes to get results if past actions are not effective.

I think that the big split with the Occupy movement, as I see it, is that some people are willing to become violent and disruptive.  You've referenced some of this in another thread, although I doubt MSNBC really goes into how bad it's really gotten.

I was looking at this last night, actually, trying to pick out what's going on with it. The intent seems to be to prevent protesters from shutting down the downtown areas of cities or shutting down ports (I think it was in Oakland that protesters shut down the entire port for an afternoon, but I'm not positive). And that is understandable; we have the right to speak and peaceably assemble but shutting down a town hall for a day or closing a port doesn't seem to me like a peaceable assembly.

I would agree with Vekseid that the first step is to get involved politically.  Obama's already boasting that he's got five more years coming, so you know he doesn't really feel threatened by his own voter base.  If this turns into something like the Tea Party where they vote out all the people they don't like and supply their own candidates, I'd have more respect for it.  However, I don't believe it will.

A discussion isn't something you can have by forcing people to listen to you, unless they're elected by you and you can show your numbers.

So you're saying one or two hours a WEEK is too much time to see what your elected representatives are up to? To look into the issues and listen to what they are saying?

I'm saddened by that sort of cynical outlook a lot.

Sorry, I'm a full time student looking for a job (looks at the dozens of resume notification emails in folder) and when I was in the military (working up to 16 hours a days overseas on deployement) I could find a few minutes to read a few sites and listen to the news on occasion. Using a little common sense and some digging I kept track of my candidates, read what they did, and VOTED while people here were 'too busy' to vote.

If I can do the full time grind of a military deployment and my friends who were on IAs (Indivigual Augmentations) in the middle of nowhere Afganistan can look, I'm sorry.. folks here can do the same.

My outlook, if you don't vote and participate in the process, your right to complain is curtailed.

I don't really agree that looking into the news is simply an hour a week job.  Every news agency has their own agenda, so unless you want to believe only the liberal or conservative side of things, you have to look into both voices and then do some research to find out which is real.

Far too many liberals only watch ABC, CBS, NBC/MSNBC, The Huffington Post, Media Matters or any of the others which only choose to tell stories which can be easily spun, the same way that many conservatives only watch FOX or Rush Limbaugh.  It's a lot like trying to talk to warring gang factions to find out just what happened in a situation, and a lot of people just don't have time.



Two things bother me about the Occupy movement, though.  Why is the cost of education skyrocketing, and why don't the students go after the universities for that?  It seems like a strange course of action to me to go after the banks who give you the student loan instead of the actual people charging the exorbitant prices.  Isn't the consequence of shutting down a bank going to be that less people can get student loans and go to college in the first place?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 03:56:52 PM »
Even an hour a week is more than most people do (and I'm pointing more at the folks parroting soundbites on Facebook than anyone else I know).   Being more informed gives you a better chance of getting to the truth of the story.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 04:02:41 PM »
You have to teach yourself, that is what the hour or so a week is. Not listening to the shills on your favorite network. You have to check your paper or read articles from multiple news sources.

Simply put you have to teach yourself and decide what you want out of your candidates.  Even a half informed voter is better than most folks know who listen to their favorite talking head and follow.

I find it ironic that foreign papers and news services tend to be more fair and balanced than US sources.

Of course I also think that Mirdoch's News Corp needs to be broken up in the US.  He owns as much as 43+ % in some markets.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2012, 04:54:05 PM »
I'm in agreement with Vekseid and Andy that the Occupy movement needs to get involved politically as a major part of its strategy, but I'm not sure this has to translate to just voting their own indie candidates into the U.S. Senate (right now I'm only considering the U.S. movement, though it's got parallels in many other places). The Tea Party could go for that path with some success, but it had powerful sponsors, the backing of the Fox media machinery and a number of candidates who already had personal fortunes to dig into for campaigning. Very few in the Occupy movement are likely to have even half a million bucks of savings they can readily use to toss into an election fight, many won't even be able to get a big loan in the bank and surely not for electioneering or activism. So aiming to influence some established candidates or would-be candidates sounds like a better idea to me. Or, in the long run, to build a new party, perhaps to the left of the centre of the Democratic party but above all taking in that things have changed.

But above all, to get the attitudes of the voting public lifted, to educate the public, to question planted ideas such as "you only have a right to speak, or to question those who are speaking in here, if you can personally pay your way to what the stuff you're proposing will cost" and "I know what I'm thinking so don't disturb me with facts". Both of those lines of thought are strongly part of the climate on both sides of the Atlantic, and have been dumbing politics down. Well, it wasn't always this simplistic. Let's say ten years ago the, eh, discussion climate made it a great deal easier to get through, bring new issues and question the media than it seems to be now. Things changed a great deal after 9/11, the media became a lot more paranoid and less willing to allow for debate, but now that there is actually a user-driven base that talks and publishes its own stories, its own images, its own insights, that's a better foundation for a new movement to raise th awareness of the public than there's been for several years.

So I think the Occupy movement needs some strategies, and a talking culture, that aim longer than this election season, even longer than the next four years. Things are not going to be all fine and dandy within the next two years, even if there is an upsurge of resistance to greed and a cabinet and a senate willing to work with the people. It needs to have a lasting presence on the ground, in cities and country, in the media, and probably in Washington. It also needs to connect with sister movements outside the US.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 05:07:46 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Serephino

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2012, 11:28:04 PM »
I get an email once a week that sums up all the votes that happened, and what my representatives voted.  It takes about 10 minutes to read.  I signed up for it on the official Congress website.  In this day and age it's not difficult to be at least a little bit informed.  I do believe the only way things are going to get better is if people becomes less apathetic.  Voting doesn't take that long, and I do believe employers have to let you go.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2012, 06:36:27 PM »
I get an email once a week that sums up all the votes that happened, and what my representatives voted.  It takes about 10 minutes to read.  I signed up for it on the official Congress website.


Thank you.  I had no idea that e-mail existed.  Signing up for it now.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2012, 06:06:02 PM »
Occupy, or whatever succeeds it, needs to begin fomenting a voter education movement. OWS needs to encourage critical thinking, honest evaluations of issues (i.e. accept the idea that you can be wrong about individual claims and issues, which helps you more adequately address your goal), and, most importantly, get involved in primaries. Of both parties. This last is the only real way that Americans can easily influence their political scene in the sort of general fashion that Occupy seems to want.

 If only the forum had a thank button...

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 06:09:44 PM »
The few interviews I saw on the Occupy Wallstreet coordinators highlighted the need for a 'platform'. The problem was then, and I presume now, too many diverse and tightly focused are there for ONE specific cause and to hell with everyone else.


Online Vekseid

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2012, 07:54:25 PM »
I don't really see that as a long-term problem. There are a lot of things wrong, and what scares bankers about it is that it's specifically orchestrated such that "Throw them a bone" a la the New Deal is not going to work. They don't want concessions, they want a system that is fundamentally repaired.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2012, 08:02:14 PM »
I don't really see that as a long-term problem. There are a lot of things wrong, and what scares bankers about it is that it's specifically orchestrated such that "Throw them a bone" a la the New Deal is not going to work. They don't want concessions, they want a system that is fundamentally repaired.

What I don't get is that the system as is.. will break again. And eventually the guys who are making all these backroom deals will wind up doing the same thing the guys on Wall Street did after the crash back in the 20s hoping off the ledge of their nice highrise office/penthouse apartment/wherever.

Repairing the system, in the longterm, will be profitable to them. After all, they are the ones who will bring the money to the table.

Offline BraveEarth

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2012, 04:28:46 AM »
The current way businesses, large business on the stock market, operate is with the short term gain system and that kind of culture is so prevalent that I don't think slow safe long term gains are appealing enough to them, they probably figure, Hey some people had bet the system right and made a tonne of money before the crash I'll just do that.

EDIT: I really need to stop sounding so cynical on this thread...
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 04:32:34 AM by BraveEarth »

Offline Singularity

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2012, 04:46:19 PM »
Occupy cannot succeed within the framework of the current system, in their current aims, because of two words: Citizens United.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 04:50:55 PM »
Occupy cannot succeed within the framework of the current system, in their current aims, because of two words: Citizens United.

That might be true on a non-election year.. in a presidential election year? Want to bet some of the nastiest demonstrations/sit ins in places like Tampa and Charlotte this summer will go down? (Where the party conventions are coming to this year)

Offline Singularity

Re: Occupy Spring?
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 04:56:26 PM »
Quote
That might be true on a non-election year.. in a presidential election year? Want to bet some of the nastiest demonstrations/sit ins in places like Tampa and Charlotte this summer will go down? (Where the party conventions are coming to this year)
Doubt that it will matter overmuch. Every time that convention protests have happened, police have found ways to cut them off at the knees.

Money remains the most important asset in politics. CU v FEC blew the floodgates open. Any effort for reform is gonna get drowned in election graft.