America Wants ‘Dead’ Tim Dogg Arrested to Pay His Bills But Leaves an Alive Wall St Free

Tim-Dogg-sepiaEveryone is buzzing about Bronx rapper Tim Dogg and whether or not he’s alive or if he faked his own death..A warrant has been issued for arrest, as authorities are seething, saying Tim faked his own death to avoid paying a women he swindled for 32k..If this woman was hustled, I feel bad for her, but I gotta be honest, I could give a rats ass about Tim Dogg… What I’m concerned about is that authorities in our beloved country will go all out to look for him, bring him back from ‘the dead’ and arrest him for unpaid bills..

Meanwhile we have Wall street bankers who fleeced the Black community alone for over 93 BILLION dollars in fraudulent housing foreclosures. These shady bankers have kept these ill gained homes off the market to create a new housing bubble which will soon send our economy in a tailspin again.. Last I checked those Wall Street crooks are alive and well and free of any warrants for their arrest..

We have Wall street Bankers who tanked the economy globally and are currently hording trillions of dollars off shore to avoid paying taxes.. Yes, we are looking at you Apple... We are looking at you GE..

Occupy-Wall-Street signWe have Wall street crooks who are alive and well who have scammed millions of students on über high-priced student loans, which has led to not only another economic bubble, soon to burst and destined to cause widespread financial meltdown, but will also keep students in debt for lifetime..The student loan debt is greater than all our other debts combined.. The people behind those economic atrocities are alive and well and instead of being arrested, they been given sweet heart bail out deals and  protected from prosecution.

In some cases they are given apologies as we saw earlier this week when Senator Rand Paul apologized to Apple for being questioned for not paying their fair share. We’ve seen the billionaire Koch Brothers backed Tea party be given kid glove treatment around their questionable finances, but we’re looking for Tim Dogg?? This is the big news of the day for our authorities? Where’s the zealous spirit and courage to go after those who really did us harm? If anything lawmakers

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill

Now don’t get it twisted, if Tim Dogg did someone dirty, he should pay the price.. I’m no way arguing or suggesting he should get a free pass..I’m just comparing notes and connecting dots.. It’s hard to look at this Tim Dogg case and separate it from current scenarios where the government has pulled out the stops to get their money.. I’m thinking about Lauryn Hill sitting in jail for the next 3 month for not paying 1.6 million in taxes. She was sent to jail and separated from her 6 children even as she landed a record deal that would allow her to pay it back..Prison time was not handed down to country singer Willie Nelson who racked up an IRS bill of 16 million dollars..When I see entertainers like Wesley Snipes, Beanie Sigel and most recently Ja Rule all do jail time for owing the government money and others not even investigated, questions have got to be raised..

Two years ago just before this country and NATO invaded Libya, it was discovered that after George Bush ‘normalized relationships with the country several artists including Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Usher and 50 Cent and others did shows there. When this was discovered, they were pressured to give the money back or donate it to charity. You can read about that HERE. They were deemed scum for doing a show for former ruler Gaddafi’s son. Meanwhile the trade group US-Libya Business Association which had in its membership many big American companies from Citigroup to Cocoa Cola caked over a billion dollars worth of business and weren’t asked to pay back one dime. That association just relaunched their website and are up and running like nothing ever happened..

Tim Dogg

Tim Dogg

But again Tim Dogg is now headline news with folks ready to drag his ‘dead ass‘ from ‘the grave’ and into court so he can pay his bills. How much are we paying each day for the War in Iraq??.. How much money did non-bidding companies like Halliburton and the now defunct Blackwater make? How many Billions and millions? Now that right there was Grand Larceny.. What Tim Dogg did to that poor women pales in comparison..

While we’re looking for Tim Dogg, keep in mind one of the biggest ‘crooks’ in the US, subprime loan Queen Penny Pritzker is about to become Secretary of Commerce.. Y’all better wake up and smell the coffee for real for real.. Our country will be better off when criminals on that level are sent to jail, not Tim Dogg.

Below is a list of living and breathing corporate Tax dodgers and cheats..Lets haul them in.. http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/102512%20-%20JobDestroyers3.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QQbRXaGsjM

-Davey D-

I Wish media Pundits Would Stop Calling Benefits We pay for ‘Entitlements’

entitlements-largeIt’s annoying as hell when media pundits call programs we pay into Entitlement Programs implying that folks receiving benefits are somehow undeserving or seeking handouts… Such terminology is the first step in convincing folks to go against their interests and give up money & benefits they worked for…

Social security, Unemployment, Medicare, Pensions, Food stamps etc are NOT ‘Entitlements’…Just like the benefits you receive from your car or homeowners insurance is not an entitlement..

Watch out for the way folks in power label and define you, the things you own or the programs your hard-earned tax dollars paid for….Using particular terminology like “entitlement’ is not by accident. It was term that initially was benign but was later flipped on its head and muddied up.. It’s well researched and attached to someone’s political agenda with the end goal to fleece you while demonizing you in the process..So when we talk about Grandma getting social security or medicare, its an entitlement.. When it comes to members of Congress or the Senate receiving lifetime support, its called a ‘package’.

Many of the people who have brought into the myth that those receiving so-called entitlements are most likely the same ones who have come to believe economic  plight of the average American is what was illustrated in a recent edition of the Wall Street journal…. Take a look at the graphics below..Ask yourself  is that the plight of the average single parent in America where 1 out of 7 people are living below the poverty level is such that we are pulling in 230k and 260K a year…

Economic people pt1

How about this next graphic which shows an average family of 4 making 650k a year or a retired couple  rocking 180k..? Again this is what the Wall Street journal had as a way to explain what ‘most’ Americans were going through when it came to paying taxes.. If these income levels is what’s being put out for everyone to consume, no wonder you such a cavalier attitude being taken when it comes to paring down benefits (Entitlements). Heck if I was clocking 54k a month like the family of 4 depicted below, there would be no need for me to be securing those $200 worth of food stamps each month. If the average jobs are paying 260k a year then I can understand while some would feel folks are ‘lazy’ for not being economically sound.. Perception and Wording are everything..

economic people pt2

Occupy Wall Street One Year Later… Our Insightful intv w/ Malik from Occupy the Hood

One year ago September 17th 2011, a group of people gather at Zuccotti Park a small enclave in the financial district of New York City and launched a movement that would effectively change the way we would for the foreseeable future talk about economic disparities. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was the movement that would eventually spread to over 1500 cities around the world and force presidents and economic advisors of any stripe to talk about the economy in terms of 1% vs 99%. It was a game changer on many levels.

Occupy Wall Street was a huge attraction … Zuccotti Park was the epic center where everyone from filmmaker Michael Moore to scholars like Cornel West to music moguls like Russell Simmons to former Black Panther Angela Davis to major labor leaders and members to students all came by to embrace what was going down.. In spite of the initial media blackouts, OWS exploded as it struck a chord. Hundreds and then thousands showed up to protest what many described ‘the Tyranny of the banks‘.

OWS Media Center

OWS had a tech savvy media center set up, which included a live U Stream so the entire world could watch, as this movement did what many thought was impossible, give folks who were feeling beleaguered, cynical and betrayed by the broken promises and lack of action around the Hope and Change rhetoric that excited so many in ’08, a sense of purpose and belief in the possibility that serious corners could be turned. OWS struck a chord with many who had deep yearnings to shake things up and change the world. The ‘leaderless’ movement seemed determined to bring the fight and the mass anger many were feeling, right to the front steps of Wall Street big wigs..It wasn’t long before lots of money and resources began to pour in..

OWS Brooklyn Bridge protest

t also wasn’t long before we started to hearing and then seeing incident after incident of New York City police beating down Occupy protestors. Mayor Michael Bloomberg once famously called NYPD his private army and sadly they lived up to the billionaires claim. With each march and with each protest the world was treated to seeing NYPD, many wearing white shirts punching, macing and using batons on women, men, young and old.. The arrests were fast and furious. It would be 5 here, 6 there, 10 there. One day over 700 were arrested with many beaten as OWS attempted to march across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was later learned that Wall Street institutions like JP Morgan donated 4.6 million dollars to NYPD which led to the belief that they had essentially privatized parts of the department. Many of these white shirts were answering to bankers and not the city..

Malik (right) at OWS protest w/ Jasiri X

As we look back on all that transpired since Occupy Wall Street began we talked with Malik Rashaan.. who started Occupy the Hood. He explained how he showed up and showed up at Zuccotti Park on day two, curious as to what all the commotion was all about and anxious to see how  many folks who looked like him were participating. Not seeing all that many, Malik started Occupy the Hood and maintained a strong presence down at Zuccotti..

During our interview, Malik gives an insightful, brutally honest assessment of what he experienced. He talks about the early growing pains as well as the strengths of OWS and its short comings.

He recounts the early days of OWS and explains whether or not he feels it lost focused..He goes into detail about the struggles around race, gender and class.. he talks about the intense debates around strategy..He said there were many fault-lines and many egos..Malik describes OWS as a church, where everyone comes but the pastor and many in the congregation don’t do the right things..

Listen to our Intv w/ Malik from Occupy the Hood
By Clicking the link Below

He also talks about the myth surrounding OWS being leaderless.. He weighs in on the Jay-Z- Russell Simmons controversy where Jay-Z called OWS Un-American. Malik talks about how cats from the hood perceived OWS especially after he brought them to Zuccotti.

Malik talks at length at some of the many things OWS accomplished and where he sees things headed..He talks about the new approaches he sees many Occupies taking. He also talks about the strength of of Occupy in other cities.. Oakland and Detroit are two that come to mind..

Russell Simmons Responds to Jay-Z w/ a Stinging Open Letter About Occupy Wall Street

In recent days a firestorm erupted around rap star Jay-Z when he was quoted as saying he thought Occupy Wall Street was ‘Un-American’ when it demonized the 1%…

Jay-Z went on to state that he didn’t get down with the Occupy Movement because he didn’t know anything about it’s goals. Many of us found this to be a bit odd since Jay-Z had embroiled himself in a controversy last year when he announced that he would be making Occupy Wall Street t-Shirts, but he had no intention of sharing the loot with OWS.. Russell Simmons who is friends with Jay-Z noted that he talked with him about it..Eventually Jay-Z released a t-shirt line called Occupy All streets.  Its with tht in mind we found Jigga’s remarks about not knowing about OWS’s goals.. The other day Simmons set the record straight witha public response to Jay-Z’s NY Times interview.. Here’s the open letter which first appeared in Global Grind..

-Davey D-

Jay-Z Is Right 99 Times, But This Ain’t One By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

As a person who cares deeply about Occupy Wall Street, I have to honor their year-long effort and educate my long-time friend, Jay-Z. This weekend, he was interviewed by the New York Times where he discusses OWS, where he was quoted as saying “I’m not going to a park and picnic, I have no idea what to do, I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?” If he understood it and endorsed the movement, it would make a big difference to poor people. As the same man that said he would pay more taxes if it helped educate more children and create affordable healthcare, Jay-Z’s words matter. He was honest enough to say that he didn’t understand it. A lot of Americans don’t. He was also honest enough to recognize that there are some in the 1 percent who “deceiving” and “robbing,” so I know in his heart he gets it. I know he is a compassionate person who cares about the poor, so I’m certain if I had two more minutes with him, I could change his mind.

I went to Zuccotti Park, the home-base of the Occupy Wall Street movement, almost everyday for months. I listened to the young people talk about their 99 problems. The 99 percent. Healthcare reform. Prison industrial complex. The war machine. Bad schools. Lack of access to affordable higher education. Genetically modified food. Gay rights. Immigration reform. Crumbling housing projects. Climate change. Everyday, there was a new protester with a new sign, fighting for the rights of the under-served. There was never an official agenda or media-friendly talking points. Zuccotti Park and the Occupy camps that sprung up around the country were places for any and every person to come and share ideas about how to better perfect our union. Our democracy.

I would agree that for many it was hard to understand the purpose of the movement if you did not attend any of the General Assemblies, or march hand-in-hand with the millions of protesters around the country. The months during the height of the beginning of the movement were unlike anything we had seen before in our nation. A protest led by no one, but always led by leaders. Organized through social media, yet no organization at the forefront. This was a true people’s campaign.

If we look back at the accomplishments thus far of Occupy Wall Street, there are many. For one, the national conversation that preceded September 17th, 2011 was dominated by a manufactured political fight in Washington to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a credit default. Within the first weeks of OWS, the conversation had been changed to the real issue that is eroding America; economic inequality, a topic that hasn’t been discussed for decades. Within the first few months of OWS, the conversation evolved into an examination of how Wall Street’s money has destroyed our political system and took control of our democracy. The prison industrial complex, lower taxes for the rich, the outsourcing of jobs, Wall Street running rampant, poisonous foods for our children, even some wars and almost everything that disempowers the poor, is a result of money passing from lobbyists and corporations to our politicians. And that is what Occupy Wall Street is fighting against. It is a sad state that the politicians work for the people who pay them, not for the people who elect them. That is not democracy.

f you look at the current Presidential election, Money Mitt Romney and his buddies are spending 12 times that of President Obama in special interest money and/or Super PACs. Money Mitt is clearly being manipulated by big corporations and folks who can write $10 million checks. The man changes his position every three days. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, our democracy sign was placed on the front lawn with big red letters: FOR SALE! I am encouraged by President Obama’s support of using a Constitutional Amendment as an option to return our democracy back to the people. This will be his legacy issue. I am sure of that. And without the pressure of Occupy Wall Street, this conversation might never have happened.

So, Jay, here’s the deal. You’re rich and I’m rich. But, today it’s close to impossible to be you or me and get out of Marcy Projects or Hollis, Queens without changing our government to have our politicians work for the people who elect them and not the special interests and corporations that pay them. Because we know that these special interests are nothing special at all. In fact, they spend millions of dollars destroying the fabric of the black community and make billions of dollars in return. For example, the prison lobby paid politicians to create a so-called “War On Drugs” that resulted in a prison economy that disproportionately locks up black and brown people, including many of your friends and mine. They took drug-infected, diseased people, locked them up, educated them in criminal behavior and dumped them back into our community, thus producing a jail culture for our streets. There are more black people under correctional control (prison, jail, parole, probation) today, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War. This is just one issue that has been bought and sold. If we have to occupy Wall Street or occupy All Streets to change the course of direction of this nation, then we must. We must take our democracy off the market and let the world know that it is no longer for sale! Mic check!

Your Friend,

~Russell Simmons 

Looking Back on 9-11 Terror Attacks…11 Years Later the Terror Still Continues

photo credit ABC News

Looking back 11 years ago at the 9-11 Terror Attacks, its sad to see the assaults against innocent people in America didn’t stop with those planes crashing into the World Trade & the Pentagon…

I recall that fateful day, how our heart went out to first responders like those brave officers in NYPD who lost their lives.. We embraced them and held them up high and gave them all that they needed to protect the city. 11 years later we have come to see how NYPD took their newly granted powers and use in the most vicious ways against fellow New Yorkers..

We’ve seen NYPD under the guise of ‘fighting terror’ use tactics like Stop and Frisk resulting in them inconveniencing and often times absolutely humiliated close to 700k people last year alone.. Under Stop and Frisk we’ve seen over 85% of those stopped being young Black and Brown males with less than 1% of any weapons found or folks being detained being in violation of any law..

We’ve seen the NYPD do unprecedented amounts of spying on innocent people, mainly Muslim Americans and in particular Muslim students creating a climate of fear, intense Islamaphobia and hatred toward fellow citizens who also lost family and loved ones in those horrific attacks..We seen that play out last year with the proposed building of a mosque near Ground Zero.

Congressional reps like Long island’s  Peter King amped up fears and even held hearings accusing Muslim Americans of being possible terrorists who should be investigated. That same Peter King has been relatively silent during the recent rise of domestic terrorist incidents executed by non-muslims including the recent mass killings of Sikhs in Wisconsin. We now see NYPD ready to unveil a new domestic spying program called Domain Awareness Surveillance that makes Stop and Frisk look tame in comparison.

After the Terror Attacks, NYPD garnered our sympathy only to turn around and become an outfit that was described by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his own  ‘private army’… We’ve seen NYPD become a private army for Wall Street banks like JP Morgan during the Occupy Wall Street Movement, where it was revealed that NYPD was put on JP Morgan’s payroll. The end result was the entire world bearing witness to the countless beat downs administered by white shirted police  against those who were protesting economic disparities attributed to those Wall st financial giant.

11 years after the 9-11 Attacks we’ve seen NYPD become a terror organization in the lives of African-Americans The recent explosive, Extra Judicial Killings of Black People by Police Report put out by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement shows every 36 hours an African-American is killed by police all over the United States. New York City, followed by Dallas and Atlanta is leading the charge in cities where Blacks are likely to be killed by police. From the killings of Sean Bell to Ramarley Graham, many have claimed NYPD has sparked more fear in Black and Brown folks than Al Qaeda ever did.

Renaldo Cuevas was shot and ‘accidentally’ killed by NYPD

In spite having intense training and unlimited resources, we’ve seen in the past month NYPD shoot 10 innocent civilians including Bronx Bodega worker Renaldo Cuevas who was killed by NYPD after he fled from robbers inside his store. His killing was the latest in a long line of recent wrong doings by this once lauded law enforcement agency. Among the most glaring involve NYPD officers Michael Pena and Arthur Roland both accused of rape in separate incidents this year. The biggest irony is seeing how former NYPD commissioner  Bernard Kerik who was  deemed a hero during 9-11 was recently sentenced to 4 years in federal prison. Go figure.

11 years after 9-11 we’ve seen the War of Terror turn on people here in the US who dared protest and question the government over a variety of grievances ranging from misguided war efforts in places like Iraq to illegal drone strikes to pre-emptive strikes on foreign soil to renditions, torture and other atrocities we once considered war crimes that needed to be vigorously prosecuted when executed  by others..We’ve even seen the passing of laws like the NDAA which allows American citizens to be stopped and indefinitely detained anywhere in the world. Since 9-11 we’ve seen American citizens killed on foreign soil thanks to our governments secret  ‘kill list‘. We won’t even talk about the rise of private prisons and detention camps throughout the US where many are finding themselves placed.

During the 9-11 Attacks we realized that the World Trade was attacked because it was near Wall Street and it represented the financial arm of this country.. We felt bad for those close to those banking institutions and embraced them in solidarity.

11 years later we’ve come to find that since 9-11 many of those financial institutions went and deliberately crippled the economy, causing 1 out of 7 people to be plunged into poverty while they made record profits and got away with millions of questionable and illegal foreclosures. Many describe what these Wall street bandits did and continue to do to millions of Americans and innocent everyday folks all over the world as ‘economic terrorism‘…Many of those who head up these institutions have acted with reckless abandon, never once showing any remorse and justifying highly unethical behavior as them simply doing ‘good business‘..

After 9-11 the entire world looked at America, embraced us and shared in our pain. Many helped us get back on our feet only to see us turn around and embrace foreign policies resulting in the US being seen as a super power that routinely commits acts of terror all over the planet. Talk to those innocent families in Pakistan, Somalia and other countries who’ve been terrorized by our drone strikes.

Since 9-11 the ‘War on Terror‘ has become a money-making venture for those connected to the military industrial complex vs a defense operation designed to keep us and the rest of the world safe from harm..

9-11 itself has become a political backdrop where all sorts of lawmakers evoke the events of that day to affirm a twisted notion of patriotism resulting in them grandstanding and erecting all sorts of Draconian laws from the Warrantless Wire Taps to the infamous Patriot Act which have put severe restrictions on our freedoms vs opening them up. Thank God during this year’s 9-11 commeroration, politicians will not be allowed to speak.

9-11 has become a rallying cry for loud mouth media pundits to beat the drums of war and question the patriotism of others who dare suggest that we find less combative ways to protect our shores, while never once donning an outfit and volunteering themselves to be on the front line of any other military outfit. Some of those pundits while evoking 9-11 to show their patriotism, were leading the charge to prevent those from getting proper aid and resources from those who suffered and continue to suffer from disease and other illnesses including certain types of cancer caused by the debris of that attacks. They cited austerity measures and ‘less government’ as the rationale. After 11 years of intense political infighting under the recently passed Zadroga Act, 9-11 cancer victims will get some relief.

Meanwhile we still have other pundits like Ann Coulter who still stand by their vicious demonization of 9-11 widows, as illustrated in this infamous quote from her one of her books..

These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.

Today we should take time to reflect on those innocent lives lost 11 years ago and do a bit of soul-searching, questioning the direction this country has taken on our collective watch..Let’s make a commitment to really end terrorism..lets end the terror we are heaping on each other for political and monetary gain.

As you keep in mind some of what was written, I encourage you to read this excellent article from David Rosen that focuses on the growth of what he calls the police-corporate surveillance “complex” You can read that article HERE

written by Davey D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrrzHjPC9p8

Editorial: Should We Occupy or Decolonize?

Here’s some thoughts to the debate around the use of term Occupy vs Decolonize that’s been taking place at some of the Occupy sites Most recently here in Oakland.

The term ‘Occupy‘ is a loaded word that has long been problematic in many communities of color. To put it simply many have long felt they have been the victims of Occupation…. Those of Native background understand that Occupy has led to genocide. During the Civil Rights and Black Power struggles of the past we’ve heard term Occupy as one that rallied people together..This was especially true with the Black Panthers who noted that the police were ‘occupying forces in our community….With all that being said, in the end, one can see why there’s been a push for name change..

On the flip side, many feel that this a movement that is growing and folks know the name Occupy..Like it or not, its an identifiably brand now. From here to South Africa there are over 1300 Occupy Movement sites and damn near all including the ones in South Africa use the term ‘Occupy’.. The question arises why change the name midstream?

The attempt of those in the Occupy Movement was not to use any term that would be incendiary… If anything the term was used to signify reclaiming space, taken over by the 1%… In the case of Wall Street, it was recognizing that those financial institutions had been cut off to the 99% and hence there was a need to ‘Occupy’ that space in all dimensions..

In a recent discussion someone once noted that we have long taken terms once offensive and changed the meaning, why can’t the same be applied to Occupy. In the past folks have fought vigorously to take offensive terms like ‘Queer‘ in the Gay community and flip them. The word ‘Nigger‘ has been argued to no longer be an offensive term but now one that is a term of endearment. Efforts to shut down those words have been met with scorn, ridicule and folks claiming those taking offense are out of touch.. Can that happen with the term Occupy? Can it be flipped?

There is no ignoring the fact that the word Occupy cuts deep in many communities and last week in Oakland there was a push to change the name.. from Occupy to Decolonize.. A vote was taken and 63% voted yes to name change vs the 37% who opposed. 90% is needed for a measure to pass at a General Assembly in Oakland.

In Seattle a similar discussion unfolded last month.. The proposal to change the name was also defeated, but a statement was issued which can be found http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-10-25/declaration-decolonizeoccupy-seattle.

In New Mexico similar discussions and proposals were put forth as outlined http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/13/1025832/-Indigenous-People-of-OccupyBurque-Challenge-the-Term-Occupy-%28Photo-Diary%29

One of the concerns raised was that folks who came out to push the Decolonize proposal in Oakland were not regular attendees of GAs.. However, many if not all are long time activists in the community who been fighting the 1% long before there was any sort of Occupy Movement..

Also from the footage shown in the video below, many have been down at GAs in the past and in support of Occupy Movement..So it’s not like we have a group of folks who just showed up on the scene..What wasn’t shown in the film were those who don’t want to change the name.. Contrary to popular belief, quite a few were people of color who are down at GAs all the time.. so it’s not an across the board black or white issue..

The other criticism is most people don’t understand what the term Decolonization means… I know from talking to students in my class it’s not a term that most are aware of… Does an unfamiliar name kill the momentum of a movement just started? Why not take a bold stance, change the name and use this as a learning opportunity? After all the term Occupy within two months has become part of the American lexicon, can’t the term Decolonize follow the same trajectory?

In any case, this is an important discussion and hopefully it continues with the aim of building community, raising awareness and opening hearts and minds.. Will such discussions at time be contentious? Absolutely, but what political discussion in the city has not been?

It was just last month that folks in various Occupy sites had to grind it out around discussions of Violence vs Non violence and the diversity of tactics.. One result was folks getting educated to what Anarchists are about. One got to understand that among those who identify as Anarchists/ Black Bloc there’s a politic, various perspectives and a movement that’s been around for long time and is not centered around simply breaking windows. In short people were able to have their horizons broadened.. And yes, the debates were testy, the discussions not always pretty, but necessary..

The discussion is the term Occupy vs Decolonization is just as important in fact it may be even more because of the sheer numbers of people who live in cities like Oakland who are affected by 1% economic policies who are being urged to join the Occupy Movement, but have hesitated because the a bothersome term..

What I personally have found problematic is how folks have been dismissive of this concern.. There have been some, that have expressed indifference and impatience with both the proposal and discussion. Some have suggested that this is slowing momentum and they didn’t show up to be apart of Occupy to debate name changes.. I say that’s the fault line where everything comes to halt and we work it out.. That’s where the real work needs to be done. Wall Street and their 1% cronies are not going anywhere…

Healing and understanding how that 1% and its tactics of divide and conquer has resulted in class privilege and lots of negative presumptions is something that needs to be addressed immediately and for as long as it takes…To not do so will have us all fall victim to some of the same tactics that netted us behind the proverbial 8 ball in the past.

One of the strength in the Occupy Movement has been the forging new relationship and building new alliances. That’s not something that can be easily packaged and explained in a neat 30 second soundbite that we all immediately get, but as those relationships take hold, folks involved start to understand the importance of them and how its essential for any and all work moving forward.

We often talk about having a world devoid of ism and schisms..Many find that desirable. In order to get there will require some long hard soul searching discussions. Its the birthing pains of new world..That’s the challenge before us lets embrace it with courage and whole lotta love.

written by Davey D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r_s3X0uW9Ec

What will happen to Occupy Wall Street if it loses its Park

What will happen to Occupy Wall Street if it loses its Park?

by Danny Schecter
The tarps are flapping and the tents are not bringing much warmth.
The harsh winds of winter are lashing the encampment at Zuccotti Park – or as many would prefer, “Liberty Plaza” – the symbol of a wannabe revolution against the status quo and powercrats of the American oligarchy.

The hard, real-world contradictions of urban life have bumped up against the idyllic hopes of the occupiers as all the urban crises that our society has ignored and neglected surface in that half acre of hope.

There are man/woman handlers and gladhanders, doers and dopers, ragers and even rapists, and so many poor with nowhere else to go. There are cops on the outside (and many on the inside) who plan for and hope for the worst.

This fight is not just the 99% against the 1%, because truth be told, this movement has so far only motivated a minority of the conscious and has yet to reach a majority of the beleaguered and oppressed.

When I joined a march last Saturday, one occupier seemed to recognize this reality with a home-made sign, that read “I am part of the 1% of the 99% that is protesting. Where are the rest of us?”

Polls showing broad public support are not enough. Public opinion can be fickle and easily manipulated.

True, some unions are reaching out to the Occupy Movement, but they are at their lowest point in a century. They are fighting for survival.

JA Myerson writes on the new, must-read OWSNews.org website that many are preparing to evacuate the park in this winter of growing discontent, as the lines between those who want change and those who don’t become clearer.

“For the last week or so, the 1%-owned media have been doing everything possible to give their fellow 1%-er and good friend Mayor Bloomberg the political cover necessary to seize Zuccotti Park. They have made an example of a restaurant whose business is suffering because of barricades – but who put up the barricades? They have made an example of the unsanitary conditions arising among a community deprived of facilities – but who deprives it of facilities? They have made an example of the homeless people and drug addicts who populate the park – but who has denied them anywhere better to go? And now that they have cultivated the image of a failed project (after themselves erecting the barriers to its success), they appear to be gearing up to demolish it.”

The Occupy Wall Street encampment during a recent snowstorm, 10/30/11. (photo: Julie Dermansky/flickr) go to original article

The New York Times believes (and perhaps hopes) the occupation is sputtering, writing, “Occupy Wall Street Protest Reaches a Crossroads.”

That could happen because revolutions don’t run in straight lines and don’t happen only when those most aware among us want them too. The occupiers have the sympathy, but a company called Brookfield owns the property, in a society where property rights trump human rights.

There are rumors that a new location is being considered.

Revolutions happen when social and economic conditions ensure they are unstoppable, when the crisis makes millions understand not only their inevitability but their desirability, and when many forces converge and see no alternative.

It’s one thing to call a General Strike, but mounting one requires more than staging a mass protest in one city for one day after less than a week of mobilizing. Yes, the turnout in Oakland was impressive, but it could not be sustained.

As Noam Chomsky advised before it happened, “you have to educate – educate yourself and others – before you strike.” The violence of a few was used to discredit the efforts of the many, prompting as many criticisms from within as from without.

Why does a macho handful always feel the need to prove how militant they can be?

There are no shortcuts to building a deeper and broader movement. Organizing is not easy but is always essential. Being right is never enough!

The Italian theorist Gramsci advised revolutionaries a century ago to fuse “pessimism of the intelligence and the optimism of the will.” He was right about that then and he is right now.

A group of Democrats in Lower Manhattan looked for some historical lessons, warning:

“Revolutionary pretensions can be dangerous. They threaten the status quo, suggest instability, and often threaten and provoke real violence. America, like it or not, has a stable and venerable system of government which yields ceaseless peaceful transfers of power, and is in actual fact fairly responsive to voter sentiment, despite even the most level-headed criticisms made over the issues of inaction and corruption. Isolated incidents and injustices aside, our civil servants are professional and disciplined.”

While this may have been once true, that system is cracking under the weight of cynicism, polarization and corruption. The polls show Congress enjoys record lows of public support. So does President Obama and, in fact, his Republican challengers.

This does not mean the country is ready to scrap the system, but is a sign of growing dissatisfaction. While some of us have become intensely politicized, others are tuning out, taking refuge in the distractions of consumerism, entertainment and sports.

While the financial industry is the main enemy, it is allied with, and finances, a media industry that specializes in obscuring issues and propagandizing 24/7. It is a master of withholding important information and ridiculing dissidents while it boosters war and promotes passivity.

We have to get beyond our own self-righteousness and hear our critics, not just among the buffoons of the right who are the easiest to refute and dismiss.

We have to study the long history of failed attempts to turn our country around and learn from it. We have to acknowledge our mistakes as well. This generation of activists is not the first to take on the status quo.

Revolutionary zeal may be driving many – but can also drive them to disillusion and despair in a society focused on instant remedies like Alka-Seltzer.

We are a generation that wants everything, and wants it NOW! We may have speed dating, but not speed social transformations and political revolutions.

Today’s occupations are not the first, either. The Democrats I referenced before looked to an earlier moment in our own revolution’s history: #OccupyValleyForge.

True, that was a war, not a movement, but its methods deserve scrutiny.

As I have just learned:

“They brought in what were known as Regimental Camp Followers, women and children, basically, relatives and families of enlisted men. They built structures, erected defenses, and two more things. They worked out an alliance with France, and they basically made the Continental Army out of their troops at Valley Forge. They did this with the help of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who had been, dare I say, a community organizer type for the Prussian military … community.

The Continental Army was built through shared hardship and struggle, with excruciating drilling and training, and they were provided with ample moral support in the form of the Regimental Camp Followers.”

History never repeats itself. The bearded oracle once said that when it does, the second time is farce.

We have to prepare for the possibility that Occupied Wall Street will take new forms, and may have to spread out and decentralize as it already happening with meetings in public atriums and churchyards.

It has already outgrown one park and spread through the world. It has, to its credit, brought issues like economic inequality and Wall Street crime into the national conversation. It has, so far, succeeded beyond its greatest hopes.

It is revolutionary in its very leaderless small “d” democratic being, but has not yet made a revolution. No surprise there! There is quite a way to go.

The battle with the oligarchy as symbolized by the greedsters and fraudsters on Wall Street will go on, with or without a Park, as a form of non-violent guerilla-style class warfare, always bearing in mind that moral power can defeat physical power when it is creative, courageous, non-violent and committed for the long run.


News Dissector Danny Schechter writes the daily newsdissector.com blog. He directed the film “Plunder – The Crime of Our Time” (PlunderTheCrimeOfOurTime.com), about the financial crisis as a crime story. You may contact him at dissector@mediachannel.org.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

Let’s Not Forget What Has Caused Oakland’s General Strike

Today is Nov 2 2011… It’s the day of a General Strike here in Oakland, California. Hopefully it’s a day that we’ll look back on years from now and see as a watershed moment in history. Hopefully it’ll be a day that we look back upon and see as a crucial turning point in our quest for social and economic justice.

As folks are gearing up to head on down to Oscar Grant Plaza on 14th and Broadway (City Hall)in downtown Oakland, I hope we don’t lose sight of some of the key reasons why a General Strike and the Occupy Movement in general is happening. After all, in the age of Mass Distractions, it’s easy to get caught up in personalities, criticizing pundits and the antics of others who are eager to serve as functionaries and lap dogs for the 1%.

It’s easy to get caught up in debates fostered by corporate media and whatever vicious spin in their hawking. Three weeks ago they were saying Occupy Oakland was out-of-town Anarchists. Next they were saying Occupy Oakland was a health hazard. This week they are claiming small businesses are being hurt by Occupy Oakland. Tomorrow they’ll have something else for us to jabber about.. It’s not about corporate media spin. It’s about the 1% and the policies that spin seeks to serve.

It’s not about Oakland Police and their recent bizarre open letter from police union members where they claim to be confused and insist they are part of the 99%. Yes, we can not overlook the years of violence the police department has unleashed on Black and Brown communities pushing for change. That needs to stop and folks held accountable. With that in mind, lets not forget that Occupy like any other movement doesn’t start and stop with the police. Like their corporate media brethren, their heinous actions are rooted in policy reflective of an agenda and desires of the 1%. Police at the end of the day are pawns-modern day overseers who have no extended their reign of terror outside the hood and into other communities where economic hardship is present.

It’s not about Mayor Jean Quan or the city council and their off kilter decisions. It’s about the people behind them who bankrolled them.

It’s not even about the space that Occupy Oakland reclaimed. Its symbolic, like putting flag in the sand. It’s a space where we can start to discuss what needs to be done and how. It’s a place where we might debate but at the end of the day we can’t forget that this is about the nation’s most powerful banks, financial institutions and corporations and their greed, viciousness and dehumanizing behavior.

There’d be no tents on Wall Street or in the plaza had it not been for banks getting bailed out after tanking the economy and causing undue hardship for millions of people all over the world.

There’d be no tents in front of city hall if we didn’t have bailed out banks turning around in the middle of a deep recession and handing out obscene bonuses to a handful of gleeful, uncaring employees while many of us were harshly penalized for the smallest of infractions like being a day late in paying our car notes, mortgage or credit card bills..

How many of us got hit with outrageous $30-40 late fees for being a couple of days late on a credit card bill? How many saw interest rates skyrocket on car notes or mortgages when being a month behind late on payments?

Many of us through no fault of our own saw our work hours shrink, 401ks disappear, our jobs shipped overseas and our pay checks cut-some by as much as 20%. At the same time we saw prices rise dramatically from food to rent to bridge tolls.. and while all this was going down and people struggled, we were assaulted by arrogant media pundits and politicos in the pockets of big banks, telling us we ‘should blame ourselves’ for whatever economic hardships we were experiencing. It was this type of callousness that eventually enraged people enough to finally take it to the streets to demand change.

Lastly, there’d be no tents in the plaza if more of us paid attention and took seriously the plight of the millions of poor people already trying to survive in this country as opposed to marginalizing, ignoring and demonizing them when the so called ‘good times’ were rolling. We have to own up to a few things..We can’t forget that once upon a time not too long ago, many of us responded with indifference and cheered along when cutbacks to the social safety nets were downsized under the guise of Welfare Reform and other policies that left folks out in the cold. We believed the stereotype and hype of the ‘Welfare Queen’ living off the dole’ while ignoring the very real scenario of corporate welfare kings.

Many of us cheered along when we saw the labor movement get pummeled. We thought that their insistence on getting paid was standing in the way of us getting at cheap goods and services. Many of us didn’t seem to mind when companies started shipping factory jobs overseas to take advantage of child labor and draconian sweat shops where folks got a a dollar a day. For us, the bottom line was as long as we got new basketball shoes and flat screen TVs at a cheap price. The least of our concerns was the economic exploitation in Third World countries being done in our name.

Many of us ignored the plight of students who saw college and university fees skyrocket as they were strongly directed to take out bank loans that in many cases exceeded what they would pay for houses. Today students owe more than a trillion dollars in loan debt with no real relief in sight. This amounts for many to a bill of $400-500 a month for the next 15-20 years.. Too many of us who escaped huge student loan debt, looked at the college degrees on our walls and kept it moving, not once looking back or being concerned even when tens of thousands of students started doing nation wide walkouts to bring attention to the loan scam and demand change. If anything many of us got haughty, laughed out loud and called college students lazy. We told them to get over it..

As we embark upon today’s General Strike let’s not forget the shoulders we’re standing on..Economic hardship may be new for many of us, but it’s generations deep for millions more, meaning we can’t easily explain it away as this simply being a few folks unwilling to get off their asses and put in work.

What we’re dealing with is systemic and we should never lose sight of that..We should always remember, the that change we seek comes only when those at the bottom of the economic totem pole get economic parity. Anything less is a band-aid that’ll will eventually unravel and put us back on square one. It’s important as we seek change that we not become as heartless and unforgiving in our outlook and approach as the people and institutions we are protesting. Let our actions at today’s General Strike reflect a desire for long-lasting systemic change rooted in the love we have for our community and people. Also lets not forget this Saturday November 5th is Bank Transfer Day.. We taking our money out of these big banks and reinvesting it elsewhere..

By Davey D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxv9kIFJh5Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfNmhbB59g4

Two Words: On Wisconsin! by Tina Bell Wright

Two Words….

Self Determination.

Corporate Fascism.

Your Choice.

TWO WORDS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkFOBx6j0l8

From the debate raging online and via twitter, I see miseducation is alive and well. Workers from teachers to firefighters once called public servants are now being called freeloaders. It reminds me of something RZA said in the documentary, Rhyme and Reason [paraphrasing]:why am I beefing with this brother and he has nothing and I have nothing while these other folks over there have everything and nobody is beefing with them. That doesn’t add up..I deal with mathematics.

Well, here are some numbers to consider:

1. The Walmart Corporation is richer than over 150 countries.

sources: http://www.globaltrends.com/features/shapers-and-influencers/66-corporate-clout-the-influence-of-the-worlds-largest-100-economic-entities

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2010/full_list/

2. And a good amount of that wealth goes to 4 people: The Walton family members who take 4 of the top 10 spots on the Richest Americans list, with net worth totaling 80+ billion dollars.

http://www.forbes.com/wealth/forbes-400

3. While the pay gap between a company’s CEO and its employees has a ratio of 11 to 1 in Japan and 12 to 1 in Germany, the United States ratio is an exorbitant 319 to 1.

source: http://csis.org/blog/us-tolerance-income-inequality

4. And for the most staggering numbers: the 500 richest individuals in the world have the same income as 416 million people on the poor end of the pay scale….416 million.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/13/opinion/13kristof.html

TWO WORDS: CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS

Probably the two most dreaded words in American politics = class warfare. But they are still embraced quicker than these two hated four letter words: Karl Marx.

The reason Karl Marx is so feared is because he rightfully exposed the fallacy of wage labor.

Capitalism is a way to make money off of other people’s labor. But Walmart could not make any

money without the cheap labor it gets from the workers that make the manufactured goods it

sells [usually Chinese workers making slave wages], or the employees that provide the labor and customer service at its’ stores [making near slave wages with few benefits], or the customers who buy the goods its’ WORKERS produce [and those customers are spending money that they earn working for (sometimes near slave) wages ].

Marx predicted that this alienation (outlined above) would eventually lead to class consciousness…and the truth is, we may finally be seeing forms of class consciousness playing out all across the globe as we speak..from Egypt to Wisconsin…Bahrain to Iran. And the bigger truth is, we have corporate fascists and overreaching leaders to thank. As I’ve said many times, power will take as much as it can get away with and no less…people must fight for what we rightfully deserve. No one will give it to you.

The choices in this country could not be clearer.  On one side is the language of “cuts” and “deficits” and “sacrifices”, but in this language only one side of the coin is being shown. As I tell my classes all the time, one’s advantage is directly linked to another one’s disadvantage. They are inevitably linked. The big lie that hegemony in society perpetuates is that folks gain at no one’s expense. But on a finite planet, the pie of resources is limited. And how it is dished out at the dinner table matters. If one person takes 99 slices, that leaves 1 slice for 99 people to fight over. The other option is a more equitable distribution of resources. Only people that get more and are okay with others having less prefer the former.

What free trade did to the private sector, political corporatists are now trying to do to the public sector…weaken collective bargaining and workers’ rights. Instead of all seeing the reality of a new guilded age where the rich are getting richer, the middle class is being asked to accept the new “reality” and join the ranks of the working poor while big banks get bailed out with our tax dollars so they can horde that cash or use it to open markets overseas.

The truth the U.S. middle class has not been told is that it is expected to join the global race to the bottom, where we will be expected to compete in a global market where workers make less than a dollar a day. They are setting up Americans to “sacrifice” …to get used to a lower standard of living and accept this new world order where a small elite of corporate fascists get 95% of the pie while 95% of the world must fight for the 5% crumbs…including you now America.

Unfortunately it never is the 1% that does its own bidding…it always is the manipulated who have bought in to the narrative that the elite has sold them. People that believe that giving tax breaks to corporations and busting unions will bring jobs to America have no geopolitical sense of reality.

example = http://www.huffingtonpost.com/video/video_4000.html?1298147211

Instead of bashing me and my fellow union members for collective bargaining and securing better wages and benefits, why not demand the same for yourself?! Stop doing the bidding for corporate fascists and start putting your interest first!

TWO WORDS: STAND FIRM!

http://vimeo.com/20089255

Despite the resistance to change by some, resolve and growing class consciousness may be too strong to stop this time. But know this, even where peaceful protest can not overcome police state barbarity, universal law will. The house of cards will fall…it always does.

Two Words:

Stay Strong

Keep Pushing

People Power

In Unity

….On Wisconsin!

For more on this topic. please see my previous note: The Fire this Time: A Few Thoughts on Egypt

Link: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150134175456131

 

Class Warfare in Wisconsin: 10 Things You Should Know

Big shout out to my man Josh Healy of http://joshhealey.org/2011/02/17/class-warfare-in-wisconsin/ who penned this excellent run down of what’s cracking off in Wisconsin.. It’s important to get the word out about what’s taking place because there is an all out assault all across the country to dismantle public sector unions.

The attackers are multi-national corporations who through the use of media outlets that they own or have access to, have preyed upon the greed, fear and outright ignorance of many to spit venom and lies about unions while taking their mind off über rich Wall Street banker types who collapsed this economy…

anyway peep the article.. and drop a line over at Josh’s blog..

-Davey D-

For most of the last decade, I lived in the crazy, cold, contradictory state that is Wisconsin. I wrote research papers in Madison, performed poems in Milwaukee, walked picket lines in Jefferson, organized student conferences in Eau Claire, led artistic workshops in Green Bay, spoke at my roommate’s wedding in Merrill, and went camping with my future wife at Black River Falls.

A big-city kid from the East Coast, I never fully got used to the overwhelming whiteness of Wisconsin — the winter, and yes, the people. But I eventually learned how to wear five layers in February, and that amidst the farms and abandoned factories, there was a working-class people with a strong populist ethic. As my freshman roommate from Wausau once told me, “Josh, I don’t follow politics. I just hate corporations.”

Fast-forward to 2011: the new Republican Governor, Scott Walker, has declared war on my old roommate and all Wisconsin workers. Under the guise of a budget deficit, Walker just put forth a bill that would destroy the unions that represent teachers, social workers, and over 100,000 public employees. He’s also making huge cuts to schools, health care, public transportation, and anything that actually helps people live.

Want more crazy? Walker ordered the National Guard to get ready to respond to a strike or any resistance to his plan. The last time Wisconsin called in the National Guard during a labor dispute was way back in 1886, when Guard militiamen shot on a rally of Milwaukee workers advocating an 8-hour work day. Five unarmed workers were killed in the massacre.

I loved living in Wisconsin. Truth be told, I hated it many times too, especially when its ugly side came out like now. I was fighting this same struggle during most of my junior and senior years at UW. Our campaign demands were nothing new: lower tuition for students, better health care for workers, higher taxes on the rich, and a real investment in public education over private incarceration. That was with Jim Doyle in office. But now with this dude Walker, it’s at a whole new level.

Of course, the people aren’t going down without a fight. There have beenunprecedented demonstrations at the state Capitol in Madison every day this week — from 1,000 the first day to over 25,000 yesterday.

I wish I could be out there on State Street with my Badgers in the struggle, but at the very least, I can do my best to spread the word. So for all my old students and roommates taking to the streets, and for everyone else wondering what the hell is going on in America’s Dairyland, let’s clear some things up:

1. The deficit is a made-up crisis.
Like most states, Wisconsin is struggling in the recession, but the state government isn’t actually broke. The state legislature’s fiscal bureau estimated the state would end the year with a $121 million balance. Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — but it is not because of an increase in worker wages or benefits. According to the Capital Times, it is because “Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for corporate and special-interest groups in January.” Nice. A man-made “crisis” as an excuse to push neoliberal cutbacks: Shock Doctrine, anyone?

2. Even if there was a deficit, blame Wall Street — not the workers.
The economy isn’t crumbling because state workers in Madison have decent pensions. It’s because Wall Street bankers stole our money, Bush and now Obama have us in two trillion-dollar wars, and states like Wisconsin keep spending more on prisons than schools. What do the rich pay? According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, corporate tax income has fallen by half since 1981 and over two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations pay zero taxes.

3. The Green Bay Packers are with the people.
They won the Super Bowl. They’re owned by the people of Green Bay, not some schmuck billionaire. And now the Pack is standing in solidarity with their union brothers and sisters. If only Brady Poppinga (pictured below) would tackle Scott Walker like that. If the green and gold are down, you already know what side to roll with. (I heard Walker is a Vikings fan, anyway.)

4. This is not “just another Madison protest.”
Madison is famous for its progressive tradition, but this is more than just another march down State Street. This struggle is engaging people across the state — not just Madison and Milwaukee, but LaCrosseEau Claire, and outside Gov. Walker’s home in Wauwatosa. This struggle is multi-racial, multi-generational, and multi-issue. Working- and middle-class white folks (the majority population) might finally realize that long-term unity is stronger than short-term tax relief. Looking for the progressive antidote to the Tea Party? They’re brewing something in the Badger State.

5. Public worker unions were founded in Wisconsin.
The first union for public employees was actually started in Madison in 1932, to ensure living wages for the workers and end political patronage for government jobs. The biggest public union, AFSCME, was born right where the protests are happening today in Madison. Wisconsin has always had a dual legacy — home to the last Socialist mayor in the country (Frank Zeidler of Milwaukee) and the ultimate anti-Communist himself, Joe McCarthy; more recently, both progressive Sen. Russ Feingold and immigrant-basher Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner — but the Dairyland’s populist ethos can be traced back to the Progressive Era and its public unions.

6. Hurting public workers will not help you get a better job.
Many conservatives, and even some liberals, argue that we need to “bring public workers’ benefits down to the level of private workers.” First off, it’s not true that public workers are better off — they usually get lower wages in exchange for better benefits. More important, though, is the idea that we should raise all boats, rather than continue this race to the bottom. Russ Feingold said yesterday that “Republicans are trying to pit private workers against their public counterparts.” No more divide and conquer. Yes, people with a private-sector job (or, people who like 50% of black men in Milwaukee don’t have a job at all) have a right to be angry: but that anger should be reserved for the companies who are downsizing and outsourcing those jobs, not for middle school teachers and the lunch lady.

7. This is about more than unions.
This is about public education, affirmative action, immigrant rights, stopping foreclosures, and basic human rights.  This is about how much the Radical Right thinks they can get away with. This is about drawing a line in the sand — if first they come for the unions, who will they come for next?

8. The country is watching Wisconsin.
What happens this week in Madison has national ramifications. Right now, everyone’s eyes are on Wisconsin. The governor of Ohio and Tennessee are threatening to adopt similar legislation — and Obama has his own conservative budget proposal at the federal level. If they can force it through relatively liberal Wisconsin, your state could be next.

9. Wisconsin was watching Egypt.
News travels fast, and uprisings inspire each other across continents. The protesters out on the Madison streets watched the millions of Egyptians who successfully, nonviolently took down their dictator. Many of them are now carrying signs like the one below calling Scott Walker “the Mubarak of the Midwest.” And while the American media loves the union workers that toppled a dictator in Egypt, CNN has little sympathy for the workers that will be silenced right here in the heartland.

10. Who’s Capitol? OUR Capitol!
This is our moment. Our state. Our growing movement to change the course of the country. The legislature could vote as soon as today on Walker’s bill — unless the real Badgers stand up to stop him.

The protests are escalating every day, inside and outside the Capitol. To all my Madison folks, stay strong and know that we’re with you. To the rest of the country, spread the word, donate to the legal defense funds, and make sure your own states don’t go down this same road.

For resources and up-to-date info on what’s happening on the ground, check out:

AFT-Wisconsin
Wisconsin Wave
Teaching Assistants’ Association
Student Labor Action Coalition

On, Wisconsin! Solidarity Forever!