July 3-4 : Occupy NG Works Toward Future, George Carlin on Occupy Wall Street
While Occupiers bake in Philly sun and prepare to join the masses swarming Independence Mall for the USA's 236th birthday, they may be forgiven for embracing/echoing the spirit of the Founding Fathers, who envisioned a democratic, or at least “republican,” form of government. Or at least a government not beholden to big banks.
In the aftermath of Sunday's arrest of 26 occupy demonstrators for allegedly blocking a roadway, Occupy NG plows forward, meeting in small groups, discussing the way forward. Philly.com
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. US Declaration of Independence, July 4th 1776 (Jefferson)
Among the Occupy groups gathering in Philly, Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibi gets big ups and draws the large crowd for his workman-like reporting/untangling of the intricate misdeeds of the nation's largest financial playas and how they continue to manipulate the economic system for their exclusive, private gain. Taibi's post covers the latest financial scandal, asking “Why Is Nobody Freaking About the LIBOR Scandal?” rollingstone.com
As noted previously, for traditional media, Occupy NG is a ho-hum affair, as smaller working groups (you know, the people that come up with the specifics)beget a collective yawn as many Americans take the week off (at least those not laboring frantically to restore power in areas overwhelmed by violent storms and heat waves).
However, the sight of organized workers joining punks and hippies in the street sends a spine-tingling shudder down the backs of bailed-out bankers. For one thing, the “get a job” taunt doesn't work on workers who labor in the hot sun to make the networks and air conditioning run.
Such is the scene as Occupy smartly aligns with protesting Verizon workers who are asked to work for less while its CEO and top bosses rake in tens of millions annually. On Day 3, CWA and marchers join forces and invade the plaza at the Comast Center.
In such joint ventures, Occupy foregoes center stage and adds muscle to the struggles of others, gaining friends and needed street cred in the process. Opednews.com
Cbslocal.com goes into the field and talks to CWA member and occupier “Justin” who says “They’re asking for 60 years of concessions at the bargaining table. At the same time, they are making record profits, over $12 billion last year. The CEO’s just got a raise of $23 million a year, makes about $11 thousand an hour.”
(On the heels of the demonstration, Verizon announces layoffs of 950 at a Houston call center. With a non-organized workforce, the layoff process is a bit more straight-forward :
Verizon files a notice with the Texas Workforce Commission saying it had “given 943 workers at the customer service call center 60 days' notice that their jobs are being eliminated.” The company intends to close the call center Aug. 25. chron.com)
Occupies continually threaten to bring the party back to public squares, but ultimately they can't or don't leaving outlets like metronews.ca to observe that the threats are empty and the groups lack the numbers to do so.
In smaller groups, Occupiers create less of a media spectacle but have a more direct, human impact. Steve Boudreaux wants Wells Fargo to approve his proposed loan modification to allow he and his housemates to stay in their Cobb County home. The bank says there's “nothing they can do” and the mortgage is held by one of those ever-so-well-documented mortgage finance companies. Occupy Homes Atl pledges to stand behind Boudreaux and his neighbors, of whom they estimate as many as 10 may be in similar situations. Organizer Tim Franzen of Occupy Homes credits Boudreaux for being the first to step up and request assistance.
“I love this area, I love this neighborhood,” Bourdeaux says. “My neighborhood is being decimated. If something doesn’t happen, it may be the next to fall.” Marietta Daily Journal
Occupy moving away from cop-designated play-pens on and around Wall Street may mean that the iron gates that currently surround the iconic iron bull on the street can come down. If they do, this space pledges to provide reasonable over-under odds on the time it takes for enterprising pranksters like the Yes Men to approach the symbolic beast. Ibtimes.com
Let's face it, Africa does Occupation bigger and better than the US, as old regimes topple and inherently unstable situations afford demonstrators and activists the glorious occasion to exercise rare freedoms of assembly, often at great personal risk. Reports that Libyans flock to Liberation Square in Benghazi to prevent disruption of the July 7th planned elections, scheduled to be the country's first in 4 decades. Libyan Arab News Agency (LANA) courtesy of bayoubuzz.com
Volvo Ocean Race Update : Leg 9 ends with Camper taking the leg and Groupama the overall winner. Could it really be over? The swells? The Drama? Galway is in full celebration as racers and yacht crews alike race to the finish. Bonfires and bubbly as race winners rock Galway docks, according to Irishtimes.com Corporations and PR flacks are out in full force at the finish, plugging participation, dubbed Oceans of Opportunity, a “marine careers and training event (held this Thursday 5th and Friday 6th July) which is part of the Ocean Wealth Showcase at the Volvo Ocean Race Global Village.”
According to Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, the event is geared to “those who are just thinking about a career in the marine sector, it will be a chance to get some insight into the wide variety of opportunities available, including in maritime education and training". Afloat.com