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Why You Should “Occupy Wall Street” On Thursday

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How many more days of inaction by our Congress will it take before more people are outraged enough to join the Occupy Movement? Thursday, on the movement’s two-month anniversary, is the perfect time to be a part of something that is changing the world.

 

In New York City just past midnight Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers in riot gear — brandishing truncheons and hurling canisters of tear gas — used their batons and pepper spray to herd unarmed Occupy Wall Street protestors, sometimes brutally dragging screaming activists by their arms and legs in what appeared to be a coordinated nationwide effort to clear Zucotti Park, the largest encampment of the Occupy movement. There were multiple reports of police brutality causing serious injuries, and reports of up to 100 arrests.

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Later in the day, despite a judge issuing a temporary order barring the city from preventing protesters from returning to Zuccotti Park, one policeman actually hurled a man over a barrier, literally throwing him out of the park.

READ: Thursday: Occupy Wall Street Massive Day Of Non-Violent Direct Action

The courts eventually sided with Mayor Bloomberg and ruled the protestors could not camp out in the park with tents and tarps.

In Washington, D.C., unwilling to address the issues being protested, members of Congress spent their time voting to change the names of post offices.

“Under the shadow of a potential financial doomsday, House Speaker John  Boehner kept his debt plan off the floor on Thursday night,” Fox News reported. “Instead, he turned legislators to the important business of renaming post offices.”

“With all the challenges facing our nation, it is absurd that Congress spends so much time on naming post offices, congratulating sports teams, and celebrating the birthdays of historical figures,” the Fox News piece was forced to note, quoting a September 2010 speech Boehner had made in Washington.

Promising reform, the newly-minted Republican majority established rules preventing resolutions that commend, congratulate, or celebrate an “entity, event, group, individual, institution, team, or government program.”

“We’re pretty well committed to the House doing substantive work,” Boehner said in May. “All of the commemorative resolutions that used to be brought to the floor of the House, some of them, I thought were quite meaningless.”

Missing from that list of once-common suspension bills is a ban against renaming post offices.

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How many more days of inaction by our Congress will it take before more people are outraged enough to join the Occupy Movement?

Dan Siegel, legal advisor to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, resigned early Monday morning after Occupy
Oakland’s camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza was closed and dismantled, its tents torn down by police in riot gear. Siegel thinks that Mayor Quan allowed herself to be “pushed to do something that is really contrary to her own values and political instincts.”

 

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How many more instances of police brutality and how many more injured protestors will it take before other advisors resign in protest?

On Thursday, in coordination with labor unions, an Occupy Wall Street “National Day of Action” is
planned – Occupy Wall Street hopes to delay the opening of The New York Stock
Exchange.

An e-mail sent by The New Bottom Line, a group which has allied itself with the Occupy Movement, quoted an Occupy Wall Street blogger who wrote Tuesday morning in the wake of the raid, “This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all.”

The email continued, “In the face of these challenges, we need to remind Mayor Bloomberg and the entire 1% that there are tens of millions of us and that we will not be silenced or evicted.

Here are some ways that you can take action, even if you can’t make it to Zucotti
Park Thursday, November 17:

New York and similar raids in Oakland, California, and other cities are evidence of our government
officials siding with corporations. We echo Occupy Wall Street in saying, “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”

And after “A National Day of Action”?

As World War I ended, Gandhi, the iconic pioneer of mass civil disobedience, began to focus on the fight for Indian self-rule. In 1919, the British gave Gandhi something specific to fight against — the Rowlatt Act, which gave the British in India nearly free-reign to root out “revolutionary” elements and to detain them indefinitely without trial. In response, Gandhi organized a hartal (general strike), which began on March 30, 1919. Unfortunately, such a large scale protest quickly got out of hand and in many places it turned violent.

A scene from Gandhi, the 1982 film directed by Richard Attenborough, depicts the meeting that led to the call for a General Strike:

PATEL: [To Jawaharlal  Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India ] I must say, Panditji,  it seems to me it’s gone beyond remedies like passive resistance.

GANDHI If I may – I, for one, have never advocated passive anything.

I am with Mr Jinnah. We must never submit to such laws – ever. And I think our resistance must be active and provocative.

AZAD : And what “resistance”
would you offer?

GANDHI: … I want to call on the nation to make that a day of prayer and fasting.

JINNAH: You mean a general strike?

GANDHI : I mean a day of prayer and fasting. But of course no work could be done – no buses, no trains, no factories, no administration. The country would stop.

PATEL: My God, it would terrify them . . .

AZAD (a wry smile): Three hundred fifty million people at prayer. Even the …
newspapers would have to report that. And explain why.

KRIPALANI : But could we get people to do it?

A Wikipedia article lists some notable general strikes:

The largest general strike that ever stopped the economy of an advanced industrial country – and the first general wildcat strike in history – was May 1968 in France.The prolonged strike involved eleven million workers for two weeks in a row and its impact was such that it almost caused the collapse of the de Gaulle government. Other notable general strikes include:

  • 494 BC – The Aventine Secession, Ancient Rome, creating the Tribune of the Plebs
  • 449 BC – A secessio plebis leading to the adoption of the Twelve Tables
  • 287 BC – A secessio plebis leading to the adoption of the Lex Hortensia
  • 1842 – 1842 General Strike, Great Britain
  • 1886 – Walloon jacquerie of 1886 Wallonia
  • 1893 – Belgian general strike of 1893 Belgium Wallonia
  • 1902 – Geneva General Strike of 1902, Switzerland
  • 1905 – The Great October Strike, Russia
  • 1907 – Geneva General Strike of 1907, Switzerland
  • 1907 – New Orleans Levee General Strike, United States
  • 1909 – Swedish General Strike
  • 1909 – Uprising of the 20,000
  • 1912 – Brisbane General Strike, Australia
  • 1912 – Zurich General Strike of 1912, Switzerland
  • 1917 – Australian General Strike
  • 1917 – Brazilian General Strike
  • 1917 – Spanish General Strike
  • 1918 – Swiss General Strike
  • 1919 – Barcelona General Strike, Spain
  • 1919 – Winnipeg General Strike, Canada
  • 1919 – Seattle General Strike, US
  • 1919 – General Strike in Basel and Zurich 1919, Switzerland
  • 1920 – German Kapp Putsch Strike
  • 1922 – Italian General Strike
  • 1920 – German passive resistance strikes at the Ruhr
  • 1926 – UK General Strike of 1926
  • 1933 – French general strike of 1933
  • 1932 – Geneva General Strike of 1932, Switzerland
  • 1934 – West Coast Longshoremen’s Strike, US
  • 1934 – Minneapolis Teamsters Strike, US
  • 1934 – Toledo Auto-Lite Strike, US
  • 1936 – Palestinian general strike
  • 1936 – French general strike of 1936
  • 1936 – Syrian General Strike
  • 1941 – February Strike, Netherlands
  • 1942 – Luxembourgian General Strike
  • 1946 – Indian General Strike
  • 1946 – Oakland, California General Strike
  • 1950 – Austrian General Strikes
  • 1950 – General strike against Leopold III of Belgium
  • 1953 – Hartal 1953, Ceylon
  • 1954 – General strike of 1954, Honduras
  • 1956 – Finnish General Strike
  • 1960 – 1960-1961 Winter General Strike in Wallonia
  • 1968 – French General Strike
  • 1973 – Uruguayan General Strike
  • 1974 – Ulster Workers Council Strike, Northern Ireland.
  • 1984 – Uruguayan General Strike
  • 1988 – Spanish General Strike
  • 1989 – 2-hour general strike of all citizens of Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution
  • 1992 – Nepalese General Strike
  • 1995 – French Public Sector Strikes
  • 1995 – Days of Action, Canada
  • 2000 – Cochabamba General Strike, Bolivia
  • 2002 – Italian General Strike
  • 2005 – Bolivian Gas Conflict
  • 2006 – April 2006 Nepalese general strike
  • 2007 – Guinea General Strike
  • 2009 – French Caribbean General Strikes
  • 2010 – Spanish General Strike
  • 2011 – Oakland, California General Strike in coordination with Occupy Oakland

Oakland General Strike. Photo by Thomas Victor Horton

After Occupy Oakland’s General Strike on November 2, Michael Berkowitz wrote in the Huffington Post, “By any measure, Occupy Oakland’s General Strike on Wednesday was a huge success. It was huge in that media estimates that between 7 and 10,000 protestors participated. And successful in tone and deed, a sometimes serious, sometimes festive exercise in shining a light on what has happened to our country… culminating in shutting down the nation’s 5th largest port, the Port
of Oakland.

“Much like San Francisco’s General Strike of 1934, which was called after two workers were killed by police, Oakland’s General Strike was called after two tour of duty marine Scott Olsen’s skull was
fractured by police. Coincidentally, the third worker injured in 1934’s Bloody Thursday, the one who survived, was also named Olsen.”

If the police brutality increases with incensed officers wielding batons and hurling canisters of tear gas; using pepper spray and firing rubber bullets as peaceful protestors continue to be arrested and injured, a fatality is likely to occur. And someone will probably call for another general strike.

“But could we get people to do it?”

Gandhi’s “Day of Prayer and Fasting” in our sputtering economy would be difficult to pull off; many people simply cannot afford to take the day off work. It would certainly require more planning to mobilize millions than the few days notice that brought out 7-10,000 people in Oakland.

According to SFGate.com, the population of Oakland now stands at 390,724. It took a great deal less than “the 99%” to make quite an impact.

The US Census Bureau puts our population at 312,617,429. A proportunate turnout would yield 5,600,685 – 8,000,978 protestors.

But there are actions that people who did not take off work or participate in a general strike or even an organized event could take that would make an impact.

Can’t or choose not to take off work – pack a lunch instead of going out or if you must eat out, patronize a small, local restaurant or a food truck; drink coffee at home or go to a local coffee shop. Can’t bicycle or use public transport that day – make sure that you gas up the day before. Stock up
on groceries and if you must get the kids milk, patronize a Mom and Pop store, not a supermarket chain. Traveling for business or vacation – plan your trip so you don’t have to fly that day… you get the idea. And so will your representatives.

There are two things that politicians understand – money and votes. That is why according to the New York Times, “It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.”

In order for the Occupy and our New Civil Rights Movements to succeed we must occupy the streets today and occupy the voting booths next November.

 

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Stuart Wilber. Photo by Mathew Ryan Williams

 

Stuart Wilber believes that living life openly as a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Allied person is the most powerful kind of activism. Shortly after meeting his partner in Chicago in 1977, he opened a gallery named In a Plain Brown Wrapper, where he exhibited cutting edge work by leading artists; art that dealt with sexuality and gender identification. In the late 1980’s when they moved to San Clemente, CA in Orange County, life as an openly gay couple became a political act. They moved to Seattle 16 years ago and married in Canada a few weeks after British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage. Although legally married in some countries, they are only considered domestic partners in Washington State.  Equality continues to elude him.

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OPINION

‘By Design’: Johnson Falsely Claims Democrats Are Trying to Turn ‘Illegals’ Into Voters

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Embattled Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson traveled nearly 1000 miles on Friday afternoon to appear with Donald Trump in a live joint press conference at Mar-a-Lago to promote legislation banning non-U.S. citizens from voting, which has been a federal law, and a felony, since 1997.

But Johnson used the event to attack Democrats, falsely accusing them of a conspiracy to increase the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. for the direct and distinct purpose of pushing them to vote illegally in U.S. elections.

The Speaker offered no proof of the existence of this conspiracy.

“We only want U.S. citizens to vote in U.S. elections,” Johnson said, standing next to Trump (video below), “but there are some Democrats who don’t want to do that. We believe that one of their designs, one of the reasons for this open border, which everybody asked all around the country, why would they do this? Why would they allow all this chaos? Why the violence? Because they want to turn these people into voters.”

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

Non-citizens voting in a U.S. election is punishable by deportation, massive fines, and/or numerous years in prison.

“Right now the administration is encouraging illegals to go to their local welfare office to sign up for benefits,” Johnson, one of the top election deniers in the country, claimed as he explained his conspiracy theory. He did not state how the Biden Administration is communicating with undocumented immigrants, nor did he offer proof of these communications.

He also did not state that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are ineligible for any government welfare program.

“Well, guess what? When you go to a welfare office, they also ask you if you would like to register to vote, and so many people, we think are going to do that.”

Again, Johnson offered no proof of undocumented immigrants doing that, and in fact, as the Brennan Center for Justice reported just this week, that is not happening.

“States have multiple systems in place to deter noncitizen voting. Those who violate the law face prison time and deportation,” the Brennan Center reported.

If you were undocumented, the Brennan Center asked, “Would you risk everything — your freedom, your life in the United States, your ability to be near your family — just to cast a single ballot?”

Johnson went on to state, “there’s so many millions of illegals in the country, that if only one out of 100 voted, they would cast potentially hundreds of thousands of votes in the election. That could turn an election.”

It could, but it isn’t happening.

RELATED: Johnson Moves for Trump Protection Against Greene With Mar-a-Lago Joint Press Conference

“President Biden has created a catastrophe and he did it by design,” Johnson alleged. “Why invite everybody from around the world to come here, including hardened criminals and dangerous persons?”

Neither President Biden nor his administration invited “everybody from around the world to come here,” but what if he did? Why shouldn’t he, if America is the greatest country on earth, why shouldn’t the President invite, urge people from other countries to lawfully come to America, the land of opportunity, the land of the free, the home of the brave, where immigrants have been called the “backbone” of the nation.

Federal laws can help keep “hardened criminals and dangerous persons” out, and federal border agents could do a better job if Donald Trump had allowed a vote on the Senate bipartisan border bill.

Johnson also claimed that immigration “has all sorts of terrible effects on the American people. We know that fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 49.”

Most of the fentanyl flooding the country is smuggled in by Americans, not “across the border” but through U.S. ports of entry. Nearly nine out of ten fentanyl smugglers are U.S. citizens, according to the right wing Cato Institute.

Watch a portion of Speaker Johnson’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Bless Those Who Persecute You’: Johnson Invokes Bible Amid Greene’s Ouster Threat

 

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OPINION

‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

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As Donald Trump continues to try to make inroads with Black voters, his allegedly spontaneous viral visit to an Atlanta Chick-fil-A on Wednesday came at just the right time for the indicted ex-president as the patrons and staff, mostly young Black women, appeared to gush over him.

Fox News went wild over the encounter, calling it a “surprise visit.

Video showed Trump casually declaring in the middle of the restaurant, with his arms opened wide, “Let me give you a hug,” and a young woman running over into his arms.

“Fox & Friends” co-host Lawrence Jones the next morning called it, “such an organic moment because you had all these people that obviously knew the president was there but were Trump supporters as well. Minorities.”

Jones then painted the stark “contrast” between President Joe Biden’s State Dinner with the Prime Minister of Japan on Wednesday evening, and the ex-president who just happened to walk into a Chick-fil-A and ordered 30 milkshakes. Jones appeared agitated by the Biden State Dinner, saying, “You got the current president, the ‘smoozing,’ State Dinner, you got the Clinton – why does another former president have to do a State Dinner with the current president? I think that’s strange.”

But it had not taken long for some to say it seemed staged.

READ MORE: ‘Extremely Concerned’: School Board’s ‘Christian Values’ Candidate Search Sparks Criticism

“The odds of Trump walking into a Chick-Fil-A in a big city like Atlanta, and every single customer in there just happening to be a supporter, are infinitesimally small. The whole thing was obviously staged to ensure that only his supporters were inside,” observed the social media account for The Palmer Report just hours after the Chick-fil-A visit took place.

MeidasTouch Network on Friday reports, “Trump’s Viral Hug At Chick-fil-A Was With a MAGA Operative,” and notes the woman Trump supposedly spontaneously hugged, Michaelah Montgomery “is a ‘political consultant’ and former Georgia GOP intern.”

Former CNN commentator Keith Boykin, the co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, wrote: “I knew it! Trump’s Chick-fil-A stop was a staged photo op with Black Republican supporters. Michaelah Montgomery, the Black woman who told Trump that ‘we support you,’ actually runs a conservative group and worked with Candace Owens’s Blexit Foundation.”

Ron Filipkowski, editor-in-chief of MeidasTouch, explained, “Just like his fake union rally & lie about calling Ruby Garcia’s family, the Trump excursion to Chick-fil-A was a staged op with a political consultant who has done work with the GOP, Charlie Kirk & Candace Owens’ orgs.” Linking to their report, Filipkowski, an attorney and former Republican calls it a “pattern of fraud.”

READ MORE: ‘Spoiler’ Questions Swirl as Trump Says He Would Vote for RFK Jr. ‘If I Were a Democrat’

The liberal PAC PatriotTakes reposted a Trump campaign video, added screenshots, and wrote, “These Trump photo ops are pre-staged with supporters prior to his arrival.”

Despite all this evidence, Friday afternoon Fox News continued to hype the two-day old “viral” event, with host John Roberts telling viewers, “That was a true retail politics moment there. Biden goes in to get ice cream, he grabs himself a double scoop and walks out. Trump goes in and buys everyone lunch.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump-Johnson Mar-a-Lago Meet to Push Ban on ‘Non-Citizen’ Voting – Which Is Already a Felony

 

 

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News

‘Extremely Concerned’: School Board’s ‘Christian Values’ Candidate Search Sparks Criticism

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Wisconsin’s Cedar Grove-Belgium School District Board of Education postponed a scheduled public event to share with the community its narrowed-down list of candidates to become the next superintendent of schools after a former schools superintendent raised concerns about the process. The school board cited a “shift in the timeline” as the reason for the delay.

Retired St. Francis Superintendent Carol Topinka pointed out the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District’s job posting listed “Christian values” and “conservative politics” as desired characteristics for candidates to be considered by the board, as Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) reports.

“Help me understand how a public school district can legally limit its hiring to people who are Christians?” Topinka wrote in an email to the Illinois-based firm hired to conduct the search for the schools superintendent, WPR reported. A friend of Topinka who applied for the job pointed out the “desired characteristics.”

“My mentee is not a Christian and is frankly gobsmacked that a public school district can blatantly and prejudicially flout the law,” Topinka wrote.

“Thanks for your email,” responded Mike Richie of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. “That was a comment made during the focus groups and you are correct that should not have been in the report. It will be removed. Thanks.”

School Board President Chad Hoopman “said as part of the process of hiring the superintendent focus groups met and ‘any characteristic mentioned by any participant in attendance is recorded and appears on the list of traits for that particular focus group for complete transparency to any potential candidates to review.'”

An undated post on the school district’s website announcing the search states, “base salary range expected to be $140,000-$180,000 (based on experience).”

It adds, “As the district looks ahead, it seeks a leader who aligns with its values and shares a commitment to preserving the traditional principles that have made Cedar Grove-Belgium a unique and cherished educational community.”

The ACLU is raising concerns.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of religion, including in the recruitment phase,” Ryan Cox, legal director with ACLU of Wisconsin told WPR. “The ACLU of Wisconsin is extremely concerned that a public body might be attempting to apply a religious test as a condition of employment, or even as a preferred ‘qualification.’”

Wisconsin Democratic U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan called it, “a complete disregard for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You can’t hire based on religion for a public position.”

Meanwhile, the chair of a Wisconsin chapter of Moms for Liberty, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an anti-government extremist group, falsely claimed Christians are now being excluded from the search.

“In the era of woke ‘inclusive’ paganism, everyone is welcome… except for Christians,” Scarlett Johnson wrote on social media. Stating the ACLU “plans to investigate” the district “for their heresy,” Johnson added, “Imagine stating that ‘Christian Values’ in a superintendent might be good! How dare this community in Sheboygan, WI, stray from the qu-er gender-bending multicultural god to whom leftist wing radicals worship and sacrifice!”

Johnson also claimed ACLU attorneys “will investigate and deconstruct whiteness wherever they find it and look into past actions taken by the board as well.”

“Don’t worry, folks,” Johnson continued. “Christians will not have a voice in YOUR public school. The WPR and ACLU will be sure to take appropriate action. Rest easy and watch a drag show with someone else’s kids.”

 

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