A giant eyeball peered down from the side of the Verizon building, followed by the legend, “you are under surveillance.” The frightening image was intended to draw attention to the state of privacy in our country, in advance of February 11th, “The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance.”
Watch this moving video by Dennis Trainor embedded with the Illuminator and NYC Light Brigade to find out why Verizon has been branded with such imagery and how they made this beautiful action happen.
This week organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, the Other 98%, and many more organizations and activist groups took a stand against the Orwellian surveillance state that Edward Snowden exposed. A foundation was laid for escalation, as you can see in the massive engagement that took place.
If you haven’t already join the 530+ who have already shared this powerful photo on Facebook or elsewhere.
– from your Occupy Network team
p.s. Unfortunately there are emergency repairs needed on the Illuminator Van due to the intense winter weather. If you are able to please support this important project that has been occupying minds and media for over 2 years now. Hit the pay pal button on http://theilluminator.org/ if so!
Occupy activist Cecily McMillan is facing up to seven years in jail in consequence of an arrest at the six month Occupy anniversary where she was sexually assaulted by a police officer. Go to occupywallstreet.net to find out how to support her.
As her lawyer said recently, “I believe 100% that we will win, because absolutely no crime was committed.” Watch this video of her lawyer speaking about the case on the eve of the trial.
Peter Rugh followed up with some new details at Policy Mic, and Chase Madar at The Guardian says that: “Cecily McMillan’s Occupy trial is a huge test of US civil liberties. Will they survive?” It seems astonishing that a police officer would intentionally grab the breast of a protester, but as David Graeber reported for Naked Capitalism, it appears that sexual assault became a concerted police strategy to counter peaceful protesters around that time.
Please show solidarity. InterOccupy has more specifics on how you can help in this message to friends of Cecily McMillan, and check #Justice4Cecily on twitter for the real time latest.
Occupy and Founders
occupywallstreet.net published a piece from the Occupied Wall Street Journal showing us why OWS never had founders, can’t have leaders, and only functions at all by a strange unclaimable alchemy that the people, working together, control.
A more detailed analyis of the preceding “Occupywallst.org Debacle” was covered by our very own Charles Lenchner at the NYCGA.net Tech Ops blog explaining how “the Occupy movement really screwed up by not insisting on accountable infrastructure.”
Occupy in the News
The Nation talks to Occupy activists who are linking together “the fights for economic justice and climate action” and who recognize the urgency necessitated by impending climate crisis.
In Waging Nonviolence we have Occupy Love: revolutionary antidotes for Valentine’s Day.
8 (Really) New Things about Occupy Wall Street, as chronicled on OccupyWallStreet.net. “Was Occupy Wall Street the brand new phenomenon many journos and academics have purported it to be? Does it matter? Well yes.”
The Other 98%’s Take Action News with Nicole Carty reports on how the 1% “don’t even understand that they live in a different world from us.” Their Channel 98 also has a new video from Alexis Goldstein who breaks down how banks can indeed be put in prison.
The Alternative Banking Group tells us how JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon should have gotten an even bigger raise than he did recently. After all, he helped pave the way for all the Too-Big-to-Fail banks to have a brave future of fraudulent earnings!
The people of West Virginia are taking no chances by drinking their water. After the corporate malfeasance of Freedom Industries allowed 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals to spill into the Elk River, their privatized West Virginia American Water Company deemed it safe, though probably not for pregnant women. But residents are starting to doubt an administration corrupted by coal money and have been standing up for themselves to demand better regulation of this industry. Full article at occupy.com.
Watch the beautiful “State of the Overpass” at act.tv. The Overpass Light Brigade has grown to an astounding forty chapters, and has been involved in one hundred and eighty-one actions since its inception. Their good work inspires us all to fight on!
At the morning call, the claim that Occupy alone brought income inequality to the recent fore is put into a broader historical context, hearkening us back to the “courageous two-fisted liberalism” of past Democrats such as FDR.
The ever thought-provoking Mickey Z. recently released an ebook, “Occupy This Book,” through Sullivan Street Press. This is a distillation of Mickey Z.’s teaching and activism, focusing on veganism, animal rights, and the health of the planet. Click here to order it from the publisher.
Occupy These Actions & Events
Thursday, February 13th, 6-8pm
Since August 2013, 99 Pickets has hosted a monthly meeting for workers, organizers and activists across NYC, to share information about their campaigns and discuss important issues in worker organizing. We’ve had five meetings so far, and would love to get your feedback to improve the meetings. If you’ve attended any of the meetings, please fill out this survey. Questions in English are 1-15. Thanks!
Sunday, February 16th, 2-3pm
Columbia University School International Affairs Building, Rm 409
We will have a live video fed presentation from the Congress of South African Trade Unions which is years ahead of us in terms of achieving meaningful reform of the banking system. This should be amazing.
Sunday, February 16th, 6-9pm
You are invited to attend: Fun workshops for activists and citizens. To examine, strategize & prepare using theatre as a language. Join us in this action of coming together to creatively explore our challenges and to discover possibilities that individually we might never conceive of. No experience necessary. Just bring your memory and imagination!
Thursday, February 20th, 7:30
The Brecht Forum
Panel discussion with an Occupy Sandy activist among others. At a time when the climate crisis is proving to be more urgent than ever, many governments are cutting back on public spending. Driven by a destructive obsession with austerity, environmental regulations are being scrapped while struggling families are being pushed off food stamps. Private consumption and the private sector are seen as supreme, while any public or collective effort is tarnished as inefficient and wasteful. Is this simply a disaster for the Left, or does it raise new possibilities for organizing?
Wednesday, February 26th, 5pm
We gather this day to remember the life of Trayvon Martin and continue our demand for justice in his death by George Zimmerman and the unjust legal system that continually allows the murderers of young African and other oppressed men and woman to go free and not be accountable for their actions.
Wednesday, February 26th, 7-9pm
New York Society for Ethical Culture
Come learn about the exciting new campaign to divest New York City’s pension funds from fossil fuels. This 350NYC.org event is free of charge. Hosted by the New York Society for Ethical Culture Co-sponsored by the Responsible Endowments Coalition, GreenFaith, and the NYC Grassroots Alliance.
Friday, February 28th, 7:30-8:45
Fed Up Friday is a new monthly action to illuminate the Federal Reserve, its role in the issues that effect our communities the most, and to discuss the solutions we will propose/demand throughout this campaign. The messaging for this month will be Valentine’s Day/love themed, and we will illuminate issues about unemployment/jobs.
March 1st, all day
This Event is composed of more than one march leading up to the 12Noon Rally, at City Hall, and 3rd Action Event in Development.
Income Inequality in the News
thinkprogress.org gives us a list of the ways income inequality is harming our lives, including destroying health and morale, putting us into debt, and undermining the American Dream.
The Appellate Court of New York State has said that Goldman Sachs should stand trial for its sale of “toxic securities.” According to the lead attorney on the case this is a “victory for every investor who has taken a financial hit as a result of the misrepresentations of Goldman Sachs.”
After giving OWS credit for putting the issue of income inequality on the table, The Washington Post points out how recent comments by the super-rich claiming victimization are a ridiculous obfuscation of the real problem. “So why are the rich so rattled? Surely part of it is awareness of what they have gotten away with.”
The U.N. held a special event on MLK day addressing worldwide income inequality. The keynote address, “The Threat of Growing Inequalities,” was delivered by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and panelists from many countries discussed causes and possible solutions for this enormous gap around the world.
An editorial at truth-out discusses Enlightenment ideas about equality and human rights as they relate to our present, grossly unequal, system. Since the role of society, as laid out by Rousseau, is to keep us from our base natural instincts, and to allow for “equity in terms of man’s access to, and representation by, the system,” we are living, in effect, in “the opposite of civil society.”
At alexisandjesse.tumblr.com a discussion of the ways the U.S. has gutted public housing since the Clinton administration, displacing residents and pushing for problematic gentrification-focused plans.
Future emails will includes a partial listing of events with an action focus related to the Occupy Movement in New York City. Find a more comprehensive listing of OWS events, including assemblies and meetings, at NYCGA.net/events. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org about actions to consider for inclusion, and to contact us at large.