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The GOP’s OWS Messaging
Republicans are realizing that they need to find new ways to talk about OWS and to reach out to those who are sympathetic with the movement. Frank Lutz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the political message, presented 10 OWS talking points at a Republican Governors Association gathering this week, according to Yahoo News. Lutz argued that Republicans should forget about winning the battle over “the middle class” and should, instead, “defend ‘hardworking taxpayers.’” Other advice included predictable conservative memes, such as always placing blame on “Washington”; using the phrase “government takes from the rich” rather than “government taxes the rich”; and referring to “government spending” as “waste.”
Mitt Romney is increasingly seen by some as representing the 1%, according to Think Progress – New Hampshire’s influential and conservative Union Leader chose not to endorse Romney in part because they view his 1% pedigree as a political liability. Instead, the Union Leader endorsed Newt Gingrich (who, ironically, is also part of the 1%). Think Progress noted that a top conservative lobbyist who had authored a the leaked private memo to the American Bankers Association offering services to monitor OWS messaging will be co-hosting a Young Professionals for Mitt Romney fundraiser in D.C. (12/14). OWS protesters are also targeting political candidates they think belong to, or at least represent the interests of, the 1%. OWS protesters demonstrated at a Obama fundraiser in New York (New York Magazine) and a Democratic Party fundraiser in D.C. (Washington Post).
THE 99% AND THE 1%
In an Washington Post op-ed about why the GOP continues to target unions when their power has already been great reduced, Harold Meyerson argues that the Republican war on unions is also the Republican war on the 99 percent. Meyerson notes that the destruction of private-sector unions has redistributed income to the rich. Meanwhile, the deunionization of working class whites has led to Republicans gaining votes from that class, votes that had historically gone to Democrats following effective mobilization by unions.
OWS NEXT STEPS
On December 6, protesters in 20 cities are expected take part in a “big day of action” that will focus on the foreclosure crisis and protest “fraudulent lending practices, corrupt securitization, and the illegal evictions by banks,” according to Salon. The day will mark the beginning of an Occupy Our Homes campaign that organizers hope will energize the movement as it moves indoors.
About 100 Occupy Birmingham protesters are expected to protest ICE policies on Saturday in Gadsden, Ala., according to the Gadsden Times. The city was chosen for the demonstration because of the ICE’s connection with Etowah County Detention Center, which houses up to 350 ICE detainees as well as county and city inmates. The protest will be peaceful and the county sheriff expects no problems.
OWS and Democrats
OWS and Democrats
OWS is a populist movement that has started democratic conversations about new institutions and structures outside of the political system, William Greider writes in an op-ed for the Nation. Greider urges Obama to embrace and lead the new spirit inspired by OWS, progressives, and labor, rather than dodge or oppose it.
Looking at the recent elections in Egypt and the victory of the Islamic party over more secular groups, David Atkins (blogger for Digby’s “Hullabloo”) argues that no matter how successful a revolution, the group with the most organizational power – in this case, the Islamists – will ultimately win. Atkins takes the lesson from Egypt and applies it to OWS and argues that Occupiers will be able to make real difference over the long term only if they organize, which, in the reality of America’s two-party system, means taking the Democratic Party over from the inside. He points to conservatives’ success taking over the GOP in the 1960s and 1970s as a model.
New organizing, new demands
New organizing, new demands
OWS protesters regroup after encampments have been cleared and discuss next steps and political demands (Washington Post). The Associated Press gathered a list of proposals from Occupy protests across the country.
Although media continues to focus on OWS movements in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and other major cities, OWS encampments and movements are taking shape in Gainsville, Fla. and other smaller cities in the South, as part of what’s being called the “Occupy Y’all Street” movement. Daily Kos posted a video about Occupy Gainesville featuring an unemployed couple evicted from their apartment and a small business owner who is a single mom with no health insurance for her children or herself.
At top colleges, anti-Wall Street sentiment complicates recruiting, according to the New York Times. OWS protesters are challenging the on-campus recruiting machines top financial firms have used to hire as much as a quarter of the graduating class.
Below are a few sites you can check to get a sense of the Occupy movement “big picture.” Several of them are Occupy-supported sites that aggregate relevant news and updates. We will update this list periodically. Feel free to send your favorite OWS news source: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local and international news overview
Great daily updates on local and international OWS actions from progressive organization, “Rebuild the Dream”: http://rebuildthedream.com/occupy-update Quick OWS story update
Quick OWS story update
If you’re just starting to follow the Occupy movement, or just want to brush up on what has happened so far, check out this well-done run-down by Mother Jones. The post also links to longer-form article that includes relevant charts and timeline: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-explain-articles
This progressive political blog has been fundraising for pizzas for protesters and providing in-depth coverage of OWS: http://crooksandliars.com/
Blogs Created by Occupy Protesters
Many Occupy protests across the country also have their own individual sites – you can do a quick internet search by typing “Occupy” and the desired city.
Occupy Wall Street Tumblr blog: http://occupywallstreet.tumblr.com
Occupy Wall Street’s “official” website with press releases, calendar of events: http://occupywallst.org
New York City General Assembly: https://www.nycga.net
“Occupy Together” tracks country-wide movement and its activities: http://www.occupytogether.org
“In Front and Center: Critical Voices of the 99%”: http://infrontandcenter.wordpress.com/
For real-time news from Occupy protesters, check out the following Twitter accounts:
@OccupyWallSt, the official OWS account
@owsbot, an account that retweets important OWS media events
@occupyarrests, follows numbers of arrests
@OccupyTheHood, the account for the “Occupy The Hood” movement trying to incorporate more people of color into OWS
Relevant hashtags: #occupywallstreet, #ows, #occupyarrests
You can also see which Twitter accounts are recommended for Twitter’s “Follow Friday” by searching “#ows #ff”
Reading the posts on the following Tumblr blogs can give you a sense of the issues being raised at Occupy protests as well as the kinds of assumptions being made about protesters and about who should or should not be able to relate to the “We are the 99%” movement.
The “We are the 99%” that started it all: http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com
A conservative blog responding to the above: http://the53.tumblr.com/
A snarky, witty OWS-supportive blog responding to “We Are The 53”: http://actuallyyourethe47percent.tumblr.com/
Those in the 1% who stand with the 99%: http://westandwiththe99percent.tumblr.com/
“IOccupyFor” channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/IOccupyFor
OWS footage shot by protesters, site by Citizen Global: http://www.citizenglobal.com/occupy/together
Occupy Our Homes: http://occupyourhomes.org/
Occupy Student Debt: http://occupystudentdebt.com/
“i cite” is a blog by Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Theory at Hobart and William Smith Colleges: http://jdeanicite.typepad.com/ This academic blog follows OWS media coverage and features the blog author’s own experiences at and reflections on OWS. She responds to articles taken from good range of mainstream publications and also lesser-known blogs and puts OWS in the context of the discussions and critiques of New Left.
Philosophy professors, lecturers, adjuncts, graduate instructors, and teaching assistants who stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement: http://occupyphilosophy.blogspot.com/
Occasional updates about universities and OWS: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/
Citizen Radio, a political radio show created by Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein: http://wearecitizenradio.com/