UAW Solidarity House | 8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214 | p. (313) 926-5000
© Copyright 2013 UAW. All Rights Reserved.
The New York Times featured a profile of Calle Lasn, long-time editor of the anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters that “founded” the OWS protests in Zuccotti Park. The story focused on how Lasn "branded" the movement and his views on the importance of aesthetics and the power of media to subvert traditional power structures. His views were juxtaposed with those of people who believe that culture jamming and subverting media is not as important as "traditional politics."
Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum argued that the real scandal of 2008 at was not the Fed’s bailout of Wall Street, however galling that was, but rather, the absence of “second waves” of stimulus to states, homeowners and the millions who had been unemployed for more than a year. Drum points out the illogic of Congress's initial embrace of stimulus for banks and then its about-face return to conservatism.
Two protesters active in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City (one of whom is also a participant in the Spanish May 15th movement), wrote a blog post that highlighted OWS’s contributions and accomplishments so far and the movement’s potential to expand into neighborhoods the same way the Spanish indignados movement has had by creating community-supported and -powered institutions and organizations. With regard to the ongoing media coverage of violent clashes between protesters and city law enforcement, Sarah van Gelder, co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine wrote that the OWS movement is strong enough that the eviction of one camp will not bring down the rest of the movement. She argues that people who have experienced the power of having their voices heard will not easily go back to silence.
A New York Times story highlights the disproportionate effect on joblessness in the African-American communities as the public-sector continues to eliminate jobs. About one in five black workers have public-sector jobs, and African-American workers are one-third more likely than white workers to be employed in the public sector. The story also discussed the central role government jobs in black communities have played in sustaining a black middle-class, a group whose numbers are now quickly dwindling. Stacey Patton’s commentary for the Washington Post argued that African Americans aren't joining OWS because their fight is in surviving day to day from tenant evictions, police brutality and street crime. Patton argues that the issues animating OWS protesters are not new to the Black community, which has experienced social disenfranchisement and economic injustice for decades.
Occupy Wall Street launched a student debt refusal campaign that focuses on tuition hikes and the lack of financial transparency in private schools, according to Washington Square News. Students have also been bringing attention to student debt through the Occupy Student Debt website. Studio Occupy, a new site donated by Citizen Global, is dedicated to creating a YouTube-like repository of OWS footage shot by protesters, reported ABC.
Occupy Los Angeles protesters defied the Mayor Villaraigosa’s early Monday deadline to vacate their encampment near City Hall until police moved in five hours later, cleared them out, and arrested three people as protest turned more violent Associated Press. The protests were mostly peaceful and although several people were arrested, police said there are still no plans to begin evicting people from City Hall Park Los Angeles Times. The deadline also passed for Occupy Philly to dismantle their camp. Occupy Philly has remained peaceful, avoided clashes with police, and maintained a good working relationship with Mayor Nutter until the mayor said the group was blocking a $50 million renovation project planned for the plaza being occupied Los Angeles Times. The number of campers has dropped by about two-thirds since last week with about 100 tents-worth of protesters vowing to stay, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Demonstrators will meet later today to discuss next steps, which might include moving to a new site, taking over an abandoned building, or staging “flash” occupations. State police arrested eight in an Occupy Augusta protest outside Maine governor's mansion grounds, reported the Associated Press.
Occupy groups across the country participated in Occupy Black Friday events in Eugene (Register-Herald and Portland, Ore. The Oregonian, Delaware The News Journal, San Diego NBC, Honolulu Honolulu Civil Beat. At least one Tea Party group held a counter “Buycott” Talk Radio News Service.
A Huffington Post story noted that cities that have evicted Occupy encampments – cities cited the danger of attracting too many homeless people – have underfunded resources for the homeless, specifically shelters.
A USA Today commentary by Peter Wallison, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, argued that Wall Street is not to blame for the financial crisis in 2008 and that blaming Wall Street covers up a “huge government error.” Conservatives are still fixated on the “debt crisis,” responding dismissively to Paul Krugman’s piece for the New York Times arguing for taxing the rich and financial transactions. Erick Erickson of the conservative blog Red State argues that taxes on the rich won’t be enough to close the budget deficit and that the biggest impact on tax revenue has been the loss of American jobs.
A Wall Street Journal story focuses on the difficulty that many companies (e.g. Union Pacific railroad) are supposedly having hiring skilled workers. A Mother Jones post, however, notes that some of those skilled jobs are being offered for below-market wages and no benefits, despite the long and physically grueling hours and extensive travel demanded by the jobs.