FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Gibson writes: "Yet despite the Occupy funeral dirge that's been played in dozens of headlines, the movement has flourished in its post-encampment phase. Occupy Sandy has become a full-scale military-style operation that has developed a highly-efficient means of training and deploying volunteers, storing and transporting goods, feeding the hungry and putting clothes on those who have none. Police who were arresting protesters on #S17 weekend are now handing bags of clothes down assembly lines, side by side with those same protesters."

Snow falls outside an Occupy Sandy outreach center, lighted inside only by the aid of a generator in the Rockaway Park neighborhood of the borough of Queens in New York. (photo: AP)
Snow falls outside an Occupy Sandy outreach center, lighted inside only by the aid of a generator in the Rockaway Park neighborhood of the borough of Queens in New York. (photo: AP)


Occupy Lives, and Changes Lives

By Carl Gibson | Reader Supported News

24 November 12


Reader Suppored News | Perspective

 

know what it's like to be hounded by bill collectors. And regardless of how I feel about the Tea Party's politics, if they spearheaded an initiative to abolish the $6,000 in medical debt I had racked up in Houston, Texas, after breaking my elbow with no health insurance, and if they did the same with thousands of others' debt out of sheer desire to do good, I would feel radically different about the Tea Party. And if they led a disaster recovery effort that was on the ground in affected communities long before governments and well-funded relief organizations were able to provide help, I might even think about joining them. Occupy Wall Street, the populist economic justice movement the corporate-owned media and corporate-owned political class has been declaring as "dead" for months now, has been doing all of the above.

When the camps were evicted, the media breathlessly reported about the official death of the movement and blamed nonviolent protesters for the city governments squandering millions of tax dollars on constant and overwhelming police presence and re-seeding grass in parks (that somehow costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to do). And after more than 30,000 marched through New York City on May Day, the media gleefully announced the death of Occupy Wall Street, since the ragtag populist movement didn't succeed in getting 100% of Americans to take off work to participate in the general strike. By the time #S17 came around, the weekend of Occupy Wall Street's 1-year anniversary, there were tens of thousands of people in the streets of New York, and the NYPD arrested hundreds of nonviolent protesters (including me), yet the media coverage was scant and inconsequential, and garnered just a passing glance.

Yet despite the Occupy funeral dirge that's been played in dozens of headlines, the movement has flourished in its post-encampment phase. Occupy Sandy has become a full-scale military-style operation that has developed a highly-efficient means of training and deploying volunteers, storing and transporting goods, feeding the hungry and putting clothes on those who have none. Police who were arresting protesters on #S17 weekend are now handing bags of clothes down assembly lines, side by side with those same protesters.

Occupy's solidarity through charity has affected people beyond New York as well, as the Strike Debt Rolling Jubilee has raised almost half a million dollars in small donations to erase $8.4 million (and counting) of distressed medical, student loan, and mortgage debt less than a week after launching. While speculators trade the debt of poor, sick, and injured people on the market like a commodity, purchase it for pennies on the dollar from the banks, and move to collect the full amount for profit, Occupy Wall Street's Strike Debt project (born on #S17) decided to do the same thing, except upon purchasing the debt, they would abolish it. While I didn't donate to any political campaign all year, I gladly gave $100 of money I can't really afford to give to Strike Debt, and slept like a baby that night knowing that my contribution erased $2,000 of someone's debt.

All through the election, we watched as each major candidate raised and spent over $1 billion on their campaigns. SuperPACs funded by billionaires like the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Karl Rove's funders collectively raised and spent an additional $4 billion. Pro wrestling magnate Linda McMahon has spent approximately $100 million on not one, but two losing US Senate campaigns. Imagine if right-wing billionaires used just 10% of the money they spent on a mostly losing effort, on erasing ordinary folks' distressed debt alongside Occupy Wall Street.

While police in Spain are taking to the streets by the thousands to protest government austerity and bank bailouts, and the world's largest retailer faced over 1,000 protests nationwide and employee strikes in 100 cities on their busiest day, I'd say the only movement that's dying is capitalism. The grip of the banks and corporations on our society and our government is growing weaker by the minute, and the Occupy movement is only growing stronger.

Keep up with US Uncut!
Web: usuncut.org
Twitter: twitter.com/usuncut
FB: http://www.facebook.com/usauncut



Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and listen to his online radio talk show, Swag The Dog, at blogtalkradio.com/swag-the-dog.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+31 # DPM 2012-11-24 13:39
We're the 99% for the 99%. Do something positive, today.
 
 
+36 # Barbara K 2012-11-24 13:55
Go OCCUPY! We who are unable to join you have your back. You make us proud.
 
 
+9 # Barbara K 2012-11-24 15:46
I don't know how many on here belong to Change.org, but a Romney group is trying to buy them up. I already signed the petition and told them to remove my name and account if they are going to be rightwinger group. Here is the link to the petition if you are interested:

http://signon.org/sign/changeorg-reinstate-the?source=s.em.mt&r_by=473944

They are trying to keep us from knowing.
 
 
+8 # in deo veritas 2012-11-24 17:02
Just used it! Thanks for letting us know.
 
 
+6 # michelle 2012-11-24 17:06
Thanks for heads up on this.

All the more reason to send off a Christmas donation to Reader Supported News. I get the added perk of supporting local as they are housed in Citrus Heights, a nearby community for me.
 
 
+17 # in deo veritas 2012-11-24 17:29
SOLIDARITY is our only chance! Support the Wal-mart workers and all victims of the plutocracy.We also need to pressure those in Congress not yet on board to join us to pass HR 1489 to restore Glass-Steagall and seperate legitimate commercial banks from the reckless gambler investment banks. It is the only way to stop them from further depredations upon our economy. Winning the election was just the first step to recovery.
 
 
0 # Lolanne 2012-11-25 12:32
That is just despicable! I just signed the petition and added a strong note telling them just what I think of them. Thanks for the heads up, Barbara K!
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2012-11-26 13:56
Just did it....thanks.
 
 
+23 # Bildo 2012-11-24 13:55
Hopefully soon, the police will realize that their financial world (pay+pensions)i s going the wrong way just like the rest of us. It's really a shame that police, etc, just don't care about their oath of office. The Occupy movement is getting stronger as more and more people are affected by all the fraud.
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2012-11-24 14:49
Shshshsshshhs!
Don't tell the owner media this; it might wake them up!
 
 
+13 # demongel17 2012-11-24 16:02
Ummmmmm......da mn right! It is only in the eyes of Fox News and the rest of the corruption of the major media everywhere that makes such outrageous claims. Time to WAKE UP PEOPLE AND RECLAIM THIS SO CALLED DEMOCRACY!!!!!
 
 
+1 # Bildo 2012-11-24 17:14
Quoting demongel17:
Ummmmmm......damn right! It is only in the eyes of Fox News and the rest of the corruption of the major media everywhere that makes such outrageous claims. Time to WAKE UP PEOPLE AND RECLAIM THIS SO CALLED DEMOCRACY!!!!!

Quoting demongel17:
Ummmmmm......damn right! It is only in the eyes of Fox News and the rest of the corruption of the major media everywhere that makes such outrageous claims. Time to WAKE UP PEOPLE AND RECLAIM THIS SO CALLED DEMOCRACY!!!!!

I agree. But wouldn't we be better off reclaiming the Republic that our founders gave us?
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2012-11-24 20:12
Quoting Bildo:
Quoting demongel17:
Ummmmmm......damn right! It is only in the eyes of Fox News and the rest of the corruption of the major media everywhere that makes such outrageous claims. Time to WAKE UP PEOPLE AND RECLAIM THIS SO CALLED DEMOCRACY!!!!!

Quoting demongel17:
Ummmmmm......damn right! It is only in the eyes of Fox News and the rest of the corruption of the major media everywhere that makes such outrageous claims. Time to WAKE UP PEOPLE AND RECLAIM THIS SO CALLED DEMOCRACY!!!!!

I agree. But wouldn't we be better off reclaiming the Republic that our founders gave us?

As far gone as things are, this may be the only way! And yer founders were not exactly grassroots, were they?
 
 
+7 # readerz 2012-11-24 20:12
It is gratifying that the Occupy movement is getting help to people. There were some places rated as "Zone B" and told not to evacuate that found themselves under water during the storm, and now are not getting enough help to dig out. Everybody needs food, water, and of course some place heated, but many are afraid that if they leave their homes the pipes will be stolen. Those police are needed to help keep the houses and apartments safe, and more work is needed to repair and restore utilities, and help people fix or replace their furnaces, or find housing for them.

The magnitude of the disaster has been downplayed in the major media. This involves thousands of homeless who were never homeless before, and winter is here.
 
 
+3 # Vardoz 2012-11-24 21:01
The next challenge will be to spread the word about TPP. The agreement that destroys economies.
 
 
+6 # seniorcitizen 2012-11-24 22:09
So glad to see "Occupy" getting into the solution, instead of being part of the problem, when they were just marching and protesting. It takes good organization to accomplish anything on a large scale. It sounds like they have the leadership and the means to accomplish a great deal and be a contributor to healing to storm victims. I hope that this type of movement will continue past the storm into a nationwide effort to help people banish their debts, and even get people back into their homes that were foreclosed. It reminds me of the pioneer
days, when neighbors helped rebuild and plant crops after fires and disasters destroyed property. When someone was sick or couldn't work, neighbors came with food and help. These are some of the things that made our nation great. It is this spirit that can make it great again.
If the same amount of money that was put into the recent political campaign was contributed to helping neighbors across America, imagine how we can lift up our nation again, without the help of government bailouts and welfare.
 
 
+4 # Smokey 2012-11-25 03:08
The climate change conversation is changing.... Instead of talking about problems that, perhaps, will develop in 30-50 years, people are responding to some here-and-now realities.... Many thanks to the Occupy people - and to all of the other folks - who are involved in relief efforts.

In fairness, it should be noted that many of the Tea Party people are also involved in the response to Hurricane Sandy. It's like the response to Hurricane Katrina. Lots of church groups, college organizations, labor unions, etc., have joined the effort.
Everybody has the opportunity to be
helpful. Thank you!
 
 
+1 # Kathymoi 2012-11-25 12:33
nice!
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2012-11-26 14:00
If anyone is interested....p lease google OCCUPY SANDY for more info on how you can help.
 
 
+1 # AEH 2012-11-26 17:09
I'm very curious. I personally credit Occupy Wall Street with changing the national media's conversation to income inequality - the 99% vs. the 1% - in the year leading up to a presidential election. I therefore largely credit OWS for allowing Romney's 47% comment to be taken seriously - & contributing to his loss. Does anybody else agree at all that OWS should take a LOT of the credit for changing America's conversation... & for whatever changes that might now happen as a result of Obama's win?
 
 
+1 # 213mhayes 2012-11-26 20:05
I recently started a book called 'A People's History of the United States; by Howard Zinn (great read). In the novel he detailed that the night of the draft in 1863, during the Civil War, a huge riot broke out in NYC. It is one of the biggest domestic violence instances in America's history, with many lives lost. My point is that very few people know of that riot-I haven't found anyone who has heard of it yet-because class issues are always suppressed. This idea hits at the root of the Occupy movement... Outbursts of class struggle have always been suppressed and villanized, just like this one.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN