Occupy May Day

Happy May Day. Maydays aren’t usually happy and I suppose this one isn’t supposed to be either, but I’m pretty happy. Occupy is attempting to make its come back today.

“May Day is an international day of celebration to honor the labor movement. This year the Occupy movement has made a call for mass action—the May First General Strike (#M1GS): a day without the 99%. A general strike is a way to build and demonstrate the power of the people. It’s a way to show this is a system that only exists because we allow it to. If we can withdraw from the system for one day we can use that day to build community and mutual aid. We can find inspiration and faith—not in any leaders or bosses but in each other and in ourselves. Over 115 US cities have organized in solidarity with this call to action,” http://www.occupytogether.org/

This day will be used to ask for “for migrant rights, jobs for all, a moratorium on foreclosures, and peace – and to recognize housing, education and health care as human rights, and calls for the building of a broad coalition to make that a reality.”

I’m not exactly a support for all those, but they’re not all bad. Without getting into the complexities of Occupy and what they believe or do not believe or whether this is a good or stupid idea…blah, blah, blah, I will tell you exactly why I love Occupy Wall Street.

1)      This is the probably my biggest reason. Americans have gotten soooo lazy and so comfortable. The country has been falling apart for years. The government keeps throwing away our money, corporations are gaining more and more control and we’re just sitting by, letting it happen. It’s disgusting. Finally, people are getting up, getting angry, doing something, anything whether it’s stupid or not, it’s just something. Finally people are standing up for themselves. Gosh, it’s so freaking amazing. It’s a game changer to say the least. That is the most important thing that I love about Occupy Wall Street.

2)      Corporations have lobbyists and bribing money and it’s about time we have something. That something used be called congress, but it seems like that idea was burned along with our money.  If this thing doesn’t die out like it did in winter, whether it was a mutual agreement or just happened, then I think it could have a huge and lasting impact. We just got to stay with it.

3)      Everyone has a place. Occupy, for the moment, is a grassroots campaign. People can step up; find their place as the leaders they never thought they could be. If people think that this idea is stupid then they can come up with their own idea. People can organize their own movements. I think part of the reason that we’re so ‘lazy’ is because we’re comfortable, but also because we’re afraid. We haven’t been outside our comfort zone that we’re afraid to fail, of being wrong. I feel bad for the kids growing up, who have never had a scraped knee, or felt the burning of growing muscles. It’s good for us to be uncomfortable. It means we’re growing, except with a less cheesy line.

4)      It’s bringing us together. Having a common enemy or a common goal always brings a nation together. For the Romans it was Gladiatorial games, for some countries it’s other countries. We all need it. Having goals, I hesitate to use enemy because I don’t want it to be an us vs. them mentality, will unite us and it will make us productive. And it’s not just America, it’s the whole world. The whole world is standing up for themselves. I love it.

5)      Connected to the last thing is the idea that we’re learning how to work for something. People want the ‘American Dream’, but I think often times we forget that we actually have to work for it. Whether we are thinking about this way or not, the Occupy movement is teaching us that we have to work for what we want. The politicians, the companies, the banks are not going to hand us what we want, but we’re going to have to fight for it. We can’t just go to work and get a raise, we have do something that gets noticed in a good way.We can’t just go to school and expect to be handed the whole world when we get out. Going to school is nothing compared to real life. We have to prove that we can do more than memorize a bunch of useless facts and that we can also put those facts into practice. And about student debt, some people work through college, some don’t. Those who don’t shouldn’t expect to walk out and have money thrown at them. You have to earn it. That includes more than working and sitting at a desk, memorizing useless facts. Testing is hard, but it’s not real life. Also, students should stop lollygagging around.  “Approximately 57 percent of first-time students who sought a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and enrolled at a 4-year institution full time in fall 2002 completed a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent at that institution within 6 years. By comparison, 55 percent of students in an analogous cohort who began seeking a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in fall 1996 graduated within 6 years.” http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40 Unless they’re working too much, dropped out, or just can’t afford it, students should be out in four years. Period. Do that and they would have less debt. This is a subject that has many different variations and I’m interested in researching more about it, so I may have an update with this soon.

 Back onto the real subject, I could list hundreds more, but I would consider these my major reasons. So, how are we supposed to celebrate this wonderful ‘holiday’. Well, take the day off for one. No going to work, no buying, no selling, no going to school, no nothing. It works because of us. Let’s remind them of why they should appreciate it.

  1. Move Your Money:      If you haven’t already, May Day is as good as any to move your money out      of a national, corporate bank into a local bank or credit union. Support      your local community and break up the “too big to fail” Wall Street banks      that threaten our economic system. Learn more about moving your money      here: www.moveyourmoneyproject.org
  2. Have a Potluck: Share a meal with others and talk about subsidized      agriculture and factory farming or make a meal with friends to serve      to local homeless people a la Food Not Bombs.
  3. Start a Personal/Community Garden: On May Day, start or pledge to start a personal or      community garden. Growing our own food means independence from corporate      farms. This is one more way to take yourself out of a system bent on      keeping us complacent.
  4. Have a Free Store/Fair: Get together and share your unwanted items with others.      As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You could be helping      someone who was about to go out and buy a (fill in your item here)      anyway.
  5. Ride your bike to work/carpool with friends: Ride your bike or arrange a carpool to work. When you      do this you are lessening our country’s dependency on outdated, unclean      energies.
  6. Screen a Movie:      Invite your friends or neighbors over to watch a documentary. After, have      a discussion about how it relates to your values or the ideas of Occupy. You can watch political documentaries online at the following links for      free:
    http://http://crimethinc.com/movies/

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/category/politics/

    http://www.documentarytube.com/category/political-documentaries
    http://freedocumentaries.org/
  7. Have a Skill Share: Give a free class to share your skills and knowledge. This could be as simple      as giving a knitting demonstration or as complex as teaching someone a new     language.

Have a great May Day

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Turn up the heat: Environmentalists should join Occupy on May Day

Grist

For a moment last fall, it felt like the “post-hope” era was coming to an end. Protesters in Egypt and Tunisia had won nonviolent revolutions, Occupy Wall Street offered us our own national rallying cry against the deep structural inequity threatening our democracy, and over 1,200 Americans took part in the biggest act of civil disobedience in the history of environmentalism. Maybe we’d all finally get off the internet and start directly confronting those things we’d been waiting for President Obama to fix for us since January 2009.

But then, as quickly as it began, it started to feel like it was over. Egypt’s revolution turned sour. Obama started waffling on Keystone. Occupy encampments all but disappeared. The Republican primaries came around and we watched in bemused horror as one climate-change-denying corporate stooge after the next pranced and preened for the opportunity to duke it out on live TV…

View original post 966 more words

99% vs. 1%

The restaurant that held a supposed battle between economic classes has confirmed that the receipt was altered and they have no record of there having been a receipt of that value with that particular information.

Warning: The next part is a bit of a rant.

After I read this, I thought my head was going to explode. I was just so mad at consumers for letting it get this far, letting them take control like that. Despite the supposed fact is that the receipt was altered to add the writing and all that, that is not the end. Partly because there seems to be something else wrong. The article does not say that the whole receipt was fabricated. It says “altered and exaggerated”, but how much and in what way? According to the link below, the original receipt was totaled at 33.54 and the tip was 1.33.  The customer may have not been a wealthy banker, but an average person trying to get us worked up, but who cares.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/photoshop/restaurant-receipt-photoshop-hoax-869032

Besides that, I’m sure that this is not the only time where the a wealthier customer has stiffed a waitress or a server of any kind. The receipt being declared “altered and exaggerated” does not change anything. What was written on that receipt is true to the extent that that 1% thinks that we are beneath them, it just took a photocopied receipt to make some people realize it. They believe that they worked hard enough to get to their status so they earn the right to be rude and to own us.

They forget who paid the taxes for their bailout, who buys the products that pay to line their toilet bowl with gold, who pays for their own wages. They forget without the working class they would have nothing. No fancy anything and they would have to do all these ‘services’ like getting their own food, shining their own shoes, and whatever ridiculous things they pay for because they probably can’t even do it themselves and that’s not even scratching the surface of pointing out all the things they need us for.

We have become so dependent on these companies that we let them get by these kinds of actions. When I heard that they were starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving I thought, “Surely with the Occupy stuff going on people won’t support this.” I knew it was wishful thinking, but I had some inkling of hope. After that I had no hope. Last year it was worse than ever. American’s are so concerned about getting the latest gadget or whatever that they’ve lost all of their principles. They won’t even spend time with their family or let others spend time with their family because they have buy all of their crap. We’re pathetic.

The bottom line, which I’ll probably say a million more times during the course of this blog,  is they don’t own us, we own them. We just have to take control what is ours. It is certainly harder and takes a lot more effort, especially with other people who just say ‘what’s the point. So what?’. Stop taking the easy way out, support local business, start your own garden, dumpster dive, buy something used, do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to prove it.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of the argument, but the main point is that they don’t own us and I want people to consider that the next time they think they ‘need’ something.