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2011 October 9 | Activist News
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The Road to World War 3

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Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

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Daily Archives: October 9, 2011

Protesters want world to know they’re just like us

Associated Press
Oct. 8, 2011
By Jocelyn Noveck 

NEW YORK—As other protesters chanted vigorously around her, Nancy Pi-Sunyer stood off to the side at the Occupy Wall Street rally, clutching her sign, looking a little like a new teacher on the first day of school.

In a way, she was: At 66, this retired teacher was joining a protest for the first time in her life.

“I was too young for the civil rights movement,” Pi-Sunyer said earlier this week as she joined thousands of protesters marching in lower Manhattan. “And during the Vietnam War, I was too serious a student. Now, I just want to stand up and have my voice be heard.”
As the protests have expanded and gained support from new sources, what began three weeks ago as a group of mostly young people camping out on the streets has morphed into something different: an umbrella movement for people of varying ages, life situations and grievances, some of them first-time protesters.

There are a few common denominators among the protesters: their position on the left of the political spectrum, and the view that the majority in America — the “99 percent,” in their words — isn’t getting a fair shake.
Beyond that, though, there’s a diversity of age, gender and race — in part due to the recent injection of labor union support, and fueled by social networks — that is striking to some who study social protests.
“Most people think this is a bunch of idealistic young kids,” said Heather Gautney, a sociology professor at Fordham University and an analyst of social protests. “But the wider movement is remarkably more diverse than it’s been portrayed. I’ve seen a lot of first-time protesters, nurses, librarians. At one protest, the younger element seemed actually to be in the minority.”
Pi-Sunyer, who lives in Montclair, N.J., was drawn into the fray on Wednesday the same way many were — via social networks. She saw a post from a friend on Facebook and realized it was time to join.
“I just decided to get off the couch and be in control,” she said, holding a hand-lettered sign that read: “Wise OWLS Seek Economic Justice 4 All.” (OWLS was a play on the initials for Occupy Wall Street — with an “l” for little people.) “I was oblivious before. I can’t be oblivious now.”

Full Article Here – http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/10/08/protesters_want_world_to_know_theyre_just_like_us/ 

Protesters Against Wall Street

New York Times
Oct. 8, 2011

As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread from Lower Manhattan to Washington and other cities, the chattering classes keep complaining that the marchers lack a clear message and specific policy prescriptions. The message — and the solutions — should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.

At this point, protest is the message: income inequality is grinding down that middle class, increasing the ranks of the poor, and threatening to create a permanent underclass of able, willing but jobless people. On one level, the protesters, most of them young, are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity.


The jobless rate for college graduates under age 25 has averaged 9.6 percent over the past year; for young high school graduates, the average is 21.6 percent. Those figures do not reflect graduates who are working but in low-paying jobs that do not even require diplomas. Such poor prospects in the early years of a career portend a lifetime of diminished prospects and lower earnings — the very definition
of downward mobility.

The protests, though, are more than a youth uprising. The protesters’ own problems are only one illustration of the ways in which the economy is not working for most Americans. They are exactly right when they say that the financial sector, with regulators and elected officials in collusion, inflated and profited from a credit bubble that burst, costing millions of Americans their jobs, incomes, savings and home equity. As the bad times have endured, Americans have also lost their belief in redress and recovery.

The initial outrage has been compounded by bailouts and by elected officials’ hunger for campaign cash from Wall Street, a toxic combination that has reaffirmed the economic and political power of banks and bankers, while ordinary Americans suffer.

Extreme inequality is the hallmark of a dysfunctional economy, dominated by a financial sector that is driven as much by speculation, gouging and government backing as by productive investment.

When the protesters say they represent 99 percent of Americans, they are referring to the concentration of income in today’s deeply unequal society. Before the recession, the share of income held by those in the top 1 percent of households was 23.5 percent, the highest since 1928 and more than double the 10 percent level of the late 1970s.

That share declined slightly as financial markets tanked in 2008, and updated data is not yet available, but inequality has almost certainly resurged. In the last few years, for instance, corporate profits (which flow largely to the wealthy) have reached their highest level as a share of the economy since 1950, while worker pay as a share of the economy is at its lowest point since the mid-1950s.

Income gains at the top would not be as worrisome as they are if the middle class and the poor were also gaining. But working-age households saw their real income decline in the first decade of this century. The recession and its aftermath have only accelerated the decline.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/opinion/sunday/protesters-against-wall-street.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimesopinion&seid=auto 

Protesters pepper sprayed at the National Air & Space Museum

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Leaking oil points to catastrophe

New Zealand Herald
Oct. 8, 2011
By Jamie Morton

New Zealand is facing one of its largest ecological disasters as authorities forecast a “significant” oil spill from a huge container ship grounded off Tauranga Harbour.

A huge response effort to contain oil still gushing from the stricken MV Rena is under way as authorities face mounting criticism over their handling of the situation.

And yesterday, Transport Minister Steven Joyce said the crisis was likely to get worse before it gets better.


A salvage operation – described as one of the most complicated to be staged in New Zealand – is in the planning stages as forecast bad weather threatens to cause more damage to the Rena, grounded 20km off the harbour since it struck Astrolabe Reef on Wednesday morning.

Mr Joyce said oil would eventually reach Tauranga’s coastline.

This morning Maritime New Zealand said assessments of the most vulnerable areas of the coastline would be undertaken today.

So far no oil has been found on any beaches.

Until Monday, when an operation to pump fuel from the 236m cargo vessel gets under way, the only weapon authorities have to fight the worsening spill is spraying dispersant on the murky slick circling the ship.

Full Article Here – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10757462

Wall Street protesters look to expand N.Y. presence

Reuters
Oct. 8, 2011
By Ray Sanchez

(Reuters) – Anti-Wall Street demonstrators said on Saturday they are growing out of their lower Manhattan encampment and are exploring options to expand to other public spaces in New York City.

Protesters complaining about what they view as corporate greed have been camped out near Wall Street in Zuccotti Park for three weeks, staging rallies and marches that have mostly proceeded peacefully but have also resulted in confrontations with police.

On Saturday, several hundred protesters marched north to Washington Square Park — the site of protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s — to discuss expanding their encampment to other sites.


There were no arrests.

Lucas Vasquez, a student who was leading the march, said protesters were looking at expanding into Washington Square and Battery parks, but stressed: “We’re not going to give up Liberty Plaza” — the protesters’ name for Zuccotti Park, where about 250 have camped out around the clock.

“It’s sometimes hard to move around there. We have a lot of people,” he said.

By late on Saturday, no decision had been reached.

The movement has surged in less than three weeks from a ragged group in downtown Manhattan to protesters of all ages demonstrating from Seattle to Tampa.

The protesters object to the Wall Street bailout in 2008, which they say left banks to enjoy huge profits while average Americans suffered under high unemployment and job insecurity.

On Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the protests “aren’t productive” and bad for tourism, even as he said he was sympathetic to some of their complaints.

Wall Street is the pillar of the New York state economy, making up 13 percent of tax contributions.

The protests have expanded to more than two dozen cities, although outside New York the crowds have been much smaller



Full Article Here – http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/08/us-wallstreet-protests-idUSTRE7945JB20111008?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews