Posted 10 months ago on June 26, 2012, 10:28 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
The following speech was given by Justin Warren of Occupy The Stage. Justin is currently behind bars for making this speech on the steps of the Louisiana state capitol without purchasing a permit. See below for more information and find out how you can lend your support!
Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow free peoples of the world. Our governing bodies in their current state have proven themselves ineffective within regards to the interests of the common man. The beautiful ideal that was Democracy has been perverted and totally replaced by the repugnant and relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar, Capitalism. For our entire lives we have been fed lies that lead us to assume such absurdities as the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and there is simply nothing to be done about it. We are told our fates will be better off in the hands of soulless, faceless, and socially irresponsible corporations.
We're told cutting education and expanding our prison systems are the sure fire treatments of our social ills. The heart of Democracy now has more people in prison per capita than any other nation in the world. And we are told this is the land of the free.
Through the lobbying system, corporations have been able to not just influence, but completely hijack our government. We have been stripped of our liberties, we have been stripped of our property, we have been robbed of our freedom.
Now, a growing number of people around the world are waking up to the realization that we simply have nothing left to lose. All over the world people are standing up and shrugging of the authority of their oppressors.
We are bearing witness the single greatest social correction the world has ever known, and it's about damned time.
All throughout history the ebb and flow of elitist tyranny, and the social correction of massive upheaval has been a constant. This time however we have the ingredients to get it right. At this height of our technological advancement, we must, for the sake of our own prosperity, get it right.
To all the social parasites and those that hold dear the absurd and repugnant: There is a really big storm coming, and your god may be the only one to forgive your transgressions.
Occupy The Stage founder, Justin Warren is being held at Orleans Parish Prison on a warrant he didn't know existed and today faces impending transfer to Baton Rouge. Justin Warren has a voice that can carry and be heard over the din of city streets. His key voice at assemblies and protests in the occupy community has demonstrated his dedication as an advocate of freedom of speech. The charges he is facing are for allegedly disturbing the peace on the steps of the capitol building in Baton Rouge. On the 12th of March, he was in Baton Rouge with Occupy The Stage, Occupy NOLA and Occupy Baton Rouge for the opening of the 2012 session of the Louisiana Legislature that included a protest against budget cuts in education.
He was making a speech when an officer approached him and attempted to silence him. He continued exercising his First Amendment rights and was then approached by several officers who attempted to grab him from behind. However, he slipped out of his jacket and left the steps of the State Capitol.
After he departed, Officer Holman (badge # 6071) said on camera that Justin was no longer disturbing the peace and would not be arrested. (see min 1:40 here: http://youtu.be/86OSs6YmM8s)
When questioned as to why Louisiana State Police were interfering with Justin's First Amendment rights, Officer Holman replied that he was speaking without a permit. Apparently, The Tea Party had scheduled a separate event in
the same area, and they were not approached by the police because they had bought said permit. The New Orleans protesters did not have a permit, nor did they need one according to The Bill of Rights. Occupy movements across the country continue to battle relentless attacks on free speech and assembly, which are assured to all citizens by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The warrant and the ensuing transfer to Baton Rouge are obviously a ridiculous
waste of taxpayers' money. No citizen should need a permit to exercise freedom of speech in the State of
Louisiana. Public spaces, including the steps of the capitol building, are protest points where free speech has been exercised for decades.
It appears that the steps of the State Capitol are currently off limits to free speech unless you are able to buy your way onto them.
Justin Warren needs to be released and compensated for his loss of income while being held for no justifiable reason.
Imagine being trapped in a cage twenty-four hours a day. You have to eat food better fit for a garbage can than a human. Surrounded by guards who hate you, push you around, call you a terrorist.
This is happening right now to our friends who are in jail on trumped-up charges of domestic terrorism, even though we all know what their real crime was—standing up against the NATO warmongers. Free speech is under attack, and the NATO 5 are victims of this attack.
But you can make a difference in their lives and the lives of all those who speak truth to power. You can support those who fight to make our society a better place for you and everyone you know. Please donate right now to the bail fund and help release our friends, your friends. Our bail fund is https://www.wepay.com/donations/143498.
Posted 11 months ago on June 25, 2012, 9 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Everybody is now talking about the student debt crisis, but nothing is being done about it. Thanks in large part to the great public amplifier of the Occupy movement, this year’s presidential contenders have been forced to embrace student loan reform as a talking point in their respective campaigns. But the debt relief being pushed by the Obama administration is a token gesture, aimed at getting some traction on the youth vote–especially the more disillusioned or alienated student constituencies. Recent bills introduced in Congress–Student Loan Forgiveness Act (H.R. 4170) and the Private Student Bankruptcy Fairness Act (H.R. 2028)–have zero chance of passing in anything like their current form. Practically speaking, no reform program of any substance is on the legislative horizon, least of all one that would regulate the predatory lending practices of Wall Street banks.
The truth is that student debt relief is too important to be left to elected officials. They are chronically dependent on the financial backing of the lending industry, and are structurally incapable of addressing this crisis, let alone resolving it. As a result, reform initiatives such as Student Loan Justice and Forgive Student Debt (to Stimulate the Economy) that have been aimed at petitioning lawmakers have very little to show for all their hard effort. The recent federal modifications in payment schedules are micro-cosmetic compared to the sea-change that is required to free debtors of their intolerable burdens and rescue higher education from its increasing use as a profit engine for financiers, asset speculators, and real estate developers. The pathway to this outcome does not lie in futile pleas for economic reform, but through a political movement, driven by self-empowerment and direct action on the part of debtors.
Subway: Take the 2 or 5 trains to Winthrop St (Exit at Nostrand/Parkside Ave. Cross Nostrand Avenue and walk one block on Parkside Ave until it ends and turn right onto New York Avenue, walk east one block and make left onto Clarkson Avenue).
Bus: B-12 and northbound B-44 buses stop at the corner of Clarkson and New York Avenues
Thousands will be marching on the California State Capitol in in Sacramento on June 25th to ask the Legislature and governor to impose an immediate three-year foreclosure moratorium for California. Family Friendly-children encouraged to participate! We encourage everyone to make signs and banners that tell how foreclosure has affected you.
RALLY on the Capitol grounds. Speakers include homeowners, activists, union leaders, clergy, and others. Guest MC/musician: Michelle Shocked, Singer (Occupy Fights Foreclosure Activist).
MARCH in downtown Sacramento. Route to be announced.
LOBBYING TEACH-IN AND LOBBYING. We will lobby legislators and the Governor to stop the hemorrhaging of California home ownership.
TEACH-INS will be held throughout the afternoon.
The banks are foreclosing on families while at the same time promising loan modifications. We cannot trust the banks to do the right thing. The governor, attorney-general and Legislature must become involved. The San Francisco County Recorder’s Office has audited a sampling of foreclosures and found that 84 percent involved one or more clear violations – proof of illegal foreclosures is housed in recorder’s offices in every county.
We must halt foreclosures with a moratorium to allow for an audit of ALL home loan and foreclosure records. NO MORE THROWING FAMILIES OUT OF THEIR HOMES. We also demand investigation and prosecution of those who unfairly took advantage of homeowners. We call for cooperation between county recorder’s offices, district attorneys and the state to track down all those who illegally profited from stealing the homes of thousands of families, putting many more in precarious situations and wrecking the U.S. economy for years, if not decades to come.
Are you in foreclosure? Know someone in foreclosure?
Angry about predatory lending and dual tracking?
Angry about how the banks have sucked up our money and stolen our homes?
Angry about their refusal to reduce homeowner debt to current values instead of foreclosing and selling to “investors” for even less?
Angry about how the banks are killing the proposed California Homeowner Bill of Rights legislation?
Want to ask your state assembly member and senator why?
STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD! DO NOT ALLOW THE BANKS TO STEAL YOUR HOME! COME OUT TO SHOW YOUR RESISTANCE TO THE BANKS! DEMAND THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE IMPOSE AN IMMEDIATE FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM TO STOP THE BLEEDING!