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Forum Post: We Americans need to wake up: Are we giving up the COMMONS? Do we realize what that means?

Posted 1 year ago on Dec. 9, 2012, 1:38 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

It's actually really troubling when you think about it... Americans (those of us with the energy and inclination) occupied public spaces peacefully and we were evicted from the parks with riot police. And that's where it sort of stands at the moment, with most of mainstream America sort of seeming to acquiesce to that, essentially ceding that ground (the commons) which is supposed to be theirs.

They sat on their sofas (not all but many) and sort of shrugged. Even if they agreed with the message of Occupy, they didn't get that these were their parks too and the fight that those brave souls out in these public parks were engaged in was their fight too.

Did the disproportionate violent crackdown seem odd to them, peaceful protesters being arrested, pepper sprayed, corralled? Did they wonder what exactly the threat was to the powers that be that such a violent response was necessary to a peaceful protest?

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63 Comments


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[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20506) 1 year ago

My mind is still boggled over how Bloomberg was able to do what he did at Zuccotti last fall, and, of course, other local governments followed.

In the end, I think Americans are so fully brainwashed that they really think that if they haven't made a few million dollars by age 25 that they are a complete failure and the shame they feel prevents them from even asking for workers' rights (as in paid days off, health benefits, a living wage) that were in place for many decades and economic fairness, etc. The total and utter shaming of the poor prevents people from standing up for the poor. And, standing up for the poor is standing up for us all, so we all lose by failing to do that.

Look at how much the occupiers were made fun of. You were here, on the forum, last fall. That kind of slander combined with the violence from the police, kept people away.

In all honesty, I would love nothing more than to see re-occupations take place.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 1 year ago

If so, it must be planed well enough in advance to produce massive numbers. That is the only way I know of to keep the authorities in check.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20506) 1 year ago

Very true.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I'm totally with you. Remember this day? http://www.occupywallst.org/article/november-17-historic-day-action-99/ . Think about the context before the propaganda and shaming took hold. Americans were with occupy at this point. National polls on recognized news outlets showed 40-50% of Americans supported occupy. Read through the post at that link. You can feel the energy crackling. You can get a real sense of what it felt like when the rise of occupy was occurring. We took them by surprise. This particular day was a biggie.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20506) 1 year ago

Very cool. Thanks for that. Social movements take time and happen in waves. They don't happen overnight. So, let's keep pushing hard and never give up.

The change will come because, really, the change is inevitable. The world is moving away from the fallout of the Industrial Revolution and the legacies it left behind of capitalism and nationalism. These two giants are becoming antiquated in the technological and global world that we find ourselves in now. So, watershed change is coming, with or without Occupy Wall Street, but the movement, OWS, rightly sees the necessity of the change as it sheds a light on the suffering of the masses as well as Mother Earth. That is why we are here and why we will keep pushing.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Right on.

[-] 1 points by grapes (2886) 1 year ago

In celebration of Human Rights Day 2012,

The Sound of Silence (Original Version from 1964): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLfCnGVeL4

The Sound of Silence lyrics: http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/7354/

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Right on

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 1 year ago

"The Commons" originates at the same time as "Common law". That was established with the Magna Carta in 1215.

A 40 year armed protest from the forests, I call it the "lost war", created the right to common area in communities with the peace treaty, the Magna Carta.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Cool document. We should pay more attention to it. You don't know what you've got until it's gone.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 1 year ago

The truth of the Magna Carta and what caused it is not known except by a very few. Then, their understanding is not robust with the motivational structure/identity and history of those that fought from the forests.

Written history is controlled. Humanity needs to fight for the right to keep its history in the minds of the people, not in sequestered books and volatile digital information. It used to be the controlling elite had to burn people to get rid of the truth of the past, that was difficult. Books made this easier. They burn fairly well and do not fight at all. Computers made it so a simple virus or press of the button, infiltration of a system can destroy the truth of the past.

Oh, we are sooooooo advanced.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I hear you. Well, I keep key items in a pretty massive vault that no one will be getting into anytime soon. Hey - do you have any links you'd recommend on magna carta that get to the heart of the matter?

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 1 year ago

The truth of the Magna Carta is so well hidden/exploded in time that fragments are everywhere. This page is linked from a general alternative history of the nation and its background.

http://algoxy.com/poly/magna_carta_truth.html

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Cool. Thank you. Will check it out.

[-] 1 points by Sitapea (-28) from Fort Belvoir, VA 1 year ago

I tend to think in terms of numbers:

150k for the home theater system.

600 a pop for the 150 LED lighting fixtures... plus redundancy.

And this is just to enhance ambiance.

Nice... but do you know where this individual works and who he voted for?

While next year, the American worker will face higher taxes, higher insurance costs, higher energy costs... with a devalued dollar and no place to park the little bit he does save to offset future disaster.

The American worker IS the commons.

[-] -1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Well. I guess that's true in a way but our public parks and freedom of speech are pretty important too. It's all connected.

[-] 1 points by Sitapea (-28) from Fort Belvoir, VA 1 year ago

The public parks are not a shared financial or economic resource - they are not "commons," they are parks - paid for with tax dollars by those who work.

And all of you voted in this past election against the American worker who now faces an increased financial burden.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Well, I don't disagree about protecting and lifting up the American worker. But not sure what you mean when you say that parks aren't part of the commons. You can hand out leaflets in a park but not in a mall. Private corporations are taking over the commons and this is bad news for free speech. In a round about way this certainly hurts the worker.

[-] 1 points by Sitapea (-28) from Fort Belvoir, VA 1 year ago

You don't understand because you have no idea what the commons were in historical context.

Private corporations... do you even know their history? You're about 100 years too late in addressing the "corporate" issue.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

The film "The Corporation" has a great section on how corporations won "personhood status". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SuUzmqBewg . Fast-forward to 2:20. It'll blow your mind. The 14th amendment was supposed to give equal rights to African Americans. It said you "can't deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law". Corporation lawyers wanted corporations to have more power so they basically said "corporations are people." Amazingly, between 1890 and 1910 there were 307 cases brought before the court under the 14th amendment. 288 of these brought by corporations and only 19 by African Americans. 600,000 people were killed to get rights for people and then judges applied those rights to capital and property while stripping them from people. It's time to set this straight. We need to end corporate personhood.

[-] -1 points by Sitapea (-28) from Fort Belvoir, VA 1 year ago

This is essentially a juvenile statement. The courts have repeatedly held that a corporation is a person in that as an association of people they are permitted to enter into contracts, be taxed as a single entity, etc (rather than tax every individual of the association). It has also permitted states, being the sovereign entity under the Constitution, such as Delaware to establish very liberal incentives to attract corporate trusts, which it has been doing for over a hundred years. "Person" though does not prohibit regulation, it only requires that it be constitutional. Even so, it was not until the late 1950s that Tilman of 1907 was overturned by the Untied Auto Workers. It was the unions, as an association of people, that gained the corporation the ability to politically contribute. Prior to this contributions were limited to individuals. It was not 14th amendment because the corporate concern was not the political contribution, and thus the Tilman Act of1907, which prohibited corporate contributions. It was the unions, not the incorporated company, that gained this right.

If we reinstate the Tilman Act than it must apply to all associations of people, including the political party itself.

What the Left is attempting to do, is attach this anti-slavery sentiment to the political contribution, when in reality, it should be assigning blame where it belongs - on the United Autoworkers who overturned Tilman.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

Maybe we need a media spokesman, such as Chris Hedges,

as we retake the public squares, with list of demands,--the government has had a year to respond. Have any reforms been made. Here is one on top of list: tax fairness

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/us-commentary/15203-the-solution-to-sovereign-insolvency-part-iii-taxation-salvation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_petition_in_the_United_States

Including right to assemble

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_petition_in_the_United_States

2.2 The State’s positive obligation to facilitate and protect peaceful assembly It is the primary responsibility of the State to put in place adequate mechanisms and procedures to ensure that the freedom is practically enjoyed and not subject to undue bureaucratic regulation. In particular, the State should always seek to facilitate and protect public assemblies at the organiser’s preferred location, and should also ensure that efforts to disseminate information to publicize forthcoming assemblies are not impeded. 2.3 Legality Any restrictions imposed must have a formal basis in law and be in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights and other international instruments on human rights. To this end, well-drafted legislation is vital in framing the discretion afforded to the authorities. The law itself must be compatible with international human rights standards, and be sufficiently precise to enable an individual to assess whether or not his or her conduct would be in breach of the law, and the likely consequences of any such breaches. 2.4 Proportionality Any restrictions imposed on freedom of assembly must be proportional. The least intrusive means of achieving the legitimate objective being pursued by the authorities should always be given preference. The principle of proportionality requires that authorities do not routinely impose restrictions which would fundamentally alter the character of an event, such as relocating assemblies to less central areas of a city. A blanket application of legal restrictions tends to be over-inclusive and will thus fail the proportionality test because no consideration has been given to the specific circumstances of the case.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

(Quote) It is the primary responsibility of the State to put in place adequate mechanisms and procedures... (end quote)

The "State" has been taken over by corporate thieves and killers. They don't give a phukk about the rights of people on the street.

Don't expect them to do anything that they are supposed to be doing.

It is up to the people to agitate and cogitate and demonstrate, until these criminals are put behind bars, and a semblance of positive normalcy replaces the current embarrassing criminality that has deposed the government of We the People.

[-] 3 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

They don't give a phuuc is obvious by how state behaved in year 1.

If no actions are taken, public may believe Ows failed. At least have weekly rallies, nationally.

But have a working list of demands on a website, so people can see exactly what are the demands

Put prosecution of the criminals at the top of the list of demands. Name them.

We all have same list and reoccupy. These are national criminals.

And on list a plan to address climate change.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2687) 1 year ago

BTW the list of demands will be necessary when we ask the public to get behind us, OWS, and in fact to join up in the protests.

Many in public claim they did not get a clear message.

And a petition for the demands right there on the list of demands.

How about an official paid media spokesman. I bet Hedges would consider it.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

It seems the source of this is corporations hijacking our political system and that the way to begin to unseat the corporate hijackers might be to put key guardrails in place. I think communication (especially through nonviolent direct action) is one of the keys because once we get out into the world and communicate with others, we start realizing that we have more in common than we have separating us.

Once that clicks, we'll realize that we actually ARE the 99% and that it's been absurd to have the system rigged to benefit just the top 1%. Once that realization sinks in, we'll be able to stand up together and make decisions from a position of united strength instead of making demands from a position of divided weakness.

Here are the 8 interim goals with tactics I'd personally like to see us pursue.http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ They aren't the end all be all, but they'd be a good start to help unseat the corporate forces that have hijacked our political system. The trick is getting enough people behind them and pushing (perhaps using methods similar to those employed by King and Gandhi).

It is of course true that there are a lot of steps and details to fill in but you get the general idea. Power responds to power and when the people unite in the streets and elsewhere, we have the power.

[-] 2 points by rayolite (461) 1 year ago

United strength using legal process.

"Once that realization sinks in, we'll be able to stand up together and make decisions from a position of united strength instead of making demands from a position of divided weakness."

make decisions from a position of united strength with the unity behind the legal process instead of making demands from a position of divided weakness and no legal process that other citizens easily recognize.

Article V is the legal process and the demands made last year ABSOLUTELY require that kind of authority. The elite in control of congress have been working for century to evade the authority of the states citizens with the legal process of Article V.

If we prepare, it is absolutely safe, but if we fail to do so and neglect awareness of constitutional intent, we will continue to lose control over government and observe further decay of the rights and freedoms we need to survive.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

I think that this will be useful - http://www.nationofchange.org/blogs/lawrence-davidson/nationalism-vs-capitalism-1342887645 - Never Give Up On Our Kids' Future! Keep Occupying The Ideas! Solidarity :)

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

I strongly recommend that link above from which, I shall excerpt this about 'Capitalism' - 'This is the world’s prevalent economic system. It is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods and services for profit. Wage labor is an important element on the cost side of the capitalist ledger. So are things like safe working conditions and worker benefits. The capitalist impulse is to minimize costs in order to maximize profit. Left to themselves, capitalists will pay workers (white collar or otherwise) the lowest possible wages and deny or minimize other benefits. They will ignore worker safety and deny any responsibility for worker health. The only reason these important aspects of the work place prevail is because of the pressure put upon the capitalist system by unions on the one hand, and government regulatory agencies on the other. If you want to maximize the probability of economic breakdown, just destroy all effective government regulation of the economy and outlaw unions.' Also fyi - http://occupytogether.org/ . Never Give Up! Go Occupy! Solidarity.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3280) 1 year ago

You care about OWS & that's why you are here! Never Give Up On Trying To Understand Paradox and Synchronicity! Occupy Irony & Your Dictionary!

[-] -2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

You are preaching to the choir.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Each day I'm astounded at the largeness of the lie and our failure as Americans to see it and push back against it. I think communication (especially through nonviolent direct action) is one of the keys because once we get out into the world and communicate with others, we start realizing that we have more in common than we have separating us.

Once that clicks, we'll realize that we actually ARE the 99% and that it's been absurd to have the system rigged to benefit just the top 1%. Once that realization sinks in, we'll be able to stand up together and make decisions from a position of united strength instead of making demands from a position of divided weakness. Here are the 8 interim goals I'd personally like to see us pursue.

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ They aren't the end all be all, but they'd be a good start to help unseat the corporate forces that have hijacked our political system. The trick is getting enough people behind them and pushing (perhaps using methods similar to those employed by King and Gandhi).

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I have that part down. What I do not understand is whom your audience is.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Well. Me specifically? I don't think that's important or relevant. But if you're talking about this forum... Who is the audience of this forum? A large chunk of the audience here is people who already get it. A portion of that group, however is genuinely here to see the subject from different angles. But a small portion of the audience for this site is people who come across Occupy in conversations or reading and google it. Quite often they end up here.

So, I think it's overly simplistic to call this the choir for two reasons: 1. The choir needs to communicate. 2. It's not just the choir on this site.

Despite the effort of paid and unpaid trolls to make this forum chaotic, the prime message continues to shine through for that trickle of people from the outside world who end up on this site. How do they end up on this site? Well, google Occupy or Occupy Wall St. and see what you get.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I think it is relevant.

Our conversations are more genuine when we forget that someone else may be taking notes. They are less scripted, less manipulated and more real. OWS is not a product that needs to be marketed nor does it need to find a leader or representative.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Hmmm. Not sure what you're point is or how it relates to mine. But I will say this, we who support / participate in Occupy movement haven't done a good enough job yet getting the message out. I think King and Gandhi were masters at this and interacted with the mainstream press very widely and that we could learn a lot from them.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28242) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

You will see occupy covered in the press - out of the country - foreign news services - just as it was foreign news services that covered Gandhi.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Great point. The way the media is manipulated in the U.S. is incredibly disturbing but also fascinating. To have an elephant in the room and ignore it is a pretty unbelievable thing!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28242) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

I think that it will be one of the straws that eventually breaks the camels back. Information is getting out around the Media - people have got to be asking WTF(?) and it is going to add impetus to Occupy.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I agree. But on the other side is consumerism and all the shiny objects. Traditionally the promise of the possibility of those has kept most Americans compliant. What might be different now though is that distraction only works if the masses have real hope of getting to the shiny objects. And that's becoming less and less realistic. So maybe the old game won't work for the 1%. Maybe the jig is kind of up :). In the film "Capitalism a Love Story" that's kind of the premise as far as where we are on the timeline..that the 1% are doing one last grab with the ruse of austerity before the whole thing collapses. Here's a link to short clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvVAPsn3Fpk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28242) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Yep - it is hard for the Greedy to capitalize on consumerism - if they are putting everyone either out of work or into the food-stamp line.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Exactly

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

And Reagan also placed economic policy under the protection of national security in Executive Order 12333 (1981), giving immunity by proxy to all bank and financial executives.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Actually, most people that I talk to have heard of OWS and will agree with them. Now, some of the issues don't do anyone any good when they are discussed as broadly as they often are.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

You said: "some of the issues don't do anyone any good when they are discussed as broadly as they often are."

Huh? Why would more people discussing the issues do any harm?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I mean ..........to differentiate between pats on the back and screaming just to scream vs acknowledging and listening to all of the different perspectives to a given issue and how it effects individuals. So, you can have this issue and agree that something must be done and spread the word but the other half of this is how to present it and fight it within one's own community. The answer is not.....elect someone or build a platform because essentially you are trading in responsibility to the next person that could easily take advantage of a situation. You following me?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

I don't think there is one simple answer. I think this will require a push unlike anything we've ever seen before on all fronts. If we did these 8 things, it would make a difference -- not end all be all but it would get the corporate foot off our necks long enough to breathe: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ . And if we reoccurred public spaces, that would make a huge difference. And if you and I and everyone else spread the word among family, friends and associates, that would make a difference. All forms of boycotts, politicial activity, direct nonviolent action..writings, walk outs, strikes.... Etc etc etc the list goes on and on. We need to push from the inside and put to break this stranglehold corporations have on our republic.. I sense you are writing off political activity as useful and I just don't agree. I think you are giving them a pass. The pressure needs to come from all sides. And notice the suggested tactics at the link above. Are you saying that "so called political activity" wouldn't also have ancillary benefits? Surrounding the Capitol would be a pretty revolutionary act girlfrisay.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I have read your thread. I read far more than I post.

I am all for occupying public spaces.

What I am against is, specifically, rallying behind a candidate. My stance has not changed.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (28242) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Agree.

Issues we must always go after the issues.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Yep.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 1 year ago

Fair enough.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28242) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Truth - it just needs to be real - full of life and true feelings - presenting issues and airing them out.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

LOL, discouraging a strategy discussion on how to get more people on the same page as OWS. You couldn't be more transparent if you tried. Afraid this will lead to the obsolescence of media dominance in the public conversation? We certainly hope so. Try doing your job or become a relic.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Our resident Dick is present and babbling in the middle of his psychotic break. How you doin', Dick?

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Cheer leading for the left in a movement for the 99%, pretending to give a shit about the poor while denying the policies that exacerbate poverty. I think you need to check the mirror, sweetie.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Put your crack pipe down, Dick. You are getting worse with time.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Yeah, cause that totally validates your position. :|

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

At least I have a position, Dick. You got nothing. Again. 'Cept an obvious break with reality.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

The devaluing of the dollar by the Fed and the consequences the poor face because of this is very real. Your persistent denial of such is evidence of your true position and lack of empathy for the working class. All the insult and spin in the world won't change that.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Odd that. Did you see that while you had your head up your ass a union negotiated for jobs? I shall verbally abuse you later. Bye.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

it's not an either or issue. It also doesn't negate your denial of these policies. Bye? You mean you're done defending your indefensible position.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Apparently, it is.

Listen, Dick. Some of us actually work for a living. You don't have an argument. Therefore, there isn't anything for me to defend.