So yeah, come N-17 in Milwaukee and the resulting occupation of the North Avenue overpass transecting I-43, M.P.D. Chief Flynn made the right call, or at least the call most tactically sound.
This project, a joint occupation of infrastructure across the U.S. on the two-month anniversary of the initiation of O.W.S. had been in the planning for awhile. No matter the amount of secrecy, come N-17, on the day of, at the very least, I am sure that the police had an inkling as to what’d be in the works. Make no doubt about, all participating knew that arrest was potential and some we’re even counting on it considering the predisposition of police departments across the nation and their willingness to arrest and sometimes brutalize.
I’ve argued, and for some time now, that the arrest of and brutality towards occupiers only strengthens the movement. Not that I’m trying to weaken the movement by allowing this tidbit of truth to slip from my mouth, but brutality, police brutality is unacceptable under any circumstance, especially when it rears its ugly heads at citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
It would seem that Chief Flynn was of the same opinion. Rather than marching in with pepper spray and batons in hand, they left us to the elements – a cold Wisconsin night. He knew that one of secondary goals was a “martyrdom” of sorts – maybe not so much a goal, but a known and potential consequence considering our stand on the bridge and unwillingness to vacate. All things considered, I have to begrudgingly admit that his strategy was superior to our own and in some ways feel like he’d won the battle (that’s the tactician in me talking). Furthermore, he utilized the media in ways that’d painted us to be fools.
On that note, the Chief’s manipulation of the media, both on and off the camera, I’ve put together a vid (below) wherein I dismantle his arguments and assertions. I only hope that this message reaches even a 10th the audience his had. In combination with the “Flynn Dialogue,” I also take a moment to evaluate the “violence” associated with the #Occupy movement, or rather and more appropriately, the violence aimed at it as was the case for a scary moment during our occupation and stand at the intersection of I-43 and North Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 17, 2011.
#Occupy is officially two-months old and for the time being, seems to be as strong as ever. Though this movement has been around for only a short time, it seemed like an eternity in waiting for me. The sentiments expressed and awakened in others by the #Occupy movement are notions that I’ve discussed for quite some time here on the “internetz,” topics like campaign finance reform, American foreign policy, corporate person-hood and the growing disparity between rich and poor; but DAMN! Is it not refreshing to see feet on the ground and opposed to asses on the couch, thumbing from one prime-time event to another.
In order to commemorate in solidarity with the newly awakened and veterans alike, I ventured to Milwaukee on the 17th wherein I participated in the peaceful takeover of a bridge, an arterial path of sorts in Milwaukee – the I-43/North Ave. overpass. As we made are way towards the bridge past brother, sister and barricade alike, I sensed a movement, a movement never sensed before, even moreso than that of the anti-war protests I took part in. This was change, these were people and a future, a mutually beneficial future, was the goal. For the first time, the very first time, I thought, “maybe, just maybe.”
* “Phase 4, Reflections” coming tomorrow
Police brutality is never acceptable and said brutality will never end until we stand up to tyranny. Here are two individuals who not only stood, head held high, to the abuse of authority vis a vi the Oakland Police Department, but also stood for our rights abroad –
Teach-In for Occupy Appleton
Come to learn about economic injustice and democratic change
Appleton Public Library
Mondays, 7-9 PM
First meeting on November 7
(No meeting on November 21)
For he who desires to assist other people, either by advice or by deed, in order that they may together enjoy the highest good,… will talk largely of human virtue or power, and of the way by which it may be made perfect, so that men being moved not by fear or aversion, but solely by the effect of joy, may endeavor to live as much as then can under the rule of reason. – Benedict de Spinoza
So yeah, this is perhaps the greatest strength of #OCCUPY, the “teach-in.” Two birds with one stone, we gather and #occupy public facilities and we gather to educate each other. This is perhaps not only our greatest strength, but also, our greatest weapon, knowledge. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and join in the dialogue.
On another note, I’m kind of takin’ a step back from my involvement with the local #OCCUPY “chapter (for lack of a better term) so that I may focus more on my “Pr0t0type” and other media projects. This does not mean that I’m not involved! I will continue my role in their education committee, I am working on a special project with them and I will continue to be a “digital backbone” of sorts when it comes to coverage of any special events. Solidarity as always, but in a way I’m more familiar with, in support of and autonomous. In other words, on my own ;D (it’s just far easier to manage time this way while helping at the same time).
This will also give me more time to check out and report from other #OCCUPY events throughout the region. Stay tuned, there are some big ones coming up.
To learn more about #OCCUPY Appleton, be sure to check out their page on Facebook –
And their webpage at –
They’re gambling with your money in the global derivatives market to the tune of 600 trillion dollars (the world, in a monetary sense, is only worth about 230 trillion)! What happens when the house claims the stakes, you and I lose! Starve the banks and save yourselves!
I understand that one of the grievances being leveled by the #OCCUPY movement is a lack of jobs. With unemployment above 9%, there’s no doubt about the ills associated with trying to find a job, it’s rough, trust me. To further illustrate the trials associated with finding a job, let me tell you a story. I was in China when the economy crapped out. My wife would ask me if everything would be okay when we went back stateside, so please, stop me if you’ve heard this one, “Yes dear, everything will be okay. This happens every decade or so in the states, it gets bad for a couple of months, maybe even a year, but it all pulls back together in end.” It didn’t. It only got worse and when we came back, it took months to find employment at even the most basic of levels. Holding two college degrees, there were zero avenues for me in terms of degree related jobs and every time I applied for nearly any type of basic labor, I got the overqualified speech. If it weren’t for friends and family, perhaps I’d still be unemployed unto this day.
Yes, I was naive back then and perhaps a little too optimistic. Either way, the economy’s still shit, however, I am one of the lucky, I am employed (at the most basic of levels and near minimum wage, great for repaying student loans).
To continue on, as things became worse and worse, with regard to our economy and the relationship between our government and corporations, as we became poorer and poorer, we saw the fruition of the #OCCUPY movement. A culmination of people’s denigrated, disenfranchised and desperate. Naturally, I became involved.
Weathering the cold with a cold, we stood for an ideal and ideal world. We became strong when cheered and even stronger when jeered when the now and then (nearly 1 out of every 100) car would pass us by, “GET A JOB ASSHOLES!” Herein lies the other argument made by #OCCUPY, my condition, not the “no jobs” argument, but “too many jobs,” to barely keep our heads above the water argument. To those of you riding by, to you Rush “dipshit” Limbaugh, I do work and I do pay taxes. I work three jobs alongside my wife’s two jobs and we can barely keep up with the expenses. We live frugally, but student loan repayments, medical costs and the increasing costs of goods needed to sustain one’s lives parallel to zero wage increases, no cost of living adjustment and zero to lacking benefits is strangling us alongside a great many other Americans. Equality among the people cannot be maintained considering the contemporary modus operandi evolved within our shared America – the newer land of not freedom, but rampant corporate greed and an every growing class of cheap and cheapened labor.
Say what you will about the 99% Rush, but just remember that when the 99% falls unto complete starvation, we’ll use whatever means that we can to eat! As for the 1 in 100 cars, the “GET A JOB!” crowd, when the storm comes to your door and when your coffers run dry, we’ll be here to welcome you not with insult, but with open arms and solidarity. Let’s just pray the we, the 99%, can accomplish our goals prior to you falling unto the circumstances that we have.
“So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
– Sun Tzu, Ancient Chinese philosopher and tactician.
So what’s this all about? Well, I’d argue that most of us know that it’s that very 1% that have led our shared American economy and society to precipice it now resides upon (one could also argue that we’ve since gone over the edge). We know that this has been accomplished by a great many money-making schemes and mechanisms, schemes like the decision reached in Citizens United v. F.E.C. in combination with campaign financing, the removal of the Glass-Steagall act, insider trading, derivatives manipulation and so on (you all get the idea). On a very quick side-note, for those of you holding signs like “End the Fed,” please know what the Federal Reserve is (and no, it’s not part of the Federal Government). The media always seems to discover the individuals who understand the least…brothers and sisters, get educated!
Back to knowing your enemy via our morsel from Sun Tzu atop. We understand the modes of calamity, the class-war we now find ourselves entrenched in. But most of us lack a personal impression, or im-personable impression of the “enemy,” those that flourish in greed, money and a complete lack in concern for others. In order to defeat said enemy, keep in mind that they declared “war,” first, we need to know how they think, how they eat, how they spend their free time and most importantly, how “they” really feel about us. Here’s a taste –
These were the leaflets first dropped on #OCCUPY Chicago about a week or two ago. Pretty simple and rather bold…”we pay for everything, and you owe us!” As if, Wall Street, as if. Who are you kidding? They say that when one lies enough, they begin to believe the lie. That may be the case here.
This however was not enough for them. Apparently Wall Street believed that they needed something more, something with a little more substance. Thus we we’re granted the “rain” once more, another paper from the sky (and not very eco-friendly might I add, not that they’ve ever given a shit about the environment) –
It reads –
We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.
Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.
Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work until 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.
For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime, and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.
So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.
The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.
We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?”
This is who we’re dealing with my friends. We must know this, breathe this, eat this and solidify our foundations against this. As to the content, their assertions our questionable and I could refute them on a great many points (the “overqualified” clause being one of many, if I’ve had trouble getting hired, then you can bet your ass that they will too seeing that they are so much more our “superior”), but I’m not going to. The purpose of this “transmission” is to provide you, the reader with how they, the 1%, view us, what they think of us…we’re nothing but commodities to them, we’re objects and far from attaining real person-hood in their eyes. Their precious corporations are more “people,” than you and I (see Citizens United v. F.E.C.).
At the end of the day this is what matters most – When you get tired, when you think it’s time to pack it up, if and when you want to give up, read this leaflet and find that second, third, fourth, even tenth wind, remain vigilant. Because should we not, their final threat (from the leaflet) may come into fruition, they will survive, and we won’t. Doubt it, but it’s just a thought. Stand strong!
Hang in there my friends and keep up the good work!
Seriously Mark, where do you hire these guys from! I know, I get it, you’re about as sharp as a bowling ball and the audience you cater to is not much better. But if you’re so damned tough, so damned smart and such a great investigative journalist, we don’t we have ourselves a little debate…let me know and I’ll pencil you in.
And for those of you who don’t know, this man cannot get over referring to the #OCCUPY movement as being nothing more than a bunch of anti-Semites among a great many other insults. It has been documented time and again (though said documentation seems to evade Levin’s superior investigative skills) that the #OCCUPY movement is about inclusiveness should you not be a millionaire or billionaire. Yes, antisemitism is bound to rear it’s ugly head at events like this (much akin to white supremacists showing up at Tea Party events) but the #OCCUPY movement does NOT condone their message! Get it through that big ol’ head of yours Levin!