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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:47 PM
Original message
The Other One Percent

On the morning of October 25, police from nearly twenty law enforcement agencies descended upon the Occupy Oakland encampment located outside city hall. They removed its occupants using chemical weapons, and arrested nearly 100 people before destroying the encampment. The mayor of Oakland lauded the police raid while SWAT and riot police occupied the city. Workers had to show ID to get to their jobs. Later that evening over a thousand people marched through the streets to protest the mornings police action and attempted to retake the plaza. Images circulated around the world showed police repeatedly using chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and flash grenades against the march. The crowd only seemed to swell. The next night, thousand retook to the street, overcame the plaza and during a general assembly, reached consensus to organize a general strike on November 2nd.

While October 25ths violence was a grim if not surprising reminder of how those in power perpetuate, manage, and respond to social and economic crisis, so too is it a reminder of the adage, repression breeds resistance. As people working to abolish the prison industrial complex (PIC), we are eager to relate to the dynamism of the occupations and to act at the intersections of economic and social devastation, state violence, and peoples resistance. We take up the call of our comrades from Cairo to let the boundaries of occupations grow and to build larger and larger networks.

Over the past two months, thousands of people have been thinking about, talking about and mobilizing around gross inequity between the 1% and the 99%. The last thirty years has led to unprecedented concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the 1% as well as the creation of another 1%: the 1 in 100 people currently locked in US prisons and jails. Examining the connections between these two polarized ends of the US economy helps us understand why resistance to the PIC points a way forward toward building participatory and democratic economies centered on strong, stable, and healthy national, regional, and local communities.

Between 1979 and 2007, the nations highest earners saw their household income triple, while during the same period the prison population increased from 500,000 to 2.3 million, not including juvenile and immigrant detentions. In 2011, with 1% of the US population controlling 40% of the wealth, 7.2 million adults or 3.1% of the population, mostly poor and of colorare under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison). Federal, state, and local budgets for imprisonment, surveillance, and policing have exploded while austerity budgets driven by the elite 1% have forced brutal cuts with the claims that governments cannot afford to fund education, healthcare, housing, transportation, infrastructure, community centers, and other life-affirming projects. How did the rich get so rich, and poor get so arrested?

More at the link --
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. A Grim assessment of the Forces arrayed against us.
This won't be easy.

However, I am hopeful.
Many countries in Latin America have successfully taken their governments BACK from the 1%.
They have accomplished nothing short of near bloodless revolutions.

You won't hear about the successes of the 99% in Latin America on the US media,
or from our politicians of either party who work to protect the Status Quo.
The 1%, their Mouthpieces in the Media, and their bought Politicians WILL do their BEST
to DEMONIZE & CONDEMN these many victories of the 99% in Central/South America.

"The worst enemy of humanity is U.S. capitalism. That is what provokes uprisings like our own, a rebellion against a system, against a neoliberal model, which is the representation of a savage capitalism. If the entire world doesn't acknowledge this reality, that nation states are not providing even minimally for health, education and nourishment, then each day the most fundamental human rights are being violated."
----Bolivian Reform President Evo Morales

FDR said much the same thing in 1944 with his Economic Bill of Rights,
but FDR and THAT "Democratic Party" are LONG dead,
killed and co-opted by the DLC and "Centrism" in the late 80s.

So, we have a lot of work to do,
but hold on to hope.
The 99% have many REAL successes in Latin America.
Our neighbors have Lighted the Way,
and given us the Blue Print.
ALL we need is the WILL and Fortitude to Follow Through.
Find the Common Ground,
and spread the WORD among the Working Class & The Poor.
WE outnumber THEM by 99%.

VIVA Democracy!
I pray we get some here SOON!


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MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. What strikes me there
Is that Morales says the enemy is U.S. capitalism.

The rest of the world is rising up and fighting too, but here - we are taking it on at the source. I'm not sure how it can be bloodless here. Already, two vets have been hospitalized. We've seen pictures of wounds from rubber bullets and beanbag rounds.

I honestly can't predict how it's going to go. On one hand, I really think the majority of our military and veterans are with us, and also perhaps a great number of our police. On the other hand, the 1% would have no qualms about using drones on Occupy camps if they become big enough and threaten their power enough. Also - Blackwater/Xe/whatever would not be on our side and would do the same thing to Americans that they do to Iraqis.

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