Archive for October, 2011

Occupy the Globe

by , posted on Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading beyond U.S. borders. I saw a few references to Canadian occupy events earlier this week, but this morning I saw this story on CNN.

It includes references to Occupy events – some of them long-term occupations, some planned as solidarity marches on October 15 – in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth in Australia, London, Hong Kong, Beunos Aires, Madrid, Dublin, unspecified city/cities in Italy. And that’s just in this story.

I can’t find a reference to global events specifically on the Occupy Together website, but could be I’m just missing it. They do say on their website today that there are now Occupy meetups in 890 cities.



Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: “the banner Progressive district of the United States”

by , posted on Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Aurora, Ill.—Representative Ira C. Copley,

president of the Western United Gas and Electic Co., and director of the Rotary Meter Co., who represents in Congress what is said to be the banner Progressive district of the United States, is making a good campaign for re-election. Two years ago Mr. Copley got a plurality of more than 11,000 votes.

The Gas Age, September 1, 1914, p. 251.


#OccupyChi, The Energy, The Challenges and The Saboteur

by , posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 9:26 am

So I went to Occupy Chicago yesterday. My company has an office just about a few blocks from what Occupy Chicago is referring to as HQ (Outside the Chicago Board of Trade and the Fed on Jackson and LaSalle), so I worked there yesterday instead of in my standard office, making it easier for me to join them that evening. I could barely focus on work that day, I was so excited.

I spent the bulk of my work day squeezing work in between periods of checking the Occupy Wall St and Chicago Facebooks and websites. It was maddening to try to follow the very sporadic and uninformative updates from Occupy Chicago. There was no information on where they were, how many they were or what they were doing for most of the day. I saw in the comments a woman say there were only 4 people who were there when she drove past.

I was worried I was wasting my time.

Then I saw this on these very same interwebs.

I decided standing up to the 1 percent (those fuckers) would never be a waste of time. So I went (and left work an hour earlier than I honestly should have) and don’t regret a moment of it.

So here is my first hand perspective and play by play, including my account of the saboteur, pics, some helpful links, etc.



Memo to the #Occupied Movement (A Post Growth Economy)

by , posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Cross-posted from the website of the Post-Carbon Institute.

Here’s a fact that’s hard for most Americans to swallow: economic growth is over. Given the finite nature of our planet and its resources, the recent trend of global economic expansion was destined to end. No stimulus package or slashing of social programs is going to flip the economy back to an expansionary trajectory. We’ve hit the proverbial wall, and this will be the defining reality of our lives from now on.

The growth-seeking political-economic system has failed us. Today that system is dominated by Wall Street. “Goldman Sachs rules the world,” trader Alessio Rastani told us in a now-viral BBC interview. I met people like Rastani in researching my book, The End of Growth. At one lavish conference, 800 global investors packed a hotel ballroom to consider climate change. There was no talk of how to avert or mitigate floods and droughts. Instead, the discussion focused on profiting from warming with — no joke — weather derivatives. These folks were just doing their job, despite any private feelings of concern, remorse, or dread. And each was getting paid enough to single-handedly fund a midsize school district.



Occupy Chicago

by , posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 11:09 am

I’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street movement for only about the last two weeks or so. While that’s admittedly a long time in their brief history I have to admit I spent much of it shaking my head at their lack of organization or indeed any clear articulation of what it is exactly that they are protesting. I thought the generalized messiness of it meant it was doomed to end “not with a bang but a whimper.”

I’ve changed my mind.

To me, it’s starting to have the feel a movement that has staying power. And I don’t think that’s least because they managed to get 700 people arrested in one day on the Brooklyn Bridge – but I’ll get back to that, because I think it may hold a lesson for the organizers of Occupy Chicago and this post is dedicated to them.

But first I want to get back to the two main reasons I initially conciously discounted this movement: disorganization and lack of clearly stated mission. And I want to acknowledge and address what I am now beginning to suspect was an unconscious objection: the youth and inexperience of those involved in this movement.