Posts tagged ‘99%’

The Great Opportunity Rip Off

by , posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I am a first generation American. My father was born in 1918 on a small island off the coast of Norway. He never finished high school. I grew up poor in the middle of a wealthy area of the Chicago suburbs dreaming about going to college with no financial ability to do so. I saw education as a way to climb out of our poverty and a sure ticket into the middle class.

I was taught that America is the land of opportunity and all I had to do was work for it. And so I did.

I worked two part-time jobs to fund my first year of college. Then I got married and 3 children intervened. When I was set to return to school, Reagan had just taken office and access to loans and grants had all but dried up. And so, without knowing anything about non-violent direct civil action, I did my first act of non-violent direct civil action.



Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto”

by , posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

from Democracy NOw! – The latest census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty — or could be classified as low income. We’re joined by Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who continue their efforts to spark a national dialogue on the poverty crisis with the new book, “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.” Smiley, an award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, says President Obama has failed to properly tackle poverty. “There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in Washington that the poor just don’t matter. President Obama is a part of that,” Smiley says. “I take nothing away from his push on healthcare, but jobs for every American should have been priority number one.” West, a professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University, says that after the historic U.S. struggles against monarchy, slavery and institutionalized racism, “the issue today is oligarchy. Poverty is the new slavery, oligarchs are the new kings — the new heads of this structure of domination.”

The second part of this discussion can be seen here.


Occupy Aurora action, January 21, 2012

by , posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 12:23 pm


Has the Economic Crisis and Broken Political System Created Room for Justice?

by , posted on Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

As corporate ideologues continue to dominate Republican Party primaries and Democrats continue to ignore or brow-beat their base while pushing policies that benefit the wealthy and powerful, many activists and voters are wondering how to restore democracy for the 99%.

Some favor street activism like the Occupy Movement, while others turn to on-line activism like petition signing and blogging.  These efforts are worthwhile and represent the birth pains of democracy, but elections matter.  Until politicians fear losing their seats, or lose their seats, the 1% will continue to write the laws that the majority of us will dutifully obey those laws.  Politically, I have always tried to use my time to work within the Democratic Party to get “better Democrats,” but, as clearly illustrated by the 2010 shellacking, many working people rewarded mediocrity with apathy; choosing not to vote for the lesser of two evils.  How would these people respond to something new?



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.