Author Topic: Occupy Wall St  (Read 4407 times)

DisorderlyConductor

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Occupy Wall St
« on: October 06, 2011, 02:49:19 AM »
So I'm sure that by now, the news of the Occupy Wall St. movement has at some point made its way across your screen (especially those of you who also use reddit).

I'm curious what your thoughts are. I've always identified myself as an anti-capitalist because I'm disgusted with the way I perceive how this system works; the wealthy and well connected maintaining their status by breaking the backs of the vast majority of people. I watched as my parents struggled mightily to maintain the standard of a middle class household while falling deeper and deeper into debt. It's why I became a political activist, to add my efforts to elect working class candidates with the hope that one day, there will be enough changes in the system that I feel a sense of hope about the future (here in Ontario, the current General Election ends at 9:00pm EST. I have three blisters on my right foot.)

But what does everyone else think about this?

All I know is that I'm excited. I'm not really hopeful, after watching G20 I'm expecting severe shows of force from police with the blessing of government. Sadly, I haven't been disappointed thus far. That said, I've reached a point where I'm actually looking forward to getting beat up by a cop when I go to Toronto on the 15th for a solidarity protest.


But I'm trying to get another perspective, maybe from someone who has something to lose. I know I sure as hell don't.

random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 07:35:06 AM »
I don't have that much to lose.  I don't have that much in the first place.  :shrug:

The problem nowadays is that most of the protesters don't seem to have any idea of how to conduct a protest.  The ones who get the most attention (for various reasons) are generally not the ones who have a coherent message.  It's way too easy for the protest to be characterized as mostly a bunch of bored malcontents.

The banks have certainly earned protests and sanctions, along with their record profits.  But so far, I don't think the protests are doing them much harm, although the protests are doing some to make the NYPD look bad.

Talix

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 09:18:08 AM »
I love that unionized workers are showing up to support the effort.  From the NPR blog The Two Way:

From the Occupy Wall Street site, here's a partial list of the union groups that announced their support Wednesday:

AFL-CIO (AFSCME)
United NY
Strong Economy for All Coalition
Working Families Party
TWU Local 100
SEIU 1199
CWA 1109
RWDSU
Communications Workers of America
CWA Local 1180
United Auto Workers
United Federation of Teachers
Professional Staff Congress - CUNY
National Nurses United
Writers Guild East
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 09:19:52 AM by Talix »
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random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 09:47:33 AM »
Quote
I love that unionized workers are showing up to support the effort.

Seconded, for a whole variety of reasons.  For one thing, union protests usually have organizers.  This isn't the 60s, and unless you're specifically protesting against the police, antagonizing the police is the surest way to have your protest shut down and marginalized.

mybabysmomma

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 10:37:53 AM »
I think that it's wrong and a mistake to call them protesters. Something about that word takes away from what is being done IMHO.  They are more a movement (as in toward a more just society) as opposed to a protest against.  Although they are very much against I think the focus should be on the movement forward and away from.   Have any of you read the "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City" yet? 
I need this done ASAP, or whenever you can get around to it.  Tomorrow is fine.

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random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 11:40:48 AM »
Well . . . they really don't seem unified.  It's more like a couple hundred movements that are more or less going in similar directions.

I scanned the Declaration, and it's . . . its heart is mostly in the right place.  It's too fuzzy to be taken too seriously as a manifesto, though.  It's more a summary of grievances, and the General Assembly doesn't speak for everyone out there.  The protest was actually started by some Canadian group that specifically wants to stop corporate donations to politicians, if I remember correctly.

As I often say, corporations exist for very specific reasons, to do very specific things that they're designed very specifically to be very good at.  But that's it.  Corporations are not designed to be ethical, or even legal, or to promote any kind of general welfare -- quite the opposite, they're intended to promote their own welfare over that of any other entity, commensal corporate relationships aside.

It's society's duty and best interest to regulate corporations.  It's not sensible to expect them to regulate themselves, and it's just childish to expect them to be automatically regulated through some mysterious arrangement of environmental conditions ('market forces', etc).  A corporation is like a fire.  It has its uses, but if you're not in control of it, it's going to ruin you.  Expecting it to simply behave itself, or to respond to a lecture . . . that is not an adult attitude.

As far as I can tell, the major effect the protests on Wall Street have had so far is to increase corporate donations to the NYPD, which is pretty ominous.  I'm not saying it's an inherently bad protest, but the target has to be politicians and the public.  If you're pissing off the public, you're working against yourself.  Your protest has to always make the corporations look much worse than it makes you look.  So far, they've mostly made the NYPD look bad.

I totally sympathize with them, but even with Michael Moore and yadda yadda, they're not getting it done yet.  Still, the addition of the union protesters is like China getting directly involved in the Korean War.  It could make a huge difference.

pdrake

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 11:51:19 AM »
this encompasses my feelings on the whole affair.

you'd be surprised how much a nutsack can stretch. you have to stretch it yourself, not a woman. they don't do it quite right.

random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 12:07:50 PM »
:lol:

Well, presentation matters, and you have to consider your audience.

Still, the news people will interview the people they think will generate the most interest on TV (and the web).  A competent attention whore will beat a reasonable and articulate person almost every time.

This is why the funny but sharp protest signs are one of the best tools nowadays.

stormneedle

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 02:10:59 PM »
I haven't been trying to parse what they're doing. It's too complex for the media to cover with soundbites (and what is simple enough to cover that way isn't really newsworthy), but that means I have to dig and dig to figure out what they're trying to accomplish. I've tried when I was younger and always got annoyed, so I've been conditioned not to bother anymore. (Pain doesn't teach me, but annoyance does - go figure.)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 02:27:19 PM by stormneedle »
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random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 05:10:50 PM »
Quote
(Pain doesn't teach me, but annoyance does - go figure.)

:hmm:

There is a great human truth here.

Psidefect

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2011, 07:33:03 PM »
Quote
(Pain doesn't teach me, but annoyance does - go figure.)

:hmm:

There is a great human truth here.

Now all we have to do is figure out how to use it to create a more just society.

One could argue that the entire point of these kinds of protests is to do just that (use annoyance over pain), but there must be a more effective way. :hmm:
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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 10:27:05 PM »
Who has time to follow this sort of stuff?  I'm too busy providing slave labor for my corporate overlords.  I'll be working well into the night and probably all weekend.  :stbm
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random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2011, 05:03:07 AM »
That is too much for them to ask, man.  If this was the first time, and it was a surprise to them that it was necessary, well, OK.  But it sounds like it's time they hired you more assistants.

mybabysmomma

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2011, 07:49:53 AM »
That is too much for them to ask, man.  If this was the first time, and it was a surprise to them that it was necessary, well, OK.  But it sounds like it's time they hired you more assistants.

Hiring more assistants cuts into profits and bonuses.
I need this done ASAP, or whenever you can get around to it.  Tomorrow is fine.

Axe, he hates EVERYTHING

random axe

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Re: Occupy Wall St
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2011, 08:04:49 AM »
Well, I'm sure that's how management generally sees these things, of course, but it's actually only true if management is incompetent.  Odds are that the organization doesn't currently achieve maximum productivity and earn every dollar that it could, so adding work capacity would only reduce earnings if management can't manage that capacity.