Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 4:51 am
(Photo by Adam Lempel)
As I documented over a week ago, this was coming. The corporate elites have been gearing up to crush Occupy Wall Street. They wanted to take the battle right to the heart of the revolution, in Liberty Square. They launched a propaganda blitz, transformed Lower Manhattan into a sphere ruled by martial law, and then subverted the legal system to support their crimes. And their propaganda is so powerful that many people, even those who should know better, actually side with the state. Anyone who stands on the sidelines now is complicit. If you permit the corporate state to get away with destroying the First Amendment you deserve what you will get.
I wasn’t on Wall Street Monday night. I was out of the city and couldn’t return in time. My friend through Occupy Wall Street, Priya, was there. I read her text right before I went to sleep—“OWS raided now!!!!!” I called her first thing in the morning. She was hysterical. “It was horrible,” she said. “They just came in, destroyed all the tents, beat people up, sprayed people with pepper spray. They destroyed everyone’s property and threw the books from our library into dump trucks.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, even though I should have been prepared.
“Sorry,” sobbing, “but this is just very emotional for me. This was like home. This was a spiritual center, a community. And now everything’s gone. It’s all gone. So many people have nowhere to go.” Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Unless you have the right friends in government (photo by Adam Lempel):
It’s fitting that former mayor Giuliani, himself one of the elites responsible for America’s decline and the explosion of crony capitalism, would denounce Occupy Wall Street as consisting of lazy hippies. His accusations are false, exposing his embarrassing ignorance about the plight of ordinary Americans today, and he conveniently omits any talk of his own criminal efforts to enrich himself and his friends through government.
The first thing to be said is that nearly everyone I’ve met at Occupy Wall Street has a job, albeit one that is very much beneath their qualifications, leaving them grossly underpaid and lacking benefits. And those who are unemployed are not so by choice. One friend I’ve made, Max, is a carpenter. He’s extremely smart, educated and articulate. But he doesn’t make much money and has a liver condition which will kill him within the next decade or so if he fails to get surgery. Of course he can’t get that surgery in America, thanks to our corporate health care system. He will have to eventually move to Costa Rica, which has superior health care even though it’s a poor country, or die. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 7:10 pm
The People v. Goldman Sachs, a personal account (photo by Adam Lempel):
What a day. It started with a hearing at Liberty Square—the people vs. Goldman Sachs. Victims came to tell of the suffering they have endured at the hands of this criminal firm. And after the verdict was reached, the victims were arrested while the guilty were protected by the police. Hours later, I found that the New York Post is calling for further arrests and an end to free speech, part of a broader misinformation blitz launched by the mass media intended to set the stage for the state to break up Occupy Wall Street.
One woman came to the mock trial at Liberty Square to express her grievances over how Goldman Sachs has ruined her life. The organization she works for had invested money in Goldman, and most of it got wiped out by the sub-prime mortgage bubble. She has seen her paycheck, which had already been paltry, cut in half, and it will likely evaporate entirely in a few months because of Goldman’s fraud—the firm played both sides of the game by packaging worthless mortgages as collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and selling them to pension funds, banks and other institutions under the guise that they were secure all the while betting against these very securities through credit default swaps (CDS). As Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibi reports, they knew they were selling shit, and “Goldman’s mortgage department accounted for 54 percent of the bank’s risk.” The object was to maximize profits at everyone else’s expense. And they wiped out millions of people, from small investors to pensioners to ordinary workers. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, October 31st, 2011 at 9:26 pm
Feel the moment, forget about where this is heading (photo by Adam Lempel):
It doesn’t matter if Occupy Wall Street brings no practical changes to the world. It doesn’t matter if it fails to halt the onslaught of global corporate capitalism. If humanity does indeed annihilate itself through nuclear holocaust or climate collapse or the next boom-bust cycle—which will likely be even bigger and worse than the sub-prime mortgage crisis, as power is now more concentrated than before— we’ll at least know that we spoke the truth when it mattered. That we took a stand for what was right. Even against all odds. Even in the face of ridicule and state sanctioned brutality.
We live in a world ruled not by Orwell’s Big Brother, but by the forces of “free markets,” a euphemism right out of 1984’s Ministry of Truth, a misnomer in a sea of big lies pushed by the corporate state. For it is not a world of genuinely free markets described by Adam Smith that today’s corporate capitalists have imposed on the world. It is the antithesis. It is a system of concentrated power, carefully crafted to enrich the privileged few beyond comprehension, at everyone else’s expense. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 6:13 pm
A New Low for the New York Post (photo by Adam Lempel):
If you’re interested in knowing exactly what the elites running this country want you to think about Occupy Wall Street, pay attention to what the right wing propaganda machine has to say. Unlike the “liberal media” outlets, which are also owned by the six corporations that control the mass media and are far more sophisticated forms of propaganda—whereas during the first few weeks they either ignored or ridiculed us they now have to pretend they sympathize with Occupy Wall Street or risk becoming irrelevant— the right wing functions as the overt face of the corporate state. A classic illustration of this is last Wednesday’s front page piece by The New York Post, which portrays Occupy Wall Street protestors as spoiled hypocrites.
It should come as no surprise that The New York Post would stoop to this level, Rupert Murdoch media outlet that it is. But even I was shocked by the disgusting front-page headline on last Wednesday’s edition: “Whine and Dine, Protestors Eat Like Kings,” accompanied by a picture of a fancy looking menu. The article goes on to describe us as a “mob… enjoying rich diet” and “grimy protesters” who are “stuffed into the now-smelly Zuccotti Park.” Read the rest of this entry