Tag Archives: occupy chicago

NRA Absurdists and Gun Proliferation in America: time to debate the Ninja Amendment?

This Sunday from 8-9am, Our Town and Revolution and Beer on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT invite you to join us for the first real and honest debate on reasonable gun control, the Second Amendment and the proliferation of guns since the Newtown tragedy. Many are calling this issue a mental health issue and not a gun issue. On both the Left and the Right the rhetoric around the mental health issue has taken a dangerous, wrong-headed, uninformed and regressive tone. The debate over guns in general has taken a decidedly perverse turn.

In fact, within a week of the Newtown tragedy, the NRA’s long awaited statement, following an unusually long silence, was in a word, absurdist. Their answer to the tragedy was not reasonable gun legislation, or even reasonable gun debate and responsibility. The NRA, instead, as a way of prevention for the next Newtown or Columbine was more guns, forcibly armed and trained school teachers, or roving gun-toting guards for every one of the nations 138,900 schools. Militarize the schools!

It is an easy sell to a knee-jerk trained populace, particularly on the Right.A trained man with a gun would certainly have a deterrent effect on a would-be gunmen intent on mayhem, right? But the money-changing marketing on the Right, like the effort by the gun-lobby and the NRA to use these stories as a way to accumulate cash through fear, is flimsy at best. That’s why they have to shout at you, or cajole you through fear and hysteria or false sincerity constantly through the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs or Mike Gallaghers in the media. That’s why they have consolidated and dominated fully their concentrated and fully one-sided message in the media. Drive, as I have done many times,through the south and you will be shocked at the proliferation of pro-Rightwing propaganda, and the absolute desert of unfiltered information.

But under any reasonable thought their absurdist ramblings of the Right and the NRA fall apart quickly. For example, who will pay for the 400,000 sainted and trusted armed guards for our schools who will be necessary to guard multiple entrances, recess, open and large campuses and the fat target of would-be gunmen of masses of kids going to and from buses? Or do we require all kids entering and leaving school straight to secured vehicles to serpentine to cover? All of those armed guards will need sick days, vacation days, mandated lunches and breaks, right? Who will pay that enormous bill? More taxes? Is the Right and NRA now arguing for greater taxation? What would the tea party say?

First and foremost, the ultimate flaw in logic with the gun pimps and absurdists deals with the gunmen themselves. Not a single school gunman has been stopped or brought down by police or anyone else with a gun. They usually kill themselves, or occasionally surrender. Always the would-be gunman comes prepared to shoot, often with greater firepower, more ammunition and body armor, whereas those who may confront them are always reacting.

Perhaps then we’ll simply engender an army of volunteers. Who will oversee and screen them? What if they don’t want to volunteer anymore or one day? Do we use the unemployed as free labor? How will they look for work on school/business days? Or maybe we arm teachers. Would we then require teachers to be armed? As part of teaching degrees would they be mandated to take firearms classes, and pack a weapon to every school and every class on everyday? I could make a joke about how well-behaved classes would suddenly become, but is that the reality and environment we want our children to learn in? Talk about a loss of innocence! 20 children died at Newtown. Does the arming of every school in America now victimize its 55 milliom-that’s million students? http://www.edreform.com/2012/04/k-12-facts/

So, in keeping with that, or in keeping up with the absurdity on the Right, I am proposing what I believe to be an equally workable, and perhaps even more practical solution to the gun issue: 900poundgorilla and Revolution and Beer propose THE NINJA AMENDMENT for school safety?ShinobiNoMono

Ninja’s are all privately funded, apparently. Never have I been at a job and said, “Hey Bob, what are you doing for the weekend?” only to hear, “I’m a part-time Ninja on the weekend.” So, it would seem, there would be no liability to taxpayers. A guard with a gun is also very apparent walking the halls of our schools, whereas a Ninja would drop unseen from a ceiling, burst from a locker or spring from a trash can above, behind or beside the gunman. A gunman could likely hear return gunfire and concentrate his heavier weaponry in hallways or stairwells with little or no cover. A swarm of silent Ninja stars could drop an assailant in the blink of an eye. And there are never costly funerals for Ninjas. Ninjas take care of their own. You’ll never hear a tearful relative at a ceremony lament, “I told Dave this whole Ninja life-style would catch up with him one day, but he just wouldn’t listen.”

Share this with friends, and ask them to send this post to your Congressman and Senator in Washington, the NRA, President Obama and Vice President with a respectful demand to sponsor the Ninja Amendment if they insist on the absurdist course Washington, the Media and the NRA are currently on with regards to guns and our children.

Contact the NRA: https://contact.nra.org/contact-us.aspx, and call, 1-800-672-3888

Contact your House Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Contact your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Email President Obama here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/fellows/contact

Contact Vice President Biden: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact-vp

Stay tuned for the exact wording for the proposed NINJA AMENDMENT.ninjacatva11

Listen to 900poundgorilla every Sunday morning 8-9 on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT am820 and streaming live worldwide for the Revolution and Beer show only on Our Town with Mike Sanders.
Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook  at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., http://www.glunzbeers.com. And check out their fine beer glasswear selections  at the “Beerables” link  at the bottom of their page. 

Gender and Revolution: The World from the Outside

I grew up in small towns in the 60s and 70s. There were four types of people. There were boys and girls, which could then be safely and neatly subdivided down into kids and adults. You were a kid until the age of 16, when you could legally drive and hold a part-time job. From 16 to 18, you were kid-ish, until the time you could order a beer, vote and join the military. From that magic stroke of midnight on your eighteenth birthday, a literal blink of an eye, where only a second before midnight you were legally a child, you became an adult.

Somewhere, during those seemingly formative and all too confusing and frustrating adolescent and teen years we take agency in the further sub-divisions of the assumed realities of our lives and our world; Race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexuality, gender.

Where, as young children we were cloaked in the paradigms of our parents, or the principle adults in our lives, we begin to fashion or challenge those paradigms to fit our perception of reality. We either reject, redefine or redouble those assumptions and paradigms. No small part of that is the rigidity of culture and society, channeling us into a larger paradigm. The constructs of culture and society provides necessary structure, but it can also be a trap. And whether you are an ardent defender of the unwaivering status quo or a radical revolutionary we struggle against  our own innately limited perspectives.

I am no different. I have, and continue to struggle with my own perspective of the world. I do battle daily with assumptions and prejudices that seem to out-pace my desire for better perspective and understanding. In my defense, I have learn to stop mid-judgment and scrutinize my ignorance, tearing  at issues from every conceivable angle, often out loud in the car driving my wife to work in the morning before she has had her coffee.

“How are you that awake?” she frowns. “I can’t think until I’ve had my coffee.” 

On tomorrow’s show our guest will be Rebecca Kling, a trans-gender woman, whose autobiographical book, No Gender Left Behind, http://www.rebeccakling.com/ is one of the bravest and most honest books I’ve read. Our show is called Revolution…Revolution and Beer. But what do the experiences of  a trans-gendered woman have to do with community activism and revolution? It is a valid question, at least within the narrowest constructs and assumptions of society and gender.

First, revolution, at least the positive revolution that preserves and defends individual human rights and dignity, in a sustainable system is not possible without properly enfranchising and including all people in that communal definition of freedom and dignity. And second, no innovative and lasting change is possible without gaining the power to intelligently and sensitively deconstruct the conventions, assumptions and constructs of society, religion, economics, sexuality and gender.

Rebecca is a dear friend, and we have worked together in the theater, but I have lots of friends, all of them far more brilliant than I, but I don’t have all of them on the show. I found something critically important both within and behind Rebecca’s story that I thought merited a greater discussion. That is that gender is fundamental to each person’s identity. The scope and temper of that identity is profoundly imposed by society around us, but also from within us. All too often people stop at their own perspective on gender as defined by their individual reality, and the influence of society around them. The essence of positive change and lasting dignity-based revolution is about shattering all of that.

Reality is a potentially dangerous trap. Whose reality is being defined, and from what perspective? Philosophically there may be absolute realities, but we may never, as sovereign and autonomous, and separated beings, ever truly comprehend absolute realities. Our reality is our own, and ends at the limits of our bodies. It is when we recognize that limitation, and accept the perception of reality for others that we begin to collect shared realities. And that, I hold firmly is the cornerstone of a truly dignity-centered community, and the beginning point for lasting and a sustainable peaceful and positive revolution that humanity so badly needs right now.  

Catch 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck with Brian Murray and the whole Our Town gang every Sunday 8-9am on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCTP during the Revolution and Beer segment, and find out more about all of the great craft Beers we feature by googling Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. Like us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer, or subscribe for free to 900poundgorilla.wordpress.com.



Southside Immigrant Family facing critical health catastrophe over inaccessibility to health care needs your help: Press Conference today

 Our lady of Guadalupe Anglican mission is calling a press conference to ask the community for support on behalf of Mr. Luis Alberto Salmeron who is facing a mortal health situation. Fr. Jose S. Landaverde will appeal  to the community on behalf of Mr. Salmeron, and all undocumented immigrants struggling with inaccessibility to proper and basic health care in the United States today January 11, 2015 at 11: AM at 3442 W. 26 street in Chicago, Illinois. 

Mr. Salmeron is 28 years old and is asking for support to finance a trip back home to Acapulco, Mexico. He does not have family in the United States. At the press conference we will also give an update about the other people who are waiting for transplants. We are calling the community to be in solidarity with those who need transplants as well as Mr. Cameron who is facing a deadly health situation.



WHEN: January 3, 2013, 12:30 P.M.


Father, Jose Landaverde from Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Mission wants to know why the U.S. President, Mr. Barak Obama can have a new law for “Hardship Waivers” to by pass congress and reduce the stay of immigrants who are forced to return to their countries of origin for U.S Citizens who have immigrant family members who have been deported to reduce the time for immigrant visa reapplication to as little as a week in some instances for individuals who over stay their visa and are given 3 years before they can apply for a 6 month overstay and 10 years for a one year overstay on their visa application, yet our President does nothing on the deportation of the 11.1 million undocumented which face the same problems and risk of being murdered to save their lives and grant them access via a Moratorium on the deportation.

Are the lives of human beings in the world equal in value or are immigrants worth more to the U.S. government when they are with families of U.S. citizens? What are you doing to be compassionate to human beings throughout the world Mr. President? Are you trying to get foreign born people murdered?
In God’s name we ask that you immediately have a Moratorium on the Deportations to save lives, and reunite families!

Contact: Fr. Jose S. Landaverde 773-512-8015

This post courtesy of the Occpy Chi Press Team

Occupy My Heart anniversary: Which cast member was the FBI mole?

One year ago today the Occupy inspired play, Occupy My Heart: A Revolutionary Christmas Carol, hit the stage for the first in what would be a series of standing room only  shows across Chicago. Amid revelations this week that the FBI gathered extensive intelligence on the Occupy movement, according to formerly secret documents recently obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. The documents clearly show that the FBI gathered and shared intelligence about the movement, which it acknowledged as “peaceful and non-violent” that was then shared with corporations, Wallstreet, banks and media, all groups that w ere clearly and loudly in opposition to Occupy’s demands for reforms, transparency and an end to government corruption and collusion with corporate and banking interests to the detriment of the so-called 99% of the nation un represented, or under-represented. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/12/27/the_fbi_vs_occupy_secret_docs

Despite the increasingly overt violent rhetoric by the Tea Party, a corporate and media invention playing on the  base fears of a predominently male and elderly conservative constituency,  there was no parallel scrutiny by the FBI. Tea Party members regularly showed up at rallies with weapons, including a presidential stop in Arizona by Barack Obama, all implicit threats.

The FBI gathered extensive intell on Occupy movements across the country in a coordinated effort with proxies, local law enforcement and private agencies such as Stratfor to undermine and discredit Occupy. Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, told Democracy Now this week that “there is repeated evidence of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, American intelligence agencies really working as a private intelligence arm for corporations, for Wall Street, for the banks, for the very entities that people were rising up to protest against.” Click the link below to view the documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund: http://www.justiceonline.org/commentary/fbi-files-ows.html#documents

The documents show that the FBI rationalized its actions, by stating that Occupy might “provide an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction.” Interesting that they did not apply that same template to the Tea Party movement, which was openly hostile to the government, and whose rhetoric maintained and built on an underlying threat of violence.

Occupy My Heart, the Occupy inspired play arose from the Chicago movement in November of 2011, drawing its small cast from within the movement. The play made national headlines, filled theaters and generated a radio play on WCPT, Chicago’s progressive Talk radio. The play helped change the national media’s negative narrative about Occupy. Now, in light of these recent revelations, the question arises; which member of the auspicious and talented cast was an FBI mole. As writer and producer of the play, I can confidently exclude myself, failing some Manchurian Candidate scenario. So, I will offer the suspects, and ask the readers to hypothesize which of the cast was a possible FBI infiltrator?

Zachary Johnson-Dunlop: “Josh” in the play, Zach played the banker who is visited three spirits in the play. Over the past year Zach has changed his appearance several times, and has become a vegetarian. Zach is an imposing figure. At first, recalling the outdoor play in Chicago’s Grant Park, I recalled that Dunlop’s suit was wrinkled and a bit tight, something I had trouble imagining any self-respecting FBI man would allow. Does that remove him from suspicion, or was it pure genius for an undercover agent?

Teresa Veramendi: Playing the female lead. Teresa is brilliant. Perhaps too brilliant. She played the part of  a passionate Occupy protester, and Josh’s love interest almost too well. A founding member of “Theater for the Oppressed” in Chicago, could she still be gathering intelligence among the artists and actors she openly associates with?

Timothy Calwell: Tim’s contribution to the play was incredible, helping to bind the cast and production. He played several parts, including the Spirit of Christmas to come, an unemployed worker, homeless man and security guard. Within months of the end of the run, Tim moved to New Orleans. He claims to work for a film company there, but what  a perfect excuse to have a lot of surveillance and camera equipment around. Tim remains, in my book, a  strong candidate for FBI informant.  

Hannah Friedman: Appeared out of no where, offering her amazing talents as director for the show. We met surreptitiously one evening at  coffee shop, as if she did not wish to have too many witnesses around. Throughout the month-long rehearsals Hannah disappeared several times, traveling east to “visit family.” Hannah still directs and produces with the “Theater for the Oppressed” group, as well as other theater efforts. Theater and the arts has always been a breeding ground for subversives. Is Hannah, if that is her real name, a deep mole?

Rebecca Kling: Rebecca delighted audiences playing several characters in the play, a TV producer, Josh’s mother, and Josh’s cruel and heartless boss, as though she was trying extra hrad to gain their trust and favor. The ease with which Rebecca moved between those characters makes her suspect as  a deep mole. She continues doing theater and recently released a new book, “No Gender Left Behind,” available on Amazon. Does that only deepen her undercover profile?  

Donier Tyler: Donier, impassioned and talented as Zach’s floosey girlfriend in the play is in my opinion the least candidate for an FBI mole. She is outspoken on middle east affairs, having travelled there several times. Earlier this year she portrayed another character from my last novel, The Last Man, in a dramatic reading in which she wrested the part of the Black male character in the book and redefined it as a feminist/humanist piece; both which in the released documents the FBI have shown themselves to be opposed to. It might have been the perfect cover.   

Keith Glab: He played a cop in the play, and nailed the part, almost as if it was part of his past. Hmm. He also played the jilted boyfriend to Teresa’s character. Keith lived through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He worked at Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and was the In-stadium operator of a system used to track and locate every pitch thrown in baseball games at Wrigley and US Cellular Field, both perfect covers, and excellent places to pass sensitive intell over to FBI contacts without being detected.

Agnes Otap: A student at the University of Illinois at the time, her parts as the “Corporate” journalist, who becomes disillusioned with the corporate slant on Occupy, and also as the quirky street-kid spirit of Christmas past were  stand-outs. She was quiet and reserved, even nervous before rehearsals, but came alive during her parts. It was almost as if she was two different people. Suspect?

 Write in with your suspect, or like the Revolution and Beer facebook Page for regular updates, and you choice.

Tune in every Sunday 9-0am only on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT for the Revolution and Beer segment as Brian Murray and I sample the beer of the week with the Our Town gang, and run down the grassroots calendar for the week. If you’re tired of talk, talk, talk radio, this is do something radio. Have a beer. Get involved.

Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook  at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., www.glunzbeers.com. And check out their fine beer glasswear selections  at the “Beerables” link  at the bottom of the page.  

With thanks to the good people at Louis Glunz Beer Inc, a family owned business for 125 years in Chicago. Happy Holidays! Visit them @ http://www.glunzbeers.com/Site/SeasonalBeers.aspx?hd=1

Looking for a Christmas Miracle

There is  small but simple group of activists on Chicago’s troubled South Side. You likely have never heard of them, but what they are doing, or attempting to do is nothing short of miraculous. They are called HelpHouseChicagoHomelessPeople https://sites.google.com/site/helphousechicagohomelesspeople/.

I helped get them up and running over the summer. We literally were taking back immorally foreclosed homes in already struggling and blighted neighborhoods from banks. In a bold move, we simply occupied an abandoned foreclosed home, one the bank was content to simply board up and forget or write off as a loss at 6746 South Champlain. I’m told that the previous owner was  an elderly man who died shortly after being evicted. That done, the building was boarded up and forgotten. Taking it back for the homeless, doing badly needed repairs and re-integrating it into the neighborhood, seemed like justice. 

Tom Turner, who runs the 501c3, knows what its like to be homeless. He’s struggled with addiction and other issues before finding his way to Occupy Chicago last year, where he found direction, community and inspiration. When we first went to the house thieves had stolen or smashed all the windows, ripped out pipes, destroyed fixtures and carried away the only hot water heater. Pooling our money, friends helped Tom as much as possible, but it was Tom who worked tirelessly, sometimes going days to afford supplies from his public assistance to make the place livable.

Tom was helping himself  as much as pursuing the dream of helping others struggling and homeless. This was a lifeline for a man of limited lifelines. He thought way out of the box, showing the same initiative, the same drive and vision equal to any Fortune 500 CEO. Down on the street, belabored by all that comes with and from that, fortunes come hard-fought and in much different packages. But Tom and the small but passionate group of HHCHP now have two houses for the homeless. They’ll tell you it is only the beginning. Tom strikes an imposing profile. He’s been in jail, shot and stabbed numerous times, but I’ve spent a lot of time with him, under all sorts of circumstances, and his heart is true and decent.

So, this Christmas Eve, at around one in the afternoon, I will be delivering a Christmas dinner, complete with all the fixings. A good friend at Safari Cup coffee, Dave McLaughlin has already donated 5 pounds of his finest ground. As winter arrives, I’d give most anything for an “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment, as the community comes together to help people truly making a difference, far from the headlines, but closer to the heart.   

So this is what I’m asking, there are a lot of resources needed  to make these abandoned houses livable. Come to see the effort and join in the family you never knew you had and feel as welcome as if you’d been there forever. Is there a truer way to celebrate the season?
Some of the materials they need immediately are:
    – Windows
    – Paint
    – Carpet
    – Wood
    – Drywall
    – PVC Piping
    – An Electric Water Tank/ Radiators
    – Locks

    – Appliances
    – Food
    – Clothes (especially winter clothes and boots)Please contact https://sites.google.com/site/helphousechicagohomelesspeople/donate  if you have any of these supplies that you are willing to donate.

Occupy Rogers Park (ORP), allies to erect memorial and host tribute for record number of Chicago homicide victims: Begins long term action on root causes of the violence.

Date/time: Saturday, December 15, 2012; at 4 p.m.

Location: Lunt Beach, at Lunt Avenue and the lakefront.

~Occupy Rogers Park announces an event to recognize the 496 people killed in Chicago so far this year, to demand action to end the violence, and to inaugurate their own youth initiative.The event will include a display of 496 individual wooden stars, cut to resemble the iconic six pointed stars of the Chicago flag. Upon each star is written the name of one victim of violence, creating a powerful image of the fallen and it’s cost to our communities.

According to Occupy Rogers Park member Kelly Hayes: “Violence and killing affects all of us and degrades our communities, and to address that we must confront the real causes, which disproportionately impact communities of color and the poor…”

Adds another member, Jim Ginderske, “A “war” on drugs and some of the strictest gun control laws in America can’t overcome decades of neglect of education and other core functions of civil society. “

ORP will be joined by the Peace Angels, a mostly volunteer Rogers Park youth engagement group, and by the Overpass Light Brigade who will participate in the event to recognize the fallen. Other groups, including Occupy the South Side and Occupy El Barrio will join in our call for real solutions and peace on our streets. This event will also inaugurate the ORP youth initiative, an organized effort to connect youth to community members and to assist existing service providers in reaching our most vulnerable kids.

Occupy Rogers Park rejects the oversimplified cultural narrative of “gang related” criminality, which has consistently been used as a means of dismissing an epidemic of violence rooted in poverty and oppression. ORP believes that the real drivers of the violence are poverty, segregation, and corruption, and that our other systemic issues are rooted in that deadly combination and it’s confluence here in Chicago. We have more police than any other large city, and very strict gun laws, yet homicide is a nearly daily occurrence in Chicago.

Contact: Jim Ginderske



Pounding a Drum: Chicago teachers come out and Speak up!

Join me on the radio in Chicago,WCPT  am820 at 10am this Saturday. This will be the occupy anniversary, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to commemorate than by giving the microphone to the Chicago Teachers. In the studio will be David Orlikoff and Brian Murray from Occupy Chicago. We’ll be taking your calls, teachers, about the challenges you face in your classroom, and efforts to continually undermine the quality of education in Chicago.

I’d like to get as many teachers on as possible, so have a good hard pitch so we can get as many voices on as possible.

Call in at 773-763-9278. If the strike runs into next week, we’ll do it again the following Saturday.

You have a voice here on Chicago’s only Progressive station. Pass this on, spread the word and be heard!

Burn it down: Occupy and the 2012 Election

As a writer it is imperative not to be beholden or completely devoted to any movement or cause. A writer must maintain some distance, as no other calling will exalt or condemn a writer like the revelations of an enlightened future.  I was passionate about the Occupy movement, and in the ranks throughout the NATO protests, because there was and remains common cause against the perversion that corporatized militarism represents. Particularly when military budgets are untouchable even as social programs are being eviscerated.

I still believe the movement, and those within it have the power and in many cases, the vision to transform the nation towards a more humane place consistent with the ideals of men like Martin Luther King jr. 

Which brings me to a critical point where I differ with the Occupy movement. I believe that it has lost sight somewhat of itself. It is poorly provisioned to combat a corporate and status quo media aligned quite purposely to denounce and destroy it. In Chicago, where it was bullied and bloodied by the media and authorities, it has retreated, lost focus and focused its energies more on imprisoned martyrs than on the sorts of challenges to authority and corruption for which it was originally enlivened. During NATO it was co-opted to a degree to personalities who drove policy and messaging and then abandoned the movement, and finally it is arriving before the elections with talk that fundamentally stands at odds with the original spirit and strength of this movement: diversity. 

Please be clear, this is not a conscious policy decision on the part of those still in the movement, and who still undertake work and protest in the purest heart within the community. But there is talk of opting out of the presidential elections, and of burning voter ID cards. Burn it down! Crash the system! If the powerful won’t concede, overturn it all! Raze society to the ground and rebuild it anew!

And while from a philosophical level, I can see their argument, I fear in reality the movement is marginalizing and isolating itself. A small group within the movement espouses that, but within the movement, much smaller than at its peak, when it conservatively sported hundreds of thousands of activists, and many times that who sympathized with the movement, that is a strongly influential cadre. The causes Occupy championed remain, but now remain un-championed by Occupy any longer.

The arguments for and against taking part in what have become money and media driven elections are substantial. Occupy had an opportunity to get out the vote and support substantial candidates from within its ranks, such as Ron Varesteh in California and Green party candidate Nancy Wade in Illinois. the sheer numbers they were able to rally last fall would have made them a force to contend with and would have won them the fullest attention of both parties. the poor and minorities found a partner in Occupy, and could have benefitted from joining in a substantial voting block powerful enough to overcome money interests and to maintain precious and hard-fought voting rights for those minorities. Sadly that hasn’t happened.

Perhaps no group in America understands the precious nature of the right to vote better than the African-American community. Certainly no other group in America, except perhaps hispanic and latino voters, is experiencing such a naked assault against those rights. The Republican party and the Right, tacitly and blindly enabled by a misinformed white majority, mean to interfere with or revoke in any under-handed, backdoor way it can the ability of Blacks and minorities to vote in this election. By burning their voter cards and refusing to take part in the election process Occupy is ignorantly supporting the white fear spread by the status-quo media, not maliciously or consciously, but most certainly. The Occupy of today is hardly as diverse as it once was, and that narrowed perspective is problematic.

This right was only part of a centuries-long struggle from the bonds of slavery. It was bought and paid for in untold lives, black and white-but mostly black-in blood and tears and lynching, and spirits eschewing defeat and oppression in hopes that one day those rights would be theirs, secure and protected by law. Despite any argument that might be offered, I think it is unlikely that the black community would ever easily relinquish or withdraw from that right. 

Occupy, in this short-sighted and narrowly focused potential action, is unconsciously playing to the status quo and putting itself directly at odds with those minority communities that should remain as allies and comrades towards common justice. It is not too late to chart a more productive path. We are still the 99%. We are still a force. rather than millions holding up burning voter cards is disdain for the process, those millions should raise those cards high and demand to be heard and properly represented in the loudest and most sustained voice possible.

6 members of the Walmart family controls as much wealth as the bottom 30% of the nation(that’s 90 million people), and still they ask for more. They have done more to destroy small town America, crushing small businesses, driving down wages in America and decimating American manufacturing by cozying up to Chinese and Asian sweatshops to bring the Americans they helped impoverish goods those Americans can only afford at WalMart. Pure genius, except that it is evil, unpatriotic and inhuman. The world needs an international constitution and bill of rights detailing global labor rights for workers, strict limitations on corporations, including sovereign voting rights by citizens to dissolve corrupt corporations, and it needs an international minimum wage standard. It isn’t about hating wealth or being anti-success, it is about morality and the future of the nation, and do we as citizens control the nation together, or cede our freedom and autonomy to a small group of self-concern people with ultimate regard only for themselves rather than moving us all as Americans and world citizens forward. Read The Last Man. This. This is exactly what I was writing about. Take back your country, Americans, or lose your future forever.





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