Monday, October 10, 2011

Extra, Extra -- Read All About It!

The second issue of "The Occupied Wall Street Journal" is hot off the presses.  You can read it here.

And if you missed the first issue, here it is.

The on-site, 50,000-circulation broadside is produced by the weekly Indypendent. ("A Free Paper for Free People.") The publishers point out that the new journal is not to be construed as the "official" paper of the movement: "This is one attempt by a group of journalists who support the occupation to offer a way for the general public to hear the stories, perspectives and ideas from inside the movement. We think the more voices, ideas and media the better".


Jay - Ottawa said...

Good for the journalists who put out the new and improved Wall Street Journal.

Back to the Grey Old Lady for a moment, Paul Krugman writes an op-ed today (10/10) in ringing support of the Wall Street Occupiers and the campaigning Elizabeth Warren.

From one of Krugman's commenters way down the line (#78), I relay unto you this new word, a verb: "to be obamad."

Here's an example of its usage by Scientella, #78:

"If you want to suppress a bunch of protestors you Obama them - ie you pretend to be on their side, say you will do something, receive their vote, then sidestep all responsibility at opportunistic moments of distraction."

Oh, wait -- we already have a four-letter word to handle that situation.

Jay - Ottawa said...

I'm catching up on comments from previous posts. With respect to the feared co-optation of OWS, it has already begun. Not all full-throated voices claiming to be in support of OWS are in support of OWS.

Firedoglake reports that establishment Democrats and other pretend 99 percenters, like Move.on, are trying to canalize the movement into the same old Yellow Dog dead end. See this article, which is a bit foggy at times. However, the many comments that follow clarify what's happening as Democratic officials and suspect celebrities swing by OWS encampments, along with their camera crews, to lend words of high praise, faint encouragement and subtle duplicity. Let's not get obamad again.

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay - Ottawa

Have you noticed that even in Paul Krugman's supportive pieces regarding OWS, he still gives Obama a pass. He really goes easy on him, just like all the media did before his election. Paul doesn't even mention his Wall St. connections or staff, let alone all the other evidence of Obama selling us out to the Plutocrats. In his first piece, he even suggested that Obama should try to 'mend fences' with his base, as if that were even possible. We won't be Obamad again!

That said, I think Paul has done an excellent job and a world of good by giving positive attention and legitimacy to the Occupy movement, especially today's piece, 'Panic of the Plutocrats'. His support is invaluable.

Anonymous said...


I agree that many are trying to co-opt OWS, but it seems to me the only real way to make sure that doesn't happen is to, well, stop typing and show up!

I know that not everybody can afford to leave their home base at this time. But I hope everybody is thinking about joining a sister OWS event in their hometown, or even joining OWS at a later time on Wall Street itself.

I worked with both OFA (Obama for America, which became Organizing for America and is now an offshoot of the DNC) and

But I also worked with Kevin Zeese on some early (2009) bailout protests (through ANWF); I believe Zeese is one of the primary organizers of the DC arm of OWS.

There was overlap among all those groups, with a lot of ANWF people having put in time (clothespins to noses) on the Obama 2008 campaign.

To be honest, I felt frustrated with all three groups, but for different reasons. OFA and are problematic for obvious reasons (DNC). They're also incredibly demanding of their organizers' time and pocketbooks.

Working with Zeese was another matter entirely. It was fundamentally grassroots, and that can only work when you have a critical mass, which I think he now has in reach. Our 2009 work lacked that critical mass, and took a lot out of the organizers, particularly those of us who were still working in corporate.

But it was often gratifying work, where you had almost as much voice in the mechanics of the protests and the seminars as you were willing to put in.

When it came to the protests, I'd hoped we'd have more control over the message and the mechanics, largely because I wanted to make sure that it was a comfortable protest for people my age (under-represented Gen X-ers) to join, as well as "worker bees" in the corporate sector. We weren't entirely successful at that, and it's one reason I'm so happy to see the NY protest has so many younger people and so many corporate workers.

We were naive, I think, in what we tried to pull off in 2009, and for those of us with corporate backgrounds, it was pretty much career suicide. And that was tough on me and a lot of others.

So I'm really impressed that a similar effort is now working. Maybe our earlier efforts weren't a total waste of time.

But bottom line: One of the toughest things about being an organizer was how "hot" everybody talked online... but I often found that those same people wouldn't always show up at a protest or seminar when they were needed. That was really a profoundly depressing experience.

That's something to think about when we think about the OWS kids, and how to best keep this movement alive - and not co-opted.

-Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

Anne Lavoie said...

@Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

Isn't the convergence of youth and elders great? The youth have the enthusiasm and had their futures stolen, while the elders have the experience, and had their retirements stolen. The pirates have plundered all of us and even stole our Democracy by essentially nullifying our precious vote.

At this point I don't fear that we will lose support, but I appreciate what you are saying about some people being 'hot' online but absent on the front lines. There is strength in numbers and we can't afford to let this thing die out.

That is, of course, what the establishment wants. If they can portray us as a 'mob', as unruly, dirty, extreme, or dangerous, then people might become too afraid to turn out, afraid to be labeled, or be arrested. We are already hearing the words Marxist, Communists, Leninists, etc.

What I fear the most right now though is the co-optation as well as the insistent pressure by the establishment to identify a leader and limit the issues, but most of all I fear the dirty tricks, which are sure to grow as we get larger and more powerful.

Watching the news tonight, all 3 network evening news were on the same page, sounding a lot like a White House press release: "OccupyWallSt needs ONE message, and that message should be JOBS." That appears to be the most favorable scenario for Obama, and a message the corporates can live with too. It's not a dirty trick, yet, but it's the beginning of a orchestrated campaign.

Many of us have been in protests throughout the years, and some of us have paid a high price with our reputations and careers, and some with their lives. No matter what they do to us, we must ensure that we stay PEACEFUL and police each other and the planted troublemakers they will surely send.

So yes, writing is good, talking is great, but showing up is the best thing we can do. Let's all go forth and Occupy, wherever we are, while we still can, 'National Security' permitting.

Valerie said...

I know what you mean about Paul Krugman, @Anne. He is a good man and uses his “bully pulpit” effectively, but he is at heart a Free Trader and a Democratic Party Member. He believes, as many Progressives do, that to illuminate injustice is enough. But the truth is, these politicians and corporate elite have not shame and no conscience to appeal to. In the end, we must back up our criticism and demands for change with action. We need to hit the streets if we can and most importantly, we need to withhold our vote until we get a fair bit in return.

I just stumbled upon this interview and I was really impressed. Check it out. This guy is articulate and reasonable.


You bring up a good point - and I think it was @Will who mentioned it months ago - people are afraid that if they protest, they will be "listed" and punished for their participation in a protest. Isn't it a terrible reflection on our government that people are wearing scarves over their faces because they are worried about a backlash.