We recently overhauled this website to incorporate a Twitterfeed and show off the tweets of our "on-the-ground" reporter at #OWS NYC. May Day saw lots of action and it was great to be kept in the loop and feel like we were part of it, even here in far away Vancouver, Canada.
We've also just released our latest News of the Cool e'Zine with a cover piece on Documentary Storytelling & Social Change. It discusses how docs like The Corporation and 65_RedRoses can be catalysts for change, but there need to be ways to feed the movement long after the film is released. We're trying to do this through sales of campaign materials and/or contributions, along with the help of volunteers and other supporters. Unfortunately, reining in the corporate psychopath is not going to happen overnight, and the film continues to be an amazing tool that awakens audiences to how much corporate power has grown over the last century.
On the good news front, we're seeing more and more pushback to the economic and political dogma that has enabled corporations to gain the rights of people, and allowed wealth to pool at the very top (Vermont recently called for an amendment to abolish "Corporate Personhood").
Not only are people now questioning the validity of "trickle-down" economic models, they are also wondering if getting a mere trickle was ever good enough in the first place.
Sandy is part of The Corporation's grassroots team and has been working on the film's outreach efforts since 2003.|
One of our volunteers, Jennifer Slattery, is heading back to the Occupy Wall Street site in New York and will be reporting live via twitter. Check back frequently to see what is going on at #OWS! There will be a LIVE "Occupy Your Future" twitter feed where you will be able to see what is happening on the ground at #OWS.
After a long winter, it's time to go back to Wall St. for this activist. And I am very excited about the first action I will be attending this Spring:
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, ACT UP (the activist group that took on AIDS issues in the 80's) will team up with Occupy Wall Street to hold a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street. Why Wall Street? Because the corruption of the corporate class has a ripple effect throughout our society that goes far beyond jobs, and debt. The crisis they cause leads to human suffering. On Wednesday, April 25 we will gather at City Hall and march on Wall Street. Act Up, in many ways, served as a model for the Occupy movement's leaderless, non-violent, and creative, direct action tactics. It is an honor to not only carry on their fight, but to have them stand beside us, and teach us from within our own ranks.
When I first arrived at Liberty Square six months ago, reporters asked me what real solutions I personally wanted to be achieved by protesting. My answer, repeatedly, was the need for a Financial Transaction Tax. None of the reporters ever printed my answer, instead running the same lie over and over for months: no one at Occupy has any ideas, no solutions. That was a lie, and I know because I heard many others talking about the same thing. We never stopped talking about it, and the media may choose to ignore us, but we will only get louder. A "Financial Speculation Tax" (Fi.S.T.) on Wall Street will be our rallying cry with Act Up on the 25th.
|Jennifer Slattery is a dedicated human rights activist, former private investigator, and a member of the Occupy Movement. She lives in NY, and would be happy to answer any and all questions you might have: firstname.lastname@example.org|
In our world, societal catastrophe seems to strike like lightning. A bolt from the blue blindsides us; turning conventional wisdom on its head. Often it comes in a thunderous crack: in an assassination, or an explosive attack. Sometimes it comes with a crash, as another bubble bursts and collapses under the weight of its own corruption. These events shock our view of everything we thought we knew of our past, and of a future we thought we had built on foundations unshakable. But the startled paralysis of catastrophe wears off as surely as our illusions do, and we are left with a clear choice: change or break.
The Corporation film exposed the machinations of these artificial entities that empower the most sociopathic tendencies in human nature. It showed in stark terms how the Corporate Identity relieves the conscience of the individuals on the inside of guilt. Corporations see no limits; it's only goal is to gain more, to grow bigger, to feed endlessly and explicitly without remorse like a machine. Even when massive amounts of wealth are attained their desire for conquest turns to control of the rule of law in order to amass even more. In the 1930's major corporations went for a millitary Coup to overthrow FDR, and failed. These same entities funded the rise of fascism in Europe simultaneously, and for a time succeeded.
This 4-Part Series by Guest Blogger Jennifer Slattery puts Monsanto squarely in the corporate crosshairs. Voted as the worst corporation of 2010 in Corporate Accountability's Corporate Hall of Shame, Monsanto's efforts to conceal the health and safety concerns around Bovine Growth Hormone's inclusion in milk was featured in The Corporation.
The American people are sick of Monsanto Mr. President; figuratively, literally, however you want to look at it. As this online petition, that has quickly accumulated four hundred thousand signatures, should clearly be telling you: We don’t want Monsanto on our plates, infecting our farmlands, and especially not in our Government.
You were elected, in part, because of your pledge in the 2008 campaign to keep your administration free of lobbyists, and yet you have appointed Michael Taylor, a former VP and lobbyist for Monsanto as senior advisor to the commissioner at the FDA. Michael Taylor is the same man who oversaw the FDA policy that allowed genetically modified foods into our food supply in the first place. He has been bouncing back and forth between the regulators and the regulated for decades; the epitome of crony capitalism's revolving door in Washington. First he was Monsanto's attorney, then the policy chief at the FDA, and then again rejoined Monsanto to be rewarded with the position of vice president and chief lobbyist, and now back at the FDA. It's enough to make us sick; again, literally.
So now the only protection of our health is given to this White House resident lobbyist from a food mutating monopoly? This is the best person to entrust the responsibility that labels contain clear and accurate information (like whether or not they contain genetically modified ingredients) when the company has made it painfully clear that it opposes such safeguards? Is this not a policy that lets profit motivations trump human health concerns?
So here is where our first myth in the web of Monsanto's defensive lies comes in:
check out our Occupy-themed current e'Zine
(image via Twitter credited to GlennShootsPeople's Flicker account)
Violent police clashes again rocked the city of Oakland January 28th (#J28) as Occupy Oakland protestors attempted to occupy a vacant building. Their announcement, via a letter to the Mayor referring to the action as Move-In Day, declares their intent to use the building:
“As a social center, convergence center, headquarters, free kitchen, and place of housing for Occupy Oakland. Like so many other people, Occupy Oakland is homeless while buildings remain vacant and unused. For Occupy this is in large part because of yourselves, having evicted us twice from public space that was rightfully ours. For others it is because of the housing bubble, predatory lending, the perpetual crises of capitalism, and far reaching histories of imperialism and systemic violence.”
By the end of a long day of marches and failed occupation attempts, three hundred people, from a crowd that swelled at times to 2,000, were arrested. Much of the corporate media reporting on the start of the violence points the finger squarely at the protestors who are alleged to have begun the violence by pelting officers with rocks, bottles and even Improvised Explosive Devices. The claim that peaceful protestors used IEDs is on it’s face false and inflammatory, as first hand accounts and live streaming video footage of the event seems to show that protestors only threw some debris as a reaction to being pelted with explosive percussion grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters:
Via Occupy Oakland’s twitter feed:
#OccupyOakland #OO OPD claim they ordered us to disperse, after blocking us in & arresting us. Chanting "this is a hostage situation."
"For their first attempt at a kettle, the cops charged the group with police lines from the front and back. They ran towards us aggressively. Us being 1000+ peaceful marching protesters. The group was forced to move up a side street. The police moved quickly to surround the entire area; they formed a line on every street that the side street connected to. Police state status: very efficient. They kettled almost the entire protest in the park near the Fox theater. AFTERWARDS, as in after they surrounded everyone, they declared it to be an unlawful assembly BUT OFFERED NO EXIT ROUTE. Gas was used, could of been tear or smoke gas."
Similar claims that law enforcement "had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks." after the violent clearing of the original Occupy Oakland camp had to be walked back, because there was no evidence that any such violence by Occupy had occurred:
“Oakland PD's Chief of Staff, Sgt. Chris Bolton conceded that the department was unable, at this time, to substantiate claims made by Jordan that gas was deployed in order to protect law enforcement personnel from violent demonstrators, despite the Chief's unqualified claim that evening that "the deployment of gas was necessary to protect our officers and protect property around the area and to protect injuries to others as well."
Instead, Bolton softened Jordan's initial claim. The sergeant described it as "the Chief's preliminary belief.”