I’m posting this in full, because I am literally stunned this was posted on Fox News. Emphasis mine:
Critics of the growing Occupy Street movement complain that the protesters don’t have a policy agenda and, therefore, don’t stand for anything. They’re wrong. The key isn’t what protesters are for but rather what they’re against — the gaping inequality that has poisoned our economy, our politics and our nation.
In America today, 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. That’s not because 150 million Americans are pathetically lazy or even unlucky. In fact, Americans have been working harder than ever - productivity has risen in the last several decades. Big business profits and CEO bonuses have also gone up. Worker salaries, however, have declined.Most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren’t opposed to free market capitalism. In fact, what they want is an end to the crony capitalist system now in place, that makes it easier for the rich and powerful to get even more rich and powerful while making it increasingly hard for the rest of us to get by.
The protesters are not anti-American radicals. They are the defenders of the American Dream, the decision from the birth of our nation that success should be determined by hard work, not royal bloodlines.
Sure, bank executives may work a lot harder than you and me or a mother of three doing checkout at a grocery store. Maybe the bankers work ten times harder. Maybe even a hundred times harder. But they’re compensated a thousand times more.
The question is not how Occupy Wall Street protesters can find that gross discrepancy immoral. The question is why every one of us isn’t protesting with them.
According to polls, most Americans support the 99% movement, even if they’re not taking to the streets. In fact, support for the Occupy Wall Street protests is not only higher than for either political party in Washington but greater than support for the Tea Party. And unlike the Tea Party which was fueled by national conservative donors and institutions, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is spreading organically from Idaho to Indiana. Institutions on the left, including unions, have been relatively late to the game.
Ironically, the original Boston Tea Party activists would likely support Occupy Wall Street more as well. Note that the original Tea Party didn’t protest taxes, merely the idea of taxation without representation - and they were actually protesting the crown-backed monopoly of the East India Company, the main big business of the day.
Americans today also support taxes. In fact, two-thirds of voters - including a majority of Republicans - support increasing taxes on the rich, something the Occupy Wall Street protests implicitly support. That’s not just anarchist lefty kids. Soccer moms and construction workers and, yes, even some bankers want to see our economy work for the 99%, not just the 1%, and are flocking to Occupy protests in droves.
I’ve even met a number of Libertarians and Tea Party conservatives at these protests. So the critics are right, the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t the Tea Party. Occupy Wall Street is much, much broader.
Maybe it’s hard to see your best interests reflected in a sometimes rag-tag, inarticulate, imperfect group of protesters. But make no mistake about it: While horrendous inequality is not an American tradition, protest is. And if you’re part of the 99% of underpaid or unemployed Americans crushed in the current economy, the Occupy Wall Street protests are your best chance at fixing the broken economy that is breaking your back.
This is one of the most articulate defenses of Occupy Wall Street I’ve seen, and let me repeat - this is on Fox News. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pick my jaw up off the floor.
Awesome. Pedal power FTW!
Since the end of September, a small – but growing – group of protestors has set up camp outside the Federal Reserve Bank building on San Francisco’s Market Street to demonstrate against corporate greed, government inaction, and the squeezing of the middle and lower classes.…
The Occupy movement currently claims encampments in over a dozen US cities and continues to spread, with the London Stock Exchange the next target on Saturday. But unlike your standard demo, the occupiers rely on the internet to get their message across, provide protection for demonstrators, and to counter the deafening barrage of silence from much of the media – which is such a contrast to the acres of coverage at Tea Party events.
The US media only really started to cover the protests about two weeks after they started, after video footage of police teargasing non-violent protestors on Wall Street was broadcast around the world.
The videos were up on YouTube within hours, and forced people to recognize that there was a protest going on, with mainstream commentators castigating the police for their attitude. The Register spent Thursday morning chatting with the volunteer admins who maintain the city’s most ad-hoc computer network, to see how they were managing to pull it off.
Pedal power to the people
The key problem for the group is power. At present the OccupySF crew is keeping systems running almost entirely on pedal power. A bicycle generator donated by Rock the Bike runs 24/7, with volunteers usually lasting 30 minutes before handing off to the next fresh set of legs.
The electricity thus generated runs into three car batteries to maintain a backup power supply, but the amount of juice that a single bike can generate is only enough to power a single laptop.
Protestors pedal to power the OccupySF group’s communications
To deal with the power famine, the protestors have devised some interesting hacks. The batteries are about to be shifted into a dedicated shopping cart, giving the group more mobility. Recent rainstorms have also proved a problem.
But with the admins trying to power both phones and batteries, power conversion has become a major issue. The group were having to run a 12 volt supply, convert it to 150 AC and then back down to five volts for phones and the portable radios used to maintain emergency contact.
The conversion process is highly inefficient, however, and the admins reckon they were losing over half the available power in the process – power that literally cost blood, sweat, and tears from the peddlers.
However, one bright spark managed to cobble together a new converter that downstepped the 12 volt supply directly to five volts much more efficiently, using mail-order parts and a bit of ingenuity.
“Another bike generator or two would be really useful,” said one of the admin team. “If we had that we’d be rocking and could build a system that would revolutionize the way these protests work.”
To keep the power running, the OccupySF group needs some tools from outside. There’s a crushing shortage of inverters, and more batteries for power storage and dispersal would also be useful, they told us, but the real need is for more computers.
The encampment has a rolling population of second-hand netbooks, laptops, and tablets, strung together with ad hoc networking, and carefully power managed. For what some in politics and the media are portraying as feckless dropouts, the protestors are almost religious about saving power: users check their email, slurp some juice into their phones, or post material online, and then shut down as soon as possible to save power for others.
If they take the park
You camp on the street
In the middle of everything.
Then you erect your own barricades
Then you strike crews to maintain living conditions
Then you train and equip riot medics
Then you train marshals in arrest resistance techniques
(I have seen that one per ten is effective)
Then you raise posts and put down staggered blocks to dissuade horses
Then you send marches which double as encampment supply lines
Then you vow not to hurt any other living creature, except in self-defense.
But without hesitation, destroy every inanimate object that defies your political will.
They said Egypt was made by a spontaneous gesture. It was not.
It was made by organized political will and absolute defiance.
It was made by torture survivors who withstood it against that day
It was made by ideologues, commies and everything
And they still did not succeed, completely.
If you do anything less you will lose
But more, and you will suffer.
You will suffer
And maybe win.
I’m not sure whether to consider this poetry, a political manifesto, or both. From a discussion on MetaFilter, written by MeFite mobunited.