What are the ingredients for a revolution? Such a recipe can be combined together in many different ways. History has continually shown that real change that truly educates and empowers everyday people rarely comes from central governments and corporations. There is nothing more dedicated and pure on this planet than a mother’s love for her child. This timeless maternal instinct has given birth to a true revolution unlike anything witnessed in modern times.
Moms Know Best
Children are being damaged by vaccines; this is a fact. Trusting mothers have become activated by a deep desire to rescue their children from a system that has let them down, despite government regulatory agencies that are asleep at the wheel and failing to protect the health of our children. In the face of a mainstream medical community that has lost sight of its ethics and independent thinking, mothers have united through love in a common goal to provide answers for their children when the medical, legal, and political systems have given up on them. The Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR) was born out of a deep desire to recover their children.
Starting from the dedicated work of 23 mothers (and one dad) of children harmed by the system, the initial collaboration quickly grew into a revolution. A truly grassroots movement, the Thinking Moms have become a whirlwind of alternative research and new healing methods with a core of continual education to bring new awareness. As more mothers joined, all working without pay, the message became exponentially stronger creating a buzz. TMR, and its non-profit arm, Team TMR, has jointly authored two books (with two more on the way) leveraging their combined experience and knowledge. In addition, TMR cuts across all boundaries on their quest for healing knowledge and truth, where nothing is off limits for healing that works. TMR’s quest has educated other parents about the success of cannabidiol oil, eliminating GMO food from their children’s diet, advanced detoxification methods and much more, all while the mainstream medical community played the sidelines. The group’s presence can always be found at alternative health conferences, medical presentations, protests, regulatory hearings, and state houses to influence legislation. Even the mainstream media has been forced to take notice.
The distinct advantage of this revolution is that it is solely focused on effective, efficient, and healing truth. Mothers of damaged children have no time, energy, or care for politics, egos, and finger pointing. Perhaps this is why TMR has stood the test of time with their focused message. In 1998, the mainstream media and medical community turned their back on the correlation between gut health and the autism spectrum, originally demonstrated by Andrew Wakefield and 12 of his colleagues, when research published in the medical journal The Lancet was retracted. The members and participants of TMR were among those to see the truth behind this research and make intensive efforts toward gut healing with great success. There is no doubt that the efforts of TMR was key to an often stubborn mainstream medical community’s acceptance of revolutionary, game-changing research on gut health, and on vaccines and their connection to autism.
Open Sourced Solutions
On November 1st, TMR is launching the first and only interactive online TV Network, called TMR Nation TV, consisting of 10 channels, all geared toward helping families thrive and achieve health and medical freedom in today’s world. Topics that TMR has always championed on the way to recovering their children’s health will now have the opportunity to be open sourced online for others to weigh in on. Clean food, expert interviews, siblings and family stories, politics, prevention and recovery can be built upon and added to by those with valuable, everyday experience.
The importance and timing of this network and its information is essential. We are living in a time when families and communities are looking for real information that can be implemented today. The fallibility and trust of major medical studies has come under heavy fire in the face of corruption and inaccurate findings. The peer-reviewed process, once thought to be sacred, is crumbling before the public’s eye, often revealing conflicts of interest and theories that don’t always translate into reality. Trust is becoming a scarce commodity among the political and mainstream medical communities as the idea of health freedom is being pressured out of the public dialogue. The age old tradition of everyday mothers and families directly sharing what works can now be supercharged and focused, bringing effective solutions from people embodying healing and medical freedom, minus any corrupting influences such as corporate pressure, political conflicts, and plan old lies.
People Helping People
Team TMR is a 501c3 organization that provides help to families struggling with medical, emotional, educational, and financial hardship due to complex medical needs faced by their children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. Mainstream medicine has effectively ignored autistic children and their families with their lack of clarity, answers, and overly expensive treatments. The alternative medical community, thinking outside the box, along with dedicated families, know how to recover autistic children and are doing it on a regular basis. Team TMR is supercharging that effort by handing out grant money quarterly to families in need of these proven treatments. Funds are gathered from TMR’s book sales and donations. See the Thinking Moms’ Revolution Facebook page for more information on TMR Nation TV.
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Some Amazing News Out of Texas
Posted: 06/26/2013 10:08 am
You can practically hear the shouts this morning as folks all over the country wake up to – I can’t believe I get to write this – some amazing news out of Texas.
The final hours of the fight against one of the most extreme anti-abortion laws in the country ended the way it all began: with a citizens’ filibuster – albeit somewhat less official.
For eleven hours, State Senator Wendy Davis led a marathon filibuster while the whole nation watched. Opponents of women’s health did everything they could to push her aside, and she held her ground to block a bill that could have shut down 37 of Texas’ 42 providers of safe and legal abortion.
When some politicians finally used legislative maneuvers to stop her, the crowd took over. For more than 15 minutes, supporters who had packed into the capitol screamed, cheered, and chanted to bring the Senate to a halt. I was standing on the Senate floor, and I can tell you that the sound of democracy was nearly deafening.
Even Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was forced to admit that this “unruly mob” was “the most incredible thing” he had ever seen in his life. And as long as I live, I will never forget the moment I was lucky enough to stand in the capitol rotunda and read a text message from Senator Davis:
“I love you guys. The Lt Gov has agreed – #SB5 is dead.”
The fact of the matter is, here in Texas, we’ve started something no one can stop. They lit the fuse in Austin – but the fire is catching all over the country. People don’t want politicians making women’s private medical decisions, cutting off access to lifesaving preventive care or safe and legal abortion – and they absolutely will not stand for it.
A few nights ago, as things were heating up on the ground in Austin, Rachel Maddow asked: “Texas – who knew?”
Mother Teresa once said, “The greatest disease in the west is not TB or leprosy. It is being unwanted, uncared for, and unloved.” In America you don’t have to go far before you find someone who is in desperate need of love. Communities have been crushed by the addiction of drugs. Thousands of people sleep in the streets because they are without a home. Women and children cry themselves to sleep at night because they have been sexually exploited all day. The need for love becomes more and more apparent when seeing the absence of it.
What if it was possible to put more love in the world? Could we create real change to today’s social issues? Could we start a movement that would change the world? Could we, through love in motion, change the reality of so many living with out it? Project Live Love was born as an attempt to answer these questions with a Yes.
proj⋅ect [n. proj-ekt, -ikt] 1. something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme. 2. a large or major undertaking.
“Project Live Love is a non-profit organization designed to influence culture through love in action by engaging, networking and mobilizing people who are motivated by love.”
THINK – Our desire is to remind people to think about Living Love by exposing the need for love and bringing awareness to our message.
SHARE – Our desire is to create environments and resources that allow people to network with each other and their community’s needs to collectively Live Love.
DO – Our desire is to mobilize individuals, corporations, social organizations, and churches by providing ideas, events, and opportunities to actively Live Love.
WHAT WE DO
The Initiative – THINK LOVE
The Live Love Initiative is designed to influence the hearts and minds of individuals with the idea of “Live Love” by infusing that message into culture. We use tools like t-shirts, stickers, billboards, social media, art shows, and more to inject the message into everyday life. We are marketing a message. The initiative focuses on working with all different areas of culture (Art, Music, Words, Education, Politics, Religion, Media & Fashion) to advance the message.
The Action – DO LOVE
The Action is designed to provide hands on opportunities for individuals to serve others. We partner with individuals, corporations, social organizations, churches, and schools that desire to put their love in motion. We provide opportunities for them to do so by creating programs and projects that are based on local community needs and collecting projects from various 501(c)3 organizations that work on today’s social issues. (i.e. homelessness, sex trafficking, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and more)
Each activity is highly organized and well executed. We have systems to manage the expectations of both the project creator and those living love. Projects are designed and organized according to the geography of volunteers, love languages, time commitment, skill levels and more.
Here is one of their winter projects:
In Atlanta alone, it is estimated that 20 plus homeless people die each year from sleeping in the freezing cold… This year, things are going to be different!
Every night from November 10th to March 30th we are on call. If the temperature is forecasted to go below freezing the GO-Alarm is sounded and volunteers are alerted. On GO-Nights our team of volunteers assemble together at 9:00pm at LOCATION TBA. From there we divide up locations and supplies then take to the streets with hand warmers, blankets, winter items, and LOVE. Our hope is to help those we encounter make it through the night warm and safe.
Click here to read the story of how THREE-OH-WE-GO began.
From left: Henia Belalia, Pancho Ramos-Stierle, Adrienne Maree Brown, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Carlos Jimenez.
Change is coming fast. The brief window we have to turn around the climate crisis, the growing gap between rich and poor, the violence at home and abroad, debt and austerity politics—these are among the most pressing issues facing all of us, especially young people. We asked a group of leaders, all under 40, to talk to us about how they see their lives, their leadership, and their future.
Sarah van Gelder: How do the challenges facing your generation (people under 40) compare with those faced by leaders of the civil rights, women’s, and labor movements? What’s at stake now?
Adrienne Maree Brown: I would say the biggest difference is we’ve increased our exposure to all the suffering and struggle in the world without increasing our capacity to handle it.
The speed of knowledge has increased—now it’s a nearly instantaneous flow of crisis, tragedy, and need, sprinkled with glimpses of triumph, resilience, humanity. And we are supposed to have a coherent opinion on all of it and stay focused on those things we can impact. We need mindfulness practice to come with our smartphones!
Henia Belalia: We’re looking at the frequency and impact of climate-related “natural disasters,” and it’s daunting—how do we take our foot off the gas pedal when we have very few years before we hit a point of no return and it’s game over for the planet?
Clayton Thomas-Muller: I think of our aunties and uncles who were in the American Indian movement, the Black Panthers movement. Back in the day, there was a lot of responsibility on a very small group of leaders, and it was relatively easy for agents of oppression to target those individuals. Whereas today, through social media and digital technologies that can transfer popular education materials to vast audiences, we have a more level playing field.
Carlos Jimenez: Power is becoming more concentrated and more removed from our daily experience.
I assume it never was cool to question capitalism or ask hard questions about systems of oppression. But these days, it feels like we have to stretch in ridiculous ways to question the structures of our society without being seen as radicals or crazy people.
Pancho Ramos-Stierle: In fact, sister Sarah, we are not under 40, we are 13.7 billion years old, our cosmic age, and we are part of an unfolding story of love.
Our pioneer brothers, sisters, and kin of the civil rights movement during the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s didn’t have that gorgeous picture of ourselves, the Earth, from space. And now, we’re able to detect planets outside the solar system that might support life, which is bringing a new sense of our humanity. All of a sudden, all of the nonsense divisions based on the colors of our skin or culture or spiritual practice or religion just vanish, and we’re one sacred living organism that is the wonderful Earth.
Pancho Ramos-Stierle meditates during Oakland’s Occupy protests in 2011. Moments later he and others were arrested as police cleared the plaza of Occupy campers. Photo by Noah Berger.
van Gelder: How do you see where we’re headed as a human community? How does that shape your own choices?
Belalia: One has to believe that another world is possible, but we need to be very real about what that looks like and not just put on Band-Aids.
We’re going to have to make some big changes in how we live. We’re going to have to consume a lot less and give up luxuries. Living in the Global North, in the United States especially, we have a responsibility to the rest of the world to reassess how we live.
How can we create alternatives that are so beautiful that they just naturally are in conflict with a collapsing, broken system?
Brown: In the stories I hear of past generations, we weren’t just moving toward a better world, there was a sense of responsibility to maintain and/or create a better world for the next generations. Right now I think we need to move toward being better and better ancestors.
Thomas-Muller: We need to be talking about a new economic paradigm, not patching up the existing one like some crazed engineer obsessed with patching up the Titanic. For example, green jobs are not created by producing photovoltaic panels under indentured servitude in massive industrial wastelands in China, then shipped to California where young African Americans are hired at minimum wage to install these panels onto rich people’s houses.
If instead we look at the establishment of local economies, the 100-kilometer diet, urban farming, and radicalizing the conversation around the distribution of wealth and land—that’s the conversation that I’m interested in.
Ramos-Stierle: Seeing with the eyes of an astrobiologist has given me an appreciation for technology. Everything can scale up very quickly. Small decisions can have big impacts in all directions—exponentially more so than a few generations ago. Scalable new design principles—local, decentralized, open, non-linear, emergent, biomimetic—all can spread like wildfire today. We not only have the chance now to name a new story, but our generation has the means to live a new story into being.
van Gelder: Can you tell a story from your own experience about how social change is happening today?
Thomas-Muller: We’ve seen the rise of Idle No More, which is being led by the most marginalized group in Canada: First Nations women. Canada is going through a painful process of reconciliation, not unlike what South Africa continues to go through post-apartheid. Idle No More and the tar sands movement and other indigenous struggles have ripped away the scabs of racism. We’re seeing television, print, and radio airing the voices of the most extreme racists against indigenous peoples. What’s kind of beautiful about it, though—as ugly and as painful as it is—it’s driving people to our side of the movement who are sick of the hatred, bigotry, and overall nastiness. So it’s actually expanding our political base of allies and our overall resistance.
Brown: Recently I was involved in facilitating a gathering on black reproductive justice. The folks came into the room with a lot of painful history, and they committed to healing, whatever that took. And it took sitting in that room with each other and listening to each other in new ways, hearing each other’s ancestral stories and current stories. This meeting felt so different. Instead of: “Who’s got the best strategy and the most resources?” it was: “Who’s really committed to transforming inside themselves, how they show up in this movement, and then how we can be together?”
Ramos-Stierle: One of the most revolutionary direct actions I’ve been involved in was building a 20-by-30-foot greenhouse on a third of an acre in San Francisco. We had 100 volunteers show up at the Free Farm to help, and since then, we’ve given away close to 9,000 pounds of local, organic produce.
That greenhouse became one of the main providers of Occupy the Farm a year ago on land administered by the University of California. We planted close to 15,000 seedlings in one day with 300 people, and it was such a celebration to be there disobeying with great love. Children and all the generations stood up for life and beauty.
So how can we create alternatives that are so beautiful that they just naturally are in conflict with a collapsing, broken system?
Patricia Moore, 75, of Charlotte, N.C., is a grandmother concerned about the impact that coal pollution is having on her granddaughter who suffers from chronic asthma. She joined her first protest in November, against Bank of America’s role in coal financing. She and others were arrested after disrupting four bank branches. Photo by Paul Corbit Brown.
van Gelder: Sometimes people working for change get separated into silos. My impression is that those silos are getting less rigid—that people are more open to each other’s perspectives and issues. I’m wondering if you think we’re getting better at working together?
Jimenez: Yeah, I feel like there’s less time spent trying to tell each other what to do and more collaboration, both among members and leaders.
Belalia: For me it’s a systemic change. The corporate powers that are running the world today are all-pervasive, involved in everything from our food to our education to our elections. So for me the systemic is what feels the most authentic.
In our movement, we’re pushing for a paradigm shift that will require connecting migrant rights, economic justice, housing justice, and other social justice issues with the work on runaway climate change.
It feels like we have to stretch in ridiculous ways to question the structures of our society without being seen as radicals or crazy people.
Ramos-Stierle: I’ve heard a lot of people say, “How can you bring peace if you’re not peaceful with yourself?” And then I think, “That’s over!” We need to have both. We need the inner revolution connected with the outer revolution. It’s time for activist people to become spiritual, and for spiritual people to become active.
We need to focus on our means. It really doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re making a more violent and resentful world with your brothers and sisters and kin through your work. There’s no reason why we have to wait; we can be making the world more harmonious right now!
Belalia: Part of my own personal philosophy is learning to just be in this moment. What we envision in our minds is part of what we create in the world, so we need to take care of soul and heart, and create a much more tranquil and sane inside to be able to carry out our work on the outside.
Thomas-Muller: Yeah. I share that perspective. Coming from an indigenous perspective, that’s one area where we actually have a bit of privilege: We have only been separated from our relationship to the sacred for a few decades, whereas for other groups, it’s been millennia. The connection we have to the sacredness of Mother Earth has been damaged by the psychotic Western industrial experiment called capitalism. Through re-evaluating our relationship to the sacred and embracing our place in the sacred circle of life, we can fill the gap left by hyperindividualism and consumption.
Activism has to be grounded in something bigger than yourself. However you perceive God, whether that’s through the smile of your child, or by connecting with the sacredness of Mother Earth through hiking in the forest, or going to church, or practicing Buddhism, or being a sun dancer, it’s important to have those elements in your activism so as not to get overwhelmed and to fall. And even with those elements you still fall, because we are facing unimaginable foes in our struggle.
van Gelder: We chose this issue theme now because there’s such urgency around the climate crisis, extreme inequality, and the growing power of the 1 percent. A lot of our change strategies don’t seem to be working in terms of these critical questions. How do you think we can get the real change that we need?
Belalia: Building networks of resistance and resilience is a really powerful way to look at change. From Occupy grew a kind of sustained resistance—the idea that “We’re going to be in a space, and we’re not going to leave until we get something done.”
But Occupy also has done a lot to build sustained resilience. I just spent time in New York with friends who are part of the Occupy Sandy networks, which set up distribution centers after Hurricane Sandy and are still working with those communities. One group I met with is creating workers’ cooperatives.
Jimenez: I’m becoming a big fan of assemblies. Occupy was a space for assembly, but I’m also talking about people’s assemblies like those the social forums tried doing. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful it is when people come together from different walks of life, different traditions, and see that we can work together. I’m thinking a lot about how we can extend invitations and bring in more people so that it’s a bigger assembly every time.
Ramos-Stierle: As brother Carlos was speaking, I was having this vision. Wendell Berry said that if you eat, you are involved in agriculture. I say, if you eat, you’re involved in the movement, like Occupy the Farm, which some of us call Occupy 2.0. Our elder Wendell Berry says, “An economy genuinely local and neighborly offers to localities a measure of security that they cannot derive from a national or a global economy controlled by people who, by principle, have no local commitment.”
Brown: I’m writing and collaborating around speculative and science fiction, which involves strengthening our capacity for vision and for imagining ourselves in a future where we’re experiencing abundance. I’ve been reading a lot of Octavia Butler and trying to get more people to read her work and to write their own work.
And I’m a facilitation evangelist! Facilitation means to make things easy—facil—to make sure that the time we spend in each other’s presence is authentic, invigorating, and healing, and that it leads to real impact.
van Gelder: My last question: When you think about what you’re doing now and when you look to the future, what do you find most daunting, and what is most hopeful?
Brown: The most daunting thing to me is the scale of change that’s needed.
What makes me the most hopeful is that so many people are asking “How do I live my life? How do I spend my money? How do I care for my babies and care for the loved ones in my life?”
People are realizing the front line is within us, and we have to practice. And that makes me hopeful because I can feel that change in myself and see it in the people I love.
Jimenez: It’s the little things that give me hope, like that I’m starting to see people leading meetings and conferences who look like the people I grew up with—who look like my family.
In terms of fears, the scale, as Adrienne said, is really freakin’ scary. The world could literally collapse. It’s daunting that people don’t even realize how grave the crises are.
Thomas-Muller: What overwhelms me the most is patriarchy. Speaking as a Cree man, I fight internally all the time with patriarchy as it plays out in my life. We come from a matrilineal society. In our traditional way, it was the women who made decisions, and the men were told what to say. We were the spokespersons for some really tough old Cree ladies!
The most daunting question for me is, “How are we going to take out this system of predominantly white male patriarchy that’s driving the destruction across Mother Earth?”
And what is most empowering is seeing the rise of strong First Nations women all across Mother Earth who are rising up and leading the movement, teaching all of us what the sacred feminine creative principle is about and what it means to think seven generations ahead.
Belalia: One of the things that’s the most daunting is how closely politicians are working with corporations, and how blind a lot of people are to their own power.
I was recently invited to work on the next U.S. Social Forum, and it’s really inspiring to me that low-income folk, people of color, women, and LGBTQ are at the core of the process.
Jimenez: Thank you for providing a space for us to creatively weave this thread. Even though we’re coming from diverse backgrounds, it’s amazing that we’re saying similar things, and I’m grateful for the space and definitely think that was cool.
Ramos-Stierle: We’re kind of orphans in this generation. We better pay attention to the elders and listen to the re-generativity of cultures that have been living here for millennia and be a little less arrogant. We need to listen to many examples of selfless service and to everyday Gandhis and everyday Emma Goldmans and everyday Dolores Huertas, everyday Martin Luther King Jrs., and everyday Cesar Chavezes. One little star at a time forms a galaxy, and one little drop creates an ocean. And we see these shifts happening everywhere—like the shifts from scarcity to abundance, from consumption to contribution, from transaction to trust, from isolation to community, from perfection to wholeness.
We are overwhelmed by the ways that we put in danger the magnificent biodiversity of our planet. At the same time, we are recognizing that there are small things that we could be doing on a daily basis.
Like, after this call, I just feel that I love you. That’s what I think is happening. I don’t know you physically, and I feel that you are my sisters for real and my brothers, and we’re connecting with this technology that wasn’t there before. And so if this is the last time that we talk, I’d like you to know that I am going to keep this for the rest of my days in my heart to continue this great journey.
What are Ithaca Hours?
Ithaca Hours is a local currency system that promotes local economic strength and community self-reliance in ways which will support economic and social justice, ecology, community participation and human aspirations in and around Ithaca, New York. Ithaca Hours help to keep money local, building the Ithaca economy. It also builds community pride and connections. Over 900 participants publicly accept Ithaca HOURS for goods and services. Additionally some local employers and employees have agreed to pay or receive partial wages in Ithaca Hours, further continuing our goal of keeping money local. for more information, go to: http://www.ithacahours.org/ and, from the founder: Ithaca HOUR Factsheet
Since 1991, over $110,000 of Ithaca HOURS (11,000 HOURS at $10.00 per HOUR) have been issued. Six denominations: 2 HRS, 1 HR, 1/2 HR, 1/4 HR, 1/8 HR, 1/10 HR. Includes a commemorative HOUR, the first paper money in the U.S. to honor an African-American.
Thousands of people, including 500 businesses, have earned and spent HOURS.
They have made millions of dollars value of trades with HOURS, representing hundreds of job-equivalents at $20,000 each.
HOURS are thus real money– local tender rather than legal tender, backed by real people, real labor, skills and tools.
Most HOURS have been issued as payments to those who agree to be published backers of HOURS, listed in our bimonthly directory HOUR Town. Every year they may send the coupon again to receive a bonus payment– which gradually and carefully increases the HOUR supply.
11% of HOURS are issued as grants to community organizations. Over 100 nonprofits have received grants totalling over 1,500 HOURS ($15,000) since we began.
5% of HOURS may be issued to the system itself, primarily for paying for printing HOURS.
Loans of HOURS are made with NO INTEREST CHARGED. These have ranged $50- $30,000 value.
HOURS are legal. Professor Lewis Solomon of George Washington University has written a book titled “Rethinking Our Centralized Monetary System: the Case for a System of Local Currencies” (Praeger, 1996) which is an extensive case law study of the legality of local currency. IRS and FED officials have been contacted by media, and repeatedly have said there is no prohibition of local currency, as long as it does not look like dollars, as long as denominations are at least $1.00 value, and if it is regarded as taxable income.
HOURS are protected against counterfeit. They are multicolored, with serial numbers. The 1995 Quarter HOUR and 1997 Eighth HOUR use thermal ink, invented in Ithaca, which disappears briefly when touched or photocopied. The 1993 Two HOUR note is printed on locally-made watermarked 100% cattail paper, with matching serial numbers front and back. The 1996 Half HOUR is 100% handmade hemp paper. Our District Attorney has declared HOURS a financial instrument, protected by law from counterfeit.
HOURS expand the local money supply
HOURS promote and expand local shopping, with an endless multiplier
HOURS double the local minimum wage to $10.00, benefitting not only workers but businesses as well, who find new and loyal customers.
HOURS enable shoppers to afford premium prices for locally-crafted goods and for locally-grown organic food.
HOURS help start new businesses and jobs
HOURS reduce dependence on imports and transport fuels
HOURS make grants to nonprofit community organizations
Protesters read aloud names of fallen UK soldiers, sacrificing their lives for war profiteer gains.
Masses “attended the Stop the War Coalition demonstration in Trafalgar Square, led by a former soldier who refused to fight and a 106-year-old peace activist.”
Court martialed and jailed for refusing to serve, Lance Corporal Joe Glenton read a letter to Prime Minister Cameron signed by other former US and UK servicemen, saying:
“We are making this statement in defiance of the propaganda and lies in support of the so-called war on terror for the last 10 years.”
“We know these wars have nothing to do with democracy or security or women’s rights or peace or stability. They are fought for money and power and nothing else.”
Precisely so! Wars are never for liberation, humanitarian reasons or democratic values. They’re for imperial dominance, colonization, resource and people exploitation, and war profiteering enrichment, no matter the body count to achieve them.
Spreading US Protests
At the same time, Occupy Wall protests spread in weeks to nearly 1,000 cities and towns nationwide. They’re the first national uprising in decades. Nothing like them has been seen since earlier civil rights and anti-Vietnam war activism.
Global justice demonstrations since Seattle 1999 lasted several days then ebbed. Today’s rage against the system shows promise provided spirited energy doesn’t wane, leaders emerge to sustain it, and focus concentrates on what matters most – money power in private hands to make more of it at the public’s expense.
Wall Street controlled money can’t co-exist with democracy and social justice. It bribes political Washington to get what it wants. It buys members of America’s duopoly like toothpaste.
Americans have the best democracy money can buy. Addressing Freedom Plaza activists on October 8, Ralph Nader said:
“It is time for citizens to push their elected officials to break the corporate stranglehold on our country.”
“Congress has done more to bail out Wall Street than Main Street.” Infinitely more, in fact, with sustained trillions of dollars of handouts. At least, $16.1 trillion but very likely much more unreported.
“Wall Street crooks have avoided penalties and prosecution and continued to receive bonuses and excessive compensation while pensions and saving have been looted.”
Record corporate profits belie a growing Main Street Depression. Unemployment is over double official numbers. America’s worst ever housing crisis continues with no end in sight. Millions lost homes. Millions more will before it ends. Washington is doing nothing to help or create jobs.
“(I)income inequality in this country” is unprecedented. (T)he top 1% of the population has financial wealth equal to the combined financial wealth of the bottom 95% of the people.”
Protests across America are “way overdue (to make) the president and Congress listen.”
They hear, but they don’t care. They know, but they do nothing. They talk, but they don’t act.
Business as usual won’t end until people power replaces fossilized duopoly power with progressive government of, by and for the people.
Its main focus must be on returning money power to public hands where it belongs. Without it other objectives will fail, including ones Occupy Wall Street (OWS) adopted on September 29.
But in three weeks, it has provided fuel for a broader national anti-corporate message, drawing inspiration from the Arab Spring but struggling to define its goals beyond a general feeling that power needs to be restored to ordinary people.
Now similar protests are springing up in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago, and organizers in Washington plan a march at Freedom Plaza on Thursday to “denounce the systems and institutions that support endless war and unrestrained corporate greed.”
On Monday morning, the scene at the heart of the self-styled Occupy Wall Street movement — Zuccotti Park, two blocks north of Wall Street — had the feeling of a street fair, with women in brightly colored wigs playing with hula hoops.
A collection of protesters wearing white face paint with streaks resembling blood at their lips conducted a “zombie parade” down Broadway to underscore what they see as the ghoulish nature of capitalism.
Despite having no single leader and no organized agenda, the protesters insist they are on the verge of translating their broad expression of grievance into a durable national cause. “The criticism has focused on the lack of cohesion in our message and demands,” said Arthur Kohl-Riggs, 23, a political activist from Madison, Wis. But what the critics don’t understand, he said, is “the value of forming a direct democratic movement” that is not controlled by political elites.
The protests gained more institutional support when a national transit union, the Amalgamated Transit Union, pledged its support Tuesday. As Michael Bolden explained: