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Whoa! Way to go Occupy with Aloha!

Update3:  Another good livestream from DamaskPortland.  The occupiers are moving from main street to Pioneer Square.  More riot police have arrived.  There are twitters of many arrests.  There are people showing up to stand in solidarity.  The square is filling up.

Update2:  Very strange Tiannemen Square type action going on.  Some guy is scooting on his butt, crab style, right up the the police line.  The police take a few steps back.  He scoots up closer, they step back.  Not sure what that’s all about.  

Update:  Occupy Portland is having a stand off with police right this minute.  The police evicted them from the parks and are setting up fences to keep the public out of them.  You can watch the livestream here.  They are trying to decide where to move or even whether to move.  Right now, they are occupying Main Street. And there are riot police who have promised to use chemical and impact weapons to get occupiers to move.  The whole world might not be watching but over 5000 visitors to the livestream are.  The GA is deliberating calmly and trying to organize a graceful retreat to another location.  If they can’t find another location, well, that becomes a big problem for the mayor of Portland.

I saw this story at Susie Madrak’s blog.  It’s about a Hawaiian musician, Makana, who previously was invited to play at the White House.  At the APEC meeting dinner last night in Honolulu, he was invited to play for world leaders, including Barack Obama.  This security for this meeting was very tight.  They probably thought they would be able to sell us to each other without any protest or interruption.

They wuz wrong.

Makana wore an “Occupy with Aloha” T-shirt under his button down shirt.  When the time was right, he unbuttoned his shirt and played a song he had composed for the event called “We are the Many”- for 45 minutes.

Makana has balls that are tougher than kukui nuts.

Read the whole story here.

Here’s a video from the event. Pass it along to your friends and family.

And here’s the video of the song, “We are the Many”.  Not too shabby.  Sounds very Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan-ish/ Pete Seeger-esque  Love the graphics.  I was in that crowd at Foley Square in front of the courthouse.

Just goes to show that no matter how hard they try, they can’t get away from us.  We are everywhere.  We play the music, we serve the appetizers, we park the cars.  We are legion.  We are the 99%.  Being an occupier means being creative.  In that spirit, grab a piece of chalk and head out to the sidewalk.

18 Responses

  1. Hooray for Makana!

    • I know. Isn’t that amazing? Hard to believe he even got in.

      Portland is having an interesting weekend.

  2. I have to give this guy credit for guts. Amazing, I am sure all the multi-millionaires were charmed.
    But how exactly is this supposed to change anything? I don’t think this is looking much like a revolution to me yet. I think that is what is bothering me.
    Wake me up when they are occupying msnbc and k street. I want to see Chris Matthews sitting glaring at the camera with duck tape over his mouth while some one tells the truth to America.

    • You can’t complain about it unless you’re willing to go to an occupation. That’s all you have to do. Just show up.

      As for changing anything, the media is now talking about the occupy movement and unemployment and not about the deficit. That’s no small accomplishment.

      And now, the millionaires and heads of state will have to be very careful around the hired help, not that the hired help would actually do anything violent. But little acts of insubordination? Yeah, I think we can count on that. Maybe some short sheeting, pissing in the soup, you never know. They will increasingly come to realize that they are surrounded by the 99% in a way they never considered before. Those people who wait on them hand and foot are fricking angry. And the millionaires have to rely on them for their services. Up to this point, the 1% had no idea how vulnerable they were. But with Makana’s occupation, now they will.

      • What about those of us who have visited and left underwhelmed? Do we get to be critical?

        • Sure, if you’ve actually been there. Do you have pictures?

          • No pictures. The last time I was there I was with my brother who is a regional editor for a major news outlet. He was trying to keep a low profile, and I didn’t see anything I wanted to memorialize in my own photo collection. If he decides to do more coverage of the Occupy movement, I’m sure he’ll send a professional photographer.

            Or are you implying that anyone who wasn’t impressed positively must be lying about visiting a site? Because I go into the city often and walk by Dewey Square on my way to where I’m headed. Mostly what I see are young people who are disappointed that their expensive college degrees are not an instant guarantee to the lifestyle they were planning on. The sad thing is that they never were, but somehow today’s youth think that they are entitled to start where their parents are now instead of where their parents started out. That sense of entitlement is what I walk away with from my encounters at Occupy Boston. You write about how you believe that your education in the STEM fields entitles you to a good job and respect from your peers. I, too, have degrees in science, but I have never felt that it entitled me to anymore than anyone else. Perhaps, that’s why you relate to the movement, and I don’t.

            But in any event the local colleges and universities are encouraging their students to move their tents back to their campuses. Harvard, Boston University and Northeastern have already sanctioned it. It will make it easier to keep the students attending classes, will take care of some of the hygiene issues for the city, and provide regular meals for the kids, which many parents have already paid for. It will also keep student activism under the careful watch of the people gouging them for inflated tuition. Because it’s the bank’s fault for loaning them money to go to college – not the college’s fault for raising the cost faster than families can keep up. It will be interesting to visit Dewey Square after the Thanksgiving break to see how many OWS supporters remain.

          • I wasn’t implying anything. I was just curious about who was there. It seems that every occupation has a different flavor. Chicagoans are more into pranks and infiltrations, OccupyWallStreet is more like an open air salon, Occupy Oakland has a siege mentality. Different strokes for different folks.
            So, I just wanted to see who was hanging out at the occupation that you visited.
            As for student loans, I don’t think everyone should go to college. Some people would be better off with technical training. Let’s face it, a talented mechanic is invaluable. But that goes for accountants and other careers as well. Do you really need a 4 year liberal arts degree to be a CPA?
            But the problem with student loans is not that people expect too much. It’s that they have no expectations at all. When you graduate with the amount of debt that people are owing today, you can’t start to have a life at all. It’s especially bad in this economy because new graduates are blighted by lower wages and scarcer jobs. They end up living at home indefinitely. They can’t get their own apartments. You seem like a smart person so I wonder why it is you can’t understand this.
            My first daughter wanted to be a chef. I knew and she knew that chefs don’t make a lot of money when they start off. So, I paid for her diploma from the CIA so she would graduate without debt. She’s going back to school now for her degree as a registered dietician. And she’s paying for it by working. But the kid has never made enough money to afford to pay for an apartment by herself no matter how hard she works.
            This is the thing you seem to be missing- you can work, really hard, for years and have *no* student loan debt and still not make enough to live on. Imagine how hard it is for people who have 4 years of loans to pay off.
            As for the sciences, what is your degree in? Mine is Chemistry. That means I put in my time with calculus, organic chemistry (plus 8 hours of lab a week), Physical Chem (labs), Analytical chemistry (labs) microbiology (labs), calc based physics (labs) Advanced inorganic chem (labs), organismic biology (labs), genetics and population (labs) and that was just for my BS. Afterwards I took Physical Organic, molecular mechanics, Structural biology and human disease, molecular biology, principles of macromolecular structure and physical chemistry. And that doesn’t count the english courses, economics, business writing, ethology, psychology (it was at 8 in the morning and I usually fell asleep because I’d been up since 2am pushing a broom in a fast food joint), history and philosophy of science, logic, shall I go on?
            With respect to STEM jobs, the point that I and other STEM graduates would like to make is that if everyone could do these majors, you wouldn’t have so many people dropping out. In the current economic environment, research is not an industry want to invest in. It takes a long time, a lot of trial and error and it’s expensive. So, businesses are trying to cut corners by cutting labor costs. This is because the MBAs do not know what they are doing with a research based company. When a STEM graduate has made it through 4 years as an undergraduate and then 7+ years of graduate school and post doc positions paying peanuts, they do not want to take a contract position paying less than a decent living wage for the amount of education and research they have. They want to be rewarded for their perserverence and experience and they want health benefits. Right now, we’re not getting that. We’re getting pink slips by the thousands. There’s plenty of work to do. Just no one willing to pay for it. And if that’s what America wants, to reward investors and not the producers who discover your drugs and keep you out of the hospital, then the country should not be surprised that 60% of STEM majors change majors. It should be surprised that there aren’t a lot more STEM majors getting out of science.
            Yes, I expect to get paid more than an elementary school teacher. The profession requires more coursework of a very difficult nature and the jobs are very difficult to do.
            So there.
            BTW, all of my friends are in STEM. Not one of them hasn’t been affected by layoffs in every company on the east coast. And there’s not one of them who recommends a STEM job to their children. Our kids would be the natural generation to follow us STEM parents but we tell them not to. Their money and their time is better spent doing something that will pay them a living wage and gets respect from people like elliesmom.

  3. updates…..well maybe this is a start.

  4. Too many people seem to be absolutely intent on missing the whole message of the Occupy movement. Sitting on their dumpy butts waiting on someone else to fix the world is never going to work.

    If we want something done, we have to stand the fuck up and try doing something ourselves. I spent part of this afternoon with a group of people from a couple of the larger high tech companies here in town. Turns out we are all pissed about the same things. We talked about how to get a labor movement going in this right-to-work state and maybe finding people to run for local offices who share OWS values. Maybe we’ll come up with something and maybe we won’t but it’s better than doing nothing.

  5. Jeffrey Sachs in the New York Times. Great editorial.

    The New Progressive Movement

    OCCUPY WALL STREET and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America. Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings.
    Following our recent financial calamity, a third progressive era is likely to be in the making. This one should aim for three things. The first is a revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environmental protection. The second is the end of a climate of impunity that encouraged nearly every Wall Street firm to commit financial fraud. The third is to re-establish the supremacy of people votes over dollar votes in Washington.

    None of this will be easy. Vested interests are deeply entrenched, even as Wall Street titans are jailed and their firms pay megafines for fraud. The progressive era took 20 years to correct abuses of the Gilded Age. The New Deal struggled for a decade to overcome the Great Depression, and the expansion of economic justice lasted through the 1960s. The new wave of reform is but a few months old.

    The young people in Zuccotti Park and more than 1,000 cities have started America on a path to renewal. The movement, still in its first days, will have to expand in several strategic ways. Activists are needed among shareholders, consumers and students to hold corporations and politicians to account. Shareholders, for example, should pressure companies to get out of politics. Consumers should take their money and purchasing power away from companies that confuse business and political power. The whole range of other actions — shareholder and consumer activism, policy formulation, and running of candidates — will not happen in the park.

    The new movement also needs to build a public policy platform. The American people have it absolutely right on the three main points of a new agenda. To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all.
    Those who think that the cold weather will end the protests should think again. A new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun.

  6. None of this will be easy. Vested interests are deeply entrenched …

    Gee … who is responsible for that?

    Could it be the print and broadcast media that has been swaying the outcome of elections with lies and distortions for the last 15 years ?

    If you can’t make it to a protest there are still things you can do to make a difference. Start by canceling subscriptions to the newspapers that had a hand in getting Bush the Lesser then Obama elected. Write the sponsors of TV programs that did the same, both broadcast and cable, informing them that you won’t be buying their products or services. Let the Democratic Party know there will be no support until they abandon the caucus system and do away with super delegates. Write LTEs to your local papers pointing out how Wall Street with the aid of Congress has ruined America.

  7. RD writes:
    Just goes to show that no matter how hard they try, they can’t get away from us. We are everywhere. We play the music, we serve the appetizers, we park the cars.

    Your remarks remind me of the great “Nickel and Dimed” musical scene from the film “The American Ruling Class” (2005). Watch and enjoy!

  8. This blog is a great source of news on the OWS movement Can I read a few of your posts, primarily on the agent provocateurs at OWS, on my BlogTalkRadio show on Tues devoted to OWS? My site gives you proof of our intent oF the show “Here Be Monsters’ which I host on Tuesdays.

    Please let me know by email as I know you have access to it via your comment software. Thanks in advance for responding. 😉

  9. btw, YOU ROCK CHICA! 😉

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