Yes, deregulation of the banking industry has led to absolute chaos and total criminality. It is abundantly obvious. The presidents serving since 1980 have been completely owned by corporate lobbyists, as have all senators, representatives and Supreme Court justices. I have arguments with some of the tactics of Occupy Wall Street, but I think they are very minor compared to the overall message. The separation of government from corporations has become an urgent necessity and does in fact require a mass movement of people across the placid lawns of government. Politicians should be examined for any corporate connections whatsoever and immediately dismissed if they fail the test. Corporations should be checked for any attempts at electoral influence. A Constitutional amendment that declares corporations to be nothing more than legal abstractions and forbids them from influencing the federal government is essential. After all, corporations seek to produce products at the lowest possible cost and currently do so by using concentration camps in China. They would gladly build those concentration camps in the U.S. if it was cost-effective. Such entities cannot be allowed the slightest influence on American politics. We may be forced to totally ban all political contributions that do not come directly from an individual person.
Former Rage Against the Machine member, Tom Morello, who has been playing for and talking to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Los Angeles, speaks with reporters about what is going on with this explosive movement.
And here is a repost of my film, ‘One Day Occupy L.A.,’ which features an incredible live soundtrack of Morello playing for the protest in Los Angeles just this week.
I believe that the eventual success of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is spreading to many cities across the United States, depends upon its ability to change law. Ultimately, the movement must lead toward an amendment to the Constitution that bans corporate mixture with and influence over the state. It will resemble the separation of church and state, but it will be somewhat more precisely worded.
Sam Slovick made this 2008 documentary on skid row in downtown Los Angeles. The area is home to approximately 9,000 homeless people who deal with life on the streets, drugs, crime and serious physical and mental health issues. The film was made just prior to the massive economic collapse of 2008 when the numbers of homeless began to rapidly increase.
Parts 3 through 5 follow the jump.
I went down to the demonstration to make a film. I liked the people there. They were very focused and happy. They were talking, explaining, arguing, educating, dancing, singing, playing, making signs, painting, photographing. Some of them made speeches at the microphone. Some read poems. There were lots of cameras.
The music and words in this film are by Tom Morello (http://nightwatchmanmusic.com), former Rage Against the Machine guitarist. He sings his own ‘Maximum Firepower’ and Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land.’
The mood at City Hall was high energy and cheerful. The underlying anger and frustration of the movement seemed to be moving through a positive channel. It was exciting but also comfortable there because of the people and their open attitudes.
The Los Angeles police headquarters is directly across the street from the protest grounds. That’s where I began shooting my film – right into the windows of police headquarters. Several squad cars drove up First Street, but there was not a single cop anywhere near the protest area. The crowd is organized and respectful, but also very serious about its messages which are various and multifaceted.
The city has taken a protective stance over its protesters. I’m very proud of Los Angeles for this.
Occupy Los Angeles is one of the spreading protests coming out of the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York. Hopefully, the incredible momentum of the movement will continue and be heard very clearly across the country and the world.
The simple messages that I get from the protests are that government cannot function while it is under the control and influence of corporations. The economy cannot function properly while corporations and their extremely wealthy owners are allowed to operate without oversight and control. The country cannot pave its roads or build its schools or house its people while corporations and the wealthy play with money that is nearly tax-free, removing it entirely from the real world economy. The country cannot function as a democracy while its politicians and Supreme Court justices are working for corporations. The country cannot be free while racism and bigotry are increasingly seen as legitimate reactions to change. The country cannot be secure while corporations are given the power to run wars and people’s basic privacy rights are removed.
That’s what I see in the Occupy movement.
If every city in the U.S. could have as fine an Occupy movement as Los Angeles, they would be very lucky indeed.
This film shows how the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement organize themselves in lower Manhattan. They seem to be forming something like a little community with food services, minor first aid, a library, battery charging and even video editing services for all the people covering the action. These people are working hard and have an uncommon seriousness about them. This is something new. These are mainly young people. They are waking up from iPod oblivion and showing the world that they can make a difference in a democracy decayed by a corporate stranglehold over the government. These are people who can see that corporate management structures have totally occupied and taken over the United States government all the way up to and including its Supreme Court. In fact, there is no other way to dismantle this criminal structure. It can only be broken up by massive groups of angry protesters who simply never stop coming.
The film was shot and edited by Alex Mallis.
Here’s a simple and clear opinion piece about the reform movement represented by Occupy Wall Street.