Tomorrow, Saturday November 5, 2011, is Bank Transfer Day. That means that Americans everywhere are moving their money out of big banks and putting them into smaller local banks and credit unions that are FDIC insured. The Occupy Wall Street movement is having serious consequences and is beginning to wake people up to how easy it is to change things when millions decide to act. The big banks have been making life very difficult for many people through absurd fees, rates and indecipherable rules meant to empty pockets. But the problem is actually much more serious than that. Big banks are actually putting lives at risk through illegal foreclosures all across the United States. Masses of people are boiling with anger that is going to reach a critical overload. Moving money out of these banks into credit unions is a common sense approach to smacking big banks. But this event is just a warm-up. What we are practicing for is the eventual ability of the population to move almost overnight to totally destroy a chosen corporation. The ability to do so is almost here and will make itself apparent in very short order. I’m talking about a population that will be able to pick a corporation – say a major auto manufacturer for instance – and totally liquidate that corporation. This will be a weaponized and highly focused form of boycott, but it will be characterized by extremely sudden mass decision-making unlike anything ever seen in history. Get ready for it. Start your warmup tomorrow by moving to a credit union or small local bank.
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.
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.
Powerful unions have joined with the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. The movement is exploding across the nation, taking root in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The protests are a direct reaction to the inability of the government to fairly tax its people even in the face of a major worldwide financial catastrophe. With the shrill and irrational assertions of Republicans and their Tea Party people sounding like some sort of majority opinion, people are getting out in the streets to show what the real majority really thinks.
Django’s Ghost has posted a stirring and rather enthralling video compilation of the ongoing and exploding phenomenon known as Occupy Wall Street. The film is set to several rock & roll protest songs and it gets across the feelings of rising anger and the public’s growing awareness that it can in fact stop the corporate takeover of the United States.
The protesters seem to me to be a rather intelligent and well-behaved crowd. Some of the New York police however appear to be overeager. Cops always end up on the wrong side of these things. They never get it right. Many of them seem to be pretty easy-going, but there are always the brutes that come stomping in and make a mess of things.
I love the way the crowd is so heavily armed with photographic equipment. The protesters are their own journalists!
This movement is spreading quickly. It’s come to Los Angeles at City Hall and is springing up in other cities as well. People are angry about the corporate takeover of their country and their Supreme Court. Losing a President to corporate interests is one thing. That is rather expected. Obama jerked us all around and then turned into a cheeseball from General Motors. But when our Supreme Court gets bought out and turns into a boardroom… well, that is a terrifying problem. That is just about the end of the line. A democracy cannot survive the corruption of the judicial branch.
Thanks to Marc Campbell at Dangerous Minds.