When the gods dance...

Friday, November 16, 2012


It is out!
While there has been suspicion that the 'Grand Bargain' being put forth by the White House to Congress was instead a 'Grand Betrayal,' nobody had the details until they were leaked.

Now we see that huge cuts are intended to all of our important social programs: Social Security, Medicare, TriCare, unemployment benefits, the Post Office, education and more, while there are hints at cutting corporate taxes further. And all of these cuts will be marketed to the American public by the "Fix the Debt" campaign created by Bowles and Simpson with their 80 CEO friends and a starting budget of $60 million for lobbying and public relations.

This is a scam, as shown in the "99% Deficit Report," we don't have a deficit crisis, we have a revenue and priority problem. Wealth has continued to grow in the US, but it is all going to the top who avoid paying taxes. If we taxed the rich and cut military spending, we could expand our social safety net.

So what are we going to do about it? We share ideas with you in this post-election reflection on strategy. There is a lot going on!

Strike 1: We are on the same neo-liberal  economic path as other countries around the world. In Europe there was a multi-national general strike against austerity this week.  You can join anti-austerity actions by organizing local casserole marches on the 22nd of each month. This month the 22nd is Thanksgiving Day. Join with your family and friends to march in your neighborhood, spread the word about the misinformation campaign being put on by "Fix the Debt" and share your photos with Via 22. You will find helpful tools at Solidarity Against Austerity.

Strike 2: On November 23, support the striking Walmart workers as they take on the biggest employer on the planet. Go to the Corporate Action Network to find or plan a Walmart protest near you. You can order Walmart Occucards to pass out. And you can find ideas to counter the mass consumerism of Black Friday here.

Strike 3: Support the new Strike Debt "The People's Bailout." The first fundraiser is tonight and it will be livestreamed on RollingJubilee.org. So far they have bought and abolished over $2 million in debt and tonight they hope to raise enough to erase $1 million in medical debt. In the US, medical debt is the biggest cause of personal bankruptcy meaning that when people have a serious accident or illness, even if they have health insurance, they risk losing everything. This campaign embodies the principle of mutual aid: human need not corporate greed!

Occupy Sandy continues to do excellent work providing support to those in New York and efforts are underway to assist those who have been hit hard in New Jersy. There is still a need for volunteers, money and supplies. Visit the Occupy Sandy hub to plug in.

Today, students at Berkeley are walking out to protest state defunding of public universities. This defunding is opening the doors to further corporatization and privatization of universities. It is part of the grand strategy as outlined in the Powell Memo to weaken higher education so that they will not be centers of free thought and rebellion as they were in the 60's and 70's.

We have seen other efforts to quell rebellion through illegal enforcement to prevent freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but some of these cases are being challenged in court and are winning. Grand Jury resister, Maddy Pfeiffer, was released this week in Seattle, WA. Photojournalist Carlos Miller won his case against police in Miami-Dade, Florida. Three from OWS won a $50,000 settlement.  And "Brave Beatrice" Semple of Occupy Eugene is on the path to winning her case against an illegal curfew, saying 

 “The things that we are protesting are not things that go away in the nighttime. People who are hungry in the daytime are hungry at night. If you don’t have health care and you are ill, you still ache at night.”

Semple also noted that many Occupy participants work — sometimes two jobs — and can “engage in political discourse” only after the workday is over.

Amazing resistance against the Keystone XL pipeline continues in Texas. And this weekend, there will be a mass action at the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA.

We are on the way to building a mass movement for justice and sustainabilty. Please share this update with your friends by forwarding it.

In peace and solidarity,
October2011/Occupy Washington, DC

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