Day 12 – Lashing out

The patience of the rich is running thin.

The editor of City AM rants today against the Archbishop of Canterbury. The clergy should stick to talking about God, he says, not some bolshevik-marxist bull about greed and poverty. Why the rant today? Because the AoC backed the proposition of Tobin tax – the only way the nations can make money from what became the fastest growing branch of Western economy. Imagine if the government couldn’t tax industrial production because industrial barons refused to agree to it. That’s the kind of situation we’re in.
The AoC also encourages to consider some of the things the Occupy protesters say. That’s pretty much the extent of his fault. Reading the rant, one would think the Archbishop demands a tear-down of the City skyscrapers, hanging the bankers, and giving all their money away to the poor. The CofE obviously stepped on one toe too many. Why can’t they understand Greed Is Good? A little bit of deadly sin once in a while never hurt anybody. It’s that stupid, stubborn sticking to some random ‘rules’ that makes the church ‘haemorrhaging members’!

The rich are losing their patience. “Poverty is idolized, material gain demonised,” claims Mr Heath – without providing any quotes to that effect. Yesterday representatives of several UK banks were trying to convince the public they’re not as bad as everyone thinks. The right-wing pundits in US have switched into full-on ‘victimization’ mode – as shown and brilliantly mocked on yesterday’s Daily Show. The 1% are the persecuted minority.

We’ve heard it before, of course. Back in 2008 it was the media’s and government’s fault that the public perception of the financial sector was so bad. They’re just doing their job. Nobody seems willing to step up and take the blame for anything that’s been happening. In the middle of the one of the greatest economic crises in living memory, ‘sorry’ seems, indeed, to be the hardest word.

#OccupyLSX Tent City

I made some photos of OccupyLSX tent city yesterday. I have no idea how anyone with clear conscience can be disturbed by this group. People are going in and out of St Paul’s unhindered, the place is clean, very well organized and fun. 

The recycling facilities and access to public library made it a better place to live than some parts of London!

There was a multi-faith ceremony taking place on the steps of the cathedral at the time.

The tent city accepts donations and is in need of some supplies – here’s their wishlist.

 

Day 11 – Business as usual

The unparalleled City AM has today an editorial piece about the 7bln child. They are happy. They say we should all be happy. More people is better for the economy, always. More consumers, more producers, more everything. The infinite hamster can be fed infinitely.

Let’s play a game. Let’s imagine what future awaits the 7bln kid from the perspective of an average City AM reader. What can it bring to the economy?

If it even survives long enough, not dying from a random disease, famine or war, it has some great prospects. It could work at a uranium mine. Or steal oil from refinery pipes. Or stitch cheap t-shirts or jeans. Its entire contribution to the world’s economy will most likely be – at best – to provide cheap labour for some multi-national or other.

But maybe it won’t be that bad. The sixth billion kid has it pretty good compared to most of his peers: he lives with his parents in a ‘decrepit block of flats’ in Bosnia, but at least he’s white, European, has access to food, water and free school. One day he may become a skilled worker, trying to find some low-paid (or un-paid, even) employment. If Bosnia joins EU by the time he finishes school, he may even end up quite well off – relatively speaking.

So cheer up, emo seventh billion kid. The good people at City AM will take care of you.

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They certainly can afford it. It’s not often that you can read the words ‘elite greedy pigs‘ in a broadsheet newspaper, but it seems even the Independent’s patience has its limits – even if it is just a quote.
According to the findings of Income Data Servings, the average pay in the corporate boardroom rose by 50% – for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW.

Crisis? What crisis?

There are only two explanations for this: either the fat cats realize their time is up and they’re just trying to hoard up as much cash as possible, or they really are so out of touch with reality as most people suspect them to and they aren’t aware they’re doing something wrong.

Day 8 – Bailing bailers

So, three years after the first crisis, the only knee-jerk solution the governments can come up with is to pour more money down the drain that is the world of high finance.

There are now banks falling and requesting bailing out all over the place – Greece, Denmark, Belgium. Franco-Belgian Dexia is a particularly appalling example: Belgium doesn’t even have a government, for longer than any nation in history, and yet its rulers have managed to suppress their endless arguments enough to agree on nationalizing a fallen bank. Nobody knows who will pick up the tab if Belgium falls apart under the financial strain of this endeavour, but nobody seems to care anyway. Dexia is ‘too big too fall’ – even though it already received substantial funding last time it flopped and had three years to prepare for another wave of the crisis.

Even City AM started to publish reports and first-hand accounts of how useless the banks have become when it comes to doing anything of even the remotest public interest. They are not lending money anymore – governments and business incubators had to take over that part of their business. They are obviously not providing a valid customer service. They are not even able to make money for themselves – otherwise there would be no need for a bailout.

In a completely unrelated report, bankers bonuses are set to reach new record highs next quarter. Obviously everyone’s doing a great job out there.

Day 7 – Occupy Wall Street Manifesto

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies. As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbours; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known. They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the colour of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labour and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.

To the people of the world, We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone. To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal. Join us and make your voices heard!