Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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Occupy Wall Street has entered its fourth week in Zuccotti Park. Justin Wedes, an initial organizers of the protests, talks about the movement and takes listener calls.
This conversation denotes and suggests that the government has no money, which is not so; the US government is spending about one trillion dollars per year on Afghanistan and approximately 869 billion a year on Iraq, as reported by the war budgets committee. California alone is spending twenty billion dollars on illegal immigrants which is going up as Ca. gives educational funding to illegal immigrants while the governor has slashed funding in half for all schools. It does not make sense. The government apparently has plenty of money to build schools and buy laptops for places such as Iraq or Afghanistan. America support the Egyptian military to the tune of two billion or more a year. America has military in over one hundred countries as well. All of these overseas expenditures all translate to "charge the American people" for our adventures. Too much money is being spent abroad while American politicians force deprivation upon it's middle class and impoverished peoples which makes up for 99% of the people. I would go so far to include the upper-middle class. The government overregulates small businesses, overcharging them for various unnecessary taxes while giving huge tax breaks to corporations. American greed-mongers accuse and berate the poor, disabled, and elderly pointing fingers at Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs. People on disability or the elderly barely receive enough to eat, pay rent, or the like. What they recieve, at least on the West Coast wouldn't allow them to obtain a decent apartment, pay any insurances, pay for gas, buy the extra medical equipment or items which insurances do not pay for, buy light bulbs or toiletries, or donate a dollar to the starving in Africa. Politicians look away and act like it is all their fault. The elderly who have worked all their lives are being threatened by greed-monger politicians and the wealthier sets of people. It's a a fabrication to sway attention of the real issues or "problems" that exist in the USA--jobs being sent to China or overseas and the extra heavy burdon of maintaining military in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan. The US State Dept. has been purchasing laptops for children in Iraq over the years and its motto was, "to purchase every Iraqi child a laptop." This is one costly expenditure which also does not make sense. America is charging the American people to purchase laptops for Iraqi children leaving American children out of the picture.
This was an excellent segment. Thank you, Brian, for your coverage of this new movement.
In regard to one of the comments on-air about ows presenting a laundry list of concerns, implying there is no hierarchy or prioritization (yet); it is only natural, I think, for the opening discussion to include our reaction to greed as well expressing a desire for green energy, etc. The reason is the 1%, so to speak, has dominated the public conversation for so long and has obviously alienated the majority of the American people (if voting is any indication), that simply there is a lot to say.
Nonetheless, I would like to suggest a focus. The "Corporations" didn't just magically wake up one morning and have the power to utilize a foreign slave-force in China or wherever to make its products, for example, WE gave it to them. This is still a representative democracy. Expose the laws that allow them to do it. And expose the Congresspersons who support such laws!
Not to sound hyperbolic, but isn't what they are doing essentially treason? Rulings and other permissions given to the Corporate Class to circumvent the Constitution are not only assuring the 1% will stay in power, but it is wrecking the economics of the entire world. Right? What do you think a coup would look like today? A bunch of guys in boats showing up with funny hats?
That being said, here's my idea.
Are there any lawyers out there? Can SPECIFIC Congresspersons be indicted in a lower court on Constitutional grounds for NOT representing the People of the United States but acting for and on behalf of Corporations/the "Corporate Class", in direct opposition to the recent (idiotic and dangerous) Supreme Court ruling that "Corporations are people"?
Thank you again for the public platform and to everyone who is contributing.
I first like to say that I sympathize with the movement and what it stands for, IN PRINCIPLE. I would go even further and say that the if the 1% has indeed the 100% of the decision making power, they should pay 100% of the taxes.
HOWEVER, it is easy for me to understand the way the current elite thinks and operates and it's easer for me to comprehend them that to deal with the kind of distrustful individuals like Justin Wedes and his irritating/condescending little laugh. The only clear thing about him is that he's milking it for as long as he can, he wants his little BS blog to take off, and maybe make some tax free money out of it.
Keep calm and carry on. And stop giving airtime to these losers.
Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup has offered to speak with OWS leaders.
I am a left wing finance professional with 22 years experience in banking and sales & trading. I would like to help the leadership engage in this conversation. Can anyone please help me connect with an appropriate person?
I am watching right now bill dobbs from occupy wall st on cuny tv, the ronnie eldridge show. He is their press liaison i believe, and he's an excellent speaker and spokesman...very factual, informative and clear. Brian and producers please watch this repeated tonight at 9pm. He explains things well and needs wide exposure. Please see if you can contact him for your show---the guest today justin was also good, but dobbs would give another facet of this whole phenomenon.
“Combine poisonous factory-farm tomatoes with disgraced investment banker Bernard Madoff. Throw in a stock market disaster. You get a public spooked by the dangers of industrial food production and investors wary of risky business. This may be the recipe for a Slow Money revolution.”
– David Gutnick, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(from Slow Money website)
WHY HASNT "OCCUPY WALL STREET DEMANDED INDICTMENTS FOR FRAUD BY WALL STREET AND BIG BANKS. THIS IS A LEGAL ISSUE. THE DEMONSTRATORS SHOULD DEMAND LEGAL RECOURSE FOR THE DAMAGE TO THE ECONOMY AND THE COUNTRY.NO ONE HAS SERVED JAIL TIME FOR FRAUD AND THESE DEMONSTRATORS SHOULD BE PUSHING FOR REFORM OF THE LAW. THE MEDIA, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SHOULD BE VOCALLY SHOWING THE REST OF THE WORLD HOW WE HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THESE CRIMES.
A very interesting interview with David Koren of Yes Magazine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hhzwgIxqOc0Labelling the demonstrators as Anarchists is ironically amusing coming from the architects of the Deregulation that caused our current woes. What is Deregulation but the overthrow of laws that were brought about to protect average Americans? So tell me, who are the really lawless, the real law breakers? The only difference between the average Anarchist and the average Wall Street CEO is the size of his bank account; nihilism has many faces.
----------------------------Finding out stuff without the luxury of a "New Yorker" extended background article is difficult!-----------------------------------
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I agree with many comments here….yes, use more traditional media….hold press conferences on TV…tell us what you want specifically….somebody has got to lead and fashion this mvt into a real pressure group. Our govt doesn’t know what real pressure is, so they do whatever they want.
You have to appeal to “middle America” to get more support..don’t waste your gains so far, by only relying on “horizontal meetings” and twitter etc. There are millions who don’t use twitter and the like. When you talk about diversity, please mention the many middle ages and elderly people who turn out for your marches….I am one who has marched twice!
Also the idea to have 2 shifts like in Egypt so the division of labor is more efficient and people can go and return is great. Also to have branches of ows in the other Bronx, bklyn, queens is excellent….many working people who lack time to go camp out, would participate all over the tri state! Do it! The TV news will grab it and amplify it. You have a voice …now you need a megaphone. Get on TV amap.
Btw, the upper east side march was a creative idea and got media from world over…they got photos of those big checks left at millionair’s doors. I was there and was interviewed by german tv! Also saw people from Chinese tv, democracy now, abc news, and wnyc.
"We are a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the way corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society." "Now 92,816 strong!"(From: http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/90/mckibben-environmental-movement-mind.html )
From the Adbusters Wiki:
The subtitle of Adbusters magazine is "The Journal of the Mental Environment"
STOP BEING TRIBBLES
The entire segment and seventy comments go by without any inquiry into who or what "Adbusters" or "General Assembly" are.Except for the self-narratives being pushed by these enterprises, there is little information about their backgrounds, financial interests, and political pedigrees. I seem to remember much "investigative" effort to link the "Tea Party" phenomenon with Fox News and the Koch Brothers. Is there any effort to clarify who, if anyone, might be "behind" these "occupiers"?(Interesting question: does WNYC or NPR share any of the same sources of major financial resources?)
I think the 1% means that 50% and more (depending on where you are) of the nation's wealth is owned by 1% of the people and we 99% have to scramble for the leftovers. I heard a woman on a news report about yesterday's march - "we're not against people on the UES - we employ nannies and other helpers" (to that effect) Nannies etc. who don't have benefits or any kind of security, or FICA, etc. Just like what you might find in a 3rd world country - where we are headed! BUT the 1% need bodyguards and dogs etc. and live behind walls with glass shards imbedded as deterrents...
What could be more obvious than that NYC should provide port-a-potties at Zuccotti Park? The costs would be minimal. The benefits to quality of life and public health substantial.
Mayor Bloomberg, mega-savvy mega-entrepreneur, often extols the wisdom of following common sense above rigid adherence to rules. His Administration’s decision to flout common sense--to not protect public health and quality of life by providing toilets at Zuccotti--makes clear that, while he publicly proclaims the right of OWS to demonstrate, he is working behind the scenes to cause problems for the OWS demonstrators, stirring up antagonism against them, in order to undermine freedom of speech that he doesn’t want to hear, even though he knows his tactics are causing harm to the larger population of the city.
Mr Mayor: If you truly support American freedom of speech, or care about public health and quality of life, provide port-a-potties to OWS today.
Mr Lehrer: Please question the Administration about doing this.
I had called earlier to talk to your guest. I was told I was on next, but that never happened. I just kept waiting while others came on. Anyway, the reason I called was to ask Justin why the Wall Street protesters are not going after Citizens United. In my opinion that one decision looms large as the biggest extant threat to our democracy. It lets big business spend without limit and thus make politicians do their bidding- exactly what the Wall street protesters are protesting. So I think they should call for a Constitutional Amendment to repeal Citizens United. Obviously, it would take a countrywide grassroots movement to make that happen. These protests seem like a good start, and now is their opportunity.
Here is one org. hard at work to rebalance everything down to soil full of poop from critters who mainly eat grass and graze in the sunshine - and nourish us in so doing - as Joel Salatin says, "solar". Good plan.
Their annual gathering is taking place in SF today - streaming today, PDT 9-5
I finally made it to OWS last weekend and was impressed at the organization, opportunities to get involved, and sense of community. But there are many of us in the 99% who work, have children, and live too far from lower Manhattan to share in the powerful experience of being in Zucotti Park itself.
I know there are already Outreach teams, but - Would you support satellite protests in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn for communities that cannot easily make it out, but whose voices are NECESSARY to fully represent the 99%?
Some free advice for the protestors, since you're generally lost in what you want: You'd better use your brains to figure out a way to improve your personal circumstances. This economy is going to be like this for years to come, with a marked dip into an actual Depression imminent (next 12-18 months).The good that will come out of the carnage of the last 3 years and probably the next 10 years to come is that people will be forced to live modestly, save again, realize the folly of racking up student loans for useless degrees, and will look towards making the US independent again, rather than interdependent. It's going to be ugly, painful and just bad in the meantime so get used to that and figure something out. Uncle Sam is broke and so is the middle class. Expecting more help from either party is useless. Whatever you want to do in life, no one else is going to do it for you except you. Your profs probably neglected to mention that in 4 years at University.
I agree with the commenter below. You seemed to scoff at the idea of an old school press conference. If you want the movement to be truly inclusive and representative of all of us who have been affected by the wall street money grab that happened after the deregulation policies of the Bush administration, you need to get information out to EVERYONE. Do you really think the middle aged blue collar workers who are disproportionately affected by this mess are regularly following your 10 different twitter feeds? It's a bit myopic to think so - and to the detriment of a movement that COULD do so much good.
Justin, one piece of feedback in regards to releasing the demands of Occupy Wallstreet. I think it is short-sighted to not also disseminate information via "old media" channels, ie. via having a press conference with news sources.
By only using social media channels, you may fail to attract the attention and support of people over the age of 35, as well as people who choose not to own, or can not afford, a lot of gadgets. I'm in my 40's, and I do not follow Twitter or Facebook transmissions, and know many of my peers in my age group and older do not, either. We still read many newspapers and news magazines (online and in print), and still have a great respect for professional reporters and fact-checked, edited journalism. Many other people still watch the news on TV, especially in regions in the US that are not as tech-obsessed as we are in large cities.
I think it's important for this movement to appeal to as broad a base of people as possible, and to not alienate older people by insisting it solely operate as a social media-driven protest.
If there were any commonality with the proto-fascist, oligarch loving, racist Tea Party movement then their message would be very different and would lose my support immediately!
This arthritic 75-yr old Madoff victim wonders what I can do. What can I do to help this movement grow? We all bear the burdens of the past 10 years - torture, war, greed. I thank you all for giving yourselves to this cause.
Thank you for protesting for those of us who can't make it to downtown every day!! Nicholas Kristof of the NYT offered a concise handful of demands for protesters. Why can't this, or similar list of 5, become the official demands? I'm also wondering why you don't hire (with funds that have been donated to OWS) an accomplished academic in the economics field as a spokesperson? Paul Krugman, for instance.
Justin, I read in Metro (Who seems not to like us) that Geraldo Rivera was turned away from Zuccotti Park by protesters chanting "Fox lies". I can see us doing this because Fox does lie but as an inclusive movement, the 99%, will things likde this ultimately cheapen the movement and render us as a bunch of priveledged liberals who don't represent the entire 99%?P.S. I have been working at the info desk sincee Wednesday.
All i hear is give me give me give me, how about working like us 99%
@ John A
That speaks precisely to my point on why it's stupid when there is nudity at a protest. easy to marginilize on those station.
You and I can reject the "news" that focuses on the one individual who did that...but the majority of people are still getting their information from those sources. It's a simple fact.
What happends when the light s go on, so no electricity, no movement?? White kids with computers.
Isn't a truly representative government the ONLY source of power that can countervail the immense power of corporately consolidated money power? So moving into political action is the only hope for any success.
Can the guest explain how anything will change so long as politians and policy makers are beholden to Goldman Sachs?
"occupy" conotes oppression and neo colonialism to me. The brutality of occupation throughout history to the singular occupation in our world today has stripped people of their rights and human dignity. As a black man with a colonial history I cannot identify with ANY occupation. Change the damn name.
Allan has asked this already a couple of times, but I repeat the question because I think it's really important: what is being done to educate the protesting population on politics, economics, and tax law that can best use all these minds so we can all be a part of helping ourselves?
What I see here is the creation of a Mobocracy, which our Founding Fathers were opposed. A Mobocracy eventually turns into a mob, which usually turns into a pogrom. Or a war on the streets. All of this frustration will lead to nothing but trouble. No one will get a loan to build a house from them. No one will get a paying job from them. It's just trouble looking to happen.
It seems unlikely that the 1% will make meaningful permanent change of their own free will and it's easy to dismiss a movement that demonizes a particular group. Isn't any meaningful change going to have to be legislative and if so, doesn't this movement need to occupy legislators?
i don't think you have to be a political party to get things done. an example? well, look in the news last week... look at Apple. They changed culture, and they are a relatively small group, with strong ideas and the know-how to streamline them so that people can seamlessly integrate them into their lifestyles.
Has your movement in NYC at least tried to get a permit from the city to protest? If not, why?
are there commonalities with the Tea Party and is there any way to fuse the two to have a stronger political influence?
Occupy Wallstreet doesn't need stated goals because creating discourse is the goal. That being said, how will we know when it's over?
Can you please comment on the racial demographics of the movement? It has a very white appearance in the media. The economy disproportionately affects people of color. Where are those faces and voices? Shouldn't they be at the forefront?
if I want to make a contribution,who do i write the check to?or does he only accept cash, in small bills?
Why not simply demand a bill or amendment banning private money from politics. You seem to be appealing to Gov. for help, but they are in the pockets of the banks/oil cos etc... They cant help until their payola is cut off.
what are you doing to ensure racial and gender equality?
Mr Wedes is a highly coherent, articulate and eloquent speaker. Terrific. Sign this guy up for a major radio career.
Could you please explain, in concrete terms, what success would look like for Occupy Wall Street?
Justin, what specifically do you and your movement want to happen to Wall Street? If your goal is to dismantle it, what if anything do you propose to replace it with?
Against Wall Street? Does that include the secretaries, administrative assistants, security guards, human resource folks and all the many people in NYC who are employed by these evil capitalists?
I've spent time at OWS, but am primarily involved in the undocumented students' movement, where most people literally have no vote. So my question is, will you engage in electoral politics? We see a lot of anarchists and talk on the media about revolution, but if we don't elect better representatives aren't we going to be stuck with the same 1% we have running things now?
ASK about these abuses
Break Down In Rule of law:
Carried Interest (Special Tax for hedge Funds and Private Equity)
REPO 105 ($50 Billion FRaud at Lehman Brothers)
High Frequency Trading...illegal market manipulation
ROBO Signing = Forgery
No one goes to Jail
The idea of getting ones money out of multi-nationals is happening. Myself my cousin my brother, it starts that small but everyone I know is talking about, and doing it. I think once people understand what a credit union is they will be happy to make a move. The boneheadedness of Bof A to institute the debit card charge just illustrated how deeply out of touch they are with the quiet rage happening out here in middleclassland
How do all of these protestors have time to hang out at the Park? Are they unemployed? Do they work night shifts? Do they not have children to get from school? Are they retired? I find the concept of protests fascinating precisely because of the difficulty of actually taking time to be there! Good luck to those who can be there.
How about addressing the bribery (aka campaign contributions) of congress bythe bankers, brokers and corporate maggots.This is why there are no laws beingmade and enforced to stop the thievery.
This is directed at those commenters who are saying "why the nudity?". News reports are edited down from hours to minutes. If your newschanel is talking nudity, toss the bimbos (those newseditors) out and get a "real" newschannel. Using marginalizing information to exclude legitimate information is the sign of either an agenda or just sensationalism on the part of that broadcaster. PBS,NPR, and NBC have spared me that.
It's great that the Occupy movement is loudly pointing the finger at Wall Street and the faults of the Government in terms of serving the public, but what's the next step politically? Is there going to be a Occupy Washington Party? It seems to me that there are WAY too many issues being addressed and the message WAY too diffuse to pierce the capital dome in DC.
How did they choose the 99/1% split? Why the top 1% and not, say, the top 5%?
I was really thrilled to see this movement spring up. But my heart sinks when I read or hear the group's list of concerns, because it is a kitchen-sink list: With all the critical issues here, you have to be strategic - - Why dilute them with something like animal testing, or where garbage containers come from - - FIRST THINGS FIRST, or there won't be any second things
If no leader, they are not going anywhere. Every movement needs a leader.
a clever propagandist; all questions lead to a greater committee; does "General Assembly" have a "corporate identity"; what are its financial sources?
After the last Great Depression, most people avoided Wall Street until the 1980s, when Wall Street was able to finagle most of us to trust them with our money. They bought into the idea of speculation. I don't blame Wall Street anymore than I blame any other casino looking to rake in our money. The blame falls on us stupid people for buying into the idea that you can have something for nothing. That you can borrow all that money to buy a house without collateral, co-signors, or even proof of income. The whole house of cards had to come down, and I was amazed that it took as long as it did.
I am a Wall Streeter and would like to apologize for the rudeness that my inexperienced and obnoxious colleagues are putting forth to your movement. We are not all like that. There are members of Wall Street that believe in fairness and free speech. The negative ones are just inexperienced, obnoxious, and fearful.
Please continue and be strong with your message of fairness. There are those that will be extraordinarily negative towards you; but, there are others (yes, on Wall Street) that support your request for fairness.
Do you anticipate expansion, and how will this be accommodated by the city/NYPD? Are there safety concerns? Any internal Rifts?
What leverage is going to be used to bring about change in the financial industry?
What policies are the occupiers asking to be changed?
Why not start a moratorium on credit card use? Or, burn your credit cards? With credit cards responsible for $2.5 trillion transactions/year - it will certainly get the attention of banks. Ultimately, Wall St.'s greed is reflective of the greed of the American people.
Ask him if he erver read Animal Farm, and that he eventually will be in the ruling class, screwing those below??
wall streeters and politician are unfortunalty in the same bed.
I am really happy as a NYC resident with the downtown occupation, but am curious what is being done to educate the protesting population on politics, economics, and tax law that can best use all these minds so we can all be a part of helping ourselves?
Just for your info - I recieved an email this morning from a very right-wing person that featured photos of signs being held by (presumed) OWS people. The signs are supporting communism or the destruction of capitalism. This is what you are going to be confronted with soon.
Do we deal with the efforts from Fox and the right to discredit the movement by taking them on vigorously (the Clinton strategy whenever he faced criticism) or by ignoring it, or by some combination?
I just saw this on the BL facebook page:
Would you ask her/him to consider "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose!" as a new chant?
Seriously good idea! We all love Coach Taylor!
I've not heard anywhere why Occupy Wall Street isn't allowed to use megaphones or any sound amplification systems! Can he or anyone explain why that is? I'm sure it's been stated somewhere along the past 25 days but I missed that one fact.Thanks
I'm very concerned about the movement creating voter apathy among progressives. The rhetoric that argues that there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans only helps Republicans. How will you feel if and when Romney gets to replace liberals on the Supreme Court with Scalia-style "strict constructionists"?
Can you talk a little bit about the growing Ron Paul contingent attending the protests? Do you think this is the direction you will be heading, or is it more of a co-opting force?
Have you had any visits or support from city council members or the Public Advocate.
Have you asked the city to provide port a potties and if so what was the response?
Wondering what the organizers thoughts are on the links in this movement to some core sustainability content -- sustainability in the "new economics"/real prosperity and human well-being versus phantom wealth/greater equality sense.
1) Why the nudity
2) I thought they had no leaders?
3) Why don't they get rid of the Crusties??
4) Dont they understand that some of there acts are a turn off??
I'm greatly inspired by what you're doing. Thank you for this necessary work. A friend told me that she'd heard that the OWS NYC group was planning a march to Washington, DC. However, I haven't been able to confirm that on any OWS Facebook pages. Is a march to DC being planned? If so, for when.
from my understanding the protesters from Egypt use to have 2 shifts one in day the other at night that way it gives them time to go home shower sleep and see there families... is this something you guy would consider implementing. the other comments what are your thoughts on Robert B. Reich and his writings and stands in economic point of views ?
Can you define what level of income signifies the 1 percent?
1 - Who among those who are occupying (which includes me, when I've been able to be down there) would agree that you are a "leader"?
2 - I have watched the left over my several decades be very starry-eyed about the ability of this kind of fervor in and of itself to make changes. Which working groups are making hard-nosed pragmatic plans for moving forward in the face of the realities of the forces arrayed against us?
When will the movement find a more suitable name? I recommend "the 99%".
List the best, or 5 best, websites for official information.
How do you expect your ideas to get turned into reality?
Nudity defintely undermines the message. I don't understand why there's always a segment who think their message will come across by getting nude as opposed to making it easy to peg evryone as a bunch of cooks.
I would also like to know about October 15th.....
I marched yesterday in the upper east side millionaires march.2 questions: Seems many people along the route gave verbal approval. Lots of press from local public radio, a german tv station, the Chinese tv, Democracy Now, and ABC News. I think there are lots of wealthy people who approve of the rich paying more taxes, and are willing to do so. They know they’re getting away with a lot. Brian---how about having some of them on your show? Hearing their reasons for paying more would be an eye opener for many.
Also there was a woman completely naked on top in the middle of the march. I lost sight of her later, so don’t know what happened to her. Is public nudity against the law? Did she attract police attention? There were hundreds of police along the route. She was partially hidden in the crowd.Also this is obviously an exhibitionist who uses the march to display herself. It probably undermines the message of the occupy wall st to allow this. We can’t afford to alienate middle America watching this, to put it mildly. We need to attract them.And this is the very thing that even the ny times used in several articles to make sarcastic put downs of the whole movement. Let’s get real.
I have two questions:
since there are so many i-phones, i-pads laptop computers, tattoos and piercings, and other mobile devices in evidence among the protesters in Zucatti Park, when can we intelligently disregard the protestors' claims to be suffering economically;
since the protestors have now taken to attempting actual intimidation in front of private residences, when can we expect the protestors to start calling for the "liquidation" of "kulaks"?
Thank you for you attention.
where the protest in sitting in a pen, caged like a good drone. it's time to leave the park and make some real noise!
How are you making sure OWS isn't being co-opted by the Democratic party?
I heard there will be a big demonstration this Saturday the 15th. If so, where and when does it begin?
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