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Thread: Occupy Melbourne/Wall St discussion

  1. #1

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    Default Occupy Melbourne/Wall St discussion

    Is anyone else interested in/ following Occupy Melbourne/Wall St/ wherever else? Thoughts, discussions, articles/blogs links...post here


  2. #2

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    I hafta say....I don't get it I understand what they're saying about the 1%, but what are they actually doing?

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    They are in Brisbane too. Some of their signs I really disagree with... there was one blaming Judeo-Christian American worship of capitalism or something similar. Seriously? I agree with a few of their points... especially the tax payer funded bail outs of big companies, but a lot of it is rather O.o.

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    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 neighbors; 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 color 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 nonhuman 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 labor 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!
    Last edited by PumpkinZulu; October 24th, 2011 at 09:42 AM.

  5. #5

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    That's the first declaration from Occupy Wall St.

    To me, it's a sign that people have had enough. Of greed. Of unethical corporations. It's people being unified in a belief, and making a stand and having our voices heard on a mass, global scale.

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    Hmmm, how very interesting! Are they actually doing anything there, or just 'occupying'?

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    If this works, I wonder how long it would be before the same thing happened to governments - especially given the frequent payrises they give themselves....

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    Personally I dislike the whole "they" thing - who exactly are "they" - different groups of people different companies are responsible for the different statements above. I don't think broad brushed "corporations, multinationals are bad" statements are helpful - the whole us and them thing doesn't sit well with me and the lumping together of all sorts of different issues, issues that have been around forever. I prefer things that tell you the positive actions you can do to help drive change in particular areas - what exactly are we asking for in relation to those statements, what are the sensible solutions? It is easy to list all the things that are wrong - far harder to work out how to put them right (maybe there is info on this just I haven't see it in the media / it wasn't immediately easy to see on the web site).

    To me is a bit like when you are having an argument with a friend of partner - you should stay on topic and not bring up other unrelated issues in order to make your point. That just dilutes the original point. You have an issue you deal with that issue not bring up every other thing that you dislike or have a problem with.

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    There are a lot of sentiments in that statement that I agree with but I have a major problem with them not articulating any solutions/policies - I just don't think that's constructive.

    As for the Australian protests, I guess I see them as jumping on a bandwagon and I don't like bandwagons. I have not been following it ultra-closely but they don't seem to be putting forward any specific ideas, just a litany of things that they disagree with. I don't like the negativity. If you're bothered enough to protest, then be bothered enough to come up with some constructive ideas as to how we can make our society better/more equitable etc. etc.

    Yes, I agree that the gap between rich and poor is widening. Yes, I agree that it stinks that governments have bailed out big companies yet they make welfare cutbacks to help fund that (in the UK/US, not here). As far as Aus goes, the lack of affordable housing is a huge issue as is the cycle of welfare dependency but I haven't heard them put forward ideas on how to address that.

    So have sympathy with their malaise, no sympathy with the lack of ideas.

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    Interesting thought Keiks...I guess it's kind of an unknown quantity. Where do we draw the line?

    As far as I'm aware of OM (but I assume Wall St is similar), they are occupying (new site is going to be the treasury gardens on Saturday, as protesters were forcefully removed from city square) as well as education, helping the homeless, handing out literature. There is a legal team, a soup kitchen, free clothes, first aid, an aboriginal tent for more education. I'm hesitant to go to certain events with DD but will be attending the general assembly tomorrow evening to learn more.

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    I hardly think there is a lack of ideas behind the movement, unless the only information you (collective) have is gleaned from the evening news.

    The main solution people are proposing has been dubbed 'the Robin-Hood tax'...a 1% tax on all financial and currency transactions that would raise literally billions to help those in our world who are poverty stricken:

    http://robinhoodtax.org.au/

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    Have already stuck up my hand to say that I haven't been following it closely other than listening to interviews on 774 with some of the protesters in which they did not, to my knowledge, put forward the idea you've just described - unless that's one coming from the American protest.

    If they do have specific ideas, then they are not getting them across very well in the mainstream media and if they are to bring about change they do need to get their message through to the mainstream media.

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    I have also listened to some of the protesters on 774 and I agree with you, their points were vague. It was actually quite disappointing. Many people in Melb are now also protesting against the fact that people were brutally removed from city square, rather than the original cause. It's very hard to get the message through mainstream media though, because that's not the flavour of the current situation; 'unruly' protesters etc are what's gaining attention atm, which is unfortunate, as these protests should remain peaceful.

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    I think David Cameron has said that no government manager should be paid more than x times the average wage. Something like that is tangible and if the protesters said that they would like to see a cap on CEO salaries (which are far higher relatively than they were two decades ago), I think they would have a lot of people agree with them. Or advocate for the phasing out of negative gearing on investment properties. I'm not saying they are the best policies (I haven't spent enough time weighing those up) - just examples of what I'd like to see from them - simple, tangible ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinZulu View Post
    Many people in Melb are now also protesting against the fact that people were brutally removed from city square, rather than the original cause. It's very hard to get the message through mainstream media though, because that's not the flavour of the current situation; 'unruly' protesters etc are what's gaining attention atm, which is unfortunate, as these protests should remain peaceful.
    To be honest, this is what I find most disturbing about the whole situation. In my opinion it goes against our democratic right to protest.

    While the American's may have some sort of agenda, I have to be honest and say that I think the Australian (Melbournian's in particular) are really just taking a stand against capitalist ideas that they see as unjust and inequitable. Personally I agree with that stance. But at this point I think there is very little to be achieved by what they are doing...

    Perhaps capitalism is reaching the end of its line... I don't know. But I do know that real change is unlikely to be born out of the Wall Street occupation and the other occupations that are going on around the world. Especially when the protestors don't have clear voice or a clear agenda. For them to be successful in bringing about real ideolistic change they will need to work within the system, form their own political parties, have a clear agenda and a singular voice. Provide the people with a vision and an ideal to pursue. Right now, they're a long, long, long way from gaining the support of the people, even though I suspect most agree with their underlying ideal.

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    The Robin Hood tax won't work. Here's why.

    The big corporation bosses want a certain amount of money in their bank account at the end of the year. If you tax them an additional 1%, they will just raise their own salaries enough to cover the cost. The expense will be passed back to us in two ways... either the price of goods/services will increase, or they will employ less people. It doesn't make economic sense to pass a Robin Hood tax.

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    It's not taxing salaries, it's taxing the finacial sector for transactions. So loosely, about 5 cents out of every $1000 traded.

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    Same deal... that will be passed back on to the consumers, with higher item prices and lower employment.

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