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#OccupyTogether: The Best Among Us October 1, 2011

Posted by rogerhollander in Economic Crisis, Revolution.
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Published on Friday, September 30, 2011 by TruthDig.com

  by  Chris Hedges

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.


To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher.

Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.

Protesters march past Federal Hall on Wall Street on Monday. The Occupy Wall Street protest is in its second week in New York City as demonstrators speak out against corporate greed and social inequality. (AP / Louis Lanzano)

The only word these corporations know is more. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies.

Who the hell cares? If the stocks of ExxonMobil or the coal industry or Goldman Sachs are high, life is good. Profit. Profit. Profit. That is what they chant behind those metal barricades. They have their fangs deep into your necks. If you do not shake them off very, very soon they will kill you. And they will kill the ecosystem, dooming your children and your children’s children. They are too stupid and too blind to see that they will perish with the rest of us. So either you rise up and supplant them, either you dismantle the corporate state, for a world of sanity, a world where we no longer kneel before the absurd idea that the demands of financial markets should govern human behavior, or we are frog-marched toward self-annihilation.

Click here to access OCCUPY TOGETHER, a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St.

© 2011 TruthDig.com



Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.


ACORN: Stop Foreclosures Now January 28, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Economic Crisis.
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ACORN Foreclosure Campaign Alert
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           Baltimore ACORN members protest a recent foreclosure auction.  





Dear Roger,

I am writing to you today to announce the next phase in ACORN’s anti-foreclosure campaign. With over 2.3 million people facing foreclosure in 2008, the urgency of this crisis could not be greater. It affects all of our communities, but especially low-and moderate-income neighborhoods and communities of color, epitomized by people like ACORN members Rosa and Juan Rico.

Facing an impending foreclosure, the Ricos have been trying to work with their bank for months to get a modification of their loan. But the bank just kept giving them the runaround.

So Rosa and Juan, with backing from 40 Oakland ACORN members, moved themselves into a local branch of the bank on January 15th, complete with a cot and sleeping bags in order to press their demand that the bank work with them.

Unsurprisingly, the bank managers immediately called the police and kicked ACORN and the Ricos out pretty quickly. It’s clear that when banks decide to move swiftly they can, but it is sad that with the Rico’s they are swift only in saying “No!”

In 2008 2.3 million families faced foreclosure proceedings, the highest number since the Great Depression. Though the cost to individual families is hard to measure, the cost to our economy is staggering: using the Joint Economic Committee estimate of $78,000 per foreclosure, the cost to the US economy was at least $156 billion in 2008.

If we do not take any action, Credit Suisse predicts that there will be between 8 and 9 million foreclosures in the next four years, at a potential cost to the economy of $702 billion. Simply put, addressing the foreclosure crisis must be at the heart of any economic recovery plan.

Foreclosure Campaign
The foreclosure crisis touches all aspects of the economic meltdown and as such requires a comprehensive solution. A comprehensive solution requires a comprehensive campaign. ACORN’s strategy has two objectives: help affected families stay in their homes and create the political will necessary to implement a comprehensive solution in the face of the full court press lobbying effort the financial industry is running-an effort that cuts homeowners out of any recovery package.

Thus ACORN’s campaign is working to put the human faces of foreclosure victims front and center while escalating the campaign tactics to include civil disobedience aimed at keeping people from losing their homes. Everything is on the table: disruption of sales, disruption of banking business, even refusing to be evicted or moving families back into their foreclosed homes. (For a full description of our recent work, see my Huffington Post blog posting) from Tuesday, Jan 27. The urgency of the crisis demands no less.

This week we’re launching a petition  asking the Obama Administration to adopt a set of short-term and long-term steps to address the crisis. Please take a minute to sign the petition and join the campaign to halt foreclosures. Please make sure that all your friends and family get this e-mail as well, so they can join in the fight!

But the biggest escalation of this campaign will occur over the first three weeks of February as ACORN members and local activists launch an effort to keep foreclosure victims in their homes.

Fighting Back – Homesteading and “Home Defender Teams”
Despite the refreshing change in attitude towards the plight of families facing foreclosure from the Obama Administration, it is clear that there continues to be tremendous opposition from the financial services industry and Wall Street to any plan that truly helps homeowners.

Therefore, ACORN members are launching a Homesteading effort as part of the comprehensive foreclosure campaign. Rolling out during the month of February, it will help families threatened with foreclosures to stay in their homes, or in some cases, to reoccupy their homes. ACORN members will occupy their homes in growing numbers of cities around the country in acts of civil disobedience designed to force the issue.   

ACORN is working with its membership and activists around the country to build “Home Defender Teams”. These teams will be prepared to mobilize on short notice to peacefully help defend a family’s right to stay in their homes until a fair solution to the crisis is put into place by the new Administration.  We are recruiting allies and elected officials to support our efforts and call for a full and comprehensive solution to this crisis.

We are escalating this campaign both to help save individual families’ homes, but also to win a foreclosure moratorium – some needed breathing room – while we push for a comprehensive solution to this crisis.

Look for a formal announcement of the Home Defender teams at the beginning of February, complete with a link to the on-line form that people who want to ensure that hard-hit families can stay in their homes until a common-sense solution to the crisis is put in place can use to join in. In the meantime, sign the petition  to the Obama Administration in order to fight back against Wall Street interests blocking needed reform from being enacted.

Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know who is affected by this crisis so we can all start fighting back now!



Bertha Lewis

ACORN CEO and Chief Organizer