AMY GOODMAN: We turn here to New York and the Occupy movement. As participants in Occupy Wall Street continue protesting the record profits made by banks bailed out by taxpayer money, a group of grassroots activists are hitting JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo where it hurts most: the wallet. Dubbing this Saturday as "Bank Transfer Day," activists are urging people to move their money out of the largest banks in the country into local community banks and credit unions.
Peter Seybold traces the pernicious influence corporatization has had on the American campus to almost a decade before the Reagan Revolution of 1980, to a memo written by Richmond, Va., attorney Lewis F. Powell Jr. to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in late summer 1971.
Powell, who would be nominated for Supreme Court justice by President Richard Nixon just two months later, said American business had to take the offensive to counter the social movements of the 1960s and early '70s, said Seybold, a sociology professor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Among the institutions Powell said the business world had to recapture was the American campus.
"Part of this was a cultural and political attack on the university," Seybold said.
The streets of Bloomington swelled on Oct. 15, 2011, with Occupy Bloomington protesters who demanded a cultural revolution that rewards humanity and justice over avarice and sociopathy. The march began at People's Park and proceeded to the Farmer's Market and back to the park, with stops at Chase bank, the Monroe County Jail and the Farmer's Market.
As motorists, downtown shoppers and market-goers honked, smiled and otherwise demonstrated support, the marchers chanted "We are the 99 percent; you are the 99 percent," "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," and "This is what democracy looks like."
“Hundreds turned out onto the streets of Indianapolis to protest the banksters and perpetual war machine. The crowd was high spirited and politically sophisticated. Revolution was in the air!” So went the assessment of day 1 of Occupy Indianapolis by Bob Baldwin, an Indianapolis resident.
In an e-mail, Baldwin did a good job capturing the mood of the protest, which began at noon on Oct. 8, and the corporate media did a decent job of describing its content. But no news story except one in the Bloomington Herald-Times mentioned the most exciting aspect of the event, the “leaderless resistance,” as that story described it – that is, the process through which the protest took place.
The reaction of Brian Williams and the mainstream media to Republican cheers for presidential candidate Rick Perry's execution record suggests they've never heard of Rainey Bethea or, for that matter, have little understanding of the American character and history. Whites, especially southern whites like the Texas governor, kill blacks, especially when times are tough. And they revel in it.
Bethea has the historic distinction of being the last human being publicly executed in the United States. He was hung on Aug. 14, 1936, in Owensboro, Ky., 120 miles southwest of Bloomington. The New York Times story on his death began, "Ten thousand white persons, some jeering and others festive, saw a prayerful black man put to death today on Daviess County's 'pit and gallows.'"
Passionate community members and students will gather at People's Park on Kirkwood Avenue at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, to begin an occupation of the park in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Occupy Together movement as a whole. Those in attendance will set up camping equipment to use the park as a hub to plan other events and actions around the Bloomington community to empower and raise awareness.
The Occupy Bloomington movement has drawn people of all ages, creeds, races, beliefs and political standings. Through group consensus the movement has agreed on a location and time to begin the event. Any interested community members are invited to come share ideas, passions and thoughts on where to take the movement.
I was not sure what to do on the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11. I did not plan to attend any events, but I still found my mind full of thoughts. I had the urge to remind myself that 10 years ago we all witnessed an attack on humanity and a gross representation, in fact a clear misrepresentation, of Islam.
Muslims have been trying to actively engage in an open dialogue with people of other faiths and of no faith for the past 10 years. I don’t know how far we have actually come. It will be nice to know if we have made any headway. I had no idea how to get these questions answered until my car rolled out of the parking lot of the local Islamic Center.
When Libyan rebels went to Bab al-Azizia in Tripoli last week, questions were raised about the success of the Libyan revolution. Is the Libyan revolution considered a victory? Would this victory have occurred without the help of NATO? Did the involvement of NATO undermine the uprising?
After Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's reign collapsed, there was a strong belief among Arab leaders that the collapse of additional Arab leaders should be avoided. Evidence of this is that the Arab leaders have encouraged their brothers to fight against their people. No one among the Arab leaders has yet made a declaration regarding the right of the people to demonstrate. Not even the Arab League said a word about that.
The Midwest Rising Convergence 2011, on Aug. 12–15 at the University of Missouri–St. Louis conference center, wasn’t an ordinary conference. It featured no experts or celebrities. The 200 or so participants co-operatively ran it, cooking and serving meals, working at the registration desk and holding workshops.
Billed as an anticorporate gathering of activists with a focus on environmental and economic justice and on the interconnectedness of social justice issues, the convergence was highlighted by several instances of direct action.
AMY GOODMAN: On the heels of last week’s deficit agreement, which widely criticized – was widely criticized for excluding a tax hike on the wealthy, as well as any measures to tackle high unemployment, the Congressional Black Caucus has launched a month-long campaign to address staggering unemployment rates among African Americans. In Detroit, Cleveland and Los Angeles, two cities that are stops on the tour, the unemployment rates are in the 40 percent range. The caucus chair last week slammed the deficit deal as a "Satan sandwich" that unfairly harms African Americans. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports Obama will embark on his own jobs tour that will take place in the middle of the caucus’s campaign.