Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is the Director of the Center for Media and Democracy’s Real Economy Project and editor of the www.BanksterUSA.org site for bank busting activists.

October 4th, 2011 5:03 PM

The Occupation Is On The Move, Find a Big Bank Protest Near You

U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone used to say "sometimes you have to pick a fight to win one."

Now Occupy Wall Street has picked one, right in Jamie Dimon's backyard.

But it won’t stay contained in Zuccotti Park. While Brookfield Properties called the park a "public sanctuary" in 2005, they have apparently changed their minds. Mr. Zuccotti wants his park back and the police are preparing to clear it with new rules barring camping, sleeping and breathing.

They are too late. The train has left the station and the Occupation is on the move. From Manhattan to Hawaii big bank protests are planned. Everyone who cares about creating an economy that works for working people should get on board.  

"Savvy Businessmen"

In 2009, President Obama told a group of 13 bankers "my administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks." Now the pitchforks are being tuned.  

It hasn't escaped notice of the 99% that while 1,000 top officers were jailed after the Savings and Loan debacle, not a single bankers has been jailed for their role in collapsing the global economy. The only firm really punished in the entire affair was Lehman Brothers, allowed to fail by Bush's Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

When Obama took over, he failed to crack down on Wall Street, he failed to even tag the Banksters as the culprits for the global economic meltdown. Rather he praised Goldman Sach's LLoyd Blankfein and JP Morgan Chase's Jamie Dimon as friends and "savvy businessmen."

Into the void stepped the GOP, who made huge gains at the federal and state level in 2010. Never shy, the GOP spinmeisters stepped right up to name the culprits: us. Now, in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, teachers, firefighters, nurses and other public workers are fighting for their lives -- in utter disbelief that they are being blamed as the cause of the economic downturn. The poor, the elderly and working families are being asked to pay more to close state budget shortfalls, while radical governors shell out billions in tax breaks.

The young people in Zuccotti are standing up to say enough is enough.

“We are the 99%”

As the Occupation of Wall Street enters its third week, the group has been criticized by media as not having a coherent message, as if a PR firm was a precursor to membership in our democracy. But from out here in Wisconsin, their message rings clear and true: The 99% percent has been shafted, our economic system is broken, and we need an economy that works for all.

The hopeful nature of the message, that change is possible when the monied elite have a stranglehold on our economy and our democracy, is itself remarkable and revolutionary. Too many Americans are ground down by opaque forces and feel powerless to change anything.

Messages like this one on the Occupy website resonate: "On September 27th, 2011, we marched on the Financial District's Luxury Night Out, where couples wore outfits that cost more than we will ever make in a month and looked at cars that cost more than we will ever make in a year, afterward, they went back to one of their many houses that cost more than we will make in our lifetime."

But for those who need a concrete list of demands, a working draft was produced though a consensus process on   September 29.

Lesson from Wisconsin: Pizza and Pizzazz

As someone who participated in the Seattle 1999 WTO protests and in the Wisconsin uprising, I offer a few observations as the “American Autumn” gets underway. The Occupiers have already learned a key lesson of Wisconsin, the physical occupation of a space can’t be beat. When folks are sleeping, eating and strategizing together, a lot of quality communication and consensus building gets done fast. New alliances can be forged, and quality pizza can be delivered from supporters across America.  

Another important lesson from Wisconsin is don't forget to put the classy in class warfare. We learned from Wisconsin that fun is essential to turning out large crowds. Only in a safe peaceful space will your supporters feel comfortable bringing kids and grandma, and your numbers can grow day by day, week by week. If the police give you trouble, as they have in NYC, try not to rise to the bait.

Lessons from Seattle: Big City Police Are Not Your Friend

Although Wisconsin protesters were able to forge solid relationships with police and firefighters who saw they were next in the collective bargaining firing line, this was a rare occurrence. Police in big cities, whose entire careers have been spent protecting private property, will not be your friend.

This weekend there were 700 arrests in Manhattan as occupiers took to the streets, stopping traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters charge that the police encouraged the march as a way of emptying the park and rounding up a large number of protesters and their leadership. Video shows police leading protesters onto an onramp on the Brooklyn Bridge where they are later corralled and carted away.

Protesters from the global justice movement -- which staged the successful 1999 WTO protests in Settle and forced the end of the “Millennium Round” of global trade negotiations -- can give you some advice based on subsequent battles. Police will infiltrate you by the dozens. They will identify and arrest your leaders without cause and hold them for as long as it takes.They will lure groups of you away for the sole purpose of corralling you and arresting you. Stay calm and protest on.

JP Morgan Chase Hearts the NYPD

As if more evidence were needed, news broke this weekend that JP Morgan Chase recently donated an “unprecedented” $4.6 million to the New York Police Foundation. “These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe," chirped Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

The big banks are worried about a wide-ranging investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into the Wall Street meltdown, not focusing on the small fry, but on the big fish -- the behemoth banks whose origination, pooling an securitization of mortgage-backed securities which turned our domestic housing bubble into a global economic catastrophe.

The banks freak every time Schneiderman drops a bomb such as “the markets didn't crash because we were paying too much to teachers.” Or how about “people are not going to be satisfied until they have a sense that those responsible have been held accountable." The Wall Street protesters are helping give Schneiderman a backbone.

Find a Protest Near You

A season of “Pay U.S. Back!” actions are planned for October under the banner of the "New Bottom Line" coalition, which among other things is demanding a financial speculation tax on the big banks. Find updates here.

Plus, the Occupation is spreading fast. You can find updates on many of the actions listed below at here.

In San Francisco, hundreds of protesters took to the streets targeting Bank of America, Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo.

In Seattle, hundreds of people shut down a Chase bank branch and 11 were arrested.

In Suncaidia, the Washington Community Action Network infiltrated the annual policy summit of Association of Washington Business, sponsored by Chase bank.

In Boston, 3,000 marched on Foreclosure King, Bank of America, to present their demands to stop foreclosures in the main lobby. More at Take Back Boston. Occupy Wall Street, Move On and organized labor is joining in with a major march planned for Wednesday, October 5.

Occupy Los Angeles is underway at City Hall.

Occupy Chicago is underway at the Federal Reserve bank.

Occupy Washington, D.C. starts on October 6 in Freedom Plaza. 

Refund California is planning a “home visit to a Wall Street executive" October 4 in Los Angeles.

Chicago is planning a Pay US Back Action October 9.

Minneapolis is planning a Pay US Back Action October 10. 

New York City is planning a Pay US Back Action October 11.

Occupy Milwaukee starts October 15. 

Denver is planning a Pay US Back Action October 25.

Honolulu is planning a Pay US Back Action November 5. 

Keep us posted on the actions planned for your neighborhood at the BanksterUSA Facebook page.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles