Avalos offers resolution supporting OccupySF and its camp

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OccupySF campers line up for a hot meal on Friday night.
Steven T. Jones

In the wake of last night's violent police raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment (a still-tense situation that we're now on the scene covering) and two similar late-night police crackdowns on OccupySF in recent weeks, Sup. John Avalos and co-sponsors Eric Mar and David Campos are introducing a resolution at today's San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting that calls for the city to explicitly allow the OccupySF encampment and its related infrastructure to remain.

That resolution (the full text follows below), which Avalos legislative aide Raquel Redondiez says will be the subject of a special hearing on Monday before being considered by the full board on Tuesday, Nov. 1, grew out of testimony from OccupySF participants that Avalos solicited at last week's board meeting following a late night police raid on Oct. 16 that resulted in five arrests and many injuries.

As we report in this week's paper (see “Mixed messages,” to be posted this evening, Tues/25), at that Oct. 18 board meeting, Mayor Ed Lee took the position that no tents, kitchens, or other infrastructure would be permitted, a stance that Police Chief Greg Suhr seemed to soften slightly at a raucous Police Commission hearing the next day. In the face of those mixed messages, OccupySF grew into a full-blown tent city in Justin Herman Plaza and there have been no real conflicts with police since.

Both the San Francisco Police Department and the Mayor's Office were slow to respond to messages we left all week seeking to clarify the city's policy toward OccupySF, but both finally got back to us last night after the article had gone to press.

SFPD spokesperson Daryl Fong told us, “We're still currently doing daily safety inspections at Justin Herman Plaza and continuing to provide leafletting...We're educating the campers about violations and concerns for public safety,” such as unsanitary conditions or unsafe camping structures.

But he said OccupySF hasn't been given any deadlines for removing structures and there are no current plans for another raid. “Our goal is to get compliance from the campers voluntarily,” he said. “This situation is being continually monitored as it progresses.”

When we asked the Mayor's Office about the contradiction being Lee's stance and the city's reaction to the growing tent city, Press Secretary Christine Falvey wrote, “The mayor's position on Occupy SF has not changed. He has directed his departments to facilitate peaceful protest, but not allow structures, tents, or a permanent campsite. He wants to ensure the area is safe for demonstrators and the general public. If you have been to the site, you may have seen the Fire and Public Health Departments conducting inspections for public health and safety concerns and you may have seen Recreation and Park and Police staff informing people of the parks and public safety codes that prohibit camping equipment. Individuals are being informed daily of this and the city's Homeless Outreach Team is offering services to anyone in the area who may need it. The policy stands and departments are educating the group about what is and is not allowed and the mayor expects those who want to use the space to protest, to follow the rules.”

But OccupySF protesters say they have no intention of leaving the space, believing it's their right to be there as part of a national movement spotlighting the greed and corruption of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. And when I told Falvey that the encampment seems to defy the mayor's stated position, she wrote, “The mayor has asked several departments to enforce the existing codes, and I understand a number of informational contacts have gone out daily to educate those using the plaza about what is allowable in addition to Fire and Public Health inspections to make sure open flames or dangerous materials are not being used or stored at the site.”

I told her that didn't address my question, and I asked for a reaction to the Avalos legislation that would explicitly allow “tents, tarps, First Aid supplies, environmentally clean and fire-safe energy sources, and the ability to store, prepare, and serve hot food,” which is the reality now on the ground. I'll update this post when I get a response.

In the meantime, here's the full text of the resolution:

[Expressing Support for Occupy Wall Street Protest Movement and the People’s Right to Peaceful Assembly in San Francisco]

Resolution Supporting the Occupy Wall Street Protest Movement and Urging Mayor Lee to Uphold People’s Right to Peaceful Assembly and Collaborate with Occupy SF to Ensure Safety of the Protestors, their Supporters, and the Greater Public.

WHEREAS, "Occupy Wall Street" was formed by a broad spectrum of people coming together to protest the corporate-serving economic and political system controlled by the 1 percent, profiting at the expense of 99 percent of the people; and

WHEREAS, Three years after the current financial crisis caused by Wall Street speculators and profiteers, the unemployment rate in the United States is still at the highest level since the Great Depression with the unemployment rate in San Francisco currently at 8.3 percent; and,

WHEREAS, The United States’ major banking institutions, which have been bailed-out by the government and United States taxpayers, have done little to prevent massive foreclosure of residential properties or support the revitalization of local economies by sustaining small businesses; and,

WHEREAS, Since 2008, there have been 1.2 million foreclosures in California, with 12,410 homes in San Francisco alone; and,

WHEREAS, The "Occupy Wall Street” protest movement has struck a chord with the people of the United States and around the world, inspiring over 900 similar protests and solidarity actions across the country, where tens of thousands of people have come out to express their deep indignation against Wall Street greed and systemic socio-economic injustices; and,

WHEREAS, The "Occupy" demonstrations are a rapidly growing movement of people from all walks of life with the goal of occupying public space in order to create a shared dialogue and assert demands for economic justice; and,

WHEREAS, The “Occupy” demonstrations have been supported by the California Nurses Association/ National Nurses Association, American Federation of Labor -Congress of Industrial Organizations, Change to Win, International Longshore and Warehouse Union-International, Teamsters Joint Council 7, Services Employees International Union, Laborers International Union of North America, and many others; and,

WHEREAS, The OccupySF demonstrations began in September with small gatherings of people and have since grown and gained supported from thousands of individuals, community and faith-based organizations, and unions; and,

WHEREAS, On October 12, a 500-person march and civil disobedience organized by local community groups received national media attention, exposing the struggles of San Francisco residents against foreclosure, corporate control, and spiraling unemployment; and,

WHEREAS, The October march and protest action culminated in civil disobedience and, despite the arrest of 11 people, lacked any antagonistic conflict between the police and protestors; and,

WHEREAS, Similar to demonstrations in hundreds of cities across the United States, OccupySF demonstrators are asserting their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to create public dialogue around corporate control of the political process and public space; and,

WHEREAS, Numerous and various groups continue to join the protesters at OccupySF, including an interfaith clergy contingent and the California Nurses Association, which has set up a First Aid tent to support the protestors and help ensure public safety; and,

WHEREAS, The City of San Francisco has a right and duty to ensure the safety and security of the general public including the protestors and their supporters; and,

WHEREAS, Since the beginning of the protest, City actions have resulted in the confiscation of food, tents, sleeping bags, and other belongings from the OccupySF demonstrators as well as causing preventable injuries and arrests; and,

WHEREAS, The City has a lengthy and proud history of political protest and has upheld the rights of people to free speech, freedom of assembly, and peaceful protest; and,

WHEREAS, With clear leadership from the Mayor, City departments can set a tone of cooperation and collaboration with OccupySF protestors and supporters, help mitigate harm, and address any public safety, health and sanitation concerns, all while avoiding unnecessary conflict; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors supports the Occupy Wall Street protest movement and the rights of all who protest to assemble peacefully and enjoy free speech in the City and County of San Francisco; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors recognizes that Free Speech and Freedom of Assembly should not be limited to daytime nor short-term activities and we deem the need of protesters to have tents, tarps, First Aid supplies, environmentally clean and fire-safe energy sources, and the ability to store, prepare, and serve hot food reasonable; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges the Mayor, the Police Department, and other City agencies to uphold the rights of protestors to political speech and public assembly, and to recognize that the full exercise of such rights requires that participants are able to attend to the needs of everyday life, and have a space free from harassment; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges Mayor Ed Lee to direct the Recreation and Park Department, the Department of Public Works, the Police Department, and other City agencies, as relevant, to be flexible and to collaborate with protestors for the safe sharing of public spaces, in which demonstrators can exercise their political rights and the City can address legitimate safety concerns while avoiding unnecessary antagonism; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges Mayor Ed Lee, in order to prevent further harm and conflict to any members of the public, including protestors of OccupySF, to direct the Police Department to ensure that there will be no use of force to dislodge the OccupySF demonstrators and confiscate their belongings.

Comments

Like most Campos and Avalos resolutions.

This is simply designed to make "the progressive movement" feel like it's done something - ANYTHING. Then when the police raid and break up the encampment everyone can complain before they go back to their vegan dinners and bars in the Mission. And in the meantime the forward movement of global neocapitalism will go on and on and on.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

largely stopped moving and is now on life support. Meaning it is in evident need of the liss of life from the SFBG and the three most clueless and out-of-touch Supes.

Time to move on.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

methinks the mindless munchkins doth protest to much

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

Let them go on record. Let the supes who stand with the 1% come out and say it.

I'm looking at you, Gutless Chiu.

And if it passes, it will be much more difficult to come in and break out the police batons after the election, 'cause you know that's what Ed Lee's waiting for.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

represent far less than 1% of the Bay Area population?

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

Time Magazine poll, which I linked to on another thread, says that Americans sympathize by a rate of 54% to 22%, making OWS more popular than the Democratic and Republican Parties, and way more popular than the Tea Party.

In the Bay Area, I suspect that sympathies lie overwhelmingly with the protesters.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

Guess this needs to be re-posted:

New Yorkers Back Occupy Wall Street Protesters, Poll Shows

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-17/wall-street-protesters-backed-3...

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

It's interesting how intolerant so called progressives are of people who don't share their narrow world view in its entirety.

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:06 am

The thing is, a Mayor has the power to direct what the police does. If the Mayor tells the police to stand down, then the police has to stand down. So remember if there is any action it is by the order of the Mayor.

Posted by Jerry Jarvis on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

Why can't they go home and show up again in the morning? What is the added benefit?
Why turn one section of the City into a shithole for no reason.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 10:18 pm
Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

Who are you taking the city back from?

How did it get away from you?

Are you posting from there?

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:08 am

Show us some proof or shut the fuck up.

Public spaces belong to the public, and not just between the hours of 6 and 10.
These ridiculous laws that stifle our constitutional rights need to be reversed.
Then, if you don't want to use your public space, fine. Stay home and leave the rest of us to use and enjoy the spaces we all pay for with our tax dollars.
No one owes you an explanation for the exercise of their constitutional rights, and if you don't like it you can fuck right off.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

you dont have a consitutional right to take over a public space indefinitely and deny use of it for other public functions.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 1:09 am

In cases like this, the law weighs the inconvenience to individuals who want to use that public space for other purposes vs the benefit or importance to our society as a whole for the Occupy encampment to continue.

There's a pretty compelling case that Occupy serves a compelling social purpose that outweighs the inconvenience to others.

Legitimate public grievances need space and a platform in which to be voiced and established.

The right to assembly is unreasonably breached by actions against the encampment.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 3:20 am

you are on public land. Why ever would ou think otherwise?

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 5:41 am

Ironic that you were previously ridiculing me for somehow not understanding law, when clearly it is you who doesn't grasp its fundamental concepts and principles.

The first amendment protects the encampments.

And even if it didn't (and where it doesn't for any given action of the movement) there are times when laws must be broken because they are failing us.

Law is not an absolute. It is a joint social agreement between all participants in civilization. It is meant to be flexible, and above all, fair.

And we work it out as we go along, like jazz improvisation; not like a war march.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:01 am

simply occupy any public space, land or property without regard to any other consideration. The Courts have routinely quashed such "rights" to free speech and assembly when that impinges on the rights of others.

Keep "improvising" the law, Eric.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:38 am

But of course they are -not- occupying that property without regard to other considerations, they are simply laying the perfectly legitimate claim that their current use of the land is more important.

So their rights to be there, and the rights of others who wish to use the land for other things, are in conflict.

Judges and juries often decide in such cases, in favor of protesters, and others engaged in important free assembly.

Again, you simply don't understand law.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:47 am

Then you say the law is flexible, just in case it's used against you.

In other words, you want it both ways. And that's called hypocrisy. You want to hide behind the law but then claim it doesn't apply if used against you.

No wonder the movement is failing.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 8:01 am

Flexible means that the letter of the law applies when it makes sense, and especially when it is compelling in how much sense it makes; as in the case of protecting the elections that are the foundations of a free republic.

When law does not make sense it is re-interpreted or struck down; for example, in cases where anti-war protesters have been acquitted for defiling and sabotaging fundamentally illegal and/or profoundly dangerous weapons of war.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:06 am

Like born again Christians and other true believers, the world should always work to their advantage, there's always some rule of law or greater good or standing on principle or whatever to brow beat those to dumb to agree.

Avalos just helped enact the abortion clinic advertising law that will lose it's way through the courts and cost the city $$$$$$, but it will go down fighting with other people's money. Now here he is whereasing his way into pointlessness.

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:17 am

give me the citations from same cases that support your argument. you keep talking about the law, please back it up. this whole competing and weighing of interests? please show me where in the legal world that this is the standard to be used. Time, place and manner restrictions on free speech have been upheld by the Supreme Court for decades

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 10:22 am

The phrase that you are referring to, has a some key words in it that you have not included.

The actual phrase you are misquoting (by leaving out pieces of it) is "reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on speech for the public safety". Here is a direct citation to the establishing case law: http://www.uscourts.gov/EducationalResources/ClassroomActivities/FirstAm...

Since the protests are causing no credible threat to public safety, it is therefore not a reasonable restriction to evict an entire assembly brought specifically for a very important public discourse about the very nature of our democracy, just because there are some minor time and place restrictions on use of the parks and plazas.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

the link you post directly contradicts what you are trying to say. if a time/place/manner restriction was ok for a parade, something that is brief in time (and mobile), it certainly could be applied to an encampment. I don't know how you can say there is no credible threat to public safety here.

I'm all for the protests, but I think clashes with police hurt the cause and dilute the message. I don't see why setting up a camp is so important. I thought the protests inside the banks were way more effective in getting the message out, as opposed to the people in their makeshift camp.

but that's just me.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 6:57 am

The Occupy encampment does not.

Hence there is absolutely no compelling public safety concern to justify shutting down the encampment.

The link I posted is perfectly apt and clear.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

Actually it's not a shithole or even close to that, I was there on Monday night and it's quite reasonable actually.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

Right, freedom of assembly is good enough in conservatives' and government's eyes when it is over in Egypt in Tahrir Square. But when the exact same thing happens in the US, all of a sudden a higher bar is set, one that can never be met.

I just got back from NYC. Spent some time down at Zuccotti Park, brought my sleeping bag and thermarest and slept there on Sunday evening. Volunteered to serve as time keeper at the "meeting of meetings" where the working groups all reported back and proposals were fashioned for the General Assembly which I did not attend.

I've long complained that progressives have been outcompeted by corporate power. What I'm seeing now is a moment in punctuated equilibrium where an evolutionary leap is being made before our eyes. I believe that we're leaping over leftism and into an affirmative populism. The energy in Zuccotti Park was amazing. Perhaps 1/4-1/3 of folks of the tens of thousands there throughout the day were in from out of town making links to Occupations back home.

We're learning how to govern ourselves in an unowned, collective democratic organization. We are teaching one another about how the economy works and how the economy and government relate after 30 years of that being stripped from the American curriculum.

This makes power very scared, scared enough to use chemical weapons on nonviolent civilian demonstrators. Fasten your seat belts folks, we're in for a wild ride.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 25, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

I work my ass off 40+ hours week in, week out. I hate what corporations are doing to my country and city. I don't whine, I protest, I reason. I'm heard. And I demand a voice in our democracy. I support the Occupiers fully.

I have yet to hear an anti-protest comment, on any page, that doesn't sound whiny. The kicker of it is these posts are put up by people who rightfully say they work hard and don't like whining, and then they go and whine about protesters. Always with adolescent jibe to boot.

Posted by I don't whine, I protest and I work very hard, thank you on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 1:45 am

An American's right to dissent is not governed by some time clock. What you saw happen yesterday in the bay area is something you see in third world countries. Beating and tear gasing people peaceful (sleepy) people is a direct attack on everyone's liberties. I do not blame the Oakland police for what happened, but the financial powers and politicians who gave the orders. Obviously there is a concerted effort to break the movement at whatever cost. What are the banksters afraid of... that democracy will actually work ?

Posted by gbuddha2012 on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 2:07 am
Yes

That's exactly what they are afraid of.

This same exact reactionary backlash happened during the global uprisings of the 60s. It isn't new. And if we keep standing up tall against their corporate domination, we will prevail.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 3:26 am

No. They became hedge fund managers. Boomers have all the money now - they've become the establishment.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 5:43 am

The only lasting positive legacy of the hippies is that they gave good food a push into the mainstream.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 6:09 am

I'd say their major achievement was LSD.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 6:38 am

The generation that brought you the 8 hour day and the 40 hour week, the weekend also brought you LSD in 1943. The hippies took their cards off of the table and left my generation (generation X - 1) and younger holding the bag.

But they did introduce fresh foods to replace canned and frozen foods as well as begin the process to bring a wide variety of ethnic foods into the mainstream.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:08 am

The movements that began in the 60s never ended, they evolved. And now they are hitting the streets again in a much more sharply defined and organized way.

All you "Anonymous" bad guys, are in trouble.

Unless you wise up and join us.

But it is likely you are too foolish to do so.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:15 am

it will probably be allowed to go on until after the election (Oakland isn't have one). That way Lee will have a popular mandate to evict the camp.

A few hundred mostly homeless people isn't a revolution, and wishing and hoping isn't a coherent political strategy.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:40 am

They are BOTH responsible for turning my generation (the Millenials) into debt slaves. Many of these self-proclaimed Gen X-ers are borderline boomers.

Don't trust anyone near over 45!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

Description from the City released today:

"Evidence of excrement, urine, and vomit were observed throughout the park and
surrounding areas. Fecal material was observed on stairs and grass. A container of
human waste was observed along the Embarcadero side of the park. Containers of
urine were transported by occupants to the Decaux Public Restroom. The Public
Restroom is currently inoperable. Several piles of vomit were observed along
the Embarcadero side of the park. Pile of feces and tampons found at a nearby
pathway. Flies and urine odor observed along pathway.

These conditions constitute an Imminent Public Health Hazard.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 8:41 am

Link to it if you are not lying THIS time.
It would be the first.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:05 am

Sounds a lot like San Francisco under modern capitalism actually.

Time to change the world...

Posted by 'anonymous' on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:09 am

give it a real fifth world charm.

I would guess the trustifarians head down there in the afternoon with dog eared copies of "what is to be done" and then leave it to the Haight St burn outs at night.

I say let them stay, it's good for tourism.

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:12 am

Tahrir Square. Coming soon to a town near you. No retreat - No surrender.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 9:48 am

This is not the evolution of the 60's. Boomers have a lot to answer for in the mess the world has become. You guys have had the demographics for the last 25 years and it has been a catastrophe. This is not your movement, so if you wouldn't mind, shut up for once. You're welcome to help, but you're not leading this puppy. Those days are gone.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 12:46 am

Last time I checked this movement is about everyone, young and old, new and experienced, of every gender, color, and ideology, all working together with both old and new strategies, and new tools, to build a better world, horizontally.

What the movement definitely does not need is arrogant domineering vanguardists deciding that they know every god damned thing in the universe and trying to boss people around as if this is some patriarchal hierarchy.

Why don't you check your ego at the door an exercise some humility astro boy.

Posted by Aragorn on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 2:49 am

You are correct that the Occupy movement includes everyone in the 99%.

Conservative assholes just wish it were not true, and spend a ridiculous amount of time here doing nothing more than trying to upset people and get any kind of attention for their pathetic lonely selves.

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 8:47 am

I definitely considered that possibility. But just in case...

A few of our left organizers are really full of themselves and need a reality check once in a while, to keep them from screwing things up with their holier-than-thou attitudes.

The interesting thing, is how hard it is to tell the difference between a conservative troll and one-such arrogant lefty.

:)

Posted by Aragorn on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 9:51 am

The right wing majority on the Supreme Court betrayed our country when they ruled in Citizens United that being corporate "persons" (a legal fiction that allows corporations to make contracts) entitles corporations to substitute money for citizen suffrage and buy elections. It monetizes free speech. It has sold the American political process to the highest bidder. For this betrayal, the American people hold them responsible.

Corporation are persons by virtue of legal fiction only. They are not citizens. They do not have suffrage. Yet they now have the power to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns, which effectively gives them veto power over any number of citizens, even over the majority of voters, because citizens cannot outmatch corporate purchasing power over free speech.

They have put their stooges in office and if those stooges don't toe the corporate line they threaten to remove them by supporting their opponents in the next election. They have controlled Congress, state legislatures, governors and Presidents and convinced them to enact their own corporate privilege. They have sponsored laws designed to weaken protections for bank depositors ; they have broken down legal barriers between investment banks and commercial banks, creating an enormous conflict of interest that nearly succeeded in destroying the American economy in 2008. In fact, it has crippled our economy so badly that it is taking longer to recover than the country can tolerate. For all this "service to America," they have rewarded themselves with huge bonuses after the taxpayers bailed them out with public money.

Is this how "private industry" shows its loyalty to America? They wrap themselves in the flag, but they do not pay taxes. They back regressive taxes, like payroll and sales taxes, so that the billionaires and the corporations don't have to pay tax. Instead they use that money to buy elections.

There is no crisis today in America? How many people have been thrown out of their jobs to cut corporate costs and leave more money for huge executive bonuses? How many people have been robo-signed into foreclosure of their homes?

The banks bleed America dry. And now they want to charge you $5 a month to spend your own money with a debit card. Where does their fucking arrogance end?

It is far past the time when America should have risen up against this scandalous injustice, inequality, and exploitation. How can any true American oppose or undermine Occupy Wall Street? There is no way. And there is no way we will quit until we win back for ourselves our rights and our dignity from the greed pigs of Wall Street. The Temple of Mammon will fall!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 12:01 am

The right wing majority on the Supreme Court betrayed our country when they ruled in Citizens United that being corporate "persons" (a legal fiction that allows corporations to make contracts) entitles corporations to substitute money for citizen suffrage and buy elections. It monetizes free speech. It has sold the American political process to the highest bidder. For this betrayal, the American people hold them responsible.

Corporation are persons by virtue of legal fiction only. They are not citizens. They do not have suffrage. Yet they now have the power to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns, which effectively gives them veto power over any number of citizens, even over the majority of voters, because citizens cannot outmatch corporate purchasing power over free speech.

They have put their stooges in office and if those stooges don't toe the corporate line they threaten to remove them by supporting their opponents in the next election. They have controlled Congress, state legislatures, governors and Presidents and convinced them to enact their own corporate privilege. They have sponsored laws designed to weaken protections for bank depositors ; they have broken down legal barriers between investment banks and commercial banks, creating an enormous conflict of interest that nearly succeeded in destroying the American economy in 2008. In fact, it has crippled our economy so badly that it is taking longer to recover than the country can tolerate. For all this "service to America," they have rewarded themselves with huge bonuses after the taxpayers bailed them out with public money.

Is this how "private industry" shows its loyalty to America? They wrap themselves in the flag, but they do not pay taxes. They back regressive taxes, like payroll and sales taxes, so that the billionaires and the corporations don't have to pay tax. Instead they use that money to buy elections.

There is no crisis today in America? How many people have been thrown out of their jobs to cut corporate costs and leave more money for huge executive bonuses? How many people have been robo-signed into foreclosure of their homes?

The banks bleed America dry. And now they want to charge you $5 a month to spend your own money with a debit card. Where does their fucking arrogance end?

It is far past the time when America should have risen up against this scandalous injustice, inequality, and exploitation. How can any true American oppose or undermine Occupy Wall Street? There is no way. And there is no way we will quit until we win back for ourselves our rights and our dignity from the greed pigs of Wall Street. The Temple of Mammon will fall!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 12:06 am

The right wing majority on the Supreme Court betrayed our country when they ruled in Citizens United that being corporate "persons" (a legal fiction that allows corporations to make contracts) entitles corporations to substitute money for citizen suffrage and buy elections. It monetizes free speech. It has sold the American political process to the highest bidder. For this betrayal, the American people hold them responsible.

Corporation are persons by virtue of legal fiction only. They are not citizens. They do not have suffrage. Yet they now have the power to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns, which effectively gives them veto power over any number of citizens, even over the majority of voters, because citizens cannot outmatch corporate purchasing power over free speech.

They have put their stooges in office and if those stooges don't toe the corporate line they threaten to remove them by supporting their opponents in the next election. They have controlled Congress, state legislatures, governors and Presidents and convinced them to enact their own corporate privilege. They have sponsored laws designed to weaken protections for bank depositors ; they have broken down legal barriers between investment banks and commercial banks, creating an enormous conflict of interest that nearly succeeded in destroying the American economy in 2008. In fact, it has crippled our economy so badly that it is taking longer to recover than the country can tolerate. For all this "service to America," they have rewarded themselves with huge bonuses after the taxpayers bailed them out with public money.

Is this how "private industry" shows its loyalty to America? They wrap themselves in the flag, but they do not pay taxes. They back regressive taxes, like payroll and sales taxes, so that the billionaires and the corporations don't have to pay tax. Instead they use that money to buy elections.

There is no crisis today in America? How many people have been thrown out of their jobs to cut corporate costs and leave more money for huge executive bonuses? How many people have been robo-signed into foreclosure of their homes?

The banks bleed America dry. And now they want to charge you $5 a month to spend your own money with a debit card. Where does their fucking arrogance end?

It is far past the time when America should have risen up against this scandalous injustice, inequality, and exploitation. How can any true American oppose or undermine Occupy Wall Street? There is no way. And there is no way we will quit until we win back for ourselves our rights and our dignity from the greed pigs of Wall Street. The Temple of Mammon will fall!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 12:07 am