After a year marked by mass public outcries in most parts of the world, and tilting at the windmills of everything from totalitarian governments to unchecked financial institutions, Time magazine has handed its annual Person of the Year cover to “The Protestor.”
Once again, the folks at Time Magazine are putting together their annual “Person of the Year” issue, in which the editors name the one individual or group that most embodies the previous 12 months. It probably comes as little surprise then that, according to the current number’s of Time’s online poll, the “99%” — the name given both to the movement behind the seemingly countless Occupy protests and to the general mass of people who feel that big banks have been given a pass while the rest of the country sputters — is in the lead.
Those good-for-nothing bums down at Zuccotti Park put down their free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for one minute and became quite good-for-something. Instead of occupying Wall Street, they occupied 142nd Street, and got a new boiler installed in a building where the heat and hot water has been spotty for years.
Saturday was the fifth of November, and many remembered to take a stand and shut down their big retail bank accounts, transferring their cash to a new credit union account. Here’s a video out of Occupy Portland covering what happened on Bank Transfer Day. Interviewees talk about why they’re switching to a credit union, and how this is just the beginning.
Proponent Of Costing Banks More Money By Mailing Back Weighted Business Reply Envelopes Defends His Cause
Earlier this week I wrote about a viral video that promised you could “Keep Wall Street Occupied” by sending back credit card business reply envelopes stuffed with anti-corporate messages and wooden shims. The video said this would increase mailing costs for the banks and force them to engage in a dialogue with their customers. Responding to my review where I called this idea “terrible,” the video’s maker sent me a note defending his campaign.
Tomorrow is Bank Transfer Day. By this date, people all across America are shutting down their accounts at large, costly, name-brand banks and transferring their funds to new bank accounts at their local credit union or community bank. Here is an excellent video made in Portland that follows along with several different people as they close their bank accounts and give their reasons for doing so. One person wants to save money, another disagrees with the bank’s foreclosure practices, a third is mad about the bailouts, and the last is a union withdrawing its funds to show solidarity with holding Wall Street accountable.
Sending Back Protest Messages In Pre-Paid Credit Card Envelopes Isn't Going To Occupy Wall Street One Bit
A YouTube video has racked up over 300,000 hits promoting the idea that you can really mess with the banks by sending back activist messages in those pre-paid response envelopes that come with the credit card junk mail. The theory is that if enough people do it, it will force people in the bank mailrooms to have a meeting about all these Occupy Wall Street slogans showing up in their mail, and making banks engage in a dialogue with their customers, revolutionizing how they operate to a way that’s more responsive to the common good. This is a terrible idea and a waste of time.
A restaurant owner believes an occupied Wall Street is crowding out his business. He says police barricades meant to protect establishments from protest mayhem have restricted foot traffic, dropping sales by 30 percent and forcing him to lay off 21 workers — more than a sixth of his workforce — and placed his operation in jeopardy.
The Internet Celebrities headed down to Occupy Wall Street to find out more about what was in the protesters’ heads and how they operate. Besides the colorful characters we’ve seen on the news, they found dedicated press relations volunteers, a chalk board listing the times for various working groups and direct actions everyone could participate in, and a free library.
If you need a catchup-slash-refresher on why those folks down at Occupy Wall Street are so mad at the street they’re occupying, ProPublica has put together a nice juicy primer.
Video shot around the ‘net this weekend of a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters at a New York City Citibank who were arrested after they entered the bank with placards, began holding an open forum inside the bank where they talked about how they were saddled with debt, and then tried to close their accounts. At one point a woman wearing a suit is forcibly arrested after telling the police several times, “I’m a customer.”
The owners of the New York City park where the Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out for a month have called off a scheduled powerwashing that would have forced a showdown between the movement and the NYPD.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg has asked the Wall Street Protesters to leave their encampment at Zuccotti Park in the financial district by Friday. Though the park is open to the public, it’s privately owned, and its landlords have asked the city to assist in clearing the park so that it may be cleaned.
To tweak the noses of protesters involved in the “Occupy Chicago” movement, someone has placed signs in the windows of the Chicago Board of Trade that say, “We are the 1%.”
Over 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested when they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, blocking traffic and shooting the movement into the national consciousness.
Going into its 14th day, the Occupy Wall Street protest is not only not fading out, it’s about to get a big injection of support, and bodies. The established New York City labor and community groups who normally organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins, have announced they plan to join up next week.