Since Occupy Wall Street began, a lot of people I know have expressed interest in my involvement. I’ve been making suggestions about how people can get involved on their own terms, and I thought it seemed time for a public overview.
This list includes actions large and small that just about anyone, anywhere, can do to support the movement.
I consider this list to be alive, and wide open and available for edits, additions and suggestions. So comment below, on Facebook, mention @Averse2Ennui on Twitter, or get in touch if you have ideas for the list.
1. Understand the Movement
Chances are, you’ll find yourself in a conversation about Occupy-something sometime soon. One of the most important things you can do, short of sleeping in a park, is be able to intelligently defend and support the movement in conversation.
To begin, make some time to do a bit of preliminary reading. Here are some articles and videos I recommend in the short term to get yourself hip to the overal messages. Bookmark it, if you like. I’ll be adding to the list over time. As the holidays approach, you may want to check out these 8 ways to Defend the Occupy Movement to Your Conservative Family Over the Holidays.
Above all, don’t parrot the mainstream media’s take on Occupy Wall Street. They mostly get it wrong.
I know people who absolutely support the ideology of OWS, but who remain silent as church mice on the topic. I also know people who kinda like the idea, but aren’t really sure they want to align themselves just yet.
Here’s a little tough love for you: If you’re not helping, you’re hindering. That’s the truth of it. We all have our lives, our work, the pressing needs of our unique realities to deal with. But out there are hundreds of people taking a break from their own demanding realities to sleep on the ground, in the rain, making themselves vulnerable to police aggression and whatever other intrusions come with sleeping night after night in a public place under scrutiny.
If you like the idea of OWS, and feel excited about the sorts of changes we might begin to see in our society, say so. Out loud. To friends, family and partners. On the internet. In line at the grocery store. Talk to people. Talk about the movement. Apathy’s not cool any more.
This is a short for-starters list. Start liking and following these folks and you’ll probably be inspired (by posts and retweets) to follow others. Don’t forget to retweet and repost messages that move you.
- Occupy Wall St.
- Occupy Together
- I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists
- @ExiledSurfer <– I don’t really know who this guy is, but his tweets are informative
4. Move Your Money
One of the central concerns of the Occupy movement is the banking system. Even if you never repost a single OWS article, or visit a single encampment, moving your money is an action you can take that will align you with the principles of the movement. It’s something you can do privately, and quietly, on your own.
Read my related posts:
From the Move Your Money site:
“The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions. Little has changed to prevent another financial crisis or to end ‘Too Big To Fail,’ and with Congress unwilling to act, we are encouraging individuals to take power into their own hands by voting with their dollars and no longer contributing to a financial system that has led our country astray. We are a campaign that gives people real, concrete actions they can take to create a more sane, stable and localized banking system.”
Find a local bank or credit union. The effects are already being noticed.
5. Send Some Grub
Find out where your local occupiers are and do a google search for nearby restaurants who deliver. Send pizza, chinese food, snacks and baked goods. Ask your local diner to send burgers and fries. Liberato’s Pizza in downtown Manhattan even has an OccuPie Pizza special for demonstrators. Pay a visit to Restaurant Depot or another wholesaler and bring boxes of fruit, extra large loaves of bread, jars of peanut butter, bins of veggies. Whatever you can afford is great. It’s true that one pizza won’t feed everyone, but let the demonstrators sort that out. One pizza can go a long way in a democratic resistance movement that opposes greed.
6. Make a Collection & Donate
Put a flyer up in your building asking other tenants to donate any of the items on the list below. If you live in a private home, consider posting a flyer on the community message board at your local library, coffee shop or grocery. Ask people to leave donations on your porch, or in front of your house, and put a bin or box out to collect the donations. Coordinate with your PTA or another community group to support your local occupiers through donations.
When you’ve amassed some items, bring the donations to your local occupiers. Just pull up and unload. Ask any occupier where your stuff should go, and someone will help.
If you live in NY, I’ll personally volunteer to come collect whatever you’re able to gather to deliver to Liberty Square (leave a note in the comments and we’ll set up the pickup). NYC is well stocked, and they’ve been sending surplus to other encampments around the country, so don’t worry about overdoing it.
- basic medical supplies: bandaids, gauze, over the counter medicines, antibacterial ointment, etc
- rain gear, umbrellas, tarps, tent covers
- clothing: men’s, women’s, especially warmer clothing and socks
- food: perishable and non-perishable
- added per reader CurlyHairGirl’s suggestion: blankets, subzero sleeping bags and other warm bedding
Have a look at my pictures to see how I’m handling the request in my building.
7. Donate Money
Visit your local Occupy hub and find yourself a donation box. There are several in Liberty Square. If you’re not close enough or don’t want to go, you can donate online.
You’re also welcome to send me money personally through PayPal, and I’ll drop it in a Liberty Square donation box for you. (Thanks, Xtine, for the awesome idear.)
Daily Kos is keeping an updated list of all current Occupy centers, and you can also find a directory of Occupations by state from @WeAllOccupy.
8. Visit a Local Occupy Encampment & Say Thanks
I am not sleeping in any parks. No, sir. Not yet, anyway. To quote a friend, “I’m too old for this shit.” But I still consider myself an occupier! If there’s an encampment near you, head down before or after work one day. Go over on your lunch break. Bring your kids with you, if you’re visiting on a weekend.
Talk to people. Ask why they’re there. Thank them for their commitment to the movement, and let them know that OWS wouldn’t be much without them.
I can just about guarantee taking action on number 6 will inspire you with numbers 1, 2 and 3.
If you have time, stick around for General Assembly (GA), which occurs nightly, usually around 7p. There, the group discusses all sorts of issues like what the following day’s schedule will be, how to spend donations, pressing needs and upcoming actions.
Be sure to take photos while you’re there and post them to Facebook and Twitter to let your friends and family know you support the movement. Just be sure, when you’re visiting, not to be just a voyeur. Be a participant. Make a sign and bring it along. If you’re not into that, make a point to learn something while you’re there.
9. Show Up When You’re Needed
Sometimes, what’s really needed, are people. Lots and lots of people. Without the support of armchair occupiers who got up out of their armchairs at 4am, the flagship hub of our movement could have been ousted on October 14th for a bogus “cleaning”. Thousands of people showed up at Liberty Square to stand in solidarity, and our base persevered. So keep tabs on when the movement needs you most, and be there.
10. Taking a Roadtrip? Transport Supplies or Demonstrators.
If you’re going from one city to another anyway, offer to bring supplies. Better yet, offer someone a ride. Lots of protesters demonstrate on the weekends, or on their off days from work or school, but need to head home now and again. Helping demonstrators get back and forth is doing something huge for the movement.
If you’re leaving New York City (in a car) to head to another city with an Occupy presence, head down to your city’s Occupy center and find the information desk. Tell them where you’re headed, and what you’re offering, and they can help hook you up with the right people. Likewise, if you’re headed to New York, try to find people in your community who’d like to make the trip. You can also post to the occupy website forum or chat.
11. Allow People to Shower and/or Do Laundry in Your Home
Sleeping on the street is dirty business. In many cities, the 24/7 demonstrators only have fast food restaurant bathrooms to use for washing up. If you’re comfortable with the idea, and live near an encampment, offer your shower or laundering facilities. You can set your own limits. For example, you can say you’re open to inviting women only, two or three at a time, on a certain day during a certain time. Your requests will be respected.
Visit the General Assembly website’s comfort forum to offer your space.
*** Updated on 10.29.11 to add #s 12 & 13 ***
12. Mail Credit Card Offers Back!
Watch this 5 minute video for a terrific, easy, free, nonviolent way to not only piss off major creditors, but to make an impact on the way they inappropriately target consumers to buy into the credit/debt system.
Use the pre-paid business mailer envelopes, but don’t send back what they’re expecting (which would be a credit card application)!
- send it empty
- put other junk mail into the envelope, and send it back full
- print a note with a clear, rational message like: “hello bank clerk, join a union” or “occupy wall street!” so the banks know your junk-filled envelope wasn’t an accident, but a dialog.
- add something heavy like a wood shim (with a message on it) to add weight and cost
From the video: “The real effect of this is to force banks to react to us…Every hour banks spend reacting to us is an hour banks don’t spend lobbying congress on how to screw us, is an hour banks don’t spend foreclosing on our houses. Go to your mailbox, spend 5 seconds…If you can’t occupy Wall Street, you can at least keep Wall Street occupied.”
Great job, man! We love your idea.
13. Occupy Your Community. Occupy Everywhere.
Have a look at these videos to see what regular people are doing in their own communities to reclaim the people’s power in local democratic infrastructure.
Occupation of the Department of Education. In this video parents, teachers, staff and students got together to occupy the PEP, or Panel for Education Policy, which replaced the Board of Education in NYC when Bloomberg took office. Community members felt that while the forum claimed to be a place where people were invited to voice concerns, the PEP truly makes decisions about their children’s education autonomously, despite community concerns. So they peacefully assembled to stop the panel’s vote on educational policy until their concerns could really be heard.
The human mic might not be for you. Or, it may be too hard to convince your community to get on board. Here’s a gentler option:
Occupy Foreclosure Auctions. “Calling on the judicial system to institute an immediate moratorium on all foreclosures until a fair system of home loans is put into place, a group of New York City housing justice advocates disrupted the auction of several foreclosed Brooklyn properties in Civil Court on Thursday afternoon through music and song. The group, called Organizing for Occupation (O4O), was protesting what it views as a system designed to benefit financial lending institutions at the expense of homeowners and low-income communities.”
It should be noted that nine of the demonstrators in the video were arrested.
It’s not necessary to take actions that will necessarily get you arrested. The choices you make about your participation in a real democracy are your own. Let these two examples serve as a reminder of what’s possible for average, regular citizens. Sometimes all a community will need is a little push, or someone to make the suggestion, and you can be that person.
*** Updated on 10.30.11 to add #14 ***
14. Opt Out of Black Friday & Cyber Sunday, For Starters
Turn November 25th (the day after Thanksgiving), long known as Black Friday, into Buy Nothing Day. Promote Buy Nothing Day in your community by posting flyers wherever Black Friday sales are advertised, and include OWS-friendly messaging like “We are the 99%” or “The 99% is Boycotting Black Friday”. On those days, buy nothing at all.
Go a step further and make it a Buy Nothing Holiday Season! Encourage your extended family to join in. Instead of exchanging gifts, collect old toys and clothing and go together to donate to a shelter or church. If you want to give gifts, consider handmade toys, homemade salad dressings gifted in lovely glass bottles, baked goods in clever packaging, or one of these ideas. Think of how much money you’ll save!
If you feel you can’t go that far, gift from privately owned retailers. Patronize websites and shops who support handmade or vintage products like Etsy.com or these other handmade goods websites.
Worried about the kids’ disappointment? We know the kids want the new toys, the new gadgets, the knew kicks, whatever the current rage is. Think about what a valuable gift you’ll be giving if, instead of giving in, you encourage your kids to see the value in something handmade, or better yet, the value of doing without the stuff that’s really unnecessary.
Share the informative video The Story of Stuff with your children, and discuss it as a family. Together, brainstorm ways to be better to the world. Decide as a family to kick stores like WalMart, Kmart, Old Navy and other socially irresponsible, environment-hating, local-economy-destroying chains out of your lives for good.
Thanks to one reader for the suggestion!
- Why BoFA’s $5 fee renege is not a big win, for consumers or the movement | Illusion of Influence: Let’s Not Over Congratulate Ourselves
Exploding Mary said:
“If you’re not helping, you’re hindering?” That kind of bullsh** dichotomy sounds just like the kind of black & white mindset that created the problems Occupy is supposed to address.
If you want to reach out to new minds, don’t insult them first.
Supporting the ‘Occupy Movement’ is fatal. Please read why here : http://thebroadpicture.wordpress.com/
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just like i mentioned some weeks ago, we got inspired and translated/adapted your text for us here in hamburg/germany. it was a great idea as it is well appreciated. we put in on our homepage (http://www.occupyhamburg.org/2011/11/14/einfache-wege-die-occupy-bewegung-zu-unterstutzen-ohne-in-einem-zelt-zu-schlafen/), we printed some flyers and posters for the camp…
thank you very much for your great blog and your inspiration!
greetings from hamburg!
Regarding returning Junk Mail Solicitations, here’s an idea I wrote up yesterday, using that same basic concept:
“Have a ‘THANKS BUT NO THANKS WEEK’ in SOLIDARITY with the POST OFFICE, as well as an Environmental Protest against Junk Mail. Save up and then Send back all your Credit Card Offers, and any other promotional mail that comes with a Stamped, Self-Addressed envelope for you to return your application or your order in.
Fill in “Anonymous” for your name, or “The99%”, something along those lines, so they KNOW that this was done INTENTIONALLY. Maybe it could say “Junk Mail wastes trees and other resources”…Include ALL the support material that they sent to you (so that it weighs more), throw in a popsicle stick, or a swizzle stick, or any small flat item that is not sharp, but will provide extra weight, and send it off. The Post Office will make the profit, and the corporations that sent out this Junk Mail will have to pay the postage, while acquiring NO NEW CUSTOMERS for all their efforts.”
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Part of what I’ve chosen to do is to make hot food for my local Occupy village.
I’ve started a blog about it, so I can share recipes & thoughts. They don’t cost much and the smiles you get will be enormous.
I’ve taken the liberty of linking this post on m blog.Thank you for putting it together.
So OWS announced an idea a couple of nights ago– “Tenting”– where you put your message on a tent and put it in a public space. I don’t have the resources to buy a tent for all my messages, but I made a paper tent that I figure I can at least put in public places on dry days.
More info here: http://alia-gee.blogspot.com/2011/11/tenting-for-ows.html
Great article Lauren. Be aware of the corporations you support with your money; “Small business Saturday” is itself an organized direct action; support your local occupation. Few other suggestions: sign online petitions. It doesn’t take long, and I am often surprised (I’m on Care2.com) to hear back that they have worked. Call mayor’s offices and politicians to voice your support & opinions as needed (always).
Also, think of your own talents, and how you might best help the movement. I am a writer, and when the emails are called for, I post my own response on the local occupy’s facebook page, so others can use it and cut/paste it as they like. I wrote an article to the paper explaining why it’s in the interest of small businesses to support us, and have placed the article in the public domain and am trying to share it freely with occupations around the world, with some interesting takers. This is one example of how writers can help; if you are an artist, a lawyer, a baker… you get the idea. Use your own best talents.
If anyone would like the small business article, by the way, take it/share it:
Peace and solidarity!
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Last election I realized that elections are won and lost at the primary. The candidate that wins the primary is important, so I went to the Republican primary in my area to see what was going on. The only people there were Ron Paul supporters, because they were the only people who had been called. They were surprised to see me there even though it’s open to registered Republicans. I was a spy and I felt like it. Anyway, our area went to the state convention voting for Ron Paul along with hundreds of other Ron Paul delegates. Ron Paul was organized.
Here’s my issue. People aren’t voting. People aren’t paying attention to the real process, the electoral process. If you want change you have to get organized and convince people to vote in every election, even the primary.
Here are the people who aren’t voting. This research was done in California.
The survey also found that family upbringing plays a strong role in determining voting habits as adults. 51 percent of nonvoters surveyed said they grew up in families that did not often discuss political issues and candidates.
[Who are the non-voters?
The survey found that nonvoters are disproportionately young, single, less educated and more likely to be of an ethnic minority than infrequent and frequent voters. 40 percent of nonvoters are under 30 years old, compared to 29 percent of infrequent voters and 14 percent of frequent voters. Infrequent voters are much more likely to be married than nonvoters, with 50 percent of infrequent voters married compared to only 34 percent of nonvoters. 76% of nonvoters have less than a college degree, compared to 61 percent of infrequent voters and 50 percent of frequent voters. Among nonvoters, 54 percent are white or Caucasian compared to 60 percent of infrequent voters and 70 percent of frequent voters.
Money matters, but so does commitment to changing one person at a time. Change happens because people pay attention and vote. So vote this year in a PRIMARY, even if you aren’t a Republican. Declare yourself a Republican and pick a person you want to run. Or if you want Obama to win, pick someone who can’t possible win against him.Your vote counts there. Who runs for office matters and it starts at the Primary election process not the final election. Find someone who doesn’t vote and tell them to get with it. Help them register and take them to the Primary and the final election. If every person who voted did this, we might actually have a voice in this election.
At 27 years old, I just registered to vote for the first time. I have since become consumed with being educated on all the important topics and on the candidates themselves. And with that knowledge, I have no choice but to vote for Ron Paul. I was just curious of how to become a delegate. I want to make sure that the popular vote actually translates into votes for our candidate. Any advice?
Sarah Pauline Fisher said:
Hi everyone, I support the movement but I just want to raise one concern. Before you boycott Black Friday and Cyber Monday, just consider where you are putting your money. Buying gifts for people over Christmas has always been something important and special for me.
As a small business owner (a small craft business run through Etsy and craft fairs) I depend largely on holiday sales. Cyber Monday is a great thing! Just make sure you know where your money is going! It’s fun to shop on Black Friday but you can choose to spend in local stores and independently owned businesses. We would appreciate your support!
Also, a shoutout for Bloomington, IN occupiers…a small but loyal, active, and overwhelmingly positive group. The public protests don’t quite align with my thinking, but I do support the underlying issues. I am currently transfering all of my business to local and credit unions.
Cheers to this! If you would like shop for the holidays make sure it is local. Portland, OR is doing this event with small businesses on Black Friday: http://www.littleboxespdx.com/littleboxstores.html
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Some love for these occupiers… If they plan to live in tents for a while they need some healthy food to sustain them… not just pizza, burgers, and fries! They can become malnourished or fat, keep thinking about healthy things to supply.
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David Buth said:
You Forgot a really major one: Vote!
It is not only about threatening the 1% head-lock on the economy but threatening the political tools they use to maintain that: Congress via Citizens United.
Vote when the time comes for campaign finance reform.
I agree! It’s not as exciting as sleeping outside, but imagine what we could do if everyone who is taking action on Wall Street takes action in the polls. Speaking of tools, that’s who we have been voting for. We have power in our vote and we haven’t been using it. Vote for that person who is willing to take on Campaign Finance reform.
Mrs. Singleton said:
FYI-the link to “baked goods in clever packaging” has an article that suggests buying the cookie bags at Walmart. I think home-making gifts is a great idea-but to truly support the movement, I would say using more sustainable materials and locally produced and purchased food would be most effective.
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A Rainey said:
Please support your local small indie businesses — we’re getting hammered by the banks as well! Who do you think PAYS for your rewards points on that credit card you use? We do! Businesses pay fees on every credit card transaction (and what do you bet WalMart and the big retailers negotiate better rates?).
The reason banks wanted to add a fee to consumers was because we pay SLIGHTLY less when someone uses a debit card. But we still pay. So please, support your local business and shop there at Christmas.
I plan to try and make it tonight. I do have a concern that issues of Reproductive Justice are NOT addressed. Please note Ron Paul’s FAKE libertarianism.
I’m just going to make a sign.
If there were no Occupy actions anywhere, how would any legislative or corporate person know there is general feeling of dissatisfaction?
they still try to denie it, but it maybe starting to sink in. Bless everyone in all occupy’s I occupy Harrisburg PA every chance I get. eep it up and thank you.
Spay and neuter your hetersoexuals. The population of the planet increases a t three additional people per second.
Why do the madison occupy c committees suck so much at life?
They have “lead people” that apparently don’t exist or are unwilling/unable to come to site.
What does one have to do to be part of organized action in Madison – the “lead people” have shut down virtually all work groups!
If your “Leads” are sucking… break away and start a REAL OCCUPY! I’m about to do it in my city, since the woman who attempted to start our’s is a fat, lazy media whore who is only doing it to boost sales of her sad little “Magazine”. Stand UP! Speak OUT! We are Legion, we are many. We never forget. We never forgive…
This is a fantastic article. I was going to write something just like this over the weekend, but you have done such a great job, I’m just going to pass it on, instead.
Regarding the problems in the camp – it’s so frustrating, I know. It took me weeks to even find out who might know anything about anything! It’s completely unorganized. People come to camp for the first time, and seem to be all enthused and they make a commitment to do something specific for the camp, but they never do…and then two weeks later you remember them, and realize that they never came back, and truthfully, I can’t blame them. I keep hoping things will get organized, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Badgerbadger from Madison – it’s happening in my city, too. People who were there from the beginning have held on to their power, even though more qualified people are now on board – the original group won’t give up their grip, they won’t give out the Passwords to the web site, they control who gets to Livestream (when they happen to remember to charge the batteries), they control the Chat (and they are constantly banning people and being called Nazis for it – I know, ridiculous, but this is the honest to god situation we have going on)! Half the time Livestream is down and the Techies are no where to be seen. There are no working group tables or working group areas, there is no emailing list, there is barely any organization of any kind, except the trash is taken out faithfully every night between 4 and 5 am…and there’s food to eat at least three times a day. Seems that very little is being done to address the GLOBAL ISSUES which brought us all together in the first place!
We also have a real problem with people no longer obeying the Smoking Only area which was established many weeks ago, when the camp was way smaller and the majority of people in the camp were there for the Global Issues, and people were still behaving kindly and considerately toward one another.
Almost every camp now has a Freeloaders Ghetto area, and a Hipster Worker Bee Area…it’s a real problem, and one that we couldn’t possibly have foreseen. In my camp we have a Working Group focusing on creating another, more organized encampment in a completely separate location, with camp rules and city planning already in place before anybody moves in.
I have had to stay away from camp for over a week now, because I completely lost my voice and got a really bad cough and cold from inhaling cigarette smoke, sage and patchouli for so many days (I try to visit Occupy p 5-6 days a week)…it’s a grueling challenge to want to keep participating – but really, what other shot do we have? We are at a crucial point on Planet Earth, and we must fight to save ourselves and all living beings who are suffering because of the greed of the few. It really feels like this is our only shot…
Great post, filled with great ideas. One note on the donate food idea — please try to avoid corporate farm food and big corporate chain restaurants and pizza. Aside from the fact that, as my favorite local pizzeria’s T-shirts proclaim “Chain pizza sucks”, it is important to support small local businesses, where the money stays in the community instead of being shipped off to some CEO or stockholders.
Here in Harrisburg, Pa., I have been making a point of buying an extra basket of apples when I go to the local farmers market, and dropping them off at our local occupation on the state capital steps. Aside from giving the occupiers some tasty, nutritious treats and the farmers an extra few dollars that stays local, I really enjoy seeing the smiles and appreciation of the occupiers when I drop them off.
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I would just like to know….
Why should I give up my money, time, car, food, clothing, more money to make you happy? I promise you that the people down at an Occupy area can afford their own. Why not collect these things for those who literally have nothing. You have a home, money, perhaps a job, and education. There are those who have nothing of that. I see people with Ipods, labtops, Iphones, Androids, digital cameras. (Which are corporations by the way) If you can afford that, you can afford your own blanket. Why should those around you have to suffer just because you don’t agree with something? I forgot, this is about you. Do you know why classrooms are so crowded? It’s because there are too many students in the schools. My towns high school build three buildings and we are still overcrowded. What you do supposed we do? Kick the children out? With the mailing of the things back to those banks; you do realize that the more you charge them, the more they charge you. I want to know where all of this money is going? How are you a charity now all of a sudden? Why are you against the rich and feel that they should give you some of their wealth when you turn away people who just want to be able to eat today? Why not give your wealth to the bottom of the “99%”? Why don’t you give me a blanket or some food? I didn’t ask you to live on the ground in the middle of a city. This movement makes entirely no sense. Although, I do honestly believe that there are people there for a reason that they legitimately know and can defend, at least 80% of those in an Occupy movement are just hurting the original goal. This will not solve anything. Costing NY and other cities millions of dollars is not helping the rest of the world. Use that money not for your own selfish purposes, but for those who have none. Or…you will become the things you hate.
Anarchy is not the answer said:
Another voice of reason, at last!
Ah…an “anonymous” 1% sheep lol Nice to see you have come down off your moral high horse to speak with us common folk. Thank you SO much for your words of wisdom (as you no doubt consider them). You are obviously clueless as to what this movement is actually about. Get off your ass, stop listening to Fox News and do something with your self-indulgent, miserable life. Flame all you like about your imaginary “Assets”, “Life” and anything else you like. No one believes your lies and propaganda inspire stupidity. Take it somewhere it is welcome…like Washington or Nazi-Germany.
Really? “Washington or Nazi-Germany”? Funny you should mention how horrible Fox News is and then use such a ridiculous statement…
I mostly agree with you, that the media is showing off a wrong picture about the Occupy people…I’m involved in that movement (by thoughts) since the second week in New York and (by action) since the 15. of October, where worldwide demonstrations were taking place all over…
I was part of one…and now I am part of a camp…an Occupy camp in Germany.
So I am actually on your side…but I disagree with you about Nazi-Germany.
I know it has happened, and it’s an awful part of our german history…but it all happened more than 70 (!) years ago…even my dad was just a little kiddo, unable to do anything against them…well, and my grandfather died…
but after all those years…I experienced some years ago at the Football World Cup 2006, that we germans finally had the guts to wave our flags, during the games and afterwards, on our cars and even bicycles, in our windows, at balconys…simply everywhere (a fact that an american is used to it…cherish the american flag – we NEVER EVER did it)..
we were just full of shame….for decades! And now it’s finally over…we are proud again to wave the flag, we feel good ( not as we would be nationalistic in a bad way) and we have fun waving it…
AND the most important thing
WE DO WORK AGAINST THOSE, WHO CALL THEMSELVES NAZIS!
Tell me, did you ever get your head out of your town? Did you ever left your country, or even America?
Do you know how it is in Germany NOW?
Or how it was the last 37 years for me?
In Germany it’s not allowed to wear even a small T-shirt with the Hitler cross…you get trouble with the police…it’s forbidden to show off your Hitler-sign-tattoos, if you would be so sick to even have some…you are not allowed to do so many things which belongs to Nazis….and if you do, you will get in trouble with the police and you’ll be to held responsible in court for your actions…
and those few, which sickly still exists, are not very successfull to gain more members.
I travelled a lot…mostly to the states. I was in FL, Georgia, Virginia (including Washington), Ohio, Alabama and California…
do you know what I have seen over there? American people who celebrate Nazi-parties on a field, with music, food and fire…they have Nazi symbols tattoos (even on the forehead!!!) …and they take their kids to those events…not to mention the clothes, they wear and they are so very proud of it….I almost vomitted
THAT IS A SHAME…!!!
Here in Germany almost all people have learned through history…and we set up laws against those sick ones. They are not popular and have really hard times here…
it’s just bother me, if some americans have the courage to claim, Germany would still be Nazi-Germany…while probably never did a single step in our country…not in the past nor recently. You surely have no idea of the real Germany nowadays.
So, you better first remove the dirt in front of you own door, k?
note aside: don’t want sound mean, it’s just don’t judge sumthin’, you obviously have no ideas of. Thanks.
Thank you for your comment. I always cringe when people throw around the word “Nazi.” I really hate it when people use that word unless they are speaking of actual Nazis or neo-Nazis. I really hate how casually people use words like “Nazi” and “fascist.”
I can only imagine who shocking and upsetting it was for you to see people wearing swastikas or other such symbols here in the US. Whenever I see someone with these symbols, I feel extremely frightened.
It’s interesting to hear your experience of the flag-waving at the World Cup. It gives me a different perspective. I’m the child of Holocaust survivors. I know most people consider WWII history — so long ago. But some of us still live with its effects. When I settled down happily to watch the World Cup and saw all those German flags waving, a wave of fear swept over me. It was completely visceral. I felt nauseated. I had to turn off the TV. I felt very upset.
Please understand that I do not wave an American flag. I really do not enjoy any form of nationalism or shows of nationalism. I feel uncomfortable with the sense that I get that many Americans think we are better than people from other countries. I recently read an article about the difference between a patriot and a nationalist, and I realized I’m a patriot. A patriot cares about their country and works to make it better. A patriot can disagree with what is wrong and dissent and try to make change.
I have not been to Germany, but I have been to England, France, Canada, and the USSR. I cannot travel anymore due to illness, but I learned a lot from visiting other countries. My parents have gone back to the countries that were happy to give them up to be murdered and where my father was held prisoner. That took a lot of courage and a lot of time of healing for them. It’s not something everybody feels able to do.
woop, the comment went wrong…it was meant to the other anonymous guy…who talked about the anonymous 1% sheep…
but anyways…you both used that word “Nazi-Germany”…
you make no sense.. just sayin’
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I think it would be great if more people wrote testimonials like these: http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/ It’s another way to participate without camping out. And these speak to me personally a lot more than the campers. Tho it is definitely because of the campers that this movement is even on the news at all…
Lauren, while I appreciate the zeal of those who want to make their voice heard, I don’t understand why they are protesting on Wall Street. We should be at the White House. Wall Street is synonymous with capitalism and free enterprise. These are people who loved what they were doing and became successful at it, for the most part. This is the American Dream, isn’t it? Don’t we want less government regulation and interference in our free enterprise system? Why isn’t the Occupy movement camping out on Barney Frank’s front yard who was supposed to have the oversight on Freddy and FAnnie? He allowed the subprime mortgage debacle. He knew that high risk loans were being bundled together and sold off as “federally backed” real estate investments. There is so much corruption in government. Why are we not coming against the real perps of the crime? The successful 1% are the ones who are keeping people employed, stimulating growth, and helping others with charitable donations, acts of philanthropy, establishing American institutions like Carnegie Hall. The real culprits of tyranny are those fat cats collecting government pensions, living like kings, forcing others to live under laws that they themselves refuse to abide by. Do you know, for example, that they will not have to live under Obama care policies? They have their own premium insurance polices that cover them well. I suggest people read Animal Farm, by George Orwell, and reacquaint themselves with what is really going on here. Remember, in the book, the pigs incited revolution against the old farmer and his family among the other animals, and then proceeded to set themselves up as the “new boss” much more corrupt than the farmer was.
Karl Dunkleberger said:
We “occupy” walstreet because that is where the monbey is, and the money in politics, the money in the supream court and the money in our elections has lead to the failur e of our nation to respond with reprisosity and vengence apon those who looked and acted to damage and hurt this our Ntion our AmeriKa!
Yeah but still… it was Obama’s white house that sent the bailout money to wall street http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Total_Wall_Street_Bailout_Cost.
We need to occupy the doorstep of the true culprits of this monster.
Why is the occupy movement protecting Obama? That’s what I’m really asking.
Last I checked, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was passed on October 3. Now, I was working my tush off that year on top of graduate school (woooo late evening shifts), but I still remember when the election was. So Obama was not yet in office yet when the Bank Bailout was passed. Not saying I’m 100% happy with all his actions since then, but let’s at least not blame him for things that started before he was elected, yes?
As a small business owner, I would say in reply to #14-support small businesses with CASH purchases. Then we don’t have to pay the fees on the credit cards you usually use & we won’t go under because you are not shopping, thereby creating more jobless, homeless, etc.
Further things you can do:
– open your doors when we are running through the streets, if we need shelter for those beaten and sprayed, or if we need to get away from the police quickly
– donate your car
– offer to drive us places
– inconveniently get a flat tire in the middle of an intersection in which police crusers are trying to head off our march
Stefan Jacke said:
This was very good advice. I am #ocupying as often as I can. Things like health issues, car wrecks, stuff like that, keep getting in the way. I am an RN with paramedic training. I am retired, now, but volunteer, when I can, with my skills, at my city’s #Occupy site. We shall overcome!
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Was disturbed by a couple things in this post…. first and foremost the idea that if you “are not helping, you are hindering.” Dangerous thinking, my friends. Very dangerous. Be very careful of assuming that all people must fit into one of your two arbitrary categories, that if something is not with you, they must be against you. Some of us out here do not support OWS, not because we don’t understand it or need it explained better, and not because we are part of the 1%…. but because we have read history. This is nothing new; it’s been done to death. And it rarely turns out well. Change can be good — as long as it is change for the good. A genie let out of the bottle cannot be controlled.
Day Schildkret said:
Your comment doesnt make sense to me. You have read history? What history? And this nothing new? This is unprecedented: Over 1100 cities around the world are occupied. And what rarely turns out well? What are you referring to? And re: Change – I believe the point is not if its good or bad but to just acknowledge the fact that it is. I do hope you reconsider your point of view and can see yourself aligned with this amazing change that is being born… And Kudos to this article.
Someone must have skipped the American Revoultion, the boston tea party (the real one in boston) the civil rights movement, etc. That’s the history I remenber. All of them started as grass roots like ows. My spelling may suck, but I know history and if I don’t, I look it up.
Chrissy is referring to the fact that the French Revolution resulted in “The Terror” and the Russian Revolution brought Stalin and the gulags and social unrest led to the rise of fascism in Germany – or at least that is what has been on my mind as I try to decide what level of support and involvement I want to have in this movement. I remember the Civil Rights movement too. I desperately want this to be a peaceful, non-violent movement that results in real economic and political change. I want the people who prevail to resemble Gandhi and Martin Luther King but I understand that they could resemble Robespierre, Stalin or Hitler. I want fundamental political and economic change but not at the cost of millions of lives…but perhaps millions of lives are already being lost to childhood poverty…and if one defines fascism as the merger of corporations and government then Iraq would seem to indicate we are already there. Nothing is black and white. People must be allowed to follow their conscience – it is the only way that this movement can prevail and the outcome can be peaceful and equitable.
That is exactly what I meant. A genie let out of a bottle cannot be controlled. Caution, caution, caution. Most of the battle is knowing the potential dangers. And I fear most in this “movement” do not.
#Occupy at Home said:
There are many people around the world providing empathetic listening and information on nonviolent communication. You can find more info here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nonviolent-Communication-Support-Line/261066343929052?sk=wall
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Thanks for these practical ways to do something for Occupy other than express solidarity on Facebook. The movement thus far has succeeded in drawing media attention and raising awareness in a far less cynical way than Tea Party, which had a scary monopoly for a while. Still, the Tea Party model is instructive–what started as a “populist” movement became a politically powerful force–not for the good of the country, in my opinion. Perhaps it’s wrong to expect it of the Occupy Movement, but I sure would like to see it gain the kind of influence that the Tea Party movement has managed to attain.
Instead of “buying nothing” for the holidays, I would propose an equally revolutionary action: BUY LOCALLY! Support your local Mom & Pop stores instead of the giant retailers this holiday season. You’ll be directly helping members of the 99%.
Anarchy is not the answer said:
Buy locally, and then send support in the form of a “CARE” package to someone in the armed forces who is stationed somewhere where there are real bullets aimed at them, where they do not have decent living conditions (and a home to go to when the magic goes out of occupying a park) and the choice to leave as soon as the weather changes. Go to Anysoldier.com for a list of many hundreds of men and women in unpleasant parts of the world for an extended length of time. They could use a lot of support! And if you want a job with guaranteed pay, training, vacation pay, room and board, clothing allowance, free health services and free or subsidized college benefits, remember that your friendly recruiter would be happy to find you a position that can use your talents. Here is your chance to do something which might actually teach you a useful skill (and I don’t mean Infantry). And there is always Alabama and some other states begging for agricultural workers. Don’t look down on these jobs because you are just too good/educated/valuable to do this kind of work; I’ve done both, and while I don’t choose to make either a lifetime career, it does give you a different perspective. All of the poor puppies unable to get a job with their particular degree might consider an alternative, at least for the short term. Putting other workers out of work through blockades, etc., is not benefitting anyone now or in the long term.
My son is now a disabled vet because some miss trained Afghanistan soldier miss fired his rpg when my son was returning from patrol. No purple heart for him because he was not injured in a fire fight. Just a piece of metal stuck in his skull and headaches the rest of his life. Maybe if this movement started years ago we wouldn’t be in this blood for money war. So sorry if your inconvenienced by ows, but my son is inconvenience the rest of his life. I’ve sent many of care packages and I support our troops 100%. We the people dropped the ball by allowing our country to be taken over by greedy Corporations.
Nika Solomon said:
Thank you for the excellent article Lauren. You’ve inspired me!
I spoke to a 99er business I work with. I’m happy to say they will donate 10% of every purchase made to the occupy movement.
Use checkout code ‘occupy’ at http://www.unicmatrix.com to support the occupy movement. I made a cool poster that can be found here…http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150351749298870.352062.642803869&type=1&l=0f1a985d54
Feel free to use it as inspiration.
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Aurora WindDancer said:
This is Awesome! But I would add a 12th way to support the Occupy Movement that she hasn’t listed, (and I will mention it to her). The Occupy Together facebook page keeps updates on all of the occupied sites, and when they are being harassed, evicted, or attacked, and it posts notices asking people to call the Mayor’s, Governor’s, Police Chiefs, and congress people of those cities, and provides the numbers and contact information. So if you are an “armchair” occupier, one of the great ways to support is to make those calls, and send those emails!!
Very informative and clear list! Thanks for posting. Don’t live near any of this stuff taking place, live in rural Wyoming, so maybe this will provide a way for me to participate.
occupysomelogic... please said:
This is simply another example of the masses doing anything possible to avoid taking responsibility for themselves in the midst of a crappy situation. There are jobs out there. Maybe they are less than ideal, but “dem be the breaks”. Work at Starbucks… wait tables… basically, get a job and work your way towards what you want.
Or… continue to sleep in a park (or hand over your money to those who do as this idiot suggests), wave a sign and see if someone will come and solve all your problems. Unless one of those billionaires you so villianize finds in his heart to walk around and hand out cash, I suspect it will be a long cold winter.
Actually, who am I kidding! My bet is that by mid December most of you folks will retire to the warm confines of your parents home (who worked their entire lives by the way) to crap on society from their computers.
>>My bet is that by mid December most of you folks will retire to the warm confines of your parents home<<
Don't bet on it. 🙂
Really?! If it were that easy, I wouldn’t be struggling to find a job. I live in Philadelphia. I have a bachelor’s degree and was laid off from my last job. I have years of experience working in retail and customer service situations. I’ve never worked in a restaurant before, and every one that I’ve gone into won’t hire me because I don’t have restaurant experience.
I have applied to hundreds of job postings since being laid off, and have had only a handful of job interviews for positions which I was obviously over-qualified for but I’m desperate. And, I still haven’t been offered a job. I’m 24 and barely scraping by with what’s left of my savings. I also don’t have health insurance.
There are so many people without jobs right now, that getting a job at even a place like Starbucks (which I tried) is nearly impossible.
I was told my whole life that in order to get a “good job” or a “real job” I had to go to college. Well, I did that, and I am now in debt because of it. Forget a “good” job or “real” job, I just want a job!!
occupysomelogic... please said:
I know. I’m hearing lots of sad stories like this one. That said and in all seriousness, how do you think the OWS movement will help your case?
If all your looking for is a job, I can assure they are out there. You mention applying for hundreds of jobs. Even in the best of economies, candidates in highly competitive industries should be prepared to hear back from as little a 10% of positions they apply for and will receive offers from even less. Lots of people have college degrees now, so unfortunately its more about experience. Try interning somewhere to get your foot in the door. Also you might need to be willing to re-locate, or work outside your industr. Recruiters can be a great resources. Finally, if it gets to the point of crises, there is always the army (seriously).
Hate to say, but this economy isn’t one where people find there dream job. You just have to do what they can do get by until things turn.
Aurora WindDancer said:
Your logic is a bit flawed… which is ironic given your name. This isn’t about being willing to accept less money, or a “less than good job” at all. This is a numbers game, plain and simple. You say there are jobs out there, but the data, the facts do NOT support your statement. There are 4 to 5 unemployed actively seeking work for every 1 job opening.
Here’s a long Google list of my sources (I believe in citing my information)
For positions that require experience, qualifications and education (i.e. non-entry level) that number can rise as high as 100+. If your experience and education is specialized, such as construction or architecture or teaching, it is damn near impossible to get a job in any other field, because employers will NOT hire you if you are “over-qualified” or not experienced or educated in the position they are hiring for. And they don’t have to… it is an Employer’s market right now, there are soooooo many people desperate for work that the Employer’s can pick and choose. And entry-level, minimum wage positions are all filled, and they won’t take someone who is “over-qualified” because they know you will leave at the first better opportunity.
I work for an architecture firm that is one of the few still holding on. There have been massive layoffs in this field. Architects are highly educated and highly specialized in their field, but not qualified to do anything else without retraining.
And retraining is a placating joke politicians are pushing. Retraining only works if there are actually job openings in new industries happening. And there are not.
It is NOT as simple as telling all the unemployed to “get a job” and “suck it up” and “take a pay cut”. We have lost millions of jobs, we are having no job growth and the few jobs left are minimum wage service jobs. And the problem here is that corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars, just sitting on it selfishly, keeping it out of circulation, refusing to hire more employees, and overworking to exhaustion the employees they do have, because those who still have a job are terrified and optionless right now, so they will take the abuse.
Citing my source for the fact that corporations are the reason we have no good jobs
And the incredible asinine foolishness of this, is that because we have so much economic hardship in the majority of the consumers of this economy, the 99% don’t have any spare money to spend on goods and services beyond the most basic of life necessities… if corporations would hire people and pay them good wages again, we would have a healthy consumer base that would get the economy going again and boost profits… but nope, Corporate America is completely selfish and damn short-sighted.
occupysomelogic... please said:
You’re right. It’s there fault for practicing good business.
The basic tenet of the protest is grossly one-dimensional and lacks true reason. The faceless “Corporate America” is evil and “the 99%” are heroes. Its not a fairy tale and life isn’t that simple. Companies need to make a profit to being to keep people employed. When companies have a reason to hire more people (demand makes it worthwhile) they will hire. When that happens, you will be sleeping in a tent in a park somewhere while someone gets your job.
Enjoy the winter. Stay warm.
You’re not right. It’s YOUR fault for not copy-editing you own smarmy post. The basic tenet of OWS is .001% (OK, that’s not as catchy as 1%, but it doesn’t parse as quickly) of the US population are predatory rapists (being a man, myself, that means only 2 reasonable options…). By your “logic” they are the winners, and we losers just suck it up (or bend over); they simply skip out somewhere else in the world with their stolen trillions (that’s with a T) without consequence. The problems do not come from manufacturers, unless they outsource their infrastructure, especially if they still actually pay some net tax and provide net benefit to the country. There are still some good “corporate citizens” (now, there’s a freighted term this year) i.e., virtually every small business in the country that does business locally. I’m not talking about internet scams, but the stores and service businesses that hold the small towns together. I operate one of them, and my heart is with these protests and people who place themselves at risk. I sent some supplies up with friends a month ago (thanks, Uncle Eddie and Robin, check them out on FB). I plan to send more as I can spring them from my budget (poverty-level still permits some economic activity where the COL does not outstrip it). As far as I can tell, aside from shilling for the banking interests that have destroyed most of the planet’s economic capacity, you advocate nothing of practical value to 80% of those unemployed. Unless your point is that since it’s their fault they don’t have a job, they should shut up and go away, or preferably die ASAP and provide a much needed boost to the mortuary and funeral businesses (which certainly seems to be the unspoken goal of Republican policy planning.)
I wonder if anyone else has figured out that 50T is more than enough to build an orbital or Lagrange colony…
Could it be that you’re biased? There are no jobs out there. Millions of people have become weary and disillusioned searching for one. For many, unemployment insurance is the only (often demeaning) option. They are friends and neighbors, not fat couch potatoes. The reason for this situation is clear: The Republican Congress has dug in its heels in an attempt to make Obama a one-term president) by scuttling any legislation that might cast a favorable light on the President however it affects the nation. Also, don’t forget the pledge many conservatives made to not raise taxes (I pledge of Allegiance to Grover Norquist). The banks are on the same page. They are sitting on unbelievable sums of cash (that came from our pockets) that could otherwise be put to use in creating jobs, providing loans. I don’t believe this movement will fail just because it gets cold.
Anarchy is not the answer said:
Go to Alabama or another state which is desperately looking for agricultural workers. They won’t care if you are overqualified, if you are willing to work. They didn’t hold a gun to your head to make you take out student loans to take classes in esoteric subjects, get a few credit cards, iPads, etc., and would be happy to have you in the fields regardless of how many languages you speak or how many advanced degrees you have.
oh my god I think occupysomelogic is an army Recruiter. Did you pick that mos so you didn’t have to fight? Just sell the Army bullshit to young people who can’t find a job. With all due respect, how do you sleep at night. You sir suck.
I have 3 jobs. I love them all and make a decently low income. No complaints about working class pride here. There are a good number of issues that OWS represents in it’s grievances, that are far more ridiculous than student debt and joblessness. i.e. Corporate lobbying in politics, clean food and air, the healthcare industry (and no, i do not love Obamacare and I do not want a handout), union busting, corporate owned media blackouts, etc. These affect all of us.
It’s not about getting aid or jobs; it’s about getting Justice. The state of the economy is the way it is because our sytem fell prey to leaks, leaks of mass money into the hands of a minority. Look at the difference in distribution of wealth 20 years ago and to today. We’re being scammed, and we don’t like it. We are defending the integrity of our democratic and capitalistic system, because somebody has been immorally taking advantage of it by unfairly getting our public servants to be thiers alone.
We have been warned before:
Don’t have a privately owned Federal Reserve.
Don’t allow elected officials to be fed from the pockets of the rich and powerful.
Don’t turn a blind eye, that’s how this has gotten out of hand. Stay informed.
Swindlers need to be kept in check, especially if they are wearing a nice suit.
Because everyone knows that in socialist societies, there exists no abuse of power, no bribery, no buying of favors and special treatment. In socialism, there surely cannot exist political leaders who (gasp) favor their cronies while ignoring their starving and bleak populations. Too bad you can’t cash a reality check.
This has nothing to do with socialism. Nothing at all. Our political system is supposed to be for all of us…the rich, the poor, the in between. One person, one vote.
However, our politicians, and thus, our political process, has been bought out by the wealthy and designed to assist them in becoming more wealthy. Much has been said about the redistribution of wealth in attacking progressive policy, but the fact is that the rich have used their influence to redistribute the hard-earned money of the rest of us to themselves through ownership of the political process.
We seek a system where we all have an equal say in government regardless of income or social station. I don’t want your money.
Good, ’cause I need it! This absolutely IS about socialism, and the fact that you don’t see that would be amusing if it weren’t sad and scary. Good luck ropin’ that genie.
No, it has nothing to do with Socialism, but a level playing field where corporate interests don’t own the American political process. That you don’t see that is sad and scary. It isn’t about hand-outs, or the redistribution of wealth, but the ownership of the political process by the people, as our system was designed to be.
Don’t have a privately owned Federal Reserve. I believe that was Thomas Jefferson. Smart man. I think he said central bank but same thing.
I agree! I think they, the “central bank” has been around since the early 1900’s? Thomas Jefferson was against it, as were other founding fathers if I remember correctly.
Chau Nghiem said:
Thank you so much for this wonderful list! Wow! I live in Germany but I will do all I can to share it with friends and family in the US. And to see how to support to folks Occupying over here!
We are also posting ideas for people who can’t attend encampments at #Occupy at Home. We have a blog, http://occupyathome.wordpress.com, and a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-at-Home/210265929046061, and our twitter handle is @Occupy_at_home . We hope to have a blog post up shortly about ways to participate in the strike from home, for those whose illness or disability prevents them from going to meet-ups, or those who are unemployed, work from home, or otherwise can’t “skip work.”
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Don Beams said:
I’ve got to confess that I am amazed, and more than a little irritated, at people expressing a rather pedantic and obtuse complaint that they don’t know yet what the OWS movement “wants”. As if a protest that started at Wall Street is not ABOUT Wall Street, is not directed at Wall Street, the seat of financial and multi-national corporate activity in the Western Hemisphere, and which is always the original SOURCE of every individual , unworkable, unfair, fraudulent, corrupt and destructive behavior or activity that the 99% protestors may be protesting.
Their individual concerns range from loss of jobs, medical coverage, foreclosures, endless war, unsafe nuke facilities, environmental degradation, corruption of Congress, SCOTUS and the Presidency, and the potential of a life of indentured servitude via debt, and on and on. This load of crap has been insidiously introduced into their lives by multinational corporatism pursuing global conquest over a period of years and then highlighted by the speculative and fraudulent banking and securities collapse of 2008. If this were not enough of a wake-up call, our political system has made it perfectly clear in 2011 that they are neither capable nor willing to change a course leading to further suffering and loss by the 99%.
They want all of this crap to stop. It IS that simple. Since congress is not listening, you go to the source of the problem… the banks and multi-nationals. Boycott is a tool already showing some effectiveness with the big four banks. The protests will morph into more direct actions, and since congress is already corrupted beyond recovery, a new progressive reform party will be formed and will have candidates running in Statehouses and Congressional Primaries by the 2014 mid terms. The Tea Party has shown us all that it is possible to make a significant political impact in less than a 2 year period. By 2016 the Democratic Progressive Caucus will have defected from the Democratic Party. It will be interesting…
Rick Mitchell said:
Save your time and effort on the return mail of junk — unless it’s clearly an “official” bank return postage paid envelope. A mail handler told me they throw away anything that is an obvious misuse of such envelopes ( such as obvious added weight items, etc.) Reason is the the USPS has indoctrinated its workers to believe that mail advertising pays their own salaries. (Otherwise, they might be tempted to not deliver some of the stuff, since most of it is really junk anyway!) THANK YOU for your good work, Lauren, and ALL of the many dedicated occupiers in every city!
The People's Reporter said:
Thank you, for this very wise list to the people in order to support OWS. I was going to do the same, but since you’ve already done so, I hereby, request your permission to post your list on The People’s Press and on Topix new, where I am Editor in Chief.
I believe your list can inspire many others.
I look forward to hearing from you.
The People’s Reporter,
The People’s Press
Jane Walker said:
Instead of buying nothing for the holidays, how about buying something from a cottage industry or a small business in your area.
example: Buy an old chair, reupholster it locally and count all the jobs you have supported
example: Visit your local farm and make a feast for your friends
example: Buy one locally made garment for a bit more instead of 20 for $5.00
example: Fix up and gift your old stuff to someone who is struggling so they can use their extra cash for food
Giving is a beautiful thing and there is power in the way that we choose to give. Channel that energy and have a blessed Holiday Season.
Aurora WindDancer said:
Support your local hand-made crafters and artisans 🙂 Support your local small businesses 🙂 The job you save may be your own, or a loved ones!
Alisa Berry Bennett said:
I’m on a time budget with dinner on the stove, so I didn’t read all the comments.
I have a suggestion for a change for Black Friday. I have friends who support the OWS movement and are involved in the local movement. These friends own their own small businesses and stores. I would just hate that they would be included in the “buy nothing” day, which I support with and adjustment. “Buy nothing except from small, locally owned businesses.”
btw thanks for your list. Very good.
Hi Lauren. I would like to take the time to thank you for posting “11 simple way…” As an outsider (please read: not a part of the occupy movement but not against it)I found it to be very informative. However I do have some underlying questions regarding the logic of this movement and the objectives it hopes to achieve through its actions.
I live in Battery Park City and I pass Zuccotti Park every day of the week at all hours of the day. While the overall message seems to be that “Wall St. is evil”, I have yet to find a compelling argument to be made by the sign holders, drummers, and shouters. Every day I watch as different groups or factions inside the park rant about a particular grievance or push a specific objective while others just yell complete nonsense or just play music. This disjointedness makes it hard for me to take the occupy movement serious. In your post I noticed that you rate “sleeping in the park” over being “able to intelligently defend and support the movement”. That appears to support the opinion that the occupy participants don’t really have a true underlying cause. It seems to me that while there are valid reasons to be upset, the occupy movement has failed to present anything in an articulate and logical argument to support the equally vague and unrealistic solutions the protesters have suggested.
How about just wear a 99% button every day? Even pick some up at an encampment and hand out to friends and family. It helps with visibility – I’d say I get at least one person a day that smiles at me after they see the button and say “nice button.”
I think I’m in love. Umm Yea i am. Lauren Leonardi I’m in Love with you! Thinking about Proposing? If your already married, or otherwise committed my heart breaks…(crrraaaacckk) Maybe you should run for some sort of office. That way I could at least vote for you (: Anyways I definatly vote for this site, and am sharing it with everyone I know. Keep up the good work!! (And if u have a secret crush on me, u can tell me, I won’t tell a soul) Lol Jason UNITE, STAND UP, SPEAK OUT.
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Russell L said:
I enjoyed reading about supporting the Occupy Movement. I marched with them and spoke with some on the 1st day they started in my area. I also thanked them for what they are doing so hopefully someday the corporations and rich will pay their fare share.
I work for the Postal Service and they want to close the city PO where I live. Some of the movement is supposed to come to the meeting so hopefully if enough people come maybe they won’t close the PO. The Postal Service has their mind made up even before the Area Mail Processing studies are done. It is basically going to say I didn’t stand back and do nothing.
I wish you, your family and the Occupy Movement the best of luck in life and hope all your goals and dreams come true. Enclosed is a goal poem for hope and what I hope doesn’t happen to the PO.
Keep up the good fight.
Best of Luck On Your Goals
I am sure you will accomplish the many goals you set out to achieve.
You are a determined smart and independent individual that is fair and compassionate.
You are outgoing and get along well with others.
Even though life throws us curves, you will stay on course and bring sunshine to others, even when the rain clouds are storming.
I wish you the best in all you do.
Parody with Gordon Lightfoot Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
Wreck Of The U.S. Postal Service October 4, 2011
Our Postal Service was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin being our first Post Master.
The Postal Service is in trouble because of a Bush- era law that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the cost of retiree’s benefits for the next 75 years in 10 years time.
No other company or agency in America is required to do this.
In June 2011 Hangman Darrell Issa and Hangman Dennis Ross introduced H.R. 2309 which will be the Wisconsin of the Postal Service if it becomes law. It will dismantle collective bargaining and forbid payment of severance pay to retirement-eligible employees. And reduce delivery services and close plants and post offices.
Rep Steve Lynch introduced H.R. 1351 which would prevent the financial collapse of the USPS – without closing thousands of post offices, eliminating hundreds of mail processing facilities, delaying mail delivery, laying off 120,000 workers, cutting postal workers’ pay, or ending collective bargaining rights.
We are in the fight of our lives but people have voted wrong for too long and done nothing to help preserve their jobs over the years. People tell me it doesn’t matter what we do as we are doomed anyway.
The Postal Service has its mind made up even before the Area Mail Processing studies are done.
All we can do is say we went down trying to keep our Eagle from drowning to keep service for the American people and jobs and benefits for the workers.
Hangman Issa and his GOP cronies will never give up until all services that help us including the Postal Service, bled and dead. Common sense is not in the makeup to improve the economy, only the rich get richer and the poor poorer.
Private companies will not deliver to the rural areas or inner cities and the elderly will not get their medications.
We will have a museum of our defunct Postal Service.
Love these ideas!!! AZ needs to step up like NY…Keep up the fight!
Tracy Shaffer (@tracetime) said:
Thank you for posting this Lauren. I have an addition. After you have read up on the movement, take a few moments (or a walk) and think about the personal reasons you may have for supporting Occupy Wall Street. Loss or sever decrease in your 401k or savings, inability to pay for an elder parent’s medical care, loss of your job and/or your house. Or maybe everything’s going well for you right now but you’re afraid of where you’ll be in 5 years, in ten. The Occupy Wall Street movement stirs up a lot of fears: of change and the unknown. Some of us have fears that OWS is out to tear the entire system down and crush the America we know, some have fears of the road ahead if we stay on course. Take that walk, discover your fears and your feelings about the change we are creating and express the change you’d like to see in your world. Then BE THAT CHANGE.
WRITE A SHORT ESSAY ABOUT THE MOVEMENT, EVEN IF YOU ARE CONFLICTED, AND POST IT ON FACEBOOK. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BLOG, WRITE IT IN WORD AND POST IT AS A NOTE. SHARE IT ON TWITTER AND WITH FRIENDS, PRINT IT OUT AND SEND IT TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN/WOMAN, YOUR CLERGY, AND ANYONE ELSE WHOM YOU THINK NEEDS TO KNOW. These are real and human stories that are the impetus behind this movement, and the energy that will carry it through. Here’s what I said http://tracyshaffer.com/2011/10/25/why-i-support-the-occupy-movement/
Keep the conversation open.
thanks for the ideas. i am now involving myself. here comes the hot chocolate and food this weekend occupy bay st toronto.
Thanks for this. One thing rubbed me the wrong way, though. Skepticism and apathy are not the the same thing. Just because I am not willing to shout my support for OWS at the top of my lungs at a cocktail party does not mean I’m wimping out; it means I’m not swayed enough by either the message, the medium, or the methodology to jump into the movement whole-heartedly. If I was, wouldn’t I be camping out alongside them?
Tracy Shaffer (@tracetime) said:
I hear you, Jim and I think your insight is spot on, your restraint is honorable. The beauty here is that you don’t have to chime in or camp out, and frankly, shouting at a cocktail party just doesn’t work out too well after college frat parties. ; ) It’s good to stay tuned, see how the movement and the message progresses and explore the collective dialogue. I believe, like many movements throughout history, that it takes time to effect change. In this case, it will take time to clarify the precise changes that need to occur, perhaps years to implement them. So far… checking account and some debit card fees have been reversed so someone’s listening.
Great piece, I helped organize an event with a local credit union at a community center to sign people up for credit union accounts…. Might be a good event to suggest people organize, there is an inertia to dealing with changing banks that i think this helps overcome.
Andrew Zeiler said:
I like many of these ideas but I have concerns about the last one. I personally haven’t done Xmas for years, except small gifts for the grandchildren. My daughter however works in a locally owned, i.e. non-corporate store which does most of it’s business of the year during holidays. Should she lose her job? She was told by teachers in grade school that she shouldn’t even try to go to college, Regardless she got a BA in merchandising. Should she be punished for her hard, hard work?
What part of “gift from privately owned retailers” didn’t you understand?
@ Anonymous ^
What part of “why do you need to be so sarcastic in your reply” don’t you understand?
Hi, Andrew. I think the overall message in #14 is that we should become a society filled with…teachers, mothers, lovers, workers, readers, thinkers…anything other than JUST *consumers*. Gifting has taken over the holidays the way the endless cycle of thoughtless consuming and discarding has taken over healthier rhythms of living.
The reality is that most of the readers who pass by this blog post have never considered having a Christmas without gifts, and aren’t ready to make a leap like that. #14 encourages them to think about the holidays in a new way, and might extend to the way they think about purchases all year round. Wiping the slate clean (consider: no gifts!) might allow my readers to fall back on a more palatable choice (stores like your daughter’s, for example!).
I hope your daughter’s store does well this holiday season. I hope all the privately owned businesses that sell unique, thoughtful, sustainable products thrive this holiday season and long after.
One year we couldn’t afford much at all for Christmas (for the children) so we let then decide what to do. They chose to have a family dinner so they could see everyone. They were just 5 and 6 but their thinking was brilliant. They suggested everyone bring something different and that way we could all try something new. We’ve never really been big into spending at Christmas and usually make a lot of gifts but for them when..we really got down to it, they wanted family over gifts. Now, if only adults could come to that level!
The movie, What Would Jesus Buy, is excellent. It’s a documentary about consumerism, and what’s behind the corporatization of Christmas. It’s a must-see that addresses many of the comments on this thread.
What a wonderful family you must have anonymouse. You must be proud. Out of the mouths of babes.
Phoenix occupier said:
what part of “gift from privately owned retailers” wasn’t understood? A major part of this movement is to support honest local’s. The major corporations are the problem not small businesses.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Hi and thanks! Since this is a movement against corporate greed and hubris, may i suggest the food donations be vegan? There’s nothing more corporate, greedy, and hubristic–not to mention cruel, environmentally devastating, and terrible for health–than animal agriculture.
It’s delicious and empowering to say no to that, and it’s aligned perfectly with this movement’s values and goals. More info here, among a zillion other places: http://chooseveg.com/
Gretchen is on to something here. Just eating lower on the food chain could create a huge change in both the economic and physical health of this country. Most diseases – diabetes, heart disease, cancer – are degenerative diseases and can be reversed just by a healthier life-style. I’m appalled by the television ads by the pharmaceutical companies and the destructive side-effects of their drugs. They make enormous profits by brain-washing people into thinking they need them. We could reduce the healthcare costs by billions, and reduce the influence of drug companies on politics just by changing our eating habits.
Here Here! I was on my deathbed, literally days from dying (and was on 15 medications! just getting worse every day) and someone suggested a diet change – and I came off my deathbed and survived. It took 3 1/2 years but last year I was hiking, swimming and playing with my daughter again. NUTRITION is what saved my life when all the specialists washed their hands and left me for dead. So I’ve studied drug companies and nutrition for 5 years now – as if my life depends on it – because it HAS. Drug companies are involved in mass hypnosis to put it bluntly. And you have to wonder when medical doctors get the equivalent of less than one full credit of nutrition education on average, who’s behind that? Drugs were originally based on plants. Now plants are put in into suspicious terms by the drug companies. And guess who’s behind these HUGE money making walk-a-thons and marathon events – often drug companies so they can promote their drugs on signs at these “feel good” events. Why, after millions – if not billions of dollars on research there’s supposedly no cure for any of the “big uglies” – MS, AIDS, Cancer, etc. Do you know that organizations promoting nutrition for these have to practice over the border in Mexico? They are NOT ALLOWED to “administer” nutritious FOOD to help people HEAL. It’s absolutely CRIMINAL and we are completely brain-washed in how we even THINK about medicine. I could go on and on. There ARE solutions and many of them are FAR more effective – with NO SIDE EFFECTS, than pharmecuetical drugs. RESEARCH your illness – under “home remedies” and alternative remedies and the like. I personally know 4 people who healed themselves from severe/Stage 4 cancers and some quite rare – using foods and nutrition. And I know many other stories beyond my own circle of people. Just sayin’
And BEST OF LUCK and I support the movement. Every movement has had to evolve and get clarified over time. Why wouldn’t this one? There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for major change of a society of 300 + million people! So allow for differences in message and method! It will take EVERYONE. Find your own issues and stick with them and support anyone TRYING to DO something – even if you don’t necessarily agree. To me the real “answer” here is for all of us to feel and stay empowered and to feel once again we have a VOICE. So find your own way to voice and exert your needs/desires for this country! And it’s a fantastic opportunity to be “neighborly” once again! Remember that? Perhaps not. But it’s great and will give you “warm fuzzies” for a good long time!
This is fantastic, Lauren; thank you.
If you wish to add to your resources, there are half a dozen pieces blogged here under “Occupying the mind”, which include the day a friend and I did the washing up at Occupy London.
Gracias Lauren leonardi! You rock for providing this resource.
Thanks so much for reading. I hope to add to the list here and there, so check back!
Mwezi Pugh said:
I don’t think that 3rd party canidate exsists??…. If he/she does by all means let me know, i’ll spread the word.
Ed Olswang said:
It’s tedious, but switching from products that support folks like the Koch brothers (owners of Georgia-Pacific paper products) to smaller producers is a good way to vote with your cash. The tedious bit is figuring out who is small and sustainable and who just says they are.
Most profits from commercial brand products go to 1%ers. If you switch from using one or two name brand household products a month, in a year, your house will probably be free of them.
You can save yourself a lot of cash (and research) by switching from paper towels to terrycloth rag towels and Kleenex to handkerchiefs. You can also do things like make your own window cleaner from vinegar and your own laundry detergent from soap, and washing soda.
Getting started can be the hard and confusing part, try something easy like using generic baking soda as a scouring powder instead of Comet or nut oil instead of Pledge.
That homemade products are greener and much, much cheaper is a great bonus to dinging the profits of billionaires and multi-nationals.
love your ideas rachel! i’ve been doing this for the most part for a long time. lots of folks don’t make this connection. we can vote with our dollars!
You might also want to try something crazy like voting for a third party candidate who isn’t handing over the reins of government to the corporate masters.
You mean voting can *change* things? Madness!
Thank you for this important point. I did deliberately leave this off the list for a couple of reasons. One: it doesn’t specifically and directly impact OWS, and this list is about helping people get involved with that movement. Two: I’m not sure voting even makes that much of a difference at this particular time. Which 3rd party would you suggest for the 2012 presidential election, for example? Our choices are our incumbent sell-out or RoboCop Romney? I’m not even sure Nader is running this year.
Voting is essential, and I encourage everyone to vote in every election, but a lot more change is needed than stuffing a few more bought heads into a few more owned suits.
If you want to make real change in our system by voting, one way to make real change and impact the system is to get involved in local and state politics and elections. Too many people focus only on the Presidency and the Senate. Tomorrow’s national candidates come from the local elections.
I think your awesome! Thanks for the idea’s. I chose 3 things i can do easily and do starting today. I will keep trying to do more but have to figure out ligistically how to do some of the bigger things. I hope to report back soon and say i’ve added 1 or 2 or more things to help this movement survive. And i just want to say 1 thing that people don’t say to often, (i think mostly out of fear of being mocked) b/c i feel that way too. But i’m a spiritual person and i’m not trying to press my beliefs upon anyone, but no matter if you pray to Jesus, Allah, God, Mother Nature, or whoever, I think we should pray for those brave people on the frontlines who are taking all of the blows from media, police and ther own cities. Thank God ther thier and fighting for the rest of us, and dis-regarding ther own needs and lives for somthing bigger than themselves. They RULE!! Thanks 4 the ears… 1 in the 99%
Thanks for reading. So glad to hear you’ve been inspired by the list. Keep up the great work!
Another idea – Let’s say you want to make sure the big banks feel the Nov. 5 date where we move our money, but you don’t have your money in one of the 6 big banks right now. Open an account with them today with $100 (or whatever you can). With the way fractional reserve banking works, when your deposit $100 into their reserves, the bank will lend out $1000, a plan that works only as long as too many people don’t pull their money at once. If you open an account today, that money will be leveraged by Nov 5 and pulling it out all at once could kill the big banks (don’t worry, they are still FDIC insured so you will still get your $100 back).
just make sure they don’t have any fees for cancelling a bank account within a certain time frame. some banks do.
great idea, btw!
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Brilliant idea about the junk mail. Now I can’t for tomorrow’s mail!
14. Opt Out of Black Friday & Cyber Sunday, DO NOT!
Good intentions but the unintended consequence will be devastating to the very people you want to support.
If this is done it will destroy thousands of small businesses that depend on holiday sales. It will result in many thousands of people loosing the only work they have, even if it is minimum wage.
If you want to make a meaningful difference move your buying from Walmart, Kmart, Sam’s Club, Amazon, and all the mega stores to the small business near you. Support the smaller business that have so much trouble staying open with such massive competition. People will loose jobs but it will be the mega-stores not the mom and pop on the corner. You have to choose and if you are choosing local over national/international this is how you will have to act.
If you intend to make a difference you have to act deliberately, with fully thought out acts. You can’t know or predict everything but some things like this are obviously wrong and the consequences, like cutting government spending on schools, public safety, and infrastructure can EASILY be seen with a minimum of thinking and discussion.
Seth Andrews said:
Can’t we just Opt Out of Black Friday & Cyber Sunday for Corporate Retailers? I think this would only make SMALL BUSINESSES FLOURISH!!! YAYYYYYY!!!! hehehe
I agree. Declaring a gift-free holiday would really hurt many small business’ and artisans who acount on the holiday sales. Buy local and support your community!
The list in general is fantastic. Thanks for your time
Thanks guys! I hear ya, and I do plan to support small, local and privately owned businesses this holiday season. I responded to a similar comment up above with this:
I think the overall message in #14 is that we should become a society filled with…teachers, mothers, lovers, workers, readers, thinkers…anything other than JUST *consumers*. Gifting has taken over the holidays the way the endless cycle of thoughtless consuming and discarding has taken over other healthier rhythms of living.
The reality is that most of the readers who pass by this blog post have never considered having a Christmas without gifts, and aren’t ready to make a leap like that. #14 encourages them to think about the holidays in a new way, and might extend to the way they think about purchases all year round. Wiping the slate clean (consider: no gifts!) might allow my readers to fall back on a more palatable choice (privately owned gifting…).
I hope all the privately owned businesses that sell unique, thoughtful, sustainable products thrive this holiday season and long after.
While the idea of opting out of larger retailers is a good one, there are still significant unintended consequences attached. When sales drop below a certain level, many minimum wage jobs are eliminated or hours cut significantly, which hurts those workers far more than it hurts the companies. I’m not saying one shouldn’t buy elsewhere, but that there are also communal consequences that may hurt those we are trying to help more than anticipated.
Anne Schmitt said:
This is a wonderful list and discussion. OWS is the most wonderful awakening I have seen in my lifetime. I am an older disabled person who lives in the middle on nowhere on a mountainside… it is where you can afford to live on the $650 a month I get to survive on. My automatic deposit of my Social Security and Supplemental Security Disability Income has always been the Bank of America even though the closest one is over a hundred miles away… I am going to see if I can change it to the small bank in a nearby town… if all of us old disabled folk did that with our government checks it would make a BIG difference… just saying.
Tracy Shaffer (@tracetime) said:
wow, that would be interesting. I saw an article today that banks are charging fees out of unemployment benefits
Thank you Lauren, for the list. I live hours from the nearest occupation, but I go to weekly rallies in my small town, I participate online in various ways DAILY (and throughout the day. Kinda obsessed I guess. Super excited), and I go to the city for events. Looking forward to traveling to Oakland this Wed for the general strike day, and passing through Occupy Sacramento to drop off supplies on the way. Have you seen this video? I really like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myqffx8Mdg4&feature=related
Curious to know how much you have researched Walmart. Although they still have improvements to make, they have come a long way. There have been numerous policies in place to promote sustainability. Yes, they will also profit from recycling and such, but so do we when we recycle. I too was a skeptic and thought negatively about how Walmart effected the local businesses. What I found when I looked deeper was local businesses on average have an increase in profit due to the higher traffic of people. Just a few facts. There are some great suggestions on how to support the Occupy Wallstreet movement. Thanks
Walmart hasn’t actually changed much. They have paid for a lot of greenwashing. They are the wealthiest corporation on the planet, and they don’t pay workers a living wage, they have rolled back healthcare benefits and upped executive salaries. If there is any corporation to boycott, it is Walmart.
Astroturfing. Until walmart ceases it’s systemic sexual discrimination, pays a living wage and provides decent benefits they have nothing to offer a community save cheap products made overseas. Products whose very manufacture steals jobs from those here at home.
I work for a company that 8 years ago I started out as a cashier. I was never discriminated against for being female. I was able to finish paying for college, all my student loans, and my house with the pay I received. I not only have good health benefits, where I pay a simple co pay per visit, I have 401k benefits that the company matches up to 6% of what I contribute. I also have dental insurance that helped pay for the braces my parents could never afford. When I buy my company’s stock, they match 15% up to $1500 per year. The money I saved in stock allowed me to purchase my home with a larger down payment and still have shares to spare. The company I work for contributes thousands of dollars a year in grants per store, in addition to the hundreds of dollars a month, per store, on local charities or non profit organizations. Some associates like to also volunteer at local events or non profits and my company even gives that organization, I choose to volunteer with, a check in addition to my service. My company is like a family and we do have out opportunities but all in all I love it here. My company started off as a mom and pop shop by a simple man with a vision to save people monwy so they could live better. Thank you Sam Walton. Thank you Walmart
gene debs said:
yes and Walmart, just cut their health insurance benefits for their employees. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/business/wal-mart-cuts-some-health-care-benefits.html
This is all in addition to the generally accepted fact that Walmart’s insurance plan’s health benefits are woefully inadequate.
I just updated my benefits and hardly saw any changes. Thanks Walmart for continuing to provide me with affordable health care
I just updated my benefits and I didn’t see many monetary changes. Thanks Walmart for continuing to provide me with affordable health insurance
Salley Johnston said:
Absolutely support OWS, don’t want to see anyone get hurt…
dmcrane (@dmcrane) said:
I like the idea of sending back the pre-paid bank envelopes, even filling them with extra stuff. The still have to pay for the postage, which they’ve already written off as advertising cost anyhow, but it also supports the Post Office.
dmcrane (@dmcrane) said:
Great list and ideas. Thanks.
On Twitter, I HIGHLY recommend following Liza Sabater (@blogdiva) for all things Occupy-related, including analysis around the inclusion of people of color. She’s based in NYC but shares news and insights from all over (and in multiple languages!). Can’t say enough about how invaluable her reporting is.
i love her, too. 🙂
This is fantastic, Lauren! Thank you! I’m an acknowledged enthusiastic arm-chair supporter of the movement, but haven’t been able to get farther than creating a “library” page for great articles, cartoons, etc., not just about OWS, but on the larger topic of getting money out of politics….It’s on FB at facebook.com/moneyout.peoplein. A blog’s a much better way to create a basic reference page, though. Again, thanks! Education is a huge need here.
Also, I’ve been trying to figure out ways for people to support the movement without actually camping. I keep talking about organizing a group to get lawn signs together, or to encourage people to print posters and stick ’em in their car windows or living room windows.
Unfortunately, people are still afraid to embrace the idea that things are fundamentally wrong with the system. I’m thinking of starting a group devoted to finding a way to build the 99. Could I count you in when I get it up and running?
I’d definitely be interested to see what your group is all about. Good luck!
The most critical thing is to vote! If you’re not registered, get registered!
It is only critical if there are independent candidates for whom to vote. There are extremely few Ds or Rs who are not beholden to the big money people. In the 2012 election for President I will only vote for someone other than Obama or whoever the Republicans nominate. If I must, I will write in my own name.
Scott Urbanowski said:
I would add: VOTE! We need to occupy the halls of Congress, state legislatures, and city governments with politicians who will serve WE THE PEOPLE!
Bob Cumbers said:
Yes.. Voting is the number one thing anyone can do to ensure change; though it is admittedly difficult to find candidates not already in Wall Streets back pocket.
I think that one additional way to support the Occupy Wallstreet movement is by not using a credit card. Credit cards enrich big banks and take money away from consumers and local businesses. They get people without access to high sums of capital endebted into situations where they must continue to work jobs with a huge portion of their production taken off their backs by their employers. I think that we can pressure big banks by not using credit cards and encouraging others to do the same.
No one can make you use a credit card. Unless you pull the trigger on a gun, it cannot kill someone. If you never use the credit card, you are less likely to end up in debt. It’s called personal restraint. Live within your means.
No one can make you use a credit card. Unless you pull the trigger on a gun, it cannot kill someone. If you never use the credit card, you are less likely to end up in debt. It’s called personal restraint. Live within your means.
If you travel by plane, buy for your ticket in cash, and have a, “foreign-sounding,” or, “Arabic,” name, you invite lengthy and intrusive TSA screenings and inspections or, even worse, winding up on the, “No-Fly,” list. Having gone through the former just a couple months after 9/11/01, I elect to keep a credit card with a very low limit on hand for buying plane tickets and the like. My airport experiences have been as normal as can be expected because of this.
As I pay for the ticket charge right away, no bank is making any real money off of me. It is living within my means, I just adopt a means that also allows me to travel without harassment.
question .? If there was a public gathering in many cities basic necessities are taken care of that bring revenue for the city ,such as Porta potties and food and bev vendors and private security. these concerns seem to be the basic argument across the country by our city officials. Is there a way to solve these problems. or can we as the public work together to help these situations to be more responsible, If that means getting permits /donations to place porta potties w/e means necessary. The next few months will be cold and unbearable. If these sittuations are addressed this could minimize the violence taking place and the message could be voices louder. I could be wrong ty any responses would help
corrections : voiced among other things i should have read this before posting
question .? If there was a public gathering in many cities basic necessities are taken care of that bring revenue for the city ,such as Porta potties and food and bev vendors and private security. these concerns seem to be the basic argument across the country by our city officials. Is there a way to solve these problems. or can we as the public work together to help these situations to be more responsible, If that means getting permits /donations to place porta potties w/e means necessary. The next few months will be cold and unbearable.
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Occupy Everywhere (@WeAllOccupy) said:
Hi Lauren! Excellent info… really if people can they should go OCCUPY – even if it’s just over lunch time or when they go to donate. in addition to the Daily Kos and OccupyTogether resources we do the @WeAllOccupy Directory – which is a work in progress, but is trying to have a broad range of info in one place. Take a look: https://sites.google.com/site/wealloccupy/home
simao cayatte said:
not quite sure where to leave comment, but I have supplies (clothes mostly) that I was going to give away and would gladly give to the occupy wall st. mvmt – how to go about doing it?
Hello. Thanks for reading! I’ll email you at the email address you entered when you submitted your comment.
Thanks, @wealloccupy! I added your link right next to the Daily Kos link. 🙂 Thanks for your work. #occupyeverywhere
Go to the websites of your local television stations and find the News Tip link – usually there is a form for sending in story ideas or news tips. Encourage them to cover the Occupations! Most mornings when I watch the news, there is more time devoted to Michael Jackson’s doctor’s trial than to OWS. Tell them we want more balanced coverage of the Occupations, not just of the arrests. There are many people who just don’t understand what the movement is all about – we need to reach these people. We need to use the media to our advantage.
I totally agree. Great point, and great idea.
One Who Opened those Envelopes said:
Great list but as far as the impact of sending messages back to credit card companies, I don’t think that will work as most of those envelopes are opened and processed by another company that they outsource and are quickly thrown away. No one above a letter opening position will ever see them or be aware of their existence.
They only impact will be an increase in their marketing budget due to postage expenses which will only justify their raising their rates for the services they provide.
Terri Bear said:
Perhaps googling corporate headquarters for name and address to be put onto a mail label that covers the preprinted one on the envelope might work?
Wouldn’t work. The Postal Service wouldn’t process a label that’s been altered like that. Maybe returned to sender, else dead letter.
A Former Disgruntled Postal Worker
Terri Bear said:
Thanks for the heads up.
However, the bank is still responsible for the cost of the letter sent back to them, which they would probably pass on to the consumer…
Since the people who open and process these letters are probably underpaid staff, why not enclose a copy of the Workplace Bill of Rights? This excellent article can be found at http://www.workplacefairness.org/workplce-bill-of-rights. At the bottom of the article, write “This is being sent to you courtesy of an Occupy Wall Street supporter.”
Sorry! When you click on the above Workplace Fairness link, it will say “Oops!” But do click on the link “The Issues,” and then click on “Workplace Bill of Rights.”
Corrected link: http://www.workplacefairness.org/workplace-bill-of-rights
Great list! I’ve also been hearing a lot about the general strike planned for Nov. 2. I know it started as a movement in Oakland, but seems like other Occupy cities are promoting this as well. If you can’t strike on Nov. 2, then find another way to opt out of the system for the day by buying nothing…I would add if you can’t manage to buy nothing, then at least buy local!
I posted about this earlier today. Thanks for mentioning it!
Melissa Borden said:
I also saw somewhere to write we are the 99% on any paper money that you have (as long as you can still read the words and the dollar amount I don’t think it counts as defacing it).
Another idea from Occupy Toronto: buy a bag of potatoes and bake them in your oven, then bring them down to your local Occupy site. Not only do they provide good portable food, they can also provide warmth for hands and be placed in pockets. Occupy Toronto called this SPUDS FOR BUDS. 🙂
Terri Bear said:
You mentioned collecting donations. Maybe Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts could collect donations and take to local occupy folks. Would really be nice if they’d be in their scout uniforms. Non-partisan community service, right?
Barb Poposky said:
Due to physical issues, I can’t actively be at our local camp; let me share one way I help out.
Look up the Facebook & other social media pages of your local tv news stations & radio stations… You can ‘like’ & follow several yourself, or organize so that x-# of people are watching each page for articles, posts, & pictures of the local Occupy movements… Too often the only people commenting on the Occupy-related posts on these pages are not supporters, and are filling the comments with negative/prejudicial or erroneous information… Watch your chosen or assigned media page throughout the day; if you see an Occupy-related post, let your friends or local network know so that they may comment positively re: Occupy. Just remember to keep the comments civil & mature & stick to the statistics/facts, our side should not reduce itself to mudslinging or name-calling… Remember that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”, & many try to portray OWS & the local groups as ‘uneducted’, ‘unemployed’, ‘homeless looking for handouts’… Share your comments on their pages responsibly, & show that the perceived image is incorrect…
I think that maybe the OWS movements are more useful in preventing class warfare than fighting in such warfare.
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Debra Goebel said:
I wrote “I am the other 99%” on my car. Even driving through NY I did not see even one other car with anything about the Occupy movement on it! Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone who is one of the 99% had it written across their rear window!!
What a terrific idea! If you’d like to send me a photo, I’ll be happy to post it here as another idea.
Debra Goebel said:
I love many of these ideas, as they do not all require technology. I believe occupy has a huge number of supporters they are not even aware of because these people are in the over 50 group and are not comfortable with technology. They do not follow on FB or Twitter, etc. I believe the over 50’s are a HUGE almost untapped resource. Many of them are suffering the most in this economy. Not only have they lost jobs and houses, but are discriminated against in the job market because of their age and many are responsible not only for college age children, but for their ageing parents. Many of them are very knowledgeable in non-violent protest having experience in the ’60’s. I would love to see even more ways of including them in the movement!!
Soon the weather will make it very hard for people to camp overnight in the park. If there were a network of people who could offer their couch to sleep on and a hot shower, then people could rotate out now and then. I think it would wear even a hardy young person down to be out in the cold all day every day. There would be some things to resolve, such as how to know who you can trust when you are opening your home to a stranger. Resourceful people can make something like this work!
I agree, those of us who can’t be in the occupied spaces, can support them in other ways.
That’s a great point and a wonderful idea, Annie. I’ll add that to the list!
MAYBE SOMEONE CAN START AN OCCUPY COUCH SURF SITE….I DONT KNOW HOW…AND A RIDE BOARD
Lauren, thank you for these ideas and the wonderful video clips! So inspiring and sooo on point!!
Thanks so much, Sharon. So glad I can inspire!
just curious, i heard that fast food resturants need to throw out all of the food left at the end of the day. What if someone was there to request that the food be donated to the OWS movements? it was to be thrown out anyways right?
The only trouble with that being that corporate “food” is as artificial as fiat currency.
Perhaps so, but every local store in every franchise is run by real, local people who live in that community, and may be willing to help to the level of their ability.
I agree that food waste from restaurants and franchises (like what “freegans” go after) is a great way to help the 24/7 occupiers. It’s true that all restaurants have a lot of perfectly edible waste at the end of the day. The occupiers in NYC are getting some great, organic food. They’re also getting tons of pizza and other less-than-healthy options. I think the priority is filling everyone’s belly…with whatever.
It’s tough in New York because most grocery stores and large chains already have arrangements with local charities who come for the leftovers every single day. I’ve called around and couldn’t get a single store manager to commit to a single scrap, but mostly because they were committed to other organizations already.
That said, it might be easier in smaller communities like Albany or Louisville. I encourage everyone to try, for sure! Word has it dunkin donuts throws away sealed boxes of donuts baked just the day prior. So if you’re not afraid to stick your arms in a dumpster, you could be your local encampment’s hero of the day. 🙂
In Albany, we have two “mealtrain” accounts – mealtrain is a free web service for people who are recovering from surgery, just gave birth, disabled, or occupying a public square 😉 – we have an afternoon meal and a night meal, cook for 20+ people, and tell the chefs to list the ingredients, vegan/veg preferrred, and then they just drop it off! We also get TONS of junk food, which people eat, but the voluntary community-sourced meals is a great idea. Maybe Lauren, you could add it to the list? We’ve had kind of an overabundance of bread lately, and we’ve had to make over a hundred pounds of donations of canned and dry goods to the local food pantry as it’s overflowing our storage faster than we can use it! Local farmers have given us lots of produce to use, and so has the culled bin from our food co-op. It’s true that a lot of grocery stores and corporate food-service places have arrangements to take it to shelters and such, but I’m glad that it’s being used anyway. People have been wonderful and support here is very high! Peace!
Don’t forget about writing Letters to the Editor of your local newspapers explaining why you support OWS nationally and locally and what you’ve seen, the kinds of people you’ve met and what you’ve learned from the movement. This is especially important to counter the biased, or merely lazy, reporting by the mainstream press.
Great point, Lisa!
Since I can’t be down there camping I put a tent up in my front yard with Occupy Seattle signs on it. Gets the kids asking.
That’s a wonderful idea!
I can’t be at my local Occupy site a lot, but do (did) have a small tent. It’s now at the site, where someone can use it, whose knees can tolerate crawling in and out where mine can’t.
Great list. Thanks. I’ve been mailing back those postage-paid credit cards offers for many many years. Glad to see that idea get more traction.
I’ve been taping those prepaid envelopes to bricks for years.
Caroline Ailanthus said:
Ooh! Here’s a related idea for those of us who can’t sleep in a park or don’t live near a demonstration (which, until this week, included me); occupy your own kitchen. Get your food supply out of the corporate system; local farms and gardens, plus the various forms of freeganism, as much as possible. I’m doing this already for environmental reasons (smaller carbon footprint), but maybe there could be a website or a Facebook page or something where people doing this could identify themselves? A virtual demonstration corresponding the the physical ones? Food is super-important, and local, independent farms everywhere would love the support-and yes, some go through the winter, thanks to green houses. Signing up for next year’s season at a CSA would also help.
Kathryn Yount Aqua said:
I started such a page on your suggestion. Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-the-Kitchen/171183526305177?sk=wall
When we get enough members we can get a dedicated URL. Please join and contribute!
Caroline Ailanthus said:
Ok, here’s my idea;
where possible, donate food and goods created by individuals or small companies–like from small, independent farms. Obviously, cold, hungry people need blankets and food, that’s the priority, but the movement could become the focus of creating an alternative economy. Occupy Wall Street physically, but de-occupy it in other ways. That way, if a demonstration ends for whatever reason, the movement won’t.
NIeves Rathbun said:
This is great! Thank you for writing this.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. 🙂
This is a great list. Can you also add the email addresses of legislators and financiers we can write complaining emails to, for those of us, homebound, with access to computers?
Great idea! I’ll work on that.
i would like to translate your text into german for our local occupy group here if this is okay for you!
Sure, translate away! Thanks for reading. If you post online would you mind posting a link here? I’d love to see it when it’s done.
sure! thank you a lot! 🙂
keep the occupation going, greetings from hamburg!
danny, do you need help translating?
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Caroline Ailanthus said:
I was just wondering about this. Thanks.
Hey, any time, Caroline. 🙂 Thanks for reading.
Excellent list! I’m already bringing food several times a week, but I just now posted on the neighborhood website that people could bring me donations that I can take in the can I’m already renting for Saturday… so Cheers for the reminder that I can talk/share outside my comfort zone. :*}
Never thought I’d be a zealot, but here I am…
Hey, thanks for reading! You’re doing an amazing thing for the movement by cooking and schlepping. I love your Emilio and Joss post. If you don’t mind, I’m posting a link: http://alia-gee.blogspot.com/2011/10/joss-and-emilio.html. If you’d like me to take it down, lemme know.
I cry at OWS fairly regularly. 🙂 It’s whelming, all the love and power there. Keep up the great work.
Heh, no worries. (Just checked my stats, and wondered why my readership jumped from “My grandma” to “Someone else’s readership” 😉
I got to hug Hero Vincent yesterday. He is too skinny. We need to feed him more.
shivering in my slippers and shaking my fist at the rain/snow.
Oh, I know. This crazy early rainsnow is killing me. I’m usually so excited for the first snow, too! This year I feel so upset…
Hey, if you ever need help bringing food down, I have a car and I’m not afraid to use it. Feel free to get in touch here. I live in Brooklyn, just off the Battery Tunnel. I’m happy to help.
i’m in Astoria, near the TriBoro Bridge. (realized up there i meant to write “caB” not “can” (sigh). email me queenalia @ hotmail dot com …it would be great to only have to cover gas and tolls!
also, just found http://ministryofsoup.blogspot.com/ …she’s cooking for a different Occupation, but thought she ought to get some love. I wonder if there’s an Occupy Blogs site? hmmm…
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This is a great list; I predict it’ll be very helpful — thank you.
Ohhh, you predict. Fascinating. Thanks for reading!
Bring Blankets to your local Occupy group! Most places don’t have mailing addresses set up yet, so they can’t do bulk ordering online. Try thrift stores as a great place to find blankets/comforters/sleeping bags at reasonable prices.
Good one! I had this on my mental list, but it didn’t make it to the *actual* list. So thanks fellow curly hair person. 🙂