Author Archives: Mike C
This was originally posted at al.com
GULF SHORES, Alabama — BP launched its new television advertising campaign this week touting its commitment to the Gulf Coast’s post-oil spill recovery, and a small group of anti-BP protesters are enjoying some extra exposure.
The Alabama Oil Spill Aftermath Coalition held a small demonstration near the site of the 40th annual National Shrimp Festival in October and a few seconds of the popular event are shown in the nationally televised BP ad.
In the minute-long ad’s brief segment showing the Shrimp Festival, crowds line the Gulf Shores beachfront under clear skies. On the beach, beyond the festival grounds, the small group can be seen.
In an email to fuelfix.com, Michele Harmon, who is associated with the coalition, said she noticed cameras panning the scene from the roof of a nearby restaurant.
“I, like the rest of the protesters, assumed they were media filming the crowds at the festival,” Harmon said. “When they panned the cameras our way, we made sure they knew we were there, in hopes of getting media coverage.”
Kim McCuiston of Foley, another organizers of the event, told the Press-Register at the time that the Oct. 15 rally was an attempt to tell people that not enough had been done to clean the Gulf since the spill.
Can’t make this stuff up!
The Huffington Post has launched a series about Occupations that are “under-publicized” and has started with a video from Gainesville, Florida. It demonstrates how the Occupy movement really resonates with “average folks” (whatever that means) and how it is really taking root in places like Gainesville. The city does have a major university and a history of activism, so perhaps seeing an Occupy movement taking shape there shouldn’t be too surprising. Hopefully the Huffington Post reporters visit Occupy sites like Roanoke, Virginia next.
The video can be see on the Huffington Post’s website here
Before the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas,
Whereas the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas stands in support of Occupy Wall Street which started September 17, 2011 at Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. The movement has now spread across the country and is influencing the world. Occupy Dallas is a horizontally organized resistance movement to counteract the unprecedented consolidation of wealth and power in the world today. The Occupy movement does not have a hierarchy or a formalized structure. The Occupy movement represents those that feel disenfranchised from the current socioeconomic system because of policy passed by our political institutions and the actions of those in control of the unprecedented consolidation of wealth;
Whereas by consensus we view that for the first time in American history, current generations will not be as prosperous as preceding generations. This denial of the American Dream is at the heart of Occupy Movement.
Whereas by consensus we view that the social system has become tilted against us by:
1. Unfair treatment and discrimination against individuals based on Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, National Origin, Physical Ability or any other factor that minimizes any person’s individual worth
2. The commoditization of individual privacy
3. Profit driven news sources with individual agendas
4. Narrow definitions of what constitutes a family;
Whereas by consensus we view that the Political system has become tilted against us by:
1. Widespread deregulation that has eliminated common sense regulations that have insured long term prosperity and protection from predatory business practices
2. A Tax code that is cumbersome and rife with loopholes and language that favors an economic minority at the expense of the majority of wage earners
3. A Supreme Court decision that has put into place the unprecedented concept of extending first amendment protections to political donations
4. Jeopardizing the future of social security through investiture and privatization schemes
5. By reducing funding to our education system our future generations are provided a lesser education that previous generations received because of increased class size and reduced resources
6. Because of decreasing funding individuals are saddled with higher student loan debt
7. A political system where even the most perfunctory tasks of government are partisan battles;
Whereas by consensus we view that the Economic system has become tilted against us by:
1. A general degradation of the employer and employee relationship namely
a. the practice referred to as “dead peasants” insurance policies where by companies profit from the death of individuals.
b. the elimination of traditional pension and retirement arrangements in favor of 401 (k) investment vehicles.
c. outsourcing of jobs
d. failing or eliminating paid sick leave
e. failing or eliminating paid maternity leave
f. relying on part-time workers rather than investing in full time employees
g. scheduling work hours to insure that employees cannot obtain offered benefits
h. failing to provide a livable wage
i. reducing and eliminating employer based health care coverage
2. Incredible income disparity between management and employees.
3. Active discouragement and intimidation of unionization of the workforce
4. Instituting illogical accounting practices
5. Engaging in unethical business practices that jeopardize the long term financial stability of the country
6. Viewing financial profit as more important than the individual worth of a people.
Then let it them be resolved by the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas through consensus on Date (___________________) that we call upon all people to engage in a General Strike on November 30th, 2011. We implore all people to:
1. Refrain from Buying or Selling any goods or services including but not limited to, any petroleum products, consumer goods or bank transactions; starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011.
2. Refrain from working for a wage starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011 excluding those individuals that provide emergency and necessary functions including but not limited to Police, Fire and Medical personnel.
3. Join or form local groups to peacefully protest against the above stated elements.
Please join us in solidarity to make known our grievances and demand substantive change to insure our future.
Visit http://www.occupytogether.com for information on your local “Occupy” event
From a New York Times article
The once-booming South, which entered the recession with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, is now struggling with some of the highest rates, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
Several Southern states — including South Carolina, whose 11.1 percent unemployment rate is the fourth highest in the nation — have higher unemployment rates than they did a year ago. Unemployment in the South is now higher than it is in the Northeast and the Midwest, which include Rust Belt states that were struggling even before the recession.
For decades, the nation’s economic landscape consisted of a prospering Sun Belt and a struggling Rust Belt. Since the recession hit, though, that is no longer the case. Unemployment remains high across much of the country — the national rate is 9.1 percent — but the regions have recovered at different speeds.
Now, though, of the states with the 10 highest unemployment rates, six are in the South. The region, which relied heavily on manufacturing and construction, was hit hard by the downturn.
Economists offer a variety of explanations for the South’s performance. “For a long time we tended to outpace the national average with regard to economic performance, and a lot of that was driven by, for lack of a better word, development and in-migration,” said Michael Chriszt, an assistant vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s research department. “That came to an abrupt halt, and it has not picked up.”
The recent execution of Troy Davis has caused many to again discuss the merits of the death penalty in the United States. (It also sparked a mass march in New York City that was met with a heavy handed police response). According to the Daily Beast, the South has the highest execution rate in the country, as well as the highest murder rate. On top of that, the incarceration capital of the world is a southern city: New Orleans.
These renewed debates not only bring into question broad topics like the death penalty itself, but they should also let us contextualize them in a regional sense. We should begin asking why is the South the home to so many problems still (to throw yet another one in there: the South is “bearing the brunt” of the US’s raising poverty rate). There are plenty of answers to the question of why the South faces these problems. But one thing should be quite clear, it is something often repeated on this site: the South remains an important part of the country to organize progressive forces.
Amongst the many lessons we learned from the Troy Davis incident (to steal the ANSWER coalition’s article title), we should also add the lesson that the world pays attention to the South, not only to the injustices that happen there but to the folks that organize against those injustices.