Recycled Rock N Roll

Recycled Rock N Roll

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy Los Angeles Update #2 - OWS

A short time ago I visited the Occupy Los Angeles protest site around Los Angeles City Hall. I spoke with John Waiblinger, a representative of the LGBTQ community. Here's what he had to say about Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles and the 99% Movement.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. What's your name?

My name is John Waiblinger. I'm here to support Occupy Los Angeles, and to organize an LGBTQ group for the movement. 

Why do you feel that the LGBTQ community should be a part of the 99% Movement?

The whole message of the movement in our society is that we are placing the pursuit of corporate profits over people. That's why I'm here. I also want to articulate the needs of LGBTQ community, including non-discrimination and the protection of civil rights, so I feel very much that I am part of the movement. 

How did you feel about the political system ten years ago, compared to how politics are in America right now?

I don't think the political system has changed. It's still controlled by big money. It's very hard for people to get their voices heard. The focus seems to be on protecting laws that help support corporate oligarchy, which includes profits, profits, profits...

What we should be doing is taking care of the environment and taking care of our families. That's more important than corporate profits.

So you feel that ten years later, the system hasn't changed much. What for you was the defining moment that made you come down to City Hall and demonstrate?

I couldn't believe that a grass roots movement just sprung up that articulated a different narrative than the one we've always heard, which is all about the deficit, cutbacks, and taking rights away from people. This movement is saying, "Hey, there's plenty of wealth and resources in this country, but there's something very wrong with how we are distributing these resources." I'm so glad there's finally a movement that's talking about this. It's very exciting.

So, you don't feel that the Tea Party represents how people really feel about what's wrong with America?

I think that there's a lot of anger in this country. People feel that their needs are not being met. The Tea Party doesn't really represent a proper analysis of what that's about. I think that they have been totally co-opted by the right wing and the Republican Party. They don't represent my perspective of what's going on. 

Do you believe the Tea Party stands for the protection of civil rights?

Not at all. They've allied themselves with discriminatory organizations and have discriminating perspectives. 

If a person is sitting on their couch right now, and they don't care about what's going on, what's the one most important statement you'd like to tell this person to get them involved? What should be their wake-up call?

These are ordinary people coming together to say something different and make a change. I would suggest that they come down here and see what it's like. Read about it and think about how much the mainstream media channels our thinking and dialogue in a certain direction. This is an alternative. I believe that this alternative is still trying to articulate what it's voice is, but it's open, it's's the kind of democracy we haven't seen in this country for quite some time. 

Well, God bless that.


To reach John Warblinger and OccupyEquality, visit their Facebook page right here.

Here's how you can help to bring real participating democracy back to the American government. Money, letters of support, supplies...everything counts.

You can donate to Occupy Wall Street, here.

You can donate to Occupy Los Angeles, here. They recently posted this important banking update on their Facebook page

The Media Team seeks to interview & film BANK CLOSERS who have closed, or will be closing their accounts Thursday 10th - Saturday 12th.
Please email:
Info: your contact info and availability for interview ~pj

Here's a link to their Amazon wish list.

The mayor has been incredibly supportive of the protesters. You can support him right back, here.

Governor Jerry Brown could take out Occupy Los Angeles with a single phone call. Write him a letter and thank him for the support.

A letter to the LAPD in support of the demonstrations and a big donation to the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation will help the movement. Remember, cops are also the 99%.


  1. Great interview with John Waiblinger.

    My name is Jessica Naomi, and I met John a couple of days after I started OccupyEquality group on Facebook. After reading that Occupy Wall Street declaration only included employment discrimination against LGBTQ people, I decided that all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer & questioning people should join forces to write our own declaration for unconditional constitutional equality.

    Right after I started this group, I saw LGBGTQ activists starting their own groups on the ground at Occupy protests. I wanted to then be able to connect the streets to the net, activists to activists, cities to cities, states to states, countries to countries and continents to continents.

    We now have a nightly 9 pm ET meeting right here
    We are planning to start having on-the-street LGBTQ Occupy meetings connecting to people at home on this site.

    We also started streaming on Livestream and Ustream, channels available to all LGBTQ Occupy activists.

    OccupyEquality is working with all the LGBTQ Occupy Alliances including Queering Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Los Angeles - Queer Affinity Group, and we are networking with LGBTQ Occupy groups everywhere. We also started OccupyEquality New York, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa, working on a 50-state Facebook presence.

  2. Not sure what "profits over people" is supposed to mean, since all the money companies receive come from consumers who voluntarily gave it to them when they purchased their products on the market. If it is in regard to taxation of 'the rich,' well, 'the rich' are entitled to keep every last penny of their property like anyone else, provided they obtained justly and voluntarily on the market.

  3. Also, while discrimination maybe a problem, there is no such thing as a 'right' to not be discriminated against. Employers have every right to freely associate with whomever they please like anyone else. If OWS wants sympathy, they should stop advocating an increase in government violence to get what they want.

  4. "Profits over people"

    Chevron dumps toxic waste in Richmond, Virginia, instead of spending the money to properly clean it all up. As a result, thousand of Americans in Virginia are getting cancer and other diseases like lupus. This is a matter of public record.

    Why doesn't Chevron pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean it up? Because the company pays millions to politicians to change environmental protection standards and other laws so they don't have to.

    The Americans living in Virginia suffer because they don't have the political power that comes from having a lot of money.

    Chevron poisons children and gets away with it...choosing profits over people, because cleaning up oil flares and toxic waste just isn't worth it to them.

    When a company can give millions to the Republican party, and then uses it's enormous wealth and resources to actually change the laws to make it easier for them to poison Americans while politicians let it happen, afraid that they'll lose their campaign financing, there is a problem in America.

    Google "Chevron" and "civil rights abuses" and "environmental abuses" and "Richmond, Virginia." This will give you a clearer picture of what the 99% Movement is fighting against.

  5. "Taxation of the rich"

    I agree with you. The rich should get to keep their money, and the middle class, and the poor.

    But I'm sure you agree with me that we need roads, plumbing, cops, a military, a government, laws, courts, judges, public officials, the Department of Homeland Security and ICBM's.

    So we have to pay for that. But General Electric doesn't pay taxes. The rich have seen their profits go up by 300%, while the rest of us are still making what we were making when Carter was president.

    The rich benefit the most from infrastructure. They have more to lose. They also should not be able to engage in off shore banking, which cheats the IRS out of billions, and they even pay politicians to create laws that hurt the economic interests of ordinary Americans while increasing their profits.

    Hell, some of the rich even run for office.

    If someone is rich, I'm happy for them. But Rick, you have to pay fines when you get caught doing illegal stuff, you have to pay taxes, you have to obey the law, and you deserve to make more money the harder you work, just like the rich.

    I am all for being rich. I'm a capitalist. I love Bill and Hillary Clinton, and they are billionaires.

    But when the rich influence the government more than the poor, and use this leverage to raise themselves up while keeping themselves down, there is something wrong in America.

    In some cases, the rich can even use their money to intimidate, oppress, and kill the poor and middle class, only to get away with it because they have so much money they influence the government.

    No mad man would want to live, or let his children live, in such a country where the rich get more justice and political power than everyone else in the population.

    So it's not about communism, socialism or reparations, it's about truth, justice and the American way.

    To learn more Google "Republican party," "plutocracy," "campaign finance reform," "corporatist" and "coca-cola."

  6. "Discrimination"

    I kind of agree with you on this one. I mean, I used to be a bouncer, and what I technically did was, well, discriminate against drunk and unruly people. If that didn't work, I'd call the cops, and they'd handle the situation.

    Sometimes, the unruly types would insist it was "public property." Nope, the business owner rents it. It's their property, and they have the right to refuse service, etc.

    But I have to tell you, Rick, if Starbucks had a sign on their wall that said, "No blacks, gays or Polish," that'd kind of piss me the fuck off. I'd leave, and start a serious protest movement against them.

    Why? Because black people, gay people and Polish people all pay taxes that go to the resources and infrastructure that permit Starbucks to live.

    If China decided to bomb Starbucks and leave America alone, why, that would be kooky. Resources would then be employed to protect Starbucks, and my tax dollars would happily go to making sure the CIA, FBI and US Apache Helicopters utterly destroy whoever it is that is trying to keep me from getting my tall chai latte.

    So if Starbucks gets all that to protect them, they have to give back and that means no discrimination.

    What I mean is, if you have any involvement whatsoever with the infrastructure, the law, or benefit from tax dollars, you cannot discriminate against anyone.

    I have to admit, though, this is hazy. I'm not a lawyer.

    But Rick I think you and I agree that everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual gender, preference, religion, etc. has the same equal rights and protection under the law as every American, right?

    I think you and I could also agree that if a company benefits from the tax dollars the gay community provides, they cannot discriminate against gays or anyone else paying taxes in that community. That's the price of benefiting from the infrastructure we've all paid for.

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  8. Hey Rick, I read this and got confused:

    "If OWS wants sympathy, they should stop advocating an increase in government violence to get what they want."

    On any public forum or blog or whatever I would never give you such lengthy responses because people would think it's a flame war.

    I do not flame, and trust me, as a stand up comic I have at my disposal a vast array of excoriating insults so brimming with diabolic, hellfire-grade fury that just one quip would put a hole in Dracula the size of a lunchbox.

    But that's not how I roll, Rick, because I think that you and I want what's best for America, and that you believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and all of that good stuff just like I do.

    I also know that other people might come over and read our responses. By having sound logic and a good argument, plus some pretty awesome facts, I hope that they will see my opinion and get involved in American politics.

    The 99% Movement doesn't advocate any violence whatsoever, so it certainly doesn't advocate an increase in violence.

    I mean, are you saying that protesters hope that cops will mace them? Or are you saying that the 99% Movement wants to increase violence actions against the government to get what they want?

    A protest is done to get people to notice an issue and get involved politically. By doing so, public opinion becomes the will of the people, and politicians get replaced, laws change and everyone benefits from the cooperation.

    The 99% Movement is already doing what it set out to do. Normal citizens are starting to become a part of the political process. That's not sympathy. When you tell a room full of people that the building is on fire, it's not because you want them to pity want them to get the hell out of the building.

    The Occupy movements all want to demonstrate that normal Americans control the government, and by getting involved we can throw out the idiots and replace them with politicians that serve the will of the people. That's it.

    Sure, there's a lot of other philosophies and beliefs at work, but ultimately any protest either results in a bloody revolution or political reform. No protest wants to get beaten and killed and cease to exist. That's crazy.