Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Occupy Los Angeles Update #6 - OWS

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
-Benito Mussolini

According to Occupy L.A. blogger Ruth Fowler, the Occupy protest camp was finally broken up, and it wasn't pretty although it could have been worse. My question is, why did her tweets stop going out? Were they blocked? If so, why?

But if you were a gigantic corporation that was about to lose a lot of profits because of a political movement sweeping the nation, wouldn't you help the government protect your profits by blocking a few tweets?

Sarcasm aside, that's why I'm covering Occupy. The Mussolini quote spells it all out. If corporations control the government, and the government doesn't protect the citizenry, is that a democracy? If the government and corporations can and will team up to deprive the citizenry of their life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and wealth, is that a democracy?

I want to give LAPD the benefit of the doubt, but Ruth Fowler is a journalist who was there on the ground, reporting, while other members of the media could not or would not cover the story. 

Every time I was down at Occupy, the police were very polite to me. Of course, it was broad daylight and they weren't chasing me out of the place, but at one point a cop let me off with a warning for a minor traffic violation even though he knew I was involved in the protests. I can't complain about that. 

I know you've read this damn quote a million times, but here it is again: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That's the First Amendment to the Constitution. It's as obvious about it's intent as it can get. The Founding Fathers made freedom of speech and the press part of the First Amendment because it was so important to get the truth out to prevent fascism. Our country was created in the face of fascism, in defiance of fascism, and as a clear, 180 degree alternative to fascism. 

Are you tired of one governing body telling you what to do no matter how hard you work or what you say? Then journey to America, because we are a democracy. That's the message I get the most out of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution.

If the media is not being allowed to record events, are being denied access to where they need to go to report the story, something is being covered up. And no matter what political party you belong to, if you look at the assault on our civil rights that has increased since the Bush Administration, the bank bailouts, the very existence of Guantanamo Bay and the fact that American citizens can be held without trial, you have to agree that we need to keep an eye on the government, so they don't take our money and use it to exploit us. It's not political, it's obvious.

Even the scenes of horrific violence against peaceful protesters that you see everywhere, from MSNBC to YouTube to the brutal torture at UC Davis and the severe treatment of protesters at Oakland, each image delivers the same, brutal message: "If you attempt to use your First Amendment rights we will beat the ever living snot out of you." They mean it, too. Priests, congressmen, old women and young girls have all been victims.

I don't blame the police because they are being ordered to do what they do. If not, they'd be fired. I don't blame the top brass because they are being told what to do, otherwise they'd be fired. Someone somewhere at the top, either a politician, a wealthy businessman, or both, eventually decided that it's time for the protesters and the press the get their asses kicked, and gives the order for the cops to kick ass. That's all it is.

I am not anti-government. I like our government. The Founding Fathers designed a perfect system of self-limiting levers of power that normal people like you and I can still occupy. The government was designed by the people, for the people. As long as voting is free, all you need is communication, and logic and the democratic election process will do the rest.

There's been a lot of talk by the media, members of Occupy and everyone from Russel Simmons to Michael Moore to more than a few politicians, that the Occupy movement needs to get political, to either join a party or become one. 

But the Democratic Party have proven they can't stand up to Wall Street because they need a lot of money to stay in power. The Republican Party are completely supportive of Wall Street because they are the 1%. They are there to represent everything the 99% Movement opposes, so of course they get a lot of money. And in American politics, money is power.

I believe that the Democrats have their back against a wall this time, though. They've lost the middle class. All Occupy has to do is persist with their message, and more politicians will listen to the people instead of a handful of millionaires.

That's why the press and the protesters are a huge political threat to the few bad politicians who are currently hogging the levers of power and won't let the government work for the people. In my humble opinion, making it cost so much to get into politics is just one step in maintaining political power when you know citizens no longer trust you enough to vote for you. Suppressing the press and protesters threw bogus voter ID laws, unconstitutional permit requirements and nebulous zoning laws is a natural step in maintaining the grip on power.

The Occupy camps had to exist because normal protest movements were not working. Thousands upon thousands of people would show up, the press would talk about it for five minutes on the nightly news, and then politicians would go on to business as usual. As the situation in America gets worse, despite the fact our GDP is as robust as ever, there had to be another strategy.

Occupy LA is gone as a camp, but the world is listening to the Occupy movement. As long as we can vote, tweet, blog, post on forums, talk to each other, Facebook, MySpace, text and YouTube, normal people can pick a politician to vote for, regardless of how high a price tag big media has placed on the process, and replace the bad people with the good people through the genius of our election process.

I truly believe that the system still works, and that Occupy can be a political movement that saves the country from the 1% that just wants to profit from America's pain.

I will put up more posts this week, featuring interviews with protesters camping out at Occupy Los Angeles along with more photos.

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

You can donate to Occupy Wall Street, here.

Here's a link to the Occupy Los Angeles website and forums.

You can find more images for Occupy Los Angeles, here. Here's their Facebook page

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has handled this as best he could, and we can all agree that L.A. didn't end up being anything like Oakland. You can thank him right here.

If you support the Occupy movement, let Governor Jerry Brown know about it by writing him a letter to thank him for the support.

Since most of the government stopped caring about the civil rights of Americans back in the late 90's, we're lucky we have groups like the National Lawyers Guild to defend the few we have left. You can support them here.

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%.

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