Published: Tuesday 10 April 2012
For the first time since our movement against economic inequality and political corruption began, over 40 Occupiers are literally occupying Wall Street near the corner of Broad across from the New York Stock Exchange.

For the first time since our movement against economic inequality and political corruption began, Occupy Wall Street is literally occupying Wall Street. As of 3am eastern time, over 40 Occupiers are sleeping on Wall Street near the corner of Broad across from the New York Stock Exchange. Everyone angry at the greed of the financial system is encouraged to bring a sleeping bag! Follow on Twitter: #SleepOnWallSt, #SleepfulProtest. Update: Just before 8am Eastern, NYPD arrived with zipties and informed the protesters they had to be out of the way. Occupiers are engaging with stock traders, tourists, workers, and other folks in the financial district and plan to hold an assembly in Liberty Square later.

Background: On March 16, we attempted to peacefully re-occupy Liberty Square (formerly Zucotti Park), the small park just south of Wall Street that had become home to Occupy Wall Street exactly six months earlier. The NYPD had other plans. They attacked us once again. When many homeless Occupiers were left with nowhere to go, many went north to Union Square in midtown Manhattan. Union Square, which has been a central point in popular struggle in New York City for over a century, quickly became a central point for the Occupy movement as well.

As an excuse to arrest and harass Occupiers, the NYPD began enforcing a 

Published: Thursday 22 March 2012
“For the past two nights, using the pretext of ‘midnight park cleaning’, NYPD has responded with heavy-handed tactics to enforce a curfew on the park for the first time in history since it opened in 1882.”

At the new Occupation of Union Square, a pattern is emerging. For five days, since the NYPD attacked the attempted re-occupation of Liberty Square, hundreds of people have Occupied the park in midtown Manhattan. For the past two nights, using the pretext of ¨midnight park cleaning¨, NYPD has responded with heavy-handed tactics to enforce a curfew on the park for the first time in history since it opened in 1882. Twice, NYPD has come under cover of darkness to harass and intimidate the peaceful Occupiers.

Last night, thousands of New Yorkers converged on Union Square for the #MillionHoodiesMarch to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and all victims of racist terror. The NYPD also turned out in massive numbers and attacked the marchers, who responded with chants of ¨no justice, no peace, no racist police!¨ In a scene reminiscent of the September march for Troy Davis during the early days of the Liberty Square Occupation, the NYPD once again stole the show, turning a march against the killing of a Black 17-year-old into yet another scene of police brutality against protesters.

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Published: Tuesday 6 December 2011
It is the church, especially Trinity Church in New York City with its open park space at Canal and 6th, which can make manifest its commitment to the Gospel and nonviolent social change by permitting the Occupy movement to use this empty space.

Chris Hedges gave an abbreviated version of this talk Saturday morning in Liberty Square in New York City as part of an appeal to Trinity Church to turn over to the Occupy Wall Street movement an empty lot, known as Duarte Square, that the church owns at Canal Street and 6th Avenue. Occupy Wall Street protesters, following the call, began a hunger strike at the gates of the church-owned property. Three of the demonstrators were arrested Sunday on charges of trespassing, and three others took their places.

The Occupy movement is the force that will revitalize traditional Christianity in the United States or signal its moral, social and political irrelevance. The mainstream church, battered by declining numbers and a failure to defiantly condemn the crimes and cruelty of the corporate state, as well as a refusal to vigorously attack the charlatans of the Christian right, whose misuse of the Gospel to champion unfettered capitalism, bigotry and imperialism is heretical, has become a marginal force in the life of most Americans, especially the young. Outside the doors of churches, many of which have trouble filling a quarter of the pews on Sundays, struggles a movement, driven largely by young men and women, which has as its unofficial credo the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons and daughters of God.

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It was the church in ...

Published: Saturday 8 October 2011
On October 1, The New York General Assembly—the “official” spokesgroup of #OccupyWallStreet—released a document, “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” naming its reasons for the occupation.

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence”

To be radical—stemming from the Latin radix meaning root—suggests that it is about getting at the heart of a matter. Dr. King cut right through to the source of injustice and over forty-five years later, are we witnessing the rebirth of a radical revolution of values that Dr. King prophesied? Is #OccupyWallStreet and its comrades nationwide “on the right side of the world revolution?” In that bold speech Dr. King gave a year before his death, publicly breaking from the civil rights movement’s acquiescence to the status quo support of American involvement in Vietnam, King warned that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense that on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Has the United States, by spending upwards of $3 trillion-dollars on wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya and maintaining over 1,000 overseas military bases in more than 50 countries, reached a moral, economic, political and spiritual tipping point?

#OccupyWallStreet is well into its third week of camping out at Liberty Plaza. On October 1, The New York General Assembly—the “official” spokesgroup of #OccupyWallStreet—released a document, 

Published: Tuesday 4 October 2011
Since the occupation began in Liberty Square in lower Manhattan on Sept. 17, dozens of cities across the U.S. have gotten into the act, setting up occupied encampments in places as diverse as Denver, Omaha, Kansas City, Boston and Birmingham; Philadelphia, Austin, San Diego, Tampa and Salt Lake City.

Last Saturday, prior to the thousands-strong march of Wall Street protestors attempting to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, which ended in some 700 arrests, the first edition of The Occupied Wall Street Journal hit New York City’s streets. Within three days, all 50,000 copies had been snapped up and distributed by volunteers throughout the five boroughs, leading to another print run Tuesday ahead of the paper’s second edition, which comes out Friday.

The Journal, a 4-page weekly broadsheet funded entirely through online contributions at Kickstarter.com, is the latest manifestation of a social media-driven movement that is growing in real body numbers and gaining national momentum at alarming speed.

Since the occupation began in Liberty Square in lower Manhattan on Sept. 17, dozens of cities across the U.S. have gotten into the act, setting up occupied encampments in places as diverse as Denver, Omaha, Kansas City, Boston and Birmingham; Philadelphia, Austin, San Diego, Tampa and Salt Lake City. (The website occupytogether.org is great resource to follow the movement’s developments and learn how to get involved in your towns and cities.)

Initially portrayed in the media as a rag-tag band of young underemployed activists protesting without any specific demands, Occupy Wall Street has touched a national nerve because it embodies something far more potent, and obvious: a voice for the 99 percent of Americans whose interests are not being served by the corporate elites that govern Wall Street and Washington.

On Monday, a march around Wall Street by occupiers dressed as corporate zombies, devouring dollar bills, garnered national media attention. But visual actions like this ...

Published: Saturday 1 October 2011
Vowing to stay through any weather, protestors have camped through rain storms and are gathering supplies for the winter.

Corporate greed in the midst of increasing national poverty has inspired hundreds of students to camp out near Wall Street in Manhattan for going on over a week.

Occupy Wall Street began its encampment at Zucotti Park, also known as Liberty Square on Saturday, Sept. 17, claiming to represent 99 percent of the people in the country and protesting for an end to the greed and corruption of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

“The monster that is the corporations is a beast that wants to devour us all-and for maximum profit,” Councilman Charles Barron told the Amsterdam News. “The police need to get a brand-new assignment-rather than harassing young Black and Latino males, they need to stop and frisk Wall Street and watch the fraud and corruption just come tumbling out of their pockets.”

Occupy Wall Street is a boisterous and seemingly committed group that reflects the beginning of a movement from a bygone era. In their protests, race and class issues are also being brought to the forefront.

“Mic check,” said Ted Actie.

“Mic check,” repeated the crowd of 100 people at the protest, amplifying his voice without a loudspeaker. The people’s mic rang loud and clear.

“Please don’t repeat me,” said Actie, standing tall, a well-built Black man among a mostly white crowd at the general assembly on Monday.

“I’ll be damned if I go on a limb and then get treated as second-class citizen,” he said, referencing some of the issues he saw among protestors. “We have a problem just as much as you do. If the police come, they get us first...This right here is not America, it’s the new America. Put that sh** to the side...if we’re going to change America, we’ve got to change our mindset, and we all need to work together.”

“Solidarity,” responded the crowd.

While many have pointed out the mostly ...

Published: Friday 30 September 2011
As the Occupy Wall Street protestors lift up the pain that young Americans are experiencing and take it directly to the heart of our country’s corrupted financial system, other movements composed of homeowners, the jobless, faith leaders and the growing ranks of the poor are doing the same.

In its second week, hundreds of people have taken over Liberty Square as part of Occupy Wall Street. What started as a loosely organized protest against the corrupting impact that Wall Street and big financial institutions have had on our democracy seems to be growing into something larger.  The persistence and increasing organization of the mostly young protestors is tapping into the pain and disillusionment that millions of young Americans across the nation are feeling as they face bleak economic prospects that show little sign of improving. 

As the Occupy Wall Street protestors lift up the pain that young Americans are experiencing and take it directly to the heart of our country’s corrupted financial system, other movements composed of homeowners, the jobless, faith leaders and the growing ranks of the poor are doing the same.  And even better, these groups are demanding that the very banks that caused the economic mess in the first place take specific actions to clean it up and get the economy back on track.

Earlier this week in California, homeowners, community members, faith leaders and students protested and shut down an auction of foreclosed homes as part of a week-long series of actions to demand that the nation’s big banks stop the foreclosure crisis from wreaking any more havoc on their communities. 

In Ohio, community leaders and union members sent a clear message to U.S. Bank to “clean up the mess they caused” by delivering trash they had collected from a bank-owned foreclosed property to a bank branch.

And in Boston, at least 1,000 people are expected to take to the streets on Friday ...

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