Occupy BloNo – the local Occupy Wall Street group
In response to the Occupy Wall Street movement, there’s a local Occupy BloNo (for “Bloomington-Normal”) movement. I’ve been riding past them on the way to and from work, and stopped by last night to talk to some of them where they are camped out on the ISU Bridge.
“We’re opposed to the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of just one percent of society,” said a young protester.
Seems clear-headed enough to me. Funny how FOX News said the OWS message was “muddled” and mocked them as a hodge-podge of “left-wing causes put into a blender”. Even Ronald Reagan said he was opposed to the concentration of power in the hands of a few. Of course, he was busy doing just that, removing power from the government of the people and moving it into corporate hands, but it illustrates that the concept isn’t exactly new.
They’re staying on the bridge for an “open-ended” period of time, and from what I saw will decide as a group when to leave. Unless someone gets heavy-handed and kicks them off, which would be unfortunate. Basically you have a bunch of protesters in favor of societal cohesiveness and ethics, which is certainly a good thing. I saw mostly college-age people, but also a few older folk who have been at the protest game for a long time. After all, the issues affect every generation.
- Couple movies I must recommend to everyone: Inside Job and Smartest Guys In The room, the Enron Story. Both present complex information on gigantic financial fraud in a clear, compelling fashion.
- Paul Krugman; The Panic Of The Plutocrats ”So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.”
- Business Insider: Four charts that explain what the protesters are angry about.
- Seriously, how hard can it be to figure out what the protesters want? Mike the Mad Biologist asks; Is our media learning?
- There are different ways of expressing this, but it all comes down to business ethics. You want to get rich – fine. But don’t leave a trail of poverty and environmental destruction in your wake. Good business strengthens the society around it; parasites get stronger by weakening their host.
- Over the past few days the cops have kept a close watch on this group (possibly to be sure of their safety), but have not interfered. Which makes sense, because these protesters are on the side of wage-earners with pensions, which includes the cops.
- I took 15 pictures which are up on Picasa – help yourself.
- And JustBlono.org has a post on the bridge occupation.
- In both sets of pictures… you notice something? Make fun of them all you want, but unlike the Tea Party rallies, these people can spell. And no weapons or even a hint of violence. I guess when the facts are on your side you don’t need to threaten people.
- Here’s Alan Grayson defending Occupy Wall Street on the Rachel Maddow show. ”Doing the last one human thing left”, he says.
- “Left-wing causes” now seems to refer to stuff like universal health care, a clean environment, peace, gender equality, business ethics, a transparent government, science, a strong middle class and a safety net for the poor. You know – all those horrible, oppressive things.