Ralph Nader & Former Phila Police Captain Ray Lewis say… Occupy Congress!

Since these elected lawmakers seem to care more about helping rogue nations, and doing the bidding of their corporate paymasters, maybe WE should just take over the Congress and start IMPLEMENTING OUR OWN LAWS that will protect and empower REAL PEOPLE and not large multi-national corporations and corrupt governments.

The PEOPLE OF THE USA MUST START LEADING, and then our elected “leaders” must follow!

CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES for ideas!

http://tinyurl.com/PoliticalCourageTest
http://tinyurl.com/BackBoneThankNSpank
http://tinyurl.com/ThePeoplesPetition

****** CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE EVENTS FROM LAST YEAR, BUT  STILL VERY MUCH RELEVANT AND INSPIRING! ******

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From 1/20/12
Sgt. Shamar Thomas (from 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops fame) along with other OWS protesters Detain Sen. Carl Levin Over NDAA. Hilarious!

I Am An INC. Today

Ralph Nader says Occupy Congress

Philly Police Captain Ray Lewis Interview at Occupy Congress J17

THE CORPORATION – A Legal “Person”

THE CORPORATION – The Pathology of Commerce

:: Corporation : Clinical Diagnosis (PCLR) ::

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Popular Resistance Newsletter – Announcing Creative Resistance!

Occupy Puppets protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, www.popularresistance.org
March 5th, 2014

Above: OWS Puppets protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Joy and Resolve of a Movement Built on Creative Resistance

Beginning with the iconic image of the ballerina on top of the Wall Street Bull, art has been central to occupy and was an important reason for its powerful impact.

Art adds vitality and energy to advocacy; and it reaches people at deeper emotional levels and in their hearts conveying what cannot be said with mere facts.

We had been covering art as part of our reporting on the movement at Popular Resistance, but it wasn’t enough. There has been so much artistic activism that we decided it needed to be highlighted with its own website, Creative Resistance.org. It is a place where community members, activists and activist artists can connect and inspire each other. We encourage everyone to find ways that art can be incorporated into your actions and into the work in your community.

Art Builds Commitment, Community and Movement

One goal of public protest is to pull people to the movement in order to grow into a mass movement that cannot be ignored.  Activist art turns a protest into a spectacle, from a turn-off to a turn-on, from an event ignored to one that is widely reported. The protest becomes art itself. If done well and with intention, it will draw people to the movement.

For example, before a protest or other event, a community art build can be organized where people involved in advocacy create art together; and where families, community members, professional colleagues and others are invited to co-create. This process builds stronger connections within the community, deepens the understanding of the issue and provides a way for individuals to express their personal relationship to the issue.

As Tatiana Makovkin, an organizer with Creative Resistance, wrote recently: “Art is good for our communities, and artistic collaboration is a bonding experience. We make art together, not just because of the changes it can bring to the world around us, but because of the way it changes us internally.”

Source: http://www.creativeresistance.org/beehive-design-collective/

Source: Bee Hive Collective listens, then draws the narrative, http://www.creativeresistance.org/beehive-design-collective/

Another group that uses the creation of art as a catalyst for change is the Bee Hive Collective. This Maine-based group tells stories through incredible graphics.  They are done in a sophisticated cartoon-like style in order to make them accessible and engaging. The stories are based on concerns that communities have about their lives and the environment.  They have gone to the coal fields of Appalachia, refugee camps in Latin America and partnered with other communities whose voices need to be amplified, whose stories need to be heard and whose struggle for social and environmental justice needs to be told.

Sometimes art lifts a protest to what Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign calls a “spectacle action.”  We’ve been involved in protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Moyer and each was a spectacle action.  In a recent TPP protest we draped four massive banners on the building of the US Trade Representative, across from the White House complex. The action, which the Washington Post called the greatest guerrilla theater in DC history, created images used by media all over the world and showed people who are opposed to the TPP in other countries that there is opposition in the US too.

Tar Sands Blockade in Winnsboro, TX. From http://www.popularresistance.org/saturday-sept-21-draw-a-line-against-tar-sands/

Tar Sands Blockade in Winnsboro, TX. Fromhttp://www.popularresistance.org/saturday-sept-21-draw-a-line-against-tar-sands/

In a protest in Salt Lake City as TPP negotiators were inside a hotel conducting secret negotiations, theBackbone Campaign and other groupsflew massive weather balloons holding a banner outside their conference window saying “Psst TPP. What are you hiding?”  The banner used humor to mock their secret negotiations and raise the issue of why they were hiding from all of us who will be impacted by the deals they make behind closed doors.

These spectacle protests also sent a message to our adversaries that we are a force to be reckoned with because we were willing to take risks and were clear in our denunciation of their unpopular, anti-democratic actions. They were put on notice – proceed and you should expect resistance.

That same type of message has been sent all up and down the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring toxic tar sands sludge from Canada through the farm belt of America, over precious fresh water sources and to the Gulf of Mexico to be processed for transport overseas. When the Tar Sands Blockaders began in the southern portion of the pipeline, they put up massive banners in the trees where activists were doing tree sits.  The message on the banner: You Shall Not Pass was a clear threat of resistance.

In the South and in the northern part of the pipeline where Obama has not yet approved construction, indigenous peopleslandowners, ranchers and farmers have joined people concerned about climate change and ecological destruction to protest in creative ways like putting up a solar energy producing barn where the pipeline is planned to go. TransCanada is so afraid of this resistance they are urging police to treat protesters as terrorists, including an absurd glitter terror case in Oklahoma.

Backbone Campaign puppets from http://www.creativeresistance.org/backbone-campaign/

Backbone Campaign puppets fromhttp://www.creativeresistance.org/backbone-campaign/

The use of art in resistance can make protests less frightening and something people want to attend and join. Protest signs that advertise an event or are used at the event draw attention and spread our message, as do the massive puppets seen at many protests produced by groups like People’s PuppetsBread and Puppet Theaterthe Backbone Campaign and others. As these puppets march through neighborhoods accompanied by singing and chanting, people are drawn to them and some end up participating. Street theater is another way to attract people.  Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir is one example of many groups who perform.

A book which shows the breadth of creativity in activism is Beautiful Trouble. It compiles hundreds of examples of creative resistance. The authors write, “The realization is rippling through the ranks that, if deployed thoughtfully, our pranks, stunts, flash mobs and encampments can bring about real shifts in the balance of power. In short, large numbers of people have seen that creative action gets the goods — and have begun to act accordingly. Art, it turns out, really does enrich activism, making it more compelling and sustainable”

Reaching People Beyond Their Heads

To be effective in our advocacy it is not enough to provide facts, figures and graphs and reach people in their heads.  Studies have shown that facts that contradict someone’s belief are often ignored and even have the opposite effect of strengthening people’s preconceived notions. In order to change people, we have to reach them at a deeper, more emotional level.

Source: http://www.creativeresistance.org/center-for-artistic-activism-new-york-ny/

Source: Center for Artistic Activism Training,http://www.creativeresistance.org/center-for-artistic-activism-new-york-ny/

The Center for Artistic Activism describes their rationale for the use of creative resistance writing:

Throughout history, the most effective political actors have married the arts with campaigns for social change.  While Martin Luther King Jr is now largely remembered for his example of moral courage, social movement historian Doug McAdam’s estimation of King’s “genius for strategic dramaturgy,” likely better explains the success of his campaigns.

Dramaturgy means the art or technique of dramatic composition and theatrical representation.  One of the co-founders of the Center for Artistic Activism, Stephen Duncombe, describes the story of how King used drama when the civil rights movement selected Birmingham, AL as the place for protest by creating a confrontation with Police Chief Bull Connor.  Connor had been an abusive police chief in Birmingham for 23 years and in 1961 had abused the Freedom Riders. Connor tried running for mayor, but lost the election.  The day Connor lost the election, King’s group announced Project C (for confrontation) challenging the racist police practices of Connor.  The goal was mass arrests and confrontation that would overwhelm the police and penal system.  King’s arrest led to his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Birmingham CampaignOn May 2, 1963, King’s group used a new tactic in Birmingham by having children march through the streets, resulting in 959 children aged 6 to 18 being arrested.  The next day large numbers of protesters came out and Connor turned the dogs and fire hoses on them. This went on for several days and produced images that created anger at Connor and support for the civil rights activists.  Three thousand protesters were arrested over a five day period.  The impact on the reputation and economy was extremely negative causing a majority of businesses to reach agreement with King to desegregate lunch counters, rest rooms and drinking fountains on May 10. The businesses also helped to get the protesters released and created systems for black-white communication. On May 11, Connor was ordered to leave his office.

King had picked the stage, the antagonist and protagonists.  The narrative was predictable because they knew how Connor would react and the civil rights activists had been trained to respond appropriately.  Through dramaturgy, King had created a dramatic composition that was vivid, emotional and engaged the American people – based on the truth – to tell the story of racism in Birmingham and advance the cause of civil rights by reaching people beyond their minds, deep into their emotions.

Think of the iconic photos of African Americans being attacked by dogs and having the fire hoses turned on them; and of children being arrested.  These iconic images are still carried with many Americans because they reached deep down into people. Sometimes when the stage is set and the narrative is being told, the iconic image, unimagined before it happens, is created and advances a movement.

More visit: http://theyesmen.org/ and http://www.yeslab.org/

More visit: http://theyesmen.org/ and http://www.yeslab.org/

Another path into the emotions of people is humor.  The Yes Men are one of the groups that have used humor to make a point. The Yes Men describe their workas “Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them, and otherwise giving journalists excuses to cover important issues.” And, they have mocked some of the biggest corporate criminals on the planet.  Their method is to put these corporations in an uncomfortable position, forcing them to respond to hoax news that ‘reports’ the corporation is going to do something good.  The corporation then responds – ‘no we’re not going to do something good.’

The Yes Men are now working to share their experience and broaden the talent of hoax humor activism with the Yes Lab. Their goal is to help activists carry out media-getting creative actions through a series of brainstorms and trainings.  They call their tactic that creates a public spectacle to spark public debate “laughtivism” as they recognize that humor opens people’s minds.

Another powerful artistic tool is music. It draws people in and can open the door to a movement message. From hip-hop to folk music to rock and roll, there is musical activism. And it is also a tool for creating solidarity and confidence when activists face difficult situations.

Creativity sustains movements

The struggle for social justice is a long-term endeavor that goes through periods of ups and downs. Artful activism in resistance movements can provide new energy and make the goals feel more tangible. Art allows us to imagine the future and sense the world differently.

From http://www.creativeresistance.org/gallery-banksys-iconic-street-art/

From Bansky Wall Art  http://www.creativeresistance.org/gallery-banksys-iconic-street-art/

Art does not have to be expensive.  It can be as simple as a can of spray paint for graffiti. The artist Bansky has brought street art to a new level, but at its root it is simple and accessible.  Another group that takes graffiti to a new direction is theCalifornia Department of Corrections, which ‘corrects’ billboards to put forward a social and economic justice message by adding their comments or changing a few words on the billboard.

Bread and Puppet Theater describes the birth of the “Cheap Art Philosophy … born in 1979 when [they] filled their old school bus with hundreds of small pictures painted on scraps of masonite, cardboard and newspaper, painted slogans and statements about art and Cheap Art, and hung them on the outside of the bus. Then they drove it to neighboring towns and sold the stuff for 10 cents to 10 dollars.” They report the idea has spread:

“Today Cheap Art is practiced by all kinds of artists and puppeteers all over, and continues to cry out: Art is Not Business! Art Is Food! Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers! Art Is Cheap! Hurrah!”

Isn’t this the sharing world want we need to see? Imagine art builds in every town bringing communities together and deepening commitment, massive puppets and balloons carrying the message of justice in parades and protests across the country, entertaining and educating theatrics in the streets, music reaching the uninvolved and strengthening the resolve of the already active. People sharing and participating together in building a movement of creative resistance whose foundations are joy and resolve spurs us to re-imagine and create the world we want to see.

Sign up for Creative Resistance here.

Note: Next week there will be no newsletter.

From: Create a Peace Economy, http://www.creativeresistance.org/create-a-peace-economy/

From: Create a Peace Economy, http://www.creativeresistance.org/create-a-peace-economy/

Grace Lee Boggs speaks on the Next American Revolution


Discussion of Martin Luther King’s Speech on 16 August 1967 “Where Do We Go From Here?”




MORE conversations with this amazing woman HERE

Over 5000 Public Comments Against the Pipeline, Only 22 For It.. Yet It’s Being Built And It Will Bring Radioactive Gas To NYC? WTFrack?

CALL 311 AND DEMAND TO BLOOMBERG THAT CON-ED/SPECTRA CONSTRUCTION BE IMMEDIATELY HALTED UNITL HEALTH IMPACT STUDY AND PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE ADDRESSED!!!!
***** Al Appleton – Former NYC Commissioner of Dept of Environmental Protection ****** – MUST SEE!

Occupy The Pipeline - 1
Occupy The Pipeline - 2
Occupy The Pipeline - 3
Imagine There's No Fracking... Love, Yoko & Sean

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The Last Stand with Spectra Pipeline. NYC Needs You!

Saturday, December 1, 2012
1:00pm until ?

Gansevoort pier and Hudson River Greenway

Defend and Protect NYC from fracking!

Stand up against Spectra Pipeline NOW!

Please bring a picture of what you are protecting- family, friends, water, home, lover, etc. to help us make a strong image. Wear green! Also instruments! (if you are interested in a Civil Disobedience training, please arrive at 12pm at the Brecht Forum courtyard on Bank and West St.

We have been steadily fighting Spectra’s fracked gas pipeline in the West Village over the last year. Hundreds of you have joined us in rallies, marches, direct actions, civil disobedience trainings and more. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, while New Yorkers are still struggling to get back on their feet and recover, Spectra is swooping in, even after their promised embargo on construction, to finish the job.

They are banking on us not putting up a fight.

They don’t know us very well, do they?

We will not go quietly. Even if they finish construction of the pipeline, we will not let one drop of gas go through. We are calling on you to come out and stand up for NY.

Spread the word and bring everyone you know.
NEW YORK AIN”T NO FRACKING TOWN!!!!

Thank you.
in solidarity,
Occupy the Pipeline

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Directions:
It’s three blocks south of 14th st on the West Side highway at the Sanitation Pier. Gansevoort st and Hudson River Greenway. you can take the L train to 8th ave, the 1,2,3 to 14th st, the ACE to 14th st.

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From Sane Energy Project:

How is it that construction is being finalized this weekend when the court case against it won’t even happen until December 18th? Because that’s the way FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) operates. Spectra was given permission to start construction despite the fact that we have a state-level lawsuit pending. Despite the fact that multiple environmental groups called for a rehearing of their decision. Despite the fact that a federal-level lawsuit won’t even begin for another 3 weeks. Despite the fact that thousands of citizens have expressed their opposition via comments to FERC, letters to multiple representatives of state, federal and local government. Despite nearly continous actions and protests at the site that have resulted in 8 arrests.

FERC is an agency funded by the industry it is supposed to regulate, and its mandate is to expedite energy projects no matter the degree of public opposition. As one of our favorite rabble rousers has famously said, “What we have here is a democracy problem.”

This is our last chance to stop construction.

Starting at 8pm Friday and continuing until 5am Monday, Spectra will begin the “pullback.” This is where they pull the pipe back through the hole they’ve drilled under the river, in one long continuous, uninterruptible operation. Once this is in place, there are only 2 minor connections that need to be made on the New York side before this pipeline becomes operational in November of 2013. The bulk of the work will be completed this weekend and finish by Dec. 15th, when they shut down for winter. (They were granted an extention from Nov. 1st, when they were originally due to leave the site, but were interuppted by Sandy).

Our court hearing happens THREE DAYS AFTER THEY LEAVE THE SITE! This is not democracy.

CALL NADLER NOW
Congressman Jerrold Nadler represents the West Village and sits on the powerful Subcommittee for Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. Tell him: Congressman Nadler, we are calling on you to intervene to stop the pullback from starting. PLEASE STOP THE SPECTRA PIPELINE. Please use the power of your office to call on FERC to halt construction until the lawsuit against the HRPT (Hudson River Park Trust) has been decided. That suit won’t even go to court until Dec. 18th, and probably won’t be decided until the new year. How can you allow a pipeline to be built in your district against the wishes of your constituents and all environmentally conscious New Yorkers when the case against it has not yet been heard? We want you to know, loud and clear, that we do not support ANY new gas pipelines in New York City or New York State. We oppose the Spectra pipeline, the Rockaway pipeline, and the Constitution pipeline. We oppose all pipelines that will transport and deliver marcellus shale or any fracked gas. Please do not allow this undemocratic system to overrule what citizens have called for!

CALL. This is not a time for email. CALL!

NYC office: (212) 367-7350

Brooklyn office: (718) 373-3198

DC office: (202) 225-5635

Pipelines mean fracking.

Pipelines means lost emissions and air pollution. Pipelines mean export. Pipelines put lives at risk. This situation with Spectra will be repeated over and over again with every coming pipeline. We must understand that this is a long fight for democracy, not just to defeat any particular pipeline. We must keep fighting–this is one battle, not the war. Thank you for what you’re doing.

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Spectra Showdown! – August 13, 2012

CURRENT news about the fight against the Spectra Pipeline here: OCCUPYTHEPIPELINE.BLOGSPOT.COM

CARP – Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline – http://http://carpny.org

August 13, 2012 – Crews have already been doing prep work at the site of the Spectra gas pipeline. NOW–word has come down that Spectra plans to start moving heavy drilling equipment into place at the Gansevoort Peninsula TOMORROW. This equipment will be used to drill under the riverbed and start the process of laying the pipe itself. Sane Energy Project’s legal team is working frantically to halt construction. Meanwhile, our friends at OWS have organized the Spectra Showdown a “welcoming committe” in the best Occupy tradition. Bring your signs, t-shirts, noisemakers, and music to tell Spectra, “Go ahead, make my day.” 5:30pm, Monday, August 13th, at Gansevoort and Hudson River Greenway. Cross the West Side Highway at 14th Street or Horatio Street

Occupy Swoops into West Village Like Batman!

photos courtesy Erik McGregor

The Occupy Spectra event last Thursday night was a huge success–massive thanks to OWS and everyone who came out for it! Nearly 200 people gathered at the Toddler’s Playground for a pre-march rally, then filled the streets of the West Village’s meatpacking district, entertaining crowds of cafe-goers with chants, dancing, and a confetti cannon that signaled a slow-motion “explosion die-in.” The Illuminator lit up surrounding buildings with batman-like projections exhorting folks to “Stop the Spectra Pipeline” and the classic “99%” logo. At least 2,000 copies of our famous pink flyers were handed out. Video of the event can be found here; coverage in The Examiner is here. Police were present and thanked demonstrators for their peaceful behavior (even though they ticketed the Illuminator). Please join us tomorrow and make it an equally effective action!

Help us Stop the Spectra Pipeline!

Sane Energy Project has launched a federal legal action against this pipeline. Now, we are about to launch an additional lawsuit aimed at halting construction. We cannot manage this without your support; we are an unfunded, 100% volunteer organization. If you understand that this pipeline is a danger to every resident of the 5 boroughs, and every resident of the Marcellus Shale, then please give. Just $15 from each of our members would be enough to fund the suits. Winning this fight is up to you. Please donate to the legal fund right away and thank you for your generosity!

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