On Friday, October 21st, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor cancelled his Leadership Lecture just a few hours before he was scheduled to speak. The ensuing debacle between Occupy Philadelphia protesters and alleged Wharton students, presumed now to be undergraduates, has been well documented in the media, but outside of comments left by Wharton students on blogs like ThinkProgress, at no point has a media outlet attempted to relay Wharton MBA views on the event. The Wharton Journal has stepped in to help the MBA community find its voice in this issue. Here’s what they said.Read More
The occupation movement’s greatest challenge will be overcoming the deep distrust of white liberals by the poor and the working class, especially people of color. Marginalized people of color have been organizing, protesting and suffering for years with little help or even acknowledgment from the white liberal class. With some justification, those who live in these marginalized communities often view this movement as one dominated by white sons and daughters of the middle class who began to decry police abuse and the lack of economic opportunities only after they and their families were affected. This distrust is not the fault of the movement, which has instituted measures within its decision-making process to make sure marginalized voices are heard before white males. It is the fault of a bankrupt liberal class that for decades has abandoned the core issue of economic justice for the poor and the working class and busied itself with the vain and self-referential pursuits of multiculturalism and identity politics.
Chase and Wells Fargo are joining the list of banks that won’t be charging customers to use their debit cards, as the backlash over Bank of America’s planned $5 monthly fee continues.
Banks were justifying the fees by stating that they need to recoup revenue lost to new regulations that limit the fees they can collect from retailers for handling debit card transactions. But the new fees sparked a huge backlash.
Signs like, “I bailed out the banks and all I got was a $5 debit card fee” have been spotted the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and its sibling protests around the country. The author of the regulations, Sen. Richard Durbin, D.-Ill, called the fee an “outrage” on the floor of the Senate.
“It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit,” he said. “Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible.”
“People are literally walking into branches and cutting up their Bank of America cards,” Kirk Kordeleski, CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Long Island, N.Y., said last week.
The backlash hasn’t gone unnoticed by other banks.
Keep up the good fight everyone! We are making an impression. Let’s keep it going strong! Together we can force change.
Occupy San Francisco protester Miran Istina stands outside the US Bank building on Market Street, San Francisco. Photograph: Martin Lacey
As Miran Istina puts it, she has been living on borrowed time since she was 14. Diagnosed with cancer, she was given just months to live after her health insurer refused to provide her with life-saving surgery.
Now 18, Istina, from the city of Sisters in Oregon, has spent the past three weeks living in a tent at the Occupy San Francisco protest and says she will stay there indefinitely, despite her illness.
She was inspired to take part in the protest by the refusal of her insurance company to pay for treatment for her chronic myelogenous leukaemia.
She said: “They denied me on the terms of a pre-existing condition. Seeing as I had only had that insurance for a few months, and I was in early stage two which meant I had to have had it for at least a year, they determined it was a pre-existing condition and denied me healthcare.”
Treatment would require a bone marrow transplant and extensive radiation therapy and chemotherapy, at a cost of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Coming from an ordinary middle-class background, her family has no way of paying for the surgery that would save her life.
Following her insurer’s refusal, she spent three years travelling the US looking for a healthcare provider who would give her a chance at life.
Istina said: “I went all over the place, looking for someone to give a damn, really, someone to care enough to treat me. Because we were middle class, we couldn’t afford to treat my disease. We’d be in debt for the rest of our family life.”
After repeated refusals to offer her treatment, she said: “I decided I was going to spend the rest of my life doing whatever my heart wants.”
The Occupy movement attracted Istina as she ties the corporate influence on American politics to the decision that has sentenced her to death.
She said: “The corporate influence on politics influences just about anything that happens, seeing as politicians write the plans that healthcare has to follow. It directly links the fact that insurers only pick and choose those who are actually worth it [financially]. I just happen to not be one of the ones they wanted to be around much longer.
“The decision was absolutely influenced by some corporation or some bank saying, ‘we can’t afford her. She’s not worth our money.’ In end terms, corporate greed is going to cost me my life.
“I used to be really upset about it. I’m not as much any more. I’m angry, for sure, but I think me being here might help it never happen again. That’s why I’m here. It’s that there are other people this is going to happen to if this movement doesn’t succeed and that’s not healthy. I’m done being the victim. However long I have left is dedicated heart and soul to this movement, no matter what it takes.”
She has immersed herself in the movement, becoming the chief media relations officer for Occupy SF and organising fundraising events around the city. On Thursday afternoon she led a CNN television crew on a walk through the camp, to show how they were living, explain their motives and refute claims that the living conditions are unsanitary.
She said of her new life: “My heart is finally satisfied.”
The Occupy San Francisco movement has seen up to 300 protesters take over the Justin Herman Plaza, at the Embarcadero in the downtown district since October 5.
The occupiers are given food by local restaurants and have received donations from supporters to provide supplies.
Health professionals from the San Francisco General Hospital are providing round-the-clock care for Istina, who needs strong pain killers and constant monitoring of her condition. Earlier in the month she suffered a kidney malfunction which required urgent hospital treatment.
Throughout the afternoon four police officers kept a watchful eye over the groups of tents and makeshift shelters but the atmosphere was relaxed. When the officers staged a walk-through some of the occupiers shared jokes with them. One said: “Please leave the automatic weapons outside the camp. This is a peaceful protest.”
Another said: “We’re not doing any harm. We’re just a bunch of peace-loving hippies.”
But a raid on the camp is possible at any time. San Francisco mayor Ed Lee has repeatedly insisted that the camp is illegal and all tents should be removed but so far little has been done to enforce the law.
He has threatened a raid and on Wednesday night occupiers expected police to move in, sparking a larger than normal demonstration. Two candidates for the upcoming mayoral election joined with the protesters but despite the presence nearby of riot police, the raid did not go ahead.
The nationwide crackdown on Occupy Wall Street has begun
Multiple cities across the nation have begun their offensive against the people standing up for the right to fair representation and a just economic system instead of the corporatist system which we are currently subjugated by.
Some of these have been brutal and vicious attacks on Americans, including what now appears to be an intentional attack on Scott Olsen — a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq before leaving the military in 2010.
…In an article published on Business Insider, a Marine is quoted saying that the tactics utilized by police in Oakland are not even allowed in a war zone.
Is there not something seriously wrong when our public servants are utilizing tactics on American civilians that American soldiers are not supposed to use in combat on foreign soil?
Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan said in a written statement that the city has opened an investigation into the use of force, including the use of tear gas on Tuesday.
However, the statement also said, “We are asking you not to camp overnight. Frank Ogawa Plaza is open for free speech activities between 6 am and 10 pm.”
This is the kind of ludicrously un-American thinking that has plagued the response to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
This is a nation with free speech which means that you cannot tell us when and where to speak freely.
…You might not like it, but we have every right to occupy a public space all hours of the day. We have every right to freely assemble whenever and wherever we want.
If it really is problematic for you, you might want to explore moving to a nation which was not founded upon the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Oakland is just one of the many places in which police are launching an all-out offensive on peaceful demonstrators who are sick and tired of the elite ruling class robbing America blind while our politicians encourage it.
Indeed California now seems to be a hotspot for these anti-Occupation moves, contrary to what one might assume based on California’s history as a blue state.
However, this is just more proof that the bi-partisan system in Washington is nothing other than a two-party dictatorship in which both parties work towards the exact same goals and push an identical agenda of control and oppression.
San Diego saw police actions against their Occupation at around 2 am in the morning.
OB Rag, an independent news organization out of Ocean Beach, California reports that at least 44 people were arrested in the sweep which began at 1:45 am in Children’s Park without any forewarning.
Police and the Sheriff’s department arrived outfitted in riot gear with batons and at least two men were reportedly beaten in the process of being arrested.
Several of the demonstrators who were arrested were veterans and one man was apparently a legal observer although more specific details are not yet available.
All of the donated food and medical supplies at both occupation sites were confiscated by the police.
Previously Assistant Police Chief Boyd Long told demonstrators that they could remain in Children’s Park so long as they did not set up tents. (full article)
I'm a little nervous about your spin on Bill Clinton's cancellation. Clinton did infact cancel because the weather did not allow his flight to get in on time. Your choice to spin this as a victory for the Occupy Protestors drives a wedge further between the protestors themselves and the average population. There are many Democrats, particularly College Democrats such as myself, who are proud to stand with the 99%, however, you should be using facts, NOT creating your own spin zone.
I personally agree with you. However, as someone who is running this website, I try not to put my personal opinion on things that are posted on this website. I didn’t want to post that because of the reason that you stated, but it’s not my place to put my opinion on everything. Not posting it would be unfair to the people who come to this website everyday. Also, I wanted people to form their own opinion on the post as you have. I don’t know who posted that note, but I wish they had took into consideration of other factors that could have caused the cancellation.
New York (CNN) — Authorities in lower Manhattan removed propane tanks and generators from Occupy Wall Street protesters’ home base Friday, raising the stakes as the weather turns cold and as officials across the country push for more strict control of the loosely defined movement.
“It came to our attention cans of gasoline and generators were in the park. These are fire hazards (and) against the law,” New York Mayor Michal Bloomberg said during his weekly WOR-AM radio show.
Bloomberg said that up to 40 firefighters had removed six generators and several gasoline cans from Zuccotti Park in the financial district early Friday.
“Our first concern is safety,” the mayor said, though demonstrators describe the move as an attempt to restrict Internet use and make their lives more difficult as a cold front rolls in. Read more at the link.
So it has been brought to my attention that people were unable to reblog posts on the main page. I don’t exactly know what caused the reblog button to suddenly disappear, but it is fixed now and you should be able to reblog again from the main page.
Thank you to everyone for letting me know about this issue.