..,.......I Саn`t bеlеivе...Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Read on this wеbsitе....... C a s h M a n y . c о m
By Sam Levin
By Jessica Lussenhop
By RFT Staff
By Keegan Hamilton
By Gavin Cleaver
By Sam Levin
By Sam Levin
By Sam Levin
By just about any measure, the Occupy St. Louis protest that began on October 1 with a Facebook-and-Twitter-organized rally outside the St. Louis Federal Reserve is a low-key affair. The census count tends to tick upward during daylight hours, but full-time residency downtown hasn't begun to approach the "99" in the worldwide uprising's slogan, "We Are the 99 Percent." And while other cities have seen mass demonstrations, arrests by the dozen (sometimes by the hundred) and sporadic violence (typically directed at Occupiers as opposed to instigated by them), aside from a handful of arrests in early October, relations between the citizens of Kiener Plaza and the city that surrounds them have been for the most part civil.
The past week, though, has seen a noticeable chill in the air, détente-wise. On Friday, November 4, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay issued a proclamation via his favored means of communication with the 3G-and-wi-fi set: i.e., his blog, MayorSlay.com.
Up till now city officials have been tolerant of the protesters, Slay wrote, affording the group "the opportunity to make its points heard and seen during some very high profile events, including a presidential visit and the World Series." But contrary to popular belief, rules are not made to be broken. "I have reminded the people who have gathered there to obey the law or accept the consequences — citations, arrest — of not doing so," Slay's civics lesson continued. "That is the basic formula for civil disobedience in this country."
Though he set no eviction date, Slay cited "bad weather and a rising tide of complaints" and wrote, "I know, and the Occupy participants know, that they cannot stay there forever."
As the cold weather sets in, the mayoral gloves are coming off.
A small but diverse cast comprises the Kiener Plaza tent town: old and young, locals and itinerants, students and teachers, military veterans and anarchists. Some are laborers, others laid-off. A number are homeless, a few well-to-do. They share communal kitchens (and couches), subsist on donated food. They've scrawled protest signs — "Stop the War on Workers!" "Where's My Lobbyist?" "I'm Not Sure What We're Doing, But It's Working" — rigged up a high-tech media center. Some have brought along their house pets to keep them company.
Occupy St. Louis pays no salaries, but the encampment has offered interesting new opportunities to those involved. A former deputy sheriff, new to town and currently unemployed, is the group's director of security. A laid-off inventory manager who spent seven months living in his car handles relations with the homeless locals who've been drawn to the nascent community (and, presumably, the windfall of amenities). A woman who lost her cleaning-service business to hard times organizes the meals. A retired middle-school teacher stops by every few days in her wheelchair to show her support.
The morning after the mayor posted his virtual edict, Terrence Hampton, a 34-year-old salesman from Florissant, led a crowd of 50 through the streets of downtown and to the doorstep of the Bank of America building on North Broadway.
"We are!...," he shouted to the marchers strung out behind him.
"...The 99!" they responded.
..,.......I Саn`t bеlеivе...Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Read on this wеbsitе....... C a s h M a n y . c о m
Occupy was frickin retarded. St. Louis is shut down, Denver, Oakland, and now Zuccoti is shut down. I've never seen a movement with people so clueless in my life.
So long occupy, we knew ye well and were very very unimpressed. Good riddance.
Alabama is reaping what they sewed with the law they passed. Guess their General Assembly didn't think that one through well enough.
While I am not originally from St Louis, that is where I have lived for the last six years, where I work and where I spend my money. Yes, several of the folks involved with OSL are not from Missouri, many are from the St Louis Metro Area. Lots of folks come from IL. But hey, that doesn't fit your meme does it?
They would get more sympathy from ME if they were all from ST. LOUIS, Missouri...BUT NOT....they were from other STATES..GO OCCUPY YOUR OWN CITIES AND leave mine alone...USING MY TAX DOLLARS TO KEEP WARM...BE MORE PRODUCTIVE...THERE ARE CROPS TO BE HARVESTED IN ALABAMA...FOOLS...
Their next move is to occupy Seasame Street because 99% of the cookies are eaten by 1% of the monsters...
These are not people who represent 99% of the population… They represent 99% of the people who graduated at the bottom 1% of their class…
Time to update the title of this article to "former occupants". Thank god they're gone. Can finally go downtown without having to hear their ignorant shrieking or see the mess they've created. Godd riddance ignorant sheep. BTW i am the real 99. Underemployed and living with family.
I love the RFT's selective pictures. It looks like an AARP benefits brochure. I'm thinking they found the oldest people at the rally (all 4 of them) in an attempt to give credibility to this confused protest
quit your complaining and get your aces back to work. Must be nice to be able to sit around and be a dirty hippie.
I'm fortunate enough to have a job. Do you realize that 1 in 8 returning Vets are unemployed? But yeah, they must just be lazy, right?
Quick update: The rubber has hit the road. Eviction notice has been served by the Parks Dept. http://www.facebook.com/notes/...
Time to see where our 1st Amendment is at. Funny, I did not read ANYTHING in the Federalist Papers about Freedom to Assemble Peacefully having a time limit...
Check out http://MoveToAmend.org/ - it's a beginning . . . an effort to undo and to remove 1st Amendment protections from corporations. Just watch the influence that ruling for Citizens United by the Supreme Court of 2 years ago, has on the upcoming national elections in 2012. With any support, it will be the one and only time they get away with that method of influence.
Email from Gary Bess, Park Director at City of St Louis today: "I would like to give you notice that effective 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, November 11, 2011 or any time thereafter, the City of St. Louis will begin strict enforcement of all ordinances and regulations pertaining to the use of Kiener Plaza. If you have any questions, please contact me - 314-289-5310."
Most likely after 10pm and before dawn, the time will come that everyone has been seeking to avoid. It seems to me like the occupation of Kiener Plaza has actually made it safer and that those who are there continuously, have been respectful of the property and have kept things clean. What will be will be; and it will be most likely to add to resolve, in the local movement. It will be a moment that further bonds all who experience it closer together.
The hardest and most important step to change is the first one. What the Occupy movement is accomplishing is a destination to those who want to take that first step out of in front of their keyboards and into the streets to be counted. These encampments are the dirt of democracy and we need them more then ever as we gather the strength to demand to be once again represented as we must.
Joe, I hope that one day, you will understand how utterly hateful and ridiculous your comment is, but that you're able to reach that understanding without having to experience for yourself what it's like to make the hard choices that people you refer to as parasites have had to make. Deriding the poor and indigent, minorities and the disabled is truly an example of just how much class you have. The people whom you have targeted have much more class for standing up and taking part in the political system in our country than those who don't participate in solutions. If all you can do is insult people you know nothing about, judging them by photos, and repeating the hate-speech promulgated by propaganda peddlers, you have no business even making a comment. Do your own research - don't believe what you hear on Faux news, use your brain and quit being a lemming. Get out of your house and do something to create positive change. Until you know something worth posting, resist the urge.
When soviet communism failed and the Iron Curtain fell, everyone was eager to bury communism forever. Now that capitalism is threatening to destabilize the world order, why isn’t it also being recognized as a failed political system? Just asking.
Because, Bob, the system was working pretty well while there were checks and balances in play. With the deregulation of many industries, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and the advent of Corporate Personhood/Cash as Speech, the 1% has been able to unfairly influence government legislators, tilting the scales in their favor. As a result, wealth disparity has been increasing exponentally and our economy has been trashed to the point where families can no longer make a decent living with two incomes, let alone the one that used to sustain us. Tax loopholes have allowed corporations and the ultra-wealthy to generate untaxed wealth, removing billions from our country's potential budget, while people earning as little as $20,000 a year are paying 10% of their income in taxes. It's true that the wealthier people are, the higher their income tax rate and the higher the dollar amount of their tax contribution than those with low incomes. That is how it is supposed to work; that's why we pay a percentage of our income rather than a flat $ amount per year - because the impact of the tax rate is so much higher on the low-income household than on the high-income household. However, the majority of the 1% don't earn their wealth through payroll taxes that are taxed at that higher rate. They earn their income from the markets, via stock transfers, dividends, and other financial vehicles designed to reduce their tax liability. The result is, they end up paying less of a percentage of their income in taxes than the low-income person who does not have access to those financial tools. Is it fair that the person earning $20,000 per year pays $2,000 (10%) in income tax when the person earning $2,000,000 per year pays $160,000 (8%)? How big an impact does that tax rate have on their ability to eat, get health care, raise children and get education to improve their situations? On the low income person, the impact is tremendous and often means they have to choose between food and medicine. For the millionaire, $160,000 is a drop in the bucket. It's a 7th car, a tiny vacation cottage in a foreign country, a vacation to a plush resort.Capitalism was working until those with the most wealth decided to change the rules and remove the regulations that protected our economy and our citizens for their own benefit. It can work again if those regulations are reinstated and left alone. We have no problem with people making lots of money - we have a problem with them stealing it, and getting away with it.
Because communism is an aberration of natural human behavior. In its quest to reform excesses of self-interest it sought to destroy all self-interest entirely and that is impossible. Hate to break it to you but humans are selfish animals. Humans’ desire to form societies (any group more than 1) is ultimately a representation of Adam Smith’s “enlightened self-interest” and represents the individuals selfish desire to survive albeit to the benefit to a group larger them him/herself. Capitalism is not an aberration, but rather a complicated refinement (with many inefficiencies of course) of the basic reasons for why people got together in the first place. Societal perfectability is a dream. Communism was doomed to failure from the start because it thought it was a reality.
“Anything worth doing is worth doing for gain either for the self or for others. Lest something was done that benefited no one, what would be the purpose of doing anything at all?” - Adam Smith
As a member of the movement since Oct 1st, let me explain at least my position and share what got me off my butt and in the streets.
I am a 39 year old successful IT guy with a wife and son. Originally from Chicago, we moved here in 2007 when my contract at State Farm was not renewed due to the katrina court settlements. I have been a supporter of the Constitution since I was taught about it in the Boy Scouts and have also brought up my son to respect this core document of our country.
I've lived through reductions in our rights since the '80's when Reagan's administration reduced our access to the 4th Amendment to fuel his Drug War. I lived through the Domestic Terrorism and Rightful Death Penalty Act and Assault Weapons Ban under Clinton. I somehow lived through the Patriot Act and is subsequent renewal. When the decision came down that money is protected speech and corporations are people, I had enough.
My decision to join the march on Oct 1st came when I first heard of it on Facebook on Sept 28. My wife and son wanted to join me, but since my wife is still working on becoming a dual Canadian/US citizen we felt it prudent for her to stay home. Further reduction of our 1st Amendment rights, we were worried that if things on the march went pearshaped (Like in NYC) she could be deported as she is currently a Resident Alien and subject to deportaion due to any infractions of the law.
What I saw on Oct 1 really got my heart pumping with pride to be an American. The group that assembled on Olive Street was a mixture of America; combat vets, corporate types (like myself), under employed nurses and paramedics, unemployed students, and folks trying to survive under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I was at the head of the march through downtown to the Federal Reserve Bank and the halls of St Louis echoed with our chants and marching feet. We had several folks join us on the way. Once we got to the Fed's Patio we protested the preferential treatment that investment bankers had when they sold the insurance on potential foreclosures as 'dirived investments' in colusion with S&P who upgraded the status of these diriverative to AAA+ so they could collect money on them as well. We had a pop-up tent with us, christened the People's Tent and once it was set up we had a meeting with Fed security and SLMPD who suggested that we had made our statement, got our attention at the site and should move along. Then we marched to Kiener Plaza, where our tents have grown over the last month to what they are today.
We do have a core message. It is a sense of deep disatisfaction with the way things are being done these days. Banks are holding lines of credit hostage which force small and medium businesses to 'reduce head count' to be able to get their outgoing payments made. We're seeing things - not persons - like Citizens United and Citizens For Progress directly impact Congress in ways that do NOT benefit the average citizen's interests. We're seeing a Congress that withholds disaster funds, using these funds as political leverage. We're seeing conjecture being used to describe our movement in as negative terms as possible.
We also have seen major Nationwide banks change policies on fees since Sept 17th. We have seen change starting to happen. We're seeing that no matter what someone's personal politics are, they can set aside their relatively minor differences to stand shoulder to shoulder to show the world that we are sick and tired of being ignored and pushed to the side by those who work FOR us and are paid BY us in government.
As KMOX found yesterday, the best way to learn more about the Movement is to come down to Kiener Plaza (refered to as Freedom Square by the Movement) and get to meet us. We're not unfriendly and are willing to engage anyone in honest discussions and debates. Since Oct 1st, this park has been safe to be in, please come see for yourselves.
You know what, it really doesn't matter what peoples opinion is here. There is always going to be a difference in opinion. What matters is facts. Have you met these people in the picture above? Do you really understand what the movement is about, or just listening to small reports from the new media?
I live almost 2 hours away and have been down there 5 times already. I am a full student again learning a new trade because I was downsized from a job I loved. Husband died of cancer last year so I tried to renegotiate with Bank of America who had purchased my home loan from another mortgage company. They refused of course. So I sold my home Short Sale for 1/3 of what my mortgage was. Now why would they accept an offer with someone else instead of working with me to reduce my payments? I have looked for jobs in my field but they seem to want to hire people who can hear well, I am deaf. So I have had to take part time jobs that are really jobs for teens. I am the 99%.
Now some of you want to make comments like, Get a Job or about the Homeless. You spend a month living in a tent by choice and see if you don't start to look pretty bad. After all there are no showers down there, no place to shave etc. This is not suppose to be a part time protest. Someone has to keep it going 24/7. Now for those who live close, get down there and talk to people. It is easy to make comments while setting in the comfort of your own home with a full belly and a hot shower isn't it?
At least these people are attempting to voice their concerns about the RICH getting richer and the extinction of the middle class. It's easy to sit at your computer nice and warm and make negative comments. What are you doing to help the desperate situation of the US? Politicians are bought and paid for...where is your voice? I spent an afternoon there and met a lot of very nice professionals and all kinds of people. Unless you go there yourself, I don't think you know what you are talking about.
Occupy isn't about having an organized plan to mobilize with... and that's the beauty of it all. The movement is really just an opportunity for everyone to finally be heard & be seen. It's a revolution of sorts.. everyone (not just the hippies or the unemployed) is tired of the way this country is being manipulated. Whether it's the corrupt banking system, wall street, congress, bad business, pharmaceutical monopoly, the patriot act, outrageous gas prices, or whatever issue aggravates you the most, we finally have the opportunity to stand up for what we believe in as an entity.
Yeah, the issues may have an insanely wide variety of beliefs, but that just goes to show how much is truly messed up in this country right now. Who cares what criticizing and know-it-all statements are thrown at the occupy movement, at least it is a movement! Who cares that a few off topic signs are being thrown around all these occupy bashing sites, all because some occupy groupies showed up without doing any research about what's really going on in the world. The important thing is that it exists at all, and we have the right to make it so. The fact that it is actually starting to make an impact is even better.
People are finally passionate about something other than celebrity antics.. something that actually matters. We should be thankful just for that!
Look at the losers that are pictured. Not one with any class. A gang banger, a coupleof homeless, and a person that obviously counts on everyone else for her wellbeing.Parasites one and all that wouldn't take a job if it were offered to them. It's easier tohang out all day and ask for a handout.
Most of them are either retired or have jobs. Those who don't aren't devoting so much time to occupying that it interferes with a job search. Why don't you come down and meet us. You would have a more informed opinion, and I think you'd like us. We would sincerely welcome you.
As someone who Occupiers and holds two jobs while going to school full time, I don't understand your comment. Should I be looking for a third job? If you think our compliant is that we do not have jobs then you haven't been paying attention; or rather, you've been paying attention to the soundbites and diatribes of those who have a vested interest in making sure we are labeled in a certain way. Maybe you should come down sometime and actually listen to the people who are down there to hear their stories about how foreclosures and corporate greed have ruined their lives and the lives of their fellow Americans.
I just don’t understand this nationwide occupy movement and I think it was poorly planned from the outset. What, other than gaining attention, was it designed to accomplish? Gaining attention for its own sake is sadly not going to cut it anymore. Once you’ve got someone’s attention you typically mobilize them to take some form of action that produces leverage for change, not keep telling them to show up…stay tuned…more to come…oh btw it’s going to be getting a lot colder soon so bring a jacket…
Consider for a moment the methodology in contrast with the messages we’ve heard. What do the “99%” hope to accomplish by showing up to a location and not leaving that will…
- Destroy or significantly reform Wall Street. Answer: Nothing- Equitably redistribute wealth across the country. Answer: Nothing- Bring attention to the fact that a small percentage of this country’s population owns most of its wealth. Answer: We already knew that- Stop the abuses of corporate America and make them more responsible corporate citizens. Answer: Are you kidding? GE’s CEO has Obama on speed-dial and you have the human mic and “hand signals.”- Bring attention to the jobless, poor, and destitute. Answer: Nothing…and we already knew that too- Improve race relations and relations with local governments: Answer: We have a black president in the white house, Race relations haven’t improved, and local governments are losing patience- Bring about world peace and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Answer: The 99% must not watch television
I’m not a 1%r, but I’m certainly not a 99%r either. I’m not unemployed, a college student, a hipster, poor, or an anarchist. I am a person pissed about Wall Street abuses and dysfunction in D.C. as much as they are but I’m also a busy guy with responsibilities and a family to support. I can think of numerous ways to scare the hell out of this government and the 1% and make change happen like getting enough people like me to stop paying their taxes, pushing for a nationwide general strike, or boycotting major banks and corporations that they didn’t think of, communicate, or have the support to undertake. Wall Street, D.C., and corporate America aren’t afraid of Occupy because they can tell right away that it can’t mobilize, represent or communicate to people like me, people that can really hurt them. It’s hilarious, the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York on Wall Street can’t even stop the traders from going to work on Wall Street!!! Sticks and stones…but words will never hurt them.
There are a lot of people that feel the same way and sympathize but wrote this movement off the moment they saw they didn’t have a plan to accomplish anything, didn’t really represent 99% of Americans, and didn’t think urban camping was a viable method for 1st amendment protest. The Republican party has been very quick to denounce the Occupy movement as being organized by liberals and Democrats. If they’re right, they should have very little to worry about in 2012.
Its not our fault that you would rather sit on the sidelines and do nothing! They area group of people coming together for change!!!! NOT AN ORGANIZATION!!! When the entire country goes to shit maybe you will have wished you had done something, anything. Probably not, its not our fault you don't want to stand up for change!
Actually the Occupy movement is still evolving and maturing. Concrete actions are beginning to occur. A march from NYC to DC is already in progress to encourage the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts in congress. And the Move to Amend effort is gaining steam to place an amendment to overturn the Citizen's United ruling by the Supreme Court in Nov 2012s ballots. This is one genie not going back in the bottle, unless the Federal Reserve is wrong about 2 more years of Depression (yes, it looks different than it did in the 1930s but it is a global depression - caused by rampant greed and lack of regulation for multinational corporations). Think unemployment is only 9% in the US ? - nope, those are games politicians have played to hide the fact that it is actually 1 in 4. Think you'll have financial reserves for your retirement ? Not if a 90% drop in stock values, as predicted by one economist with a good track record on such predictions, is accurate. Wake up. Radical change is scary but we are not left with many options now. The politicians are all owned by whoever has the money.
of course it was poorly planned. it is an occupation 'of the people, by the people, for the people.' you can't plan or script that. it has been an organic movement, which will always have growing pains, increasingly, as rightly stated, the winter cold sets in. that doesn't mean in isn't legitimate.
the news media doesn't know how to talk about a movement without a clear, focused, point-based agenda, so that becomes the focus of the story. the real story is that the agenda is NOT about one issue, but about being heard. do you believe that the american revolution was based solely on the tea act, or the stamp tax, or any other single issue? no. it was based on a systemic understanding that powers from afar (be it distance or wealth) enjoyed an unreasonable control over the lives of their underlings, subjects, workers by employing economic and military methods of enforcement. the same can be seen in the union evolution in the US and elsewhere.
stop hearing only the broadcasts, and go talk to people. please talk to more than one or two; there are always folks who will talk nonsense...but talk to five, six - contact your local occupation and ask for information.
i am also not "unemployed, a college student, a hipster, poor, or an anarchist." i am "a person pissed about Wall Street abuses and dysfunction in D.C."
i invite you to the occupation wherever you live, and ask only that you listen.
First of all I didn't say it wasn't legitimate. I am not one of those that you're hearing about wanting to move the occupiers off...I just think the occupiers are setting themselves up for disappointment.
Second, you have been heard. Congratulations. The media is losing interest. A lot of people are losing interest. I’m losing interest. They’ve heard you…what’s next?
Third, once a slightly large minority of Americans during the revolutionary period…yes, large minority (about 35%)…realized that they were being oppressed they actually did something. They formed a continental congress, sent the best citizens among them to discuss their options, and many grabbed guns. All of this by the way before they had been really heard by the British in the form of a Declaration of Independence. If I were to equate your analogy for the occupy movement to the American revolutionary movement it would be as though you told the British that you were angry and King George heard you and replied “yes…and the Thames is quite wet I’m told.”
Fourth, I have met several of the occupy protesters and I’m not impressed in the slightest. There are far too many jobless, far too many sh*t-disturbers (anarchists, revolutionaries, and WTO protesters…the occupiers know exactly who they are too), far too many free-loaders. This is a trend with the movement nationwide. How can the occupiers call themselves the 99% when many of their representatives are people like this? And let's not forget of course the ridiculous performance art folks...can the occupiers really be serious? How can they expect more mainstream individuals and politicians to ally themselves with them? More importantly why should they when the occupiers bring nothing to the table…no leverage…no message…no plan to replace the systems that they’ll break down or reform.
As I said in my original comment, this movement had real promise in the first 2-3 days when people were captivated and waiting for an opportunity to actually do something, but that’s over now. These occupations will dissolve and their effect will be negligible. The attention they’ve raised to certain issues is not informative…it is nothing new. It will go down in the history books as another meteoric minor movement with a lot of smoke and flash but ultimately signifying and doing nothing.
Dlee4144....Agreed...also, it seems a bit odd that someone who has "lost interest" would leave 53 lines of commentary.
We aren't fading out, we're growing, in donations, organization, occupiers. You may have lost interest, but unless you are with us, it doesn't matter. For our enemies, the less attention they pay to us the better.
They already did the hard part of establishing space and process. It's fine if you can't be there. There are plenty of ways to share good ideas if you really want to. Also check out the slide show with occupier profiles.