Archive for October, 2011

Occupy SF Prepares For Raid. Oakland Video, LA Threatened.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Some news from northern California. Occupy LA threatened with eviction by mayor.

Occupy SF

Camp Location: Justin Herman Plaza

OccupySF has received reliable word from law enforcement and government officials that a possible police raid will happen tonight. Please come support OccupySF with your peaceful presence and dance with us in non-violent solidarity to facilitate building strong community in the face of adversity. Bring the love and positive energy!


Occupy Oakland

Oakland Spends Millions in Attack on Occupy Protesters, Closes 5 Schools Next Day

October 26, 2011

On Tuesday evening at 5pm Occupy Oakland gathered at the foot of the Oakland Library on 14th Avenue before setting off on a march past the jail and onward to Frank Ogawa Plaza. The peaceful gathering swelled as it marched through downtown, growing upwards of 1,000 people strong. Along their route were police from 17 jurisdictions in California, decked out in riot gear and weaponry.

Just before 8pm the police began throwing concussion grenades and tear gas directly into the crowd, injuring several nonviolent protesters. Weapons were aimed and fired at people as they attempted to help the injured and bring them to safety. The crowd reconvened a block away and continued to peacefully occupy the streets outside the plaza. For several hours this scenario was repeated as citizens tried to gain entrance to the plaza while the police held their line using “non-lethal” rifles, tear gas, and barricades.

The city has spent several million dollars in this campaign to shut down free speech in Oakland. Meanwhile today the Oakland Unified School District will vote on closing down 5 schools: Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park and Santa Fe. They will meet at 5pm at Oakland Technical High, where they will be met with protestors from Occupy Oakland and other groups demanding a more sane and just allocation of the city’s resources.

Occupy Oakland will reconvene every day at 6pm at 14th & Broadway until the camp is reestablished. Join us!


Occupy Oakland battle in the Streets


LA Times

Mayor Villaraigosa: Occupy L.A. ‘cannot continue indefinitely’

October 26, 2011 | 3:39pm

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that the Occupy Los Angeles encampment outside City Hall “cannot continue indefinitely” and has asked city officials to draft restrictions limiting when people are allowed on city property.

“I respect the protesters’ right to peacefully assemble and express their views,” Villaraigosa said. “City officials have been in a continuous and open dialogue with the organizers of Occupy L.A. However, the protesters must respect city laws and regulations, and while they have been allowed to camp on City Hall lawns, that cannot continue indefinitely.”

A spokeswoman for the mayor said he has also instructed city officials to begin drafting a plan to identify another location for the demonstration.

In an interview Wednesday, the mayor said county health inspectors recently visited the encampment and expressed concerns over the cleanliness of the camp. In addition, the demonstration is hurting the city’s lawn and trees.

“The lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren’t working … our trees are without water,” Villaraigosa said.

He said he has instructed city officials to begin drafting restrictions limiting when people are allowed at City Hall. That could lay the groundwork for the city to force protesters to abandon the tent city surrounding City Hall where they’ve been camped for nearly a month.

It was not clear how the proposed rules would be different from a current law that bars people from camping in city parks after 10:30 p.m. Police have not been enforcing that law at City Hall and have allowed the 350 or so nightly protesters to camp there overnight.
On Wednesday, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said police should impose the park law.

“To protect the public health and safety of all residents, the LAPD and General Services Police can and should enforce the law in a fair, consistent, and even-handed manner,” Trutanich said. “The law addresses conduct. Enforcement may not be based on the content of any political or personal opinion or message.”

Meanwhile, about a dozen protesters showed up at Wednesday’s City Council meeting to ask lawmakers to allow them to stay. Protester Alex Everett, 26, said he came because he was alarmed by Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s comments to KABC that it was time for protesters “to move on.”

Everett, who moved out of his house and into a tent outside of City Hall two weeks ago, said he thinks many protesters would not leave without a fight. He said if police move in to clear out the protest, like Oakland police did Tuesday, “it will be violent.”

Everett said protesters don’t have a shared vision of how the demonstrations around the country will go forward, and whether or not the emphasis should be on maintaining camps or on trying to elect lawmakers, or get certain financial regulations enacted.

“Victory is different to different people,” he said.

Although he believes the occupations will “taper down eventually,” Everett said: “This movement’s never going to end.”

Occupy Long Beach, And Other Occupy News

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Tonight in Long Beach we agreed to hold the GA meetings 3 times a week instead of every night, move them to 7:30 instead of 6pm and hold the committee meetings at 6 pm every night, and have the GA only for making proposals, sending them to committee, and ratifying or turning down committee proposals. This was because of the unwieldy and unproductive nature of GA meetings that always went on for 3 hours or more. We also decided to switch focus from occupying the park to community outreach and developing our procedures. We also decided to move some of the occupation to another part of the park closer to where traffic would see us. These are very close to my own proposals, By focusing on the committees the idea is that specific teams will be more productive than the general assembly. We shall see.

The solidarity with the homeless that some of us had been encouraging may be disrupted as the focus shifting away from sleeping in the park and to using the park as a meeting place may take the emphasis off of hassles with the homeless resident drug dealers and their customers. People have had their bag and batteries stolen, and some of the Occupiers claim that the location i.e. presence of the homeless was keeping people from joining us. It is my opinion that people have not joined us because they don’t see us as more than a rag tag group of latter day hippies. We need to come up with serious demands, and real tactics that work, to impress people in the community.

I have suggested a list of demands.

A) Worker participation in management at all companies.
B) Collective bargaining at all workplaces larger than family operations.
C) Community participation in industry relocation decisions.
D) Replacement of all banks with Co-ops
E) Elimination of Wall Street replacing it with an Enterprise Investment Bureau
F) Public funding of Elections
G) All parties eligible for public funding based on voter registration.
H) Recall of elected officials with 2/3 majority decision
I) Free prime time access on media for Electoral debates as part of public service
J) Free Public Transportation
K) Free Medical Care
L) Free Education
M) Basic housing and food allowance

each of them is something that can be done and gives people an idea of a direction to move in.

Practical tactical actions we can take

1) Teach-ins at institutions such as banks explaining their role in the current crisis.

2) Speaking at local community churches, retirement homes, schools, etc. to explain our position and drum up support, also to get an idea as to what other people want.

3) Postering, passing out flyers, setting up information tables around town.

4) Joining other progressive groups in protests, marches and other actions.

5) Expanding occupations to other sites and eventually getting a storefront or other space.

6) Networking with other Occupy groups and forming regional and national groups.

There also is news of several Occupy sites from around the USA and the world. Albany , where the city police refused to arrest Occupy Albany participants despite orders from Governor Cuomo. News from Denver where a squat was busted. News from San Diego where the city hall meeting was disrupted by Occupy San Diego. News from Oakland of a battle with the police when Occupy Oakland was evicted from their site. News of people being arrested when they tried to Occupy Santa Ana, and Occupy Irvine being hit with sprinklers over the weekend. Occupy Gainesville, Florida is having a regional conference on the 29th of Oct. Occupy London is having a family day with moms and kids in Cambridge.


From Times Albany, NY.

Under pressure to make arrests, police and troopers push back

Governor’s office urged mayor to press police to make arrests at protest

By BRENDAN J. LYONS Senior writer

Updated 09:17 a.m., Monday, October 24, 2011

ALBANY- In a tense battle of wills, state troopers and Albany police held off making arrests of dozens of protesters near the Capitol over the weekend even as Albany’s mayor, under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, had urged his police chief to enforce a city curfew.

The situation intensified late Friday evening when Jennings, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Cuomo, directed his department to arrest protesters who refused to leave the city-owned portion of a large park that’s across Washington Avenue from the Capitol and City Hall.

At the Capitol, in anticipation of possibly dozens of arrests, a State Police civil disturbance unit was quietly activated, according to officials briefed on the matter but not authorized to comment publicly. But as the curfew neared, the group of protesters estimated at several hundred moved across an invisible line in the park from state land onto city property.

“We were ready to make arrests if needed, but these people complied with our orders,” a State Police official said. However, he added that State Police supported the defiant posture of Albany police leaders to hold off making arrests for the low-level offense of trespassing, in part because of concern it could incite a riot or draw thousands of protesters in a backlash that could endanger police and the public.

“We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble,” the official said. “The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.”

A city police source said his department also was reluctant to damage what he considers to be good community relations that have taken years to rebuild. In addition, the crowd included elderly people and many others who brought their children with them.

“There was a lot of discussion about how it would look if we started pulling people away from their kids and arresting them … and then what do we do with the children?” one officer said.

Around midnight Friday, police leaders reported that the protesters were confined to city sidewalks and therefore they were not in violation of the city’s curfew governing park land. But in truth, the protesters had set up tents in the park and several dozen slept there.

Meanwhile, Albany County District Attorney David Soares on Sunday said that over the weekend he had conversations with Jennings, Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff and State Police officials about his concerns regarding prosecution of “peaceful protesters.”

Soares said protests at the state Capitol are common, and historically anyone arrested for trespassing generally faces a low-level charge that’s later dismissed.

“Our official policy with peaceful protesters is that unless there is property damage or injuries to law enforcement, we don’t prosecute people protesting,” Soares said. “If law enforcement engaged in a pre-emptive strike and started arresting people I believe it would lead to calamitous results, and the people protesting so far are peaceful.”


News From Occupy Denver

October 24, 2011

UPDATE: DPD Raids Squat, Support Needed

Please Post and Forward Widely


Sunday afternoon a squat in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood of Northwest Denver was raided by over a dozen officers from District 1 of the Denver Police Department.
Witnesses report that the raid was very violent, with at least 8 officers repeatedly beating one of the arrestees, and eventually using paramedics to sedate them while they laid face down, bleeding, in the street.
Four people were arrested, one being sent to a hospital in an ambulance to receive medical care. As of Sunday night, three of the arrestees are facing 2nd degree Burglary (a class 3 felony) and $10,000 bonds. The fourth arrestee’s charges remain unknown because she is still hospitalized. All four have been active participants of Occupy Denver.

How to Help:

-Contribute to our bail fund! Contact DenverABC at for information on how to donate to the fund.

-Courtroom solidarity! Bond hearings will be Monday (10/24), 10am, at the Van Cise- Simonet Detention Facility (Colfax and Delaware). Future hearings will be posted on

-The first solidarity action will be Monday (10/24), 5pm, at the Van Cise facility.

-Stay in the loop for future solidarity actions and opportunities at We are also on Twitter and Facebook. Also request to be on our announcement list by emailing us.


Channel Ten News San Diego

City Council Meeting Halted After Occupy San Diego Outburst

Meeting Halted After Disruption By Those Seeking Resolution Supporting Occupy San Diego

POSTED: 12:30 pm PDT October 25, 2011

UPDATED: 7:53 pm PDT October 25, 2011

SAN DIEGO — Demands from representatives of Occupy San Diego for support from the City Council on Tuesday resulted in an early halt to the panel’s morning meeting, but the afternoon session went off without a hitch.
After a group of about 50 activists asked council members for a resolution of support — similar to one passed by the Los Angeles City Council — their chanting led council President Tony Young to announce that the morning session was over with about 30 minutes remaining.
Jill Esterbrooks of Young’s office said he halted the meeting “in order to clarify the best way to let people express themselves without infringing on others or preventing the city from conducting business. The bottom line is the ‘Occupy San Diego’ people want to protest, and as long as they obey the laws and chamber rules, we’ll allow them to speak up.”

One of the protest organizers called it typical.
“The public comes in to talk to them… they won’t talk about it because they say the Brown Act restricts them from saying anything and then they leave,” protest organizer Ray Lutz told 10News. “What kind of people do we have elected? Get the money out of politics and we can clean it up. If we don’t, then all bets are off because they will undo any steps we make in the right direction by paying people off with legalized bribery, which is what we have today.”
The activists left the council chamber peacefully and sat through the afternoon session quietly. Before the meeting resumed, they huddled with city officials to discuss ground rules.
“I really do appreciate how this went this afternoon — good job,” Young said when the proceedings ended.


SFGATE - News Of Occupy Oakland

Police tear gas Occupy Oakland protesters

Matthai Kuruvila, Justin Berton,Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writers

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

OAKLAND — Police fired tear gas at least five times Tuesday night into a crowd of several hundred protesters backing the Occupy movement who unsuccessfully tried to retake an encampment outside Oakland City Hall that officers had cleared away more than 12 hours earlier.

Police gave repeated warnings to protesters to disperse from the entrance to Frank Ogawa Plaza at 14th Street and Broadway before firing several tear gas canisters into the crowd at about 7:45 p.m. Police had announced over a loudspeaker that those who refused to leave could be targeted by “chemical agents.”

Protesters scattered in both directions on Broadway as the tear gas canisters and several flash-bang grenades went off. Regrouping, protesters tried to help one another and offered each other eye drops.

One wounded woman, who others said had been hit by one of the canisters, was carried away by two protesters.

One protester, 35-year-old Jerry Smith, said a tear gas canister had rolled to his feet and sprayed him in the face.

“I got the feeling they meant business, but people were not going to be intimidated,” Smith said. “We can do this peacefully, but still not back down.”

Police forcibly dispersed the crowd with tear gas again about 9:30 p.m., when protesters began throwing objects at them. As protesters scattered, police closed off Broadway between 13th and 16th streets.

Minutes later, protesters regrouped at the 15th Street entrance to the plaza. Protesters began throwing objects again. Police responded by firing more tear gas canisters.

Protesting eviction

The protesters were trying to make good on a vow to retake an encampment that Occupy Oakland activists had inhabited for 15 days, until police evicted them early Tuesday.

The evening protest started around 5 p.m., when about 400 people began marching from the main library at 14th and Madison streets toward the plaza, which police had barricaded and city officials had declared would be closed for at least several days.

“We’re going to march and reclaim what was already ours, what we call Oscar Grant Plaza and what they call City Hall,” said protester Krystof Lopaur, referring to the unarmed man shot to death by a BART police officer in January 2009.

Early on, the scene outside City Hall was largely peaceful, but it was a different story a few blocks west on Washington Street.

Officers in riot gear hemmed in protesters around 6 p.m. and attempted to arrest one person, as about 50 more surrounded them shouting, “Let him go, let him go.”

Protesters threw turquoise and red paint at the riot officers. Some led the crowd in chanting, “This is why we call you pigs.”

Some displeased

Others pleaded with agitators to be peaceful and return to the march; some protesters tried to fight with police and were clubbed and kicked in return.

Interim Oakland police chief Howard Jordan said his officers had no choice but to respond with tear gas. The crowd at its peak grew to more than 1,000 at about 8:30 p.m., and two officers were wounded from the paint and chemicals thrown at them.

“We felt that the deployment of the gas was necessary to protect our officers,” he said at a news conference.

Although police did not provide a number of arrests in Tuesday night’s demonstration, he said five people involved with the Occupy movement had been arrested earlier, after the morning raid.


KPCC News about Occupy Santa Ana and Occpy Irvine.

4 arrested at Occupy Santa Ana

Oct. 23, 2011 | KPCC wire services

Four members of the “Occupy Orange County” movement were arrested, cited and released today for failure to obey a Santa Ana ordinance against camping.

The four men had set up tents and stayed all night at the Civic Center in Santa Ana despite a city ordinance that bans camping.

One of them posted a sign on the side of his tent as he was arrested, the Orange County Register reported. It said “I am wrongfully being arrested for ‘camping’ yet I am not ‘camping,’ I’m engaging in a long-term peaceful assembly,” wrote Sam Areshah.

Another, Anthony Velloza, wrote “I did not serve in Iraq advocating ‘freedom’ to return to a police-run state,” the newspaper reported on its website.

Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said another protest has been planned for today, adding the demonstrators have been issued a permit from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to peacefully protest.

“I guess we’ll see what happens,” Bertagna said. “When we started meeting with the group, we told them that we have a no camping ordinance.”

He said there were 125 demonstrators at Saturday’s protest in Santa Ana.

Meanwhile, Irvine city officials have reportedly apologized to protesters there because a maintenance crew made “an inadvertent mistake” and switched on lawn sprinklers in the midst of demonstrators — twice — midmorning Saturday.

“There was nothing deliberate about it,” Irvine city manager Sean Joyce told the Orange County Register. “We would never do anything of that nature to disrupt the folks who are out there.”

One man was reportedly dozing next to some electrical amplifiers when he was doused with water shortly after 9 a.m. Protesters in Irvine have been leaving the Civic Center park every night, to continue their all-night occupation on nearby sidewalks.


Occupy Gainesville, Fla. News

Occupy Together Regional Fest Conference and General Assembly


Occupy Together Regional Fest Conference and General Assembly

Saturday, October 29 · 11:00am – 2:00pm

Bo Diddley Community Plaza

Occupy Gainesville

This weekend will be an opportunity for organizers from Occupy movements from around the world to meet here and share resources, goals, stories, good times.

A schedule of workshops, etc. will be posted soon. Let us know you are coming!

Please Note: we request that all visitors respect our continuing organizing efforts here by not using our Occupation as an after party for drunken rowdiness. Frolicking is welcome and encouraged tho!


Occupy London

Occupy Half Term – Today at OccupyLSX

Posted on October 26, 2011 by occupylsx

A group of mothers and children from Cambridge has issued an invitation to every mother in the UK to join them today, Wednesday 26th October at Occupy London Stock Exchange at St Paul’s Churchyard. This is an opportunity to find out more about the camp, which is part of the global movement for real democracy aiming to challenge social and economic injustice in the UK and beyond.

Parents and children are invited to meet members of the occupation, as well as supporting groups including Anonymous (UK) and Global Women’s Strike. Through a special workshop, put together by the camp’s Tent City University, children will have the chance to practice direct democracy in an open and inclusive space. There will also be a short dance and a procession back to Liverpool Street Station at 2.45pm, for those taking the train from London back to Cambridge. Parents and carers unable to attend can track Occupy Half Term with their playgroups and schools online. More information can be found at the facebook group Occupy Half Term and at the blog

Occupy Movement At Crossroads

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I have noticed on line talking to people in Denver, San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach that the energy seems to be dissipating in the occupations. This could be because the weather is getting colder, or wetter in the case of Southern California. It could be because some of the smaller groups have trouble staying motivated when there are so few persons involved. Some places are being infested with conservative activists or as in the case of LA, there seems to be a party spirit that has taken over and turned the occupation into Burning Man South. Long Beach people are getting burned out, I saw fights break out in Los Angeles. It is time people. We have to come up with demands, elect leaders, move from consensus to majority rule and get spaces in every city from which to organize out of.

The hard working people who have taken care of security and food for people, who have organized events need a break or a change of staff. The cities with small occupations need to give people breaks, get more people involved and become involved with coordinating regional and national events.

It is important that the spirit of change does not get lost in the hassle of day to day functioning of living in parks and using porta-potties. Those of us who cannot participate in the occupations are not aware of how after a week or so of street living, most people will not want to stay without something like the situation in New York to motivate.

I recommend we demand that the city give us an abandoned building or empty office to use, or if we don’t want to be beholden to the city that we rent an office in a marginal neighborhood. Some cities have abandoned buildings that can be squatted. Each city needs to determine what works best. But I say lets head indoors and get a work space, like the organizers for the anti-Convention events.

Some people are worried about process, to tell the truth I think that is somewhat selfish, or indulgent. We should be about spreading the word of social revolution and peoples democracy. That may seem contradictory, but ultimately we may have to have a training period for people working in the GA getting used to one another and then for people who are more active and aware work in the committees. I am not about dividing people, but practically speaking we need to have a mechanism similar to that of many coop communities where the new people went through a trial period and then as they got used to the routine and working with the people who had been involved, then people can move into more responsible positions. That can be based on the experience people have had in organizing, business or other areas of practical experience, how well they understand the basic concepts of the group dynamic, and how willing they are to put in the energy needed.
But we also need to create functions that don’t demand full time commitment. Jobs that only take a couple of hours a day can be done by people who are only available for a few hours. We could have a sign-up sheet with various functions that need to be done like passing out flyers 2-4 pm at XYZ location on Tuesday, or Security from 7-11 pm on Sunday, etc. If we begin to itemize the functions then we can delegate work easier. There is no reason why the same 5 people should be doing everything.

It’s time to get on with practical measures, doing teach ins, flyer distribution and setting up literature tables, speaking before school and church groups, going to city council meetings. Working out sets of demands, that make sense to us and promoting social revolution.

Workers Control & Chomsky Speaks At Occupy Boston 10/23/11

Monday, October 24th, 2011

This is mostly about workers control and various theories around it. I contend that without workplace democracy there is no real hope of bringing capitalism under control and transforming to real socialism. There is a youtube link to a talk given by Chomsky in Boston on the 23rd of October. I tend to take the position of the IWW and believe that a syndical system would work best modified by the current world economy. I have included information about the German model of including workers in management, and information about the Mondragan Co-op, as well as Kibbutzim in Israel. Enjoy reading and consider workers control as part of your demands.


The one point Chomsky makes that he repeats in the course of his rambling talk is about the sit down strikes in the 1930’s. He mentioned it as something that is being considered at the Occupy Boston. This is an important issue because people will not be able to establish control of the economy without workers taking control of the workplace as the ideal or at least gaining a voice in the direction of companies as is done in German companies.
Chomsky is asked about a general strike. He says that there is a long way to go from Occupying a few parks to calling a general strike, he notes that most people don’t know what the Occupy movement is all about and that there needs to be an extensive information campaign to spread the facts, assuming the group has the staying power.

Chomsky also talked about electing leaders with a recall process so that you don’t end up with a new elite. I don’t know if that was a critique of the consensus process or simply a comment on how to avoid leadership becoming the new bosses.

From the blog site “At Home He is A Tourista”

Strategy and struggle: anarcho-syndicalism in the 21st century by Brighton Solidarity Federation (2009)

Classical syndicalists, including many anarcho-syndicalists sought to unite the working class into revolutionary unions. Like the ‘One Big Unionism’ of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) the goal was to build industrial unions until such a point as they could declare a revolutionary general strike as the prelude to social revolution. However, unlike the IWW on the one hand, and Marxists and social democrats on the other, anarcho-syndicalists rejected the separation of economic (trade union) and political (party) struggles.

They stressed that workers themselves should unite to fight for their interests whether at the point of production or elsewhere, not leave such struggles to the specialists of political parties or union officials or still less neglect political goals such as the overthrow of capital and the state in favor of purely economic organization around wages and working hours.3 Furthermore they stressed that workers should retain control of their organizations through direct democratic means such as sovereign mass meetings and mandated, recallable delegates.

The goal of these unions – as suggested in the Rudolph Rocker quote above – was to expropriate the means of production and manage them democratically without bosses. As such, the dominant tendency saw building the union as ‘building the new society in the shell of the old.’ The same directly democratic structures created to fight the bosses would form the basic structure of a new society once the bosses were successfully expropriated.

This is an abstract from a book examining the Worker Councils in Germany and comparing them with attempts in Great Britain. This is from a British journal of labor relations, and has the goal of increasing productivity in the workplace, not improving the lot of the workers.

“Worker Participation and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany and Britain
John Addison1, Stanley Siebert2, Joachim Wagner3, Xiangdong Wei4

The Freeman–Lazear works council/worker involvement model is assessed over two distinct industrial relations regimes. In non-union British establishments our measures of employee involvement are associated with improved economic performance, whereas for unionized plants negative results are detected. The suggestion is that local distributive bargaining can cause the wrong level of worker involvement to be chosen. Also consistent with the model is our finding that mandatory works councils do not impair, and may even improve, the performance of larger German establishments. Yet smaller plants with works councils under-perform, illustrating the problem of tailoring mandates to fit heterogeneous populations.”


European Works Councils

Directive 94/45/EC, governing the establishment of European Works Councils (EWC) in multinational companies, has become much more than just another piece of EU legislation. To date in more than 820 companies an EWC has been established. After 10 years of attempts to amend the EWC directive (94/45/EC), on 6 May 2009 the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted a recast directive 2009/38/EC. The new directive is the outcome of an intense legislative process that took place throughout 2008.

By applying its requirements to the most powerful and influential enterprises active in Europe and worldwide an indicator is obtained of how many of these companies inform and consult their employees. The EWC Directive, which is applicable to transnational undertakings and groups of undertakings employing in total more than 1000 employees in the EEA, and at least 150 of them in two member states, has evolved to become an important gauge of compliance with the European standards and practices shaping the European Social Model.

The purpose of an EWC is to bring together employee representatives from the different European countries in which multinationals have operations. During EWC meetings, these representatives are informed and consulted by central management on transnational issues of concern to the company’s employees. Insofar as multinational companies develop strategies and production structures across borders, the meetings represent an important opportunity for local employee representatives to establish direct communication with central management and to cooperate with their colleagues representing employees from other countries.

From Wikipedia article “Co-determination”

Co-determination is a practice whereby the employees have a role in management of a company. The word is a literal translation from the German word Mitbestimmung. Co-determination rights are different in different legal environments. In some countries, like the USA, the workers have virtually no role in management of companies, and in some, like Germany, their role is more important. The first serious co-determination laws began in Germany. At first there was only worker participation in management in the coal and steel industries. But in 1974, a general law was passed mandating that worker representatives hold seats on the boards of all companies employing over 500 people.

This is an interesting essay on Workers Control and the Planned Economy written at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is from a Trotskyist perspective.

From Planned Economy and Workers Control

“The essence of the idea of planned economy is contained in the collective struggle of the working class to exercise its control over the capitalists.”

From the IWW Chicago an Anarcho-syndicalist approach.

I.W.W Worker Self Managed Union

Democracy * Worker Self Management * Economic freedom

The Chicago I.W.W. would like to introduce an exciting opportunity and alternative shop model for cooperatives and the self employed. The I.W.W is an international union in which all decisions are made by the membership. We organize across all industries (job types) and also include unemployed, homeless, students and retirees. Our long term goal is worker self management, meaning workers running their jobs democratically instead of by owners and bosses.

From School of Cooperative Individualism site

The Mondragon Co-operative Federation: A Model for our Time?
Mike Long
[Reprinted from Freedom, Winter 1996]

The Mondragon Co-operative Federation (MCF) is a community of economically highly successful worker-owned, worker-controlled production and consumption co-operatives centred around Mondragon, a town in the Basque region of northern Spain, and now spreading throughout the Basque provinces and beyond. The MCF is an experiment in participatory economic democracy rooted in a powerful grassroots movement for Basque cultural revival and autonomy, but inclusive of non-Basques.

The MCF began quietly on a tiny scale with one co-op and 12 workers nearly 40 years ago under the fascist Franco dictatorship. The original members were educated but poor and had to borrow money from sympathetic community members to get started. By 1994, the MCF had become the fifteenth biggest business group in Spain, comprising some 170 co-ops and over 25,000 worker members and their families, with vast assets, large financial reserves, and annual sales of around three billion US dollars.

There is a lot of interest in the Mondragon model. It is cooperative and a successful enterprise. It has managed to be competative in a capitalist economy unlike say the kibutzim in Israel which have struggled in the more capitalist environment of modern Israel.

From Kibbutzim Site

The Kibbutz Movement - Facts and figures

At present there are 256 Kibbutzim in Israel (including 16 “religious kibbutzim”). Most of them are located in peripheral areas, from the most northern tip of the State to as far as the Deep South (Arava). Some-total of registered Kibbutz population amounts to app. 106,000 people, of whom a total of over 20,000 are children under the age of 18. One ought to notice that after almost two decades of an economic and social crisis in most sections of the Kibbutz Movement, resulting - among others- in a sharp decline of Kibbutz population, the last few years are indicating a fresh and a new trend. Many Kibbutzim report of growing numbers of youngsters – singles and families – seeking to join Kibbutzim, either as permanent members, or as non-member inhabitants. The main obstacle to a more speedy response to this potentially promising trend is lack of housing for absorption.

On Consensus Vs. Majority Rule

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

This Blog posting, on consensus from Lenin’s Tomb, is very close to my own experience. I don’t know how cynical the manipulations are, but I have noticed that in Consensus groups a clique usually dominates. This may be just a reflection of human nature, alpha personalities dominate. Various attempts to suppress this tendency, especially within anarchist groups are successful in very small groups, but in larger ones it is impractical. Modifying consensus, with majority rule in larger groups, with dissenting minorities respected and given their position in opposition, is more reasonable than simply smothering dissent in round after round of consensus process where most agreements come from the opposition simply being exhausted.

It is interesting that we are thinking along very similar lines. I am mostly concerned with keeping the Occupy movement vital and I see the movement getting bogged down in process. I think there should be a modified consensus or a parliamentary approach with decisions being made by 2/3 majority respecting minority opinion and their right to win people over to become a majority. I recommend electing officers with an automatic recall if 2/3 of those present do not think the officers are competent. I think this might speed up the process and get people more focused on accomplishing the task of changing the way this country works.

From Lenin’s Tomb

“On consensus

How, then, would society make dynamic collective decisions about public affairs, aside from mere individual contracts? The only collective alternative to majority voting as a means of decision-making that is commonly presented is the practice of consensus. Indeed, consensus has even been mystified by avowed “anarcho-primitivists,” who consider Ice Age and contemporary “primitive” or “primal” peoples to constitute the apogee of human social and psychic attainment. I do not deny that consensus may be an appropriate form of decision-making in small groups of people who are thoroughly familiar with one another. But to examine consensus in practical terms, my own experience has shown me that when larger groups try to make decisions by consensus, it usually obliges them to arrive at the lowest common intellectual denominator in their decision-making: the least controversial or even the most mediocre decision that a sizable assembly of people can attain is adopted — precisely because everyone must agree with it or else withdraw from voting on that issue. More disturbingly, I have found that it permits an insidious authoritarianism and gross manipulations — even when used in the name of autonomy or freedom.

To take a very striking case in point: the largest consensus-based movement (involving thousands of participants) in recent memory in the United States was the Clamshell Alliance, which was formed to oppose the Seabrook nuclear reactor in the mid-1970s in New Hampshire. In her recent study of the movement, Barbara Epstein has called the Clamshell the “first effort in American history to base a mass movement on nonviolent direct action” other than the 1960s civil rights movement. As a result of its apparent organizational success, many other regional alliances against nuclear reactors were formed throughout the United States.

I can personally attest to the fact that within the Clamshell Alliance, consensus was fostered by often cynical Quakers and by members of a dubiously “anarchic” commune that was located in Montague, Massachusetts. This small, tightly knit faction, unified by its own hidden agendas, was able to manipulate many Clamshell members into subordinating their goodwill and idealistic commitments to those opportunistic agendas. The de facto leaders of the Clamshell overrode the rights and ideals of the innumerable individuals who entered it and undermined their morale and will.

In order for that clique to create full consensus on a decision, minority dissenters were often subtly urged or psychologically coerced to decline to vote on a troubling issue, inasmuch as their dissent would essentially amount to a one-person veto. This practice, called “standing aside” in American consensus processes, all too often involved intimidation of the dissenters, to the point that they completely withdrew from the decision-making process, rather than make an honorable and continuing expression of their dissent by voting, even as a minority, in accordance with their views. Having withdrawn, they ceased to be political beings — so that a “decision” could be made. More than one “decision” in the Clamshell Alliance was made by pressuring dissenters into silence and, through a chain of such intimidations, “consensus” was ultimately achieved only after dissenting members nullified themselves as participants in the process.

On a more theoretical level, consensus silenced that most vital aspect of all dialogue, dissensus. The ongoing dissent, the passionate dialogue that still persists even after a minority accedes temporarily to a majority decision, was replaced in the Clamshell by dull monologues — and the uncontroverted and deadening tone of consensus. In majority decision-making, the defeated minority can resolve to overturn a decision on which they have been defeated — they are free to openly and persistently articulate reasoned and potentially persuasive disagreements. Consensus, for its part, honors no minorities, but mutes them in favor of the metaphysical “one” of the “consensus” group.

The creative role of dissent, valuable as an ongoing democratic phenomenon, tends to fade away in the gray uniformity required by consensus. Any libertarian body of ideas that seeks to dissolve hierarchy, classes, domination and exploitation by allowing even Marshall’s “minority of one” to block decision-making by the majority of a community, indeed, of regional and nationwide confederations, would essentially mutate into a Rousseauean “general will” with a nightmare world of intellectual and psychic conformity. In more gripping times, it could easily “force people to be free,” as Rousseau put it — and as the Jacobins practiced it in 1793-94.

The de facto leaders of the Clamshell were able to get away with their behavior precisely because the Clamshell was not sufficiently organized and democratically structured, such that it could countervail the manipulation of a well-organized few. The de facto leaders were subject to few structures of accountability for their actions. The ease with which they cannily used consensus decision-making for their own ends has been only partly told,6 but consensus practices finally shipwrecked this large and exciting organization with its Rousseauean “republic of virtue.” It was also ruined, I may add, by an organizational laxity that permitted mere passersby to participate in decision-making, thereby destructuring the organization to the point of invertebracy. - Murray Bookchin, ‘What is Communalism?: The Democratic Dimension of Anarchism’.


I am not opposed to consensus, I prefer it in small groups and in big decisions that affect everyone in a significant manner. But when you have daily assemblies and meetings, and especially if not much is being accomplished and there is a time factor, then parliamentary process or a modified consensus may be the more democratic tool. These are tools after all, they are not, any of them, the reason why we are gathered in the Occupy movement. We want to bring about changes in the way the country is run, and the way the economy works, to do that we need to use the tools that work best for us.


Below are links to articles on large group consensus and effective meetings.


Here is someone else’s description of their problem with consensus;

From the blog site “In Loki We Trust”

“I debated on posting this, but finally decided I should.

I attended the GA Committee Meeting on Monday night, from about 7:20pm till 9:30pm - and I was beyond disappointed at what I saw. I could write pages about this, but I will try to make a very short list:

1) Very few people had been in a consensus decision making process before, nor understood it.
My opinion is that people who are deciding on a solution to bring to the GA should have experience with it.

2) The people who had used consensus before we not listened to.
Myself and another gentleman repeatedly brought up our position that consensus in a large group was not workable, and that we should use modified consensus from the start. Though the rest of the group stated that they disagreed with us, their actions said otherwise, as they moved on over our objections. The “solution” was to use a 9/10ths model when something was “urgent” - and for those of you that don’t immediately see the problem with that, here is a snippet of the paraphrased conversation:

Someone: “if it’s urgent, we move to a 9/10ths model”
Me: “Who defines urgent?”
Someone: “It’s obvious”.
Me: “I don’t think it is”.
Someone: “well, if it deals with a safety or security issue”
Me: “Who defines if it is a safety or security issue?”
Someone: “it’s obvious”
Me: “?!?!?”

At that point, I gave up - because my opinion had already been marginalized, and because it was self evident it wasn’t obvious - or else we wouldn’t have been discussing it.

3) Many people we unable to think critically about what they said
There seemed to be an ingrained marginalization of people’s opinions - and the reasons for them. During a discussion of when it was ok to block proposals, it was stated multiple times that blocks shouldn’t be allowed for “arbitrary” reasons. When I pointed out that what is arbitrary to me may be “life or death” to someone else (especially when we get into ethical considerations), that was modified to be “it must be something that addresses a real human need”. While that phrasing sounds great, it, again, only changes what we have to define - not that we have to define something. There is no language value difference between “not arbitrary” and “real human need” - they both can mean completely different things to different people, and one person’s “real human need” can easily be another person’s “arbitrary”. In combination with the conversation in (2), it seemed to me that there was willful blindness - and in my experience no amount of talking can overcome that.

As I said, I did end up having to leave early, as my son was getting fussy, so I don’t know if things got better - you can all watch the recordings of it and form your own viewpoints.

While I would love to see things work out well at tonight’s GA, my fear is many people will feel marginalized - and walk away because of it. If we want true consensus, then we must strive for that, and be aware of the blinders that people naturally wear - that *all* of us naturally wear.”


This is a famous article on Structure in organizations.

Cudos to Arthur Maglin who posted this and the Lenin’s Tomb piece on the Yippie page.

A response from Chuck Munson to criticism of consensus.

I am going to leave it at this. There are opinions going both ways. Practically speaking the anarchists in Spain, the Workers Councils in the early Soviet Union, were practical uses of popular decision making in action and the results of their efforts are worth studying.

Time For Action - Occupy Hood, Marxist-Humanist Meeting

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

I was at Occupy LA most of the evening. There was close to a thousand persons at the General Assembly and another couple of hundred at a techno party on the west side of the park. Other people were in tents, or in small groups around the park. It seemed very together, in some respects, as a rock concert perhaps, but they are not moving fast enough into the community around them. They mostly just hang around the city hall park and party. Some activists from Occupy the Hood seemed to want to push them into the streets but I don’t think enough people realized what is needed. A Black Panther style discipline might help. Some people, former military, older working class people, serious activists realize what is needed. The problem is to work through the process, which because it is consensus, is very awkward and time consuming because everybody has to be brought on board.

Meantime the world is waiting to see what we are going to tell them. Unless there is action that motivates people and outreach to communities to get a broader base, what we will have is hippies and students, having a camp out and the rest of us will be frustrated at the lack of action, direction or planning. Being able to sustain a campground is not a major accomplishment. Being able to feed people from donations is not a major accomplishment, we are just taking food and money that would go to homeless shelters.

We need to being to take action. Occupy banks, someone mentioned a great idea, teach-ins in front of Banks being done in San Diego. That is something that should be done daily. It is hard for me, I have to be back at my apartment every night to do dialysis. After an hour or so in a meeting I get tired. Most of these General Assemblies go on for 3 hours or more. That is simply too much time. People with nothing to do, or no place to go, can sit for hours and debate, it is normal, natural for a college student. I was like that when I was 19 or 20. I had to be goaded to work back then. Now, years later, with little time left, I am like most of America, impatiently waiting for the Occupy groups to get serious and develop a leadership and demands and take action that will make a difference. Running a campground is one thing, but a revolution, that is something else entirely.


Occupy the Hood from RAC Page.

Community Page about Power to the PeopleIt is the Mission of Occupy The Hood (in solidarity with Occupy Wall St) to get POC more involved in the Occupy Movement
Description Occupy The Hood stands in Solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street
movement… It is imperative that the voice of POC is heard
at this moment! We must not be forgotten as the world progresses to the next economical stage. We can all agree that the voices in our
communities are especially needed in this humanitarian struggle. We
are our future and we posses the energy needed to push the occupy
movement to the next phase.

We are The Least Represented
We are Among The Ignored
We are Among The Unemployed
We are Considered The Under Educated
We are Considered The Minority
We are The Consumers
But most importantly WE ARE THE HOOD!!

The neighborHOODs is where the hearts of the people are. Our homes, our parks, our selves. It is in our best interest to have all abled voices heard to bring forth a peaceful solution in this world we have been given. There are millions of people that are effected by the Wall Street crisis. The questionable, unethical activities downtown Manhattan… and in Corporate America directly effects our economic struggles and the future of all business and personal endeavors.

Mission :::

Our mission is to encourage individuals & community based organizations to be involved. We need to be present at General Assembly’s, sit-ins, marches and rallies, when and where needed. We must also initiate our own protests and boycotts. We will be seen and heard on our own, along-with and in unison with all the occupy-the-world movements until we bring forth a viable solution…. no matter how long it takes. Numbers speak volumes but the most important number to note at this time is the number one..

Our voices are going to blend as one.


The representative of Occupy the Hood made a long statement at the General Assembly in Los Angeles Sat. Oct. 22, it was a clear anti-capitalist, revolutionary statement, and got treated as far as I could tell with polite clapping. They spoke of moving into the community, but I am afraid they will be stuck in the statement stage.

I noticed the union presence was missing. It seems they come when they have marches to recruit bodies and to inspire people to action. But they are not there on a day to day basis.

Earlier today I went to a Marxist-Humanist meeting. Led By Kevin Anderson, professor of Political Science, Sociology and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Barbara. One of his students gave a power point presentation of Marx’s Civil War writing, emphasis in his anti-racist approach to class struggle. Basically saying that the Blacks in the USA and Irish in Great Britain needed to be free before the respective working classes would make any advances. For as long as they placed racial solidarity over class solidarity the white working class would be attached to their masters. This was also pointed out by Anderson in his lecture after she finished. The point seemed to be that class struggle and anti-racism are intertwined.

Anderson spoke of Franz Fanon who made the point that nationalism and national freedom from colonialism was necessary to achieve internationalism. At least that is how I interpreted what he was saying. I am still not sure about this little study group. Most of the attendees are students of the Professor. A couple of people from LA seem to be genuine members of the group. I brought my girlfriend to see if she would absorb any of the political theory. We left before the discussion period, I mostly went to leave some material about Occupy LA. They agreed to come to one of the occupation sites on November 5th, the day we are supposed to remove money from our bank accounts. I wondered aloud if they were interested in setting up a literature table at Occupy LA.


From San Diego Reader

Downtown Bank of America Closes Due to Protesters

By Esther Rubio-Sheffrey | Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

Downtown’s Bank of America branch on B Street shut down early on the afternoon of October 20 out of safety concerns: approximately 25 protesters, most part of the Occupy San Diego movement, staged a peaceful “teach-in” and protest in front of the bank.

For roughly three hours, several protesters talked to anyone who would listen about how big banks like Bank of America helped to perpetuate the current economic crisis and accepted large bail-outs at the expense of taxpayers.

Protesters chanted, “Remember, remember, the fifth of November,” the date on which thousands of people nationwide have pledged to close their accounts with large banks and transfer their funds to local credit unions.

“Corporate greed has taken over politics,” said one of the protesters, Christopher McKay. “The banks got bailed out, the CEOs made millions of dollars, and the American people got left behind. The American people need to understand that financial security with big banks is not safe. These banks gave bad loans out on purpose. We are coming to a bank near you.”

McKay and his fellow protesters covered the bank’s entrance with signs that had a variety of messages and calls to action. Many protesters stood on the edge of the sidewalk with their signs, garnering honks of support from many who drove by. Several police officers were onsite throughout the protest but did not interfere.

Corbin, a younger protester attending the event with his siblings, said he felt compelled to take to the streets because he is “tired of the banks controlling where the wealth goes.”

Organizers planned to be at Wells Fargo’s downtown location Friday and intended to continue targeting other banks.


From ABC News

By Alyssa Newcomb

Oct 22, 2011 7:16pm

Occupy Wall Street Protests on GE CEO’s Lawn

A crowd of 100 protesters, some from New York City’s Occupy Wall Street movement and others from Occupy New Haven, came together in a show of solidarity on Saturday afternoon on General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt’s front lawn in New Canaan, Conn.

“[General Electric is] an enormously successful company that pays no income taxes. We felt it was important for someone like Jeff Immelt to hear from people who are struggling in this economy,” said Jon Green, director of the Connecticut Working Families Party.

Many of those who came from New York were responding to an invitation posted on Occupy Wall Street’s General Assembly web site that read: “In the land of the free they tax me but not G.E!” It continues, saying: “ General Electric made billions last year; they paid no taxes, outsourced thousands of jobs, and got over $3 billion in tax refunds!”

Immelt reportedly earned $20 million in 2010. Despite his compensation, General Electric continued to shed jobs. According to an analysis, General Electric has let go more than 19,000 workers since 2008.

Aside from being the CEO of General Electric, Immelt was appointed by President Obama to chair the task force on jobs and competitiveness.

Green said he was unable to tell if Immelt was in his sprawling 10,000-square-foot home, which according to is worth an estimated $5.25 million, at the time of the protest.

Demands Of Occupy Wall Street And Disinformation

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Tonight on the McLaughlin Group on PBS a list of demands was posted on their broadcast and claimed to be from Occupy Wall Street.
-$20 an hour minimum wage,
-amnesty for all student loans, credit card debt and home mortgages,
-free medical care for all, there might have been a couple of others but I can’t remember.

There is a certain amount of disinformation here, also some of these may be proposed demands that never went anywhere. The media certainly is trying to discredit the Occupy Wall Street. The real demands that are being proposed by the Demands committee are quite reasonable things that the social democracies of Europe already provide. What is being proposed is that the USA catch up with the rest of the developed world.

Unfortunately these are simply reforms that won’t change the system.


This is my proposal.

Real change would involve demands for:

A) Worker participation in management at all companies.
B) Collective bargaining at all workplaces larger than family operations.
C) Community participation in industry relocation decisions.
D) Replacement of all banks with Co-ops
E) Elimination of Wall Street replacing it with an Enterprise Investment Bureau
F) Public funding of Elections
G) All parties eligible for public funding based on voter registration.
H) Recall of elected officials with 2/3 majority decision
I) Free prime time access on media for Electoral debates as part of public service
J) Free Public Transportation
K) Free Medical Care
L) Free Education
M) Basic housing and food allowance

These demands should break the back of corporate power and private influence in elections. It should be the starting point for a people’s democracy that includes the workplace. It is my firm belief that without economic democracy there is no hope of real political democracy. Citizens of a democracy cannot have extreme discrepancies of wealth or education for the democracy to be effective.


Then I went to a site called Red State. They had a list of what they called OWS demands.
This is a right wing site and they are trying to discredit OWS.

OWS Extremist List of Demands, posting for laughs

Posted by williamjameson (Diary)

Friday, October 7th at 10:27PM EDT

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.


This is from the Demands Working Group site of the Occupy Wall Street group and this is the posting for Oct. 21, 2011.

The Demands Working Group of Occupy Wall Street unanimously endorsed and is circulating for discussion the following PROPOSED demand, which will be submitted to the General Assembly of OWS:

“Jobs for ALL – A Massive Public Works and Public Service Program

We demand a massive public works and public service program with direct government employment at prevailing (union) wages, paid for by taxing the rich and corporations, by immediately ending all of America’s wars, and by ending all aid to authoritarian regimes to create 25 million new jobs to:

-Expand education: cut class sizes and provide free university for all;

-Expand healthcare and provide free healthcare for all (single payer system);

-Build housing, guarantee decent housing for all;

-Expand mass transit, provided for free;

-Rebuild the infrastructure—bridges, flood control, roads;

-Research and implement clean energy alternatives; and

-Clean up the environment.

These jobs are to be open to all, regardless of documentation/immigration status or criminal record.”


The real demands are reasonable, they can be met without destroying capitalism. But if we want to create a better world, we have to get more ambitious and go for the gold and demand real social democracy.

A Visit To Occupy Los Angeles, Long Beach Arrests

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Yesterday, Wednesday Oct. 19th, I went to Occupy LA. I hadn’t been there for over a week and I was surprised, tents everywhere, taking up every bit of lawn at city hall park, must have been 400 or more of them. There were only half a dozen porta-potties, including one for disabled people, a nice touch, but it seemed inadequate for so many people. I spent about an hour and a half in the afternoon and another hour in the evening there. Things seemed to be fairly well organized, there was a bulletin board with committee meetings and yoga classes listed. There were two meal times and the general assembly had moved from the north steps to the south steps. During the time I was there a comedian did a short routine on the south steps, gathering an audience of a hundred or so. An economist with radical free market theories (private money), spoke to about 50 or so with a heckler street person keeping him occupied. Mostly in the day time people were talking in small groups, relaxing, playing catch with a football and generally taking it easy.

When I came back in the evening there were speakers on the South Steps, in the distance a march was approaching and at about 6:45 they arrived blowing horns, beating drums and chanting “We are the 99%.” The energy levels were high, about 1000 persons, mostly union members from SCIU, KIWI, Laborers, Korean Immigrants, Immigrant rights groups and persons from the ANSWER coalition were in the mach. They came up the path to the plaza in front of the south steps rallied with several speakers giving short rousing speeches of commitment from their group to Occupy LA. Only the ANSWER leader had a slightly discordant note when he mentioned that the groups should be able to come up with their own plan of action and work together with the others.

A little after 7 began the preparations for the General Assembly, the atmosphere was a bit like a high school pep rally or a revival meeting, it was fairly electric. I wanted to stay for the General Assembly to see if it had changed since the last one I went to, but I had to leave, my girlfriend was tired and I needed to get home to do homework for school. We had gone shopping in the Fashion District between visits to the Occupation.

Something I noticed was that people in LA were aware of the Long Beach Occupation and the trouble they were having with the cops not letting them sleep in the park. Most people I talked to seemed to think Long Beach needed more people to join the occupation and that numbers would win out. A spokesperson from Occupy the Hood stated that when the cops tried to evict an occupation at the School Board Headquarters, they had sent 150 people over and the cops ran away. He also spoke of neighborhood bank actions, starting in Koreatown.

Overall this visit raised my own flagging spirits about the movement as things in LA seemed to be moving along quite well while we were struggling in Long Beach. After I left Sunday night they attempted to stay in the park but were not able to maintain a strong enough front to keep the police out. They need more people.
The Long Beach General Assembly has agreed to participate in the November 5th Day of removal of accounts from major banks. There will be pickets at major banks while people withdraw accounts. November 5th is Guy Fawkes Day celebrated in Great Britain. It was the day when Fawkes and fellow conspirators tried to blow up parliament. Autonomous the hacker group has pledged to try to hack Facebook that day. It should be an interesting day.
For more info try the Occupy Long Beach Facebook page or head on down to Lincoln Park.


This from LA Times

Occupy Long Beach ends with arrests, citations

October 17, 2011 | 7:50am

Occupy Long Beach ended Sunday with arrests and citations after demonstrators clashed with police trying to usher them out of a public park.

Long Beach Police said two people were arrested, and two others received citations, for allegedly refusing to leave the park after its 10 p.m. closing time. The protest began Saturday.

Jason James, 30, of Long Beach and an unidentified minor were arrested for allegedly violating a city ordinance that prohibits camping in a closed public park and for allegedly obstructing a police officer.

Police said that the 35 to 40 demonstrators in Long Beach’s downtown Lincoln Park were peaceful Sunday and that most of them followed an order to move to the sidewalk when the park closed.

But as police searched tents in the park, they found a few had stayed behind. Those arrested and cited were among those who refused to leave, police said.
As officers moved through the park checking tents, some demonstrators chanted and yelled at them but mostly dispersed once the arrests and citations began, police said.

The protest, like others across the nation inspired by the continuing Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York, was meant to protest corporate greed.



Two Arrests Made In Occupy Long Beach Demonstration

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:16 pm

By Jonathan Van Dyke
Staff Writer |

There have been two arrests so far due to the Occupy Long Beach demonstration downtown, but both protestors and police have said the process has lacked the animosity that has peppered similar movements around the country — at least for the time being.

Occupy Long Beach started Saturday with some speeches and a march around downtown. The Long Beach Police Department estimated that about 250-300 people were in attendance for the busiest part of the day.

“While the mission of the Long Beach Police Department is to protect life and property, maintain order and ensure public safety, the police department also supports the right to every person to assemble and demonstrate in a lawful manner, which was the case in (Saturday’s) event,” said Sgt. Rico Fernandez, LBPD public information officer.

The demonstration began, and will continue to take place, in and near Lincoln Park, organizers said.

It is modeled after similar protests around the country, which started in New York with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Lincoln Park closes at 10 p.m., so protestors are required by city law to vacate then and move to the sidewalk.

Sunday, the demonstration continued, but this time some members of the Occupy Long Beach movement decided to try and set up tents and stay in Lincoln Park after the 10 p.m. closing time.

According to LBPD officials, about 10 tents were set up. Demonstrators were warned that they would be arrested for breaking the law starting at about 9:45 p.m. and intermittently for the next hour, Fernandez said.

Eventually, police arrested Jason James, 30, of Long Beach and a minor (whose name cannot be released) for camping in a public park past prohibited hours. Louis Rodriguez, 67, of Lakewood and Jonathan Allen, 27, of Seal Beach were issued citations for the same offense, but released at the scene. There were no more arrests as of publication time.

“I would say the first night went well in terms of police aggression or disrespect,” said Molly Haupt, freelance writer and volunteer for Occupy Long Beach’s media section. “They were certainly communicative with our police liaison. The biggest part of our frustration was that about every hour (once they left the park at night and moved to the sidewalk) they’d tell us something we could or couldn’t do.”

She said this included not allowing people to lie down or sit on the sidewalk and telling demonstrators they couldn’t sleep with blankets on.

“From what I’ve heard about the arrest, everyone was treated fairly,” she said.

Both sides said that numbers of demonstrators has fluctuated from between 300 and 50-70 people depending on the day and time of day.

“I’m really proud that Long Beach can be part of something so powerful that is taking place all over the country,” Haupt said.

She said the movement would continue to appeal to the City Council to help them change the laws or receive permission to fully occupy Lincoln Park after hours.

Fernandez said the attitude of demonstrators had changed a little bit since Saturday, but overall everyone had been fairly cooperative with police officers. So far, the department has used floodlights at night to monitor the group.

As far as the varying rules officers have required protestors to comply with, Fernandez said they were just following the laws

Haupt said the movement plans on occupying the area for as long as necessary and in solidarity with bigger movements in places like New York and Los Angeles.

“We don’t know where it will go from here,” she said. “But the fact that there has been no violence or disrespect is a good sign.”


Greenhouse Gas Anyone?

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The Durban round of talks on renewal or not of the Kyoto Protocols is coming up. If there is no renewal or new treaty, then there will be nothing but the individual efforts of each country and decades of attempts at mitigating greenhouse gasses will have gone by the wayside. It seems that the financial crisis is sucking the air out of the other concerns around the world. At least when the economies are flat, pollution is down, that is one good side effect of a depression.

There are still those who don’t believe that climate change is real. We have had plenty of severe weather recently that has affected many people around the world, but the climate change deniers claim it is just the result of population increases causing people to move into marginal land. I am not a scientist and cannot tell when human emissions become the determinant factor. I do know that when the air is cleaner and the water is drinkable the quality of life is better. I would rather live in a place where the emissions from cars and manufacturing are controlled, mitigated or eliminated. Go to Beijing or New Delhi, tying for number one spot in the world for air pollution and breathe deep, if you can without gaging and you will know what air is like in cities without firm pollution controls. Interesting that the Obama position is essentially the same as the Bush position on climate control. Different name, same game.

Remember all the excitement around Copenhagen? Where is it now? Probably at Occupy Wall Street. Perhaps we need to remember the economy is not the only issue, there is the war in Afghanistan, the continuous mission creep of this war on terror that is increasingly becoming robotized, among others. Perhaps they will all be considered in the Occupy movement, and that a new form of government will grow out of this populist beginning.


From News

09/22/2011 02:51 PM

US Position Unchanged on Kyoto Protocol

The Major Economies Forum took place last week, the 12th gathering of 17 of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters worldwide.

The head of the US climate delegation briefed reporters on the US-led meeting, which was held at the State Department. Apparentely, much of the discussion centered around what should happen when the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012.

Should a new treaty replace it or should it simply be extended?

The US position remains the same as under Pres. GW Bush. It will not commit to a binding treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions if it excludes the biggest emerging economies or if those countries’ commitments are conditional upon financial support from developed countries, reports Reuters.


From Der Spiegal


Climate Change Negotiations

The Death of the Kyoto Process

By Christian Schwägerl and Gerald Traufetter

There seems little possibility that next month’s climate summit in Durban will produce an emissions reduction agreement — meaning the world will soon lack any binding CO2 targets. Europe may soon find itself alone in the fight against global warming.

A climate catastrophe descended on the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin early last week. Politicians and diplomats from around the world were attending a conference to discuss how global warming will affect the world. They examined scenarios depicting how millions of people living in coastal areas could escape flooding, what will happen to the fishing and mineral rights of island nations when they no longer exist and how China and Russia will benefit from an ice-free Arctic.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that it intended to “openly and creatively address” the dangers of climate change. The exercise was designed to help “find new paths of international cooperation.”

But the belief that global warming can be halted through international cooperation is elusive. The Kyoto Protocol, the world’s only binding climate agreement, will soon expire. The most important means to date of compelling industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions seems likely to become a mere footnote in history.,1518,792224,00.html


From Green Left

South Africa: Durban’s greenwash ahead of climate conference

Sunday, September 4, 2011

By Patrick Bond, Durban

Will the host city for the November-December United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17) clean up its act?

The August 23 launch of a major Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) report, Towards a Low Carbon City: Focus on Durban, offers a chance to test whether new municipal leaders are climate greenwashers.

Will they try to disguise high-carbon economic policies with pleasing rhetoric, as their predecessors did?

Will Durban Mayor James Nxumalo and a new city manager, still to be named, instead get serious about the threat we face as a result of runaway greenhouse gas emissions?

We needn’t rehearse concerns about future rising sea levels, extreme storms, flooding that will overwhelm dirty Durban’s decrepit stormwater drainage system, landslides on hilly terrain, droughts that draw new “climate refugees” from the region into a xenophobic populace, the disruption of food chains and other coming disasters.

However, what might be termed South Africa’s “mitigation denialism” remains a problem.

Planning minister Trevor Manuel announced in August that he expects the global North to pay South Africa up to US$2 billion a year through the Green Climate Fund he co-chairs. In reality, it is South Africa that owes a vast climate debt to Africa given our world-leading rate of CO2/GDP/person.

For its part, Assaf seeks to persuade politicians that Durban can “entrench its reputation as SA’s leading city in terms of climate change actions”.

This is pure hot air. Assaf’s 262-page study shies away from critical mention of high-carbon Durban’s unprecedented public subsidies on long-distance air transport, shipping, fossil-fuel infrastructure, highway extension and international tourism.


From Pew Center on Global Climate Change.


From Climate Change Facts


From EPA

Banks See Profits, Virgin Builds Spaceport For Rich With Taxpayer Money

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Citigroup has 73% increase in profits. Quoting a protester at Occupy Wall Street its “Socialism for the rich and the banks” according to Al Jazeera.

Banks are borrowing at very low interest rates and loaning at much higher rates and they are cutting back on loans.

Here is a good one. Tax Payers dollars are paying for the Virgin Spaceport in New Mexico, this is a boondoggle that will take the 1% on private Space Adventures.

Banks do well, jobs go away, rich people get spaceports, and we get to pay. Pretty soon Congress is going to start talking about cutting back Social Security and Medicare to help pay for the deficit. Yeah, right. Start cutting back some of these rich people, and the corporate giveaways.

It is too bad that the Occupy Wall Street movement is being taken over by the Democratic party because it could be the basis of a real social revolution and the advent of American Socialism and a fair deal for the average American.


New Mexico Spaceport: Getting Down To Business

by Leonard David, Senior Space Writer

“Richardson’s funding package will be the keystone of a larger $225 million financial construction package that includes local, state and federal funding to build New Mexico’s spaceport in Upham.

The deal struck between Virgin Galactic and New Mexico hastens the day of affordable space trips for more … of the public - a lowering of Virgin Galactic’s $200,000 seat price of today, Branson advised. “I think that all helps make it possible…in the not too distant future.”


Wall Street Journal

OCTOBER 17, 2011, 6:42 P.M. ET.Wells Fargo 3Q profit up 21 percent, revenue slips

Associated Press
NEW YORK — Wells Fargo & Co.’s CEO John Stumpf says he understands the “angst and anger” being expressed by the protesters at Occupy Wall Street and its spin-off sites around the country.

“This downturn has been too long. Unemployment is too high. And people are hurting. We get that,” he said on Monday in response to a question on the demonstrations. Stumpf was speaking on a conference call to discuss third-quarter results for the nation’s fourth-largest bank by assets and its largest mortgage lender.

Weak economic conditions worked against Wells Fargo during the quarter ended Sept. 30. The San Francisco bank’s income jumped 21 percent, but that was driven largely by fewer problem loans. That allowed the bank to reduce the amount of money set aside to cover defaults. Accounting rules require banks to count those funds as income.

Ultra-low interest rates also hurt the bank’s results by reducing the income it gets from lending. As a result the bank reported revenue that was lower than Wall Street expected. The stock fell 8.4 percent to close at $24.42 Monday.

Wall Street Journal

OCTOBER 18, 2011.Citi Shines, but Investors Shrug
Bank Shares Fall Despite Strong Earnings From the New York Lender; Profit Rises at Wells Fargo.


Citigroup Inc.’s third quarter was a bright spot in what is shaping up as a lackluster earnings season for banks. But that didn’t keep investors from punishing financial stocks again.

Citi on Monday posted a 74% rise in third-quarter net income, as credit losses declined from a year ago and the bank became the latest financial firm to benefit from an accounting rule that boosts profits when debt prices decline. Wells Fargo & Co. also posted a year-over-year earnings gain.

But, with investors fretting over the health of the U.S. economy and the prospect of global financial woes stemming from debt problems in Europe, bank stocks took another beating.


Thursday, August 25th, 2011


From Talk Business and Politics.


Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported an aggregate profit of $28.8 billion in the second quarter of 2011, a $7.9 billion improvement from the $20.9 billion in net income the industry reported in the second quarter of 2010.

It is the eighth consecutive quarter that earnings registered a year-over-year increase, according to an FDIC report released Aug. 23.

Also, the number of institutions on the FDIC’s “Problem List” fell for the first time in 19 quarters. The number of “problem” institutions declined from 888 to 865. This is the first time since the third quarter of 2006 that the number of “problem” banks fell. Total assets of “problem” institutions declined from $397 billion to $372 billion.

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