European “Vultures” Will Not “Pick Over” Libya
“The Nation of Islam mourns the loss of the great Brother Leader, the Lion of Africa,” said NOI Min. Louis Farrakhan, speaking on Cliff Kelly’s show on radio WVON-AM, Chicago. Col. Muammar Gaddafi “had already set up an African Development Bank, so that Africa would not have to go to the World Bank or to the International Monetary Fund,” said Farrakhan, whose relationship with Gaddafi goes back decades. “[Secretary of State] Clinton is in for a shock, if she thinks the vultures of Europe are going to pick that body. I want you to know you are through as a world power. Through. Through.”
OWS Must Recognize Slavery As Original American Sin
The mostly young white people that initiated the Occupy movement need to ask themselves some questions, said activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “Is this about your lost expectations of white privilege, or is this about fighting and abolishing privilege, altogether?” The United States “was set up to protect a rich, white, propertied class. That’s the root of the problem in American society. The lynchpin of modern capitalism was chattel slavery, and unless the people at Occupy Wall Street understand these basic things, their movement will be flawed from the beginning.”
Occupations Shift Public Debate to Jobs
The Occupation movement has shifted the public conversation “from this silly focus on deficits to a focus on jobs and getting the economy moving again,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer of Occupy Washington DC. Although the protesters at Freedom Plaza were given a multi-month permit, Zeese says they’ve been told of pressures to shut them down. President Obama should know, said Zeese, that “if he does not stop us from being evicted or arrested, he will be blamed for it.”
Howard University Solidarity with Occupations
Students and alumnae from predominantly Black Howard University marched in solidarity with the Occupation movement, because “African Americans have been hardest hit by joblessness,” said Washington attorney Talib Karim. He cautioned that Blacks “want to see clear goals” emerge from the movement. The racial imbalance in OWS is mainly due to the fact that “people organize with who they know.”
Nurses Have Been On Wall Street’s Case Longer than OWS
One of two nurses arrested when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police cleared out the Occupation site says they were singled out for harsh treatment in jail. Jan Rodolfo, of National Nurses United (NNU), points out that “even in military combat situations, health care personnel are usually respected. I was pretty outraged and saddened that Rahm Emanuel wasn’t willing to respect that.” NNU’s focus on Wall Street predates the Occupation movement. The union has been demanding a tax on stock trading since the Spring.
Divest From Prison Corporations
“We should close down the concept of prison as a business,” said Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of The Correctional Association of New York, which recently endorsed the Occupation movement. Ms. Elijah supports abolition of prisons in the long term, and down-sizing and a halt to privatization of prisons, in the near-term. OWS should encourage divestment in corporations that are involved in prisons, just as a previous movement urged divestment of corporations that did business with South Africa, she said.
Black Is Back March and Rally Wins Permit, in Philly
Philadelphia police reversed themselves and issued a parade permit to the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which holds its national conference on November 5. The police initially claimed all their resources were dedicated to the Occupy Philadelphia protest, said Black Is Back organizer Diop Olugbala, who is also running for mayor. “Budgetary constraints have never been a condition to determine the right to free speech for anybody in the United States,” he said. “It’s the war on the Black community that made it possible for the 1% to become so fabulously wealthy.”
Teachers Join Marathon Protest in Newark
“We are in sync with what the People’s Organization for Progress is standing for,” said Annette Alston, president of the Newark Teachers Association. In June, POP began 381 days of demonstrations for jobs, education, peace and justice. Teachers and the retail workers union have assumed responsibility for some of the daily protest duties. “Greedy corporations are the reason for the economic situation we’re in,” said Alston. Corporations also try to scapegoat teachers for the problems afflicting public schools. “Teachers are the ones who come in early and stay late, and the parents know it,” she said. “It’s all about union busting.”
Dems Plan to Co-opt OWS Will Fail
“God knows the Democrats are desperate” to co-opt the OWS movement, said activist and author Paul Street. “They see in this movement an opportunity to give themselves a populist makeover.” But Street believes “the OWS and it’s off-shoots are conscious of the danger of being hijacked by electoral politicians.” He says the idea that OWS is a “Tea Party of the Left” is a “lame equation” because the Occupation forces understand themselves as a social movement while the Tea Party is a well-financed vehicle “to elect hard-Right Republicans.” Street is co-author of Crashing the Tea Party: Mass Media and the Campaign to Remake American Politics.