Showing posts with label 1st anniversary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1st anniversary. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Bishop George Packard giving a quick lesson in peaceful civil disobedience at Occupy Wall St. He was arrested minutes later.

...gets arrested. But he didn't mean to. It just sort of happened.  The Occupy Faith group of 30+ gathered, but then others joined them.
So we practiced--all 500 of us by now--right there in that space by first all sitting down. It went well and as I led this exercise I thought I couldn't abandon them if it came to a later action. OWS asked us to lead the procession to the NYPD checkpoint and we did. It was there you could access to the Stock Exchange. Once there we sat down and the arrests began. That was about 8 AM..

As we reached 200 in that holding cell we whistled "Battle Hymn of the Republic", one fellow composed two rap songs (I'd rather stand up proudly in jail than spend my life on my knees!). We sang a few more protest songs throughout the day. In two instances of creativity the plastic water cooler and garbage can were inverted and becoming an ersatz drumming circle a la Blue Man Group. When an officer took those things away because of noise with, "these are for you to clean up in here." To which we chanted, "We are here to clean up out there! Never try to match one liners with Occupiers. In one corner an affinity discussion group convened while some began "silent meditation" in another section.
Read George's entire post titled, "It's Better in Jail."

What frightens Mayor Bloomberg so - especially as the Occupy protests were declared by Andrew Ross Dorkin to have "fizzled" in the "Newspaper of Record"
It will be an asterisk in the history books, if it gets a mention at all.
Why then the fear and heavy NYPD presence and the heavy-handed tactics with the protestors?

You laugh or you cry at ABC News coverage of the protests and of Bishop George's arrest:
At times it seemed the mass of the protest was made up more by the media covering the event than by anyone with a political agenda. A pink-frocked "bishop" protester arrested by police was surrounded by a media scrum so dense the police came to break up the knot of humanity.
The pink-frocked "bishop" with scare quotes?   You have to wonder if the reporters asked any questions before they wrote the know, the way investigative reporters are supposed to do.

Thank you, members of Occupy Faith for standing with the protestors.  Thanks for all you do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


In the early morning hours Monday, Occupy Wall Street activists marked the first anniversary of the movement by protesting in the financial district. Hundreds gathered on Water Street and hundreds more in Zuccotti Park, the birth place of the movement, before marching through Lower Manhattan, occasionally pausing to occupy intersections and protest financial institutions like Chase and Bank of America.

It was one of the largest turnouts since the early days of Occupy, but Monday was also exceptional because of the high arrest figures. More than 180 [later reports say over 200] people, including journalists, were arrested, and in at least some of these cases, the police were arresting individuals arbitrarily and without cause.
What about the First Amendment to the Constitution?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
From what I've heard, the members of the NYPD who abridged the freedoms of the Occupiers should be under arrest.  Of course, the police were only taking orders from Mayor Bloomberg, who also should be under arrest for violating the the rights of the people who assembled and the press who covered the gatherings, some of whom were taken into custody.  A few people who just happened to be in the vicinity, who were not part of the protest, were caught up in the NYPD's zeal to make arrests.
To say “Occupy is dead” is to misunderstand everything about the movement. Occupy can’t die as long as the dire conditions that inspired the creation of the movement continue to exist. 

And protesters are quick to point out that it’s only been a year, and the timeline of any social justice movement is long. Perhaps “Occupy” will evolve into a different kind of movement under an entirely different banner, but the spirit that first served as a catalyst lives on.
And the protestors are correct.  It's much too premature to begin funeral preparations for Occupy.  The movement is still alive, and Occupy or something like it will go on.

When I first went to the website of The Nation, I was asked to subscribe to the digital edition for the price of $9.50, and I closed the ad, and they let me in anyway, but after this fine article by Allison Kilkenny, I'm reconsidering buying a subscription.  The NYT continues to ask, but I won't be subscribing.   

Monday, September 17, 2012


Last night I watched the film "Margin Call" quite by accident, without a plan to coordinate with the 1st anniversary of Qccupy Wall Street.  My friends, there's monkey business going on on Wall Street just in case you don't know, and I'm sad to say that a good many people I talk to do not know.  I learned nothing really new from the movie, but it was still a shocker.  Real people make decisions to screw other real people, and when the house of cards is about to crash down, real people do what they must to save their asses at the expense of other real people.

Not a few of those who survived the fall of the house of cards, the survival of the fittest of the buyers and sellers of the junk mortgage bundles, often came out of the crash with huge salaries and bonuses paid for by you and me with our tax money.  Shocking, incredible?  Yes, but that's the way it went.   

From the film review in the New York Times:
If no one in this world is patently evil, no one is innocent either. A young risk analyst named Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) may be as close as the movie comes to a hero, but it is also possible to see what happens to him as a parable of how the system corrupts and exploits its most decent and honest minions. Working late one night Peter (who we later learn has a Ph.D. in physics) glimpses a sign of the apocalypse lurking in a mathematical model. Recent volatility in the market is threatening the stability of the mortgage-based securities that have been generating most of the company’s profits, and the resulting losses are likely to swallow this bank and make trillions of dollars vanish into thin air.
What follows Peter's discovery seems inevitable.
The most chilling and most believable aspect of “Margin Call” is how calmly and swiftly its drama of damage control unfolds. A scapegoat must be found, and a survival plan worked out. The consequences are acknowledged — those we are living with now — and then coldly accepted in the name of a vaporous greater good. “We have no choice.” “There is no choice.” “It’s not like we have a choice.” These phrases are uttered again and again, by people who truly believe what they are saying.
So, on it goes, business as usual, with not much evidence of change even as the major recession has not yet run its course.

Some say Occupy Wall Street is weakened or even dying.  Occupy (or something like it) is not dead. Don't forget that throughout the world, there are many more have-nots than there are haves.  The movement to bring about a greater measure of equality, the struggle of the have-nots and those who sympathize with them to stand against the haves will continue.  Movements can take decades to produce results. Yes, it's discouraging that change does not come more quickly.  Most people in the US are not yet ready to take real risks to bring about change, but it's a mistake to think the movement is dead.
Dozens of arrests were reported on Monday, the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as protesters converged near the New York Stock Exchange and tried to block access to the exchange.

Police officers and protesters squared off at various points on the blocks near the Stock Exchange. At various points protesters tried to block sidewalks leading to the Stock Exchange, but were dispersed by the police. Officers had set up barricades on several streets leading to the exchange and were asking identification from workers seeking to gain access.
 Why are people being arrested?  Why are people walking on public streets required to show IDs?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Christchurch Cathedral after the earthquake

Bosco Peters at Liturgy:
On the anniversary of the Christchurch devastating 6.3 earthquake we remember those who died, those injured, and all we lost. We commit ourselves to a journey, hoping for new, transformed life from these ashes.
See Bosco's blog for more.

The cathedral was deconsecrated and partially demolished. What's left standing will be made safe, until a decision is made on the future of the structure.

I'm late to the anniversary for the folks in Christchurch. It's already Ash Wednesday there, and Lent has begun.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DAVID KATO - 1964-2011 - WE REMEMBER...

David Kato, Ugandan LGBT rights activist, was beaten to death one year ago today (Jan. 26). He is considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movement.

Some blame religious rhetoric for his death. American evangelicals helped stir up the hostility that led to Kato’s death because they promoted a law imposing the death penalty for homosexuality. Shortly before his murder Kato won a lawsuit against a Ugandan magazine for identifying him as gay and calling for his execution.
More at Jesus in Love.
Blessed are you, gracious God,
creator of heaven and earth;
you are glorified in the assembly of your saints.
David Kato and all your martyrs bless you and praise you,
confessing before the powers of this world
the great name of your only Son.
Therefore we join our voices with theirs,
and with all who have served you in every age,
to proclaim the glory of your name.

(Preface of a Martyr, Book of Alternative Services, Canada)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


From the AP via the Miami Herald:

The air was choked with memory Wednesday in this city where everyone lost a brother, a child, a cousin or a friend. One year after the earthquake, Haitians marched down empty, rubble-lined streets singing hymns and climbed broken buildings to hang wreaths of flowers.

The landscape is much as the quake left it, thanks to a reconstruction effort that has yet to begin addressing the intense need. But the voices were filled with hope for having survived a year that seemed to get worse at every turn.

"We've had an earthquake, hurricane, cholera, but we are still here, and we are still together," said Charlemagne Sintia, 19, who joined other mourners at a soccer stadium that served as an open-air morgue after the quake and later housed a tent camp.

The Haitian government estimates the number of deaths at 316,000. Bodies are still being found in the rubble, so the number will go higher. Approximately one million people remain homeless.

The people of Haiti still need our help. I give through Episcopal Relief and Development, because the organization has low overhead, and the donations go where they are needed, to help those who need help. Also ERD pays local people to do the work of cleaning-up and rebuilding.