Police cleared out the last major Occupy encampment in the San Francisco Bay area on Thursday with the removal of tents at a park in Berkeley and the roughing-up of some protesters. Dennis J. Bernstein interviewed a U.S. Army veteran who provided security at the camp.
Three months into the Occupy Wall Street movement, protesters took their message uptown in a march that surprised the police and many Christmas shoppers, but helped explain what the economic crisis means to average people, writes Danny Schechter.
It is an inconvenient truth for mainstream and right-wing Christians that Jesus was crucified for taking his protest against income inequality to the power center of Jerusalem, where he challenged how money had perverted religious principles. Now, that tension is returning with the Occupy protests, Rev. Howard Bess says.
Occupy Wall Street protesters appealed to the broader U.S. population – and even the police – as fellow members of the 99 percent, but Phil Rockstroh observes that many Americans still fear breaking with the oppressive status quo and most police will follow orders in harsh crackdowns.
In the same Kansas town where Teddy Roosevelt castigated his era’s financial speculators 101 years ago, President Barack Obama spoke to the concerns of America’s 99 percent, those who have struggled while the super-rich prospered. But is Obama’s new rhetoric just talk, asks Danny Schechter.
The Right’s giant megaphone is reversing the narrative for today’s crisis: It is Barack Obama’s “food-stamp presidency” and the Occupy demands for fairness that are at fault for the hard economic times, not Wall Street’s unregulated greed increasing the need for food stamps and heightening the imperative for resistance – as Phil Rockstroh explains.
After the savings-and-loan debacle of the 1980s and the Internet bust a decade ago, hundreds of financial culprits were “perp-walked” to jail. But the big bankers who tanked today’s economy have escaped punishment, an omission that Danny Schechter says must change.
Exclusive: As local governments shut down more Occupy encampments, the movement for the “99 percent” is at a crossroads. Some supporters advocate more civil disobedience; others urge a shift toward media outreach; and still others want a move into politics. But Robert Parry notes that all three approaches may be required.
Despite a lack of policy prescriptions, Occupy Wall Street dramatized the crisis of income inequality in America. Now, Danny Schechter says the challenge for the movement is to expand on that message with outreach to the broader national population.
In the holiday season, many Christians take pride in helping the poor – by donating food and toys – but U.S. religious leaders have stayed in the background of challenges to an inequitable economic system, leaving that Jesus work to mostly secular young people of the Occupy movement, the Rev. Howard Bess observes.