Saturday, November 26, 2011

Disastrous Elected Government Causing Strong Remedies

Background on Occupy Wall Street/99 %(OWS)
The OWS/99% movement is described more completely in the October 22, 2011 and November 22, 2011 posts on this blog.

The core conflict has occurred because those who call themselves the “99%” of the population refuse to accept the broken economy and dysfunctional society that the current system has brought us. The elected government shows no capability of correcting the problems.

The OWS/99% has chosen the First Amendment as the primary mechanism to call for reform. The First Amendment clearly establishes freedom of religion, speech, and the press, along with the rights of peaceable assembly and ability to petition the government for redress of grievances.
The standard method of protest is the “occupying” outside of an institution by hundreds to thousands of protesters at a symbolic site. Signs and activities at the sight outline the reasons for the protest. The “occupy” is to be non violent so as to meet the protection granted “peaceable assembly” by the First Amendment.

Responsibility for the mismanagement is placed on a 1% component of the population that holds the positions of power. The goal is to shift power from the 1% to the 99%.
 It is impossible for the hard core 1% to deny the economic and social problems that are not being addressed by the governance. Sadly, we have elected a Congress which is doing nothing to address the protests. In fact many of the hard-core members of the 1% were deeply involved in the creation of the problems and continue to benefit from them. They have chosen a counter strategy that ignores the problems but instead relies upon attacking the 99% as socialistic, left wing, and un-American and the real source of the problems. In short, they are substituting public relations for reform. In so doing they have committed the country to a clash of philosophies that could have very dangerous consequences.

Recent Events
November 17 marked the 2nd month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street (“OWS/99 %”) invasion of Soccotti Square in New York. They have established solidarity with hundreds of additional organizations that are also protesting the actions of the government and financial sectors. The November 17 Day of Action created “occupies” of hundreds of institutions and facilities that were felt to being wrongly managed by the 1%.

This date is also marked as the first large scale coordinated counterattack by the hard core governing 1% of the population. On this date numerous cities, including New York, moved to remove the 99% from their protest camping areas. Although this was generally done peaceably there was the use of excess force. Thousand of arrests were made. The claim by those cities and other institutions were that the protesters were not being “peaceful” and that the First Amendment did not therefore apply.

One series of damaging videos of the police spraying pepper spray on sitting non violent students is circulated widely on the internet and has added to tensions. A damaging proposal by a Washington public relations firm to the American Bankers Association (ABA) was also leaked. The proposal offered to initiate a program that would warn politicians of future penalties if they sided with the protesters and to initiate research to present negative information on the protesters. Although the ABA reported that they had refused the proposal it represents a discouraging attempt to substitute public relations for real reform.

State of the 99%
The OWS/99% movement has become large, global and distributed. It is being very aggressive in pursuing its protests. The question is whether it can withstand the forthcoming public relations firestorm when the 1% fully unleashes its vast financial and media resources. There is also the difficult task of converting public sentiment to legislative action with an ineffective Congress that has only a 13% approval rate.

Of special interest is a plan by OWS/99% to soon “occupy” Congress. Here they will address their most inept and fault ridden institution and hopefully have the entire nation cheering them on.
OWS has prepared a proposed vision statement with supporting goals. They propose major changes to some current financial policies.

State of the Hard Core1%
It is impossible to deny the existence of serious problems that were largely created by many of the hard line members of the 1% themselves. The obvious way to defuse the situation would be to correct the reasons for the protests. However this is not being done by either the government or responsible institutions.

Polls show that only about one half the population currently understands the situation and its seriousness. That uninformed half will be a prime target for their PR campaign.

The Near Term
In the near term we will continue to see major “occupy” efforts by OSW99% and strong public relation counter measures by the hard core 1%. It is unknown how far the hard-core ideologue members of the 1% will go to attempt to preserve the current status. Nor do we know how the 99% will be able respond to their attacks. There is a real danger of losing public support if the “occupies” are unwisely overused.

The 1% does have powerful control of the financial sector and elected government, along with almost unlimited financial resources. A little attention to the internal traffic of the competing groups, however, shows that there is considerable overlap between the 99% and the 1%. Many people who fall in the upper 1% in a financial test recognize the problems being cause by the current environment and would support many of the reforms proposed by the 99%. It is hoped that this group can eventually contribute to a reasonable, non violent , and just middle ground. As of now, however, there are no indications that either side will accept a compromise.

Stand by for Round 2 and hope for a peaceful and just constitutional resolution

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The OWS and 99/1 Movements-A Quick Update

On the Oct 22 post we described how the one- sided self serving actions of the current governing elite finally aroused the population into forming a fast growing organization dedicated to shifting governance responsibility away from the 1% elite to the 99% middle class citizenry. The movement started with the Occupy Wall Street (“OWS”) actions to occupy Succotti Square near Wall Street. This immediately let to similar organizations being formed in US cities and towns and spread throughout the world into a global network. This post brings you more information on the progress and environment they have created. There is so much action it only touches on high points.


After 6 weeks the total movement is beginning to take form as hundreds of local organizations outside of New York establish “solidarity” with OWS on the global network. The movement has continued to establish itself as the center of the 99% who are demanding corrective action after a bungling Government and allied institutions have proven to be disastrous to the nation. Wisely, the movement has been extremely careful to avoid being co-opted by other movements, agendas. or political labels. It is clearly described as a pro-democracy movement to correct major deficiencies in the nation’s governance by moving to a more democratic middle class environment.


Each local organization in the network is self managed but must be non violent and democratic. The local governing body in each node is a General Assembly that must approve all actions. They use a decision support system called “People’s Assembly” that focuses on distributed consensus decision making across a group environment. All members can participate. A methodology of hand signals express positive and negative positions and keeps discussions moving and on topic. Communications is open between nodes to all members via Twitter or other social systems. This system continuously maintains real time communications with hundreds of local organizations through the world and allows instantaneous coordination of activities. There is a tremendous volume of information flowing. You can follow much of it through Twitter. The information system plus the large number of people involved is impressive. This is an advantage over the many layered hierarchy of the 1%.


Significant portions of the 1% are not hardened ideologues and recognize the disaster that the remainder of the 1% has dealt the nation. They are supportive of reform and could eventually be a basis for reasonable compromise. But there remains the hard core ideologues and the plain greedy that are profiting from the current situation and viciously resist any change. Unfortunately they are deeply embedded in positions of wealth and power in Congress, the media, and the corporate and financial sectors. It was in those positions that they created the very situations which are the point of contention with the 99/1 % movement..

This hard core 1%seems to feel that with their power they can eventually make OWS/99/1% meaningless. They do not yet seem to understand the scope and intensity of the OWS/99/1% movement. They are going to find it difficult to hire the energy and intelligent dedication which is standard within the 99/1% movement. Their only hope for survival is to turn the general public against the OWS /99/1% movement.

They have embarked on an extensive misinformation and infiltration program to try to create in the public mind an image of a left wing, communist, violent, and unlawful agenda made up of drug addicts and sexual predators which must be brought under control. If the movement stays true to its current path, however, the public will surely recognize the falseness of these accusations. This site gives you a better perspective of the typical 99% membership.


The 99% have made a good start by gaining worldwide exposure and in identifying the critical issues that need reform. The strong infra structure of the 99% is already showing its ability to call broad attention to the thoughtlessness of different government policies by holding thousand person plus “occupations” of the offending institutions.

The movement is an intelligent core being applied to financial and governance issues that the public recognizes. Because it has no legislative authority, however, it must face the next critical step. That is to elect a new Congress that will provide the required legal actions.

This is setting up to be a very competitive and important contest for the mind of the American citizen. It is encouraging to find a force that is still fighting hard for the American Dream.