Here is the most recent edition of the Occupy Wall Street: Houston newsletter. OWSH is a strong effort to reboot the Occupy Wall Street effort here in Houston. Here is the Facebook page of OWSH. Please read the newsletter and see if you would like to help in some way.
Below is the weekly newsletter of Occupy Wall Street: Houston. OWSH is an effort to give another try at the Occupy Wall Street effort here in Houston. There is also an OWSH Facebook page. If you’d like to take part, the information you need is in the newsletter. There is always reason to keep at it and to move forward. The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.
Here is a picture of some freeway blogging that OWSH members took part in earlier this week—
Here is the newsletter—
Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—I’d Rather Take My Chances With Occupy Houston Then Suck Up To Some Elected Official Wasting My Efforts
At the end of this post you will find the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.
Above you see two pictures from the Occupy Houston strategy and planning meeting held last week. Thanks to Burnell McCray for taking the pictures at the meeting.
I can’t tell you if Occupy Houston will end up making a difference in Houston or not. Though I do think the national Occupy Wall Street effort has had great success in putting wealth inequality and corporate power in the center of the national debate.
All I can say is that I’d rather roll the dice with my fellows at Occupy Houston, then have my picture taken with some politician at a fundraiser, or engage in some other pandering with elected officials who are happy to take my time and resources, but who don’t give much back in return in terms of hopeful progressive actions.
The next Occupy Houston strategy meeting will be held on Sunday, 3/4 at 1 PM on the 6th floor at 2990 Richmond. Here is the Occupy Houston website. There is a Facebook page as well.
As the participants in the meeting you see above understand, every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.
The work of freedom is up to each of us.
Here is the Round-Up—
Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones resigned her position to run in the GOP primary for SD25 after finally coming to the realization that her argument that we can’t really know where the capital of Texas is located was completely lame. Off the Kuff provides the commentary.
BossKitty at TruthHugger is really getting worried at how America’s religious culture and the GOP are pushing America backwards into the previous century with barbaric personal intrusions. Virile GOP: American Women Are Property Again and Population Control, Climate Change and Zealots describe how these are taking place.
Nothing will change with school finance in Texas until we change our elected officials. That’s what WCNews at Eye On Williamson tells us in this post: We must “Re-Fund” public education in Texas. Read more »
There will be an Occupy Houston Protest this upcoming Tuesday, 2/28. The focus of the protest is the ongoing national official repression of the Occupy Wall Street movement. This protest will address specifically events in Houston as detailed below.
Here is the Occupy Houston website. There is also an Occupy Houston Facebook page.
Here are details of this event—
Stop the Suppression of the Occupy Movement
Tuesday, February 28 Hermann Square Park
No Rubber Bullets, No Beatings, No Tear Gas, No Mass Arrests, Don’t Suppress OWS!
Please join Occupy Houston in answering the Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement.
On Tuesday, February 28th, Occupy Houston will be standing in National Solidarity to give voice to our concerns over the suppression and to show that no matter what, WE WILL STAND TOGETHER. Even though the Occupy Movement has faced police brutality and harassment, mass evictions, excessive criminal charges, infiltration, and even been labeled as domestic terrorists, we are not going away. We will strengthen our bonds within our communities and with each other. We will push forward in our struggle against the corporate corruption of our democracy. On Feb 28, we stand together in solidarity and prove You Cannot Evict An Idea Whose Time Has Come.
Schedule of Events
2:00 Houston City Council Public Comment- Sign up, before 1:30 pm on Tuesday, to get on stack and voice your objection to the suppression of the Occupy Movement. The number is: 832-393-1100.
“We object to…”
1. The City’s alterations of the Hermann Square Park scheduled hours targeting & limiting Occupiers’ rights to free speech & assembly
2. Police Harassment of Occupiers
3. The City’s excessive charges that are deliberate attempts to intimidate into silence the peaceful protestors of Occupy
4. The lack of cooperation from the City with #OH’s right to use public space to peaceably assemble, day or night
5. Ask the city to not be involved in this National effort to suppress the Occupy Movement
Gather at Hermann Square Park in front of City Hall.
Don’t forget your signs.
Get on stack and use this time to show what Occupy means to you.
What lit the spark for you to become involved with Occupy?
I Occupy because…
I support Occupy because…
I am the 99% because….
“Movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.”
Recently I came upon a collection of fliers promoting shows at the great Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky.
The Jockey Club, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, was the best punk rock club in all the midwest. It closed in 1988. There is a Jockey Club Facebook page you can join.
One of the best things about our punk rock scene in Cincinnati is that we did stuff ourselves.
We made our own fliers, staged our own shows, formed our own bands, we printed fanzines that had interviews with touring bands and we had our own radio show on a local station. I co-hosted a punk radio show on Cincinnati’s WAIF-FM 88.3 for three years.
This was—and still is—the way to go. Working by ourselves and working together, we made our own scene no matter how moronic and narrow the world around us might be.
Whether it is getting on the Mayflower to exercise your beliefs in a new place, Occupying something in the name of economic fair play and a more just society, finding the internal resources to fulfill a creative vision, or working with others who share your thoughts and hopes to make something of value—It is in the end your responsibility to do the work to accomplish what you hope to accomplish.
This does not mean that luck and circumstance do not matter. These things matter a great deal. It is possible that you will get sick or be hit by a truck.
Yet in the end, here is what I would say—
Make and print your own fliers, start a blog, form a band, occupy something, be part of your local and national scene, take responsibility for your own future, generate your own content so somebody else does not generate it for you, help out those on your own side of the aisle, and don’t just hang around when there is work to be done. The ways to get these things done may change over the years, but the underlying concept does not shift.
There will be an Occupy Houston General Assembly and planning meeting this upcoming Sunday, 2/19.
This will be a big meeting after the police disbandment of the Occupy Houston camp in Downtown Houston a few days ago.
Here are the details—
This GA is devoted to planning out the future of Occupy Houston. We’ll answer some of the hard questions about what Occupy Houston is , where it’s going and how, specifically, to get there.
The meeting will begin at 1:00 PM on the 6th floor at 2990 Richmond in Houston.
Candor requires me to tell you that the website has not been utilized as well as it could be in recent months. The good news is that we can always move forward and make progress.
There is also an Occupy Houston Facebook page.
Please attend if you are interested in the success of the Occupy movement as the weather warms up and in the big political year ahead.
Above is a picture I took Tuesday morning 2/14 of the former Occupy Houston camp in Tranquility Park in Downtown Houston.
There are plans for an Occupy Houston 2.0 that either will or will not take shape.
Should the local Occupy move forward you’ll read about here. And hopefully you’ll read about it in other places as well.
If not, you’ll get here a candid acknowledgment of that fact, news of other actions in Houston, and nothing but optimism about the fights ahead.
The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us. Please consider what you are able to do to about a more fair and just nation.
The Occupy Houston camp at Tranquility Park was cleared out this evening by the Houston Police Department at the order of Mayor Annise Parker.
(Above–An Occupy Houston photo from the end of the Tranquility Park camp in Downtown Houston.)
I could not truthfully argue that Mayor Parker acted in a rash or unreasonable fashion in moving out the Occupy camp. She was patient in this regard.
At the same time, progressives and liberals in Houston should not forget the A- rating on fiscal concerns Mayor Parker received in 2011 from the Texas Conservative Review. Mayor Parker–A Democrat– is no true friend of progressive and liberal aspirations in our great City of Houston.
The camp began on October 6, 2011. Here is my post from the first day of Occupy Houston.
In the months since October, the Occupy Houston camp had become an eyesore and had stopped serving any useful purpose for the cause of a more just society.
There were many good people who took part on the camp and who are still part of Occupy Houston. Yet this is simply the case as to what the camp at Tranquility had become.
At the same time, the Occupy Houston Facebook page has more than 16,000 followers and the Occupy Wall Street effort continues.
There have been other victories as well.
InterOccupy offers conference calls and news for a growing network of activists and supporters.
As the Occupy effort chooses its next course, it can already claim success in propelling issues of income inequality and economic fair play into the national debate.
I remain hopeful. I’ve come to know a number of good and smart people through my support of Occupy Houston and the Occupy movement.
Just this past weekend I attended an organizing training session in which a number of other Occupy backers also took part.
I don’t know what form the Occupy effort will take nationally or in Houston in the weeks ahead.
I do know that victories have already been won, and that there is much to be hopeful about in the weeks and months ahead.
Occupy Galveston is out and about working for the 99%.
(Above–Occupy Galveston out on the streets.)
Here are details of Occupy Galveston celebrating Galveston Mardi Gras-–
Ready to parade at Mardi Gras? We will be the pre-parade show for the two major Seawall parades!
We are planning on meetings:
Sat, Feb 11th: Meet at 11am in the open, grassy space at 21st and Seawall across from the Galvez.
Sat, Feb 18th: meet @ Seawall and 25th at 6pm. March up 25th.
You can just march or wear costumes, do street theatre, play music, hold signs!
We will be having Occupy Galveston t-shirts made and will be ordering 99% wristbands to throw to the crowds. If you are interested in ordering either of these, please let us know in the next few days.
Invite your friends, family, and Occupy movements from all over!
There is an Occupy Galveston Facebook page.
Paranoia In American Politics Has Long Been With Us—Those Of Us On The Left Must Do The Work Of Freedom Ourselves
Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat—A member of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts—is reading The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays by Richard Hofstadter.
This 1965 book makes it clear that extreme paranoid thinking has long been a feature of American public life. Some may think that today’s conservative movement and Republican Party is some type of new-fangled craziness. Yet as it says in the Bible—There is nothing new under the sun.
From this essay—
“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. …. Anti-Catholicism has always been the pornography of the Puritan. Whereas the anti-Masons had envisaged drinking bouts and had entertained themselves with sado-masochistic fantasies about the actual enforcement of grisly Masonic oaths, the anti-Catholics invented an immense lore about libertine priests, the confessional as an opportunity for seduction, licentious convents and monasteries….we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.”
It is important to see that this type thinking is not just part of today’s right wing. And that it is not just conservatives who embrace paranoid thinking in how they see the conduct of public affairs. Plenty of folks on all sides of the aisle are full of crazy notions.
(A good book that reviews Hofstadter’s thought is Richard Hofstadter—An Intellectual Biography by David S. Brown.)
The bottom line for those of us on the left is that while circumstance and the actions of others makes a difference, what we are able to control is our own actions and our own effort. The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us.
Just as anti-tax and business lobbyists, so-called pro life advocates, and the gun lobby found common cause to build the modern Republican Party despite differences—Liberal and progressive Democrats, Greens, Occupy Wall Street backers and most on the left are on the same side. There does not have to be full agreement or 100% cooperation, but we can all move in the same general direction.
InterOccupy.org facilitates open conference calls about a variety of topics for participants and supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
This is just one more indication that Occupy is around for the long haul.
InterOccupy also serves as a source of Occupy Wall Street news and events.
Take a look around the site and see what you think.
InterOccupy also has a Facebook page.
In the big political year ahead and as the weather warms up, Occupy efforts around the nation are moving forward.
Last week I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
The Democrats all liked the speech, while some of my friends further along on the left had reactions ranging from partial approval to scorn.
This is all fine with me. While I am not President Obama’s most ardent supporter, I am on the side of all good people who want to help move our great nation to the left.
There is no point in a rigidity that excludes people on our side of the aisle.
Here is the entirety of chapter 76 of the Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching—
Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.
This whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.
Yet–of course–we must move in a hopeful direction and this does require at the least a measure of coordination.
The good news is that different sets of tracks can lead in the same direction. We see this in picture below of railroad tracks that I took in Houston last year.
There are multiple tracks, but they merge.
See who your friends and allies are and see the good in them. Focus on where you agree and move forward.
We can be both flexible and focused on a common goal.
State Of The Union Another Reminder That It Is Up To Each Of Us To Act—You Can’t Just Sit And Watch Stuff
I just watched the State of the Union address.
(Above–1963 State of the Union. President Kennedy is addressing Congress. Behind Mr. Kennedy is Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the left and House Speaker John McCormack on the right. The Miller Center at the University of Virgina is a great non-ideological resource to learn about all the Presidents from Washington to Obama.)
Anything I write on the topic will be stale by tomorrow afternoon and I want to go watch Elizabeth Warren on The Daily Show. I suppose I can go as far to say that the speech was effective enough as the President seeks reelection and that the most wealthy should indeed pay a fair share of the taxes.
We should also recall that President Obama has raised a lot of money and that he has obligations to his large contributors. It is wishful thinking that the President is a socialist.
As a matter of general principle–Here is Occupy Wall Street.
Learn your history, keep up with the present, get involved in whatever way suits your life, take responsibility for the future of our nation and the world, and please forgive my preaching in this run-on sentence.
I’m sitting here at the Occupy Houston forum on corporate personhood and how citizens can fight back against the privatization of the nation. This event is being held on the campus of the U. of Houston.
I count 79 people in this lecture hall. That is a pretty good crowd for a discussion of corporate personhood on a Friday night in Texas.
Day-by-day the Occupy Wall Street movement is showing it is around for the long haul. Day-by-day people are are waking up and fighting back.
The bottom line is that there are many who share the concern that big money is running this nation, and there are many who realize that they can act to take back power for everyday Americans.
Here is a great car that was in the 2012 Houston Martin Luther King Day parade.
This car is correct. Corporations and money do rule the nation.
Martin Luther King died in Memphis, Tennessee fighting for the rights of working people. He died fighting for striking sanitation workers in Memphis.
Here is Move to Amend. Move to Amend is fighting the pernicious idea that corporations are people.
People are people. Corporations are not people.