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Amy Price Reports On Day 2 Of Occupy Houston & Good Jobs Great Houston Actions In Washington

My friend Amy Price has traveled to Washington with Occupy Houston and Good Jobs Great Houston to take the fight for economic fair play and the 99% to our elected officials and to the offices of the big lobbyists.

Amy was a recent candidate for Houston City Council. With that race over, she is remaining involved in the fight for a better Houston and a better nation.

Below is an account from Amy of her second day in Washington.

(Above–A fuzzy yet clear enough photo of the arrest of an Occupy protestor in Washington on 12/ 7.)  

Here is the account of Amy’s first day.

Here is Occupy Houston.

Here is Occupy DC.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

From Amy on Day 2—

Today in the DC action against austerity economics, we switched our focus from elected officials to lobbyists. Over 1,000 of us–union members, activists, members of Occupations around the nation–started out in the lobbies of various firms. The one I was in was The Capital Tax Partners, where we chanted “jobs, not cuts” as we moved through the ground floor. Several folks in suits videoed us from the second floor. 

But the real action of the day took place on the streets, specifically on K street, where most of the lobbyists are located. We shut down the street with three different human chains from curb to curb. The first human chain was made up of union members, including a Houstonian with SEIU. The second and third chains were made up of Occupiers from around the country. We waited through the rain and the cold as, one by one, 62 individuals traded a few hours in jail for the opportunity to remind the nation that freedom of speech trumps local ordinances, including traffic codes.

Why does our freedom of speech require taking the streets? Because more ordinary methods of speech aren’t working. We speak through our votes, except that our votes get bought, bought by the bidder willing to put the most money behind a national political campaign. So we speak where we inconvenience people, because then we might actually get listened to. 

I was interviewed by a local reporter who said to me, “why are you doing this when you know that it won’t make a difference?” And I responded with what I believe, which is that while we won’t make the difference today, or tomorrow, we will eventually. And when he asked how we’d accomplish this, I said, “we won’t. You will.” Because the press, in its many incarnations, is the conduit by which the citizens of this nation will become educated about exactly how we are being legally robbed of a just economic present and future. 

Later in the evening, Carlos–who got arrested not for lying down in the street but for literally begging the police, on his knees, to do their duty to protect us and our freedom of speech–was released, and he told this story: a few blocks from the arrest site, the police stopped their van to take names and details of the arrestees. Carlos had been trying to dialog with the police, and one of them finally said to him “you’re doing the right thing. Keep it up.”

That made my day.

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Occupy Wall Street Making An Impact Across Our Great Nation—New York State To Raise Tax Rates On The Most Wealthy

Occupy Houston, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy efforts across the nation are working hard, changing the debate, and making progress.

This  is why top Republican pollster Frank Luntz is afraid of the Occupy movement.

Occupy Houston spoke up yesterday against arctic drilling and will tomorrow demonstrate to protect women’s health.

Occupy Wall Street has been addressing the foreclosure crisis.

On December 10th, OWS will be part of a global human rights day. Everyone is connected.

Occupy Portland, Oregon is back on the move again after being evicted from their first location. Above you see a picture from Occupy Portland. You can’t evict an idea.

In the news, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, after initial resistance, now working to help enact tax increases on the most wealthy New Yorkers.

President Obama is now talking more aggressively about the needs of everyday working people as Congressional Republicans continue to oppose the extension of payroll tax cuts for the American people.

Occupy Wall Street is staying outside of the two major parties and is making a difference.

Everyone can take part in Occupy. Search the web and Facebook to see what is taking place where you live.

It is up to each of us to work with others to help determine the course of our future. The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Let’s be hopeful, hard-working and imaginative.

Perry Dorrell at the great Houston blog Brains & Eggs has more of the story.

December 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston & Good Jobs Great Houston In Washington—A Report From Amy Price

My friend Amy Price has traveled to Washington with Occupy Houston and Good Jobs Great Houston to take the fight for economic fair play and the 99% to our elected officials and to the offices of the big lobbyists.

(Update 12/8/11—Here is Amy’s second day in Washington.)

(Above–Picture taken by Amy of an occupation on the National Mall.) 

Amy was a recent candidate for Houston City Council. With that race over, she is remaining involved in the fight for a better Houston and a better nation.

Below is an account from Amy of her first full day in Washington.

Here is Occupy Houston.

Here is Occupy DC.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Here is Amy’s report–

I came to Washington DC on Monday of this week, along with about 100
other Houstonians, to meet up with people from across the country who
have taken over the National Mall and are here to demand that our
government start–well, governing. Folks will be coming in through
Wednesday, leaving Friday, and by the time it’s all said and done we
should number about 2,500. The group here is pretty diverse: all ages,
different ethnicities, way different backgrounds. What we have in
common is the realization that austerity economics is not the solution
to America’s economic problems.

Walking past the Capital Building, I had an acute sense of history
wash over me, and I felt privileged to be literally in the shadow of
the symbol of our nation’s legislature. I wish the folks who worked
around that building–the senators and congress members elected to
serve their constituents–felt the same way. Even the most casual
student of American history knows that America got out of the Great
Depression by spending the money necessary to put people to work. The
Works Progress Administration, the manufacturing that accompanied WWII
and other programs ushered in the golden age of America’s middle
class. Continue reading

December 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Leading Republican Pollster Frank Luntz Says Occupy Wall Street Is Having An Impact

Leading Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz says he is concerned about the impact that Occupy Wall Street is having on public opinion.

From Think Progress

” The Republican Governor’s Association met in Florida this week and featured pollster Frank Luntz…Luntz told attendees that he’s “scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” The pollster warned that the movement is “having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism….Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

Here is Occupy Houston. 

Here is Occupy Galveston. 

There is also an Occupy College Station Facebook page as well as Facebook pages for Occupy efforts all across the United States.

Noted author and columnist William Greider has some thoughtful and hopeful things to say about Occupy is his latest column in The Nation.

Take some time and learn about Occupy Wall Street and related efforts across the country.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Without forgetting the part circumstance plays in life., we are each responsible for our own future and for the future of our nation.

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Occupy Houston Prints Newspaper—Self-Starting And Working With Others Is The Occupy Wall Street Ethic

The first edition of the Occupy Houston newspaper is out.

This is indeed the spirit. It is up to each of us to be self-starters, and to work with others for the good of the nation and of the 99%.

You can pick up a copy of the paper at Occupy Houston at Tranquility Park.

Occupy Houston will today be at the Egyptian consulate and at the Houston Galleria for Black Friday.

Here are some details of the Egyptian consulate protest-

Friday November 25th, 2pm-5pm 5718 Westheimer Road , Suite 1350 Houston, TX 77057

Please, come and stand for Egypt freedom against brutality in Egypt. Stand for future of Egypt.

The Galleria event will be at 5:30 PM in the mall.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is Occupy Galveston. 

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

You can also find these Occupy efforts on Facebook as well as an Bryan-College Station Facebook page.

Let’s be hopeful, creative, and hard working.

November 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Occupy Houston Not Resting Over Thanksgiving

Occupy Houston will be having a “Fall Harvest Feast”  today to mark Thanksgiving Day at 6 PM in Tranquility Park.

Then on Black Friday the 25th, Occupy will be at the Egyptian Consulate and the Houston Galleria.

Here is the latest New York Times report about events in Egypt.   

It is energetic and hopeful stuff.

You just don’t have to accept the world as it is. You can be part of something better.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Moving Ahead As Always After Shots Fired

There was gunfire yesterday at Occupy Houston in Tranquility Park.

At first report, the gunman had nothing to do with Occupy Houston or with any ideological motive opposed to Occupy Houston or Occupy Wall Street.

Nobody was hurt except for the gunman who was wounded by Houston police.

Thank you to Houston police who risked their safety to apprehend the gunman. I hope the shooter gets the help he needs. The Houston Chronicle reported that he was 21 years old. I hope he can find his way at some point.

At Occupy Houston, there was still some press around in the evening after the shooting.

But the nightly general assembly went on as usual.

I was at Occupy Houston in the evening, but not at the time of the shooting.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is Occupy Galveston.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy efforts across the country are meeting in their home cities, and are sharing ideas online for the next round of the movement.

Please consider supporting Occupy as they speak on behalf of the 99%. We all have the ability to advocate and speak up for ourselves

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Speaking Today On Occupy Houston At Meyerland Area Democrats Meeting

I’ll be speaking later today at the monthly meeting of the Meyerland Area Democrats.

Here are details of this event—

Occupy Wall St. and the 2012 Election at Nov. 21st Meyerland Area Democrats Meeting

Nov. 7, 2011 –Activists Neil Aquino and Sarah Slamen to speak on Occupy Houston, and Dr. Bob Stein to review the 2012 election landscape on November 21

The regular monthly meeting of Meyerland Democrats is held at Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, located at 4738 Beechnut. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but attendees pay for their own food and drinks. The Meyerland Area Democrats Club is made up primarily of residents of election precincts in the Meyerland area, including Westbury, Maplewood and Marilyn Estates. 

Here is the website of the Meyerland Area Democrats. 

November 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Holding Meeting On Next Steps

Occupy Houston is holding a meeting later today about the next steps of the movement here in Houston.

I won’t be able to attend, but you should try to attend if you are able. There is so much to be hopeful about as we move ahead.

Here are details of the meeting—

Nov. 19th from 2- 4:45pm in the Program Room of the Houston Public Library

Come out to this discussion where we will be addressing 3 main items:

1) Causes of the economic crisis
2) Finding concrete solutions
3) OccupyHouston – what comes next? – sustainability of the movement

A conference room capable of holding 200 people has been reserved for this public discussion (from 2 – 4:45 pm in the Program Room of the Houston Pubic Library).

Let’s come together to learn about and address these issues!

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

November 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston And Occupy Wall Street Moving Ahead—Please Consider Taking Part In An Occupy Effort Near You

Thank you to the Occupy Houston protestors to marched yesterday in Downtown Houston. Regretfully, I was not able to attend this march which was held in part to mark two months since the beginning of the Occupy effort in New York city.

(Both photos in this post are from the Occupy Houston Facebook page. Above are folks in Market Square Park getting set to march yesterday afternoon. Below are non-violent protestors engaging in civil disobedience on a Downtown Houston street.)

There were up to 12 arrests at the end of this peaceful march.

It was important to make clear that Occupy is not at all over after the police raid of the first Occupy encampment in New York City. In many ways, Occupy will be better off not having to use resources to maintain the camps. With issues of income inequality and more fair taxation having been put back on the national agenda, it may be time for Occupy to move into a new phase.

Along these lines, Occupy Houston will be having a meeting on Saturday afternoon at the main Houston Public Library to discuss the next steps. This meeting will be at 2 PM in the fourth floor conference room.

Occupy Galveston will also be active this upcoming Saturday with a protest at 11 AM at 28th and Seawall.

There is now also an Occupy College Station.  Occupy College Station took part in demonstrations marking two months Occupy Wall Street.  There is a great video of this event  in the Bryan-College Station Eagle. The video can be found under where it says The Eagle Videos.

My friend Teddy Wilson has written about Occupy College Station in his Left of College Station blog.

There are Occupy efforts all over Texas and all over the nation . Find one near you.

Occupy Wall Street had a crowd of over 30,000 in New York yesterday to tell Mayor Bloomberg that you can’t evict an idea. The event was for the most part peaceful. There will always be police who are more aggressive than they need to be, and there will always be protestors who make poor decisions about provoking people when peaceful actions would work better. The best option is to take every police officer as an individual, and to view that person from a starting point of respect. All we can control are our own actions.

The facts of gets arrested and who does not get arrested are clear enough. The bank executives and the executives from the finance houses who did so much to cause this recession do not go to jail. The people who engage in wage theft from working people as alleged this morning in a Houston Chronicle story do not go to jail.

There will always be the criticisms of people and interests who would not in any case be on the side of everyday working people. Many of these folks are people who have gone on and on about small government in recent years, but who now have nothing to say when First Amendment  rights of free assembly and free speech are put under stress by the overreaction of public officials.

I don’t know the direction of the movement in the weeks and months to come. But I am very hopeful. New networks of committed activists are being formed. New people are being brought into activism. People who had long been frustrated that issues of economic fair play were not part of the national debate are now finding a home. Working people and the unemployed seeking work are seeing that they are not without allies. Democratic politicians are feeling more confident in more aggressively defending the 99%.

When you work hard, when you work for the benefit of others, and when you work to help guide your own future and the future of you nation—Then you won’t be anything other than hopeful about a better day ahead.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Galveston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

Matt Tabbi at Rolling Stone has been doing a great job blogging about the reasons behind Occupy Wall Street. 

Every person has the ability to fight back and to make progress. While circumstance matters in life, we can all act for what we believe.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’ll Be Speaking About Occupy Houston At Meyerland Area Democrats Meeting On November 21

I’ll be speaking at the next meeting of the Meyerland Area Democrats.

Here are details of this event—

Occupy Wall St. and the 2012 Election at Nov. 21st Meyerland Area Democrats Meeting

Nov. 7, 2011 –Activists Neil Aquino and Sarah Slamen to speak on Occupy Houston, and Dr. Bob Stein to review the 2012 election landscape on November 21

The regular monthly meeting of Meyerland Democrats is held at Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, located at 4738 Beechnut. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but attendees pay for their own food and drinks. The Meyerland Area Democrats Club is made up primarily of residents of election precincts in the Meyerland area, including Westbury, Maplewood and Marilyn Estates. 

Here is the website of the Meyerland Area Democrats. 

My good friend Art Pronin runs the Meyerland Area Democrats.

Art is working hard to secure the well-merited resignation of HISD board member Manuel Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez circulated campaign materials in the recent election that many view as anti-gay.

Having a speaking engagement allows me to roll out my publicity shot for the first time in a few months.

There I am above with a lobster bib as I enjoyed a lobster earlier this year in Rhode Island.

Nothing says Occupy Houston and nothing says Texas like having a lobster in Rhode Island.

But as Walt Whitman wrote–I contain multitudes and contradict myself and all the rest of what Whitman wrote.

People are a lot of things at once. This makes life all the better.

Please attend the upcoming Meyerland Area Democrats meeting if you are able and if you so wish.

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arrests At Occupy Houston—First Amendment Protections For Some But Not For Others

A number of people were arrested at Occupy Houston last night.

They were arrested for having a tarp out in the rain and for jaywalking.

Here is video of the arrests from the Houston Chronicle.

Here is a report from TV station KHOU.

Here is a report from TV station KPRC. 

If members of Occupy Houston could come up with a lot of money and bundle it into large anonymous donations so as to legally bribe politicians, that would have been protected speech under the Citzens United case.

Also–correctly–protected by the Supreme Court are the anti-gay protests of the Westboro Baptist Church at military funerals.

In Houston however, the presence of a tarp during rain and jaywalking merits arrest.

It would be great to see conservatives  speak up about the use of state power to stifle First Amendment protections.

The office of Houston Mayor Annise Parker released following on November 4—

“Here’s a statement Mayor Parker tweeted last night regarding Occupy Houston: “There has been misinformation spread regarding the Occupy Houston protests. We have not made plans to ‘evict’ the participants. The City and Occupy Houston have a working relationship to allow protesters to exercise their first amendment rights without endangering public health or safety”

Sure.

Occupy Houston held a press conference this morning about the arrests and I attended.

I took some pictures at the press conference to run here on the blog.

Below—The press conference. Many Houston media outlets were interested in what had taken place.

Below—Two Occupy Houston participants being interviewed. In the background is a sign with a quote from Martin Luther King that reads—“Reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced

Below—A member of the National Lawyer’s Guild speaking to the press.  The Guild has been helping Occupy efforts across the nation with legal issues. The building is the foreground with the American flag on top is Houston City Hall. City Hall is dwarfed by the corporate tower in background.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

My understanding is that the interactions with Houston police will be YouTube at some point soon.

Houston police officers are everyday working people no different from anybody else.

You can also find Occupy Houston, Occupy Wall Street and many other Occupy efforts on Facebook and on the web.

The placement of tarps and the actions of peaceful protesters were the most important things that Houston police had to deal with last night?

Occupy Houston protestors merit jail while the bank and financial executives who did so much to cause this recession with lies and fraud run free?

How can any person of any ideological viewpoint not be concerned with what is taking place with the arrests in a number of cities of Occupy protestors?

First it will be somebody else. Next time it will be you.

November 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Occupy Houston College Student Walkout On 11/11/11

Here is the poster for an upcoming Occupy Houston event.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

Here are some details about the event from the Occupy Houston website-

We call on University of Houston students to meet in front of the library building at 11:00am.

At 11:30am we march to Tranquility Park in downtown Houston for a day of solidarity and celebration of global protest movements.

The festivities start at 2:00pm in the park!

From 2:00pm to 5:00pm we’re holding discussion circles in the park. All topics are up for chat, but we plan to discuss:

  • health care
  • the homeless
  • taking care of our veterans
  • spirituality in collective movements
  • occupation ideology

Don’t limit yourself to these! Tighten your thinking caps and lets talk about the issues that drive our movement. At 5:00pm we’ll open it up and celebrate art and poetry. We’ll have an open mic, so come on out and rap, sing, or perform. Get creative! This goes on until it ends, folks. We’re going to do this one right.

Don’t worry if you’re not at U of H. 11/11/11 is a national day of solidarity, and we welcome everyone! We are the 99% and we are finally making our voices heard!

November 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 7 Comments

Occupy Houston Now One Month Old—A Solar Oven To Bake Bread

At the center of the picture above is a solar oven. I took this picture a few hours ago at the nightly General Assembly of Occupy Houston.

The solar oven will allow Occupy Houston to bake bread.

Occupy Houston is about individuals working together for a more fair and equitable society. Hope and change will not come from above in a political system rotten with big money, and with legalized bribery of politicians of both major parties.

Occupy Houston is now one month old.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Galveston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

You can also follow these and other Occupy efforts on Facebook.

I support Occupy Wall Street because I’m a hard-working, taxpaying citizen of our nation who votes in every election. I want a nation where the willingness to work means you can get a good job, where the most wealthy pay a fair share of taxes, and where we care for each other when times are difficult.

November 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 9 Comments

Pictures From November 2nd Occupy Houston March In Downtown Houston

I took part in an Occupy Houston march this afternoon in Downtown Houston. A purpose of the march was to offer support for Iraq veteran and Occupy protestor Scott Olsen. Mr. Olsen was seriously wounded by police in Oakland at an Occupy Oakland demonstration. This peaceful march in Downtown Houston during the lunch hour also had the salutary effect of showing the flag for Occupy Houston and Occupy Wall Street, as we continue to turn the tide in the national public debate.

Below are pictures I took of this march.

Here we have people demonstrating at a Chase Bank facility Downtown. While Occupy protesters are being arrested in some places in our great nation, the financial interests that had so much to do with our current recession run free.

Below are Occupy Houston demonstrators appropriately in the shadow of —and enjoying the protections afforded by— the Flag of Texas and the Flag of the United States of America. Fair play and First Amendment protections for all are the embodiment of the best aspirations of Texans and of the American people.

Below is an Occupy Houston marcher in the shadow of one of the former Enron towers. The former Enron tower is that big blue glass building. The sign says that Houston police officers and Harris County sheriff’s deputies are part of the 99% of working people. I know I have no gripe with the majority of law enforcement officers. I figure they are everyday people with a tough job.

And finally we have two freedom loving Americans who took part in Occupy Houston today.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

We are the 99% and we all have the ability to work hard and to take responsibility for our futures. Don’t let big money buy our politicians and erode our democracy and our freedoms. Don’t be a bystander while others determine your fate.

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments