Posts tagged ‘Poor’

June 14, 2012

Flash Mob by CitiAct: Why is the bread cost increasing?

by mkleit


On Saturday the 9th of June 2012 CitiAct Youth have made a Flash Mob at Hamra street representing a Lebanese Ministers session regarding the increasing cost of Bread in Lebanon.
The Citizens are represented by the poor man sitting on the table trying to eat a piece of Bread.

January 30, 2012

Occupy Movement Insights from Jeanine Mollof and Patrizia Bertini (via Media Diplomat)

by mkleit

Jeanine Mollof:  The ‘Occupy’ movement does have multiple goals which can be confusing. Among those varied goals–one clear message does come through–they want the public to realize that our political system has been hijacked and is fraudulent. Furthermore, they want that same public to enter not only the discussion but the ‘fray’ itself. Bluntly put, the ‘Occupy’ movement is attempting to push discussion, planning and eventual action into the streets where anyone can join and fight for democracy. Because our political system has been so compromised, democracy no longer exists in any meaningful way in the US. I suspect that the ultimate goal of ‘Occupy’ is to build up to a massive GENERAL STRIKE of most workers in the US until we have our rights restored, (that includes political, economic and healthcare). It may be clumsy, but no one was listening to progressives until these kids began ‘Occupy.’ Now, the Occupy movement consists of people from diverse ages and backgrounds. If you want to know more, then ‘google,’ the Occupy Wall Street group or google some alternative groups such as the ANSWER Coalition with David Swanson.
Just some casual thoughts.

PS: These kids realized that if they had clearly enunciated goals and leaders the corporatists would have an easier time destroying this movement in its infancy. Anyway, why should they have to explain every goal like a formal position paper when the puppet leaders of our fraudulent duopoly (Dems and GOP) are never pressed to do the same beyond the intellectual pablum of slogans like …”Yes We Can” or “No More Taxes.” When will any of us demand more from stenographers like Wolf Blitzer?

Sorry for the inconvenience, we're trying to change the world -

Patrizia Bertini:  I have been around the OccupyLSX in London before it has taken the streets and observed and supported [the never born] ‘Occupy Italy’ . Let me add few more inputs.
The whole movement is seen much more as a western take on the Arab Spring – it’s the recognition that the capitalistic system as transformed from the ’70s with all the deregulations, has created a sick social and economic system.

It’s a global movement, the first ever global protest in history – it has started with the very first revolt in Western Sahara (few month before the Tunisian guy set himself on fire) as a struggle for freedom and independence and it moved to Western societies, where the social systems were failing one after the other.
Western society also needed freedom and independence, though the ‘enemy’ were well different – it was not a tyranny as in the case of the Arab Spring, but a whole global economical system.

People are very diverse – each of them brings their own bits to the protest, but the whole movement, globally, has few very common points:
1. elaborate on the current global economical and social system – if the capitalism as meant and conducted until the 70s proved to reduce social gaps, after the deregulations and the globalization in name of profit and the exploitation of developing countries, the system increased the gap up to what we have today [and this justifies the 99% slogan];

1. Since the financial and social system failed, protesters try to put more attention on social needs and on sustainable progress. And by sustainable they mean that progress and society should not exploit and take advantage of developing countries or weak social classes. And sustainability also involves the environment and in fact the whole movement has a strong attention on global warming, recycling and green politics (they often do guerilla gardening action in cities).

1. Hence all the number of activities which are meant to promote the social debate, change the agenda, ask for more equality, for a system which is not the communist-style system, rather than an ‘evolved capitalistic system’.

It’s a much more complex reality than the ‘no tax’ slogans. It’s not about taxes, it’s about seeing how society has failed in its social aims, admitting that globalisation, as used just to increase the profits, it’s only damaging the planet, the economies and the society.
It’s a fascinating movement, because it’s global.

I stop it here – but I did 2 interviews with the guys in London using a rather peculiar investigative technique if you are curious – Ollie and Helen will surprise you – and

Insights taken from Media Diplomat Group (LinkedIn)


January 10, 2012

“إحتلوا بيروت”… لم يحتلوها

by mkleit

Occupy Together Map from

محمد قليط

“نحن 99%”، شعار بدأ من حديقة زوكوتي في مدينة نيويورك في 17 أيلول 2011 على خلفية تردي الوضع الاقتصادي والاجتماعي في أميركا. و لم تقتصر التحركات الرافضة على أميركا فقط، بل انتشرت في التاسع من تشرين الأول إلى ما يتعدى ال95 مدينة في 82 دولة، حسب الموقع الرسمي للتحركات تحركات “احتلوا العالم” التي آتت للمطالبة بالعدالة الاجتماعية تخطت الحدود المتوقعة، حيث صمّم موقع خريطة تحدد المواقع التي تحصل فيها الاعتصامات والعصيان المدني، والتي برزت فيها مدن عدة مثل بوسطن ومدريد ولندن وادنبره وبلغراد. ولكن السؤال على الصعيد اللبناني يبقى: أين حركة “احتلوا بيروت” من هذا التحرك العالمي؟ ألم يطالب المواطنون اللبنانيون بالمساواة والعدالة الطبقية الاجتماعية؟

بعد محاولات عدة فشلت في كندا، تسلمت نيويورك الأضواء من جارتها، حيث نشأ أول تحرك رسمي للمطالب المتعلقة بالإصلاحات الإجتماعية، و كان أول تحرك منقولاً عبر وسائل الاعلام. و كما جاء على الموقع الرسمي للتحرك، فإن الربيع العربي كان الملهم الأساس لهذه التحركات، وبالتحديد الثورة المصرية في ميدان التحرير. يذكر أنّ جريدة الواشنطن بوست أسمتها بالنهضة الديمقراطية، بعد أن استحصلت الحركة العالمية على الاعتراف الرسمي من المجلس المدني في ادنبره، اسكتلندا في 24 تشرين الثاني 2011. وقد صمم الموقع خريطة تحدد أماكن المظاهرات والاعتصامات، مع غياب كامل للدول العربية وتحديداً لبنان، علماً أنّ لبنان شهد تحركات عدة طالبت بتحسين الوضع الراهن، معظمها ترك بصمات في أذهان اللبنانيين، نذكر منها حملات اسقاط النظام الطائفي في عام 2011 التي طالبت بتحسين الوضع المعيشي وتغيير النظام السياسي الحاكم.

و لكن جلّ ما نشأ من الحركة هو بعض المقلات المنفردة والأعمال الشخصية، بالاضافة الى صفحتين على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي Facebook باسم “Occupy Beirut” و شقيقتها “Occupy Solidere”. فكما كُتب على صفحة الأخيرة: “مشاريع إعادة البناء تواصل القضاء على جزء كبير من تاريخ بيروت، والتباين الحاد بينها وبين محيطها هو رمز للصراع الطبقي ولتكديس الثروات لدى أقلية نخبوية. ولذا فإن الحملة تهدف إلى إسقاط هذا الوحش، في خطوة تمهد لسقوط النظام الفاسد.” أما في صفحة “Occupy Beirut” فوردت الجملة الآتية “نحن نقف تضامناً مع اخواننا وأخواتنا حول العالم الذين قرروا أنه حان الوقت ل1%، الذين يضعون قوانينا وينهبون أموالنا ويضطهدون شعوبنا، ليسمعوا صوت ال99%.” وفي السياق نفسه، كتب المدون وائل ضو في جريدة الديار اللبنانية مقالاً بعنوان “من الذي سيبكيكم كما أبكيتونا”، داعياً من خلاله اللبنانيين الى عدم السكوت عن الحق أو الخضوع، مشيراً في محادثة على الانترنت أنه سئم من الوضع الراهن قائلاً “لسنا مقيدين بتقبل الوضع المعيشي المتأزم على حسابنا دوماً.”
و في مقابلة مع بشار ترحيني، أحد الناشطين في التحركات المناهضة للفساد والطائفية وخبير في مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، قال “أفتخر بكوني جزء من هذا التحرك العالمي، الذي يتكلم بلسان الفقراء.” و ندد بالطريقة التي تعتمدها السلطات اللبنانية في تعاطيها مع المظاهرات السابقة لاسقاط النظام الطائفي حيث أشار أنه “انتهى وقت المشاورات والمفاوضات، وحان وقت فضح من هم في الزعامة الذين حكموا لبنان على مدى ال40 سنة الماضية، و يظنون أن الحصانة الدبلوماسية سوف تحميهم.”

حتى اليوم، لم يسجل في لبنان سوى تحركين يتعلقان “بإحتلوا بيروت”. الأول أمام بنك لبنان المركزي في 10 كانون الأول ٢.١١، و الذي انتهى بقمع المظاهرة من قبل قوات الأمن، أما الثاني فإتخذ مكاناً له شارع الحمرا في 28 من الشهر نفسه، الذي وحسب مؤيدي التحرك، لم يكونوا على علم مسبق به. هذا الأمر أنتج بلبلة وسط المؤيدين، إذ شكك محمد الحاج ومحمد مرتضى، وهما من الناشطين في التحركات المناهضة للفساد والطائفية، بمصداقية التحرك البيروتي. فقد قال الحاج “إنّ تحرك احتلوا بيروت لم يعد موجوداً، فقد “كان بمثابة الاحتفال لبعض الشبان والشابات ليضيعوا وقتهم، حجّة ليقولوا نحن هنا، علينا المشاركة في نهضة العالم للحصول على المساواة المدنية ونظام سياسي عادل.” من جهته إنتقد مرتضى هذه التحركات التي قالت عنها “لا طعم لها” مشيراً الى عدم وجود آلية منظمة للقيام بهكذا تحركات. ويقول مرتضى ساخراً “المهم أن ينزلوا الى الشارع. وصلنا للزمن الذي أصبح الغرب أفضل منا في المظاهرات.” أما مسؤول لجنة نبذ الطائفية وموقع “خبر أونلاين” سركيس أبو زيد في محاضرة في مسرح بيروت بعنوان “الاعلام والطائفية” قال: “مشكلة لبنان هي الطائفية، فهي وحش أكبر من أي تحرك و أقوى من أي مطلب.”

من 17 أيلول حتى يومنا هذا، موجة تحركات “إحتلوا العالم” ما زالت تتوسع كفيروس عنيد يأخذ في جعبته العديد من الضحايا في الطريق لتحقيق المطالب، إذ قامت صحيفة الواشنطن بوست خلال تغطيتها للأحداث بنشر أعداد ضحايا هذه التحركات التي بلغت ثمانية قتلى و100 جريح وما يفوق 4200 معتقل. أما في لبنا فالفكرة لم تتبلور بالشكل المطلوب، اذ لم تصل إلى مرحلة المطالبة الجادة، بالرغم من وجود عدد من المؤيدين الناشطين. وربما، وعلى رأي أحد الناشطين في آخر تحرك في الحمرا، “لم تصل الفكرة بعد للناس” الذي أضاف “نأمل أن تكون تحركات بيروت هي الخبر العالمي الأول وتحديداً أن يكون تحرك “احتلوا بيروت أو سوليدير” التحرك العالمي الأول الذي يحقق مراده.”

"Occupy Beirut" in Hamra at the 28th of December

December 25, 2011

We are the 146% – Russians Refuse to be Rooked as 120,000 March in Moscow

by mkleit

From the Moscow Protests - Anonymous

Posted 1 day ago on Dec. 24, 2011, 12:20 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Russians marched in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and several other cities decrying the recent parliamentary election results. In the largest series of protests since the fall of the Soviet Union 20 years ago people have united across political affiliations shouting, “We exist! We exist!”

The protests began December 4th – shortly after election results were released showing in some instances returns that totaled as high as 146% of the popular vote. Russians took to the streets, chanting, “Putin is a thief” and “Russia without Putin.” By the following Saturday, people turned out en masse (estimates range from 25,000-100,000) for a protest in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square. It was accompanied by dozens of smaller rallies across Russia’s nine time zones.

During the election, ballot boxes were stuffed; monitors shooed away; voter registrations bought, sold, and forged; and teams of United Russia activists bussed from precinct to precinct to vote early and often, in a process called “The Carousel.”

The elections were not a surprise. Last September the current President Dmitry Medvedev announced Vladimir Putin would run again for the presidency, a post that he held from 2000 to 2008 and an impossibility until a recent amendment to the Russian Constitution.

This revealed a level of cronyism, long suspected – Medvedev has been cast as “Robin to Putin’s Batman”. Some Russians now snidely refer to this political maneuvering as “rokirovka” – the Russian word for castling in chess, the move in which a rook and the king are moved at the same time, to shelter the king. This “castling move” will allow Mr. Medvedev to assume Mr. Putin’s job as prime minister after the elections March 4th – an agreement according to Putin that was reached “a long time ago, several years back.”

This announcement was understandably met with public outrage and frustration. Putin’s approval ratings went down. Vladimir Aristarkhov, a local publishing house employee, explained, “Our local version of Dr. Evil and his Mini-Me will stay in power as long as they can.” At the time there were a few small protests but nothing compared with the magnitude of crowds post-election, inspired by people-powered movements across the globe.

The demonstrations are a welcoming sign of a popular social movement organizing in opposition to the self-described “Putin regime”. They also countered a long-standing belief that the only groups capable of mass mobilization in Russia are extreme nationalists.

“I guess I just got tired of whining about Putin on my blog,” says Sergei, 31, an IT engineer. “I felt like I had to actually do something, something real.”

As of November 2011, Russia has more Internet users than any other country in Europe, and the country’s blogosphere, with about 5 million blogs and 30 million monthly readers, has become the last truly free space for political discourse in Russia’s tightly controlled media.

In a departure from “business as usual” Russian national television actually covered the uprisings. Newspaper reports claimed a veteran news anchor, Alexei Pivovarov, refused broadcast if he could not cover the protests, thereby, forcing media outlets to cover the December 24th protests as well.

During a recent four and half hour radio interview Putin suggested that the protesters were being paid and ridiculed them. But Putin’s hubris and glib mockery seem to have gone a step too far. “They let the genie out of the bottle on Sept. 24,” said Ilya Ponomaryov, one of the protest organizers. A Muscovite tweeter, Aafinogen, stated that during Mr. Putin’s speech the number of people signed up on Facebook for the protest December 24th rose by 3,500 people, totaling 21,500.

The December 24th demonstration in Moscow, Ралли За честные выборы (Rally For Fair Elections) or #D24, took place at Sakharov Avenue around 2pm (MSD, UTC+4) with an estimated 120,000 protesters present. “We have enough people here to take the Kremlin … but we are peaceful people and we won’t do that – yet. But if these crooks and thieves keep cheating us, we will take what is ours.” said activist, anti-corruption lawyer and blogger Alexei Navalny who spent 15 days in jail for his participation in demonstrations on Dec. 5th.

Blatant fraud during the Dec. 4th parliamentary elections was critical in mobilizing the middle class, who for years has remained otherwise apathetic or silent about the political climate. The rally today was larger than previous demonstrations, and along with several protests held in other cities and towns throughout Russia, indicates that this is indeed a growing protest movement. “There are so many of us here, and they [the government] are few … They are huddled up in fear behind police cordons,” said former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, one of many speakers at today’s rally.

In the Pacific port of Vladivostok, demonstrators carried posters calling for Mr. Putin to be put on trial and regional MP Artyom Samsonov said the election results should be cancelled. Novosibirsk, Siberia held a rally of 800-1,500 peaceful demonstrators. About 100 marched bravely in Orenburg, on the Kazakhstan border, despite a heavy frost and temperatures of -15C. Chelyabinsk, a city in the southern Urals, held protests of about 500 under the slogan “These elections were a farce! We want honest elections!”

President Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally and long-standing member of Putin’s regime, promised those and other changes, including the restoration of direct elections for half of parliamentary seats and easing impartial rules for presidential elections, during a national address given Thursday. However, many have expressed discontent with what they perceive as false promises. “These measures are insufficient. They are intended to calm people down and prevent them from showing up at rallies.”, says Arina Zhukova, 45, who attended today’s demonstration in Moscow. Protest organizers have also made it clear that they will keep fighting for a re-election and the punishment of government officials who played a part in the recent election fraud.

A resolution to create the Moscow Voters’ Association to monitor elections for fraud was passed at today’s rally based on concerns expressed during the demonstrations December 10th, when fifty thousand people assembled in Moscow.

At today’s rally, 22 speakers were expected to attend, where the opposition addressed a politically diverse crowd. Yury Shevchuk, a Russian rock musician, told protesters to keep their dignity and avoid “competing in hatred for the authorities” by video message. Grigory Yavlinsky, presidential candidate and veteran liberal, spoke in person, calling for a free electoral system. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet leader, was unable to attend, but sent a message of support for the protesters instead.

Russia has long been known as a hot bed of oligarchic cronyism and corruption – Putin was a member of the KGB – but until now opposition and dissent has been limited to predominantly Internet activity. However, with new insight into how national politics are cavalierly decided in secrecy, Russians are incensed. Finding inspiration in people-powered movements across the globe, they are using the virtual space they have created to capture the physical.

December 15, 2011

Defend the Bill of Rights for All of Us.

by mkleit

On Bill of Rights Day, Thursday, Dec 15 there will be a Press Conference on Federal Court Steps, 40 Centre St., Manhattan, 11am. A coffin of the Bill of Rights will be brought to Federal Court Foley Square, NY, NY

The Bill of rights was ratified 220 years ago, on December 15, 1791. It is shameful that today, in the United States, we are forced to come together in defense of the Bill of Rights and our civil liberties, as the representatives of the 1% who rule this country continue to take our rights away.

Congress is attempting to bury the Bill of Rights. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) includes language proposed by Democratic Sen. Carl Levin and Republican Sen. John McCain that allows for the arrest and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens by the military, on U.S. soil and without the right of trial. This is an egregious violation of our first amendment rights and comes at a time when we are witnessing unprecedented attacks on our civil liberties.

Some of these attacks include:

Massive spying on the Muslim community, including the recent revelations of the spying by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the CIA on mosques, Muslim businesses, and Muslim student groups;

The continuation of the policy of sending agents into mosques with phony plots designed to entrap Muslims for so called “preemptive prosecution”;

The recent raids on homes of antiwar activists by federal agents, who have carted away personal computers, cell phones, books, and other possessions and handed the activists subpoenas to appear before federal grand juries;

The recent, often violent evictions of anti-Wall Street occupations around the country; The refusal of the Chicago city government and the federal government to allow for peaceful protests when NATO and the G8 countries come to Chicago in May, 2012 to hold summit meetings.

The potential impact of the NDAA’s provisions to expand military detention without trial could render the other issues we all address seemingly trivial; any activist stands at risk of designation as a potential terrorist, especially if their interests include either foreign policy or enterprises that impact the environment.

On December 15, Bill of Rights Day actions and press conferences are planned in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco and other areas of the country. Several national coalitions — including the Muslim Peace Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Committee to Stop FBI Repression and others are co-promoting this call to action.

In New York, representatives from civil liberties, religious, social justice, and peace organizations will come together to voice opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act and other recent attacks on our civil liberties. We will discuss our plans to fight for the rights of all people and to defeat this repressive legislation.

December 11, 2011

Occupy Boston: “We might have been evicted, but we shall not be moved.”

by mkleit

Occupy Wall Street - Boston

Two days ago, in a reversal of prior claims to support OWS, the Mayor of Boston threatened to evict Occupy Boston. In response, supporters from across Massachusetts and the country gathered at Occupied Dewey Square:

They came by bus from New York and DC. They carpooled from Providence and flew in from Chicago. They drove from Worcester, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Last night, demonstrating how clearly Occupy Boston’s message has been heard and understood, two thousand people traveled from near and far to defend Dewey Square. They painted signs and spoke in General Assembly. They chanted and sang, “Which Side Are You On?” six times, at least, as a brass brand blew steam into the frozen December night. They rallied at midnight, making circles two deep around tents, as the Veterans for Peace stood guard, white flags snapping in the wind. They dressed as bankers so that bankers might be arrested for once. And when the news came that no raid was coming, no eviction imminent, they danced in the streets to celebrate.

The police did eventually come. They waited days, hoping people would stop paying attention. Like previous raids in other cities, they made their move like cowards in the pre-dawn shadows at 5AM this morning. The city used bulldozers to destroy what had been home to hundreds. At least 45 peaceful protesters were arrested while linking arms to nonviolently protect their homes and their right to free speech. When one female police officer began to cry, her male superiors yelled and berated her.

Adding to suspicions that the Boston police and city officials sought to hide their actions from the public, police reportedly enforced a media blackout. Many officers were seen covering their badge numbers. According to Occupy Boston, “Credentialed press, citizen journalists, academic researchers, and Occupy Boston media members were repeatedly corralled and moved to surrounding areas 50 feet away or more, prohibiting many from thoroughly covering the raid.” Livestreamers, medics, and legal observers were also among those targeted and arrested.

Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, and many other cities have now experienced nearly identical raids. Almost always, city officials claim to act in the public interest, citing “health and safety” or “sanitation” as their reason to suppress Occupy. But we know this is a lie. Occupy Boston alone distributed many thousands of meals, lent books, provided shelter for those who had nowhere else to go, and delivered services that the government has refused to provide because they are too busy providing tax breaks to the rich and bailouts to the banks and corporations.

An Occupation is not a hazard; it is a haven. If city governments cared about sanitation, they would not spend thousands of dollars to evict homeless Occupiers. Instead, they could use that money to open more shelters for the homeless, many of whom must live in squalor every day. If the politicians and police are so concerned about health, instead of prioritizing the arrest of peaceful protesters who have harmed no one, why don’t they make providing real universal health care their priority?

We know what this is. It is a crackdown; a coordinated attack on the 99% movement for social and economic equality. And we will not back down. As Occupy Boston and many others have said:

You cannot evict an idea whose time has come. Boston’s Occupiers will persist in rejecting a world created by and for the 1%. We might have been evicted, but we shall not be moved. We remain invested in the future of our movement. […] We are the 99%, and we are no longer silent.

Occupy Movement in Boston

Two weeks ago, a federal judge blocked a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup, saying that he could not be sure that it was “fair, adequate, or in the public interest.” Last week, on the same day that Occupy Boston appeared in court, the District Attorney announced she was suing the banks for fraudulent foreclosure practices. Commentators across the political spectrum are thinking anew about unemployment and pensions. A blocked settlement, a lawsuit, a renewed conversation – these are not our goals, but it is not too much to call them symptoms of our success, surface indications of a fundamental change we are building. We are not surprised. We have learned over the past ten weeks just how powerful the people can be. We have come together across vast differences of experience, brought face to face by the belief that our collective capacity is greater than has been shown, that democracy is not exhausted by stale puppetry sponsored by finance, and that we can do better. And now, last night only most recently, we are united by the concrete knowledge that not only can we do better, we are. We are winning.

November 17, 2011

Hundreds march on Wall Street

by mkleit

Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street movement stage a sit-in protest near the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, Photograph by: Scott Eells, Bloomberg

By Chris Francescani and Sharon Reich, Reuters

NEW YORK — Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters marched through New York’s financial district toward the stock exchange on Thursday to protest economic inequality at the heart of American capitalism.

Scores of police barricaded the narrow streets around the stock exchange and used batons to push the protesters onto the sidewalk as they marched from a nearby park in a bid to prevent financial workers from getting to their desks.

“I feel like this is a beautiful moment to take back our streets,” said Rachel Falcone, 27, from Brooklyn. “We need to prove we can exist anywhere. It’s gone beyond a single neighbourhood, it’s really an idea.”

Chanting “We are the 99 per cent” — a reference to their contention that the U.S. political system benefits only the richest one per cent — the protesters broke off into groups and tried to enter Wall Street from various points.

By 10 a.m., police spokesman Paul Browne said, about 50 people had been arrested at various locations in the financial district, mainly for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

At one point, some protesters chanted to police: “You’re sexy, you’re blue, now take off that riot suit.”

Taxi driver Mike Tupea, a Romanian immigrant, said his car had been stuck amid the protesters for 40 minutes.

“I have to make a living. I pay $100 for 12 hours for this cab. I am losing money every minute,”’ he said. “I have all my sympathies for this movement but let me do my living, let working people make a living.”

Most rallies by the two-month-old movement in New York have been attended by hundreds of people, but a spokesman for the protesters and city officials said on Wednesday that they expected tens of thousands to turn out for the day of action.

Protesters were planning to take their protest to 16 subway hubs later on Thursday, then return to City Hall for a rally before marching across the Brooklyn Bridge. Last month, more than 700 people were arrested during a similar march across the bridge after some protesters blocked traffic.

The demonstration comes two days after police evicted hundreds of protesters from their camp at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where the Occupy Wall Street movement was born on Sept. 17 and sparked solidarity rallies and occupations of public spaces across the United States.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has also re-energized similar movements elsewhere in the world.

Peter Cohen, 47, an anthropologist from New York, wore a suit for the protest in a bid to improve the movement’s image.

“I have a job and (the suit) on because I’m tired of the way this movement has been characterized as a fringe movement,” said Cohen. “I’m not looking for money, I’m not looking for a job, I’m not a professional activist, just a normal citizen.”

Protesters say they are upset that billions of dollars in bailouts given to banks during the recession allowed a return to huge profits while average Americans have had no relief from high unemployment and a struggling economy.

They also say the richest one per cent of Americans do not pay their fair share of taxes.

“I’m hoping they can succeed in shutting down the stock exchange for the day,” said Paul Layton, a trial lawyer, as he tried to get to his financial district office. “And that through their efforts they can convince government to regulate the financial industry.”

The New York Stock Exchange opened on time and was operating normally.

Derek Tabacco was not happy as he tried to get to the offices of his financial technology company and was carrying a sign with a message for the protesters that read “Get a job.”

The clearing of the Occupy camp in New York followed evictions in Atlanta, Portland and Salt Lake City. Unlike action in Oakland, California, where police used tear gas and stun grenades, most protesters left voluntarily.

Megyn Norbut, from Brooklyn, said she holds down three jobs and that she joined the protest on Thursday “because we got kicked out of Zuccotti and we need to show that this is a mental and spiritual movement, not a physical movement.”

“It’s not about the park,” said Norbut, 23.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

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October 15, 2011

«يا شعوب العالم انتفضي»

by mkleit

يوم دوليّ لاستعادة الديموقراطية الحقيقية
قبل أيام من دخول تظاهرات «احتلوا وول ستريت» الأميركية شهرها الثاني، ستشهد اليوم أكثر من 700 مدينة حول العالم تظاهرات شبابية تريد استعادة الديموقراطية الحقيقية من يد النخبة المالية التي سبّبت الأزمة الاقتصادية ونالت أموال دافعي الضرائب. تظاهرات يدفعها النجاح الذي تشهده التحركات الأميركية والصحوة العربية التي بدأت في كانون الأول الماضي، ولا تزال مستمرة، وحركة «الغاضبون» الإسبانية التي لا تزال في الشارع. هل سيتمكن الناشطون الذين يقفون وراء المشروع من حشد أعداد في تظاهرات اليوم؟ وهل ستشهد المدن الأوروبية عدوى الانتشار السريع للاعتصامات الأميركية؟ وهل ستتحد الشعوب في وجه الطغمة المالية؟

ديما شريف

«يا سكان العالم انتفضوا في 15 تشرين الأول». إذا سمع الناس النداء فسينتفضون اليوم في 719 مدينة، في 71 دولة، مشاركة في حملة «متحدون للتغيير العالمي» التي أطلقها ناشطون على الإنترنت. حملة استلهمت نجاح حركة «احتلوا وول ستريت» التي بدأت منذ أسابيع في مدينة نيويورك في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وامتدت إلى مدن أخرى، إذ أصبح مثلاً موقع «»، غير الرسمي، الذي يعنى بتنظيم مواعيد التظاهرات الأميركية، يهتم بجداول التحركات في أكثر من 1300 مدينة أميركية، فيما يتابع موقع «» الساحات التي يجب على المتظاهرين احتلالها حول العالم. ويتابع موقع «» تفاصيل حراك اليوم العالمي (إلى جانب صفحة على فايسبوك وحساب على تويتر ويوتيوب) مع خرائط توضح الأماكن التي ستنطلق منها التظاهرات، وملصقات للطبع في لغات عدّة للاستخدام أثناء التظاهر والاعتصام. وبعد الولايات المتحدة، تبدو إسبانيا أكثر دولة سيتظاهر فيها الناس، وفق خرائط الموقع، بسبب الأزمة المالية التي تعيشها.

Wall Street Revolution - Photo from al Akhbar Nespaper

لكن رغم أنّ الحراك الأميركي هو الأشهر اليوم، فقد سبقت الحملة التي أدت إلى يوم «السلطة للشعوب» في 15 تشرين الأول ذلك الحراك بشهور، حيث بدأ الأمر منذ كانون الثاني 2011 مع انطلاق الربيع العربي. فقد اجتمعت مجموعة من الناشطين الذين تأثروا بالصحوة العربية وإجراءات التقشف التي تفرضها الدول الأوروبية، وما عرف العام الماضي بـ«الثورة الإيسلندية الصامتة»، إذ استطاعت تلك الدولة الشمالية أن تتغلب على الأزمة المالية التي عصفت بها منذ 2008، عبر محاكمة المسؤولين عنها داخل البلد وصياغة دستور جديد ورفض رئيس البلاد التوقيع على قانون زيادة الضرائب على المواطنين، كما كانت تطلب المؤسسات المالية الدولية. أدت تلك الأحداث إلى إنشاء ما يعرف باسم تجمع DRY، من عبارة «¡Democracia Real YA!» الإسبانية، وتعني «الديموقراطية الحقيقية الآن». نظم التجمع في 15 أيار الماضي أول نشاط حقيقي له في ساحة «بويرتا ديل سول» في مدريد، فيما عرف لاحقاً بتظاهرات «الغاضبين» (los indignados) من إجراءات التقشف الحكومية (أكثر من 40 في المئة من الشباب الإسباني عاطل من العمل، وهو الرقم الأكثر ارتفاعاً في أوروبا).
منذ شهر عاد الزخم إلى المجموعة، إذ اجتمعت في مدينة برشلونة الإسبانية، بين 15 و18 أيلول، مجموعات ومنظمات مجتمع مدني وناشطون، وأصدروا بياناً يمكن اعتباره تأسيسياً لتعبئة الناس للتظاهر اليوم لأسباب عدّة، أهمها رفض سياسات التقشف التي تفرض في بلد تلو الآخر، بحجة الأزمة المالية التي لم يكن للشعب يد فيها. ويضيف البيان أنّه خلال الخريف الحالي ستكون هناك محاولة لإيقاف الحركات الراديكالية والديموقراطية في العالم العربي. ولذلك، يضيف البيان، يجب التحرك في 15 تشرين الأول لتعميم الممارسات الديموقراطية من الأسفل إلى الأعلى، ومن أجل بناء بدائل للأزمة الحالية. وبالفعل، إثر انتهاء اجتماع برشلونة، جرى تأسيس الموقع «» الذي يتابع الإعداد للتظاهرات حول العالم، تحت الشعار العريض «متحدون من أجل التغيير العالمي»، و«حان الوقت لنتحد، وحان الوقت كي يستمعوا إلينا، يا شعوب العالم انتفضي!».
ويقول البيان التأسيسي لحركة 15 تشرين الثاني المعنون بـ«لا شيء لنخسره، نستطيع ربح كل شيء»، إنّ المنظمات المشاركة ترفض التقشف كحل للأزمة الحالية، لأنّه يؤدي إلى إدارة استبدادية وغير ديموقراطية للثروات العامة. كذلك فإنّ رفض التقشف نابع من كونه يزيد عدم المساواة بين الناس، ويستهدف مباشرة نظام دولة الرعاية الأوروبي والحقوق الاجتماعية. ويرى المنظمون للحملة أنّ سياسات التقشف تكون مرجّحة للمصالح الاقتصادية والمالية الخاصة المسؤولة عن المسار الاقتصادي الذي أدى إلى الأزمة الحالية. أزمة ليست اقتصادية فقط بل سياسية، مع انفراط العقد الاجتماعي الأوروبي، وفضح الأحزاب السياسية التي لم تستطع أن تكون فعالة في إدارة الثروات العامة.
ويطلب البيان دمقرطة النظام الاقتصادي وبناء شكل جديد منه يسمح للجميع بالوصول إلى الدخل المناسب والحقوق الاجتماعية الأساسية. كذلك يطلب مساعدة الناس لا المصارف والمؤسسات المالية، كما حصل مع بداية الأزمة، ويستمر حتى اليوم.
ويطالب منظّمو التظاهرات بحرية الوصول إلى المعلومات والتعليم مقابل رفض الخصخصة والتسليع. ويرفضون كذلك الطريقة التي يعامل بها العمال المهاجرون بحجة ارتفاع نسبة البطالة، مع حرمانهم من حقوقهم وخفض رواتبهم، ويطالبون بمنحهم حقوقهم كاملة. ولا ينسى المنظمون التذكير بأهمية الديموقراطية المباشرة، واعتبار النموذج الحالي منها قد انتهى، فلا «أحد يمثلنا اليوم». ولذلك يعتبر يوم 15 تشرين الأول يوم المطالبة بالديموقراطية الحقيقية.
ولذلك أيضاً ستنطلق التظاهرات من الأماكن التي تمثل القوى التي «تقرر بالنيابة عنّا». ولن يكون اليوم يوم تظاهر فقط، بل سيكون يوماً تنطلق فيه الاستعدادات ليعرف الناس كيف سيقررون مستقبلهم.
وعلى الأرض، لن تكون التظاهرات أمراً مستجداً على ساحة بعض الدول، إذ إنّ الاعتصامات والاحتجاجات لم تهدأ في إسبانيا منذ أيار الماضي، وتواجه الشباب المعتصمون أول من أمس مع قوات الشرطة في برشلونة، التي لم تتورع عن ضربهم لإخلاء ساحة كانوا يعتصمون فيها. كذلك فإنّ الطلاب في تشيلي مستمرون في التظاهر منذ أيار أيضاً، احتجاجاً على نظام التعليم في البلاد الذي يسمح للمؤسسات الخاصة بالاستفادة في التعليم الثانوي، كما أنّ قسماً كبيراً من الجامعات يتبع للقطاع الخاص. كذلك، تدور معركة في كولومبيا بين الطلاب والحكومة بشأن إصلاح النظام الجامعي، وتوفي أحد المتظاهرين في مدينة كالي يوم الأربعاء، بعد مواجهات مع الشرطة.

Wall Street Revolution - Photo from Al Akhbar Newspaper

خريطة التظاهرات

في لندن يخطّط المتظاهرون لاحتلال مركز البورصة، وسيتجمعون بداية في ساحة باترنوستر قرب فرع لمصرفي «بانك أوف أميركا» و«غولدمان ساكس». أما في باريس، فيقول بيان المنظمين إنّ المتظاهرين لن يستخدموا العنف، لكنهم لن يتورعوا عن إغضاب الواحد في المئة الباقين (الطبقة المالية، على اعتبار أنّ الحركة تمثّل 99 في المئة من الشعب) بكل الوسائل. وهناك دعوة على موقع التظاهرات الفرنسية «» لاحتلال منطقة «لا ديفانس» التي يوجد فيها أهم الشركات في باريس، ابتداءً من الخامس من تشرين الثاني المقبل.
في برلين يخطط المتظاهرون للاعتصام أمام السفارة الأميركية، وهم تظاهروا أول مرة في 21 أيار الماضي، ثم نصبوا الخيم في ساحة ألكسندر في المدينة في 20 آب الماضي، حيث أزالتها الشرطة. وسيكون النهار البرليني حافلاً بالموسيقى والنقاشات في أماكن عدّة من المدينة ( في العالم العربي، من المفترض انطلاق تظاهرات في دول عدّة، منها مصر والسعودية (وفق موقع الحملة)، والمغرب، وتونس، والأردن (للقطع مع النيوليبرالية). وفي لبنان، كان النقاش دائراً حتى يوم أمس بشأن التحرك في وسط العاصمة، وأنشأ بعض الناشطين صفحة على موقع فايسبوك بعنوان «احتلوا سوليدير».



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