Inequality in the US: Fall River vs. Massachusetts

Al Lima pretending he's not OccupyWe met many interesting visitors at National Night Out held in North Park on the evening of August 7th. We wanted to educate people about the connection between inequality and violence and include Fall River demographics (2010 Census figures) that sadly indicate one of every three children in the city lives in poverty. These and other data were put in context of the current disgraceful state of American exceptionalism. As one very astute visitor explained, it’s not that people don’t care or are ignorant about the dire circumstances we find ourselves in. We are simply overwhelmed by the pace and burdens of life.

 

 

2012 National Night Out – Occupied

Where: North Park, President Avenue, Fall River, MA

When: Tuesday, August 7 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

What: Come meet up with Occupy Fall River this coming Tuesday evening from 4 to 8 p.m. as we participate in Fall River’s National Night Out. We will show our neighbors – especially the kids – on how to hold a People’s Mic. We will also have free copies of the Boston Occupier and information about how inequality and crime are correlated. There will be food, face painting, drums alive with wiggle kids, games and lots more from the many great community organizations participating.

Come join the fun on Tuesday – North Park, Fall River!

View Larger Map Here

Federal Reserve Report: Bank of America, Tax Dodger

Today’s BoA standout message:

BoA standout July 26

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) has more than 2,000 tax dodging subsidiaries, almost a quarter of them off-shore.

MAJOR BANKS HAVE CREATED THOUSANDS OF TAX DODGING SUBSIDIARIES THE LAST TWO DECADES

 

“JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the largest U.S. lender, has the most units at 3,391, followed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) with more than 2,000 each, the study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows. Citigroup Inc. (C), the third-largest lender, has 1,645.”

ref: http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/epr/12v18n2/1207avra.pdf

General Assembly – July 15th

Occupy Fall River General Assembly will be held Sunday, July 15th

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Kennedy Park – Stairs between the green warming house and the skating rink.

Join us as we exchange news, express concerns, give announcements, provide updates and report-backs, make decisions, and discuss issues.

Occupy Fall River Announcements – Week of June 16th

NOTE: OUR NEXT GA IS TOMORROW – Sunday the 24th – from 1 to 3 p.m. next to the warming house in Kennedy Park.

Contents:

Alerts & Events

Occupy Fall River updates & campaigns

Announcements

News

 

Alerts & Events

ALERT: Vote Suppression Campaign in Fall River & Swansea

 

There is a current voter suppression initiative occurring in Fall River and Swansea. This is similar to initiatives that passed and caused storms of controversy in some southern states, such as Florida and Arizona, requiring voters to show licenses, state IDs, or a gun license at the poll in order to cast a vote. These initiatives are pitched deceptively to convince signers that this is to prevent voter fraud, when the truth is these initiatives are pushed by the right-wing to suppress the votes of youth, low income, and minorities who may not hold a drivers license. This type of legislation has the effect of skewing votes to the right by shaving off leftist votes.

 

Sunday, June 24th. 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Occupy Fall River General Assembly

Kennedy Park, Fall River. Between the skating rink and the green warming house.

Meetings generally begin with a brief discussion and exchange of news, followed by upcoming events, and then agenda items.

 

Tuesday, July 10th. 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Occupy East Bay Potluck

Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope St., Bristol,RI

Join us for food, videos, news, and discussion. We welcome everyone to bring food to share.

We also welcome friendly community organizations and activists to give announcements. This event is sponsored by East Bay Citizens for Peace and Occupy Fall River as well as individuals from Occupies RI and Providence.

 

Occupy National Gathering

June 30th – July 4th – Philidelphia

We will try to have someone present for at least some of the National Gathering. The National Gathering is the first in-person assembly aimed at drafting proposals to coordinate the national movement. There is a free caravan being organized for those wishing to attend the whole event. http://www.occupynationalgathering.com/

 

Updates

Occupy Fall River buttons are here. They are limited in number. Buttons are free, but a donation of two dollars for each will help keep us funded for future expenditures.

We currently have in stock over a hundred copies of the newest Boston Occupier, which the Budget for All volunteers have been handing out to the community.

Both will be available at Sunday’s assembly.

 

Campaigns

Budget for All Referendum – Fund Our Communities Not War

With our limited numbers, it looks like we will be able to get the question on the ballot for Fall River’s 7th Congressional District (Rep. Edward Markey). If you are interested in volunteering, the help would be appreciated. We can also use flier translations in Khmer.

Details of the campaign:

A coalition of community, labor, and peace groups are organizing to put a public policy question on the November ballot across Massachusetts. We need to collect 200 signatures for each target MA Congressional district.

The wording of the Budget for All public policy question will be:

Shall the state Representative (or Senator) from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon the Congress and the President to:

1. Prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans benefits, or to housing, food and unemployment assistance;

2. Create and protect jobs by investing in manufacturing, schools, housing, renewable energy, transportation and other public services;

3. Provide new revenues for these purposes and to reduce the long-term federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes, ending offshore tax havens, and raising taxes on incomes over $250,000; and

4. Redirect military spending to these domestic needs by reducing the military budget, ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home safely now.

 

Community Garden

The Sustainability group had scouted out a vacant lot in the Flint area that has turned out to have an owner who has left it abandoned for the past 15 years. They are currently looking for new options and considering reaching out to the owner to request use of the land.

 

Sustainability is currently an independent open working group that coordinates with Occupy Fall River. The Sustainability group generally hold discussion on Facebook and at General Assembly. The Facebook page is located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/OFRivOpSeedbomb/

 

Move to Amend

Thanks to Eileen and Al, resolutions have passed in Westport and Somerset supporting a 28th Amendment to end corporate personhood and help get money out of politics. We are waiting on the consideration of the Community Preservation Act before proceeding with submission.

 

Flier Campaigns

The fliers protesting Wal-Mart selling Monsanto corn as well as those protesting CISPA are currently retired due to a need for updating. If you have any ideas for flier and direct action campaigns and actions, please submit an image of the flier to this e-mail address for consideration by Direct Action.

 

Direct action is made up of individuals across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Direct Action consists of opt-in actions and campaigns.

 

News

Occupy Providence – Occupy Netroots sidewalk occupation recap

Several members of Occupy Fall River attended Occupy Providence’s sidewalk occupation in solidarity with the Netroots Conference – a conference of leftist bloggers. Actions consisted of marches and direct actions against bailouts for 38 Studios and supporting a proposed tax on RI’s richest 2%. Occupiers were escorted out of the RI State House after “mic-checking” the congressional assembly with a message supporting raising taxes on the rich and no more bailouts for irresponsible companies. Crime scenes for the 38 Studios bailout were drawn at the former site of the company as well as at the State House. Occupy Providence also marched through the Providence Place Mall, enjoying the applause and cheers of those they passed. They were then shoved around by mall security. About twelve people were arrested by local police and given one-year bans from entering the mall. These are the first arrests experienced by Occupy Providence.

Sustainability Working Group Picnic

Join us for a picnic and discussion on sustainability at noon on Sunday, June 3rd at Kennedy Park. The Sustainability working group will be discussing establishing a new community garden in Fall River, as well as other urban gardening initiatives. We will be meeting near the skating rink and the stairs to the green warming house.

The picnic will be followed by the Occupy Fall River general assembly at roughly 1:00 PM, during which we will discuss current issues, campaigns, and plan for the future.

If you are on Facebook and interested in discussions on sustainability, join our discussion group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OFRivOpSeedbomb/

Occupy Fall River Announcements – Week of May 27th

Events

Thursday, May 31st – Bank vs. America Standout

When: 4-5 PM.

Where: 10 North Main St., Fall River, MA. On the corner of North Main St. and Bedford St..

Come stand with us to protest Bank of America and hand out fliers.

Sunday, May 3rd – Picnic and General Assembly

When: Noon-3 PM.

Where: Kennedy Park – The stairs by the skating rink and green warming house.

Join us for a picnic and social hour at noon followed by our general meeting.

Sustainability Picnic – TBA

We are trying to nail down a time and location for picnic to kick off the Sustainability working group. Feel free to respond with suggestions. An update will be sent out once the details are set.

Campaign

Occupy Fall River has endorsed and is looking for volunteers for the Budget for All Referendum.

Will you help Fall River get the Budget for all Referendum on the November ballot?

Right now hundreds of activists and scores of organizations are collecting signatures in districts across Massachusetts to place the Budget For All on the November ballot.

The Budget for All Referendum is a way voters can send a message to Washington and tell them to stop the cuts and fund human needs.

Specifically the Budget for All asks for:
No more cuts to Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, SNAP, Veterans’ Benefits, unemployment, etc.
Raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 and closing corporate loopholes
An end to the Afghanistan war, to bring our troops home safely and make significant reductions in Pentagon spending
Using those savings to reinvest in jobs and our communities
We need only 200 signatures in a given district. We can do this! If you are interested in helping with petitions, please respond ASAP to this email or call (c. 410-963-4617, h. 508-674-4886).
If you or people you know are closer to New Bedford, contact Rachel Tedesco, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, revrayted@comcast.net, 508-944-6436.
For more info on the statewide campaign please go to www.budget4allmass.org or contact Massachusetts Peace Action, info@masspeaceaction.org, 617-354-2169

JVR

Chomsky on challenging the sharp concentrations of private power

Laura Flanders talks with MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky, to discuss his latest publication, OCCUPY, OWS, anarchism, racism, corporate power and the potential for a cooperative alternative. Recorded 4/24/12 for Free Speech TV. 25 minutes long.

Bank of America Action – Wednesday

When: Wednesday, May 9th 2:30-4:00 PM.

Where: Corner of Bedford St and North Main St in front of Bank of America on 10 North Main Street, Fall River MA.

Why: For illegal foreclosures, predatory lending, helping to bankrupt the country, taking advantage of their customers, corrupting our democracy, and being the most corrupt banking institution in America. Their shareholders meeting is on May 9th and will be Occupied. This is a part of a call to action to protest Bank of America throughout the country on this day.

We will stand out on the corner of North Main & Bedford and perhaps alternate between the sidewalk nearest the entrance. Leaflets and handouts will be available to distribute to passersby. There will a poster board that reads: Notice of eviction to Bank of America for the following offenses against the community: We then allow for people attending to write a grievance, and offer others who pass by to write in their own. At 3:30/3:45, we deliver the notice to their door. Depending on a temperature check at the event, we may try to deliver it into the building, followed by a quick departure. Photos will be taken of the board, and people with the board – if they wish. Prints of the notice will be mailed to all the banks in Greater Fall River as well as the Herald. There’s also an added option of posing with the board for photos to be uploaded to Facebook and OccupyFallRiver.org . Even if you can only spare the time to write on the board, it is still an appreciated act of solidarity. We are all in this together. We are the 99%, and so are you.

Shiva: Beyond this outmoded and fossilized economic paradigm

Let’s replace GDP and GNP with GNH – gross national happiness – to measure the well being of nature and society:Navdanya: Nine Seeds

The false measure of productivity [in our market system] selects one output from diverse outputs – the single commodity to be produced for the market, and one input from diverse inputs – labour.

Thus low output, high input chemical, industrial monocultures, which in fact have a negative productivity, are artificially rendered more productive than small, biodiverse, ecological farms. And this is at the root of the false assumption that small farms must be destroyed and replaced by large industrial farms.

This false, fossilised measure of productivity is at the root of the multiple crises we face in food and agriculture.

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