Though under house arrest and about to be extradited to Sweden, Julian Assange is still producing his show for RT, "The World Tomorrow," the most recent episode of which he dedicated to the Occupy Movement. Shot in the old Deutsche Bank building in London, which is controlled by friends of Occupy, Julian enlists guests Marisa Holmes, Alexa O'Brien and David Graeber from Occupy Wall Street, and Aaron Peters and Naomi Colvin from Occupy London, to parse the future of Occupy.
The Occupy movement has united hundreds of thousands across the world in protest against economic and social injustice. In this episode, key Occupy activists talk global finance, politics, and direct action.
The roots of the movement lie in the growing outrage many felt in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. However, according to Alexa O'Brien from Occupy New York and US Day of Rage, they are also responding to a "Global Political Crisis, because our institutions no longer function." Aaron Peters from Occupy London agrees that political failure is a "global phenomenon", with power shifting to unaccountable non-democratic institutions. However, the last word goes to David Graeber from Occupy New York, who jokes "there's nothing that terrifies the American government so much as the threat of democracy breaking out in America."
Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, a comedy duo known as Garfunkel and Oates, sing a "We are the World"-style parody, inspired by Occupy Wall Street, about the current economic crisis in this clip directed by MATT and OZ. "All the jobless people need to learn to be content," they intone faux-earnestly into the mic as visions of old white gentleman float by, "because what we need to do is protect the 1%."
A Phoenix, Arizona woman is taking on two mortgage giants, Bank of America and Fannie Mae, and the case is making its way through federal court. Lilly Washington is representing herself, and seeking ownership of her home and compensation for belongings that were thrown out when her home was wrongfully foreclosed.
Washington was in the middle of a loan modification with Bank of America when her son who is in the military was wounded and sent to a hospital in Germany. She informed the bank that she needed to go be with her son, and BoA assured her in a letter that they were aware of her trip and: "will await your return so that we can finish the loan modification process." She thought everything would be fine until her return.
But just days after leaving, the bank foreclosed, and Fannie Mae took ownership of her home:
"Everything was empty. Everything. Upstairs, downstairs everything was empty," says Lilly Washington.
Washington was stunned when she returned home and found a "for sale" sign in her yard. She managed to get back into the home and immediately started making calls.
"I said 'where did you put my stuff from the house. Which storage.' They said, 'we don't put in storage, it is at the city dump.'"
Washington had just returned from visiting her wounded son in Germany. She was gone for a month and half. Her son's Purple Heart was thrown away too.
"I said, my gosh how can you take that. He is fighting for this country. And you steal from his home, everything," says Washington.
Washington's church helped her refurnish the home as she wasn't able to recover any of her belongings, and she has been fighting for two years now to regain ownership.
Update after the jump...
Good morning! Today is Thursday, May 31, 2012. Today's "Must Read" is from Joseph Stiglitz at Vanity Fair, “The 1 Percent’s Problem.”
Moment of Clarity #144: Airlines have now privatized common decency. Why do we put up with this? Why do we abide by their corporate values? [Get more at LeeCamp.net]
When you trail Pakistan in a women's rights issue, you have a problem. Huge problem. Enormous...
[H/T to Think Progress]
Prepare yourself for a journey through the Occupy L.A. encampment as seen through the eyes of journalist Sam Slovick, who narrates the proceedings like he's in a noir thriller. Slovick refers to the Occupy Movement as "the Civil Rights Movement on crank, the Sixties peace movement in a "V for Vendetta" mask with a blunt and the devil's defiance," and Occupy L.A. as a "largely dismissed, mostly misinterpreted orphan child of the Occupy Movement."
"Ultimately, Occupy LA was and is a relatively high functioning, reasonably organized productive community, but you won't read that in the paper," Slovick said. "That’s why I camped at City Hall for the better part of two months and shot the series. I wanted to meet the people and tell the real story of the American class war in Los Angeles."
Slovick produced this film - the first in a five-part series that aired on takepart.com in January - with the help of Slake, a highly acclaimed literary journal based in Los Angeles. "Occupy Los Angeles: Scenes From a Revolution" portrays a movement that refuses to go down without one hell of a fight.
More victories for Occupy Wall Street as their cases go to trial:
Yesterday Sarah Maceda-Maciel, charged with blocking traffic and failing to follow police orders on November 17th, also had her case dismissed, after the police witness again failed to show. In this instance, apparently, the officer is on maternity leave.
A second case scheduled for trial yesterday was continued. Emmet Kavanaugh and his legal team were ready, and were under the impression that the prosecutor was too. But the police witness didn't come to court, so Kavanaugh, who lives in Philadelphia, will have to come back to court in late October.
While many Occupy protesters feel vindicated by the string of victories, others see the rulings as evidence that the NYPD never made the arrests with any intention of securing convictions.
Wednesday is the largest group of Occupy Wall Street cases to come to trial, twenty-two cases, consolidated into four trials. All the charges in today's cases stem from the first mass arrests used against the movement on September 24, 2011.
Via "The We Party," as far as I can tell, this seems pretty accurate. The point of this graphic is to highlight the fact that minimum wage is not enough for a person to live on in this country, let alone a single-parent or a married couple with only one spouse working.