After the brutal eviction of protesters from the Mong Kok protest camp by Hong Kong police, the protesters came back strong, surging into the streets and beating back the police lines, preservering in the face of batons and pepper-spray. Read the rest
The Add Oil project lets anyone in the world write a message of support to Hong Kong's protesters, which is then beamed in 16' tall letters on the sides of buildings near the protests. Read the rest
The protesters accuse the police of working with the thugs, who wore masks as they attacked the encampments; the violence has led to postponement of the planned talks between the Umbrella Revolution leaders and the Hong Kong administration. Read the rest
It's grown 6,700% since 1983, to $144.7B in 2013 -- greater than the net worth of 1,782,020 average Americans. Read the rest
Chai Yan Leung thanked the taxpayers who paid for it, and then dismissed her critics as non-taxpayers, since employed people wouldn't have time to comment on Facebook. Read the rest
The throngs of Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators, captured by Nero Chan's drone. Read the rest
The rallying cry of the students who staged a mass walkout and the Occupy Central demonstrators is the right to choose an administrator for HK without Beijing's oversight; but underlying it all is rage about growing wealth disparity. Read the rest
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century
is a bestselling economics tome whose combination of deep, careful presentation of centuries' worth of data, along with an equally careful analysis of where capitalism is headed has ignited a global conversation about inequality, tax, and policy. Cory Doctorow
summarizes the conversation without making you read 696 pages (though you should).
A brilliant, enraging op-ed in the Washington Post from analysts from the New America Foundation and the American Antitrust Institute shows how the Reagan-era policy of encouraging monopolistic corporate behavior has made America unequal and uncompetitive, creating a horror Gilded Age where the Congressional consensus is that laws cannot possibly put a check on bad corporate actors.
It's another look at the problems set out in Matt Taibbi's brilliant book The Divide, tracing the policies that created both the private prison industry and banks so big that even the most depraved criminality can't be punished lest the bank tremble and collapse on wider society.
Particularly galling and illuminating is a quote from a Goldman Sachs report that advises investors to seek out "oligopolistic market structure[s]" where there's "lower competitive intensity, greater stickiness and pricing power with customers due to reduced choice" as the ideal way to maximize your return on capital. Read the rest
In this spectacular, long interview with Salon, David "Debt" Graeber builds on his bullshit jobs hypothesis and points out the horror of modern American work: if your job does some good, you are paid less; jobs that actively hurt people are paid more; and no one seems to want a world where no one has to work anymore. But have no fear: it ends on a high note: a proposed "revolt of the caring classes." Read the rest
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
is a scorching, brilliant, incandescent indictment of the widening gap in how American justice treats the rich and the poor. Taibbi's spectacular financial reporting for Rolling Stone
set him out as the best running commentator on the financial crisis and its crimes, and The Divide
-- beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple -- shows that at full length, he's even better. Cory Doctorow
reviews The Divide
David Graeber, author of Debt: the First 5000 Years, was evicted from the home that his family had lived in for 52 years yesterday. He says that the NYPD intelligence department played a role in establishing a "technicality" on which his family could be evicted, despite not having missed a single payment in 52 years. He blames the eviction on retaliation against high-profile Occupy Wall Street activists, whom he says have been targeted in a wide-ranging series of administrative attacks: "evictions, visa problems, tax audits..."
Abi Sutherland has a great post on this on Making Light: Read the rest
Mark Marino writes, "At the 2013 MLA Convention in Boston, I revealed that I and my writing partner Rob Wittig created the fictional protest movement OccupyMLA.
What started out as a single Twitter account evolved into an elaborate fiction about a hapless trio of adjuncts, trying to fight for their place in the academy. Often fighting just as much against one another, the members of Occupy MLA struggled to reach the very bottom rungs of the academic ladder in a professional ecology that has stratified the administration, the tenured, and the adjuncts, with a chasm between each domain." Read the rest
Mark wrote in July that Lt John Pike, the UC Davis cop who attained notoriety after he sadistically hosed down seated, peaceful protesters with pepper spray, jetting it directly down their throats and into their eyes, had applied for worker's comp for the psychiatric injuries resulting from everyone in the world thinking he was a horrible, horrible person.
Now he has been awarded $38K by California's Division of Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. He left his job (which paid nearly $120K), and has had to change addresses and phone numbers several times to dodge harassment from his detractors. Davis settled a lawsuit by the protesters he sprayed for $1M. Read the rest
James sez, "Chinese artist Li Chen embedded with the Bay Area Occupy movement and created this beautiful film that's also about the frailty of memory and language. 'I was there because I had never witnessed a protest before in my life,' she says in her artist's statement. "As a Chinese citizen, I spent many sleepless nights with hundreds of American protesters." The film is one of eight entries in Love of Sun, an online exhibit curated by Rachel Kennedy depicting California artists' visions of China --
and Chinese artists' visions of California." Read the rest
A short film by Paul Sullivan that chillingly breaks down the creepy tactics New York City police used to intimidate and harass protesters, and arrest them for expressing their first amendment rights in public space. In these examples, it seems they used "the momentum of arrests" to deter the spirit of the crowd--not because the individuals shown here actually posed a threat to the public, or had harmed anyone or done anything bad.
[via Sparrow Media, HT: Glen E. Friedman]
Read the rest
Andy sez, "Why should all world protesters have to wear the mask of a white guy? We made wearable Guy Fawkes masks of men and women of all skin tones." Download them all.
Diversifying the "Anonymous" Guy Fawkes Mask - ANIMAL
(Thanks, Andy!) Read the rest