For the Open Thread this evening I thought I might share a few articles I've read in the last day or two. Allow me to provide a h/t to all that shared these and say a big ole thanks for doing all you do and making sure the rest of us are still paying attention. And just so you know, 50 days from today we'll be able to discuss this "stuff" everywhere. I want to start with a specific link just so I can crib Tom Englehardt, "And what of our dreams? Our hopes? Charred at the edges perhaps, but unlike theirs, alive and well, as that surprise of last year the Occupy movement showed."
The less tangible spirit of Occupy and the new associations it sparked are what matters for whatever comes next, for that 10-year-plan. Occupy was first of all a great meeting ground. People who live too much in the virtual world with its talent for segregation and isolation suddenly met each other face-to-face in public space. There, they found common ground in a passion for economic justice and real democracy and a recognition of the widespread suffering capitalism has created.
Jump below we're just getting started.
In 1990, a little-known, self-described democratic socialist, the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, ran as an independent and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, soundly defeating the Republican incumbent. Since then, Bernie Sanders—as of 2006, Senator Bernie Sanders—has not only represented the people of Vermont in Congress, he has been the main proponent of progressive politics in Washington. His is often the lone voice speaking on behalf of children and families, of workers, of our planet, and of our democracy and our future.
From the NYT one that anyone facing the financial problems ourselves in should read. In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner
The letters are sent by the thousands to people across the country who have written bad checks, threatening them with jail if they do not pay up.
br>They bear the seal and signature of the local district attorney’s office. But there is a catch: the letters are from debt-collection companies, which the prosecutors allow to use their letterhead. In return, the companies try to collect not only the unpaid check, but also high fees from debtors for a class on budgeting and financial responsibility, some of which goes back to the district attorneys’ offices.
Along those lines here is one everyone should read, The Debt Resistors' Operations Manual (pdf)
This operations manual written by a collective of resistors, defaulters and allies from "Strike Debt" and "Occupy Wall Street" is for those being crushed under the weight of debt.
It aims to provide specific tactics for understanding and fighting against the debt system so we can all reclaim our lives and our communities.
And one last article on a different note. Embassy Protests and Middle East Unrest in Context
In thinking about an appropriate U.S. response, it is important not to repeat the mistakes of U.S. policy in recent years. It is extremely unlikely that such vitriolic anti-American protests would have taken place were it not for decades of U.S. support, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, of allied dictatorships and the Israeli occupation, not to mention the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the ongoing military strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. Indeed, interviews with demonstrators in Yemen and elsewhere not surprisingly found grievances towards the United States that went far beyond the film itself.
Just a few I thought you might enjoy.