Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Austin 10/15 March

The 99% are too big to fail.

I've been in quite a few marches in this town, and this was one of the largest. I really think it had to be at least 1500-2000 people. It was as wide as a lane of traffic and went on for several city blocks, from the middle I could not see the end or the beginning of it. City Hall has been "Occupied" for over going on 2 weeks now in support of Occupy Wall Street. The permanent occupation is rather small, probably a few dozen, but this march was BIG. There was a rally at City Hall, then a march, first to a nearby Chase Bank so that people could close their accounts there as part of the protest, then it continued nearly to the Capital and back to City Hall. The police were great, and there were no arrests (at the march) that I'm aware of.

The Media
Booos and hisses to most of the local media outlets for their coverage or lack of it. I mean, Seems like if 10 Tea Partiers get together on a sidewalk they'd be on everybody's top news and lead story. As for local TV network affiliates, they were piss-poor. The Fox affiliate's top local story was that someone had been caught on hidden cam shoplifting. Astonishing. NBC affiliate KXAN led with the story of the pro-gay marriage event and march held the same day. A cool event (that deserves coverage) where they held about a dozen mock same-sex weddings and about 100 people or so marched to the Capitol. ABC affiliate KVUE had what was worse than no coverage. They claimed that Chase Bank was targeted because earlier this month Chase began charging a $5 fee on debit transactions. WRONG twice. First, that is not why Chase was targeted. Second, it is Bank of America that just added that fee, not Chase. Chase was chosen merely because of proximity. The other unfortunate part of the KVUE thing is that linked to their 'coverage.' Laaaaaame.

YNN (which is a cable-only local news channel) had the best coverage. They have an article AND decent video at the link.

Our one newspaper had a small photo gallery linked on their web-version sidebar (not sure what will be in print as I don't read printed newpapers).

Some notes on a few of the signs.

"$ Millions from schools paid to Valero Oil Company." Here is what that one is about. Valero and other refineries say they are owed around $135 million from Texas in tax refunds, with Valero's share around $92 million, even though all parties are aware that $62.8 million will have to come out of the already-bleeding public school fund. More here. Yes, I know... this one is backwards. The other side says "We Are The People."
"The government of America Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly. -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. SHAME!!!"
"Hey Top 1%, Yer Killin' Us!!" Nice cleaver.

Coffee Party!
So true.

Here's a video that I shot. It captures just 1:45 minutes of people going by. Chant is "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out."

This movement is not partisan. It encompasses plenty of stuff that has been traditionally lumped in with left or right wing, but there is some commonality. There is a minority of folks (a bit more righty) who could also fit in with Tea Party philosophy. They want to end taxation, and maybe even the government itself. Many worship Ron Paul. They seem to part ways with other TP platforms in that they understand that war must be funded by taxes, and they are not in favor of establishing a theocracy. As we were leaving, there was a guy singing a song about his hero, Joe Stack (the sociopath and terrorist who flew his small plane into a building as an attack on the IRS, killing himself plus one other person inside it (an IRS agent), creating widespread trauma and destroying an office building). I'm sorry, but I am not supporting that. at. all.

The lefties are not against taxation, and want the rich and the corporations to start paying their fair share. They want fair consumer dealings and protection from fraud. They want more regulations on Big Finance, Big Pharma, Big [whatever]. I fall into that category.

Most of the people in this movement, left and right and middle, I believe are in favor of abolishing Corporate Personhood of Citizens United, and unlimited and anonymous political donations that, in effect, buy elections and gut democracy. The Occupy movement is about democracy, no matter how you slice it up.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Great signs! "Coffee Party" -- LOL, wonder if that will catch on? It's about time people got pissed off.

yellowdoggranny said...

what took us so fucking long to get pissed off that we got off the couch?..

Professor Chaos said...

First Wisconsin, now this. I'm getting misty, it's just beautiful.