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  1.  (10239.1)
    For those taking part in the #Occupy protests or know people taking part in them, here is some practical advice for protesters camping outside during the winter.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2011 edited
    The approximate math for voter turnout in 2008 and 2010.

    2008 Obama beats McCain 70 million to 60 million

    2010: Republican votes in Congressional elections: 45 million, Democrats 35 million.

    (From memory - may be off a few million.)
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2011
    I swung by OccupyVictoria a few days ago. They seem to be doing well, and the local police have made official statements to that effect. It was a nice counterpoint to all of the videos of craziness that have been popping up online.
  2.  (10239.4)
    (inserts opinion)

    Voting isn't the only way to get your voice heard, even in America where we're not fighting oppressive regimes. One thing the Occupy movement has in common with protests in Egypt, Libya, etc., is harnessing the power of communications technology for organization and info dissemination. From what I can tell, the only reason the Occupy demonstrations haven't yet accomplished much is because they aren't focused enough yet in what kind of reform they want--they're expressing frustration at a great number of things, many of which are valid, but (imo) need to start talking about specific policies one by one to attack and reform. It's a good way to separate their goals and the broad, uncohesive grouping of ideological beliefs that is the Tea Party.

    (scurries away)
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2011
    Obama being described as left wing amuses me greatly for some reason.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
    The British protest has now succeeded in closing something down.

    St. Pauls cathedral.

    Somehow I suspect that wasn't their intention, and you can guarentee the press will love spinning this one in the morning papers.
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
    Interesting little story here...Nearly 40% of financial advisors SUPPORT the Occupy movement.

    According to the results of an exclusive InvestmentNews online survey of 350 advisers, 58.2% said they disagree with the views expressed by the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Meanwhile, 38.8% of advisers said they agree with the views of the protesters and 3% said they were unfamiliar with Occupy Wall Street.

    The survey, conducted last week, also found that 46.3% of advisers support tax reform that ultimately would lead to higher taxes on the wealthy, while 43.6% are against it. Additionally, the survey revealed that 41.6% of advisers are in favor of tougher government regulation of banks and Wall Street firms and 45.9% are against it.

    Among respondents, 39% characterized themselves as Republicans, 37% as independents and 9.8% as Democrats.

    It would be very tough for a financial adviser or wealth manager to align with the OWS protesters on an issue like taxation. We see firsthand the sheer dollar amounts of taxes taken from our clients. Head over for the rest of what my colleagues in the business had to say
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011
    As predicted, there were a few lurid headlines about the closure of St. Pauls in the papers this morning. Seems the protestors have decided to find themselves another site elsewhere in the city.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2011
    Okay, there seems to be a bit of a thing going round to sneer at 'anti-capitalists' who wear V masks, which are 'made my Warner Brothers'.

    Warner Brothers gets approximately 17p or 30c from each one. So, you know, fuck that negligible noise.
  3.  (10239.10)
    I honestly have no idea what to make of this. I checked around the web, and both blatantly pro-Israel papers AND blatantly pro-Iranian newspapers are saying basically the same thing: this rally was attended by a lot of people that really, legitimately seem to loath both America and Israel, and think that religious unity is the only path to true democracy. Huh.

    Does this reflect at all upon the actual Occupy Wall Street movement over here? I'm inclined to say no.

    Is it still weird, and a little unsettling? I think so.

    Is the rightwing media going to have a heyday with this one?

    Almost certainly.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    St. Pauls has asked the protestors to move on, as the loss in revenue from being closed is going to hurt them soon. The protestors so far are refusing to do so.

    How long before this becomes the main news story of their protest? Not much longer I suspect. If you're protesting the bankers, then blocking access to a cathedral just seems utterly counter-productive to me, regardless of the fact it's close to the stock exchange building.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    Money Lenders

    So Christ threw the money lenders out of the temple. and now a Christian is complaining his temple will close because because it cannot get money due to people, most of whom are probably not Christian, protesting the money lenders outside his Temple. That is either damn prophetic or is there another word for it?
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    @keeperetc - Now compare the official response to this to the response usually met with any unsanctioned protest in Iran.
  4.  (10239.14)

    It's pretty interesting, considering how happy the Iranian newspapers are about these criticisms of "the Zionist regime."

    But what I found most intriguing, from this article in the Tehran times, was the last statement:

    Mahdi Firouzkouhi, also a participant at the demonstration, said the history of the U.S. is associated with the murder of thousands of people across the world, an indirect reference to the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

    Firouzkouhi added, “Today we are witnessing the collapse of dictators allied to the United States… and this country has not option other than acknowledging defeat in the face of people’s vigilance.”

    The implication there, as far as I can tell, is that the Iranian protestors do view Occupy Wall Street as an extension of the protests in Egypt, Tunisia, &c., but only because they view those countries as being held by dictators propped up by the US. So, it makes sense for them to view Occupy Wall Street as fundamentally anti-American. It certainly does put a very different interpretive spin on the Arab Spring, and possibly one closer to reality than a lot of Western commentary.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    Watching the livestream right now, there are people who flew in from Egypt to hang out at OWS, and they just gave them "a gift from Tahrir Square." (It was an Egyptian flag signed by various people).

    People who went through the Arab Spring support OWS.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    @Keeperofmanynames: At this point in time I don't think any protest in Tehran that goes out of its way to express anti-American sentiments should necessarily be taken seriously. I assume the majority of serious protesters in Iran are much more preoccupied with changing their own predicaments than lamenting the lack of a "religious democracy" in the US...

    If anything this just seems like a staged demonstration to try to divert the attention from their own internal problems. The Iranian authorites are scared to death that the Arab Spring protests will spread to Iran and turn against them, rekindling the passion of the anti-government demonstrations that were brutally suppressed there a while back.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011 edited
    The protest in Iran is probably are closer to the general view of most of the citizens than we can perceive through a western media lens, Iran is probably more scared of suffering the same fate as Libya, than having a popular revolt like occurred in Tunisia or Egypt.

    We have seen the ramping up of tensions on the country for years and the gradual dismantling of countries who could be allied with them. I doubt much of this is purely organic, there are forces at work, in a direction that doesn't bode well for Iran, and I'm sure they understand that.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    There's only about 30 people protesting in that video, and the Iranian authorities have always had a penchant for staging anti-Western demonstrations that the majority of the people there don't give a crap about...really, most Iranians don't care all that much about the US, they just want Ahmadinejad to go.

    Again, this protest seems like a farce. They claim solidarity with the OWS protests and simultaneously yell "down with America..." I bet it's just a nice little stunt organized by Khamenei or the Revoltuionary Guard to say "Fuck You" to the US.
  5.  (10239.19)
    @Verissimus and Doc Ocassi:

    See, that view of it as probably staged makes a lot of sense to me. That said, I'm not sure how to really tell. I'm honestly a little frustrated by how distant I am from the actual events over there, because I find it difficult to get a sense of the feeling on the ground. For all I know, the popular opinion of the other Arab Spring countries could very well be the ideas expressed in that article. I kind of doubt it, but I'm hesitant to assume anything about the beliefs of the revolutions, if only because I'm so far from the action and so embedded within the network of Western news sources and biases and so on.

    Still, yeah, upon reflection I can't help but agree that the protest seems more than a little fishy on a number of levels, especially considering the info Argos just posted. That doesn't seem like an attempt to get us to convert to Islam, somehow...

    I find it interesting, though, that even if it is a staged protest, it serves the jingoistic rhetoric against the Arab nations and the OWS protestors just as much as it serves the jingoistic rhetoric of the Iranian government. There's kind of a bizarrely hostile symbiosis there.

    With all of that said (and apologies for going off topic)... is there a good source of information for the sort of general zeitgeist of the Arab Spring? Like I said, it bothers me that I'm getting so much of my information from almost certainly biased Western sources, and I would love to say with authority that no, the Arab Spring doesn't want to start a new theocracy, and so on.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
    The Arab Spring is a very broad phenomenon, it's not guided by one predominant philosophy or denomination. It almost seems like a kind of open source protest where everyone who has some sort of axe to grind with their government can join in. Since it is such a wide coalition of diverse interests there are also a number of Islamic fundamentalists who are part of the Arab Spring and who probably do want to establish some sort of theocracy, but it seems they are a minority. Anyway, I think the wikipedia article gives a pretty good overview, and you can follow many links from the wiki page to articles that were written about the movement.

    Overall it seems to me that the Arab Spring protests aren't particularly fundamentalist Islamic or anti-Western. The Iranian authorities have tried to twist the narrative their way and emphasized the fundamentalist aspects of the movement, probably in order to try to gain influence. Iran had pretty bad relations with most other Middle Eastern nations before the protests began and they may see this as an opportunity to get more influence in countries like Egypt, or Bahrain which has a Shia majority but is led by an authoritarian Sunni government. Syria is an exception because Iran has good relations with Syria, and therefore Iran is actively supporting Assad's bloody crackdown.

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