The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Palestine Borders and Demographics Prove to be A Ghetto

Thanks to a good idea given to me by my partner here at STL, I started to research and analyze some geographic information regarding the Jewish land-grab in Palestine. I then followed by studying some demographic info on the Gaza Strip and drew some interesting conclusions. Here’s what I found: First, some great maps over at Wikipedia with adjoining historical context info and links portraying the boundaries of Palestine/Israel since the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (The linked information could have you reading ...

Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

A poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice: When wilt thou save the people? O God of mercy! when? Not kings and lords, but nations! Flowers of the heart, O God, are they! Let them not pass, like weeds, away! Their heritage a sunless day! God save the people! Shall bring crime for ever, Strength aiding still the strong? Is it thy will, O Father? That man shall toil for wrong? “No!” ...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Selective Outrage

War is hell.  All we have to do is look around the world to see its toll.  That being said, I don't understand the lack of outrage coming from this President and his administration other than that aimed at our one ally - Israel which is doing no more than trying to protect it's people from rocket fire and constant raids from Hamas. The fact that Palestinian civilians are getting killed is a tragic yet unavoidable aspect of this war.  Why ...

Why Are We So Full Of Hate?

What has happened to human kind?  No matter where you look we find ourselves surrounded by a world filled with hate. What puzzles me is how it's combined with political correctness.  Take this country where so many words are now frowned upon and even forbidden because they are hurtful to certain people.  Redskins, squaw, savage plus a whole lot applying to blacks, orientals and hispanics not to mention middle easterners.  Has it dawned on anyone banning the names has done nothing ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. Thomas Jefferson
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#Occupied: Reports From the Front Lines

Occupy is partnering with The Occupied Wall Street Journal to syndicate these weekly reports from Occupations across the world.

This week in Occupy, more than 80 Shut Down the Corporations actions on #F29 signaled a spring resurgence, student activists across the nation marched for an affordable education and the Occupy movement introduced the mainstream media—and the country—to the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The NYPD: Keeping Zuccotti Park safe from the First Amendment. Photo: Katie Sokoler/Gothamist

The NYPD shut down Zuccotti Park just minutes after midnight on February 29 in a strong yet baffling show of force that saw 40 cops monitoring 30 protesters. The eight resulting arrests were seemingly arbitrary and incidental, spurred after several protesters brought backpacks and sleeping bags into the park—and occurring just hours after a leaked internal memo revealed that Bloomberg’s “private army” had done its homework and knew many details about the following day’s New York-based actions. (For a full wrap-up of the day’s events, go here.)

Later that day, a 200-strong march through the rain-slicked streets of midtown Manhattan snaked past the headquarters of Bank of America, Pfizer and the New York offices of Koch Industries, hitting a Wells Fargo or two along the way. They were joined by the political journalist Matt Taibbi. (Video)

In Riverside, California, Occupy LA shut down three Wal-Mart distribution centers after occupying the immediate area all morning, only to be met by aggressive police officers who forced demonstrators to retreat. “This is the evolution of humanity, and sadly this is what we must do to get to the other side,” observed independent video journalist Freedom, who operates Occupy Freedom LA.

Riverside police confront a disabled woman peacefully demonstrating outside a Wal-Mart distribution hub in Southern California. Screengrab: Occupy Freedom LA's livestream.

Fifty Occupy D.C. demonstrators lined up outside Monsanto’s Washington D.C. offices in cold, pelting rain to protest the agribusiness giant’s litigious protection of its patented crops, among other issues.

In response to Occupy Portland‘s call to shut down the corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Occupy Tucson #occupied the transportation headquarters of G4S, a massive company that operates the buses used to transport those being deported or moved between immigration detention facilities. “We’re trying to create a day without deportations,” one of the occupiers said.

60,000 students took to the streets of several Spanish cities, including Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, to protest against government spending cuts that have left many classrooms without heating. In Barcelona, students were attacked by riot police.

Occupy Oakland held a funeral for capitalism which included live music, speeches and a demonstration in front of Chase Bank.

Occupy Portland peacefully marched through downtown, with several hundred taking to the streets protesting corporate involvement with ALECand a few dropping by a downtown McDonald’s and chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, Monsanto has got to go!”

Stomping Through Stumptown: Marching in downtown Portland on #F29. Photo: Lauriel

Mother Jones explains why ALEC—a right-wing, corporate-controlled group most people have probably never heard of—was a specific target of so much direct action on #F29.

Occupy NOLA—joined by Occupy Fairhope, Alabama—staged a BP protest march, during which demonstrators prosecuted the oil giant responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster and held a mock funeral memorializing the health of the Gulf of Mexico, which is still polluted with oil.

Judge and Jury: Occupy NOLA puts BP on trial.

Also on #F29, twenty-five suspected members of the the hacktivist collective Anonymous—accused of planning coordinated cyber attacks against institutions including Colombia’s defense ministry and presidential websites—were arrested in an Interpol sweep across South America and Europe.

From March 1 to 5, Occupy Education California embarked upon a 99-mile march from Berkeley to San Francisco to mark the #M1 National Day of Action for Education. Occupy Colleges and Occupy Education sponsored rallies nationwide, prompting the mainstream media to speculate that colleges will fuel the second wave of the Occupy movement.

On #M1, students, educators and activists partially shut down the University of California, Santa Cruz and prevented cars and buses from entering the campus, while students at the University of California, Davis held a funeral for public higher education.

Also on #M1, students and Occupy Chicago members occupied the conference room of the DePaul University president’s office and demanded a public forum on tuition hikes.

A group of University of New Mexico students had just mic-checked an Israel Alliance talk entitled “Why the Arab Spring Is Failing” when older male audience members got up out of their seats and physically attacked them. See the stunning raw video here.

Re$t In Peace: Occupy Oakland bids goodbye to capitalism. Photo: danilo/Occupy Oakland

The Virginia House of Delegates has voted in favor of legislation that rejects the “kidnapping provisions” of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

On February 22, twenty-five prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary, a supermax prison, victoriously ended a three-day hunger strike inspired by the Occupy4Prisoners National Day of Action called for by Occupy Oakland.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) issued a video message in solidarity with students on a hunger strike at the University of Virginia organized by the Living Wage Campaign. “The students who chose bold action and engaged in a hunger strike deserve our unconditional support and respect,” said Valarie Long, the union’s executive vice president.

The creation of an Occupy-related credit union in San Francisco is moving forward, with a proposed nine-member board nearly in place.

The artists behind the 99% Bat Signal first unveiled on #N17 are back with their own personal bat mobile, codename: The Illuminator. On March 2, Occupy Wall Street protestors staged a “die-in” in front of Chase bank with the help of this fancy new gadget.

Concerned by reports from numerous cities of excessive police force against protesters, unlawful arrests and the passing of new laws to curtail protest, a coalition of human rights and civil liberties experts are conducting a national study to the government response to the Occupy protests.

The Raging Grannies serenade Portland on #F29: "Oh dear, what can the matter be? Big money's killing democracy!" Photo: Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian

On March 13, five Seattle occupiers known as the “Chase 5″ will go to trial for occupying a Chase Bank branch in Capitol Hill in November, when hundreds rallied outside and disrupted business as usual before a demonstration against JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon as he spoke in downtown Seattle.

The court case against Justin Honea for “prohibited activities in park” associated with the Occupy Charleston presence at Marion Square has been dismissed. Two more Occupy Charleston cases are set for trial later this year.

The House of Representatives has approved a bill that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby—whether or not you even know it.

The National Park Service has extended Occupy DC‘s Freedom Plaza permit through April 29.

Monsanto, the 1% of Big Ag and the scourge of small farmers everywhere, has found a formidable opponent in the Occupy movement.

They're Lovin' It: Occupy Portland educates McDonald's patrons about Monsanto on #F29. Photo: Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian

Transit riders and Occupy activists spoke out against proposed Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) fare hikes and service cuts at an open hearing on February 28.

Police briefly arrested 100 Cuban dissidents in a multipronged campaign to prevent public demonstrations to mark the anniversaries of the deaths of five Castro opponents.

President Obama has finally asked Congress to end $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies, vowing to tackle the country’s long-term energy issues while shunning “phony election-year promises about lower gas prices.”

Rolling Stone published an internal Department of Homeland Security report entitled “SPECIAL COVERAGE: Occupy Wall Street,” which details surveillance of the early days of the Occupy movement.

WikiLeaks began publishing more than five million emails from Stratfor, a U.S.-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA. One juicy revelation: the Stratfor CEO and founder and a former Goldman Sachs regional director plan to launch their own investment fund called Stratcap.

The Red Cross managed to get aid to Syrians fleeing the battered and shelled Baba Amr district of Homs but was blocked for a third day from entering the city amid reports of bloody reprisals by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces. A Syrian activist calling himself “Danny,” who has posted videos of the regime’s attacks on YouTube for the last several months, told Anderson Cooper that if it wasn’t for the media attention, 200,000 Syrians would be dead. “This is not going to stop,” he said. “They’re going to have to kill every single family living in Homs. There’s not one family who hasn’t lost a relative. They will never stop.”

There have been at least 6,628 arrests in 111 cities since the Occupy movement began on September 17, 2011.

Want to report news about your occupation or meetup? Email us at [email protected]


Author: OccupyWallSt

Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.

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