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It’s Not Easy Being Green (an interview w. Occupier & State Senate Candidate Asher Platts)
March 05, 2012 07:27 AM PST
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Asher Platts has been active in the occupy movement since its inception (full disclosure: he served as Directory of Photography & filed producer for the documentary I am currently finishing).

He is also running for office. State Senator in Maine’s District 8, to be specific. From his campaign website (AsherPlatts.com) :

Before going to Freedom Plaza & Occupy Wall Street, I wrote an article in which I called on protesters to take hold of the reigns of government by running for office:

“I want to see the people occupying Wall Street bring about the major reforms they are demanding. It’s my hope that they will carry this energy and excitement to their home towns, and run as candidates in 2012. And in 2013 we hope to see them occupying their state capitols not as protesters, but to claim seats of power in government.”

Now, coming back from nearly three months of being in DC and on Wall Street, I have been presented with the opportunity to take my own advice.

Occupy the Truth with the Fresh Juice Party
February 22, 2012 03:26 PM PST
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Occupodcast #009: A conversation with Occupy the Truth “UN- Conference” hosts from the Fresh Juice Party

On today’s Occupodcast a conversation with Fresh Juice Party memebers Craig Casey, Naomi Pitcairn, and Pratibha Gautam of the Fresh Juice Party and Kas Neteler, Open Space Facilitator

Writing for Oaklandlocal.com, Susan Mernit sums up the conference this way:

Thinking about how the values of Occupy Wall Street can fit into both the media you read and your daily life?
Wondering about the values of whistleblowers who speak truth to power? Or concerned about the fate of Pvt. Bradley Manning, the soldier imprisoned since 2010 for allegedly supplying WikiLeaks with classified data (and whose arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 23)?

Then head out to the "Occupy the Truth: Whistleblowers Conference" - a first of its kind activist/expert un-conference- to be held this weekend at the University of California, Berkeley, International House.

The un-conference being hosted by the Fresh Juice Party and KPFA at International House in Berkeley might be just the thing for you. It's going to be a good humored, but purposeful night and two days of discussion, activities and yes, fun.

At the un-conference, the audience will set the agenda around the whistleblower theme. According to organizer Naomi Pitcairn, participants will include filmmaker Mikko Allane; strategist Celia Alario; performance artist Larry Bogad; veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Conrad; whistleblower Thomas Drake; whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg; ACLU Policy Council and former FBI Special Agent Mike German; Iceland Parliament Member Briggita Jonsdottir, who nominated Manning for a Nobel prize (via Skype); organizer and widow of the late great Abbie Hoffman Johanna Lawrenson; filmmaker and sex worker rights activist Carol Leigh; longtime medical marijuana activist Dr. Frank Lucido; Ex-CIA analyst and writer Ray McGovern; actress/activist Alexandra Paul; government accountability project attorny Jesselyn Radack; social entrepreneur Peter Samuelson; artist and media hoaxer Joey Skaggs; activist David Solnit; artist, filmmaker and former porn star Annie Sprinkle Ph.D.; activist Andy Stepanian; "Darfur Now's" Adam Sterling; Professor Elizabeth Stephens; Rev. Billy Talen; attorney Ben Wizner; and Ret. Army Col. Ann Wright.

According to Naomi Pitcairn, Occupy the Truth is an event where serious discussions are going to mesh with a spirit of play.

"We've got an amazing core of people and some real issues to discuss," she says, "And if you care about transparency, freedom of speech and a just society, this is the place to be."

Can Occupy lead the way in Opposing War with Iran? (Interview w. Ray McGovern)
February 21, 2012 12:16 PM PST
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The drumbeats are getting louder for the US to enter into a war with Iran. Adding insult to injury, the drumbeats they are playing for us seem remarkably unchanged from the lead up to the Iraq war. Have we reached the point of no return- is an Iran war inevitable?

Today I pose those questions, and more to former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern.

President Obama told Matt Lauer in his Super Bowl half-time interview, “I don’t think Israel has made a decision on what they need to do. I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on its nuclear weapons program."

And yet, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and six intelligence agencies have stated that Iran is NOT pursuing nuclear weapons.

How does a country stand down a nuclear weapons program when it is not, accordion to our war mongering intelligence currently pursuing a nuclear weapon?

Ashley Sanders: Moving To Amend
February 20, 2012 09:50 AM PST
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My guest today on the Occupodcast is Ashley Sanders. Ashley has worked as the youth spokesperson for Ralph Nader’s 2008 presidential campaign. She has also organized extensively for Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, California, a collective committed to community sovereignty, bioregional democracy and alternatives to corporate control and capitalism. While there, she helped to launch the Campaign to Legalize Democracy/Move to Amend, a national grassroots campaign to amend the Constitution to abolish corporate constitutional rights and to organize local communities to declare independence from corporate rule.

February 17, 2012 02:04 PM PST
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Two US Citizens were deported by Bahraini security forces on Friday early morning following their arrest from the car of the President of the Bahrain Human Rights Center, Nabeel Rajab. Another American national and an independent Irish national were arrested later on Friday during a peaceful protest on the way to the Pearl Roundabout. Protesters had tried multiple times to march into the city center to reestablish a presence of nonviolent, peaceful protest on the one year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising in Bahrain.

Codepink anti-war activist Tighe Barry and Vietnam veteran Billy Kelly, were arrested from Rajab’s care and were deported late Thursday night.
“I feel honored to have spent time in Bahrain to learn from these wonderful people just how much they are suffering under this repressive government,” said Tighe Barry of the anti-war organization CODEPINK. “The government is deporting me to try to stop me from hearing their stories, but I will now go to Washington DC to share these appalling first-hand account with U.S. government officials and insist that they do more to pressure the Bahraini regime to stop being a gross human rights violator.”

99% Movement Call to Action- A conversation with David DeGraw
February 17, 2012 05:56 AM PST
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Occupodcast #5- A conversation with David Degraw.

Two years ago, David Degraw called for the 99% to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms. His report states at the outset “It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system are now blatantly rigged against us.”

This past week, David published a two-year anniversary edition of his report, complete with some personal history and context for the events that lead up to September 17th, 2011 and the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

You can read the full report at AmpedStatus.com

Is “Occupy The Dream” a marriage made for Democrats?
February 16, 2012 07:18 AM PST
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Occupodcast #4: A conversation with writer, commentator and executive director of the Black Agenda Report Glenn Ford. Our conversation today focuses on the Occupy the dream effort. Was it naïve to think that, in trying to connect the occupy movement with MLK’s poor people campaign that Occupy should look to todays African American Faith community

As Glenn Ford points out in his post on black Agenda report, Occupy the Dream’s prime mover, Dr. Ben Chavis is an active Obama booster. In his November 30 syndicated column for Black newspapers, titled “Brilliant First Lady Michelle Obama,” Chavis wrote:

“As we are about to enter into the heated national political debates and campaigns of the 2012 national election year, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be under intense pressures to maneuver through what may be one of the most difficult periods of time to maintain resilience and hope. I am encouraged and optimistic, however, that President Obama will be reelected if millions of us do what we are supposed to do and that is go out and vote in record numbers 12 months from now.”

Given this conflict, how does the Occupy movement, which is non partisan and should not be in the business of supporting candidates or parties operating within the two party duopoly, going to partner with Occupy the Dream as we approach the election season?

Occupy Oakalnd so much more than "Smashy-Smashy" (interview w. Susie Cagle)
February 15, 2012 12:13 PM PST
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Occupodcast #3:
A conversation with journalist Susie Cagle. Susie has been tiressly covering Occupy Oakland since the beginning. She has had pieces published in The Atlantic, Alternet, Truth Out, and has contributed to Citizen Radio (shout out to Allison and Jamie). You can follow her on twitter and her website is www.thisiswhatconcernsme.com . Topics covered today include the indie media workers relationship to the mainstream media, some of the success stories and not-so success stories of occupy Oakland and because I know you have all just had enough of the debate already I promise the phrase “diversity of tactics” will not be heard a single time in today’s podcast.

Occupy Harvard Re-Occupies
February 14, 2012 04:31 PM PST
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OccuPodcast, episode #2. Feb.14, 2012. Today I Spoke with Derin Korman, a teaching fellow in Visual and Environmental Studies and Hannah L. Hofheinz, who is a Th.D candidate at Harvard Divinity School. Both are organizes with Occupy Harvard. A Feb. 12th press release from Occupy Harvard explains the reason for targeting the Library:
“At 6 pm on Sunday February 3, 2012, two-dozen Harvard students and affiliates claimed a corner of the Lamont Library Café at Harvard University. The New Harvard Library Occupation was announced on the Occupy Harvard website: “We intend to open a persistent community space for critical thought, engaged learning, and insistent action in the Lamont Library Café.”
The group plans to hold study breaks, film screenings, knowledge shares, and facilitated discussions about many issues including access to higher education, the ongoing privatization of the university, and Harvard’s role in facilitating neo-liberalism worldwide. Topics for upcoming think-tank discussions include: “The role of knowledge in promoting social equality and social justice,” and “What is a library? What does the library of the future look like?” The group intends to maintain a presence in the cafe until Friday February 17th at 10 pm.”

After the Eviction. What is Next For Occupy DC? (Occupodcast #001)
February 13, 2012 10:11 AM PST
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I talk with Alli McCracken of Occupy Dc & Code Pink about the “diversity of tactics” debate happening in the movement in the wake of Chris Hedges article “The Cancer in Occupy” and we also talk about Occupy DC post eviction; what is next for the occupy movement in DC and nationally; Occupy CPAC; Occupy AIPAC; and speculate as to why or not the Occupy movement has been keeping the ant-war movement at a bit of an arms length and finally we address the issue of co-option. Can this movement be co-opted, or can we co-opt the establishment?

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