Posts tagged corruption

Grand Theft Election

How Republicans Plan to Rig the Electoral College and Steal the White House

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By Ian Millhiser January 24, 2013

President Barack Obama won a commanding victory in this November’s elections, defeating Republican candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by nearly 4 percentage points in the popular vote. In doing so, President Obama became the first president to twice win more than 51 percent of the popular vote since President Dwight D. Eisenhower did so in 1956.

If a Republican plan to rig the Electoral College had been in effect in 2012, however, it is reasonably likely that President Romney would be the one meeting with his new cabinet officials in the Oval Office. Under current law, most states allocate all of their electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole. This Republican Plan to rig future elections, however, would change this in several blue states where Democrats are likely to carry the state’s full slate of electors. Texas, South Carolina, and other safe red states would therefore continue to deliver every single one of their electoral votes to the Republican candidate, while blue states such as Pennsylvania or Michigan would have to give away half or more of theirs to the Republican ticket. The result is a giant thumb on the scale for Republicans, enabling them to take the White House even when the electorate strongly prefers the Democratic candidate.

How the Republican election-rigging plan works

This Republican Plan would reallocate electoral votes so that a maximum of two electoral votes would go to the overall winner of several key blue states. The lion’s share of the state’s electors would then be allocated one by one to the presidential candidate who won each individual congressional district. (see Figure 1) Thus, in a blue state such as Michigan—which President Obama won by nearly 10 points in 2012—Gov. Romney would have received 9 of the state’s 16 electoral votes because he received more votes than the president did in nine of the state’s congressional districts. In other words, the Republican candidate would receive more than half of the state’s electoral votes despite being overwhelmingly defeated in the state as a whole.

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Cashing in on gerrymandering

The Republican Plan does not just apply one set of rules in red states and another set of rules in blue states—it also takes advantage of profoundly gerrymandered congressional maps in order to stack the deck even more for Republican presidential candidates. In 2012 Democratic House candidates received nearly 1.4 million more votes than their Republican counterparts. Yet Republican candidates currently hold a 33-seat majority in the House, due in large part to the fact that Republican state legislatures controlled the redistricting process in several key states. Indeed, Republicans were so successful in their efforts to lock in their control of the House of Representatives through gerrymandering that Democratic House candidates would have needed to win the national popular vote by more than 7 percentage points in order to receive the barest majority in the House. Republicans aren’t particularly shy about touting the success of their gerrymanders either: The Republican State Leadership Committee released an extensive memo boasting about how they used gerrymanders to lock down GOP majorities in the House.

The impact of the current congressional maps is most profound in six key states. As explained above, President Obama did win Michigan by nearly 10 points, but Democratic candidates won only 5 of the state’s 14 congressional seats. Likewise, President Obama won Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—in some cases by comfortable margins—but Republicans dominate the congressional delegations from these states.

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Notably, all six of these states are currently controlled by Republican governors and legislatures, meaning that all six of them could implement the Republican election-rigging plan before the 2016 election.

Why the Republican Plan is a real threat

Lest there be any doubt, the Republican Plan is not some speculative proposal with no support outside of conservative think tanks and the pages of the National Review. It is widely endorsed by many leading Republicans.

The Republican Plan was first proposed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi in 2011. Later that year a Wisconsin lawmaker circulated a copycat plan to his fellow Republicans, which Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) called an “interesting idea.” Ohio’s top elections official, Republican Secretary of State John Husted, endorsed the plan during a post-election conference, although he later backed off that endorsement following significant criticism. A version of the election-rigging plan is currently pending in the Virginia State Senate, and it was recently reintroduced in the Pennsylvania House.

Perhaps most ominously of all, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus endorsed the plan, and he did not even hide his intention to implement it only in blue states, where it will help the Republican presidential candidate and hurt the Democratic candidate. In Priebus’s words, “I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at.”

Conclusion

When voters gave Republicans temporary control of several state legislatures in 2010, they did not sign away their right to elect different leaders in future elections. Yet Republicans have already wielded their short-lived mandate to draw legislative maps that lock in the GOP’s gains, and many Republicans are poised to implement a new plan that would make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win the presidency. If the Republican Party can’t win elections fair and square, then their backup plan appears to be nothing more than cheating.

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Ian Millhiser is a Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst with the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Editor of ThinkProgress Justice.

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Nickles and Dimes - Arizona State University’s 2012-2013 Tuition Proposal.
On February 24, 2012, Arizona State University presented its tuition proposal for the 2012-2013 academic year to the Arizona Board of Regents. The ASU proposal does not include a possible (and likely) increase in costs for housing, meals and a variety of other potential student costs and fees.
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With all of the “Nickle and Diming” of it’s over 70,000 students for everything from books to meals to parking to football tickets to housing…etc, etc… Arizona State University hardly needs an increase of it’s tuition by a single penny…
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This year’s ASU in-state freshmen are playing $9,208 for tuition a year. Tuition and fees — depending on their academic colleges — bring their totals close to $10,000 annually. During the 2010-2011 academic year, ASU’s resident freshmen paid $7,800 in tuition. Arizona State University has been receiving growing pressure from parents, students and lawmakers to halt the steep tuition hikes that have occurred in the past few years. Since 2007, tuition and fees have gone up 96 percent at ASU.
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The sharpest increases occurred over the past three years and coincided with significant cuts in state funding because of Arizona’s economic crisis. The university system lost $428 million in state funding since 2008 even as enrollment grew, meaning per-student funding fell by about 50 percent. Last year, the Arizona Board Of Regents voted to hike tuition 20 percent at ASU. 
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Universities are feeling increased pressure at the state and national level to make higher education more affordable. Last month, President Barack Obama called for changes to the higher-education financial-aid system and warned colleges and universities that they could lose federal funds if they fail to control spiraling tuition costs.
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Obama said he was “putting colleges on notice” that skyrocketing tuition hikes have to end.
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“You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down,” Obama said in a speech at the University of Michigan.
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As always, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow welcomes your criticism, complaints, commentary, ideas, questions, condemnation, pugnacity, censure, grievances, protestations, opposition, castigation and smart-ass remarks at michael.crow@asu.edu.
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You are also welcome to sign the petition to Reduce The Costs Of Education For Arizona State University Students at Change.org.

Nickles and Dimes - Arizona State University’s 2012-2013 Tuition Proposal.

On February 24, 2012, Arizona State University presented its tuition proposal for the 2012-2013 academic year to the Arizona Board of Regents. The ASU proposal does not include a possible (and likely) increase in costs for housing, meals and a variety of other potential student costs and fees.

.

With all of the “Nickle and Diming” of it’s over 70,000 students for everything from books to meals to parking to football tickets to housing…etc, etc… Arizona State University hardly needs an increase of it’s tuition by a single penny…

.

This year’s ASU in-state freshmen are playing $9,208 for tuition a year. Tuition and fees — depending on their academic colleges — bring their totals close to $10,000 annually. During the 2010-2011 academic year, ASU’s resident freshmen paid $7,800 in tuition. Arizona State University has been receiving growing pressure from parents, students and lawmakers to halt the steep tuition hikes that have occurred in the past few years. Since 2007, tuition and fees have gone up 96 percent at ASU.

.

The sharpest increases occurred over the past three years and coincided with significant cuts in state funding because of Arizona’s economic crisis. The university system lost $428 million in state funding since 2008 even as enrollment grew, meaning per-student funding fell by about 50 percent. Last year, the Arizona Board Of Regents voted to hike tuition 20 percent at ASU. 

.

Universities are feeling increased pressure at the state and national level to make higher education more affordable. Last month, President Barack Obama called for changes to the higher-education financial-aid system and warned colleges and universities that they could lose federal funds if they fail to control spiraling tuition costs.

.

Obama said he was “putting colleges on notice” that skyrocketing tuition hikes have to end.

.

“You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down,” Obama said in a speech at the University of Michigan.

.

As always, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow welcomes your criticism, complaints, commentary, ideas, questions, condemnation, pugnacity, censure, grievances, protestations, opposition, castigation and smart-ass remarks at michael.crow@asu.edu.

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You are also welcome to sign the petition to Reduce The Costs Of Education For Arizona State University Students at Change.org.


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Why Does America Value Oil Companies More Than Kids?
Every year, billions of our tax dollars are given away to Big Oil companies.

Estimates of the value of US federal subsidies to the domestic oil industry alone range from roughly $6 billion to an amazing $52 billion annually.  Billions more US federal dollars each year go to “oil aid” – money to fossil fuel corporations in the name of international development assistance.

We shouldn’t be giving any of our tax money to subsidize these corporations that already set record profits while polluting. And we shouldn’t be spending our limited foreign aid dollars financing destructive oil, gas and coal projects.

It’s time to stop funding the problem, and start funding the solution. We need to fund clean energy at home and abroad and support communities vulnerable to climate change, not old and dying industries. We need to spend our money educating our children.



Tell your elected officials that you want them to stop funding the problem and start funding the solution.

Why Does America Value Oil Companies More Than Kids?

Every year, billions of our tax dollars are given away to Big Oil companies.

Estimates of the value of US federal subsidies to the domestic oil industry alone range from roughly $6 billion to an amazing $52 billion annually.  Billions more US federal dollars each year go to “oil aid” – money to fossil fuel corporations in the name of international development assistance.

We shouldn’t be giving any of our tax money to subsidize these corporations that already set record profits while polluting. And we shouldn’t be spending our limited foreign aid dollars financing destructive oil, gas and coal projects.

It’s time to stop funding the problem, and start funding the solution. We need to fund clean energy at home and abroad and support communities vulnerable to climate change, not old and dying industries. We need to spend our money educating our children.


Tell your elected officials that you want them to stop funding the problem and start funding the solution.

34 notes 

Stop Paying Facebook’s Taxes…
According to Citizens for Tax Justice’s new report, Facebook’s raking in many extra millions because of tax loopholes that let them pay nothing.



Through a ridiculous corporate loophole, Facebook could avoid paying income taxes for an entire generation. In 2012 alone, the social network is poised to receive a $0.5 billion government refund instead of paying its fair share.Enough is enough. These unfair corporate tax loopholes need to come to an end, and there’s something we can do about them right now. This news about Facebook is a chance to get lots of Americans fired up about meaningful corporate tax reform.



 

Stop Paying Facebook’s Taxes…

According to Citizens for Tax Justice’s new report, Facebook’s raking in many extra millions because of tax loopholes that let them pay nothing.

Through a ridiculous corporate loophole, Facebook could avoid paying income taxes for an entire generation. In 2012 alone, the social network is poised to receive a $0.5 billion government refund instead of paying its fair share.

Enough is enough. These unfair corporate tax loopholes need to come to an end, and there’s something we can do about them right now. This news about Facebook is a chance to get lots of Americans fired up about meaningful corporate tax reform.

 

Do You Pay Your Taxes?…. These 10 Corporations Don’t…

Come April 15, everybody ponies up their fair share, right? Not so much. Thanks to corporate tax cuts and loopholes, these big companies will be rollin’ in the green instead of paying Uncle Sam.


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Our Problem……



“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders .. and millions have been killed because of this obedience .. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
 ~ Howard Zinn

Our Problem……

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders .. and millions have been killed because of this obedience .. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.

~ Howard Zinn

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Citizens United v. FEC - Supreme Court Ruling

When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United v. FEC in a 5-4 decision, The Court struck down the FECA prohibition on corporations and labor unions making Independent Expenditures to expressly advocate the election or defeat of federal Candidates, or its functional equivalent.

 

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Officials say only Madoff has the devious skills needed to avert total catastrophe

NEW YORK—According to high-ranking federal officials, the U.S. government has struck an unusual bargain with convicted criminal Bernard Madoff, giving the former financier 48 hours to infiltrate the nation’s crumbling economy and fix it in exchange for a reduction in his sentence.

After determining the current economic emergency could not be resolved “within conventional means,” Treasury Department agents reportedly confronted the notorious Madoff in his solitary confinement cell and proposed a mutually beneficial arrangement that will make the 73-year-old a free man if he can safely “get in and out” and turn the failing financial system around by Friday.

"We told him the situation—how our country can’t seem to generate wealth and investment nationwide has hit rock bottom—and then we asked him, point-blank, ‘Can you help us?’" Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said of Madoff, known to fellow prisoners at Butner Federal Correctional Complex as "Mad Dog." "Believe me, no one wants to do this monster any favors, but he’s the only man in America with the skills to rally investor confidence and conjure money out of thin air. This time, though, he’ll be using his talents for good—if we can keep him on a tight enough leash, that is."

"Madoff may be one ruthless, crazy son of a bitch," Geithner added, "but he just might be our only hope."

Fellow inmates say the muscle-bound Madoff is capable of anything—absolutely anything.

Sources speaking on condition of anonymity said Madoff listened to the proposal with a smirk and took several drags off a cigarette before finally telling agents, “You guys must be pretty hard up if you’re asking me,” and agreed to the terms of the deal.

The mission is said to involve outfitting Madoff in a three-piece pinstripe suit and briefcase and transporting him by a glider to the extraction point at 11 Wall Street in Manhattan, where he will work quickly to generate funds via various investment operations and “wealth management” schemes, a plan officials are calling “a suicide mission, perhaps, but our last, best shot.”

"There’s a strong chance he’ll go rogue once he realizes the mission is all but hopeless, so we’ve implanted a tracking device in his body that will explode if he strays more than a mile from the New York Stock Exchange," said Geithner, acknowledging Madoff is one of the few men alive ruthless enough to survive the total disaster zone he’s being sent into. "It’s a risk we have to take. Mad Dog knows that place like the back of his hand, and this is a guy who made billions of dollars practically overnight by cold-bloodedly convincing people their retirement accounts were booming. The man is a selling machine."

"And right now, brother, that’s exactly what we need," Geithner added.

U.S. Treasury accountant Simon Trueheart, known within the department as a by-the-book bureaucrat, will accompany Madoff on the mission, and the criminal mastermind is reported to have already told his unlikely sidekick to “leave the pocket calculator at home, kid, because if we do this, we do it my way, understand?”

When asked if the government would actually make good on its promise to reduce Madoff’s sentence to time served should he succeed, Treasury officials were noncommittal, but confirmed they would be checking up with him every hour on the hour to chart his progress and make sure “the psycho bastard isn’t up to his old tricks again.”

"Some of the bankers, traders, and corporate executives in there now are even more merciless than he is, so let’s just hope he can keep his wits about him," said Geithner, adding that he worried Madoff might merely be making use of the opportunity to reunite with his estranged son, Andrew, on the outside. "The clock is ticking. Every minute he’s down in that fucking madhouse we’re one minute closer to total economic oblivion. I never thought I’d say this, but Godspeed, Bernie Madoff. You better know what the hell you’re doing."

When reached for comment, Madoff told reporters he personally didn’t care “one rat’s ass” whether the economy recovered, as long as it meant he’d be out on probation in two days time.

"I may not like being the feds’ monkey, but it beats rotting away in the hole, I can tell you that much," Madoff said after completing a set of one-armed push-ups and running a comb through his hair. "But mark my words, if that pencil-pusher Geithner weasels out of this deal, I will hunt him down and slit his fucking throat. You got that, Jack? He’s in Mad Dog’s world now."

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Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Shamar Thomas on Occupy Times Square, veterans’ rights

Keith Olbermann and Shamar Thomas – a Marine Corps veteran who attended the Occupy Times Square protest on Oct. 15 and confronted police officers for using excessive force on protesters – discuss what the Occupy movement means to him and the potential for other veterans to get involved. Thomas, for whom military service is a family affair, pointed out that riot police were not necessary in Times Square. “I’ve been in battle. There was no battle going on.” Thomas wants to inspire other veterans to support the movement: “This is our time – in our generation – to change the greed that is in America.” 

 

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October 15th - Global Day Of Action
Posted Oct. 15, 2011, 12:27 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Times Square LivestreamGlobal Revolution Livestream
NYC Live Updates

12:35 p.m. March from Liberty Square to Washington Square Park passes Church and Chambers - numbers more than a thousand.


12:54 p.m. Bronx Police hold entrance to subway open for Bronx General Assembly - march heads downtown for free, filling two entire cars.


1:05 p.m. Poetry cipher broke out during the Bronx General Assembly on the 4 train.


1:16 p.m. March from Liberty Square to Washington Square Park passes 6th and Broome.


1:23 p.m. At least twenty NYPD vehicles heading to Washington Square Park.


1:29 p.m.. Two thousand are gathered for General Assembly in Washington Square Park. Thousands more are marching to meet them.


1:49 p.m. March from Liberty Square passes Waverly Place, nears Washington Square Park.


1:57 p.m. March from Liberty Square reaches Washington Square Park. Thousands in the General Assembly meet them chanting, “Wall Street, no thanks - we don’t need your greedy banks.”


2:19 p.m. Citibank action 555 La Guardia Place. Occupiers are inside and currently being arrested.


2:23 p.m. At least 22 arrested in Citibank.


2:28 p.m. Police at 555 La Guardia Place are arresting occupiers in Citibank who are attempting to close their accounts.


2:43 p.m. Around four thousand in Washington Square Park. Around three thousand in Liberty Square.


3:19 p.m. Zombie group arriving in Washington Square Park. Hundreds march from Liberty Square to Citibank at 555 La Guardia Place in solidarity with arrested occupiers.


3:26 p.m. General Assembly of Washington Square Park marches on Times Square. 8th st and 6th ave.


3:36 p.m. It appears that Twitter is censoring our updates.


3:40 p.m. March from Washington Square Park is at 11th St and 6th Ave. At least five thousand strong.


4:18 p.m. March from Washington Square Park is at 20th St and 6th Ave.


Schedule
11AM - MARCH ON THE BANKSFrom Liberty Square to ChaseWe will then march to student meet up at Wash. Sq. ParkFacebookmoveyourmoneyproject.org
11AM - OCCUPY THE BRONX MEET-UPFacebook
12PM - ANTI-WAR MARCH AND TEACH-INWall Street And Broadway Facebook
12PM - MASS STUDENT GENERAL ASSEMBLYWashington Square Park -Student meet up and student loan lender bank actionFacebook
1PM - #SankofaDaySponsered by the Malcolm X Grass Roots MovementLiberty Plaza/Zuccotti ParkFacebook
3:30PM - ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION AGAINST MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVALNew York Public Library Main Entrance42 and 5th avenue
4PM - OCCU-PIE TIMES SQUARE RECRUITMENT CENTERFacebook
5PM - TAKE TIME SQUARE CONVERGENCE/ OCCUPATION PARTYThe Occupation Party & Facebook
Media
Washington Square Park, NYC



Times Square, NYC

Bronx, NYC

Hong Kong

London


Berlin

Tel Aviv

Amsterdam

Los Angeles

October 15th - Global Day Of Action

Posted Oct. 15, 2011, 12:27 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Times Square Livestream
Global Revolution Livestream

NYC Live Updates

  • 12:35 p.m. March from Liberty Square to Washington Square Park passes Church and Chambers - numbers more than a thousand.

  • 12:54 p.m. Bronx Police hold entrance to subway open for Bronx General Assembly - march heads downtown for free, filling two entire cars.

  • 1:05 p.m. Poetry cipher broke out during the Bronx General Assembly on the 4 train.

  • 1:16 p.m. March from Liberty Square to Washington Square Park passes 6th and Broome.

  • 1:23 p.m. At least twenty NYPD vehicles heading to Washington Square Park.

  • 1:29 p.m.. Two thousand are gathered for General Assembly in Washington Square Park. Thousands more are marching to meet them.

  • 1:49 p.m. March from Liberty Square passes Waverly Place, nears Washington Square Park.

  • 1:57 p.m. March from Liberty Square reaches Washington Square Park. Thousands in the General Assembly meet them chanting, “Wall Street, no thanks - we don’t need your greedy banks.”

  • 2:19 p.m. Citibank action 555 La Guardia Place. Occupiers are inside and currently being arrested.

  • 2:23 p.m. At least 22 arrested in Citibank.

  • 2:28 p.m. Police at 555 La Guardia Place are arresting occupiers in Citibank who are attempting to close their accounts.

  • 2:43 p.m. Around four thousand in Washington Square Park. Around three thousand in Liberty Square.

  • 3:19 p.m. Zombie group arriving in Washington Square Park. Hundreds march from Liberty Square to Citibank at 555 La Guardia Place in solidarity with arrested occupiers.

  • 3:26 p.m. General Assembly of Washington Square Park marches on Times Square. 8th st and 6th ave.

  • 3:36 p.m. It appears that Twitter is censoring our updates.

  • 3:40 p.m. March from Washington Square Park is at 11th St and 6th Ave. At least five thousand strong.

  • 4:18 p.m. March from Washington Square Park is at 20th St and 6th Ave.

Schedule

11AM - MARCH ON THE BANKS
From Liberty Square to Chase
We will then march to student meet up at Wash. Sq. Park
Facebook
moveyourmoneyproject.org

11AM - OCCUPY THE BRONX MEET-UP
Facebook

12PM - ANTI-WAR MARCH AND TEACH-IN
Wall Street And Broadway 
Facebook

12PM - MASS STUDENT GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Washington Square Park -
Student meet up and student loan lender bank action
Facebook

1PM - #SankofaDay
Sponsered by the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement
Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park
Facebook

3:30PM - ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION AGAINST MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL
New York Public Library Main Entrance
42 and 5th avenue

4PM - OCCU-PIE TIMES SQUARE RECRUITMENT CENTER
Facebook

5PM - TAKE TIME SQUARE CONVERGENCE/ OCCUPATION PARTY
The Occupation Party & Facebook

Media

Washington Square Park, NYC

Times Square, NYC

Bronx, NYC

Hong Kong

London

Berlin

Tel Aviv

Amsterdam

Los Angeles

6 notes 

Michael Moore Talks #OccupyWallStreet on MSNBC’s The Last Word

"They obviously did the right thing because they don’t have another choice. It’s not really their choice. The choice has been made by the people who are occupying the park and they’re not going — we’re not going — we’re not going anywhere. We are there until we have justice. … This can’t be stopped. Mayor Bloomberg saying ‘we’ve gotta clean the park’ is laughable down there because the cleanup that has to take place is two blocks away on the actual Wall Street. … I just want to encourage anybody who’s watching this out there to get involved. … Everybody out there, get out there and get involved. This is the time. If you’ve sat on the couch for a long time and said, ‘I’m sick and tired of this, these politicians, these fat cats,’ this is the time to quit complaining and get up and get out the door and get involved in this. You’ll meet all kinds of people. … Be part of this. And tomorrow is the big day. All around the world, October 15th, demonstrations — not just in hundreds of cities around the country but all over the world in support of what’s going on with Occupy Wall Street." — Michael Moore live on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Friday, October 14th, 2011

DO SOMETHING:

http://15october.net/
http://occupywallst.org/
http://www.occupytogether.org/
http://nycga.cc/
http://twitter.com/OccupyWallStNYC

We’re not going anywhere either at http://www.michaelmoore.com

 

9 notes