May 13 2015

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern University) looked at more than 20 years worth of data to answer a simple question: Does the government represent the people?

Their study took data from nearly 2000 public opinion surveys and compared it to the policies that ended up becoming law. In other words, they compared what the public wanted to what the government actually did. What they found was extremely unsettling: The opinions of 90% of Americans have essentially no impact at all.

Check this new video from RepresentUs

It appears on this web site with more information.

 

Apr 17 2015

BE THE CHANGE

I’m not sure we will win if we don’t begin.

So I realign my mind to the sky and occupy visions.

Music by Sariyah Idan, Images by Michael Gould-Wartofsky. Edited by Sariyah Idan. Composed by Sam Zeines and Sariyah Idan.

 

Mar 30 2015

BE THE CHANGE! OWN THE CHANGE!

This excerpt is from Truth-out this month.  Bellingham is mentioned in this short video.

“Since the economic collapse of 2008, most Americans have come to agree that the dominant economic system favors the powerful. Meanwhile, organizers have been steadily making gains and putting decision-making power back in the hands of those who work on Main Street. Through this work and a proven track record of lifting local economies, worker cooperatives have gained wider acceptance in recent years. Cities like Austin, Madison and New York have committed funds to support their development. Other municipalities have also advanced comprehensive economic development visions that make heavy use of the worker co-op model.

Own the Change documents these successes and the hard work it took to realize them. It unpacks how worker cooperatives have come to be an engine of economic justice and delivers a guide to making change a reality in your city.”

 

LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN!  

SHARE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

Mar 07 2015

FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules

It’s only been a little more than a year since Verizon Wireless defeated the FCC in DC Circuit Court. That ruling–that the FCC had no authority to enforce its “open-internet” or Network Neutrality Rules–was a serious blow to innovators, independent journalists and researchers, and the internet community as a whole. The event seemed like an omen of what was to come, civil liberties groups like the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation raised the alarm and launched campaigns to educate and rally the American people. In response telecommunications giants like AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Comcast launched their own campaigns and made vague threats about suspending investment in America’s internet infrastructure if they didn’t get their way.
In April of 2014 the looming clouds were at their darkest when the FCC reversed its prior stance on Net Neutrality and proposed to grant Internet Service Providers the right to block content, throttle connection speeds, and charge higher rates for faster service. Google, Facebook, and many other big players in the internet/tech industry wrote an open letter to the FCC expressing concern and calling for an open internet.  For the first time, the topic was prominently featured and even discussed in mainstream media channels, albeit often erroneously.  Bloggers and independent media sources did a better job of explaining to the public what Net Neutrality is and why it matters.

Finally, almost two weeks ago now, the FCC voted to reclassify internet service under what is referred to as “Common Carrier” rules, which are spelled out in Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  The move is widely considered an important and promising step in the right direction and a victory for proponents of freedoms of speech, communication, and access to information.  The servers, physical networks, and billions of connected devices in the United States are a significant part of the fabric of the internet and the FCC’s decision will likely have a major impact on the entire world as a result.

Before we lower the flag and say the fight is over however, its worth noting that several telecommunications corporations and interest groups have vowed to sue the FCC and challenge the new rules, at this point it is unclear how much of a threat these suits may pose if/when they are filed.  There are also concerns about some of the language and the general complexity of the 300-page document, however in general sentiment seems to be positive from the Open Internet movement’s biggest players, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation calling it a “big win”.

This article was scraped together by Spencer Holmes, a technology researcher involved with Occupy Bellingham.  

 

 

Feb 20 2015

FAST TRACK PROTEST REPORT

OCCUPY BELLINGHAM has been very busy this past week.  On Tuesday we participated in a rally to oppose FAST TRACK  for TPP.  We carpooled to Mt. Vernon and rallied at Representative DelBene’s office.  OCCUPY BELLINGHAM brought all our TPP banners.  Debbie made a third banner about FAST TRACK that got the most exposure (behind the speakers).  

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Representative DelBene was unable to be present but a group met with her staffer and explained the position of those against this destructive “free” trade agreement.  Those present included many labor organizers, workers and OCCUPY BELLINGHAM.  

At about 11:00 those of us from Bellingham bid farewell to the bus (with Dianne and Debbie on board to Olympia!) and made our way back home.  Our banners accompanied the trip going to Salem, Oregon as the final destination.  

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Robert Reich – has a new 2 minute video in case you don’t know much about TPP or FAST TRACK.  Share this with your friends. 

Stay tuned for the next post about the incredibly successful barnstorming presentation by David Cobb from the National Move To Amend leadership that took place on Thursday 2/19.

Feb 08 2015

TAR SANDS RESISTANCE

Over the past four years, the Unist’ot’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation have literally built a strategy to keep three proposed oil and gas pipelines from crossing their land. Concerned about the environmental damage a leak could cause on land they’ve never given up, they’ve constructed a protection camp to block pipeline companies. As opposition to the development of Alberta’s tar sands and to fracking projects grows across Canada, with First Nations communities on the front lines, the Unist’ot’en camp is an example of resistance that everyone is watching.

At the Feb 2 Coal Activist meeting four students from WWU shared their experience of staying in the Unist’ot’en  camp for 2 weeks.  They showed the following video which was inspiring.

 

 

Jan 23 2015

PROTEST CITIZENS UNITED- WE WERE THERE!

On the Fifth Anniversary of The 2010 Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court OCCUPY BELLINGHAM staged an action. 

For starters we built the banners.  We learned this at a Backbone Campaign summer workshop here in Bellingham summer of 2012.

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Then we took those banners to the freeway overpasses and staged them in a nice order to get the message across. 

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Then we took our new “bat signal” light to the Granary in downtown Bellingham for more action.

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Finally some crazy shots of the OCCUPY folks who made this happen. Some are missing: Don, Marian, Stephen, Ellie, Daydre

We ended with pizza at the IMG_0918granary

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ALL IN ALL WE HAD A GREAT TIME.  WE WERE JOINED BY A COUPLE FROM ANACORTES WHO HEARD ABOUT OUR ACTION VIA THE INTERNET.  WOW!

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 29 2014

3 YEARS LATER

DECEMBER 28, 2011 – the day the OCCUPY BELLINGHAM encampment was taken down by a Whatcom County militarized police force.  Four members of OCCUPY BELLINGHAM protested this intervention and were arrested, spending the night in jail and the next two years protesting these arrests.

WORKING BACKWARDS

The Bellingham Herald marked that day with photographs and you can view them here

The Herald also ran a story about OCCUPY ONE YEAR LATER that you can view here. 

Below is a video of the start of it all recorded on October 14, 2011.  It shows the incredible enthusiasm for change.

OCCUPY BELLINGHAM IS STILL HERE FULFILLING OUR MISSION TO:   “peacefully call out, expose and oppose the unregulated corporate and capitalist economic structure(s) that are derailing America’s Democracy, further oppressing our citizens and causing a collapse of the ecological life structure of the planet.”

JOIN US! 

SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER TO YOU RIGHT.  COME TO OUR GA AT THE ALTERNATIVE LIBRARY ON FRIDAYS FROM 2:30 – 4:00.

Dec 26 2014

SAVE OUR WATERS

Thanks to Nora Weaver for finding this song “Save Our Waters” by Kinnie Starr featuring Ja$e ElNino and sending it on.

This music video won the award for Best Music Video at the most recent ImagineNATIVE Festival. It uses stop-motion animation of Haida-carved figures to tell an allegorical story about what the Canadian government’s current energy policies could to to sacred land and waters. Prime Minister Stephen Harper tries to steer an oil tanker called the Bitumen Valdez around Haida Gwaii and up the Douglas Channel.

Can these animated Indigenous heroes save the day? 

 

Dec 15 2014

A SONG FOR THE SEASON

While there might not be much to cheer about these days, a song by Leonard Cohen can always bring a smile. 

May you all stay well and be ready for the new year with renewed vigor for the struggle ahead. 

Thanks to Terry for posting the photo (below) of the light OCCUPY BELLINGHAM hopes will bring greater awareness to the issues we face.

 

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