What concrete results has Occupy Wall St accomplished?
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… activists aren’t merely holding up signs and shouting slogans about the failings of the financial system — they’re trying to help members of a family who, they say, have suffered a direct blow at the hands of that system.
Activists have a phrase for this method. “Direct action,” said Anthony Newby, an innovator of the movement’s indoor-camping approach. “It’s about confronting power directly — not through a broker, not through a middle man, not through an attorney or a politician who will speak to legislators and try to come to some agreement. This is about homeowners directly confronting power and confronting big banks.”
The Occupy activists who took over the Cruz home call themselves Occupy Homes MN, a group that falls under the umbrella of a national movement called Occupy Homes.
Han Shan, an activist with Occupy’s New York branch, called Occupy Homes “a movement within a movement.”
Since its first appearance in October, Occupy Homes has sprouted offshoots in about 100 cities, from Atlanta to Detroit and Los Angeles, and helped thousands of underwater homeowners fight for their homes.
“When people see one house occupation at a time, that’s not going to get us to where we need to be. We want 15 million underwater homeowners to see this and think, It’s possible.”
A coalition including Occupy Wall Street, unions and community groups have called for “a day without the 99%” on May 1. One of the greatest challenges in preparation for that has been organizing precarious workers — those in non-unionized sectors like restaurants, domestic care, retail and freelancing, where jobs turn over fast and some lack U.S. work permits. Yet the Laundry Workers Center, which is part of the May Day coalition, is organizing worker-led campaigns capable of escalating to actions such as walkouts and facility takeovers if wages and conditions don’t improve. Even within unionized sectors, these types of workplace actions are rare in the United States. Yet this is just the kind of radical, unsanctioned organizing that the Occupy movement is trying to help spread through the call for a general strike that many assemblies have issued for May Day.
… within months, instead of being fired, the workers had been offered keys to the store by corporate higher-ups, the branch manager asked to join the campaign and Aran won the right to organize in the restaurant — an unprecedented victory for a non-unionized workplace.
After months of tireless defense by Occupy Minneapolis, US Bank called to offer Monique White a new loan. 15 months after the end of the Redemption period, and with a reduced principal. This movement won the impossible: Forcing the banks to deal with homeowners, something the government promised and failed to deliver.
Watch the video here.
“The movement may not have made headlines lately, but it has had a marked impact on both the Obama and Romney campaigns.
And in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine this week, the president openly embraced Occupy Wall Street as “just one vivid expression of a broader anxiety.””
Activists played music and chanted. After police arrived at the edge of the sidewalk, a few minutes of a peaceful discussion ensued. Activists explained that they merely wanted to plant vegetables and flowers on a vacant piece of land. Police responded that the owner, Brookfield Property Management, would not allow it, and anyone from the group that attempted to enter the lot would be arrested.
Having been turned away, protesters moved to the other side of the railroad tracks that crosses University Drive between Farmer Avenue and Ash Avenue. There, they spent the afternoon digging, planting and creating a garden on a small piece of ground that records from the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office website show is owned by the city of Tempe at the northwest corner of University Drive and Farmer Avenue. Although the city owns the entire parcel, most of it is vacant and protected by a chain-link fence.
Occupy shone a bright light on the closed-door activities of ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council), and the real impact of the laws it writes (e.g. the as-yet unpunished death of Trayvon Martin thanks to ALEC’s “Stand your ground” law).
Corporations are fleeing in droves. And they are not alone. From the article
But as these corporations have fled ALEC, there has also been one other little-noticed exodus from the group: that of legislators. SourceWatch and Keystone Progress have been tracking the defections of lawmakers. Here are 28 who have left so far:
(Source: 28 Law http)