Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Occupy Wall Street / Portland - Next Steps

I live fairly close to Occupy Portland so I'm able to stop by and visit fairly often.  At the encampment you'll find a mixed bag of issues, people, demands, strategies, tactics, concerns, and stories when visiting.

One common thing is clear however:  The need for systemic change.

While our current system has created vast and concentrated sums of wealth as well as abundant consumer options for Americans with spending money, the current system has also created:
  • Unemployment that hovers near 20 percent
  • 1 in 4 American children living in poverty
  • 50 million Americans without health insurance
  • The greatest prison population 
  • Multiple wars for resource control
  • Ecological devastation that puts the entire planet at peril
  • A corrupt political system where money buys votes and access
  • Millions of American home foreclosures
  • 40 years without real wage growth
  • College students burdened with massive debts owed primarily to the 1%
  • Wealth for richest 400 Americans that is equal to the wealth of the poorest 150,000,000 Americans
This list could go on and on.  

Learning the skills of an MBA, I was taught to look for root causes when solving problems.  The list above is a not a list of problems, but rather symptoms of much deeper problems.  Problems we must solve.

Because we must solve these problems, it is important for everyone to get involved.  How are you engaging with this vital revolution?

My first recommendations is for citizens to find out what is really going on.  You won't get this information from mainstream press so you need to find other channels.  What would you have known about the Egyptian revolution if you only listened to Egypt's official broadcasts?  Do you think Libya's official press did a good job telling the story of the resistance?

If you are getting your information from the mainstream corporate press you are getting filtered information when direct information is easily accessible.
  1. Visit an Occupy camp near you (Portland's is next to city hall and can be visited 24/7.  Hop on a bus and go check it out for yourself.  
  2. Watch the events on Livestream (www.Livestream.com and search for your favorite Occupy event).  Portland's events can be seen here:  http://www.livestream.com/occupyptown
  3. Visit the official webpage for your local Occupy event.  You can get unfiltered news about Portland's occupation at www.OccupyPortland.org
Two nights ago in Portland we had our first arrests related to the Occupy Portland events.  One of the most informative videos I saw about the events is here:  

My challenge to you is to get involved.  Will you join me?

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