Occupy Main Street. Resources.Posted: February 21, 2012
Cornell West on How Intellectuals Betrayed the Poor.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about how our most powerful actions are now, and will continue to be, about how we connect locally and become interdependent in our own communities.
Here is a collection of resources that helps define the terms and shape the way we envision the future beginning very close to home.
Community Wealth Dot Org - from University of Maryland. Website
New Economy Network. Website.
Here’s a video about the power of choosing a Co-Op:
Josh the Nomad weighs in with an extensive post on Spain’s Neighborhood Assemblies.
And listen here to our most excellent honey badger Occupy Harrisonburg-ite Michael Feikema nail the issues on local NPR. Below are some of his key quotes along with a quote from Occupy Charlottesville’s David Swanson.
-“The Occupy Movement central message is that America has reached levels of intolerable and self destructive inequality both political and economic inequality.” – (MF)
-“What occupy is doing is shifting the ground, the categories with which we view the economy and it is injecting moral and spiritual qualities and categories into the way which we view the economy. That is a revolution.” (MF)
-”OWS is not a leaderless movement. It is a movement of leaders. When people realize that we can’t depend on one leader to save us and if we are going to be able to change this situation each one of us is going to have to take responsibility for it and get involved ourselves.
If you look at it in terms of the early church after Jesus died that is what they did. They lost their leader when he was only 30. But they realized that nothing was going to happen that nothing was going to continue unless that leader lived in them. And to me this is the spirit of (Martin Luther) King living on. And it is the spirit of people like Ghandi. And so there is a spiritual dimension to this and I would say that the leadership comes from that spirit. And I think that is powerful enough.” (MF)
-“You have to reflect in order to act. Our sitting in parks is to think and plan actions. One of the things we have focused on (at Occupy Harrisonburg) is to look around us and see where a new economy and a new Main Street- based economy is already being built and has been built for decades and in fact there are roots that go much further back than that. And if you look in Harrisonburg you can find that.
Members of our group have been participating in New Community Project which is a project in building sustainable living in renovating a house and doing carpentry and gardening in order to try and start modeling and creating the kind of society we need to move towards. We’ve also focused on Move-Your-Money which is encouraging people to take their money out of the big wall street banks and put it into credit unions and community banks which are existing institutions.
Wall Street destroyed a financial system which at one time was oriented toward the communities and was oriented toward the real economy and productive investment. And they, with their financial modernization destroyed that.
We need to go back to that, but we need to go deeper. And we need to have a new economy that is focused around some of the things that have been developing like cooperatives (like Friendly City Food Co-Op), like worker-owned enterprises and create a broader financial system that will be oriented towards serving those kinds of developments. Because that is the kind of economy that would be close to the people and would be rooted in communities and rooted in nature and we want to focus on building those things that are already there.
So it is very important for people to look at their own communities and on Main Street and support what is already there and try to build on it.” (MF)
-“This is a movement of people power. This is democracy developing and enriching itself. And this is the power of people to take their agenda to their local and state and maybe someday federal government and change this country.
And it (OWS) is working, it is educating, it is changing the conversation, changing the polling, passing referenda, passing laws, getting prosecutions begun against banksters. There is success beginning to grow. And it can happen at the state level. And these corporations can be de-chartered.
When people of West Virginia are sick of Massey energy treating lives of miners as a cost of doing business, they can go and meet up with the people of Delaware and say “De-charter that corporation.” Corporations can be ended. We have to take that power back. They are legal creations of us that ought to be under our oversight rather than we serving their interests as if they have more rights – as the LEGALLY do now have more rights than we do.” Occupy Charlottesville’s David Swanson