Tag Archives: eviction

OccupyEducated: Bringing the Knowledge to You

For those of us who respect the intrinsic value of knowledge, learning, and genuine open discussion, it may be impossible to ever forget the images of Occupy Wall Street’s People’s Library being torn apart and thrown into dumpsters — thousands of books and irreplacable items damaged and destroyed (roughly 800 salvageable volumes were recovered out of a collection of over 5000).

Damaged and Destroyed
Damaged and Destroyed

What was once a bustling center of education and free exchange of ideas, open to all, is now roped off with police “crime scene” tape and carefully patroled to protect the decorative cabbages.  Sure, that seems legit.

Library = Crime?

Library = Crime?

But the people’s movement is irrepressible.  From the ashes of the physical library has been born a digital initiative to connect people across the globe:  OccupyEducated.org.  Here is the gist of the idea in excerpts from their About page:

Having a working knowledge of the issues and their root causes is essential to effectively communicating the need for change and formulating practical solutions[…]

As the 1%’s evictions begin to successfully silence education on the streets, OccupyEducated.org is stepping up to continue the conversation where it can never be stopped — online. Being out in your communities is still essential, but so is having a universal classroom and meeting place that can’t be dispersed[…]

We want OccupyEducated to be a knowledge aggregator where the vital information needed for making informed decisions can be easily found and freely accessed[…]

The ultimate goal of OccupyEducated is to promote unity through the use of education to help people see that we all really want the same thing, at a basic level. We would then like to see that unity evolve into collective action that will bring about real change.

The site is in its infancy but is already chock-full of useful information, including a list of recommended “primer” books to read for a basic overview of the problems that generated the Occupy movement, as well as a “cheat sheet” of videos that summarize this info in an accessible, clickable format.

Many of us are struggling to stay afloat in this broken society and ravaged economy.  We all know things have gone terribly wrong, but we don’t all have the time to seek out the hows and whys of it.  “Is the average taxpayer really worse off now than in decades past?”  “What is the relationship between the financial sector and the government, and is it really so sinister?”  “Don’t large corporations benefit everyone by creating jobs and contributing taxes?”  These are questions we need to be able to answer, but more than that, we need to be able to back them up with facts.  OccupyEducated is a great place to start, and it’s all in one place.

Arm yourself with knowledge.  Join the discussion.  The library is open.

The Library is Open

The Library is Open

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Occupy Pittsburgh 2.0: The People’s Park

Good morning, readers!  It’s another grey Pittsburgh day, but at least it’s above freezing today, right?  Luckily, last Sunday was Winterization Day at the Occupy Pittsburgh camp, where there was a lot of smiling, laughing, digging, raking, hauling, building, nailing, and other industrious teamwork to get the space cleaned up, revitalized, and ready to face the cold months ahead.  The People’s Library already got its 2.0 overhaul the weekend before, so us Occubrarians were able to pitch in with other projects.  Check out the fine new mess tent!

New Mess Tent!
New Mess Tent!

 You may have heard that BNY Mellon has served the Occupation with an “eviction” notice.  We can only assume this gesture was intended as a joke, but just in case our dear neighbors are in earnest, we gave them notice right back:

Notice to BNY Mellon

Occupy Pittsburgh hereby makes it known that The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK, hereafter BNY Mellon), a Delaware Corporation, with headquarters at One Wall Street, New York City, New York, is currently occupying a premises at 500 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We, the people of Pittsburgh, have so far tolerated the presence of this organization on this property, and as for the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment, we have enjoyed a friendly relationship with most of BNY Mellon’s staff, who are almost entirely part of the 99% of society who are not millionaires.

The public should be aware, however, that BNY Mellon is a criminal enterprise masquerading as a respectable institution in the community. As we pointed out on October 19, BNY Mellon is being sued by the attorneys general of three states for ripping off $2 billion from public pension funds by overcharging them for foreign currency trades. It is also being sued for $1 billion by the Retirement System of the City of Detroit for keeping the pension funds’ money in Lehman Brothers even after it became apparent that that bank was in trouble.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of BNY Mellon’s crimes. For instance, we note the bank’s habit of paying its own check processors low wages, below the level needed to raise a family. In this light, we see BNY Mellon as frivolous in its recent demand that people exercising their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly should remove their tents and camping equipment. It is BNY Mellon that is intruding on us, and it is time for them to go.

Please call BNY Mellon CEO Gerald Hassell at (212) 495-1784 and tell him it is time to leave the premises at 500 Grant Street immediately.

We further request cooperation from all public officials — be they judges or Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who can be reached at (412) 255-2626 — in enforcing this notice, and also not responding to pressure from BNY Mellon to interfere with the rights of citizens peacefully exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights.

For more fun facts about BNY Mellon’s legal troubles, check out this enlightening piece in Businessweek.  Turns out BNY is being sued for “gross negligence” in helping to funnel billions of dollars into Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.  (Remember Madoff?  He’s in prison now — two years down, 148 to go.  That’s what happens when you steal from the 1% instead of the 99%.)  So, it turns out we here at Occupy Pittsburgh don’t have the most upstanding of neighbors, but we try to make the best of it!  For one thing, we’ve renamed the space.  What do you think?

The People's Park

The People's Park

 
In so many other cities, the folks in power have claimed that the Occupations are impeding the public from utilizing the spaces the camps are in.  That’s silly, of course, since the very act of Occupation is that of the public utilizing a public space!  But just to make sure our local leaders get the point, we now proudly refer to the space as The People’s Park — open to all people!  And until the lives and livelihoods of the 99% are free of control by criminal organizations like BNY Mellon…
 
We're Not Going Anywhere!!

We're Not Going Anywhere!!

 

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