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OWT Volume 1 Issue 3

OWT Volume 1 Issue 3

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Published by Benjamin Daniels
OWT Volume 1 Issue 3
OWT Volume 1 Issue 3

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Published by: Benjamin Daniels on Apr 05, 2012
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  W  e   t  h  e   9  9  %
McPherson SQ. • Washington, D.C. Vol 1 • Issue 1 • Year 2011
Washington Times
What the 1%should have said
Occupy DC responds toRepublican strategist onhow to discuss Occupy.
Occupy levelsclimate blame
 Common environmentarguments charged by
Occupy energy, organizaon.
Professors andprotesters align
Acadmics, protesters lendsuport across disciplines
It’s here! It’s
fnally here!
Occupy DC GeneralAssembly approves
Declaraon - graphic on 4.
 Vol 1 • Issue 3 • Year 2011
The OccupiedWashington Timesis funded through
individual donaons,and contribuons
from the Occupy DCGeneral Assembly fund.Please help sustain our
publishing eorts byvising...
Occupy DCDeclarationapproved,asserts purpose of movement
Ofcial ‘recovery’ leaves jobs behind
 Jubilation eruptedon the night of Nov. 30 when the Washington, D.C.General Assembly (GA)unanimously consentedupon The Declaration of Occupy DC. Friends old andnew hugged and strangersshook hands before moving on to Post Pub to celebrate.It had been a long timecoming.
During the rst week 
of Occupy DC the Occupy  Wall Street declaration was read aloud in unison. The document focused oncorporations, the economy and the government. Afterthe recitation of Occupy  Wall Street’s declaration, thedecision was made to makeone for Occupy DC that would focus on government,corporate power, and thedisenfranchisement of theDistrict of Columbia. The GA then charteredthe creation of a DeclarationCommittee, which wasmade up of approximately 55 diverse individuals, with
attendance that uctuated
from meeting to meeting. Asubmissions box was set upin McPherson Sq. on Oct.11, to solicit feedback on what grievances should beincluded in the declaration.Over 200 suggestions werereceived within a week.Following this, theDeclaration Committee thenmet on an almost daily basis,using a leaderless consensusprocess, to condense all 200suggestions into what is now 
By Drew Veysey 
Occupiers stand rm at “Battle of the Barn”
Occupiers engage in civil disobedience by refusing to abandon a wooden structure erected in the early morning hours at
McPherson Square on Sunday, Dec. 4. Police ordered that the structure be vacated and dismantled. (Photo by Craig Hudson)
On Sunday, Dec. 4, Oc-
cupy DC had it’s rst major
confrontation with police.D.C. Metropolitan Policeand U.S. Park Police cameto order the removal of a wooden structure that hadbeen built overnight. The10-hour standoff resulted inthe arrest of 31 occupiers.Between midnight and 2a.m. occupiers had erected a wooden structure from pre-fabricated pieces. Alternate-ly referred to as the People’s
Pavilion or just “The Barn”,
it was to be used for General Assemblies,meetings, and asan emergency sleeping shel-ter as needed, said organiz-ers. At 11 a.m. the Metro-politan Police Departmentand U.S. Park Police orderedthe removal of the structure.
“We’re here to stay, we’re here to ght.” That’s
the message Antoinette (lastname withheld), 23, a recentcollege graduate in criminal
justice, said she was hop
-ing to convey by submitting 
to her rst ever arrest onSunday. “We’re just build
-ing ourselves up, we’re still
 Joel Northam, 24, said
the action left him “invigo
rated”. He also believes that
press coverage will challengeperceptions and attract new people to the movement.
“It’s fun being in my suit and
tie, seeing someone reading about us in The Examinerand telling them ‘Oh, hey!I was the second person ar-
rested!’”“The day after [the in
-cident] we had people fromdifferent occupies show 
up in McPherson Square,”Northam continued. “Evenif it’s just to show other
occupations we’re not stag-
nant, it’s worth it.”
 The proposal for thestructure was carefully con-sidered, explained Paul (lastname withheld), the archi-
tect of the structure. “We
took it to a lot of commit-
tees,” he adds, “everyone was enthused with it.”
 The proposal was, how-ever, defeated when initially brought to the General As-sembly (GA), the open fo-rum, decision-making body of Occupy DC. A conten-tious debate centered onconcerns about legal conse-quences and the possibility of police confrontation.
“We had to break upthe rst GA,” said Antoi
-nette, who felt argumentsover legality were irrelevant.
“From day one we’ve beenoccupying illegally here.” After a day of reection, the
proposal passed at a secondGA, on Nov. 7.
Continues on 4
Crowds of protestors, bystanders, and media surround the “Occu-Barn”. Aer a 10-hour stando between protestors and police, it was demolished with a forkli. (Photo by Craig Hudson)
 Wells Fargo is the prin-cipal investor in the GEOGroup, the nation’s secondlargest private prison corpo-ration. In 2001, with back-ing from Wells Fargo, theGEO Group erected the
for-prot Rivers Correc
-tional Institution in Winton,North Carolina. According 
to NPR, Rivers is the na
-tion’s largest federal prison.Despite being over 200miles away from the city, itcurrently incarcerates over1,000 D.C. residents.Individuals and groupsadvocating for prisonerrights say that private pris-ons in general are nefarious. The GEO Group seems to
t the bill. Its track record
of mistreatment in its for-
prot prisons, mental healthfacilities, and juvenile deten
-tion centers includes sexualabuse and assault by staff and guards. Their doctorshave been sued for malprac-tice and have also abused in-
For Wells Fargo, prisons pay
Continues on 2Continues on 2By Amelia  Ashmall-Liversidge
Corporate prots have
more than doubled from thedepths of the recession to$1.5 trillion today, accord-ing to the St. Louis Federal
Reserve. Bureau of Labor
Statistics data for Novem-ber report unemploymentat 8.6 percent, the lowest
since the ofcial end of the
recession. It looks like a re-covery on paper, but the of-
cial statistics hide the factthat the jobs situation has
hardly improved for most Americans. When someone stopssearching for work entirely,they are counted by the Bu-reau of Labor statistics as
having “left the labor force”
but not as unemployed. The November em-ployment report said
120,000 jobs were createdlast month, but “300,000
people left the labor force
in October,” said Univer
-sity of Maryland politicaleconomist Gar Alperovitz.
“That’s what’s really been
dropping the unemploy-
ment rate,” he said.
 The bottom line is
that the ofcial rate does
not adequately describe the
true level of suffering. “If 
you take people who havestopped looking, or wouldlike to work full time in-stead of part-time, you’re at
25 percent unemployment,”said Alperovitz. “Many 
economists say we’re going to be stuck with this for adecade, and the idea that itmay be permanent is grow-
ing as well.”
 Jobless Americans arealso spending more time outof work than ever. In 2011,the average unemployed worker spent 41 weeks out
Continues on 4By Andrew Breiner By Karina Stenquist
2December 12, 2011
Park regulations state
that “temporary structures
may be erected for the pur-pose of symbolizing a mes-sage or meeting logistical
needs.” Although sturdy and
made of wood, the Occupy structure was designed foreasy assembly and disman-tling. It was raised in undertwo hours and was intend-ed to be disassembled andmoved as needed, to avoid violating regulations. The Park Police couldnot be reached for commenton the designer’s claimedtemporary nature of thestructure, or on their inspec-tor’s decision to label the
structure: “Dangerous”.“I was insulted,” said
Paul, who has an M.A. in Architecture from Catholic
University. He said he has
been working constructionsince he was 12 years old with his father, with whomhe’s built over 100 houses.Despite the care that went into designing theeasy-to-dismantle structure,police arriving on Sunday morning, quickly cordonedoff the structure, and or-dered those inside to leaveunder threat of arrest. At that point, policeinformed occupiers thatthey would have to take thestructure down, and get a
permit to rebuild it. “We feltthat [getting a permit] wasunlikely,” said “Gecko” De
LaDouche, 25, who was lat-
er arrested, “so we’d occupy and defend it instead.”
 The decision displeased
some. “I almost left,” said
Melinda Butler, 22, who hasbeen staying at McPhersonsince Nov. 3. She continued,
“I didn’t want to be seen as
one of those people who
antagonizes police,” refer
ring to them as fellow “blue-collar 99% workers.
Police didn’t display thetype of heavy handedness witnessed at U.C. Berkeley or U.C. Davis, where imagesof nightsticks and pepperspray have become infa-
mous. However, arrested
occupiers did report somerough treatment.
“I’m a buck fty,” saidSteve Hartwell, 23, refer
-ring to his slight, 150-pound
frame, “and they took fouror ve guys to take me
down....It felt like I got hit
by a truck.”
 After being draggedover concrete and through
manure left by ofcers’horses, Hartwell says they 
made his handcuffs extratight before shutting him
in the paddy wagon. “They 
 were very emotionally in-
 volved,” Hartwell comment
ed, “They weren’t behaving professionally.”Regardless of police be
-havior, which left him with asore back, Northam said he was not concerned abouttreading lightly around law enforcement.
“To me, not pushing 
buttons because we don’t want to have ‘bad relations’ with the police is counter-
revolutionary,” he said.“Their job is to protect the
status quo. We’re all here
because of our afnity fordisobedience.”“They’re gonna evict
other camps but we’re gon-
na be all kinds of creative.” •
Protestors arrested after 10-hour perch
Continued from 1
Protester Joel Northram, 24, smiles as he is handcued and carried away by police ocers for“disobeying a police order.” Ten Occupy DC protestors were arrested during the Dec. 4 protestconcerning the constructure of the “People’s Pentagon”. (Photo by Craig Hudson)
mates. “The conditions arehorrible,” says ChristopherGlenn, a former Rivers in
-mate who now works withUniversity Legal Services in Washington, D.C.Former inmates aregenerally given few oppor-tunities to get back on track after being branded as fel-ons. According to a reportfrom the Council for CourtExcellence, nearly 50 per-cent of D.C. residents withcriminal records are unem-ployed after release. All areat high risk of ending upback in prison,as stigmati-zation leaves many without
jobs or support.“The private prison
industry is … one of thedriving forces behind theover-incarceration of youth,
primarily youth of color,”
explains Sam Goldberg, a
D.C. attorney and juvenilejustice advocate. “[Privati
-zation] has also led to even worse conditions in prisons,resulting in severely inad-equate mental and physi-cal health care, in additionto increased accounts of 
 As the rate of incar-ceration increases, Wells
Fargo’s prots rise. Inves
-tors, however, do not see thefamilies and communitiesbroken apart by the cycle of imprisonment. While D.C. residentscontinue to be swept up by the GEO Group, a damag-
ing social blow is inicted
on the city. As thousandsoccupy Wall St. to protest
nancial institutions’ in
- volvement in the economiccollapse, millions more in- voluntarily occupy private,
securitized jails for the ben
et of a corporation.
On Friday, December 2,2011, Occupy DC’s Criminal
(In)justice Committee led
an action against the prison-industrial complex. At 4pm,100 protestors marchedfrom McPherson Square
to the Wells Fargo ofce at
1901 7th Street NW. Thecrowd gathered to block the entrance of the bank. They handed out fact sheetsdetailing the number of D.C. residents in GEO’sprivate prison and the high value of Wells Fargo’sinvestment in the GEOGroup. Organizers say this
action is only the rst step
in a sustained effort to effect Wells Fargo’s divestiturefrom the private prison
industry. •
With edits and contributions from Brenda Pearson and Sean Wellock.
Continued from 1
Bank prots tied to
 private prisons
Leading climate expertsfrom NASA, the Intergov-ernmental Panel on ClimateChange and the Internation-al Energy Agency warn that when it comes to global cli-mate change and warming, we have two options. Wecan take immediate action todrastically reduce our emis-sions of greenhouse gasesby essentially halting ourconsumption of fossil fuels — coal, natural gas, and pe-troleum — or we must faceincreasingly catastrophic cli-mate conditions.Cyclical variations inearth’s average temperatureand climate are normal.
However, our heavy use of 
fossil fuels has caused theatmospheric concentrationof heat-trapping greenhousegases - particularly carbondioxide and methane - tospike over the last 200 years. The chemical compositionof our atmosphere can only be altered so much beforethe earth’s systems of self-regulation are derailed. If fossil fuel consumption isnot reduced at this criticalmoment in history, we canexpect to see a dramatic in-crease in severe and wide-
spread droughts, wildres,ooding and climate-related
disease epidemics.President Obama, for
his part, has stated: “Un
-less we free ourselves froma dependence on these fos-sil fuels and chart a new course on energy in thiscountry, we are condemning future generations to global
catastrophe.” He has also
publicly acknowledged thattransitioning to renewableenergy sources such as so-
lar and wind power “has the
potential to grow our econ-omy and create millions of 
jobs.” Yet his administration
continues to spend billionson subsidies and tax breaksfor fossil fuel corporationsevery year. Legislation aimedat curbing greenhouse gasemissions and developing renewable energy infrastruc-ture is consistently blockedin Congress.Moreover, permits for
destructive extraction proj
-ects like mountaintop re-moval coal mining, off-shorepetroleum drilling, and natu-ral gas hydro-fracking arebeing granted to multi-bil-lion-dollar corporations in-cluding Massey Coal, Shell,
and Halliburton. These
companies fund massivepublic relations campaignsdesigned to debunk global warming and advertise their
products as “clean”. As they 
aim to convince the publicthat environmentalism will
cost U.S. jobs, it’s no coin
-cidence that average Ameri-cans remain skeptical of cli-mate science. The Occupy movementis in a position to challenge
“Big Oil”. Unfortunately,focus on the nancial sector
has allowed companies likeExxonMobil - whose 2010revenue was nearly ten timesthat of Goldman Sachs - to
avoided scrutiny. Yet, like
the banksters, fossil fuel
execs are proting through
reckless disregard for the99%.Lobbyists for oil giantsChevron, Koch Industries,and ExxonMobil, consis-tently rank among the high-est industrial spenders on K 
Street and Capitol Hill. They 
pour hundreds of millionsof dollars into political cof-fers each year and appear tohave bought a central role inshaping energy legislation.In 2002, the National
Resources Defense Council
conducted a study of 13,500pages of energy policy thathad been released under or-
ders from a federal judge. Itfound that “Bush adminis
tration ofcials sought ex
-tensive advice from utility companies and the oil, gas,coal and nuclear energy in-dustries, and incorporatedtheir recommendations, of-ten word for word, into the
[national] energy plan.”
 The Obama administra-tion has had little success inreforming Bush era energy policies, despite some at-tempts. Given the political
and nancial clout of the
lobby, the failure is unsur-prising. Now, though, weare in position to speak outagainst them. We must stoprelying on their productsand buying their lies. Other- wise, we’ll all pay the highest
price. •
The Sustainability Committee meets on Tuesdays and Thurs- days at 8pm or after GA.
Occupy Earth: How big money fuels climate change
By Kelsey Tribble
Meet Your Neighbors
Professors stand with Occupy protestors
By: Just Regular Folks PR, Inc. • We here at the Just Regular Folks PR rm have bailed you “1 percenters” out of sometight spots before. But all of a sudden, the “whining index” is on the rise. Suddenly, these noisy upstarts think they’re“entitled” to something more than a swift kick in the pants. • The problem? You 1 percenters are getting sloppy withlanguage. Remember, not everyone is as intelligent and hard-working as you are. If they were, they’d be making the big 
bucks too. Millions of low-class Americans are so dumb, they don’t even know how to move a factory to China! They’re
so lazy, they don’t even hire lobbyists! • You guys need a primer on how to talk down to these lesser Americans:
 At a recent “learn-in”
for college professors atMcPherson Square, partici-pants asked how occupiersand academics could collabo-rate more effectively. Somesuggested more workshopsdelivered at McPhersonSquare and elsewhere; otherscalled for free courses at localuniversities. Few noted how intensively faculty and pro-testers have already been en-gaged with each other. While
it may be difcult to measurethe inuence that college
professors have had on theOccupy protesters, there isno question that the protest-ers have had a dramatic im-pact on many academics.Sometimes by designand sometimes serendipi-tously, Occupy protestersand college professors have
in many ways been joined
at the proverbial hip. Aca-demics have been following the movement intently, andhave directed research ef-forts at its impact. Occupy’s
inuence on the media, for
example, attracted immedi-ate attention. A widespreaddiscussion of inequality and
injustice has suddenly ood
-ed local, national, and inter-national media, marking one
major accomplishment of 
the Occupy protesters.Professor Peter Dreierof Occidental College, using a LexisNexis search of news-paper articles, found that 409stories contained the word
“inequality” in October 2010.
For the next 11 months, thatnumber hardly changed. InOctober 2011, it spiked to1,269. Similarly, stories with
the word “greed” uctuated
between 452 and 728 permonth over the same peri-
od, but jumped to 2,285 the
month the Occupy protestslaunched. One of Occupy’s
key phrases - the “richest onepercent” - appeared between
11 and 32 times each monthbefore appearing 174 times
this October. “We are the 99percent” is a slogan that will
not soon be forgotten. Academics are appear-ing more often on the op-edpages and being cited morefrequently in news stories in
major newspapers and maga
zines. Scholars like RobertReich, Emmanuel Saez, and
others have been writing about the nation’s surging in-equality for the last 30 years orlonger - and they have founda much larger global audiencesince September. They dis-cuss the issues that gave riseto the Occupy movementon blogs of various politicalstripes, television and radionews, and public affairs talk shows. They work for laborunions, community organiza-tions, and progressive elected
ofcials. In all this work their
messages are informed andinspired by Occupiers. Andthis is not likely to be a shortterm phenomenon.For example, to exam-ine the lessons of the Oc-cupy protests for future fairhousing initiatives, a con-ference will be held at the John Marshall Law School inChicago next year, to be fol-lowed by a book, both to be
titled “From Foreclosure to
Fair Lending: Advocacy, Or-ganizing, and the Pursuit of 
Equitable Access to Credit.”
Fair housing and fair lending activists, lawyers, community 
organizers, HUD and JusticeDepartment ofcials, as well
as scholars who have stud-
ied social justice movements
 will come together to identify next steps in light of the les-sons of the Occupy protests.Similar discussions and
projects are taking placearound the globe. Recently,
Cornel West told a George Washington University audi-
ence that they needed to nd
the courage to be critical. Oc-cupiers are helping more aca-
demics do just that. •
Gregory D. Squires is a Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.
McPherson Sq. Occupiers at a glance
What the 1% should have said
By Gregory Squires
Protestors and bystanders listen to a lecture by Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law professor anddirector of the Edmund J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, at an open teach-in held OCt.18 in McPherson Square, the site of the Occupy DC movement. (Photo by AJ Mack)I was prey skepcal about
the Occupy movement before
October 1. I was involvedin various horizontally-runstudent acvist groups, which
all collapsed ignominiously in
ts of young white maleness,
and I didn’t imagine the people
chilling in Zucco would have
much of an impact on anyone.
On September 30, someonemenoned that Occupy DCwas starng the next day.Someone else scoed and
said it would never work, that
what the American le reallyneeded was beer messaging.
Someone else said Democrats
 just needed to recruit beer
candidates. I wanted to throw
up. I’m done pung my faith
in men. I decided to come
down the next day and put my
faith in us.
I am parcipang in the
Occupy movement in DC toaddress issues of systemicracism, misogyny, queerphobia,ablism and the myriad of other
“isms” that have informed ourvaried percepons of historyas “occupiers”. As a strongsupporter of the decolonizaonmovement, I rmly believe
that in order for real progress
to occur we must examine the
ways in which we, throughour thoughts, words and
acons, manifest and replicatethe exploitave system that
has rendered invisible the
suering of oppressed people.
I’ve learned so much from
seasoned acvists who’ve
injected amazing energy intothe Occupy/Decolonize DCand I’ve found challenging and
fullling work in the DeclaraonCommiee and the WhiteAn-Racist Allies Caucus. I’mexcited to watch the movement
and its members grow, myself included.On October 5th, I decided to
stop by Occupy DC aer workand immediately knew (ascliché as it sounds) that I was
supposed to be there. Eversince then, I have been very
acve in the Acon Commiee
and helping out wherever I can.I am involved because we can
no longer sit around waing
for someone else to make thechange that we want to see inthe world. It is empowering tosee women standing strong inthis movement. I encourageall people to talk with usand realize we are all in thistogether.
I’ve been waing for something
like this to happen in the U.S.
all my life. I’m from Bolivia,
where the neoliberal model
was imposed by the military-nancial complex that is now
controlling the U.S government.I’ve seen how this system of debt peonage works. Nowthe vulture has come hometo roost. I’m glad America iswaking up and that a peaceful
revoluon is underway.
Don’t talk about“careers”!
People aren’tgoing to have thoseanymore. Instead, talk up the huge revenueopportunities in selling yourorgans and blood.
 You aren’t raising
 the retirement age to 75!
 You’re “extending job
opportunities to millions of 
jobless seniors.”
Don’t say:
“Tax cutsfor the wealthy”! Call it:“Returning money to itsrightful owners.”
Don’t use the words
“millionaire” and“billionaire”! It’s just“upper-middle class”.
Don’t say “capitalism”!
Say: “The only alternative tomass chaos and starvation.”
If someone mentions
taxing the rich, hit back 
 with: “You mean America-
hating bums literally robbing taxpayers at
 When they  wrote the constitution, only  white male property ownerscould vote. So we’re getting back to what the framersintended.Most important of all,
relax! You’ve earned
it! Anyway, here at Just
Regular Folks PR Inc.
 we’re already working on getting complaining criminalized. This will all blow oversoon.
(All photos by Natalie Camou)(All photos by Craig Hudson)

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