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Occupy the World, spank the bankers! KPFA Radio

October 22nd, 2011

Jailed Occupy Sacramento protestor, Kevin Carter, issues a challenge to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson!

OCCUPYSACRAMENTO_SHAWNHAMILTON_KPFA_22OCTOBER2011

(Audio): Kpfa 94.1 fm san francisco (4 minutes, 20 seconds into broadcast)

(Script):

Anchor’s Into: THE SACRAMENTO VERSION OF THE OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT TODAY PROTESTED IN FRONT OF DOWNTOWN BANKS, INCLUDING BANK OF AMERICA AND WELLS FARGO. THE OCCUPY WALLSTREET MOVEMENT WAS STARTED BY A FEW ACTIVISTS A MONTHS AGO IN LOWER MANHATTAN TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WHAT IT CONSIDERS WALL STREET GREED, AND THE MOVEMENT HAS GROWN TO INCLUDE 16 HUNDRED CITIES GLOBALLY. THE SACRAMENTO  GROUP, WHICH HAS ESTABLISHED ITS BASE AT CESAR CHAVEZ PARK NEAR THE CAPITOL, HAS BEEN FUNCTIONING SINCE OCTOBER 6, AND POLICE HAVE BEEN REGULARLY ARRESTING PROTESTORS ON ANTI VAGRANCY LAWS. SHAWN HAMILTON REPORTS FROM SACRAMENTO:

“SOME BANKS LOCKED THEIR DOORS TODAY WHEN A SMALL GROUP FROM OCCUPY SACRAMENTO PROTESTED IN FRONT OF THEIR LOCATIONS, ECHOING A GRIEVANCE SHARED BY PEOPLE WORLDWIDE THAT BANKS AND WALL STREET HAVE COLLUDED TO TRANSFER TREMENDOUS AMOUNTS OF WEALTH FROM 99% OF THE POPULATION TO THE TOP 1%.

KEVIN CARTER IS AN ACTIVIST WHO ATTENDED A SACRAMENTO CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON TUESDAY IN WHICH THE COUNCIL DECIDED TO KEEP ON THE BOOKS AN ANTI-VAGRANCY LAW THE CITY WAS USING TO JAIL PEOPLE WHO REFUSED TO LEAVE THE PARK AFTER MIDNIGHT. CARTER ADDRESSED MAYOR KEVIN JOHNSON, CITING MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR’S “LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL” IN WHICH KING OUTLINED HIS RATIONALE FOR COMMITTING CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN ALABAMA. KING WAS ARRESTED FOR PARADING WITHOUT A PERMIT. CARTER SAID THE MAYOR NEEDS TO INFORM HIMSELF BETTER ON PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION AND ISSUED THIS CHALLENGE:

CARTER: “I CHALLENGE THE MAYOR. I WENT TO JAIL ALREADY, BUT I WENT TO JAIL WITH THE CONSTITUTION. I CHALLENGE YOU MAYOR JOHNSON–THIS IS BROTHER CARTER–I CHALLENGE YOU TO COME AND SIT WITH ME IN THE PARK AT ELEVEN O’ CLOCK AND GET ARRESTED WITH ME LIKE DR. KING AND LET’S SIT DOWN AND GO OVER THE CONSTITUION TOGETHER INSIDE OF THE JAILHOUSE. I CHALLENGE YOU AND URGE YOU TO TAKE THAT OVER WITH WITH COMPASSION AND LOVE.” (soundbite: 0:22)

MONA SALIMI SAYS MEDIA AND THE CITY COUNCIL OFTEN ASK WHAT THEIR DEMANDS ARE. SALIMI NOTES THAT NOT GIVING PUBLIC MONEY TO PRIVATE BUSINESS INTERESTS WOULD BE A GOOD START. IN ANY CASE, SHE SAYS, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE:

SALIMI: “THERE HAVE BEEN STRIKES AND WORKERS’ PROTESTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS SINCE PRETTY MUCH THE INCEPTION OF OUR COUNTRY, AND AS MUCH AS WE’D LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT WE ARE FREE, AND WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURSUE LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS–ALL OF THAT GOOD, WARM AND FUZZY STUFF, THE REALITY IS WE REALLY NEED TO GET UP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.” (soundbite: 0:29)

ARYA RASHID SAID THE DEBT-BASED MONETARY SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE REPLACED BY SOMETHING THAT WORKS FOR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE—NOT JUST A TINY FRACTION OF IT. HE REPEATED A QUOTE THAT SAYS PLUTOCRACIES THINK ECONOMIC SLAVERY IS GREAT BECAUSE PHYSICAL SLAVERY REQUIRES THAT YOU FEED AND HOUSE YOUR SLAVES, BUT WITH ECONOMIC SLAVERY, THE SLAVES HAVE TO FEED AND HOUSE THEMSELVES. RASHID SAYS HIS GENERATION IS REALLY WORRIED:

RASHID: “I THINK IT’S EXTREMELY UPSETTING SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT WE’RE REALLY STARTING TO FEEL LIKE WE’RE BECOMING A LOST GENERATION. WE DON’T SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL FOR US, AND IT’S VERY UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING LIKE WE HAVE NO POWER AND NO CONTROL OVER WHERE OUR FUTURE IS GOING. IT’S GROWN FROM, IT STARTED OFF AS KIND OF JUST A DEPRESSIVE STATE AND NOW MOVED ON TO–A LOT OF US ARE PRETTY UPSET.” (soundbite: 0:25)

IN A RELATED ACTION, NOVEMBER 5TH HAS BEEN DECLARED “BANK TRANSFER DAY,” AN EFFORT STARTED BY 27-YEAR-OLD KRISTEN CHRISTIAN TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WHO ARE MAD AT THE BANKS TO WITHDRAW THEIR MONEY. THE IDEA, SHE SAID ISN’T TO HIDE THE MONEY UNDER A MATTRESS BUT TO TRANSFER IT TO A CREDIT UNION OR SMALLER, LOCAL BANKS NOT INVOLVED IN THE LARGER-SCALE SWINDLES. WHILE THE EFFORT WASN’T FORMALLY STARTED BY THE OCCUPY WALL STREET GROUPS, MOST OF THE OCCUPY GROUPS ARE PROMOTING IT.

SHAWN HAMILTON, PACIFICA RADIO, SACRAMENTO”

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