Art And Response

No Day at the Park – For Protesters

March 21st, 2012

I was at Zuccotti and Union Square parks today in New York City in search of Occupy Wall Street protests. What I found (and didn’t find) was discouraging.

First I went to Zuccotti Park, the birthplace of the OWS revolution, to show my support. I’m very supportive when the temperature is seventy degrees or above. I journeyed far and came well armed with my Wall Street Wally pig mask and about 2,000 cards promoting “The Art Of Corpocracy” videohttp://artandresponse.com/corpocracy promoting action against the government’s servitude to the 1%.

When I arrived at the hollowed destination, I found the block that was previously lined with protesters touting clever signs, now were lined with people holding signs selling bargain blackberry contracts. Turns out that Bloomberg only allows people in that park with signs that offer a 10% discount. Score it:Capitalism-1, Democracy-0

Taken aback, but undeterred, I traveled upward to Union Square Park where OWS had planned a protest in solidarity with the Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin. You would think the fact that that case concerned a (counterfit) cop killing a black kid (who was guilty of wearing a hoodie) without being held responsible would somehow temper Bloomberg’s Anti-First Amendment Rights Brigade to tread lightly. Not so much. Before I arrived the police had stormed the protest, trying to close off the park with metal barricades. They arrested six people with what some might consider unnecessary force considering one woman was knocked unconscious and taken away in an ambulance. By the time I arrived there were a smaller group of protesters (50 or so) peacefully displaying signs and singing songs. Then came a brigade of blue surging in for no apparent reason to trample on the signs and look intimidating.

I find it discouraging that corporations have more rights than (actual) people and they won’t let us protest it..

The Fight Against Corpocracy

March 15th, 2012

With Corporate personhood, bailouts, tax breaks for the rich and entitlement cuts for the rest, one thing is clear, class warfare has been waged. The corporate elite have taken command of our government and turned our leaders. America is still the land of opportunity … for the very rich.

While we were sleeping, the rich and powerful have been manipulating the system to chip away at the working man by persuading our elected leaders to bust unions, change the tax code, loosen regulations and everything else that’s good for their bottom line. Corporations now have more rights than individuals. Even George Orwell wouldn’t have imagined it going this far. I don’t know about you, but all this makes me a little grumpy. So what can we do about it?

As it so happens, I’m an artist who adheres to this Picasso quote. “Art is not meant to decorate walls. It is an offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy.” So I’m fighting back with a video I posted on youtube called “The Art Of Corpocracy” http://artandresponse.com/corpocracy that utilizes my art to illuminate the government’s servitude to the corporate elite. I’m asking all like-minded citizens (anyone making under a million a year or just believes in playing fair) to post it on facebook page, email it to their friends. “Why should I bother?” you ask. I’ll tell you why.

The 1% spend their vast resources to promote their agenda and it’s worked pretty good so far. After all, they have get half the country to vote against their own best interests. Don’t think so? I’m sure you can find a redneck living in a trailer somewhere in Mississippi who voted for a Republican who supports a 15% capital gains tax and a reduction in Medicaid benefits. But Gomer figures the important thing is those homos won’t be able to marry. They manipulate minds with FOX, Rush and now with another artist’s video blaming President Obama for all the debt (over 3.5 million hits so far).

I’m fighting real hard here and can use a little back up. Help a brother in arms and maybe we can win a battle or two.

FREE SPEECH *KINDA

February 29th, 2012

EVENT

House Passes Bill That Will Make Protesting Illegal at Secret Service Covered Events

The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Under the act, the government is given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country where there is any person protected by the Secret Service.

VENT

The first amendment has been taking a beating in the last couple of years and sure isn’t what it used to be. In 2010, the Supreme Court extended it to corporations, giving their CEOs  free reign to spend unlimited amounts to fund campaigns, and effectively drown out the voice of their employees, who might not agree and can’t afford that kind of free speech

GRAND OLD PARTY taking a GRAND from average middle class families

December 22nd, 2011

EVENT

House GOP to reject stopgap payroll tax cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Senate adjourned for the holidays, House Republicans are moving to shelve a bipartisan two-month extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut that cleared the Senate over the weekend and are demanding instead that their fellow lawmakers return to the Capitol for negotiations. (more…)

Now Newt … Really?

December 7th, 2011

EVENT
Gingrich Is Gaining Favor, New Poll Shows

DES MOINES — Newt Gingrich enters the final four weeks of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses with as the Republican frontrunner, beating Mitt Romney by a 15% margin, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.Gingrich is rated more favorably than any of the other six remaining candidates in the race among voters who say they are likely to attend the Republican caucuses in Iowa. He would be supported enthusiastically as his party’s presidential nominee by more voters than any of his rivals.

VENT

Searching for the Great White Hope to beat Obama in 2012, Republican voters have gone through a whole Disney-like list of cartoon characters. They went crazy for Sarah Palin (Hottie), Donald Trump (Trumpy), Michele Bachman (Crazy), Rick Perry (Dopey) and Herman Cain (Sexy). After suffering multiple disillusionments about those untested candidates, Republican voters who have been desperately looking for an alternative to Romney are now turning to someone who’s jaded past they are already familiar (and apparently comfortable) with. They are willing to overlook the fact that Newt is ethically challenged and suffers from acute hypocrisy.

My brother sent me this speech of Newt’s on YouTube, certain that after viewing it I would finally see the light and be converted to the wonderfulness that is Newt. I agree that Newt’s the smartest character running for the Republican nomination (which would hardly qualify him for Mensa.) He’s also the only one skilled enough to give Obama a challenging debate. I’ll even admit that Newt makes a good point about the wrongness of Fannie May and Freddie Mac. Unfortunately, he lacks credibility on the issue considering received $1.6 million from them.

It’s not the only time he’s been a wee bit hypocritical. Let’s not forget that he sanctimoniously led the charge of impeachment against Clinton for having sex with an intern, even though he himself was having an affair with a House of Representatives staffer. Not too surprising considering that he had previously had divorced his wife who was suffering from cancer for a chick he was fooling around with. So much for family values.

In the same speech he admonishes those who were against a cross being put up in the Mojave Desert for being fanatical fascists, meanwhile he was whole heartedly against a Mosque being built in Manhattan.

He’s a hell of a guy, that Newt, if you forget those little bouts of hypocrisy and the fact that before he retired from Congress in shame, he was charged with 84 ethics violations, including violating federal tax law and lying to the House Ethics Panel. After all he’s done, the man should be in the Big House, not the White House.

#Corpocracy #OWS #Newt

Rising above the spray

November 30th, 2011

EVENT
California Campus Police Pepper-Spray Students

The University of California at Davis has placed two police officers on administrative leave after video of them pepper-spraying non-violent protesters at point-blank range sparked outrage at school officials. Friday’s incident has led to calls for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who announced the action in a written statement Sunday. Katehi said she shares the “outrage” of students and was “deeply saddened” by the use of the chemical irritant by campus police.

“I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident,” she said. “However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again.”

VENT

Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but as far as I’m concerned, using pepper spray like weed killer on peaceful protesters should be considered use of excessive force. Officer John Pike, who can be seen on YouTube casually spraying the non-violent Davis students with vast amounts of pain inducing chemicals is not the only one who should be held accountable for his heinous actions. Considering that he and his fellow officers have been equipped with Kosco amounts of spray when the were sent implies that they were probably given permission to use it by their “superiors”. I heard a police spokeswoman saying that the protesters were sprayed for their own safety. As Sarah Palin says, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

While the horrifying video image of the cop spraying the Davis kids rivals the tape of the Rodney King beating or the protests of 1989 in Tiananmen Square, itis by no means the only example of police brutality against OWS protesters captured on film. Here are a just few more examples.

We are supposed to be the land of the free not, Communist China. I can understand authorities not wanting people camping out, using public parks as their rent free living space, but in this country we are supposed to have a right to assemble in peaceful protester without being tortured by the officers who are supposed to protect us. The authorities use all kinds of excuses to keep the protesters out of the parks like unsanitary conditions. Isn’t it nicer and more American to install a few porta-potties than beat the shit out of peaceful citizens? Oh, and next time, hold the pepper.