Tag Archives: Corporate Crime

Goodbye to Louie’s, Rossi’s, Marcello’s? Rising Rents may threaten Historic Castro District Small Biz Building

Castro Street. photo: Gay Highwaymen

Remarkable what you can learn in a barber’s chair. Louie’s Barbershop at 422 Castro Street has been at that address since 1932. Marcello’s Pizza, its neighbor to the north, has been there since 1978, and Rossi’s Deli has been there since…well, almost forever. Now, these familiar neighborhood haunts may be threatened. Word through the Gay-vine is that the old building has changed hands, and that the reasonable rents that have kept it stable for years are scheduled to skyrocket. Details are fuzzy, but multiple heirs and international investors are said to figure into the situation.

Small business is the heart of urban neighborhoods. Each one that gets forced out and replaced by a McBiz diminishes the soul of the place. As do empty storefronts. The international corporations and holding companies that invest in urban real estate are not invested in the well-being of residents. They buy pieces of neighborhoods for their portfolios and don’t care much about occupancy. Raise the rent by a factor of ten, then write off the vacant building. Its just good business…and there goes the neighborhood.

What would Jesus Occupy?

Signs o’ the Times: #Occupy Movement Signage Slideshow #OWS

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“I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one!” Some of the best signs of this movement are hand-painted. And desktop designers and pros alike are busy producing sharp propaganda. This is a networked, global movement, with hundreds of local hubs and new websites launching daily. The Occupy Together site offers free posters for download. Designers may also upload their own work for others to use in regional protests.

For naked artists occupying Wall Street in advance of the current occupation, click here. For a statement from the de facto HQ, and a simpatico marine, here. For the Walmart bleacher, who may or may not be an activist, here. And for slide shows of sexy revolutionaries, here and here.

A Global, Legitimate and very Sexy Threat: BIG Revolutionary Slide Show!

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The International Business Times has called the Occupy Movement “global in nature” and a “legitimate threat.” It is that. It is also a feast of photography, and the first world-wide movement supported by the new communication technologies that fueled the Arab Spring. Gil Scott Heron was right. The revolution will not be televised. But…it will be tweeted. Photos from Amsterdam, Belgrade, Berlin, Denver, Durban, Hong Kong, London, New York, Rome, Taipei, Tokyo, San Francisco, Santiago, Sydney and Vancouver.

#OWS comes to small college towns: #OccupyCarbondale and #OccupyArcata

Photo via Occupy Carbondale

The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading globally and regionally. Small college towns across the United States demonstrate contrasting responses. Protesters in Carbondale, Illinois have been huddling under a model of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome on the campus of Southern Illinois University. Campus police are considering removing the dome. According to Freshman Derrick Burns: “We had about 20 tents set up. Now look – zero, it’s a shame.” Read more and see video here.

"2:40 and still no police" Photo via Occupy Arcata

Meantime in Arcata, California, home of Humboldt State University, 20 days into a camp-out, there have been some individual arrests, but the protests enjoy wide community support and the City Council is meeting to discuss installation of portable toilets and other amenities at the encampment.

Walmart Bleacher makes Clean Escape! #BleachWalmart – Disgruntled Greeter or Next Phase of #OccupyWallstreet?

The Ukiah Daily Journal, the newspaper of record for the Mendocino County seat, reports that an unidentified man entered the Ukiah Walmart with a concealed bottle of bleach and spritzed $12,000 in clothing and other merchandise before making a clean escape. The man’s motives are unknown, the inventory is ruined, and the Ukiah police are seeking the suspect. A surveillance camera captured the culprit, seen above wearing a yellow Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show T-shirt. Looks to be as cute as he is cocky…hmmm. Read the Journal story here.

“…it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights…” Declaration of the Occupation of New York…and a Simpatico Marine!

The protests that began on Wall Street continue to spread. Marines join cafe hipsters, unionists and naked artists. Hot revolutionaries abound. Hand-painted signs co-exist easily with multitudes of mobile devices. Fueled by the hot Sahara winds of the Arab Spring with its nutrient-rich optimism, the American Fall unfolds daily.  Begging questions: “What will happen when the winter comes?” “When’s harvest?” and “What exactly is growing here?”

The General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street has issued a statement, reproduced in whole below:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!