Would you recognize the beginning of the 2nd American Revolution if you saw it?

Even in this hyper-connected, instant-on, information-overloaded world we live in, the ability to identify what is truly important isn’t something we’re built to do.

Don’t believe me? Google was created to sort through all the dreck and come up with a top-ten list, and often times it can’t do it either (and it made people billionaires).

In 1773 or so- most Americans were unaware of what was coming, and they didn’t have cell phones, fax machines, twitter or Facebook.

When the Declaration of  Independence was signed- it was weeks and months before it could be distributed across our land.

The “Tea Party” thought they were the harbingers of change, with their anti-tax rants and neo-conservative values- but, just by speaking loudly and having a few converts isn’t the making of a revolution. Never mistake your own feelings for those of many- it’s called the “fallacy of composition” in marketing- and it’s the bane of demographers- who are always concerned with the sample size and how participants were chosen.

In fact, one of the things that has been dubbed the “Facebook effect” is that we’ve started to insulate ourselves from people with opposing viewpoints- surrounding ourselves with people just like us. Homogeneity is the enemy of democracy and the friend of dictatorships.

Like it or not, the concentration of wealth and power has reached the point where the vast majority is starting to understand the inequity greed and corruption has brought.

Here, in a short, succinct manifesto, is the antidote to our situation, brought on by our own “Arab Spring” movement: “Occupy Wall Street”- read it- and think:

Mark Ruffalo #occupywallstreet

Here is the General Assembly’s Statement Read it and weep (tears of joy)

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

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 nonhuman 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 supposed to be 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 in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive 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!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

via Mark Ruffalo: “#occupywallstreet Here is …” « Deck.ly.

Note, this isn’t just about America- it’s to the people of the world. Our imperialist reach and capitalist oligarchy have left our borders and created international havoc. The people who think they are in charge have long since been co-opted by the machine of greed, with Congressmen and even our President, earning pennies compared to their benefactors’ millions.

We have been sold out at every level, and our planet’s future is at risk- from poisoned air, water, food supplies and even obesity and population growth. So, it’s time to carefully think about the points made above- and ask yourself, what don’t you agree with?

Do you want to continue letting things go the way they’ve gone? Or, are you ready to put a stop to it?

The declaration is here. Are you willing to make your voice heard?

I support the movement. Do you?

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BobJ DziwulskiJesseDavid EsratiIce Bandit Recent comment authors
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I’d get down on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again.

However, I’ve concluded that prayer is ineffective. 


We changed the world in the ’60s and we can do it again. There are some of us who did NOT sell out. Whose love of nature and its creatures moved us to live lightly on this earth. It is sad indeed to see generations without a cause, without hope, buried in their iphones and reality shows, without a clue of what is quickly being destroyed by greed. Change is coming only if we become involved.

Larry Sizer
Larry Sizer

David: Another great artical, I want to thank you for your blog, I support every thing you wrote; and want to be a part of what you had writen today. People in support of that thinking, should first I think, just as starters now… hang an “American Flag” to the front of their house. To show that they are an American, my Flag is flying high to the front of the House of Sizer. Wake up America, hang up our flag. Let the folks of South Park start and show an example for the rest of America.


Thanks for the video David Sparks.  That was good for a laugh. “Several honks and waves of support”, wow!  Dayton is a hotbead of revolutionary fervor.  I mean there were upwards of four, maybe five people standing around downtown, smiling and waving at the traffic…
I’m still waiting to see some goobers running around <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf2p_TyElpg”>Dayton with Guy Fawkes masks</a>, “Expect Us”,  ha! 
These “revolutionary” groups need to take some flash mob tips from the kids robbing convenience stores.

David Sparks

You are quite welcome. I was only there in a documentary role after coming upon the protest while out on a bike ride and afternoon of architecture photography. It was what it was.

The Anonymous protest in Dayton never occurred. If it were Insane Clown Posse Masks instead of Guy Fawkes, it would have probably been be more popular around here.

David Sparks

In fairness to the group gathered, however, they did admit that they were just four friends who decided to do this, to hopefully create something bigger in the future. They certainly had no illusions of protestation grandeur.


I think your coverage of them was fair.  You didn’t make them out to be anything they weren’t.  They seemed like nice folks, not revolutionaries.

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

Nice job covering that, Mr. Sparks!!  It’s good to know that people in Dayton do care about stuff like this.
Since I’m in a giving mood this morning, I’m going to grant one of Vernella Randall’s wishes. (She was the older African-American woman in the video).  She was bemoaning (as does David E) the people that only “pass paper” by holding stocks electronically for a few seconds but making money on each transaction.  She said that (I’m paraphrasing her) “if only they’d pay the same rate on that as the rest of us pay, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”  POOF! Vernella, your wish is granted!!  From now on those evil traders will pay the same rate as the rest of us!!!  I’d like to take credit for this but it’s been this way in the tax code for decades.  Those transactions are short term capital gains (since they’ve been held less than a year) and STCG’s are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income.  So, if that evil trader is making $100k a year doing this, they’re paying somewhere around 33% on that income.  Just out of curiousity, Vernella – what’s your marginal tax rate?
This is what cracks me up about “protesters” like those four on Courthouse Square.  They really don’t know the facts, they just grab on to some soundbite and run with it, declaring it as gospel.  To further muck up the waters, you have Warren Buffet out there spewing half-truths as well.  And, even their beloved President Obama said in a speech recently that he paid a lower tax rate than a secretary.

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones

Just to stay on DE’s topic, I ran across this little gem this morning.

Rufus Dogg

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright maintained powered flight at 852 feet for 59 seconds. They sent a telegram to their father who informed the press. The Dayton Journal refused to publish the story, saying the flight was too short to be important. Dayton would spend the next 100+ years trying to reclaim the legacy of flight from Kitty Hawk.
(for reference: http://www.dogwalkblog.com/nobody-in-the-transportation-industry-knew-who-orville-and-wilbur-wright-were-either.html)

I don’t know if #OccupyWallStreet will be that next 59 seconds in history, but it just might be. It has all the right ingredients. And the media continues to ignore it and relegate it to a footer promo below the fold and put on pundits who have no understanding of the issues… I don’t agree with the entire manifesto; I think some of the wheels are not fully on the track, but I agree in principle what is happening. About damn time.


Rufus Dogg

I agree in principle [with] what is happening

Mr Dogg, since you’re in the know.  Could you tell the rest of us what is happening?
Just for fun

Mike Monett
Mike Monett

Thanks David for writing in support of what they have begun.

A man named “Scott” has now added Dayton to the list of cities participating in this emergent effort to unite:


If my health permits, I will be there at Courthouse Square Wednesday lunchtime.

Ice Bandit
Ice Bandit

….methinks, dear David, you mistake revolutionaries with folks whose only attributes are they are truly revolting. There is a second Great Awakening currently going on in the Republic, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, but these true revolutionaries are against behemoth government, confiscatory taxation, and attacks on personal freedom. In other words, just about everything the poseurs on Wall Street are advocating. And doubters to this sea change in public opinion need only read last years election results or President One-and-Done’s current popularity polls. The Tea Party has taken it’s case to the American people, and the electorate agrees that government needs to be limited, marginalized and kept broke. Vox Populi est vox dei, and Viva La Revolucion…


The dichotomy that is apparent to all of you is not to me.  The government is these bankers.  Look at the administration.  Look at the Federal Reserve boards.  These are all academics or bankers.  These people are not you and me, these people are the leaders of the institutions who receive the greatest “subsidy” from us. In the end we are both protesting the same thing… corporatism.  One side looks to diminish the power of government (presumably because they have the guns). This is called Minarchism and the Tea Party has positioned itself as a leader of this movement.  The other side looks to diminish the power of “Wall Street” (because they have the power to manipulate the government).  These people often end-up being socialists or social anarchists who want to control government and use it to destroy the “ravenous, anti-social, transnational corporation, capitalist pigs”. Oddly neither position is often held with any great consistency by either side.  The small government people often want a giant military to “protect us” by invading small countries or policing the world.  The anti-capitalists often want to ensure that “public-private partnerships” are created to stimulate the new vision they have for the world.  They often fail to realize that “incentives” that the government gives to create this vision ends up making GE (a “ravenous, anti-social, transnational corporation, capitalist pig” company) pay no tax, as they complain that the “rich” and “corporations” don’t pay enough and the poor are taxed too much. I have never advocated revolution and this is the reason as to why I have not.  To revolt against a system that is corrupt and evil to institute one that is even more destructive to the lives of the people is a bad thing.  Make no mistake…The above enumerated complaints of the protesters are at best a mixed bag.  The implicit result in the redress of many of the above complaints is a destruction of personal freedom and the increase of government authority over individuals.   I want the “corporatist-perpetual war” state to fall.  I want it replaced with a natural rights respecting, system that promotes freedom.  Freedom for David L. to live his… Read more »

J Dziwulski
J Dziwulski

Nice job covering that, Mr. Sparks!!  It’s good to know that people in Dayton do care about stuff like this.

All four of them.  Whoopee.

Compare this to that very impressive crowd that showed for that first Tea Party event, on a cold cloudy afternoon on Courthouse Square (Esrati, I know you attended that one).

THAT shows where the Dayton regions sympathy really lies…with conservatism, not this ‘Occupy Wall Street’ lefty grassroots stuff. 

BTW, there are “Occupy Wall Street” things going in Louisville and…get this…Lexington.  Probably more than four lost and lonely souls attend those events.

J Dziwulski
J Dziwulski

I support the movement. Do you?

Do I?   Despite my cynicsm and irony, yeah I’m a romantic revolutionary at heart.   ” Friede den Hütten! Krieg den Palästen!”…or, “Under the Paving Stones, the Beach”.

…we had the Arab Spring.  Maybe now its time for the American Autumn

J Dziwulski
J Dziwulski

…and the graphics are fairly good …esp the Guy Fawkes take-off on the Shepard Fairy Obama poster and, of course, the ballerina on the bull…which is, perhaps,  a riff on that famous Emma Goldman quote about dancing and revolutions as well as just being a cool open-ended image. 


Ice Bandit
Ice Bandit

…it ain’t taxes that are the problem, or even big government….(David Esrati)
…wrong on both counts mon friere. It’s the giant taxes that makes the nanny, busy-body leviathan state possible. Trust the Old Bandito on this one…


Does anyone see the irony in the Occupy Wall Street movement?  These are the same people that want to tax the rich to pay for everything.  But if you limit Wall Street as to what amounts of profit it can make, then you are reducing the number of rich people to tax which would then trickle down to the middle class(NOOOOO!).

There are three entities to blame for the whole mess right now:
1.  Wall Street for taking advantage of certain de-regulations and loop holes(although, for the most part, what they did was NOT illegal contrary to popular belief amongst the protestors.)
2.  The Government for basically risking tax dollars by removing necessary regulation, and for continuing to promote Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac(these are probably the two most corrupt institutions that the feds run…and it’s blatantly obvious)
3.  The American consumer for financing more “things” than he/she could afford.  AND for his/her sense of entitlement to those “things.”

Rufus Dogg

@jstults working on that blog post even now. It’s taking some time because I’m putting some thought into it. I know, radical concept but let’s roll with it.

@bob I think you have the list reversed :-) 

J Dziwulski
J Dziwulski

The list reversed, and I really do agree with the new #1.  People postponed their inevitable decline in standard of living via debt.  This was one of the causes of the mortgage crisis:

1.  The American consumer for financing more “things” than he/she could afford.  AND for his/her sense of entitlement to those “things.”

2.  The Government for basically risking tax dollars by removing necessary regulation, and for continuing to promote Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac(these are probably the two most corrupt institutions that the feds run…and it’s blatantly obvious)

3.  Wall Street for taking advantage of certain de-regulations and loop holes(although, for the most part, what they did was NOT illegal contrary to popular belief amongst the protestors.)


These protests are sort of a “Howard Beal” moment.  Though I am sort of enamoured of them from a romantic/aesthetic aspect (“The Left has the Best Music”…&, it seems, the best graphic design and visual presence), they are not much more than a cri-de-couer.  The Tea Party had a lot more staying power and actually moved the GOP agenda to the right. 

I think the one left-wing street activist movement of the recent past that really did change things was the old ACT-UP movement, which did change policy re AIDS, while also having a great visual/media presence.   Maybe a lessons-learned there, somewhere?