Good News: Occupy reverberates

Matt Taibbi notices the effect that Occupy is beginning to have on politics; I’m noticing the effect it’s beginning to have on Main Street.

Last spring, we in the “Currency and Exchange Group” of Transition Bloomington talked about a campaign to get people to “buy local.” We talked about putting up educational posters in the windows of local stores to let people know just how much big banks are siphoning off the money energy from our community and how, if we buy local, we keep the money here so it can circulate further.

Turns out we didn’t have to do what we didn’t do. OWS took care of it, with gadzillions of posters educating all of us on the bankster scams of the 1%.

Now, this Christmas, a friend of mine who runs a tiny store on an island off the coast of Washington says that all the islanders are in there, buying gifts for each other. That this year, for the first time, they are all buying local, delighted to be gifting each other in this way.

Thanks to rollingstone.com.

A Sign Occupy Wall Street Is Having Political Impact

December 19, 2011

by Matt Taibbi

Supporters from Occupy Wall Street participate in a protest before marching to Zuccotti Park.

Supporters from Occupy Wall Street participate in a protest before marching to Zuccotti Park.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

For those saying that Occupy Wall Street hasn’t had a concrete effect, take a look at this. It’s not much, but it’s a little something. The leaders of the House Financial Services Committee announced yesterday that they will be holding hearings on the SEC’s practice of concluding settlements with Wall Street defendants without forcing the accused to admit to wrongdoing.

This whole thing seems to be the creature of ranking Republican Spencer Bachus. From his site:

“The SEC’s practice of using ‘no-contest settlements’ has raised concerns about accountability and transparency, and I’m pleased the Committee will examine these concerns in a bipartisan manner,” said Chairman Bachus.

If they actually do something about this, then it’ll be time to give them a pat on the back. But in the meantime, we can expect to see a lot of things like this in an election year marked by an absence of a real galvanizing message coming from either party. With OWS and populist anger generally filling that messaging void, there are going to be a lot of politicians who will look to capitalize by doing things like, for instance, beating up on the SEC in a few days of well-publicized but ineffectual hearings.

Spencer Bachus to positioning himself as a champion of Wall Steeet reform is, of course, hilarious. Not only was he one of the leaders of the opposition to even the very mild Dodd-Frank reform, he went out of his way to stall changes to the rules governing derivative trades that would have prevented abuses like JP Morgan Chase’s rape of Jefferson County, Alabama. This was particularly egregious because Bachus, who was the House’s third-biggest recipient of Wall Street money and a heavy beneficiary of donations from Chase, happened to be Jefferson County’s congressman.

So this guy is no enemy of the banks. What yesterday’s move does show, however, is that politicians are listening to the specific complaints of OWS. A year ago, we would never have even seen hearings like this coming from the likes of Bachus and Barney Frank, who also supported them move. But now, everybody is trying to find a way to ride the wave. It’s too early to celebrate any of this, but it can’t be a bad thing.

 

This entry was posted in local action, new economy, unity consciousness, Uranus square Pluto, visions of the future, waking up, wild new ideas, zone zero. Bookmark the permalink.

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