Occupy Christmas

International Day of Action – December 25

Archive for the ‘Press and Media’ Category

Interview for Ottawa Fulcrum

Posted by Press on December 8, 2011

An interview for the Ottawa Fulcrum:

Q) How did you hear about and get involved with Occupy Christmas?

A) This is a quote from the person who started the blog on a similar question concerning why they started it now.

“With very much respect for Occupy Wall Street, my wife and I questioned how Occupy Wall Street planned to deliver what they promised: “we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy”. Occupy Wall Street protests have been heartwarming and amazing, but who is listening? If Occupy Wall Street is right, government listens primarily to big business and big business listens primarily to money. It seems like few people in charge are listening.

The Christmas season is the largest shopping season of the year, so the timing seemed right. As money is the language of big business, silence seemed likely to get their attention.”

This is my story:
I have been following and participating in the Occupy Wall street movement here in Kentucky and through the social networking sites since October. My close friend started the occupychristmas.org blog and I began following it intently right before Thanksgiving. He and I conversed often about political views on what was happening with the Occupy movement and would bounce ideas off of each other. I agreed that more proactive actions needed to occur on the part of the 99% in order for people to start listening. Being a small business owner myself, and being involved in many small business organizations, I was able to see firsthand what would happen if 1) people stopped spending all together or 2) they just shopped locally. I became very vocal in my community about the importance of shopping locally. Soon after my friend asked me to be the press side of the blog and I was happy to join the team.

Q) Are you also participating in the Occupy Canada movement?

A) As was stated earlier, we are participating in the Occupy movements but we question how they plan on delivering their promise to “end the monied corruption of democracy”. We support the Occupy movements and even post updates about them on our blog.

Q) It seems that many people conflate Occupy Christmas with #OccupyXmas, how would you say that the two campaigns are distinct?

A) The obvious difference between the two movements is that #OccupyXmas asks people to refrain from spending any money during the holiday season while Occupy Christmas only asks for people to return to thinking about your family, friends, neighbors, and community during the holidays. Instead of hurriedly spending money in some big box retail store, where you will most likely get poor service from the workers who are making minimum wage and are treated as expendables rather than people, take the time to go into the locally owned mom and pop shops. Most of them are people in your community, neighborhoods, and sometimes even your family. Not only will you (usually) have a very pleasant experience, you can feel good in knowing that you helped that person. That money will be used DIRECTLY to help keep the business open, and even keep that person in their home. We also feel that the government isn’t going to start listening to us until the money flow changes. That’s not going to happen if we don’t make that change in ourselves.

Q) Do you think Adbusters’ arguably more disruptive #OccupyXmas campaign is helpful, or could it turn people away from re-assessing their Christmas traditions?

A) We do not oppose Adbusters’ more disruptive campaign, we just chose not to participate in it. We feel that speaking about this issues and educating people on the trickle down effect of each dollar they spend is a more effective means of getting to a similar end. If you knew that only 43 cents of each dollar was going back to your community when you purchase at a retail chain versus 68 cents if you spent locally, or that a fraction of a fraction of a cent was going to your friend Joe who works for minimum wage versus 20 cents, or even 40 cents, that was going to your friend Sam who owns his own coffee shop, would you change your spending habits?

Q) One of the main critiques of the Occupy Wall street and subsequent Occupy Canada movement has been the lack of clarity of the participants goals. Do you think this is also a problem for Occupy Christmas? What are the goals of the campaign?

A) As far as occupychristmas.org is concerned we have a very solid view of our goals. One of our main critiques of the Occupy movements is how they plan on achieving their lofty goal of ending the monied corruption. Occupychristmas.org was started as a way to answer those questions of HOW. We believe we are part of the solution of how to change the corruption of capitalism. Government listens to big business, big business listens to money. How do we break that chain? Stop the money flow. It’s like telling a small child not to do something while rewarding them for doing it. The child isn’t going to learn anything and nothing will change.

So how do we break the chain? 1) stop using credit cards. It’s called telling yourself “no”. If you can’t afford something don’t buy it. We overextend ourselves trying to have the best things, be like the “Jonses”, while putting ourselves in a deep whole we will barely be able get out of by next year. Some of us are even putting this Christmas on top of what we still haven’t paid off from LAST Christmas. Who wins? The credit card companies. Stop the cycle and put them away. 2) Buy local!!! Help your friend, neighbor, family member, etc, before giving it to a big retail store. Show the people in your community how much you care.

Q) What do you personally hope to accomplish by participating in Occupy Christmas, and what do you hope the campaign as a whole will accomplish?

A) I can’t speak for my friend, but personally I hope to make some sort of a difference in the occupy movements. I do hope to see a change in the way this country is run. I knew something had to change three years ago when we nearly lost our house after my husband was in a car accident. He suffered from a fractured neck and was out of work for two months. There was nobody there to help us, but plenty of people threatening to take us to court. We even had health insurance. It took over a year for our mortgage company to even TALK to us, and we were lucky they didn’t take our house. For three years I have been telling people that SOMETHING has to change. The fact that a large percentage of us are one car accident from losing everything they have is really sad. We have forgotten what it is like to CARE about people. People are no longer people anymore, what happened to that?

Q) How do you see the campaign continuing in future years (especially in light of the recent Occupy Canada camp break-ups)?

A) This is a difficult question. Given that occupychristmas.org is more of a silent protest as opposed to the #OccupyXmas movement, I see us continuing our work as we have been. We plan on continuing to give updates on the Occupy movements, continuing to speak both publicly and via web on the importance of being proactive when spending your money, and continuing to support our local vendors. It’s difficult to break up a protest that is more of a “social” protest than “public”, not unless they take away freedom of speech and restrict the internet and social media.

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Martha Stewart Occupies Christmas

Posted by troublemaker on November 27, 2011

UC Davis police use pepper spray.

There is little chance you have not seen the video of UC Davis police chief spraying pepper spray on peaceful protesters. If you are one of the very few who has missed that video being shown or discussed in practically every form of the media, let me describe. Protesters sitting peacefully on sidewalk. Police chief waling back and forth emptying an industrial sized can of pepper spray. The assault was discussed on Fox news where Megyn Kelly minimized the event by pointing out that pepper spray is a food product.

Martha Stewart using pepper spray.

Martha Steward provided her own special commentary on Megyn Kelly’s ridiculous claim. During the Thanksgiving special on the Today Show, Martha Steward was asked if she thought the turkey needed some more salt or pepper. Martha dawned a riot police style helmet complete with shield and used what looked like a bottle of pepper spray to dose the turkey.

“Here a fabulous trick I learned over at UC Davis.” – Martha Stewart (1)

Occupy X Mas, the protest started by Add Busters, called for “shenanigans” as a form of protest against corporate greed. We here at Occupy Christmas feel Martha Stewart has definitely done her part. Bravo Martha Stewart.

 

  1. http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/255676/20111124/megyn-kelly-pepper-spray-backlash-stewart-thanksgiving.htm

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US Press Hides US Revolution

Posted by troublemaker on November 26, 2011

Revolution according to Time Magazine

Time Magazine cover outside the United States

This article’s headline seems like it would better belong in the context of a conspiracy theory.  Indeed, we were first made aware of this story by a blog which focuses on government cover ups.  Why then would a site which encourages you to spend time with your family jump on the conspiracy theory band wagon?  Because the story is that striking.

US Time magazine cover

United States cover of same December issue.

This December’s issue of Time Magazine features one cover for the US market and another cover for the rest of the world.  In Europe, Asia, and all other areas, the cover photo and story is about what seems to be turning into a world wide revolution.  For the United States market, Time Magazine’s cover is dedicated to informing readers that stress is not that bad.

Long before Time Magazine decided to offer the US market an entirely different cover, and presumably content, for its December issue; many claimed the Occupy Wall Street movement was being virtually ignored by the US Press.  History tells us that the the initial advertisements of Buy Nothing Day were rebuked by major media.  (see Where did it start?).  Logic tells us that magazines, television, and radio are dependent on corporate profits for their very existence.  Of course corporate America does not want its flocks to know what is taking place.

If the American consumer were to loose faith in their economy, purchases would slow to a crawl.  That simply is not good for corporate America in either the long or short run.  In the short run, it would not be good for American consumers.  In the long run, well we will just have to see.  You see no matter how the revolution is hidden from the American consumer, s/he will eventually discover the truth about what is taking place.

The idea behind Occupy Christmas is much more than just a way to think about the holiday season.  It is a way of surviving the pending world wide economic challenges by becoming not only self reliant, but by putting family before friend, friend before neighbor, neighbor before county, county before nation, and community before corporation.

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Occupy Christmas is on CHCH in Canada

Posted by Press on November 25, 2011

We were approached to do a 5 minute interview with CHCH news in Canada a few days ago. As the press entity for occupychristmas.org I accepted the challenge, not knowing what to expect. The interview began with us being called the “jumping of the proverbial shark” of the occupy movement. They then introduced us as a movement working to encourage people to not buy gifts this Christmas at all. Those of you who read our blog, and even those who have only read it once, know that we are NOT against purchasing gifts. We are encouraging people to purchase their gifts locally and to make a difference by promoting local economy.

I was then berated with questions about how we can possibly be fighting for the 99% when the 99% includes those who are employed by the big corporate retailers, so aren’t we hurting them more than the 1%. My response to that was taken in part from the 3/50 project (another movement for promoting local businesses)(1) which states that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business $68 is given back to the community through taxes, the owner, etc. When $100 is spent at a local chain retailer only $43 is seen by the community, that’s a $25 difference. That doesn’t seem like much, but if you look at the small town with a population of 14,000, where a household is about 4 people, that gives you 3500 households. An average household in America will spend $650 on Christmas gifts (2). If a fourth of those households purchases their Christmas gifts locally that’s about $150,000 going back into the community. I’m sure that’s going to generate some jobs. When you look at a larger city, like Louisville, with a population of 250,000 (3) that number jumps to about $2 million. That doesn’t count the $43 per $100 that the city would be getting anyway, that JUST the extra $25 per $100. I’m pretty positive that will generate a lot of jobs. It’s gonna have to get worse before it gets better, but there will never be a change in society if we don’t make a change in ourselves first.

(1) http://www.the350project.net/home.html
(2) http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/
(3) http://louisvilleky.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm

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