Occupy Christmas

International Day of Action – December 25

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The future of this site

Posted by troublemaker on December 4, 2014

When we started this site, our thought was to share news and opinion.  Today, we feel they are so many people out there doing the same that our efforts could be better spent on another slightly different effort.  For Christmas 2016, we intend to offer a listing service for folk independent arts and craft folk with the hopes of encouraging folk to boycott the huge retail buy sell folk in favor of independent artists and craft folk.

Peppers By Mail – Until then, here is a shameless plug for our own online sales efforts:  Grow kits, seeds, dried and fresh peppers of the most notorious varieties.  Including the Carolina Reaper pepper, Ghost pepper, and Jigsaw peppers.

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Google’s Christmas gift to us.

Posted by troublemaker on December 24, 2011

Although they might take it back tomorrow, Google gave us a very special Christmas present today. In a search for the term Occupy Christmas, “Google returns About 46,800,000 results (0.14 seconds)”. Sitting on top of that list, in the number one position, http://OccupyChristmas.org. Many thanks to Google for our early Christmas gift. Even more thanks to our readers for sharing links, talking about our articles, and doing whatever it is that Google looks for when they rank pages. It really helps us to feel our message is well received.

Merry Christmas – Occupy Christmas – Thank you all!

Please do not think we will be going into hiding now that the Christmas season draws to a close. Due to the tremendous response of our readers, we remain inspired and have been talking about practical applications of the Occupy Christmas message for the seasons that follow.

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Thank You – 722 Visitors Yesterday

Posted by troublemaker on December 3, 2011

In a few minutes, my family and I will be off to the annual Dickens Christmas Festival in our area. There, we hope to complete our holiday shopping with the local merchants, crafts folk, and artists who will be showing and selling wares. Before we leave, I wanted to say thank you to our readers and the kind press coverage we have received thus far. Our message is certainly getting out there and we have started plans for larger related projects next year.

Yesterday was the busiest day at OccupyChristmas.org thus far. In addition to being visited by 722 unique IP addresses, that excludes spiders and bots, Ashley completed a very nice interview with a branch of the Canadian press. Her answers, as usual, were right on the money. We will be posting the various interviews shortly. Via email today, I networked with more veterans and police officers who support the Occupy movement. Facebook shares are up, comments are starting to come in, email have been heartwarming, and the press is starting to notice the difference between Occupy Christmas (our little faction) and #OccupyXmas (Adbusters faction). So to what do we owe this success?

Although the ground pounding soldiers of Occupy Wall Street are causing the media to notice their antics and thus provide an avenue for our common message to be heard, those antics do not appeal to all audiences. While our message is the same, that the influence of big money needs to be removed from politics, our method of delivering that message has taken a very different tone. Where the tone of Occupy Christmas is welcomed by one audience, the “shenanigans” of #OccupyXmas is heard by a different audience. Both voices begging for the same change, but asking for support in different ways. Both voices participating in different forms of protest.

With that in mind, many thanks to our readers for making me feel as if this shared message is worthwhile. Many thanks to the ground pounding protesters for bringing that message to the public in a different way.

Merry Christmas!

 

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Freedom of Speech – Void where prohibited by law

Posted by troublemaker on December 3, 2011

I hate Kentucky Fried Chicken for their cruelty to animals. Woops, there I go again breaking the law. You say it is illegal in most states to say something that is true if doing so might interfere with commerce. The principle of law which makes this so is called Tortious Interference. (1) In 1793, the application of this principle made sense. In the case Tarleton v. McGawley, the defendant fired a cannon from his ship the Othello at potential customers of another trading vessel. U.S. law has come a long way from the days when Tortious Interference dealt with the firing of cannons. Today, it is applied to statements made in blogs. Although you might think I am speaking of something similar to slander or liable, tortious Interference is now applicable to entirely truthful statements.

Consider the case of Jerry Moore vs. John (Johnny Northside) Hoff. As reported by The Star Tribune, Jerry Moore was a community leader linked to a high-profile mortgage fraud. (2) Moore, the former director of the Jordan Area Community Council, took great exception to a post John Hoff made in his blog. Because the statements made were truthful, Moore could not sue for deformation or the likes, he turned to the principles of Tortious Interference. (3)

After being fired by the Jordan Area Community Council, Moore had taken a job at the University of Minnesota. There, he was hired to study mortgage foreclosures. Upon discovering Moore’s new position, Hoff posted an article accusing Moore of involvement in a “high-profile fraudulent mortgage” scam. That scam was reportedly one of many which resulted in Larry Maxwell being sent to prison for 16 years. Although details are unclear as to why Jerry Moore did not go to prison for his involvement, the statements made by Hoff about Moore’s involvement were shown to be true. Perhaps that is why the University of Minnesota fired Moore the day after Hoff’s post.

“Moore was fired by the University of Minnesota in June 2009, the day after Hoff’s post.” – The Star Tribune (2)

Consider the ramifications of such a ruling. If you speak truthfully about a seated politician and that politician loses election due to your truthful speech, the new interpretation of this law could be that you must pay that politician’s future salary.

“The jury awarded Moore $35,000 for lost wages and $25,000 for emotional distress.” – The Star Tribune (2)

Hoff’s case is one of many. While legal scholars and civil rights advocates call these decisions ludicrous, many of them take the form of corporations with huge legal resources vs. individuals who simply cannot afford to defend themselves. This was not the case in Moore vs. Hoff. It was one individual speaking the truth, one individual who wanted his involvement in a mortgage scam kept secret, and a jury who is was convinced that it is improper to speak the truth in the United States of America.

It does not matter that the article was published in a blog because freedom of press is guaranteed by the same First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech. Those guarantees are now clearly Null and Void where prohibited by law.

 

  1. Tortious Interference at Wikipedia
  2. The Star Tribune on Moore vs. Hoff
  3. Ebusinesscouncil.com on tortious interference

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Where did it start?

Posted by troublemaker on November 23, 2011

Occupy Christmas: Where did it start?

We are a small homesteading family living in the foot hills of Kentucky. We are so far and removed from the ground forces of the revolution that our only connection to the Internet is a lap top tethered to a droid telephone. We may have been one of the first to use the specific term “Occupy Christmas”, we were obviously the first to register the .org url, but we are far from the spark that started it all. Let’s face it, concern for the over commercialization of this holiday season has been around since more years than most of us can remember.

This can be seen by the many, many wonderful people and efforts being made at Facebook and on other social media networks.  We would list them here, but there are so many efforts and more each day that any list would be incomplete.  Please visit Facebook.com and search on the term Occupy Christmas to find the many other efforts being made.

So where did the 2011 rapid growth of effort start?

Now celebrating its 20th birthday, Buy Nothing Day (BND) was conceived by Vancouver artist / social activist Ted Dave. It was later promoted by a Canadian magazine called Adbusters. The first day it was marked was in September of 1992. That observation took place in Mexico. By 1997, the United States influenced BND in that the day for the annual event was moved to the day after the uniquely US holiday Thanksgiving.

That day, known as Black Friday, is likely the worst example of over consumerism in the United States. We Yankees are good for things like that. In the United States, Israel, and most of North America; Buy Nothing Day became entrenched on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Elsewhere, especially in Europe, it settled in on the following Saturday.

Canadian based magazine Adbusters attempted to spread the word with TV and Radio advertisements, but met with great opposition. With the exception of CNN, almost all major networks refused to sell advertising space to Adbusters. As a result, the idea of Buy Nothing Day did not expand as rapidly as Adbusters might have hoped.

Enter Occupy Wall Street, stage left. Sparked by the same Canadian magazine that initially attempted to promote Buy Nothing Day, the Occupy Wall Street campaign took off in a way that Buy Nothing Day could not initially do. Maybe it was timing or the political climate. Maybe it was thanks to social media and the ability to spread an idea like a virus that was made possible by the expansion of Internet use. For whatever reason Occupy Wall Street would eventually see 32,500 people march in New York City where the largest anti-Vietnam war protest saw only 30,000 people. Change was being demanded and it was being demanded immediately.

As a URL / Website, OccupyChristmas.org is our homestead’s effort towards facilitating those needed changes. We hope to cause consumers to rethink their spending habits, realize that with every dollar they spend a vote is cast, and cause huge business to rightfully fear repercussions of their shameful conduct.

As a movement, “Occupy Christmas” is not ours at all. It is a living thing which can trace its roots through Occupy Wall Street (2011), back through Buy Nothing Day (1992), and all the way back to when Santa traded in his traditional colors for the Coca Cola red n whites.

With your help, we can all Occupy Christmas!

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World Wide Strike 11/11/11

Posted by troublemaker on November 8, 2011

World Wide Strike 11-11-11
World Wide Strike announced for 11/11/11

As a very new action with only a tiny number of followers (likes) the World Wide Strike  planned for November 11, 2011 seems, on the surface, unlikely to be very large.  As of 2 PM EST on November 8, 2011 it can boast only 78 likes on its Facebook Page (1).  That said, it is another cobblestone in the road to change.  In this case, the obvious desire change is an “End [to] police brutality against peaceful protesters.” (1)

 
“On 11-11-11 we will stand together and show the world that tear gas rubber bullets, and false imprisonment will not stop our message, and every-time you use unlawful force against the people you are sworn to protect, we will come back stronger, and more” – From their Facebook Page (1). 
 
Although a facebook page with so few followers might seem almost insignificant on a global level, it demonstrates the sentiment behind a very broad concept spelled out, agreed upon, and accepted into law almost 800 years earlier.  That concept, put in print as the Magna Carta, was in part responsible for such defined liberty as is found in the Constitution of the United States and other civilized nations.
 
At its core, the Magna Carta was a vehicle where the ruling class (Royalty) was challenged by the working class and forced to respect a rule of law rather than the whim of monarchs.  The Magna Carta was the first document forced on an English King by his people.  In essence, the Barons (war lords of the time) informed the King of England that they would no longer defend England unless he signed the document assuring that certain rights be established for the free citizens of England.  Although signed into law, the following centuries would see a degradation of the rights established in that document.  Many argue the same has been true of the United States Constitution as well as the Constitutions of other civilized nations.
 
Enter Occupy the World (stage left).  Like most Internet representations of real world events, the facebook page mentioned earlier is not the event itself.  It is a reflection of the real world event.  A reflection which has not limited itself to a single site or page.  Like a virus, the concept is spreading from mouth to ear, forum to page, and across social networks everywhere.  Yes, I am speaking about the strike itself but it is more now much more than the idea of a world wide strike.  It is the reinvention of the Magna Carta and the idea that the people can again force the ruling class to respect the innate rights of the people to exist.
 
“We invite all the popular assemblies around the world to start writing people’s laws that are deccomodifying all about social and natural life, getting life out from the grip of greed, capital, corporations, elite and make them pay back what they stole from humanity.” – http://snuproject.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/lets-link-15-o-global-revolution-to-11-11-11-global-strike/ (3)
 
A simple Google search showed the idea is alive and well.  Not just in one overwhelming location, but scattered here and there across the Internet. On Facebook there are Events, Groups and Pages.
 
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179186642163285 – Facebook Event that calls for a World Wide Strike at 11:11 AM on September 11, 2011
 
http://www.facebook.com/groups/11.11.11worldstrike/ – Facebook group that further promotes the World Wide Strike
 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Worldwide-General-Strike-111111/196574820394497 – Facebook page that further promotes the World Wide Strike.
 
Will November 11 see the world shut down at 11:11 AM?  No.  These are sparks rather than a raging fire.  However, the ideas behind these sparks are that raging bonfire.  Must like the idea to Occupy Christmas, each idea feeds the whole, the fire grows, and change is the only acceptable outcome.
 
Do your part.  Even if you can not walk off your job at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2011, you can visit the events, pages, and groups to add your sparks, even if they are just words, to the fire that is growing in the mind and soul of millions of people across the world.
 
 
 
 

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Bank Transfer Day – Nov. 5

Posted by troublemaker on October 31, 2011

November 5 - Bank Transfer Day

Instead of continuing to fuel the preditorial big banking institution which takes government ‘loans’ but can’t seem to pay them back, why not put your money into local credit unions?  Why not send a clear message while helping your own community rather than the faceless international greed factory?

Reportedly the protest idea originated with Kristen Christian reportedly hatched the idea after becoming dissatisfied with Bank of America.   The idea seems be spreading like wildfire.  Bank Transfer day has now been endorsed by videos reportedly released by Anonymous and is promoted strongly by many members of the Occupy movement.

Credit Unions not Big Banks – The concept is simple, before or on November 5th (Guy Fawkes day) 2011, transfer or otherwise move any money you have with Big Banking institutions and move them to not for profit Credit Unions.  The date was chosen in association with the attempted violent overthrow of the English government by Guy Fawkes and others on November 5, 1605.  One can also see symbolic connections to the underline plot of the movie Fight Club.  Although this boycott has nothing to do with that movie’s physical attack on the banking institution, it seems logical to believe that a financial attack would be just as effective if not more.

You can make a difference.
Maybe not by yourself, but as part of a collective which sends a clear message that enough is enough.

External Links:

Bank Transfer Day page at Face book

Credit Union National Association at Wikipedia

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