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#OWS/#OB; Afghan War Anniversary; Mark Ruffalo

A quickie post, because I have been busy setting up an Economics Forum for #OccupyBoston.

(1) Voices from #OWS: A video from a guy who was sticking a camera in people’s faces on Sunday at Zuccotti Park and asking: Why are you here?  I remember him, and my comrade Amy Offner and I appear toward the end.


Why Are You at Occupy Wall Street from rumur on Vimeo.

(2) Olberman Reads #OWS Demands on Television: I don’t watch the stuff, but I hear this guy’s good, and has been covering #OWS:

(3) David Graeber on Planning/Strategy of #OWS: From DailyKos, a good explanation of the strategy behind the movement; responses to all the people who complain that there are no demands, too much “process,” etc.

(4) Student Debt and the Spirit of Indenture: On the one hand, when I see the many signs at #OBS mentioning student debt in connection to slavery, my first reaction is that it’s a crazy overstatement and that college students are relatively privileged. On the other hand–yikes, if you get out of college with many tens of thousands of dollars of debt and no prospects of a job (and student loans are not forgivable under bankruptcy–’cause what were you thinking, squandering money on your education?!?), it really does start to look something like slavery–well, wage-slavery or indentured servitude, at least. This article is from Dissent from a few years back; hat-tip to Arjun Jayadev for pointing it out to me.

(5) War Anniversary: I remember vividly the day, exactly ten years ago, when the war in Afghanistan started. I was visiting NYC for the first time since 9/11, and I was wandering down near Ground Zero, where you could smell the toxic fumes from the Trade Center collapse. I overheard a cop use the word “Afghanistan” in a conversation with a tourist, and I immediately realized that the only reason he would be saying something about Afghanistan to her was that the war had started.

Michael Zweig of the Center for Study of Working Class Life at SUNY Stonybrook, with whom I was happy to hang out at the United Association of Labor Educators conference in New Orleans back in February (he just never stops talking about militarism, to his huge credit), sent along this report.

(6) Steve Jobs and Apple’s Rotten Core: I haven’t owned an Apple for years–they are pretty, out of my price-range. But however much I like a product, I don’t get the amount of adulation that is pouring out about this man. (One lbo-talk poster mentioned The Onion‘s “man on the street” interviewee saying that he hoped Apple had thought to ask Jobs for a few more good ideas before he died, and wittily remarked, “Jobs really was amazing. Apparently Apple has never hired engineers, designers, or technicians. A true one-man band.”)

What no one is mentioning is what a horrible company Apple is. I’m not saying it is particularly worse than other tech companies or other big corporations in general. But the fact remains that it exploits the Chinese workers at Foxconn horribly. Here’s a piece about Apple’s Rotten Core at Socialist Resistance. And the new head of Apple, Tim Cook, seems to be responsible for outsourcing the production of the devices to Foxconn, according to this piece from the Financial Times.

(7) Mark Ruffalo on #OWS: In addition to being a great actor and sexy as hell, Mark Ruffalo turns out to be a leftist and a supporter of #OccupyWallStreet, according to this piece he wrote for the Guardian. Come speak at #OccupyBoston, Mark!

That’s all for now.

–Chris Sturr

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