Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Game of Chess at Zuccotti Park

Nov 30, 2011: Biggest UK public sector strike in 30 years!

They are striking over pension reforms and the strike was 2 million strong.

Check out coverage by The Guardian.

The BBC also has an article on the days events and offers key points on the national strike.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fat Tax, Thin Subsidy Continued

This is the third in a series of articles about the obesity epidemic, the food industry and solutions for change by guest poster Sharon Bala. Read the first post here and the second post here.

In my last post, I outlined an idea for combatting our obesity epidemic: slap a sin tax on processed and junk food and use the revenue to subsidize raw fruits, vegetables and milk (and, if there's money left over, other healthy-living measures). There will be opposition - both from individuals and industry - so let's look at some of the arguments against the proposal.

Parking Lot - St John's Citizens for Affordable Housing

Following the early General Assemblies in October, a group of residents of the Metro area began meeting with the goal of advocating for affordable housing.  As of now, you can join a Google group mailing list to begin to participate, and there are also regular meetings planned for the next several weeks.

Current plans include a demonstration in the Downtown area during mid- to late- December.

Meetings are generally on Tuesdays, prior to the General Assembly.

Meeting Notes from November 21

Parking Lot - Occupy Self-Sustainability Project

There is a community gathering online on Facebook to brainstorm and develop ideas for making sustainable communities.  Please watch this post for updates, information, and event notices.

Information round-up on #CETA

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a proposed free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. It has had very little media attention or public debate - most Canadians have never heard of it. However, its far-reaching agreements, once passed, will be nearly impossible to amend or back out of. This is why more public debate and discussion is essential, yet the CETA negotiations have been happening behind closed doors with corporations at the helm.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sin Taxes and Subsidies

This is the second in a series of articles about the obesity epidemic, the food industry and solutions for change by guest poster Sharon Bala. Read the first post here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Big Food is a Big Fat Problem

By now everyone's had a good laugh at our neighbours to the south whose Congress has declared pizza sauce a vegetable. Kristin Wartman wrote an excellent article for the Huffington Post about the food industry's power on politicians. I'd like to believe our government has a little more immunity to food industry lobbying. But then I'd have to ignore the evidence...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Balloting and Electoral Reform

Part of this post was transcribed from the webpage of razorbill press. Anyone interested in joining a working group on political/electoral reform is encouraged to join the facebook group or contact us at [email protected].

We need better politics, better politicians. What's our problem?

We lurch from crisis to crisis, rarely noting that we attend to the details of each crisis, but ignore its fundaments.

Actually, most crises are the same when you peel away the details. Most crises exist because somebody forgot something, somebody didn't think something through, somebody did somebody a favour, somebody pulled a fast one, somebody lied, somebody didn't bother to check. Something happened that was not supposed to happen. Not thought through. By somebody.

Occupying Violence

One of the most common criticisms that I have come across about Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement in general is that the Occupiers are misguided and that they do not seem to have a message or a real request for change. The CBC's Kevin O'Leary, for example, referred to author Chris Hedges as being a “left-wing nut-bar" because of Hedges' support for and involvement with the movement.

Such comments are common. They are also powerful: not in their reasoning or logic, and not in being well-constructed. They are powerful in their ability to ignore the discussion and dismiss it.

To counter this, the simplest thing to do would be to not be taken in by it. Not being taken in by it, however, requires something else. In this case, that 'something else' is an expansion of how we understand violence.

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Who's Counting" presented by the 99% Film Fest.

The second film of the 99% Film Fest is the NFB produced film "Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics" by Academy Award winning director Terre Nash.  The film will be shown on Wednesday November 30 at 6 pm in the MUN Arts & Admin building room A1043.  Admission is FREE.  A group discussion will follow.

Update:  If you missed the screening, the film is available for free streaming here. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How the Occupy movement is already changing everything

Via Yes Magazine
1. It names the source of the crisis.
Political insiders have avoided this simple reality: The problems of the 99% are caused in large part by Wall Street greed, perverse financial incentives, and a corporate takeover of the political system. Now that this is understood, the genie is out of the bottle and it can’t be put back in.
2. It provides a clear vision of the world we want.
We can create a world that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest 1%. And we, the 99%, are using the spaces opened up by the Occupy movement to conduct a dialogue about the world we want.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What is OccupyNL?

We Are
your customers
your friends
We Are
citizens and neighbours
We Are
and situations
We Are
and assemblage

Open Forum Day

As decided at the General Assembly on Thursday, from now on Saturday will be our "Open Forum Day". Open Forum day is primarily for discussion and education.  From the beginning, encouraging the public to discuss the issues we face as a society has been a top priority of every Occupy movement.  It's essential that we educate ourselves about what's happening in the world if we stand any chance of changing things for the better.  So Saturday is the day we've set aside for people to gather at Harbourside Park, and discuss whatever needs to be discussed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Volunteers for Camp Committee

The Harbourside needs Volunteers to help keep the space clean, safe, and habitable. Volunteers are asked to gather at the park Friday afternoon at 1 PM.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parking Lot: Customs of the General Assembly

Please View This Document First.  (Revised and presented to GA, Nov. 20)

Formalizing the structure of the General Assembly would be beneficial for the process of setting up for long-term Occupation. To this end, several people have consulted to develop the "Customs" document that is linked above. "Customs" refers to the usual code of conduct that Members of the General Assembly follow while gathered.

Launch of 99% Film Fest

The first film of the 99% Film Fest is the Academy Award winning "Inside Job".  
Wednesday November 23 at 6 pm in the MUN Arts & Admin building room A1043. 
Admission is FREE. The film will be followed by a group discussion.

Telegram Article

Check out coverage of OccupyNL in the Telegram. "Business as usual at Occupy N.L camp."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Father Jonathan Rowe interviewed on CBC St. John's Morning Show - Nov 15, 2011

Father Jonathan Rowe was on the St. John's Morning Show this morning and gave a wonderful and inspiring interview about his involvement with OccupyNL. You can listen to the podcast here!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Income Inequality Information Round Up

I've gathered together some articles and other resources dealing with income and wealth inequality.

Inequality within Countries.

How Inequality Harms Societies. (video)

IF YOU VIEW ONLY ONE THING, WATCH THIS VIDEO. This is a TED lecture by Richard Wilkinson, arguing that once a country gets sufficiently wealthy, the average well-being of society ( stuff like crime rates, literacy, life expectancy, mental illness, etc. ) no longer depends on how much money a society has, but on how that money is distributed.   I think this is an important message, because it shows that inequality is not only unjust to the poor, but is also really harmful to society at large. For more depth, consider reading The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Wilkinson and Pickett.

Upcoming General Assembly Locations

Indoor locations for the General Assembly have been found for the coming week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Press Release: The True Cost of War

November 11, 2011
On this Armistice Day, Occupy Newfoundland would remind our federal and provincial governments that supporting our troops and honouring the dead means more than poppies and ceremonies. It means leaving no veteran behind. We encourage Canadians to reflect on the true costs of war, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bill C-11 Information Round-Up

From the FB Group:

I would like to bring something to everyone's attention, an upcoming bill that will have a direct affect on all of us. Bill C-11, called the "Copyright Modernization Act". You may have heard about an earlier incarnation of this bill, called "C-32"; this is the exact same bill, word-for-word. It is being pushed largely by lobbyists representing U.S. interests, and there is evidence to suggest this lobbying is largely funded by U.S. corporations.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

OccupyNL on CBC Cross Talk Nov 9, 2011

Hi everyone! Occupiers Thomas Clarke, Terry MacEachern, and Randy Wadland were on CBC Cross Talk on November 9 to discuss the issues most important to the Occupy movement, both globally and locally. Thanks for calling in and expressing your support for OccupyNL!

Listen to the podcast of the episode here.

OccupyNL is about to hit second gear. 
We will be heard.

Monday, November 7, 2011

'The Corporation' Film Screening

On Tuesday, Nov. 8 MUN Project Green will be showing the documentary 'The Corporation', a film that looks into the dominance of the corporation in today's society by considering it as a person, evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world much like a psychiatrist would evaluate an ordinary person.

Everyone is welcome and admission is free! There's going to be lots of popcorn, but please bring your own bowl!

6-9 p.m. at the Education building, room 2018B

"Why I occupy"

Via @occupykelowna

Friday, November 4, 2011

Occupy NL protests Bill C-10

Here are some great pictures from the OccupyNL protest of Bill C-10!!

Press Release: Demonstration Against the Omnibus Crime Bill C-10

For immediate release: November 4th, 2011
St. John’s, NL – The Occupy NL General Assembly is encouraging the public to join in a demonstration on Friday November 4 at the Supreme Court on Water Street, starting at 10 AM. Occupy movements across Canada will demonstrate at their judiciaries to send a message to the Canadian government regarding the Omnibus Crime Bill C-10, which is being rushed through Parliament without adequate public input.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Project GREEN Film Screenings

There is a new film series taking place at MUN starting on November 8th.

MUN Project Green film screening — The Corporation
Date(s) - 8 Nov 2011
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location TBA
MUN Project Green will be showing the documentary, The Corporation, a film that looks into the dominance of the corporation in today’s society by considering it as a person, evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world much like a psychiatrist would evaluate an ordinary person. Everyone is welcome so come and join us! There’s going to be lots of popcorn, but please bring your own bowl!
Check MUN Project Green’s facebook page

C-10 Petition

Hey everyone, the final version of the C-10 petition can be found on Google Docs, here

To download a copy, look to the top right of the screen and press "Download a copy". Each person going around getting signatures has to have a copy of the first page, you can append as many of the second page onto that as you need. Printing them double sided is ok according to parliamentary procedure.

We need as many signatures as possible, as soon as possible, so everybody with a printer start printing and getting your neighbors/coworkers/family/fri
ends to sign! There is also a call for volunteers to canvas the city, please post in the C-10 Facebook group about that. If you're not in the group, send a message to and ask to be added. Everyone is welcome!

Even if you can't help canvas, I strongly urge people to at least try their immediate area, your neighbors, and anyone else you come into contact with.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How you can support the #Occupy movement

There are many ways of being  part of this growing movement—and only some of them involve sleeping outside. 

Click here and here for some ideas on how you can get involved.

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