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The Revolution Will Be Televised: Occupy Wall Street

13 Oct

Gil Scott Heron is turning in his grave. The socially charged poet who penned “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” died this spring but the spirit of revolution is deep in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. What started as a an ad campaign by the Canadian-based group, AdBusters, has turned into a full scale occupation in Lower Manhattan’s Zucotti Park to protest the growing corporate greed of corporate America. To be honest when I first heard of the protests I didn’t give it much thought. People protest every day, especially in NYC, but with the occupation gaining momentum and supporters nearing the 10’s of thousands it’s hard to ignore.

If you are a twenty-something you need to pay attention to what’s going out here. The fact of the matter is we are screwed as a country. Unemployment in the U.S. is at an all time high of 9%. Unemployment is running out and the number one cause of debt is unpaid medical bills resulting in a higher percentage of American’s filing for bankruptcy. In this year alone, over 1.4 million homes have been seized in foreclosure. Add that to the facts that college tuitions are skyrocketing and due to rampant outsourcing graduates are facing a grim job market. Where does that leave us? With a bunch of pissed off and disenfranchised American’s, that’s where. To the retirees living off my Social Security contributions I hope you’re enjoying it; we’ve already been told that by the time our generation is of retiring age there won’t be anything left in Social Security. Do I have your attention now?

So where does that leave us as a people? In all honesty, I have no clue. I support the movement but I think it’s going to take more than occupying a park to make some real change. The only way to evoke real change and get corporate America listening is to hit them where it hurts: their bank accounts. What would you be willing to boycott in order to show your support? In 1955, during the heart of the Civil Rights Era, the Montgomery Bus Company suffered huge financial losses during the 13-month boycott in which African-American’s refused to ride the segregated buses. In that time people pulled together and formed carpools or walked to work. This is before Facebook, Twitter, text messaging or email; it was truly a community effort. 50+ years later do I think we have the fortitude to really stick to our guns and fight for social change? I hope so.

With so much going on in the world it’s easy to stay in your bubble and lose touch with the world around us. It’s refreshing to see so many people band together to fight this crazy capitalist system but I’m anxious to see the next steps. On Friday Mayor Bloomberg has ordered that the protesters camping out in Zuccotti Park be evacuated for a routine cleaning. This has been met with heavy criticism from OWS supporters because of unfair treatment of supporters at the hands of the NYPD. Actually, J.P. Morgan Chase, one of the banks that Occupy Wall Street is protesting against, just donated 4.6 million dollars to the New York City Police Foundation for new laptops in patrol cars and security software. Really, J.P. Morgan? Really?

To find out more about the Occupy Wall Street protests or to support an occupation in your area check out the official Occupy Wall Street website at http://occupywallst.org/

-Nikki B. Decadent

Motivational Mondays: It Gets Better

7 Mar

 

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

~Anonymous~

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

~Dale Carnegie~

Motivational Mondays: Be Confused

28 Feb

Allow the moments of Confusion. Upset in your life is not a sign that something has gone wrong, only that something is hanging. Change usually brings confusion. But one day we “live into” clarity once again, at least for a while. Confusion then clarity, confusion then clarity, confusion then clarity – this seems to be the rhythm of growth.

~Susan Jeffers~

Motivational Mondays: Self Determination

21 Feb

 

 Today think about all of the ways you would like to be a better person and tell yourself that you are already on your way to becoming that person. You can be whomever you desire. The only thing that stands in your way is YOU.

There’s always something to suggest that you’ll never be who you wanted to be. Your choice is to take it or keep on moving.
~Phylicia Rashad~

Nothing is impossible. The words themselves say “I’m possible”.

~Audrey Hepburn~

Motivational Mondays: Determination

14 Feb

 

Whatever comes at you this week please keep two things in mind:

1. You can handle it and 2. knowing is half the battle.

Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you already are on the path to greatness.

All you need to do is stay on course.

Any day above ground is a good day.

~Sheryl Lee Ralph~

 

Happy Valentines day and have a great week!

Haiti…..One year Later!!

10 Feb

Last week Channie touched on giving back. Reading her post I couldn’t help but to briefly speak about this subject. January 12th, 2011  made the one year anniversary of a tragedy we’ll never forget. Whether you’re of Haitian descent or you have a friend who is, I’m pretty sure we all can say it affected us the same way. It’s common for us to pay attention to nothing until it personally interrupts our lives. That’s when we choose to react.

Immediately after the earthquake hit we went into full force. We helped friends, co-workers and even strangers locate their loved ones which was a success even with the bad news. With that much teamwork you would think the re-construction of Haiti would take no time. Of course it didn’t turn out that way; it seems a lot of the world has turned it’s back on Haiti. Records show that the United States sent a cool billion for relief aid and $120 million to clear Haiti’s debt. (Wait, what happened to the Katrina victims?) They also claim some of our allies have been stingy with help also. China and Russia donated $14 million all together. But, hey, it’s all a lot of money to me. Regardless they’ve done a lot since so many people haven’t done anything at all.

At times we want to give back but, we just don’t know how. Below are some sites where you can check out who’s helping Haiti. This is where we turn this negative into a positive. I’m proud of the unity. I’m proud of America, Lord knows our reputation isn’t the best for helping others out. Check them out!

yele.org

http://www.google.com/relief/haitiearthquake

http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org (Let’s Keep an eye on bush)

www.donateforhaiti.org

I have donated to the organizations myself, so I vouch for them. More importantly, I wrote this post so WE , as a people, won’t forget Haiti. My heart is happy to see how much progress has been made but they need help now, and they’ll need help tomorrow. This is your time to give back…

Before I sign off, shout out to Wyclef Jean. He’s the man for more reasons than one.

 

-Shelz


Motivational Mondays: Mindful Focus

7 Feb

Motivational Mondays is a weekly series that encourages our Roaring Gems to be as fearless as possible. Join us every Monday morning to get pumped for the week ahead!

 

This week take time to be more mindful of what you are focusing your energies on. Are you harping on the negative when you should be accentuating the positive? It only takes a minute to shift your outlook and perspective to a more positive one. Make the change today!

  

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.

~Soren Kierkegaard~

 If you look at what you have in life,
You’ll always have more.
If you look at what you don’t have in life,
You’ll never have enough.

~ Oprah Winfrey ~

 

Have a great week!