From the always brilliant Matt Taibbi over at RollingStone, here is more proof that Occupy Wall Street is winning, one step at a time. . .
For those saying that Occupy Wall Street hasn't had a concrete effect, take a look at this. It's not much, but it's a little something. The leaders of the House Financial Services Committee announced yesterday that they will be holding hearings on the SEC's practice of concluding settlements with Wall Street defendants without forcing the accused to admit to wrongdoing.
. . . With OWS and populist anger generally filling that messaging void, there are going to be a lot of politicians who will look to capitalize by doing things like, for instance, beating up on the SEC in a few days of well-publicized but ineffectual hearings.
Here's the short version. Spencer Bachus (R-WallSt), who you might remember from his failed attempt to pass a bill halting insider trading among members of Congress which was blocked when Eric Cantor threw a hissy fit over it for procedural reasons, well Spencer is now trying to move a bill through that would address the SEC's total inability to get financial firms that violate the law to admit to any wrong-doing, instead of just slapping them on the wrist with a fine. Of course, as Taibbi notes, the idea that Congressman Bachus has suddenly become a Wall Street reformer is hilarious, but that isn't the point.
This is the point . . .
So this guy is no enemy of the banks. What yesterday's move does show, however, is that politicians are listening to the specific complaints of OWS. A year ago, we would never have even seen hearings like this coming from the likes of Bachus and Barney Frank, who also supported them move. But now, everybody is trying to find a way to ride the wave. It's too early to celebrate any of this, but it can't be a bad thing.
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It can't be a bad thing. Without Occupy activists marching in the streets and demanding real reforms on Wall Street and other areas of corporate influence this wouldn't be happening. Let's not forget, though, that the online communication and organizing is just as important as boots on the ground are, and that's where you come in . . .
More below the fold
Now, you guys might know that I'm not a big fan of Fox News. Since I met fellow bloggers HankNYNY and OllieGarchey and others, we have been working our tails off to present the news on the ground that the corporate media will not cover. We are using new technologies which will change the way media works. We've been working together to create inexpensive civilian owned and operated camera drones to bring live images and video from the ground when the police barricades in journalists, and blocks their line of site with buses. We've been working with enterprise level software developers to create a new way to access and research information. Our aim is to be able to respond within an hour to published or broadcasted misinformation.
And you built it, Kossacks.
Our ultimate goal is a long way off: to counter media disinformation and incompetence immediately with hard, indisputable facts.
We're also going to relentlessly focus on our political leaders. We need to point out the fact that the majority of our politicians no longer fight for what is in the best interests of “We The People” because they are too busy delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who fund their campaigns.
This must be stopped.
We've done a lot already. Just look at the recent Times Person of the Year coverage, which highlighted TheOther99:
We're changing the way media works.
We're realizing that what was once called Journalism – disseminating the facts to the American people – has become activism. When you're fighting malicious propaganda engines like Fox News, and the disinterested incompetence of every other media outlet, what you're doing becomes fact-based activism. We're advocating for the truth.
We've been heading down to Washington DC to lobby directly on behalf on the American People.
We're creating a New Media platform and we've had some major successes. We broke the Anthony Bologna Pepper Spray video, and we've been broadcasting and blogging from the ground ever since. We were the only source covering the “Stop 'Stop and Frisk'” march, which sees 11 Year Old children accosted by the NYPD, and their information entered into databases forever. The Washington post quoted OUR coverage. There's even more in the works.
We can't keep doing this, we can't keep our doors open, without your continued contributions. Our work is vital. What we can do together is massive. We've already helped change the conversation. Now it's time to drive the message home. Now it's time to make sure that any time the media fails – through malice or incompetence – someone is there to correct the record.
The mainstream media is failing us. We at The Other 99 are working day and night to bring you the story that the main stream media can't - or won't - tell. We answer to no one but you. We're here because of you. Help keep us up and running.
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All of us pushing together, through boots on the ground activism to online journalism and organizing and other means we are putting the necessary pressure on our politicians for the first time in a very long time. We need to keep at it.
The message of the 99% versus the wealthiest 1% has taken hold, it is here to stay. We need to keep at it. Slowly, we are winning. As Taibbi says, "It's too early to celebrate any of this, but it can't be a bad thing."
With your help, I hope we can have something to celebrate.
And I, for one, couldn't be happier when that happens.
Peace and love to all,
You can follow me on Twitter @JesseLaGreca