Tag Archives: occupy wall street

40 of the most powerful photographs ever taken

BuzzFeed has pulled together 40 of the most powerful photos ever taken. Here are four of them:

Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis is arrested for participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. (source: johnnymilano.com)

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Art, icons, and posters of Occupy Wall Street

This project and this movement is about mobilizing the masses and nothing is more important than numbers when it comes to a protest’s strength and longevity.

That is why we are providing everyone with free downloadable posters, graciously provided by graphic designers around the country, to not only promote this site and efforts down on Wall St. but to help mobilize in other communities, to inspire, to promote, to inform, and to strengthen the occupiers’ efforts.

- Occupy Together

Here are my favorites of the 50+ available:

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Shepard Fairey discusses how he came up with artwork for Time's Protester of the Year

I’m happy with this Time cover mostly because I’m proud to help acknowledge and amplify the influence of protest movements this year, especially Occupy Wall Street. Exposure leads to dialogue, and I’m glad that the issues Occupy is concerned with are finally being discussed.

With the cover image I wanted to capture the dedication and spirit of defiance that any protester must possess in the face of arrest or worse.

Time provided me with images to sift through and I illustrated from a photograph that I thought would be a good reference for an iconic and compelling protester. In my art I try to emphasize the most powerful essence of an image and eliminate anything superfluous. In this case I felt there was a powerful contrast between the intensity of her eyes and her unthreatening yellow knit beanie. I wanted the protester to come across as serious, but not scary. Most of the protesters I’ve met are normal, idealistic, young adults, so I thought the “person next door” feel was important.  Ironically, I found out that the subject of the photo I illustrated from is an LA resident and employee of the Robert Berman gallery who I have worked with. I hope to meet or speak to her at some point.

This Time issue is a documentation of an irrefutable  phenomenon, not an incitement to protest(I wish I had that degree of influence over Time’s agenda) even though I do encourage people to stand up for their beliefs and protest if necessary . Regardless, if this Time cover encourages others to stand up for their ideals, I think it is a victory.

-Shepard

And, the artwork:

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Shepard Fairey discusses how he came up with artwork for Time’s Protester of the Year

I’m happy with this Time cover mostly because I’m proud to help acknowledge and amplify the influence of protest movements this year, especially Occupy Wall Street. Exposure leads to dialogue, and I’m glad that the issues Occupy is concerned with are finally being discussed.

With the cover image I wanted to capture the dedication and spirit of defiance that any protester must possess in the face of arrest or worse.

Time provided me with images to sift through and I illustrated from a photograph that I thought would be a good reference for an iconic and compelling protester. In my art I try to emphasize the most powerful essence of an image and eliminate anything superfluous. In this case I felt there was a powerful contrast between the intensity of her eyes and her unthreatening yellow knit beanie. I wanted the protester to come across as serious, but not scary. Most of the protesters I’ve met are normal, idealistic, young adults, so I thought the “person next door” feel was important.  Ironically, I found out that the subject of the photo I illustrated from is an LA resident and employee of the Robert Berman gallery who I have worked with. I hope to meet or speak to her at some point.

This Time issue is a documentation of an irrefutable  phenomenon, not an incitement to protest(I wish I had that degree of influence over Time’s agenda) even though I do encourage people to stand up for their beliefs and protest if necessary . Regardless, if this Time cover encourages others to stand up for their ideals, I think it is a victory.

-Shepard

And, the artwork:

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Unemployment rate normal for college grads – so why Occupy Wall Street?

For some reason I thought that not having a chance to get ahead was a big part of Occupy Wall Street. That the top 1% is running away with money from the bottom 99%.

Unfortunately, the unemployment data below confuses that story. It shows a serious education issue and major problems in the African-American community, but not a widespread problem among the 99%.

In fact, if you take those groups out of the equation then the problems are nearly wiped away. Our college grads have an employment rate of 4.2%. The white and asian communities over-all have an unemployment rate around 6.5%.

An unemployment rate of 4-6% is considered normal for a healthy economy, taking into account those between jobs, career changes, etc.

Perhaps, the message for Occupy Wall Street should have been to get more kids through college and help out the African-American community?

November 2011,  Unemployment Statistics - Bureau of Labor Statistics

By Education

  • High school dropouts – 12.7%
  • High school, no college – 8.4%
  • Some college or Associates Degree – 7.4%
  • Bachelor’s and higher – 4.2%

 

By Race, Sex

White, unemployment rate, 7.2 %

  • Men – 6.8%
  • Women – 6.5%
  • Teens – 21%

Black, unemployment rate, 14.9%

  • Men – 15.5 %
  • Women – 12.7%
  • Teens – 39%

Asian, unemployment rate, 6.5%

 

By Industry

Highest unemployment rate:

  • Agriculture – 14.9%
  • Construction – 13.1%
  • Leisure and Hospitality – 11.1%

Lowest unemployment rate:

  • Self-employed – 5.2%
  • Education and Health – 5.2%
  • Government workers – 4.5%

Industry most likely for college grads:

  • Professional and business services – 9%
  • Information – 7.4%
  • Financial activities – 6.1%

I want to encourage you to come to your own conclusions about these numbers. What did you come up with?

One I came up with is that it certainly pays to be a college grad (4.2%) and be self-employed (5.2%). Both have the lowest unemployment rates.

Occupy Wall Street: Finding a voice, a message and an audience

** This is a guest post by Bernie Lee **

Trying to write a blog post about Occupy Wall Street that’s fair a balanced has become an endeavor that has led me around in circles. It’s unlike other protest movements such the anti-war hippie movement or the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. In those there were clear leaders and a clear message and the voice was of an identifiable demographic of the American public.

Two historic movements have the same complications that plague Occupy Wall Street: the American and French Revolutions.

I hate revisionist history. It’s also difficult to enumerate all of the reasons and events that led to the American Revolution. It’s really hard to take off “presentism” goggles as we try to look back into history and learn from the events of the past.

Fact: George Washington was the leader of the American armies during the revolution.
Opinion: George Washington was a badass and an impeccable leader of men.

For many people in the US, my statement that George Washington was a badass is merely an opinion and may be refuted is tantamount to speaking heresy in front of an inquisitor during the Spanish Inquisition or having gone up to McCarthy with the news that I’m a communist. Now that I’ve put that seed of thought in your mind, let me try to amend your opinion by saying that I’m not a communist. Of course whether you believe that or not remains to be seen. Hopefully you haven’t passed judgement on me and decided the rest of this post is not worth reading.

In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama explains that there is only one right that a human being can protect on his/her own – his/her right to life. Any other “right” that we believe we have is given to us by the social system we live under. I don’t have a right to speak my mind. In a different community, I could be silenced via censorship, incapacitation, imprisonment or death. However, the US Constitution is a social contract that states that as a citizen of the US, I have the right to speak my mind. My government protects my freedom of speech.

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Occupy Chinese Wall Street

Does anyone ever think about the power that comes with Wall Street?

We are the center of the financial universe and money flows into our country. The dollar is the standard by which everyone else values their currency. Millions upon millions of jobs are created by more than just the big investment banks, but also the small businesses that rarely face a credit crunch.

Nearly every person in this country can get a quick $20k to start a business, whether from a bank or through a credit card.

So, why do the Occupy Wall Street protesters want to put a monkey wrench in the works? Would they rather it be in China?

Perhaps they blame Wall Street for the recession or the bailouts.

Let’s start with the bailouts. There were two of them, one for Detroit and one for Wall Street. The one for the automakers cost us $14 billion on an $80 billion loan bailout, while TARP cost us $20 billion on $432 billion in loans.

That’s a 17.5% default rate for Detroit compared to a 4.6% default rate for Wall Street, and the TARP number is expected to go lower as more money is paid back. That $14 billion automaker loss it’s already on the books.

Further, the Wall Street banks have already paid their loans back, it’s the small community banks across the country who are defaulting.

The main reason they are defaulting: bad home loans.

Which brings up an interesting conundrum. Non-Wall Street banks taking our tax money. People taking on bad mortgages and government regulators performing a classic disappearing act.

Should we think twice about blaming Wall Street?

At the very least take responsibility for our own bad mortgages and elected officials.

You definitely won’t find me out protesting Wall Street — I would feel too guilty as I have an “easy mortgage” that I am underwater on.

I like having my country as the financial power in the world and all the money and jobs that go along with it. Not to mention that it’s better than it being in China or Germany.

Plus, I have work to do. I can’t sit around all day and be angry at other people…

[photo: blaisone-crowds / david shankbone-socialist]