Why the Occupy protests Were Necessary?

There is always a limit to everything-a place where you reach the breaking point. This is especially true with regards to being taken for granted as a patriotic citizen who pays huge taxes year in year out. When you fail to receive what is rightfully yours, you begin to protest within yourself, a felling which may eventually burst out and cause you to react to the government in a certain way. This is exactly how occupy protests began back in 2011 in the financial district of New York city’s Wall Street.

What happened?

The occupy movement began when a bunch of Americans protested against unfair social and economic inequalities within the government. Men and women gathered around Zucotti Park, Manhattan to deliver protests and ask why wealth was being distributed disproportionately. Democracy states that all people, no matter their economic status are entitled to equal economic and social rights. The slogan for the protest “We are the 99%” communicated the message that the largest percentage of the American population is the rest of the population with the 1% only being the wealthiest. By 2012, the occupy movement had spread across the globe except for Antarctica.

Current state of the occupy protests

Fast food workers

The citizens of the United States have experienced positive results following the occupy protests. A national protest for a minimum wage of $15/hr which was initiated by a number of fast food workers seems to have borne fruits in a number of states including Alaska, North Dakota and Nebraska. Their economic bar has to go up to boost the low income population. Walmart and McDonalds for instance have increased the minimum wage to 12 dollars per hour. More pay hikes are expected to sweep across the whole nation and beyond.

Environmental impact

In 2011, the United States environmental movement saw 1200 protesters marching out to fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. As the protests, tech-ins and demonstrations went on, the energy sector was startled and this caused the government to dispense over $50 billion in fossil fuel assets as a way to fight the issues of the environment.

Effect on the drilling process

The occupy protests also prompted another movement which rose up to defend how the states, cities and counties conducted the drilling process. Over 400,000 people showed up to defend the climatic changes associated with drilling. President Barrack Obama made a public declaration and vowed to deal with this issue by enacting mandates dealing with dangerous carbon emissions in power plants. He went on to sign a deal with China which sought to slash carbon emissions that escape into the air.

Money and politics

Occupy protests also focused on corruption within the political process. This really went a long way in re-shaping the wealth influence in the political process. Over 60 cities and towns in the U.S and 16 state legislatures have embraced the concept that money is not speech and corporations are not people. Presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle promise to create new reforms in campaign finance by removing big money from politics.

So there you have it. The occupy protests sent waves all over the world and the consequences will be felt for a really long time. I hope that the positive changes will be permanent and the world will embrace them so as to fight corruption, inequality and other vices which affect the common man.

Police and Their Abusive and Irresponsible Usage of Pepper Spray

The Introduction of Pepper Spray to Our Armed Forces is fairly recent. Pepper spray was first used as an alternative form of self defense in the mid 1990’s. It was introduced first by the NYPD to help our armed forces combat attackers and mobs using a fairly safe and nonlethal yet effective weapon. However, despite it’s harmlessness, the use of pepper spray is often considered cruel and unnecessary. For example, according to USA today, in 2011, the use of the substance on a group of protestors at Northern California University was declared calamitous.

Pepper spray was introduced by means of a more humane method of self control. Almost every one of the police officers you will encounter in life will be armed with pepper spray. The substance has been declared a nonlethal weapon that is legal to carry in all fifty states, with only restrictions on age per state.

However, what would happen if you were pepper sprayed?

According to the official, Mace website, which is the most commonly carried brand of pepper spray amongst our armed forces, stated that upon direct contact, your eyes would swell shut, you would begin violently coughing, and you would experience an external burning sensation. Effects will last up to 45 minutes to an hour.” Unless you were to have a pre-diagnosed respiratory illness, the effects of pepper spray would most likely not be long lasting beyond the stated forty-five minutes to an hour, according to Defense Express. So, the use of pepper spray by our armed forces in terms of how humane it is would really differ depending on your personal opinions and experiences.

The Use of Pepper Spray: Individual Instances

Other than the previously noted incident at University of California at Davis, pepper spray was notable used at Trump rally in Kansas City, Missouri to break up angry, potentially violent protestors. According to the New York Times, many bystanders claimed to have been sprayed without having anything to do with the protest. Later that evening, the Kansas City Police tweeted about the incident saying they had to spray the angry protestors twice. Another notable incident involves a security guard spraying a forty-one year old man. According to the Seattle PI police were called in to further investigate the incident. Whilst the guard claimed to feel threatened, the victim claimed total innocence, and stated that he tried to record the incident.

History of ALEC protests

occupy-alecALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) in recent years have come under fire for corruption and unfairness towards the treatment of every day citizens. A non-profit org that was created with the goal of preventing abuse of federal governments, corporations and other large enterprise from exploiting the everyday citizens have ironically been demonized for not standing up to their motto. With Occupy protests that sprang up like wildfire, protests against ALEC has been numerous just in the past 5 years.

We look at on the three most recent protests against ALEC, often organized by Occupy Movement, and discuss how they transpired and what the protests were about.

The first time that ALEC has been targeted for demonstration for its corruption was in October 2011. In Cincinnati, a controversial bill (Wisconson Senate Bill 11) lobbied, paid and pushed by ALEC incited a large protest against the questionable legislation. For 10 days, streets of the city of Cincinnati were filled with angry protesters exposing the corrupt nature of ALEC and how they act as a shadow government to accomplish things for the select greedy few.

In 2013, Chicago also caught the wave of protesting against ALEC during its 40th annual convention. A team of protesters representing different special interests like environments and local communities came together to protest against ALEC. Protesters alleged fraudulent and corrupt behaviors of ALEC by citing various offenses they’ve launched on voter rights, environment pollution and other labor agenda. Again like in 2011, protesters were accusing ALEC of upholding the rights of the corporations over the interests of regular citizens.

In March of 2015, there was another explosion of protests against ALEC in San Diego. This time, the focus was on disenfranchisement of the voters. ALEC has long been accused of voter fraud and manipulation and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman had this to say about ALEC:

“ALEC…its legislative templates aren’t just about generating immediate benefits to the organization’s corporate sposors; they’re about creating a political climate that will favor even more corporation-friendly legislation in the future.”

The quote encapsulates why the protesters are so enraged against this conservative, partisan entity disguised as a benign non-profit.

On May 6, 2016, the protesters have congregated in Pittsburgh, with them surrounding and storming a private meeting held at Omni William Penn Hotel. The activities comprised of dozens of organizations that represent labor unions and other liberal leaning organizations. The consensus amongst the protesters was with ALEC pushing agendas that undermine the labor unions, favoring the corporate overlords they are sponsored by.