Categorized | Humboldt State, Politics

“Occupy Wall Street” Comes To Humboldt

Protest planned on top of HSU Homecoming this Saturday

 

By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A two-week old protest against the political and economic dominance of Wall Street is spreading across the country and landing here in Humboldt County.

On Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. on the University Center Quad in the heart of the Humboldt State University campus, an as-yet unorganized group of students and allies intends to set up camp right in the middle of Homecoming weekend — just before the HSU Lumberjack football team hosts Dixie State.

Their intention, according to convenor Travis Turner, a Samoa-based advocacy journalist, is not to disrupt Homecoming, but to call attention to the common cause between those confronting the financier class nationally and the economic crisis faced by students in the California State University system.

Travis Turner

Travis Turner

“The CSU system has raised tuition again and again while also raising administrator pay,” Turner stated in a Facebook post inviting the public to Saturday’s event. “Classes are being cut and faculty are being let go while the top 1% of CSU employees get pay raises. Over the last three years we have continued to pay more for less. This must stop.”

Just as the “Occupy Wallstreet” has camped out in Liberty Park in downtown New York, Turner intends for protesters to set up an impromptu tent city and, with musical instruments in hand, camp out on campus. As owner of Venatore Media, he took particular aim at the corrupted Fourth Estate of establishment media outlets who have blacked-out coverage of the growing wave of protests, which have spread as far as Boston, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco.

“I see inequality and greed in almost every facet of American life,” Turner stated. “I see media organizations that I once idolized turning a blind eye to it. I see poverty at an all time high.”

Echoing Turner’s call is local political guru Richard Salzman, longtime campaign manager for Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos and recent challenger of Arcata’s anti-panhandling law (which also criminalized sign-holding at street corners).

“It’s been thousands of people holding rallies day after day to protest the Class War that’s been waged by Wall Street and the Banking Industry and Corporations against working Americans for the last [thirty-plus] years and finally, people are starting to fight back,” Salzman stated in a letter to the Sentinel. “I support these protesters and I hope you will too.”

The Twitter hashtag #OccupyHumboldt is being pushed by Turner as a tribute to the #OccupyWallSt label applied to the thousands of Tweets of independent journalists and participants alike.

While he doesn’t expect Congress or the media to meaningfully respond to the protest, Turner hinted at the launch of a larger movement, saying a General Assembly would convene to decide on any further moves — although he wasn’t sure if they would make any moves off-campus.

Just as protesters and independent journalists in Arcata have experienced in years past, part of the focus of Occupy Wall Street has become about their right to protest in the first place — with notorious examples of police brutality going viral on YouTube.

It’s unclear at this point whether “Occupy Humboldt,” with a few dozen fans on Facebook thus far, will extend its interests beyond education funding issues to the more strident opposition to the “banksters,” the Federal Reserve and the federal government support underpinning both.

Chris Hedges (right) at Occupy Wall Street.

Chris Hedges (right) at Occupy Wall Street.

“…we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges stated in an essay on TruthDig. “Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves.”

“They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.”

11 Responses to ““Occupy Wall Street” Comes To Humboldt”

  1. skippy says:

    Who is Travis Turner?

    From his biography:

    Travis Turner is the President and major shareholder of Venatore Media LLC. Venatore Media provides box office ticketing, multimedia, graphic design and PR for special events in Humboldt County.

    MR. TURNER has spent half of his life in some sort of supervisory or managerial role.

    WHEN he was 16 he worked for Burger King in San Bernardino, California as a shift supervisor. Upon graduation from high school he joined the US Navy where he was the Leading Petty Officer of his division onboard the USS Constellation, an aircraft carrier stationed in San Diego, California. Mr. Turner was promoted four times during his six years in the Navy and was honorably discharged in May of 2000.

    HE was hired by the digital video electronics firm Applied Integration in Tucson, Arizona. In three years Mr. Turner set up and managed a nationwide sales team… and doubled the annual income of the company. …Mr. Turner was hired as a sales manager for HLS Holdings, a company owning new car automobile dealerships. In five years Mr. Turner was promoted to the general sales manager and was recognized as a national sales leader.

    IN 2009 Mr. Turner returned to school at Humboldt State University and subsequently started Venatore Media. At Humboldt State he was nominated for Outstanding Student for his contributions in Haiti earthquake disaster relief. Mr. Turner flew to Haiti and extensively photographed the damage to the city of Port-au-Prince days after the earthquake struck.

    HE has won awards for his photography and recognized by clients as professional and diligent in his dealings. Mr. Turner will graduate in May 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Scientific Diving. He is versed in the Adobe Master Suite and numerous web technologies.

    HE has been published in several major news outlets and travelled to over thirty countries. Mr. Turner plans to live and work in Humboldt County for the foreseeable future.”

    SUMMING up his career interests, Mr. Turner noted:
    I have been a photographer and a writer from the age of thirteen. Due to my curious nature and my willingness to want learn more about the world around me I have kept these skills honed while travelling to 25 different countries. Recently I have taken trips to photograph and write about the Russian invasion of Georgia in August of 2008 and post earthquake Haiti in January of 2010. Currently I work as a freelance photojournalist and am a partner in Venatore Gallery, a gallery dedicated to photography. Also, I work as a columnist and photographer for The Lumberjack, the Humboldt State University weekly newspaper.

    EXAMPLES of Mr. Turner’s excellent web work and journalism can be found here.

  2. skippy says:

    It’s hard to find out what’s been happening through the mainstream news about the Occupy Wall Street movement, folks. This is a hot issue that seems to be gaining traction.

    At 5:15 today, the Brooklyn Bridge was been shut down by police; by 8:40 pm, around 700 peaceful protesters were arrested.

    The latest updates can be found on the protester’s adjunct website, OccupyWallSt.org.

    On their website, they’ve set up a mailbox for food and money order donations to be sent to those protesting:

    Mail
    The UPS Store
    Re: Occupy Wall Street
    118A Fulton St. #205
    New York, NY 10038

    Money orders only please, cannot cash checks yet. Non-perishable goods only. We can accept packages of any size. We’re currently low on food.

    More to follow on the post below.

  3. skippy says:

    10/1/11 (Occupy Wall Street) Meeting Minutes:
    Because hundreds of us got arrested, GA will be a little bit different. First, a review of procedures. Then we will have working group report backs. After that, announcements! For working group report backs, we’re going to give priority to Legal and Direct Action to report back on what happened today…”

    THESE NYC Occupy Wall Street folks are organized, wired in, and in it for the long haul. They’re somewhere between committed, dedicated, and thoroughly pissed– in unity.

    THIS isn’t going away anytime soon– but the 700 arrests certainly took out some of the oomph today as Rikers Island paddy wagons hauled off protesters and bail being set to the tune of $1,000 a pop.

    AN Occupy Wall Street General Assembly meeting is being held twice a day, coordinating their Legal, Direct Action, Internet, Media, Food Kitchen, Arts and Culture, Donations and Supplies, Sanitation, Medical, Outreach, Tactical, Town Hall, and a host of other working groups and teams. I don’t know how long this will last– but their calendar of events extends… beyond June 2013.

    Can this even be remotely realistic?

    TAKE a look at their New York General Assembly website to see what this it’s all about; the coordination, working groups, videos, and, of course, the General Assembly meeting minutes for any given day.

    THIS Occupy Wall Street protest has the potential of being nothing short of prolonged and amazing—depending on how the weather, spirits, and the anger of the people hold out.

    I wonder how HSU fared?

  4. Too Little Too Late says:

    “….a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes…”

    How ironic that Chris Hedges is quoted in conjunction with HSU’s Occupy Wall Street event.

    “HSU”…where enrollment was boosted by transferring tens of millions of public dollars annually to recreation, entertainment, sports venues and leisure activities that appeal to the sensibilities of a privileged class that can afford to repeatedly consume them.

    They even over-engineered locked gate dorms that further appeal to that class.

    Where are the journalists that once thrived on such ironies??

  5. Peter Childs says:

    I have seen no better statement of our current astounding situation than that of Chris Hedges referred to above. Virtually if not literally all of the multiple crises into which we have allowed ourselves to drift have been directly caused by the activities of the corporate oligarchy which has almost completely trashed our democracy.
    THIS is the central problem that we must solve, and solve quickly. The only way I can see to do this is to pass a Constitutional amendment completely abolishing the absurd notion of “corporate personhood” and strictly prohibiting any corporate influence on our elective or legislative processes. David Cobb and Move To Amend are doing good work in this direction; the best proposal for such an amendment that I have seen is the Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment proposed by the Network of Spiritual Progressives (spiritualprogressives.org). This amendment should be at the very top of our priorities, and each of us should be working to make it happen. As Hedges points out, push has come to shove; it’s time to choose once and for all which master we will serve.

  6. lisa says:

    We live in Humboldt County in California in the United States.
    Sorry, but we ARE the 1%.

    And I predict the Occupiers will disperse as soon as the weather turns, which is about in 30 days or less.. The 1%’ers are soft.

    • Jet says:

      Lisa, you are clueless about what it means to live in a democracy in these United States. You ARE the 1%. You ARE the KING, QUEEN, the MISTRESS of that rabble in the streets. I know who you are, but you don’t have a clue. Google Marie Antoinette.

  7. Linsey Mouton says:

    It’s really very complex in this busy life to listen news on TV, so I only use internet for that purpose, and take the latest news.

  8. Milagros Atchinson says:

    You made some decent points there.

  9. Lillian Richel says:

    We were all suckered…we actually believed in change…now the people that bailed out those people can’t get jobs, loans, or homes. This is a nightmare. And I look at commercials and they are advertising banks, stock trades, etc. like these were not the people that led us into a financial brink. I don’t understand America anymore. Elections should be boycotted.

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