Added a few more images.. check it out!
Tag Archives: occupy austin
It’s a sub-set of photography I’ve always loved. Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of my earliest inspirations, and I’ve always loved his work. The idea of taking a camera out and simply shooting people, random people, is hard these “Photographers might be terrorists” days.
The Occupy Austin movement brought me the opportunity to shoot some street portraits. I was asked to shoot many portraits for a video that is being made of why people are at the Occupy Austin movement.
It’s a knack to get people you’ve never met to pose in such a way as to illustrate their basic personality – I hope I’m developing some of this… I was able to get these folks to relax, and I hope I brought forth their personalities, who they are, what makes them an individual.
In some cases, I used some filters to bring out some uniqueness in each portrait. I do a layering, filtering, layering technique.
More to come.
Most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren’t opposed to free market capitalism. In fact, what they want is an end to the crony capitalist system now in place, that makes it easier for the rich and powerful to get even more rich and powerful while making it increasingly hard for the rest of us to get by. The protesters are not anti-American radicals. They are the defenders of the American Dream, the decision from the birth of our nation that success should be determined by hard work not royal bloodlines.
I don’t hate corporations.
As any first year business student can tell you, the corporate structure of business is a necessity when setting up any business to reduce the impact of possible lawsuits and to properly define the business. A properly set-up corporation will shield the business owners from frivolous lawsuits if the proper procedures are followed while conducting business.
And people are overly willing to file suit against a business over any perceived insult or injury.
Beyond that, a decently set-up corporation allows the business to be run with as little internal friction as possible, and sets up a small business to prosper.
But corporations are not people.
If they were people, then a great many large corporations would be those teenagers who promise to be good if the parents would go on vacation and not hire a babysitter.
You’ve seen those movies.
Once the parents are safely away, the kids plan a party. The party is then crashed by other teens, and chaos ensues which destroys the house. Then the kids have to figure out a way to rebuild before the parents get home.
Except in real life, the parents hired a babysitter (Congress) who had a set of rules in place to make the kids (Corporations) behave. Eventually, the kids were able to convince the babysitter they did not need so many rules and the kids promised to be good.
Within days the kid, now without the babysitter and any rules, go wild and burns the house down, drives the family car off a cliff into a lake, then runs to the babysitter asking for money to rebuild the house and get another car.
So, the babysitter bails out the kids, the parents tell the babysitter that those kids need supervision and rules and the kids scream bloody murder about the rules and the babysitter.
So, in this case, the kids (Corporations) need to be punished, they have to pay for the damages and they most assuredly need the babysitter to enforce the rules.
However, unlike teenagers, the Corporations spend millions on leagues of lawyers and lobbyists who do what they can to sidestep the issue of regulations and oversight.
With the Occupy movements across the nation and overseas, this will change. Slowly but surely, it’ll change.
NPR article covers the evolution of dissent to policy
NPR has posted an article detailing how Occupy Wall Street could affect policy in the U.S. through the lens of successful historical protests movements. Many on the right have been quick to bash the protestors for not having a clear consensus on policy goals, but Alan Greenblatt asserts that a lack of consensus is to be expected at this point in the movement’s evolution.
His quote of Nina Eliasoph counters the right’s complaint quite appropriately:
“Movements don’t write legislation. They force open a line of questions that makes it possible for people to imagine new policies. That’s always the first step.” – Nina Eliasoph, Sociologist at the University of Southern California.
The people trying to belittle the movement have to understand one thing. This many people, spread across the US, will be very hard to shut up once they get rolling.
The voice is getting louder.
The movement is made up of people who are educated, intelligent and understand what happens when a movement is co-oped and are resisting that. The movement is history in the making, regardless of the opinions of the blow-hard pricks on Faux News.
What was, at first, a rather chaotic gathering of people at Austin’s City Hall has evolved into a more organized movement. Although the movement here is an off-shoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the goals are somewhat different. OATX stands behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, but they also have their own agenda.
Occupiers at Austin’s City Hall are now allowed to camp there, no tents allowed, but at least the occupation will be 24-hours versus 6am to 10pm.
Austin’s police have taken a very “hands off” approach, as they’re very media aware and know what would happen if any cop tried to be violent towards a peaceful crowd. Unlike in other cities.
I certainly do not recall Tea Party protestors being beaten, maced or arrested by cops during their gatherings. This brings to mind images of Iran during the Green Protests last year and the riots of the 1960s. At least the 1960s brought social change, albeit briefly before the squares started changing things back.
Working locally is better. I was told by a group member at Austin Java Sat evening, that this is one of the few things that flows uphill. It’s easier to deal with City Hall than to try and deal, right now, with the entrenched lobbyists and PACs in Washington, D.C.
My personal bone to pick is that elected representatives need to actually listen to and represent their constituents. *Not just those who are in the same Party, but EVERYONE. City Hall is one such place where the crowd is heard, but the bastards vote the other way in most cases. They do not truly listen to the people. They listen to the various lobbies, mostly from the real estate people.
The point, in my mind, of this movement is to let the elected people know that we’re tired of them not listening to our voices.
The US Congressman in my district only listens to his own party people. He sends out these insane questionnaires that sound like conspiracy theory talking points. I can judge what he feels is most important of his attention, and it’s mostly has to do with Obama being illegally in the US. So trying to get his attention without a sack of cash is a waste of time.
Lets’ hope this leads to change. I would hate to think is turns out to be a Sisyphean task….
Just in case you were wondering why Occupy ATX exists.. why people are protesting, and why our system is fucked up beyond all repair, watch this…
In proposing a 5 percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year to pay for job-creation measures sought by President Obama, Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday escalated efforts to strike a more populist tone and to draw Republicans into a confrontation over how much affluent Americans should pay to help others cope with a struggling economy.
Yesss… This measure is certain to be shot down by the GOP in the House, which will further illustrate who’s in the side of us 99% and who is on the side of the Job Destroyers.
People will tell me that they “think” the Occupy Austin movements means or is that they “think” the Occupy movements are against “XYZ”…
No. There are sooo many things the movement wants it’s hard to easily throw it all into a bumper sticker statement. The answer is very complex.
And folks who cannot think and who believe what the news media (esp. Faux News) spouts have no clue how they are playing right into the hands of the same groups who wish to destroy our freedoms, destroy our liberties and continue to corrupt our governing bodies, from the local city council all the way to the White House.
The far right lives in a fantasy land fed with distorted facts and outright lies. If you really believe the BP has the best interests of the people of Louisiana at heart, and if you really think there is no climate change happening, you also live in a fantasy world that is as real as any world crafted by people like L. Ron Hubbard or J.R.R. Tolkien.
And if you believe that the other political party is going to fix everything, or that they are not influenced by corporate money, you also live in a fantasy world of fairies and elves that bear no relationship to the real world.
All of government is bought and paid for by corporate sponsors who are doing their best to remove any influence the voter has in the process. Among those corporate sponsors are groups who pretend to be Christians, but are in fact, if allied with any actual spiritual group, they mostly resemble Satanists. They are filled with immense hatred for anyone who’s different and they spout such venomous bile towards anyone they feel is a threat.
Austin has been governed not by the city council but by real estate interests, big corporations and megachurches.
So the next question is, hot to fix all this?
This corporate take-over stated small, a little chip here and there… so it’ll take time to fix. Sure, there could be a full fledged revolution but if we try to rebuild the whole system the big corporations will jump in and we’ll be far, far worse off.
No. We first have to start with voter reform, remove all electronic voting methods, as those computers can be rigged all too easily as 2000 & 2002 have shown. Go back to paper ballots that are audited. The voting process will not be instant and results will take weeks. But it’ll more accurately reflect the will of the voters.
That’d be a start.
Occupy Wall Street has spread all across the US, including Austin. The Austin Organization is Occupy Austin.
The media was focused on the usual parade of colorful characters that typify an Austin event, but the real meat of the movement is in the stories behind the average person attending today’s event.
I volunteered to help with photography and was recruited to photograph the people that were interview by the media arm of the organization, which resulted in me hearing some great stories.
One was from a mid-50s guy who was in New York. He’s a writer. He was in the more violent demonstrations in New York and came down here to lend his support.
Another interviewee was a former US Marine. His sign read “I fought for my country, not for Wall Street”
A young man who graduated from college and racked up 50k in student loans only to be unable to find work.
I’ll be posting pictures on an on-going basis as I plan to attend two, or more rallies in the future.