Occupy protest against Davos WEF


World Economic Forum, cartoon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Occupy highlights ballooning profits at World Economic Forum

Wednesday 25 January 2012

by Tom Mellen

Occupy activists used giant red weather balloons to mount a flying protest over the venue of the fat-cat World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, today.

About a dozen protesters sent up a banner reading: “Hey WEF, where are the other 6.9999 billion leaders?” to protest over their exclusion from the high-security event high in the Swiss Alps where CEOs and politicians meet to discuss how to shore up their exploitative economic system.

Protester Amadeus Thiemann, an engineer from Zurich, said: “We believe that the leaders at World Economic Forum are just trying to implement new systems to maximise their profits, not to help the world.”

Later in the day civil society groups including Amnesty International staged a protest against corporate greed, warning that government failure to effectively regulate big business is pushing the world’s poorest further into absolute poverty.

Occupy WEF” has also built a small igloo village outside the security perimeter.

Inside the swanky conference venue Carlyle Group co-founder and managing director David Rubenstein said world leaders must work fast to overcome the current crisis or else different social systems, such as that being developed in China, may triumph.

“As a result of this recession, that’s lasted longer than anyone predicted and will probably go on for a number more years, we’re gonna have a lot of economic disparities,” Mr Rubenstein warned.

“We’ve got to work through these problems – if we don’t do in three or four years the game will be over for the type of capitalism that many of us have lived through and thought was the best type.”

Bank of America‘s CEO Brian Moynihan called on people to get used to boom-and-bust cycles, noting that they are an integral feature of the capitalist system.

Thousands of environmental campaigners and trade unionists shared ideas on how to change the world in favour of the “99 per cent” with members of Spain’s “Indignant” movement and US Occupy Wall Street activists today on the second day of the World Social Forum in Porte Alegre, Brazil.

Members of Brazil’s left-wing government have been getting stuck into the debates alongside progressive activists such as journalist Ignacio Ramonet, Chilean Communist and student leader Camila Vallejo and musician Gilberto Gil.

Ruth Ramos of the Lima Homosexual Movement said: “What brings us all together is the struggle against capitalism. It is very important for us to work together.”

Social and political crisis hangs over World Economic Forum in Davos: here.

In a speech to the Davos World Economic Forum, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed Thursday that his Conservative government will pursue brutal austerity policies: here.

Two dozen arrested in San Francisco, California Occupy march: here.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff slammed the “failed recipe” of neoliberalism on Thursday in a speech to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre and proposed an alternative “development model capable of linking growth and poverty eradication”.

Occupy London protesters vowed to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights after judges refused permission today to challenge an order evicting them from their camp at St Paul’s Cathedral.

9 thoughts on “Occupy protest against Davos WEF

  1. TRUTHOUT’S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    You may not think that you’ve heard a lot from the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement lately, but you have.

    That’s because the OWS campaign, although truncheoned and pepper sprayed out of its encampments, has profoundly influenced the presidential campaign this year.

    For the past several weeks, the Obama campaign (despite progressive setbacks like the signing of the “indefinite detention” military authorization bill) has rhetorically – and in some important actions – steered toward the issue of income inequality. The White House has also taken on many of the Republican myths about the economy.

    The State of the Union Address, last night, was a testament to how far Obama has come in recognizing that the 99 percent can only be fooled by the 1 percent for so long.

    For decades, corporate media and a lobbyist-run federal government have created a false image of the US and its problems, leading to “solutions” that only worsen our economy (just think of the GOP notion that “tax cuts” solve every national financial ill). This, according to Noam Chomsky, is what is called a “democracy” of “manufactured consent.”

    Despite indisputable, factual evidence that Reagan raised taxes numerous times to keep the nation out of a deep recession, the Republicans continue to claim that his tax cutting was the high watermark in American prosperity. “Trickle down” economics became so engrained in the false narrative of “manufactured consent” that even many Democrats – too beholden to corporate lobbyists and wealthy contributors – perpetuated the myth.

    The OWS movement, however, drove a truck right through that fiction – among others – and forced the media to put income inequality back into the news. Polls showed increasing opposition to tax breaks for the wealthy (although most Americans already were against them) – and increasing support for rebuilding the manufacturing base. Wall Street firms and global corporations that didn’t even pay taxes in the US started to be exposed in the mass media, not just on the Internet.

    As a result, even the opportunistic, high-octane egomaniac, Newt Gingrich, embraced millions of dollars of third-party (Citizens United permitted) ads that trashed Romney as a plutocratic, heartless job cutter. Those ads (ironically financed by $5 million from one of the richest men in America, Sheldon Adelson) propelled Gingrich – along with Romney’s cold-hearted response that working class and poor people just “envied” him – to a decisive victory among Tea Partiers and evangelicals in South Carolina (SC). There were, of course, other issues at work, including Newt’s use of racist code words, but the anti-1 percent message played a decisive role in Gingrich’s SC win (even though he himself is in the top 1 percent financially).

    Obama’s State of the Union address didn’t hit every progressive note – not by a long shot – but it went a long way toward reshaping the political narrative. Ultimately, this impacts the voter who starts to see issues through a new “frame.”

    All of this political rhetoric is a work in progress, but thus far, the influence of OWS can be felt far and wide. It’s a volatile moment – as the American empire contracts and a portion of the white population fights the inevitability of a diversified population and power structure.

    But finally, we are starting to hear the rumblings of an alternative narrative, and it sounds a bit like democracy instead of corporate governance.

    Mark Karlin,
    Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout

    Like

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