Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wall Street Trickery

Day after day, the corporate owned media is impossible to ignore entirely. In fact, one must work overtime to look beyond the fluff they show today. Consistently they show us nonsense after nonsense about dogs, cats, sports, corporate owned celebrities espousing nonsense. In between the nonsense, there are commercials and ads galore all over the place and they seem so bright and cheery yet the truth is sinister. Each time we buy these items, we don't ask where the profits go. We don't follow the money. We don't pay attention to the details and the media ensures that we're properly pacified and distracted. Therein lies the sinister rub. When we buy, we might as well be buying into our demise. The profits are used by Wall street to fund D.C. It's important for many to understand that Wall Street and D.C. were built for FREE on Ethnically Cleansed land. At Occupy Wall Street, far too many didn't want to face this fact or deal with it. To put those products on the shelves, they have to manufactured somewhere and by someone. The true history and details of how Wall street came to be, how the banks and corporations of that time came to be is not a story many want told. They cannot face the truth as it is frightening. They'd rather close their eyes and hope this all just goes away. I'm one of the many who've been laid off for years with no job prospects except holiday seasonal work. For me it's been five years. Five very long tedious years after working for selfish, boorish corporate types. The last job was for a CEO of an industrial manufacturer who is for sure going to hell on an express elevator in gasoline soaked shorts and quite proud of it. I do believe he will be giving tours in the 10th level of hell. In the face of permanent unemployment, many have the time to think back to their days of working and see the remarkable difference to life now. They see the effects on their kids, their neighborhoods, their health, etc. After unemployment ends, they must face real realities of something called welfare. Such a loaded word isn't it? To apply for food stamps is not nearly as dark and low a day as when you have to apply for cash assistance to do things like buy toothpaste, soap and things of that nature or pay for electricity and so on. In those dark days of applying for welfare, you are officially a criminal. You are fingerprinted, your background checked for criminal activity and you are treated as a captive. Not that the loss of unemployment insurance is enough with a letter to prove it is, they must visit your home and assess you. It used to be worse. view the movie "Claudine" to see how bad it was. Still, a team of at least two must come to your home and the first question they ask is "do you have a dog", eyes bulging out of their hear in fear for their lives. Then, with college education, work experience and willingness to work, you are assigned to "Back to Work" classes. In those classes, many new people are forced to sit there all day long to hear about how to find a job. If you don't show up, if you're late, you must show up to the front office and hope they won't kick you off. If you have an interview you must turn in paper work to prove this in time otherwise you will be kicked off the program and your little bit of cash is cut off and you must reapply. The front desk workers take a sadistic delight in holding your fate in their hands and the day they push you over the financial cliff is pure pleasure. They get a high off of it. The "instructors" in these back to work classes are also like experts in prison torture. You are subjected to all sorts of nonsense, ridiculous conversations, insults that could incite violence. The lack of maturity from them at times is life threatening. There are bars on the windows in these places and only one door. If they trash the wrong person there's only one way out. Then in those places, the newly criminalized unemployed speak of Clinton and NAFTA and his welfare reform. During the time the Democrats tried to keep the votes of ill informed White working class voters, they destroyed welfare. Simultaneously, Clinton signed the NAFTA agreement allowing corporations to ship manufacturing jobs overseas. This is the main reason why you never hear anyone in politics speak of the poor. The POOR are People Off the Oligarchs Radar and many in the know despise Clinton. What's never been discussed openly is the corporations and banks love of free labor as a tradition. Chase, AIG, Citibank, Brown Brothers Harriman, NY Life, MetLife, Brooks Brothers, CSX, Gannett Publishing just to name a few all began with FREE Labor. New York City and first New Amsterdam were built on FREE LABOR. The very wall on Wall eand Wall street itself were built on FREE LABOR. Trinity Church was built for FREE by Captive Africans used as FREE Labor and they REFUSE to release the records and names of the victims forced into enslaved labor so that descendants can celebrate their memory and ease their transition into the afterlife. So, where do the candidates get their campaign financing, how are they selected and presented for election to the bamboozled and misled public and how is that money flowing to their hands? Well, if you haven't noticed already, there is one type of drug store ALL over the place. They have been on the intersection of Duane and Reade Streets for years and still are and these stores overrun the place. About 20 years back I could find at least 3 different pharmacy type stores on Nassau Street, West Street and Fulton street. Now this one store is like a supermarket now similar to another big store like Walmart, Kmart, Target and large superstores. See that seemingly innocent purchase you make for much needed things for daily living and self care? That's where they reap the profits. Each one of those products is part of a major corporation that usually uses a portion of profits to join draft legislating organizations like ALEC for one, but there are others that use the profits you generate at the local stores and turn it right around to harm us. They trade stocks on Wall Street and take a shine to ringing that bell in the building that stands on what was once a slave stockade on ethnically cleansed land. They happily bust unions and use another government enforced welfare reform tool called WEP- Worker's Experience Program where the unemployed get to work for the Parks Department or Department of Sanitation for free and clean up the parks, subways, make photocopies in offices. Daily in that Back to Work class you are yelled at about the absolute necessity to perform WEP services. Once again, supervisors in offices are like slave overseers if they so choose. Some of the people there have seen jail time so they say things like "just do your time and it will be okay". A stern explanation of te circumstances gives clarity but also creates enemies. Instantly they realize that people you wouldn't normally see are there now. They close ranks in little hamlets of WEP offices in parks, beaches and train stations, unable to relate. So now comes the bullying from people who are afraid and from me they get tales of the Haitian revolution where captive African warriors tore the place up. Tales of abused free laborers, held captive under conditions of terror were so fierce, they had the streets of nearby Zucotti Park even torn up. Their captive cousins would wait for tales from the ships of White Haitian Refugees pulling into the ports of New York, being held together by free labor, with tales that lit up every African descendent across the city, out to Long Island and on to New Jersey an further on from there. It also scared the hell out of the captors. Slavery didn't end in this region until 1827. The streets surrounding Wall street filled with taverns of angry Whites, disgusted with the captives for having the nerve to want to be free. And what of the Lenapi Lennai? Not a word huh? The WEP workers start competing for jobs that may come to fruition if they show how well they perform. Paid workers tend to treat WEP workers like garbage. Condescending, rude, as though you are a slave. None of this is spoken of in the speeches and declarations about the middle class on the tony offices of the NY TImes, or the Daily News or the Post, or the slick sets of political shows. They speak of the middle class but never this true reality. The sinister part is when they break for commercial. Those products advertised generate income and some of it is used to maintain this reality. What is it that you buy on a regular basis that couldn't be made elsewhere. Corporations like to build brand loyalty but there's no loyalty to you whatsoever. That profit you generate at the local store is feeding this monster on wall street that's connected to D.C. We cannot drink the water in many places because corporations get their way in the legislature. People who are experts on unemployment, on welfare, on healthcare don't speak to us, they speak to each other and to politicians in D.C. Many are scholars who don't particularly care for the masses of POOR on the ground going through hell. In order to enlighten and inspire you must first care about those people. This means that if you are stuck in unemployment hell, on welfare it's time to stop giving your power away to leaders who work for the oligarchs. The scholars in universities globally are now under the control of corporations who own and control the schools of business, science, technology, humanities, etc. and if they don't like what you're saying, they toss you out and end your career. Let's take a look at what England was doing with the long term unemployed a few years back- they were working for McDonald's and Tesco's a food store, for FREE. Here is the most sinister part about corporations, their ability to harness economic power from our purchases and use them against us - corporate prisons are now courting major manufacturers to bring the jobs back - to the prisons where labor is .25 cents to .93 cents an hour! No unions, no wages, no OSHA, no labor laws, no Unemployment insurance and a prison force who can't fight back. Once they're out of prison there's nothing for them but to return. I see groups of Middle Class people enraged at the thought of items 'made in China' but they cannot conceive that their city was made for free, cleared by genocide. They don't want to know that George Washington sold the labor of Indentured Europeans dragged out of debtors prisons on the same auction blocks as New York City. If all the major banks and institutions were built on free labor, why would they want to pay anyone now? Want to make them listen? Leave their products to rot on the shelves, make your own and barter. You have power. You just don't realize it. Wall Street and D.C. work actively to ensure you NEVER know this. Peace ya'll!

Zucotti Park - Revolutionary Past

     I've walked past Zucotti or Liberty Park for years, always taking for granted that it was there for a long time but recent knowledge stopped me cold.  I can remember coming up there in September last year during the first few days OWS started and having a long conversation about being one of the 99er's - people who had maxed out their unemployment at 99weeks (93 weeks for NYer's so I guess we're 93er's) and dealing with the fallout of no income and the whole "If you're currently unemployed don't even bother to apply" mentality so I decided to occupy and at least make some noise for the people who couldn't get there. . 
    I came there to make people remember that if we're angry now, we should always remember that this city was first emptied out of the Lenapi Lenai who called this area Lenapehoking and that the famous wall on Wall Street and the very Broadway that Zucotti park is bordered by was an ancient Lenapi Indian trail, lengthened, broadened and paved by slaves for free.
    What I did not know is that on the same site once stood a tavern owned by John Hughson, a Catholic Irishman. Hugson's tavern was where many freed, indentured and enslaved Africans met to socialize and some think to plot their freedom. Since 1712 after the first insurrection where slaves burned downed buildings and then attacked the Whites who came to put the fires out, New Yorkers were on edge, always suspicious.
   In 1741, a number of mysterious fires began breaking out in the city again and guilty minded people who know they were wrong quite naturally suspected the slaves.  In order to assuage the populace in fear of another Negro Plot, the authorities summarily rounded up every African person in the city and began using torture techniques previously outlawed to extract information.  Every African in the city was under suspicion and questioned.
   Under pressure, John Hughson's indentured servant Mary Burton came forward to testify and to this day historians are still unsure of the validity of this testimony.  Mary told a story of Hughson's tavern being a place where Negroes by the names of Cesar, Prince and Cuffee or Coffee conspiring to rob and destroy the town, massacre the Whites and rule the place.  She also implicated Sara Hughson, John Hughson's wife along with his alleged mistress of  Cesar, Peggy Kerry known as the "Irish beauty" who also had a child by him.
    By the time Mary Burton was done, 18 people were hanged including Hughson, his wife Sarah, and Peggy.  Fourteen were executed by being burned alive until they were ashes.  Around seventy slaves were rounded up and sent to colonies out of the country.  I often look around at people on the train, the ferry, etc. and wonder if they're descendants of some of this and don't know it.  Could people of Irish descent or mixed African/Irish descent pass by, work together, have a seemingly mundane interaction and never know they have a connection such as this?  Are the spirits of their collective ancestors chuckling in amazement that they could have such a connection and never  know?  Could one glance and a smile or brushing past a stranger be the first time relatives have interacted in hundreds of years? 
     In any case, I hope you never walk up Broadway, walk past any part of this city and not think for at least a split second of who was there before.  The real story of New York and America is the ones not spoken of by the tour guides who focus on the big names and the big buildings and ignore the history of the real people who were used and abused to build this place.  This has implications for us because history repeats itself.  We were frogs boiling in the water then as now.  It wasn't uncommon for a union between Cuffee and Peggy Kerry to happen.  Slaves, Indentured servants of European and African descent found out that they were in the same boat came together, married or not and had children, formed families and in some cases, like the Red Legs of Barbados took at look at a system of oppression to the financial pleasure of the profiteers and decided to fight back. These unions occurred in Jamestown, Virginia so much so that the English powers that be feared it and started the system of divide and conquer and using the idea of race first used against the Irish to oppress them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hidden And Unheard at OWS

Before I stop at Zucotti park I always walk on Wall street to remember that slaves built that wall on this famous Wall street to keep the Lenape Indians.  

As many inquisitive, outraged, disgusted souls traverse across Zucotti Park it's important to remember that it's sacred ground.  No matter how much the residents may scream about the "noise" of the war drums and simply object to the masses revolting against the tyranny of unchecked corporate greed, the. voices of the first oppressed people, the Lenape Indians go unheard.  Their graves go unmarked. On that spot may have been a burial ground but we will never know it.

I have been coming to OWS since September 19th.  Much has changed since that first day I sat on the steps and spoke with protesters who have reached their limit with the direction our government and thus society has taken.  From the first moments there I always honored the ancestors and spoke up for the missing Lenape Indians who don't have their names etched anywhere on the streets of that old trail they established which we now call Broadway on this isle once known as "Manahatta", land of many hills which were flattened to expand this city by leaps and bounds.

As all eyes are on the famous Wall Street the mission to put a visual image of the actual building of that wall is what is missing. Slaves built this wall to keep the Lenape out. It's time to make Wall street accountable for the current and past tyranny. 

I'll post more tomorrow folks.  In the meantime, when picturing that famous street, contemplate what's beneath.