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Progressive activists of all stripes are fighting to prevent the GOP from taking control of the Senate on behalf of their billionaire backers.

But how can we best do this if we live in blue states? Well there’s a new and easy way that has a lot of organizers really excited.

Just enter your zip code to find a calling party near you or sign up to make calls from home.

This weekend the act.tv team paid a visit to MoveOn’s NYC volunteer phone banking office to make videos humanizing the process and persuading others to take part. And it’s clear that a chord is really being struck here!

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Zephyr Teachout on All In With Chris
I couldn’t be more excited that Zephyr Teachout is looking increasingly “ready to run an absolutely serious campaign at a critical time for New York.” We know that she can do it too, and in a way that could reverberate across the country at that.

It is no exaggeration to say that, as a strategist for Howard Dean's presidential campaign, Teachout helped lead the progressive movement into the Internet age and pushed the Democratic Party to the left. Check out this video of her on All In With Chris last week to see her in action.

In contrast, her opponent Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has earned titles such as Governor 1% and "Wall Street's newest hero."

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Jonathan Westin speaks amidst the throng outside of Governor Cuomo's office
Yesterday I joined hundreds of activists occupying our state Capitol to demand a New York that works for #AllOfUs, not only the 1%.

Dozens of groups came together to stop Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) plan to literally take from the poor to give to the rich. The Occupy Network (of which I am a team member) was a partner in the effort and the act.tv team (I am a co-founder) dug in deeply. Check out a highlight video of the occupation below from our creative director Brad Gans and more on Cuomo’s page on our site:

       

This action took place in anticipation of the last week of state budget negotiations. It became necessary because our Governor 1% actually had the audacity to propose tax cuts that are specifically for millionaires and billionaires. In the state that is #1 in inequality in the country at that! But the local angle alone misses the broader national context.

Point blank: the 1% has collectively seen the rise of an occupy-inspired progressive populist message that is resonating across the country and is responding full force through Gov. Cuomo.

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Occupy Christie at the governor's inauguration
Cross-posted at act.tv

Our mainstream media has been awash in coverage of Governor Chris Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’ scandal. But are they reaching the broader implications?

The closing of the GW Bridge is most powerful for how it is emblematic of the kind of power-mad cretins that make it to the top of the Republican party. This picture has become that much clearer through ‘Sandygate’, referring to how the hurricane recovery had been marred by inequalities in the distribution of relief aid amidst various other insidious indiscretions.

It was in this context that I headed to Trenton, NJ for Governor Christie’s inauguration, which also constituted the penultimate day of an effort from Occupy Sandy NJ to ‘Occupy Christie’ by way of a temporary occupation they aptly named Camp Sandygate. While there I focused my attention on getting Sandy Survivors and Occupy Sandy organizers on camera describing why they are so enraged about the scandal, hearing back from many about how badly needed added relief still is to this day.

Check out our Sandy Survivors campaign page on act.tv for the dozen or so new videos we have in this vein!

Highlights and analysis below the fold.

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If you know me, you know I’m an extreme optimist about the potential for progressive activists to take advantage of the game-changing advances in video that are just starting to get going.

I was likewise quite glad to explore what comes next at a rootscamp session that I put together with the act.tv team entitled Winning Video for Candidates and Causes. Our panelists included occupier Alexis Goldstein, who is a frequent guest on MSNBC’s All in with Chris as well as the Communications Director of The Other 98% not to mention my fellow Occupy Network team member, Joseph Lamour who is an editorial curator at Upworthy specializing in TV, and John Neffinger who is President of the Franklin Forum which is a new communications group that provides media training and messaging support to progressive advocates.

The session dove deep into how progressives of all stripes can best leverage video, focusing predominantly on Elizabeth Warren and Occupy Wall Street as case studies. Below you’ll find the full video from the panel as well as some shorter clips and analysis:

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Occupiers on S17
September 17th this week marked Occupy Wall Street’s second anniversary, and as we depicted in the Occupy Network S17 newsletter, it could not be a better time to take stock of where we are at and consider where we might go from here.

Of particular note, over the past two years Occupy has evolved into a network of many loosely tied, sometimes rather autonomous, groups and projects. This includes offshoots like Occupy Our Homes, Occupy The SEC, Strike Debt, Occupy The Pipeline, Occupy Sandy, OWS Alternative Banking, the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street, Occu-Evolve, and many more.

Allison Kilkenny analyzed this dynamic for The Nation:

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM PDT

Past is Prologue

by HarryWaisbren

This feels like the Summer before Occupy Wall Street began.

Past is prologue, yet in our real time age captured by the sea of social media it can be hard to orient yourself to see the bigger picture while simultaneously trying to keep track of the livestream.

If only there was a hashtag to provide that kind of perspective!

Looking back on that historic year of 2011 when revolution filled the air from Tunisia to Egypt to Wisconsin to Zuccotti Park, I am most gratified by two things:

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                       Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 3.20.39 PM

It’s that time of year again, where we make sure to take a break from the pervasive shuffle of organizing liberally to raise a glass and celebrate our collective accomplishments at the Drinking Liberally annual celebration!

This year bodes to be a particularly libatious occasion, as it is the 10th anniversary of the umbrella Living Liberally organization, which provides a crucial cultural underpinning to the ties that bind liberals across the country.

Before last year’s edition I opined on the importance of this cultural constituency through the prism of the powerful OWS Drinking Liberally events that occurred during the peak of the occupation of Zuccotti Park.

It was a perfect match. OWS is an idea, one whose time has come and which never could be evicted. And this is precisely why OWS is made manifest through so many cultural formats, which are so naturally able to express a central idea like this one.

Living Liberally is a platform to celebrate liberal culture, which finds direct alignment in the Occupy idea. Namely, that our political structures should serve us, the people — all of us.

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Our mainstream media has been atwitter this week with analysis of the ‘Bush Legacy’ now that his presidential library is set to open.

I have many thoughts on how history should judge the first president to so shamelessly steal an election, and fired up my webcam to vent:


It is impossible to ascertain how different the world would be without the transgressions of the Bush administration.

The combination of entirely unnecessary tax cuts for the rich paired with flagrant lies and brutal torture to justify a purely for profit war in Iraq irrevocably changed our culture.

George W. Bush emboldened a new class of elites in America to become what we now call the 1%. W helped organize these aristocrats into a mafia-like cabal that is still becoming increasingly capable of using their hoards of cash to subvert our democracy.

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Occupy Wall Street’s success was certainly due in part to great video activism. This was similarly the case in the Wisconsin uprising the spring before, not to mention throughout the Egyptian revolution, contemporary labor organizing, and activism across the board.

In this vein, the SuperVoters.org team brought together an esteemed panel to discuss ‘How to Create & Share Videos of Great Activism (hopefully without getting pepper-sprayed)’ during the Organizing NY conference this past weekend.

I moderated a diversified group of experts including social media mavens Rebecca Eisenberg of Upworthy.com and Winnie Wong of Seismologik Media and Occupy Sandy, as well as occupy media makers Messiah Rhodes of Rhodes Pictures and Brad Gans of SuperVoters.org.

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negotiating

Yetta Kurland and myself negotiating with police and Newscorp security. Photo via Jenna Pope

Occupy Wall Street brought in the 2013 New Year on an all too familiar foot, as the New York Post made an evidence-free allegation that connected OWS to individuals arrested with bomb making materials.

This time though, something was different. This time we decided to fight back.

Here's the press release for today's petition delivery protest at the New York Post.

For background -- concerned OWS activists had quickly coalesced to protect OWS, starting with a petition to Rupert Murdoch and the New York Post. We sent it out through the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ mailing list (which I help manage), and it instantaneously gained steam.

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Bain Capital at Occupy Wall Street

In my view the quickest way to explain the relationship between Occupy Wall Street and electoral politics is that OWS is above the electoral, but it impacts it.

So how did this work in practice during the 2012 presidential election? To start, here is how JA Myerson described the “Zuccotti specter haunting the 2012 election.”

Specifically, Occupy Wall Street did an uncanny job of setting the stage for Mitt Romney’s disastrous campaign. Here in a candidate is the 1% distilled–so rich he doesn’t have anything productive to do with his money, palpably out of touch, indefinitely power-hungry, saturated with contempt for the less fortunate, privileged from birth, possessed of an outward appearance bordering on the clip art for “Straight White Man,” and having only managed to accumulate his hundreds of millions of dollars through mere theft and parasitism. The anti-Romney ads virtually—and, owing to the candidate’s penchant for belching comically patrician sentiments on camera, sometimes precisely–write themselves.
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