Tag Archives: wall street

We Will Not Be Silent: Activists and Creatives Will Carry Over One Hundred Messages to New York’s Financial District

We Will Not Be Silent: Activists and Creatives Will Carry Over One Hundred Messages to New York’s Financial District

[NEW YORK, NY]  For three days this December (12/19, 12/23, 12/31), creative and concerned people in New York City will carry over one hundred unique messages on large, hand-held black and white placards to Wall Street. The activists, members of the arts and activism collective We Will Not Be Silent, will create a visual arresting presence from 9am to 5pm each day, organizing a People’s Picket at significant locations and handing out to the public a series of 20 different postcards containing facts, statements and poetry to provoke thought and conversation about the socio-economic impacts of Wall Street.

Thursday, December 19th »
8:45am:  gather at 60 Wall Street
9:00am-5:00pm: New York Stock Exchange and vicinity.
RSVP via Facebook

Monday, December 23rd »
8:45am:  gather at 60 Wall Street
9:00am-5:00pm: New York Stock Exchange and vicinity.
(Broad Street between Exchange Place & Wall Street)
3:00pm-5:00pm: Federal Reserve. Date marks 100th Anniversary of the Federal Reserve.
RSVP via Facebook

Tuesday, December 31st »
9:00am-5:00pm: New York Stock Exchange and vicinity.
(Broad Street between Exchange Place & Wall Street)
RSVP via Facebook

From 3-5pm on December 31st the group will dedicate their action in solidarity with recently freed Russian political prisoners, Pussy Riot.   Each sharing art & language as core tenants in their direct actions the tribute is a natural fit for the activists who have continued their vigils on Wall Street.  Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova echoes these sentiments, “I believe that in the end the word will break cement. Solzhenitsyn wrote: “Thus, the word is more essential than cement. Thus, the word is not a small nothing. In this manner, noble people begin to grow, and their word will break cement.”

We Will Not Be Silent is an artist and activist collective that has been in existence since 2006. Through the creative use of language embodied on shirts and on signs held up in public spaces.   We Will Not Be Silent  responds to current social justice issues, encouraging creative, public direct actions where many people can participate.

For more information on these events please contact Laurie Arbeiter at (917)915.6115, Sarah Wellington (201)446.2984 or email info@wewillnotbesilent.net For more information about We Will Not Be Silent you can visit their website HERE


Strike Debt Announces #LifeorDebt Week of Action with Purchase & Abolition of $1.1 Million Dollars of Medical Debt

Strike Debt Announces #LifeorDebt Week of Action with Purchase & Abolition of $1.1 Million Dollars of Medical Debt

[NEW YORK, NY]  Actions in multiple cities are planned to mark the abolition of 1.1 million dollars of medical debt belonging to 1,064 people by the Rolling Jubilee. This is the second of a series of major purchases by the group, which abolished over $100,000 of debt before the holidays.


March 16-23 Week of Action Highlights that our Nation’s Healthcare Emergencies are a Matter of #LifeorDebt

The Rolling Jubilee is a campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. The Rolling Jubilee launched in November 2012 and went viral, raising almost $600,000 and garnering attention in major media news outlets.

Doctors, nurses, patients, and citizens are coming together to declare a medical emergency:

• Our privatized healthcare system buries ordinary people in debt all to enrich the 1%.

• 62% of personal bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. ¾ of people who declare bankruptcy due to medical bills had health insurance when they incurred those bills.

• 86% of doctors begin their professional lives with medical school debt, a financial burden that pushes them away from serving those who need their help most.

• Community hospitals deemed “unprofitable” are being closed left and right because they have fallen too deeply into debt.

Events will take place other cities. See http://strikedebt.org/#get-involved for updates.

A full update on the campaign is available here: http://strikedebt.org/rjupdate-2/

In New York City there will be two events, on March 21st & March 23rd

March 21st:
Meet at Bryant Park at 4pm,
41 West 40th Street

March 23rd:
Education, legal advice, primary care, referrals & more

9:30am – 1:30pm
Legal Advice & Healthcare
Judson Church,
55 Washington Square South

Online: On March 23rd we will have practitioners on call to answer medical questions live on the internet all day! http://strikedebt.org/lifeordebt/

2pm – 5pm
Meet: Washington Square South

Hosts: Strike Debt, Healthcare for 99%, Physicians for a National Health Program, Occupy Town Square, and others.

5:30pm – 7pm
Judson Church

Strike Debt emerged out of Occupy Wall Street and is dedicated to raising public awareness about predatory debt practices, debt resistance and mutual aid. Initiatives include publishing The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual, supporting the Occupy Student Debt Campaign, and The Rolling Jubilee, www.strikedebt.org and www.rollingjubilee.org

To schedule an interview with the StrikeDebt organizers, please contact Andy Stepanian at andy@sparrowmedia.net or 631.291.3010.  To view a roundup of media coverage of Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee visit our case study HERE.

NYHC Makes Call to Occupy Wall Street This Friday at 3pm!

NYHC Makes Call to Occupy Wall Street This Friday at 3pm!



Its not often that everything seems to fall right into place, but Tuesday marked one of those synergistic moments for the Sparrow Project as Andy Stepanian was asked to join Black N’ Blue Productions on East Village Radio to discuss the Occupy Wall Street campaign. Joining Andy was the infamous punk rock lawyer Dave Stein, Cromags frontman John Joseph, and documentarian Clayton Patterson. Cousin Joe, Damian Burnz and Jonathan Buske of Black N’ Blue Productions (who host the show) had a simple demand for their listeners — to pay attention to what is happening right now on Wall Street and to do the right thing as a community and get involved with the occupation actions this Friday at 3pm.

< If you missed the live broadcast you can stream it on EVR at THIS LINK.

Music has always been a powerful media to influence social change. From the gospel music sung by civil rights protestors to the anti-war protest folk songs of the 1960’s, music has always been at the heart of movements banging the drum to march forward. NYC’s hardcore punk scene has for quite some time been a swelling organized force of angst and solidarity, but not an overtly political force, until Tuesday when Bn’B dedicated their broadcast to the importance of the protest actions on Wall Street, demanding that the scene step up to the plate and fight for the rights of the 99% of americans carrying the burden of Wall Street’s assault on our democracy.


At 3pm on Friday join John Joseph of the Cromags, Damian Burnz of Scarhead, Vinnie Stigma of Agnostic Front, Clayton Patterson, Cousin Joe, Jonathan Buske, and Andy Stepanian as they rally a NYHC contingent in support of the Occupation. The group will be joining Michael Moore, Lupe Fiasco and the amazing activists who have already set up camp at Liberty Square and dedicated themselves to an occupation encampment modeled after the historic encampment at Tahir Square in Egypt.


This protest movement is ongoing and we encourage everyone reading this to spend some time down at the square. This is just an open invitation to join some of NYHC’s most celebrated figures for a few hours of protest. The Sparrow Project will also be filming the days events and posting them online at https://sparrowmedia.net so please check back in the next few days. For those who live to far away to participate we encourage you to visit http://occupywallst.org and learn about how you can start your own solidarity actions where you live.

Activists Vow To #OccupyWallStreet

Activists Vow To #OccupyWallStreet

A national call to action for an impromptu mobilization to reclaim Wall Street on September 17th is currently underway.  Taking inspiration from the Arab Spring affinity groups aligned with decentralized groups like Anonymous as well as more mainstreamed outlets like Adbusters are taking to the streets with myriad demands ranging from Wall Street reforms to a complete end to campaign finance and manipulation from the financial sector.  The Global Revolution Movement has provided a live webcast of the actions happening on and around Wall Street. You can view the broadcast  HERE.

All the groups involved have pledged to maintain this occupation as long as possible, specifically Adbusters is calling for the occupation to last for months…

“On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat our one simple demand until Barack Obama capitulates.”  -Adbusters

A little over a month ago Sparrow Media contributor Stephanie Basil helped outline Wall Street’s manipulative response to attempts by governing bodies to regulate their misconduct their and determined that their push back has created an environment  where corporations can operate with even less scrutiny then before our financial crisis began.  In this lack of oversight corporations continue to destroy the environment, exploit workers, exploit animals, and citizens as they forward their agendas.  You can read Stephanie’s article HERE.To learn more about the ongoing campaign to occupy Wall Street visit —  http://occupywallst.org


9/17, 8:00PM EST — NYPD deploy riot police & announce 10pm cerfew.

9/17, 8:45pm EST — Updates stream by Aljazera: http://storify.com/ajstream/occupywallstreet

9/17, 9:00pm EST — Mainstream Media outlets begin to cover story:  (google summary)

9/17, 9:05pm EST — Police threaten that otherwise legal assembly on sidewalks will be dispersed by force.

9/17, 9:05pm EST — NYPD are cutting bicycles locked up surrounding Wall Street.

9/17, 9:45pm EST — Adbusters announces for everyone to get to Zucotti Park: (googlemaps link)

9/17, 10:00pm — Activists post online stream of NYPD dispatch transmissions: (link to stream)

9/17, 10:40pm EST — Police announce that Zucotti Park closes in 20mins activists negotiate to stay the night.

9/17, 11:00pm EST —  “General Assembly” spokesperson announces that police will allow them to stay.

9/17, 11:18pm EST —  Police cut power to park & plaza in effort to slow mobile device reporting.

9/17, 11:18pm EST —  Police completely surround park.

9/17, 11:18pm EST —  Two arrested for allegedly covering face.  Police citing NYC mask law.

9/18, 12:25am EST —  Activists settle in for the night & vow to use park as staging area for Monday’s protest.

9/18, 12:30am EST —  Activists are asking supporters to bring generators & solar energy sources to the park tomorrow morning to recharge electronic equipment.

9/18, 10:00am EST — Second occupier’s General Asembly at 10am sharp at Zucotti Park: (googlemaps link)

9/18, 12pm EST — General Asembly rename Zuccoti Park Liberty Square (Corner of Broadway & Liberty)

9/18, 1pm EST — Activists raise over $10,000 online for food donations & coordinate food distribution at camp.

9/18, 10pm EST — Activists announce planned occupation of financial avenue for Monday morning.

9/19, 12am EST — Activists hold silent roving protest of Wall Street at midnight.

9/19, 11:30am EST — Two protestors arrested for chalking sidewalk. 

9/20, 8:00am EST — 6 activists arrested as NYPD attempt to remove tarps from park, two were seriously injured.  (link to videos of arrests HERE

9/20, 10am EST — Police arrest activist organizer in Park.

9/20, 11am EST — Adbusters confirms that Yahoo is censoring messages promoting OccupyWallStreet.org (read more about Yahoo’s censorship efforts HERE)

The Financial Institutions Fight Back

The Financial Institutions Fight Back

A Look at the Unapologetic Greed of the Financial Sector by Stephanie Basile:

After causing the largest economic collapse in recent memory and taking our taxpayer dollars to help themselves (but no one else) weather the storm, the financial institutions have somehow decided that the financial laws in this country are too strict! Two recent news stories in the New York Times illuminate just how incredibly greedy and unapologetic the people running these institutions are, and just how unwilling the federal government is to challenge this unmitigated greed.

It’s important that we, as activists, are aware of the aggressive and often behind-the-scenes lobbying that the industry does so that we can challenge and offer an alternative voice to the destructive behavior of the financial institutions.

First, the federal government has apparently decided that the financial institutions can be trusted to police themselves! A July 7th story details how the government adopted new guidelines which allow corporations to report their own crimes to the government. They can then negotiate a deal in order to delay or altogether avoid criminal prosecution.

In one example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began an investigation into Beazer Homes, one of the nation’s 10 largest home builders. They found that Beazer took part in such fraudulent activities as offering a lower mortgage rate if buyers paid an extra fee, but then not giving them the lower rate, and enticing homeowners by offering down payment assistance, but not disclosing that it then raised the price of the house by the same amount. After learning of the HUD investigation, Beazer paid a law firm to conduct its own investigation. The company ended up entering into an agreement with the government in which it would pay consumers and the government $55 million in exchange for the HUD dropping its investigation, thus avoiding criminal charges.

Eerily, this brings us one step closer to the ideal corporatist state, in which the lines between corporate power and government power are not just blurry but nonexistent. With these new guidelines, now we don’t just have a government that weakly enforces the law, but instead actually allows corporations to police themselves and pay their way out of criminal prosecution.

Then on July 14th, the Times featured a story on Steve Bartlett, the head of Financial Services Roundtable, which represents 100 of the country’s largest financial institutions. Bartlett is on a mission to challenge the injustices done to the financial institutions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Obama signed into law in July 2010. This bill contains nearly 300 new rules aimed at regulating the financial institutions.

While the bill don’t substantially change the unwieldy amount of power already enjoyed by the financial institutions, these pesky new rules are offensive enough that Bartlett and others are lobbying hard to have at least two dozen of them repealed. Among the offensive rules: executive compensation disclosure, in which companies must disclose CEO pay and the ratio of CEO pay to median pay of regular employees. There’s nothing about actually limiting the absurd amount of money CEOs make, just filling the rest of us in on the enormous gap between CEO and employee pay. Another rule: improved credit rating guidelines, in which credit rating agencies must follow tighter accounting guidelines when issuing credit ratings. This measure addresses the problem in which credit rating agencies often mislead investors by releasing overly positive credit ratings.

The powers that be do not like these rules, and they’ve gone into hyper-defense mode. The Times reports that Wall Street spent $52 million in lobbying in the first three months of 2011, up 10% from the previous quarter.

Barlett estimates that the new rules will cost the financial industry $14 billion. Even in the world of cutthroat lobbyists and shrewd businesspeople, Bartlett is known for being particularly aggressive. The Times article quotes him as saying, “I wish I could look the other way. I’ve got 14 billion reasons to be aggressive.”

Nowhere in Bartlett’s “14 billion reasons” is the human cost caused to working families all around the country thanks to the reckless corporate greed of his clients. But then again, in the corporatist state, in which government’s sole purpose is to ensure unlimited power and profits for corporations, pesky things like people’s livelihoods just don’t factor into the equation.

Stephanie Basile is a union organizer who lives in Brooklyn.