We are re-posting Cryn Johannsen’s message to activists and concerned folks who appreciate grass roots reporting, and are disappointed at the biased and nonsensical mainstream media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues:
I am hitting the road to report about the occupy protests in 7-10 cities, and also want to meet face-to-face with people to talk about my work as an advocate for student loan debtors. I am heading to Austin, Texas tomorrow, and have already received a very generous donation from an author and activist. But in order to get to all the cities I have on my itinerary (Tulsa, OKC, Houston, New Orleans, Mobile . . . ), I need more support. I am going as an investigative journalist and will be sending my work to several outlets for publication – this will only help with my success at getting a book published (yes, I have an agent who is currently working her tail off to sell my book about the student lending crisis).
What’s this occupy stuff all about?
On September 17th a small group of protesters descended on Wall Street. These protesters were and are channeling their anger through peaceful, non-violent acts of civil disobedience. Like so many millions of other Americans, they are fed up with the status quo, and feel like corporations and billionaires are calling the shots. The protesters also believe that our political leaders have been unable to fend off lobbyists and big money in order to represent the average American. Things went well for the first week in NYC, but then it got ugly when a high ranking police officer maced 4 young women for absolutely no reason. Last weekend, the NYPD arrested over 700 people after they isolated a swath of protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge – there are images of a 13-year-old girl being arrested. Last night more brutality was captured on video when a police officer took out his baton and began beating a young man. Those in power seem to be running scared, and the police are being used as tools against the very people they should be protecting and serving. At least that is the case in NYC. Reports coming out of Boston – where there is a full fledged protest in the financial district – are different. It sounds like police officers are being very respectful of the protesters.
The police aggression in NYC has only made protesters more determined, and, in my view, inspired people across the U.S. to occupy in their own communities. Last night, there were over 15,000 protesters in lower Manhattan. As I already mentioned, the movement is spreading nationwide, something I reported on before any of the major news outlets at The Loop 21.com.
For more information about the cities that are staging protests go to OccupyTogether.org. Boston, Denver, Seattle, L.A. . . . and more have already begun staging protests. Today also marks the beginning of October 2011, a Tahrir-style protest that is outside the White House in Washington, DC. October 2011 is affiliated with and supports the occupy movement, and I am in touch with the organizers. This is a well-defined, well-organized and coordinated set of protests, and it is only getting bigger. (All Education Matters, incidentally, is an organization listed in support of the October 2011 group).
Finally, if you know someone who is indebted, educated, and struggling, I urge you to forward this message to them. I want to represent the indentured educated class, report about these protests, and discuss the student lending crisis with people face-to-face.
I have been credited for disseminating information about this rapidly spreading movement via social media, and even had a conservative Twitter follow commend me for my leadership role. Of course, the movement is leaderless, but I have been able to help spread the word about these protests.
Now it is time for me to hit the streets and take this to an entirely new level. In order to do that, I need your help.
Thank you for your donation.
Cryn Johannsen is founder of All Education Matters.