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Canadian magazine Adbusters lit fuse for Wall Street protest

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VANCOUVER, Canada — Protests against corporate power in the United States began in the basement of an old house in Vancouver, behind massive trees, down wooden stairs, past a box of soup cans for recycling, at the world headquarters of Adbusters magazine.

Last July the counter-culture magazine, known for campaigns like “buy nothing day,” printed a poster calling on activists to occupy Wall Street in New York on September 17.

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Tens of thousands of people responded and — perhaps also in response to Adbuster’s suggestion “Bring tent” — stayed.

The mostly-peaceful occupation has since grown and, after the arrests of more than 1,000 people by New York police, spread to cities elsewhere in North America.

On Thursday, it took root in Washington, with several hundred people occupying Freedom Plaza outside city hall to demand progressive reform. In New York, meanwhile, the Occupy Wall Street movement drew more than 5,000 people as well as labor-union support.

Adbusters founder and editor Kalle Lasn told AFP the magazine hopes to expand the protest globally — and for the first time aim it at a more specific message than the protester’s unfocused anger at the ultra-rich, corporations and governments.

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Lasn is calling for a massive protest by 50 million people October 29 to demand a one percent tax on financial transactions, before the G20 meets in France early next month.

“A one percent Robin Hood tax on all financial transactions and currency trades would slow down fast money, and it will have a major impetus on the global economy,” said Lasn.

“At the moment (the protests) are messy, nothing clear is coming out of it, it’s not yet transforming itself into a positive program of social and political change… we are trying to create a big moment, a global moment.”

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Adbuster’s campaign started with a centerfold poster of a ballerina dancing gracefully on the iconic Wall Street sculpture of a bull, made to appear as though the beast is charging at the front of a riot.

The poster captured people’s imagination, said Lasn. “There was something magical about that.”

“But September 17 was absolutely the right moment because of the anger and the rage that was welling up in America,” he said. “People were losing their jobs and their houses. Almost 40 percent of young Americans can’t find a decent job. Meantime, fat cats or financial fraudsters on Wall Street are sitting pretty up on the 17th floor and still getting their big bonuses.”

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The American economy has become brutal for most people, said Lasn.

“For a while we all believed these Harvard economists who were coming up and saying everything will be fine. Then all of a sudden when America was downgraded (by a credit agency) and the troubles started in Europe (with the sovereign debt crisis), you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize something much more ominous was happening here.”

Lasn told AFP he was the “ringleader,” but shied away from taking credit for the protests. “Anybody could have done that. The real people who are driving it are the young people on the street.”

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Adbusters, which Lasn founded with fellow documentary filmmaker Bill Schmalz in 1989, has an international circulation of just 80,000 to 100,000, but draws between 40,000 and 100,000 unique visitors each month to its web site, adbusters.org.

The magazine relies on subscription and newsstand sales only and does not take advertising.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady

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MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.

"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."

Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case

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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."

She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.

"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."

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CNN

WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial

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President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."

"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."

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