How you can help OCCCUPY
Transfer Banks. The best and biggest thing you can do to send the message that you do not approve of unethical banking practices is to get a credit union or local bank. If you have a Chase, Citi, Wells-Fargo or Bank of America account, withdraw your funds and place them somewhere that you trust. Wall Street can't use your money to commit moral failings if they don't have your money. Since September 29th $4.5 billion has been transferred into credit unions. Every lost dollar is a vote of no confidence. Every dollar transferred is put back into your local community.
Return Credit Offers. When you get your mail, open the unwanted credit card offers. There will be a postage-paid envelope inside. You can fold the rest of your junk mail into the envelope and send it. If they're going to waste your time sending them every month, then you get to waste their money on postage while supporting your local post office.
Read. Educate yourself on the real messages of the Occupy movement: Accountability, Economic Justice, and Equal Protection under the law. The corporate-owned media feel too threatened to report the movement without bias, but the internet has both sides of the story. There are livestreams of the protests easily accessible, and live camera footage has no bias.
Write. Write to your mayor, your chief of police, your congressmen and representatives. Tell them that you support bank accountability and congressional reform to eliminate moral hazards. Ask that they support First Amendment rights and ethical treatment of non-violent protesters. Remind them of their roots in the community. Write to the news corporations and ask them to report the news more fairly - not just our story, but everyone's. Ask the media who you receive information from to stop burying stories under fluff, and to explain nuanced issues for better public awareness.
Call. If you do not receive an answer or receive only a form letter, call. If the signal is busy, do something else for a few minutes and call again. There's no protocol to stand on, and no need to yell, just talk to the staff or the person you're trying to reach as though they are your employee. In the case of civil servants, you pay their salary: they are respectfully obligated to listen to what you have to say. In the case of news organizations, your viewership can go elsewhere and if they are smart they know enough to be pleasant.
Discuss. Calmly and without escalation, talk to your friends about your observations and the conclusions about our country that you have drawn from that knowledge. Discuss your concerns, your fears and hopes. Strengthen your friendships by sharing your feelings. If you have friends who think there's nothing wrong with 80 hour work weeks, or think that those who can't find jobs are not worth respect, or think that it is fair for banks to bet against people's ability to pay for their homes, please ask them how those things benefit America.
Assemble. Go to an Occupy camp. See the conditions on the ground for yourself. Talk to protesters, organizers, and police. Look with unbiased eyes at all sides of this conversation our nation is having and draw your own conclusions. Attend a General Assembly and participate in the consensus. If you feel inspired to reject the imbalance of powers in our system and wish to protest, hello and welcome.
Teach. If you like the movement but think there is something that could be done better, show some people how to do it. Teach-ins happen most days at all Occupy camps, and the more knowledge we share, the more we have.
Donate. If you have things that you don't use, please donate. If you have sleeping bags, tents, food, books, socks, scarves, coats and mittens, band-aids, collapsible shelves or portable storage bins, markers and poster-making supplies, a poster that you made but cannot stay around to wave, or if you are lucky enough to have money sitting around, we will gladly accept many things and try to put them to best use. Most Occupy camps have a presence on twitter where donations can be coordinated in an open forum.
FORGIVE. The rich and powerful did not mean for this to happen. The bankers and investors were short-sighted and they work in a high-risk field. They got used to taking risks and then more risks, and some of those risks were not theirs to take. They risked our homes and livelihoods. They were foolish. But foolish is not evil. The government was foolish to think that the state could let them take as many risks as they wanted. They were foolish and we supported them in their foolishness by being less critical than we should have been about ideas that proved unsound. But now we have no time to waste on foolishness or on the bitterness and blame it generates. Please forgive yourself and all of us, and let us move forward from this a more careful, more mutually respectful nation.
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