Quick Hit Brandon Campbell Friday April 13th, 2012, 1:17pm

Chicagoans Get Active In The 99% Spring

For thousands of people across the country this week marks a time of protest training dubbed the “99% Spring.” With a goal of amassing 100,000 participants nationwide, the weeklong series of educational seminars will take place in living rooms, church basements, and online.

Similar to the motives behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, organizers say this week’s focus will be on educating people about how to set up and carry out non-violent protests targeting income disparity, home foreclosures, and unemployment issues.

“Going into an election year where we have a rare chance to have a national conversation about the biggest challenges facing us as a country, we wanted to make sure that we continue on the movement that Occupy Wall Street started last fall,” said Mehrdad Azemun, field director for the Chicago-based National People's Action (NPA).

Azemun said the NPA, a non-partisan grassroots community activist organization, is just one of about 80 national organizations co-sponsoring the 99% Spring, while over 1,000 smaller organizations have been involved on the local level.

In Chicago, groups like A Just Harvest, Northside P.O.W.E.R., and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, or S.O.U.L., will host just a few of the over 900 nationwide events planned taking place over the week.

At the seminars, some of which will last over six hours, participants have and will discuss the cause of the housing bust, the banking industry, and be advised on the best ways to protest using non-violent methods such as sit-ins and boycotts. The protesters-in-training will receive educational materials that contain statistics aimed towards furthering the narrative of the 99% versus the 1%, and about 200 suggestions for peaceful resistance.

“We’ll also be looking at the Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement and how in the history of the United States people have made changes by organizing together,” said Kristi Sanford, communications director for A Just Harvest. “We want to inspire people and show them there is a history to this and that there are strategic things we can be doing now.”

Sanford said after her organization’s training session on Saturday the group will be ready to march on Wednesday April 18 outside of a Chicago Chase Bank location, which she declined to specify, to protest the foreclosure of about 500 properties.

Also participating in the 99% Spring is Occupy Chicago, which made national headlines last fall. The group kicked off the “Chicago Spring” on Sunday when hundreds of protesters marched in the Loop. Beyond Sunday’s rally, Occupy Chicago has planned about a dozen training events similar to those previously mentioned.

One of those events, which will take place on Saturday at 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be geared towards further educating experienced protestors.

“For the most part, these are folks who have been involved with some sort of demonstration … who are looking to formalize their knowledge and take the next step,” said Danielle Villarreal, an Occupy Chicago organizer.

Villarreal said once the week of training is finished the goal is get the participants more involved in community activism at numerous events over the coming months, including the upcoming NATO summit.

“It’s great that this whole year, especially in Chicago, there’s this series of massive events that have been dropped on our doorstep,” Villarreal said. “I don’t see the momentum stopping anytime soon.”

Image: the99Spring.com


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Did you mean "Chicagoans Get Suckered Into The 99% Spring?"


Is "Spring99%" a rejuvenation of Occupy Wall Street, or a false flag psyop aimed at absorbing OWS into the elite-controlled, false-choice Demopublican facade?


co-opt (verb): To absorb, assimilate or take into a larger group. See also co-opted, co-option, co-optive, co-optate, co-optated, co-optation, co-optative, coopt, coopted, cooptive, cooptate, cooptated, cooptation, cooptative, taken in, taken over, annexed, appropriated, subverted and screwed.

Here you will find the letter that launched the "99% Spring" initiative and the signatories of the 40 organizations who are openly behind it:


There is no question that Justen Ruben's MoveOn.org, Van Jones' Rebuild the Dream and many if not most of the other groups listed there have ties to the Democratic Party and the Bushbama re-election circus. Consequently, it would be prudent for all concerned to question the real agenda behind 99% Spring, as many are:

"There are accusations from Occupy folks that Spring99% is trying to co-opt the OWS movement. That MoveOn is a front for the Democratic Party. And there are denials both from activists within the Spring99% network and members of the Occupy movement itself. It is a needed debate, even though it's probably under the radar for many progressives and irrelevant for mainstream politics – except for the accusations that Spring99% is a front for the Obama re-election campaign. Meanwhile, paranoia of being co-opted has been a mainstay within the anti-Wall Street movement for months."


"In an interview, activist and author John Stauber - who founded the Center for Media and Democracy in 1993 and ran it until 2009 - laid it out: 'Democratic donors and unions have - since the 2000 Nader/Gore/Bush election - flowed millions of election year dollars into non-profit organizations and liberal media to rally progressives and create an echo chamber that can impact politics in favor of Democrats... 99% Spring's activities will surely be carefully and quietly coordinated behind the scenes to have a maximum positive impact in defeating Republicans and re-electing President Obama," he continued. "These groups will claim independence from the 2012 Democratic campaign agenda, but the fact is that funding will flow to them simply to create buzz and the appearance of a movement that dovetails perfectly with Obama's campaign rhetoric.'"


Clearly, Stauber suspected Spring99% to be a false front. Charles M. Young attended one of their "nonviolent direct action training" sessions this week, and brought back ample proof that it is:

"The first clue... was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the 'inspired by Occupy Wall Street' vibe right there... Over half the crowd left early. Most of those who stayed appeared to be angry and mystified that they had received no training whatever in nonviolent direct action. I doubt that the Democrats or MoveOn succeeded in co-opting anyone, and I predict that they will be inventing more dreary front groups as the election year grinds onward."


I have not attended - and I refuse to attend - any 99% Spring or other Demopublican indoctrination sessions. I would never waste my time charging windmills with third parties, but neither will I allow them to sucker me back into the two-party fold. I have been actively supporting the Occupy Movement since day one (9/17/2011) ... Morpheus gave me the Red Pill in Washington DC two years before that (9/11/2009) ... and I've been waging a personal rebellion against the Kleptocracy empowered by 9/11 ever since. And based on what I've seen first-hand in venues like the OccupyWallSt.org Forum, if I still had any left I would bet my entire savings that Spring99% was not the first and will not be the last attempt by the corporate fascist elite and their puppet president Bushbama to co-opt OWS.

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