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ButterflyBreath
11-5-11, 5:10pm
Not sure if this is the forum for this. BUT, what I need help with is LEGAL ways individuals can do things that will make corporate america sit up and listen to the 99%. I found a great one: http://youtu.be/ZgkSiyIUz_w

another one...
Make slips of paper that convey ideals we want to spread, go to big box bookstores and discretely place them in pages of books. This will get the word out to the general public. The slips of paper (smaller than the book so they donít stick out) can say move your money and list the websites where you can find reputable local financial institutions, could say buy local or invest local, could list local bookstores, or something inspiring so that people get involved. Is this illegal?!


this is a great one but i'm pretty sure it's illegal:
Make stickers that say something like "you can buy this for 1/4 the price at a thrift store," go to retail clothing stores and sticking them on the tags.


SO WHAT OTHER IDEAS DO YOU HAVE TO "COMBAT" THOSE WHO ARE RUINING OUR FINANCIAL SYSTEMS?

:idea:

bae
11-5-11, 5:20pm
SO WHAT OTHER IDEAS DO YOU HAVE TO "COMBAT" THOSE WHO ARE RUINING OUR FINANCIAL SYSTEMS?


Don't do business with them. Withdraw your labor and capital from their clutches. Engage in commerce with like-minded individuals. Vote out politicians who transfer public funds, lands, and resources to The Bad Guys.

mrsflib
11-5-11, 6:26pm
Don't do business with them. Withdraw your labor and capital from their clutches. Engage in commerce with like-minded individuals. Vote out politicians who transfer public funds, lands, and resources to The Bad Guys.

Yup! Also, write 'letter to the editor' pieces in local newspapers.

ApatheticNoMore
11-5-11, 7:05pm
I think that junk mail idea is pretty hmm what is a nice way of putting it: lame. :) So who opens the mail? Some mail clerk with some rather awful job probably. Probably NOT EVEN an employee of a bank or credit card company. Businesses do outsource business services to other companies that specialize in such. You could research who actually processes these, I don't actually know, but if I was some bank bigwig it would seem the type of thing I'd considering outsourcing, it has little to do with the core business etc.. Plus now fuel is wasted shipping chips of wood back and forth across the country or something :~) I mean not the worst waste of fuel out there but ... quite a ridiculous one!

The slips of paper is kind of cool.

I don't know the usual things: bank at credit unions, shop at farmers markets when you can, build community (I really don't expect anyone to be 100% on this stuff because I'm not, if you buy groceries at the store it's not some horrendous unpardonable sin, it's just life. It is merely that other alternatives help so support them when it makes sense)).

Maybe something one could do to take action against the system is worry a little less about what is and is not legal :) Just don't get caught, and do worry about what is moral of course.

I do like this topic a lot (even if I don't think wood slabs in the mail is so great). So I'll be back if I think of other things.

sweetana3
11-5-11, 7:15pm
Figure out just who you are mad at. Most, if not all, pension funds invest in corporate stock and bonds. 401Ks are usually invested in corporate stock/bonds. The company that makes your PC or Mac is a corporate entity. Your doctor/dentist is most likely set up as a corporation. Every grocery store you buy from (except from some stalls at a farmers market) are corporate entitities. I could go on and on.

Just who is the "corporate america" you are fighting with? How many are based in other countries?

flowerseverywhere
11-5-11, 8:05pm
The "system", ie corporate America has done a great job of convincing us that all of these holidays mean presents, cards, eating to excess and going into debt.

Host Thanksgiving at your house and serve a simple meal and advise everyone you are going to give the extra money you would have spent to a local food bank.

Don't celebrate Christmas or do it very simply. Same for Halloween, Easter, Valentines day. Put the true meaning of the holidays back in focus. Advise others what you are doing and why.

Another is to drive as little as possible. Walk, bike ride, car pool, stay home.

Don't pay interest on anything, or as little as possible. We haven't paid interest in years, and bank at our local credit union. Cars are what we can afford with cash and we save up for appliances etc.

Don't eat at big chain restaurants that make everything offsite and just reheat frozen stuff locally. Instead if you decide to eat out go to a locally owned restaurant where someone is cooking in the back and local people are employed. Better yet, invite friends over and make a locally produced meal.

Buy American. You can't find a set of dishes made in the US at walmart. But you can probably find a local potter that will sell you some plates, cups and bowls. Instead of buying a cheap comforter from China make a simple one yourself or find a quilter to make you one. Way more expensive but money will go to a local person. Buy farm raised beef and vegetables from local farmers markets instead of stuff shipped around the world that was made to withstand shipping, is doused with chemicals and hormones and does not nourish you or taste good. Your table and house won't look like most people you know but it won't be filled with junk.

Being a good example is the best start. I don't think you have to risk being charged with an illegal act to make a huge difference in this world.

And I think we are ruining our financial system. Taking on more debt than we should and then defaulting, buying things made with slave labor in other countries, because we don't want to pay for quality produced goods made by people that are working in safe conditions. I went for a prescription today and walked the aisles of the pharmacy, filled to the gills with worthless junk. As I drove by the big box stores people were coming out with big bags of junk. I want to yell "STOP IT"
We have allowed the banks to treat us like we do. So many people pay a ton of interest and all kinds of fees to banks because they think they have to. They take out tons of student loans. You don't have to do this. And if you do have to borrow money for a good reason such as buying a house, then do it. But pay it off as quickly as you can.

RosieTR
11-5-11, 8:42pm
Changing society is done the way it has always been done. Talking and opening up personally. Asking someone his or her opinion, finding ways to agree. Flowerseverywhere's suggestions were good, but way more effective when done as something open rather than something militant. 10 people standing outside a Bank of America branch protesting may elicit a little interest or something, but if those 10 people talked instead to 2 friends each about how much they liked their credit union, and offered to email them a list of steps on how to switch to a credit union (and what local credit unions were available), and asked them about what they liked or not about their banks, many more people would actually switch. Those sorts of techniques affect real change in the long run. Get your friends to visit the farmer's market by organizing a breakfast there. Give people coupons to say you'd prefer they donate money in your name than give you a Christmas present. Etc. Especially with people you either don't know that well or you suspect may not be all on the same page as you are, but again the key is sharing rather than pushing.

ButterflyBreath
11-5-11, 9:02pm
Thanks for the replies. I am fully aware of the things we can do given time, but I guess what I am looking for are small things. I am making a list and at the very top is the concept of using your money as a way of voting. Yes, shop local, withdraw from large financial institutions, use farmers market etc. These are all good ideas and I think I'll list these ideas, but I want to have a quick and easy list with things like using the envelope to send messages back to these business we don't want to have so much power, and then also will list forming co-ops and alternative transportation, etc. An easy quick list, and a list for things that take a little more time and effort.

I am not against corporations. I am only against them when they have too much power and it gets out of hand like it has. Things are out of balance.

ButterflyBreath
11-5-11, 9:03pm
I think the biggest thing we can do is watch where we spend our money. Maybe I will make a list of local businesses here in Winston-Salem and share it with others.

ButterflyBreath
11-5-11, 9:10pm
I opened a Wachovia acct when I moved here in May, then recently (a month ago?) it became Wells Fargo. If I had heard of the Move Your Money before hand I would have already been switched by now, but I only heard of it a couple of weeks ago... not enough time to research credit unions, apply, order checks, change direct deposit, close WF account. The good news is that I am in the process of doing it. Who cares about the deadline as long as it gets done.

flowerseverywhere
11-5-11, 10:57pm
I opened a Wachovia acct when I moved here in May, then recently (a month ago?) it became Wells Fargo. If I had heard of the Move Your Money before hand I would have already been switched by now, but I only heard of it a couple of weeks ago... not enough time to research credit unions, apply, order checks, change direct deposit, close WF account. The good news is that I am in the process of doing it. Who cares about the deadline as long as it gets done.

that is the key I think. You didn't realize about the WF account, now you do and will work on it. I thought I was doing pretty well until I decided to try to find a baby doll for a granddaughter. I could not find one made in the US, the closest I can find is Germany. Even a handmade one in the US is very difficult because everyone wants to go to Walmart and spend $10 on some made with slave labor piece of junk. It really makes you think about what we are doing and why we are doing it.

I love Rosie's idea. That is the way to be effective. Do as much as you can and make small suggestions to others. If you push too hard you will it will be a huge turnoff. Offering to take a group of friends to your Farmers market or meet them there, then make a nice meal with what you find can go a long way towards opening peoples eyes. I also think as you travel this journey you will have your own eyes opened, such as realizing that you are dealing with one of the big banks.

Things are way out of balance. I haven't agreed with all the occupy wall street tactics or what I understand what some of their goals are, but sometimes you have to stand up and say enough.

Maxamillion
11-6-11, 7:17am
I like the idea of sending the envelopes back but the thing with the wood chips just seems like a waste. Instead of making something with them, they're just going to be tossed in the garbage.

Etsy is a good place to look for handmade stuff, but you do have to watch out because some people on there will try to pass off mass-produced stuff as hand-made.

Being more self-sufficient. Last spring I gave a way a lot of extra garden seeds that I had, to try and get some people interested in gardening. Over the last three or four years, I've noticed more and more people with small gardens. Urban homesteading has gotten to be more popular.

ButterflyBreath
11-6-11, 9:56am
I had a bunch of extra herbs and spices that I will never use up, so I sent small bags of them to friends. I think I sent 10 or 15 different things.

About Occupy Wall Street: I think it's a great thing that people are starting to wake up. Unfortunately there are some extreme people who are ruining it for the rest of us. The Occupy group here in Winston-Salem had to deal with someone spray painting "OWS" on a sign. We didn't do it, we know who did, and we have offered to take up money to have the sign fixed to show that we care and sent a statement out to the media. We don't want people to think that our group did it because we are peaceful legal protestors. BUT, moving on, someone suggested that whatever we do, any events etc will be posted on our website so that people will know it's an official Occupy W-S event. I guess that won't stop people from vandalizing but it's an effort to inform people what we are about. They do that to discredit us.

flowerseverywhere
11-6-11, 11:16am
I had a bunch of extra herbs and spices that I will never use up, so I sent small bags of them to friends. I think I sent 10 or 15 different things.

About Occupy Wall Street: I think it's a great thing that people are starting to wake up. Unfortunately there are some extreme people who are ruining it for the rest of us. The Occupy group here in Winston-Salem had to deal with someone spray painting "OWS" on a sign. We didn't do it, we know who did, and we have offered to take up money to have the sign fixed to show that we care and sent a statement out to the media. We don't want people to think that our group did it because we are peaceful legal protestors. BUT, moving on, someone suggested that whatever we do, any events etc will be posted on our website so that people will know it's an official Occupy W-S event. I guess that won't stop people from vandalizing but it's an effort to inform people what we are about. They do that to discredit us.

tell us more. What is your group doing. What kinds of change do you hope to insprire? Some of us who are not near the protests have little idea exactly what is going on.

ButterflyBreath
11-6-11, 11:48am
Well, there are a lot of different reasons why people are protesting under the name of occupy wall street. It started by people simply getting out there and being willing to protest indefinitely, which I think makes this movement different than the other attempts. Of course, it helps to be out of a job...you'll just be sitting at home anyway. However most people in our occupy group have jobs. I am new to the group and don't know many people yet. Our group does not occupy a space 24 hours a day, although it came up in the last meeting. So far we have organized protests in busy areas of town. We are FINALLY getting organized to where we are doing more. Yesterday our group went to Charlotte and protested with their occupy group.

Ok, to answer your question about what we protest about, I can tell you that our group has protested against bank of america (apparently they are one of the big ones that received bail out money and have unethical practices), and we have protested in favor of moving your money from these big banks to smaller independent local financial institutions like credit unions and local banks. So our group has been about financial inequity causes. And from my understanding this is what occupy wall street as a whole is about. It's working together as a group to use our money to make these large corporations paralysed so they have to change their ways. Will it work? I think so but who knows what will happen in the process.

There's another thread about occupy wall street, I don't remember where it is though.

flowerseverywhere
11-6-11, 12:54pm
Ok, to answer your question about what we protest about, I can tell you that our group has protested against bank of america (apparently they are one of the big ones that received bail out money and have unethical practices), and we have protested in favor of moving your money from these big banks to smaller independent local financial institutions like credit unions and local banks. So our group has been about financial inequity causes. And from my understanding this is what occupy wall street as a whole is about. It's working together as a group to use our money to make these large corporations paralysed so they have to change their ways. Will it work? I think so but who knows what will happen in the process.

There's another thread about occupy wall street, I don't remember where it is though.

From what I can find, they received 45,000,000,000 in bailout money, which they repaid with an extra $4,571,516,269 in 2009. I don't understand enough about the bailout to have an opinion. I am just glad they paid it back.

Actually, as I was thinking about your original question what can you do, suggestions have been moving money to smaller institutions, not using credit cards or paying bank fees, being very mindful of what you are buying and where it was produced, buying used and patronizing local business.

As far as junk mail goes, you can get on the no junk mail lists, we do it every three or four years as stuff starts to creep in and we get almost no junk mail. When something slips through, a catalog or credit card offer I call the 1-800 number and ask to be taken off the lists. It is an effective way to eliminate junk mail. Same with the do not call list. You eliminate mosts calls that way.
here is how to do it. Spreading that info around would do wonders for junk mail elimination.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm

redfox
11-6-11, 2:52pm
I would add this: build the new systems now, and use them. Start a barter club (keep on the DL because barter is actually taxable!). Buy your food exclusively from farmer's markets & food coops that are member owned. Don't have one in your community? Organize it. Evaluate your basic needs and meet them with alternative to the mainstream systems.

Start a community land trust for your housing needs. Get books and movies at the library. Hold annual clothing exchanges. ( I've done these for years, they are a total blast.) Keep your money in a local credit union. Keep your money out of the hands of those who do ill with it. Invite your neighbors to the clothing exchange and share the new systems with them.

There are many many fabulous strategies to build new & better ways of being in community and meeting ones needs. Many of these strategies are quite old; my grandmother, who was born in 1904, practiced all of them, because that's how things were done! No mega-corp was shipping cheap goods made overseas for her to use in her household, she made it, borrowed it, shared it, figured it out. Live like you're a farmer at the turn of the last century.

People are attracted by solutions, especially ones that save them $$$. Get together with folks you know, and build the solutions. Then let us know about them too!

Anne Lee
11-6-11, 2:53pm
I think you first need to identify what exactly you mean by taking personal action against the system. Identify several actions and then repeat them in every venue you have legal access to.

1. Go viral. Write up a short email and send to your entire address book. Ask them to forward it on to their respective friends. Yes, it annoys people but it works.
2. Get a bumper sticker with a website that expresses your thoughts. If you don't know one, how about www.financialintegrity.org (New Road Map Foundation). Just be careful how you drive.
3. Write an op ed piece for the paper or post comments on the newspaper's online edition. Use your real name.
4. Check to see if your local government has an open mike policy. Sometimes public meetings allow time for citizens to address the board or commission with whatever is on their minds. Three points: Be brief. Be polite. Frame your ideas into something meaningful to local government.
5. Organize an "un-holiday" card drive where people agree to include something about taking action into their annual letters, holiday cards. You will probably have to write up the blurb for this. I will post an example under Holidays later if I get time.
6. Network with like minded folks. Organize a one day convening. See if you can someone trained in open meetings to facilitate.

bae
11-6-11, 2:58pm
I would add this: build the new systems now, and use them.

...

There are many many fabulous ways to build new & better ways of being in community and meting ones needs. Many of these strategies are quite old; my grandmother, who was born on 1904, prcticed all of them, because that's how things were done!

A big +1 to this. There's an entire ecosystem of such things that has almost vanished over the last 100 years, and rebuilding it doesn't happen overnight. With some of the potential changes to the overall economy and resource availability, the "old ways" may become very important some day, and it would be a shame to have to re-invent all that cultural technology from scratch...

flowerseverywhere
11-6-11, 10:48pm
Butterfly, I have another question for you. The OWS movement is made up of diverse people with diverse aims. Are you getting the feeling people are looking for ways to be simple, to learn about how to do things for themselves and be independent? Or is the feeling that they want a bigger slice of the pie so that they don't have to made do with less, buy second hand etc. That part confuses me. Possibly there are both.

Bae and Redfox have pointed out great things to think about. You also have great suggestions from Anne Lee. Keep us posted what direction you go in.

Jemima
11-6-11, 11:29pm
What bae said, and here are some more ideas: http://tinyurl.com/Zero-Hedge-Defeat-the-Banks

If you want to get really into the idea of busting the big corporations, read Sharon Astyk's book, Independence Days. The more we deal with our neighbors instead of big corporations, the less "the system" will work. Grow your own food or buy from a local producer as much as possible. Sew your own clothes or buy from a thrift store. Et cetera.

I support what you're doing and am trying to be mindful of these things on a daily basis myself. :+1:

Zoebird
11-7-11, 2:52am
a lot of what red fox wrote is what we are working on here. a lot of them exist, in some form, you just have to get "in on it." A friend of mine hosts "clothing swaps" several times a year -- and they are parties! they are a ton of fun.

our kindergarden will be holding the first 'kids clothing swap" that we've had. they usually do one for women's clothes as a fund raising event, but i suggested also doing one for children's clothes. And a lot of the schools here do "swap meets" as their fundraisers. You pay $10 to get "in" and then you just go through and buy or swap items. It's great for kid's clothes.

we are involved in a land-share, but the idea of a land trust for housing needs is intriguing. I'm interested in it, because this is a city of renters, and goodness knows what would happen. we rent, but where would we rent if something happened? the problem that i can see, right now, though is the capital required to get a land trust going. I would love to live in such a situation, but i don't have the capital (yet) to get there. hmm. but, definitely something for my back pocket. :D

otherwise, we try to buy local all the time. a few of our foodstuffs are not local (fermented cod liver oil, bananas), but nearly everything else is. we try to do as much local as we can, including local business. we use felt.co.nz is buy any new objects -- it's all local artisans, and it's a great place for soft toys, etc.

Jemima
11-7-11, 11:24pm
Being more self-sufficient. Last spring I gave a way a lot of extra garden seeds that I had, to try and get some people interested in gardening. Over the last three or four years, I've noticed more and more people with small gardens. Urban homesteading has gotten to be more popular.

:+1: This is a point that really hit home with me while reading Sharon Astyk's book, Independence Days. The more we can do to disengage from the corporate system (such as growing our own food or buying second-hand items) the more we undermine that system. Don't think for a minute that individual effort doesn't count. It's like pulling the foundation of a building out from under, cinder block by cinder block, until the whole structure collapses. The more people yanking on those blocks, the faster it will happen.

Jemima
11-7-11, 11:27pm
I would add this: build the new systems now, and use them. Start a barter club (keep on the DL because barter is actually taxable!). Buy your food exclusively from farmer's markets & food coops that are member owned. Don't have one in your community? Organize it. Evaluate your basic needs and meet them with alternative to the mainstream systems.

Start a community land trust for your housing needs. Get books and movies at the library. Hold annual clothing exchanges. ( I've done these for years, they are a total blast.) Keep your money in a local credit union. Keep your money out of the hands of those who do ill with it. Invite your neighbors to the clothing exchange and share the new systems with them.

There are many many fabulous strategies to build new & better ways of being in community and meeting ones needs. Many of these strategies are quite old; my grandmother, who was born in 1904, practiced all of them, because that's how things were done! No mega-corp was shipping cheap goods made overseas for her to use in her household, she made it, borrowed it, shared it, figured it out. Live like you're a farmer at the turn of the last century.

People are attracted by solutions, especially ones that save them $$$. Get together with folks you know, and build the solutions. Then let us know about them too!

Great ideas, and making the events fun will help even more. People are looking for cheap entertainment. :D

Jemima
11-7-11, 11:35pm
As far as junk mail goes, you can get on the no junk mail lists, we do it every three or four years as stuff starts to creep in and we get almost no junk mail. When something slips through, a catalog or credit card offer I call the 1-800 number and ask to be taken off the lists. It is an effective way to eliminate junk mail. Same with the do not call list. You eliminate mosts calls that way.
here is how to do it. Spreading that info around would do wonders for junk mail elimination.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm

I've done all of that and I've decided to start writing "return to sender" on the junk that won't quit and putting it in the nearest mailbox. I realize that the mail won't be returned to sender, but the postal service will have to dispose of it and that's going to jack up their costs. I understand one of their strategies for fixing their financial problems is to encourage more junk mail, and I think that sucks. Just like their insistence that you mail packages in cartons with no printing on them so you can't recycle the boxes you already have. They apparently have no regard at all for the environment.

flowerseverywhere
11-7-11, 11:57pm
I've done all of that and I've decided to start writing "return to sender" on the junk that won't quit and putting it in the nearest mailbox. I realize that the mail won't be returned to sender, but the postal service will have to dispose of it and that's going to jack up their costs. I understand one of their strategies for fixing their financial problems is to encourage more junk mail, and I think that sucks. Just like their insistence that you mail packages in cartons with no printing on them so you can't recycle the boxes you already have. They apparently have no regard at all for the environment.

you can recycle boxes. Turn them inside out and write the to and from addresses on labels. It is easy for the next person to put a label over the address and use it again. As I posted before get off the junk mailing lists. call the numbers on the mailings and ask them to remove you. Take action if a corporation is not following the law by reporting them.

Another way to guard your e-mail and snail mail addresses is to make sure that you read privacy policies and make sure you opt out of mailings. Guard your privacy and all personal information which is very helpful.

jennipurrr
11-9-11, 10:56am
Just like their insistence that you mail packages in cartons with no printing on them so you can't recycle the boxes you already have. They apparently have no regard at all for the environment.

I mail a lot of things as I sell on ebay, and I have always used recycled boxes. I just black out the writing on the box with a marker.

puglogic
11-10-11, 10:02am
Don't do business with them. Withdraw your labor and capital from their clutches. Engage in commerce with like-minded individuals. Vote out politicians who transfer public funds, lands, and resources to The Bad Guys.

Agreed, especially with engaging in commerce with like-minded individuals. In my business, I now only do business with like-minded individuals. In life, I am moving in that direction as much as I can. It will be an unfortunate side effect that "the bad guys" will take many of us down with them as they fail. Prepare yourself as much as possible for self-sufficiency.

Zoebird
11-10-11, 2:58pm
i'm lucky that my business naturally attracts like-minded people, and as a service industry, we've begun to found our unique difference, and therefore our market. So, the clients whom we are attracting are *exactly* whom we want to attract. It's really awesome, because people whom you might not think are like minded ARE like minded. :)

puglogic
11-10-11, 3:01pm
i'm lucky that my business naturally attracts like-minded people, and as a service industry, we've begun to found our unique difference, and therefore our market. So, the clients whom we are attracting are *exactly* whom we want to attract. It's really awesome, because people whom you might not think are like minded ARE like minded. :)

Beautiful, zoebird!!

heydude
11-10-11, 10:43pm
do people even buy books anymore? be careful not to junk up stores. all you are doing is putting more work on the backs of working class (the people who have to clean up the store, who, by the way, are all getting paid less to do the job of 3/4 people)