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Thread: need ways to take personal action against "the system"

  1. #11
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyBreath View Post
    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.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Maxamillion's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #13
    Member ButterflyBreath's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by ButterflyBreath; 11-6-11 at 9:02am.

  4. #14
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyBreath View Post
    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.

  5. #15
    Member ButterflyBreath's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #16
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyBreath View Post

    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/cons...ts/alt063.shtm

  7. #17
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    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!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Anne Lee's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Anne Lee; 11-6-11 at 2:50pm.
    Formerly known as Blithe Morning II

  9. #19
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfox View Post
    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...

  10. #20
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    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.

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