Milwaukee Tightens Security When Occupy Coalition Visits (w/video)

A group of 50 activists from the Occupy Coalition gathered in downtown Milwaukee recently to hold a protest of unequal distribution of city funds and a conversation with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. They were met with an enhanced police presence but did not get to meet the Mayor The Occupy Coalition includes Occupy the Hood, Occupy Milwaukee, Occupy Riverwest and Decolonize the Barrio. On Monday, February 6, the group met at the intersection of Wells and Wisconsin downtown Milwaukee and marched to the Milwaukee city hall. The group of activists was met by an enhanced police presence that required participants to have their bags searched upon entering the building. About 15 police officers were in and around city hall for the demonstration, a presence that is very unusual. Michael Horne has been a correspondent at Milwaukee Magazine for over two decades. Horne said he commonly goes to city hall to gather information for stories and has never been searched upon entering the public building and was surprised at the police presence for the demonstration. “I have never seen the police arrayed outside of the Milwaukee City Hall in all of my years, by which I mean they have the west entrance blocked off and each of the other two entrances. The police were lined abreast inside the lobby and were similarly arrayed at the elevators and stairs. City Hall is usually a step right up place.” Once inside, activists with the occupy coalition made speeches about the unjust conditions that are occurring in Milwaukee. Activists then demanded to meet with Milwaukee Mayor, Tom Barrett to discuss these issues, such as the distribution of funds in a community block grant program within the city and an audit of where city money is being spent. Police did not allow anyone to go to the Mayor’s office on the second floor. Mayor Barrett’s refusal to meet with the group of activists, or at least a couple of activists representing the whole group, is indicative of whom has more access to the upper levels of power in Milwaukee. Within the past couple of weeks Mayor Barrett was in attendance of several different events attended by his constituents, including a fundraiser for Tammy Baldwin, a Valerie Jarrett (senior adviser and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama administration) event, a Milwaukee Press club event, a Milwaukee County Democrats meeting, a fundraiser for Emmanuel Mamalakis, a county supervisor running for city comptroller. The group was able to come into contact with a couple of city alderman including Willie C. Wade, district 7, and Ashanti Hamilton, district 1. Alderman Wade was resistant to speak with the group, who eventually started yelling “sell out.” Alderman Hamilton was much more cooperative and spent at least 10 minutes speaking with the group, promising to fulfill their request of an outside audit done of city finances. The Occupy coalition plans to continue to hold demonstrations and conversations with residents and elected officials of Milwaukee regarding various aspects of the economic crisis in the 4th poorest city in the United States.

 
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Occupy Movement Shows their economic strength with “Cash Mobs” – Buy only from Local Merchants

Sample of Cash Mob Event Flyer

Occupy Riverwest leads the way. Uses Cash Mobs To Support Local Businesses instead of multi-billion dollar corporations.

From their event page:

We at Occupy Riverwest will be spending our hard earned holiday money supporting local businesses in Riverwest who are part of the 99% and will be refraining from supporting big box corporate stores who enrich the 1% at our expense. As part of this support for local small businesses we will be encouraging all Occupy supporters to take part in our Cash Mob scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd.

A Cash Mob operates the same way as a flash mob with the big difference being why we appear. We will be appearing at a specific location to spend our hard earned money comfortably knowing that our money is supporting a local business that will undoubtedly reinvest in the surrounding community. We do not receive that same economic bounce when our money goes to a big box retailer (aka the 1%). Come and buy presents for the holiday season at Fischberger’s Variety! We are asking all who believe in this statement against the 1% to come and shop at Fischberger’s between 1:00 p – 5:00 p. on Saturday, December 3rd. We plan on having future Cash Mob events at other Riverwest businesses who support the 99%.

Cash Mob Information here

Sankalp Gosain (http://cashmobs.wordpress.com/) writes:

Cash mobs for cash jobs.

We’re reasonable people. We know there’s little we can do to make anybody regularly patronize a ‘shmobs destination -that’s up to whether the business itself can win over the mobbing faithful.  And for all our wishes to the contrary, the one-day spike in business isn’t going to actually reverse the trajectory of a failing local business.

But what we can do is make it very, very appealing to walk in some shop’s door exactly once. Maybe the mob likes it and goes again, maybe the mob whips out their smartphones and leaves a hundred scathing reviews on Yelp before they’ve even left the building –that’s totally up to the whim of the mobbers and we wouldn’t have it any other way. However, in the same way that a store will hand out coupons or give away samples so customers will give them a shot, Cash Mobs can motivate the locally-minded into a store they might not have otherwise checked out (see “appeal of partying”). And like any other loss-leader, this just might mean a whole bunch of newly-minted repeat customers –something that actually can move a local biz into the black.

But wait, there’s more.

Now when other might-be entrepreneurs in town catch wind of their mobbing neighbors’ open-minded, ‘try anything once’ approach to fledgling enterprises you can sure bet they’ll be more inclined to taking the plunge and set up shop.

And that’s when the magic happens. Cue the chairman of the Federal Reserve…

Ben Bernanke: “Small businesses are central to creating jobs in our economy; they employ roughly one half of all Americans and account for about 60 percent of gross job creation, newer small businesses, those less than two years old, are especially important: Over the past 20 years, these start-up enterprises accounted for roughly one quarter of gross job creation even though they employed less than 10 percent of the workforce.”

Tim Kane, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation: “Start-ups are responsible for all net job growth in the U.S. economy. During years of recession, net job losses grow at existing firms—those a year and older—while job creation at start-ups stays stable. Start-ups create an average of 3 million new jobs annually, all other ages of firms, including companies in their first full years of existence up to firms established two centuries ago, are net job destroyers, losing 1 million jobs net combined per year.”

When you support the local guys they stick around. And as the Cash Mob swells and word of this “give ‘em a shot” attitude spreads, new businesses and jobs pop up.

So Mob in your town. Help businesses survive and thrive in your town. And watch as the elusive job fairy is lured – you guessed it – to your town.

If you buy it, they will come.