By Elizabeth DiNovella on November 24, 2011

On the Wednesday edition of 8 O'Clock Buzz on WORT-FM, we spoke to Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Occupy Washington, D.C. We've been getting weekly updates from him since early October.

"Today, we have our first Thanksgiving celebration," Zeese said. "The faith community is putting on Thanksgiving celebration for both occupations in Washington, D.C. -- the K Street one, as well as ours, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue, on Freedom plaza."

"We have another one tomorrow on Freedom Plaza, in our kitchen," he added. "We have a great kitchen -- an incredible kitchen, really -- and our chef wants us to try his mango stuffing. We are looking forward to that."

Zeese also mentioned that Occupy DC is making preparations for the oncoming colder temps. "We're heavily involved in winterization efforts in Freedom Plaza," he said. "We're putting up three big military tents, which we decorated with all of our political messages. They are going to have floors. They are going to have heat. They are going to be something we could use throughout the winter."

We caught up to Zeese before the day's actions around the Supercommittee, so he didn't go into any details of the action. But he criticize Congress's committee folly.

Click here to listen to the interview.

"The Supercommittee was serious failure," he said. "We have an 99% deficit reduction plan."

"It's not that hard to balance this budget. The key to balancing the budget is facing up to the 1%."

"We've allowed tax rates for the 1% to drop and drop and drop," Zeese said. "If we go back to a real progressive tax system, like we had in the 1950s, like we had in the 1960s, 1970s, and even part of the 1980s, you would solve the deficit problem overnight."

I was reminded of our former tax system while watching Mad Men recently. In one episode circa 1960, the young businessmen lament how high the tax rates are -- rates so high they seem unreal in the era of Grover Norquist.

Zeese also took a moment to discuss his latest blogs about the co-option of the occupy movement by Democrats and their affiliates, especially Van Jones and the Rebuild the Dream Movement.

"The corporate media is anointing a false leader of the Occupy Movement in Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream," he writes.

"Before he ran to the front of the Occupy Movement, Jones' Rebuild the Dream had been saying that its first task was to elect Democrats. Now he is claiming there will be 2000 "99% candidates" in 2012. These Democrats will be re-branded as part of the 99% movement."

Will the Dems try to capitalize on the Occupy movement?

Yes, they will, and they will do so while they take money from Wall Street.

Zeese quotes from "A Statement by the General Assembly of and proposed to the Occupy Movement."

Electoral politics is not the option, the statement reads.

"We believe elections are essential to a peaceful, just, and sustainable future, and we will continue to push for changes in our electoral system that will guarantee every human the right to vote for candidates who are not financially corrupted or filtered through gerrymandering, unreasonable ballot restrictions or corporate media gate-keeping, and to have our votes verifiably and publicly counted."

The statement continues: "We believe, however, that elections alone cannot accomplish what is needed. We cannot 'vote' against the disastrous influence of Wall Street or war profiteers by backing either of the two major political parties. Next year's presidential election and most congressional races will offer two major-party candidates, neither of whom agrees with the majority of the people on fundamental issues. We will not divert our energies into electoral work."

Will any Democratic Party activists crash the Thanksgiving feast at Freedom Plaza? If so, it could end up being just as awkward as any other family get together.

If you liked this story by Elizabeth DiNovella, the Culture Editor of The Progressive magazine, check out her story "Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Gets Ready to Recall Walker."

Follow Elizabeth DiNovella @lizdinovella on Twitter.


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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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