Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Story Behind The Story ::: Occupy Trillion

One of my assignments during the week involved covering an event that would take place on the SUNY Campus in New Paltz, billed as one of many demonstrations going on in cities across the country - all about student debt and the 1 per centers.

From the Press Release:

*What:* Day of Street Theatre: Occupy Trillion Day - Day of Action Against Student Debt

* *
Who: Amanda Sisenstein, member of Occupy New Paltz, Eirik Bjorkman, SUNY
Regional Organizer for NYSR, Members of Occupy SUNY New Paltz, New
York Students Rising and Occupy New Paltz

* *

*When:* Wednesday, April 25th 11am - 2pm

*Where:* SUNY New Paltz Campus - Academic Concourse (walkway through the academic building, Faculty Tower, Humanities, and Lecture Center)

*Visuals:* Folks dressed up as bankster robbers, students in ball and chains, 1%ers throwing a celebration, toasting champagne

Sounded good... more from the press release:

On April 25th the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. is due to top 1 trillion dollars. This marks a momentous victory for Wall Street-much to the despair of student loan debtors across the country. On this date, the profiteers on Wall Street will be popping champagne bottles, eating caviar, and sneering at the debt-burdened students and graduates who lug around this 1 trillion dollar ball and chain. (that's where the fellow in the video below comes in)

Occupy New Paltz, New York Students Rising (NYSR), and Occupy SUNY New Paltz will be interacting with SUNY New Paltz students and faculty as bankster robbers, one-percenters, and students dragging around their student debt in the form of a ball and chains urging them to take action. Try as they may have, there was little interaction. Apparently, the students either didn't know what was happening or didn't care. As for interaction with faculty, I heard that some of the "protesters" entered a few classrooms with little fanfare.

Part of the shtick was to yell "we want your money" or something like that. One student told me he immediately ran the other way because he thought the street-artists were soliciting donations. That reinforces my opinion that most of the students were not clued in on the action.

Bankster Robbers like Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo and their fellow 1%ers will be throwing a celebration for 1 Trillion Day. Student Debt has already surpassed credit card debt. Bankster Robbers and 1%ers will be deterring students away from the students in ball and chains urging students to take a pledge to boycott their loans when 1 million people have signed the pledge. There is also a pledge for faculty and non-debtors.

It was a windy day and I didn't observe anybody signing any pledges... I overheard a videographer who showed up speak instructions into a cellphone, something about footage from a rally in New York City would be "mixed in" to the account - I'm not sure whose account - it could have been for TV or possibly a newspaper website. A short time later YNN reporter Venise Toussaint showed up with her camera in tow... her version of the story is HERE

Occupiers and students are calling students, faculty, and community members to take the pledge to boycott and support the boycott of student loan debt. Its time to take action and end this modern day indentured

Now compare the participation level at SUNY New Paltz with that of a Trayvon Martin rally held a few months ago in the streets of Albany: (OK, I grant you this was a far more emotional gathering)

So, here's my version of the story as it played on the radio... any thoughts, comments or observations???

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