TONIGHT!  Wed. Nov. 2 @ 7pm

or listen local (Miami) at 880 am



Ill Communications Part I
The “Occupy” movement has fostered new methods to communicate the 99% message to the 99% using old vehicles like newspapers and comic books…yep comic books.  As part of our ongoing coverage of Occupy, we will check in with the folks from Occupied Wall Street Journal and Occupy Comix about the why and the how of Communications, 99%-style.
and then…
House Keeping “when you’re broke”
As part of our continuing, “when you are broke” segment, we won’t talk about cleaning your house.  You can figure that part out by yourself.  Instead, we will touch on how to keep your house.  Please don’t miss it if you need it.
You know the drill…
Tune in! Call In! Let’s Talk About It!
TONIGHT!  Wed. Nov. 2 @ 7pm

or listen local (Miami) at 880 am

An open letter in response to James C. McKinley Jr.’s NY Times article, “At the Protests, the Message Lacks a Melody,” insisting #Occupy lacks an anthem
by La Guardia and Subhash Kateel

Once again, the New York Times takes it upon itself to be the gatekeeper of social movements. The paper that has really good articles until it doesn’t, first reduced the Occupy movement to “pantomiming progressivism” right before embracing it. Now it unilaterally declares that the movement lacks an anthem. For James C. McKinley Jr., the article’s author, his evidence is the lack of Bob Dylan-esque tunes flowing out of the lips of Occupy protestors.

Maybe McKinley wrote his article before searching YouTube, or reading other news sites like CBS or the Miami New Times (twice). Because we can count at least 4 anthems off the top of our heads. We should know, we wrote one of them. But so did Rebel Diaz, a group called Occupy Freedom, Ground Zero and the Global Block Collective and a group out west called The Roaring.

Each of the anthems hail from a different region but speak to our common struggles. When we sing or rap or whatever we do, we do it based on what we see in real communities. And we see a lot of people that are tired of an unbalanced system. Our anthems aren’t lazy, complaining, we don’t wanna work, somebody hold our hands, rich bad/poor good songs. They are honest looks at struggles facing the 99% that we know and see everyday, while making a public decree that there WILL be changes.

As for our anthem, (“We Are The 99%), we aren’t Bob Dylan, or a group of billboard chart topping international recording artists. We’re a community organizer turned radio show host, temporarily unemployed rapper, music teacher/producer, and a vocalist…But we are also the 99%…

If James C. McKinley wanted to truly write an article that broke new ground about Occupy anthems, he could write about what makes this generation of anthem artists different.

The singers, producers, and thought creators behind most Occupy anthems are, no doubt, musicians and music lovers; but also more. In the case of Rebel Diaz, they run a community organization in the Bronx, the Rebel Diaz Art Collective. And while other folks were complaining about the lack of melanin at Occupy Wall Street, they did something about it by bringing their members out from the Bronx to Wall Street.

The people that put together “We Are The 99%” in Miami have been part of organizations like Seed305, Families For Freedom, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Catalyst Hip Hop, PATH to Hip Hop and Amnesty International as organizers, directors, community workers and participants for over a decade.

In other words, the creators of Occupy anthems don’t just sing for a better world, we try our hardest to practice what we sing. But make no mistake, we will sing and chant, organize and mobilize until we really see a change that benefits the communities we love.



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by Subhash Kateel

#Occupy is NOT the Liberal Tea Party! It shouldn’t be either.

It was just a matter of time before the #Occupy movement spreading across the country would be compared to the Tea Party. This past week, everyone from Bill Maher and CNN to Glenn Beck and the Tea Party Patriots’ founders themselves have invoked, or spoken against, the characterization of #OccupyWallStreet as a liberal version of the Tea Party movement.

There are a few things that seem to unite the majority of these commentators:

  1. Most of them, including the Tea Party reps, seem to have never attended a Tea Party rally or #Occupy rally, or actually talked or listened to members of either for longer than a minute.
  2. The mainstream media types seem to really wanna egg on a good old fashioned culture war. Think North vs. South, urban vs. rural, Biggie vs. Tupac.
  3. A bunch of my Democratic party and liberal friends always wanted their own version of a Tea party, and now they feel like they might actually get one. It sort of reminds me of how the kid in junior high getting picked on acts when his MMA-fighting brother comes to pick him up after school.

The thing is, over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to go to a couple Tea Party events and speak to more than a few Tea Party members. I’ve always thought the movement is more diverse (not really ethnically, but ideologically) than anyone will ever give it credit for. At their rallies I have found folks that range from batshit insane to pleasantly disagreeable to potential allies in local campaigns. And when folks weren’t filming me without my consent at immigrant rights events and calling me a Marxist-Leninist, radical Muslim terrorist, agent of George Soros (speaking of consistent and coherent messaging) on their blogs, I found them to be folks I could generally have cordial conversations with.

The first of those cordial talks was on the premier of Let’s Talk About It!, the talk radio show I co-host. It was an hour-long talk with the chair of the Florida Tea Party Patriots, Everett Wilkinson. Last week, I went back to ask him about his thoughts on #Occupy. Considering that the Tea Party Patriots’ alleged co-founders issued a scathing statement against #Occupy, what he said would surprise most people.

“I think it [#occupy] is actually a very good thing. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that is coming out of…the signs you see there…specifically about capitalism necessarily being evil…and against free markets. But I do think it is a good thing for the American people to wake up and see what is happening with corporate nepotism and the big corporations…how much of a stranglehold they have on the American political system. And that is I think in line with a lot of the Tea Party beliefs. Big government and big corporations are the reason for a lot of our problems today.”

In the part of the interview I didn’t play on the show, he explained to me that his Tea Party friends in Boston were warmly received by #Occupy members when they attended their actions there. That doesn’t mean that all Tea Party factions agree with Everett, in fact some call him “a self serving publicity monger.” But before our show, I even received tweets from Tea Party members saying that the “real” Tea Party (“Not the one Palin and Bachman hijacked”-their words) fully supported #Occupy. In truth, the Tea Party has never been the unified movement with a unified message that the media portrays. But even if Everett and the guy who tweeted me only speak for a third of the Tea Party, they don’t sound like people that see #Occupy as being diametrically opposed to them.
To their credit, the leaders or, um leaderless, of #Occupy seem to, in their wisdom, genuinely not give a damn either way about the Tea Party. For all of the snide Bill Maher-P.J. O’Rourke jokes about #Occupy not having a consistent message, folks I talk to always seem pretty focused on what their purpose is. Their purpose has never been to respond to the Tea Party. From everything I see, the movement is responding to one major question best summarized by friend and #Occupymiami participant/organizer/not-organizer Muhammad Malik:

“What is our role in society? Do we live in a democracy or plutocracy? Do we live in a country where we truly have a say in the economic decisions that lead to our well-being? Or do we have no role whatsoever?”

(If you had to look up plutocracy, it means rule of the rich.)

And for all of the screams that this is a Democratic Tea Party, the 99%’ers don’t seem to have any particular love for most Democrats either. And why would they? Most “top 20” lists of “Who Caused The Financial Crisis” include Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (current Secretary Geitner’s mentor). And most Democrats in Congress voted with Bush to bailout the banks while literally leaving regular folks to die a fiscal death.

This leads me to the particularly angry response from the Glenn Becks of the world. Glenn (can I call you Glenn?) has said that the #Occupiers are going to “drag you into the streets and kill you.” But when he said it, he sounded a little frazzled and not like the smug cry-on-command Glenn I am used to. No, he sounds like the captain of the cheerleading squad yelling at her teammates to not sit with the new cool freshman in the cafeteria (I really don’t know what’s with all the school analogies today). Dude is freaking out. He knows that at least a third of his base, deep down inside, supports the goals of #Occupy and probably identifies with the 99%.

On a deeper level, Glenn’s warning to his base that the 99% are anti-capitalists “wrapped in hate” is his way of telling his base to do nothing to change the current system. It is his way of conceding that he believes that the only way for the current system to work is for the superrich to call the shots, implement the solutions and control our destiny. In the same vein, the Robert Rubins and Timothy Geitners have long conceded that the only way their economic model can work is by creating a massive socialist give-away to the top 1%. In the end, both shivering sides of the political spectrum basically affirm in each and every one of their actions their profound belief in plutocracy. They have both answered Malik’s question. They have placed their bets, and our loved ones’ future, against the 99%.

For this reason, the wisest decision for the #Occupy movement is for it to remain indifferent to calls for it to become a #liberalteaparty…to avoid the culture wars…to avoid becoming hacks of any broken party.

That doesn’t mean that they should never pursue electoral solutions. That doesn’t mean they should never create the damn list of demands every pundit wants them to create. It doesn’t mean that the movement shouldn’t better incorporate calls for racial and other types of justice. It also doesn’t mean that they should wear powdered wigs and dress like Thomas Jefferson. It sure as hell doesn’t mean me and Everett are gonna start watching NASCAR together.

What it does mean is that somewhere in the 1%, there is a tofu-eating dude wearing an Obama shirt that got a corporate bailout and then screwed his workers right before he took his kids to a Damian Marley concert. And that dude probably plays golf with some cattle ranch owner who hired Hank Williams Jr. to play for his daughter’s sweet sixteen. And with one call from his rhinestone-encrusted iphone, he screwed working families out of their life savings.

It also means that among the 99%, there is probably some other dude with a long pony tail that had to sell his vintage Don’t Tread On Me flag and his granddaddy’s shotgun to avoid losing his home. There is also this West Indian woman who raised that tofu eating dude’s kid for 15 years that is now getting evicted from her home. And besides their mutual love for country music, they both share a common feeling that this current system is rigged against them.

This is one of those rare times in history when a single question is being posed to most of us: Do we want to live in a democracy or a plutocracy? If we want to live in a democracy, we have a unique chance to fight for it, together, with our mind, body, and soul.

As I wonder the fate of my 99%’ers in Liberty Park, and contemplate my participation in #Occupymiami, I leave you with our anthem, courtesy of La Guardia World, Let’s Talk About It!, Devin Arne, and Fernando Castro, “We Are The 99%.”

Show is up, write up coming soon…Download HERE or press play below. Plus, our Hip Rock remix of “We Are The 99%” is below…If you feel it, spread it.

10/12/2011 Show Links and Guests:
Kotu Bajaj, Jose Suarez from 1Miami, Joseph Phelan and Bruce Wayne Stanley discussed Occupy Miami and the October 15th Occupy Miami rally.
Courtenay Strickland from Common Threads
Alejandro Cantagallo, Chef and Culinary Instructor
Alex Cuevas, Owner of Choices Vegan Cafe
Dr. Marvin Dunn, Founder of Roots in the City, check out their website for Overtown’s Farmer’s Market hours.

TONIGHT! WEDNESDAY, OCT. 12 @ 7pm

or tune into 880 AM (S. Florida)

FAMILY! Last week, we had a whole show on #occupywallstreet and other #occupy movements going on around the country. We also unnveiled an anthem for the 99% of us “hustling, struggling and treading water,”courtesy of us, Laguardiaworld.com and producer Devin Arne. On our show tonight we got a bunch of stuff for you to talk about and listen to.

OR

Why #Occupy the Sunshine State?

We got feedback from our Florida listeners asking us to talk more about what’s happening here. We got feedback from our non-Florida listeners asking us what the hell Floridians had to complain about. To them, we have no snow, no Wall Street, and a bunch of beaches. Well I could tell you all the things that Florida has to be mad at, but I would rather have our friends over here do it. Join us as we talk about why Floridians and Miamians are so so angry, they would rather #occupy stuff than go to Disney World or the beach.

We Are The 99% Hip Rock mix tonight!
Thanks to you, our Anthem, broke 1000 views on youtube. But we were just getting started and our family down here (Laguardia and superproducer Devin Arne) decided to create a HipRock remix with Fernando Castro…Check it out on our show tonight…it will be fire!

Breaking Bread When You’re Broke or “99 Ways to cook Ramen noodles…” (LaGuardia from “We Are the 99%)

As part of our new “when you’re broke segment,” we wanted to talk about food, and what to do about it when you are short on funds. The average family (depending on what you mean by average) can spend anywhere from 12% to 30% of their income on food. While most expenses like rent, electricity, and the cable bill (does being broke mean no telenovelas or Breaking Bad?) are fixed, food is one of those things that can have some wiggle room in your budget. Does that mean a lot of $1 cheeseburgers at McDonald’s? Is it possible to eat healthy and cheap? How do you do that when the only thing free range in your neighborhood are rats and the only thing grass-fed are stray dogs (we won’t even)? Well tonight we are gonna chop it up with a chef or two about how to eat to live, while saving a little bit of bread.

You know the routine…Tune in! Call In! and Let’s Talk About It!

TONIGHT! WEDNESDAY, OCT. 12 @ 7pm

or tune into 880 AM (S. Florida)

Folks, the show is up. In case you missed it, Let’s Talk About It! and LaGuardiaWorld.com decided that the 99% need an anthem. So we made one, check it below. If you wanna listen to the show, download here or press play below. If you want to hear the Anthem for the 99%, press play on the youtube track.


10/05/2011 Show Links & Guests:
Mike Newman, rock radio producer and DJ
Nadeem Mazen from Occupy Boston
G1 of Rebel Diaz and the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective
Danny Valdes from Occupy Wall Street
Vanessa Urbina and Muhammed Malik of Occupy Miami, online and on facebook

WED. Oct 5 @ 7pm EST
 or tune in to 880 am (S. Florida)
If you haven’t figured out yet, a whole lot of people are really mad about the state of things, including the economy.  A bunch of people voted for “change,” and the economy didn’t. Another group of folks figured they’d let the market fix itself, only to get fixed by the market.  In the meantime, as we have covered over, and over, and over, people are being thrown out of their homes, losing their livelihood, and virtually killing themselves.  All the while, politicians-Democrats and Republicans alike- have decided that the best thing to do is to stay sucking.
Well, we sort of figured this was going to happen.  The basic feeling in the country is that the greed of the top 1% and Wall Street is more to blame for the economic suffering of millions than any other single thing.   Some folks are so fed up, that they decided to take it to Wall Street!  Unless you have been under a rock for the past couple weeks, you will know that a bunch of people converged on Wall Street and decided to stay there until something changed.  We covered it on our show a few weeks ago.  But what started out modestly has spread, even to other cities.  In fact an #OccupyMiami meeting just took place this weekend.  Is this the American Fall version of the Arab Spring? Do people have a plan or just a complaint?  Who are the 99% they keep talking about?  Do you feel inspired to turn up or tune out?
Well, at least tune in to us to talk about it.  In the meantime, check out these links if you wanna catch up
Watch this video from Occupy Miami’s first meeting.   

Check the main website for Occupy Wall Street:
occupywallst.org

Find out who the 99% are:
wearethe99percent.tumblr.com

Check out the dialog between one of your favorite co-hosts and others on www.organizingupgrade.com