New Years Revolutions 2011

People around the world make New Year’s resolutions at the close of each year. In December of 2010, the Middle East set a course of New Year’s revolutions, which directly affected more than 15 different countries in that region throughout 2011. While not desirable, history has shown time and again that revolution is essential to the preservation of freedom and liberty.

Arab Spring forward, regimes fall back

What came to be known as the “Arab Spring”, resulted in protests throughout the Middle East; with revolutions occurred in both Tunisia and Egypt and a bloody civil war in Libya, all of which resulted in the fall of their respective governments.

While these three countries are considered “success stories” of the Arab Spring, other countries that saw civil uprisings, such as Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, are still unstable.

Major protests occurred in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, with minor protests occurring in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Western Sahara.

Taking it to the streets

Inspired in part by the Arab Spring, American protestors took to the streets, specifically Wall Street. Beginning in September, Occupy Wall Street protests occurred from coast to coast.

Do people have a right to be angry in this country? Yes. But if changes need to be made, as many believe they do, then let those changes be made through the proper channels. Some will decry and say, “The system is broken. What other recourse do we have?” Things must be kept in perspective.

Say what you will about America, but right now a whole section of the world is engaged in a bloody revolution to eke out a standard of living which will still be leagues below what the average American takes for granted. What constitutes poverty in this country compared to the rest of the world is laughable.

For many, 2011 will be remembered as the year of revolution. The world needs to change, but it has to start with us; how we live our lives and how we treat others. Let us make 2012 the year in which resolutions are remembered. We are nothing but the promises we keep.

Identifying Anonymous: An idealistic enigma

Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

For more than five years the quasi-group Anonymous’ unique brand of hacking has left an indelible mark on Internet culture. Portions of their influence eventually seeped into the real world.

While Anonymous boasts no formal organization or leadership, it has adopted certain

one of the many Anonymous icons

icons, including the image of a faceless business suit and the Guy Fawkes mask, (made famous from the film “V for Vendetta”). Anonymous’ mantra is “We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

The mysterious nature of Anonymous, coupled with the imagery, paints a picture of a 21st century Robin Hood; an unstoppable, faceless force of nature.

Hidden Agenda

Anonymous has no official position regarding controversial issues such as abortion, health care, taxes, global warming, or Occupy Wall Street. Anonymous aficionados, known as Anons, can disagree on these and other issues while still being part of Anonymous.

This is not to say that Anonymous is not without ideals. In fact, ideals are what unites Anons. According to analysis from the Extra Credits series, Anonymous stands for:

1. Freedom of Information

2. Freedom of Speech

3. Unregulated Internet

4. Generally only attacks groups that either directly attacked them, or infringes on their core ideals

5. Does not engage in criminal activity for the financial benefit of Anons

6. Believes in mischief for the “lulz” (i.e. kicks and giggles)

Secret, but fun

Anonymous’ first major act of defiance was against the social networking game, “Habbo Hotel,” where people create avatars and socialize in a virtual hotel setting. In 2005, rumors spread through 4chan, (online message board used by Anons), that Habbo’s social moderators were abusing their ability to ban people, targeting black-avatar users.

At this notion of inferred racism, Anons began flooding the game with black-avatars, dressed in suits and Afro wigs. Their avatars blocked doorways and walkways, cutting off access to certain features in the game, most notably the swimming pool.

“Pool’s closed” became the rallying cry for the operation, culminating with a mass raid July 12, 2006, where hundreds of Anons swarmed the game, eventually causing Habbo Hotel to go offline for a while.

Anonymous’ most recent planned attack is against the social network goliath, Facebook. On Nov. 5, Anons plan to shut down Facebook, accusing them of selling their users security information.

According to an Anonymous press release, “Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely false. It gives users the illusion of [choice] and hides the details away from them ‘for their own good’ while they then make millions off of you. When a service is ‘free,’ it really means they’re making money off of you and your information.”

Anons Response

Anonymous responded to the threat against Facebook, denouncing it. Citing, in a tweet, that “Operation: Facebook” will be carried out by “rouge” Anons, and is not endorsed by the majority of Anonymous. “We don’t “kill” the messenger,” Anonymous said, “That’s not our style.”

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged abortion, , “V for Vendetta, ” Guy Fawkes, freedom of information, freedom of speech, global warming, Habbo Hotel, health care, lulz, , Operation: Facebook, Pool’s closed, , unregulated Internet

A night at the occupation

By Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

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Occupy Wall Street, or OWS as it’s more fondly called, has spawned more than 250 movements across the country, with one hitting fairly close to home. Actually, it’s right in the heart of it. Occupy OKC was officially kicked off on October 10, with the acceptance of the Declaration, a list of grievances directed toward the corporations that “place profit over people,” and the government that allows it, that was set forth by the NYC Occupation.

The reoccurring theme of the protests is that, although each individual comes with a different idea of what the movement is about, there is a 99 to 1 ratio, in terms of economic power. This represents what is thought to be the widening gap between the 99%, the working class, and the richest 1% of the population, referring to those that hold monetary sway over Washington and its policies.

Occupy OKC became organized in a short time. The management group broke the occupation down into groups to take care of the occupants. The groups include Compassion, Infrastructure, Medical, Legal, Message/PR, and Action. At the October 7 General Assembly, the groups went over specifics with protesters from dealing with the media to how to identify the Medical group, and a list of attorneys able to represent them should they find themselves incarcerated.

The Compassion group, marked by blue bands around their arms, is there for emotional and spiritual support of the group. “We are here to keep the atmosphere positive, by sharing good news about other Occupy groups to those here. There is such a sense of community here, and that keeps it positive too. People who may not be able to occupy overnight have offered blankets and rides to those that are,” said Heidi Owens, representative from the Compassion group. The group had set up an area where those wishing to pray or meditate can do so freely and without prejudice. Social workers have volunteered their time and are on location to provide assistance.

The occupation began on October 10, after the group received a permit for overnight camping as well as amplified sound and an unlimited number of protesters. The lighthearted feel was obvious, with occupants playing ball, making signs and even doing homework. The protesting had not quite begun, as the first march was not scheduled until October 11.

After the General Assembly, occupants began setting up tents and even a makeshift kitchen, the “Boots and Barefoot Kitchen,” that served spring rolls, hot tea and water to the masses. It was not run by any particular person, but was a group effort set up by the occupations’ coordinators, and run by the Infrastructure group. The kitchen was prepared for the long haul, and the increasing numbers. “It’s a peaceful protest, and that’s what draws people. Occupy OKC is going to get progressively bigger, just as the other occupations have,” said Cody Ricketts, the representative from the Infrastructure group, and an Accounting major at Rose State.

Those who planned to occupy overnight were obvious as they arrived. They brought in sleeping bags, tents, and their signs. Some of the signs brought in asked things such as “What will you do when you run out of our money?” One group planning on camping for 2 days, and who refused to give names, wishing to be quoted as the 99%, believe the movement got its root in Oklahoma because of word of mouth and social media. There were signs referring to groups as a part of the 99% as well, such as Veterans and the OKCPD. “The movement has created open, relevant discussion everywhere, for everyone,” said the 99%.

Some did not plan on staying overnight, but supported the cause nonetheless. Many get involved through friends who are a part of the movement.

“I care about the cause because it’s really about the future generations that will be affected. It’s important to get our voice out there among the thousands already there,” said Sabria Luster, a Geoscience major at Rose State College, who marched to help show the unity of the group and keep the expression of the meaning of the movement alive.

While the movement seems to have a general cause, the reality of it is that the cause means something different to each participant.  Education is even one of the big issues at hand.

“America is the first country to have compulsory education, based on the belief that in order to make an informed decision, one must first be educated. The corporate control has resulted in a country where the common good is no longer important, but rather profit is,” said Patrick Edwards, a PR specialist attending the event.

Whatever the reason, the cause has a place for every belief and welcomes the differing opinions on the state of the country. Open discussion is fostered, and awareness of the multiple views encouraged.