Occupied Media: Interviews With Boots Riley & Alexa D. O’Brien

From OccupiedMedia and OccupyMissoula’s Taryn Hart:

In what is our highest-profile interview to date, I’m thrilled to present Occupied Media’s interview with Occupy Oakland’s Boots Riley. Of all of the interviews I’ve done, this was the first one where I was nervous (maybe also my very first interview Jeff Madrick). As you’ll see in the interview, Boots is charismatic, endlessly interesting and the camera absolutely loves him. More importantly, his vision for social change and for the Occupy movement is both clear and compelling.

Boots is probably best known as a talented musician and lyricist. He is the front man of Oakland’s The Coup and, more recently, he has collaborated with guitarist and activist Tom Morello to form The Street Sweeper Social Club.

Among other matters, Boots and I discuss his history as an organizer (which extends to his youth), how he got “sucked in” (his words) to Occupy Oakland, his vision for social change and the Occupy Movement and his message to progressives and/or radicals critical of Occupy. I have no doubt everyone will find Boots Riley as compelling and thought provoking as we do.

Our next Occupied Media interview is with citizen activist Alexa D. O’Brien. Alexa foundedUS Day of Rage, which was directly involved with organizing and promoting the occupation of Wall Street on September 17, 2011. Alexa continues to be involved with Occupy Wall Street and with US Day of Rage’s call for an Article V Constitutional Convention. I’ve now interviewed several high-profile economists and journalist, but I really love the interviews with fellow occupiers. So, I hope everyone enjoys the interview as much as I did and please check out the very important work going on at US Day of Rage.

Occupied Media: Interviews With Jared Bernstein & William K. Black

From OccupiedMedia and OccupyMissoula’s Taryn Hart:

I’m thrilled to present Occupied Media’s interview with economist Jared Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein has fought the good fight for his entire career. For many years he worked with EPI’s Larry Mishel on State of Working America, which documented the rise in inequality and decimation of the American middle class. He then joined the Obama Administration as Vice President Biden’s Chief Economist. He is now with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and he maintains a blog, On the Economy, which I love both because he presents economic issues in such understandable terms and because you get a glimpse into his personality (tune in for his music selections on Friday, for example).

Dr. Bernstein is incredibly busy – he made time for this interview at 10:00 PM after a 12-hour plus day. He not only took time to meet with us, he also connected us with Larry Mishel of EPI, who has been an amazing resource and advocate. Our deepest thanks for Dr. Bernstein for this interview, for his assistance and, most importantly, for a career dedicated to scholarship and advocacy on behalf of the 99%.

He was remarkably forthcoming and, unlike many economists, was willing to talk outside of the box. His bottom line diagnosis (or maybe it’s still just a concern): We are a system that can no longer self-correct; and a system that cannot self-correct, cannot survive.

The next interview is with esteemed law professor Bill Black who has been a tireless advocate for reform of the financial system and prosecution of the fraudsters that brought our economy to its knees. The title of his book really says it all: The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.

Professor Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, a white-collar criminologist and a former financial regulator. He blogs at New Economic Perspectives and tweets at @WilliamKBlack. Professor Black has been an advocate of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and he has been remarkably generous with his time.

Occupied Media: Interviews With Punkboyinsf & Spencer Mills (a/k/a OakFoSho)

From OccupiedMedia and OccupyMissoula, Taryn Hart:

Here’s Occupied Media’s interview with J’Tao a/k/a Punkboyinsf. steaming out of the Bay Area. My main impression of Punkboyinsf – having gotten to know him a bit – is how generous he is: He’s thrilled promote and help out small occupations and fellow streamers. When I asked him about donations, he really wasn’t interested in money, but thought maybe he could use some equipment. However, since then, he’s lost his phone/camera and had to replace it, courtesy his Mom who he really needs to pay back. I will get a donate link up as soon as that is available, but in the the meantime, anyone who wants to donate can contact him on twitter, @punkboyinsf.

Like my interview with OakFoSho, we cover a lot of ground, starting with how he fell into streaming and all of the twists and turns he and the movement have taken since then. Unfortunately, my side of the video was lost due to technical difficulties, but in terms of content, I’m really pleased with the interview:

This interview with Spencer Mills (a/k/a OakFoSho) – as well as a slightly earlier interview with Punkboyinsf (which is held up in editing due to technical issues) – are my first interviews of fellow Occupiers. Partially for that reason, but also because I think these guys are absolutely amazing, these interviews may be my favorite.

Spencer and I pretty much cover the map – how he got started with Occupy and streaming, media objectivity, “diversity of tactics” and transparency, the raid of Occupy LA, the various people Occupying trees (I absolutely LOVE the tree people) and the impressive occupation that is Occupy Oakland. As anyone who has watched OakFoSho’s stream knows, he’s incredibly interesting and opinionated – pretty much a dream interview. So, the one and only, OakFoSho:

Occupied Media: Interview With Sarah Jaffe

I’m really excited to present our most recent Occupied Media interview with journalist Sarah Jaffe. Sarah is an associate editor with AlterNet and has been covering OWS from almost the beginning. She maintains a blog at Ohyouprettythings.net and she tweets at @seasonothebitch (I really want a second interview so that we can talk about Sarah’s Bowie obsession).

Sarah and I talk about OWS, her thoughts on the movement and where it might be going. We also discuss student debt and the potential for a debt strike. Sarah presents a good point of contrast to Tamara Draut, whose interview – also about student debt – will be posted later this week.

EPI Economist Larry Mishel: An Occupied Media Virtual Teach-in

Occupied Media’s most recent virtual teach-in is with EPI economist Larry Mishel. EPI is celebrating its 25th year fighting for the 99%. EPI was recently recognized by the Washington Post and Paul Krugman. Krugman had this to say about EPI and Larry Mishel:

At this point EPI is the single best source for analysis of labor issues, one of the best sources of macroeconomic analysis, and in general a bastion of humane clarity. The institute’s success demonstrates just how powerful it is when you combine intellectual integrity with commitment, when you make a point of doing the math right, but also never forget that you stand for something….

Put it this way: I’ve had a number of meetings with senior officials along with other progressive economists, and I always feel that of the group, Larry Mishel is talking the most sense — and, whaddya know, agreeing with me.

Continue reading

Virtual Teach-In with Dean Baker

Via Plutocracy Files:

I’m extremely pleased to present the most recent Occupied Media installment, our interview with economist Dean Baker. Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. He regularly blogs at Beat the Press, which features commentary on economic reporting.

We discuss Dr. Baker’s diagnosis and prescriptions for the economy. Unlike most of the econ folks I’ve spoken with, Dr. Baker expressed specific concern with our trade imbalances and argues making the dollar more competitive is important for recovery from our short-term economic crisis. Additionally, Dr. Baker has some really interesting ideas for tackling the housing crisis, including giving foreclosed upon homeowners the right to rent their former home for a significant period of time – an interesting solution that would give homeowners in default much-needed leverage in their negotiations with lenders.

Virtual Teach-In with Josh Zinner | New from OccupiedMedia

Another installment in a series of virtual teach-ins designed to bring the great minds of our day to the multitude of smaller occupations across the globe.

Missoulian Taryn Hart and attorney Josh Zinner, co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (http://www.nedap.org) discuss how predatory lending practices led to the housing bubble.

Tricia Opstad

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2270467473812                — The Link to the video

video from the 1st general assembly in Missoula on Oct. 8, 2011, next general assembly is tonight at 5pm on the Missoula Courthouse lawn. Working group meetings at 4pm.

Interview with Dr. Jeff Madrick

Update: the interview with Dr. Madrick has been posted at Plutocracy files:

Occupied Media: Interview with Jeff Madrick

Here’s the first segment:

Watch the rest of the interview at Plutocracy Files, or the OccupyMissoula YouTube channel.


Good work everyone – I’ve been busy getting an interview of Jeff Madrick – hopefully, we’ll be able to post it tomorrow. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Madrick, here he is:

John (Buckallew) , Taryn, Willow, and Wade,

I’ve hooked up with Paul Shockey (you can read our emails on the gmail acct). He’s a videographer and photographer who wants to help get us going on a livefeed, and get a youtube channel and flickr acct rolling. he’ll be at the occupation wed night and at the GA. hopefully you guys can meet and chat…