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Occupy BloNo Protests Money in Politics and Appearance by Condoleezza Rice

Occupy BloNo protested Friday afternoon outside an Aaron Shock (R-IL) fundraiser, at which former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke and signed copies of her new book.

Occupy BloNo organized the protest to call attention to the role money plays in politics, and also criticized the honoring of Condoleezza Rice. Occupy participants protested Rice’s involvement in the illegal and unconstitutional wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The protest was first held in front of the residence of State Farm vice-president Mary Crego on Longwood Street, on Bloomington’s Eastside, where the fundraiser was scheduled to take place. Local press was present and interviewed protesters, but it was soon evident that due to the protest the event was moved in secret to a different location.


Occupation of Lancaster’s Restaurant

Occupy BloNo discovered by following a late invited guest that the event was moved to Lancaster’s Restaurant in downtown Bloomington. About 40 people assembled in front of the restaurant, entered the lobby, and read using the people’s mic the Declaration of the New York City Occupation. Police arrived after a few minutes, and protesters continued the reading of the declaration outside the restaurant.

As fundraiser attendees left the restaurant, many with signed copies of Condoleezza Rice’s book, the spirited protest lasted for about an hour.


Local Media Coverage

It should be mentioned that reports in the press did not cover the subsequent Occupy BloNo rally at Lancaster’s. For a detailed account of what transpired, visit Digital Occupation.
Occupy Members Protest Campaign Fundraiser – WEEK/WHOI
Occupy BloNo Protests Outside Shock Fundraiser – WGLT


24 thoughts on “Occupy BloNo Protests Money in Politics and Appearance by Condoleezza Rice

  1. YAY y’all!!!!!!! i will begin paying more attention to my emails. THANK YOU. sincerely.

    Posted by joan fassett | November 13, 2011, 4:08 am
  2. Corey, I’m in full agreement with you and the rest of the BloNo crowd that there needs to be campaign finance reform. However, until that happens, what is wrong with helping candidates that one likes? Or, have the possibility to help bring jobs, reform, better education, etc., etc, etc.. For the best and brightest to help our country by serving in public office, they need money to get there.

    To be consistent, I would like to see the BloNo crowd protest the next local democratic fund raiser. That is, IF that’s what you are really upset about. If not, that’s OK, but be consistent please.

    BTW, at this event, there was no “dinner” or “plates”. Or, $2500.00. So… nothing wrong with creating buzz for your cause, but that is pure sensationalized misinformation.

    Posted by C. Denver | November 13, 2011, 1:03 pm
  3. Thanks for the reply, C. Denver. I can’t speak for the Occupy BloNo group as a whole, but from what I understand of their protest, they were protesting the role of money in politics in general, as well as the role Condoleezza Rice played in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I understand, and agree with, your argument that money plays a role in both the Republican and Democratic Parties. I think many in the Occupy group would agree with you. Anyone can attend the General Assemblies and suggest an action, and protesting a major Democratic fundraiser would definitely get a hearing.

    I had heard, from the mainstream media, that the dinner cost the attendees up to $2500 plate. . I will take this down until I can have it confirmed or corrected. Thanks for your input!

    Posted by coreymattson | November 14, 2011, 9:21 pm
  4. WGLT reported that tickets cost $250 to $2500 to attend the event. I’m not sure if this is correct, but I was mistaken to say earlier there was one fee at $2500. Thanks to C. Denver for the correction. Since Occupy BloNo’s point in the protest was not the specific money amount of the ticket price, I’ll leave that out of the article.

    Posted by coreymattson | November 14, 2011, 9:28 pm
  5. I think you are missing the point here about campaign finance reform. You seem to go after political donors and corporations but ignore the fact that the largest donors in recent history are unions. At least people get to choose where their money goes, unions collect dues and their leadership chooses who to support. It is not fair to the worker when this happens. Also, might I remind you that in the 2008 elections Wall St. overwhelmingly supported Obama and the Democrats. Why not protest Washington? They are the ones that got us into the mess in the first place. I do not support your cause one bit do to the political bias. If you were fair and started protesting all “corruption” you would garner more support.. Also, social justice is part of the problem. For years many administrations have been instilling social justce programs whether you realize it or not. That is why entitlement spending is at 44% of the annual deficit and part of the 15 trillion dollar problem. I encourage you to do some research into your ideas dating back not to just recent history. Look overseas, that is the product of social justice and “economic equality”. It is a joke and like may others, I fear that we are down the same path as Greece… Remember this, if the government becomes the “1%” you will no longer have a choice, a voice, and we will all be equal and get the same…. the bare minimum….. be careful for which you wish for, you might just get it.

    God Bless and Peace Be Upon You,

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 5:49 pm
  6. Please elaborate, cite sources and legislative descisions on the following statement:

    ” illegal and unconstitutional wars in Afghanistan and Iraq”

    remember that blanketed unfounded statements do not help credibility…

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 6:46 pm
  7. Might I remind you of the 3000+ U.S. citizens that died on 9/11… might I remind you of Al Qaeda and the Taliban government that harbored them, might I remind you of the commitment this country has to defend our borders and freedoms outlined by the Constitution. That is what made Afghanistan legal and legitimate. Might I remind you of all the U.N. resolutions that Hussein broke that gave us authority ro take him out. Might I remind you of the U.N. oil for food scandal that swayed the “minds” of the U.N. to not support our war. They were to busy making billions illegally with Hussein’s oil rahter than paying attention to the safety and rights of his citizens. Might I remind you that the Iraqi’s now know what freedom is… at the cost of our brave military. Might I remind you that this America.. land of the free, the brave, and ultimately the last true entity if Liberty!!

    God Bless and Peace Be Upon You,

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 7:02 pm
  8. Thanks for your contribution, Jeff. I assume that when you say “you seem to go after….” that you don’t mean me personally but the movement as a whole. I can speak for my own opinions, but might have something to say about the movement as well.

    I disagree that it was Washington alone that got us in this mess, but I wouldn’t leave the politicians out. Occupy’s target is Wall Street because they have too much economic and political power, and their paid-for servants in Washington do their bidding. Wall Street is a fitting target, but Occupiers are in Washington as well. A few weeks ago, 1000s of protesters were arrested protesting the disastrous proposal of the tars sand oil pipeline, which won incidentally. This movement, while technically not Occupy, is connected to it and part of what has been a bubbling up of activity all year, starting with the worker revolt in Wisconsin. There is also a continual occupation in Washington D.C.

    As for bias in the movement, the Occupy movement has general assemblies where any person in the community can propose an action or event to be supported. I’ve been to them in Bloomington-Normal and they are pretty open to protesting all corruption. They are independent of the two political parties, surprisingly so given how so many political organizations take a side for one party or the other, when both are business parties that don’t differ that much on economic questions (that last part is my opinion).

    We’re also in disagreement on some other fundamental ideas. I think unions have the right to counter the money of business in the electoral arena. Union leaders are elected by their memberships; if we unionists don’t like our leaderships (and I have to say, I would like to see some major change here) we should get involved and change them. I’m pro-union, being a member of a union and seeing them as the only element of democracy on the job. I also think that social spending is one important part of government to defend — social security and Medicare, for instance — corporate welfare and military spending is where we should be cutting.

    On your criticism of “illegal and unconstitutional wars,” I thought there was ample evidence in the early 2000s for these claims and didn’t have time and space to qualify the statement. Perhaps its inclusion doesn’t meet the “objective” standards of mainstream reporting, but I have to say, what counts as mainstream reporting these days is pretty biased itself and oftentimes pathetic. If I’ve lost credibility with this one line, the Slantagraph should have lost all credibility a long time ago. I’ll continue to think about journalistic style and so-called objectivity.

    Thanks for your contribution! Peace….

    Posted by coreymattson | November 20, 2011, 7:17 pm
  9. You want to protest money in politics… here is where you should start…..

    gee, seems like all the top 15 are either unions or union controlled and OVERWHELMINGLY support Democrats of whic whom support OWS? HMM…. what is odd about this?? Oh yeah, you tend to just attack conservative groups, ideas, and “those evil corporations” of which donate billions a year to their communities. Heck, look at all the money on this towm that is donated by the top 5 businesses to charity and to schools. You fail to realize the problem is government…. once you see that, you will see your message is flawed.

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 7:19 pm
  10. It was the imperialist interventions in the Middle East — U.S. government support for Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime and the building of the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan — that helped bring about catastrophic results years later. Talk about flip-flopping! U.S. intervention can only continue to produce destruction and instability in the world, resulting in more chaos and militarism. I don’t believe for a second that the U.S. is in the Middle to insure safety and democracy…. the military’s involvement is sure to impede democracy. Iraq today does not look like a great model of democracy. Hundreds of millions of people have died there in the last two decades, by both Clinton’s sanctions and then Bush’s disastrous wars. Saddam’s terrible law against worker rights and union organizing is still upheld!

    Posted by coreymattson | November 20, 2011, 7:26 pm
  11. On the fact that some national unions are at the top of the political donor list, this is because they pool resources from locals nationwide, in a single national organization. When you add up all the corporate and business donations, and compare them to unions, the corporate donations outspend unions by a gigantic margin. There is clearly much more business influence, in terms of amount of money and # of lobbyists.

    Posted by coreymattson | November 20, 2011, 7:42 pm
  12. “. I don’t believe for a second that the U.S. is in the Middle to insure safety and democracy…. the military’s involvement is sure to impede democracy. ”

    This speaks volumes… you base “facts” on your assumptions. If you fail to realize, we are out this year militarily and in many provinces have already been out.

    “It was the imperialist interventions in the Middle East” this is just plain old rhetoric NOT based in fact but BASED by the words you use to drum up support. Many young impressionable minds like to hear buzz workds like this when they are spoken too. Sad, you have no clue on the the topics you speak of….

    ” Iraq today does not look like a great model of democracy” this is your opinion, go ask the Iraqi’s, this version of democracy is far better than what they had before. They now have freedom of speech and assembly… they never had that before. Terrible rights against unions??? Hmm… never heard you guys protest China? OH WAIT… you mean the same China whiich lends us billions? The same billions we use for social justice programs? The same billions we used to pay the unions under the stimulus??? The same billions which straddle us as a nation with debt for decades to come? Hmm…. could this contradict your cause?? YOU BET!!!

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 7:48 pm
  13. I will agree to disagree… we all have a voice and opinion. By the way, in the 1950’s military spending was half the budget…. entitlement spending was less than 10%… today military spending is around 25% and entitlement spending is almost half. Entitlements must be cut…. look at Greece… Illinois… California… ETC….

    I will agree the “slantagraph” is terrible. Did you see they are outsourcing their printing and packing now? Gee… could be the lack of support because of their poor journalism? Occupy them!!

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 7:54 pm
  14. Under current laws and judicial decisons by the Supreme Court, both Unions and Corporations have the right to donate money that is capped to a certain amount. The reason corporations donate more is simple, their are more corporations than unions…. simple math. Remember this, without Wall Street there is no Main Street…. BTW… pensions are a thing of the past, 401k’s are what the unions need to be using. Public sector unions also need to comtribute more to their benefits. There are not enought tax payer dollars to support luxurious pensions politicians have agreed upon. It is not the worker, it is the union leadership and the politicians that spend their money….. I really REALLY encourage you to dig deeper into subjects which concern you…. bumper sticker slogans and talking points only go so far……

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:00 pm
  15. Lobbyists??? Well, I thought Obama’s pledge was to get rid of lobbyists (sarcasm) ????? Oh yeah, his administration “redefined” the term “lobbysist” to suit their needs….. if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…. you know the rest…

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:03 pm
  16. James P. Terry, SJD, LLM, Principal Chairman of the Board of Veteran’s Appeals at the Department of Veterans Affairs, wrote in a July 1, 2004 Naval War College Review article titled “A Legal Appraisal of Military Action in Iraq”:”The determination by the George W. Bush administration to enter Iraq and remove the regime of Saddam Hussein from power in early 2003 followed twelve years of Iraqi violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Prior to the decision by the United States and its coalition partners to intervene in Iraq with military force, Saddam Hussein had done everything possible to avoid complying with the will of the international community. Of the twenty-six demands made by the Security Council since 1990, Iraq had complied with only three…

    Peter Goldsmith, QC, PC, Attorney General of the UK at the time of the quote, stated in a Mar. 7, 2003 article titled “Legal Basis for Use of Force Against Iraq” on the Office of the Prime Minister’s website:”Authority to use force against Iraq exists from the combined effect of resolutions 678, 687 and 1441. All of these resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which allows the use of force for the express purpose of restoring international peace and security:…

    3. A material breach of resolution 687 revives the authority to use force under resolution 678.

    4. In resolution 1441 the Security Council determined that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of resolution 687, because it has not fully complied with its obligations to disarm under that resolution.

    5. The Security Council in resolution 1441 gave Iraq “a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations” and warned Iraq of the “serious consequences” if it did not.

    6. The Security Council also decided in resolution 1441 that, if Iraq failed at any time to comply with and cooperate fully in the implementation of resolution 1441, that would constitute a further material breach.

    7. It is plain that Iraq has failed so to comply and therefore Iraq was at the time of resolution 1441 and continues to be in material breach.

    8. Thus, the authority to use force under resolution 678 has revived and so continues today.”

    Colin Powell, MBA, US Secretary of State at the time of the quote, stated in a Mar. 16, 2003 interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week:”We have had timelines, we have had deadlines, and we have had benchmarks. The problem is Iraq is not complying. Iraq is playing the United Nations and playing some of our friends in the permanent membership of the Security Council like a fiddle.

    It’s a game and the problem is strictly on the shoulders of Saddam Hussein who is not complying with the simple instructions of 1441 and all the previous resolutions. And we cannot get ourselves confused about what the problem is. The problem is Iraqi noncompliance and non-cooperation with the inspectors and with the will of the United Nations.”

    In Iraq, the coalition led by the United States and the United Kingdom was responding to an attack on the very effectiveness of the United Nations security system, by seeking redress for repeated violations of Security Council resolutions. If not addressed directly, these violations would have done irreparable harm to the minimum world order system represented by Article 2(4) and Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, to the peace and security of the region, and to the well-being of the Iraqi people.”

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:19 pm
  17. part of the oil for food scandal that “swayed” the minds of U.N. members to go to war:

    the root cause was money!! Greed!! The same thing you protest!! Maybe you should protest the U.N. for its greediness rather than its willingness to liberate the people of Iraq!! Odd, “corporate greed” trumped “the rights and security” of the Iraqi people… but yet your “ideals” support the U.N.’s greed and and turn a blind eye to the U.S.A.’s commitment to the resolutions to secure the safety of the Iraqi people. Contradiction of beliefs? You bet….

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:24 pm
  18. You might ask why I am so passionate about my beliefs. Let me explain to you a few things. I am a first generation American. My family came to America under political asylum. He fought against the socialist ideas in Germany under Hitler and he returned home after WWII to Hungary to help fight the communist rule. What him and I discussed for many years was astounding. The promises Germany made to their people and how ulitmaltely it was a huge failure masked in propaganda… how the communists trashed and abused the culture and livelyhoods of the Hungarians for political and economical gains…. I could go on and on. What disturbs me about all of his wisdom, was his fear of the direction America is headed today. He recognizes all of the demonizing, the promises, the “faces” in politics that are decieving… he recognized the system of “duping” the masses guised with promises for power. He passed away 10 months ago… his message is still alive and well with me. I am not saying this country is headed towards communism, but I am saying the “socialist” ideals that have crept into this society is downright scary. Look towards any socialist society and name one success??? You can’t, they are all on the verge of economical collapse. Eventually you run out of other peoples money and when taxes stifle all competition and the will of the people to innovate, yue see the decline and can smell the stagnent stinch of political tension. We are a nation of opportunities… we are all free and equal, what you make of it is your choice. It is not the governments job to pick the winners and losers, it is not their job to play the role of “Robinhood”, it is not the job of rhe government to punish success and reward failure….. when these become the ideals of the government you will see comeplete failure. maybe we are already there, 15 trillion in debt… entitlement obligations that are unfunded… and the willingness to blame others but themselves. I pray everyday things will get better, but how can it get better when our own government will address the TRUE problem… THEMSELVES. You should really occupy D.C….. I could give you 100’s of reasons why, but they will contradict your ideals and goals (whatever they really are)……

    God Bless and Peace Be Upon You,

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:42 pm
  19. Tsk Tsk Tsk…. leadership always has issues and your leadership is really no difference…. we call these types “limousine liberals”… you know, the “do as I say but not as I do ” crowd? i.e. Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Obama, Barney Frank, Etc…. pretty much all of the elite Dems and people in Hollywood…. you know, the same people who are supporting OWS for “political gains” and slobber over the power (so-called) they wish to have or already have? YEP!!!

    Two Occupy Wall Street protesters, one a key leader of the movement, stayed at a swanky, $700-per-night New York City hotel while their fellow protesters camped out in Zuccotti Park, the New York Post reported.

    Peter Dutro, a member of Occupy Wall Street’s finance committee, and Brad Spitzer, a California-based analyst who attended demonstrations during a business trip, both stayed in the W New York Downtown Hotel last week, with Spitzer reportedly opening his room up to other protesters as well.

    According to its website, the W calls itself “the ultimate urban extravagance” with a state-of the-art entertainment system and 350-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, goose-down comforters and pillows. It even invites guests to unleash their “inner Gordon Gekko” in the fitness center, a reference to Michael Douglas’ character in “Wall Street.”

    The Post reported:

    “Tents are not for me,” [Spitzer] confessed, when confronted in the sleek black lobby of the Washington Street hotel where sources described him as a “repeat” guest.

    Spitzer, 24, an associate at financial-services giant Deloitte, which netted $29 billion in revenue last year, admitted he joined the protest at Zuccotti Park several times.

    “I’m staying here for work,” said Spitzer, dressed down in a company T-shirt and holding a backpack and his suitcase. “I do finance, but I support it still.”

    Hotel sources told the Post Spitzer brought other Occupy participants to the hotel room and ordered a roll-out bed for his guests.

    “He’s here all the time,” a source said. “We all see him at the protest.”

    Spitzer denied hosting protesters and said he only invited a blogger friend of his up so he could clean up after spending time at the camp.

    Dutro, 35, reportedly checked in Wednesday night after police cleared the park, despite living nearby in Brooklyn.

    According to the Post:

    [Dutro] said he spent $500 of his own money to get the room because he wanted a good night’s rest ahead of the cause’s two-month ceremony the next day and raucous post-raid protests.

    Peter Dutro, a member of Occupy Wall Street’s finance committee, also reportedly stayed at the swanky hotel. (Image source: New York Post)
    “I knew . . . there was a high probability of getting arrested,” he said. “I wanted a nice room. That’s OK. Not everybody there is dirt poor.”

    He paid for the palace with his American Express card.

    “It is an expensive hotel. Whatever,” he said.

    He told the newspaper he chose the hotel for convenience, not luxury, saying he’s “not in the business of throwing money away” and that it was “the only room I could find.”

    He also said he did his part to take care of his fellow protesters in less-fancy accommodations.

    “I took food to all those churches,” he said. “I got them cigarettes.”

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:50 pm
  20. Ahh…. this is great and speaks volumes to the failure of the OWS movement….. they proved their “society” failed without even knowing. Even thought this is a comical, it speaks volumes to the true joke of OWS and its failures!!

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 20, 2011, 8:56 pm
  21. I don’t have time to respond to everything here. But I want to take issue with your claim that my arguments are based on rhetoric. The issues involve facts, sure, and history, power relations, and how those facts are interpreted. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, that’s fine, but I disagree with your claim that I don’t base my opinions on fact and argument. There’s plenty in what you said above that I could say is rhetoric and unfactual, and plenty of assumptions about what my positions are, and those of Occupy, without really knowing…. I’m not going to catalogue them, but it didn’t take long to find what I thought were straw person arguments and red herrings. But I think we should resist this kind of attack in argument and deal with the issues in a reasonable and respectful way.

    Posted by coreymattson | November 20, 2011, 9:59 pm
  22. I am being repsectftul. Nothing I said was disrespectful. Don’t have time to answer each post? Why not?? Doesn’t look like you get much traffic other than me? Also, I participate on this forum, you run it. You SHOULD respond and “catalogue” things to defend the ideas and priniciples of this site, otherwise what you say and do could be perceived as rhetoric and the inability to back up your statements. Assumptions?? Turn on the TV, go to YouTube, etc… why would I want to hop on the OWS bandwagon when it is plagued with anti-semitism, violence, rape, muder, law breaking, and supported by groups with ideals contrary to the Constitution?

    “But I think we should resist this kind of attack in argument and deal with the issues in a reasonable and respectful way.”

    Attack? I am stating my views, observations, and opinions in a respectful manner. You have failed on many fronts to actually combat any of my posts, you have failed to back up your rhetoric (by definition your words are rhetoric), and you have failed to sway my opinion of OWS. See, I think you created this site with the intention of supporters getting together and talking amongst each other, I applaud the effort. What I do not applaud, is the fact that when faced with an opposing voice, you have not done a very good job of being a voice of this website. I mean come on, the forums are empty of posts, empty of support for you ideals, and most of all… you as the sole voice tonight have done a poor job combatting my statements. I use rhetoric on this forum as to challenge you and the OWS movement. what have you done to combat that?? Use “buzz” words laced in rhetoric, you made blanketed statements you fail to back up, and you make excuses why you can’t reply to each post. Come on, I love debate!! Use reason, logic, facts, figures, examples, etc…. then I will show you my true capability to debate. I can tell you are frustrated with me, but as an opposing voice that is my goal.

    Good Night, Good Luck and God Bless!!!

    Posted by Jeff W. | November 21, 2011, 12:35 am


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