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Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street; Occupy Albuquerque; Occupy Chicago!

Occupy Together!  And, while we're at it, let's Get Money Out! 

I've been following the Occupy movements since September 18th, the second day of Occupy Wall Street.  I remember those early complaints about "Just a few dozen people!  Who cares?"  Within two weeks the movement began to spread with lightening speed, and now, only four weeks after it began, the  Occupation Movement is international with thousands of occupations everywhere, and the number of people who are involved is in the tens of thousands.

I was excited to see the beginnings of this widespread protest movement, as I had been telling friends that I didn't think anything would change unless we saw large numbers of citizens marching down the streets of our large cities.

Now, the Occupy movements are very diverse in terms of philosophy and methods.  Most of the "occupy" groups are casually aligned, but there are many other groups, some backed by unions, some backed by community housing activists and activists for the poor, some anti-war groups, who may or may not be working in common.

There are people who are advocating cancellation of all debt; there are anti-capitalist groups, there are the anarchists; there are communist groups, there are libertarians--- mostly young people who are followers of Ron Paul; there are people ranting against neoliberalism and unions; others who are in favor of unions.  There is a huge diversity of people, goals, philosophies, and politics.  People are dumping garbage from foreclosed homes in Bank of America branches, people are blocking sheriffs from evicting people, people are marching on mortgage banker's conventions, people keep trying to march down Wall Street itself.

As diverse as these groups are in aim, organization, and tactics; I think it is fair to say that most of these groups and the people working with them share one or two major beliefs:  They believe that government in traditional democratic republics, liberal democracies, whatever you want to call them, is not working for the overwhelming majority of the people.  Due to the influence of campaign finance and lobbyists, traditional democracies are corrupt and true representative democracy has ceased to exist.

They also believe that the rampant income and wealth inequality is wrong; the idea that CEO's and corporate owners can bank millions and billions while other people who have worked, gone to school, tried to work or go to school, have nothing, is wrong and needs to stop-- somehow. .      

I strongly agree with the sentiments on the photo I downloaded from Facebook at the top of the page.  I'm not against capitalism, by any means, but the self-corrections of the market, one of the pre-eminent free enterprise principles, can't work with mega corporations, can't work when government is bought off by these mega corporations, and can't provide for many things that don't have a price tag, such as clean water and clean air, public education, assistance for the elderly, the disabled, the indigent, the unemployed.

Here's a retired gentleman who stopped by the Occupy Albuquerque site who talks about what he believes need to be done.  My thoughts closely align with his.

Finally, Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC has started a great push for an amendment to the Constituion to Get Money Out!  Stop by that website and sign the petition.  Almost 200,000 people have signed and supported this amendment; there's still a long ways to go!

My Earlier Posts on the "Occupy" Movement:


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