Tuesday, October 4, 2011
So, Where's the Beef?
Some of you have asked, "Just what is it that the #occupywallstreet protestors want?" At the end of my personal answer to that question, I will send you to some links that may lend a bit of clarity. The links contain both a partial draft of demands as well as two essays that decry the need for any synthesis of demands. Take your pick. But read all.
The protesters want lots of things. Mainly, they want to participate in our democracy. At this point, they (WE) not only FEEL left out of the democratic process, WE are left out. And (WE'VE)they've done all "the right stuff." A good percentage here at the beginning, have bleak futures because of corporate America's running a huge gambling casino with taxpayers' money and lives.
So, the protest movement began as.....an honest effort to gain the country's attention. Little more. Everywhere we look, things are not working for the "average" American; the economy, the environment, the health care system, the Congress, clean energy, green infrastructure, immigration, the list is long...in fact, can you think of an area where America is doing just fine, thank you very much? I can't. At least for 99% of us. For the 1%, it seems to be working just fine....
The Movement is a megaphone for change...real change. The change that Obama promised and promptly forgot when he moved into the cushy White House. And we have done all the right things: gone to school, gotten an education, written our Congressman, sent faxes to the White House, organized groups of every stripe to MAKE this government work...but the "right stuff" still hasn't worked. We've all been feeling that it's not working. But for so long, we've been scared to voice our fears, bludgeoned as we've been by TV's Faux News and likes of Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, et al, and so-called "religious"-far-right-Tea-Parties, etc. Yes, we've been AFRAID. Afraid, even, to voice our concerns in private for fear we're going to offend relatives, friends and neighbors, fearing isolation, backlash, criticism, and even physical harm.
But it turns out, we've ALL been feeling the same....at least 99% of us...and it's not just one thing. It's EVERYTHING! How can we possibly condense it all into a finite, defined, boxed-in message when EVERYTHING IS WRONG??!!
Right now, the occupation, itself, IS THE MESSAGE. It shows what we've all been thinking. It doesn't need anything more at the moment. Indeed, the spreading of the protest is a huge story in and of itself. People are coming out of the shadows, voicing their concerns, their fears, their frustrations, their outrage.....I guess the one sign that really got my attention yesterday was the soldier holding up the cardboard that read: I've fought for my country twice, but this is the first time I know my enemy..."
So check out these links:
But, for those of you who insist on seeing something "concrete," who need the security of specificity, here is a link to the beginnings of an on-going draft by those with boots on the ground there on Wall Street:
Check this out at http://www.occupytogether.org/ Here you will also find a Working Draft of the Principles of Solidarity.
We are such an "instant," take-a-pill society. We are impatient. We demand "now." "Unfolding" doesn't set well with people who Twitter and Tweet and Droid and Tablet and get the results of a football game, practically before it's played ....Waiting for something to happen, just isn't cool. But that's where we're "at" folks. This is an unfolding. It is "leaderless" because the protesters know that everyone there has some reason to be there. By that very fact, everyone is, in some way, "leading." To shift the balance to the Union heads, to a political party, to a lobbying group to speak "on behalf" of the protesters.....would kill the movement. All focus, then, would be back to doing what hasn't worked. And that's not the way a "Movement" succeeds. This time, let's hope we get it right.
It's going to take awhile. It's not going to gel overnight. It's not going to happen without rancor within the ranks....but bear with the process; help it along; tell your friends and neighbors about the occupations that are popping up all over the country. Surprise, surprise: many still don't know.
BTW, if you're wanting to head for DC to the big demonstration there and need a ride, go here: http://www.yrides.com/ Matter of fact, if you're going anywhere and are in need of a ride, check it out!
The protesters are also in need of a lot of things to keep them going. They need hats, coats, blankets, tarps...the list is long. Somewhere online, there is a master list of what they need. Can't seem to re-find it at the moment, but when I do, I'll post it here. Meanwhile, take your pick of items you think they could use and send to:
118a Fulton Street #205
New York, New York 10038
Attn: Occupy Wall Street
A list of things currently needed is at: http://nycga.cc/category/requests/
Yesterday on Global Revolution Live, it was fun watching them open the boxes that UPS had delivered to them, which included one whole box of fresh pineapple from Maui Hawaii! That fell into the "comfort" category of donations they'd received.
Finally, this: (you might find it interesting that China is watching....):
And wish them well!