"This Is Not A One-Day Demonstration, We're Not Leaving"We've all heard it, progressives complaining about the general state of affairs in this country. Especially since past hopes have turned into something more like rope a dope. But the big question remains, what action are you going to take as an individual to do something about it?
I strongly suggest you get involved with a new movement. It's called the Occupy Wall Street movement. Someone at Fox News dubbed it a "tea party for progressives", but definitely without the stupid part. I don't mean to scare you off but, it will take your actual involvement on some level if the movement is to survive and grow.
This summer a few brave internet and social media savvy philosophical progressives decided to do something about the problems this country faces instead of letting the corporate oligarchy and incompetent politicians demoralize, fracture and degrade humanity any further. The non-violent Occupy Wall Street September 17th idea was born. The movement was modeled after the Arab Spring leaderless protests. Like the uprisings in the Middle East, social media would be used to organize and disseminate information about the movement.
People behind this movement knew in their hearts that our political system, politicians and elections have become so corrupted that direct action would be necessary. They believe that both major political parties have become useless tools when it comes to dealing with the problems that face us as a nation. Additionally, the mainstream media cannot be trusted or is so compromised that it is unable to report the truth about what is really happening.
Meetings were held in New York, coalitions were formed and a General Assembly of all the participating organizations was created. These groups were comprised predominantly of ordinary citizens. The assemblies decided they were not going to be relying on traditional progressive political groups like unions and others for help. They wanted it to be a pluralistic broad based movement open to all men and women of good will. An occupation of Wall Street was planned because this US financial center represented a symbol and nexus of the many problems that America now faces.
September 17th was chosen as the day the protest and occupation of Wall Street would begin. Meetings were held throughout the summer and a consensus was reached on a number of important issues the assembly wanted addressed.
“The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” said a statement on the website Occupy Wall Street. According to statements on the website, the movement, an offshoot of on-line magazine Adbusters, is angered by what it calls the principle of “profit over and above all else,” which it says has dominated not only America’s economic policies, but also the way in which Americans view culture and humanity."Thousands of people participated in protests in New York, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other US cities yesterday. Solidarity protests also took place in Madrid, Milan, London, Barcelona and Paris. The demonstrations were organized by a group of loosely knit organizations with names like Occupy Wall Street, US Day Of Rage, US Uncut, Adbusters Magazine, We are the 99% and Anonymous.
At this moment many of the protesters are still camped out in a park near Wall Street and their intent is to stay there until their demands are realized. During the occupation the group will continue to hold assemblies. The idea from the beginning was to occupy turf where leaderless "general assemblies" would deal with keeping the occupation going and then begin honing the group's list of demands. The group also intends on having fun while camping, doing things like street yoga and creating political theater.
"The police ask to speak to the leader. We told them that there is no leader. They didn't understand. "September 17th was only the beginning of the protests. A beachhead occupation has now been established by the protesters in a park in the financial district and the protesters are intent on staying there for as long as they think it's necessary. Their hope is that other fed up citizens will be inspired to join them and participate in more protests.
Occupy Wall Street protesters need your help. The next few days will be critical to the ultimate success of the movement. What can you do? If you are in the New York area you should make plans to visit the Wall Street encampment and join in the protests for that day or you may even consider camping for a night or two. The protesters need provisions and food also. They are now located in Zucotti Park (which the protesters have renamed Liberty Plaza) near Wall Street.
If you can't go to Wall Street then you can follow news of the occupation on twitter and facebook. Follow the hash tag #OWSNews or #occupywallstreet or #takewallstreet on twitter for updates and news reports. Tell your friends and family members about what's going on and get involved in supporting the protesters in any way you see fit. Join in an upcoming protest related to Occupy Wall Street and US Day Of Rage movement in your area. Post videos and write stories about the movement and protests on your blog. Call main stream media outlets and ask them why they are not covering the protests. The organizers also hope to have a publicly accessible google document they are calling OWS Anti-spin machine 4000 up and running soon.
I think the Occupy Wall Street Movement offers a special opportunity. In order for it to be successful it will need broad citizen participation.