Americans are finally joining the rest of the oppressed world in protesting against corruption at the highest levels of government—not in Washington, but in Wall Street and the corporatocracy for which it stands, for there is where the real power in Washington lies. Thousands of people of all walks of life—well maybe not conservative Republicans—are occupying Wall Street in protest of corporate greed that has led to the polluting of our planet, people loosing jobs and their homes and the rising cost of basic commodities because of market speculators and devious accounting methods.
There is a growing grassroots movement—not the Astroturf kind or the genetically modified, fertilized, and liberally (I know, liberal is a foreign word to these folks, but it still fits here) sprinkled with herbicides to kill all competitors', kind of grassroots movements—popping up all America who are not fighting big government, but rather big business. They want the government to put big business in its place, not be bought out by it.
I’m referring to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and it is happening, not just in Manhattan, but in cities all over our nation. For the last several weeks, a growing number of people, who are fed up with corporate greed, have set up camp, albeit without tents, in Liberty Plaza. The group is growing daily and recently over 700 protesters had been arrested by the NYPD for obstructing traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge; a set-up from the reports coming in. Incidentally, the NYPD has recently received a 4.6 million dollar donation from J.P. Morgan Chase. I just have to ask if this is why the police are so diligent in keeping these peaceful protesters in line. The police have even been ordered to not accept donuts from protesters in the square. There have even been incidents of protesters being maced by over eager officers.
Do these protesters have the answers to America’s problems? I don’t know, but they are no longer satisfied with complaining about problems, they are pulling themselves away from the comfort of home and making themselves be seen and heard; enough’s enough. And that’s where change starts.
We have got to start looking at new ways to solve our national problems instead of doing the same things over and over hoping that the next time will work for sure. Think about it; if we keep smashing our head against the wall we may eventually break through, but what about the damage done to our head? Many feel that the solution to one of our current problems is the creation of more jobs; but is that really the answer to our problems? Ask the working poor who may have several jobs and work more than forty hours a week if job creation is the answer to their problems.
Just creating more work is not the answer; our whole economy needs restructuring because we are placing more value on stuff instead of us. When job creation means the removal of mountaintops and raping the earth to squeeze out every drop of oil and extract every chunk of coal to the detriment of the air we breathe and the water we drink, is that worth the jobs created? Arsonists keep firemen busy, along with all the trades that must rebuild after the fire, but does that justify the arsonist?
Our whole economy depends on growth to stay alive; no city can maintain zero growth and expect to remain viable. But when does the growth become too much? America became the economic power we have come to rely on because we had more room to grow than Europe or Asia did. After World War II came the Baby-boomer's who fueled the need for more of everything, but now smaller families are the norm so growth can only come from having more people, either by convincing Americans to start having larger families or by encouraging more immigration, either one is unlikely to happen. But, if by chance it does, could we still keep a healthy growth without eventually depleting our natural resources? Just how far do we want to go in gambling our children’s futures away?
So since Wall Street and our elected representatives are not listening to the people-–remember We the People that our Constitution was written for? —It is time we speak up and protest. It is time we come up with a new economy that values teachers more than hedge fund managers, an economy that values us as humans, not just as consumers, and one that values our children’s future. We must come up with new ideas to accomplish this, so let’s start thinking and start acting—just as they are on Wall Street right now.
To follow this event, keep listening to NPR or go to www.alternet.org and www.occupytogether.org. Learn how you can be a part of it. Be a part of it.
And if you must, I’m sure the Corporate Faux News Reporters will have their own spin on what’s happening.