It is with my sincerest apologies that I cannot demonstrate in person as often as I’d like to offer my personal presence. I can, however, offer my words, and I hope that some people will find meaning in them. I hope you will share them, and help others find meaning and purpose as well. To each according to his ability.
Thank you, -Gabriel S.
“I’ve been following the occupy protest for some time now, from before the media was in blackout mode to the full-on circus surrounding it today. It’s gone from a very small movement to something very real, something larger than we probably could have imagined almost a month ago. There is a growing sense that the masses of the disenfranchised, the working poor, the increasingly destitute and those who have found themselves thrust out of the middle class my finally be collecting together and crying out: “Enough!”
Success comes with some unfortunate side effects, however. I’ve heard from several friends that the Occupy Tucson planning meeting turned into a circus, with every group with a grievance against the government and corporations vying to make Occupy Tucson about their specific source of grief.
Occupy Everything is not the war. It is, in fact, barely the first battle! It is a shot across the bow of the corporate institutions that have hijacked the checks and balances that our government relies on to operate fairly for its own citizens. The United States has a long and often times embarrassing history, as any country does. On the other hand, we’ve made a lot of progress as a country towards making things fair for everybody. There’s no doubt that there’s still progress that could be made, and some historical grievances that merit some sort of compensation, or at the least, an honest admission of culpability. But I would wager that nobody alive today who is participating in Occupy Everything has ever owned a slave, taken the land of a Native American, forced anybody into indentured servitude, annexed part of another country, exploited a group to build a railroad, or any other number of very real grievances against the United States.
Occupy needs to remain a movement with a united purpose towards reestablishing rules of fairness in terms of corporate regulation, tax reform, campaign finance reform, and the growing chasm between the emerging oligarchy of the wealthy over the huddled masses.
The wealthy elite have been throwing around the charge of “class warfare” now for several weeks. I say we have been in class warfare for decades, and by keeping the masses distracted and fractured, the class war has been terribly one-sided! It is tempting for every person with a grievance against the ruling elite to use Occupy Everything as their personal platform to get that message out there, and the inclusiveness of the Occupy Movement has encouraged discussion of a number of social ills that have caused very real harm to all of us, admittedly some worse than others. But in order for our voices to be heard, we must all cry out in unison, as one people!
Let’s not forget that this isn’t a movement to an end. This is the beginning of a more honest democratic process that strives to succeed where corporate oligarchy have taken advantage of all of us. There will always be injustice, there will always be some wrong that needs righted. We have now before us a very real opportunity to effect real change, to right the corruption of a political system taken hostage by corporate greed. Steady your guns, and help send this shot across the bow.”
No more shall the injustices perpretrated on the many by so few be tolerated idly standing by! In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and Occupy movements across the United States, and indeed, around the world, we shall come together on this October the 15th for a national day of action: A day of nonviolent protest against the financial inequity and manufactured scarcity that every day robs us of our jobs, our lives, our peace of mind, and our dignity!
The time has come to stand together with the 99% across our Nation, to demand change and reform, to demand economic justice. We must demand that the 1% pay their fair share of taxes, that corporations no longer be allowed to avoid paying income tax in the US by sheltering their earnings offshore at a time of national financial crisis. We must demand that all Americans wake up to their own government’s control by multinational corporations that would see us all ground to dust.
We live in the richest nation on the planet, yet where are our riches? concentrated at the top, to buy power and perpetuate cycles of ignorance, poverty, and misery. All the worlds riches, and most people I know can’t afford routine medical care, and many more live under the crushing weight of debt with no foreseeable way out to happiness.
We’ve buried the old American dream. The two car garage, the picket fence, the happy nuclear family. The new reality and the new American dream is a much simpler one: Happiness. A fair justice system, regardless of your financial status or color of your skin. The happiness that knowing that if you are injured or maimed at your job you won’t drown in hospital bills hoisted on you by a for-profit medical system that knows you can’t pay. A new American dream, where all men are truly created equal, from those born into no opportunities to those who were born on third base. Where all men truly have the right to be take risks, to be innovators and usher in a new social paradigm where we can truly reap the benefits of what we sow.
SWAT teams assembled outside a Bank of America to refuse entry to customers requesting to be enter the bank to withdraw funds. Who do your police serve and protect? Are they really there to protect the poor, the needy, or the victims? Do they serve the public? Or do the police serve the bankers and managers?
This is a paying customer of the BoA, denied access to his own funds, denied access to the very institution that he has entrusted to handle his money, by the police force of the city he lives in. This is sickening, and this sort of injustice cannot any longer be tolerated.
Talking with my Mom via Facebook today, maybe some of you are trying to talk with your parents about demonstrating, or the need for change. I hope this might help even one person. Thanks for being interested and engaging in dialogue, Mom.
Cindy BHere is one issue just based on the poster (in a #99% photo) I don’t get: “The rich are the scum of the earth in every country”. I’m not rich or even close but I just don’t get that blanket statement.
Cindy BIs that you holding the poster? I just noticed the person holding it! lol.
Gabriel SNah, that’s me in my profile pic. And it’s not just aimed at individuals. Most rich people were born on 3rd base, and inherit their wealth. We’ve got an inequitable tax system that allows the rich and multinational corporations to dodge paying income taxes. Middle class citizens pay more in Taxes than most multinational corporations, even though they post record profits every year and award their CEO’s and board members with bonuses that put the average yearly income of most Americans to shame.
And all this at a time when 16% of Americans are living in poverty, many more are underemployed, uninsured, or casualties of a failing education system.
There’s some rich people and companies that aren’t bad, Bill Gates, Starbucks both come to mind. But the policies that allowed companies like Walmart, GE, Bank of America, BP, and the like to make billions and pay less in taxes than many Americans while accepting bailout money and granting their administrators bonuses… Well that shit’s gotta change.
Cindy BI knew that was you but I thought you took off the scarf and put on glasses. He looks similar to you.
Cindy BI do think we need to change the tax system. What do you think of the fair tax act? I think that’s what it’s called. I don’t like how people use generalizations for a group of people, it’s prejudicial and when I see things like that the cause looses it’s credibility. I think they’d do better to be very clear on a few issues So more people would get in line.
Gabriel SEliminating the income tax is a pretty poor solution, that’s what the Fair Tax proposes. Corporations already dodge paying income tax now. What we need is to close that loophole. A consumption tax just puts extra burden on the already overburdened impoverished.
That, and just because somebody is super-rich doesn’t mean they’ll consume more. A poor family of five needs to purchase more than a single millionaire, and the millionaire can just buy overseas if it’s cheaper than paying the consumption tax.
Cindy BThe world has changed so much since I was a kid. A lot of things for the better of course but I never thought things would be the way they are in my lifetime.
Right now, we live in a country where the government pays farm corporations not to grow food.
According to Forbes, GE paid no taxes in 2010. In face, they collected 1.1 Billion dollars in tax benefits, even after generating 10.3 Billion dollars in pre-tax income.
Right now, large corporations pay (If they end up paying at all) 35% of their taxable income in income taxes. Middle class Americans pay 35% of their income (Average, of course there are variables, but bear with me). This is only equitable until you realize the middle class make 40,000 to 60,000 dollars a year, while a company like Wal-Mart will make 20,000,000,000 in pretax income. That’s not a measure of total sales, which measure in the hundreds of billions. That’s a fuck of a lot more zeroes, but they pay the same rate.
The income gap in the United States is quickly becoming a chasm. Right now, the US boasts the highest poverty rate in decades, and even individual states are having hard times footing the bill for basic services. The state of Arizona, for example, is currently putting new applications for AHCCCS (Access, out loud), the state medicare program, on hold for lack of funds.
Right now, in the largest cities in the united states, you can drive down a busy avenue at night past nightclubs with lines out the door, great cars parked outside, valet parking, lights, celebrity cameos, the works. Drive another few blocks to your nearest Veteran’s Memorial Park, though, and you’ll find, tragically, a bivouac site of homeless, many of them vets, some drug addicted, mentally ill, suffering from PTSD and the symptoms of drug abuse.
This, in a country where warehouses of food either are destroyed or not grown to inflate food prices, where we turn corn, a staple of world food, into fuel for our automobiles (With more tax subsidies!), and banks that received part of $700,000,000,000 in bailout funds are demolishing houses to get them off the books.
Scarcity is a myth, and we need a new paradigm to reflect that. We live in an advanced society where automation and efficiency are controlled with scientific precision, where the excess of production doesn’t justify grinding the middle and lower class, the gears of the capitalist machine, into dust. We need to move past the idea of jobs, and careers, and use our advances in manufacturing and distribution to eliminate false scarcity so that we can all live in a more just, fair, and truly free society.
Chris Meloni as Officer Tony Balogna, infamous for pepper spraying several young women in the face during peaceful demonstrations on Wall Street, participates in a skit about halfway into the show. You owe it to yourself, trust me.