From Occupying Wall Street to Changing the World

Keith Olbermann was, for once, apoplectic.  They were doing it again!!!  The reactionary forces of the staus quo were at it again, sending the police after The People, intolerant of their cries of anguish and of their mission.   It was the Edmond Pettus Bridge again, Haymarket, the Moratorium Against the War, all wrapped into one.   And now, nobody would sleep on the slab of concrete off Liberty Street, between Church and Broadway a place laughingly called Zuccotti Park. 

 To Others, watching the mish mash of political activists, people with nothing much else to do, tourists, Ron Paul libertarians, anarchists, artists, self described journalists as assorted passersby, and wondering what it all means, it was time to move on, so to speak.  The Village Voice, which has seen a protest or two in its time, front paged an article just before the onslaught which described  

A recent Wednesday night in Zuccotti ParkA woman was hit in the face, an EMT broke his leg trying to break up a fight, and a drunk guy with facial tattoos tried to burn an American flag. People blasted tracks from Watch the Throne, the unofficial One Percent Album of the Year, while four or five brawls broke out over the course of two hours. Everyone was doing everything at once: fighting, eating, dancing, sleeping, smoking.
Everything except demonstrating against our country’s financial status quo, which is the occupation’s raison d’être.

It has been heartening, of course to see the sleeping giant start to stir.  It was a bit scary when people were galvanized to break up meetings discussing whether there might be a better way to insure our citizens against financial catastrophes brought on by illness, was met by indifference or lengthy mourning for a pop star who died under circumstances that some saw as mysterious.  It was awfully disheartening when all the people who demanded change in 2008, decided that if their dreams could not be realized in two years, voting was no longer worthwhile and stayed home, with disastrous consequences.


We wondered where these people were when the money that rules Congress demanded no further talk of a “public option,” much less a Medicaid/Medicare for all single payer health care system.  We asked why, with all the support for change, the new administration was unable to muster support for a second New Deal, but only a tepid program of “stimulus.”


But better late than never.  Here they are.  They are sick of this.  We are the 99, they tell us.  But some of them also say things like this:


 “The point is, we’re holding Wall Street accountable because voting for politicians doesn’t work” 




 we cannot win from within the political system. So we have no choice but to go outside it


It’s revolution or nothing.  Music to those for whom the political system is nothing more than a vehcile to do for those who contribute to their political campaigns.  Why read newspapers?  They are the tool of machine.  Our wisdom, which we obtain by blogging to one another and, seeing the consensus that emerges, assume that these views are the correct ones and the ones than anyone would hold if they only thought about it.


Yet, one look at page one of today’s New York Times and something more important, more useful than setting up permanent tents under an imposing black building, and something that would mean something to the “1%” seems obvious:


toward the bottom of the page:

Older, Suburban and Struggling, ‘Near Poor’ Startle the Census

and smack in the middle of the page:

Vilifying Rival, Wall St. Rallies for Senate Ally


Don’t think these stories are related?  Think again.  Why does “Wall Street” fear Elizabeth Warren? Who are these “New Poor” and who is speaking for them?  Senator Brown?  OWS?


There a plenty of places in Massachusetts to pitch a tent.  Maybe Walden Pond?  And while you are there the town you will be in is called Concord.  An OWS of sorts started there, too. The shots fired there started something, though, and was not an end to itself.


Listen:  electing President Obama was a baby step.  Nothing more.  The Senate was not controlled by people trying to do what needs to be done:  it has people who said they were Democrats, but who voted as if they were Republicans, and, in any event, the rules of the body were perverted to prevent anything from happening unless 60% of the body agreed.  We need to do better; not for those who want change to make noise, sleep in public parks and believe that chanting  one another’s words to each other will alter the world in which we live.


It, too, was a baby step.  A very important one.  Electing Elizabeth Warren would be a bigger one.  Go forth, please, and make the world a better one.


One thought on “From Occupying Wall Street to Changing the World

  1. cmaukonen

    What we have and are witnessing is the effects of the Me Generation and their kids. People who have no idea what it’s like to have to scrimp for anything. To live paycheck to paycheck. The Trust Fund babies.

    Most especially on the right.. Those who shout for liberty and freedom for themselves but do not want the responsibility or consequences that go with it. And those who come from authoritarian families and cannot stand not being in control.

    There were no where nears as many after WWII and the depression of the 1930s where nearly everyone had it hard at some point. Where men fighting in the pacific and Europe would see the guy next to him get his head blown off by a shell or be blown apart by a grenade or land mine.

    These kinds of experiences ten to humble people.

    But those who had this are dieing off and most today have no memory or family memory of anything like that. have had things far to easy and expect this to continue.

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