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Saturday, September 29, 2012

In Defense of the Occupy Movement (Revolution)


According to the history of the occupy movement on www.occupywallst.org:

“Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.

The Occupy movement continues to make its presence known.  It also continues to encounter skirmishes with local law enforcement agencies that continuously try to shut the movement down.  You can’t silence the voice of the people – particularly the 99% of the people of the United States of America.  Officers frequently arrest occupy protesters only to have their apprehensions overturned by the courts as being unconstitutional.  What disturbs me is the fact that law enforcement agencies are not out to protect protesters “freedom” as guaranteed by the United States Constitution to assemble peaceably.  It appears more like a move by city leaders, like in large corporations, to deny citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression also guaranteed by the First Amendment.  These demonstrators carry no weapons, but are treated like common criminals beaten with billysticks, mace, and pepper spray during peaceful demonstrations.

Yes, it may be an inconvenience for civic leaders to have these people residing on community property.  But one must remember, the lives of these individuals were inconvenienced by governments, banks, and corporations who displaced them by taking their jobs and exporting them to foreign countries, foreclosing on their homes and making a lot of the homeless, raising tuition on students while school administrators reap the luxury and benefits while cancelling programs and classes necessary for these students to graduate in a timely manner.  Yet, the federal government favors Wall Street by granting banks and corporations obscenely large bailouts in their distressful times, yet turning a blind eye to the average citizen.  Yet Congress still talks about extending tax favors for the rich while the national debt continues to rise on the backs of the middle and poverty classes.

Corporations are notorious for suppressing the freedom of speech and expression within their walls.  Individuals who speak out against corporate infractions, such as whistle-blowers, are often chastised and treated with impunity within these companies.  Occasionally, the Justice Department would step in to the defense of the witness -- but rarely.  Now that the Supreme Court has paved the way for corporations to act very much like “people,”  these companies are exerting their influence through law enforcement agencies to silence the 99% and their quest to voice their grievance and petition the government, also guaranteed by the First Amendment, by acting like the country is now, the “United States, Incorporated.”  What has happened to the basic principle of a government by the people and for the people?  Or should that say, by the real people, for the real people?  Or have we lost these rights when the Supreme Court sold the country out to Corporate America?

I agree whole-heartedly with the peaceful, strategic ways of the occupy movement.  But Congress should be forewarned that the people of America are crying – they’re not listening.  Such a movement can, like the rest of the world’s revolution, lead to a more aggressive approach if the voices of the people continue to be ignored and the government continues to service only the rich.  This could very well be the dawning of a brand new revolution to take our country back, reform and establish a new government that will be responsive to the people.  After all, the people are screaming for jobs and better health and financial security.  Yet Congress continues to work on other matters such as not passing a job bill or revamping Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that are not in the best interest of the people.  In addition, Congressional leaders would much rather legislate women’s health issues rather than work on the more important issues at hand.  This is certainly not representing their constituents well.  It almost appears that Congressional leaders are fulfilling an agenda paid for by special interests and parties – not of their voters at large -- such as, disregarding the will of the American people in favor of following the agenda of a political party such as making the President a one-term leader.  How narrow-minded can a governing body get?  This is almost like the illustration where Caesar fiddled while Rome burned -- only in this case, the Congress kow-towed to the rich while the United States was flushed down the toilet.  And in light of the current economic condition, this might not be far off.

Where I wish the occupy movement will improve itself is becoming more organized in its operations.  What they need is a true leader in the likes of George Washington, Nelson Mandela, or José Marti.  But, the movement will also require total participation of the 99% -- a greater voice such as the demonstrations in Portugal and Spain during the weekend of September 29, 2012 in every city of this nation.  Not thousands, but millions must rise with a common voice to make our grievance known and to make this revolution a peaceful transition -- but then, a total removal of unresponsive, unaccountable leaders.  Leaders and law enforcement officers should be held accountable for the oaths they have taken to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”  Any violation of this oath should be brought to justice including the removal of office or position.  Such a violation demonstrates that the individual cannot be trusted in the office or position he/she has been appointed or elected to serve.  Such protection of the U.S. Constitution also includes its amendments and freedoms guaranteed in the law of the land.

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