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Monday, September 19, 2011

And then there were thousands...

(OccupyWallStreet.org, 2011)
Well, today is Monday and now we have some pretty great footage of the weekend up on You Tube.  Hundreds did show up over the weekend to Occupy Zuccotti Park now re-named Liberty Plaza, on the corner of Liberty st. and Broadway claiming Food and Democracy are free. Reports from those on the ground claim that approximately 300 spent the night in a makeshift tent city Sunday night.  Here's some fun footage from the first March Saturday:

Saturday's March

And on Sunday a small group worked as a megaphone for one man's call to join the protest on Monday:

People As Megaphone

For more direct information, you can call for information:

The number is: (877) 881-3020

For general inquiries, please email the NYC organizers at: 9.17occupywallstreet@gmail.com,
and for General Assembly news and minutes go to nycga.net.

It also appears that Anonymous is supporting the whole "camp out on wall street" concept.

(https://occupywallst.org/, 2011)
The question is, is this our Tahrir moment? There shouldn't be any molotov cocktails, but there are people, and the numbers are growing.

As a policy geek, I want to know what are they really asking for?  It is clear that large Corporations grew out of a need for The People to have goods and services delivered bundled to keep down costs of basic living, and all the fun stuff we like to buy too. The companies that grew out of our Age of Industrialization became fatly fed over the whole consolidation concept, and began to think for themselves.  They no longer wanted to just service the people, they formed their own edicts: profits before all.

Now you can count on your average Joe to put himself first when making choices, so you know he cares about A Person. And maybe his relatives or close friends. They will come first. So you can count on Joe to care about A Few People. But a Corporation, they will never put people first. It just doesn't make economic sense. They will always put profits first. And by removing regulations over these Corporations, we are encouraging that kind of behavior. The few who manage the Corporations that America hosts, use the consolidated money and power to increase their ability to make profits to the detriment of those working for them, and those absorbing their products and services. We can use tax reform and regulatory action to curb those directives, and make it more profitable for Corporations to think of people first, but that hasn't happened yet, and shows no sign of starting to happen when he look to the horizon. Decisions like Citizens United have cemented their cash lust into protocol. Sad, but true. And as long as a very few people run Corporations like money sucking machines, we are going to continue the trend we have now of the top 2% in this country owning all the wealth. Bad model for growth. Horrible plan for any country, let alone The United States, whose charter begins with We The People.

The next logical question would be, Exactly what can be done to put people first? We need a check list. E Pluribus Unum.  Out of many, one. And right now, our motto has changed to Out of Many, Profit For the Few.  This is not sustainable.

The People of The Occupy Wall Street moment have formed their list of requests as follows:
This statement is ours, and for anyone who will get behind it. Representing ourselves, we bring this call for revolution.

We want freedom for all, without regards for identity, because we are all people, and because no other reason should be needed. However, this freedom has been largely taken from the people, and slowly made to trickle down, whenever we get angry.

Money, it has been said, has taken over politics. In truth, we say, money has always been part of the capitalist political system. A system based on the existence of have and have nots, where inequality is inherent to the system, will inevitably lead to a situation where the haves find a way to rule, whether by the sword or by the dollar.

We agree that we need to see election reform. However, the election reform proposed ignores the causes which allowed such a system to happen. Some will readily blame the federal reserve, but the political system has been beholden to political machinations of the wealthy well before its founding.
We need to address the core facts: these corporations, even if they were unable to compete in the electoral arena, would still remain control of society. They would retain economic control, which would allow them to retain political control. Term limits would, again, not solve this, as many in the political class already leave politics to find themselves as part of the corporate elites.
We need to retake the freedom that has been stolen from the people, altogether.
  1. If you agree that freedom is the right to communicate, to live, to be, to go, to love, to do what you will without the impositions of others, then you might be one of us.
  2. If you agree that a person is entitled to the sweat of their brows, that being talented at management should not entitle others to act like overseers and overlords, that all workers should have the right to engage in decisions, democratically, then you might be one of us.
  3. If you agree that freedom for some is not the same as freedom for all, and that freedom for all is the only true freedom, then you might be one of us.
  4. If you agree that power is not right, that life trumps property, then you might be one of us.
  5. If you agree that state and corporation are merely two sides of the same oppressive power structure, if you realize how media distorts things to preserve it, how it pits the people against the people to remain in power, then you might be one of us.
 And so we call on people to act
  1. We call for protests to remain active in the cities. Those already there, to grow, to organize, to raise consciousnesses, for those cities where there are no protests, for protests to organize and disrupt the system.
  2. We call for workers to not only strike, but seize their workplaces collectively, and to organize them democratically. We call for students and teachers to act together, to teach democracy, not merely the teachers to the students, but the students to the teachers. To seize the classrooms and free minds together.
  3. We call for the unemployed to volunteer, to learn, to teach, to use what skills they have to support themselves as part of the revolting people as a community.
  4. We call for the organization of people's assemblies in every city, every public square, every township.
  5. We call for the seizure and use of abandoned buildings, of abandoned land, of every property seized and abandoned by speculators, for the people, for every group that will organize them.
We call for a revolution of the mind as well as the body politic.
That's where we are today. If you follow twitter, use #libertyPlaza to follow or file reports. This shows no signs of slowing down, so grab your popcorn, tune in, and turn on.

Lisa Lindo
The Policy Geek

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