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hedgehog

January 2012

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hedgehog

MY THOUGHTS ON OCCUPY WALL STREET

For that past many years now, as I've seen things unfolding at home - as I've sat down at the computer and watched the videos and read story after story of regular Americans getting fist-fucked by the uber-rich and powerful - I've thought to myself: When will Americans have had enough? When are they going to get sick of eating shit sandwiches? When will they finally say 'fuck this shit' and fight back? So you can imagine the elation I've felt all fall as I've watched - from a very big distance, mind you - the Occupy Wall Street movement not just grow in numbers, but catch the collective imagination and angst of the nation.

Sure, there are the typical haters: The angry old Tea Party screamers and the servile, thick-tongued morons who mainline Fox News and talk radio have been laughingly predictable in their "critique" of the movement:

"Get a job!"
"Dirty hippies."
"Communists"
"Go back to your mom's basement."
"What a bunch of spoiled rich brats."
"They're just jealous of the success of the 'job creators'"
"Freeloaders just looking for a handout."

Yawn. Straight out of the Archie Bunker phrasebook. These are the same old lame, tired, and just lazy accusations that the same people leveled against the young people who stopped the Vietnam War. The supposed "liberal media" have been no better, with a never ending succession of plastic, condescending talking heads rolling their eyes at these misguided young people, gasping aloud while delcaring across the airwaves that this motely band of agitators "has no clear message".

No clear message?

This has always set my bile on fire, since the message couldn't be any clearer: Arrest and convict the fat cats who torpedoed our economy in order to line their own pockets! End the brazen attacks on the poor and middle classes by the mega-wealthy! And to quote a flash-in-the-pan 90's workout diva: STOP THE INSANITY!!!

And where have the police been in all of this? Where they always are: on the side of capital, enforcing the status quo. There have been countless incidents of police brutality and absolutely unprovoked attacks upon not just the peaceful demonstrators, but also anyone else unlucky to be standing in the vicinity. This doesn't surprise or shock me in the least, however, since cops in America have always been like this, and are rarely held accountable for their actions.

As for the protestors themselves, I have witness several of my "progressive" friends of late complaining about the the Occupiers, even going so far as to applaud Bloomberg's paramilitary raid of the Zuccotti Park. These middle class friends of mine bemoan the "tactics" of the protestors. "Shouting at the police impresses no one," one friend of mine sniped. Another facebooker decried the acts of civil disobience, pleading with them to "Create change by voting!" (haha). Another recently posted this on her facebook, which tells you all you need to know:

"The occupiers had my support for a while. They really did. I still support their reasoning but their methods are ridiculous. Time to shut up and go home."

Really? Are people so ready to throw in the towel just because things get inconvenient and messy? Guess what? Change is ALWAYS messy, and people get put out. That's just how it is.. Black folks in Montgomery, Alabama walked, bicycled, or caught rides to work for over a year before they got what they wanted. People go to jail. Traffic gets snarled. And sometimes, sometimes, things get broken, people get hurt, and shit burns.

I'm sure some of the protestors and their leaders can be big fat douches at times. I've seen this overly-earnest righteous type at many street demonstrations. Yeah, some the Occupiers are "professional protesters." Some are of them are probably just there to party and fuck shit up. Some of the chants and tactics are cheesy, uninspired PC cliches. And yes, some of them ARE hippies and probably do smell.

But the message is clear and this thing shows no sign of dying. It's bigger than the people in the streets, as it's resonating in the kitchens, living rooms, and water coolers of the whole damn country, as well as beyond. I may live in Korea now, but I have put my ass on the front line in the past, and I wish I were home right now to do it again. In the meantime, I'll keep screaming from the outfield bleachers.

I am the 99%.
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Comments

(Anonymous)

You still occupying The Crown?

I agree with this post 100%. I'm also going to quote you on FB.

(Anonymous)

i am a "teabagger."

i'm not a birther by any means and i don't dislike obama because i think he's a communist or hitler of our time or some crazy shit like that. i am a teabagger because i truly believe that we the people are Taxed Enough Already. and i know for certain, based on his own actions thus far, that obama works to protect his bosses on wall street. yes. that makes him just another DC hack. now that that's out of the way...

the problem with this whole occupy movement is that much of its core message has been hijacked by a bunch of losers who do want something for nothing and is led by people like michael moore who love to pin the blame on the free market capitalism when we haven't had true free market capitalism in about 100 years. rather, the biggest problem with our country is people like obama and his predecessors who have practiced crony capitalism for far too long where our government has been picking and choosing winners and losers (TARP, TALF, Quantitative Easing 1, 1.5 & 2, 0% interest rate for too big to fail banks, GM, Solyndra, Halliburton, KBR, etc, etc). this is why true conservatives cry for less government. we don't need the government to pick and choose who's going to get how much and who's going to get audited to death. we need the government to get out of the way and just make sure that nobody's cutting in line or defrauding anyone. some in the movement understand that. some don't and just want their share of the pie without having to work for it like everyone else. that is why the movement as a whole isn't getting a broader support it probably should.

it's way too easy to blame the rich but many rich people are productive folks who worked harder than their peers to get to where they are, so it's not right to try and punish them. sure, some were lucky and some benefited by "playing the (rigged) game." but overall, most rich people don't rely on government to make their living and they sure as hell don't get bailed out when they fail.

the problem, as always, is much more complex than slogans.

Re: i am a "teabagger."

"...but overall, most rich people don't rely on government to make their living and they sure as hell don't get bailed out when they fail."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The rich don't get bailed out when they fail? Like the mega-rich CEO's who didn't get bailed out when their banks failed in 2008?

The government subsidizes and bails out the mega-rich all the time. This is exactly what the Occupy movement is all about. This isn't a slogan, is the pure fucking truth and people have finally had enough.

(Anonymous)

Re: i am a "teabagger."

i'm not here to discredit you or the OWS movement. i'm merely pointing out some vital flaws in your (and their) logic.

compare the sheer number of actual (mega rich) people that got bailed out to those "rich" people who didn't. you're talking about maybe 500 bankers and hedge fund managers MAX. so when you say "mega rich," you're talking about a very small tiny number of corrupt bankers on wall street who are basically running the show. when i say "rich," i'm talking about legitimate business owners both big and small, company executives, doctors, lawyers, technicians, craftsmen, innovators, etc, etc - people who actually DO provide legitimate products and services to our communities. should we just group them all together with the lloyd blankfeins of the world and punish/tax them to death just because they're getting the fruits of their labor?

why don't you just push your "liberal" president and his do-nothing AG holder to actually enforce the law of the land and prosecute those wall street elites who brought down our economy? didn't obama once say that no one's above the law? obviously he was talking about everyone except those funding his political operation, no?

if OWS focuses their anger and frustration on the right people, they'll eventually get somewhere. but when they say "tax the rich!" they're only waging a class warfare against millions of productive citizens and that will lead them nowhere.
What you said is correct. I completely agree with you.