Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

A friend called me this past week to ask if I'd like to go into NYC and give the Occupy Wall Street folks some support. I said, yes! I was delighted to have the opportunity.

When we got there, I made a point of thanking everyone I met. They were a great crowd of people—all ages, ethnicities and educational levels. Basically, the 99% were there.

The news media—and many people I know—whine that the people involved in this civil disobedience have no polished agenda or demands. Nothing can possibly come of it. 

Relax. Eventually, a unified message will emerge.

The important point now is that people across the U.S. and the world sense that something is terribly wrong and are tired of feeling powerless. They are taking to the streets to gain a sense of empowerment through numbers. Walking among a large crowd of people who are just as frustrated and outraged as you are is validating.

It is obvious that there is a gross inequity of wealth distribution in this country and elsewhere.  We have all witnessed that those in Washington have little intention of doing anything about it. There is a sense that legislation is up for auction, and the highest bidder—corporations and the rich—will always win under our present system. Even the Supreme Court awarded campaign funding and disclosure to the highest bidders by ruling that corporations can be considered persons and are therefore entitled to donate to the candidate of their choice with no limit or identification.

Patience. The Civil Rights movement did not move full tilt the day Rosa Parks decided she was too tired to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. These things build. This is a grassroots movement. Give it time. Give it time.


  1. I have in fact been impressed by the specificity of some of the protesters' demands. You have to have actually read or experienced history to know that the repeal of the Glass Steagal act opened the door to the banks' entry into credit default swaps. Same with tracing our problems all the way back to the wrong turn we took at the Reagan Revolution. I felt it then. I'm happy to see it acknowledged today.

  2. Thank you for this well-expressed observation.

  3. I love the feeling of ever-so-gently simmering outrage in this writing--the non-pressured sense that goodness and good values will prevail. As protests go, this is an interesting one: A General Feeling That Something Is Wrong....and You Know It. Thank you, Jersey Rantor for nailing the tone.

    (the writer of this comment is NOT the Jersey Rantor. Though she grew up in Middlesex County, this is the blogger's suburban philly namesake.)

  4. And thank you! Hope all is well in PA!