Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Despite Evictions and Arrests, Occupy Wall Street Message is Getting Through

The actions of those in the Civil Rights Movement were not always supported by the majority of Americans, especially the violence.  But the messages presented at the sit-ins and marches did begin to resonate.

However, what probably helped the movement the most, was the response of segregationists like George Wallace.   "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever". 

His confrontations with students played out like a Klan lynching, and Americans noticed, overwhelmingly supporting an end to segregation, and discrimination that defined where blacks could live, work and be educated.

As "Occupiers" in the anti-Wall Street movement are being evicted, many citizens are applauding the police crack down.  But the message of inequality is sinking in, being helped by the parallel universe of the Republican debates.  We know that there are many people hurting, victims of not only the "economic crisis", when the rich got even richer, but of a concerted effort to remove the public from public policy.

The message presented by the GOP hopefuls, is that poor people should be allowed to starve, sick people without medical insurance, allowed to die, and if you're unemployed, you're just lazy.  The same message they've been spouting for fifty years.

The right wing noise machine has monopolized the political conversation for too long, and people are beginning to tune out.

In Mississippi, voters rejected a measure that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person, even though pro-life groups poured a lot of money into getting it passed.  They were hoping that this would set a precedent, and help a larger bill, the Sanctity of Life Act, sponsored by Georgia Republican Rep. Paul ‘When Will Someone Shoot Obama’ Broun. If they can't get it passed in Mississippi, there's hope.

In Ohio, an anti-union bill that was signed into law earlier this year, was repealed by voters with a 23 point margin. 
Regardless of the margin, last night was historic as no Governor of Ohio has ever seen voters repeal any portion of their agenda within the first year in office. First, the ability of anyone to pull off a referendum so early in a new Governor’s term is itself incredibly rare. Second, this is the only time it worked. 
A grassroots group called We Are Ohio, need to be commended. They were discredited at every turn, called communists and traitors, but they never quit.

Canadian unions are challenging Tony Clement's budget cuts, and we need to back them up.  In Ohio, Democrats and Republicans worked together.  This is not a partisan issue but a We are Canada one.

Maine reinstated same day voter registration after the Republicans tried to make it more difficult to vote.  Russel Pearce, the architect of Arizona’s racist profiling law, just got voted out of office, in an historic recall and the state of Delaware is suing Wall Street for questionable mortgage practices.

You don't have to live in a park and pee in a porta-potty, to know that what is happening is wrong.  The Occupy Wall Street group has struck a nerve and the ridiculous Republican presidential hopefuls, a shot of common sense and common decency, sorely lacking in the GOP.  They represent everything that is wrong with the Conservative movement.  It is pure evil.

We SHALL Overcome.


  1. I really want to believe that the OWS movement has struck a chord and will lead to change, but... I just don't see it happening without a leadership and clearly defined goals. I was very excited when experienced powerful union leaders started rallying round, but they were sent packing. Many people say that while they agree with their point about inequality, they do not know where the protest is trying to go.

    With the civil rights movement, there were clear goals and very charismatic leaders to rally behind. That was huge.

    What distinguished Ohio from Wisconsin, where a similar motion limiting public employee unions was actually passed, is that in Ohio, the initiative would have also applied to police, unlike in Wisconsin. So in Ohio, the conservative and right-wing police union was campaigning against the initiative, and right-leaning voters followed.

    I want desperately to share your optimism Emily, but I don't. Frankly, to me OWS resembles CAPP: a lot of promise, with no leaders and no goals, which eventually fizzles.

  2. We SHALL overcome... AND it is not the goal that will make it happen but the process...resolving to and moving in that direction is in itself, the victory...
    You say you want a revolution...well, you know...

  3. Look carefully at the picture. There are people of all age groups and "races". So it is not the spoilt lefties children.

    And the proportion of OWS participants who hold jobs is higher than in the Tea Party.

    So Newt the Grinch is wrong. "Find a job and take a bath" he said.