At least 500 demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street protests were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, in a clear case of Police entrapment. After allowing, and in some cases, steering protesters onto the Brooklyn Bridge roadway, the police penned hundred in and arrested them. At first ignored, then laughed at, the inspirational commitment of the Occupy Wall Street protesters and the independent media that is covering them are doing a wonderful job shining light on the blood sucking, upwards re-distribution of wealth and corporate theft that is the natural outcome of the Gordon Gekko “greed-is-good” mentality of the hyper-capitalist system we live in.
The Occupy Wall Street crowd is, what Christopher Hedges recently called “The Best Among US” .
“Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history.”
Revolt. Chew on that word. Consider what it means. Will anything less bring about real change?
As an organizer working these past few months on the sustained occupation of an event that begins this Thursday, October 6th, in Washington DC, I have to admit that until a few weeks ago, even I was squeamish about the noun that would occur (revolution) if enough of us engaged in the verb “to revolt”-
I may not have the IQ points of Chris Hedges, but I am a white dude with a graduate degree. This system was made for me.
So, am I the guy who actually wants a revolution? Am I the revolution? In many ways- I am very average. I won’t admit this often, as it may hurt whatever radical left street cred I have but I sometimes buy clothes new, I enjoy watching football from time to time and I don’t even compost; I know I should, and I will start soon.
I live on main street- not the metaphorical main street Obama and politicians talk about, but an actual main street in small town New England where most people live in the middle to upper middle class. I’m not rich, but if my kids want art classes, karate, or music lessons, I can pay for them. We took a vacation at beach house for a week this summer. I have been a little league coach and volunteer in my community. Oh, and in a few hours, I will pack my belongings and head to Washington DC to join with thousands of others to Occupy Freedom Plaza. I will risk arrest again and again for weeks or longer demanding that my government and the corporate interests that have hijacked it end all wars immediately and redirect those resources towards human and environmental needs.
I am in revolt against the wealth divide; by recognizing that the increasing wealth divide is not something that waxes and wanes like the changing of the seasons, but is in fact theft being commited by the richest 1%-
I am revolting against a health-care system based on corporate profit where the real death panels work for insurance companies;
I am revolting against a prison system that imprisons citizens of the country that is supposed to stand as a beacon of freedom an liberty at a per capita rate of seven times that of our neighbors in the UK- many of them convicted of victimless crimes of the bogus war on drugs.
I am revolting against a system that murders Troy Anthony Davis on the one had while parading war criminals like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney on celebrity book tours.
I am revolting against a system that is destroying the planet in the name of profit.
I am the other 99%, and if enough of us engage in the act of revolt, then we will become the revolution that is so desperately needed.
So, think about, and ask yourself- are you the revolution?