“When the history is finally written, though, it’s likely all of this tumult – beginning with the Arab Spring – will be remembered as the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire.”
– David Graeber, the Guardian UK
“The White House is talking different because we are walking different.”
– Van Jones, Take Back the American Dream
We know the facts, but seeing them together is staggering: unemployment is firmly mired in the double digits and efforts to bring it down isn’t creating jobs; students leaving college, if they can even afford to go, have debts that would have seemed unimaginable just 15 years ago and when they don’t see any openings in their field they head straight for a McJob or the unemployment line; the climate crisis remains unaddressed by global leaders and the US Congress and President Obama contemplates whether or not to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline; we are heading into the 10th year of war spending (at $3 billion a week!); corporations fought hard to win Citizens United and the ‘right’ to spend unlimited funds to get candidates into office; wealthy men (sometimes brothers) encourage corrupt Governors to end worker protections; and banks and Wall Street continue getting huge bonuses and bail-outs. We know something isn’t working. Enough is enough.
We are 99% of the population and 1% is controlling the show! Enough is enough.
For years, solidarity was presumed to be a one-way street – North Americans supporting liberation struggles around the world — but this year support to those standing up is global and circular. In Cairo, young people, armed with the courage of their convictions, overthrew the Egyptian government and launched the Arab Spring in Tahrir Square, Egypt. The power of their non-violent resistance, their ability to stay when it seemed impossible, is the inspiration we must take forward to say enough is enough.
In Libya, Madrid, Athens, Wisconsin and beyond there is a democratic awakening and it is spreading! Three weeks into the protests at Liberty Plaza on Wall Street, New York and just days before thousands gather at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC, similar demonstrations are erupting in other cities across the United States with the same loosely organized structure. People who have not taken action before are now protesters camped out in Los Angeles near City Hall, near the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, and at the Stock Exchange in San Francisco. They are marching and sitting-in against corporate greed, rampant unemployment, attacks on labor and the environment and the role of big banks in our bad economy.
In the US alone, other actions are planned for Memphis, Tenn.; Allentown, PA.; Hilo, Hawaii, Detroit; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; and Baltimore, as well as in Mason City, Iowa; Mobile, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Santa Fe, N.M.; and McAllen, Tex., according to Occupy Together the unofficial hub for the protests. Thanks to inspiration from struggles around the globe, these days mark a turning point in the struggle for economic, social and environmental justice in the US.
We, the 99%, demand our voices be heard, we want an end to war and greed, we want to invest in human needs. It’s that simple. May the spirit of non-violence, the joy of democracy and the inclusion of many voices be our guiding light as we zig-zag forward, empowering protest as an agent to drive political reform. Take action now and go to Wall Street, go to Freedom Square or plan and join non violent occupations in your own town or join the virtual march.
PS. I want to organize with you in our community, please be in touch!