“They know precisely what they want. They want to reverse the corporate coup that has taken place in the United States and rendered the citizenry impotent. And they won’t stop until this happens …”
— Chris Hedges, author, journalist, blogger on truthdig.com, on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, CBC tv
People flooded the streets of the world on Saturday October 15 for a global march of solidarity against economic injustice. San Francisco’s rally was much like the reports I’ve heard and seen of others: upbeat but frustrated masses, joined by a sense of outrage and taking solace with others by taking to the streets. We marched again up the city’s Market Street to City Hall where we sat and verbally amplified back the message of our speakers.
Unity found in ‘We are the 99%’ chants seem unending and it’s clear that whatever happens in San Francisco (which has yet to land in a permanent location and face daily harassment), folks are intending to stay.
I’ve been thinking about Chris Hedges’ interview in The Lang and O’Leary Exchange on October 10 and I encourage you to watch it here (because then you can log comments!). Hedges responds to Kevin O’Leary’s comment that the folks in the street don’t know what they ‘want’:
“They know precisely what they want. They want to reverse the corporate coup that has taken place in the United States and rendered the citizenry impotent. And they won’t stop until this happens and frankly if we don’t break the back of corporations we are all finished anyway since they are rapidly trashing the eco system on which the human species depends for survival. This is literally a fight for life, it’s that grave, it’s that serious … The bottom line is that we don’t have much time left. We are on the cusp of perhaps another major banking crisis in Europe … There have been no restrictions no regulation on Wall Street, they have looted the US Treasury, they’ve played all the games they were playing before, and we are about to pay for it all over again.”
He’s then called a ‘left wing nutbar’ by O’Leary which falls flat after Hedges points out that he’s saying nothing more than what the thousands in the streets, the 99%, are saying.
This ongoing debate of ‘what do they want/what are they saying?’ is losing it’s interest as a media story as mainstream understanding of ‘We are the 99%’ takes hold outside of corporate media and in the streets. O’Leary’s insistence on marginalizing this call garners a comment from Hedges about being treated the way a guest would be on Fox News.
Another point of unity emerging as the 99% continues to greet each other with ‘I love you’ is anti-greed as a community quality. Journalist, author and co-author of the ‘Trouble with Billionaires’ Linda McQuaig, spoke this weekend about the movement’s recognition that the top 1% are too rich and too powerful and that these qualities are being elevated collectively as no longer acceptable in society. She says that changing attitudes about greed could have profound implications on our society. The Sunday Edition interview begins at the 7:00 min mark here.
Jeffrey Sachs also speaks to this idea that the 1% must first regain a sense of collective responsibility and community participation to have any legitimacy in the eyes of the 99% here.
Our friends at Yes! Magazine have posted ten local and anywhere/everywhere ways to take action – check them out here.
And think global – support the call for a tax on financial transactions and demand that some of the money going into the profits of few are redistributed back to us, in our society for public works and in our community for a better future. The campaign for a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ is explained here.
Finally, on October 18th, Goldman Sachs reported a quarterly loss – its first since the financial crisis and only its second since going public in 1999. When asked directly about what should be done with Goldman Sachs on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, Hedges replied, “Prosecuted, they should be prosecuted.”