Monday, November 21, 2011
The Disjointed Angry Ramblings of the Disenfranchised
Some of you are already familiar with the whole "Occupy Wall Street" movement, which has emerged out of nowhere and has captured attention, both negative and positive. They are the ones behind that catchy slogan "We are the 99%!" and have also been known for taking over parks and streets while engaging in "Mic Checks" and waving signs. Really its a rather loose collection of people who became angry enough to exercise their First Amendment rights in a rather epic and outlandish fashion, and that's fine so long as they do not cause violence. What's rather curious about how everything has gone up to this point is that there have only been isolated incidents of violence committed by protesters, where as police brutality and negative reports of police overreacting have become fairly widespread.
Now I do not actually condone the movement, even if I can possibly understand their frustration. Its great that people still care enough to try to fight the powers that be and engage in freedom of assembly and protest. Wonderful. But you won't seem me joining them because I do not believe they will achieve anything with this. Now if they all had a million dollars, it would be different, because then they could get into all those wonderful meetings with Congresspeople that the rich so seem to enjoy. Wall Street however is not solely to blame for the current economic recession/depression/malaise. After all, the politicians decided to deregulate, to completely gut the protections this country previously had against the big firms such as Fannie Mac from going under and requiring bailout money with no strings attached.
Such deals were utterly terrible, especially since most of the bailouts also involved the corporations getting these bailouts not having to fully pay back the money loaned to them. I could go on and on about the 2008 mess, but it is not doing us any good so we'll look to the present. There are those who say that the OWS movement does not need one voice, that it should be unwilling to form a cohesive message. Yes they are afraid of being taken over by a Democratic party that is just as responsible for the mess we are in as the Republican party is, since after all both parties cater to the rich at the expense of the middle and lower classes. Sooner or later all this anger about income inequality and the fact that the richest people in this country hold most of the wealth is going to boil over. God help us if it ends up doing so.
Violence is really the last thing I want to see happen, and its disgusting that a woman was actually maced in the face. Such nasty tactics should not occur, however in the interest of fairness there are more accounts of the police just watching the crowds and leaving them to their own devices, provided the crowds do not turn violent or angry in any way. Another issue with the movement is that it has attracted crazies and even racists, but as The Tea Party can attest to once a group is started you are bound to get some loonies who jump onto the bandwagon, often looking to cause trouble. Its funny that I dislike both the OWS and Tea Party movements, when to a certain extent both groups are looking for a common solution while debating different aims to accomplish that and bring America out of its current economic crisis.
The American Dream is not dead, last time I checked.