By Rawlein G. Soberano, Ph.D.
GERMANTOWN, MD (Oct. 16, 2011) — Beginning on Sept. 17 on what was called a “US Day of Rage” several groups of activists (now up to 106 US cities in 36 states and expanding to 951 cities in 82 countries) vowed to occupy Wall Street to express their anger over a financial system they say favors the rich and powerful, and a democratic process they condemn for being riddled with corruption.
The organizers called for 20,000 to flood into Lower Manhattan, the center of the financial world. They set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for as long as it takes. This is a duplication of the occupation of Cairo’s Tahir Square by Egyptians protesting the establishment of the Mubarak dynasty.
At the outset, police used violent tactics, perhaps to intimidate the protesters, to combat the peaceful protests. People from other countries were shocked at these police actions on Wall Street as no different from police actions in Putin’s Russia or Maoist China.
For what the police are doing to please the corporate warlords, e.g., JP Morgan, more protesters descended on NYC, bound and determined for the protests to continue! This country is not alien to this type of violence, including civil war and revolution to bring about the protests on the level of the Arab Spring and called it American Autumn.
The problem of NYPD was exacerbated when a senior police officer infamously forced women into pens and maced them at point-blank range. There is no place in a democratic society for the use of excessive force in subduing a peaceful march which distracts from the main focus of this demonstration which is to oppose the ever-growing power of the ruling class. The bulk of the police force is composed of decent, professional men and women who have expressed solidarity in silentio with the protesters’ cause.
Do you remember the Coalition for Direct Action at Seabrook, NH in the late 1970s? It was a protest against nuclear power. Seabrook was the last nuclear power plant built in the US. When people band together to fight something antithetical to their interest, nothing can stop them, in spite of the money and resources of those who threaten them. The American people will not sit back passively when the mega-rich walk all over them to keep them enslaved and make a mockery out of our democracy.
Leaders who are responsible for the economic mess — corporate, political, financial, et al. have infected the system to the core and use every trick in the book to hold on to their usurped power through well-calculated financial machinations but are walking on thin ice. They are criminals!
Will they succeed in manipulating the justice system again, like declaring a corporation a human being with its concomitant rights and privileges? When you send millions of people to the poorhouse, you have destroyed them, and the appropriate penalty for your crimes is confiscation of ill-gotten wealth and death by hanging, or electrocution, or lethal injection, or firing squad to send a message, loud and clear, that such crimes will not be tolerated. Now the people are rising up, because they have nothing else to lose.
If we are squeamish and hesitant to do this, there will be no end to the national plunder of our natural resources and stashing their loot in overseas banks. Don’t be surprised if blood is spilled on the streets that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots,” not a la Tea Party. The average American is fed up with “our leaders” that there are those willing to pay the ultimate price.
It’s time that these criminals are punished at least with jail time, like the perpetrators of the S&L scandals underwent. Not one of these Wall Street bankers/crooks have ever been arrested, charged and convicted of wrongdoing; the banks were bailed out, pocketed the money but didn’t help the average citizen in need, while he is left to fend for himself and his family lives on the street.
In the beginning, America was kept in the dark and not aware of the protests and demonstrations because the mainstream media, e.g., ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, et al. did not cover it, hoping it would just disappear. There seemed to be a conspiracy of silence involving the media network, afraid of what might transpire if they cover it or they were driven to silence either through blackmail or threat of losing sponsors or some other reason they don’t want to divulge.
Luckily, there are other outlets like Truth.org, or Common Dreams.org, or Reader Supported News, Alternet, Buzz Flash that provide current and up-to-date news (not the Fox crappola of “fair and balanced”). It is a sad day in America when we have to read about these demonstrations from foreign sources, e.g., BBC, The Guardian (UK), et al. Americans want real news, not the Fox-ification of the news.
How can the public make an informed decision on issues when they are only given one side of the story or none at all? If it was a Tea Party protest, I have no doubt the major media would have been there swallowing their hook, line and sinker of lies, stumbling into each other.
Members of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength wrote Pres. Obama late last year how they could help strengthen the economy, “We are writing to urge you to stand against those who would put politics ahead of their country. For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of the tax year as scheduled. We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of more than $1,000,000 per year or more. We have done very well over the last several years. Now, during our nation’s moment in need, we are willing to do our fair share. We don’t need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting one’s taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. The country needs to meet its financial obligations in a just and responsible way. Mr. McConnell, where is your sense of justice and responsibility? Why do you always lie about these tax cuts benefiting small businesses? Why can’t you speak the truth for a change? We’ll be watching you and Mr. Boehner closely as what you will do to bring back jobs and improve the economy. To date, you have done nothing, zero, zilch!”
Republicans were determined to oust BHO from the White House by blocking his initiatives, or through impeachment (because he’s black?) or demonization (by calling him all kinds of names which apply more to the GOP). It is not hard to fathom their hatred towards the black man in the White House and their constant attack on him like he is a piñata sack.
The more they slapped him, the quicker he reached out to them in the name of bi- partisanship. Mitch McConnell has made it clear they want him to be a one-term president. What further proof do we need that he can’t work with them? They won’t cooperate with him in anything that will give him credit, as is shown by sacrificing the interest of the country in extending the START negotiations with the Russians, to their partisan agenda of embarrassing him in public and to the international community.
Even if he quotes the Bible, they will reject it, just because he did it. These are evil people who have sown the seeds of national destruction. Now the people are fighting back!
It behooves to remember that the current Republicans in Congress are diabolically malicious, overtly aggressive, and shamelessly partisan rogues who prefer the interest of their party to the national interest and are emboldened by BHO’s trepidation not to offend them and his hunger for popular approval. Most of his actions of the past 2 years show those who voted for him that he did not deserve our votes.
The women in his party, e.g., Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, have more balls than the men. But he has finally shown more moxie in dealing with the GOP, knowing fully well that he will get nothing but contempt from the Democratic Party if he keeps dealing with these buffoons on the other side of the political aisle like a mendicant. He cannot take his supporters for granted anymore. He has to show us that he deserves our support.
What is clear is that no one can support the corporations’ disproportionate influence in politics. An average CEO is paid $11 million in compensation; their corporations sit on $2.2 trillion in cash. No one favors the eviction of families to the streets while bankers continue to profit. Many people are influenced by the scare tactics and fear-mongering of those who have demonized the concept of Guaranteed Basic Income, so that people have access to money they need to survive and can do work in the communities that need help, from teaching to agriculture to infrastructure repair.
There is so much rhetorical talk about jobs creation that when a fraction of what we are spending on wars was offered to people in the communities, people would have a viable means for survival as well as success in helping their communities to thrive.