Dispatch from Occupy Wall Street: Suburbanite Shares Thoughts about Bloomberg Demonstration
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 • 9:35pm
November 20, 2011.
I’m sitting on a park bench near the corner of 79th and 5th in New York City. It’s not far from Mayor Bloomberg’s home. A few hundred drum-pounding Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demonstrators, assembled behind police barricades, line the west side of 5th Ave. Noisy, passionate and well-behaved, they run the gamut from seniors (like this writer) to teens. They appear to be evenly split between males and females. What they all share is a belief that the system is broken, and that the Mayor supports the system and not the people. I’m here because I believe that, too.
Unfortunately, explaining why the system is broken doesn’t yield to a few sound bites or easily voiced talking points except, maybe, for this one: OWS is the opposite of the I’ve-got-mine-and-to-hell-with-everyone-else, top-down, trickle-down belief set that aids and comforts the 1%, while wage earners, what’s left of the middle class, and the poor eat cake. Not exactly a sound bite, but it works.
The passion that drives the OWS movement is something you feel, whether for yourself, your children and grandchildren or for those who have lost hope that tomorrow will be any better than today. OWS owes no allegiance to any political party; money drives political parties and moneyed interests fear the people. For the first time since the ’60s and ’70s, people have seen the power of democratic and collective voices raised to protest economic and political injustice. OWS demands an end to this injustice. We all should demand it, because America, as it now exists, is unsustainable.
November 22, 2011.
Despite what OWS has been able to accomplish after only 2-plus months, Mayor Bloomberg says that OWS doesn’t know what it wants but wants it now. Great line, isn’t it? I’m tempted to say that he just doesn’t get it, but that would be unfair to the mayor who, most assuredly, gets it. He knows that fixing America’s political and economic system requires the restoration of our democracy…a frightening prospect for the greed-is-good set, as well as the corporate and special interests that pull America’s strings. No, Mayor Bloomberg knows quite well what OWS wants, and it scares the hell out of him and his cronies.
My objective in offering these thoughts for your consideration is to urge you to push aside the contentious, sound-bite rhetoric that seeks to demonize and trivialize a long-overdue, democratic, peaceful, passionate, diverse, and patriotic movement that seeks to reawaken the American Dream for all people. After all, don’t our children and their children deserve what we had?
Brian McCabe, is a lifelong resident of New Jersey. Send comments and feedback to email@example.com.
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