Occupy Wall Street is one of several movements that has arisen in recent years to protest the takeover by this country’s plutarchs. At first they received little attention from the media, but now they are starting to get noticed. Thankfully.

Their goal is simple: to seek economic justice and fairness in the US and to end the special treatment of the ultra-wealthy. This is an objective shared by the vast majority of Americans, as demonstrated by numerous polls, again and again.

But they face significant opposition — significant in the sense that Big Money has a well-oiled propaganda machine running day and night. And there is the issue that most people just want to live their lives, to get by, to make it day by day. Who has time to get involved in a protest?

However, as more and more of this country’s wealth is funneled from most of us into the hands of very few, more people find the motivation.

Where are you?

The Goal and Message of Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

by Kevin Gosztola

The nearly two week occupation of a New York park near Wall Street known as Occupy Wall Street, initially undertaken by a few, has grown into a significant mobilization of people. The action should not have to be anything more than what it is at face value. The presence of hundreds if not thousands of Americans confronting a beast, whose greed, recklessness and illegal acts resulted in the collapse of the US economy, should not be something Americans show cynicism toward. Yet, some of the most politically engaged individuals are timid when it comes to the opening hundreds of young Americans have created.

A crowd has watched Occupy Wall Street pick up steam and grow in its power yet they continue to gripe about the occupation’s lack of one unified message. The message, however, is obvious: it is time for Americans to rise up and take on the injustices perpetrated and perpetuated by Wall Street. It is time to take on the culture of greed and corporate domination.

In an evolving document titled, “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” organizers recently declared:

Occupy Wall StreetAs we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies. As one people, formerly divided by the color of our skin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or lack thereof, political party and cultural background, we acknowledge the reality: that there is only one race, the human race, and our survival requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their brethren; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

Wall Street is America’s chief symbol of profits over people, self-interest over justice and Occupy Wall Streetof concentrated wealth over democracy. While millions of Americans struggle to find jobs, prevent banks from taking their homes, keep up with payments for student loans and get by on the minimal jobless benefits and welfare the government is willing to grant its citizens, Wall Street shoulders no burden. It enjoys millions of dollars in tax breaks each year. The corporations on Wall Street give executives bonuses that are grotesquely high, sometimes more than $10 million. Big banks are able to give their most senior executives these bonuses because the US government bailed them out through TARP in 2008.

Do “politically savvy” individuals really think a unified message would make the protest action better? Supposing they did line up behind a single bill or single action like, “Jobs Now,” would that really have produced the kind of mobilization of Americans that has taken shape?

Bumper sticker sloganeering has lost. Progressive and liberal groups have spent years crafting carefully engineered plans for making a dent in the corporate culture of America that has turned many aspects of society rotten. They have sat and considered what was “possible” in the system and lowered their sights. They have set the bar low for achievements and signed on to legislation with titles that would lead one to hope things would get better so long as they ignored the fine print in the legislation. They have failed to address the issue of money in politics for years. They have played the rigged game, participated in a broken electoral system that is now controlled by Wall Street and other powerful corporate and special interests and they have not acted upon the truth, which is that no matter who is put in the White House that administration will become a slave to dominant bureaucracies and corporations.

Occupy Wall StreetSome find it hard to support Occupy Wall Street because they are using the “General Assembly” process. The General Assembly is participatory democracy in action, with Americans involved in occupying Wall Street coming together to deliberate over how to maximize the impact of the occupation, how to reach out to unions and community groups that should be involved, how to produce or reach media, when to march, what kinds of actions to take, whether to engage in civil disobedience or not, how to respond to police conduct, what the occupation can coalesce behind and support and what sort of solutions they want to promote so society can become less controlled by dominant corporate forces like those on Wall Street.

The General Assembly gives American citizens a platform for sharing what they think needs to be urgently addressed in society. It offers Americans the opportunity to take ownership and responsibility in a way that representatives, senators and White House staff typically do not encourage because it would make it harder for them to be subservient to corporate and special interests.

There are those who claim the protest is just noise. They do not see any element of the protest having gravity in Americans’ lives. Phoniness and willful ignorance forms the basis for this argument.

A long-term protest by “dirty hippies” in a New York Park near Wall Street would not be endorsing the action if they didn’t see it having gravity.

This Tumblr called “We Are the 99 Percent” poignantly shows the anguish and despair of Americans and why people are finding hope thanks to those participating in Occupy Wall Street. Here are but a few examples:

If that doesn’t convince you the protesters have connected with poor, working class and middle class Americans, people who are “Main Street” Americans, here’s a 9/11 first responder telling his story about “working for the system” and getting “screwed.”

Under the mask and the glasses is a construction worker who was at the World Trade CenterOccupy Wall Street site the first week that towers came down. I voluntarily, on my own, side by side with the FDNY , NYPD and Port Authority officers dug side by side with them using our tools, our dump trucks, our cranes, our pick axes, our chain blocks, our axiom settling tanks to burn the steel, side by side with them as a First Responder. Ten years later, I can’t get disability for that. I can’t get workers’ compensation. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 auto immune disease called sarcoidosis.

The timidity of those who pay attention to politics has to do with reservations or utter disdain for protest. They are intent on judging fellow citizens who are taking on Wall Street greed and corruption. Would these people have told slaves fighting for emancipation that they needed to find a better slogan to support or else they would never be free? Would they have told women if you want the right to vote you may have to all wear the same upper class looking dress or they would never be equal? Would they have urged African Americans to not boycott buses or go on marches because it wasn’t clear how government would respond to their grievances?

Now, citizens rise up against economic slavery and they are supposed to get an education in public relations to win their support? The occupiers should not have to explain why they are out there better. The critics should have to explain what is holding them back from being a part of what is unfolding.

Americans protesting could admit they committed errors and leave the streets now. The occupation could shut down. All those who have donated money and goods to sustain the protest could be let down severely. Unions just beginning to take notice would wonder what had just happened. And as the people appeared to return to being tranquil and passive in the face of mass economic injustice, the corporations would have a clear playing field to deploy groups like the Tea Party, their shock troops for further dismantling America’s social safety net and helping corporations achieve more of a strangehold on this country.

The presence of Occupy Wall Street gives Americans the possibilities for change that were non-existent and unreasonable when the media suggested the Tea Party were the only people protesting. For example, getting money out of politics may happen because lawmakers want to defuse an uprising. And, if that were to happen, a celebrity or well-known pundit wouldn’t be responsible, a think tank or progressive interest group wouldn’t be responsible but the mobilization sparked by Occupy Wall Street would be responsible for awakening the consciousness of America and creating the climate for radical change.

Like the late people’s historian Howard Zinn said, “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” Occupy Wall Street is one small act, a beginning and not an end, a possibly imperfect act that is righteously inspiring a morally justified rebellion.

People are finding they must have self-respect. They are becoming confident. They are rising up to transform the world. One can gripe and be seen as hesitant in the face of inequality and injustice or they can join the struggle and be part of forging a better world.

Original post on FireDogLake

And here is what Lawrence O’Donnell has to say about the protests, which are being treated by our police the way third-world dictators treat protesters in their countries:

43 Responses to “What Does “Occupy Wall Street” Want?”

  1. God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son (JESUS), that whoever believes in Him should not perish (in hell) but have everlasting life (in heaven). For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be

  2. hufschwa shelliano says:

    George Soros is 1of the wraiths of Wall Street – king of corporate fascism-if anyone is carrying water 4him it is u

  3. Politico

    Official Admits ‘Mistake’ In Gun-Trafficking Case
    NPR
    Enlarge Ross D. Franklin/AP US Border Patrol vehicles drive from a checkpoint in December 2010, as teams of border officers comb the Arizona about 10 miles of Mexico in search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of US …
    official knew of ATF “gunwalking” in April 2010CBS News
    Justice official: ‘Regret’ for failure to warn on ‘gun walking’CNN International
    Top DOJ Official Admits Mistakes on ATF Gun Case BriefingsABC News (blog)
    New York Times -Politico -Wall Street Journal -Roll Call (subscription)
    all 150 news articles »

  4. ommer tim says:

    As humans we are entitled to Human rights. We take a stand against any violation when it comes to our rights.

  5. bart chabatalec says:

    “Consider this: The civil rights movement of the 1960s and the anti-Vietnam War movement of the ’60s and ’70s were coherent and focused, and the demonstrators knew exactly what they wanted. They eventually succeeded. But getting there literally took years. this corrupt system might be a lot harder.”

  6. I got to be honest. I slept on this Album around the time where Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr was in Best Buy. I got it because of Gang Starr.

  7. mian sartol says:

    I learned how to play this on my bass 3 days ago and havent been able to stop playing it since, its so much fun

  8. bilonna landelaire says:

    Zionists are mostly Jewish, shlagg whore. And the bankers who are at the top of the wall street pyramid are mostly all Jewish Zionists. Also I never said they “own” wallstreet. I said they control it.

  9. Upscale, With Rough Edges (Wall Street Journal) – Share With Friends: | | Business – Real Estate Stories, News Fee…

  10. Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.

  11. eingersbec hero says:

    Water is definitely an indispensible all-natural resource for human development as well as functions because the materials foundation that maintains the existence of people and all living beings. Within the globe, water crisis that comes from of water and water air pollution has become serious issue that’s facing each nation in its policy, economy and technologies. Meanwhile, it really is also the element that restrains social and economic improvement. Below the condition of progressively absence of water, the reality of h2o pollution adds a new anxiety to people. As a result, h2o therapy gear emerges because the times require. To become concisely, electronic water treatment gear is a kind of gear that filters and purifies h2o. It …Water Treatment, water filter

  12. acosser hey says:

    Black P. Stones – a Civil Rights Group Turned Into a Street Gang with The Finesse of a Black Nationalist Organization

  13. Kim Jong Il comedy capers are go – 7 Days UAE: Kim Jong Il was reviled by human rights groups for jailing or sta…

  14. vallin vian says:

    ESPN is ruining the bowl season with all these bowls…bad economy and diluted matchups just to fill tv time equals bad turnout

  15. Mit der Unterstützung der deutschen Linken, wird sich in Gaza ein Unrechts- und zutiefst reaktionäres, menschenverachtendes Regime etablieren. Hinterher wird die LInke wieder sagen, daß sie das alles nicht gewollt und gewußt hat. Man scheint aus der eigenen Geschichte nichts zu lernen. Schade nur, daß für diese Verhaltenweisen andere mit dem Leben und der Freiheit büßen. Ich hoffe, daß zumindest Frau Höger, ihren Lebensabend in Gaza mit Ihren Freunden von der Hamas verbringen darf. Das gönn ich

  16. strove to create a world of equality n peace but he wasn’t blonde n beautiful so nobody cares now. What a F’d up world! –

  17. kapuszdie says:

    Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky: Memories fade, witnesses pass a… –

  18. At Civil Rights Commission: $100K Fed grant for Fair Housing , Executive Director’s 28 E w/ Marion, book ‘The New Jim Crow’ & more

  19. First Biographies Nelson Mandela: A biography of the son of a Thembu chief who became a civil rights activist, p…

  20. does anyone know the steps the presidents took to achieve equality in the US during the civil rights movement???????!?!?!?!?! ANYONE

  21. kunzier szewi says:

    speak for yourself dumbass! NO church should stand in the way of a happiness and right to marry! No church should stand in the way of happiness and life and YOU cannot put a price on that! You are STUPID if you think its a marketing ploy! You are SAD

  22. sticiuliou says:

    As Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, presented the national budget for 2012-13 claiming that the economy was returning to normal, the common man didn’t seem convinced.

  23. dagoncurch says:

    UK’s most senior judges dismiss appeal by a man who claimed he was forced to retire at 65, but say employers must justify imposing mandatory retirement ages Employers can continue to set the age at which their staff retire, but only if they can prove there is strong justification for doing so, following a ruling by the supreme The UK’s most senior judges dismissed the appeal by a man who claimed he had been the victim of age discrimination when forced to retire at the age of 65, but they ruled that employers must be able to justify imposing mandatory retirement ages. The government abolished the default retirement age – the mandatory retirement age which employers could impose on their staff – in 2011, and age discrimination in the workplace is unlawful, although exceptions are allowed if they can be justified on the grounds that they are means of achieving a legitimate aim”. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said judging whether a justification is…

  24. History Day Documentary- Protest Music in the 60’s

    A Documentary about how protest music in the 1960’s fed the civil rights and youth revolution reforming the government and youth involvement in politics for years to come. I used some video’s from youtube and I do not own this. it is for school and I do not gain any monetary value from it.

    From: lovinthecountry1

    Views: 0

    0 ratings
    Time: 12:09 More in Music

  25. delmeyer says:

    Vector Marketing – Buffalo, NY – Want to get with a rapidly growing and expanding team that promotes from within and doesnt lay people off? Looking for some time work that fits around YOUR schedule? Need to supplement your income this summer? Sounds like youre looking for us. Were Vector Marketing, a 30 year-old company thats looking to add people to our team. While the economy has been rough for a lot of companies,

  26. mein ohanumatha says:

    Has anybody equated Occupy Wall Street with Boise State’s football team’s plight against the establishment of the BSC. I just did. –

  27. Soundtrack for a Revolution ‘v’ Black Power Mixtape? Neither dives deep into the civil rights story but my feet get happy for the first.

  28. every man has 2 levels of cum. 1st comes out like ketchup the 2nd comes out faster than the civil rights hose

  29. luebert nese says:

    August 4th 2011 is the day when Ales Belyatsky was arrested, a leading figure in the defense of human rights,Belarus.

  30. kosove sapin says:

    But you continued to tweet about CFA even though you claimed you were bored with them. I said nothing about “equality.”

  31. Check out the UAB Gospel Choir’s new DVD/CD set – funds raised will new tour and new recording this fall

  32. also notice you follow NFL players who speak out and equality, try & this also notice you follow NFL players who speak out and equality, try & this

  33. The basis of peace and stability, in any society, has to be the fullest respect for the human rights of all its peop …

  34. rick davie says:

    The polls may differ, but I think Romney may win this one because this time it is about the economy. draws nigh….

  35. Watch Jeff Mangum and Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto Perform Together Live Now at Occupy Wall Street’s Strike Debt Telethon … –

  36. izhak yazaribaum says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) – One of the top enforcers of the nation’s civil rights laws says government should be responsible for automatically registering citizens to vote by using existing databases to …

  37. Quote of the day
    “…the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.” Luther King Jr, Minister and civil rights leader

  38. This dude forreal wrote in my inbox and said “damn girl u out here looking bad like the economy! Wut up wit da number … –

  39. bant juaniazza says:

    Moody’s: Korea’s New President Inherits An Economy With Strong Fundamentals
    instaforex.com
    Breaking new ground at Forex? We will help you to achieve success and become a functional trader. Learn more in our section for beginners.

  40. kinson yoice says:

    a tenté de discuter avec les habitants de : “What about human rights?” -> “Sorry, I don’t speak English!” …

  41. kuzanovict heson says:

    Международная правозащитная организация Human Rights Watch (HRW) считает, что США лицемерят, продвигая права человека в других странах, не разобравшись со своими собственными проблемами. “Всем государствам, тем более продвигающим права человека в других странах, необходимо привести в порядок их собственные дела. Например, администрация Обамы (президента США Барака Обамы) отказывается давать ход уголовному расследованию чиновников из администрации Буша-младшего…

  42. the truth is, Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human righ …

  43. So I’ve led my dad to believe I am a self expressing, anit-society, human rights hippie. Just kidding he thinks I’m on crack

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *