Sorry for the momentary black out… I was down the way in PDX (Portland for the uninformed… ;> D) doing the Occupy Portland in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, I could not do the four or more hours it would have taken to be a part of the longer march through the streets.
The police estimated that 5-6000 people were part of the crowd. From what I saw there were possibly more than that involved. The police seemed cool to the proceedings and the way everything was done showed a lot of forethought in keeping everything focused. What I really loved was that the message is still nicely fractured and there are not leaders to co-opt.
As Randi Rhodes said today on the radio, “Accept no money, accept no help.” The funniest takes I heard in the last couple of days was Thom Hartmann quoting Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they listen to you and then you win.” It is funny because it is true. Seeing Faux Nooz trying to get ahead of what they cannot get ahead of is warming me all over.
One would have to be really, really stupid (I am talking on the order of single digit I.Q.’s) to ask a protester why they were there. There were so many creative signs explaining that WE (the 99%) have been marginalized by the current system. We have been so co-opted by corporate messaging that, oh gosh, what don’t you get? I have seen Nooz-casters flummoxed by the odd responses they get from protesters. All I can say is that if we do not get money out of our politics and reverse the Citizens United decision making corporations people there will be a festering wound for a very long time. The signs I saw being carried were varied but here is a short list of topics:
Jobs – Pass the American Jobs Act now
End corporate personhood
End the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq
We need single payer health care for all
Get the money out of the political process
Stop the corporate greed take over
Bring back the middle class
Jail the Banksters
Fix the Supreme Court (Recall Justices Thomas & Scalia)
Stop the lobbying carousel
Put Congress on the same medical & retirement system as everyone else
Support planned parenthood
Support the unions
Well, you get the idea. It is all about undoing the Republican agenda of the last thirty or so years. The R’s have become the John Birch Society without anybody noticing. It was such a slow process that started with undermining the party with social issues. Being paid for by remote control by the richest individuals and corporations through a variety of lobbying/advertising firms the corruption is very, very clear now.
I will be at other future protesting planned for the next few weeks and hope that I can fill in and help channel positive change. Keep in mind that this is a lot like the anti-Viet Nam protests but even more important and broad based. Here we have literally dozens of issues (likely more) that need attention right now. This form of protestation is the best sort… rooted in deep unrest that it will not be held back once started.
Next week - Occupy Vancouver