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Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Revolution Has Arrived to America

Don’t believe anyone who says that the new movement in the United States called “Occupy Wall Street” that was born only a few weeks ago has no aim or clear objectives.

This is a grassroot movement born out of the frustration of the majority of Americans who live under and abide by the Capitalist rule. They obediently pay taxes or get hugely penalized, punished and jailed if they don’t. They are charged hefty fees for being late on their credit card payments and burdened with higher interest rates as a result. They are slapped with bank fees for simple transactions whenever bankers feel like it. They must abide, because they have no say and no power whatsoever although it’s their money that banks are using and abusing as they get the entire nation down a recession that looks hopeless at this point.

Americans lose their homes if they default on their mortgage payments. They work very hard to earn a living for a decent lifestyle, a decent education for their children, and -- if they’re lucky -- a bright future. Once upon a time, this was warmly referred to as the “American Dream.” Today, the dream is more like a nightmare, as many Americans find themselves without jobs, without healthcare and over their heads with debt and bills they have no means to pay. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is demanding a change in that respect.

That same majority watched in awe as corporate bankers and Wall Street executives were “bailed out” in 2008 after they drove the U.S. economy down the ditch with their greed, arrogance and mismanagement. Many Americans now worry that their life savings will vanish into thin air as more banks continue to fail. Many Americans want vital government programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare to be there for them when they retire. Those same Americans who contribute to the Social Security pot through taxes are demanding fair contributions to match the earnings from all. In other words, those who earn more should pay more taxes; otherwise they are a burden on that common pot.

The economic crisis of 2008, the very expensive wars that the United States has been involved in since 2001 and an unfair system that punishes the Middle Class and the poor while it keeps giving breaks to the extremely wealthy has people up in arms. It has been painful to see people’s life savings disappear in front of their eyes. Meantime, the same people who brought on this crisis were getting paid millions of dollars as a way to save the country from what was then described as “an even worse economic crisis.” Many bought into this story and swallowed the bitter pill in hopes that someone, somewhere, knows more than they do and will get the United States out of its economic troubles; far from it. It turns out that life continued as usual for the top 1% and it kept getting worse for the remaining 99%.

Then came the Arab Spring. Americans watched young Arabs rebel against the system of injustice and inequality. Many of them watched and applauded the determination and resilience of Arabs who have had enough and shifted their focus from requesting change to demanding it as their right. Americans watched Arabs as they imposing change in the most peaceful ways despite dictatorships that tried to silence them in all possible ways.

The successful use of technology in spreading messages and organizing protests was also something Americans have observed closely. Many of them also participated in campaigns in support of the post 2009 election demonstrations in Iran. The Tunisian uprising, which led to what became known as the “Arab Spring,” also started on the Internet with many activists, including Americans, spreading the message of Mohamed Bouazizi and Sidi Bouzid. Americans on social media sites were very supportive of the Arab movements and followed them with great interest as they moved from one country to another.

It is not surprising that Americans took to the streets wanting to “occupy Wall Street.” This is now a battle of Main Street versus Wall Street corporations and their cozy relationship with the American government. What is disappointing is how mainstream media ignored the movement until recently. Were they hoping it’s all a dream and it will disappear as quickly as it appeared? Maybe; but instead the movement persisted and it has been spreading organically and virally all across the United States with new cities added every single day with more organization and more voices demanding equality for all Americans.

This non-violent movement which looks a lot like a hippies reunion at times or a gathering of yogis at other times, might turn out to be exactly what America needs right now.

Republicans are questioning the real motives behind it dismissing it as unorganized and without a clear agenda. Democrats are trying to embrace it especially that President Barack Obama just acknowledged this past week the participants’ frustration and echoed them.

“Occupy Wall Street” aims to bring attention to political, social and economic inequalities that plague the United States at this time in history. It is not a political party for sure as it was born spontaneously and has no clear leadership or manifesto; but if it continues at the rate it is going, some serious political leaders might find it a perfect platform to launch what might be America’s true Democracy for all.

This week, the U.S. Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act, a jobs bill presented by President Obama as a way to help the economy. Let’s see if it passes and who will support it versus who will block it. Either way, expect “Occupy Wall Street” to play a role before, during and after the vote.

3 Comments:

Keep the conversation going...

Blogger Prof. Jelel Ezzine said...

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Free Tunisia, siblings of Hannibal, Ibn Khaldoun and Aboul Kassim Echabi, the World is watching your brave and peaceful awakening, and hearing your calls for freedom and dignity! Keep it up and your vision will shine sky high, and beyond your borders as it is already swiftly sweeping your neighborhood and beyond! The pages of post-modern history are being engraved in humanity's memory and Free Tunisia are its first engravings.
http://jasminrevolution.blogspot.com/

October 10, 2011 at 4:32 AM  
Blogger Prof. Jelel Ezzine said...

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Free Tunisia, siblings of Hannibal, Ibn Khaldoun and Aboul Kassim Echabi, the World is watching your brave and peaceful awakening, and hearing your calls for freedom and dignity! Keep it up and your vision will shine sky high, and beyond your borders as it is already swiftly sweeping your neighborhood and beyond! The pages of post-modern history are being engraved in humanity's memory and Free Tunisia are its first engravings.
http://jasminrevolution.blogspot.com/

October 10, 2011 at 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are the "great unwashed masses", looking for a "cause" to hang their hat on. Trying to blame the banks, coporate America, or some branch of government or party for their situation. The "Jobs Bill" is useless to bring real economic recovery to America. The only way to bring REAL jobs, not taxpayer funded handouts, is for the government to stay out of regulating corporations (ie. where they want to do business, open factories,huge taxes, etc.), allow unrestricted exploration and drilling of new domestic oil production (like it or not, we are a economy driven by oil), and an end to opressive union influence in the public and private sectors.

October 10, 2011 at 9:55 PM  

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