Occupy Wall Street – Live!

I was recently in New YorkCity for a much anticipated pleasure trip. One of theitems at the top of my “New York Bucket List” was to see the new 9/11 Memorial, which took me and my friend Laura to the financial district in Manhattan. As we were walking through the streets we passed a city park, and I noticed it was very crowded. I thought it might be a farmer’s market or some other kind of interesting festival so I went closer to get a better look. It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on at this park. It was a protest of some sort. I noticed the crowd was made up of mostly younger (under 40), mostly white people who seemed a little scruffy and unkempt,  and was reminded of the 1960’s when the Vietnam war protests were happening on college campuses all over America.  I saw a lot of dreadlocks, tattoos, and tie-dye (not that there is anything wrong with those.) There was a family (complete with their dog) sitting on a queen size mattress they had brought to the park – for that extra comfort during long protests. And this WAS a long protest…. I learned that these people had already been in the park for three days! I have been back at home for 4 days now and apparently the protest is still going on.

I walked around the park reading the signs, trying to get some idea of what the protest was about. I saw all sorts of signs but it became clear to me very quickly that this was a protest against Capitalism and, specifically, Wall Street. The signs denounced evil capitalism, evil business, evil oil, evil pharma, evil insurance companies, evil wealth, and, apparently, business and working of any kind (this last part was an assumption, but I figure if people can sit in a park for 3 days doing what appeared to be nothing they most likely weren’t being sorely missed anywhere.)  My favorite sign (which I have included in my photos) said “I might as well move to a third world country where at least I will have nice things like free health care!” I had to take a picture of that one!  I managed to bite my tongue and didn’t blurt out “Go ahead! I’ll buy you a plane ticket!”  like I wanted to, and continued to stroll around the perimeter of the park to read the signs.  As I read, a man (ironically the only person I saw in a suit) approached me from the protesting crowd. He started in about how wealth is distributed unfairly in America and that this is due to evil Capitalism, evil business etc…{see above}) He said that there are a handful of families in America who hold the vast percentage of the wealth. They make “billions of dollars” . At that point I couldn’t hold it in any longer and finally responded. I said “Wow, how awesome for those families! That’s thanks to Capitalism – isn’t it wonderful? Only in America is it possible to work hard and make billions of dollars! I wish everyone in the country would make billions of dollars!” At that point Laura started pulling on my arm saying, “Kathy, come on! You’re going to get us killed!” So I left with her. Still on the tip of my tongue was the rest of my comment to the protestor, which will have to remain unsaid except here on this blog! I would have asked him several questions. “What exactly are you doing to make America a better place by spending 3 days protesting in this park? Where did you buy your suit? Who sewed the suit? Who transported your suit to the store? Where did the money to buy the suit come from?  How exactly is Wall Street to blame for your problems? There were a million questions I’d have asked if I’d had time. I also would have pointed out the irony of the generators present at the park – allowing the protestors to use their laptops to update their blogs.

Now that I’m home, I have done some research and discovered that the group holding the protest is “Occupy Wall Street”. They are organized and they have an agenda. They have a document of Non-negotiable Demands – a manifesto of what they are asking for. There are 13 demands, and I chose just a portion of them to post here for the sake of space. Here is an example of them,  cut and pasted from OWS website (occupywallst.org):

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Really? Seriously? All that comes to mind when I read these demands is……CUCKOO!! I mean these people are truly off the wall. Just #11 is enough to have these people committed. Where would the money come from to forgive the debt held by Americans?  How could all the debts of all Americans possibly be forgiven? With what? Where does money come from? It makes absolutely no sense!

BUT….here’s the kicker!  The Occupy Wall Street group is attracting attention from “mainstream” America (namely the mainstream left). Today one of my favorite people, Michael Moore – the man who if famous for making movies that are basically anti-American propaganda and is a multi-millionaire thanks to selfish Capitalist America (and I don’t remember ever reading anything about him donating that money to the poor, oppressed, disenfranchised Americans or offering free admission to his movies) did an interview basically stating that the OWS crowd has a point – that they consist of ‘everyman’ in America. Americans, according to Moore, are tired of the status quo. Just like the protestors of the ’60’s they want change and, apparently, he agrees with them. Susan Sarandon, the activist actress – I believe also a multi- millionaire thanks to the Capitalist system – has also spoken out in support of  OWS.  Roseanne Barr (that paragon of political savvy and womanhood) and Alec Baldwin have also weighed in and expressed their support of what OWS is protesting. I cannot believe that there are mainstream and supposedly sane Americans buying into the radical, unrealistic and un-American protest of OWS. This scares me. Does it scare you?  It should.


2 Responses to “Occupy Wall Street – Live!”

  1. 1 Linda Vinson October 5, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Hmmm…I wonder how the Chinese feel about forgiving all debt. I’ll bet that bastion of Communism would weigh in on the side of the Capitalists on that point if on no other!

  2. 2 john judge October 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Get a job.
    I’ve already written two complete rants on this today.
    They are too long to post as a reply to someone’s blog.
    So my blog lives again.
    Thank you Kathy, and don’t worry, these people don’t have what it takes to affect any real change. They are doing the only thing they have the power to do, and that is to annoy you.

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