By: Trevor – Austin

On Thursday, October 6th, 2011, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement will come to Austin, Texas. Inspired by courageous peoples in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere, thousands have taken to the streets unafraid of tear gas and undaunted by media blackouts. As we prepare to take our place alongside them in their struggles, is there any doubt as to why we are called to do so? Has there ever been a more powerful, poignant, and pivotal historic moment than now?

As the philosopher Cornell West said from the streets of New York, this movement is a democratic awakening, a realization that a tiny minority of the American population controls the vast majority of the wealth, a realization that the middle class is evaporating while quality of life diminishes, a realization that political and economic forces are gathering to ensure that these trends only become increasingly severe.

Over the past decades, political decadence has led to greater and greater economic disparity brought about, for example, by:

(1)  The increasing privatization of the health care system facilitated by the unchecked greed of pharmaceutical corporations and insurance companies such that human welfare has become an industry,

(2)  The mutation of education from a fundamental right of citizens into a for-profit business at all levels,

(3)  Tax breaks for the richest Americans along with loopholes to insure that they will retain an unjust portion of their wealth,

(4)  The christening of corporations as “persons” exempt from paying their fair share to promote a common infrastructure,

(5)  Revolving door policies that allow those who once lobbied for corporate interests to swiftly move into positions of industry regulation,

(6)  White collar criminals escaping responsibility for their avarice or never being brought to trial,

(7)  Recent legislation that allows for unlimited corporate funding of public elections,

(8)  The removal of workers’ rights to organize (as exemplified by the public employees of Wisconsin),

(9)  The erasure of environmental regulations that protect common health in the name of increasing corporate profits,

(10)        The erosion of the rights of women, persons of color and sexual difference to have financial equality and job security,

(11)        And waves of elected officials who will stop at nothing to ensure that corporate lobbyists have their voices heard in Washington before those of the starving and unemployed!

These same politicians believe that the situation is “Every man for himself!” and that no one is beholden to anyone else’s welfare, yet they laughably profess to be persons of religious values. These same politicians would forcibly demand that you bring another hungry, naked mouth into the world and yet refuse to help you feed it. These same politicians do not bat an eye at the thought of spending trillions of dollars on brutal colonial wars and occupations, nor balk at the allowing predatory lenders from the banking industry to send us all into economic turmoil, yet they have the audacity to blame someone else for what they have done. But no more!

We are tired of them taking for their own what should be held in common. We are tired of the lie of equal economic opportunity. We are tired of medical debt and health care debt and the reckless arrogance that would have us default on our debt. We are tired of tax breaks for millionaires and corporate loopholes while people go hungry in the streets. We are tired of our rights to organize and be paid equally and have our jobs protected being eroded. We are tired of those who would claim we are not the keepers of our brothers and sisters. We are tired of endless corporate lobbying and the greedy vile oligarchy it has spawned!

We are the poor.

We are the powerful.

We are the 99%, the multitude by whom this country is shared in common.

And we are here to take it back!

Join us…

This post is also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes/trevor-hoag/why-we-occupy/242082389177604

One Response

  1. Hello, I’d like to say something that will probably be beneficial to all protest movements in the world. I talk to all the movements, it is because there are a lot of similar situations across the globe.
    So I would like to begin by the movement “Occupy Wall Street”, this movement was launched by an anti-consumerist alternative magazine. This movement, I think, is clearly anti-capitalist as it fights against banks and oligarchies of the economy.
    I think it’s a mistake, it’s not the financial masters or the economic system that must be fought in the popular movements. It’s first the political leaders, because they allowed this unjust system. Indeed, if people do not revolt despite all the injustices in society, it is because they believe they are living in a democracy, they think they live in a just and necessary political system. And so, the problem is political, first, as the people follow the system in which they are told to believe is fair. In our societies the political and economic systems are closely linked thru: mass corruption and conflicts of interest
    We should not be mistaken. If finance and economics seem to dominate the world today, it is with the permission and assistance of governments over time. Without the approval of the governments’ so-called “democracy”, it would not happen. Thus, you can’t fight solely against banks and finance: people already know banks are not on their side, people know the injustice of our economic system, yet they do not rebel. Because for them it would be inconsistent with our “democracies”. Indeed, if the democratic system allows for the economic system, so what legitimacy do we have to fight against global finance, which is somehow authorized by democratic governments.As you can see, we do not live in a democracy, the people have no power, and this is where we must act.
    Movements which, moreover, appear clearly anti-capitalist, will remain doomed to marginalization in view of the meaning of “communism” to the extreme majority of people.

    We must give the solutions, and not only focus on the problems. One of the solutions Spanish activists have proposed with the emerging movement of “indignados” is real democracy. In delegitimizing our political systems, and creating a real democracy, people can then eliminate capitalism or global finance if they wish.

    The Spaniards made other mistakes in the indignados movement, including writing “manifestos” similar to those created by political parties. We must not make propostition on social or economic issues. To bring everyone together, we must focus on criticizing the political system (with all bad consequences that oligarchies create), and we must emergence an alternative: real democracy. Once we live in a democracy, then we can solve all problems through dialogue and transparency.

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