Tuesday, November 15, 2011


this protester sums up our society's problems perfectly

Disclosure - so while I haven't slept in the park or been arrested, I've been to the protest in Zucotti Park / Liberty Square four times, donated $60, and participated in a general assembly.

It saddens me that Bloomburg decided to taint his legacy by cowardly banning media access and raiding Occupy Wall Street at 1:00 AM Tuesday morning. The protesters are just exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble, and given the importance of their cause, they should be allowed to continue.

Economic injustice is a serious problem for our country's long term health. There is a widely held misconception that concentrated wealth is harmless, particularly if the economy is growing. But our financial system is wealthy enough to effectively buy the government, and has perverse incentives given the preference for short term gains over long term sustainability. It's important to remember our current economic malaise is a direct result of wall street banks taking grossly irresponsible risks on the gamble that the U.S. Treasury would bail them out if it ever went sour. Worked out great for them, for the rest of us, not as much.

The Occupiers' presence is a constant reminder of this injustice. I've heard more than a handful of critics suggest that these hippies or whatever get jobs. Sounds fantastic, but that's not easy in this economy. Occupy reminds everyone, regardless of political mindset, that wide scale unemployment / underemployment has consequences.

Occupy is not perfect. A lot of people want a clear agenda, but Occupy is still in a gestation period. I think the most substantial thing actually happening right now - and it seems like every news story I've read has missed this - is like minded political organizers are meeting and working together to form real social networks, of both the pre- and post-Facebook variety. Foundation-level political infrastructure is forming right before our eyes.

OWS leadership Jesse LeGreca

I hope it eventually focuses on affecting national politics by electing representatives who focus strongly on opposition to corporatism (i.e., socialism for corporations). Break up the big banks, eliminate corporate tax loopholes, end corporate personhood.

As a political junkie, I can't help wonder how Obama will react to the raid. The 2012 election, barring a complete economic collapse, is his to lose (if you don't believe this you haven't taken a close enough look at his challengers). He's always been a cautious politician. I hope, like he has before but not often enough, he'll do what's right this time.

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