OccupyWallSt. It’s a topic trending around the globe on Twitter – everywhere but the United States, at least. New York Times headlines get quickly changed if the Gray Lady appears to be showing any sympathy for the thousands of people risking arrest, sleeping outdoors in the cold, giving of their time and voice for all the rest of us.
The thing I hear repeated over and over amongst my friends, however, is “what are they doing? what do they stand for? why?”. The consensus seems to be that they should have one goal, one handy slogan, one complaint to be addressed. While that may make the protests easier to talk about, if we all look around our lives, it is entirely too easy to see that things have gone beyond one simple phrase. Here on EcoEtsy for instance, we have concerns about the environment, pollution, and our addiction to fossil fuels. On Wall St, the protestors are speaking up about the corporations who fund the lobbyists who influence the decisions in our government. The corporations who produce the products which kill our honeybees, for instance.
So what does OccupyWallSt really want? They want you to stop for a minute in your busy day and listen. They want you to ignore the rabble-rousers and the instigators and the infiltrators who are doing their best to convince you that this protest is for anarchists and dirty hippies. They want you to put aside left and right and see that we are all in this world together. They want you, part of the 99%, to help them raise a loud enough voice to be heard over the voice of the corporations and bankers who bought our government and sold the rest of the world out.
I leave you with a few words form their newly-issued manifesto:
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies. As one people, formerly divided by the color of our skin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or lack thereof, political party and cultural background, we acknowledge the reality: that there is only one race, the human race, and our survival requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their brethren; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.