Archive for October, 2011
I decided to see what the protests were all about. I wanted to know what the hype was all about. As anyone my age would want: I wanted a piece of the action.
So at about 2 o’ clock in the afternoon, I walked down to West Lake with my girlfriend. I was a little anxious to see what was happening since I had been in Seattle for a couple days already and had not been there. I was excited, imagining angry mobs, molotov cocktails and policemen armed with fire hoses.
I arrived on the scene to see a slightly different story: There was a speaker on stage, introducing a folk musician, and a widely diverse group of people who all began singing along with his tunes. There were police, of course, but they were unoccupied, and stood on the scene, grinning and murmuring amongst each other. The mood was happy, even on that cloudy day.
It was mostly college students and other young people, but there were scores of white haired professor types and young children. Some were modestly dressed in typical Rain City atire, while others wore arm bands and ski masks. It was what anyone would expect to see at a very liberal political gathering. But the scene was not just for liberal hearts – at least it was not meant to be.
There was a first aid station (I even saw what appeared to be a “medic”), a place for free food, a place to build your own picket, and an information center. It was an urban camp ground.
My girlfriend felt claustrophobic about the place, and I don’t blame her. The place was swarming with people who looked like they’d been hoboing it for the last couple months. We left.
I came back the next day, though, only to find a much different tone amongst the crowd. When I approached there wasn’t any joyful screaming; only the sound of a sombre saxaphone playing somewhere out down the road. Perfectly Seattle.
There were no speakers or folk singers on the stage. There were just large circular crowds of people around the area (most of whom I’d seen the day before.) And tents; several dozen of them all crowded together, bunched up, from front to back, of all different colors, sorrounded by pickets and signs hung up amongst the trees.
The information booths still remained so I walked around, talking to the people promoting them. They were socialists, anarchists, republicans, and other politically bound people. They all had interesting things to say.
A man from the International Socialist Organization invited me to their mettings and tried to get me on their email list which he claimed was just for “information.” Another booth had a guy my age dressed in all black with a flag exclaiming revolution, passing out “Fighting for Our Lives; An Anarchist Primer.”
The most notable thing I observed was a particular group of people. They were sitting cross legged near the tents with pads and pens and laptops, talking to each other in quiet voices. I walked a little slower as I passed them; eavesdropping. They were discussing politics. Not in the same drunken half-blitzed way I would at the local bar, but in a serious way where each person took their time to explain what to do next.
They are a little ragged looking, and maybe the list of demands is in debate amongst the figure-heads of the movement. Seattles, The Stranger, writes that they have “a very specific set of ideals in common.” Those being: Fairness, justice, and jobs. It sounds good to me. I find it more and moree difficult to stay off that band wagon everyday.
There are a lot of protesters who would make an ugly scene for people like me, who are unsure of what to endorse. There are a lot of people who aren’t protesting at all, but instead selling weed. And maybe the whole of them aren’t accomplishing anything at all by occupying Seattle, and are just wasting their tiem.
“It’s hard to tell,” said a socialist promoter, on whether the movement would last. Just before I left, he told me, physically, they will most likely disband in January due to weather, but the ideas and the spirit will stay with us.
The movement has accomplished at least one thing: local grassroots movements across the world. It is anarchy at its kindest. As unorganized as it looked, and as haphazard as it really is, people are coming together to feed and care for each other for a good purpose.
Why is the Iranian terrorist plot not being talked about? A terrorist plot, I might add, that was recently unfoiled, on American soil, and planned by a legitimate power.
No outrageous patriotism?
No massive government conspiracy?
Someone please write something about this before I lose it. There was a serious threat to our country from a high-end Iranian military force (IRGC), and no one seems to care.
I’m not one for scaring people, and I do remember a similar “scheme” involving U.S. and Iranian patrol boats skirmishing (all of which WAS a conspiracy), but this story is a little too wild to be true:
Iranian’s allegedly are paying off an American to hire a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate Saudi and Israeli diplomats. With proof as well. At least proof enough for the President to condemn another Arab country.
I’m not sure what scares me more: no hot press, or being shipped away to fight in Tehran.
In my mind, I see the last protester on Wall Street, tied to a torture rack, screaming this:
“MONEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!” and then some government official with a business suit and executioners mask swings an ax across their neck, decapitating them. Maybe I have been watching too much Brave Heart. I don’t know, but once this protest fails (as all of them do), there will certainly be another. And that poor decapitated protesters sword -er, picket, will be thrown across the next battle field into the street by a Scotsman in war paint and another great battle will rage. One involving more rebellious teenagers, more pooping on cop cars, and more sleeping on dirty mattresses in the street. It will be GLORIOUS!
However, I do have a spot in my heart for any vocal citizen in the street with a picket (that includes those dreaded Tea Partiers as well). But every time I see a video or a photo of these Wall Street Protesters, I sort of just shake my head and sigh. When I was younger, and before I joined the military, I went to some of the anti-war demonstrations in Seattle (an oxymoron, I know), and what I saw there was the same thing: Old smoked-out college professors, young kids trying to rebel against the “system,” anarchists (complete with ski-masks!) and various other sorts. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs… I, of anyone, should know this. But this “movement” as some call it, has no backbone, and looks absolutely ridiculous. While I’m sure some of these people are good, intelligent, anxious people who feel they have been dealt an injustice, most of them look like people living in the shadow of the 1960s.
But hey! That’s okay with me. In fact, I think it’s for the best. There’s nothing more ferocious, or more overpowering than a mass of human bodies. Seriously. Have you seen The Walking Dead? That’s what we’re dealing with in this situation: F***** zombies. Because there is no “President” (or tribal leader – a shaman perhaps) the protesters are free to do or say whatever they want without too much negative backlash from the media. This also means they can be blamed for anything really… But I don’t think they care; they’re grass roots pirates. Yarghhh, and they’ll stop at nothin to get their booty! That being…. a bunch of things… their demands are a little hazy, and well, unrealistic.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you either think I’m a total flop on these subjects, or I’m a complete idiot. That said, I believe these protesters have a good thing going for them and so long as they remain a slightly neurotic, spontaneous mass of freaks and Union workers. ALSO! I believe they are a bunch of uber-liberal sheep with nothing better to do but herd each other in circles. ALSO ALSO! Sometimes, you must follow before you can lead…. your quote for the day. Write that down.
Describing the Wallstreet Protest as “class warfare” is the smartest thing that I’ve ever heard Mitt Romney or Herman Cain say – not that they approve of the protests.
Similar to the Arab Spring protests throughout Africa and the Middle East, the protesters occupation of DC is fueled by the social media and is making a stir.
Unfortunately for the protesters, they lack leadership. Because they are just another ragged gang of baked hipsters, Union workers, and various enemies of “The Man,” they are in the same frantic boat as the Tea Party. No captain, no sails, and surrounded by sharks that resemble police.
I will give credit where it is due, though, because in many ways, the Wallstreet Protest is a cool thing. This isn’t a philosophical protest against the war, and it is not a battle between conservatives and liberals. It is a mass of Americans who are mad about what they see happening to the U.S.
The protesters concern is a legitimate one after all. While rich Americans and politicians prosper, middle and lower class Americans are suffering from unemployment and taxes. More information can be found on the protesters website occupywallst.org. Included on the website is a list of thirteen demands:
- Restoration of a living wage.
- Universal single payer healthcare system.
- Guaranteed wage, regardless of employment.
- Free college education.
- Boost alternative energy economy demand.
- One trillion dollars in infrastructure spending.
- One trillion dollars in ecological restoration.
- “Racial and gender equal rights amendment.”
- Open borders for working and living.
- Reform election system.
- Forgiveness of ALL debt (read it, I’m not lying).
- “Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.”
- Give workers the option of being represented by a union.
I know, I know, this sounds like complete heresy, but is it really as bad as the Tea Party denouncing the Statue of Liberty as un-American? Like any protest, the police are just waiting for them to get tired, or bored of sleeping in the street, eating granola, and playing Kumbaya on their guitars so that they can clean up the mess and set the streets back to normal.
But that’s not what happened in Libya or Egypt. Are the American people suffering as much as those people though? A better question is how much bullsh*t can we take, and what are we entitled to? Current events in America have shown us that we aren’t as free as maybe we should be. To some, this is a sacrifice that they are willing to accept for their safety; to others, this is an outrage, and it is disturbing that we continue on this way.
No one deserves a pat on the back for this. This needs to be taken seriously. Even if the demands are not met, the American people need to flex some muscle and prove to the government, that if they cannot be heard, than they will be seen.
In a sense I am glad, but I am not hopeful. (I am totally pessimistic anyway.) If such a group had some leadership, and possibly some political power, we could start avoiding the clashes with police and god forbid, any other unwanted violence. My vote goes to Lloyd J. Hart.