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Occupying Much More than Wall Street

10/05/2011

I know it’s some distance outside the scope of the blog, but I want to take a moment and remark on the protests that are now spreading across America. They began with the New York Occupy Wall Street protests in mid-September, but now demonstrations are cropping up all across the country, as shown in this map:

This is inspiring. America has finally grown tired of being exploited by its elite. The outright robbery that culminated in the multi-trillion dollar government ‘bailout’ (which largely benefited those who caused the economic crisis) is finally reaping some of what it’s sowed.

And it’s high time. Because the robbery continues. Wrongful foreclosure–repossession of houses whose owners are caught up on their mortgage payments–is a growing phenomenon. Another practice becoming increasingly common in the US is an abuse of civil forfeiture laws. In Massachusetts, the US Department of Justice and the police are moving to confiscate a $1,000,000 motel from a family that has owned it for two generations. Their justification? 0.0005% of the guests who have stayed there over the last 20 years have been arrested.

In A Short History of Progress (a book I’ve referenced often on Batshite), Ronald Wright warned that in the years before the collapse of countless historical civilizations, the wealthy elite sidestepped their societies’ problems by extracting wealth from the people themselves. This has occurred in the majority of civilizations throughout history–but not all. Perhaps ours will prove one of the resilient few. We have information technology, we have the last vestiges of democracy, and we have our will. Maybe we can beat this.

You know, perhaps these protests aren’t outside the scope of this blog. The protesters are being arrested en masse, but still they soldier on against the abuses they’ve suffered. They’re risking personal security to achieve essential change. They’re unquestionably batshite.

Here is a rap:

h/t Boing Boing for the map and the rap

4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    10/05/2011 9:29 PM

    When you read about companies that broke even last year, but gave their board multimillion dollar payouts, you have to ask “WTF?”. When you see investment houses that lost millions for their customers pay their brokers hundreds of thousands of dollars, there is something radically wrong. People are angry, and it finally looks like that anger is getting spread widely enough to make a difference.

    • 10/06/2011 9:26 AM

      Well, it might be too soon to tell whether the protests will make a true difference. I fear the authoritarian crackdown, which appears to have already begun.

      In New York, a nighttime protest sprang up last night–one without a permit–and police turned out in force:

      http://redgreenandblue.org/2011/10/05/cops-get-violent-vs-occupy-wall-street/

      And in San Francisco,”dozens of squad cars and Sixty Department of Public Works trucks” have shown up to shut down the budding protests their.

      http://redgreenandblue.org/2011/10/06/police-shutting-down-occupy-wall-street-san-francisco

      On the bright side, the mainstream media have started paying attention. That first link contains a video of Kieth Olberman reading the Occupy Wall Street official statement, and a report from Fox News that alleges one of its reporters was maced, and another hit with a baton.

      Definitely exciting stuff. For the first time in a while, I’m on the edge of my seat.

  2. 10/06/2011 12:38 AM

    I know. It is amazing and inspiring and I am so excited that these people are standing up and demanding their power back from the corporations. I really hope the occupation continues, and I noticed that the media has just started covering it, finally.

    It is so frustrating how much power large corporations have on governments, I hope something does come out of it in the end.

    • 10/06/2011 9:33 AM

      I hope so too, Sherry. You’re right, the government can’t do its job properly when it’s in the pockets of big business. The markets aren’t free, the economy is in shambles and the environment is threatened.

      It’s good the mainstream media have finally started covering it, but I think how late they are is illustrative of where their loyalties might lie. I think they were forced to start covering it because of the growing awareness online.

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