Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Revolution at Home

"We all need to go down and join the occupation -- and not just by "liking" it on Facebook, signing a petition or retweeting protest photos."

Alternet: On the Wall Street Occupation

As my husband and I watch the video of two women being tear gassed, a young man with a professional video camera being thrown against a parked car, and an innocent woman being ripped from the crowd and thrown down onto the street by a police Sargent--all during a peaceful march on Wall Street--I rub my belly of baby and think about how I have an obligation to do something, anything at all, to change the country I live in. It sounds so melodramatic, I know, but I grew-up in the 90s when things were so damn cushy we all decided it would be fun to wear grungy clothes we found at thrift shops for a buck (now you can buy these same style T-shirts at Urban Outfitters for $30 and still look cool). I spent my twenties educating myself, watching a televised war that felt totally alien to me, listening to the Bush-era jargon of complete lies, and dealing with a father who thinks the wealthy have to pay too much money in taxes. Too much money in taxes!! Now, the GOP won't stop complaining about Obama's request to have the wealthiest Americans return to paying a fair income tax--as though these wealthy elite can't afford to pay more in taxes. Rather, the GOP thinks that we should tax Americans who make less than $22,000/ year for supporting a family of 4 ( they call this "broadening the tax base") Okay, when I was single, this amount of money did not cover my expenses, so how we came up with the idea that a family of four could live--not in poverty--on, say, $25,000/ year, is completely beyond me. Even in an incredibly rural part of the country I feel like this would be extrememly difficult.
I found my liberalism in the institution of higher education which filled me with rage for the injustices that I had grown-up sheltered from. Then I tried to work on some political campaigns, attended the usual protests and rallies surrounding liberal arts colleges, before I decided to run away to Vermont where I became an extreme liberal, and a crunchie, striped sock wearing, wine drinking, potluck loving oh I don't know what. Vermont is a strange place to grow into adulthood because all of your liberalism and progressive politics are heavily supported--we have BERNIE SANDERS for a senator! We all know how corrupt capitalism is, we love to work for barter, live under the so-called poverty line, and we never ask each other "what do you do?" upon meeting for the first time, rather, we say things like, "what are you into?" or "what are you up to?" OK, I could go on, we love our organic vegetables grown on the edge of town and sold in the Food Co-Op, our local meat farmers, our Saturday afternoon Farmer's Market, our political puppets and parades, and so on.
For years now, however, I have felt disempowered as a generation by the political, social, capitalist machine that rules my world. I've felt that protesting doesn't work, that government doesn't work, that everything good in America has been thrown under the bus. Slowly, I've grown to realize that really, really, and truly the middle class is being systematically destroyed and education is becoming a joke. Slowly I've realized that almost everything is about making money, especially health care, higher education, and media. Media, remember, is supposed to be the watch-dog of the political machine and when it's owned by the political machine it can't really do it's job. Remember, education--real education that isn't about passing a dumb test or getting a job--is what makes democracy work. Recall, (as though we're not constantly dealing with the stress of it) most industrialized nations provide health-care (as a human right) for all their citizens.
What I came here to say is that though we all can't be at the Wall Street Occupation, we can find ways to support this revolutionary action.
I hope that all of my NYC friends will find some way to get involved.
My fellow Vermonters have planned a solidarity protest in Burlington this Sunday:!/event.php?eid=251658048203937 

Sponsor an unemployed friend to go down to the occupation!
Voice support for the occupation of wall street and fair media coverage in whatever way you can.
Feed the Protest:
The Nation:
Video of Police Brutality:

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