Everyone is asking us. What do we want? What do we think we can possibly accomplish by occupying parks and plazas all over the country. What has to happen for all of us to pack it up and go home? Mayor Bloomberg told us we’re destroying jobs. He said we’re too stupid to understand why we’re pissed off. They’re calling us mobs; totally unlike the tea-party rallies this past summer. Yeah, we don’t have any tri-corner hats, teabags attached to our clothes, or awesome signs. What we do have is the support of millions of Americans that recognize that the deck is stacked against them.
If you walk through Zuccotti Park (yes I still call it Zuccotti instead of Liberty Plaza because I like the fact that we took over a park named after one of the 1%), you can ask 100 people why they’re here and get 100 different answers. You’ll find the exact same thing at any gathering of protesters. The one thing that ties all of us together is the fact that 99% of the American people have been thrown by the wayside and left behind to the benefit of the top 1%. We want the system that has failed us to change. We want a revolution of America’s morals and values.
So how do we accomplish this? The first step is changing the conversation and forcing people to recognize the gross inequality inherent in the current economic situation. In the graph below, you can see how we’ve already increased usage of the term “income inequality” in the news over the past two months.
Acknowledging the problem is the first step in remedying it. Millions of Americans can’t afford to pay for their basic needs. Millions more are literally one missed paycheck away from being forced out onto the streets to live. This cannot stand. We live in the wealthiest nation on earth, yet this is how we treat our fellow citizens? Our neighbors? Our families?
“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
On Saturday, a little girl stopped her mother on the sidewalk in front of me and asked “Mom, why are all these people camping out in the park?”. “Well honey, the Government hasn’t been listening to them, so they came down here to make sure the Government can hear them”. So we peaceably assemble in the heart of the world’s foremost financial district, the proverbial scene of the crime, to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. We will not leave until change does occur.
I saw a great sign yesterday that read “If you can’t afford to miss a day of work to come down here, you belong here“. Please support Occupy. If not monetarily or with donations then in raising awareness through conversation with your friends, coworkers, neighbors, church goers, bank tellers, even the checker at the grocery store. Occupy people’s minds and change will happen. Thank you for your support.
We Are Many. We Are One. We Are The 99%.