Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Arrests of OccupyWallStreet protesters in Boston, arrest threats in Seattle ...

The OccupyWallStreet movement is the latest happening thing in America.  To me it seems like some memes from the "Arab Spring" touched nerves in the U.S. and became this outrage at Wall Street.  What's happening is in cities across the U.S. (maybe it's spread to other countries?) clusters of people have formed, camping out in their downtown areas (e.g. in San Francisco they're camped out on the sidewalk in front of the SF branch of the Federal Reserve) demanding ..something..  It's one thing to have outrage, it's another thing to focus the outrage into meaningful change especially when there's so many opinions of just what change there is to make.

It's also interesting to view this process through the different lenses available.  These popular uprisings have happened in several countries this year, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and now the U.S., and in each country events have unfolded in different ways, and it's been portrayed differently.  There's a way ones perspective or point of view changes how you interpret these things.

In the U.S. we're seeing Officialdom responding to protesters camped out downtown with police force and arrests.  In NYC a couple weeks ago hundreds of protesters were herded onto the Brooklyn Bridge, where they were arrested for blocking traffic.  We see below that in Boston a hundred or so protesters were arrested in a 1am raid with police attacking a group named "Veterans for Peace".  Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has expressed sympathy for the issues expressed by the protesters, saying that corporate fraud and greed are issues he's worked on his whole political career, "But you can't tie up a city" in defending the arrests.  In other words he's saying that the functioning of the city is more important than the protest/ers?

In Seattle the protesters were told the city was not at that time planning to commit any arrests.  However the location of their encampment, Westlake Park, is supposed to close at 10pm each night and the city officials are demanding that protesters obey that regulation, and are threatening arrests.  Further police there are banning people from carrying umbrella's; it's Seattle, everyone carries umbrella's, but protesters who want to stay outside for days at a time and stay dry will rely on umbrella's, so by banning umbrella's it's a sneaky way to make it hard on protesters to do their thing.

I'm sure the Mayor of Cairo had similar thinking last Jan/Feb with the thousands upon thousands of protesters camped out in the center of that city.  I'm sure he woulda said something like "But you can't tie up a city."   The throngs of Egyptian protesters had huge international positive press coverage, with throngs of people around the world rooting for them.  I'm sure it was inconvenient to the Egyptians to have their city blocked up by protesters, with Officialdom in part simply desiring to restore "order".  The Egyptian protesters could have complied with "you can't tie up a city" and kept their protests limited enough to let the city keep functioning, but they didn't.  They had a political regime to change, a society to remake into a positive format, converting it from brutal dictatorship to one that treats its people humanely.

The job of the Mayor is to keep the city running, right?  One could argue that a Mayor who lets protesters run rampant and disrupt things isn't doing his/her job in keeping order.  Even if in the greater scheme of things, the protesters are advocating for positive and worthy change, in the process they're disrupting order.  It's the job of the Mayor or Governor or whatever Officialdom, to work to keep the population orderly and functioning smoothly.  In other words "you can't tie up a city".

On the other hand creating change does mean interrupting the current order of how things are done, so things can be changed into a new/different order.  You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.

You might think that in the U.S. we don't have as dire a situation as they had/have in Egypt.  That our situation in the U.S. isn't as desperate as the Egyptian's or Libyan's.  But, maybe our situation is as dire, or more so, and maybe our situation is part and parcel of their situation.

The Occupy<City> movement has identified "Wall Street" as the culprits.  What they're be pointing to is the corporate-greed-control complex that has subverted the political systems not just in the U.S. but around the world.  In the U.S. a symptom has been the rampant fraud in housing mortgages - Almost a quarter of all home mortgages today are currently underwater, 2 million homes are in the foreclosure process – and at least 5 million homes have already lost to foreclosure since 2007.  A lot of it due to corporatists who set up a fraudulent system to defraud these millions of home owners out of their homes.

But the same corporatists are committing other financial sins all around the world.   "Globalization" means that it's the same global-elite-power-corporatists everywhere.  They are dominating not only the U.S. but the whole world economy.  The issues faced in Egypt in part are the same issues we have in the U.S.  In both cases our political systems have been subverted by the global power/money/elite structure, and many rightfully see e.g. the economic meltdown etc as a symptom of the looting and fraud behind the banking chaos.

 

 

Boston Police Attack Veterans for Peace by @haveyoumetter for @DigBoston

Boston’s mayor: “Civil disobedience will not be tolerated”

The worst OWS moment so far

Seattle pressures protesters to relocate

Jubilee 2012?