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Want to Take Over Wall Street and Regain Your Rights? Read On...

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"The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people."
— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain

Are you sick and tired of watching government hand over money, power and control to Wall Street bankers? Are you disgusted that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — programs designed to keep the sick and elderly from dying — are being cut so billionaires can have another round of tax cuts?

Are you tired of voting for Republicans and Democrats who talk a big game about helping the poor and the middle class, and then vote against poor people and the middle class at every turn? Do you want to do something about?

If millions of citizens in Libya and Egypt and Syria and Yemen and Bahrain and Iraq and Iran and Tunisia and Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Morocco can rise up and demand — not ask for, but demand! — true democracy and freedom under the law, then why can't we do the same here?

Why is it possible to get tens of thousands of people to protest in Tahrir, Egypt, at risk of death, and not expect the same of citizens here, in America? Our rights are being trampled. Our government is being stolen from us, both through fraudulent elections and outright government bribery and corruption, and no one seems to care.

Corporate America uses the Treasury Department as its own personal savings account, dipping into it whenever an emergency arises. Overextend yourself with bad loans and risky deals? Don't go out of business — get a handout from Uncle Sam! Keep the profits, socialize the losses!

They do so while also financing political parties (Republicans) who oppose any form of government assistance (food stamps, unemployment, Social Security, Medicare) to PEOPLE who need it. (Well, not all people. Tax cuts for billionaires are acceptable.) Got all that? Handouts for businesses are ok. Handouts for rich people are ok. Handouts for poor people are a travesty.

Well, you know what? Screw that and screw them. I, for one, am tired of pretending it is acceptable that the government is bought and paid for by corporate America. I am tired of pretending it is acceptable that America lets people starve to death, live homeless in the streets, and die without access to medical care. I am tired of pretending that it is OK that the top one percent of Americans take in 80% of the new income.

I am tired of watching friends and family chalk up massive layoffs and shrinking wages and declining standard of living as "the way things are." Things are this way because we've let corporate America call all the shots, without anyone to stand up and tell them "no". They've grown too large, too fast, without anyone acting as a counter-balance. That job used to belong to unions. Unions fell out of favor, primarily as middle class white folks began to see themselves as "above" working class Americans. Now there is no counter-balance, and corporate power grows unrestrained.

That leaves one social group with the power to formally restrain and rein in Corporate America: government. They're the only ones who can do it...at least, when the government isn't simply an extension of corporate America, like it has been under the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama administrations.

I know Republicans don't like to hear it, but the system the Founding Fathers was not one of no government, or minimal government, or impotent government. It certainly wasn't one of defunded, defaulting government. No, the system the Founders designed was one of checks and balances. It was a system based on the idea that concentrated power was evil, and dispersion of that power was the only way to guarantee liberty for all.

Well, in the 1770s, the biggest power units were royal governments and religion. Our system of government was designed around separating those two spheres of influence (in fact, our cultural heritage as a primarily Christian nation was touted as a counter-balance to even the base freedoms we took. The idea was that Americans would remain hard working because culturally, we were hard working). The system also balanced power between three branches of government, dividing it up so no one faction was more powerful than the system itself.

In today's world, we do not face the same problems. There is no king threatening to overtake the United States. Congress and the Courts are powerful enough to withstand even the most awful executive. But one power, specifically corporate power, has grown to where it is unrestrained. It dwarfs Congress, as seen time and time again when legislation is under consideration. It has overrun the Courts, particularly through the politicization of the Supreme Court (again, backed by corporate financing for elections). It has also now dwarfed even the powers of the President and the executive branch. There is no one left to oppose it, save for the We the People.

To that end, citizens from across the country are gathering in New York City on September 17 to do more than just piss and moan about the erosion of our rights and the rigging of the American system in favor of corporate interests.

They are going to, quite literally, occupy Wall Street. Much like how activists took over key cities in the Middle East this spring, demanding their leadership change and bring democracy to the people, New York City will be overrun with thousands of activists seeking to do the same for America.

From their website:

On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?

The most exciting candidate that we've heard so far is one that gets at the core of why the American political establishment is currently unworthy of being called a democracy: we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we're doomed without it.

Will you go? Or will you stay home as the wingtipped shoe of history slams down once again on freedom and the last, best hope for humanity?

For more information, visit https://occupywallst.org/ or follow the twitter hashtag #OccupyWallStreet.

You can reach the author by email john@benzinga.com or on twitter @johndthorpe.

Posted-In: #OccupyWallStreetNews Politics Events Global Economics Markets General Best of Benzinga

 

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