The Meaning of “Occupy Wall Street”

September 17th marked the beginning of a movement that is growing by the day, and has the potential to change political America. Let us hope.

It’s incoherent. There are many thousands of people and few who could be called leaders. So far there are no specific demands, although there will be in time, and they will reflect the needs of America’s citizens, and not it’s corporations, banks, and the super rich.

Pilots, the Transport Workers Union, Communications Workers of America, a number of US Marines, nurses’ unions, George Soros, Joseph Stiglitz, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Warren Buffet, Cornel West, at least 800 young AFL-CIO workers, various celebrities, a few congressional members, the United Steelworkers Union, and workers of all kind have pledged solidarity. Unions, which have been savaged by the right for decades, are nearly unanimous in support, and represent hundreds of thousands of people.

Like-minded groups have either launched or are in planning stages in most larger and quite a few smaller cities in the country, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, New Haven, Baltimore, San Francisco, Philadelphia, DC, Seattle, Albuquerque, Baltimore, San Diego, Asheville, Santa Rosa, Green Bay, Jacksonville, San José, St. Louis… Over 200, by Daily Kos count.

Do you get the feeling that people are pissed off, and are not the slightest bit fooled by the corporate-owned federal government, with politicians rotating regularly from government offices to K Street lobbying offices and back? You bet. People are pissed off, and they are smart and articulate about it, if not yet coherently organized.

Put it this way: If there are 250 cities participating in this act of insubordination, and, say 2000 people who have participated in some way at each one, and at least 100 people who support the movement but haven’t directly participated for each of these, there are at least 50-million people actively interested in action to take back their country. In short, this is something we should pay a lot of attention to. Whole presidencies have been decided by much smaller numbers. It is our “Arab Spring” if we make it so.

What does it mean? It means that the class warfare that has dominated and diminished our lives for forty years just might be coming to an end.


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