Monday, October 3, 2011

TBTI: protests too big to ignore

when the asphyxiated press puts it out on the wire like this, you know the occupy wall street protests have become too big to ignore:
The Associated Press: Anti-Wall Street protests spread nationwide: "NEW YORK (AP) — Protests against Wall Street spread across the country Monday as demonstrators marched on Federal Reserve banks and camped out in parks from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine, in a show of anger over the wobbly economy and what they see as corporate greed.
In Manhattan, hundreds of protesters dressed as "corporate zombies" in white facepaint lurched past the New York Stock Exchange clutching fistfuls of fake money. In Chicago, demonstrators pounded drums in the city's financial district. Others pitched tents or waved protest signs at passing cars in Boston, St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.
The arrest of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend galvanized a slice of discontented America, from college students worried about their job prospects to middle-age workers who have been recently laid off."
it's a refreshing change of pace from the warmed-over bullshit that passes for financial reporting. it's long been observed that the economy and finance march to the drummer of big business, and it's always up-tempo cheerleading for corporate rapacity. even when the wheels fall off the economy, it's full speed ahead with the top down, a hot trophy babe in the passenger seat.

just as the protests haven't focused on a single, compelling message, so the coverage seems to meander around a bunch of discordant themes and images. we go from face-painted hippies to unemployed workers, and perhaps a sideways glance at the federal reserve bank -- which by rights ought to be the target of most of the outrage, since it's the locus of the fractional reserve ponzi that enriches the oligarchs while raping the working person.

this will be a crucial time in the evolution of the movement -- it can either coalesce into a coherent and forceful weapon of resistance to the system that is gradually reducing 99 percent of the population to wage slavery and debt peonage, or it will be co-opted and neutered by the minions of the status quo -- the same way the tea party movement was co-opted by moneyed interests like the koch brothers.

the young, poor and unemployed have provided the initial push and muscle to get the protest off the ground and onto wire services. what it critical at this point is for the unemployed middle-aged workers to converge on the sites of these protests as well. at some point, the business owners will join, if the movement is indeed capable of reaching some kind of critical mass -- a self-sustaining chain reaction that draws more and more reaction from the corrupt power structure.

there remains a void, however, in crystallizing sentiment around a simple and compelling idea, something along the lines of this snippet out of AP's story:
"Our beautiful system of American checks and balances has been thoroughly trashed by the influence of banks and big finance that have made it impossible for the people to speak," said protester Marisa Engerstrom, of Somerville, Mass., a Harvard doctoral student.
whether the US system has ever been a thing of beauty, there is a terrible beauty in masses of frustrated and impatient people coming out in force to take on a corrupt and thieving plutocracy that is ruining life for the vast majority because their greed is never satisfied.

until corporate money is removed from the political process, and supreme court decisions giving corporations the same rights as people are overturned, we'll be locked in a struggle to wrest the economy from the hands of the federal reserve bank.

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