Friday, October 7, 2011

A peaceful and productive first rally...

Several hundred (or more) protesters ("the 99%") marched peacefully through the streets of downtown Bellingham tonight to protest the inequality of wealth in our country. These protests are taking place literally in hundreds of cities across the United States and tonight's march in Bellingham showed just how deep the understanding and intuition of the malfeasance that corporate capitalism has foisted upon our country's socio-economic fabric.   Unlike the "Tea Party", there is no apparent big money behind these "occupations" or "rallies".  People across the nation seem to understand almost as one body that corporate capitalism and greed has sucked the wealth and prosperity out of our schools, governments, and families. The long standing imperialist wars our country has fought overseas,  the lack of appropriate taxation of the wealthy, and the unregulated, undisciplined excess of the leaders of our financialized economy has created grass roots discontent across a wide fabric. These were hardly just the young or students in this rally.  These protests will not stop or fade as long as joblessness, poverty, and inequality of wealth continue to maintain prominent profiles across small town America.

Here in Bellingham tonight there was no use of 'kettling', 'pepper spray', or any other evidence of 'police brutality'.  Our police department appeared to concentrate on creating a safe space for the protesters downtown to march despite the interruption of traffic.    Other municipalities could use some notes from the BPD on how to protect a democratic populace and allow for freedom of assembly simultaneously. These protesters are going to come back every Friday. I suggest we all join them. Too much financial collapse has gone on for too long, too many have lost their jobs, too many have lost their homes. At some point, if we wish our country to survive, we will have to work together to build an economic system not based upon "market forces" but upon deep and well-regarded principles of humanitarianism.


Expected Optimism said...

No apparent big money behind these protests, really? Have you missed all the reporting of big unions backing these protests?

Also, can you explain how a movement whose very name evokes images of forceful occupation has anything to do with humanitarianism?

These people would have a lot more legitimacy if their demands didn't boil down to "let's change everything by re-electing Obama".

Ryan M. Ferris said...

I don't see the money links yet. I see some far right allegations without much substantiation. The Unions, Move-On, Van Jones, Code Pink,George Soros, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein have all expressed some support or outright endorsed the Occupy movement and some have contributed. But if there was big money behind last night's march in Bellingham, I couldn't discern it. I will admit such influences could happen and could be present. So far, the movement seems very wide spread and very populist.

Here's a Think Progress article discussing the Koch brothers financing of the tea party: