As I perused my way through Patchdom this week, I was surprised to see we haven’t conducted a west suburban poll on the merits of the Occupy Wall Street movement. You already can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an on the subject.
Since I’d never want us to be considered behind a bunch of teeth-clenched-while-they-talk elitist New Englanders, I think it’s time we far-more-sophisticated-west-suburban folk wade in on this burgeoning protest movement.
Of course, no Patch poll would be complete without me doing my darndest to skew the results in the specific direction. And I have to say, I haven’t felt this giddy since Mr. Dylan first uttered that subversive phrase, “The times, they are a-changin'.”
Unless you’ve been living in Berwyn, you already know our month-old Occupy Wall Street movement started with a small group of folks staging a '60s-style sit in at Zuccotti Park in New York City’s famous financial district.
And since its September inception, the movement has grown exponentially, spreading to virtually every major U.S. city and beyond. We now have a full-fledged Chicago chapter, a group of Aurorans just marched in front of a Bank of America, and an Occupy Evanston movement is in process.
Though those blithering Fox News talking heads derisively sneered at the protestors for failing to issue specific demands, one can’t help but admire the Zen nature of this movement. Their mere presence is a demand!
For the past decade we’ve witnessed the kind of damage that can be wrought by corporate greed, a financial sector run amok and a political party co-opted by the wealthiest Americans. In response to that imbalance, these protestors are simply saying, “Remember us? We matter! You’ve ignored the 99 percent for far too long.”
Some in this loosely knit movement have issued specific and reasonable stipulations. They want more SEC financial sector oversight. They want those behind the subprime mortgage fiasco to be held accountable. They want the Supreme Court to reverse their decision by overthrowing a 100-year-old precedent by allowing corporations to make unlimited campaign contributions. They want the banks and government to forgive student debt.
Of course, this didn’t stop the Fox News nincompoops from trying to portray this diverse group as nothing more than a gaggle of itinerant college students bent on the destruction of western civilization as we know it. Contrary to what that moron Sean Hannity said, they don’t hate capitalism, they actually want to preserve it.
Considering our economic state, stronger financial oversight certainly sounds like a good idea to me. I’d give my left you-know-what to see the former Countrywide Mortgage CEO behind bars. And you know what? Forgive my socialist heart here, but forgiving student debt isn’t such a bad idea, either.
Why not! Wasn’t it financial sector shenanigans that tanked the economy, and then, facing that self-inflicted extinction, we, the taxpayer, bailed them out. When do all those fine middle class folks who’ve had to face foreclosure get their bail out?
And you’d think these rescued financial institutions would show some sympathy, but not only have these banks failed to evince any gratitude, in addition to jacking up fees, their latest tactic is to sue foreclosed homeowners for the remainder owed. It’s unconscionable. And remember, because of the credit card industry’s lobbying efforts, regular folks can’t declare bankruptcy anymore—only corporations can.
Then the very Standard & Poors idiots who gave those doomed mortgage-backed securities a triple-A rating just downgraded our treasury bonds. NOW they get religion!
If the government doesn’t provide the appropriate deterrents and necessary consequences to combat corporate and Wall Street malfeasance, then it’s up to the people to step up and, in their best Italian, say “basta.”
Occupy Wall Street is the kind of movement the Tea Party should have been! And one of the best things about the far-more-numerous Occupy movement is it signals the long overdue death knell for the Tea Party. Every day those protestors sit outside the Chicago Federal Building, the Tea Party becomes that much less relevant.
These Occupy protestors are true patriots who want to preserve a middle-class way of life that’s rapidly being eroded. This country was founded on dissent. This is democracy at its finest! What’s wrong with “justice for all”?
And it's already having an effect. It’s working. After GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romeny referred to the Occupy movement as “dangerous” and “class warfare,” he reversed himself this week in New Hampshire saying, “I look at what’s happening on Wall Street and my own view is, boy, I understand how those people feel … The people in this country are upset.” Someone sees the writing on the wall.
Patchland! Rise up and throw off your political shackles! We can “vote” in places other than the polling place.
So let’s follow our New York, Chicago and Aurora brethrens’ fine example. Who wants to get Occupy Wheaton going? There are three Elmhurst Bank of Americas ripe for some marching. There’s another one in Hinsdale. Let’s not forget the Citibank on Main in Downers Grove. Occupy Glen Ellyn has a really nice ring to it.
The right to assemble is a magical thing! By God, I love democracy in action!