(Photo by Adam Lempel)

A Huge Victory for Occupy Wall Street:

When it was announced at 6 AM last Friday that the NYPD would not go through with evicting Occupy Wall Street I experienced one of those moments that make life transcendent.  The crowd erupted in cheers.  People hugged, high-fived, clapped, jumped up and down, pumped their fists in resistance, chanting “the people, united, will never be defeated.”  Chills went down my spine.  It was a significant victory, providing an acute sense of jubilation.  The state desperately wants to crush Occupy Wall Street.  They thought their opportunity had come.  But they failed.  We proved that strength does indeed lie in numbers.

The two thousand plus people who showed up at Liberty Square at 6:00 AM yesterday were determined.  We all knew what we were up against.  We were prepared to get arrested.  We were willing to sacrifice for a supremely just cause.  And we refused to surrender.  The corporate state will not be able to silence us.  Bloomberg and his cohorts in the NYPD didn’t call off the eviction because they value free speech.  They abstained from their campaign of mass arrests and brutality because they knew it would be a disaster.  The media would be all over it, and Occupy Wall Street would only double in size, judging by the public’s reaction to the mass arrests at Union Square and the Brooklyn Bridge.

But the NYPD have by no means surrendered.  They will continue to intimidate, beat up and arrest us.  The police state has been cracking down on occupations all across America, desperately trying to quash an emerging mass movement.  But their brutality betrays their blindness to a stubborn fact—they are proving us right; every time they trample on the Constitution they illustrate the legitimacy of our claim that America is not a real democracy, but rather a country controlled by ruthless corporations who eagerly resort to violence to get their way.

The revolution cannot be stopped.  It will not be stopped.  This is because too many lives have been destroyed.  Too many Americans are suffering from unemployment, underemployment, lack of job security, unaffordable medical bills, foreclosures, etc.  Although most Americans do not understand how the mechanisms of power responsible for their declining living standards function thanks to corporate propaganda, they know they have been exploited and neglected.  They see that voting once every four years changes nothing.  It’s clear that their corporate healthcare premiums will continue to skyrocket, that the jobs which have been shipped overseas to fatten corporate pockets are not coming back, that big business lobbyists continue to control the government, and that the war on terror is consuming vast resources which could be used to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

As Occupy Wall Street grows it’s becoming increasingly evident that people realize the only mechanism for change left is civil disobedience.  Both parties have been bought and sold by corporate interests.  The only salvation lies in restructuring the rudiments of the system—rewriting campaign contribution and lobbying laws to remove corporate money from government; ending the imperial project so we can rebuild our country; reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act to separate commercial banks from investment banks and ensure that Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and AIG can never again hijack the economy through fraudulent practices and then force the government to bail them out; creating a universal health care system that will wipe hundreds of billions of dollars a year off our budget deficits and guarantee coverage for all, as is the case in every other industrial nation; and replacing the fossil fuel economy with a green one to save ourselves from catastrophic climate change and pollution.

These are some of the more salient items that we must fix quickly.  Occupy Wall Street is the ultimate struggle for survival.  If we do not succeed our future will be hopeless.  As historian and veteran Andrew Bacevich reports, if we don’t dismantle the empire of more than 700 bases the world over our national debt will reach $21 trillion by 2019, in which case “expenditures required to service the national debt will exceed even the massive amounts spent annually by the Pentagon—the equivalent of the interest on your monthly credit card statement exceeding the size of your mortgage payment.”  The climate disaster will certainly wipe out the species, as one of the great mass extinctions in history is well underway.  And the next financial crisis is right around the corner because the firms which created the subprime mortgage bubble are bigger and more powerful than in 2008.

The only responsible thing to do is join Occupy Wall Street.  We have the power.  Americans have passively allowed an oligarchy to enslave them during the past few decades.  It is up to us to restore our democracy and attain justice.  Last Friday morning, at the moment of truth, we demonstrated how much power we have.  The state could not shut us down.  When it was announced that Bloomberg postponed the eviction the crowd went crazy.  The happy news came as a profound shock, we had anticipated a bloodbath.  Most of us had never experienced people power like that before.  We now feel we can accomplish anything.  In a showdown with a brutal police state we won the battle.  They will continue to fight.  But they cannot win.  It seems their game is up.  Occupy Wall Street has struck a chord with too many people.  Change must come.


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Chris Hedges speaks, very powerful, one of the great ones:

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