The VIEW from here

Occupy Wall Street protests could just be the start


Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I’ve never been one to put much credence into the whole civil disobedience thing. I remember grumbling at striking teachers when I was in college because I still had to attend classes with clueless subs while they were out on the picket line. There was also the time students in my high school staged a sit-in to protest asbestos in our school and I refused to take part because I didn’t want to get suspended.

But as time has gone on and the climate here in the United States has begun to change, I can’t say I feel that way any more. The political, social and economic shortcomings of this country are going to be its undoing, unless people stand up and make their voice heard.

Many voices are starting to be heard as of lately. It started with protests in New York City called Occupy Wall Street and the message is spreading across the nation. People have become increasingly vocal about the perceived disparities between the rich and poor in this country and the group heading Occupy Wall Street is hoping a grassroots movement may have some effect on the social inequality they see as part of the 99 percent of Americans who are not among the 1-percent of the most wealthy in America.

The argument is a tough one to tread around. One could argue the 1 percent earned their wealth, but the reality is the 99 percent are the ones suffering in this country. They are losing their homes. They have to choose between paying their mortgages or feeding their families. They are going months and years without jobs because no one will hire them.

They have a legitimate argument. The rich in this country keep getting richer and their purse-string control the politicians. At some point these protests were bound to happen, it was only a matter of time.

On Sept. 17, the group began a loosely organized protest in New York’s financial district, encamping in

Zuccotti Park, a privately owned park open to the public, in

Lower Manhattan.

The idea, according to some organizers, was to camp out for weeks or even months to replicate the kind, if not the scale, of protests that had erupted earlier in 2011 in places as varied as Egypt,

Spain and Israel.

So far their message seems to be getting out there, protests have grown to places like Los Angeles and Boston. So far they seem to be peaceful and civil, though some people are being arrested. But the message is being heard and people are beginning to listen.

For anyone who doesn’t like the protests, or who thinks the protestors are out of line, keep in mind this country was founded on civil disobedience. The British imposed a tax on tea. People fed up with taxes decided to stage a little protest of their own called The Boston Tea Party, and before you knew it we were fighting the British so we could rule ourselves.

Hopefully someone in politics, or among the 1-percent, takes heed what the Wall Street protestors are saying. It would be nice if we could solve our problems here in this country without having to go through what our forefathers did to establish this nation.


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