So the occupations across the country have been going on for over a month and have been very successful bringing attention to the growing income inequality, the corrupt, too big to fail banking system, the manipulation of our tax system allowing the wealthy and corporations to pay either the lowest tax rates, some paying no taxes, and yet some corporations actually getting refunds, the robo-signing, unlawful foreclosures, and so on and so on.
I am hoping the occupation will last as long as possible, but I think it is safe to say that over a long period of time and with the coming winter months, the occupations will be very difficult to maintain. This means the Occupy Wall Street Movement must have a better organizational structure that looks to the future and focuses on where we take it from here. Daniel Denvir of Alternet has written an article asking this same question and to my surprise he has come up with some great ideas.
After reading it, I thought back to what happened immediately after the Bush bank bailouts in 2008. There was true outrage at the corruption of the financial system and what it led to. People were gathering and protesting at the homes of the CEO’s of these banks, going to the corporate headquarters, showing up at shareholder meetings, etc.
This is was Mr. Denvir touched on in his piece. In order to keep this outrage alive (I hate to say it but like the Tea Party who keep their movement going for 2 years…and thankfully is but a mere memory), we need to make sure the issues of Occupy Wall Street stay in the media, and the only way to do that is through our numbers. The 99% isn’t just a slogan, it is true. The best way we can fight for change is using our sheer massive numbers and force the politicians to not ignore us.
Here are some of the ideas of Mr. Denvir:
- Occupy one of the many troublemaking banks, whether it be Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan or whichever, until it agrees to let people fighting foreclosure stay in their homes and offer meaningful debt forgiveness. Or target a bank whose casino capitalism deals left municipal coffers broke, demanding that they cut indebted cities and counties some slack.
- Occupy a home where a family is fighting eviction. Millions of American homes have been foreclosed upon, and another wave of foreclosure is now upon us.
- Occupy an exploitative company and demand they stop funding the right-wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or link up with a labor struggle like that of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) against Verizon’s attempt to roll back benefits and retirement. Unions across the country are fighting anti-worker lawmakers and businesses that say America can no longer pay decent wages and benefits for a hard day’s work. Occupy Wall Street should join that fight, and ask workers how they can help.
- Occupy a statehouse that is slashing education and welfare funding or, like in Wisconsin, eliminating collective bargaining rights. The mass protests in Madison earlier this year set the tone for today’s occupations.
- Occupy the office of a congressman who refuses to raise taxes on the rich and end the war, or who denies the existence of global warming, or who refuses to take concrete action to create good jobs now.
- Occupy where the 1 percent “live, work and play.” The super rich all belong to country clubs and other exclusive institutions. If the movement is targeting a specific bank, a picket of the CEO’s country club will hit them one place it hurts: their easy comfort amongst high society.
Way to go to all of us participating. Lets keep up the fight!