Two years for Occupy Wall Street. What still saddens me is how many Americans are still letting the corporate media dictate what and how they think. Whether you consider yourself—a liberal or a conservative, left, right or whatever—most of us would agree on most things if we were having the right discussion with each other. If we listened to why others were advocating for one thing or another we would find common courses of action.
Take taxes for example—something talked about a lot in both the Occupy and Tea Party Movements. Most people would prefer not to be taxed too much and have the government spending our money. But in the current climate of overblown corporations whose actions impact our environment, food supply, wages, small business, political sphere, self-determination, and even our constitutional and human rights—all combined with a media and public relations campaign that prevents accurate information from reaching the masses—it isn’t unreasonable to seek a solution. Those who argue for a free market or some version of capitalism should not be looking to protect this model. The economic system we have is far from either. Taxes are not the solution to fix the system, but they may be a part of a comprehensive transition process. And they certainly can help mitigate the effects of the system while we develop a better way. This is a conversation we could have if we could get passed the rhetoric.
It’s difficult to have this conversation about taxes without taking a hard look at the government. Almost everyone in the country is not satisfied with the government but if we were to transition to a government that was of the people and by the people, then we likely wouldn’t look at taxes the same—like we are handing over our money to some far off, unaccountable institution. Instead, if we had a real say in how our taxes were used and could see the direct impact on our own communities and neighbors, we might not be so angry about them.
Furthermore, if you believe in the America your junior high civics teacher told you about, you should be furious that when other Americans (even if you think you disagree with them [which you probably don’t]) are exercising the first amendment rights they are caged, beaten, and arrested in mass. It should outrage you because someday you may have a grievance to redress and you would want your rights to speech, press, and assembly protected. Don’t let corporate media make you believe that protestors are getting arrested because they did something wrong or illegal. That’s not the case. And don’t let the corporate media make you afraid of other Americans participating in democracy: that’s what democracy is.
Finally, you may believe that Occupy no longer exists because you don’t hear much about it in the media. But, in addition to the activists still working on Occupying Wall Street, what we knew as Occupy in lower Manhattan and public parks around the country has grown into so many projects and movements all over the world and they all remain interconnected through human networks and around common beliefs. Those beliefs are what made Occupy so transformative for so many people: we all have the power to create change with each other. Of many things Occupy accomplished, the most important in my eyes is that it made people remember that they can be the change the world needs. What’s important now is that Americans throughout the country who are living their day-to-day lives, trying to get by, do not forget it.
I’m still positive and optimistic about change. There’s good reason to be: there are so many amazing people doing so many amazing things. I hope to see you in the streets, but even more so I hope to see you in your community park or on your block talking with your neighbors and building a better world.
#OccupyWallStreet #S17 #AnotherWorldISPossible
*Any video or media below this point is not mine. It is inserted into my posts because I refuse to “upgrade” to prevent it.