Preach it, brother
Monday October 10th 2011, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Politics

I have been watching with great interest the Occupy Wall Street protests and their growing offshoots and wishing dearly I could ditch my sun sensitivity and get out there.  I have no doubt that if there isn’t a protest over at Stanford yet, there will be. There should be.

The reactions of Wall Street, the New York police, several DC politicians in particular…

Some here may remember what I said (though I gave few details at the time as to why) after a guy in Stanford Hospital’s billing department stole my name and number and tried to make me give him my credit card information over the phone for a supposed bill collection agency for an amount that, actually, I had overpaid my account by because they were slow to update their system and had re-billed it. So clearly he thought I was an easy target. The man was sufficiently vicious in tone that I considered calling the police.

What I wrote was: “The angrier someone gets over something that is unreasonable, the more you know they know they’re in the wrong.”

The protesters have my admiration for their efforts not to show anger, not to give any justification for the crackdowns that have happened, but simply to demand that the laws favoring the 1% change in order for us to have a more just society that creates hope for our future. My favorites so far:

1. A sign held up saying, “Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who believes in free health care for all. You’re thinking of Jesus.”

2. Here is the long version by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics, professor at Columbia University, writing for Vanity Fair; below is what he said to the protestors in person. He noted that he and they were not allowed to use a bullhorn to address the crowd, not allowed to make themselves heard by any means other than the crowd repeating his phrases loudly to try to pass them towards the back. He wondered to them why this should be so.

But there are video cameras in smartphones and there is YouTube. (Blessings on those at that link who offer a transcription for those of us who need it.)

“Our financial markets have an important role to play. They’re supposed to allocate capital and manage risk, but they’ve misallocated capital and created risk. We are bearing the cost of their misdeeds. There’s a system where we’ve socialized losses and privatized gains. That’s not capitalism! That’s not a market economy. That’s a distorted economy, and if we continue with that, we won’t succeed in growing, and we won’t succeed in creating a just society.”


7 Comments so far
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It’s come to Philadelphia. I’m fascinated and watch with great interest. If they let me bring my knitting and do my testing on poor unsuspecting children that walk by on the street (and get paid for it!) you might see me soon. 🙂

Comment by afton 10.11.11 @ 4:03 am

I think my generation has been lulled into a false sense of security. Our country was founded by rebels with the intent that we would continue to hold our leaders accountable…

Comment by Channon 10.11.11 @ 7:02 am

Did you see the picture of the lady knitting at Occupy Wall Street? Reincarnation of Mme DeFarge?

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 10.11.11 @ 7:20 am

I, too, have noticed that people get the most upset when they are wrong and trying to justify their position. I am very impressed by the peaceful protests. I remember MLK’s and Ghandi’s proposals of peaceful protest, and the reasons for the peaceful method. They both believed (rightfully, as it turns out) that peaceful protest gains much more ground than angry protest. In addition, when the opposition gets angry in response to a peaceful protest, the opposition ends up looking unreasonable.

Protest on, people. There are a lot of us on your side.

Comment by Pegi 10.11.11 @ 7:24 am

I suspect that peaceful protest makes the targets more uncomfortable than the angry ones.

Comment by Don Meyer 10.11.11 @ 8:21 am

The Los Angeles crowd is competing with the circus at the courthouse for the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor. My daughter works in the courthouse, and is Not Amused by any of it.

As for me, I am using my vote. As the late, great Molly Ivins always said, look at the record. It is a matter of record who voted for TARP. One can find out who, or what, contributes to campaigns.

Demonstrations are all well and good, but the ballot is our real means of change.

Comment by Patricia Day 10.11.11 @ 10:50 am

Thanks for the transcript and the YouTube link. There are some of us who could understand what was being said, but who didn’t want to take the time to hear it twice. Very interesting.

Comment by RobinM 10.11.11 @ 2:31 pm

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