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Spring Forecast – Sunny And Warm With Lots Of Occupy

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Occupy Movement On The Brooklyn Bridge

I wrote and lost track of this story during the holidays, but its message is still relevant. In honor of the Occupy Movement, which will enjoy a resurgence in the Spring of 2012, I share it with you now. I hope you enjoy the brilliant YouTube video created during the OWS Bridge March in New York last Fall.

Last November I was having a conversation with a friend, who was complaining loudly about the Occupy Portland protestors’ having made him late that day. He said he thought what they were doing was a totally ineffectual way to accomplish their goals, so I got him to watch MSNBC with me. We saw “The Ed Show”, “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell.

We listened to the commentators and their guests while we watched the scene unfold in New York, interspersed with film from other cities around the country where protests continued today with more fervor than before. We saw a series of peaceful demonstrations by very large numbers of people. The crowd in NY was estimated to be close to 30,000. The protestors were determined to keep things peaceful, though there was some verbal heat. The violence and aggression came from the heavily-garbed and helmeted police, who looked like storm-troopers from a “Star Wars” movie. It was police who were pushing and shoving and macing the faces of helpless protestors. Check out the video of the march: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L_7Htvsw-g

What the strong-arm mentality doesn’t get is that every time one of those scenes is replayed, every time the police attempt to break up the demonstrations using force, to intimidate people who are trying to make their voices and their very legitimate concerns heard, even more people are angered, and more sympathizers with OWS are created. The police drove the protesters out of Zucotti Park, and they came back many thousand times’ stronger!

There is the film of the young man with the blood-drenched face in NYC, the picture of the 84-year-old lady in Seattle, viciously maced and in danger of being trampled, who was rescued by the handsome young returning vet. She said that later, as she rode her usual bus home, the other riders asked what had happened to her and she shared her story. They were all angry at the treatment she received. Perhaps when the next march sets out some of them will join the ranks.

Politicians and conservative talk show hosts have tried to characterize protestors as mobs, but when you see Labor Union officials, a NYC Council member and other neighborhood and religious leaders committing civil disobedience and being marched off in handcuffs, it’s hard to maintain that lie. Sometimes I’m so proud of my fellow humans I want to hug them all.

Just before I switched off the news that night, there was a story about a group of 200 Patriotic Millionaires who got together and told Grover Norquist that they wanted to pay more in taxes. They spoke of feeling fortunate and wanting to pay something closer to their fair share so that no new burdens would be heaped on the backs of the poor and the middle class. Surely this is a hopeful sign that the Occupy Movement is having a positive impact on our world!

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Author: Melody J Haislip

I'm either a transplanted East Coaster or a born again West Coaster. My heart kept pulling me toward Oregon, and when I followed it I found my dream, which I am living daily. My dream of becoming a writer has come true as well. I am in the company of people who speak my language, and the sense of community is healing hurts I didn't know were there. I am very grateful for my enormous good fortune.

10 thoughts on “Spring Forecast – Sunny And Warm With Lots Of Occupy

  1. I would not get your hopes up for change in tax laws. The two parties are a logger heads and doing the ole two step to avoid being seen to agree with each other. The best we can hope for is that during the lame duck session after the general election some work will get done on taxes and other important items. I wonder why we do not have another option when in the voting booth. “none of the above” would be a welcome sight on some occasions. Occcupy organization in Denver never worked the media to get their agenda or priorities in the press. They do not have “spin doctors” or campaign management that speak the media’s language.

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    • Frank, from your mouth to God’s ear about getting things done in the Lame Duck session, which would be a good time for Obama to get things done. Hopefully the Republicans will be the big losers in the coming elections and he’ll be able to accomplish more without this incredible do-nothing Congress!

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  2. Keep the message going Melody and keep writing pieces like this for everyone who has thought it, said it but never written about it. It does make a difference and hopefully it will make a difference in the future as well. Since when did peaceful protest become an excuse for these strong arm tactics, I pity the people who follow orders and cause harm to others for a paycheque, following their master’s voice without thought that in the end, they are not only harming others but harming theirselves and their children’s future.

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  3. Melody,

    This article express a worthy hope. It inspired me to dust off and revise “Send Forth A Ripple” and put it on Expats Poetry.

    It is all about keeping the faith and reviving hope. Despite the powers arrayed against us, we must neither retreat nor surrender.

    Larry

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    • Larry, it’s not just a hope, it’s the American dream that they’re treading on and trying to destroy. The Republicans are getting careless now and barely making an effort to cover up what they’re trying to do to us. I think now they don’t even care that we can clearly see they’re waging war on the middle class, and most especially on women. They want to keep those babies coming, so they’ll have a larger pool of slave labor once the dust settles. But they keep forgetting there are a lot more of us than there are of them, and we’re onto them!

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  4. Garry, you can be sure I will keep writing about it. Things have been quieter on the OWS front lately, but once the warm weather returns, we’ll be out in the streets again. They’re hoping we’ll give up and go quietly, but they couldn’t be more wrong!

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  5. Lots have no interest in changing the status quo when their own “prosperity” is tied to special interests and CASH! And culturally don’t know want to live in anything that doesn’t represent the values of the 50s! Well, they don’t know how to live any other way. Hence the obnoxious and really just ignorant backlash against OWS by so many.

    I’m so happy there are like-minded people who understand that we aren’t going to be kept down like SHEEP, and there has to be some equity and dignity for every single one of us. And that being American means speaking out and standing up for what we believe in. As opposed to just continuing a system of exploitation of so many.

    It sure the hell ain’t the politics of envy. It’s the politics of “you’re an asshole”! 🙂

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    • Well, Pete, they’ve underestimated us and how righteously angry we are. Did you see the video yesterday of Andrew Breitbart, screaming at the OWS protesters at CPAC? The man was absolutely hysterical and out of control, which proves to me that he and the other 1%ers are terrified of the rest of us. And well they should be, because a reckoning is coming and they aren’t going to like it!

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  6. OWS has already changed the dialogue nationally and there’s no turning back. I’m not at all a conspiracy theorist (nor at all a Marxist) however do think that the 1% (if they can be spoken of generally) overall don’t want any systemic change that directly impacts the ability of our current version of capitalism to exploit workers (consumers) and continue to keep them down and feather their own nests.

    We need to reprioritize who we are and what we believe in most certainly. And it is a FIGHT!!!

    Yeh I saw Breitbart, and spend way too much time watching and listening to all the loons! 🙂 There’s a lot more to it as far as I’m concerned too, with the right realizing that their Leave It To Beaver version of America is going, going GONE!!!

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    • Yes, Pete. Truly we need to base all our decisions, going forward, on that most modern of documents, the Magna Carta. That’ll get us on the right track!

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