What’s Up, Houston? 10.17.11

Today marks the one month anniversary for Occupy Wall Street.

Inspired by the uprisings across the Arab world, and fueled by the feelings of anger and helplessness of everyday Americans, in the past month Occupy Wall Street has:

  • Gone Global: On October 15th, protests were held from North and South America to Asia, Africa and Europe, with over 1,500 events in 82 countries, as part of a global day of action.
  • Flourished with Diversity: Occupiers of different ages, races, walks of life, and political beliefs have joined the movement. The mix grew quickly to include students, elderly people, families with children, construction workers on their lunch breaks, unemployed Wall Street executives, Iraq & Afghanistan veterans, moms, and many others.
  • Gained Support in the Heartland: Occupy actions are happening all across middle America, from Kethcum, ID to Kalamazoo, MI, from Orlando to Anchorage. Every day financial contributions arrive along with clothes, food, and notes of support from all across the country. A couple from West Virginia who have been sending supplies to Liberty Square occupiers writes: “We are so grateful for all of you involved in this defense of America. We firmly believe this is ‘it.’ If we can’t grab this democracy this time, we’ll sink and it will be a long time before we will have this opportunity again. Thank you for taking time from your busy life to be there.”
  • Changed the Conversation: The people-powered force of shared anger at a broken system that profits the top 1% at the expense of the rest of us has shifted our national dialogue. The Occupy Wall Street protest has become a cultural phenomenon, mentioned everywhere from jokes on Saturday Night Live to the solemn dedication the national memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by President Obama Sunday. We, the occupiers, have shown our country how to come together and respect differences while working together to build a movement for change.

There’s reports of OCCUPY arrests over the weekend all over the nation, including demonstrators in Chicago, Phoenix, Denver and Raleigh.

In Washington D.C.  on Sunday, Dr. Cornel West, who had appeared in solidarity with OWS protesters two weeks ago,  was arrested at the Supreme Court steps. According to one blogger’s personal witness report,  Dr. West’s decision was spontaneous and he indicated that he ” has come today to Freedom Plaza and to Washington DC, because he finally wanted to get arrested in DC to make the sacrifice Martin Luther King was expecting from him in the fight for justice and freedom. “  The report gores on to say: “One of the organizers said that Dr. West had decided to march to the Supreme Court in Washington DC to hold up a political sign on the front stairs of the court. That is not allowed. He expected therefore to get arrested.”

My favorite comment there:

How ironic: Free speech is not allowed on the Supreme Court steps, yet over a million in cash to the wife of a supreme court justice, who also benefits from that money, from advocacy groups who advocate for issues that come before her sitting husband:  Perfectly okay.


Video  Cornel West in D.C. 10.16.11 (stills montage) HERE.

better video HERE:

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Your thoughts?