In our time, power and influence depends on wealth. Corporations are treated by governments as tantamount to citizens and our artistic culture has “evolved” into an “industry”. The monumental cost of locally grown food relegates the poor to lethal diets of processed fast-foods and the encroachment of corporations on artistic mediums drowns out visionaries. As the objects of American profiteering, we will not stand for injustice. Thus hundreds of thousands of disaffected people from every imaginable political, socioeconomic and cultural background gathered to take back justice in the largest movement since the Battle of Seattle.
The hacker collective Anonymous, whom which I admire strongly, has backed the movement strongly. In an official statement on their blog, they wrote:
Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include but are not limited to:It is becoming increasingly clear that Occupy Wall Street is maturing into what could possibly be the left’s response to the Tea Party. However, unlike the Tea Party, the movement’s goal is to advocate for the freedom of every human being. Ivy League professors came to New York’s Zuccotti Park in droves to give free lectures to protestors, soup tents, medical bays and PR stations were established in tents for the movement’s encampment. Renowned anti-capitalist Noam Chomsky wrote: “Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street -- financial institutions generally -- has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world)… They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity -- not only too big to fail, but also ‘too big to jail.’”.
§ Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
§ Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
§ Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
§ Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
§ Redefining how labor is valued;
§ The sanctity of individual privacy;
§ The belief that education is human right; and
§ Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.
We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality. We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.
The movement has gained momentum and similar protests have manifested in hundreds of American cities. On the home front, an Occupy San Francisco movement has appeared, a major encampment arising outside of the Federal Building. Hundreds were arrested, their crime: simply trespassing. Furthermore, they were derided for failing to provide the media the imagery of broken glass and mass chaos that draws so many readers.
Some have drawn ideological parallels between Occupy Wall Street and 1999’s Battle of Seattle. The primary difference between the two is that today’s movement has targeted a formerly-trustworthy institution responsible for outsourcing slavery, vast economic disparities and the disease of poverty. 1999’s protestors targeted a WTO summit lasting for only a week, which meant that their message and presence would only exist for a week before being lost to the insatiable maws of time. In targeting a long-standing institution, occupants hope that their message will not be eternal, and that they can bring a light of hope to thousands of disaffected people harmed by the unrestrained greed that capitalism is engineered to create.