Occupy Oakland: U.S. Marine fighting for his life

Moments ago I broke down in tears when I saw the picture of a 24-year-old U.S. Marine Iraq veteran moments after he was struck in the head by a gas canister fired by the Oakland Police. Scott Olsen, 24, of Daly City, California,  a member of Veterans for Peace, suffered a skull fracture and brain swelling. Last reports are this young man is in critical condition fighting for his life. The sickening size and scope of this brutal injustice will be all the more so if Mr. Olsen loses  his  fight to live. It would mean the first person to die in the Occupy Movement is a United States Marine; young man who fought for his country.

article-2053502-0E89468100000578-365_964x493The Occupy Oakland protesters carry away Scott Olsen after he was  hit by a tear gas canister shot by the Police, near the Oakland City Hall on October 25, 2011 in California. AFP Photo / Kimihiro Hoshino

The violent response to this peaceful movement is driven by the one percent; I would urge the honorable members of law enforcement (and there are many) to refuse to follow any order asking them to inflict violence on their fellow Americans. Responding with this kind of military violence puts those engaging these acts in the same boat as the thugs now carrying out the orders of the dictator in Syria.

It is also time for the president and other elected leaders to step up and condemn this brutality.

We must fill the streets with more people, it is our duty as citizens. In the meantime, pray that this young man recovers.

A sleeping giant: the American People

Whether he actually said it or not, the line attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve" aptly applies to the American people who are rising up all over this country that I love with all my heart. In fact, the Occupy Movement is living out exactly what the founding fathers would have wanted them to do. The first amendment reads (italics mine), “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The founding fathers would tell you it is incumbent upon each of us as an American to peacefully assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances. As author Naomi Wolf (arrested for standing on the sidewalk outside a Huffington Post event in New York City) accurately pointed out in a recent interview on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the right to peacefully protest is something Americans would be expected to do by the founding fathers.

And so it is that thousands around this country are doing exactly what the founders of my country would want them to do. The fact they are being met with violence by the very people that are sworn to protect them establishes beyond a reasonable doubt the legitimacy of their protests and further establishes why these protests need to grow and will grow. We must be careful too not to villainize all of law enforcement; they are doing the bidding of the one percent or those doing the bidding of the one percent.  Ask yourself this question, every time you’ve seen some elected official or talking head demeaning the Occupy Movement is the person in the one percent or 99 percent? 

Those who respond to these protests with bogus excuses to break them up (we need to clean up, people are complaining) and those who seek to label these extraordinary Americans as a bunch of nuts are again either members of the one percent or, for all intents and purposes, owned by the one percent, servants essentially.

There is little doubt in my mind that the protests will grow as will the dictatorial and increasingly violent opposition. There is little doubt in my mind that the behavior of the latter will cost lives. But we Americans are a scrappy lot, we will not fold and fade away when our freedom and equal rights are at stake. It may seem that the one percent has all the power and they do have nearly all the money, but so it was in a very real way for George Washington on some very cold lonely nights when he realized his rather ragtag Continental Army was up against the most powerful army on earth. He didn’t give up, his army didn’t give up, and, as a result, the United States of America became a reality.

And so it is that the Occupy Movement will not give up, and because of this, we will prevail, which means equal rights will prevail, which means the United States of American will prevail, and our founding father’s would be very proud of us.

Join Occupy Wall Street now!

Abraham Lincoln said the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth, he did not say government of the businesses, by the businesses, for the businesses shall not perish from the earth.

Right now our government is run by and for big business and our democracy is on its way to perishing from this earth. And while the Republican’s allegiance to big business is more in the open the the Democrat’s allegiance, you can be sure the allegiance of the Democrat’s to big business is well-entrenched. One need look no further for big businesses grip on our government than the January 2010 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that  declared corporations are people and money is free speech. The vote was 5-4.

The rapidly spreading Occupy Wall Street is lighting and re-lighting flames of hope across this country. May these flames continue to be lit and may the streets continue to fill with people and may this movement like so many movements across the globe grow to the point it cannot be denied because what is at stake is our freedom, our democracy. What is at stake is exactly what our founding fathers risked all for. What is at stake is what the Revolutionary War, our Revolutionary War was fought for.

The Occupy Wall street movement is all about preserving a government of the people, by the people, for the people, so it will not not perish from the earth.

Join the Occupy Wall Street movement, they are springing up all over the country. We must join. Our country’s democracy is at stake.

Let Freedom Ring & Occupy Main Street!

The following statement was released by Occupy Wall Street on October 1.  It would make the founding fathers proud.

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!