99% by Shani O. Hilton
The morning has come and the police have left the protestors alone in the park for the first night until four AM when they advised them that their rest period was over. The number who stayed in the park was diminished but their spirit was not. Union steel workers held a demonstration this morning in favor of the tar sands pipeline; it is a diverse group indeed.
The time is pivotal; will this thing now grow or wither away? There is a lot riding on this event and a lot of people have invested a lot of hope in this and we must trust and depend on each other despite our political differences. The forces opposed to us are united; we must become united as well.
I met a woman who was walking through the plaza holding a sign, "Stop Home Foreclosures." She was a single mother from New Jersey and had applied for President Obama's HAMP mortgage program. The bank had agreed to lower her mortgage payment by $400 a month but after four months she received a letter from the bank saying that upon further review she did not qualify because her income level was too low. The bank also stipulated that she was entitled to re-apply for the program. Only before her application could be reconsidered she would have to repay the $1,600 discounted from the previous four months of making house payments.
Like millions of other Americans this mother of two small children had been forced to take a lower paying job and so she had applied for food assistance only to be told that she did not qualify because she made too much money.