Crowd: Ninety nine percent.
We are the 99 percent.
We are "
We are the 99 percent.
We are a 99 percent.
Chris Hedges: I'm Chris Hedges. I'm a writer. I write books. I spent 20 years overseas as a war correspondent. I came back and realized that corporations had carried out a coup d'Ã©tat in my country and I've been fighting back although not effectively as you, guys. Well, I've covered movements. I've covered all of the revolutions in Eastern Europe. I covered the street demonstrations that brought down MiloÅ¡eviÄ. I've covered both of the Palestinian intifadas. And once movements like these start and articulate a fundamental truth about the society that they live in and expose the repression, the mendacity, the corruption and the decay of the structures of power, then they have a kind of centrifugal force. You never know where they're going.
You know, I was with the leaders of the movement, the opposition movement in East Germany in Leipzig on the afternoon of November 9, 1989, and they said that perhaps within a year, there would be free passage back and forth across the Berlin wall. In a few hours, the Berlin wall did not exist.
What happens is, in all of these movements, this was true in Prague as well, is that the foot soldiers of the elite, the blue uniform police, the mechanisms of control, finally do not want to impede the movement, and at that point, the power elite is left defenseless.
So, where is it going?
No one knows, even the people most intimately involved in the organization don't know. They had - all of these movements take on a kind of life and color that is in some ways finally mysterious. The only thing I can say having been in the middle of similar movements is that this one is real and this one could take "em all down.
Well, let me first say I learned a lot more from the people who are occupying than - I mean, I've - my critique of the Corporate State, I think, coalesces with the critique that many people in occupy Wall Street has, but I never wrote in any of my books about HOW to bring them down.
This whole non-hierarchical structure is really brilliant and I did not have a clue. I did not have a clue.. because they can't - they can destroy the movement like that. The fact that you rotate people through positions of leadership and the fact that you are completely transparent, the fact that you realize that - you know, you clearly have been provoked. I mean, Anthony Bologna was. I think, trying to provoke people in that crowd because they want windows smashed. They know how to handle that. They do not know how to handle this. This is driving them insane.
And the fact is that I can guarantee you that huge segments of those blue-uniformed police sympathize with everything that you are doing. And that is the way you can - you can shatter the manacles of control that have been placed on the country by the Corporate State and that is what scares them. I mean, the most aggressive figures in the crowds are these white-shirted a**holes. Always remember that you only have to deal with them, you know, - once and while, these poor-uniformed cops have to deal with them everyday. I think the movement's really, really, really, really smart. Really astute and I do not really think I have much to teach at all. . I do not think there is any danger of this movement being seduced or co-opted by moveon.org, which is a reprehensible organization or the Democratic Party or anyone else, or the teamsters. The fact is, you have done what they have not done, which is fight back. And because you fought back, they've been exposed for who they are, i.e. the leaders of this group. That is why they are running to you and attempting to restore what little shredded credibility they have left.
You know, I'm a visitor. I come and go but I do not sense that there is any danger. I think, the sort of political consciousness of this group is so high that they see through all these figures who show up at the park. I mean, I was there when Patterson showed up. Charlie Rangel showed up. I mean it is - it is sort of almost sad in a way and - because the fact is, they have offered nothing, done nothing except of course, mouth this empty rhetoric, this kind of "feel your pain" language while betraying the very people they purportedly represent. So I do not think there is any danger that's not being co-opted at all. I think that, you know, even with the teamsters, the union bosses, and these union bosses are pulling down five times what the rank and file is pulling down, they've done nothing for Unions except basically barter away their benefits and rights. In fact, you know, the Union bosses have to get down here because otherwise, they're going to lose their rank and file. That is why you are seeing groups like Move On or teamsters coming down here because YOU do what their leadership has not done. We just stand up
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