In order to understand the occupy Wall Street protests one has to understand the history leading up to them. As with any catalyzing group of protesters they did not simply wake up one morning and react to one single event and all of a sudden decide the whole system is corrupt. Protests are political teaching moments. There being a systematic problem people want to make others aware of. A favorite political expression of mine related to understanding the development of the 99% movement, its initiation and its expansion; a meal may be served at one sitting, but took time to prepare.
The events leading up to the protest are important in understanding what the teaching moment is about. Just as there is no way to understand the Civil Rights movement without understanding the institutionalized slavery and racism that preceded it, just as there is no way to understand the Boston Tea Party without understanding the Boston Massacre and the exploitative business practices before it, there is the same no way you can understand the 99% movement because they have made no declarations, unless of course you have been paying attention. If you have been paying the remotest attention to world events then you sympathize with and understand the protests' message. Besides the Black Panthers and many protest movements before had clear goals, and were subverted by institutions. People are tired of such institutional transgressions.
People are tired of institutional acts like that of mayor Bloomberg announcing the park must be cleaned, because of vermin. Either he is what we in the business of free speech call a BS artist, or someone needs to tell him of the rat infestation in the subway so he can do something about that. Or he is totally insulting Americans practicing free speech. He had people beat up and run over because of the vermin problem, but he got the black eye, the protesters held the park. And that's what it's all about isn't it? Dear old Amendment number one. The declaration that the disenfranchised individual will always have a voice equal to that of any elected official. That is as long as there are enough individuals together to discourage the authorities from disbanding their right to gather and speak out, teach. Peaceful political gatherings are what the U.S.A. is founded on, and to be specific peaceful actions of civil disobedience as well, the Boston Tea Party being my personal favorite.
How was this meal prepared? When were the seeds of the Occupy Wall Street Protests planted? Well another metaphor comes to mind based on food as related to politics; the truth today is like an elegant meal, it is ninety percent presentation and ambience. People are sick and tired of the lies which place institutions above individuals and the few above the many. The lies, the spin and imbalance for the few interlinked institutions are countless and the seeds to the protests have been fertilized by plenty of what we in the business of free speech call BS.
The seeds were watered by lies of and related to; the war on drugs, the continued war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, Pat Tillman, the Supreme Court decision applying First Amendment rights to institutions allowing them to speak -- with their money, the war in Libya, the preferences given to the military industrial complex over education and everyone before and especially after 9/11; the preferences given banking institutions, corporate institutions, oligarchcial energy institutions, etc., the legalization of nuclear experimentation, the prohibition of marijuana and hemp, the buildup of institutions over individuals to the point that health of individuals is disregarded by way of pollution, lack of health care, corporatization of prisons, and in general the corrupt interlinking of institutions over individuals. The 99% movement is against the 1% of exploitive and corrupt oligarchic interconnected institutions fused together at Wall Street.
The same BS artists who would gladly have individuals beat up, arrested and forcefully ejected from public spaces in order to prevent them from having their way with the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment are the same institutionalized folks who believe in the idea that institutions should have the rights of the First Amendment to speak with their money by way of unlimited donations. This authoritative and contradictory action and opinion is some of the finest BS artistry ever conjured in post modernism.
If one still does not understand the numerical abstract of 1% over 99% there are plenty of other ways to realize what the protests are about. One could illustrate the subject of the protests as the people versus the corrupt pyramid system. One could define the notion of 1% over 99% as protest over oligarchical collectivism, the interlinking of institutions over individuals to benefit the few. It is patriotism versus oligarchical collectivism.
Perhaps the stirring of the recipe, the teaching moment of the 99% movement began with the popularization of the Tea Party as well. Perhaps as soon as this right wing variant of the Republican Party gained popularization a new party based on its opposition was immediately instigated. Perhaps a new party is brewing, a contrast to the Tea Party that resembles something more like the real Boston Tea Party. Or maybe a revolution as clear, confident and overall peaceful as the May Day Protests is brewing. May Day celebrates one of the most powerful protests of modern times, the international movement for fairness in the workplace and an eight hour workday.
To be effective at protesting and to effectively understand peaceful protests and their teaching moments, one should understand the history of other protests, as well as understand how concise the idea of 1% over 99% actually is. The 99% are practicing patriotism in protest of the oligarchical collectivism of the 1%. The term oligarchical collectivism is from George Orwell's 1984. The following quotes are from 1984 as well.
"If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eight five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated."
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they will never become conscious."
The message of the 99% is the entire system placing institutions above individuals is wrong. It is a teaching moment to make conscious so to speak. It is a protest over great and broad wrong. It is a movement based on the dissatisfaction of the system of an exploitive few over the many. It is a protest about the Supreme Court decision, in blatant support of institutions and belittlement of individuals, bestowing First Amendment rights on institutions allowing unlimited corporate funding of political campaigns. It is a teaching moment in contrast with that decision and police forcefully moving individuals from gathering, speaking and teaching, i.e. preventing individuals from practicing their First Amendment rights. It is a protest over institutions over individuals, but it is more than that. It is more than the constant war. It is more than the buildup of the prison system through the drug war. It is all that and more. And it all stems from the exploitive 1%, the few over the many, the institutions over individuals.
It's patriotism versus oligarchical collectivism once again, patriotism as practiced by countless around the world, patriotism as defined and prescribed by the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment. It's patriotism versus oligarchical collectivism of institutions. And institutions are not individuals. Peace.