crossposted from fredericknewspost.com
GOT THE REVOLUTION
Originally published October 29, 2011
By Barry Kissin
"We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." (Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court justice, 1916-1939.)
It is time for another American Revolution. That should be no surprise. Thomas Jefferson said: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." And later: "I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will ..."
Of course, Jefferson did not have the benefit of the wisdom and experience of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In keeping with a commitment to nonviolence, all of the blood that has already flowed in connection with the occupation movement has been that of the occupiers -- in places such as Boston, Denver and, on Oct. 25, in Oakland, Calif.
In contrast: On Oct. 13, Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Police Department backed off plans to evict Occupy Wall Street. And at Freedom Plaza, the occupation site in Washington near 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, the U.S. Park Police visited on Oct. 9, the date of the expiration of the permit to occupy, and proceeded to offer an extension of four more months!
As I am writing this, Mayor Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore has announced that "campers" will be arrested if attempting to stay overnight on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Inner Harbor's McKeldin Square (Freedom Square). In prompt response, city labor leaders, including the heads of the police and fire unions, urged the mayor not to shut down the protests and to act with "restraint."
Some kind of transformation is going to take place in our country under the pressure of worsening economic conditions. Will this transformation be controlled by the top "1 percent"? Or is our society capable of sufficiently unifying in order to challenge the power and privileges of the elite?
Wikipedia informs us that "an October 13 survey by Time Magazine found that 54 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the protests, while 23 percent have a negative impression ... An October United Technologies/National Journal poll found that 59 percent of Americans agree with the movement while 31 percent disagree."
A week after saying the Occupation movement was "dangerous" and engaged in "class warfare," super-rich Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney felt compelled to say: "I look at what's happening [at OWS] and my view is, boy, I understand how those people feel." Newt Gingrich stated that "[some of] the people who are protesting in Wall Street ... frankly are very close to the tea party people who care."
Nevertheless, there are folks in every community including ours who are clearly under the influence of demagogues such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. They equate ungodly amounts of ill-gotten wealth with merit, and most ominously blame our problems on the most vulnerable in our society -- scapegoats such as immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, the poor, etc.
It would take much less than a majority of Americans to enable the elite to procure a fascist transformation. The occupations are our hope for a preferable future.
protest by Occupy Washington DC people at United States Chamber of Commerce (oct 2011 photo by rob kall)