Occupy Wall Street is proving to be identical to the beginnings of the American Revolution. There will be no silencing of our voices, and any attempt to demonize the 99% is truly un-American. This article represents the second of a multi-part series of articles demonstrating this point.
There are two common complaints regarding the 99% movement: 1) there is no clear leader of this movement, and 2) the protesters have not issued a list of demands. However, this is not unheard of in social movements.
To set the stage, America did not look how it does today. There were only thirteen colonies, and the map looked like this. The western border of the colonies were threatened by the natives, which was encouraged by the French colonies in Canada. Britain practically refused to send their soldiers into harms way to protect the western settlements. The colonists needed to establish militias for protection. In place of support or aid, the British levied taxes of various sorts and promoted the monopoly of The East India Company. British law ensured the colonial oppression to the Company, which left the Colonies impoverished.
Repressive laws, such as the Stamp Act of Britain that enforced the use of embossed paper only produced in London were quite unsettling to the colonists. This law was passed by the British Parliament. And though the colonists were British, not one of the thirteen colonies were represented overseas. Eventually, the colonists being disgusted of being governed overseas without representation led to the colonists expelling the British appointed governors and then the rejection of the authority of the British Parliament.
There were protests in almost every major city. Boston is perhaps the most well known of the protests, but the sentiment was common among all thirteen colonies. There wasn’t one clear leader in this movement; the colonists were united. Throughout the protests, a list of demands were never delivered. Instead, it was a rejection of the oppressive rule.
This is why it is somewhat baffling how self-professed “patriots” expect to find one single leader or a list of demands in the Occupy Wall Street movement. What we are witnessing, and what is not being reported, is not a protest. Rather it is a movement identical to the American Revolution. The 99% are representative of the colonists as the 1% is representative of the Company, which influenced laws of the British Parliament.
We, the 99%, are rejecting oppressive laws written by the banks. Our courts ruled that corporations are people in the Citizens’ United case, and these are the corporations who are wrongly foreclosing on our homes. The top 1% holds over 42% of our nations wealth, and the inequity between rich and poor is growing every year. If corporations are people, then how do we arrest one for theft? When corporations influence government policy on pollution controls, how do we arrest one for poisoning or premeditated murder? When corporate cash flow freely into our elections, where is our drowned out voice, that of the 99%?
Occupy Wall Street has been mischaracterized as a protest. What we are witnessing is a movement, a revolutionary movement. We are witnessing the next American Revolution. Instead of rejecting British rule, we are rejecting the rich corrupting our elected officials and our government. America was founded as a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people. The Occupy Wall Street movement is telling Wall Street we want it back! And that is what has been eluding them.
Read part one, here.