The Occupy movement has largely centered around on-the-ground protests taking place at Zuccoti Park on Wall Street, as well as other major urban centers of economic
deception acitivity. So I was elated when I discovered the movement unleashed all of its righteous 99 percent fury at Sen. Mitch McConnell by occupying his office yesterday. It must have scared McConnell’s staff have to death to see actual people with legitimate constituent grievances and not just suits with buckets of bribe money.
While it’s fashionable to pick on the more visible scumbags at the Big Banks and Federal Treasury for sending the country down a colossal water slide of feces (or sub-prime mortgages), there exits two incredibly odious and monstrously greedy individuals, surreptitiously lurking in the shadows of regressive, corporatist policy. I’m referring of course to the Koch Brothers: the two billionaire sons of birchers who have had their greedy hands in every single colossal middle class screw job on earth. Whether it’s buying their own Congressmen to allow them to poison the drinking water supply or Governors to strip unions of their basic rights, the Koch Brothers have sorta become the face of today’s avaricious greed and corporate fascism…and boy is that face ugly.
But unlike all the boots on the ground, chanting and quotididan tear gas that has become almost obligatory in the Occupy movement, the Occupy the Kochs took on a much more laid back and seemingly fund-raiser like quality.
Roughly a few hundred activists gathered at 1075 7th Street NW to protest billionaire GOP backers the Koch Brothers as they graced the Americans for Prosperity (Americans for prosperity for themselves and coal-induced mesothelioma for the rest) sponsored Defending the American Dream Conference (Selling the American Dream to China) screening of Atlas Shrugged.The protesters enjoyed house music, reggae and hip-hop played loudly from a rented community space, and activists sampled products from local vendors and watched a projector flash images of protests from around the country on the back wall. After all, if you’re going to occupy two of the most notorious greedmongers, why not do it in style.
Occupy the Kochs, or Guerilla Drive-In, was put together by the The Other 98%, a nearly two-year old organization that has a lot in common with the Occupy Wall Street movement. According to co-founder John Sellers, he was looking to take a break from all the tumultuous every day protests and offer something with the same message but with better music and, apparently, lemonade.
“We didn’t want to throw a protest. I, for one, am tired of being called a protester. We wanted to throw a demonstration of what America could be like, the America we want to live in. One where people are welcome to come into the streets and boogie down and speak their minds, ” said Sellers.
Well get down with your bad self, democracy! Why chant and march when you can holla at DJ Peoples Revolt?
Sellers, who has been fighting against corporate greed before fighting against corporate greed was cool, feels that progressives always get seen as being too preachy and self-righteous. So he wanted to show America that fighting for economic equality can actually be a friday nite thing to do.
“Often times, progressives get seen as self-righteous or shrill, a little too literal. And we wanted to show America that we’re fun, that we’re having a blast, and that we need people to join us. Right now, this is a make or break moment for this country, and we need people to get off the bench and get into the streets and take their country back.”
On a more somber note, a 23 year old activist who seemed to dig the upbeat, party like theme, echoed what many Occupy protestors have been saying all along; that is, she doesn’t care that the Kochs are filthy rich but that they are filthy scumbags who operate with no concern for the middle class or the environment. Perhaps not wanting to receive a late nite threatening phone call in the middle of the night from a Koch rep, the young girl chose to go by as Sarah. She decided to protest the Koch Brothers upon learning of their instrumental role in funding research that pushes misinformation into debates around climate change.
“I don’t care if [the Kochs] rich,” she explained. “I care about what they are funding. I’m not a fan of their created truth.”
Since the Occupy Koch drive-in took on decidedly fun and upbeat tone, it had 15 volunteer peacekeepers ensure that the large crowd respected police direction and didn’t get unruly so as to avoid the type of confrontation with police as seen in Oakland.
But even amid all the dorm party-like fun the attendees managed to work in one chant: “Occupy Wall Street, Occupy K Street, Occupy Everywhere and never give it back!” Then I believe they ate some more popcorn and listened to more Jamiroquai. Not a bad way to spend an evening trying to bring down two of the most diabolical corporate overlords since Lex Luthor.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you photos of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.