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Occupy Everywhere: From Wall Street to Main Street

The Occupy Wall Street has become so ubiquitous that its acronym – OWS – is now familiar. Still, it is primarily interpreted as a protest, which is only a small part of the movement’s intent. It is actually probably a bit presumptuous to call it a singly movement, when it is really a combination of many movements. While most people are focused on what appears to be a tidal wave, I think that the most important thing is that there are billions of people riding that wave, not being swept underneath its path.

A related movement, of course, is 99%.

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

While the recent days have seen police throughout the US break up tent cities and arrest mostly non-violent protesters, it is clear that the vast majority of Americans see that the basic tenets of OWS and 99% are true. They are upset over the bankers, the investment brokers, and the 1% that own and employ and enjoy the corporate welfare while continuing to exert pressure on the government through lobbying and threats to move capital and jobs offshore. Their threats work, because recent history indicates that these threats are real.

So what is left for the rest of us to do? Everything, really. It is not really Wall Street or Oakland or the city centers anywhere that we need to occupy. We obviously need to live somewhere. We all need to work, play, learn, love, eat, do, and sing and dance.

We need to gather and talk, to think and act, to be firm and certain, to question and reconsider. We need to be considerate and kind, deliberate and apologize when we are wrong. But we cannot continue to expect that somehow pandering to the greed and power of the 1% will somehow lead to a desirable end for all. It won’t happen – ever.

So OWS is here to stay, at least until WS is just another street where some blokes live. I will choose, then, to live on a stream, rather than a street, pursuing a less convenient life in order to find, with a bit of difficulty, the pleasures that come the hard way. But to get there, we have a whole lot of hard work ahead. Good thing that there are a lot of people willing to lend a good hand. Chippin’ in, as they say, with a little bit of a lot.

It’s mighty fine company we share! Good to be a part of the 99; it sure is lonely being the only 1.

This 2 hour video is from The Nation and The New School in New York City and is about the movement after OWS. It comes from a live broadcast of an event held on Thursday, November 10, at The New School in New York City. The New School hosted Occupy Everywhere: On the New Politics and Possibilities of the Movement Against Corporate Power, a discussion featuring award-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore (Here Comes Trouble), best-selling author and Nation columnist Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine), Nation National Affairs correspondent William Greider (Come Home, America), Colorlines Publisher Rinku Sen (The Accidental American), Occupy Wall Street Organizer Patrick Bruner and Richard Kim, executive editor, The Nation.com (moderator).

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