Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

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A New Kind of Patriotism

Scenes From the Occupation of Wall Street

by ELIZABETH HELPERN & HILLARY ATIYEH

I am a New York City resident, former counselor in the New York City public school system, and sometime political activist over the last 20 years.  I went down to Foley Square with close friend and photographer, Hillary Atiyeh, to participate in the Oct. 5 march with Occupy Wall Street and their many union partners. We stood in the middle of the square and were struck by something different about this crowd.

It is, no doubt, a movement fueled by the stamina and revolutionary spirit of youth. They are the stalwarts, living in Zuccotti Park (and now setting up similar camps across the country), shouldering the day-to-day burden, but when they put out the call they are joined in the thousands by an almost indescribable array of people. It seemed at least half of the marchers were age 35 and up…and I do mean up. There were grey haired ladies with walkers and canes marching alongside tattooed Teamsters.  Boomers aplenty. Teachers, nurses, auto workers.

The young may the backbone of this movement, but their supporters are, more and more, who we once saw as the backbone of  America -who are now being treated like greedy parasites on our economy. Together they are rejecting not only this characterization by the right, but the inaction and empty promises of the left.

Almost makes you feel patriotic.

Photography by Hillary Atiyeh.