FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Call It a Revolution

by MISSY BEATTIE

Snarling riot cops evicted protestors and raided Zuccotti Park Tuesday morning, two months after Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was launched in lower Manhattan.  Spin-off groups across the country were shut down as well.

Just minutes after I wrote the above paragraph, my son called from NYC to update that activists, amassing again, are being arrested.  Several hundred demonstrators are marching through the financial district to block traffic.  “Who do you serve?  Who do you protect?”  These questions are directed at the arresting officers.

This past week, I’ve viewed videos of policemen, stomping their official authority across the necks and backs of members of the 99 percent who’ve gathered to demand change with focus on lack of jobs, social inequality, injustice, the taxpayer bailed-out bankers responsible for crashing the economy, and the failure to hold corporate criminals accountable.  Meanwhile, protestors are being cuffed (as I write) and pepper sprayed by a paramilitary-like police force.

Criminal, too, is the destruction of libraries at occupation areas, an act almost as unthinkable as the loss of human rights.  Books are venerated, the compilation of ideas, an author’s vision, life map, revelations, inked to paper, like lyrics swirling to music, records of the past, present, what could and/or shouldn’t be.

Just hours before morning on Tuesday, police descended to machete freedom of speech and the right to assemble.  Let’s make this less visible, the mayors must have said during conference calls. Like George Bush, they instructed their serfs to act in the absence of light— so Bushian and reminiscent of a president’s directive that dead soldiers would arrive to shattered families only at night.

What Americans can’t see, they, most likely, will not acknowledge.   George Bush prevented photographs of returning war dead. Barack Obama learned from the experts and is, now, the master of universal subterfuge.

Good morning, Australia.  Please welcome the US Marines.  This is a policy shift to counter China’s power.  You Aussies will be grateful.  We will call this a partnership that’s, um, similar to a coalition.   Of the coerced.  Imagine you are ten years old, hands against the wall, and the United States of America is, as Obama says, “…here to stay.” Disregard the slapping sound.  This is horseplay.  The bases are yours, not ours.   The US is with you in a constructive role to protect oil and minerals.  This will not hurt.  And don’t complain to anyone or Mommy and Daddy might be assassinated.

It’s just that we are “winding down” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the horses require other ranges to roam.  The Empire rides, hard and fast.

Forgive the detour.  I wandered from my intent to examine the mayoral edict to rid the 99 percent of its voice and accede to the 1 percent.  And to emphasize that these smaller political fish miscalculated the repercussions of their order.

The battle for justice didn’t end this past week when local politicians allowed acts of violence not unlike the violations we condemn in countries we bomb to spread “democracy.”  Witness to this is inspiring increased action.  Protests are mounting.  Activists are strategizing.  This movement isn’t going to whimper.  We are watching the aftermath of a decision that underscores the viability of OWS.  This is not a one-act drama.

More:  I just returned from Occupy Baltimore where we assembled at the Howard Street Bridge.  “This is what democracy looks like,” we shouted, along with “jobs not cuts.”

The crowd, numbering well over 200 participants, has grown since my last visit to the occupation zone. In solidarity with protestors at raided sites, we stood on the busy corner during rush hour.

We must choose our targets wisely.  How about the buildings in midtown Manhattan where the morning talk shows broadcast inanities such as how to bake the perfect turkey?

The times are imperfect. Perilous, really.  Actions, small and large, demand maximum impact.  Again, this is not a one-act drama.  People are angry.  And they will not acquiesce to big business, as usual.  I think we can call this a revolution.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  She can be reached at: missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 30, 2017
William R. Polk
What Must be Done in the Time of Trump
Howard Lisnoff
Enough of Russia! There’s an Epidemic of Despair in the US
Ralph Nader
Crash of Trumpcare Opens Door to Full Medicare for All
Carol Polsgrove
Gorsuch and the Power of the Executive: Behind the Congressional Stage, a Legal Drama Unfolds
Michael J. Sainato
Fox News Should Finally Dump Bill O’Reilly
Kenneth Surin
Former NC Governor Pat McCory’s Job Search Not Going Well
Binoy Kampmark
The Price of Liberation: Slaughtering Civilians in Mosul
Bruce Lesnick
Good Morning America!
William Binney and Ray McGovern
The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate: Will Trump Take on the Spooks?
Jill Richardson
Gutting Climate Protections Won’t Bring Back Coal Jobs
Robert Pillsbury
Maybe It’s Time for Russia to Send Us a Wake-Up Call
Prudence Crowther
Swamp Rats Sue Trump
March 29, 2017
Jeffrey Sommers
Donald Trump and Steve Bannon: Real Threats More Serious Than Fake News Trafficked by Media
David Kowalski
Does Washington Want to Start a New War in the Balkans?
Patrick Cockburn
Bloodbath in West Mosul: Civilians Being Shot by Both ISIS and Iraqi Troops
Ron Forthofer
War and Propaganda
Matthew Stevenson
Letter From Phnom Penh
James Bovard
Peanuts Prove Congress is Incorrigible
Thomas Knapp
Presidential Golf Breaks: Good For America
Binoy Kampmark
Disaster as Joy: Cyclone Debbie Strikes
Peter Tatchell
Human Rights are Animal Rights!
George Wuerthner
Livestock Grazing vs. the Sage Grouse
Jesse Jackson
Trump Should Form a Bipartisan Coalition to Get Real Reforms
Thomas Mountain
Rwanda Indicts French Generals for 1994 Genocide
Clancy Sigal
President of Pain
Andrew Stewart
President Gina Raimondo?
Lawrence Wittner
Can Our Social Institutions Catch Up with Advances in Science and Technology?
March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail