Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Garden Grows on Wall Street

The agents for change are multiplying. On Sunday, their drumming could be heard throughout Wall street, and their chants echoed in and around the ears of the tourists flocking towards the newly opened World Trade Center memorial one block away. The consistent banging of their drums provoked children, teens, and curious adults to ask the most popular question on the block, “What is going on over there?”

That question has turned out to be the administration’s worst enemy, as it sums up the true tempo and effectiveness of Occupy Wall Street. Curiosity is peaking. Questions are being asked. Answers are being traded. What is truly going on Wall Street? And why are hoards of patriotic Americans making nationwide pilgrimages to New York?

“I’m a child from the sixties who took part in the protests in Washington. I drove up from Maryland with my book club to support the youth and protect them anyway we can from the police,” said a white-haired librarian with extensive health issues.

“I’m sick of all these tuition increases, and I’m so afraid I’m not going to find a job when I graduate to cover all this. I see both my older brothers sitting at my mom’s house jobless and broke, and they both have degrees and are drowning in debt,” said a young Columbia student wearing a hand-painted face mask.

Their complaints varied in breadth and depth, and the list was long. Yet, underneath the stack of grievances, there is a common thread that weaves their stories together. What Occupy Wall Street protesters want most is a government that serves the people of America, not corporations. They want to see change in the way campaigns are financed. They want to put a stop to corporate greed, outrageous bonuses, and unwarranted wars. They want to know why the government is doing nothing in a tough job market to help create new jobs, and not offering incentives to companies to hire within its borders rather than outsource jobs abroad. Frustrated, they want to see the CHANGE promised by Obama, and they want to see justice, equality, and true liberty for all. To sum it up, the voices erupting from Wall Street  all have justifiable grievances. The people want their great country back. They want to return to fulfilling their dreams.

Despite what the mass media wants the general public to believe, Occupy Wall Street is not a junkyard for hippies. Instead, it is a great example of a self-sufficient, organized community. What else would you expect from some of the most hardcore environmentalists, activists, and seasoned intellectuals from all walks of life — all meeting together in one place? Occupy Wall Street has turned into a collaborative and interactive platform for progressive reform. There are businessmen, government workers, teachers, blue and white collar types, professors, students, economists, philosophers, the brightest students from the best schools in the country, lawyers, doctors, brothers, sisters, babies and their mothers. The media should be very careful how they describe the protest or its attendees. Tomorrow, their brothers and mothers could be amongst the crowd.

Occupy Wall Street represents the collective grievances of the 99%. Every type of constituent profile is represented — and this is no joke. Not only domestically, but many foreign travelers have arrived in New York — not wanting to see the Statue of Liberty or the World Trade Memorial, but to take part in Occupy Wall Street. The French, Italians, Swedes, Croatians, Russians, Spaniards and more have also joined the assembly to show their support on behalf of their native lands. So, why has the general media been hiding the true story from us?

The people are finally speaking and thinking for themselves instead of the media speaking for the people. Can you imagine a medium-sized park that is half the size of a soccer field, positioned parallel to Wall Street and the World Trade Center, being turned into a great example of self-sufficiency? For the White House administration, Occupy Wall Street has turned into its biggest embarrassment.

These so-called “jobless hippies” have managed to cultivate a thriving cultural community in a matter of a few weeks. They have set up a library, a medical station, a printmaking circle, a printed newspaper, food kitchen, prayer corner, music space, recycling station, open platforms for speeches, interactive forums for exchanging ideas and finding solutions to problems. They are making small steps towards massive reform. All of this is happening just one block away from where the tragic event on September 11th claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Americans. The frustrated voices of thousands of nationals are marching for FREEDOM!

So can this go on forever? Costing the city millions in overtime pay for police officers, Mayor Bloomberg is now saying “the kids” can stay in the park for as long as they want – possibly indefinitely.  Bloomberg’s recent warm announcement to the “problem” is due to the fact that the city can’t legally remove the protesters from their space. The park is private property and, so far, the owner of the space has no issues with the “occupiers.” Forced to change his tune, Bloomberg says the only thing that can prevent them now may be the weather.

The mayor sounds confident that protesters will withdraw back into their homes once temperatures drop this coming winter. However, if Occupy Wall Street should have to extend its stay into the cold season, this writer is going to call on all the native tribes across the land to come camp out in teepees for the holidays. Can you imagine the increase in compassion and awareness that would be generated amongst the global masses, if the world saw thousands of vets, senior citizens, teachers, and hopeless youngsters camped out in front of Wall Street in teepees and tents in the freezing cold? And for what? A job? A trip to the doctor? Peace of mind? WHAT?

How about, a peaceful and bountiful global village for our children?

Suzy Kassem is a writer, poet, philosopher, human rights activist, filmmaker, and true citizen of the world. She is also the author of ‘Rise Up and Salute the Sun‘ by Awakened Press. 

More articles by:
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
stclair
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail