Today as I write this words New York City is witnessing the largest ever popular protest against Big Business and Finance Capital. The Occupy Wall street movement is gaining momentum and spreading to other Cities of USA. What are they protesting against?“I did everything I was supposed to and I have nothing to show for it.”The above statement reflects the general sentiment of the thousands of protesters blocking roads in New York today. The failed American dream is pushing more and more people into debt which no Government is ready to write off or help to re-pay, while the US treasury funds were liberally used to help big business to tide over its crisis several times in recent years. Those Companies which were bailed out by public money is showing big profits now but the US economy is in a bad recession.
We are the 99 Percent
One of the main fuel for this protests is the personal stories of hundreds of Americans depicted in the website ‘We are the 99 Percent‘.
Here are some examples.
Lost my job in 2006. Sold my home and moved in with my 87-year-old mother.
Worked temporary jobs on and off for over 5 years with little or no benefits.
Cancer survivor. Need medical care. Can’t afford health insurance.
TOO YOUNG TO RETIRE.
Watching my retirement funds and savings shrink.
Moved to Mexico to get medical care. Rent a room and live on $250 a month. No car. No phone.
Mom is in the hospital and I wonder if I can afford to come home.
I AM the 99%.
I am 30 years old. I have a BFA and an MA. I taught Art History for 2+ years and made regular payments on my loans. As a newer, less established member of the faculty I was out of work when my college cut classes. Over a year later and I still can’t find work. I pick up dog poop for $6 a walk. Because of deferments my $41,000 loan has become $62,000. I am the 99%.
III am 29 years old. I have a Master’s degree. I am $120,000+ in student loan/medical debt. In the past 18 months I: was diagnosed with cancer, lost 2 jobs, worked 70 hours/wk and unable to keep up. I get more calls from creditors than I do friends. My electricity was shut off in May. I was too embarrassed to tell people in August that it was still off. I had to move back in with my parents. I have $4 in my bank account and no job.
I am the 99%.
These are the REAL stories of people who played by the rules,did as they were told,but has only huge debts to show for it.
The interesting thing is that the protesters have no concrete list of demands. Or you can say different protesters have different demands and these are being put to vote on net and may become finalized only after few weeks or even months.
Most of the demands are aimed at better control and more taxing of big business and finance capital. There are also demands for more affordable universal health care and affordable education.
Here is a list of demands that are being voted on.
Greece,Spain,Italy………USA……. the tale of woes of Western Capitalist economies is continuing. Mass struggles are taking place in all these places against Corporate greed and the elected Government’s abject surrender to big business and finance Capital.
Will these protests of honest and sincere men and women who played by the rules,but lost everything, help to bring a revolutionary change in the system?