What Now?

Police Raid Is Attempt to
Behead Occupy Wall Street

With Blitzkrieg efficiency and the truculence of Syrian armies, the New York Police Department dismantled last night the original HQ of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, at Zuccotti Park, in lower Manhattan.
Just after 1AM, and at the dawn of its second month of continued peaceful occupation, one of the most liberal cities on earth decided that the annoyance of U.S. citizens exercising their right to seek public accountability from the government was simply too much.
Judging by their riot gear attire and loud warning shots fired into the unarmed crowd of, initially at least, about 2,000, the forces of law and order were apparently prepared to a violent confrontation, which hasn’t happened.
The destruction of the Ground Zero of public demand for justice for those who caused the devastating 2008 global financial crisis has been broadcast live to the world.
Tents, food courts, libraries, personal possessions, electronic equipment and other ‘facilities’ created by the movement were broken down, piled up and generally reduced to rubble. The evicted protesters remained on the sidelines, expressing one of America’s greatest democratic traditions: peaceful civil disobedience.
Few were not expecting at least some kind of attempt to dislodge the ragtag group of concerned citizens occupying the privately-owned park, as it’s already been happening with higher degrees of violence in other cities throughout the U.S. But the raid came with no warning from the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who likes to portray himself as a liberal.
In fact, the authoritarian decision comes at a turning point for the movement, as it’s spreads out globally and has been recognized as a legitimate civic interlocutor expressing the outrage of those short-changed by the near collapse of the world financial system.
Despite widespread fraud, illicit activity engaged by banks and financial institutions, and the huge tax-payer bailout that ultimately rescued the ‘too big to fail’ responsible for the crisis, no one has spent time in jail and profits by Wall Street firms are again at an all time record.
Those defrauded of their life savings, however, lost houses and jobs and remain uncompensated. They are the ones who have been swelling the estimated 14 million strong of the U.S. unemployed. Recent surveys have indicated that record numbers of American children fell under the poverty line in the past two years, and former workers now lack even basic health coverage, in consequence of losing their jobs.
Despite the increased wealth accumulated in the period by the financial industry, the rest of the U.S. economy has remained stagnant and incapable of generating jobs.
Even though right wing segments of the society have tried to portray the OWS movement as baseless and unlawful, no one has been able to disclaim their main motto: that they represent about 99 percent of the U.S. population, whose combined income is but a fraction of the remainder 1 percent.
This police raid is a black eye for New York and a sad day for America. The movement, of course, won’t be shut down or even diminished simply because it’s been regarded by the Obama administration as a police matter and not as a civic issue.
Yes, the ball is on your corner, Mr. President, as it’s up to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and all politicians elected by the people of New York to make a stand in the name of those they represent. It may be no longer possible for this growing group of unarmed citizens to defend themselves against a professional police force such as the NYPD, sent to repress it.
Even though this volatile historical standoff is being completely ignored by the multibillion news media, pictures have been broadcast and millions around the world have been watching them live on the Internet.
We join the progressive forces of this country, those seeking a true democracy, in asking for justice for those who committed financial crimes that destroyed the lives of millions.
We’re proud to identify with the legitimate demand for jobs, access to education, housing, universal health care, equal opportunities for all to grow and rebuild this nation.
The U.S.A. has an almost three-century unique tradition of power to the people and unequaled prosperity for all. We’ve had leaders in our past that sit rightfully so next to great figures of mankind for their deeds and exemplary lives.
We have stood in defense of immigrants and people from all walks of life, with no prejudice towards their faith or race or gender, as long as we’re all here to build the greatest peaceful nation in the world, where the rule of law is for everybody, and that even a poor person may one day lead us to the future.
These are the same unwavering principles the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about. It blossomed out of the most American of aspirations: the one for social justice and equality. Let’s not have it killed by the bottomless greed of a precious few, who wouldn’t have accumulated such an unrestricted wealth and power without the collaboration of all citizens.
Let’s tonight not me the end, but the beginning of a better day in America.

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