Sunday, October 02, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Real Self-Help

Unidentified activist at Occupy Wall Street.

While there are plenty of self-help books to help people feel their fear and do whatever they need to do anyway, few of these books ask people to be as courageous as the folks camped out at the intersection of Liberty Street, Wall Street, and Broadway in New York City. 

This morning my 13-year-old daughter and I walked down to Wall Street to express our solidarity with them, and with the 99% of Americans whose combined wealth barely comes close to that of the 1% who rule our plutocracy. 

After I saw the YouTube footage of what appeared to be the arrest of a 13-year-old girl by the NYPD as she crossed the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, I realized that it's impossible to just sit this one out.  It's time to step up and say enough to the interests that refuse to pay their fair share and have plundered our nation's wealth for the past thirty years. 

What we found at the Occupy Wall Street encampment were school teachers, nurses, families, tourists, police officers, and journalists. What we saw were families tired of living in fear for their children's futures. What we saw were people who were fed up of living in a world where a tiny minority of corporate interests have gutted our economy through speculation and warmongering. What we saw were hopeful people willing to conceive of self-interest as encompassing the interests of their neighbors here and around the globe. What we saw was real self-help. Occupy Wall Street, occupy America, occupy together