A fascinating account of the 99%/Occupy Wall Street movement by one of the original organizers is now available.
The Necessity of Resisting Financial Tyranny (June 11, 2011)
Our Participation Fuels Financial Tyranny (June 13, 2011)
I have had many encouraging conversations with very wealthy individuals and people who run large organizations that say that they want to support the movement and help it grow. Many people well within the economic top 1% fully understand that our political process is overrun with corruption and that we are on a critically unsustainable path. They view the 99% Movement and Occupy as our last best chance to turn things around. There are many people within the 1% who do not want to be associated with the "organized criminal class," which technically only makes up 0.1% of the population, at most. I have a great deal of respect for these compassionate and conscious one percenters.
However, as of this writing, financial and resource support has been minimal. Every day I speak with organizers and occupiers throughout the country who have played a very significant role in building this movement and they can no longer afford to keep fighting fulltime. Just like everyone else, they have bills to pay and families to feed. Other than financially, the past five months have taken a serious physical toll on many of us. Many people have lost considerable weight, have had a nasty cold and cough, and have been getting four hours of sleep on a good night. This struggle is one that is shared by thousands of people who battle every single day. Something that people who are not on the frontlines don’t seem to understand is that we are currently fighting an all-out nonviolent war. This movement is a relentless battle that demands 24/7 commitment.
Since this movement has taken off, many organizations that cover our actions and operate on the periphery of the movement are now receiving large donations and funding, partly as a result of our efforts. They also deserve to be rewarded for their vital work. However, the people putting their bodies on the line daily and doing all the heavy lifting need to have their basic needs met as well. It's incredibly disheartening to see career "activists," that have failed for years to do what we have done, fundraise off our backs, while the real fighters and change-makers go hungry.
Clearly, after the last five months of intense battle, I'm growing increasingly weary and frustrated by this lack of respect. We need to do a better job of raising funds ourselves. I admire and respect people who try to make the world a better place for a living, but your words of support mean little without substantive actions behind them. This is a nonviolent war, not yet another swanky gabfest conference filled with well-paid suits righteously yapping about someday creating the structural change that anyone with half a political clue knows we urgently need now. Enough with your comfortable talks, it's time for ACTION! So stop hoarding funds and resources while the real fighters are out on the frontlines.
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