Archive for the ‘Occupy Movement’ Category
Put Those Police Cameras on Bankers
These demonstrations, largely by young and remarkably multi-racial crowds, are not the first. They were preceded by Occupy Wall Street, indicting the 1 percent and spreading to hundreds of cities. They were foreshadowed by the dreamers, children demanding the right to come out of the shadows of the undocumented.
They were accompanied by record numbers of workers in low wage jobs at fast food restaurants and the Dollar Stores walking off their jobs in some 190 cities.
They were complemented by women demanding gender equality, particularly at the workplace where discrimination and sexism are still rife.
The streams of alienation and disparities are converging into a river. Injustices in this new age are not only inflammable, they are increasingly inflamed.
The official reaction to police immunity for the killing of unarmed black boys and men Ferguson and Staten Island and Cleveland and Brooklyn has focused, not surprisingly, on the police. The president has created a Task Force on 21st Century Policy, with instructions to report in 90 days. He’s committed millions to put cameras on police.
But he might be better advised to put cameras on bankers. Reckless, unaccountable and murderous police behavior must end, but the police are simply the gatekeepers assigned to keep order.
Behind the gate is the American policy of isolating poor people of color in ghettos, ghettos deprived of jobs, of capital, of decent health care, of affordable housing, of good schools.
Police are assigned to patrol these zones of despair, part of the only thriving industry in these neighborhoods — the jail-industrial complex of more police, police stations, courthouses, bondsmen, jailors, judges, lawyers and prosecutors, court recorders and guards and much more. In this pressure cooker, all of us are vulnerable — none of us are safe until all of us are safe.
In the Civil Rights Movement, the Bull Connors were the violent enforcers. But they were not the issue: The issue was legal segregation that deprived African Americans of their rights and locked them into second-class citizenship.
Today, the police killing of unarmed Blacks is unacceptable and reaching crisis proportions. But the issue is a national policy that abandons poor people of color in their ghettos. If we put cameras on the police, we may get better policing and less injustice (although Eric Garner’s killing was on camera). But what we need is an urban development policy that attacks segregation by race, rebuilds poor neighborhoods, invests in the health and education of poor infants and children, erects affordable housing, offers training for and transport to jobs that exist.
The demonstrations are about justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner and others that can be and will be added to the list. But they aren’t just about those killings. They are about a national ghetto policy, a national worker impoverishment policy, a national inequality policy.
The slogan “No justice, no peace,” reverberates throughout the country. And the demonstrations are growing and spreading. Different streams of protest are coming together. Occupy Wall Street exposed the 1 percent. The strikes of low wage workers expose the global corporations. The “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” demonstrations expose the harsh injustices of the jail-industrial complex.
Dr. Martin Luther King taught us: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politics, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” Today, across America, more and more Americans are standing up for what is right.
Jesse Jackson is the founder of Rainbow/PUSH.
For all of those that are stumbling around trying to understand what the Occupy Movement is all about, I offer the following article. Mr. Graeber has the clearest, most concise understanding I found yet. For those readers that believe they live in a Democracy and enjoy all the guaranteed rights and privileges of voting for their choice of elected leaders, I suggest they take a hard look at the truth.
This is the link to the article: Occupy Wall Street’s anarchist roots – Or continue at the break. The complete article is printed below.
His article posted on Salon.com today, Sunday, October 30, 2011 is here. He answers the driving question: but what can we do about all of this? He offers a good start:
(1) Ever since I began writing about politics, the most frequently asked question I’ve encountered has been: but what can we do about all of this? The reason I find the Occupy movement to be one of the most important, exciting and inspiring political developments of the last decade is that it provides the definitive answer to that question. Though still in what I hope is its incipient stage, this protest movement proves that citizens of all different backgrounds and even ideologies (though sharing common interests) possess the ability to unite, pose a threat to seemingly invulnerable power factions, and demand change beyond the mere act of voting once every two years — and that they can endure and even grow in the face of abusive police force. Though it has already accomplished substantial good, the protest movement hasn’t yet achieved all of that, but it has provided the template and made manifest the possibility. Read the rest of this entry »