By: Brady Osborne
I Voted for Occupy. Contrary to corporate media portrayals accusing the movement of being disorganized and unclear, the Occupy movement knows what it wants- an end to a corporate controlled culture of greed. Contrary to politicians who claim to care about the welfare and interests of American citizens, the Occupy movement has been and is committed to the empowerment of American citizens. The Occupy movement is a movement for the people, by the people. It is not just the disenfranchised, severely struggling people, it is also the well off and middle class whom the Occupy movement is concerned for and made up of-the 99%.
Occupy stands for community. Humans are social creatures living in a social world and hence thrive in communities. Could you imagine living your life without the support of others? No one to talk to about your day; no one to lend a hand in the literal and figurative lifting of weight. That is community. One must not live on a commune deprived of clothing, running water, and electricity to be a part of a community. One must simply appreciate the natural human tendency towards companionship. Corporate control of resources not only works to dissemble and disenfranchise communities, but it is the reason that our country is in the current economic.
Politicians are essentially corporate employees. It is organizations like ALEC, comprised of one percenters representing big oil, big banks, and other big money big wigs who lobby politicians to do their bidding. Such decisions which effect you or someone you know; from taking away the potential for a job by outsourcing labor to foreign sweatshops, or slowly destroying the environment you live in and putting lives at risk to put in new oil pipelines, either way the 99% loose. We loose so that the one percenter can garner a little larger profit, when it comes down to it profit always trumps people in the eyes of the corporation. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will not change this; they are figureheads who live in the dirty pockets of profit hungry corporations. Vote for Occupy, who through the process of things like the general assembly allow for all voices to be heard, it is democracy at it’s core.
A vote for Occupy can mean a variety of things. It could have meant an actual vote cast for Jill Stein, the green party candidate for president, because such a vote would disrupt the corporate controlled elections that offer the two barely discernable parties of democrat and republican.
A vote for occupy means an end to apathy. Do something! Do something to better your life and the lives within your community and the lives of those who live on this planet. Doing something does not have to be hard, it does not have to be a rigorous, academic process; you do not have to have all the answers. We live in a culture, which expects that if you take a stand you must be an expert. You can be anti-capitalist and not know exactly what you would like to see in its place; it is through dialogue that ideas are formed.
So doing something can take the form of being conscious of where you spend your money. The powers that be seem to only speak the language of the dollar, so hit them where it hurts. Shop at locally owned stores because they are much more likely to put that money right back into your community. Take your money out of big corporate banks that invest in offshore drilling or fund anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-human agendas. Lastly, get out there and connect with your community, with your local occupy movement and see what they are about. And do not let anyone make you feel your actions are ridiculous or you should stop “complaining”. We live in a culture which shames people into submission, a culture which tells us to be thankful for what we have been “given” as there are many suffering in third world countries. However, we must only look in our backyard if we want to see devastation and suffering. One must only visit communities such as Pine Ridge, South Dakota to experience the American third world communities. Poverty and destitution exist everywhere and one’s lack of experiencing such is no reason not to fight for improvements throughout all communities.
We are this country, the working class, the middle class, black, white, brown, African, Chicano, Latino, Asian, Irish, Italian, documented and undocumented. If it was not for the 99% there could be no 1%, it is our backs that have been beaten, bruised, and bloodied so that the powers that be may maintain massive amounts of power and wealth. We are more powerful than many of us imagine. Remember, there are more of us then there are of “them” so if we all join together and mobilize, we can effect real, tangible change. Continue to vote for Occupy everyday.
Brady Osborne is a Sociology Student at Sonoma State University and Co-President of the Sociology Club