Why OCCUPY?

I have read and heard that many don’t get the “message” of the “Occupy Movement.”  Here are a few clues:

For going on nine years now, we’ve been occupying two countries in the middle east: Afghanistan and  Iraq.  What started these occupations?

For Afghanistan it was dubious attacks on New York and Washington, that were never legitimately investigated.  In Iraq, we went to war and occupied on the basis of hollow lies – the infamous “weapons of mass destruction” – that were never found.

And we’ve been occupying both countries ever since.

Our country has been led down the path of building a huge security apparatus that has taken away our privacy, our peace of mind and our freedom.  This “Homeland Security” juggernaut has enriched those who own the military-industrial security-state, at the cost of our democracy.

The financial institutions also got into the act.  They destroyed the good faith and credit of the American people at home, through predatory loans leading to foreclosures and economic ruin. In the end, the culprits of a spiraling economic meltdown bailed themselves out, with million dollar bonuses to boot.

So instead of occupying foreign lands, the American people decided to Occupy Wall Street, and to Occupy Main Street.

The Sacramento Bee’s business section on Sunday announced that 25% of Americans, ages 25-34 are now unemployed.  With the economy belly-up, it makes it that much easier to recruit for the military, the prison system, and the police.

It was also reported today, that the cop responsible for pepper-spraying peaceful UC Davis students on Nov. 18 – Police Lieutenant John Pike – in 2010 made a  salary of $110,243.12!

If the only decent jobs kids can get these days are in the military or police, where does that leave us?  If someone has to to choose between their $60,000-a-year job, and busting a few protesters heads on command, which do you think they’re going to choose?  Disobey, join the 99% and get fired, or “just follow orders?”

The Occupy Movement has, and is, forcing Americans to occupy their own conscience, their own hearts, their own system of values.  We can no longer ignore the world around us, or our place in it.

The word Occupation is rife with meaning, among others – one’s employment in a career, and the subjugation of another’s country by military force.  Like a word loaded with different meanings, so our country is torn.

Let’s hope that Americans can find the best in ourselves and each other through these turbulent times.

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