Our captured government won’t do its job. It doesn’t keep Wall Street and banks and giant corporations from ripping us off and doesn’t prosecute them after they do. It doesn’t stop polluters -- even as the effects of climate change increase. It doesn’t enforce employment and labor laws, so all of us who work fall further and further behind. It doesn’t take care of those in need even as more and more of us are in greater and greater need. It just helps the connected rich get richer. So people finally got fed up, and started “occupying.” Now the occupy movement is spreading to more and more cities, growing with more and more people, and expanding people’s understanding of the power that comes from speaking out.

It started with Occupy Wall Street, people rising up over the greed and inequality, the1% vs 99%. Labor joined, adding their voice and grievances. Veterans, teachers and others are showing up in greater and greater numbers now. Others are joining. Now it’s everywhere: Hundreds of towns like Occupy Orlando and Chicago and Portland and Nashville and Asheville and Oakland and even little towns like Redwood City.

People are getting arrested as the powers-that-be react to the spreading and growing crowds. According to Chris Bowers at Daily Kos,

Arrests in Chicago, New York City, Fresno, Eureka, Denver, Portland, Boston, Seattle, Oakland, Ashville, Riverside and more cities over the weekend has brought the total number of arrests of Occupy protesters over 3,350.

Globalization Of Protest

The world feels the effect of their common wealth draining to shock-doctrine attacks from the 1%. Economist Joseph Stiglitz writes at Al Jazeera that in reaction to this we are seeing The globalisation of protest,

The protest movement that began in Tunisia in January, subsequently spreading to Egypt and then to Spain, has now become global -- with the protests engulfing Wall Street and cities across America. Globalisation and modern technology now enables social movements to transcend borders as rapidly as ideas can.

And social protest has found fertile ground everywhere: A sense that the “system” has failed, and the conviction that even in a democracy, the electoral process will not set things right -- at least not without strong pressure from the street.

Stiglitz writes that arond the world these protesters are sounding an alarm:

They are right that something is wrong about our “system”. Around the world, we have underutilised resources -- people who want to work, machines that lie idle, buildings that are empty -- and huge unmet needs: Fighting poverty, promoting development, and retrofitting the economy for global warming, to name just a few. In America, after more than seven million home foreclosures in recent years, we have empty homes and homeless people.

The protesters have been criticised for not having an agenda. But this misses the point of protest movements. They are an expression of frustration with the electoral process. They are an alarm.

… On one level, today’s protesters are asking for little: A chance to use their skills, the right to decent work at decent pay, a fairer economy and society. Their hope is evolutionary, not revolutionary. But, on another level, they are asking for a great deal: A democracy where people, not dollars, matter, and a market economy that delivers on what it is supposed to do.

Seniors Occupying Over Social Security & Medicare Cuts

More groups are expressing their own dissatisfaction with the captured government cutting back in order to preserve the tax cuts and other benefits of the top 1%. At The Huffington Post, Lizzie Schiffman reports in, Seniors Join Occupy Chicago, Protest Cuts To Medicare, Social Security

More than 1,000 senior citizens and their supporters marched from Chicago’s Federal Plaza to the intersection of Jackson and Clark Street Monday morning to protest proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

… Amid chants demanding that the cuts be forestalled — with suggestions for alternatives, including tax hikes — 43 demonstrators were escorted from the intersection (see video, above) by police and issued citations for pedestrian failure to “exercise due care,” or for blocking traffic. Those cited included four protesters using assisted mobility devices and at least one centenarian.

Moving Money From Banks

In conjunction with the Occupy Movement, people have started to move money from the too-big banks to non-profit credit unions that exist to actually serve the customers instead of the few at the top. 650,000 pedople moved from banks to credit unions just in October — more than all of the prior year — and early estimates of the recent November 5 action calculate that perhaps $60 billion was moved.

Occupy The Super Committee

Congress’ supercommittee of the 1% is discussing how much money to take out of the economy of the 99% by cutting back on the things our government does for We, the People. They want to cut the deficits that resulted from tax cuts for the rich and huge increases in military spending — without undoing those. So now a group is setting up to occupy the supercommittee. The Occupied Super Committee Hearing of the 99%

OccupyWashingtonDC to hold Occupied Super Committee Hearing for the 99%
Wednesday, November 9th at 11:00 AM

OccupyWashingtonDC.org will hold a hearing on the economy for the 99% that will examine how to create a fair economy for all Americans.

The Occupied Hearing will contrast with hearings on Capitol Hill which are destined to enrich the 1% and protect major donors.

The Occupied Super Committee Hearing for the 99% will examine critical issues facing the economy and the federal budget. The hearing will include testimony from people with great understanding of the issues facing the country as well as comments from the 99% who are directly affected by the economy.

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Views Of A Congressman’s Occupy Video

How often does a member of Congress put a video on YouTube and quickly get hundreds of thousands of views? Keith Ellison (D-MN), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, made a video for the “CongressionalYoutube Town Hall” series, talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement. The video has received 340,000 views as of Tuesday morning.

Occupy Everywhere And Everything

Possible new Occupy actions include places that the government is ignoring its responsibilities, and people are sick of just taking it. Some ideas:

  • Occupying polluting companies, until they stop polluting.
  • Occupying privatized public functions — jobs that have been handed to private contractors in order to pay people poverty wages, while making a few at the top very, very rich.
  • Occupying companies that refuse to hire the unemployed.
  • Occupying companies that refuse to hire people over 40.

    Encouraged by the Occupy Movement, more and more people are finding their voice and speaking out.

    This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

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    About the Author

    Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California. Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.

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