About Occupy Wall Street and the Employed 99%

I won’t be camping out at Occupy Los Angeles any time soon, but I appreciate the people who do. I was down there several weeks ago with my camera and I’ve been there a few times since then. It’s an interesting crowd full of thinkers, free spirits, frustrated young adults, politicians and pseudo intellectuals.

Occupy Wall Street is also important because it’s a symbol of both all that is wrong and all that is right in America. Occupy Wall Street exists in large part because we bailed out banks that behaved criminally. We tried to salvage them and their horrible business practices. Now billionaire bankers have been made whole, but my husband’s 401k is reduced by 40%. He worked his ass off to make that money and to secure a nice retirement for himself. Because of thievery there will be less to retire with.

I am aware of the fact that we are lucky that retirement is a word we can even consider, but we are far from the 1%. There have been no big raises, there were two years of sleepless nights during wave after wave of layoffs. Our neighbors have lost their homes and our home has lost significant value.

I am not complaining about my lifestyle. It’s nice, and I’m content. But when I look at the 401k and how it’s been bludgeoned I want to scream and pick up a sign. When I look at college costs soaring I feel terribly for young adults but at the same time I want to shake them and say “I went to a Community College it was excellent. The teachers were devoted and you can afford it.” My brother went to Santa Monica Community College and then to UCLA, guess which one had better professors? If you guessed Santa Monica you’d be correct.

But this is neither here nor there. Everyone deserves an education. We provide free school through high school with varying degrees of quality. California used to have some of the best schools in the nation. That’s just not the case any longer. Our state schools are also getting more expensive every day.

The kids at Occupy Cal joined hands and were protesting rate hikes and their bleak economic future. As empowered citizens they were exercising their right to free speech.

Today, on Veteran’s Day, we honor those who gave their time, their health and sometimes their lives so that Americans could speak freely and congregate peaceably. Today, on Veteran’s Day, I wanted to feel like I lived in the greatest country in the world. The country that would allow my children to chase their dreams.

Instead today I saw this.

You can see part two here (it is MUCH more objectionable).

When we see footage like this in other countries we scream POLICE STATE and send in the troops. I challenge you all to rethink what is happening in America. I challenge you all to post videos like these and to support the Freedoms that our Veterans fought so hard to protect.

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Comments 8

  1. Protesting can be a wonderful way to band together to demand change.  Unfortunately, many protests bring out a collection of weirdos who are up for complaining about anything, and as this video reveals, they don’t care much about their behavior or reputation.  Wasted opportunity to take action!

  2. Good on you for thinking about this, Jessica. I don’t know how much of this is true, but I rad that some police officers have been going undercover as protesters at OWS to stir up trouble, to give uniformed police the opportunity to do something about the generally, overwhelming nonviolent participants. This is so alarming to consider that I’d really like to know if it is true or not.

  3. That’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve seen in this country in a long time. I hate to say this, at some point this seems destined to become like Kent State.

  4. I don’t condone police violence and I agree that it is important for our rights to be protected. All that being said the occupy movement makes me shake my head.

    Why is there no real plan or structure to it. Honestly, I don’t get it. I pay a ridiculous amount of money each month for healthcare. It is the second largest bill I have and it is out of wack. We are fortunate that we are healthy.

    I would gladly work with people to try and reform the system. I would love to see more effort put into making real change but instead we have  some sort of semi organized mob that makes noise about many things but doesn’t seem to really have the ability to affect change.

    Maybe I am missing something, but in social media terms this reminds me of the pitches I receive that are addressed to Dear Mom Blogger.  It could be so much more.

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