There is a protest taking place in New York City. A rag-tag group of passionate citizens are making their voices heard regarding the economic mess taking place in our country, and the world. The goal of the protest is simple; to occupy Wall St. for an extended period of time to draw attention to the misdoings of our banking institutions. The protest began on Saturday, 9/17. Around 1,000 protestors showed up. That number has fluctuated over the following days of the protest. A few hundred have been camping out overnight.
The protestors are non-violent and receiving significant support from the Internet. The protest was suggested by the Canadian magazine AdBusters and has been heavily promoted by the “hacktivist” group known as Anonymous. The protest website (https://occupywallst.org/) is updated frequently on the current activities of the protestors. Twitter is also being utilized heavily as a medium of communication from the people on the ground to the rest of the world. Donations are being taken for the protest in general, and for food, camping supplies, and other needs. The goal of the leaderless group is to occupy Wall St. for a few months in an effort to express their anger with what they claim is the fault of bankers and politicians being in bed with one another. The protestors have been encountering heavy resistance from the NYPD, who has resorted to arresting people wearing masks, citing an 1845 “masquerade party” law.
The participants of this event are comparing it to the “Arab Spring” and the liberation of Egypt. This seems to be the first organized effort to oppose some of the causes of our current economic crisis. The protestors are an eclectic mix of people from different ages, races, religions, and political persuasions. They have come to the collective realization that there is something very wrong with the United States as it exists today. While I agree with the idea behind the protest, I disagree with some of the points of the protest, like advocating for unions, higher taxes on the rich, or the sentiment that this mess is all purely related to corporate greed. The important point is that they recognize that there is a problem and they are doing something about it, even if it the theory that some protestors subscribe to for righting the wrongs is somewhat misguided.
The group posted a list of demands on their website:
“On September 21st, 2011, Troy Davis, an innocent man, was murdered by the state of Georgia. Troy Davis was one of the 99 percent.
Ending capital punishment is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, the richest 400 Americans owned more wealth than half of the country’s population.
Ending wealth inequality is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, four of our members were arrested on baseless charges.
Ending police intimidation is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, we determined that Yahoo lied about occupywallst.org being in spam filters.
Ending corporate censorship is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, roughly eighty percent of Americans thought the country was on the wrong track.
Ending the modern gilded age is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, roughly 15% of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing.
Ending political corruption is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of Americans did not have work.
Ending joblessness is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, roughly one sixth of America lived in poverty.
Ending poverty is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, roughly fifty million Americans were without health insurance.
Ending health-profiteering is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, America had military bases in around one hundred and thirty out of one hundred and sixty-five countries.
Ending American imperialism is our one demand.
On September 21st, 2011, America was at war with the world.
Ending war is our one demand.”
I believe all of these demands are good motives. However, the way in which they are reached could be dangerous. An approach that relies on government will fail, and will take away even more of our liberties. The only way to meet these demands successfully is through the founding principles of our Republic; through honoring the Constitution and adhering to small limited government, a sound currency, and a free market.
I see this protest as a good thing and hopefully the start of something bigger. The first step to fixing any problem is recognizing that a problem exists. This is what we need if we want our state as a nation to improve. People need to recognize the problem, get educated in how and why it is, and do something about it. If nothing else, perhaps Occupy Wall Street will help others see the problems we face and motivate them to become involved. I’m writing about this event because I believe it is important and it is being virtually ignored by mainstream media, even the New York Times which is the newspaper of the city where the protest is taking place! If the mainstream will not cover this, the true Free Press will.
The economic problems we face are not simple. They are deeply rooted in nearly 100 years of government overreach and corporate corruption. It is important to note that capitalism is not the problem. Irresponsible and unrestrained government is the problem. Infidelity to the Constitution is the problem. Corruption and the lust of power is the problem. Fiat currency and ignorance of the free market is the problem. But above all, the apathy and blind acceptance of United States citizens is the problem. Hope and change come not from a smooth talking politician, but from the actions of educated, conscientious and dedicated individuals who are fighting for the ideals that founded our Republic and for the restoration of liberty.
Those of us who share the ideals of Constitutionally limited government, free markets, fiscal responsibility, liberty and sound money should see this as an opportunity to spread the message of liberty and galvanize support for it. We know the problems, and we have the solutions. We need to educate others and motivate them to act. Through thoughtful and determined action we can take our Republic back.
To the protestors: I wish you the best. Remain peaceful and stay safe. Your actions will not go unnoticed. Let this be the beginning of something truly great. Never lose sight of the goal. Never surrender.
As one dedicated individual said, “You cannot arrest an idea.”
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Based on a work at http://www.considerliberty.com.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.