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article imageOp-Ed: Occupy Wall Street and the discontent of nations

By Craig Boehman     Jun 29, 2013 in Politics
New York - The crowds in the parks have died down for now, but the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to be a powerful symbol of discontent for a great many people in the United States who are fed up with Wall Street and a bought-and-paid-for two-party system.
Discontent has breached dams. The dams, the old and crumbling walls of undemocratic governments spanning the globe. The discontent, a storm surge of angry masses in places like Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain. Rising flood waters in Turkey, Brazil, and Bulgaria. The United States experienced a downpour via the Occupy Wall Street movement before local governments cleared the occupations by direct force, restoring, at least momentarily, the pressure against the rickety infrastructure of our corporate-inspired juggernaut of a nation. But we activists are still here. We haven't gone away. We've been organizing in our communities. We've kept our websites and social media circles intact. We are holding conversations about how the government ought to respond to its constituents. Some of us are imagining communities unaligned to any central authority whatsoever. The point being, we are tired of a broken “system” that rewards the elitist of the 1% while systematically punishing the 99%.
The Occupy Wall Street movement gave rise to a crescendo of angry voices who've been fed up for years with more than cozy relationship between our elected leaders and Wall Street interests. We are paying for this revolving door relationship, in many thousands of instances, with our homes and our jobs. Instead of punishing Wall Street executives with hefty fines and prison sentences for their wrongdoings, the prevailing wisdom is to reward them with millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses. Not one executive has served a prison sentence. Not one government official has been booted out of office and prosecuted. Where is the public outcry? Put back into the box, apparently – for now.
We are waiting for the next golden moment to arrive which will blossom into street demonstrations like those happening in Turkey and Brazil. Nobody knows the 'when' or the 'where', for that matter. It could be that full scale protests will resume near Wall Street. Maybe Washington DC will re-experience the crowds it once hosted during anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s and 70s. The undeniable fact remains that no one has solved the core issues which lead to the economic crisis of 2007-8. Many of the same players remain at large in the halls of government; their patrons on Wall Street still gamble on high-stakes, unregulated games that have come to represent the very essence of disaster capitalism. With no will in DC to put an end to this downward spiral, it's up to us.
Hollywood gave Isoroku Yamamoto's character in Tora! Tora! Tora! a memorable line which may bear no semblance to historical accuracy, but which may prove very true in regards to an American public once they've been poked once too often by the little people on Wall Street: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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