Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Occupy_______Protesters" Give me Optimism

          Four weeks ago a group appeared in New York with the vague slogan that they wanted to occupy Wall Street. They had many signs and walked back and forth but their slogan could have meant different things.

         I think this group would have quickly disappeared except that the police arrested 700 of them for rather poor reasons. This gained the group massive publicity and as a result the movement grew by leaps and bounds with sections forming in many different centers.

        We have all seen the development of obscenely high salaries for top executives for the last ten years. It had started on a slower pace 25 or 30 years ago. Companies piled up huge amounts of money. Sports would be an example where athletes make enormous amounts of money. This is a competition between players and the leagues. Any first year hockey player gets close to one million dollars in his first year.

       The "Occupy " group is very shrewd in it's tactics. There is an emphasis on no violence. Their aims and objectives are vague. They are extremely well spoken so communication is excellent.They are using social networks wisely.

       I think that this movement has a good chance of success in bringing about a change so that the wealth is more fairly distributed. That's why I'm optimistic.

       I started my professional career in the late 50's. Times were good . Jobs were a dime a dozen. Salaries were quite adequate. I have watched with dismay as many labor groups have lost benefits such as wages, pensions and  health care . In the 80' I saw many parents with five or six jobs between them over an 18 hour period. They were trying to make ends meet. Many times their children were neglected. These people were hard workers and had finished high school and often had post high school training yet they could not get employment that was productive. No doubt some businesses were benefiting from their labor.

       I think these groups will continue with their low key actions for a long time. They will keep up the pressure on government and business until Govt. and business begin to worry. I'm sure that political parties are already looking at how they are going to be maneuvered. In Canada where we have three main parties it's easier for them to influence political parties to shift. It may be more difficult in the U.S. with only two political parties.

      I see  link to demonstrations in the Arab world although they were looking more directly for regime change. The English riots were about the same thing except they were put down with force as the rioters gave the police good reason to arrest them . Many of the English demonstrators were of color so it made it easier for the police to take action.

      I would think that at this time government and business is totally ignoring the "Occupy  Group."  This will be to the peril of govt. and business. A few weeks ago they could have thrown a handful of change to the protesters and made a few vague promises and the protesters would probably have disappeared. The longer this movement stays around the more change they will demand.

      So I am optimistic that the "Occupy Group" will bring about change. They are asking for an adjustment to make the sharing of wealth more equal. I think such an adjustment is needed and cooler heads will find a way to do it.


  1. I disagree Keith ( Red/Bluey)

    What really are they achieving - anachy? Burning cars, smashing windows of shops, disrupting all and sundry.
    Have a good look at them - most would never work in an iron lung.
    They want money for nothing.
    Today in the CBD of Brisbane, they have pitched up a tent city in Anzac Park ( where they were obviously given by some numbskull of the Brisbane City Council a permit - Anzac Park is to commerate the fallen military members who have given their lives for these new found fantasies!)
    The young in this "Tent" place were positively filthy and language was disgusting. I was tempted to go and purchase soap for them for cleaning, but thought whats the use. Maybe the only time they were soaped and cleaned was at birth.
    Look what is happening in Rome, Madrid etc. with these people.
    There are problems in the World - corporate greed and the ones who expect everything for nothing!
    Work out the problem and then you and I, and many more of our age group, will die knowing that something has been done.
    No sympathy from me for this anachist activity.

  2. I am optimistic about the movement, too. Seattle had a big one over the weekend, and it has gotten quite a lot of positive press. It's being compared not only to the Arab Spring but also to the Tea Party. It's a very interesting development.

  3. Interesting comparison to the Tea Party. This movement and voice has been a long time coming. I think they will continue until some change is made. We need it. My kides do not have a pension plan as I did .

  4. Colin , there is more to see than the bad apples of a group. I see all kinds of people in this group....educated, parents, grandparents, kids. The issue that they support is what's important. I agree that the violence is unacceptable. That hasn't happened here as it did in England or Italy.
    It is unacceptable to have such a wide gap between the income of the one percent. They haven't earned it. It is only power and government protection for the big guys.
    I don't have any sympathy for anarchists butr these people aren't anarchists.

  5. Good write up Red. Protesters have been non-violent and thats fantastic, so its amazing to see on u-tube the insults hurled at the peaceful occupiers by supposed educated wall street management. Sad that corporate greed has become huge to the point of creating disadvantage to the working class and calling us "monkeys", really shows their mentality. Somewhere heads of corporations "forgot" humility, respect, decent pay and workers rights. Instead they go for monetary goals of get get get rather than give and share. They have moved factories to China to rape and pillage workers there to gain a higher profit margin and leave people in North America unemployed, shameful. I consistently look for made in Canada or US products, In fact I just ordered a hat for my grandson "handmade in Edmonton"

    Its a Lie that goods made here are not affordable, my well-made recliner built in Airdre AB cost me no more that the poorly made in China imports that are being flogged. Made in Canada is important, it gives us jobs and keeps our country active and healthy.

    A note towards violence at demonstrations;
    I watched Canadian G8 summit videos and realize that violence perpetrated was "staged" by Police who were given absurd rights of power and following orders. Though when this information became public knowledge no one seemed to know whose orders". It was a media staged circus of false information put out to the world. Why? So military rule could be put in effect before events? Is this Canada?
    Thank goodness for a good minded politician witness to the violence that went public with truth.

    Now whenever I see violence in protests I review it carefully as in these times we live it seems that much and sometimes all of the violence comes from police and military using scare tactics against peaceful protesters.

    Times have changed and people are awakening. Its a time to work together for good for all the community rather than for corporate greed.
    wow, your article sure got me, thanks.

  6. Thanks Tess. Your comments are like a blog post. There is much to say on this issue. The protesters have all kinds of issues to deal with. There are many small things that could b done to make satisfactory improvements.
    Neither one of my kids have a pension plan. They are 40 and 42 years old so sreious retirement investments should be made.

  7. Keith
    Interesting comments!
    I totally agree with Tess. I
    up-end everything I buy to see where it was made. Unfortunately most clothes here are made in some Asian country at far less cost but if the name tag is of a French or Italian company of high esteem, the cost is the same as if purchased in a Parisian or Milan boutique shop! That is what I call unjust exploitation for unjustified profits.
    Nike ( USA ?) is an excellent example of exploitation - made in Chinese sweat shops. The cost here for Nike merchandise is highway robbery - thus no Nike in my place.

    By law here in Australia all food products MUST be marked, so in supermarkets chains - PRODUCE or PRODUCT of AUSTRALIA is prominent on all packaged, tinned, bottled and even on fresh fruit and vegetables. A very good law to assist local suppliers. And the good news is - people are now boycotting foreign made foods, unless of course, if not produced here eg: Swiss cheeses, French wines,Belgium chocolates.

    The "tent" group in the ANZAC park in Brisbane will be bitterly disappointed - no press coverage or photos on any media! Give them no coverage and they disappear.
    The ex-servicemen and women of Australia must be seething seeing this lot on their memorial grounds.

  8. I have not had the time to read about the basis of their protests. I too have heard the comment that they want lots of things but don't want to work for them.
    I agree things must change..but perhaps a few prayers would be better than protesting:)

  9. I think what they are asking for is a shift in the distribution of wealth. It's obscene for somebody to be paid millions of dollars. Many people are struggling and work many hours a day to make ends meet. I saw these people when I was teaching and it didn't help their kids in their life.