National Commentary

OWS is Just Getting Started

Waking up in the middle of the night Tuesday morning, which happens sometimes when I neglect to pop my melatonin before bedtime, I checked my Twitter account on line to discover a furious cascade of tweets from eyewitnesses at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

I was witnessing, via Twitter, an historic rousting out by riot-geared New York police of the “Occupy Wall Street” contingent that had held forth in that park for months.

At the forefront of the reporting was a nimble scribe for Mother Jones magazine, who managed to sneak back into the park after everyone, except those who had tied themselves down inside the meal tent, had been purged. He continuing darting around and tweeting even after his editors announced they were done for the night.

There were forbidden photographs taken and tweeted showing the riot cops clearing out the park, dumping debris into giant piles. There were tweets by the official OWS leadership team to regroup at Union Square up the road. There were reports and photos tweeted from different intersections in the area, with the cross-street coordinates designed to assist other OWSers in the area to make good decisions as they scattered.

There were tweets complaining that the trusty 24-hour news organizations were asleep, proceeding with their canned reruns of Piers Morgan or infomercials.
The New York Times began to pick up on what was happening, but its info remained way behind the curve, like a lumbering big kid trying hopelessly to keep up with his much quicker pals.

The New York Zuccotti Park purge was the leading edge of similar efforts across in the U.S., although those occupying McPherson Square on my native Washington, D.C. turf remains undisturbed as of this writing.

I remember People’s Park in Berkeley, California, in May 1969. I lived as a graduate student in the neighborhood. It was a similar occupation that led to a similar purge, and foretold many similar clashes between youthful protesters and police as opposition to the Vietnam War mushroomed.

Those protests eventually caused a sea-change in the nation’s socio-political priorities. No one questions that now.

So will the OWS movement. It’s hard to appreciate that now because it’s in such an embryonic stage. But it won’t go away, because what’s motivating it isn’t.
All dissembling efforts by the right wing media to imbue the movement with confusion and cross-purposes notwithstanding, at the root of the OWS movement is a very simple, hard core reality: it’s the 99 percent against the one percent.

As exploding rates of income disparities in the U.S. are being confirmed with all the official studies of such matters, the OWS movement is intersecting one of the greatest orgies of investor and banker greed and irresponsibility in the history of industrial capitalism.

It’s part and parcel of what is happening in Europe, which is rightly threatening to bring down the entire edifice of lusty global financier tyranny. That giant superstructure of house-of-cards fictitious values that has risen to such a height, like the ancient Tower of Babel, that it probably even has Earth-watchers from some nearby galaxy alarmed.

Panicky changes of governments, fevered back room negotiations and street protests, from Israel to England and all through the European Union, are all about one reality: Investors insist the “pounds of flesh” must be extracted out of the populations in those regions in order to pay their “bills.”

We are long past the days when “usury” was considered not only a sin, but a crime. Sucking the marrow out of the bones of average people to keep up the necessary “return on investment” for the uber-rich has the overtones of some ghastly science fiction flick: The hyper-rich are weak, mechanical and utterly heartless aliens who need to feed on ordinary earthlings to stay alive.

The U.S. version of this is the drum beat demanding a draconian reduction of the national debt on the backs of those who depend on entitlements to survive infirmities and into old age. Take nothing from the rich, take it all from the poor.

Indeed, OWS is just getting started, and who knows where it, and we, might wind up.