Is now the time to get off our asses and take to the street?

Say what you will about the topless girls and the incoherent boys who started everything rolling with their occupation of Wall Street, but it looks like what they set in motion might actually have not only legs but momentum. Today, 3,000 people marched on Bank of America in Boston. And, in New York, an estimated 500 protesters took over the Brooklyn Bridge. And new “occupy” groups are forming by the hour. In spite of this, it seems as though established progressive leaders are still questioning whether or not now is the right time to take to the streets and show their support. Earlier tonight we received a comment about this very thing from a reader named Demetrius, who suggested that we all read a new article by Chris Hedges. The article, he said, “echoed that most esteemed American patriot, Patrick Henry, whose famously soul-stirring speech gave us the classic line… ‘Give me liberty, or give me death‘.” Well, here’s a clip. I’ll let you decide.

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher.

Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs…

Maybe this call to action is hitting me harder now that it normally would, as I spent the afternoon sitting with my daughter on “the Rosa Parks bus” at The Henry Ford Museum, talking about the civil rights movement in America and explaining why, sometimes, people have to risk their lives and do the right thing. Maybe we’ve finally arrived at that point in history where our generation is put to the test. Maybe this is our chance to demonstrate that, like our ancestors, we believe in freedom enough to stand up against insurmountable odds and fight for it.

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  1. Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else find it odd that the Twitter/Texting Generation is out protesting, without first coming to some collective conclusion about what exactly they are protesting about?

  2. Wetdolphinmissile
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Some info for you DR:

  3. dirtgrain
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The article is very much like the George Carlin video that Skinner posted.

    What is missing is a leader (Michael Moore won’t cut it) like MLK or Gandhi.

  4. Edward
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Van Jones doesn’t seem to be the guy either. I suspect someone will emerge that we’ve never heard of before. As for whether now is the time, though, I think the answer is yes.

  5. TaterSalad
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Why the left are clueless and Barack Obama is a socialist and the clueless follow him like good little socialist do:

    Published on on October 1, 2011

    Printer-Friendly Version
    When President Obama says that the rich don’t pay their share of taxes, he is lying, distorting, and demagoging.

    Here are the facts according to the IRS:

    • Those making more than $1 million pay 24% of income in taxes
    • Those making $200,000 to $300,000 pay 17.5%
    • Those making $100,000 to $125,000 pay 9.9%
    • Those making $50,000 to $60,000 pay 6.3%
    • Those making $20,000 to $30,000 pay 2.5%

    And what of millionaires who pay no taxes?

    There are 1,470 of them. They represent six-tenths of one percent of all those with million dollar incomes in the U.S. If we assume that they make an average income of $2 million a year each, taxing them at the same rate as other millionaires (24.4%) would yield $367 million, which would increase Treasury income tax revenues by 30 one-hundredths of one percent or one-third of one-tenth of one percent!

    Overall, the IRS reports that the revenues from the income tax are sharply skewed toward taxes on the rich:

    • The top 1% pays 39%
    • The top 5% pays 60%
    • The top 10% pays 72%
    • The bottom half pays 3%

    So who does Obama think he is kidding?

  6. Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

  7. Elizabeth
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Looks like an Ann Arbor group is forming:

  8. TaterSalad
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    These lunatics and the ones who write about them on this website don’t actually have any idea what they are forming and supporting:

  9. TaterSalad
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Lets see…………that’s $250.00 to the Scott Brown campaign to kick the socialist Elizaeth Warren back into the bushes where she belongs!

  10. Meta
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    United Steelworkers is throwing their support behind the Wall Street Occupation.

    Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), North America’s largest industrial union with 1.2 million active and retired members, today issued the following statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement:

    “The United Steelworkers (USW) union stands in solidarity with and strongly supports Occupy Wall Street. The brave men and women, many of them young people without jobs, who have been demonstrating around-the-clock for nearly two weeks in New York City are speaking out for the many in our world. We are fed up with the corporate greed, corruption and arrogance that have inflicted pain on far too many for far too long.

    Our union has been standing up and fighting these captains of finance who promote Wall Street over Main Street. We know firsthand the devastation caused by a global economy where workers, their families, the environment and our futures are sacrificed so that a privileged few can make more money on everyone’s labor but their own.

    Wall Street and its counterparts on Bay Street (Toronto), The City (London) and across the world tanked our economy in 2008. They caused a crisis that we’re still suffering from – record job losses, home foreclosures, cuts to schools, public services, police, fire and so much more. They’ve gambled with our pension funds and our futures for far too long.

    They should have gone to jail. Instead, they got bailed out, while we got left out. And now they want us to go down the same path.

    The Occupy Wall Street movement represents what most Americans believe: Enough is enough! It’s time to hold those who caused our economic crisis accountable, to ensure they don’t get away with it again, and to demand that everyone pay their fair share. It’s time to stand and fight for the creation of real wealth by focusing on making real things and creating family- and community-supporting jobs.

    The USW is proud to join with the brothers and sisters of the Occupy Wall Street movement as we continue this important fight for a more just economy and a brighter tomorrow.”

    The United Steelworkers is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy, airline, health care, public sector and the service sector. For more info: .

  11. Shmetta
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Edward asked earlier what Van Jones was up to. From this MoveOn letter I just received, it looks like he’s planing a virtual protest:

    Over the last two weeks, an amazing wave of protest against Wall Street and the big banks has erupted across the country.

    In Seattle, San Francisco, Ohio, and Boston (where 3,000 people rallied), grassroots groups have shut down banks and held sit-ins to demand that giant banks pay their fair share of taxes, end the foreclosure crisis, and create jobs.

    In financial centers like Chicago and Atlanta, hundreds of people have set up encampments in front of major financial institutions for round-the-clock demonstrations.

    Outside Los Angeles, community members have been running a 24-hour vigil around the home of Rose Gudiel, who faces eviction after getting foreclosed on for being two weeks late on a mortgage payment after her younger brother was murdered.

    But the biggest protests are on Wall Street itself. “Occupy Wall Street,” which began with a brave group of young people, has swelled to thousands of students, unemployed folks, union members, and others who have persevered through intense police harassment and mass arrests to sustain a rolling 24-hour-a-day protest against the bankers who’ve wrecked our economy and undermined our democracy.

    On Wednesday, MoveOn members will join labor and community groups in New York City for a huge march down to the protest site—the biggest yet.

    And because we can’t all be in New York, we’re going to stage a massive “Virtual March on Wall Street” online with our friends at Rebuild the Dream. Together, we’ll add hundreds of thousands of voices of solidarity from the American Dream Movement for the protests across the country and show just how widespread outrage at the Wall Street banks really is.

  12. Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Until these protests begin to focus on the Federal Reserve, they won’t do much good. The central banks, who are granted their powers by our government, those are real criminals that these collectivist protesters need to be focusing on.

    I’m all for rebellion, but these protests aren’t focusing on the real centers of power. Wall Street gets its orders from the Federal Reserve ladies and gents.

  13. Kassandra
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    David, it’s not too late for you to take the lead on that argument. Occupy Lansing, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids are all in planning stages.

  14. K2
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    On Patrick Henry from

    To avoid interference from Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore and his Royal Marines, the Second Virginia Convention met March 20, 1775 inland at Richmond–in what is now called St. John’s Church–instead of the Capitol in Williamsburg. Delegate Patrick Henry presented resolutions to raise a militia, and to put Virginia in a posture of defense. Henry’s opponents urged caution and patience until the crown replied to Congress’ latest petition for reconciliation.

    On the 23rd, Henry presented a proposal to organize a volunteer company of cavalry or infantry in every Virginia county. By custom, Henry addressed himself to the Convention’s president, Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg. Henry’s words were not transcribed, but no one who heard them forgot their eloquence, or Henry’s closing words: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

    Henry’s first biographer, William Wirt of Maryland, was three-years-old in 1775. An assistant federal prosecutor in Aaron Burr’s trial for treason at Richmond in 1807, and later attorney general of the United States, Wirt began to collect materials for the biography in 1808, nine years after Henry’s death. From the recollections of men like Thomas Jefferson, Wirt reconstructed an account of Henry’s life, including the remarks presented below.

    St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia
    March 23, 1775.

    MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

    They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

    It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

  15. Meta
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    David, you may be interested in this:

    Rep. Kucinich Wants Constitutional Money — the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (NEED), H.R. 2990, would remove the power of creating money from the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve System & restore Congress to constitutionally create money interest-free

  16. Posted October 3, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I love peaceful rebellion, but have you seen the interviews with some of these protesters? I’m not about to protest with a bunch of commie/socialists who don’t even understand the issues. How long until the feds infiltrate the protests here in Michigan with their own agents.

    A lot of these protesters are calling for Obama’s reelection, I don’t see how that helps the cause one bit.

    These are just bored people who are being manipulated with the politics of envy.

  17. Kassandra
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    That would be the easier thing to do, wouldn’t it?

    Pardon me, but you’ve accused the protestors of not having the right issues, then not knowing the issues. Your arguments against them are more vague than any footage I’ve seen from the protestors.

    Sure, there will be some that don’t understand all the aspects, there are a lot of issues to address here which are in the process of being sorted out, yours against the federal reserve being one of them. But if this opportunity isn’t enough for you to act on the peaceful protesting you claim to support, than I sincerely wonder what would be.

  18. Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Yes, let’s go protest so the goon squads can be called on us. These people seem to collectively be against free markets. That’s dumb.

    I’m not going to risk getting pummeled for a cause that won’t change anything. I got pummeled enough for a cause when I was in the Marines. That didn’t pan out too well for me.

    Are you going to change the world by occupying A2 or Detroit. Not if you turn around and vote for Obama. Sorry.

  19. TaterSalad
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Mr. David Gomez……..right on guy! These loons are lost and just looking for a way to get a free luch from someone.

  20. someone
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Really? I thought we were about two years past all this brainwashed name-calling (commie, envy) shit.

    Next we’ll hear “we don’t need Obama, another POLITICIAN, in office. We need someone more like me.”

  21. Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I mean, you can’t say you’re against the wall street bailouts and the jobs losses and the turn around and say you support Obama. He’s a creation of the Fed and wall street, supporting him is like supporting Bush. Man did they both cause a lot of damage with their economic policies.

    And I don’t know about that Tater Guy. I don’t really consider my a conservative or a republican.

  22. Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Mark, is that your idea to have Taters stuff preceeding by a megawarning?
    I don’t much care for civil unrest, few of us are as tidy at that as the Egyptians, who made it look easy and almost festive.
    Point taken though is that things feel like they are getting out of hand.

  23. Kassandra
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t know. In fact, I doubt it. But I’m going to try.

  24. Kassandra
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    And here’s where you can learn more about the 99%

  25. Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “Yes, let’s go protest so the goon squads can be called on us. These people seem to collectively be against free markets. That’s dumb.”

    I can’t really speak to what this loosely assembled group is collectively for or against, but I will say that the activities on Wall Street effectively distort markets as a whole. We have LESS of a free market in the US due to mass speculation by Wall Street.

    Finance speculation does not operate like your local hardware store where consumers and sellers agree on a mutually beneficial price based on supply and demand. It’s actually more like your local casino.

    I’m not an economist, though plenty have written extensively on the subject.

  26. TaterSalad
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    TaterSalad is trying to make statement for the opposite. However, and as usual, the webmaster is a left wing loon who censors everything he does NOT agree with. It is his way or he censors. That my friends is what the left wing socialists are all about and the proof is in the pudding right here on this website. Any argument?

    Your “Wall Street” protesters and their lunacy:

  27. Anonymous
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Are you writing about yourself in the third-person now, Tater?

  28. Andy C
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The page is pretty intense.

    The Arab spring was sparked but a few desperate and unemployed young men in Tunisia setting fire to themselves in the streets. Egypt, Libya, and every other country had a media black out. No surprise that the same wouldn’t happen here. We are no different. I’m thankful the U.S. did not go the same route as England.

    No message? I think the message is quite clear and the broader the message, the more who can join in. i.e. pilots, postal works, Marines, etc.

    “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
    ― Malcolm X

  29. TeacherPatti
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Too bad this didn’t happen in the summer when the teachers could have maybe joined them. That would have been sweet. I would have been out there…no diggity. (Sorry, just heard that song on Pandora [it’s my lunch break] and I have been dying to say diggity. Thank you for indulging me)

  30. someone
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Is it not time to ban Tater? Not for points 1 and 2, but for spamming his commentary on the situation he put himself in (falling under point 3 I suppose). Put him out of his misery.

  31. Kassandra
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Patti, the Lansing event is scheduled on a Saturday and I suspect there will be others. Putting together a car pool with friends if you need a ride!

  32. Tatersalad 1,2,&3
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Tater is telling all of you loons that the Tea Party has been supporting Wall St. reform from the get go! Where have all you loosers been?

  33. Tatersalad
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Army and Marine veterans are going to Wall Street “to clear the streets” from all the “trash & vermin” that is laying around. The gullible wall street protesters have no idea what they are getting into.

  34. Tatersalad
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    What are these loons protesting about? Do they even know? Other than George Soros passing out money for his support, these loons are lost in the ozone and don’t even know what fascism is one would think:

  35. TaterSalad
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    The return of Van Jones and the Wall St. Marxists sure is one big BS party!

  36. Posted October 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “You don’t know me but I’m your brother”

  37. Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Kassandra, please keep us posted…yes, I would like to go!!! :)

  38. Kassandra
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    We’re putting together a pizza party the night before to make signs with the boxes (after emptying them of course). Anyone is welcome, but that’s also where we plan to track ride shares. Let me know if you can access the event page via this link:

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