People keep asking, “What do the Occupy Wall Street protestors want?” Anyone who takes their head out of the sand can see that the economic system driving our society is totally unethical, unjust and out of control.
Occupy Wall Street has no leader and no appointed spokesperson. From my perspective, it is a movement about changing the values that fuel the global economy. It is about facing the fact that we are living in a time of globalization where ruthless corporations rule the world. We are occupying, protesting and marching in the street because fundamental humanitarian concerns about social welfare, the environment, the impact our actions have on future generations, and a host of other quality-of-life issues have taken a back seat to greed for far too long.
The U.S. wealth distribution where 10 percent at the top of the economic ladder own nearly 90% of stocks, bonds, trust funds and business equity and over 75% of non-home real estate has got to change. We can not continue to tolerate that these very few at the top exercise enormous influence over the rest of us, from our local elected officials on up to Congress and our President.
I’m standing with Occupy Ojai because I see that the destruction of our natural resources and trashing of our economy are intimately connected. In our unfettered greed we have become accustomed to routine practices that most of us find unbearable to even contemplate. This includes the extreme cruelty of factory farms where millions of living creatures are treated like economic units, the over fishing of our oceans, deep water drilling and pollution of the air, soil and water in ways that will impact our planet for generations to come.
I’m learning that the Wall Street Occupation is an umbrella that includes a vast range of economic and ecological causes. We are all on Spaceship Earth together. We, the 99%, are saying that the atmosphere cannot absorb the amount of carbon we are putting into it, creating dangerous warming and other devastating disasters. We are telling government if you can’t stop the insanity, we will have to find another way!
The Occupy Wall Street, 99% Movement is a non-violent movement. Here is link to an excellent resource on non-violent strategy and thinking. http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations103a.html
Suza Francina is a former mayor of Ojai and author or contributing author of twelve books.
Submitted as an editorial to the Ojai Valley News.