I don't normally bring politics on this blog. There really isn't a need or a purpose to it. However, something is going on in America right now that is affecting me and should affect you. The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is being compared to the riots and revolutions in the Middle East earlier this year, and, honestly, was sparked by the same reasons.
For three weeks the movement occupied Wall Street with no word from the media. Twitter, Youtube and Facebook were the only outlets for information (much like the riots in the Middle East). Once the police started beating and pepper spraying the peaceful protestors, the media started reporting on them. But the news has been disingenuous at best and deliberately misleading at worst. However, this debacle of reporting has led to something amazing - the spread of the movement across the United States. There are Occupy movements in many cities across the United States, even here in South Bend, Indiana.
Now, I have been called a hippie by many people. I believe in the power of voting and, if that fails, peaceful protesting. I believe in taking care of the weaker members of society - children, the elderly, and the infirm. I believe in helping people and working together to create a better world. I also believe that our society, for all its advantages, has failed to help the people who take part in it.
We have teachers struggling to teach kids on reduced salaries which were forced upon them due a lagging economy, we have people losing their jobs and having to find new and creative ways to feed their families, and we have people dying because they cannot receive proper medical care due to exorbitant costs and prohibitive insurance. We also have created a ruling upper class with our democratic society. We elect politicians based on our belief that they will support their constituents only to discover their masters are really the 1% that controls most of the country's wealth. People grin sardonically at each other when discussing politics because they are aware that the government has failed. "But what can I do about it. My voice doesn't count. My vote doesn't matter." So make it matter. It worked in the 50's and 60's. It can work today. But you have to DO something, and this is your opportunity to take your stand. Find your local Occupy group and, even if you can't protest, show your support. The protestors need food, water, tents, sleeping bags...
As far as what I will do for them, this weekend I am going to the protest in downtown South Bend, labeled a dying city by Newsweek. I am going to stand with my people and protest the injustices. I strongly believe this is necessary, and I strongly believe we can make a difference.
Occupy Indiana: Occupy South Bend
Facebook: Occupy South Bend