Published on Thursday, October 20, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
by Linh Dinh
The 99% will convene a National Convention in
Will unemployment be 40 or 50%? Will we be fighting a dozen wars, or, defeated everywhere, maybe even none? Will the occupy encampments become “enduring” tent cities? Will
Unlike elsewhere, Mayor Nutter has been sympathetic towards these protesters. He visited them on the very first night, showing up at 1:15AM to say, “The things you're talking about are the things I talk about every day.” He instructed his police chief to have the First Amendment, about freedom of assembly, to be read at roll call each morning, at each police district. Most importantly, he allowed protesters to pitch tents right next to City Hall.
Two weeks into Occupy Philly, there are about 350 tents right in the heart of
Some of the long-time homeless have picked up donated tents, and three times a day, they also line up at the Occupy Philly chow tent. Though they tend to be more scruffy and older, it’s not always easy to distinguish between a regular homeless person and a protester, but, if you think about it, each homeless individual is already a protester.
All-too-visible and rapidly increasing in each city and town, the homeless are an accusation that our system is truly messed up. In the “greatest country on earth,” the top 10% own 71% of the wealth, while the bottom 40% must scrape by on less than 1% and, this year, at least 3.5 million Americans, or more than 1%, will experience homelessness at some point.
The brainwashed will sneer that the poor deserve to be broke because they’re so damn lazy and, well, not enterprising enough, but, in any society, no one works harder than those at the very bottom, where it takes a superhuman effort just to survive from day to day, and it wasn’t poor Americans who conned the entire world, then looted our treasury to reward themselves eight-figure bonuses. In this upside down nation, it’s the bottom 90% who must sacrifice everything to succor the top 10%. We must eat less and even sleep outside so they can indulge their vicious, insatiable greed and endless war. Our biggest companies rake in trillions from organized carnage and swindling, yet Citigroup, Bank of America, GE, Chevron, Boeing, Conoco, Exxon Mobil and other big boys pay no taxes. Instead, they get rebates from the IRS. Money buys influence, and all the rules are rigged against us, and unless we revolt, we must endure increasingly savage destitution. Not satisfied with our sweating and bleeding bodies, these ogres want to devour generations to come. No wonder the kids are rebelling.
Martin Luther King’s last project was to organize
Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.