Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why I Occupy

My participation in and dedication to OccupyPhiladelphia (OP) comes from a deep moral association with many of the political and social justice concerns raised by occupy participants. I participated in the anti-war movement of 1960s, and I have for several decades worked for gay rights and progressive political causes, so I am a veteran of the disappointments that remain in the wake of these movements. However, these movements were/are highly ethical and I have no regrets about my own personal participation in any of them. I feel the same way about OP. The hours that I spend at OP on Dilworth Plaza recharge my soul and renew my hope for a better, more just world. Is the deck stacked against us? Probably so. Nevertheless, I have a strong affinity for the people at OP. I need to stand with them no matter the final outcome. Our perceived lack of a set of concrete demands actually appeals to me philosophically, as the context of the occupy movement has an overarching goal of economic and social justice. We are free to embrace any and all specific changes that are consistent with this overall goal. And while America might be able to smother us, history suggests that we should be able to at least alter the conversation and move it in the correct direction, as did social justice movements of the past such as the progressive movement, organized labor, and the civil rights movement. I remain optimistic that occupy movements can have a positive effect on our country. These youth-driven occupations are bottom up cries from the soul of our country for justice and for the future of America from some of our brightest and most ethical young people, and they may, in fact, represent our last and best hope. At the moment, the alternative seems to be a descent into corporate funded Tea Party fascism epitomized by any of the candidates running for president. Unfortunately, this includes the current occupant of the White House, who is totally beholding to Wall Street, the military and corporate America.

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