Occupy Wall Street is a game changer. The old guard–Congress, and the lobbyists who pull their strings–reminds me of the old guy in Jurassic Park who neglected to control the weather. Although the big money appears to own the levers of government, they haven’t corralled the spirit of democracy and are as out of step with the times as the British Red Coats who marched in formation to fight American Revolutionaries hiding in bushes.
This video of the movement’s 2-month anniversary illustrates the brilliant strategy, and groundswell support that assures our victory. This guide to group dynamics in general assemblies shows the rigorous discipline of democracy and commitment to civility that our Congress would not recognize.
We are laying the foundation for the new world that is unfolding before us. “Buy local” has become a mantra and questioning where food came from, how were animals treated, and what is in our food is becoming mainstream. These changes are the result of the tireless work of many. John Robbins’ book, Food Revolution is a highly readable eye-0pener. He neatly lays out the connection between cancer and the food that we eat, including who owns the rights to the breast cancer campaign. What a surprise, the people who benefit from cancer treatment are the very ones who own the campaign. Who would have thunk? The movie Food, Inc. superbly documents our corrupt food chain and how it got that way.
I received the news that Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, filed a suit against the five largest banks, and MERS, the electronic mortgage record keeper, for fraudulent foreclosure practices, like a transfusion of hope. The banks, negotiating with all fifty states, had hoped for a modest settlement and a cursory review of their criminal wrong doing. The lawsuit requires much deeper scrutiny of the records.
The concerted effort to undermine voting rights is well under way with 38 states passing voter suppression laws. The Brave New Foundation is on the case as this video, We Will Stand: Defending Voting Rights, shows. It is puzzling why the Federal Election Commission seems to be asleep while the safeguards for a fair election are being undermined at the state and county level. Eric Holder, the US attorney general finally addressed the issue in a speech this week.
As Stalin put it: The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. If we’ve learned anything, I hope that the importance of voting in free and fair elections is among them.
We are finally awake and pushing back in a big way. It’s hard to say how long it will take to return this country to its people but there will be no “mission accomplished” until the playing field is level enough to ensure that everyone has food in their children’s bellies and their own, everyone who wants it has a roof over their head, and everyone has a fair shot at an education and at getting ahead in life. We have a long way to go but we are definitely making progress.