2012-01-17 / Letters

Why I Occupy

To the editor:

Why participate in the Occupy movement?

Because the world can be made a better place, in part or in full, depending on who participates, for which reasons, toward what ends.

Majority rule, though somewhat chaotic, should be government by, and for, the people, not just a license granted to what passes as choice but changes little.

Democracy without muscular participation is a pointless exercise. True Democracy, still a great idea, should also be given a test drive at least periodically, rather than settling for less, continuing as a body politic which is really only a passenger with someone else in the driver's seat.

Occupiers are tired of that ride; the fares keep going up and the destination remains unsatisfying.

Corporate greed rigs the travel costs and the itinerary, and insists that we continue using one of its two cars, one that turns to the right, one that turns to the left.

Big banks and Wall Street, still largely unfettered, remain resolute in assuring that their globalized financial ecosystem prevails above any national imperatives. Instead of an economy where all boats rise, only 1 percent of the boats do. Wall Street, swamped by its own greed, was fully bailed out, while the 99 percent was left, high and dry, holding the pail.

That's why I stand with others, placard in hand, each Saturday between 11 a.m. and noon in front of Brunswick’s branch of the Bank of America. We are a constant, diverse, dedicated and hopeful core group signifying the like-mindedness conveyed by passing car horns.

To get more affirmative honking, and gain a more powerful conveyance toward social and economic justice, we need more hands holding more placards.

Trickle- down compassion and charity are no substitute for real social equity. Fairness and justice are this country’s true promise of freedom, financial or otherwise. Without them, our definition of democracy is just an assemblage of spent words, a game in which only the rich can play.

Freedom to acquiesce is not actual freedom. Sitting the game out, or leaving it up to others is predictably disappointing in finding a just outcome.

No simple solutions are apparent, but the journey toward more complex ones began, in this country, in Zuccotti Park. That was the first phase of what will be a long struggle.

In dismissing the Occupy movement as unfocused, many seem to have forgotten that our nation’s forefathers, in leading their own disorganized rebellion against tyranny, did not wait to rout repression until they had a formal blueprint for change. It was only after defeating the British, removing their oppressors, that a constitution took form.

Advancing a solution of our current grievances is a similar puzzle without benefit of a completed design. The first step is simple perseverance. You try fitting one piece, and then another, and then another. Some pieces will always be missing. You exercise your right to protest, and slowly you gain strength.

This is what freedom looks like. This is what democracy’s voice, weak from disuse, sounds like.

“Mic check! Honk, honk!”

We need more voices.

Therefore, I urge you to join us in making a stand through joining a new national voice, to express your concerns, to make this great silent majority of common dissatisfaction resonate for change.

Bring a friend. Bring anyone, from the right, middle, or left, who might lend a hand in steering a new course.

If successful, some will have slightly less than too much, but all will have enough.

Gary B. Anderson

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