Thursday, October 27, 2011

OWS Oakland

The last couple of days have been bad ones for OWS Oakland. The cops attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators the other night, putting one of them into intensive care. The fact that this demonstrator had done 2 tours of Iraq didn't seem to matter. He was shot for exercising his constitutional rights, the same ones he went to Iraq to defend. Didn't matter to the cops, he was just another dirty hippy who was not doing as he was told.

Today, OWS Oakland re-took the park outside of the Oakland city hall and the calls for  Mayor Jean Quan's recall are getting louder. She was in trouble with Oakland resident for her lack of action on the city's crime problem but the police riot the other night has galvanized people into action. The facebook link to this group is here:  Recall Oakland mayor Jean Quan

Mayor Quan thinks that she this is just a flash in the pan. Most of the politicians in cities around America that are seeing an OWS movement think that this will be gone with the first snows of winter. I suspect they are seriously mistaken. The winter weather may drive people away from their encampments and indoors but the issues that caused them to march in the first place are still there.

People are angry and not just the young. The young may be the ones marching but the older generation are the ones backing things up. It's the older generations, the hippies of the 60's who were in the home stretch of their working careers with a modest but comfortable retirement coming into view. That dream has vanished with the collapse of the housing & stock market. People have seen the value of their retirement money cut in half and have come to the realization that they will most likely not get to retire. What is pissing everyone off is the fact, and they are now waking up to this, the wealthy, the privileged and the corporations have spent the last 20 years or so gutting the middle class by cutting the social safety net, shipping jobs overseas and cutting their taxes to the lowest levels since the Gilded Age.  But what is really chapping their ass is the fact that the people who crashed the economy got bailed out with tax payers money and are now walking away Scott free with the tax payers money in their pockets.

Anyone who thinks this will all blow over and it will be back to business as usual is delusional. The police riot at Oakland is just the opening act of this play.  George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". History does not repeat itself by there are patterns that come up time and again. OWS has the same flavor of the social actions of the early part of the Depression.  How bad can this get? One can start by reading about the Bonus Army. In short, pretty bad.