We’ve all read the propaganda/disinformation on the Occupy Wall Street protest: “The protesters are dirty hippies.” “They don’t clean up after themselves.” “They’re all unemployed 20 year-olds.” You get the picture. But now it’s time to dispel the myths that are invented simply to propagate fear.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
These two World War II Vets can hardly be categorized as Marxist-Maoist-Communist-hippies. Our vets in this picture dressed in uniform instead of wearing the Tea Party of today revolutionary garb, can hardly be shrugged off. Or, is it only patriotic to play dress up at Tea Party rallies, instead of wearing real uniforms worn while fighting for our country? The Vet on the right’s sign reads, “Make Wall Street the tomb of Greed.”
But, it’s not simply one or two in the crowd. This activist has wheels.
Even some Marines attended. As reported here, they came to protect the protesters from police brutality.
Greed is the main focus of the protests.
While traveling on the bus today with the morning paper in hand, a woman sitting next to me noticed what article I was reading and said, “Are you going to the Occupy Wall Street protest?” I was startled at first because this young looking 72 year old woman was so aware, and perhaps even I after being to the protest myself, had been buying into the notion (but only for a New York second) that the protesters were young even though I’m no spring chicken myself. Her stop wasn’t too far away so the conversation was brief. I told her no, not today but only because I was visiting a loved one in the hospital. I told her I had been to the protest on the first day and had plans to go back. Ms. Leida said, “I am going. I really want to go.” After pursuing this and asking why she was keen on attending she said it was because of all the greed that is so prevalent today. “We should be working together for everyone”, she said.
Ms. Leida is a well spoken, educated personable woman so why don’t we see more like her at the protest? The police harassment and brutality is making it close to impossible for it to be an all-age event. Also pictures taken and sifted through, then choosing to publish only angry protesters are utilized specifically for each paper’s political agenda — right wing or left. The Leidas are there, or at least the ones that don’t fear the police harassment we’ve recently grown accustomed to reading about.
As far as not cleaning up after themselves, they have and they do. They’re quite organized actually in each section, whether it be media, arts for sign making or sanitation. The Sanitation Committee is a team whose purpose is to maintain the park’s cleanliness, where they have designated areas for their garbage, and nothing is left on the ground. In essence, the park is cleaner than when they arrived. Anything less would make them a group of self-defeatists.
Unemployed? Not this guy.
Yes, some are unemployed which is one of the reasons they rage. This shared sacrifice on the Middle Class where jobs are scarce is stifling.
None of the above can be stereotyped as dirty hippies. In fact, no one at the protest can be brushed with that same stroke of disinformation. The people that have slept at the park, living there on a 24/7 basis, have given up the comfort of their homes to stand up passionately for a cause that’s not bereft of worthiness. This event is striking into the heart of Wall Street – a group of people who are not afraid to stand up to a giant and storm the greed in the machine that almost crippled America. These people, the hardcore protesters now living in the park, do not have daily access to a shower, much less a bed to sleep on. How dare anyone call them dirty or try to demean them in anyway.
What have you done to correct the economy except for bitch and moan, or place blame on your opposing party’s feet? This protest has room for all parties and finding commonality shouldn’t be too difficult. A few libertarian readers have said the same, one stating, “We have more in common than you think.”
Ms. Leida, I really hope I see you there — coffee is on me.
Images of Vets: @USDayofRage with thanks.