Seeks To Restore Government
By The People
Thousands are expected to gather in what organizers are calling an ‘occupation’ of Washington’s Freedom Plaza beginning on October 6. Demands include restoration of constitutional government, an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and progressive economic reform.
“Our intention is to stay in Washington, D.C. as a unified presence,” states the group’s website, October2011.org.
“We will use ongoing actions of nonviolent resistance to disrupt the forces that corrupt our political process and undermine our rights and human needs.”
Prominent among the organizers is David Swanson, the founder of AfterDowningStreet.
The organization pushed a House resolution for the impeachment of George W. Bush after a leaked memo related to the planning of the invasion of Iraq revealed that “facts were being fixed around the policy.” The resolution, carried by Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), was stifled by fellow Democrats, who were in the majority at the time.
“The normal tools of advocacy – elections, lobbying, grassroots pressure – have become ineffective,” the website continues. “Corporations control the political process and the media message. Corporations and the wealthy have nearly limitless resources. We have the numbers – the majority of people in America support ending the wars and using our resources for human needs. The point is to bring individuals and groups together who support peace and economic, environmental, and social justice so that our numbers will be greater than if we tried this alone.”
The protest follows a long string of progressive defeats, including a Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns, attacks on unions, public education, environmental protections and public programs at both the state and federal level. Tepid or non-existent support for progressive reforms and reversals of campaign promises by the Obama administration have left millions with the belief that government has been co-opted to serve the desires of multi-national corporations, rather than ordinary Americans.
An internal CitiGroup document analyzing market trends, leaked in 2006, declared the United States to be a plutonomy — a society in which the fruits of labor are funneled to a very wealthy elite.
“We think that global capitalists are going to be getting an even greater share of the wealth pie over the next few years,” the memo reads, “as capitalists benefit disproportionately from globalization and the productivity boom, at the expense of labor.”
This memo, coupled with the failure to prosecute multiple crimes ranging from mortgage-backed securities fraud to the deceptions that led to the war in Iraq, as well as the manipulation of media and public sentiment during the health care debate and the mischaracterization by both parties during the recent debt ceiling drama that Social Security and Medicare are a driving force of national debt, have combined to convince many Americans that the Republic has effectively been overthrown.
Although groups supporting the action have membership rosters in the millions – including the Green Party, Progressive Democrats of America and more than 200 labor organizations – a quick Google search of ‘October 6 protest,’ coupled with the call letters of prominent news organizations CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, FoxNews, demonstrate no advanced coverage of the event.
One of those speaking in opposition is self-described entertainer Glen Beck. Beck, who sometimes advocates the violent overthrow of the government, described the organizers of the planned non-violent demonstration as “anarchist communists.”
David Swanson, responding via Twitter, shot back a variation on a Ghandi quote: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then Glenn Beck attacks you as ‘anarchist communists’ – then you win.”