Ferndale’s Part in the Occupy Movement
(Crystal A. Proxmire, 11/4/2011)
Occupy Wall Street began September 17 with an encampment of protesters affiliated with AdBusters, a watchdog organization (with a magazine) that exposes how media is used by those with power and money to influence readers. “We are a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the way corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society,” says their website. Their protest grew into an ongoing series of encampments and demonstrations in over 1,000 cities around the world, with people generally identifying themselves as “part of the 99%.”
Occupy Detroit has been going strong since Oct. 18, with prior stories available here and here.
Occupy Ferndale soon followed, with a three-hour long peaceful demonstration at the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward. Occupiers filled every corner, with estimates of 100-150 at the peak time. The show of solidarity was organized by County Commissioner Craig Covey, who listed some of the Occupy Wall Street Movement’s frustrations with the current economic situation. The protestors have a number of complaints, that are all generally tied to the distribution of wealth in this country and the world.
Covey’s blog lists the following:
* End Corporate Greed Companies in the US are sitting on piles of money, refusing to hire workers while giving CEO’s huge million dollar bonuses. We dont want to return to the era of robber barons.
* Accountability from Wall Street and the Big Banks After they wrecked the economy in 2008 with their mortgage fraud scandals, there were no prosecutions and little accountability. Now they continue to use their billions to prevent real government oversight.
* End the Wars The trillion dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the longest in American history, and they are bleeding us dry. Enough is enough.
* Stop giving tax breaks to the billionaires and giant corporations. Decrying the giant deficits while pandering to the super rich is blatantly wrong and Un-American. Cutting support to the working poor and middle class will ruin our country and everything that America stands for. 1% of the richest Americans are getting much more wealthy, while everyone else is suffering.
* Stop partisan bickering and dysfunctional government Deadlock in Congress is failing the American people. Republicans and Democrats are elected to serve and protect the American people. Refusal to compromise and seek solutions is killing us. Plotting to destroy the “other” party is not what we elected them to do.
* Halt attacks on labor unions As the middle class shrinks and loses resources and income, and more people fall into the ranks of the unemployed and working poor, blaming unions and working Americans is cynical and makes matters worse. Unions helped create the great American middle class.
* Accept the end of prejudice and discrimination Remaining vestiges of racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and all forms of prejudice must be relegated to the dustbins of history. Most Americans, particularly young people, understand and embrace diversity. Unite us, stop trying to divide us.
*Protect the social safety net Balancing the budgets on the disabled, those without health insurance, children, homeless, and unemployed people fails America. This is not who we are.
* Stop the buying and corruption of our elected leaders Millionaires and billionaires, along with corporate allies, now buy elections and control our elected leaders. Middle class and working people are losing their voices. Reform the way money controls elections.
* Fix America’s infrastructure, protect her environment Young people today not only can’t find jobs or pay off their college loans, but they are going to be handed an America with crumbling bridges and roads, exhausted land, poisoned air and water, and no modern transportation options. How cynical and wrong to do that to the next generation.
The protest brought together people of all different ages and backgrounds, and was a peaceful demonstration. The Occupy Detroit movement is ongoing. For more information go to The Occupy Detroit Facebook Page.