Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy, Occupy

Last year I wrote about Jon Stewart's Sanity Rally and edited that post many times.  I asked about is what the sane thing to do is.  It all depends on the circumstances of course.  In times of crisis protests like Occupy Wall Street could be the most sane thing to do.  

This year the Arab spring led to amazing changes in governments in the middle east.  One of the driving forces behind those protests is something we here can all sympathize with, unemployment.  As the economy has been stagnant since 2008, unemployment has been steady (officially at 9.1% but increased to 16.5% if the underemployed is included last month) with 44% of them being chronically unemployed.  The anxiety in Wisconsin caused by Gov. Scott Walker's led to a very sane occupation of the state house building in Madison although his plan to dis-empower unions was enacted.  The battle there is now being taken to the ballot box which is just as sane if not more so. 
Now for the last four weeks there has been a demonstration to occupy Wall Street.  It's too early to say where that demonstration is going to go but there are sympathy demonstrations popping up all over the US and the world including Sarah Palin's Alaska.  Here in Pittsburgh the organizing meeting for Occupy Pittsburgh was standing room only with over 400 participants.  

I'm reminded of the 1932 bonus march when WWI veterans who were suffering from the great depression marched on the nations capital to demand a bonus that was promised them for 1940.  The march ran from May thru July in Washington, DC and was cleared from that capitol by the military under President Hoover.  He was defeated for reelection that year by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.