By Press TV
By Ismail Salami
Inspired by the popular uprisings in Muslim countries, the anti-imperialist ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests are creeping with vigorous rapidity into other states in the USA.
Basically highlighting the economic plight taking hold of the country, the protesters of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement are seeking to introduce the factors behind the plight.
One of the posts on the Occupy Wall Street website reads: “We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes and creeds. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent.”
The protesters have targeted the Wall Street because they want “to create a national narrative and have it be known how the states are taking state revenues that are being funneled to banks and corporations and then you layer on top of that the fact that they’re not obligated to pay their fair share of taxes, and so that’s billions and billions of dollars that could be put toward job creation and creating solutions to the housing crisis,” Rachel Laforest, the executive director of the Right to the City Alliance has told ABC News.
It is very painful to see that the middle-class Americans who have been reduced to abject poverty should now swallow their pride and capitulate to any humiliating position as they have lost their veritable status.
The protests are reaching other states as well. American activists are going to begin “Occupy Los Angeles” in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Similar protests are taking place in Chicago and other major states. Although some cynics have tried to downplay the protests in New York and reduce them to sheer acts of protests by loafers, the truth is that they have already expressed their intention for these protests: they feel deceived by a system which has allowed Wall Street to wallow in its avarice and cause a financial meltdown and virtually shut down the country’s economy. The demands of the protesters are gradually coming to light as they are being more organized. One of the innovative measures adopted by the protesters was the launching of a new Tumblr blog called “We Are the 99 Percent” in reference to the fact that 99 percent of Americans are experiencing economic hardship while only one percent are in possession of an ideal life. The blog features a series of handwritten notes regarding different economic hardships including debt, unemployment, lack of health insurance and few available jobs. It clearly and painfully states:
We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.
Taken aback by the recent developments in the country, Washington is seeking desperately to dig a way out without further ado as other internal and external crises have begun to shake the very pillars of the American political system. One of the main crises challenging the US government is widespread poverty crippling the entire country. A report released in September by the Census Bureau reveals that another 2.6 million people plunged into poverty in the United States last year, bringing the number of the Americans living below the poverty line to 46.2 million people, that is, the highest number in 52 years. In other words, 15% of the USA- one in six Americans – are considered poor. The number of children living in poverty has increased in 42 states. The report containing these chilling numbers comes as a great shock to the US President Barack Obama, who is currently getting ready to pass a jobs bill, and this can well be, as Ron Haskins, a director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution notes, yet ‘another cross to bear by the US administration’ and ‘one more piece of bad news on the economy.”
There is yet another crisis which is dipping the country into more poverty: that is, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US military costs exceed $3.7 trillion and can reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project “Costs of War” by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. (http://www.costsofwar.org). In a radical move, “Costs of War” brought together over 20 academics to reveal the expense of war in lives and dollars in order to unveil the ugly face of the US lies. The war expenditures have been imposed on the US citizens’ taxes which could have been used for the welfare of the people.
Calamity upon calamity is coming to the US government and Washington is taking a head-in-the-sand position in the face of the new protests which started on Wall Street on September 17 and have spread to other states. Strangely enough, the protests have not been accorded due coverage by Western media which conversely monitor the developments in North Africa and the Middle East with eyes wide open.
As the situation stands, a revolution is manifestly bound to happen no matter what the consequences might be. Under the influence of the popular uprisings in the Islamic world better known as ‘Arab Spring’ inspired by Iran’s Islamic revolution back in 1979, the American community has begun to wake up and has decided to carve out their own fate instead of feeling their way in the dark.
Now the US government which is wont to poke its nose wherever there is a popular uprising in order to reap its future benefits has to sit down and observe with perturbation the revolution which is spreading everywhere and drowning the entire political system.
— Ismail Salami is an Iranian journalist and author. A prolific writer, he has authored numerous books and articles on the Middle East some of which have been translated into more than ten languages. His analysis can be found on many other online publications such as Veterans Today, Global Research, Palestine Chronicle, Dissident Voice, Foreign Policy Journal, Media Monitors, Salem News, Opinion Maker, Intifada Palestine, Iran Review, Counter Currents, Turkish Weekly Journal, Intrepid Report and Ramallah Online.