50 Days Of Anti-Government Activism In US – OpEd


By Mike Jennings

The Occupy Wall Street movement and the nationwide anti-government protests entered their 50th day on Sunday, with the demands of the people growing more and more in the opposite direction of the official US policies.

The US government on the other hand is growing more inclined to use disproportionate force against the protesters.

What started out on September 17 as an outcry against income disparity and corporate control over the US government has now reached a point where the American people are questioning Washington’s domestic and foreign policies.

Among those policies is, of course, the United States’ carte blanche support for Israel. The protesters called for an end to Washington’s practice of spending taxpayer money on Israeli crimes.

A contingent from the Occupy Boston protest camp marched on Friday to the building that houses the Israeli consulate in Boston and held a brief sit-in in the building’s lobby.

They chanted various slogans, including, “hey hey, Ho ho! Israeli apartheid’s got to go!,” “long live the intifada! intifada intifada!,” “not another nickel! Not another dime! No more money for Israel’s crimes!,” and “Viva, viva Palestina!”

The incident comes as the police have been increasingly using force in their crackdown on the protesters in an attempt to put an end to the popular show of dissatisfaction with the US government.

Last week in Oakland, police used tear gas, flash grenade and rubber bullet against the protesters, creating scenes like the streets of Bahrain. They arrested over 200 people.

Despite the international recognition that the occupy protesters across the United States have gained, in the US, the broadcast media coverage of the protests does not come anywhere near the coverage of the protests held in other parts of the world.

The media allocates far more air time to presidential candidates than the people who will vote in the presidential election and whose demands should be the main concern of a democracy.

Ironically, elected American officials have condemned the protests and expressed their support for the wealthiest and corporations. Some of them have accused the protesters of waging class warfare.

House Speaker John Boehner, for example, said, “The top 1 percent pay 38 percent of the income taxes in America. You know, how much more do you want them to pay? Let’s take all the money the rich have, it won’t even put a dent in our current budget deficit, much less our debt.

The Congress has also snubbed another demand of the protesters by voting on legislations like one reaffirming the official motto of the United States instead of tending to more important issues, such as the Jobs Act, which is expected to address unemployment.

The officials’ lack of sympathy for the American public — which has resorted to protests to have its voice heard — can also be traced in the police crackdown on the protesters in various cities in this week alone.

Despite the government’s double standard regarding popular demands and peaceful protests, the American public is resolute to keep up the protests.

In California, several hundred protesters marched through the financial district in Los Angeles to protest the banking industry as part of “Bank Transfer Day,” a grassroots movement that has been championed by the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Before Saturday’s march, several dozen people gathered at California Plaza for an en masse cancellation of their accounts at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and other large banks in favor of credit unions and smaller institutions.

Meanwhile, a downtown Oakland branch of Wells Fargo bank closed its doors for the day Saturday as immigrant rights protesters crowded the entrance to condemn the bank’s ties to private companies that run immigrant detention centers.

More than 100 protesters marched a block from the Occupy Oakland encampment to the bank branch Saturday morning. A few protesters briefly tussled with bank security guards who stood in front of the locked entrance. Police were on the scene but made no arrests.

In New York, twenty Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested after getting into a skirmish with police, who were trying to disperse the protesters by force.

The incidents took place on Saturday at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, an area dotted with administrative buildings including the local district court and the New York State Court of Appeals.

In Georgia, police arrested 20 people after an Occupy Atlanta protest rally in a city park spilled onto the streets and officers converged on them on motorcycles, riding horseback and in riot gear.

In Texas, police arrested eight Occupy Dallas protesters as they tried to persuade people to close bank accounts and transfer funds to credit unions.

City spokesman Frank Librio says the arrests were made Saturday after protesters began marching to several Dallas banks.

In Florida, eleven people were arrested during the Occupy Orlando rally on Saturday during a large-scale march that coincided with “Bank Transfer Day.”

Police say the group was given several warnings that the city ordinances prohibit them in the Senator Beth Johnson Park after closing. The park has been the site for the group since its first rally on Oct. 15, which drew hundreds of supporters.

There are only a few examples of the treatment of protesters in the United States – which claims to be the pioneer of democracy and governance by the people.

The American public, however, have shown after 50 days that they are inspired by the Islamic Awakening and are ready to stand until their demands are met.

Press TV

Press TV is a state funded news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran and seeks to counter a western view on news.

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