People before Profit!

This blog is posted in solidarity with – and in support of – the anti-Wall Street protestors of the Occupy Wall Street movement whose brave, insightful and PEACEFUL protest action is now entering its third week and spreading throughout the USA and Canada.

Everyone knows we no longer live in a democracy – we live in a stifling plutocracy largely run by self-interested bankers, rapacious corporates and various other out-of-control greedy capitalists for whom the only thing that matters is the figures on a balance sheet and who do not care at all for the well-being of the wider society we all share, the environment or the quality of life of their fellow citizens.

It’s exactly the reason why I wrote the novel LOVE, GUDRUN ENSSLIN. And it’s exactly the reason why a wave of protest is finally spreading among a general populace that is sick of being treated as nothing other than a captive cash cow milked to give banks and utilities companies year-on-year profits and then (adding insult to injury) being the patsys who are forced by their own governments to underwrite a never-ending blank cheque to bail out these parasites whenever they screw up through their own greed. No wonder people are pissed off!

People have now (and it has taken long enough!) finally realized en masse that the system in its present guise is both unsustainable and deeply, obscenely unfair – and they have taken to the streets to seek reform. Share the wealth, recognize your common humanity, give something back and help us all to build a better society for all of the people – that is what the protestors are (quite reasonably) saying.

In London we have had riots – burning, looting and other violence. Understandable, if unacceptable. In New York the protests have been peaceful – and that is to their credit. Except for…the response of the police – which appears to be where the only actual violence has come from.

All the reports I have read or heard (and from a wide range of media – including several sources usually considered to be traditionally conservative) relate that peaceful protestors (including women with children among them) have been pepper-sprayed, rounded up like cattle, hit with batons and tied up with plastic cuffs. And for what? Simply for asking the bankers of Wall Street (and beyond) to actually help clear up the mess they themselves created, to stop exploiting finite and vulnerable resources, to stop needlessly (and deliberately) creating a widening gap between rich and poor in an era of plenty and (to use the American vernacular) to start ‘sending the elevator back down’. The status quo doesn’t look much like democracy in action to me. And the response of the authorities (to PEACEFUL protestors) looks somewhat like that of a state militia. Check out the pictures and draw your own conclusions!

It seems that to criticize capitalism these days you are (to the authorities and the authoritarian-minded) committing a ‘crime’ akin to heresy – capitalism being the ideologically sanctified state religion of the early 21st century. Well, the news is that criticizing capitalism (in its current out-of-control form) doesn’t automatically make you a Communist, a ‘loony lefty’ or an enemy of the state. It simply makes you a concerned citizen who believes in social justice and the long forgotten original values of the US Constitution. That’s the message the people of America are sending to the 1% – and I, for one, support them.

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