It stands opposed to capital’s globalization that is going for centuries but that has failed to make this world livable. All around the globe, capitalism, its ideology and political systems in all variations are being questioned, criticized, condemned, and rejected. Even, political leaders cannot now ignore the broad message people are trying to articulate in their own ways. The leaders have to admit, even as tact to win over electorate, the rightful claims made by people.
Even mainstream media cannot now ignore the people’s struggles, sometimes sporadic, isolated, unorganized and immature, sometimes lacking clear vision, and sometimes lacking mooring in proper perspective and politics. But all are great, great in terms of goals, dreams and aspirations, great in terms of common journey.
They, collectively, own a power, a power that is exerting pressure on status quo. Status quo, its politics and politicians, its arrangements and facades, its tricks and theatrical moves, its demagogues and democracy, is feeling existence of the movement, and is getting exposed. Its recent pronouncements and practices revel these.
Struggles appearing small and insignificant carry promises of lofty goal: a peaceful, mutually tolerant, decent life free from greed. The struggles, small and smaller, big and bigger, are, as a whole, creating force for gaining momentum for bringing in change in this planet, for a livable, beautiful planet.
Now, the facts:
Barack Obama, told reporters: “I think people are frustrated and […] the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has spoken out in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. She said on ABC’s ‘This Week’: *”I support the message to the establishment, whether it’s Wall Street or the political establishment and the rest, that change has to happen,”* Pelosi said. *”We cannot continue in a way that is not relevant to their lives.”*
She added that the bank bailout has fuelled animosity towards Wall Street as the benefits have not been felt by ordinary Americans. *”The thought was that when we did that [pass the bailout], there would be capital available and Main Street would benefit from the resources that went largely to Wall Street,”* said Pelosi. *”That didn’t happen. People are angry.”*
Eric Cantor, House Majority leader, a top Republican, referred to the OWS movement participants *”growing mobs”* that are trying to divide the country.
Two Republican presidential candidates accused the protesters of carrying out *”class warfare”*.
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told CBS’ *”Face the Nation”* that the protests are designed to draw away attention from President Obama and labeled them *”anti-American”*. *”The proof is quite simply the bankers and the people on Wall Street didn’t write these failed policies of the Obama administration,”* he said. *”They didn’t spend a trillion dollars that didn’t work. The administration and the Democrats spent a trillion dollars.”*
Newt Gingrich, another Presidential candidate, told CBS that he agreed that the protests are *”a natural product of Obama’s class warfare.”* *”We have had a strain of hostility to free enterprise. And frankly a strain of hostility to classic America starting in our academic institutions and spreading across this country.”*
Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor, said the protesters are *”trying to destroy jobs of working people in this city.”* In his weekly radio address, Bloomberg said: *”They’re trying to take away the tax base we have, because none of this is good for tourism.”*
*”If the jobs they’re trying to get rid of in the city – the people that work in finance, which is a big part of our economy – go away, we’re not going to have any money to pay our municipal employees or clean the parks or anything else,”* he said.
Richard Fisher, Dallas Fed president said: *”I am somewhat sympathetic – that will shock you. We have too many people out of work for too long. We have a very frustrated people, and I can understand their frustration.”*
Michael Neal, head of GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric Co, said that he was sympathetic to the OWS movement. *”If I were unemployed now, I’d be really angry too. There are a lot of unhappy people right now and there’s not a lot going on that gives you much reason to be inspired,”* said Neal.
The pronouncements/observations tell respective economic-political position. But, the fact is: at least for now, and till a rightist onslaught begins, it is not possible to ignore people’s aspiration and indignation. All and everyone have to reveal respective position in terms of capital and classes. One of the gains the movements have made: expose status quo, its limits, status quo cannot maintain its silence.
Depending on social reality and equation of social forces, similar movements are moving with own pace. News headlines from main stream tell: *”Wall Street protests hit 70 US cities”*, *”Wall Street protest movement spreads to cities across US, Canada and Europe”*. Similar many are there. The movement organizers claimed: In the US and around the world, there are now 1,257 Occupy Together communities.
Other than these Occupy Together communities, in struggle/occupation, in the phase of preparation, in solidarity, there are occupations going on (around the world), functionally and effectively, challenging neo-liberal policy and politics.
*Farooque Chowdhury is a Dhaka-based freelancer. He writes on socioeconomic issues. This is an abridged version of an article that was first carried by Countercurrents.org.