I confess, I’ve always been a child of the 60’s wanna-be. Born just too late to have participated, I nevertheless embraced the music and the goals of the “hippies.” This past weekend I had the chance to experience a modicum of revolutionary fervor. I joined the throngs of people at City Hall. We were a piece of the “thousand people in the street, Singing songs and carrying signs, Mostly say, hooray for our side.” Though from what I’ve seen of the news coverage, those folks at Wall Street have usurped the California hippie mantle. I only saw one tied-dyed t-shirt at the LA rally! No long flowing dresses and only one bongo player. I overheard a high school kid say, “Cool, being in a protest march was on my bucket list.” First of all, I wanted to tell him, you’re way too young for a bucket list. Secondly, I didn’t believe the well organized and peaceful walk through the streets of downtown really counted as a “march.”
One note for anyone who plans to participate in any upcoming rallies, if you’re at the mic and using the crowd to repeat what you’re saying from the dais so those in the back will hear – keep your sentences short and sweet. Some people rambled on for a good minute so that those who were supposed to repeat it, lost the train of thought and sort of half heartedly repeated a few key words. Three words max at a time, please!
For all the energy and good intentions, the rally lacked a single cohesive statement beyond “we’re the 99%.” Great, now what? It’s fitting that the Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute was officially unveiled during this time of unrest. We need a MLK Jr, someone who can frame the problems and lead us toward a solution.
In the meantime, the best distillation of the issues that I’ve heard came from Josh Brown the self titled “Reformed Broker.” His explanation is available on the Marketplacemoney.org website (http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/10/14/mm-dear-wall-street-this-why-the-people-are-angry/). Read it and if you’re not already a supporter of the Occupy (insert name here), you will be afterwards. He presents the issues in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner that will make your blood boil. No wonder we’re mad, you’ll think.
I’m hoping that someone out there isn’t simply getting mad but is getting a plan together for how we’re going to deal with this mess. If that’s you, THANK YOU and please hurry up!