Jaywalking: Occupy yourself

John Walker
Opinion Editor

The recent citizen occupations in New York and around the country are stirring up a lot of debate and controversy. I find it interesting a country founded on illegal participation in a revolution would turn against its neighbors who are legally expressing their grievances.

We as citizens have lost our way. The total lack of public participation manifests itself as the country we live in today. We, far above any other source, have allowed this to happen. And now, when those we can most identify with stand up and make their voices heard, all we can do is sit back and criticize.

If you are not in the general assembly your voice counts for nothing. If the city hall is empty of its citizens what rights do they have? Just enough to complain.

The reason these occupations are so important is because for the first time in a long time this nation is experiencing something of a revival that has not been seen since the Progressive Era. It is not just youth unhappy with a war and draft. It is people tired of being pushed over time and again, just like in the beginning of the 20th century. But we aren’t doing out of hate for our country, just a distaste of everything our country is becoming.

We are no longer represented in our own government. The banks believe their quarterly reports mean more to the average American than basic amenities, such as house or food.

Don’t worry, this is not a piece of self-hate. It’s a call to action. Did we allow this to happen? Yes. Can we fix it? Yes. But we cannot fix these issues so long as the men leading this country put profit margins over real progress.

Many say they cannot suppport a group so broad in its undertaking. Then get in there and have your say. It’s what consensus is all about. Get involved or get out of the way.

If you want change in the world it has to be made, not with the platform you want but the one you have. Will you sit by and let the tiny details keep you from participating in this occupation? The unions are in for the fight and sure enough that will bring our elders who are so intent on keeping their heads bowed. Keep it up if you like, but so far as I am concerned this may be my generation’s only chance of achieving what you once had. This occupation is our 401K plan and we are taking it to the bank.

Once the empowerment of the people has been forgone and there is no reasonable government left to work with there is an obligation to take action. That obligation is not for the “left” or the “right” but for the common good.

What is the common good? It’s a voice. It’s a vote. It is the chance to make a better life for everyone who takes part in his or her community.

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