Occupy Wall Street Thoughts

I respect my brothers and sisters in tents across this country.  What I do not respect is the brutality and harsh criticism they have received from law enforcement and the political conservatives.  I am not pointing fingers at anyone, but what I am saying is there are laws in place to protect the rights of the people and they are being disobeyed by law enforcement.

What laws am I talking about – mainly one, stating government “shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise …[of] the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  For many of us, it’s been more than a few years since we read these words, but consider them written in stone.  This is the First Amendment to the Constitution, the first right in the Bill of Rights, I’m guessing that gives it some clout – even now.

This is all part of freedom of speech and freedom of expression, which also allows the media and nay-sayers to speak their voices.  While I have no problem with this, I do take issue with the intent of the media and the nay-sayers.  The Occupy Protests have been peaceful assemblies and petitions, the media would have you believe that the protesters are instead a bunch of Rabble-Rousers and War-Mongerers.  They aren’t.  The violence that has occurred at or around these camps has either been unrelated to the Protests or instigated by law enforcement.  Pictures from the violence that has erupted at the protests show mainly police brutality.  Why are we not up-in-arms about this?  Why are we not angry?  Why do we allow our law enforcement to completely disregard the Constitution?  They each took an oath to uphold the laws of this country, so why are they given orders to disobey these laws?

Our right to peaceful assembly is being infringed by our government, more specifically, a few people in our government.  The worst part of this, we allow them to do it.

No matter which side you are on, you have to agree with this: infringement of the basic rights of United States Citizens is wrong.  Whether or not you sympathize with the Occupy Protests, you should be furious with the treatment of your countrymen.  We have all been given the rights to make this country better, no matter how you decide to go about that task – the objective is the same.  The protesters are doing what they believe is right – raising awareness and asking for a redress of grievances.  They are not looting, killing, rioting, or causing any real commotion.  They are practicing civil disobedience – peacefully.

While there are no Ghandi’s or King’s in crowd, there are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters who just want to make this world better for everyone.  These are the people who are tired of the status quo, who refuse to beaten down day after day.  That is why they are protesting, and unless you are a corporation – you should be protesting too.

Many people who oppose the Protests on commerce grounds reference Lincoln to back their opinion, but Lincoln said “As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed.”

In case you think that this quote is out of sync with our current situation, Lincoln also said “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

So if you decide to reference Lincoln as a great Republican (which he was), remember that after the Civil War ended both the Democratic and Republican Parties split into factions and only reemerged solidly after Theodore Roosevelt to the current known party structures.  In todays’s terms – Lincoln was a Democrat.  You tread on thin ice friends, tread carefully.

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