The mainstream media have been saying our message isn’t clear. Well, I don’t know how to make it any clearer.
We want corrupt corporate influence out of our government.
Without the influence of Wall Street, we would have had strong financial reform already.
Without the influence of big banks, we would have gotten credit reform with teeth.
Without the influence of insurance, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies, we would have gotten meaningful health care reform.
Without the influence of the military industrial complex we wouldn’t have wars and other overseas adventures going on.
We want our Democracy back.
The word “mob” is being used to describe what we’re doing, but we are not a mob.
We are nonviolent.
We are acting by consensus, and that’s very hard to do. It takes painstaking detail and total agreement on each action. In Washington that first night, we spent an hour discussing whether people would sleep in Freedom Plaza, which is illegal, or on city sidewalks, which is legal. The decision came down to stay on the plaza.
Yesterday, after the October 2011 permit expired, the police told demonstrators they won’t interfere for four months.
There has been no violence at Freedom Plaza, although there was the Smithsonian incident where an editor for the American Standard infiltrated our march and shoved a security guard, leading to the pepper-spraying of dozens of marchers. Even after we were hit with pepper spray, several of us walked around calming protesters and reminding them that this is a nonviolent movement and that goes for verbal expression too.
The thing that makes us look muddled is that advovates for a dozen different issues finally have come together. My primary issue is health care; others are working for an end to our wars, an end to the use of unmanned drones, true finance reform, education, poverty, justice system reform, and end to the death penalty, a real living wage … So you’ll see any number of signs.
But we all want the same thing: to get corporations out of government and have it work for the people again.
What scares the 1 percent is that we, the 99 percent, have come together. We are one for economic, social and civil justice.