This Christmas, amid all my gift-giving, I’m thinking of the Occupy protesters, who have been out there for up to three months, fighting for the rights of regular folks like you and me. That’s why I’m highlighting the Occupy movement for this Blogging Los Angeles series on holiday giving.
In the Los Angeles area, we have Occupy Los Angeles, one of the largest Occupy protests in the U.S. (Note: the LAPD evicted the Occupy L.A. protesters from their encampment a couple of weeks ago, but, as their website indicates, the protesters are holding many daytime and evening assemblies). Occupy L.A.’s website has a “Donate” section, where they ask for cash or other supplies.
Two other well-known Occupy protests in California are Occupy Oakland and Occupy Davis (notorious for the police pepper spraying of peacefully seated protesters), which, as the links indicate, are soliciting donations in a manner similar to Occupy L.A.
On a national level, the Crooks and Liars website solicits donations to feed and supply the Occupy protesters, where possible. Likewise, the Firedoglake website has an Occupy Store where you can buy Occupy-badged cold-weather gear for yourself, with the proceeds going to the protesters for their supplies, or you can purchase items for them directly.
I’m sure some of you may view the Occupy protests as a partisan effort. Certainly, some in the media have tried to push that narrative. But consider the following:
1. From the very beginning, the Occupy protesters have identified themselves as, and said they were demonstrating for, “the 99%”.
2. The Occupy protesters have also said, from the beginning, that big corporations have undue influence over our political process, and that they use this influence to make large contributions to politicians, which pay off in much larger tax subsidies and other goodies paid for by us, yet we’re left out of the process.
3. The Occupy protesters routinely blame both Republicans and Democrats for being corrupted by the current political process.
4. The Occupy protesters have focused on saving homeowners from the big banks’ foreclosure practices, which have affected many Americans without regard to their political persuasion.
As the Occupy protesters say, “corporations got bailed out, we got sold out.” That’s why I think the Occupy movement in L.A. and elsewhere deserves to be helped out a little bit this Christmas.
(This post is part of the Blogging.LA Holiday Giving series)