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11/19/2011

OWS, Where Do We Go From Here??

The United States did not free itself from the tyranny of British rule in days, weeks or months.  It took many years and much bloodshed by brave and brilliant men to finally form what is now the greatest country on this earth.  Yet, still it took our country over one hundred years to finally rid itself of black slavery.  It took over another hundred years and even more bloodshed by more brave men and women to pass a civil rights act and put an end to legal segregation. Although in many ways segregation exists to this day.  And we still fight on against racism and bigotry.  All women were disenfranchised in the United States until 1919 and women's rights have still never truly been equal to our American male counterparts. Yet we continue to fight for gender equality.  The Triangle Shirt Waist factory fire finally called national attention to the lack of even basic safety conditions in the work place.  Unions had fought for decades to establish worker safety as a human "right". Unions fought to give workers the minimum wage, the establishment of the weekend, the 8 hour work day, overtime pay and the establishment of child labor laws, and many causes now perceived as common sense or what we may generally take for granted as our rights as American citizens.  Would any of us put up with being locked on factory floors or consider working under those unsafe working conditions today?  Would we put up with companies employing our children?  Would our country put up with any of the liberties many men and women have fought and died for over the past centuries?  We must seriously ask ourselves these questions. Because in this country, presently there are powerful forces existing which are still fighting against these rights. Think Koch brothers and the billions they spend on just that. Yet our unions, though weakened over the past decades, fight on to continue to protect those rights.against those who wish to dismantle them.  Franklin D. Roosevelt did not accomplish the New Deal, nor many of the other safeguards he put in place in the financial industry and elsewhere, overnight.  He did not end massive unemployment until the second world war made  a massive stimulus, in other words basic Keynesian economics, necessary  to provide government funding for the huge man (and women) power and war supplies needed to win the second world war.  During this time our country pulled together to support the greatest war this country had ever known.  We proudly planted "Victory Gardens", purchased war bonds and accepted food and gas rationing, as patriotic duties.  Our brave soldiers, because of these efforts and more, were well supplied and well fed.  Today, we may seem to have lost this sense of purpose we felt in those days.  However, I believe it still exists.  We are faced with the greatest recession since the great depression.  Yet we did not get there overnight.  For years we have allowed "Conservatives" to rob us and even destroy our land and water in the name of greed.  We have allowed ourselves to be lied into a war in which those in power profited greatly.  We have allowed these very few, however more and more powerful, to do this by turning a country of people, who once fought and sacrificed together, into a people who now turn against each other.  They have used the very differences portrayed in America's proverbial melting pot very much like the rich slave owning plantations owners did over one hundred and fifty years ago to once again turn American against American, creating a war fought not by them but by the common man who would never be affected by slavery but could be counted on to fight against "negro" freedom the plantation owners railed against.  And much American blood was shed across the United States. Have we learned nothing?   And while we are busy looking away and once again fighting other Americans over issues that make us different. Differences, some have fought and died so we might stand together with understanding and acceptance.  These new robber barons of the right will continue to attempt to take away all we have fought so hard for.  Occupy Wall Street has been an important step in calling attention to these criminals and their criminal activities but the criminals have been at it for a long time. We will have to work hard and long to stop them.  And we must do this in the way the United States was designed to rid our great country of such inequities: by peacefully addressing our grievances and  fighting them on the political battle fieldDo not give up on "Real Democrats".  Do not give up on President Obama.  He has only had three years to fight against the most vicious and immoral opponents, willing to do anything to win.  But none of our countries struggles were won in a day, in a month, in a year or even in three years.  Yes, what do we want? justice;  when do we want it? now,  may have once been our honorable rallying cry, but in reality justice is never realized "now".  It is realized one step at a time, by Americans willing to fight as long as it takes.

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