The Movement Is Moving To Washington, DC
But you don't need to be a well-paid academic to see that societal conditions are ripe for revolution. The news is chock full of reports of increasing unemployment, a worsening housing market and struggling families. The U.S. economy is so bad that Obama himself recently told people in a small town in Iowa that he doesn't believe that Washington knows best (and it doesn't). People have begun to polarize around Tea Party/Congressional demands on the one hand and the demand for the state to fund human need on the other, with there having been a strong undercurrent of the latter at the 2010 U.S. Social Forum in Detroit. There are countless stories of people in this country struggling for positive change and there is clear evidence that we are reaching the tipping point. As if that's not enough, barely ten percent of Americans are satisfied with Congress.
Furthermore, the national movement seems to be moving to Washington, DC in ways that are hereto now unforeseen. Though the Bush era saw its fair share of war protests, they don't even compare to what is coming down the pike for DC. There are at least three large actions which are scheduled to take place here over the next nine months. And they all share the same basic message: "Stop funding war and Wall street; and, start funding human need".
Citizens for Legitimate Government will begin its action dubbed "Seize DC" on September 10th on Capitol Hill (without obtaining the required permits for a protest). "Stop the Machine -- Create a New World" will occupy DC's Freedom Plaza beginning on October 6th, set up tents that night (which their permit doesn't allow) and stay beyond the four days for which they have a permit. Both groups are calling for days-long Egypt-style demonstrations that continue until our demands are met. And they might end up converging. I'm elated to see that others have finally realized that it is counter-intuitive to protest according to the rules of the oppressive government which they are opposing and that it's high time we used "stronger tactics" than merely having hundreds of thousands of people march, chant and carry signs for a few hours -- their words falling on deaf ears.
Then there is the Poverty March being planned by the Assembly to End Poverty to take place on June 30th, 2012. It's organizers have approached DC-based activists in an effort to establish an office here. As it turns out, we actually need an office that can, not only organize for June 30th, but also host the national movement as it comes to town and seeks to connect with the locals. While SHARC (Shelter, Housing And Respectful Change) as an organization might not be ready to rise to such a challenge as of yet, I personally have become a point of contact for movement activists who come to DC from across the nation. I, therefore, see the increased motion first-hand. This is an exciting moment which is full of opportunities.
There is one very important caveat in all of this. It is that, as this new wave of more brazen protesters sweeps into the capital, each successive action promises to further heighten tensions between the police and the protesters. Let's hope that police don't use the civil disobedience of the two earlier actions to justify aggression against peaceful marchers next June -- and let's know that they might very well do just that.
That said, we have a failed economic system, suffering people who are unhappy with government's performance and a growing movement which is converging in Washington, DC and promises to become more confrontational toward the establishment. It won't be long before that proverbial spark lights the fire of positive change here in the U.S. and has a worldwide ripple effect. Let's hope that Gerald Celente was right and prepare to be the change we want to see in the world. Come join the motion.
Eric Jonathan Sheptock
Chairman of SHARC (Shelter, Housing And Respectful Change)
Cell phone: (240) 305-5255
Labels: CCNV, change, Communism, corporate greed, direct action, economy, employment, hope, Obama, Police Brutality, POOR PEOPLE'S MARCH, SHARC, social forum, social justice, socialism, U.S. Social Forum