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The 99% Are Part of a Global Movement Against Capital

by Tribuno Del Pueblo  |  Issue: November / December 2011
Photo: Brett Jelinik, Rudy Corral, Issac Steiner, and Joel Sosinsky
The Occupy Wall Street protest sweeping the country are demanding: A democratic United States where corporations are placed under the rule of law.

The Occupy Wall Street protests began with a few hundred Americans standing up in New York City to let the 1% know that the American people weren’t going to take it anymore.

“Business as usual” i.e. robbing the people — of their livelihood was over. This historic day was September 17, 2011.

Who is the 99%?

The 99% is all of us. It’s those who are working two jobs and still can’t make ends meet. It’s those who have lost their jobs and can’t find another one.

It’s those who foreclosed their homes, after losing their jobs. It’s those who are sick and have no health insurance.

It’s those students who can’t pay their tuition and those graduates who can’t pay off their student loans. It’s those who are now homeless and those who have been homeless. At the core of this movement are the youth.

Part and parcel of this movement are those millions of recent immigrants who have lost everything in their home countries, at the hands of the corporations and governmental policies in favor of capital, and have been forced to migrate in search of a job. Yet, once here, they are faced with losing once again, from jobs to homes and even an education for their children.

Who is the 1%?

They are the bankers, the wealthy and the owners of the corporations that run this country. They are the ones that got us into the financial mess we are in, then convinced us that they were “too big to fail,” so that they were bailed out with our tax money. They are the ones that have subverted the principles this country was founded upon: “government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

The capitalists’ most powerful weapon is keeping the workers divided to keep us from seeing what the real cause of the financial crisis is, namely that they can no longer profit from our labor in an economy that increasingly drives down the value of labor by replacing it with robots and computers. As a consequence, goods can no longer circulate, if people do not have the money to buy them.

What is the next step for the 99%?

The 99% has the potential of igniting a political movement of the working class. The corporate government’s actions to protect private property are transforming scattered, issue-based battles, into political battles over what the government does and whom it protects. The next step forward in securing our future is to move from scattered defensive fights to unified political battles. The demand must rise from every battle that the government should take over the corporations and run them in the interests of the many and not for the private gain of the few.

The guiding light of the Occupy Wall Street Movement should be what’s bringing the protestors to the streets – turning this country around and providing jobs, education, housing, healthcare – humanity’s basic needs – for all.

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