I’m giving this article from the Guardian UK a signal boost. I have mixed feelings about the protests, mostly based upon my opinion about the effectiveness of their particular style of protest. I didn’t care for reliving the Vietnam Era with Iraq, and I don’t care for reliving the 1960s… or the Hoovervilles of the 1930s. It’s the future, so I’d much rather do something new, that either a)hasn’t been tried or b)hasn’t been tried for a minimum of 200 years.
Occupy Wall Street has actual librarians involved in the movement, and I think having them set forth on research of little-known citizen action options, from petitions and letter writing to citizens being able to repeal a law set into force by legislators will give the movement a true society-changing foothold. I honestly think that the librarians have the most power that the protestors are not using.
My opinions aside. the Guardian article lays out the following quite clear demands/goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
“The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process.
No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.
No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors. “
I have an answer to each of these that can be vastly improved upon by the librarians and lawyers participating in the movement. I believe these would be beneficial to the 100%, as well:
On Point 1: This is the hardest, as it requires complete lifestyle changes by the majority of people. It merits its own blog post. The shortest answer I can give: look into that citizen legislation and repeal stuff, encourage people of both parties to ding legislators somehow, and set specific limits on how much money may be spent on any political campaign. Banning television from broadcasting any campaign ads at all, and changing laws so that candidates do not need to raise x amount of money in x amount of states to get on the ballot would also be good. Again, it’s complicated, and would involve a slew of base-level lifestyle changed intended to stop money from flowing into the pockets of the larger donors by not buying the stuff they sell us that in turn funds those agendas.
On Point 2: Credit unions really do stop a lot of this, as they are member owned. Again, find that stuff on citizen legislation. The people are the fourth check to the check and balance system, and we’ve been persuaded to forget that. There’s more we can do than just voting, camping, and chanting.
On Point 3: This is why those with the guns are using them selfishly at the moment. The people themselves, in concert with a judicial system that hasn’t been functioning for the people in a long time, need to find a way to take back these abusive powers.
Librarians, lawyers, activate! Form of an Eagle!