If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to remind a public that protests and activism aren’t merely something that “fringe activists” do, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to politically re-energize a public that has largely grown too apathetic to vote, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to remind society that it has a responsibility to witness, voice and act on issues in our nation, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to teach people to ally, to build consensus, to act, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to make people feel empowered about participating, and make them feel able to have a say in the socio-economic issues that are important to them, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to give people hope and make them realize that together, they can influence true change, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to create new ways to connect, communicate and peacefully engage, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to set the nation on alert that the escalating disparity between a miniscule elite and the overwhelming majority has not gone unnoticed by an overwhelmingly significant portion of the population, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to create a realization of oneness with people who have sometimes very different views and perspectives, but nevertheless face similar challenges, and
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to remind the 1% of the population that increasingly controls and hoards the nation’s wealth that the remaining 99% have power, and
To offer more than faint hope…
Then it has been an incredibly worthwhile effort indeed.
But we’re not stopping there.
The Occupy movement has either already accomplished many or most those things, or is poised to do so. Now, it has acquired the power to shape the change that it has called for.
And you can experience and participate in that. You can add your voice to the conversation about what we are now asking.
But you can’t do it sitting at home.
You are the 99%.
You are going through university or college and holding out hope that afterward you will be able to find work that will help you repay your student loans, or
You invested your life in a trade and have framed or drywalled or installed utilities or carpeted or painted or decorated peoples’ houses in an effort to ensure a comfortable home for you and your family, or
You have worked the front-line of retail or fast food for minimum wages because the shrinking value of money makes it hard to exist on a pension or medical subsidy or one income for your family, or
You have been sidelined by an injury or tragedy or depression that changed your life into a hand-to-mouth struggle, or
You have worked technical support or customer service while enduring peoples’ dissatisfaction over a product you have little power to improve, or
You have built a fairly comfortable life for you and your family, but keep watching it shrink as everyone else seems to have a better use than you for your money.
And you have done it all out of the belief that if you work hard you can succeed, or
You have succumbed to despair because this promise failed you.
You built the roads and infrastructure that business uses to transport corporate goods, and
Your skilled trades built the structures, the offices and factories and equipment, and
You funded and trained and staffed the emergency services that served as a safeguard for the status quo and made our society one that is safe in which to do business, and
You needed the utilities and groceries and clothing and homes and a little extra for luxury and diversion that made it profitable for corporations to develop them, and
You built and staffed the schools that trained skilled workers, and
You funded and filled the ranks of the military that protected national interests at home and overseas, and
You elected and funded the governments that enacted ordinances and programs that very often favoured companies, protected them from theft and fraud and enforced the status quo, and
You bought the products that continued to decline in quality and increase in cost so that corporations could continue to show record profits over the previous record profits, and
You trusted your money to the banks that loaned it to corporations for assets and capital, and
You carried the tax burden in the name of job creators who withdrew from the economy whenever it suited them, or who chose to create jobs in cheaper countries, or who chose to be economically punitive by tossing you aside whenever they wanted to prove a point about how unhappy they were.
And it is not unreasonable for you to expect some return on the life and wealth you have invested for the public good.
You didn’t get that return on your investment.
You were rewarded with economic terror to justify taking away collective bargaining rights.
You were rewarded with escalating prices on food and gas and utilities and products while companies cited rising costs and reaped record profits.
You were rewarded with an increased tax burden in the name of job creation that never happened.
You were rewarded with fears about your pension or your medical benefits which have been eroded and slashed to a point of unsustainability.
You were rewarded with deflection, with rhetoric that made you blame a racial group or immigrants or “promiscuous” women or gays and lesbians or poor, homeless and dependent people or unions and teachers or other religions or “degenerate” youth or transsexual and transgender people for the growing unfairness.
You were rewarded with a campaign to claw back employment benefits that exist because employers had to compete in order to attract quality workers.
You were rewarded with divisions designed to keep the working classes from mobilizingd for some economic parity.
Today, the responsibility falls upon us to regain some of that economic parity.
If all the Occupy movement accomplishes is to return to your hands the power that rightfully belongs to you…
It is worth everything.