Susan Sarandon At Occupy Wall Street
If you blinked, you might have missed it on your nightly news, but that’s probably because all major news broadcasters are suspiciously quiet about it.
There’s something going on in Wall Street, and this time it isn’t another too-big-to-fail being given your tax money, or the markets on a slump because of the likelihood of Greece collapsing.
Firstly, I’ll give you a little background info…
On the 17th September, Anonymous (the infamous Internet group responsible for publicly trolling Scientology, taking down several sites in defense of Wikileaks and defacing all of the Syrian government websites – among other things) planned to invade wall street and start their own popular uprising against corporate greed and influence on government. They were ambitions, stating 20k people might be there. Of course, these things don’t quite start like that. So instead there was a gathering of maybe 50 people. This soon turned into a couple of thousand when they marched on Wall Street itself from their base at Liberty Plaza.
I picked up the story on sept 24th when a friend – knowing how I love a good cause to get behind – sent me a link to a video of a group of female protesters being sprayed with MACE at point-blank range by LAPD Officer Tony Bologne (yes, that is his real name!)
Suddenly, word was spreading. Their peaceful protest and uneventful marches were suddenly out there saturating the Internet. The Information Superhighway was seething with anger at the blatant abuse of freedom and rights, resulting in many thousands more joining the cause.
The numbers of those camped out in Liberty Plaza has grown, with supplies and donations from people all around the world who want to see the corporate interests pushed out of government. Similar protests are now being organized for cities all across America, and the world.
Why is this important to us, the gay community?
Apart from us being a part of the wider community that all of this affects, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have gone to great lengths to be inclusive of the LGBT community, often bringing it up in discussion in their videos and live broadcasts, inviting people to come and take part, no matter what your race, religion, sexual orientation or political leaning. On Tuesday the 27th, Michael Moore appeared to show his support and speak to the protesters. I know, sometimes he can be a right pain in the butt, right? But he again brought up the fact that America was changing, and that now over 50% of Americans believe that gay marriage should be legal and recognized. This brought cheers from the crowd around him.
Ultimately, this is everyones fight. This isn’t about whether you support Obama or not. This isn’t about whether you believe in capitalism or not. It’s about whether you are happy to sit back and watch as the corporations control your government. It’s about stopping the 1% who control 90% of the wealth. It’s about making it clear to your government that your rights matter, and that corporations do not have the right to be your rulers by paying off your elected.
Some of us remember the struggle of the LGBT community, and without those brave people we would not have the freedom we now have. Plenty of us are educated enough to know of the struggles other communities have faced to rectify society.
All of those events involved just a section of society, this fight involves all of us.