What's Going On?
By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) - Marvin, I know you thought they weren’t listening when you asked, “What’s Going On?” You should have stayed with us just a little while longer to see Occupy Wall Street or Occupy D.C.
Walk down any street in America and the answer is obvious. People are protesting all over the country. Many have indicated they won’t stop until 99 percent of the people get a better shot at life. Some thought the protests in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, DC, Boston, San Francisco and other cities would be brief. Some thought a few people would be arrested, be released and things would go back to normal. Well, that’s not happening.
I have watched protests across the country as many have asked, “What’s Going On?”, so I ventured down to Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC each day to see what was going on. I decided to do my radio program, Celebrating Truth, from Freedom Plaza. I walked around and talked with people randomly selected. I met a retired professor from Massachusetts, a young male recent veteran from the military in Alaska, a handicapped veteran from Oregon, and I even met a woman from Iran. What’s going on was pretty clear: “Put an end to corporate greed, and meet human need; minimize the role corporations play in politics.”
These were not drugged out, shaggy haired hippies with nothing better to do. These were people who can read, write, figure and analyze things that impact them and their loved ones. They love their country, but don’t love the way 99 percent of the people are being treated by the 1 percent. They weren’t frightened by expiring permits or the thought of sleeping on the hard concrete at night. The rain didn’t bother them. They had no concern about the threat of arrest or about violence being used against them. These are people who have a made up mind to eliminate business as usual. They’re discussing issues respectfully. They’re able to come to conclusions and agreements as Congress, with all of their resources and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people they represent, could only hope would happen among them.
I have seen many protests all over the world in my life, but this time it’s different. Everything is orderly. The protesters even speak highly of the police who were distributed around Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. The protesters in New York were not so fortunate, but each time the police there roughed up a few people, hundreds more were attracted to the protest site.
An unusual number of people of all ages and backgrounds are coming together to protest our country’s economic policies that are controlled by the same interests that brought down our economy before President Barack Obama took over the monumental job to try to save our country. I am told that there are 24 million people in this country who can’t find a full time job; there are 47 million people who need government assistance to feed themselves; there are 50 million people who can’t see a doctor when they are sick; and there are 15 million people who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home; and yet, there are people wondering what’s going on!
The critics of the Occupy Movement may not know what is going on, but poor and underserved people and those sympathetic to their cause, understand well. The message is, “Politicians, you had better begin to listen to the people who vote for you instead of the corporations that buy your attention. Corporate greed will no longer take precedence over human need.”
(Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is Chair of the National Congress of Black Women. She’s Board Chairman of the Black Leadership Forum. To reach her, call 202/678-6788; e-mail
or see website at www.nationalcongressbw.org.).