Protests associated with the 99 Percent Movement are springing up in hundreds of cities in the United States and the world. Occupy Seattle has been occupying both Westlake Park and City Hall downtown this entire month, and, despite some issues with the permit that have since been resolved, plans to indefinitely occupy the park are being put into place.
ThinkProgress was on site at Westlake Park to interview participants about why they joined the protest, or at least came down to observe it. When asked why she was drawn to the protest, Dianne (no last name given) told ThinkProgress that it was because of the “injustice of our system.”
Well I think for me personally it’s the injustice of our system. And I am so sick and tired, so completely sick and tired, of those people in this country who can the least afford to carry the burden are forced to carry it even more. So, you have people for who the services are just cut dramatically. It’s so unfair, it’s the poor and the working poor who get impacted. I just don’t know how they survive. Mental health, social programs that are so necessary and so important. And these are the things that are slashed! And in the face of people who are fabulously wealthy — the top 1 percent — saying “no taxes.”
Dianne is not alone in her sentiments that the wealthy in America should be paying their fair share. A new poll from the National Journal released yesterday found that a “whopping” 68 percent of people polled support a 5 percent surtax on millionaires to pay for a jobs plan, including 71 percent of independents, a coveted voting bloc.
A column in last week’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer gave advice to keep the movement from withering: continue to pressure the state’s congressional delegation, in particular U.S. Se. Patty Murray (D-WA) who has been granted a place on the super-committee. The newspaper wrote:
Our state’s congressional delegation — Republicans but also Democrats — has grown increasingly insular. Reps. Dave Reichert and Jaime Herrera Beutler, two GOP House members from Western Washington, go before picked audiences. They don’t release schedules. Open town meetings, vehicles for Tea Party protest two years ago, have been shut down.
The Democrats are little better: They do scripted dog-and-pony shows on pet issues, at which a couple ordinary citizens get trotted out to thank the officeholder for his/her beneficence. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is Democratic co-chair of Congress’ “super-committee” charged with making budget cuts and — maybe — identifying new revenue sources. She’s keeping a very low profile on the home front.
Smoke these people out. Don’t occupy their offices and hastle young interns. Catch up with “the member.” Ask party activists to share invites to their fundraisers. Bat aside attempts to blame the other side.