In a previous post I talked about this not making much sense, and it still doesn't. It is even more fucked up: the occupiers have taken over and closed certain ports on the West Coast of the U.S. Why? What good can come of holding people's stuff in a containers? It does NOT matter whose stuff it is. Also, I would like to know how this is helping the economy, how this is helping the jobless, how this is bring equality. How is making all the longshoremen leave work helpful? Are they getting paid to go home? According the Huffington Post article to which I have linked above:
Union officials say longshoremen were not paid after Occupy Oakland protesters blockaded the port Nov. 2.
DeAndre Whitten, 48, an Oakland longshoreman for 12 years, said it was his understanding he would be losing about $500 in pay for the day. But he said he supported the protest effort.
"I'm excited. It was way overdue. I hope they keep it up," Whitten said. "I have no problem with it. But my wife wasn't happy about it." (emphasis mine)
Of course his wife wouldn't be happy. She probably has to pay the bills and shop for groceries. I wouldn't be happy, either, in that situation. $500 is a lot of money for those in the 99%, right? If you say it isn't, then you are not actually part of the 99% and have no reason to bitch and moan about the state of affairs in this country, do you? How can these longshoremen support their families if THEIR jobs are in jeopardy? Are the longshoremen who have jobs not part of the 99%? Then, how in Hell is keeping them from work helping? Shit! From the same Huffington Post article:
"This is joke. What are they protesting?" Christian Vega, 32, who sat in his truck carrying a load of recycled paper from Pittsburg said Monday morning. He said the delay was costing him $600.
"It only hurts me and the other drivers. We have jobs and families to support and feed. Most of them don't," Vega said.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan also urged protesters to consider the impact on port workers.
"Thousands of people work at the Port of Oakland every day. Thousands more in agriculture and other industries also depend on the Port of Oakland for their daily wages," Quan said. (again, emphasis mine)
One protester stated that they were trying to make things better for them (the workers, farmers, etc.), as if this were the Communist Revolution and he were Lenin or something. Losing $500 or $600 would do me NO good, would it you? If so, I'll give you my address and you can send me a check post haste.
And the containers on the ships, what of those? For example, if a family is moving from Hawaii to the mainland, will their belongings be held up until these people, who don't really know what they want, decide to let them go? Or people in certain parts of Alaska that require shipments from outside: will they get their food, their clothing, or whatever else they might need?
The occupiers do not want the government in their business, yet they want the government in rich peoples' business, which in the long run will require the government to be in the business of the occupiers themselves. How can there be equality if no one knows who has what? How do the occupiers propose this equality be reached? Magically? The only way their "demands" can be met is by implementing big government, giving up financial privacy and re-working the entire government and financial sectors of our country. What are the solutions? Shit, I'm tired of hearing about the problems. I know the fucking problems. How do we fix those problems?
I agree that something has to be done in this country, yet I can't agree that this is that something. There are too many unanswered questions and too many agendas and too many voices. The occupiers are not one voice. Some want this, some that. Nothing can be done with that kind of chaos; at least nothing worth rallying about.
What will they get up to next? A little wet work with the guillotine, perhaps?
Here is a great perspective on this whole thing by Bernie Glassman (also on Huffington Post): Arising to the Interconnectedness of Life? A Buddhist Perspective on the Occupy Movement
UPDATE: This is an awesome open letter. An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports
I may not be all the way with OWS, but I can appreciate when the hard-working people speak up about the necessity of change.