Why Environmentalists (and Everyone Else) Should Stand Behind The Occupy Movement

I’ve been captivated by the growing Occupy Movement. It truly is the conglomeration of all the angst that I, and my fellow Americans, have ever felt regarding the dwindling economy, rising healthcare costs, unfair wage gaps, corporate greed, and the need for social responsibility of politicians and corporations for environmental destruction.

It’s a travesty that the media has been so lacking in reporting the clear mission of this movement. I hate to bite the hand that feeds me, but the local news makes my blood pressure rise every time it belittles this movement as fringe or disorganized or hypocritical because they want to watch the Phillies game. (Although, I do think the Philadelphia Inquirer is doing a pretty good job with its coverage).

This is a movement decades in the making. Whether you are an unemployed veteran or someone who is afraid to retire because of your dwindled 401K. Whether you are a mother who wishes corporations would stop selling unsafe products or a grandmother who can’t afford medication. Whether you are a recent graduate with mounting student loans or the parents these students have to rely on – you should be pissed!

If you are reading this, you are almost certainly in the 99% Even my wealthiest friends don’t make more than $350,000 per year (which would place one’s income in the top 1%).

And it’s not necessarily about demonizing the rich. I believe that if people work hard for their money, they are entitled to spend as they choose – to some degree. I’m not saying that wealthy individuals should have to tithe 10% of their incomes to the charity of my choosing. I’m saying that we are not playing fair!

So many ubur wealthy hoard millions in overseas accounts. They hire high-powered attorneys to find every loophole. And it’s not so much individuals as the corporations who ooze greed. Just look at the new Bank of America fees. Look at your new health insurance rates. Look at what big oil and gas are getting away with – literally poisoning our water!

If you aren’t supporting this movement in some small way – posting on Twitter or Facebook or talking about this with your friends and family or just honking when you drive by – I believe you are missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity. Clearly the politicians aren’t going to come through for us. I believe that even the very good ones have their hands tied by the vast majority.

Remember how women got the right to vote. Remember the civil rights movement. Remember just months ago when gay marriage was legalized in New York and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed. And then tell me that grassroots movements don’t matter.

Take a look at We Are The 99% and see if you recognize yourself, your mother, your brother, your son.

“We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.”

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