After reading opinion after opinion regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement, the single most asked question is, "What do they want?"
Further criticism is leveled by a disdainful media that continually repeats, "They have no leaders, no plan, no structure and no purpose."
Well, here is that one thing that everyone wants to know about and which seems to appear on signs and flyers at nearly all occupy standoffs:
"We want just one thing:
"Restoration of a living wage.
"Single-payer health care.
"Guaranteed living wage regardless of employment.
"Free college education.
"Replace fossil fuel economy with renewable energy.
"A one-trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure, rail, roads, bridges and grid.
"A one-trillion-dollar investment in ecological restoration and decommissioning of all nuclear power plants.
"Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
"Paper ballots to be counted and recounted by hand under international standards of free and fair elections.
"Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all.
"Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.
"The right of all workers to unionize and participate in collective bargaining."
But to me, as I watch big, strong policemen unleash pepper spray into the faces of young women and other big, strong policemen grab women by their throats and throw them to the ground where they punch and kick them into submission, I think there is something else that needs to be asked. What, for example, is it that has policemen storm a line of Veterans For Peace, throw the American flag to the ground and shoot other unarmed, peacefully assembled vets in the face with rubber bullets?
Judging by the violence done to American citizens by those who are sworn to protect them, it would seem that all protest, dissent and the right to assemble are now to be considered unAmerican, inconsistent with American values and highly unpatriotic. But for whose America? Perhaps #OccupyMarines will have some answers.