You may not like the message, or the messenger for that matter, but there is no question about the validity of their diverse messages. There can be no question about the corruption that is taking down our economy, or the disastrous consequence it is having for those less privileged. The concepts of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”; and upward mobility for the middle class and poor are a bitter memory. They are not looking for handouts; they are looking for the opportunity, jobs and justice their parents enjoyed.
Please keep in mind that the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements welcome all, including those that society forgot, and share what little they have with them. With this generosity comes problems, but in the end they are good Americans peacefully making their many voices heard. Although this poses inconveniences to you on your way from your home to your place of business, remember that many of the people you pass along the way have lost one or both through no fault of their own.
As a small business owner, I would like to remind everyone that it is in our best interests to help get these folks back on their feet as soon as possible, even it is only by trying to understand the validity of their messages.
They are Americans behaving exactly as our forefathers did when faced with injustice.
The Boston Tea Party Revisited
They come from many different backgrounds. About one-third of them are skilled craftsmen, and a much smaller number are professionals, doctors, educators, lawyers, merchants, and the like. Although we do not know the occupations of all the participants, the majority are students and from the working class. About two-thirds are under 20; few are over 40. Most are locals, but some came from great distances. They have one thing in common, their committed opposition to a government which ignores the needs of the people in favor of the rich and powerful. Regardless of their financial or social origins, they work as a team of self-sacrificing patriots against an oppressive and seemingly all powerful enemy. Although the words were yet to be written, they stood for “the Right of the People to alter or to abolish any Form of Government that becomes destructive of inalienable rights of men such as Life, Liberty and Pursuit of "Happiness”.
This describes the majority of both the Occupy movement and the modern Tea Party, but in fact, it paraphrases the words of the Boston Tea Party Association’s description of the participants in one of America’s proudest moments.
Like the rank and file members of the Tea Party, the “Occupiers” have the same central agenda; fairness, equity and opportunity. They don't have a Robin Hood complex and do not want to steal from the rich, they just want the crimes of the powerful punished and their plunder returned to those they stole from; this is not theft, it is justice. They want the opportunities enjoyed by their parents and grandparents. Their common goal is the return to a world where there was a vibrant and growing middle class where anyone who was willing to do the hard yards could improve their lot, and that of their families; they are not seeking a redistribution of wealth through conscription. Neither ascribes to the mean spirited rhetoric of those at their extremes. Nor would they knowingly yield to what appears to be the divide and conquer tactics of those amorphous individuals at the highest levels of power.
In the end, these modern American patriots are following in the footsteps of our forefathers; those which led to the creation
of our democracy, and they are doing it in ways that would have made them beam with pride. If they can set aside the voices of their most radical leaders while sharply focusing on their commonalities & band together to bring their core values to reality, all Americans triumph. If they don’t, they will simply cancel each other out while the bad guys win once more.