Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: A vehicle to vent frustrations

Just over the last month, the frustration and anger felt by the "99 percent" has blossomed into a global experience, Occupy Wall Street.

Many have spent the last three or four years struggling financially and spiritually with effects of the Recession. Many think we never pulled out of it and the bipolar nature of the stock market is leading us the believe that prosperity is a very dim light at the end of a very long, trash-filled tunnel.

It started with a group of people in Zuccotti Park and has spread across the country, even unto my small town of Branford. I've gone to the two rallies and a meeting, covering them for the Eagle and as a concerned citizen. The stories I've heard echo ones I've been reading about for years, especially about lost jobs and long-term unemployment or under-employment. Branford is a microcosm of the country.

The people taking part in Shoreline Occupy Wall Street are not young upstarts, far from it. Many are on either side of 55, well educated, and articulate about what it is that's frustrating them.

Someone today said we have a right to happiness, and so many people are unhappy.

People are fed up. Corporations and banks are making money hand over fist, paying their CEO less than they pay in taxes. Congress just bickers and can't stop fighting each other long enough to pass any meaningful legislation. Obama is hog-tied and now he's being fingered for not "fixing" the economic crisis. The Republicans are trotting out a collection of clowns as Presidential contenders. Our expenses are up and income is down.

My husband and I are the lucky ones. We both have jobs. We can't do crap around the house, but at least we can go out to eat once in a while.

I felt in my gut that it would take a grassroots movement to open the eyes of the powers that be. Don't know if their eyes are being opened, but maybe they're starting to sweat. Just a little.

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