Occupy Tulsa Day 4

As I write this, I’m sitting in a tent at the corner of 6th and Main street, in the heart of downtown. Our Occupation has swelled, numbers are growing, donations continue to pour in, and I’m still just more than a little bit sleep deprived. For those of you curious about just what it is that we’re doing out here, I’d like to break it down to a few simple things that we’re standing against.

The Declaration of Occupation is a really good way to see what we stand for and against. We stand for the people against corporate entitlement. This is not to say we hate corporations at large or are against people making money. We’re agaisnt corporate and systematic theft. We’re against the idea that corporations get to play by a different set of rules and then buy out the other rules that do not favor them through lobbying and special interest groups. We’re against the reality that corporate profit margins continue to grow while worker salaries stay the same and decrease. We’re tired of seeing multi-national banks outsource jobs to “reduce spending” while proliferating increasingly shameless bonuses on executives. We’ve grown weary with the way in which the government, in both parties pays loyalty to the corporations that serve them with money, when the government should be held accountable directly to the people.

We stand united with the rest of the Occupy Movements against the oligarchy established by a privileged few, and are asking for equal rights. I cannot speak for the movement as a whole, or even Occupy Tulsa, given that I am one voice among many. I am merely one mind among our masses, but I can offer my own thoughts, my own fewars and concerns, and my own story.

When the movement began and for years, my friend Sam and I have talked about economic disparity and the corporatization of civil rights. The voice of the people has become marginalized by money and special interests and it seems that no matter who you’re voting for, you’re just going through a formality because in the end all you’ve done is allow a different puppet in to pull the strings for Wall Street. How is it that we have more legislation creating subsidies for large corporations than we do for small businesses? How is it that corporate special interests get more attention than social programs for the poor?

So, now that we’re in the park, what’s next? The next step is to educate. I want to raise awareness, bring people to the general assemblies and create working teams that can effect actual change. Some people are saying it’s moronic to live in a park as a form of protest, but the camraderie and love we’re sharing here makes me feel like what I’m doing matters. The way the Civil Rights movement worked was not through legislation but through mass action, through collective unity and through the united voice of a people.

If we want to establish our civil rights against corporate suppression, we must do the same and recognize that this is a civil rights struggle, it is a struggle for our voice and our democracy against the special interests that have up to now purchased, financed, lobbied and otherwise occupied our voice. We are not picking a fight with the banks. They started this fight, they occupied our homes, raised our interest rates, sold our homes in bundles to the highest bidder, crashed our market and occupied our Congress in 2008, holding the global economy hostage. THey occupied first, they foreclosed on America, and America is merely foreclosing back.

What can you do to help?

Move your money: Transfer your money froma corporate bank into a local credit union. Credit unions are not for profit and they’re more careful with their spending, they yield higher returns on savings and lower interest rates on loans.

On the 5th of November, we’re having a rally at 71st and Memorial at 10am. We’re going to be marching to various large banks in the area and showing them that we’re not interested in being the welfare program for their continued extortion of the American public.

Come to a meeting: We can’t fight for your concerns if we don’t know them. A lot of people have said “what are their demands?” The thing is, we shape the demands together, we shape our voice into a cohesive unit and we present our ideas to government as a non-partisan force for progress. That’s the most important thing, if you don’t speak, you can’t be heard.

Collect information: Educate yourself, follow the #hashtag #OWS and #Occupy if you’re interested in learning about the movement, learning about what is going on around the country and learning about what you can do to help. Read books, come to the park and talk to various Occupants, and exercise your civil liberties.

 

Most of all,  just come see what’s up, and show us some love, we’d love to show it right back.

 

-Eli

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About Eli

Brazilian.Catholic.Lover.Photographer.Adventurer.Theologian.

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