What is Occupy Denver?

Posted by Mic Ortega on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 12:58pm.

 

What is Occupy Denver?  If you look online, or especially on social media avenues like Facebook, you are likely to get a wide range of opinions about Occupy Wall Street and more specifically, the Occupy Denver Movement.  Some feel it is the movement that will save our country whiles others that think it is nothing more than a waste of tax payer’s money and that everyone involved should be thrown in jail. 

If we go straight to the source, Occupy Denver, according to their website, “is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. This movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society.”

The goal again, according to the website, “aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”  This is an obvious reference to the well-known statistic that the top 1 percent of households in the United States own somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of all privately held wealth.

This helps to clear up the issue a little more, but to get an even clearer answer, I asked avid Occupy Denver supporter, Irene Glazer, what Occupy Denver means to her.  According to Irene, “the movement is about taking our government back and making it work for those of us who cannot afford a lobbyist.  The point of the Occupy movement is not that corporations are evil and greedy and that the greed needs to end.  For me it is very simple: I do not want my government run by the corporation for the corporation.  Start the reforming here, and life will get a whole lot better.”

Based on the insight I got from Irene, and the various articles I have read, the message of Occupy Denver seems to be a simple one: Big money is what is running our country and that the 1% who have the majority of the money are the ones deciding the policy of our country regardless of whether this policy represents the needs of the other 99%.  The movement believes it is time for the needs of the 99% of the country to be heard, not just those with the deepest pockets.

Of course there is plenty of commentary available online about the movement and I encourage you to read various opinions to decide for yourself what the movement really is all about.  One of the better articles I have found about the history of the movement and how it so closely emulates previous, successful movements in American history can be found here.  And like all my posts, I definitely want to hear your opinion about the movement, so please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas so we can better understand a movement that seems here to stay.

7 Responses to "What is Occupy Denver?"

Jay Matthew wrote: We hear a lot of criticism and downright hatred for our government these days. But here's the thing - the government is made up of the people, a premise that all Americans should hold dear. One of the greatest things about this country (maybe THE greatest) is that we elect our leaders. If we are unhappy with the job our leaders are doing, whether it be the city mayor or a United States senator, we can vote them out of office. The frustrating part is that our national electoral system seems to be broken. I have a hard time believing anyone that says the current system attracts the very best people to lead the country.

Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at 8:03am.

Jacque-O wrote: Dear Occupy Denver Movement: Here are some jobs - http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/bismarck-lowest-unemployment-rate-14774815
Oh wait, you'd have to leave Denver. Nevermind.

Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at 11:29am.

Irene G. wrote: Jay -- It's true that we "elect" our leaders, but let's face it, we only have 2 options, and as Alan Grayson put it: "One party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall-street, and the other caters to them as well".
Clearly our 2 party system does not work for the 99% of us. Period.
We need real reforms, and we desperately need to get the money out of politics.
http://www.getmoneyout.com/

I often wonder, what happens after the campaign speeches? I vote for someone who I think is going to make a real difference. The campaign rhetoric is so good. And then they get into office, and all of it goes out the window, well, this sheds a bit of light...
"For far too long, you've had to listen to politicians tell you one thing out on the campaign trail, and then close the door and do another thing in Washington when they make policy. You're sending your message, but sometimes you can't get through because there's a lobbyist who's already on line," professed Obama.

Clearly, our vote does not matter in our current system of government, and that needs to change, whether you live in North Dakota or Denver (thanks for the job lead Jacque O).
I'm so glad that there are people out there who are courageous enough to speak out for the rest of us. We are not going away, this is just the beginning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GHpVlkkP6g

Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at 5:15pm.

Todd Adamson wrote: Irene, I agree with your comment about how a 2 party system caters to whoever is flipping the donation bill. I beleive a 3 or 4 party system would be good. That part of the Occupy movement I am 100% agreement with. To do that, to start your own political movement, you must be organized, professional and find a way to get support (monetary and political). Here's where I disagree with the movement, one of the biggest issues the Occupy people have is that they want to see the wealth redistributed. And something more "fair." I have tried to follow the movement as much as I can (when I'm not working) and I really haven't heard a good plan of attack of how the Occupy people propose wealth fairness or redistribution. Taxes obviously is a start and ultimately with our nations debt, we'll have to start taxing the rich soon. But do you have any other solutions?
For the more extreme Occupy folks that believe that the 1% need to be taken down and all their money taken from them in order to redistribute around the country, I will say this as a person who has studied history for 25 years, when you try an act of political anarcy, people get hurt and people die. If the Occpy folks want to remove thier "peacefull demonstration" tag and continue down the violent path (Occupy Oakland / Seattle and Philly), I ask that you do not come near my neighborhood as I WILL NOT CALL 911 when dealing with you.

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 9:13am.

Rick R wrote: It took the global financial crisis to motivate me to educate myself in a way that positioned me to get a job that I wanted, at the pay I wanted. I went through almost two years of unemployment and underemployment until I was able to find a good job again. I am lucky enough to be working at a job that I love at a salary that allows me to manage my responsibilities properly.

I agree with the Occupy Denver protests and I am getting a real kick out of seeing so many American citizens rise up and exercise their democratic right to express their frustrations with the system that they believe is working against them. I think that these protests are good and healthy for our country because it shows our leaders that we are just that serious about the issues we believe in.

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 10:11am.

Irene Glazer wrote: Todd - Taxes are a great start!
And here's an excellent short video that offers many more solutions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G49q6uPcwY8

So not redistributing wealth, just using our money in a way that works for the 99% of us, as well as in a way that will hopefully sustain life on this planet for a bit longer than is predicted.
"We are not broke, there is money, it's ours and it's time to invest it right"

Far as the violence in the movement. It's very unfortunate, and just like in our society at large, there are people in the movement who are violent. Some for good reason, and some have chosen to hijack this movement for their own violent agenda. At every general assembly, the message is very clear, this is a non-violent protest. Every protest I have attended (5) has been completely respectful, humbling, and peaceful. It seems that after us "regular" people leave, the police take it to upon themselves to begin the abridging of First Amendment Rights.
We the people have the right to assemble and petition our government, and that right does not end at 11PM when a park closes.
Last night's police response in Denver was disgusting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdfsmvvkrW4&sns=fb
Is this the protestors who are being violent?

Far as organization goes, well we already see how far "organization" has gotten us. I helped to campaign for Obama in 2008, and have been left nothing but disappointed. I kind of like the fact that the movement doesn't have a leader. As we have seen, leaders are easily corrupted. That said, I believe a leader will present themselves when the time is ready. What is it they say...when the student is ready...

Rick R -- Thanks for being awake and aware and helping to spread the message.

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 1:12am.

Erika Yost wrote: Occupy has gotten people thinking and acting on their beliefs -- in that respect it is an astounding success. It has also provided a common language that is over-simplified, but comes in handy. As Katrina vanden Heuvel pointed out, the power of the Occupy movement does not lie in specific demands, but in its moral demand and its "super charging" energy for a coalition of different progressive groups fighting to change the status quo that only serves the interests of a small group of people.

Thank you Mic and Irene for keeping the conversation going!

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 10:54am.

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