Originally published by The Seattle Times on May 20, 2012
Join the people of Greece and France: Stand up and occupy your country!
Occupy Seattle activist Mark Taylor-Canfield urges Americans to stand with voters in Greece and France against austerity measures for the people and continued profits for the 1 percent.
By Mark Taylor-Canfield
Special to The Seattle Times
The Occupy Wall Street movement began last September as a reaction to massive public bailouts for corporate banks and financial institutions. In 2012, the movement continues to receive support from the middle class as it struggles to hold the banksters and politicians accountable. As the American dream quickly fades, we must ask ourselves: Where are these policies coming from?
The 1 percent has been the sole benefactor of corporate socialism under the administration of President Obama. Meanwhile, the middle class and poor are suffering under so-called "austerity measures" that are being forced upon them by big banking interests and the politicians they own.
We can now see the direct results of these policies in our own neighborhoods as poverty increases and home foreclosures continue.
Don't be misled — temporary improvements in the economy will only create more profits for ExxonMobil and the folks on Wall Street. The drastic cuts to funding for education, health care and social programs will continue under their corporate privatization schemes.
We are told by our political representatives that government budget cuts are necessary to avoid bankruptcy and economic collapse. But who is really calling the shots?
If you follow the money, you will find that whether the austerity measures are being enforced on people in Bolivia, Greece or the U.S., the benefactors are pretty much the same small group of global corporate and banking interests. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but the evidence is clear. Since the 1980s, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have been forcing these measures on governments all over the global south. Now they have been able to gain a foothold in the eurozone through their control of the Greek economy.
Some of us in Seattle remember how these global economic policies brought tens of thousands of people out onto the streets to shut down the World Trade Organization in 1999. These ongoing attacks on the majority of the population actually started decades ago. Austerity measures are now being forced on Americans because our political representatives have refused to protect the interests of the 99 percent. Our jobs have been outsourced to other countries and our tax money is being wasted on expensive military campaigns and government bailouts for the rich.
The majority of the world's resources should not be reserved for a small elite group of merchants and political leaders. This outdated 19th century colonial economic policy needs to be replaced with modern enlightened concepts regarding equality.
Voters in Greece and France have now spoken out against these austerity measures and changed their governments. It's time for the U.S. middle class to join with the occupy movement and stand up for the people in our own country!
Mark Taylor-Canfield is an independent journalist and activist. He is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and reports for Free Speech Radio News on the Pacifica Radio Network. He is part of the Occupy Seattle Media Working Group.
Originally published in The Seattle Times May 20, 2012