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Why I Occupy

The motives of a Occupy protester.



The Occupy Movement is all about economic justice without which we will not have social justice.

We are challenging an economic system built on the greed of banksters, corporados and the wealthy ruling elites emboldened and empowered by politicians, government officials and the legal system enforced by the police state whose duty is to protect and serve the 1 percent.

We are the 99 percent committed to changing this system of injustice based on exploitation, oppression, financial devastation and environmental degradation. We are determined to Occupy our minds with truth, occupy our streets, our parks, our towns and cities, our states and our country in solidarity with the 99percent throughout the world. We engage in civil disobedience, direct action and non-violent activities as we Occupy Wall St., Occupy Main St., Occupy Everywhere to achieve economic justice.

Occupy is a movement, not just a series of one night stands. We have made a commitment of marriage to economic justice.

I spent the month of October participating in Occupy Wall St., Occupy D.C. and Occupy Portland. I met people outraged by the loss of our civil rights--particularly freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, citizens appalled by the Citizens' United decision giving corporations unbridled power to buy elections and politicians, devastated victims of foreclosure and evictions, students unable to afford education or are saddled with horrendous education loans and everyone furious with the bailouts of the banksters and the bonuses to corporate executives. No one expressed irrational exuberance for extending tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations. I met many homeless and poverty stricken people who see no hope for a decent life in this system, unemployed and underemployed workers with little or no hope of finding jobs, much less jobs paying a living wage. There were elderly folks worried about the loss of social security and Medicare and all of us deeply concerned about the grossly inadequate funding of education, libraries and infrastructure. Veterans, peace activists, anti-war and military families are furious about U.S. military expansion of the Empire and the phenomenal cost to people and the planet. Farmers, and all of us who treasure the Earth, are enraged about the corporate pollution of our air, water and soil, the extraction and exploitation of natural resources, the decimation of species and habitat, the use of [genetically modified organisms] GMO's and the domination of agri-business on food and food safety.

Some of the actions I participated in reflect the diversity of people and issues involved in the Occupy movement.

We marched and rallied at Bank of America with several individuals prepared to withdraw their money. Bank of America locked its doors. We placed "foreclose BoA" signs on the doors.

We marched to the White House and raised a ruckus for job creation and demanded an end to outsourcing. We "declared war" on General Atomics for war profiteering and its participation in the highly immoral and illegal drone program.

We marched to the Supreme Court to oppose the Citizens' United and other decisions contributing to the demise of democracy. Dr. Cornell West and 18 others were arrested for standing on the steps of the Supreme Court - Justice for all.

We rallied at the EPA against the disastrous tar sands project.

We attended a session of a court hearing on housing foreclosures and evictions. A minister admonished the court quoting from the Declaration of Human Rights that everyone is entitled to adequate housing and declared that the court should stop all evictions immediately. Speaking out in court is not allowed; he was asked to leave.

Veterans for Peace organized a march and rally at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial to protest the illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya... .as well as the phony war on drugs and the ludicrous war on terror. The speaker, a black veteran, spoke passionately about resistance to perpetual wars, torture, failure to close Guantanamo and the continuation of the Military Commissions Act.

I lobbied the Oregon delegation about my concerns and invited them to join us at Freedom Plaza to Occupy DC. I expressed my appreciation to Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), for his powerful and courageous filibuster in the Senate last year.

I plan to work with Occupy Bend to implement an ordinance of the City Council to protect the health, safety and welfare of Bend residents from harmful corporate actions.

Critics say the Occupy movement will not succeed because it is leaderless. Not So. We are all leaders cooperating to build a better world. In any case, it is tougher to injure, imprison or kill all of us... the 99 percent..than to take down a single leader. Critics also complain that we do not have a platform. Not So. We build a platform every day; we do not need any political party or corporate elitist dictatorship to tell us what to think and do.

We, the 99 percent, are determined to change this system of economic injustice. This is Class War and we intend to win. One more person, one more day... 99 percent winners, 1 percent losers.

The issue is Economic Justice.

Sue Bastian is a retired physical education teacher, longtime political activist and avid biker. She lives in Bend when she's not Occupying other cities.

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