Make way for the REAL Tea Party.


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Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago – or should I say, eleven-score and eighteen years ago – our Massachusetts rebel forefathers, dressed defiantly and sardonicly in native garb, boarded the Dartmouth under cover of dark and chucked 342 chests of Limey tea into the Boston Harbor. 

THIS WAS NOT A PROTEST AGAINST HIGH TAXES BY THE WAY.

This was a protest against unfair TAX BREAKS given to a giant corporation called The British East India Company by our oppressors in the distant British parliament, tax breaks that were driving our local small businesses into bankruptcy.  Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Teabaggers of last year!

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Fast-forward two-hundred and thirty-FIVE years to 2008.  For decades America’s titans of finance – Wall Street and the big banks and lenders – aided and abetted by their own bought-and-paid-for politicians of both Parties (but mostly Republican) – had been relentlessly looting the rest of us Americans – the lower 99% – bringing us to levels of income inequality not seen since the time of the Gilded Age and Robber Barons.  Still unsatisfied, they devised convoluted and novel ways to kick more and more wealth up their way, until the system came crashing down in the Great Bush Financial Meltdown, leaving countless millions of us unemployed, bankrupt, foreclosed on.

At THAT point – late 2008, early 2009 – we ALL should have started a new Tea Party and “occupied Wall Street.”  But MOST of us were swept away with the optimism of having just elected a new President, one who seemed different from all the others, one who would really be able (and eager) to change things for the better.  Yep, Obama and the Democrats would make things right – they would boldly take on Wall Street and the banks, the health insurance industry and Big Pharma – and we could get back to our lives.  (D’oh!  People who really want change should never blow their whole load on electoral politics.)

The upshot was that we left the “Tea Party” of 2009-10 to be formed by elderly, gullible reactionaries who felt alienated by the new Administration and its pallid lurches toward reform.  Driven by the Terror of a Black President, the age-old antipathy to paying taxes, and a vague but powerful NOSTALGIA for an imagined, simpler, and better time, and not really understanding who the enemy was that had brought 99% of us to our knees, these self-proclaimed “Teabaggers” were easily manipulated into being the useful tools of the very forces who oppress them.

[It’s okay now, Grandpa, just stop that friendly fire and put down the musket – we’ve got your back.]

Well, things didn’t exactly work out for those of us who thought electing Obama and Democrats would be enough to make much of a difference in the country.  It’s still hard to say if they’ve done everything they could given GOP obstructionism, or if GOP obstructionism was just a pretext and the little they did was all they really wanted to do.  But we should have been out in the streets all along just like these old guys – with whom we have a lot more in common than they realize right now, a lot more in common than any of us do with the Top 1%.

It’s taken this millenium’s new flora and fauna – the ultra-wired twenty-something hippie-dippie hacktivists – to start up the REAL Tea Party we should have had all along, now known as the exponentially burgeoning Occupy Movement – Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles, now Occupy Orange County and OCCUPY USA.   And better late than never, they’re being joined by the long-suffering and demonized Unions, by Democrats and Libertarians, Greens, and disaffected Republicans, by Van Jones’ Reclaim the American Dream Movement and Dylan Ratigan’s Get Money Out movement.  And this is just the beginning.  Teabaggers, you’ve been fingering the wrong culprits and you should join us.  Saturday October 15 we are Occupying the Financial District in Irvine, and the following Saturday the 22nd, the Federal Building in Santa Ana:

Occupy Orange County is leaderless resistance movement in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street 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. Join us in occupying Orange County, CA on October 22nd 2011 at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building in Santa Ana. We are the 99% and we DO exist in Orange County.

 

The General Assembly’s Statement (from Occupy Wall Street New York)

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world:

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

A FOX News interview that will never air on FOX News – this is Jesse La Greca:


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.