If you are unemployed, underemployed or concerned about being next in line to lose your job, if you have given up on finding a job, if you are the sole provider in your family because your partner/spouse lost their job, if your children don’t have enough teachers, resources, materials in their schools and the PTA or parents have to pitch in financially just so that your children can have what you would consider a basic public education, then you are part of the 99%. If you are a union member watching your benefits and protections dissolve before your eyes thanks to the machinations of corporations who want nothing more than to make more money, if it’s difficult to pay your bills even though you’re working at least 40 hours a week or to pay your mortgage or rent or buy groceries for your family or pay for medical coverage, you are the 99%. If you have felt that those in power, the folks that you voted for, have no concern about the welfare of you of your family, no concern about the environment that we all live in or your plight financially, then you are a part of the 99%.
That said, it’s interesting that the revolution was not televised until all of the tents in towns and cities throughout the United States and Canada began to be torn down. What is more ironic is that the media continued to cover it as people came back the next day in even greater numbers to protest the injustice that has been brought upon all of us.
According to an article in Common Dreams, Police Crackdowns on OWS Coordinated Among Mayors, FBI, DHS:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan let slip in an interview with the BBC that she had been on a conference call with the mayors of 18 cities about how to deal with the Occupy Wall Street movement. That is, municipal authorities appear to have been conspiring to deprive Americans of their first amendment rights to freedom of assembly and freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances.
Likewise, A Homeland Security official let it slip in a phone interview that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security had been strategizing with cities on how to shut down OWS protests. The FBI is said to have advised using zoning ordinances and curfew regulations, and to stage the crackdown with massive police force at a time when the press was not around to cover the crackdown.
In fact, all of the raids of the Occupy encampments have happened in the middle of the night when the press is not around to cover the illegal actions of the police which is reminiscent of past and present militaristic states, from Germany to Chili to Bosnia, where police went into homes in the middle of the night to arrest people without warrants or legal cause or take men away from their families for conscription into their armies.
As stated in the article:
What these two reports show is a high-level conspiracy to deprive Americans of their constitutional right to protest peacefully.
The concern that I have in terms of education is that this cancerous growth of corporate greed has seeped into our pubic education system in terms of charter franchises, online learning factories, testing companies such as NWEA in the state of Washington which puts out the MAP test, and textbook companies that see a nationwide agenda of common core standards as a bonanza in terms of new textbooks.
These private/corporate interests have funded organizations such as Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters (LEV) to promote these “initiatives” for their own profit and these organizations have gladly taken their money and marched to their tune. As an example, check out the LEV website. Their speakers in the last six months have been about charter schools and online learning. Unfortunately, a key player in LEV is Ramona Hattendorf who was formerly the Seattle PTA Council President and who is now a lobbyist for the Washington State PTA. Ramona is also what is referred to as an “LEV Activist”. That title is held by those who uphold the values and goals of the LEV organization in a high-profile manner. Conflict of interest? I believe so.
At this point the 99%, which is the rest of us, need to present ourselves as individuals, groups and communities to our legislative representatives and let them know what our concerns are.
The Chris Korsmo’s and Ramona’s of LEV, the Chad Magendanz’s and Alison Meryweather‘s of Stand for Children are the face of corporate interests and have met with our elected representatives time and time again. Now our representatives need to hear from the rest of us, their constituents, and listen to what we have to say. What we have to say is personal and authentic, our representatives know that and want to hear from you. We need to contact our representatives and remain persistent in our message otherwise the 1% will take over our schools in the state of Washington.