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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Occupy Boston: Beyond left and Right, But It’s Right

The protests in Boston from Charleston Patch
As Occupy Boston, the child of the national movement Occupy Wall Street, develops, some people have tried to claim it’s disorganized and purposeless. 

To some extent this is true, but it is a movement that needs no coherent, bullet-point plan; it simply needs to make a point, and it has. 

Sure, some may say the crowds in Dewey Square aren’t that big and this is just a movement for the purpose of belonging to a movement. Or some may echo the feelings of a comment a jogger yelled as he ran by the Rose Kennedy Greenway yesterday, saying, “get a job,” -- insinuating that protesters are just lazy hippies causing trouble for no reason. 
The great thing about what is happening, not only here in Boston, but in New York and other cities as well, is the focus on a major concern we should all have about our country. This issue is far beyond left and right. In fact, this is an area where the political gap should be bridged.

The majority of us getting screwed by stagnant wages, outrageous health care costs, student loan bills, a destroyed housing market and record unemployment. But a handful of people who sit at the top of these industries are making money on all our suffering. We should all feel outrage about this. 
The fact is Bank of America is raising its fees on users -- that's you and me -- while its CEO pulls in millions of dollars. This is a dangerous and irresponsible step for the country's largest bank. And it reflects the general direction our financial and business institutions are moving in. This is the kind of thing Occupy Boston and Occupy Wall Street are objecting: We all pay more while the few at the top collect. 
At a time when our country is stuck at 9.1 percent (fake) unemployment and something over 18 percent actual unemployment, banks such as Bank of America should be trying to help solve the problem. But why should we expect them or any other major institution to help fix the mess they caused? We shouldn’t. 

We are like abused citizens at this point. The middle class did not cause this problem, yet we are told we must be the ones to sacrifice for it. We are told Social Security must be “reformed" (aka reduced or cut entirely), we are told classroom sizes must get bigger, companies must cut salaries, overtime should be eliminated, colleges have to raise tuition and student loans are a necessity if you want to get a degree. And this is all happening as we watch the fat and bloated salaried Red Sox blow a historic lead.

Yeah, Occupy Boston is right!
How about Occupy Fenway, Occupy colleges, Occupy health care companies, Occupy everything. Also, for those that may be thinking this is just angst from somebody on the left, it's not. I blame the corruption in government for allowing this charade to continue. 

Let me ask you something, regardless of your political persuasions -- why should a big national bank, where a CEO makes millions of dollars a month, be allowed to charge its customers for usingtheir money? 

When did we allow this as a country? Comcast, AIG, you name it, continue to fleece us and we in the middle class stand around and yell at each other. Meanwhile those on the top laugh all the way to the... well you know how that phrase ends.
Occupy Boston is good because the insanity needs to stop. This is beyond left and right, this about the middle class coming together. We need to stop letting the ruling class divide and conquer us, using wedge issues to keep us apart. We need to unite and take our country back.
If you pass those protesters in Dewey Square, say hi, thank them and maybe even take some time to join them. 
Check out Jack's new blog, where he is occupying around the clock: Coffee with Caesar,
About this column: The view on politics, sports and social issues from the edge of Bunker Hill. Read more of Jack's work at

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