The Teamsters local is sending a contingent down to New York City to join in the big Labor March to Wall Street today and I’m going with them.
No, I’m not a Teamster, although next to some bloggers I could name I am. The Teamsters have offered me a seat on their bus and I can’t thank them enough.
There have been a lot of high-minded (and not so high-minded) criticisms of Occupy Wall Street for not having specific goals or, even, much of a point. But it seems to me, particularly as it keeps building and spreading, that however mixed and mixed-up the messages on the signs and placards are, the size of the crowds is the message and the point and the goal.
It all boils down to a general reminder to politicians, banksters, the media, and each other that there are more of us than there are of them.
The goal is obvious too. We want to live in a country that isn’t run just for the benefit of bankers, hedge fund managers, and a few sociopathic rich people like the Koch Brothers.
How to achieve that goal needs to be worked out, but it was very exciting to me when I was watching the final episode of Ken Burns’ Prohibition last night to learn that although the evils wrought by Prohibition and the Volstead Act were well known and popularly regretted for years and that the forces behind it were suspect either as hypocrites or political reactionaries with a mean anti-immigration streak---the Ku Klux Klan were sworn tea-totallers, so there you have both hypocrisy and reactionarysim---a movement to repeal the 18th Amendment made no progress until a determined rich Republican named Pauline Sabin got fed up with the hypocrisies and the meanness and set to work mainly getting people to show up to voice their support for repeal.
There was a lot more to what she did than that, but that’s where it started, with people showing up to remind politicians, the Drys, and each other that there are more of us than there are of them.
So, today, a lot more people will be showing up, including me. I don’t think I’ll be able to report much from the scene but I’ll have pictures and stories galore tomorrow and probably for the rest of the week.
Meanwhile, crayolathief has already shown up---the photo above is one of his---and he’s posted a photo essay.
If you can’t show up but would like to show your support, MoveOn has site where you can sign up to take part in a Virtual March on Wall Street.
That’s all well and good, but an even better way of showing up if you can’t show up is to write letters---to your local newspaper, to your Congresscritters, to your state legislators and governor, and to friends and family.
It sounds almost quaint to say it these days, but email is far more effective than Twitter and Facebook for spreading the word.
Phone calls work well too.
Related and immediately relevant: The Importance of Activism for Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party by E.D. Kain at Forbes.