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Just read this re-post from Op Ed News on the #Occupy Wall Street: New York City General Assembly website. I couldn't agree more, that the teeth of this movement need to sink themselves into Congress. The politicians that do the bidding of corporate interests can only operate if we 1. put them there; 2. allow them to stay. It makes sense that Congress is the most vulnerable link in the chain of execution for continued consolidation of corporate power and control in our flagging democracy.
The author, Michael Payne, is an independent progressive activist who writes articles about social, economic and political matters as well as American foreign policy. He is a U.S. Army veteran. His major goal is to convince Americans that our perpetual wars must end before they bankrupt our nation. His articles have appeared on Online Journal, Information Clearing House, Peak Oil, Google News and websites around the world.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is approaching a critical crossroads; while it’s gaining momentum it’s time to expand its scope and clarify its objectives. It’s time to use its growing power and go after the corporate shills in Congress, brand them as traitors to this democracy and come up with strategies to drive them out of this government.
This movement, the beginning of a people’s revolution, has been very successful on Wall Street and around the nation but it cannot continue to confine its actions to street demonstrations and facing off against overly aggressive police who are waiting for any excuse to use their batons and pepper spray; if these demonstrations lapse into violence that could severely damage the movement and bring it down. It’s time for new innovative thinking to take this great cause to a new level.
There is not the slightest doubt that Corporate America and its Wall Street subsidiary, with the aid of politicians in Washington, are the major reason why such a great inequality of wealth exists in this country. But don’t expect to see this collusive combination change its tactics and strategies based solely on pressure from street demonstrations. It’s time for the members of this movement to take the fight directly to the command center of those who represent the wealthiest of Americans; it’s time to focus their energy on those low grade politicians, the corporate shills in Congress, who have become no more than agents of the top 1%.
The movement needs to use an effective strategy to concentrate its growing power on those members of Congress who have shown by their actions that they are fully controlled by the corporate world. In thinking about the problems that this nation faces because of these gross inequalities it is my opinion that it can never be remedied unless this ongoing incestuous relationship between Congress and Corporate America is ended once and for all.
The worst offenders within both the Republican and Democratic Parties must be singled out as the primary targets to be expelled from the Congress by the power of the people’s vote. It should be understood that this cannot be done overnight, that it will be an ongoing process but much can and should be done in preparation for the 2012 elections. This cannot be a scattershot effort; targets must be carefully chosen and aim taken against those who have the closest ties to corporations and wield the greatest power in Congress.
The Occupy Movement would need the help of seasoned organizers to help develop an effective plan and come up with funding to fuel the process. In turning the spotlight on the worst offenders, there is a wealth of damning evidence available on video clips and interviews documenting their complicity in promoting the agendas of the most powerful corporations in America.
These corrupted politicians, the ring leaders in the GOP, the Tea Partiers and many of the Blue Dog Democrats must be shamed, they must be labeled as the political slime that they are. As has often proven to be the case in these kinds of difficult situations, if the ringleaders can be purged, it strikes fear into the rest of the group and can cause them to change their ways.
The movement must move into Washington D.C. and keep a growing presence on the steps of Congress and on the streets; it must use its power and creative public relations strategies to influence all forms of the national media. If done effectively, coverage would come from progressive TV and radio news organizations and their hosts. These media outlets are heavily on the side of this movement and are waiting for the opportunity to further its cause. But, they are also anxious to see the demonstrators come up with a more specific agenda.
Suggested, specific tactics for the next phase of the Occupy Movement
*Occupy areas near the legislative buildings where Congress members come and go; get into the halls or offices and confront the targets. Have groups of protesters follow them wherever they go, asking questions and demanding answers.
*Enlist the more friendly and objective media, MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets so that they film these peaceful confrontations and spread them across America in order to build the support of the people.
*Organize and energize occupiers in states and districts that the targets represent and recruit strong challengers, individuals with higher standards of ethics and integrity; those who share the Occupy Movement beliefs and would be motivated to help clean up this polluted Congress. This must be a grass roots effort if it is to be successful.
*Confront these targets relentlessly, pressure them constantly, and show the American public the extent to which this political process is under control of corporations and their congressional facilitators.
Once there is fresh blood in this Congress, and it might take several successive elections to bring about substantive change, then sanity can return to the legislative process. We might see the destructive filibuster rules changed so that rule by the majority is restored in the Senate. We could once again see members on both sides of the aisle find ways to work together for the good of their country; we might even see the enactment of reasonable and effective rules and regulations over this nation’s financial and business sectors.
Who knows, we might even see a new breed of politicians who could muster the courage to create new legislation to reform this nation’s campaign finance laws. That should be the most important priority in ending the corruption in the Congress. Once the temptation to accept campaign contributions in return for votes is eliminated, this Congress could, conceivably, once again become a branch of government where the problems that this nation faces could be addressed and solved. How great would that be?
The real strength of America comes from its people, not from the corporate world. But the vast resources of the working people of America that once fueled our manufacturing sector and our economy have been shoved to the side in the quest for more and more profits. This current, badly tarnished Congress needs to be completely overhauled if the foundations of this nation are to be restored; and the way to do it is through the Occupy Movement and the power of the people.
So, the corporate shills currently remain entrenched in both houses of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, fully intending to continue following the script issued to them by their corporate masters. In turn Corporate America thinks it is above the law, that in fact it now controls the legislative process and there is no force that can stop it. And yet the Occupy Movement, if supported by the people of America, will have the mandate and the power to break the iron grip of Corporate America over this nation.
Is there any other way that this massive inequality of wealth in America can be remedied? If this kind of strategy won’t work, then what exactly will?