Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
An early response to OWS, from critics, was the unoriginal “Get a job.” It was frequently pointed out that one of the primary concerns of the Occupy movement is, in fact, the lack of jobs for those who want and need to work, but apparently logic doesn’t stand a chance in the face of uninformed judgments. Generalizing and stereotyping are so much easier than dealing with facts, complexities and actual people. No real thinking required, just apply the label, repeat familiar, derisive comment and maybe add an LOL for effect. All done.
Over three months later, you don’t hear the “get a job” comment as often, probably because with many of the Occupy camps evicted, the Occupiers aren’t as visible. Much of the media have gone back to mostly ignoring the movement, and I’d bet a part of that is because they don’t have the convenient camp backdrop. A piece at Press TV, “US media pretend OWS no longer exists,” deals with this, and with jobs.
The US eviction of Occupy encampments is in coordination with the country’s corporate media which just treat the Occupy movement as if it no longer exists, an activist tells Press TV.
‘But those who are participants in the Occupy movement are learning a lot … about the role of the police and the role of the corporate media and what their own potential is … to develop alternative means and to take direct action … ,’ said Sara Flounders, a New York based Occupy Wall Street activist.
Her comments come as the Occupy Wall Street … protestors gathered in New York’s Zuccotti Park … to mark the 100th day of protests against corporatism and social inequality in the United States during the Christmas Day celebrations.
Flounders makes the connection to jobs when she responds to a question about how the movement has kept going.
… (She) attributed the protestors’ endurance to ‘the [economic] crisis that is expanding for so many millions of people’ saying, ‘What’s fuelled this is the enormous pain, growing crisis of the capitalist system, no jobs, no future.’
She went on to say that the Occupiers think one of the most important upcoming activities they are planning ‘will be the Martin Luther King birthday on January 16th (2012), a call for Occupy for Jobs demanding a national jobs campaign … .’
Maybe that will be concrete and specific enough for the “Get a job” critics.
About Occupy for Jobs, via Workers World, in a December 19 release:
The Occupy 4 Jobs network is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in New York City with a direct action to demand jobs. The Jan. 16 event will begin at 1 p.m. at Union Square.
‘The MLK holiday is the perfect day to do this,’ said Larry Holmes, a leading organizer of the Bail Out the People Movement, one of the founders of Occupy 4 Jobs. …
In early 1968, before his April 4th assassination, King announced the Poor People’s Campaign, which was to culminate in a March on Washington demanding a $12 billion Economic Bill of Rights. The demands of the campaign were jobs, income and housing. … .
Now, 43 years later, people are in desperate need of jobs. More than 30 million people in the country are unemployed and underemployed, and every day more workers are losing their jobs. …
Occupy 4 Jobs was formed at a People’s Assembly in November to demand a massive public works project big enough to provide jobs at union wages for all unemployed and underemployed workers. …
Foreclosures, layoffs, and the slashing and eradication of social services, including food stamps and unemployment benefits, have devastated millions of people. There is an urgent need to reignite the campaign that Dr. King launched to fight for jobs for all at a living wage. All out for Jan. 16!
In a November announcement about the effort, Workers World provided a bit more detail about who is involved.
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, … activists have launched an Occupy For Jobs Network to demand a massive public works program … .
The network was proposed and adopted at a People’s Assembly held Nov. 5 at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx. The event drew a multinational crowd of activists from organizations throughout New York and several other cities. Activists from Occupy Wall Street, Occupy the Bronx, Occupy Philadelphia and Occupy Boston were among those who enthusiastically embraced the formation of a network to fight for jobs.
‘Occupy Wall Street has opened up space for people to do other things,’ said Larry Holmes, a founder of the Bail Out the People Movement. ‘It is vital to open up new fronts and no front is more necessary than the fight for jobs. The underlying issue is depression level unemployment.’
No doubt there will be detractors about this effort, too. And no doubt the whole “unemployment” situation will be used by the aspirants to the WH. I’m not feeling particularly hopeful that serious, concrete efforts to help those who really want and need to “get a job” will be a part of the 2012 campaign games. The Occupy for Jobs efforts are one more way of calling attention to the injustice of a system that doesn’t seem all that concerned about millions of un- and under-employed. Reading the OWS Twitter feed is a good way to hear from some of those who are concerned.
RebelCapitalist Retirement saving destroyed, homes are now liabilities, only low-wage/no health insurance jobs available. Nice system.
djpoptartCrystal Kile ‘Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America,’ says 75 yo former Lehman partner. In Newsweek. #OWS #winning http://bit.ly/vtr2TQ
gonnarain RT @OccupyWallStNYC: $34 billion over 10 years for riot gear & pepper spray. And we’re firing teachers.. news.yahoo.com/cops-ready-war…
Aakash32017 RT @iain2008: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor: Desmond Tutu.
( Occupy 4 Jobs Poster Via Workers World )