1. Occupy Wall Street protesters should demand that conflicts of interest among decision makers be eliminated. The main issue is that corporations got tax breaks and bail-outs while Americans got left out. To reverse that, only one change is necessary: DEMAND THAT ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS DIVEST THEMSELVES OF CORPORATE STOCK. Officials are not inclined to vote against their own wallets and stock portfolios. Three main reasons for America's economic woes are wars, mass incarceration, and outsourcing jobs to prisons and overseas. Officials with stock that performs best during wars or because of high incarceration benefit by continuing those conditions. That is why wars escalate, environmental protections suffer, and corporate interests are prioritized over Americans regardless of what political party is dominant or the races of decision makers. Simply put, our representatives and other decision makers ARE the 1%.
2. Most Occupy Wall Street protesters at this point are white. Many working class whites have come to realize that elitists do not have their best interests at heart. Americans of every race and educational level are financially challenged. This is happening because globalization involves flattening the U.S. economy so that corporations can pay equivalent wages in America, Africa, China, India, and other markets. Rather than bringing workers throughout the world up to American standards, elitists attack collective bargaining in the United States. Corporations outsource jobs to prisons and overseas to avoid union wages, minimum wage laws, benefits, and worker safety laws. Companies that do not outsource work have difficulty competing, and many are forced to downsize or close.
3. Many middle class voters championed the laws and policies that created the nation's problems. The middle class were last to feel the negative effects, but poverty trinkles up. Tough on crime laws and the war on drugs led to 2.3 million people being incarcerated in America, and over a million jobs (including union jobs) disappeared behind bars to be done by prison laborers. Secondly, the never-ending war on terror means never enough money for Americans. Imperialist wars on borrowed money have a devastating effect on domestic programs. Money for education, social security and health care is depleted by military spending. Finally, citizens' apathy regarding police brutality leads to increased aggression among abusive police officers. During Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, police overuse force on people who probably never expected to be attacked by law enforcement personnel. They may never have protested police violence such as the murder of my mentally, physically disabled brother who died under undisclosed circumstances 18 days after he was secretly arrested in Shelby County Jail, TN - http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/ . We must remember that as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
4. Michigan is a good observation point for the corporate takeover of America. Duly-elected officials in Benton Harbor were effectively fired and replaced with a city manager with ties to Whirlpool Corporation. This happened because of a budget deficit that residents claim was caused in the first place by Whirlpool's tax breaks. Hundreds more city managers are currently in training. Roughly 41,000 needy Michigan families reportedly lost their welfare benefits in October. Welfare recipients ordinarily spend 100% of their incomes every month. The decrease in consumer spending will have a negative effect not only on indigent families with dependent children who rely on that income, but also on the state's businesses, crime rate, and quality of life for all residents. If other states follow suit and enforce four- or five-year term limits on welfare recipients during what is essentially a depression in minority communities, it will only worsen America's financial situation. Hundreds of thousands of indigent children going homeless and hungry will not reverse the downward spiral America is in primarily because of military spending, but abandoning the poor will make this nation like third world countries where war is constant and life is cheap. The BH BANCO website chronicles the corporate takeover of an American city at this link: http://bhbanco.blogspot.com/ . I usually join Rev. Edward Pinkney, director of BANCO and the Benton Harbor chapter of the NAACP, on his one-hour Blogtalk Radio show each Sunday from 5:00 p.m. EST. The show's call-in number is (347) 994-3644. Taped broadcasts are available online at http://t.co/UNpfYWY . We discuss initiatives to combat the corporate takeover of America and reverse the loss of civil and human rights.
5. Another clear example of corporate profits overriding the interests of society is the criminal justice system. Few officials are willing to curtail their own financial growth for righteousness sake. Therefore, Americans pay $50 billion annually to imprison millions of nonviolent offenders, and prison companies earn billions more every year through work projects. Two tragedies are that guilt and innocence are not as relevant as they should be and that prisons have become America's mental hospitals as well as the nation's new slave plantations. Inmates produce 100% of military uniforms and other essentials except for weapons. Inmates fish, make eyeglasses, assemble computers, provide customer service, manufacture office furniture and more for the government and Fortune 500 companies. Judges and defense attorneys who own prison stock should RECUSE THEMSELVES from all criminal investigations and trials or be prosecuted for antitrust violations. The nation's prosecutors and Justice Department personnel and their spouses or minor children should not be prison investors. Prison investors earn for every person who is sentenced to a private jail or prison and are in the position to earn in the future by placing people on probation. Cleansing the criminal justice system of prison investors would reduce prison costs and eliminate the main reason for wrongful convictions and excessive sentencing. There can be no justice in a courtrooms where judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys benefit financially when defendants are found guilty.
6. Occupy Wall Street is an opportunity for all Americans to come together without regard to race and socioeconomic backgrounds and protest corporate greed and government misdeeds. However, every protest needs clearly stated demands to be effective. Divesting representatives of corporate stock is the only way to make a significant change in the way decisions are made in America. It is a big goal, but Occupy Wall Street is a big protest and much is at stake. As Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated, "Globalization’s advocates are right that it has the potential to raise everyone’s living standards. But it has not done that."
7. "Occupy Wall Street Protest Demand" is an advocacy article by Mary Neal, director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill at http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/aimi - I am now placing ads on my articles, complimentary for human and civil rights orgs and activists for 30 days or indefinitely. Try to contact me at MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com and let me know on which article you would like to place a link or ad, or use the comment section below this blog or my other two Blogger blogs - FreeSpeakBlog at http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/ and Justice Gagged http://justicegagged.blogspot.com/ - People cannot care about situations they do not know about. It is time for everyone to wake up and help others to also awaken. Try to follow me at Twitter where I am @koffietime - http://twitter.com/koffietime - and I will try to follow you back.
8. My complimentary ad for this article recommends writing by Joseph Stiglitz to present his ideas regarding globalization gone wrong: (1) Joseph Stiglitz's website: http://www.bigspeak.com/joseph-stiglitz.html and (2) Joseph Stiglitz on Project Syndicate - A World of Ideas: http://www.project-syndicate.org/series/unconventional_economic_wisdom/description
9. Occupy Wall Street protesters recognize that in addition to the U.S. economy being flattened, so are Americans' civil and human rights. My experience with The (Johnnie) Cochran Firm and the United States Department of Justice after Larry Neal's secret arrest and murder and the ongoing cover-up affirms that government officials are not committed to the level of fairness required to move America forward. Censorship and retaliation are fascists' response when their sins are uncovered. Over 800 Occupy protesters have been arrested in different cities, and some were brutalized by police. News regarding Occupy Wall Street that was initially stifled in mainstream media reports was widely published online, including videos that captured police brutality against Americans peacefully using their First Amendment rights. It is therefore important to fight elitists' plans to put the Internet in America under the Justice Department through Senate Bill 968, the IP Protection Act, a/k/a "Internet Censorship Bill." Freedom of assembly, free speech, and freedom of press are enemies of fascism and are under attack in America.
10. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6:10. We are in this grievous position because of decision makers who serve their bank accounts rather than constituents. As corporation owners and investors, they have a serious conflict of interest. Only removing the conflict will eliminate the problem. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other" ~ Matt. 6:24. Move big business out of government. Tell elected and appointed government officials to DIVEST OR RESIGN.