Oppressed Peoples Online Word...The Voice Of The Voiceless

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homas Jefferson wrote, "My wish was, to see both Houses of Congress cleaned of all persons interested in the

A young woman protester is handcuffed and detained on the Brooklyn Bridge by the NYPD. 10/01/11. (photo: Stanley Rogouski/flickr)
A young woman protester is handcuffed and detained on the Brooklyn Bridge by the NYPD. 10/01/11. (photo: Stanley Rogouski/flickr)



By Leslie Griffith, Reader Supported News

bank or public stocks - cleansed, that is - of all corruption."

If only Jefferson could see what is happening today. Not only do stockholders own the banks and the rotten, stinkin' derivatives they sold us, they have the nerve to scream about socialism now ... after they have been the recipients of it.

The public stock owners of 1776, those Jefferson wanted cleansed of corruption, now own almost everything of influence in America.

Big Pharma: It's easier to make money off the sick than pay scientists to invent vaccines.

Big Oil: Fossil fuels are killing our earth while stockholders keep smiling and looking for Americans to subsidize the next oil bubble. Where do they think they will live with all their money? A dead planet is home to no one.

Big Media is not a free press: Stockholders of "Main Stream" media minimize the protester ... some have ignored the protests all together. But, the 24/7 cable news has to fill all those hours. So, protests will be analyzed and played up ad-nauseum on cable. It's not about information, it's about money.

Stockholders own Monsanto and, therefore, profit from manipulating our food while threatening those who refuse to buy their seeds.

Lockheed Martin makes weapons of war, so stockholders benefit when another war erupts. Sometimes they even supply both sides of a conflict. GE makes nuclear weapons. Are you beginning to see we are entangled in greed in every aspect of our lives? But, the protesters are right; ground zero is Wall Street.

My favorite Wall Street sign (so far) says, "Where are the reparations?"

I know my family could certainly use our money back.

We may never get refunds, but it thrills me to think that among those protesters there might be a young John Adams or Thomas Jefferson. Both had their faults. But they did the heavy lifting when called upon. I wonder if today's protesters are having conversations similar to those revolutionaries of 1776?

John Adams, pleading with Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence:

"Why will you not write it?" Adams asks.

Jefferson wants Adams to do it: "What can be your reasons?"

President number two and three were playfully and pugnaciously passing the buck.

Adams replies: "Reason 1st. You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. "Reason 2nd. I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason 3rd. You can write ten times better than I can."

Yes, the document fell short of explaining exactly why breaking with the monarchy, the church and the hold of corrupt politicians were the linchpins of their newly imagined democracy. But, then again, if Adams and Jefferson and the rest of the signatories of the document explained too much, they risked being hanged for treason.

Benjamin Harrison joked that he would have an advantage over the other revolutionaries when they were hanged. Harrison was a massive fellow and he understood how gravity might work in his favor - his neck would break far faster than the others.

It is all there. The glory and imagination of the original American protest movement. And it offers all the direction needed by the protesters of today.

On matters of monarchy ... insert our obscenely rich corporate class of today's America ... Jefferson wrote, "... take any animal, confine them in idleness and inaction whether in a stye, a stable or a state-room, pamper them with high diet, gratify all their sexual appetites, immerse them in sensualities, nourish their passions, let everything bend before them and banish whatever might lead them to think, and in a few generations they become all body and no mind ... such is the regimen of raising Kings."

In 1776, a young pamphleteer named Thomas Paine penned his thoughts as he prepared to fight the British. Paine wrote: "We have it in our power to begin the world over again. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time ..."

Leslie Griffith has been a television anchor, foreign correspondent and an investigative reporter in newspaper, radio and television for over 25 years. Among her many achievements are two Edward R Murrow Awards, nine Emmies, 37 Emmy Nominations, a National Emmy nomination for writing, and more than a dozen other awards for journalism. She is currently working on a documentary, giving speeches on "Reforming the Media," and writing for many on-line publications, as well as writing a book called "Shut Up and Read." She hopes the book, her speeches, and her articles on the media will help remind the nation that journalism was once about public service ... not profit. To contact Leslie, go to lesliegriffith.org.



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