Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: End of Week Assortment of Commentary

Some recent pieces about Occupy Wall Street I've found helpful, and want to share this morning:

1. For those interested in the religious connections and underpinnings of the OWS movement, at his Rock and Theology site, Tom Beaudoin has just posted more pictures and commentary illustrating the interconnections between OWS and religious or theological themes.  He's posted a link to this blog entry at the America "In All Things" blog, where a discussion thread will perhaps ensue.

2. At the recently formed OccupyWriters site, where various writers have been signing on in support of OWS, Alice Walker has posted two poems reflecting on OWS--"the joyful news of your arrest" and "The World We Want Is Us."  The first of the two poems comments on Cornel West's arrest in D.C. this past Sunday, and contains the following fine lines:

what a joy it is
to hear this news of you.
that you have not forgotten
what our best people taught us
as they rose to meet their day:
not to be silent
not to fade into the shadows
not to live and die in vain.
But to glorify
the love that demands
we stand
in danger
shaking off
our chains.

In a day or so, I'll be blogging more about Alice Walker, since the reflections I posted about her work this summer have resulted in some communications from some wonderful folks who are now working on an important project to document Walker's life--about which I want to post some information.  (My commentary from the summer is here, here, here, and here.)

Those tracking the OWS movement and the growing support for it in many sectors will probably find it rewarding to keep an eye on this OccupyWriters site, as more and more authors sign on to support the movement and comment about it.  Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, author of that wicked and amusing series of children's books, has now weighed in with his usual verve and wit.

3. Huffington Post has helpfully posted a list of 21 essential Twitter follows for anyone seeking up-to-date reports on the OWS movement around the world.  I linked to most of these yesterday, and am already finding them extremely useful in seeing what's going on on around the world right now in real-time, as our American mainstream media continues to ignore many of the Occupy events in various places across the globe.

4. And Thom Hartmann comments on why the Occupy movement has grown so quickly around the world: we're in the midst of a global lost generation, he maintains, with 75 million young people around the planet looking for work.  The number of those unemployed ages 15 to 24 has grown by 4.6 million in the U.S. since the recession began in 2008  This July, only 49% of American young people were able to find jobs, the lowest rate ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As Hartmann notes, young folks are "tired of seeing their future ruined by a continuation of 30 years of Reaganomics."  And as he asks, "[W]hat choice do they have?  Live on the streets – or take to the streets.  A great transformation is underway around the planet."

The graphic is an Action Press/Rex Features photo of the Occupy Madrid protests this past Saturday.

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