There's something happenin' but do you know what it is? Do you, Mr. Jones?
This video is pretty good, because a wide variety of people who are now engaged in the occupation of the financial districts of Americas major cities speak about their ideas, their expectations and what they think that they are trying to accomplish.
But, this is the face of America awakening, this is America responding to what has been going on in the rest of the world. While the mideast had an "Arab Spring" we are experiencing an American autumn. Too be fair though, the real roots started before the spring in America, in the snow of Madison, Wisconsin as Scott Walker tried to shove his anti labor, pro corporate agenda down the throats of the people who elected him.
On Sept.22, 2011, a slim pamphlet was released in America by a 94 year old French diplomat, Stephane Hessel.
The book, Indignez-Vous, had been the best selling non fiction work in France for almost 1 year. The book has been referred to as the inspiration for mass protest and demonstrations through out Europe since its publication. The title loosely translates to "Be Outraged". It has been translated into over 30 languages.
If you are interested, here is Stephane Hessels' facebook page.
You Must Stand Up!
In 1940, Hessel, then a soldier in the French army, was captured by German forces. He managed to escape from a prison camp in France and make his way south through Spain and Portugal to North Africa, then to London, where he joined Gen. Charles de Gaulle's resistance forces in March 1941.
Hessel returned to occupied France as a resistance fighter, but was soon captured by the Gestapo and only narrowly avoided execution in a Nazi concentration camp before escaping to rejoin the Allies.
He went on to be one of the authors with Eleanor Roosevelt of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
He tells his story in the sitting room of his small Paris apartment. Now 94 years old, Hessel is trim and dapper in a coat and tie. His eyes twinkle with generosity, but that spark of resistance seems to have never left him.
"If you want to be a real human being — a real woman, a real man — you cannot tolerate things which put you to indignation, to outrage," he says. "You must stand up. I always say to people, 'Look around; look at what makes you unhappy, what makes you furious, and then engage yourself in some action.'"
In Time for Outrage, Hessel challenges young people to do just that. Injustice is widespread today, too, he says — though he admits that today's injustice isn't as clear-cut as it was in his day.
"To be conquered by a nation like the Nazis, obviously it was insufferable," he says. "Today we are not in front of problems that immediately appear as impossible to accept. But if we look a little carefully, these challenges are there."
The book was released in the USA last week with the title, A Time For Outrage. The fires lit by Hessel have been burning in Europe and the influence has made it to America. I believe that Hessel's cal for activism is a very big part of the motivation for the todays national outpouring of outrage in America. This slender volume is inspirational and so good natured in its justification of the natural indignation we all feel. Hessel has lived it his entire life and to see him today as a 94 year old youthful and lucid man of unwavering moral force is inspiration enough alone.
Hessel, who is Jewish, was a French diplomat at the U.N. when Israel was born in 1948. He says he remembers it as a glorious moment but believes things have gone very wrong since then.
"The Israeli government is not going the way [of] Jewish ideals," he says. "And the way they acted in Gaza with [Operation Cast Lead] is just impossible to tolerate for honest Jews."
Hessel says he's delighted over the recent people's revolutions in the Arab world, which started just three months after his book came out in France. He doesn't claim any credit but says it is a nice coincidence.
He says he's honored that his book is being published in America. Calling Franklin Delano Roosevelt the most important leader of the 20th century, Hessel says Roosevelt's New Deal and "Four Freedoms" speech set the standard for social and economic justice in the modern world.
Luck, Love, Happiness And Poetry
Hessel is passionate about justice, but he credits his own long life and good health to something very different; luck, love, happiness and poetry. He says he knows many of Shakespeare's sonnets by heart.
"This one I ... used when I just had been arrested by the Gestapo," he says. "I was afraid that I would not survive, and so I put a little paper in my pocket that my wife should find."
He recites the first lines of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 71":
"No longer mourn for me when I am dead/ Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell/ Give warning to the world that I am fled/ From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell."
A time for outrage? A time to become one of the indignants? A time for action? Why not now, because if not now, it's never, and forever is a long, long time.....
Here is the official Declaration of the New York Occupation of Wall Street: