Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Seattle. Boycott Corporate Greed.

Occupy Seattle Rally in Westlake Park

Occupy Seattle Rally in Westlake Park

I just got back from the ‘Occupy Seattle’ Rally.

For those who are unaware, in order to show solidarity with the ‘Occupy Wall Street Crowd’ in New York, a group of Seattleites have endeavored to occupy Westlake Park. They are going to try to occupy it for the next 72 hours.

Why Westlake Park?

Honestly, I don’t know.

I guess because it’s the most visible public space in Seattle, but I’m not sure what it’s going to change.

Now, I can already hear it: “Rex, you crap on everything we do, but at least we’re out there doing something. Every rally, every protest, you say it won’t change anything, but would you rather we just sit and home and watch American Idol?”

The answer is, “no”. I don’t think you should stay home and watch TV, and I respect the fact that you are out there doing something. I really do. I’m on board with most of these messages. I’m frustrated and angry too. The problem is, protests have been done before, and it’s been 40 years since a rally has made an appreciable long-term difference in this country.

The fact of the matter is that there is only one thing that will change the economic and political status-quo in this country, and that thing is:

Money.

More specifically, a lack of money.

Keep your cash to yourself.

Stop paying your mortgages, en masse. Stop paying your credit card bills, en masse. Stop paying every bill, en masse. When a company or industry gets too greedy, get ten million like-minded customers together and just stop paying.

Were you do do this, foreclosures would stop tomorrow. They can’t take everyone’s home. They don’t have the manpower. Especially when you’ve cut off the supply of rope for them to hang you with. ATM fees would go away overnight, and interest and penalties would quickly become negotiable.

If you stop paying, banks and big corporations would come to you and ask “What can we do to make you start paying us again?” They would care what you think, and as long as it didn’t drive them completely out of business, they would do what you say.

The peasants still outnumber the elite, and the power is yours, if you want it. You have to really want it, though. You have to be willing to go out on a limb; to take a risk. As long as you are writing a check while complaining, though, there will be no incentive for anyone in power to change anything.

Occupying Wall Street and occupying Westlake Park pits the proletariat against the proletariat. It makes the poorly paid cops babysit the poorly paid people. The big bank executives don’t give a damn about any of this … they’re playing golf somewhere, content in the knowledge that their law enforcement pawns are keeping protestors occupied and out of their moneyed suburbs.

And so, while I wholeheartedly support these rallies in principal, I just can’t support them in action. This too shall pass, and when it does, the suffering will continue.

Until we all stop paying, it will be business as usual.

Occupy Seattle Rally Crowd

Occupy Seattle Rally Crowd

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Crowd

Occupy Seattle Rally Crowd

Occupy Seattle Rally in Westlake Park

Occupy Seattle Rally in Westlake Park

Occupy Seattle Rally Crowd

Occupy Seattle Rally Crowd

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally in Westlake Park

Occupy Seattle Rally in Westlake Park

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Signs

Occupy Seattle Rally Sign

Occupy Seattle Rally Sign

17 comments to Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Seattle. Boycott Corporate Greed.

  • edzeplin

    I’m trying to figure out why none of the protest signs are specific to “greedy corporations” that happen to have their headquarters in the Seattle area and employ many, many people in the region. Why aren’t Microsoft, Expedia, Amazon, Nintendo, Google, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, REI, Costco and Boeing being singled out as “greedy corporations” that should be boycotted? Are the only corporations that actually are “greedy corporations” those that don’t employ the families, friends and neighbors of the protesters?

    • SPRUNT

      I think there is a lot of “don’t shit where you eat” that factors in to that, but from just a little bit of searching, you can see that many of the companies you listed put forth a lot of philanthropic effort. Microsoft and Boeing were often rated in the top 10-15 in the country when it comes to giving back. Starbucks also gives back pretty well. Nintendo, while based here, is a Japanese company, but I’m sure they have some share in charity work as well.

  • Heather A

    Is there going to be more occupying this weekend? Anybody in Tacoma that are serious about doing a protest in the financial district? (Downtown)

  • Matt K

    It’s like watching a rock roll down a hill…
    Cheers – from Texas

  • zona nelson

    Glad to see people useing thier math. I read Kaynes John Maynard, money,intrest and employment, 1936.In the book, after you do all the math, there is a pome called,The Flight of the Bees. In that pome it disscribes our current ecconomic condition.IF,(and they have)all are buisnesses leave the country then no one will have a job here,in the US. Our US trade laws have allowed that event to take place. As long as we continue to ship all our corp. headquarters over seas, people in the US will go broke. Wall Street is currently eatting up the last of us by taking our pensions.
    If you put the U.S. population of aproxametly 300 million into colums 3 each valued at 100 million You have a graph then add up the numbers.
    27.5 million unemployed 77 millon recieving SSI. well right ther you have over 100 million. I realy think we are the other 99%. I do hope we can gather in bellingham WA, We too want to protest wall street greed.

  • Maximilien Robespierre

    When is the next protest? I will be there!

  • embee

    nobody at these demonstrations fosters the illusion that a couple hundred (or thousand for that matter) people yelling will bring down corporate greed. what they do realize is that the majority of the u.s. population has no idea the extent to which they are being used as pawns. the protest is simply a conduit for momentum through education. apathy is the death of civil liberties and we have to inspire people to take a stand – whether through not paying your mortgage, symbolic protests, or through spreading the word. if you’re not down for protesting, do something else, but for jebus sakes, DON’T DO NOTHING!

  • James Black

    I actually think the powers at be are rather terrified. The police reactions show that. The massive donations to the NYPD from “concerned” parties show that. I know too, however, that the MAAAN has played this game a million times before, and won quite handily.

    But I love the idea of never paying a bill again. I’m injecting some of that into my political consciousness!

  • Disco Stu

    How many crusaders will occupy Wall St on the first night the temperature falls below 32°? They’re going to take an eastbound J train back over to Williamsburg and blog about how they made a difference.

  • Mikey

    It’s not just some “protest.” Literally people who have been protesting their whole lives spoke to me in private telling me “This is the one I’ve been waiting my whole life for. America really is finally waking up.” If you choose not to go down and represent yourself in the general assembly that’s fine.

    So sure; they do do a little bit of picketing and marching and chanting and all those usual protesty-type things, **but more importantly** they’re a think tank, and many of the people there are incredibly smart and on the ball and know EXACTLY what is going on. (Anyone who says otherwise is making assumptions with their mouth that their ass can’t cash. Get off your fat ass and go talk to them, make your voice heard in their assembly — unless you think your ideas are all bullshit and not worth hearing.)

    The whole point of all this is to enfranchise the disenfranchised. And they’re doing that very well with themselves. Go down, they’re nice people. They have food and tents, lots of energy, and NATION WIDE MOMENTUM.

  • Rosalindo

    Glad to see people voicing opinions about the greed in corporate America. We the people need to show how we feel about the unfair practices taking place in America. The Koch brothers are behind union busting and corporate greed. Don’t buy their Georgia Pacific products. Let’s start to hurt them in their big pockets. Keep in picketing!

  • Disco Stu

    Firstly, that’s not the guy’s hair. That’s a plant.

    I wonder why these folks don’t care about their fellow citizens who are trying to access tourist areas such as this park and the Brooklyn Bridge. People are mostly being arrested for blocking streets without a permit, not for exercising their First Amendment rights.

    Regardless of your stance on the MAAAN!, you cannot stop the flow of traffic and think there won’t be a reaction.

  • Steve

    Nice hair on the “stand up against corp greed” guy. Also I never thought about the need to stretch before protesting before.

  • edzeplin

    They aren’t representing 99%. They aren’t representing a percentile at all. They are representing an average, and I’m not talking about money. In this case, it’s probably somewhere around 80. You thought living among a population average of 98 was bad…

    Smart people weren’t marching in the park. They also weren’t littering the park. The 80’s will have to find more crayons and more cardboard for their next display of nothing better to do than blame others for stuff they won’t ever understand.

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