You can’t evict an idea whose time has come

My title comes from the Occupy Wall Street website, posted on a gray, gloomy morning after the police eviction of protesters in Liberty Park.

Occupations are going on in cities and towns in all 50 states now.  What the mayors and police chiefs of these locales need to understand is that the more they try to contain and stamp out this protest movement, the faster it will spread.

Beatings, gassings, intimidation, arrests, evictions…history has shown time and again that the human spirit refuses to be quenched by such brutality, especially when we face the firing squad together.

Occupy is a “leaderless movement”; it’s multigenerational and cuts across many social differences that have previously been used by the status quo to divide us.

United by a fierce and ardent hope that refuses to be extinguished, the Occupy protests all across America call on each of us to stand up in support of a new American dream.

In this new vision, our government representatives will put the well-being of the majority ahead of any narrowly defined special interests.

This means that the health of our citizens will come before the profits of industries like agriculture and energy. It means that the health of our global environment will be more important than corporate competition for resource extraction.

It means that the social safety net will be expanded and strengthened, not allowed to fray or be deliberately shredded.

It means that American public education will once again rise like a beacon throughout the world, giving all children, regardless of their social background, the knowledge, tools and creativity to move boldly and joyfully into the 21st century.

It means that our democracy will once again be broadly participatory.  We are done with politicians who are slaves to their corporate owners.

And no, we will not accept higher taxes on the working families who can least afford to bear the brunt of holding our creaky and corrupt system together.

We want a new system, with a radical reorganization of priorities.  Let our foreign policy be run by diplomats, not by bombers and drones.  Let an age of international cooperation in the service of urgent global needs begin.

Working together across borders, we can solve the world’s problems and move forward into a new era of sustainable, widespread prosperity.

Truly the Occupy protesters have it right.  You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.

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