Occupy D.C.’s Thanksgiving
On the Wednesday edition of 8 O’Clock Buzz on WORT-FM, we spoke to Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Occupy Washington, D.C. We’ve been getting weekly updates from him since early October.
“Today, we have our first Thanksgiving celebration,” Zeese said. “The faith community is putting on Thanksgiving celebration for both occupations in Washington, D.C.—the K Street one, as well as ours, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue, on Freedom plaza.”
“We have another one tomorrow on Freedom Plaza, in our kitchen,” he added. “We have a great kitchen—an incredible kitchen, really—and our chef wants us to try his mango stuffing. We are looking forward to that.”
Zeese also mentioned that Occupy DC is making preparations for the oncoming colder temps. “We’re heavily involved in winterization efforts in Freedom Plaza,” he said. “We’re putting up three big military tents, which we decorated with all of our political messages. They are going to have floors. They are going to have heat. They are going to be something we could use throughout the winter.”
We caught up to Zeese before the day’s actions around the Supercommittee, so he didn’t go into any details of the action. But he criticize Congress’s committee folly.
“The Supercommittee was serious failure,” he said. “We have an 99% deficit reduction plan.”
“It’s not that hard to balance this budget. The key to balancing the budget is facing up to the 1%.”
“We’ve allowed tax rates for the 1% to drop and drop and drop,” Zeese said. “If we go back to a real progressive tax system, like we had in the 1950s, like we had in the 1960s, 1970s, and even part of the 1980s, you would solve the deficit problem overnight.”
I was reminded of our former tax system while watching Mad Men recently. In one episode circa 1960, the young businessmen lament how high the tax rates are—rates so high they seem unreal in the era of Grover Norquist.
Zeese also took a moment to discuss his latest blogs about the co-option of the occupy movement by Democrats and their affiliates, especially Van Jones and the Rebuild the Dream Movement.
“The corporate media is anointing a false leader of the Occupy Movement in Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream,” he writes.
“Before he ran to the front of the Occupy Movement, Jones' Rebuild the Dream had been saying that its first task was to elect Democrats. Now he is claiming there will be 2000 “99% candidates” in 2012. These Democrats will be re-branded as part of the 99% movement.”
Will the Dems try to capitalize on the Occupy movement?
Yes, they will, and they will do so while they take money from Wall Street.
Electoral politics is not the option, the statement reads.
“We believe elections are essential to a peaceful, just, and sustainable future, and we will continue to push for changes in our electoral system that will guarantee every human the right to vote for candidates who are not financially corrupted or filtered through gerrymandering, unreasonable ballot restrictions or corporate media gate-keeping, and to have our votes verifiably and publicly counted.”
The statement continues: “We believe, however, that elections alone cannot accomplish what is needed. We cannot ‘vote’ against the disastrous influence of Wall Street or war profiteers by backing either of the two major political parties. Next year's presidential election and most congressional races will offer two major-party candidates, neither of whom agrees with the majority of the people on fundamental issues. We will not divert our energies into electoral work.”
Will any Democratic Party activists crash the Thanksgiving feast at Freedom Plaza? If so, it could end up being just as awkward as any other family get together.
If you liked this story by Elizabeth DiNovella, the Culture Editor of The Progressive magazine, check out her story "Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Gets Ready to Recall Walker."
Follow Elizabeth DiNovella @lizdinovella on Twitter
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