The dichotomy between the treatment of the ‘Occupy Wall St’ movement and the previous Tea Party protests is truly astonishing. It just goes to show how corrupt the state has become – a blunt reminder that the government no longer works for the people but for corporate power and elite interests. One movement seeks to protect the interests of the rich, while the other seeks to redress economic inequality and corporate malfeasance. The state leaves the Tea Party protesters alone and subjects the anti Wall St protesters to random violence and intimidation.
The sad thing is that the policemen responsible for harassing the Wall protesters is that they too are victims of the financial sectors greed and criminality. The financial crisis plunged the economy into a deep recession making state governments slash their policing budgets and attack public pensions.
The US is still suffering from the 60’s culture wars, a lingering identity crisis that pits Left vs Right in terms that no longer really exist. While the police may be identified as blue collar workers and the protesters as liberal college dropouts, the truth is that both are at the bottom of a system designed to prevent their social mobility and economic security.
The corporate state fears the public’s understanding of these basic truths and is content to pit one side against the other – until we realize that our problems are the same and solidarity trumps division and fear.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.