Brian Stelter wrote a terrific piece on the Occupy movement in Thursday’s NY Times.
Most of the biggest Occupy Wall Street camps are gone. But their slogan still stands.
Whatever the long-term effects of the Occupy movement, protesters have succeeded in implanting “We are the 99 percent,” referring to the vast majority of Americans (and its implied opposite, “You are the one percent” referring to the tiny proportion of Americans with a vastly disproportionate share of wealth), into the cultural and political lexicon.
First chanted and blogged about in mid-September in New York, the slogan become a national shorthand for the income disparity. Easily grasped in its simplicity and Twitter-friendly in its brevity, the slogan has practically dared listeners to pick a side.
“We are getting nothing,” read the Tumblr blog “We Are the 99 Percent” that helped popularize the percentages, “while the other one percent is getting everything.”
Stelter’s article provides a perfect lead-in to Yes We Can! Long Island‘s most recent position statement.
By this time you are likely aware that our organization’s membership has contributed money, cold weather gear, and tents to the group at Zuccotti Park. We did this, despite having not taken an official position at the time, because we realized that the people putting their bodies on the line for the working middle class deserved our immediate attention. Unfortunately, many of the Occupy locations are being shut down. However, it is our strong, strong sense that, come warmer weather, the legions will return in greater force, even greater spirit, and, perhaps, a more focused statement of purpose.
In anticipation of a growing movement representative of, and standing up for, the 99 percent, YWC!LI offers its position on the movement:
The Occupy movement has shined a spotlight on some of the most critical issues confronting our country and threatening our democracy, including social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption and undue influence of corporations on government. Its peaceful, non-hierarchal, inclusive approach has lit a fire under many, including the apathetic, the sick and poor without voice and the young who once thought selfishly of themselves rather than of the whole community. The issues OWS has raised cannot – and will not – be ignored; the disenfranchised must have their opportunity to be heard.
Yes We Can! Long Island, an organization formed to advocate and work for progressive change, stands in solidarity with the aims of the OWS movement and is committed to keeping these issues in the forefront of our national conversation and working to restore fairness to the lives of the American people.