So, who didn’t gasp and shudder at seeing the image of 84 year old Dorli Rainey after she was pepper sprayed last week? Perhaps some cold hearted, blame the victim sorta fuckers didn’t, but I think most were shocked and appalled. She was not attacking anyone, so what was the point? Perhaps to delay and derail focus?
In her Democracy Now interview, just days after the incident, that seemed to be what she was thinking.
DORLI RAINEY: Well, first of all, it’s very painful. And when they say there are no after effects, I still have a pain in my lungs, and my voice is kind of raspy. I don’t know how long that will last. But the thing really is not about me getting pepper-sprayed. It is a much bigger issue than that, and I would like everybody to keep that in mind, that while we’re getting pepper-sprayed, other issues are not being heard. And that’s my problem. I feel issues become a major focus to the detriment of the real issues that cause this whole problem.
So, yep, police brutality must be addressed and practices reformed, but the fact is that it will undoubtedly continue to greater and lesser degrees into the foreseeable future and challenge protestors to stay focused and purposed.
Just yesterday, Michael Moore posted a proposed "Ten Things We Want" list and submitted it for the OWS General Assembly consideration.
Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore
1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).
2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.
3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.
4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.
5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.
6. Reorder our nation’s spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.
7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.
8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.
9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can’t run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)
10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:
a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.
b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.
c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a “second bill of rights” as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.
That’s a great list, no doubt, but let’s consider 10a our collective can of pepper spray to bring about the “compliance” of our government for the rest of the list. So, getting the money out of politics needs to be #1, in my not so humble opinion, otherwise the whole list is just a steaming pile of #2.