In recent weeks, I have followed the Occupy Wall Street movement that has expanded to Atlanta and throughout major cities of the U.S. and worldwide.
It should not come as a surprise that people who have seen their income and lifestyle decline drastically over the past couple of decades or lose jobs in a failing economy along with young people just out of college who cannot find jobs become angry and want changes. It is similar to the demonstrations of the 1960s and brings back memories of those days on the campus of the University of Georgia when students paraded and chanted against Vietnam.
In those days students and other people demonstrated, marched, shouted and changed the laws of the land and stopped a war. It was not a slow process and it was not without hazards and even deaths of some people. Students were killed at Penn State by National guardsman during a demonstration. Civil rights workers were killed and some children died during incidents in the years of seeking change.
Today many of those battles are forgotten and much progress has been made in some areas. However, some things are similar.
Today this country is mired in wars that many citizens do not want to continue and the middle class which has been the pride and goal for so many people is losing ground almost daily along with new college graduates who cannot find jobs have become fed up. This combination has created the atmosphere for a new movement.
It takes a lot for so many people to reach a point that they are willing to go out and criticize not only government leaders, but the economic leaders. The banks and big corporations which for so long have gained their wealth and power from the people are being held up as the cause for today's economic and much of the social problems.
Have you read the Declaration of Independence recently. It appears appropriate for our times. Just as in 1776, the people determined that the government of England no longer had the interests of the people here as their primary goal.
To paraphrase that great document, the government derives its "just power" from the consent of the government and when the government becomes "destructive to these ends" the people have the right to "alter or abolish it."
Some Republicans have called the "occupy" movement a mob. Others seem to disregard them. Both have missed the point.
This is simply an uprising of the 99 per cent against the one percent who have become modern kings of the realm. This movement is growing and the main problem is whether a specific aim or list of grievances will be developed so that everyone will know what the people want from the kings and the government.