Monday, October 17, 2011

"Do Not Cooperate"

Check it out: when you apply direct pressure to specific problems, things start to change. I'm hoping this is the turning point that will move the #OccupyStuff movement from emotional reaction and street spectacle into specific community engagement. You don't have to go to Wall Street to protest the excesses and lack of accountability that the major financial institutions of this country demonstrate in wrecking this country's economy.

A woman has the money to pay the bank, they force her into a no-way-out loan modification "process," refuse her money, and foreclose on her home? Go public with that. Go public with all of that, and plaster it all over every news organization and social media platform that will carry it.

This is the biggest thing I've heard the #OccupyStuff folks doing thus far, and I think it might be the most important. It sure isn't going to fit the right-wing caricature of these folks as hippies and communists if they're out there actually participating in Americans saving their homes. The other important thing is that an individual family was able to have their voice heard, and the attention that came along with it proved to assist in the redress of grievances against what appeared to be impossible odds. This is what government is supposed to do, through the processes and the courts, for individual citizens. Instead, this family had to go outside the government to get something done. I think that probably sums up the frustration that has led people to the streets.

On a related note, anyone else hear the story about the folks who weren't allowed to close their bank accounts? Apparently, you can't be a protester AND retain the right to access your money. Yeah, the bank is going to hide behind the spectacle the ladies were creating, and cite that as a "reason," but they were customers before they were protesters, and that's an important distinction to make.

What will the big national banks do when people flee with their money to local banks and credit unions? Does it count as a "run" on the banks when people take the money out and put it in other banks, that they have judged safer and less onerous within the rules of the free market?

We'll see.


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