The Successes & Failures of Occupy Movement [video]_Featured_, Awake and Aware, Featured Videos Sunday, March 11th, 2012
Press TV interviewed Mark Mason, an Occupy movement protester, who expounds on the successes of the anti-corporate campaign and the change they hope to make in the United States. Plus, Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian from Washington and Joshua Blakeney, activist and staff writer for Veterans Today in Calgary analyze the strategy for effective change.
The following is an approximate transcription of the interviews:
‘United States is country run by corporate oligarchs’ Mark Mason
Press TV: First of all, let’s start with the issue of detentions.
The number of arrests is growing, 6,700 protesters over the past six months.
First of all, what does this number indicate? That the protests are getting out of control?
Mason: It’s an indication that the popular uprising in the United States that’s labeled Occupy movement, that it’s a successful grassroots movement to shift power away from corporate America and to shift power away from the bankers in Wall Street, back into the communities where it belongs.
It’s an indication of the effectiveness of the Occupy Movement.
Press TV: When you say then that the movement has been effective in its own way, explain to us how effective it has been.
Mason: The Occupy movement is part of the global popular uprising that was stimulated or initiated by the 2008 global economic collapse. I wouldn’t place the origin of it in Wisconsin.
The Occupy movement learned much from the failure of Wisconsin, Wisconsin was a gross failure, operated mainly by the unions; they played by the rules, the courts told them to go home and they went home.
And the Occupy movement is being criticized for not playing by party politics, and I would suggest that, that’s not the accurate or appropriate criticism, because Occupy movement has no interest in party politics, none whatsoever.
The movement is only six months old, as we recall, it only began in September.
And many of the other Occupy occupations began in November.
And here we are, basically we have commanded the public media, the corporate media is listening to the Occupy movement message.
And even the president of the United States has decided to move the IMF meeting from Chicago to a military compound in Camp David.
And so the Occupy movement is effective, it’s not interested in party politics, it’s not interested particularly in specific legislation or specific candidates for public office.
It’s a systemic change that is being driven by a popular movement that is worldwide.
Press TV: Let’s focus again on the response that the protesters have been getting.
Right now we were listening to a press conference by President Obama, and he was saying things about the housing prices, he introduced, in his words, the cheaper government-backed mortgages.
So basically, do you think the Obama administration has actually practically been addressing the exact demands that these protesters have been voicing?
Have these voices been heard or been addressed by the administration?
Mason: President Obama has no credibility and we have a country that’s run by the American oligarchs.
We are accustomed to hearing in the media, the popular press about the Russian oligarchs. Well in the United States we have the American oligarchs.
And the measures performed by President Obama are devious at best. They are another hidden bank bailout, and an opportunity for banks to get out from underneath crimes, vast crimes of fraud, perpetrated against millions of people in the United States.
So, we have a political system where the president is not credible, and nothing he says can be taken at face value, we have a popular movement that is the Occupy movement. It’s not interested in replacing, you know, one face with another face in the White House.
I’m on a committee that’s working towards setting up and convening a constitutional convention under article five of the constitution that permits the people to assemble to rewrite the constitution.
That’s what Occupy is all about, nothing to do with replacing one face with another face, or one oligarch with another oligarch.
I want to mention 1986 in the Philippines! What does this have to do with the United States?
The people went into the streets, they overthrew the dictator Marcos, and they went home, just like the people in Wisconsin, they went home!
And what happened, they replaced the dictator with basically a corporate oligarch, and nothing has changed.
If anything, we are going to learn something! I was in the streets in 1968, Cal State Northridge, state cops were chasing me, and I was young enough to avoid being arrested because I could run fast enough.
We went home!
Sixty-eight to seventy-two if we went home, if Occupy is not going home and we’re not playing this.
Press TV: Do you think that this means a lack of trust in both parties?
Mason: This system is broken!
The system is broken in Russia, it’s broken in Egypt and it’s broken in the United States.
And, the long-term goal of Occupy is a systemic change to shift power from the one-percent to the 99-percent.
That can’t be done in one election, although this is a very important election year.
I do want to say, that I appreciate the opportunity for us to discuss this today in the studio, but I like to remind, to myself even, that people are in the streets, the Occupy movements are in the streets, today, these past weeks, preventing people from being flown out of their homes.
Real people in the Occupy movement are in the real streets, walking home foreclosures, saving people from being thrown out of their homes.