I'm heartened when people gather in the public square and speak out to their fellow citizens. It’s in the old tradition of Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London, or in the original meaning of “getting up on a soapbox.” It’s what democracy is all about. What passes for democratic free speech today is often careless opinion expressed in a vacuum, poison pen Internet messages, or angry accusations against public servants or those on the other side.
There is no question about today’s gross inequity in this country and around the world, and a divide has grown more and more between the very well-off and those who struggle to get along, most fearing for their future. The bank bailouts returned little to the average taxpayer but the avoidance of a collapse. Financial institutions aren’t lending to regular working people for small business development, education or housing. There is reason and a fundamental American right to protest this, and loudly!
Isaac Benton City Councilor District 3
Every day I talk to hundreds of working-class people of all political persuasions in New Mexico who are trying to find good jobs, decent healthcare a good education in this devastating economy. They do the right thing, struggle, and face immense obstacles trying to make a good living, feed their families and pay their bills.
Lately, as they’ve seen the protests on Wall Street and D.C. grow, our members are growing increasingly interested in supporting the movement in Albuquerque. They might not be able to set up a tent in Liberty Plaza or buy a one-way ticket to D.C. But in their own wat they are fighting the same fight against a greedy 1 percent who control and manipulate the system to benefit themselves.
What I have learned is that the human spirit is tough and cannot be bought and sold the way Wall Street bankers bought and sold America’s security in 2008.
Working America members might not seem to share a lot with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but they support them in their efforts to create an economy that works for everyone.
Michelle Kavanaugh Member Coordinator Working America
I have been a loyal reader since the early ’90s (back in the NuCity days), and I can't help but wonder why you still publish Don's rants [Letters, “Don Schrader on Occupy Wall Street,” Oct. 20-26]. He never adds anything new to the public discourse. He will start off on a recent topic but then digress on how he lives below the taxable income level. It never changes. If you feel this man is so important, just start a counter on the Letters page with his most recent income numbers. I feel this will free up valuable space to those in the community that actually have something NEW and RELEVANT to say. I applaud Don and his nakedness, but if you've heard him once, you've heard him a thousand times.
Revolutions That Abolish Fun
Not everybody thinks Don Schrader is as great as he claims [Letters, “Don Schrader on Occupy Wall Street,” Oct. 20-26]. He reports an annual income that makes him more wealthy than 85 percent of the population of Earth. What a martyr! He's right in condemning our addiction to consumption as a barrier to liberation and the main cause of environmental destruction. But his solution seems to be that everybody should just be more like Don Schrader. No thanks! I prefer my revolution to stop short of abolishing fun. What's missing from Don's prescription is the importance of DIY culture. Making tattoos, booze and drugs at home are great hobbies. Divorcing ourselves from a greedy corporate culture shouldn't be a sacrifice. We will actually find that the higher quality products are made by our passionate neighbors. He also implies that he is more free (read: superior) because he requires no prescription drugs. This chauvinism and pointless self-promotion does nothing beneficial for the antiauthoritarian, anti-consumerist movements. Please Don, meditate a little harder before you praise yourself in public once again.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to email@example.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.