Here's some free advice for America's financial and political leaders who're eager to shut down the Occupy Wall Street protests: if you want to woo the public, try to keep your riot-clad police from shooting an Iraqi war veteran in the face and brutally beating another with clubs – especially when the unprovoked assaults are being videoed, as recently happened in Oakland.
Here’s some free advice for America’s financial and political leaders who’re eager to shut down the Occupy Wall Street protests: if you want to woo the public, try to keep your riot-clad police from shooting an Iraqi war veteran in the face and brutally beating another with clubs – especially when the unprovoked assaults are being videoed, as recently happened in Oakland.
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The increasing presence of war veterans in the Occupy protests makes it difficult for officialdom to claim that the movement is nothing but aimless, shiftless kids who pose a threat to decent society. Indeed, the real threat to “decent society” (by which the elite mean themselves and their plutocratic rule over our economy and politics) is their own disdainful treatment of America’s workaday majority. Like millions of knocked down middle-classers and held down poor people, a tidal wave of soldiers who’ve served three, five, seven or more tours in hellish war zones have been coming home to a jobless, low-wage, relentlessly-grim economy.
The unemployment rate for vets is 12 percent, a third higher that the national rate – for young vets, it’s 20 percent, more than double the national figure. And some 50,000 more soldiers are to return from the Mideast wars by year’s end.
So, what’s the plan? After World War II, a more enlightened establishment created the GI Bill to absorb that surge of returning soldiers – but our “leaders” today have nothing approaching that enlightenment, nor even a plan to have a plan.
The penthouse swells can unleash their police to break up protests, but that only fuels the fury. Now they’re cracking down on veterans – people who know how to use guns. It’s time to deal with the growing crisis of joblessness and inequality in America. For more information, contact www.VeteransForCommonSense.org.