If you work in downtown Jackson and were wondering where the bullhorn was coming from during the Thursday lunch hour then please read on.
Occupy Jackson, an informal affiliate of last year’s national Occupy Wall Street movement is back.
The one-day demonstration amounted to five American citizens huddled outside Smith Park on the corner of Amite and N. Congress Streets. The Occupiers once again exercised their First Amendment right to free speech, and appeared unmolested by passersby and law enforcement.
While one Occupy Jackson veteran named Dorenda refused an on-camera interview, her four sympathizing comrades were more than eager to air their list of grievances which ranged from the sensible to the bizarre.
Libby Middleson (along with the rest of the country) is concerned about the so-called “fiscal cliff” and wants more bipartisan cooperation from House Republicans as they work with the Obama White House to balance increased taxes with spending caps.
James Parker who works in the boiler room at University of Mississippi Medical Center was concerned about taxes and wanted to know why his rates were so much higher than folks like Mitt Romney or Warren Buffett.
Clinton resident Antoinette Van Kriedt expressed her need for “entitlements” like Social Security and Medicare and said Mississippi should include alternatives to tax breaks when putting together incentive packages for industries wanting to relocate here.
Jackson street artist Scott Sorenson was still sore about the 2008 bank bailouts and said if we all pitched in and worked together to grow and build things ourselves we wouldn’t need “the one percent.”
While their concerns are understandable and their tenacity is admirable, one thing that is still lacking in this “movement” is cohesion. The issues are real but because the culture of Occupy is so individualistic and spontaneous, the Jackson group has been reduced to a micro-sized version of the national movement which has since gone underground or flamed out altogether.
The only real achievement mentioned by Occupy Jackson seemed to be a non-binding resolution addressing “corporate personhood,” basically a retort of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling in 2010 which gave corporations and unions more freedom to contribute in the electoral process.
Other than that, the conversation was mainly a re-banging of the drum on income disparity and wealth redistribution. The younger Guy Fawkes agitators of last year were no where to be found.
You didn’t miss much.
Antoinette Van Kriedt