Welcome to Norfolk Virginia. We may not have Susan Sarandon or Michael Moore stopping by, but the people of our fair city are planning to Occupy Norfolk in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Together.
The following text is taken directly from Occupy Norfolk literature.
Occupy Norfolk is a peaceful and non-violent movement that seeks to link itself to protesters on Wall Street and other major American cities. 99% of America regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ability or any other qualifier, could benefit from a better deal.
A deal that includes reform of the financial sector, ending corporate greed, mismanagement, and corruption.
A deal that includes an end to foreign occupations and American imperialism.
A deal that puts jobs back in the hands of everyday people and secures their homes. Not one that saves CEOs and bankers from their own problems.
A deal that takes money out of the political system and ensures that Americans elect their own representatives, and that these representatives are held accountable and enact real, substantive, and lasting change.
Last night I was in attendance for a planning session. As I looked around the room I could see the faces and hear the voices of a displaced generation. Their eyes told the whole story. They are all yearning for something more. They want the American Dream that they were promised.
We are dealing with a generation that has seen the cost of college tuition rise 439% over the last 30 years. They went to school and worked hard. Now that they are finished all society has to offer them are low paying service jobs and their old room at their parents house.
I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the movement’s local leaders James McPherson. When I asked him why he wanted to protest in Norfolk, Virginia he replied “I’ve been interested in politics for a long time, but I’ve been apathetic. The Wall Street protests have inspired me to take action. I couldn’t get out New York City so I thought why not bring the protest to us?”
James is another example of a decent and hard working American who needs two jobs just to make ends meet. He may be too busy to travel but he is sacrificing what little free time he has to make a difference.
At some point the subject of Anthony Bologna came up. James and I both had the same thing to say “Fuck him!” Although Bologna is a despicable coward he has certainly galvanized the public against the brutal suppression of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
We went on to discuss whether or not our current system is redeemable. James had this to say “It needs major changes but we can do something within the system. We could break Goldman Sachs up into smaller companies and have more transparency. He went on to say “In 05 and 06 we had a major housing boom based on overvalued properties. They flooded the market with risky and bad mortgages. They were not out in the open and traded in secrecy. There has to be transparency.”
Over the past several days I have seen Occupy Norfolk grow exponentially. The movement is still in it’s infancy however the Facebook Group Occupy Norfolk has doubled in size going from 500 members to over 1000 in one day. They plan on marching October 6th. Where will you be that day? If you are one of the 99% and live in the Hampton Road area I urge you to join us.