'Occupy the corporations' has become the next target for the 99-percenter movement in the US as activists seek to end corporate rule in the country.
Caleb Maupin, with the International Action Center in New York, shares his thoughts on the direction of the Occupy movement in an interview with Press TV.
The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests; Lind Dinh, writer and political analyst from Philadelphia, and Mark Glenn, author and political commentator from Idaho.
The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
: As someone who's engaged in the Occupy protest movement, tell us about the national day of action to shut down the corporations.
What is exactly the aim of this action?
: Well I would just put it this way; Occupy Wall Street is an expression of a fact that most people in this country are fully aware of the fact that this idea that this is a democratic country is false.
The bankers and the corporations have the power! And we the people, who supposedly are supposed to rule in a democratic society, don’t have the power. The power belongs to those with wealth!
And we, the 99 percent, are tired of that. And we're pouring out in the streets, we're demanding this change, and we're putting our bodies on the line to challenge that.
And in the process, many of us are learning for the first time that the one percent has always ruled this country. All this rhetoric about democracy is false!
And the only way we can bring a real democracy into being, is through being in the streets, through challenging their power and demanding our right to jobs, education, health care and all the things that human beings are entitled to, that this system takes away from people, because in capitalism, people only can survive if they're able to sell their labor to a capitalist.
And what we're saying is that that form of existence is degrading, and is not necessary. People should have the right to jobs and education, and we're going to demonstrate and demand that they'll get it.
: Our guest in Philadelphia, Idaho, is saying that they should disrupt the system, that they should do something that count.
Do you think that is possible? What can these protesters do that would count and that would lead them forward? Because we know of course how strong the corporations are, we know of course how strong and protected, as our guest was saying, Wall Street is.
: In the short term, if we wish to win concessions and force the ruling elite to concede and stop doing some of the horrific things that they're doing, like destroying the environment, laying people off, you have to hit their profits.
The fact that they're continuing to make end profits, the supper continues, allows them to continue it.
But in the long run we have to realize that, all the problems that Occupy Wall Street has raised, whether its destruction of the environments, mass layoffs, the rising prices of education, unemployment, they're all rooted in the fact, that we have a system where profit are the determining, the determiner of what goes on in the economy.
We're a very collective society, people come together to build buildings, people come together to teach schools, people come together and collectively do all kinds of things. But the products they create collectively end up belonging to a small one percent. And they own the products that we come together to create.
And ultimately, if we're going to change these whores we need to seize that, that means to end and people need to be able to collectively share the products that they collectively produce.
: I'd like to raise another point here, and that is the police brutality claims that we've been hearing of against the Occupy demonstrators.
They've been complaining about the brutal police crackdown, the near lethal force that's been used against them, the use of pepper spray gas.
Why are we first of all seeing this, would you say that this is just a singular instance of police action to stop protesters for instance from occupying a space that they shouldn’t legally? Or is this more about a systematic approach in the way that the government has chosen to deal with Occupy demonstrators?
: It's not just the Occupy demonstrators who've been subject to this kind of terror and suppression, by the parasitic class that runs this country, those who own the banks, the factories, the corporations and ultimately the government as a result.
It's a continued pattern that's been going on. The FBI sent death threats to Martin Luther King. There was a repeated campaign to destroy the Black Panther Party. Back when the unions were militant and revolutionary in the 1930s, there were campaigns against things like the Trade Union Unity League, where FBI terror was used against them.
The one percent has always owned this government, the Founding Fathers; those were the plantation owners, and the wealthy people that ran the government from the beginning, and they continue to do so.
And the glorious thing about Occupy Wall Street is that people are realizing that the problem isn’t one politician or other, is the problem is that a parasitic class of rulers, who exploits labor of not just people in this country but all over the world, and continues to get rich of off the work that all of us do.
They're the problem! And that the only way to change things is to confront them, to be in the streets, and to make clear that they're business as usual cannot continue, as long as people are suffering.
And we will be out there in huge numbers and ultimately, we need to fight for, to get to the point where they're no longer in control. And if these banks and these factories which we've all created can come into common ownership!
You know that’s ultimately what we have to fight for!
: As our other guest Mark says, with this protests being taken by the Obama administrations, with the way that the regime has been cracking down on the protest, do you think that the demands of the protesters are going to be realistic demands? Are they going to be able to bring about those changes, at least in the near future?
: They absolutely will be able to win their demands. It may take a long time, but it will happen.
History is like a train, and you can't stop a train as it speeds forward. And history, the age of empires and profiteers and capitalist is over. And the people of the world are as one, rising against them.
And it may take a long time to ultimately win, but this system cannot continue to operate the way it is, people are in a state of revolt all throughout the United States for the first time in a generation, and it's just the beginning.
If you think 2011 was great, 2012 is going to be even better!