Behind Bars

Whom Do They Represent?

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

While the Occupy Movement has certainly drawn attention to the discontent roiling in the depths of the American heart, they are a small percentage of those who have chosen to hit the streets just as cold weather begins to grip many parts of the nation.

And while it may be that their numbers and breadth (over 100—some say 1000 cities!) have been impressive, most people, even if they agree wholeheartedly with many of their aims, have yet to take it to the street—at least, not yet.

But who can deny that discontent with the economic elites, and their political servants, is widespread?

According to recent polls, Congress garners the grudging support of a mere 10 percent of Americans or, put quite another way, 90 percent of Americans don’t support Congress—90 percent!

When such an overwhelming percentage of the citizenry oppose the politicians in office, in what sense can this be called a democracy?

In a parliamentary system, used in most of Europe, such abysmal levels of public support would have necessitated a no-confidence vote. But here in the states, a rigid, sclerotic political system has become a prison, and an obstruction to most of the people, and politicians openly, and proudly, look to the narrow interests of the wealthy elites; those the Occupy Movement deride as the one percent.

Thomas Jefferson, at the time of the great Shays Rebellion that shook the New England states, looked at such disorders as natural and healthy. Said Jefferson: “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. …It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. …God forbid that we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” (Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States (2003: p.95))

Think about that the next time you hear some neocon or Tea Partier talk about the occupiers as “un-American.”

The people are rightly pissed at politicians who are but the paid puppets of the plutocracy.

While neo-Rome burns, they light up their imported cigars with $100 bills.

Prison Radio, November 18, 2011