Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Boston

On my way home from exploiting the workers of the world (I bought cheap produce at Haymarket), I ran into the Occupy Boston parade. It was led by a pickup truck with a sound system, which must have been paid for by a labor union because the man with the microphone made "UNION.. UNION" one of his staple chants, even though the crowd behind him showed very little interest in that particular interest group. They were, evidently, not only the 99%, but also part of the 87.6%.

Most of the protesters seemed reasonable: they chanted things like "this is what democracy looks like!", which would be more audacious if the police were oppressing them instead of stopping traffic and closing off public streets for them. A large plurality wanted to end the war, but their signs were subdued. We've come a long way from angry demands for peace or "NO BLOOD FOR OIL" signs dripping with red ink. The tone of the anti-war signs today was "It's about time we brought the troops home".

The Federal Reserve system took some flak from the parade, who were salivating as they turned off Washington and down Summer toward the craven Reserve Bankers in their Dewey Sq. tower. Well, if it were a weekday, that's where they'd be.

The Ron Paul people were right behind the Lyndon LaRouche people. Behind them was a man carrying a sign that said "I AM A MAN". Was he being ironic, or has irony died? I couldn't tell. Another guy's sign bemoaned the fact that he couldn't purchase a senator. A dissatisfied group of older citizens evidently had purchased a senator, but got a lemon: their banner was an open letter to Senator John Kerry, with a laundry list of policy items they wanted him to pursue. I didn't see the Senator there, so hopefully they sent him a copy in the mail.

As the parade trailed by the chants blurred together - they were weak chants, really, lost in the commercial bustle of a city built for the 99% who buy into the capitalist system.

Some of the signs I saw were sensible - "END THE WAR" and "MILTON FOR PEACE". Others were mean-spirited, like the chant "STOMP THE RICH!". A few were wishful thinking, like "WE DON'T NEED YOUR JOBS, YOU NEED OUR LABOR". Unconvincing. And a few were downright idiotic - "END THE WAGE SYSTEM!" Didn't we fight a Civil War to guarantee every American the right to participate in the wage system? Do you really want to go back to the other way?

The parade tailed off. There was a woman wearing a wig with an unopened can of cat food balanced (or glued?) right on top of her head. She certainly seemed happy with the way America is right now. So did the guy riding a tricycle with one pooch sitting behind him on the trike and another pooch riding on a little wagon he was pulling. He had a large American flag and the dogs had red-white-and-blue bandannas. The last man in the parade was a jester with three different woodwinds in his belt riding a unicycle.

The kids are alright.

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