Are You the 99%?


It could be said that America is in the middle of a very real revolution. On September 17, 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement began in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States with actions in over 1,500 cities globally.

Occupy Wall Street has inspired people across the country, including a veteran contingency aptly named Occupy Marines. These Marines are a group of non-active troop members that are calling on non-active Marines to support the movement. The group was formed online to support the Occupy Wall Street protests after videos circulated online of a Marine confronting New York City police, questioning their tactics used against peaceful demonstrators.

Occupy Marines wants people to participate in the movement, but asks supporters not to demonstrate in uniform, especially if they are still on active or reserve status. They also have a zero tolerance policy for any violence whatsoever, including verbal. They view security forces and police as potential recruits to their cause, because they are accountable to the people.

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Marines, like most idealistic social movements, want real political solutions. Their ideals may seem foolishly utopian to outsiders, but to them it’s a sign of the deep political conviction that many of the protesters carry. Their slogan is “We are the 99%”, which refers to income inequality in the United States between the top 1%, who control about 40% of the wealth, and the rest of the population.

These intense political rallies have led to clashes between police and protesters, permitting people like Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Shamar Thomas to deliver powerful public speeches regarding the treatment of his fellow Americans. Physical confrontations have also occurred. Scott Olsen, a former marine and member of Veterans for Peace, was injured by a police projectile while participating in the Occupy Oakland march.

What is your stance on Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Marines? Do you support it, are you against it, and are you the 99%? Leave your comments below.


Photo thanks to eDsanca under creative commons license on Flickr.

26 thoughts on “Are You the 99%?”

  1. As a Vet my self, I’d like to know why my VA benefits (medical) are not alloted to me. I served my country, received an honorable discharge yet somehow our Federal Government says if you make more than 29,999 and were enlisted, I am not uneligable for these benefits? Yet on the flip side as a tax paying citizen I pay for their health care benefits? What’s not right with this picture?

    1. I emlisted in the U.S. Seabees in 1973 retired in 1996. When I joined the government told me that if I stayed in for 20yrs or more I would get my medical taken care of for the rest of my life. Then I retired and the congress passed a law saying that I have to pay for insurance (Tri-care). It is less than $500 per year but it was suppose to be totaly provided. That was the reason we did not get paid the same money as the people that did/do in the privite sector. How about correcting Clinton’s congresses miss dead. Give us our medical back!!!! We earned it.

  2. I’m still unclear as to what the primary goals are in this 99% movement. I want solutions too, but not political solutions, those political types will not change. Those old farts have been in DC for far too long and have cluttered our government with all types of red tape and regulations that we don’t need. But fail to do anything about it, then and now. What we need are real people running for public office that actually give a hoot about our nation and our role in the global community. These old farts have had decades to set up a defense and protect themselves. I wish I could afford to stand out and protest on behalf of some cause, but I can’t afford it. Anyone wanna loan me a sign a few bucks for gas and food?

  3. weldon lee castleman jr

    Hell Yeah i’m part of the 99 %! What corporate America has done to this country is a crying ass shame. I’m mad as hell and i’m not going to take it anymore!

  4. Its time the veterans stand up an organise an be heard an lead the people an show our govt thier strenghth is lost when the people stop voting for them an demand chang for once.

  5. ConservativeSoldier

    Why no, no I’m not a wannabe Socialist & traitor to my country. I shall pray for these foolish souls too blinded by thier greed to see the real problems. Tsk, tsk.

    1. I am blessed to have been born here and to have the freedom to be poor or rich if I choose. If I take out a loan, I pay it back and I do not feel anybody owes me anthing. I bought a house I could afford and I went to college that I could afford.

  6. I am against it. These folks are advocating the dismantling of capitalism and the American Dream of hard work and self reliance.

  7. William C Sampson

    It is a right under the Constitution to gather in protest peacefully. However, I believe that the Occupy This and Occupy That contingency is spearheaded by a subversive, socialistic backed contingency. As a Vet I still hold my vows to protect my country from enemies foreign, and domestic. Forces are at work behind the scenes that military folk, vets and current servers must beware of. Protest as it is your right but not in uniform, and silently. Observe then Vote accordingly.

  8. William C Sampson

    Term limits for all politicians is the way to go. No more than two terms. It’s good enough for the President, it should be good enough for the House and Senate.

  9. The constitution expresses the right to peaceably assemble and speak freely. The Occupy movement is keen on saying that they are doing just that…

    They are lying, and are utterly delusional.

    Bleeding the public dry to carry on their insipid and gravely misguided shenanigans, disrupting the businesses of hard working folks, denying use of public parks to the citizens who’s taxes pay for their upkeep, making loud and incessant noise throughout the the day and night disturbing the peace, impeding traffic thereby denying the right of peaceful passage to innocent citizens, violently clashing with police, accumulating waste, public promiscuity, destroying private and public property… These are all traits of criminal assholes. Any Marine should be ashamed to be associated with such a gang.

  10. I am an OLD Marine and a TEA Party member who love this country and would defend her to the death, some people don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. Where did you get the $550,000 dollars that OWS has in those God forsaken banks I will tell you Georgie boy who wants to ruin America and throw your dam asses out into the streets. Same as Van Jones he is laughing at you Dumbasses.

  11. I’m a Viet Nam veteran with combat action. IMHO, the only good thing about the VA is that if I use my VA ID card at Home Depot or Lowes, they’ll take 10% off my bill. Other than that, I avoid the VA, their filthy hospitals, rude staff and lousy doctors. As far as OWS, I don’t really care who is behind it as long as it brings beneficial change to this country. The America I live in today is not the America I grew up in, unfortunately. I grew up in one nation, under God.

  12. All the comments are about our politicians, but nobody is mentioning the banks and how about G.E. that made 13 billion in profits last year but did not pay any taxes, also american and british oil companies who have been breaking profit records for the last 8 yrs.

  13. OK Veterans of all. I have a message of Hope for all who can hear it. We all need to stand strong and proud for a just cause. There are too many divisions not wirking together to achieve a common goal. Too many imaginary lines in the sand. This is a very important time for all of us to play very close attention to why we are here and what are we going to do about it. We must clear our minds. We need to stand up right now and primal scream to the heavens that we do not want to live this way. We do not want to be sad and depressed. We do not want to cause any more pain. We want to live ,we want to thrive. The time is now to stand up and help other people find peace. That should be the common goal of all humans as a collective consciousness. Many have layed the ground work for us. It is our turn to pick up the pieces. Peaceful is the only thing that will work. Have your voice for peace be heard. It is your responsibility if you are able to internalize this message, to be in peace. Help your fellow humans, not for gAin of a material goal , but a spiritual one full of joy and happiness filled with everlasting light. Do not allow fear of anything clutter your mind. Cast fear inti the deep dark corners of the universe and repel it into a black sea of nothingness. Do not pay fear any attention, it is a clever distraction to nothingness. Live in the pure white light have no malice in your heart and help each other because it us the right thing to do. It It is the light thing to do. Veterans you are better equipped to HELP than any one person because you have felt the pain you have felt the void into nothingness and you realize that this is not what our true creator wanted. He didn’t want you to be sad and lonely he didn’t want you to hurt other people, you were created so you could enjoy life. That is the secret to happiness. To really KNOW what it means to help someone else. To be in the service of others of a common goal purposeful consciousness. That’s all I have to say for now. I am thankful for the opportunity to help with HUmanity. Remember you can change the world through a” whisper” you do not need to scream at the heavens once your intention is heard, you only need to ” whisper”.

  14. I agree with the comments regarding the incompetent VA. I am a Vet who is going through the C&P Exam process. I have never encounted as pathetic a group of Doctors Immunizations military career.

    You have all of these general medicine, foreign MD’s with no understing of what they are looking at (with the exception of one). A real great system for Vets.

    As for OWS and I would prefer
    that we leave all politics out of this blog.

    There are plenty of other places for it, but since you ask: I believe that most of OWS is simply misguided with few life or work experiences to base opinions on. In fact many don’t even know what they are protesting about. IMHO!

  15. Goals purpose? For peace in your heart!!! Start from within do it now start today with a clear intended purpose to want to help eachother from within we primal scream to the world to get they’re heads out of they’re asses and find the real reason why we are here on earth in this visible world. We need to get angry I mean really angry all of our anger all of our pain, remove all of the negative emotions from your being and soul and throw it away like the trash. Simply sending all the pain in the world to a dump trunk if despair, it is merely only trash which needs to be removed in the house. You start from within and cleanse your soul. These words are written it is said. Its time to do this thang.

  16. Remove The realization of fear. Allow it not to exist in your heart. Evil does not exist therefore it is nothing. Exactly it always will and is nothing. That is my greatest realization so far. Goin to sleep now talk to ya later. Off to sleep I go . Peace

  17. I am a Vietnam era Vet, and I have sons who are Veterans. I think that our government should be figuring out what things they could set aside in order to focus on getting our veterans what they need as the rotate back into society from their tours over in war zones. Things have changed so much since I served that there is no comparison.

    I am a supporter of the “Occupy” sit ins, protests etc. I have been upset and disgusted as our legislators and the POTUS have bailed out the huge corporations but have done nothing to help the people that really need it – WE are the backbone of this country and we should count!! But we don’t.

    I will be spending my spring/summer supporting any and all independent candidates and protesting my little heart out. You see, I am retiring in January – because I am older and cannot be promoted and Congress in its infinite wisdom has stopped COLA’s and other ways that might help me earn as much as others in the private sector. I have been earning the exact same amount without regard for what it really cost me to live and work here – for the past two years or more. I am worth more than that – and I plan to downsize and get busy – and cause just as much news as I can. I hope that all who read this will do the same – we need to stand Tall and let others know that We do matter.

  18. Not a fan. They appear to be misguided and uninformed. As a non-active duty Marine – ’65-’69, my perspective is different I am sure.

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