Virtual March on Wall Street

              

Ever since July when I first heard about the planned occupation of Wall Street,
I've wanted to pack my bag and join the brave people speaking truth to power.
Occupation and bodies in the streets seemed like the best way to shed some
light on the criminal behavior of Wall Street and its political enablers.

And it's working.

I'm still here in Colorado but I just joined the Virtual March on Wall Street.
Here's my message:

I urge you to check out the link and read messages from people all around the country.
It's powerful stuff.
Folks are hurting in a big way.

But there's power in numbers and there are lots more of us than them.
We are the 99%.

(Watch livestream here.)      

                   

Real People, Real Lives

                

On Monday I took my camera and notebook to the spaghetti dinner.

This is Dennis.
After I took his picture he simply said, "Thank god for the meal."

                                                         © Tracy Abell 2011

This is Wayne.
He told me, "The meal means a lot to me.  I haven’t had a whole lot of work for the past year."

                                                                                                                                          © Tracy Abell 2011

These are real people struggling with real-life problems.
I wish the powers that be would stop pandering to the already-rich, entitled people,
and throw substantial support to those hanging on by a thread.

Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse; the new meme is "we’ve all got to make sacrifices."
Except the power structure will ensure the rich get richer
while the disenfranchised poor pile up like so much forgotten trash.

They’re people.
                

Blog Action Day: Poverty

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When I read this year’s topic my first thought was, of course, food and shelter.  I’d planned to write about Grant Avenue Street Reach and the work we do feeding the homeless and working poor in Denver.  But then I decided to address the larger issue.

The people of the United States are suffering a collective poverty of morality.  And no, I’m not talking about nudity or profane language.  I’m referring to our complacency in the face of illegal invasion and occupation , torture , illegal wiretapping , assault on the poor affected by Hurricane Katrina, assault on the environment , illegal signing statements , and soldiers’ mental health issues.

Why aren’t we out in the streets with burning torches and pitchforks?  Where is our outrage?  And I include myself in this question.  Sure, I’ve written many letters to the editors, made numerous phone calls to my representatives, protested in the streets, signed petitions, knocked on doors, etc. 

But.  There are also days when I turn the page, shut off the television, click onto a different web site, all of the above in order to avoid the ugly truth that has become the United States.  I feel beaten down by the Bush administration’s use of The Shock Doctrine.  I feel powerless.  Overwhelmed.  And that’s just what they want.  A traumatized citizenry that refuses to act even in the face of ongoing immorality.

I’m optimistic Obama is going to win the election.  But I’m also worried people will think that’s enough to fix the mess Bush/Cheney/and Company created in the last eight years.  It won’t be.  We must hold the Obama administration accountable and demand the U.S. leaves Iraq.  Demand the closure of Guantanamo Bay and an end to torture.  Demand a return to the Constitution.  Demand those among us with the least get the help they need.  Demand bold action to protect this planet.  Demand an end to an out-of-control Executive branch.  Demand that those who serve this country are only asked to do so based on truth, and then given the help they need.

It’s way past time for us to disavow our national poverty of compassion and decency.  We can do so much better.