Shamus Cooke: In order to unite all working Americans into a powerful coalition, Medicare for All should be demanded, so that all Americans will see their interests reflected in the fight.
Shamus Cooke: For Occupy to grow into a democratic revolutionary movement, the working majority of the population must join in, requiring that Occupy broadcast a message based on concrete working-class demands.
Shamus Cooke: The labor movement has a foot in both worlds; one in step with the Occupy Movement and the other with the Democrats, who are working to crush Occupy outright.
Shamus Cooke: The Occupy Movement will be crushed if the demands being fought for do not connect with working people. A key characteristic of any powerful social movement is the appearance of successive, large demonstrations that draw in new layers of working people, students, and the elderly.
Shamus Cooke: If the national Occupy Movement fought for a massive public jobs program and against cuts to social programs by massively taxing the wealthy and corporations, the vast majority of working people would join the movement until it was capable of actually winning these demands.
Shamus Cooke: If the Occupy Movement demanded that the wealthy and corporations be taxed to create jobs and prevent cuts to social programs, the 99% would see a movement built in its own image
Shamus Cooke: The modern far-right’s populist demands can be discredited by the Occupy Movement with one stroke; if we make class-specific demands that clearly benefit working people at the expense of the wealthy and the big corporations, the right wing will be disarmed.
Shamus Cooke: The Occupy Movement has more than room for an umbrella of demands from diverse sections of working class people, but now we must focus on what unites the vast majority, since the corporations have focused on dividing us for decades.
Shamus Cooke: It should be no surprise that a city dubbed “Little Beirut” by President Bush Senior — due to the large protests against him — began its “occupation” on a level on par with Wall Street.
Shamus Cooke: Ultimately, the Occupy Wall Street protests have already succeeded. The movement has successfully re-focused the nation’s debate on who ruined the economy and who should be targeted, shifting blame away from immigrants, unions, and other groups of working people, like public employees.
Shamus Cooke: In response to Obama’s tax plans, progressive groups cheered and Republicans snarled; both reactions were consciously exaggerated.
Shamus Cooke: It should be painfully clear to even the most reality-blind politicians that the private sector has no interest in creating jobs; they are quite content sitting on their mountains of cash until wages fall low enough — due to massive unemployment — for them to hire more labor.
Shamus Cooke: Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured.