"You really started something here. Hope on the streets..." - Batman BeginsThe N17 #Occupy Mass Action was powerful. The March in Chicago followed by the General Assembly (GA) at the Thompson Center is an indication the bitter Chicago Winter will not be enough to dissapate the Occupiers.
Attending OccupyChi GA's is informative and inspiring. It's a functioning example of Direct Democracy what the 1% now appears desperate to stop. However, unlike, the other #OccupyMovements, Chicago has not had a large long lasting entrenched Protest site. For that reason, Chicago has also not seen the massive over-the-top paramilitary sweep and clear bulldozer operations Oakland and New York and now several other cities have experienced.
46 arrests were made, but The Full-Lockdown 1% Solution has yet to be applied to OccupyChi.org. Although the previous arrests of almost 50 little old ladies, members of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, was bad enough.
At the N17 OccupyChi GA, the big item on the agenda was Rahm Emmanuel's 2012 Budget. It was correctly pointed out this budget, like all Austerity Plans, is solely for the benefit of the 1% and at the expense of the 99%.
The Stack, which included a CTA member, a CPS teacher, a long time striker against the Congress Hotel, an OccupySouthSide leader, an off-topic Ron Paulian, and several others focused on specifically condemning Rahm Emmanuel and his budget, and the decision to close of 6 of 12 Mental Health Facilities in Chicago while the others will be privatized. Of all the 99%, those suffering from mental illness or disability are the least able to defend themselves.
Several Beautiful Protesters from the November 15th Mental Health Care Action held at City Hall also spoke. Those protesters spent over 10 hours outside Rahm's office denouncing his budgetary decision to close the clinics.
But, here's the problem. While I fully support condemning Rahm's 2012 Budget, Emmanuel is a tool. Rahm is merely the pruning shears for the 1%. The key is to identify his holders. Who are the Companies which will control these privatized mental health hospitals? Who's on the boards of the Companies? How much will they reap from rationing care to the disabled? What kind of exclusive contracts have they signed to provide mandatory care? What expenses will these private companies be able to illegally slough off onto the people, as Illinois Blue Cross Blue Shield did*, while the profits are funneled to their off-shore accounts?
Rahm's budget is akin to Paul Ryan's Coupon for HealthCare or Scott Walker's Union Busting. The 1% will always be able to find a willing political tool to carry out their orders and steal the wealth of this nation. The key is not to break the tools but to "break" the hands of the 1% thus loosening their stranglehold on the Nation and We, the People forever.
*- Illinois Blue Cross Blue Shield, the states' largest health insurance company, paid $25 million to settle allegations that it denied coverage to sick children in need of nursing care by "fraudulently" shifting their claims to the state's Medicaid program.