From the start, the goal of One New Jersey has been to act outside the traditional political party infrastructure to stand up in defense of New Jersey’s families, who find themselves under constant attack in today’s political and economic climate. As such, we’ve watched Occupy Wall Street with great interest.
And now that the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to all fifty states, we’ve decided it’s time to speak out.
It seems that Chris Christie’s New Jersey has become a model of life in Wall Street’s vision for America over the past two years. At a time of unprecedented economic difficulty, those who can least afford it – from students to retirees, single working mothers to middle class families – are being asked to foot the bill for corporate excesses and billionaire bailouts. The most vital social services are cut as taxes on the wealthiest 1% remain at historic lows, with so-called “conservative” lawmakers demand they be lowered even further.
The events of the last few weeks have been inspiring for us here at One New Jersey. The simple message, “we are the 99%,” encompasses so much of what we believe in – after all, we find our inspiration in the Bruce Springsteen quote at the very top of our website, “Nobody wins unless everybody wins.” Those suffering the most in the current economy, in New Jersey and across the country, are often overlooked, treated merely as a demographic. The real world impact of government policies is ignored in favor of a media-driven back-and-forth. The pundits are fond of asking who are the winners and who are the losers, but for them, the answer is always parties, personalities, or celebrity candidates, never everyday people – the 99% – who ultimately have to live with the outcomes of these media spectacles. It’s no wonder people have finally taken to the streets to fight back.
Much has been made by cynical members of the media of Occupy Wall Street’s lack of formal leadership, singular demands or traditional structure. This is to be expected. Tired power structures have a vested interest in defending the status quo. The 24 hour cable news, for example, would much rather these protesters express themselves by commenting on their websites or directing your 140-character-or-less thoughts to their Twitter handles than take to the streets with a hand painted sign. We actually believe this free-flowing lack of traditional structure is the movement’s strength. What we’ve witnessed over the past few weeks has been as a spontaneous mass movement of the people – the purest expression of our democracy.
We may not agree with every comment or every action of every person taking part in the occupation of Wall Street, but we certainly support the spirit and bravery of their activism, speaking out for social and economic justice. The grassroots movement for fairness has found its voice and we here at One New Jersey could not be happier to hear it ring out loud.