As a long-time political activist I was intrigued to say the least when something calling itself “Occupy Wall St” appeared on the national scene out of the clear blue sky in the summer of 2011. “Who are these guys?” I wondered.They didn’t appear to be affiliated with (or a front group of) any of the leftist political parties I was aware of, yet they had very correctly deduced several “home truths” about the economic crisis occuring in the US and around the world. They did not blame an “act of God” or Mexican immigrants for the crisis: they blamed the big US and international bankers and the criminals on Wall St. And they understood that both of the big bourgeois political parties in the US – not just the Republicans, but the Democrats as well – were responsible for creating the US housing bubble and its subsequent collapse, which had sent the world’s economy into the toilet. This bipartisan swindle had led to the most severe worldwide economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Occupy Wall St. further declared that they didn’t want to have anything to do with either of the two pro-capitalist political parties in the US… and they correctly noted that the Democrats were every bit as criminally responsible for the collapse of the US economy as the Republicans. This refusal to support either of the twin parties of the US capitalist class was significant, especially in the run-up to the 2012 US presidential elections. I wanted to see if this opposition to the Democrats – long touted by most of the left as “the lesser of two evils” – was for real, or if the Occupy movement was just another front for the Democrats, possibly organized by MoveOn.org or some such fake opposition group.
In short, Occupy Wall St. intrigued me, and I determined to make my way to their Chicago headquarters once they got up and running here. Within a few weeks, it was reported in the capitalist news media that Occupy Chicago was getting off the ground and that they had established their HQ at the corner of Jackson and LaSalle streets in downtown Chicago, at the center of the financial district in town. […to be continued]