Ralph Nader on the Occupation Movement


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“We’ve got a huge opportunity here because we have huge numbers of people,” said consumer advocate Ralph Nader. “There are twenty-five million Americans who want to work and who cannot find work, who cannot pay for the necessities of life. To take a phrase from history, that’s the ‘reserve army of the unemployed’ that’s going to fill all of these parks and plazas all over the country in the Occupy movement,” Nader said Oct. 15 at Freedom Plaza, the site of one of D.C.’s two ongoing occupations.

The Sept. 17 occupation of Wall Street has touched a nerve and set off a movement that has led to 1,512 “Occupy Together Meetups” throughout the U.S. and across the globe, according to OccupyTogether.org. “It is remarkable what a little more than 100,000 Americans, showing up and staying awhile have done in three weeks,” Nader wrote in an Oct. 11 piece entitled “Rumble from the People.”

“Young people are coming out of college [with] no job, huge student debt, unable to have an apartment, and they’re starting to say, ‘You know, why don’t we all get together and get our own tents on public space and show that the first major step of a democratic resurgence is showing up and staying,'” said Nader.

“Needless to say, they’ll get a lot of support from a lot of people of all ages all over the country. Standards of living are crumbling. The American Dream is turning into an American nightmare. The American Empire is launching wars all over the world that are criminal, unconstitutional wars of aggression, bleeding the public budgets from the necessities back home. And it’s time for the young people to inherit the mantle of justice that has been passed on to them by people throughout American history.”

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Related Stories:
Justin Rodriguez on the Ongoing Occupation of K Street, 10/9/11
Occupy Wall Street: A Movement is Born, 9/30/11
Nader On Obama’s (Anti-Union) Stroll Through Lafayette Park, 2/6/11

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