A short time ago I visited the Occupy Los Angeles protest site around Los Angeles City Hall. I spoke with John Waiblinger, a representative of the LGBTQ community. Here's what he had to say about Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles and the 99% Movement.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. What's your name?
My name is John Waiblinger. I'm here to support Occupy Los Angeles, and to organize an LGBTQ group for the movement.
Why do you feel that the LGBTQ community should be a part of the 99% Movement?
The whole message of the movement in our society is that we are placing the pursuit of corporate profits over people. That's why I'm here. I also want to articulate the needs of LGBTQ community, including non-discrimination and the protection of civil rights, so I feel very much that I am part of the movement.
How did you feel about the political system ten years ago, compared to how politics are in America right now?
I don't think the political system has changed. It's still controlled by big money. It's very hard for people to get their voices heard. The focus seems to be on protecting laws that help support corporate oligarchy, which includes profits, profits, profits...
What we should be doing is taking care of the environment and taking care of our families. That's more important than corporate profits.
So you feel that ten years later, the system hasn't changed much. What for you was the defining moment that made you come down to City Hall and demonstrate?
I couldn't believe that a grass roots movement just sprung up that articulated a different narrative than the one we've always heard, which is all about the deficit, cutbacks, and taking rights away from people. This movement is saying, "Hey, there's plenty of wealth and resources in this country, but there's something very wrong with how we are distributing these resources." I'm so glad there's finally a movement that's talking about this. It's very exciting.
So, you don't feel that the Tea Party represents how people really feel about what's wrong with America?
I think that there's a lot of anger in this country. People feel that their needs are not being met. The Tea Party doesn't really represent a proper analysis of what that's about. I think that they have been totally co-opted by the right wing and the Republican Party. They don't represent my perspective of what's going on.
Do you believe the Tea Party stands for the protection of civil rights?
Not at all. They've allied themselves with discriminatory organizations and have discriminating perspectives.
If a person is sitting on their couch right now, and they don't care about what's going on, what's the one most important statement you'd like to tell this person to get them involved? What should be their wake-up call?
These are ordinary people coming together to say something different and make a change. I would suggest that they come down here and see what it's like. Read about it and think about how much the mainstream media channels our thinking and dialogue in a certain direction. This is an alternative. I believe that this alternative is still trying to articulate what it's voice is, but it's open, it's participatory...it's the kind of democracy we haven't seen in this country for quite some time.
Well, God bless that.
To reach John Warblinger and OccupyEquality, visit their Facebook page right here.
Here's how you can help to bring real participating democracy back to the American government. Money, letters of support, supplies...everything counts.
You can donate to Occupy Wall Street, here.
You can donate to Occupy Los Angeles, here. They recently posted this important banking update on their Facebook page.
The Media Team seeks to interview & film BANK CLOSERS who have closed, or will be closing their accounts Thursday 10th - Saturday 12th.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: BANK CLOSERS
Info: your contact info and availability for interview ~pj
Here's a link to their Amazon wish list.
The mayor has been incredibly supportive of the protesters. You can support him right back, here.
Governor Jerry Brown could take out Occupy Los Angeles with a single phone call. Write him a letter and thank him for the support.
A letter to the LAPD in support of the demonstrations and a big donation to the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation will help the movement. Remember, cops are also the 99%.