Will You Stand With Me And Wear The Badge Of The 99%?
From a reader.
Recently I flew across the United States. During my travels I wore a home-made “99%” patch on the front of my shirt. It was a simple patch created with paper, a marker and masking tape. Clean, shaved and dressed casually I looked like the middle-aged, middle class American man that I am. Without my patch harried travelers and airport workers for the most part would not notice me.
I wore my patch to humanize Occupy participants. I’ve been participating in Occupy activities in my hometown, and I’ve found that the others are people like me. People who want to make their country or the world a better place for all. I do not agree with all of the prescriptions for improvement suggested by everyone that I’ve met at Occupy. I do not agree with all of the ideas of everyone that I know. Different people believe different things. This is not a weakness; it is a strength. I do not speak for everyone. I speak for me. I wore my patch to present an Occupier to a population who see only what mass media chooses to show them.
I wore my patch because I object to my country being a police state, and airports illustrate the police state that America has become. At the airport I was expected to submit to a naked-body scan. I declined and was groped instead. I object to theater security. It is a fraud–not improving security but traumatizing and demeaning. It conditions people to submit to a police state. I wore my patch because I am tired of being told that I should be scared and docile. I wore my patch because I am not a sheep.
I wore my patch and expected to be laughed at and mocked. I expected a public that had been told that Occupiers are dirty and lazy would laugh at me to mask their own insecurities. I was wrong. Not one person made any negative remark that I heard. I was questioned. “What does your patch mean?” I tried to explain. Sometimes my explanation was adequate. Sometimes I was applauded. One middle-aged man in an expensive suit said “nice sign” as he hurried past. I thanked him and suggested that he could wear a patch, too. I wore my patch hoping that others would follow my lead.
I wore my patch to learn how random people would react to it. The person walking through an airport who saw me and my patch would almost certainly react instinctively. I observed. Many did not notice me or my patch. Others did and stared until they realized that I was looking back at them. For the most part the people with jobs at the airport (cleaning, delivering goods and TSA staff on break) took no notice. Among the many who did notice, the instinctive response was sometimes caution and often positive. I wore my patch to see who was awake.
I wore my patch because I am tired of politicians wearing an American flag while undermining the ideals America claims. The political parties in the US might just as well be Pepsi and Coke, as their differences are flavors and packaging. I am disgusted that the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been shredded. I wore my patch because I know that every empire created by man will collapse.
I wore my patch to honor Gandhi and all who have tried to create a world where the rights of all are respected. To honor Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. To honor Stephen Biko and Nelson Mandela. I wore my patch to honor those who resist the despotic regime in North Korea and to honor the man who stood up to the tanks in Tiananman Square.
I wore my patch because I have read George Orwell and studied history, and I think for myself. I am told by mainstream media and the US government that a handful of disgruntled Saudi youths forced a peace-loving nation to start two wars of occupation. I am told that Osama bin Laden taunted us for decade as we carried out these wars until we killed him and disposed of his body at sea before any verification could take place. Emmanuel Goldstein (“1984”) lives, dies, is reborn and speaks as the author requires. The Attorney General says that Iranians hired Mexicans to kill Saudis in the United States, and I laugh. I know about the Reichstag Fire and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. I know that powerful countries falsely accuse weak countries of starting the wars that are terrorism. I wore my patch to say killing is wrong.
I wore my patch while sitting in a busy airport and a pilot stopped and asked if he could sit at my table. He questioned me relentlessly. He seemed to always take the other side of my argument. I mentioned Jon Corzine and MF Global. I said that Corzine had been a leading candidate for Treasury Secretary. The pilot told me that Tim Geithner is a criminal. Common ground had been achieved. We are members of the 99%. We are those who are defrauded by government-sanctioned criminals. I wore my patch to say lying and stealing are wrong.
The pilot wanted to know what Occupy was about. What are our goals? A better society was not an adequate answer for him. I told him that I want rule of law. I explained what this meant, and he told me that he wanted rule of law, too. We spoke about our common interests unrelated to Occupy. I did not have a chance to tell the pilot that I also want peace (not just in my country but throughout the world), and I did not tell him that I want false flag operations to be recognized so that they will cease to be used to scare people into supporting war and tyranny. I wore my patch because I want justice to be blind and for the laws to apply equally to all. I wore my patch because I want peace and freedom.
I wore my patch to celebrate that God has given me and every other person free will. I wore my patch to say life is precious.
I made a patch from paper, and I put it on my shirt with tape. From the reactions of others I realized that I was wearing a badge. A badge that says I am a free person and I stand up for humanity. Will you stand with me and wear the badge of the 99%?