Protests can paint the picture

Every single thing we do on this planet can bring about protest. For every decision we make, there can be another person who disagrees with it. Fair enough, itÕs called freedom of speech, freedom of thought or democracy.

There are times when protest occurs because of discrimination and the evil that men do. And there is a lot of that going on. Think Enron, starvation in Africa, the indiscriminate choice of who in the military will be sent to a foreign war, destruction of the rain forests and of late, Wall Street.

The cover of this issue shows a scene from the Occupy Wall Street protest which has found root in other countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. A strong message is coming forth: those who have, who continue to have, have done so at the expense of those who have not – those who have lost money via financial institutions and those who continue to face an uncertain life because of a lack of financial resources.

And then there is Europe… a real blight on life because of the continuing uncertainty of debt in countries like Greece and Spain… and the United Kingdom. The people who are having their social security trimmed, who have lost their jobs and are struggling to hang on have a point. They want to know why they have to suffer while the wealthy continue to exploit and reap the rewards.

Let’s look at some other examples… tyrants like Muammar Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, don’t exist anymore. For years they pillaged their country’s resources to look after their own, to build enormous financial reserves and assets to benefit their families and hangers – on.

Remember Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania? He and his fellow officials had suits made for them out of third-rate materials to illustrate to their people how broke the country was Ð only to go to resorts of a weekend, living the life of Riley while the people went without.

Man’s inhumanity to man is not new…it is a giant toothache which continues to cause pain around the world. Right now, while you are reading this, someone is being dishonoured, made powerless, impotent and made to feel inadequate because of an overbearing, bullying approach to power and greed by another person or a country.

In the beginning of this year there was discussion about the vulnerability of the Arab world because of the single-minded dictators (like Gadaffi, like Assad) who lived there. It was even suggested that one by one these kinds of rulers will fall. This projection is looking more and more likely with those who made the change in Libya suggesting to those in Syria that they do the same thing.

And it’s not only leaders in such countries who need to be on their toes. Some of the world’s largest institutions controlled by philanthropists may need to keep their eyes open especially as they are seen as beneficiaries to other’s misfortune.

It needs to be said here, though, that we can also make our own luck; that envy for another man’s success can only be that.

Lawlessness is not acceptable. Destroying a person’s livelihood through envy is a criminal offence.

But flip over the coin and feel compassion for those manipulated by economic systems Ð by greed merchants who want to take all.

Consider through globalisation the sweat shops of Asia where workers have to buy their own fresh water from the meagre amount of money they are paid.

Now think of the unbranded pair of jeans they manufacturer for a pittance which is sent to a country, where once to be labelled and sold for an exorbitant amount of money. Much more than what the worker earns.

Also consider, however, the fact that some of these workers have been given a job and their children an education. A positive side, a glimmer of hope.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters, from Seattle to Sydney, are dissatisfied about the state of their economy and their country and the unfair way the poor are being treated while the rich keep on keeping on.

The point of this article is that once upon a time protestors were seen to be from the left, or misguided, or even people with time on their hands for a ‘rent a protest’. But not anymore. They are but a reflection of a heck of a lot of ill-feeling in a world of so much disenchantment.

They want a lot of different things to happen in different ways in different countries. It may be higher taxes for the rich, jobs for young people, cheaper housing, and keeping pensions for the elderly.

Across the world we need change, a decent review of how we are doing things. The old systems are not working anymore.

-Doug Green

 

 

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