Oftentimes, people ask how it’s possible for Americans to overcome backward ideas and become less racist, sexist, bigoted, and more class-conscious. The Occupy Wall Street movement provides a perfect example of how mass struggle and solidarity can change the worldview and perspective of millions of people.
To wit: A January 2012 Pew Research Center study found that,
As a result [of the Occupy movement], in the public’s evaluations of divisions within American society, conflicts between rich and poor now rank ahead of three other potential sources of group tension — between immigrants and the native born; between blacks and whites; and between young and old. Back in 2009, more survey respondents said there were strong conflicts between immigrants and the native born than said the same about the rich and poor.
In other words, despite years of successfully convincing working people that their biggest enemies were other workers of differing racial or national backgrounds, the ruling class began to lose its hold on the minds of American workers in the face of a bold, progressive, all-embracing Occupy movement which finally and unabashedly put the reality of class conflict before the eyes of the public.
In the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m., hundreds of people — including those who have exhausted unemployment benefits, as well as students, labor and community activists — will gather in Union Square NYC to commence an Occupation for Jobs.
Participants in the Occupation, which is being organized by the “Occupy 4 Jobs Network”, are demanding a massive public jobs program modeled after the Work Projects Administration of the 1930s, large enough to provide decent paying jobs to the 30 million unemployed and underemployed.
The Occupation for Jobs will also demand that immediate emergency measures be taken to aid the exploding numbers of unemployed people in New York City, including a moratorium on evictions and utility shutoffs, the expansion of food stamps and free public transportation for unemployed people.