Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Is Why

Why has the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement taken much of the world by storm? Because Wall Street and the financiers wield too much power! They control the flow of money -- to their own benefit, of course -- and they can choke off anyone at anytime. If you don't think so, take a look at the story below by Dan Gillmor.
Suppose you are the proprietor of an information service. Your customers buy what you sell using the major payment systems such as Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal. The information you provide is greatly upsetting to powerful people who would prefer to keep it a secret. You have been charged with no crime, much less convicted of one. But one day, you discover that all of these payment systems – quite obviously responding to pressure from the government but citing no actual legal authority – are refusing to accept money from your customers on your behalf.

This, sadly, is not a supposition. It is nearly the precise situation that WikiLeaks has encountered since late last year, stripping most of the revenue away and now, as reported this week, forcing the whistleblowing media operation to suspend all activity except fundraising in a struggle merely to survive.

If this was happening to any traditional media company, it would be a scandal, and the media in general would be screaming about the threat to free speech it represented. While the news media are covering the WikiLeaks situation, they are not offering serious support in ways that matter to an organisation with which they have much more in common than not.

The New York Times has often angered American politicians and bureaucrats in recent decades – and in fact, the Times's activities in ferreting out classified information differs not at all, in any practical sense (and probably in any legal way), from what WikiLeaks has done. Like other publications, the Times has reported on WikiLeaks' financial predicament. And as at others, the editorial page has not condemned the government and financial institution actions that have precipitated it.
You know, the issue is NOT about whether you support the work of WikiLeaks or not. It doesn't matter whether or not you're a fan of Julian Assange. No, the issue is that the financial elites can silence pretty much anyone they want to in the public sphere. They willfully control the flow of information and, if they don't like the information being spread, they can turn off the spigot.

This is why people have taken to the streets. They have decided to create their own news and spread their own information. The state -- that entity which is controlled by the elites -- is trying to thwart the effort, but, so far, the people are refusing to be silenced.

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