Today, we know that the "American way of life" – the model that the rest of the world is meant to aspire towards – has resulted in 400 people owning the wealth of half of the population of the United States. It has meant thousands of people being turned out of their homes and their jobs while the US government bailed out banks and corporations – American International Group (AIG) alone was given $182 billion.
The Indian government worships US economic policy. As a result of 20 years of the free market economy, today, 100 of India's richest people own assets worth one-quarter of the country's GDP while more than 80% of the people live on less than 50 cents a day; 250,000 farmers, driven into a spiral of death, have committed suicide. We call this progress, and now think of ourselves as a superpower. Like you, we are well-qualified: we have nuclear bombs and obscene inequality.
The good news is that people have had enough and are not going to take it any more. The Occupy movement has joined thousands of other resistance movements all over the world in which the poorest of people are standing up and stopping the richest corporations in their tracks. Few of us dreamed that we would see you, the people of the United States on our side, trying to do this in the heart of Empire. I don't know how to communicate the enormity of what this means.
They (the 1%) say that we don't have demands… perhaps they don't know, that our anger alone would be enough to destroy them. But here are some things – a few "pre-revolutionary" thoughts I had – for us to think about together:
We want to put a lid on this system that manufactures inequality. We want to put a cap on the unfettered accumulation of wealth and property by individuals as well as corporations. We demand:
• An end to cross-ownership in businesses. For example, weapons manufacturers cannot own TV stations; mining corporations cannot run newspapers; business houses cannot fund universities; drug companies cannot control public health funds.
• Two, natural resources and essential infrastructure – water supply, electricity, health, and education – cannot be privatized.
• Three, everybody must have the right to shelter, education and healthcare.
• Four, the children of the rich cannot inherit their parents' wealth.
A report in Informationclearinghouse. Here.