Sunday, December 25, 2011
PressTV: "OWS Scares Ruling Elite"
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A new Gallup survey records just 11 percent approval for the US Congress, the lowest single rating in Gallup's history of asking this question since 1974.
The rating, which was conducted from December 15 to18, comes at a time when Congress is wrangling once again at the last minute over extensions of a payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits and higher pay for Medicare doctors.
The previous low Gallup reading for congressional job approval was 13%, recorded in August, October and November of this year and in December 2010.
In an interview with Press TV, Caleb Maupin, with the International Action Center in New York, shares his thoughts on the issue.
The video offers the opinions of two additional guests: Sherwood Ross, a prominent American blogger and journalist and Paul Street who is the co-author of 'Crashing the Tea Party'. Below is the approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Caleb Maupin, we have been talking about this new poll 11 percent of Americans having faith in Congress and of course the lawmakers --many of them millionaires. I would like to get your reaction on that and then maybe you can tell us if that is a reflection on how it maybe ties in with Obama's approval rating which a recent poll actually is suggesting that he would not be reelected.
Maupin: Well, I would say that the recent poll results are due to the fact that there are thousands of families in this winter season who will be celebrating the holidays living literally intense all throughout the United States and people know that there are thousands and thousands of empty houses all through the United States as well.
There are empty houses all across the United States and there are people who have been evicted from their homes, because they cannot find work and they are unable to pay their mortgages and this situation is what people are facing. They are facing poverty and the horrific reality that in the country with the richest top one percent of any country in the world, people are still suffering and when people can see that, how can they approve of Congress? How can they approve of their government officials?
They have taken polls that say 12 percent of the US population favors communism over capitalism but only 11 percent approves of Congress. That is how low it is. With all the McCarthyism, communism is more popular in the US Congress. That shows that things are beginning to change and people are standing up for once and that is why they attempted to declare the Occupy Wall Street movement over many times.
But it is certainly not over. People are in the streets; there seems to be a confrontation all the time and it is continuing and the crisis will only continue until the forces of the one percent and the top ruling elite of Wall Street are forced to step down.
Press TV: First of all, it does not make sense, Caleb Maupin, does it? When they are planning on repression --in this case let us mention the occupy protesters-- which is going to cost money because it is going to bring in more forces; we are going to work probably overtime. Give us your comments on that and also a reaction to whether the US administration is getting the point here or why is not it that they are? Because from many corners, it is said that the civil unrest is perhaps arriving in the US, if it has not already in different counties perhaps.
Maupin: Well, I would say, first of all, in response to the whole issue with whether the money is there, there is plenty of money that the US government has. The vast majority of it goes to bomb countries, to set up military bases all around the world, and maintain empire for the defense of Wall Street's profits.
I am all for raising taxes on the rich, do not get me wrong, but it is a question of how that money is spent. They need to end the wars around the world and then the money would be there. They are cutting the programs massively, be that they always have money for the police and more money for means of repression.
With regards to the whole issue of the prison system, the prisons and the police are largely being privatized now. You have private contractors in the military. All over Iraq, you have private military contractors, who Wall Street banks are getting kickbacks from these things, whereas the social programs are being cut, because these things actually go to help people and not to help big banking institutions and not to help the ruling elite.
There is a great fear on the part of the ruling elites right now, because they fear the fact that people are waking up and are furious with the facts, the conditions, that they forced upon them. Things are beginning to change; we are going to see a tightening of the apparatus and a tightening of the violence and this national defense authorization act is an incarnation of that.
They are trying to scare people and they are preparing --they are bracing-- for the fact that the Occupy Wall Street movement is just the beginning. What began in Tunisia in January and in Egypt was just the beginning of a global revolt against the monopoly power of the ruling elite and they are trembling right now and they are going to do everything they can to restrain the people from taking what is rightly theirs, their seats as the rulers of the world.
Press TV: Caleb Maupin, where do you see this going in terms of how the occupy movement is going to occur in terms of its intensity and keeping the momentum and having any say when it comes up to the votes that are supposed to count --if you agree with it-- in 2012?
Maupin: Well, there was a saying among activists and revolutionaries in this country about a hundred years ago and they said if voting could change anything, it would be illegal. I think a lot of people believe that because when we go to polls, we have the choice of a Democrat who supports the wars, supports repressing people and is in the pocket of Wall Street, or a Republicans who supports the wars, supports continuing repressing people and is also in the pocket of Wall Street.
The beautiful thing about the Occupy Wall Street movement is that people are no longer channeling their anger into the useless stage called elections. People are pouring into the streets; their feet are their votes and they are out in the street and they are confronting the state and the police and they are beginning to see that this idea that this is the freest country in the world and there is total freedom in the US is a deception.
They are ready to go out and they are ready to fight, to make it not a deception but to make it reality and to make a world where people are indeed free, but they realize it won't come through voting, it will come through being in the streets, from standing up and from engaging in a struggle for true democracy.