The theme today is Resistance. It's being practiced in New York City, as Occupiers have retaken Zuccotti Park and planned to form a human wall around the Stock Exchange. It's being practiced in Chicago, where teachers are refusing to rubber-stamp a contract without having a chance to read it first. It's being practiced in Spain and Portugal, where thousands of people have rallied against the austerity being dictated to them by the very same financial cabal that destroyed the economy in the first place. It's being practiced in the streets of the West Bank where crowds of people are protesting the high cost of living in a region where the average wages are only $500 a month. And people in scores of Muslim countries have finally had it with the exceptional states of America's puppet regimes and occupations and drone strikes and military bases. And oh yeah, with cheesy movies dissing their religion.
If there is one country on the planet where people aren't fighting oppression today, I wish somebody would tell me where it is. It's as though everybody suddenly woke up at the same moment in time and realized they'd finally had enough.
Quite a few experts in government and media appear to be in shock that these resistance movements have not met their official expectations and quietly caved. The paramilitary police forces broke up the Occupy camps but they didn't break human spirits. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has just found out that Chicago teachers are willing to keep schools shut a few more days in order to prevent him from closing down hundreds of them forever. His nefarious plan to privatize education and enrich his cronies has been exposed for the world to see.
The global upswelling of outrage is continuing. The contagion of mass revolts, first made apparent in modern times with the Arab Spring and later with the Occupy movement one year ago, appears to be entering yet another phase. As Cornell University historian Ziad Fahmy puts it in a DiscoveryNews piece, each new revolt provides a template for the possible, and chips away at the fear people might have had of speaking up and taking to the streets.
"When people are oppressed," he says, "they will revolt."