Noam Chomsky's statement on the Wall Street protests
To anyone who knows of Noam Chomsky's background, it should come to no surprise that he has sent a "strong message of support to the activists at the Occupy Wall Street movement."
By the age of 13, Chomsky had identified with anarchist politics, forming the intellectual he is today. Because of who he is, his opinion on the current Occupy Wall Street protests is considered extremely relevant to the Wall Street movement and to many of its supporters.
"Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called "a precariat" — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also "too big to jail.' "The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course." (personal email from Noam Chomsky to Terri Lee)
Police carry away a participant in a march organized by Occupy Wall Street in New York on Saturday Sept. 24, 2011. Tensions are rising at the Occupy Wall Street protest, currently in its eighth day, as organizers for the protest claim that 80 have been arrested. Eyewitness accounts report that "dozens" have been arrested. Police would not confirm the exact number. Videos and eyewitness accounts show violent clashing between protesters and the police.
WNYC reports that "of the dozens arrested, most were for disorderly conduct, obstructing vehicular and pedestrian traffic, resisting arrest and, in one case, assaulting a police officer, the police said."
The skirmish escalated in Union Square Saturday afternoon, as Twitter users report a huge influx of police officers. This video, below, appears to show female protesters being penned and maced pepper-sprayed by police officers:
A political analyst, in wikiquote.com Chomsky is quoted as saying, "the best way to restrict democracy is to move the decision-making from the public to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations." He continues to describe the U.S. political system as a very marginal affair made of two political parties, so called…but considered them factions of the same party, the Business Party, a group of intellectuals who consisted of a herd of independent thinkers. He humorously went on to say, "Unfortunately, you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place." (Government in the Future, Poetry Center of New York, February 16, 1970) Born in 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Noam Chomsky's mother had belonged to radical activism of the 1930s, while his uncle owned a newsstand that was an intellectual center for professors who would discuss world philosophies. Professor Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is now recognized as one of the strongest anti-capitalist activists and intellectuals in the United States, in addition to being one of the nation's leading public academics and the most cited living author in the United States. A man whose commentaries are insightful, free of demagoguery, plainly spoken, and courageously honest, Chomsky has received multiple death threats because of his personal criticisms of the United States foreign policy. When teaching at MIT, he often receives undercover police protection.
In June of 2011, Chomsky was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in honor of promoting human rights, unfailing courage, and critical analysis of power as an American linguist. This is the only International Peace Prize awarded in Australia, promoting peace with justice. Chomsky was also awarded the IEEE Intelligent System's Al's Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to the field of Al and intelligent systems.
Noam Chomsky 1970
The Occupy Wall Street protest that began on September 17th in New York's financial district has entered its second week. Yesterday, scores of demonstrators were arrested during a march from the group's encampment at Liberty Plaza to Union Square, and more arrived from around the city and across the country. Similar protests and assemblies are apparently now being planned in over thirty cities.
Thousands of protesters descended on lower Manhattan last Saturday in response to a call for occupation-style protests against the influence of money in politics on the model of Egypt and Spain. Hundreds have camped in a nearby park every night since. Their numbers swell into the thousands during the day. More appear to be arriving from across the country on a regular basis.
numerous incidents of excessive force by police in the face of civil disobedience during the march to Union Square
Similar protests are now being planned in over thirty cities across the country, according to an informal umbrella site, called Occupy Together, which has become a hub for the spontaneous network nationwide.