Occupy activist: US loses legitimacy, masses suffer as the wealthy rule

An Occupy activist says the US government has lost its legitimacy, wielding power to suppress people’s rights while propping the one-percenters.

There is an interview with Mark Mason, Occupy movement organizer in San Francisco, to further discuss the issue.The following is a transcription of the interview.Q: There’s been much anticipation of what’s next for the Occupy movement especially with the nicer weather, as our reporter just mentioned. What does Occupy have planned?Mason: That’s really driven by the local participation and the local general assemblies.I can say here that across the United States has been a broad interest in blocking home mortgage foreclosures. We have two million mortgage home foreclosures in the process right now. 3.6 million more are heading to the next 18 months.We have a stock of 11 million homes. And just think, if three people lived in a home, that’s 30 million people at risk of being thrown out of their homes by, primarily, the banks on Wall Street.Bank of America, by the way, handles like 17 percent of all home mortgages in the United States, has been a focus here in the San Francisco Bay area and across the nation to direct action out in the streets and blocking them successfully.During this past week, organizers have successfully blocked banks from foreclosing on homes.And there’s the student movement that’s been rising as well. Student debt is astronomical. Student debt right now is higher than the credit card debt in the United States. It’s around 1 billion dollars.And then we have the wars, the seemingly endless, endless wars as well.Q: Occupy has suffered encampment enclosures, arrests, etc. Is there a strategy for how to deal with those issues in future protest camps, etc?Mason: This is a universal condition. It’s perhaps the crisis of corporatist, capitalist nation-states. They’re no longer legitimate. Government forces are in power; they don’t have a legitimate government. They’re not acting responsibly by attacking protesters instead of arresting bankers.The strategy is that we’re going to have to expect repression. There’s repression in Bahrain, Moscow and Tahrir Square. And it often [nests] here in the United States and in the West coast as well.It’s going to happen. It’s an unfortunate part of the process of the all-global movement -- the global social justice movement throughout history has been beaten up by the police.It’s an unfortunate situation, but we are going to have to keep our focus, gain power from the corporations, from the one-percent, and continue on with our daily work. /129

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