Jeff Monson supports Occupy movement
“We’re suppose to have a democracy, which means rule by the people,” mixed martial arts fighter Jeff Monson told RT. What America has however, as made clear this week by hundreds — if not thousands — of protesters airing their grievances with Congress, is a vote bought by corporations and unrepresentative of the people.
“We didn’t want to be in Iraq — we were misled; and Afghanistan . . . they aren’t doing the things that we want to do,” said Monson, a self-declared anarchist and professional athlete. Instead, he said, Congress is just a “joke.”
“It frustrates me a lot,” said Monson. Rather than a voice representative of the American people, the US is instead offered with, as he put it, millionaires and billionaires that don’t represent the rest of the country. Instead, rather, “they represent the corporations and the mass media,” said Monson.
While Magnum might be just one American angry at the corporate buyout of the House and Senate, he is just a small sample of money, as made evident by Tuesday’s Occupy Congress demonstration in Washington. Even in wintery Washington weather, demonstrators came out in droves to protest.
Four months after the Occupy began, however, will the movement move on?
Reflecting on how the movement has changed since it began in Lower Manhattan, Monson said that the seed has been planted as far as how the rest of the Occupy protests will take form. People have taken to the streets across the world, Monson recalled, and four months later, they are still doing so. It will take more to make the movement get stronger though, he stressed, and as more people are irritated with the conditions of America, he thinks that that is a certainty.
“If you have a place that you’re living at right now, you’re barely making your bills . . . are you going to sacrifice that, potentially lose those things, to go protest?” asked Monson, who said that comfort is the only reason that more Americans haven’t joined their local Occupy encampments. “As more and more Americans are being discomforted by losing their jobs,” he added, “I think you’re going to see the movement grow.”
“We need a social change, not a political change,” said Monson. “The only way a social change is going to happen is if the masses, us, stand up and say we’ve had enough.” Those that represent the people aren’t affected to the same degree, said Monson, so “they’re not going to do it themselves.”
“The corporations, the government officials — they’re making money; they’re doing fine. They don’t have to worry about making their next mortgage payment,” said Monson. “We’re the ones that are worried about this. We’re the ones that need to step forward and make a change.” And as conditions worsen, believes Monson, more Americans will step up.
Meanwhile, the movement is still going strong weeks, if not months, after skeptics predicted its demise.
“Every little victory in the long run is going to make a difference,” said Monson. “It’s going to take little pushes and little victories here and there. We just got to push forward.”
Even those comfortable with current conditions should be supportive of the movement, he added, because while many Americans are in decent standing, the movement, while condemned by others, is only the latest example of civil disobedience waged to make things work better for the rest of the world.
“We’ve got to realize, all the changes that have ever been made — the civil rights movement, the unions — they all broke the law to make those changes,” said Monson. “At the time, they were demonized and seen as criminals . . . But not we look back and go, ‘Wow, we’re so glad they stood up to the way the system was.’”