Transcript: Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture: Hartmann: OccupyWallStreet...Who's going to win the revolution? 29 September '11
I have a message for the young people protesting in Manhattan - it’s really simple....
Time is on your side.
And the same thing can’t be said about NYPD officers like Tony Bologna who’re trying to silence you with pepper spray.
The same can’t be said about the corporate media executives who are trying to ignore your message.
The same can’t be said about the Wall Street banksters who’ve hijacked our economy - or the bought-off politicians who let them get away with it.
All of these people belong to those in power today - but who will certainly NOT be in power tomorrow - especially if you stay camped out in lower Manhattan - and in Chicago - and Los Angeles - and Boston - and Seattle - and Phoenix - and Washington, DC - and wherever this movement goes next.
We're not just seeing class warfare in this nation today - we're seeing the warfare of old, Reaganesque ideas against a reinvigoration of the ideals of the original young America - of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - of a concern for the General Welfare, to quote the Declaration and the Constitution.
Just look at the Tea Party protests over the last couple of years - and compare them with the movement that you folks have created on Wall Street and elsewhere around the nation.
On the one side you have billionaires on Wall Street who are desperate to stay in power - and have their voice amplified by corporate media moguls like Fox so-called News - who have one primary agenda, regardless of Party.
That agenda? To keep what Franklin Roosevelt called the "Economic Royalists," and my generation called "The Establishment" and your generation calls "the One Percenters," in power.
And on your side - you have young people - who came from all across America - on their own dime - to live on the streets, sleep in sleeping bags, get beaten by the police, and stand up for the other 99 percent of us.
You don't need a corporate blowhorn - you don't need anyone - because you're on the right side of history and cause - and they're on the wrong side.
You're on the side that Gandhi was on - the side that Martin Luther King was on - the side that will eventually write tomorrow's history books.
This isn't the first time there's been conflict in the streets of America - it happened in the 1960's too.
I was there - I was beaten by cops - I was gassed out on the streets with thousands of other kids who knew something was wrong with this country - and that something needed to change.
And we fought the suits in power - and we ended the Vietnam war - and we brought about at least the beginning of Civil Rights and women's rights, and in the 1960s we cut poverty in half in this country.
But - ultimately - the old forces of royalty and power and money were relentless, and kept pushing forward, creating think tanks and media and buying politicians left and right, putting their shills on radio stations in every city in America, and then creating their own Cable TV network.
They even created ALEC - the American Legislative Exchange Council - where corporations write laws for bought-off Republican lawmakers to introduce those laws into state legislatures.
And so, as Jefferson predicted so long ago, the cycles of time have rolled around, and again we are confronted by the struggle between the powerful, selfish few and the many who simply want freedom and a good life.
Reagan's counter-revolution is alive and well - and you are fighting against it today.
Learn this lesson - because you will win this struggle - if you stay united - and stay committed.
It's not going to be easy - the "powers that be" will not just relinquish their stranglehold on power.
They have the money - they have the power - and as they often like to brag - they even have the guns.
But the one thing they don't have - that you do - is a truly righteous cause.
As Gandhi told his peaceful revolutionaries when he confronted an entrenched colonial power with no moral authority, and hell-bent on ignoring the sands of time:
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you, then you win."
Keep it up - and you'll win.
That's The Big Picture.