Activists organize protests, demonstrations, letters to people in power etc. - all the tried and true methods that bring results - occasionally. But the situation for the 99% got worse over the last 30 years in spite of some small gains. There are 100s of various organizations and agencies with great sounding names and promises, but they're fragmented, their mandates are limited or their true purpose is just to draw salaries from government funds. So most of the time you get "sorry, we can't help you"s or referrals somewhere else and the ping-pong begins. Eventually, you get fed up and give up.
While Occupy movement develops, people lose homes, go without medical care and die, suffer from abuse, fraud etc. They can't wait for rosy future, they need help here and now. Occupy is still in its infancy and its long-term success remains to be seen, but to add to already established practices that concentrate on general goals to achieve progress for all, why not expand on occupying foreclosed homes idea and help people with whatever serious situation they have in the meantime?
Let's say you, little David, have a problem. You have a choice: either give in to Goliath or fight it alone. Most people give in because wasting time, energy and often money is not worth it - more often than not, they will lose. Asking for help is not "cool" and we're shamed into silence and self-sufficiency. . Individualism is brainwashed into every American, because the principle "divide and conquer" works to control the minds of the masses. (A fantastic British documentary series The Century of the Self - free on youtube - exposes the birth and development of propaganda)
But what if each little David got a few other davids on his side? What if they show up together, help resolve the problem and publicize the result? Or loss?
So let's create a 99% community self-help network: Musketeers, People's List or People Shield or whatever. If someone needs help, others will volunteer to help out. When they need help themselves, the rest of the community will be there to support them. Their wins and settlements are published and their losses will provoke further actions from other members of the community. No more exploiting lack of knowledge, poor language skills or other weaknesses of the 99%. Knowing the entire community is behind every member, corporations, governments - any power entity will think twice before imposing foreclosures, fees, unfair practices, fraud etc.etc. The idea is not to wait for change from those in power - prevent them from continuing the status quo in every individual case making the current injustice system unenforceable. It will be a labor union of the 99%.One for all and all for one.
A weekly or monthly newsletter with lists of companies and organizations that resolved the problem and those that did not will expose them to the community. Those conducting a fair business will be rewarded with mass community participation and those who do not will be boycotted. Government agencies and politicians will be treated the same way and exposed if they do not stand up for people they're supposed to protect.
A website with sections Help! for those who need it and a list of those who are willing to help them can be created. The word of actual free help will spread like fire, membership will grow and become a unified force for change. Ground up.
The idea will need practical solutions to be discussed and implemented. Here are some:
- to reach the public, publicize the creation of the new self-help community in every possible media outlet, fliers, posters, TV community access channels, PBS, radio announcements, ethnic publications, stores, schools and government agencies postings, calls for media coverage etc. Once started, the word of mouth will be the best outreach
- those willing to help can control their level of involvement. The web page for them can specify if they're willing to co-sign a letter, talk to the person in need, provide advice, do the necessary research, participate in negotiations or? They can also specify if they're willing to be contacted or contact the person in need themselves. All this will provide comfort in their ability or willingness to get involved.
- those in need should be able to contact someone and get a quick reply be it by posting on the webpage or contacting any person volunteering for that. Emergency contacts can rotate among help volunteers on strictly voluntary basis.
- solicit help from various action, legal and consumer protection groups to provide knowledge and resources,
- your suggestion here