Believers in the Occupy Wall Street movement calling themselves Contra Costa 99% are organizing their local coming out party today, Wednesday, October 12, from 4:00 p.m. til dusk, at the corner of North Main Street and Mt Diablo Blvd in Walnut Creek, CA. Literally within a stone’s throw of evil corporate profit-makers including Bank of America, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, and even an Apple Store, organizers hope to light a radical activist fire against…whatever.
An additional Occupy Walnut Creek is planned for October 19. The Contra Costa Democratic Party is egging on the gitation with signs and other resources. Additional branding for the Walnut Creek event includes an umbrella group, Occupy Together that is attempting to recruit participants for similar “actions” in other Bay Area locales.
Although the six people at the inception of the Contra Costa 99% do not intend to actually occupy a location by sleeping over, they are eager to show support for the Occupy movement, and will participate in the march on San Francisco on October 15th.
NEVER LET THEM BREATHE FREE ON WALL STREET!
Contra Costa 99% draws its name from the notion that 1% control 40% the wealth* in the U.S., so they believe they speak for the other 99%, “the rest of us,” an Apple slogan from the 80s. In its coverage, the Concord Patch notes the formation of a counter protest group called We Are The 53%, referring to the percentage of citizens that actually pay all of the taxes.
Although the group, some well off, responded to an meetup for Occupy Concord, most live in toney Walnut Creek. According to sputnik99, writing on the Contra Costa 99% website,
We came from a wide variety of economic backgrounds. One of our members is an attorney who works in Walnut Creek and has been involved in many political movements over the years. Another is a house painter. Three of our members are retired. One is a retired school teacher. Another lives on a corporate pension and has not seen a cost-of-living increase in 12 years. Another commented that she lives in Rossmoor and is doing very well. But she wants everyone to do well, and she’s getting involved to insure that these benefits remain in place for others.
“We’re rebels. We’re having a rebellion! This energetic group of activists is ready to connect with other occupiers to restore civil society and address economic inequality.”
What is their one demand? Well there isn’t any one demand, that’s the point. Better have a catch all for every story of jack booted victimization by “Da Man.”
#1) The Top 1% Owns 40% of the Nation’s Wealth:
Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz points out the richest 1% of Americans now own 40% of the nation’s wealth. This disparity is much worse than it was in the past, as just 25 years ago the top 1% owned 33%of national wealth. How much does the bottom 80% own? Only 7%.
#2) The Top 1% Take Home 24% of National Income:
While the richest 1% of Americans take home almost a quarter of national income today, in 1976 they took home just 9% — meaning their share of the national income pool has nearly tripled in roughly three decades.
#3) The Top 1% Own Half of the Country’s Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds: The Institute for Policy Studies illustrates this massive disparity in financial investment ownership, noting that the bottom 50% of Americans own only 0.5% of these investments.
#4) The Top 1% of Americans Have Only 5% of the Nation’s Personal Debt:
Using 2007 figures, sociologist William Domhoff points out that the top 1% have 5% of the nation’s personal debt while the bottom 90% have 73% of total debt.
#5) The Top 1% Are Taking In More off the Nation’s Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920s: Not only are the wealthiest 1% of Americans taking home a tremendous portion of the national income, but their share of this income is greater than at any other time since the Great Depression, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities illustrates in this chart, using 2007 data.