We Are The 99%

11/15/2011 02:15 pm ET | Updated Jan 15, 2012

We are the 99%. We are the middle class and the lower class and sympathetic members of the upper class. We are women, men, gays and straights of all ages, all religions and all races. We live in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. We are a huge slice of Americana. We are the 99%.

We are students, college graduates, laborers, and retired folks. We are teachers, fire fighters, police, construction workers, nurses, truck drivers, musicians, artists, actors, journalists, union members and non-union members. We are the employed, unemployed and underemployed. We are the 99%.

We and our ancestors have been the backbone of this country for centuries. We built the roads, bridges, and railroads we travel on. We have worked long hard hours to make money to raise our families, pay our mortgages, and save for retirement. We have seen in the last 30 years our jobs sent overseas, our pensions raided, our houses foreclosed, and the cost of health care and college skyrocket, all while the top 1% got richer and richer.

In the last 10 years we have seen our government spend trillions on two wars, give tax cuts to the wealthy 1%, bail out Wall Street banks with taxpayers' dollars, cater to lobbyists and big corporations while running up a huge debt and deficit.

We, the 99%, have had enough. Our voices will be heard. We have only yet begun with the Occupy Wall Street movement. We have Occupiers in over 200 cities throughout the country. We have others supporting the movement by donating food, supplies, funds, and moral support. We are the 99%.

The fact that phrases such as "crony capitalism," "corporate profits," and "too big to fail" were brought up at last Wednesday's Republican debate is a sign that we have the politicians' and media's attention. We have changed the national conversation. We are the 99%.

The fact that GOP Majority Leader of the House, Representative Eric Cantor was discussing "income disparity" on a TV news show a few weeks ago is a big step forward. The news that Bank of America decided to drop its debit card fee further shows the influence of the 99% movement.

We are not going away. Wind, rain, snow, and bad weather will not deter us. Arrests are a badge of honor. Some in the media have called us names such as parasites and human debris, but we don't care. We know who we are. We are crusaders for justice and peace. We are the 99%.

We are resolute, resilient, resourceful, and relentless. We are protesting for our lives and the lives of future generations. We are marching for the poor, the homeless, the forgotten, the sick, the minorities, the unemployed, the veterans, and all those that have not gotten a fair shake in this society. We are the 99%.

We are asking for shared sacrifice from the wealthy few. We are asking for our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe all men and women are created equal. We just want a fair shot at that golden ring on the merry-go-round. We don't want a handout. We want an equal opportunity to make a decent wage. We are hard-working people. We are the 99%.

We want a government that represents "we, the people," not corporations. Our spending priorities are jobs, education, clean energy, and nation building here at home.

We want corporations to put people above profits. We want big business to stop taking their factories overseas. We want the CEOs to stop taking big bonuses as they are laying off workers. We want a health care system that works for all of its citizens.

We will not rest or go away until we can once again share in the American dream. We are the 99%.