None of us who are involved in this movement want to think we are participating in the felling of our country -- what we hope to do is raise her up again. However, in order to do that, something must fall -- and it is Empire.
As the Occupy Wall Street protests stretch into their third week, New Yorkers may still be confused about who the protestors are and what they want. But there should be no mistaking the fears and concerns that motivate them.
Each of these snapshots is a specific story, and the vulnerability of the details defies simple platitudes or easy solutions: "My mom works with a dislocated shoulder" and "My dad works 70 hours a week to pay the bills."
The fact that the movement doesn't make demands of Wall Street -- or Washington, for that matter -- doesn't mean it doesn't have demands. It does, but they're not directed at Wall Street, or K Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue. They're directed at you.
To members of our Department of Homeland Security and to police officers in cities across this country, I say that these young people now gathering for peaceful demonstrations in our communities are not your enemy.