Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?
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ATTENTION: Documentary filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart is looking to connect with people who have submitted their stories to We Are the 99 Percent. She would like to bring your stories to life in a new feature documentary film. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more and explore being interviewed on camera.
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I’ve been trying to reason with the machine, within my legal rights supposedly granted by them, to get one wrong line out of pages and pages of paperwork forgiven, because correcting that line would cost my family close to $12,000, and not having that (we work for a living, but simply don’t have that much in liquefiable assets), we would- children and all- be made homeless in an attempt to make the paperwork perfect, and the odds are sky high that our being homeless would then cause us to be disqualified on another line anyway.
They will split up the family across different countries if we cannot get the paperwork right, and with our current income we will not be able to afford that many different roofs, so some of us will become homeless, never mind the emotional pain of being separated from ones family, support, and best friend for life. As normal workers we just can’t afford vacation homes all over the world as the government would like us to, so we do not qualify as human enough to remain together.
This isn’t the first time the machine has done this to my family and my people under different guises. Over the last century they have tried to (and have succeeded with some family members) to gas us, freeze us to death, starve us to death, steal our land, take our country, put us in concentration camps on two continents, put us on forced reservations, and now this- forced homelessness to meet the needs of the paperwork.
My family and my people have been dehumanized by the machine over the years due to status, race, creed, and origins. I have watched as the machine has forced my neighbors into slavery in prisons because of nothing but the color of their skin.
Previously, the family members that survived have fled, hid, and lied to protect their lives. Now it’s my turn. I choose truth. I choose to turn around and stand up to the machine, knowing full well that whatever the court may be called, I am facing a death panel, the same one that has been trying to annihilate my family for a century at least. Knowing that a killer cannot be reasoned with. Knowing that a machine with no soul will never be able to recognize humanity in a person with a soul and a pulse.
I followed all of its rules like a sheep, tried following its commands, when its paperwork was messed up I took the weight of it and suffered for it. When I could have worked to free myself I did not, because its rules told me I was not allowed to work. I fairly well shot myself in the foot to blindly obey it. And now when I am bleeding and asking for one line of bandage for the wounds I have sustained obeying it, it kicks me in the shin and throws my children to the wolves. I can imagine my people went into the gas chambers in much the same way, having hope that the machine would show a soul, hope that if they just obeyed that it would be kind, but all the obeying did was end their lives.
Am I crazy to face it, or am I fed up? It threatens my husband and my children. If it were just threatening me, maybe I would do the sane thing and run like my surviving ancestors before me. But the anger and protective instinct when a murderer tries to attack my family is too much. I cannot back down. If they do not cease to light the fire in their gas chambers, I will drag them down into the flames with me. This crushing of humanity must end.
I am the 99%
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Hello. My name is M.
I am a freshman in college. My dream is to go to law school… But I don’t think that is going to happen. You see, I don’t even know how I’m going to pay for my undergraduate degree… Let alone for law school.
I had it all planned out in high school. I had a 4.0 GPA. I was in the NHS. I was very active in extracurriculars. I was a GOOD STUDENT. Not only that, I was a GOOD PERSON – a GOOD DAUGHTER.
I never got into trouble – I never did anything to disappoint my parents. In return they promised to help with college. When I lived at home I had a very good life. I never worried about where I was going to sleep or where to get my next meal.
Until I told my parents I was gay.
They kicked me out.
They emptied my bank account.
I left for college with $300 I had saved.
I don’t know how I’m going to ever pay off my school loans.
Don’t even get me started on medical bills. (The stress of being kicked out put me in the hospital where doctors found tumors in my liver and right kidney – nothing has been done.)
I keep applying for jobs – But I. Can’t. Find. One.
BUT I still consider myself lucky. I have to opportunity to get an education – many do not.
I am the 99%.
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I am 27 yrs old. I have a Bachelors of Social work and have about $50,000 in student loans. I also have a spinal injury from 8 years ago. Since I could not afford healthy insurance for most of those 8 years, I was not able to seek treatment for my back. I now have chronic back pain and my pain has forced me to pay out of pocket for treatment.
My weekly medical bills and my monthly student loan payments add up to an amount that makes it hard for me to cover my daily living costs of food, much less anything else I should be enjoying in life at this moment and yet I make too much to qualify for food stamps.
I am currently applying to grad school so that I can further my education and hopefully obtain a better paying job. But I am horrified that I will not be able to afford grad school or will go further into debt from any loans I have to take.
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I grew up in a single parent home in a basement apartment. The government has refused to give my family any type of financial help since ‘95. My playgrounds were surrounded by rapists. My schools were filled with drug dealers. My apartment building was taken over by gang-bangers. And many of my friends have been shot/murdered. I am an African-American female. I have been told that I am at ‘the bottom of the list’…as in the government’s list of concerns. My family has never been on vacation and we still can not afford a car. BUT THAT HAS NOT STOPPED US! My mother has been ill for almost 10 years, but that has not stopped her. My brother and I have made it to college because they can’t stop us. Even now, my mother is unemployed and can’t afford our education…but guess what? THAT WILL NOT STOP US! I am 19 and have been denied jobs because my name is Akuabba. I am the 99% looking for change. Until I am able to pay off my mother’s piling medical bills, take care of my tuition bills and take my mother on a two week vacation, I will not stop occupying Chicago.
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I’m 44 Y.O. and was diagnosed HIV+ in 2006. My medication keeps me very healthy and alive. The cheapest pill I take costs $38. PER DAY. Medical just cut me off on December 10th because I’m “Too Well”. Every company I’ve found a job with has kept me under full-time so they don’t have to give me benefits.
I beat drug addiction, homelessness, and bipolar disorder against all odds only to be met with a system that tells me: “Not good enough”.
I’m HURT. I’m PISSED. And I’m The 99%
Occupy Wall St. Occupy Oakland. Occupy Everything!
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I am 25 yrs. old. I have lived in the USA for 22 yrs. I was born in Mexico and brought over in search of a “BETTER” life. I work and pay taxes but i have NO rights. I am fortunate I have a job but i live in constant fear. I am an undocumented immigrant. I AM THE 99%. #OCCUPYWS
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I was almost debt-free when I was struck by a major medical crisis at the age of 37.
After a long recovery, I am back to work. My paycheck now supports seven people - none of whom are my partner, spouse, or children.
My once modest debt has grown exponentially. I fear for my health and have no idea how I will pay debt, save, and retire.
I am the 99%.
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