Friday, 07 October 2011

First Occupy Wall Street Now Occupy the Fed

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Perhaps surprising to some, many conservatives sympathize with the Occupy Wall Street protesters because they understand the motivating factors behind the protests: increased costs on everyday items, unemployment, inflation, etc. However, those conservatives recognize that much of the anger of the protesters is directed at the wrong target. The real enemy, they contend, is the Federal Reserve, and it is for that reason that those conservatives have chosen to use the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street protests to stage Occupy the Fed protests instead.

One organizer, known only as “Anonymous A99,” announced the first operation targeting the Fed, called “Operation Empire State Rebellion,” on March 12. The announcement explained that the movement was intended to be a “decentralized non-violent resistance movement.” Anonymous A99 said of the intent of the organizers:

Above all, we aim to break up the global banking cartel centered at the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlement and World Bank.

We demand that the primary dealers within the Federal Reserve banking system be broken up and held accountable for rigging markets and destroying the global economy, effective immediately.

As a first sign of good faith, we demand Ben Bernanke step down as Federal Reserve chairman.

Until our demands are met and a rule of law is restored, we will engage in a relentless campaign of non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience.”

Those protests commenced on June 14, and took place in over 20 cities, but were scarcely reported on by the mainstream media. In some areas, they have been going on ever since.

More recently, protests against the Federal Reserve have been launched by a number of groups, including some which were part of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

One leader of the demonstrations against the Federal Reserve is blogger and radio personality Alex Jones. His website, infowars.com, issued a press release advertising the protests, which read:

Public sentiment has shifted — against the trends of Washington and Wall Street — and now, against the private Federal Reserve bank which controls or influences so much of the world’s finances. Whereas only a few years ago many Americans were unaware of the true nature of the shadowy organization, recent polls confirm that the public overwhelmingly wants to audit and even abolish the Federal Reserve bank.

Explaining the growing animosity towards the Federal Reserve, Jones continues:

By striking at the root of the true problems, we can attempt to reign in the predatory banking powers that plague our nation and begin to restore the Republic.

The Federal Reserve banking system is at the root of that problem and a perpetual impediment towards ending the global economic crisis that continues to grow.

The Federal Reserve has been harshly criticized by a number of individuals and groups, particularly those who are proponents of Austrian economics. GOP presidential contender Ron Paul has been a leading advocate of eliminating the Federal Reserve and restoring the free market economy. He has spent virtually his entire political career vocalizing his disdain for the unconstitutional system.

In 2002, Paul said of the Federal Reserve:

Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, middle- and working-class Americans have been victimized by a boom-and-bust monetary policy. In addition, most Americans have suffered a steadily eroding purchasing power because of the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. This represents a real, if hidden, tax imposed on the American people.

Paul has often addressed how the Federal Reserve continues to serve the needs of a few, while imposing negative consequences on the average American:

Though the Federal Reserve policy harms the average American, it benefits those in a position to take advantage of the cycles in monetary policy. The main beneficiaries are those who receive access to artificially inflated money and/or credit before the inflationary effects of the policy impact the entire economy. Federal Reserve policies also benefit big spending politicians who use the inflated currency created by the Fed to hide the true costs of the welfare-warfare state. It is time for Congress to put the interests of the American people ahead of the special interests and their own appetite for big government.

Above all, Paul notes that the Federal Reserve is an unconstitutional establishment that has ultimately stripped Congress of powers that were assigned to it by the Constitution:

Abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy. The United States Constitution grants to Congress the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency. The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to delegate control over monetary policy to a central bank. Furthermore, the Constitution certainly does not empower the federal government to erode the American standard of living via an inflationary monetary policy.

According to Paul, it is the policies of the Federal Reserve that have driven people to protest: “It is no wonder they are up on Wall Street raising Cain because they know the system is biased against the average person.”

Protesters outside of the Federal Reserve were seen bearing signs targeting the Fed’s destructive economic policies, as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. One protester held a sign of Bernanke wearing Muslim garb that read, “Osama Bin Bernanke.”

In Chicago, anti-Fed protesters have been stationed outside of the Federal Reserve bank since September 24. On Monday, nearly one dozen people sat outside of the Federal Reserve Bank with protest signs and hampers filled with food and blankets. The demonstrators claim that so much has been donated to them that they have actually begun to give the excess food and blankets to homeless people.

In Dallas, hundreds of protesters marched from Pike Park to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, demanding change.

Clearly, at least in some instances, Ron Paul’s assertions that the Fed has driven people to the streets to protest are true, but the protests have become so widespread that it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine who is behind them and what their political philosophies are.

Some media outlets are reporting that the Wall Street protesters are “libertarian,” which could be true of those who have focused their attention on the Federal Reserve.

However, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York include a number of unions and socialist groups which hold very different political stances from libertarians. Their list of demands have included more big government and more regulation, items that would not be supported by libertarian-minded or conservative demonstrators.

Likewise, The New American's Alex Newman has revealed that leftist billionaire George Soros' money has been tied to the Occupy Wall Street protests.

In other words, the protests have encompassed a wide spectrum of political philosophies.

According to The Daily Campus, a publication of the Southern Methodist University, those present at the Dallas protest hailed from a variety of backgrounds: “Followers of the Tea Party movement, Ron Paul supporters, and the Dallas Young Democrats all had strong showings.”

Whether the protests against the Federal Reserve will help to bring about major change remains to be seen, but some analysts contend it is encouraging just to see people turn their attention to the Federal Reserve and finally take notice of the type of destruction it has imposed on the American people.

We contacted John Birch Society President John McManus, who said, "Targeting the Federal Reserve is correct inasmuch as there is no constitutional justification for its existence and it possesses enormously harmful powers. But it was created by Congress and, therefore, can be abolished by Congress. Demonstrating against the Fed by camping out in the streets, especially if funding for such activity comes from the likes of George Soros, should be labeled a counterproductive exercise. These demonstrations seem designed to deflect attention and anger away from the Fed's creator, the Congress of the United States."

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