BY LARS DIN
Like many anarchists, when the Occupy Movement first appeared last fall, I was skeptical. What can it really mean for our future that some white people have taken over a square in lower Manhattan? Of course, I had been inspired by the Arab Spring and was certainly curious about this spontaneous global appearance of outrage and activism. Then I read some of the things coming from OWS; what I read didn’t inspire confidence. There seemed to be very little analysis of imperialism, of colonialism, of male supremacy, and so on. And the rhetoric about “reclaiming our country” doesn’t do much for me.
So when I went to the first local assembly here in Gainesville, I was prepared for it not to lead very far. I signed up for a couple working groups, but the chaotic nature of the whole thing had me thinking, “Oh well, that’s that.” I went to a couple general assemblies after that and made some tentative suggestions about the consensus process they seemed to be trying.
By Mary Bahr, Gainesville Veterans for Peace member
Occupy Gainesville protests outside of Wells Fargo in Downtown Gainesville. Photo by Mary Bahr.
Dennis Lane, executive director of National Veterans for Peace, said the cost of war can be seen today “in family and community violence, in the human and environmental impact of depleted uranium and a wide variety of chemical exposures, and in a weakened domestic economy and de-funded health, education and other social programs.”
You may have seen the Gainesville Vets for Peace Cost of War program. It gives the cost of war to our local community and to the state of Florida, as well as the national costs in blood and taxes.
The data is derived from the National Priorities Project Cost of War project at www.costofwar.com. These pages will give you the cost in tax dollars on counters that change every second and will also offer tradeoffs (what those dollars could have bought in our domestic economy had we not spent them on war).
Even with troops withdrawing from Iraq, many troops and support personnel will be left behind. We still have to pay the costs of equipment replacement and health care, which are projected to total a trillion dollars each. And then there’s still Afghanistan.
Posted in Articles, January-February 2012, Occupy
Tagged Anti-War, Bo Diddley, Gainesville Veterans for Peace, Iraq, John Fullerton, Occupy, Occupy Gainesville, Occupy Southeast, Occupy Supply, Occupy Wall Street, peace