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OPINION

Crossed Sabres

December 9, 2011

Occupy DC:

pro Emily Walker, ‘12

Editor in Chief

It seemss like it is time for the revolutionary movemnt of our generation. On September 17, a group of Canadians working with Adbusters, an anticonsumerist magazine, joined with some New Yorkers to “Occupy Wall Streetâ€? in 0DQKDWWDQÂśV /LEHUW\ 6TXDUH VSDUNLQJ D QDWLRQDOPRYHPHQWWRÂżJKWÂŤZHOOWRÂżJKW something. While having no clearly stated goals is sort of the hallmark of the movement, there is at least one thing everyone in the movement seems to agree on: corporate corruption is leaking into the government. The majority of “occupiersâ€? blame the wealthiest 1% of the population for the 8QLWHG 6WDWHÂśV HFRQRPLF SUREOHPV EXW others believe fault lies elsewhere. After attending a General Assembly meeting of Occupy D.C. and going two other times during the day, I have come up with my own list of reasons to support the movement. I do not blame the 1%--those people worked hard to get where they are today and have every right to do whatever they want with their money. It angers me that corporations are able to lobby the government and persuade them with PRQH\WRSDVVODZVWKDWEHQHÂżWWKHPQRW the people. Take the bill that made pizza a vegetable, for example. The company that makes pizzas to be sold to schools realized that the bill allowing the Department of Agriculture to establish nutrition standards for federal school lunches would threaten WKHLUSURÂżWVVROREELHGFRQJUHVV One young man at Occupy D.C., who ,ÂśOOUHIHUWRDV3KLOLSVDLGWKDWÂłPRQH\DQG politics is bad, no matter if you support >D SROLWLFLDQÂśV@ LGHDV´ 3KLOLS KDG EHHQ sleeping in a tent in McPherson square for three weeks, and continued to say that it is unfair that our political leaders are more interested in getting corporate money to fund projects in their districts to get them reelected than working for reelection by SDVVLQJODZVWKDWZRXOGEHQHÂżWWKHHQWLUH populace. 6LJQLÂżFDQW SROLWLFDO FKDQJH KDV \HW to occur, but one of the major successes of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been raising awareness. Because of the movement, which since September 17 has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and 1,500 across the globe, people are more aware of government corruption, and other issues like lack of transparency, skewed income distribution (consider that in the United States in 2005, a CEO made 262

times the amount that an average worker did) and the unwillingness of congress to address the issues of unemployment and economic downturn. Another occupier I met, Walt Joback, said that he “continues to contact FRQJUHVVPHQ ZKR DUH ÂżJKWLQJ ZLWK HDFK other,â€? trying to further their own political agendas rather than help out strggling Americans. His opinion on government ÂżJXUHV DV D ZKROH" Âł7KH\ DUH DFWLQJ OLNH juveniles.â€? Unfortunately, Occupy movements in other parts of the country have brought attention to the issue of police brutality. In Oakton, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and batons, control methods that are supposed to be reserved for violent crowds, were used on peaceful protestors. People have also become increasingly aware of censorship, like when police used vans to block journalist access to Zuccotti Park when occupiers there were being arrested. From what I have seen of the Occupy movement, this is undue violence and VXSSUHVVLRQ RI SHRSOHÂśV H[SUHVVLRQ RI their dissatisfaction. In McPherson Square, there are health, food, media DQGÂżQDQFHWHQWVDVZHOODVVDQLWDWLRQ public relations and white anti-racism committees. Does that sound like anything negative to you? In addition, there are compost and recycling bins set up to reduce waste, a program to create “safer spacesâ€? for the LGBTQ members of the movement (with the goal of acceptance becoming the norm in the rest of the country), and even a few solar panels. Though the occupiers are politically, socially and environmentally friendly, I will not pretend like the movement does not have weaknesses. A lot of the food that is going to the occupiers is leftovers from restaurants that might be better spent IHHGLQJ :DVKLQJWRQ '&ÂśV KRPHOHVV population. The group is self-describes as leaderless and demandless, which makes the movement seem less legitimate. However, this perception might change when Occupy D.C. publishes its declaration. It is my hope that if protesters stay steadfast in their peaceful opposition, that the government will have no choice but to address their concerns. I encourage anybody who has not been to Occupy D.C. to check it out and, as it was said during a General Assembly meeting, “ welcome to our revolution of ethics and values.â€?

con

Alice Maggio, ‘13

There are several things wrong with these protests, one of which being the GHÂżQLWLRQ RI ZHDOWK\ WKDW WKH SURWHVWHUV A large number of protesters have been believe in. “The American Dreamâ€? used in turmoil for three months now, occupying to be that a family would work hard to a section of Washington D.C. This uprising become prosperous. Contradictory to has come about in the district through this idea, the protesters are angry that WKH LQĂ€XHQFH RI 2FFXS\ :DOO 6WUHHW LQ they have no money, and want to change Manhattan, New York. The two share prothe economy, but they are not willing the same anger towards the weak to work for it. Instead, and ironically, they economy, and are camping out in public parks, and not working for the riches they desire. The irony is that the protestors are enraged at where the economy stands, and that there are wealthy individuals who are not getting foreclosures on their homes and not having enough to eat. The solution to this uprising hostility is simple: work hard in order to get what you want, not sit around in a community of tents in a public park. Secondly, the lack of communication of a list of demands in the form of a petition, document, or VSHHFKLVDPDMRUĂ€DZ2QWKHRFFXSLHUÂśV s h a r e local website, they stress the point that the same they are not a political party, and do not i d e n t i t y : KDYHDVLQJOHGHÂżQLQJOHDGHUÂł:HGRQRW the 99%. have a spokesperson and we shall never T h e have one‌We are not a party, and we will 99% is never be.â€? There is nothing wrong with PHOTOS BY EMILY WALKER simply the these philosophies, but the fact that their m a j o r i t y demands have not been clearly drawn up, of people in America that are suffering whether it is done through a document, IURP WKH ÂżQLFDO PHOWGRZQ 7KH  RI VSHHFK RU SHWLWLRQ VKRZV Ă€DZV LQ WKHLU people, in the eyes of the protesters, are struggle. They must be clear and civil in the wealthy people who are not struggling order to get what they want, not occupy a in the debt of the country. The protesters public area in a vain, angry protest. are upset that they are getting their homes To add to this point, they have taken from them, and that there is not accomplished little. They have captured enough money for them to cover grocery the eyes of the media around the world, shopping and rent. Americans have mixed and the millions that have joined the feelings about the protest, but I, however occupation. Despite the interest, what have know what I believe. they actually accomplished in the time they At the beginning of the occupation, have been protesting? Sure, this outburst most people were misinformed about the amongst the people is making history, like protest, believing that it was like the 1960s the Vietnam War protests in the 1970s, but and 1970s anti-war protests all over again. there is really no reason for the struggles They believed that the occupiers were the people are going through, especially merely angry young people who would when very few changes have taken place soon disperse. Older people, younger because of this protest. people, educated, uneducated, men and Basically what I am saying is that the women alike were all out there to help with protestors need to become more serious the struggle. The thing that is different about about what they are doing. It does not even this protest compared to the rebellious ones necessarily have to be on all fronts of their thirty years ago is that the occupiers are not expression of disapproval, but at least one. necessarily young college students looking Either go home and start working, or put to change their world, but a myriad of more effort into having what they are doing VLPLODUO\DIĂ€LFWHGSHRSOH,QP\RSLQLRQ EHFRPHLQĂ€XHQWLDO7KHFXUUHQWHFRQRPLF the way in which they went about this issue situation of our country leaves no room for is immature and pointless. slackers. Photo Editor

Contact information Washington-Lee High School Attn: Crossed Sabres 1301 N. Stafford Street Arlington, VA 22201 Crossed Sabres is the student-produced newspaper of the Washington-Lee High 6FKRROFRPPXQLW\(GLWRULDOVUHĂ€HFWWKHRSLQLRQRIWKHHGLWRULDOVWDIIDQGXQOHVV otherwise noted, are written by a member of the staff. The editorial board encourages responsible commentaries and letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit for grammar, style or lack of space. Letters and commentaries containing obscenities, racial slurs or libelous content will not be published. All letters must be signed by the author to be published. They can be printed “name withheldâ€? upon request. The Crossed Sabres publications lab is in room 1028. Any correspondence may be dropped off there or emailed to wlcrossedsabres@gmail.com.

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Volume 81, Issue 3

Editor-in-Chief: Emily Walker, ‘12 News Editor: Isabel Larroca, ‘14 Managing Editor: Noah Pilchen, ‘12 Photography Editor: Alice Maggio, ‘13 Lifestyles Editor: Kirby Miller, ‘13 Features Editor: Abigail Bessler, ‘13 Sports Editor: Matthew Hirsch, ‘12 Opinion Editor: Andrew Dudka, ‘12 Online Editor: Luisa Banchoff, ‘13 and Emily Cook, ‘12 Special Editor: Paige Taylor, ‘12 Art Editor: Maheen Shahid, ‘12 Business Manager: Manbir Nahal, ‘14 Adviser: Ms. Kira Jordan

Washington-Lee currently has Staff Reporters: Zachary Perlman, Angela Mestre, Chris Seymour, Isabel Amend, Elena 1,925 students enrolled. Amparo, Sarah Angell, Abby Boshart, Nataly 2,000 copies printed

Farag, Sydney Johnson, Mina Matias, Lucy Naland, Noha Osman, Elena Parcell, Saira Rehmann. Katelyn Reilly, Sarah Sears, Claire Spaulding, Alex Stephanson

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