Though he wasn't born on American soil, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has been playing close attention to the burgeoning Occupy movement, offering his own damning perspective on the current socioeconomic structure within our country and encouraging those finally speaking up.
In a two minute video statement that appears on his Facebook page, Waters expresses his support for the nationwide Occupy movement. Interspersed between clips of the Pink Floyd classic "Mother," Waters laments the conditions of the current U.S. socioeconomic struggles, and our leaders' insistence on focusing on abstract issues, supporting hugely unpopular wars and corporate welfare while demanding cuts at barrel-bottom social levels and attempting to dismantle bargaining options for unions.
"A situation's been allowed to develop in this country where the great bloc of people in the middle who used to call themselves the middle class – their circumstances have been reduced to the point where suddenly come of them find themselves sleeping in their cars," Waters rightly explains. "And they're going 'Hold on a minute, how can this be right?"
He continues: "Sitting in the United States of America, which has a ruling class – which is the 1% that all the people that are occupying Wall Street now are talking about. This country is being run absolutely for the benefit of the richest one percent in the country. The idea that these people are paying the same taxes as the people who clean their cars is absolutely fucking insane! I pay taxes here, and I'd be happy to pay more. I'm with Warren Buffett!"
Watch the entire video below.
The swell of far-right conservative-based hatred and aggression against "The 99%" has been struggling to take hold, insisting that the growing masses in the Occupy movement from every walk of life and tax bracket are "lazy whiners" and "freeloaders". Mr. Waters, recognizing the larger-picture crisis at work on a structural level, feels differently.
"I think it's great that people are beginning to complain about it," he explained. "I mean, I can't believe that people didn't start complaining after the mortgage swindle. They had these derivatives based on mortgage debt that they sold to their customers, 'Here son, buy that. That's a lovely investment there.' Then turn and say 'Hey Fred, go on over and bet that that will fail because we know this is shit that we're selling these people.'"
"Well hang on a minute. Why aren't these people going to prison? 'Well, yeah we did really swindle people, and we admit it, we'll pay a fine.' It may be that the people are beginning to twig, beginning to go 'No, there's something really wrong.' I'm so happy to see that they're starting to appear in the streets. It's beginning to happen all over the country. Slowly, they're beginning to realize that no, this is wrong."
MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, the most-cited living author in the world and one of the most passionately anti-capitalist intellectuals in the United States, has sent a powerful message of support to the organizers of the Occupy Wall Street protests:
Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.”