posted by: Cesco Estep

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones evicted the Occupy Charleston protesters who have been assembling peacefully at Davis Park in downtown Charleston last evening, beginning at dusk.

from #OccupyCharlestonWV‘S Facebook page:

The city of Charleston has decided to kick the occupation out of the park. They are turning the lights off and re-instituting curfew that up until now they have been over-looking. We believe that this is a direct assault to our 1st amendment rights. We have been nothing but peaceful and law-biding. There is no reason for this other than we have someone scared of change. They will arrest anyone in the park after curfew according to the city…please come and help us! ATTENTION! ALL OCCUPATIONS OF WEST VIRGINIA! CALL TO ACTION!!!

CONTACT Mayor’s office immediately and remind him that the right to free speech does NOT begin and end when and where Mayor Danny Jones proclaims, even in Charleston, WV. Just ask Nicole and Jeff Rank about it!

Danny Jones, Mayor
501 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 25301
P: (304) 348-8174
F: (304) 348-8034


Since the Mayor’s Office is closed all weekend, you should also vent your frustrations about the Mayor’s decision on the Charleston Gazette’s vent line.

Call 304-357-4451 or email at this link

When they first marched, I was curious so I personally went to find out what this was REALLY about. I noticed right away that there were folks of all ages, and upon asking around, discovered that many hold jobs and support their families. There were many who are retired. Several were small business owners, and surprisingly (to me, at least) some were even Tea Party members from around the state!

ALL I spoke with agreed that it’s wrong for Wall Street to horde all the money and make Main Street suffer because of a system set up to promote K Street buying off all of our lawmakers.

THAT is the very definition of a class war, and it’s one which our middle class has been losing for years.

The banksters are reportedly hording three trillion in cash right now, but rather than float low interest loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs, they’re using it to wage class war against us. The result isn’t just rampant unemployment and underemployment, it’s a growing weakness in our social fabric as fewer and fewer can even afford health care, much less to purchase homes, cars, and other goods made by U.S. workers.

Despite the corporate media’s best efforts to keep it a secret, the public-at-large is rejecting our present day system of corporate totalitarianism. And We The People have finally risen up from our isolated keyboards to reject this broken system right out in the streets where everyone can see.

This, my fellow Americans, is what DEMOCRACY looks like.

According to OccupyWallSt.org,

“This is a leaderless movement with no sponsors. The participants do not hold to any particular political or moral ideologies, but rather are just regular citizens who want their voices to be heard by Federal and State elected leadership.”

No, this isn’t Cesco Estep’s video. I just thought it really fit here.

Like many who support what this is all about, my bones are just too old to camp out anywhere, much less on concrete. But I appreciate their dedication so much that I’ve been to their encampment a number of times since they first dug in to voice my moral support.

If you are one of the 99 percent, please consider vowing to actively support this movement in the most effective way that is possible for you. I personally pledge to support what the OCCUPY movement is doing by actively working against politicians who do not!

This isn’t the first time this sort of movement has hit streets across the U.S. The last time it happened, the “banksters” were a group of greed-driven multinationals who were dubbed “robberbarons”, after those who ruled feudal Europe.

Long before the robberbarons crashed the U.S. economy in 1929, they perfected class warfare right here in Appalachia. Back then we didn’t call it “class war” or “Occupy Charleston”, we called it “Blair Mountain“.

The oppression was so bad that once it boiled over, the U.S. War Department (yes, WAR Department- back then our government actually named their divisions according to what they really were) was forced to dispatched thousands of federal troops to Blair Mountain to rescue the combined forces of mercenary Baldwin Felts gun thugs, county deputies, state troopers and the National Guard from the mineworkers and their supporters.

Back then the robberbarons pushed their class warfare so hard that over time it actually required federal troops and the Army Air Corps to put a stop to the people’s movement.

Although the rebellion itself didn’t succeed in wiping out the immediate brutalities of the robberbarons, it ultimately served as the rallying cry for organized labor throughout the U.S. and was instrumental in bringing the benefits of organized labor to working class Americans in all major industries.

The question today is whether or not we can get the rest of the country excited enough to demand social justice before it erupts in the same way that it did across Appalachia ninety years ago.

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  1. Rita Silver says:

    Thanks for focusing your attention on the meaning of the Occupy movement. I also hope that we can continue this peaceful revolution, without an increasing level of violence. Please keep us informed with Occupied Charleston.

  2. Jill S. says:

    I really appreciate your keeping us all updated on what’s happening in WV.

  3. Jean Anaporte says:

    I sent the mayor a long email Saturday which begins:

    “Mayor Jones,

    I’m writing to ask you to restore electricity to Davis Park as a sign of welcome to the Charleston OWS contingent. I am joyous that such a movement has arisen. OWS is the first sign of the demand for democracy in four years.

    For the past twenty years I have taught at an open admissions university. I can’t tell you how many times I have lost students because they found a job that offered health insurance but would not allow comp time for them to continue their education, or students who left to earn money to pay their own medical bills. I don’t have to cite statistics on employment in Charleston and West Virginia to you.”

    I would like to be on your email list so I receive notice of meetings and can contribute.

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