There are subtle signs everywhere that many of the people who might be least likely to endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement are closet supporters. It’s not just the police whose rank-and-file seem to act differently than their white-shirted managers.
A few days ago a package showed up in my mailbox that I found most fascinating.
In 1905 the Wobblies, or Industrial Workers of the World, was founded in Chicago. IWW members were the most radical of the union organizers and their union remains the most violently suppressed through modern American history
The Wobblies were big on using media to spread their message, and in 1905 that meant singing protest songs. I’ve always wanted one of their little red songbooks, which they re-printed at their 100 years anniversary. I finally bought one on ebay.
But when it arrived and I carefully unwrapped it, I found it enclosed in a large manila envelope, folded such that you couldn’t see what the envelope really was.
It was an inter-office document carrier obviously from a large bank with a huge mortgage company and title plant, lifted by a worker for the job of bringing the protest book to me.
It was just one more example that you never can tell how well your message is resonating with people who are not in a position to publicly agree with you.
I’m sure some of these songs are being sung again on Wall Street today.
But the banks are made of marble
with a guard at every door
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
that the farmer sweated for.
–Banks of Marble ( page 9)
Words & Music by Les Rice,