Wearing the Badge of the 99%

From a reader.

Recently I flew across the United States. During my travels I wore a home-made “99%” patch on the front of my shirt. It was a simple patch created with paper, a marker and masking tape. Clean, shaved and dressed casually I looked like the middle-aged, middle class American man that I am. Without my patch harried travelers and airport workers for the most part would not notice me.

I wore my patch to humanize Occupy participants. I’ve been participating in Occupy activities in my hometown, and I’ve found that the others are people like me. People who want to make their country or the world a better place for all. I do not agree with all of the prescriptions for improvement suggested by everyone that I’ve met at Occupy. I do not agree with all of the ideas of everyone that I know. Different people believe different things. This is not a weakness; it is a strength. I do not speak for everyone. I speak for me. I wore my patch to present an Occupier to a population who see only what mass media chooses to show them.

I wore my patch because I object to my country being a police state, and airports illustrate the police state that America has become. At the airport I was expected to submit to a naked-body scan. I declined and was groped instead. I object to theater security. It is a fraud–not improving security but traumatizing and demeaning. It conditions people to submit to a police state. I wore my patch because I am tired of being told that I should be scared and docile. I wore my patch because I am not a sheep.