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Understanding the Occupy D.C. Movement

The Occupy Movement has been going on for several months. Thalia Doukas, one of the great supporter of the movement, talks about it.

Thalia Doukas is a communications writer responsible for a daily intranet Website for the Federal Employee Program–a health care provider for government employees in Washington D.C. She is one of the many people who support the Occupy D.C. movement. “Occupy interests me partly because one of their concerns is access to health care. We are very aware in this country of the more than 50 million uninsured Americans.” She says that the Occupy movement is a response to economic inequalities, and as a person who works in the health insurance industry it concerns her that the uninsured are growing–just one indicator of the inequalities that Occupy speaks to.

People were concerned that the cold weather would shut down the Occupy DC sites. This has not happened and news stories about the two DC sites continue to be published. Although it’s sad to Douka that New York and other cities shut down their occupiers, she says “I am relieved that the nation’s capitol is allowing this platform for people to gather and be represented, keeping alive what should be a national discussion about the U.S. economic crisis and its impact on the majority of Americans. This is what the D.C. Occupy activists are accomplishing. The fact that the first of the two articles was on page one of the Sunday Washington Post, and although it has a “human interest” or “romance” theme, it is still clear that the commitment at the camps is, above all, to the original vision–that is, to maintain a forum where citizens can speak out. ” Doukas says, “I don’t understand how media ‘talking heads’ can ask, ‘what do these Occupiers want?’ People are losing jobs and the resources they need to complete higher education; meanwhile, for homeowners the market value of their houses is shrinking. Despite the fact that it was bankers and Wall Street that caused the crisis, ordinary people are paying the price. If democracy is truly not a spectator sport, ordinary citizens from around the country should be able to come and be heard. We really need Occupy DC–especially in the absence of the Occupy sites that have been shut down.” She continue “I think DC is the appropriate place for an Occupy HQ and I had heard that people from other cities would be joining the DC occupation.  The night I sat in on occupiers in a sharing circle, telling their stories to each other, was very moving. The struggle is real and it cuts across all layers of our society.”