Thanksgiving thoughts

ELINOR TATUM Publisher and Editor in Chief | 11/16/2011, 5:06 p.m.
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As the fall quickly flies by and Halloween fades into Thanksgiving, the trees are changing colors and soon the snow will begin to fall. It is time to begin to reflect on the year that is about to retire into our memories.

Where were we last year at this time? Preparing for our Thanksgiving dinners? What did our country look like? What did our families look like? What were the big news items of the day? And what were we thankful for?

As this holiday season comes upon us, it is time once again to reflect on what we have done in the past and what we want to accomplish in the future. We need to start to reassess our priorities and figure out what the future will hold.

We are at a crossroads in America. Our future is not certain. Our political parties are hellbent on holding partisan positions that make it nearly impossible for healthy compromise or for us as a collective people to move forward, yet somehow we still go on.

Thousands of people are "occupying" everywhere across this country, duplicating a movement that started right here in New York City.

But just as the voices of the voiceless are making themselves heard, law enforcement and short-sighted politicians have cracked down on these encampments in locations as disparate as Boston, Portland, New York and San Francisco. According to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, mayors from 18 major cities have been in discussion about the occupations. These authority figures and certain economic interests feel threatened by folks who are speaking truth to power-and what will happen next is anyone's guess.

But what is sure is that the destruction of the encampments has made the "people" even more angry at the 1 percent. In New York, there will be a day of action during which the 99 percent will, in effect, close down the financial heart of the city.

This is a big change from where we were last year.

Last year at this time, there were no large protests. There was fear and anger, but there was no action.

The Occupy movement that many thought would last a day or at best a week has lasted over two months and counting. The labor unions are now part of the movement. Parents, teachers, students, the working class, the unemployed-all of them have a stake in what happens next.

What does happen next will send a message to the rest of the country. We could be seeing a progressive catalyst for change in state houses and in the federal government.

We need that change, and we need cooperation to strengthen the cause so the fight can continue.

So as we prepare our tables for Thanksgiving, let us think about all those who are on the front lines of this fight-not just fighting for themselves but for all of us who are affected.

Let us pray for health, security and success for progressive forces, because God knows we will need all the help we can get if regressive, right-wing Republicans gain additional power and once again turn back the hands of time.