In an interview published Monday, taken in Times Square during Saturday’s global day of protests, Pulitzer-winning writer Chris Hedges explained his view of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and why he’s supporting it.
“I spent 20 years overseas, I’m a war correspondent,” he said. “I came back and realized that corporations have carried out a coup d’état in my country.”
Hedges wrote for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Christian Science Monitor, and was part of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for a series of articles examining the terrorist attacks on the United States and profiling the al Qaeda network.
“I covered the street demonstrations that brought down Milošević, I’ve covered both of the Palestinian intifadas, and once movements like this start and articulate a fundamental truth about the society that they live in, and expose the repression, the mendacity, the corruption and the decay of structures of power, then they have a kind of centrifugal force, you never know where they’re going.”
He went on: “What happens, and it’s true in all of these movements as well, is the foot soldiers of the elite, the blue uniform police, the mechanisms of control, finally don’t want to impede the movement. At that point, the power elite is left defenseless. So, where’s it going? No one knows. Even the people most intimately involved in the organization don’t know. All of these movements take on a kind of life and color that in some ways is finally mysterious. The only thing I can say, having been in the middle of similar movements, is that this one is real … And this one could take ‘em all down.”
Hedges went on to say that large segments of the blue uniform police largely agree with the 99 Percent movement, and that many other police are frustrated because protesters aren’t breaking windows, which they “know how to handle.” He added that the protesters’ “non-hierarchical structure” for decision making is “brilliant,” and suggested that he had nothing he could possibly teach them.
Finally, addressing an individual standing off-camera, Hedges concluded: “For me, I got kids. It’s not about me anymore. It’s about my childrens’ generation. I think my passion for what you are doing — I would even use the word love — comes from the fact that I look as you as fighting on behalf of my little three-year-old, and when I … On Friday morning, of course I was up to find out what happened … And I did what I do now, which is to start crying. God bless you all.”
This video was published to YouTube on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011.