The impetus behind #OWS is to bring together the 99% who do not own the world, and to provide a venue to address the greed and corruption which has brought America to its knees. By focusing the attention on Wall Street and the financial institutions, #OWS may be missing a prime target for the corruption that has taken over our country—the courts.
Because of decisions rendered by our courts, millions of people are losing their homes. Because of decisions rendered by courts, families are being torn apart and children are being taken from their parents. Because of decisions rendered by courts, our elderly and disabled are losing all their rights and all access to their assets through guardianship proceedings which only stand to benefit attorneys and the guardians. These “civil” proceedings are shredding the most fundamental unit of our society, which is the family.
All of these issues are adjudicated by judges. California attorney Richard Fine attempted to address illegal payments received by State Superior court judges, via “special benefits” afforded the judges by California counties. For his groundbreaking work on this issue, he was rewarded with a year and a half in jail.
Concerns have also been raised on the massive amounts of money being laundered by judges through their home loans; a revelation which demands further scrutiny, as judges have been found to be systematically taking out loans far in excess of what they could reasonably pay back so rapidly on a judge’s salary. The question that must be asked is — Who is paying back these loans?
Both Fine’s work and the questions raised by judges’ loans impel the question as to whether we have an impartial judiciary, or simply a crew of paid off legal hit men masquerading in black robes.
A movement to expand the focus of #OWS to include a general occupation of the courts could take several different manifestations. For example, on a designated day each week a local Occupy group could all enter a nearby courthouse and sit in on a certain department (if space permits!). Or, there could be a contingent of a local Occupy group which could make the courthouse its focal point and sit in on proceedings every day. Each Occupy group could come to its own determination as to how best to occupy the courthouses.
The seat of power is also occupied by the judges, not only by the financial institutions. If we are to truly take back our country, we must occupy the very places that those who have hijacked our democratic institutions now control.
Occupy the courts!
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist whose articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The San Bernardino County Sentinel, The Santa Monica Daily Press, The Long Beach Press Telegram, Oui Magazine and other regional and national publications. Janet specializes in issues pertaining to legal corruption and addresses the heated subject of adult conservatorship, revealing shocking information about the relationships between courts and shady financial consultants. She also covers issues relating to international bioweapons treaties. Her poetry has been published in Gambit, Libera, Applezaba Review, Nausea One and other magazines. Her first book, The Hitler Poems, was published in 2005. She currently resides abroad. You may browse through her articles (and poetry) at janetphelan.com