On Tuesday night I joined a few Jobs with Justice summer organizers at SEIU 1199 for a screening of a documentary called Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? The film, inspired by the Occupy movement, traced the American economic collapse back to a 1971 memo called the Attack on American Free Enterprise System. Using the memo and its author, Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, as the starting point for the economic downturn, the film created a startling image of the American justice and economic systems.
I enjoyed the documentary, especially because it included a lot of information regarding legislation that I had no idea existed. I had to smile when they showed footage from Occupy Wall St. – I haven’t seen those images in a while and it was certainly a wake-up when I saw them on the screen. I think the biggest message I took away from the film was that we, as citizens, need to be jolted from our complacency. I know I get comfortable sometimes, but being at Jobs with Justice (not to sound too cheesy) has helped wake me up in many respects. At the end of Heist there were suggestions for creating change: contacting your elected officials, organizing within your community, writing letters, and a host of other options. For anyone trying to become more politically involved, I think watching this film and acting on these suggestions is a great way to start.