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 Topic: Occupy Wall Street protests

 (Read 23912 times)
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  • Occupy Wall Street protests
     OP - September 25, 2011, 03:59 AM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moD2JnGTToA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGriO1feMU0
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #1 - September 25, 2011, 04:06 AM

    Good idea, that thread was getting overtaken occupied Afro

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #2 - September 25, 2011, 04:14 AM

    I have a feeling I will want to say "fuck the police" with every post, so I'm just gonna get it out of the way and say it once: FUCK THE POLICE! They're fuckin' amoral pigs who justify shit to themselves by saying they're obeying orders and it's just their job. They're pawns on high horses. I hope some day they suffer as much as the suffering they cause the people.
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #3 - September 25, 2011, 04:17 AM



































    Source

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #4 - September 25, 2011, 04:18 AM

    I'm going to post the videos from the other thread here too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx19waGfSiM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCo_bx8s1Z4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PiXDTK_CBY

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #5 - September 25, 2011, 04:27 AM

    Quote
    NEW YORK — Police arrested about 80 demonstrators near the New York Stock Exchange on Saturday as they marched through lower Manhattan.

    MSNBC
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #6 - September 25, 2011, 04:29 AM

    ^ The guard dogs of the ruling elite at work.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #7 - September 25, 2011, 04:31 AM

    NYPD Uses Law From 1845 To Arrest Masked Protestors In Financial District
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #8 - September 25, 2011, 04:37 AM

    More photos of police violence and arrests.
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #9 - September 25, 2011, 04:40 AM

    Short documentary

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwWInp75ua0
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #10 - September 25, 2011, 12:48 PM

    Yet another indication of my peers' tendency towards romantic ideals, groupthink and lack of focus. I'd be lying if I said that their efforts aren't enough to make me appreciate the amount of solidarity but, uh...no. Regardless of the surprising amount of people that managed to come together and fall into some semblance of a community, they're really just hippies looking for a American adaptation of the riots and protests of Libya and Egypt. Y'know, like every television hit that comes 'cross the pond every few months. I think I can peg myself of being one of the more prominent left-leaning citizens in the make-up of this country's population but seriously, they're just a bunch of white kids (18-25ish) making signs that were "inspired" by internet memes with $200 sunglasses, $30 water bottles and overpriced, loose fitting, ethic-looking clothing that some kid in Indonesia made that were sold with about a %1000 markup and pizza/Whole Foods picnics paid with their parents cards. I know there are a few POCs in the crowd there but I'm sure they're just along for the feel-good tinglies that go hand in hand with falling into a group mentality.

    It'd be nice if there were any actual results coming from this but as I understand it, no actual request has been made, no person of influence has been contacted for some kind of compromise. They just made an open statement to the President who really can't do anything about it immediately anyway. None of these people are willing to be beaten, choked, hung or  blown up for this cause. They don't actually believe in what they think they do. It's not sincere at all because it lacks any direction. They're just playing life out like they think the movies would be like or whatever filtered idea they have of what went on the Middle East. It's pretty sad, actually. If anyone had the bravery, foresight, negotiation skills, leadership qualities, and a well informed opinion, we might actually be able to change the way democracy serves us. What we need is group cohesiveness as well as a clear and practical solution, not a large game of "follow the leader".

    "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
    Muhammad Ali
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #11 - September 25, 2011, 12:52 PM

    <3 Wyre


    Formerly known as Iblis
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #12 - September 25, 2011, 01:05 PM

    None of these people are willing to be beaten, choked, hung or  blown up for this cause.


    NONE of them?

    Quote
    They don't actually believe in what they think they do.


    Another overgeneralization that you cannot possibly demonstrate.

    Quote
    If anyone had the bravery, foresight, negotiation skills, leadership qualities, and a well informed opinion, we might actually be able to change the way democracy serves us.


    1. And you think out of a population of 300 million, there's NO ONE on the left with these attributes? Perhaps not enough, but I'd argue there are many people with such attributes but there are several variables and objective conditions outside of their control which prevents them from gaining prominence and organizing an effective mass movement.

    2. We do not live in a democracy. We live in an electoral oligarchy. The people as a whole do not control the society, polity or economy. We simply have the ability to elect members of the polity at regular intervals, most of whom are from social and economic privilege and belong to one of two parties that serve the interests of the wealthy and have rigged ballot access and election laws, and paid off the major social institutions to ensure no other party can break the joint monopoly on power and access they wield. There is no electoral solution to the major problems of the economy, polity and society we live in right now.

    HOWEVER ALL THAT BEING SAID, you do make some accurate observations and criticisms in your post. I'm just pointing out the ones I happen to disagree with.

    fuck you
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #13 - September 25, 2011, 01:17 PM

    I agree with that ^.

    I also think your (Wyre's) critiques are valuable and accurate to a good extent.

    But this begs the question: what alternatives are you backing, what are you doing to live up to the ideals you think these other people these "hippies" (a nice derogatory term for anyone who cares about issues you don't care about or feel you can do nothing about) are not doing?

    Also, I see more than just a few persons of colour in the photos and videos posted here and all over the web. This is not just a bunch of spoiled white kids. The U.S. population IS largely white people, so what? White people can't stand up for any good causes? White people are all homogenous?

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #14 - September 25, 2011, 01:20 PM

    No, it's not a life or death situation. I will concede, however, that there has been a share of hair-pulling, arrests and pepper spraying by the NYPD but it's not on the same level as losing life and limb for something you believe in. If by the end of their camp out session there have been a handful of casualties, you can say "I told you so".

    It's possible to note the level of injustice of this particular predicament since a rotting economy and uneven scales in regard to national wealth and individual welfare are quite hard to ignore. But in regards to having a vivid, rational solution other than sleeping on top of each other in public, nahhhh, not so much.

    I'm not saying they don't exist, it's not like they're fucking unicorns or something. It's just that out of this demonstration, no one with those qualities has stepped forward to take control of the masses. It's literally people coming with their friends to yell and chant and hold signs. And even if one person didn't have all the qualities, anyone thinking about it with a clear head would start an organization to include people who do make up for certain shortcomings to make the best of the situation. As well as work on organizing other occupations at the proper places in other major cities.

    We certainly do live in a democracy. Our only downfall is that we lack an informed public. See what I did there? The power of the ballot from each and every citizen still holds as much power as it ever did. People are more or less focused on rather selfish reasons for electing particular candidates (the more fiscally conservative bunch on a large amount of topics) or have no idea who their options are in the county, city, state, and national elections. We're all running around the internet tagging photos or posting photos and talking about shit that won't be relevant in an hour let alone when the next election date rolls around.

    "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
    Muhammad Ali
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #15 - September 25, 2011, 01:23 PM

    If you think democracy begins and ends at the ballot box, you have some history, anthropology, economics, political science and sociology still to learn.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #16 - September 25, 2011, 01:37 PM

    I agree with that ^.

    I also think your (Wyre's) critiques are valuable and accurate to a good extent.

    But this begs the question: what alternatives are you backing, what are you doing to live up to the ideals you think these other people these "hippies" (a nice derogatory term for anyone who cares about issues you don't care about or feel you can do nothing about) are not doing?

    Also, I see more than just a few persons of colour in the photos and videos posted here and all over the web. This is not just a bunch of spoiled white kids. The U.S. population IS largely white people, so what? White people can't stand up for any good causes? White people are all homogenous?


    And when you do find impressive leaders of color who stand up to the powers-that-be in this country they tend to either get killed or imprisoned by those same powers (Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, Leonard Peltier, Geronimo Pratt, etc.), make their peace with those powers (Cesar Chavez, Van Jones, etc.), or otherwise get sidelined by betrayals of those within their own movements or simply burn out.

    No, it's not a life or death situation. I will concede, however, that there has been a share of hair-pulling, arrests and pepper spraying by the NYPD but it's not on the same level as losing life and limb for something you believe in.


    Maybe I missing something but I don't recall anyone here claiming that.

    Quote
    It's possible to note the level of injustice of this particular predicament since a rotting economy and uneven scales in regard to national wealth and individual welfare are quite hard to ignore. But in regards to having a vivid, rational solution other than sleeping on top of each other in public, nahhhh, not so much.

    I'm not saying they don't exist, it's not like they're fucking unicorns or something. It's just that out of this demonstration, no one with those qualities has stepped forward to take control of the masses. It's literally people coming with their friends to yell and chant and hold signs. And even if one person didn't have all the qualities, anyone thinking about it with a clear head would start an organization to include people who do make up for certain shortcomings to make the best of the situation. As well as work on organizing other occupations at the proper places in other major cities.


    Fair enough, but I just thought you were generalizing a bit too much. I haven't been particularly impressed by this or other such protests much either. They don't mean much without having some strike action backing it up for the working-class to flex a bit of economic muscle.

    Quote
    We certainly do live in a democracy.


    No we don't. It's an electoral oligarchy as I explained above, and you have yet to attempt to refute any of the points I made on that.

    Quote
    The power of the ballot from each and every citizen still holds as much power as it ever did.


    Who said it ever held much power in the first place? The franchise has only ever given the wealthy power over our society and government, going back to 1787 at least. It has given those of modest means some very limited influence, but any significant influence it has ever given the poor or working-class has ALWAYS had to be backed up through non-electoral means/direct action-- the Civil Rights Acts, the New Deal, Women's Suffrage, the Great Society, the Abolition of slavery-- all of these legislative acts had to be demanded through massive demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, and a great deal of bloodshed. The ballot alone has never been enough for the ordinary citizen to demand social, economic or political power. At least not in this country it hasn't.

    Quote
    People are more or less focused on rather selfish reasons for electing particular candidates (the more fiscally conservative bunch on a large amount of topics) or have no idea who their options are in the county, city, state, and national elections. We're all running around the internet tagging photos or posting photos and talking about shit that won't be relevant in an hour let alone when the next election date rolls around.


    Oh, all true, but apathy is not only a cause of political disengagement, it's also a result of it. While many people who aren't politically engaged are ignorant or lazy, there's a not insignificant number who realize, with varying degrees of clarity, that their votes make very little difference in their everyday lives, so why bother?

    People should be more politically-engaged, but not at the ballot box. In fact, I support an organized electoral boycott.

    fuck you
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #17 - September 25, 2011, 01:38 PM

    I agree with that ^.

    I also think your (Wyre's) critiques are valuable and accurate to a good extent.

    But this begs the question: what alternatives are you backing, what are you doing to live up to the ideals you think these other people these "hippies" (a nice derogatory term for anyone who cares about issues you don't care about or feel you can do nothing about) are not doing?

    Also, I see more than just a few persons of colour in the photos and videos posted here and all over the web. This is not just a bunch of spoiled white kids. The U.S. population IS largely white people, so what? White people can't stand up for any good causes? White people are all homogenous?

    Thank you, Allat. I can certainly say the same from some of your previous posts.

    I'm all for an alternative with an end goal but hey're not actually doing anything. I spent the last hour and a half checking into the beginnings and purpose of this event and from what I understand, it's an apparent backlash against corporations and banking companies in particular that they're attempting to solve by having a bunch of people be in one place for a certain amount of time. If you have any other information, please share it with me as I'd love to know. I don't agree with the idea of having an insincere show of insolence because there is no strategy of any kind involved in this idea. If there was, I'd be taking part in it myself. As an aside to this public demonstration (maybe even a supplement), I'd meditate on a plan for several months and have an interlocking system of organizations in large cities in every state and harness the power of the students that will ultimately have to pick up the pieces for any shoddy work the government has done thus far in just a few years. I'd work on fighting corporations by not participating in purchasing services and goods from the companies that are abusing other citizens and policies to benefit themselves. It's really the only way you can bring down corporations since the only power they get is selling something in demand. I'm seriously considering doing so because I believe it can be done and done successfully if only it had the proper thought and initiative invested in it.

    I don't mind views that contradict my own since I understand that that's how we learn from other to advance in our own right. By "hippies" I mean people who are frolicking around in an acid trip or a marijuana high under the guise of actually doing something productive. I welcome differing opinions, I just have a preference for the ones with rationality attached to them.

    "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
    Muhammad Ali
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #18 - September 25, 2011, 01:59 PM

    I'm not making this an argument about color nor am I saying that whites cannot be involved in making any kind of difference and I already acknowledged POCs in my initial post. What I'm saying is that plenty of these people are young with no responsibilities to attend to.

    And when you do find impressive leaders of color who stand up to the powers-that-be in this country they tend to either get killed or imprisoned by those same powers (Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, Leonard Peltier, Geronimo Pratt, etc.), make their peace with those powers (Cesar Chavez, Van Jones, etc.), or otherwise get sidelined by betrayals of those within their own movements or simply burn out.

    Maybe I missing something but I don't recall anyone here claiming that.

    Fair enough, but I just thought you were generalizing a bit too much. I haven't been particularly impressed by this or other such protests much either. They don't mean much without having some strike action backing it up for the working-class to flex a bit of economic muscle.

    No we don't. It's an electoral oligarchy as I explained above, and you have yet to attempt to refute any of the points I made on that.

    Who said it ever held much power in the first place? The franchise has only ever given the wealthy power over our society and government, going back to 1787 at least. It has given those of modest means some very limited influence, but any significant influence it has ever given the poor or working-class has ALWAYS had to be backed up through non-electoral means/direct action-- the Civil Rights Acts, the New Deal, Women's Suffrage, the Great Society, the Abolition of slavery-- all of these legislative acts had to be demanded through massive demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, and a great deal of bloodshed. The ballot alone has never been enough for the ordinary citizen to demand social, economic or political power. At least not in this country it hasn't.

    Oh, all true, but apathy is not only a cause of political disengagement, it's also a result of it. While many people who aren't politically engaged are ignorant or lazy, there's a not insignificant number who realize, with varying degrees of clarity, that their votes make very little difference in their everyday lives, so why bother?

    People should be more politically-engaged, but not at the ballot box. In fact, I support an organized electoral boycott.

    I think you may have been missing the point of that statement since what you said has nothing to do with what I've said about POCs...

    Er, you asked a (vague) question in response to my saying that no one was willing to be seriously injured or lay down their lives for the cause. That was essentially what I was and am still saying. If I'm wrong in my response, what was it that you were asking?

    You've never given me any reason to thing we live in an electoral oligarchy, which I still believe is totally untrue. The fact that the general public has not taken advantage of the election process doesn't mean that it can't be done. The fact that headways were made by taking part in demonstrations is true and all well and good and exemplified by the fact that the people being involved weren't completely aimless in regard to coming to a specific end result which is exactly my point. No one has done anything even slightly rational to fix the issue. I think I've said that it's just a bunch of people standing around so much that I'm starting to feel like I'm a crazy person talking to myself over and over again.

    And with that kind of attitude, it's no wonder there are no changes in how the government serves its citizens! You've admitted to being disconnected from the entire process that places people in power and allowed someone to speak for you when you could, if you wanted to, actively work to change how the US government functions in the first place had you utilized it.

    "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
    Muhammad Ali
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #19 - September 25, 2011, 02:05 PM

    As an aside to this public demonstration (maybe even a supplement), I'd meditate on a plan for several months and have an interlocking system of organizations in large cities in every state and harness the power of the students that will ultimately have to pick up the pieces for any shoddy work the government has done thus far in just a few years. I'd work on fighting corporations by not participating in purchasing services and goods from the companies that are abusing other citizens and policies to benefit themselves. It's really the only way you can bring down corporations since the only power they get is selling something in demand. I'm seriously considering doing so because I believe it can be done and done successfully if only it had the proper thought and initiative invested in it.


    I agree on supplementing overt protests with more subtle diplomatic efforts - to fight a big problem, it is vital to use a multi-faceted approach. That often devolves into infighting between those who support a radical, confrontational approach and those who support a milder approach. I tend to see beyond these binaries and support both those who are trying to change things "from the inside" or "with their dollars" AND those who are writing, speaking, protesting loudly. To see a movement as a whole is crucial, which is something both types of people often tend to forget. Fight the enemy out to get both the "protestor" and the "conscientious objector", don't fight each other, it serves the divide and conquer strategy employed by those who do not have any of our interests in mind.

    By "hippies" I mean people who are frolicking around in an acid trip or a marijuana high under the guise of actually doing something productive. I welcome differing opinions, I just have a preference for the ones with rationality attached to them.


    Ain't nothing wrong with marijuana or acid trips if you (not you personally but the larger culture) sees nothing wrong with alcohol consumption and pharmaceutical fixes to everything else.

    But I get what you mean. Wink

    Thing is, youthful energy has brought changes to things; from civil rights in the U.S. to the "Arab spring", any progress made was done because the youth got involved. If the youth also like to get high after getting beat up by cops, I don't see how that discredits the causes they are fighting for.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #20 - September 25, 2011, 02:09 PM

    These people don't really believe in what they're fighting for? They've been camping for a whole week, beaten, maced and arrested by cops by the dozens, and it's only growing larger and spreading to more cities, and you're saying they don't really believe in their cause? Absolute and utter fucking bullshit. These people have had their livelihoods stolen from them by Wall Street and they believe very much in what they're doing.

    If you think people need a planned alternative and leaders for the movement to be effective, you really need to study the history of uprisings. Uprisings don't tend to be planned and organized, they become organized organically through practice -- and that's exactly what one of the people interviewed in the short documentary I posted above says: that this is more than a protest, people are learning to live together democratically, to make decisions on their own and have their voices heard, that this is a microcosm of the society they want to build.

    Do you think the people of Libya, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, etc, etc, have someone leading their revolution? Yes of course there are influential figures who support them, but none of those figures is at the forefront telling people what to do or how to do them. The people have varied political beliefs and their only common demand is to get rid of the current regime and radically change the system. That's what democracy is: letting people decide for themselves what they want and how to organize their lives.

    I agree with Q that this needs strike action backing it up to add an economic pressure element to it, but this is just the beginning, and it's already spreading to many other cities. People are starting to really realize that they all have the same concerns so should stick together and not be afraid, to truly dissent. They're empowering themselves, and it makes more and more people join. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that it's more than a weekend occupation, that it's going on and on. I think it shows how dedicated those people are, and how much they really want change. And the IWW has already joined the fight. Hopefully more unions will join as the movement grows, but again, this is just the beginning, and they've already been withstanding and persevering against police violence.
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #21 - September 25, 2011, 02:17 PM

    But that's exactly what I'm getting at, Allat. From where I stand, this plan doesn't seem to be multifaceted at all. There's no real plan of action and while it is all well and good to have a show of solidarity, I don't think it means much without a premeditated plan and a systems of administrators to make sure that it runs smoothly and with minimal damage to people or property. Enough has been done thus far in terms of arrests and police brutality but it doesn't mean anything because there really is no purpose for it. See where I'm going with this?

    Nah, I love weed. Haven't tried taken acid yet but I probably will before the school year's over.  Grin I completely believe in the potential of the young here and everywhere, I just think it's silly to run in and try to make a show of things and not be sincere about a particular cause. It's fine to feel hate and frustration but nonsensical to utilize it in a way that doesn't really accomplish anything. If you're going to make a statement, make a big one and don't half-ass it, y'know?

    "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
    Muhammad Ali
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #22 - September 25, 2011, 02:20 PM

    This is part of a larger effort that includes the tar sands protests, the various protests at G20 and Bilderberg meetings; the fact that there is no single central leader IS its greatest strength. There are many leaders, many who are inspiring and organizing these protests, and those in power, govt and corporate, can not stifle this because it's not centralised.

    And this is pretty big already and going to get bigger.... remember that the protests in Tunisia and Egypt started out small via viral videos too.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #23 - September 25, 2011, 02:26 PM

    Our decentralization has always been our strength. Cops arrest everyone because there's no one person they can arrest to cut the line of communication.
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #24 - September 25, 2011, 02:33 PM

    I see and understand both your points and agree in part but I still stand firm on the side of my own opinion. The potential of the downtrodden, frustrated and/or youthful exists and I believe that it can be mechanized to make huge waves in regard to how this country operates. I'm apparently not that good a communicator so I'll stop repeating myself and expecting people to just "get it" but we'll see how this goes. In the meantime, I'm going to check into getting involved and manage to make some changes about how people are informed and see how this protest plays out.

    "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
    Muhammad Ali
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #25 - September 25, 2011, 02:52 PM

    I'm not making this an argument about color nor am I saying that whites cannot be involved in making any kind of difference and I already acknowledged POCs in my initial post. What I'm saying is that plenty of these people are young with no responsibilities to attend to.

    I think you may have been missing the point of that statement since what you said has nothing to do with what I've said about POCs...


    Eh, it was more me reading allat's post just made me think of it and make the point-- it wasn't really a response to anyone in particular. As to the bolded part, I agree.

    Quote
    Er, you asked a (vague) question in response to my saying that no one was willing to be seriously injured or lay down their lives for the cause. That was essentially what I was and am still saying. If I'm wrong in my response, what was it that you were asking?


    Well what I'm saying is that just because no one has laid their lives down in this protest doesn't mean none of the protesters would be willing to. Every protest action an activist attends does not demand such level of sacrifice, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be willing to make it given the right conditions. I've willingly put myself in the position to be arrested, bludgeoned, tear gassed and tasered, when, at the time the decision needed to be made, I thought it needed to be done. But it's not like every protest or picket line I've been to I think it's a good idea to provoke the police into beating the shit out of me or cuffing me-- in fact, in the vast majority of situations that would be counterproductive.

    I think that your generalizations about the composition of the protesters is going a bit too far is all.

    Quote
    You've never given me any reason to thing we live in an electoral oligarchy, which I still believe is totally untrue.


    Sure I did. I explained that both parties are controlled by corporate interests and have rigged the system to ensure the survival of their monopoly on power and that the only power the ordinary person has in this system is to select the representatives of these two corporate-controlled parties on regular intervals-- regular elections in and of themselves not solely constituting "democracy". I also gave you historical evidence that social/political/economic power has not come primarily through the ballot box in America. Does this not count as evidence for you?

    Quote
    The fact that the general public has not taken advantage of the election process doesn't mean that it can't be done. The fact that headways were made by taking part in demonstrations is true and all well and good and exemplified by the fact that the people being involved weren't completely aimless in regard to coming to a specific end result which is exactly my point.


    I demonstrated that EVERY major legislative reform which gave power or rights or social/economic protections to the people was preceded and accompanied by major extra-electoral activity. This suggests that social/political power does not come from the ballot box, but rather that elected representatives can be forced into taking action through mass mobilization, not of voters, but of direct participants in social struggle. Please cite one example in the history of the United States where this has not been the case.

    Quote
    No one has done anything even slightly rational to fix the issue. I think I've said that it's just a bunch of people standing around so much that I'm starting to feel like I'm a crazy person talking to myself over and over again.


    Yeah, but allat and I haven't disagreed with that bit, so you don't need to keep saying it. What I'm objecting to is some of your broader generalizations, not your general characterization of this and similar protests.

    Quote
    And with that kind of attitude, it's no wonder there are no changes in how the government serves its citizens! You've admitted to being disconnected from the entire process that places people in power and allowed someone to speak for you when you could, if you wanted to, actively work to change how the US government functions in the first place had you utilized it.


    Reformist garbage.  Tongue I've been hearing that stuff from people who think it's so important to vote for years. The only argument I've heard that's in the least convincing is that we have a very small amount of political leverage as voters so might as well exercise it my voting for the lesser of two evils (and I think that's the basis on which most Americans vote)-- but fuck it, I'm so disgusted by the process I know longer wish to participate in it at all.

    Each time I organize a workplace or negotiate a collective bargaining agreement I'm doing 500 times more than going to the voting booth, attending an electoral rally, or canvassing for a political candidate. That time is better spent doing things I enjoy like masturbating and drinking. The electoral system is a sham.

    "If voting really changed anything they'd make it illegal"-- Emma Goldman.

    fuck you
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #26 - September 25, 2011, 03:18 PM

    Our decentralization has always been our strength. Cops arrest everyone because there's no one person they can arrest to cut the line of communication.


    Eh, I ain't seein much "strength" at all amongst current left-wing protest movements, but then again I'm a cynical fuck.

    Honestly though I take some exception to a couple of her particular points, my general attitude on this is a lot closer to TheWyre's than yours or allat's.

    You can be forgiven for your youth. When I was your age the Battle of Seattle was kicking off the globalization protest movement and I had high hopes just to have them dashed against the rocks of the Bush Presidency and post-9/11 reaction. Time and time again it seemed like things might be moving in the right direction just to see them fail. Talks of a general strike against Bush came to zero-- two competing coalitions even announced competing dates for a strike that wasn't likely to happen in the first place-- major fail. Then there was the "Day without an immigrant" which was an effective general strike by Latino immigrant labor in several major American cities, just to be bought off by the Democratic Party, conservative Latino community and union leaders, and the Catholic Church, so it never happened again. Generally if we look at history we see 20 to 30 year gaps or so between major social movements in the US, yet the first President I can clearly remember as a child is Reagan, and it's only gotten worse since then-- it's been about a 42 year gap at this point, and in the midst of an enormous economic crisis, the labor unions are too timid to put up any real resistance. I'm not hopeful.

    Allat's closer to my age so I'm not sure what her excuse for being so fuckin optimistic is. Tongue

    fuck you
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #27 - September 25, 2011, 03:57 PM

    I didn't have much hope to begin with. I actually thought the occupation came to an end by the end of the weekend. What makes this different from other protests is that it's not just a three day rally where activists get together, chant some slogans then go back home, which essentially is what every G8/WTO, etc. protest is (not that I don't support them, but they're mostly symbolic).

    I think there's a difference between announcing strikes and actually getting shit done and starting some momentum. I think this movement already has momentum. The question is how much momentum it has and how big it's going to get. It seems to be growing and spreading across the country, but I don't know how far and wide it'll spread -- I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #28 - September 25, 2011, 04:10 PM

    As for leaderlessness being a strength: My personal experience is that decentralized affinity groups in protests communicate very well with each other. The cops arrested the organizers thinking they're our leaders and capturing them would cut things short, but even when all official organizers were arrested, and even when the official protest came to an end, we somehow managed to continue marching and everyone joined in. No one knew how it all started up again, but we just started marching and calling onto people and everyone joined in. By the end of the day, the only way the cops managed to end the protest was to arrest every single one of us.

    And in this instance, one of my friends who's at the occupation told me that there was a sense of hopelessness and disorganization after the cops prevented them from entering Wall Street on the first weekend, so what he did was start a march with a few other people and eventually everyone joined, and they even managed to get onlookers to join, and according to him it grew from just a dozen or so people marching to thousands of people. Anyone could've taken that role and said fuck it, we're marching. All their needs to be is a push that starts some momentum and gets the snowball rolling.
  • Re: Occupy Wall Street protests
     Reply #29 - September 25, 2011, 04:20 PM

    Well, I'm not saying leaderless resistance does not have the strength of being more difficult for the state to infiltrate and disrupt, but it also has many weaknesses as well. Most importantly it is weak in terms of developing long-term strategy and short-term practical implementation of that strategy. Look at what happened after Mubarak's ouster. You can't tell me that having a strong vanguard party working within the protests from the very beginning would not have helped keep the secular character of the revolution rather than having it usurped by the Muslim Brotherhood in conjunction with the military establishment, which is what's happening now.

    My inner anarchist and inner Leninist often do battle with each other.  Wink

    fuck you
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