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Forum Post: Announcing my retirement from the OWS movement.

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 17, 2011, 4:36 p.m. EST by NLake72 (510)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Note: This is a letter that will be cc'd to my email list, my facebook list, and it is being posted here, on the OWS forum. It is a document that seeks to address the nation as a whole, and each group that I allude to will sense when I am talking directly to them, in particular. Read these words carefully, or not at all.

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that all my writing in support of the OWS movement has to be removed. Sadly, this movement, in general, appears to be moving in an anarchistic direction that I can no longer endorse or support. The recent decision by the OWS to disavow the NGA and the document known as the 99% Declaration may indeed be well-founded. However, this is an internal political issue that I don't claim to understand, nor do I seek to address it. I've got better things to think about. However, this latest schism seems indicative of the lack of direction and leadership this movement is experiencing as a whole. Sadly, this lack of mutual endorsement, and seeming lack of trust between these groups, only lends support to my conclusions that the OWS movement, as a whole, and the many various groups within it, seek to push an agenda that is, at best, inscrutable, and at worst destructive to our country. In short, if the occupation movement produces an agenda that I can support, and provides leadership that I trust and respect, I might reconsider my decision to abandon the movement. However, at this time I don't think the OWS is being directed toward a realistic, workable set of solutions to the problems that face our society and our world as as whole.

I firmly believe that our system can be can reformed using the tools provided in the Constitution. We have a legitimate right, as dictated by the founding fathers, to redress a long list of grievances to our increasingly corrupted government. I'm unsure if I will endorse any group at this, or a later time. Like the vast majority of Americans, I think the system is badly broken, and that it is being subverted to “serve the interests of a few.” I don't sense that our politicians feel any vested interest in trying to govern the country, or reform the system in a manner that prioritizes the people's needs. While I have supported the agenda known as the 99% Declaration, I am still hoping for a more perfect document to be created. I certainly don't agree with all of the itemized initiatives, nor can I personally endorse any group promoting it at this time. However, these are timely issues that most certainly deserve a spirited national debate. My personal feelings toward specific items should not hinder the efforts of those wiser than me to argue them, and to bring their full merit to light.

Additionally, I remain convinced that our elected representatives will not address these questions unless the American people, as a whole, stand up and demand them to do so. I had hopes that the OWS would adopt this document, because it represents one agenda that could have served as a standard under which we could collectively gather on common ground, and commit to debate and compromise. It's a list of grievances that should spark a healthy national discussion. It is an imperfect document which deserves to be discussed, expanded, and improved, and ultimately, adopted. It is the best agenda that I've seen to date, but it is, at best, incomplete, and apparently being mishandled. While it is the best document I've seen, I hope something that suits my personal tastes will eventually emerge on the national stage. More particularly, it is my hope that a better effort that appeals to the vast majority of Americans will somehow be created and promoted. Sadly, nobody inside or outside of the movement seems to be undertaking that work in a realistic or organized manner. I'd love to be proven wrong. I've also lost faith that the OWS movement will produce leaders or any other competing agenda which will appeal to the vast majority of Americans. Frankly, I have a personal suspicion that this movement is, in fact, being manipulated by extremists who may have a more sinister agenda of their own-- one which would be highly destructive to the America we know and love today.

My final thoughts are thus: Progressive reforms can be applied to our existing system. But, it's up to us, the citizens, to stand up and demand those changes. The most disturbing part of this experience has been when I've tried to discuss these issues with people in my daily life. Almost every single person has independently produced the exact same quote, which is “I just don't give a shit” which has occasionally been qualified with the statement “There's not much we can do about it, the problems are just too big.” That attitude, seemingly the result of mass hypnosis, is a complete abdication of civic responsibility. It creates a void that is currently being exploited by those who seek to buy and sell our political system, exploit the disaffected, manipulate the financial system as a whole, and shamelessly pollute our environment-- all in the name of personal gain. This void also leaves plenty of room for anarchistic groups who would ultimately endanger our most cherished freedoms and values as a people, either through their own direct actions, or through the heavy-handed police state with which “order and safety” would be reimposed. I don't have the solutions. I have neither the desire nor the resume to be a political leader. But, I will again become involved, enthusiastically, with the OWS movement-- if a solid agenda with serious leadership eventually surfaces.

Sadly, everyone is waiting for someone else to stand up and produce a miracle. That leader, and that agenda aren't likely to emerge from the OWS movement. I have no reason to expect the rest of America to do any better for itself. When “I don't give a shit” is the general consensus of the population, I am forced to respond, with finality, that none of you has any complaint coming to you-- when, and if, our country falls into a further state of decay. It is your lack of personal involvement today, and your utter irresponsibility toward the future that has been the cause of whatever evils befall our country. So, congratulations, “Americans” you are all members of the “I don't give a shit” generation, and history will celebrate you accordingly. From the bottom of my heart, and seat of my pants, I want to personally thank you for demonstrating zero personal initiative, and exhibiting no sense of responsibility for the world in which we live-- and the future to which we will consign our children.

Frankly, maybe the anarchists DO have a point? I remain unconvinced that this is the wisest vehicle for social change, but? If nobody gives a shit? You get what you get, and you don't have any right to complain about it. It's your fault, and nobody else, that this country has no agenda for reform. Maybe violence is the only way to budge the average American off dead center? Perhaps disorder is the only way to make people realize their lives are actually affected by these issues? Maybe the people with the power will only give it up after a long and bloody fight? I refuse to entertain this line of thinking. It is childish, and a waste of time. Hate, which is a prerequisite for such violence, is a waste of mental and emotional energy. Fear and/or chaos cannot serve as a unifying factor among the American people. Violence will only deepen our partisanship, and make peace all that much harder to attain. Hope and love are the only things that will attract Americans to the moral high ground, to assemble under the standard of social reform. Still, perhaps civil disorder is the only viable method to inspire the state of mind required for a true social revolution? Maybe things have to fall apart before people adopt a sense of personal responsibility towards their community? In that event, I may have no other choice but to wait for things to further devolve, naturally, of their own accord, before the average American truly gets fed up. By that point, I may have no other choice but to pick up arms and defend my home and the Constitution-- because I can't see any better system of governance to replace it. And, consider this your only warning: I'm exactly the violent and maniacal bastard with whose Constitution and livelihood you simply don't want to fuck.

I've worked very hard in my personal life to find forgiveness of others, and to banish hate from my heart. However, my Buddhist nature has not been able to scrub away the lingering patina of disgust that stains my concern for the average uninvolved, closed-minded American, and, in turn, those who would avoid the duty of deliberate and responsible critical thinking. Either way, I'm taking a break from the movement. I am forced to admit that I'm equally disheartened and ashamed of my government, and my fellow countrymen. I'm not giving up the struggle. I'm not giving up my quest for a better tomorrow. I just see no point, at this time, to waste another breath, or attach my name to an effort or movement to which I'm not sure I understand, and, thus, can no longer fully endorse. I must part ways, for now, and walk alone on the path to personal enlightenment. While I'm away attending to matters of my soul, I must highly encourage you to get off your asses and really think hard, with a wide open mind, about the world which you intend to leave to our children-- and what obstacles must be swept away in the winds of reform.

For the occupation groups as a whole, I leave this message: Get real. Be realistic. Get yourselves a serious agenda. Find leaders who would promote your cause. Unite behind them. Then, I, and the rest of the silent majority will try very hard to meet you halfway, on common ground, on any day of the week. I'll, personally, seek a way to fight for our common cause, if one is found to exist. This is a philosophical movement, and it is a political movement. You'll have to be patient, and very humble in your political goals. This is a movement that lives or sputters out by virtue of your own hubris.

103 Comments

103 Comments


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[-] 3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

anarchistic direction

lol

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (20519) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

I'm sure I don't understand what has led you to this point, but I do hope what ever issues there are, they are resolved in a quiet and expeditious manner.

We need fundamental change in this country. We need to end the politics of division.

be well.

[-] 3 points by guitarmywin (158) 2 years ago

Just chill for a bit and find some people to work together. Your opinion matters, just come at it from another angle, and another and another till you find the right take that suits you.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

The very fact of losing someone like you should be a sign that this movement needs to change direction.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

This movement will miss you very much. I share your concerns and have done what I can to address them. I agree that this movement now badly needs focus, and that we must work through the constitution. I had hoped that the NGA woud provide that focus, but it has not, so I have advocated a leader for this movement: either Russ Feingold or Elizabeth Warren, if either of them are willing. I also think we must enter the Democtatic Party and put up our own cantidates in the primaries. Increasingly radical voices, too far outside the mainstream to represent the 99%, are distorting the message of this movement now and we must stem that tide.

[-] 2 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 2 years ago

Peace be with you NLake72.

[-] 2 points by paulg5 (673) 2 years ago

I just started to look at this site. http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/ I agree with you this OWS movement is all over the place, getting off base and is becoming militant. With a agenda that is to inclusive and marches that achieve nothing but getting people pissed off. There has to be a group less rogue & tea partyish that want to stick with the issues that got us here. I think that group would comprise more of a middle aged sector of the population. If you find anything like that let me know! Thanks

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

My sentiments are similar to your own, but I simply refuse to give up. As pathetic and futile as it may seem, I cling to the hope that I can talk some sense into people. It's great to see so many engaging in politics, but it's a shame to see so much 'people power' squandered due to lack understanding regarding effective use of power and the role of leadership. I won't give up. I will argue my case as long as there remains one person willing to listen.

[-] 1 points by rosewood (543) 2 years ago

There is no perfect movement....nor movement that pleases all the people, all the time..yet despite their contradictions; and imperfections; social movements historically address the concerns and crisis of the times.

Interesting that you require leaders that the people need to unite behind; a model that has brought us to where we are; as well as providing the next targets for the oligarchy to destroy as they always do.

[-] 1 points by shifty2 (117) 2 years ago

I have been watching from the start, I agree with the fact that OWS has veered of tract along the way, But as idaltu states below Be the change you want to see, If we the people in the movement can't institute changes in our own movement then what chance do we have to institute change in America. As I read these post's I see a movement inside the movement that that does not identify with direction were taking. If we are truly a leaderless movement then through the internet we as a group should be able to help steer the movement in the right direction. OWS has gotten the attention of the people and the so called leaders, Time to use that to our benefit to advocate changes in our Country. We seem to have the resources of many well educated people we should use these resources to our advantage. We owe it to the next generation.

[-] 1 points by debbierl (72) from Adams, MA 2 years ago

So, your solution is to leave?

The movement has been around three months! And, you know what? We can STILL hold a declaration meeting and those who want to participate and advance the movement through this means can do so. We don't have to get permission from everyone, and if the process shows itself valuable, others can join in. Just change the name, and many people in Occupy will still participate.

[-] 1 points by Idaltu (662) 2 years ago

"Sadly, everyone is waiting for someone else to stand up and produce a miracle."

But we have to start somewhere. There is a lot about OWS I simply do not agree with. But the point is to be standing together against the oppressors. So I guess my question to you would be: who or what are you waiting for? Be the change you want to see....OWS is just as good a place as any to be a model to others.

[-] 1 points by ropeknot (359) 2 years ago

All of you must know how this site works by now !

If you reply or make a statement , eventually the post will go to the first thing you see when you log on .

Don't reply to something that is worthless and not doing the O.W.S. system any good and it will go away !

If you just want to reply or post a message , you will allow the post to continue .

If you don't like the post , don't answer it !

This way it will not exist !

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Obama will pick up the scraps come summer time

[-] -1 points by survivor514 (65) 2 years ago

he will be WAY too busy playing golf or on vacation

[-] 1 points by stuartchase (861) 2 years ago

You can always join the KTC. We would love you have you.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/make-a-stand-join-the-clan/

The Revolution starts here!

[-] 0 points by survivor514 (65) 2 years ago

make that KFC and I'm in

[-] 1 points by stuartchase (861) 2 years ago

You may have KFC while supporting the KTC. That is the best I can do.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

Wow this is a well written PHONY! Nice try troll.

[-] 1 points by applesandoranges (10) 2 years ago

Do you get a pension?

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 2 years ago

Yes, we are all marching to our human extinction event that is right on schedule.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Stand together or fall alone.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Nice speech!

[-] 1 points by jk1234 (257) 2 years ago

"The recent decision by the OWS to disavow the NGA and the document known as the 99% Declaration may indeed be well-founded." please provide more detail and web link

"OWS movement, as a whole, and the many various groups within it, seek to push an agenda that is, at best, inscrutable, and at worst destructive to our country." - what specifically is inscrutable, and what specifically is destructive?

"personal suspicion that this movement is, in fact, being manipulated by extremists who may have a more sinister agenda of their own" - please be more specific

[-] 1 points by jk1234 (257) 2 years ago

Well, I'll answer one question:

From http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20111217130645347

Phildelphia: 99% Declaration Receives a Vote of “No Support” from OP GA

Saturday, December 17 2011 @ 01:06 PM CST Contributed by: Admin Views: 259

Representatives from the 99% Declaration group were hoping to have a discussion which would lead to an endorsement from Occupy Philly for plans to hold a National General Assembly in Philadelphia on July 4th of 2012. Instead, in an unusual display of collective assertiveness, the GA voted to unaffiliate themselves with the group and any of its future events.

99% Declaration Receives a Vote of “No Support” from OP GA

by LaInteligentsia Occupy Philly Media 12/15/2011

Representatives from the 99% Declaration group were hoping to have a discussion which would lead to an endorsement from Occupy Philly for plans to hold a National General Assembly in Philadelphia on July 4th of 2012. Instead, in an unusual display of collective assertiveness, the GA voted to unaffiliate themselves with the group and any of its future events.

On Tuesday’s General Assembly, representatives from the group, the 99% Declaration presented plans to organize a National General Assembly in Philadelphia and hold an online election of 890 delegates from all over the US who would vote on a list of grievances the current government would be asked to redress. During the questions and concerns part of the conversation, OP members presented information detailing the backgrounds and comments of three board members of the organization. In addition to these concerns, OP General Assembly attendees raised issues surrounding the selection of delegates and the current efforts to plan the national gathering. OP quickly weighed the evidence, and as a result of the overwhelming concerns raised by the group, the GA voted “We do not support the 99% Declaration, its group, its website, its National GA and anything else associated with it.”

Who exactly is the 99Percent Declaration? The 99% Declaration is a national working group led by NY criminal defense attorney, Michael Pollok. The story on their website says that Mr. Pollok was contacted for legal representation after the arrests of 700 OWS protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. Of the protesters, 20 or so are students from a small liberal arts college in upstate NY where Pollok resides. After meeting with them, he agreed to represent them pro bono. He then began drafting a list of grievances developed during conversations with them. The document he subsequently posted online is now known as the 99% Declaration. The website further states he later distributed about 400 copies of the declaration to Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park. While there he gathered some people to form a working group at OWS. However, organizers from there have not acknowledged the group’s legitimacy, as noted in heated discussions posted on the NYC GA website.

Two days after his visit to Zuccotti Park, the story was picked up by the Huffington Post and the Global Grind after locating the draft document online. Immediately, the story drew national attention. The news reached Philly immediately, as OP was contacted by reporters for comments on the matter. It seemed mysterious that an event like this was being coordinated without first consulting any of the key organizers at Occupy Philly. Similarly, the large scale media attention given to a presumed OWS group amid reports of a National General Assembly in Philly raised a lot of concerns from key organizers at OWS, especially from those working in the Demands Working Group. A dispute ensued about the group’s authority to use the OWS name for a proposal that had not been passed in their GA. Shortly after, the 99% Declaration was deemed by OWS, not an official working group. This caused their leader, Pollok, to make the following statement,

“OWS is a failure and there is no backup plan. it is antidemocratic and censors people outside of the narrow agenda of the small elite oligarchy that runs it; I have been down there and I saw them in action; they are a star chamber made up of anarchists and other antidemocratic movements who want everything and nothing. it cannot succeed; it has consumed it’s own oxygen and now the flame is out what a waste. we will press on with the nationwide election of delegates to a National General Assembly”

“this is an anti-democratic movement and we withdraw our support.”

Despite their tumultuous relationship with OWS, the group continued to develop its plans and formed its own nonprofit, The 99% Declaration Working Group, Ltd. The board members include founder Michael Pollok, a former white collar crimes criminal defense attorney who ran for Congress in 2009; Nancy Marcus Newman, whose father Steve Newman was involved in a bribery scandal with Vince Fumo; Adeline Malone, a former VP at Goldman Sachs; and an unknown Kevin Archambault. The comments made by Mr. Pollok, coupled with the background of the board members were enough to set off red flags in the beginning of the GA discussion.

The 99% Declaration claims they have over 10,000 fans on FB who vote on various things, help plan the event, and are coordinating the election of candidates. Though when asked, the representatives at the OP GA could not articulate how their FB voting works nor could they identify the people on the delegate selection committee.

They communicate through 3 different Facebook pages and 2 websites (one of which has curiously been taken offline). Its not clear if these fans are affiliated with Occupy Movements or if they are random people who are not connected to any communities. Nevertheless, its important other Occupy sites be informed that both OWS and OP have officially unaffiliated themselves from this group and its activities.

You want to elect people, HOW? Aside from the group’s questionable history, the 99% Declaration also had serious problems with the plan they presented, especially the methods proposed for delegate selection. The 99% Declaration is proposing 890 delegates (2 from each of the 485 Congressional Districts and Puerto Rico, DC, and the US territories) be elected via an on-line voting system to come together in Philadelphia on July 4, 2012 to vote on a list of grievances to be addressed by our current government. The first issue is that this is not representative or direct democracy. It reenacts the current failed system of representation.

99% Declaration representatives were asked, “When so many protesters feel the structure of our democratic system is broken, why would we endorse a plan to work within that system?” After all, if there is a revolution in this town, then why would anyone bring forth a proposal to operate within the same corrupt framework of government to represent our movement? Its contrary to OP’s vision of creating a new system.

Secondly, the proposed use of Congressional Districts as a measure of representative allocations was not well received. Many informed occupiers were knowledgeable of the criticism against Congressional Districting methods. They are often used for the packing and splitting of concentrations of voters to weaken or strengthen influence to gain partisan advantage, resulting in tactics known as gerrymandering. Members of Congress essentially get to draw lines around their own districts and choose what populations they want to vote for them. This ensures that incumbents keep their positions and makes it difficult for newcomers to get elected. These practices have sparked a current movement to reform the border lines for each districts by changing legislation to mandate the district lines be drawn by an independent commission.

One man and one woman should be elected as delegates from each district, says the proposal. This is problematic because it eliminates the possibility of a trans-gendered person running for office without having to identify as a man or a woman. This type of gender designation further marginalizes this group. If one were a regular participant at OP, you would know there is a pretty active trans population who have been very vocal about the daily discrimination they encounter by gender designations. They face discrimination from organizations like SEPTA who use gender designations in their transpasses, fare cards used for public transit.

Perhaps the most alarming part of their plan for a national delegation is the requirement that each delegate submit their social security number and undergo a criminal background check. The rationale is so that the 99% Declaration can verify identities and eliminate infiltrators who might attempt to be elected as delegates. The OP legal collective quickly informed them collecting social security numbers in this way is illegal. Very illegal. When asked where the numbers would go and who would collect them, they were unable to answer. This is pretty scary considering this idea was cooked up by a team of “lawyers.” Understanding the growing prevalence of identity theft and surveillance, the idea of giving SS# to unknown individuals and undergoing criminal background checks is downright crazy.

Delegate requirements also say that only US citizens registered to vote can be delegates. This means that immigrants and those who don’t have the documents needed to be registered voters are excluded. Finally, persons convicted of violent offenses within 10 years are also not eligible to become delegates, which would disproportionately affect people of color in urban areas. When these concerns were raised, the representatives seemed callous in their responses. There was a disinterest to commit to changing the proposal and little empathy for our feelings of being misinformed. In sum, their attitude and ignorance to discriminatory practices alienated more than it unified.

Read the rest at link - too long to post all of it

[-] 3 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

I and many others I personally know could get behind the 99PercentDeclaration group. The list on the website, which by the way is not down, is a suggested list, not THE LIST.

I read the outline proposed for the choosing of the delegates, which are to be from the various districts within the country and protectorates. Which means to me and others I have spoken to, that each district would have it's own group nominating and electing delegates for the NGA.

The USA has a workable system and we need to work within that system to affect change, anything else would be a revolt.

OWS did it's job, it created awareness, it made the noise and it needs to continue to do so...the 99PercentDeclaration is what middle America can get behind, it's what they understand.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

OWS is a revolt. Read the top of this page. It say The revolution continues world wide. Unlike the liberals who attached themselves to the movement, the people who wrote that don't see it as hyperbole or metaphor. We really mean it.

[-] 3 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

There are many different factions within the OWS, it's obvious it was designed for there to be factions. It had to be...The groups under the OWS umbrella come from all over the country, local issues, national issues, even personal issues all together under one banner.

So for there to be at least the flavor of revolution is to be expected.

We use the word revolution a bit indiscriminately in the English language, at least the American version of the language...we speak of technology revolutions, revolutionizing our lives...

So yes, there may well be a group who do not see the term as a metaphor, but there are many other groups who do see it as such.

For a very long time the American public has tried to affect the change they want via the vote...slowly we've come to realize is that the only change we've managed to affect is the color of the 'mascot', not the management.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

There are no factions in OWS. It's horizontal structure is not especially hospitable to factions. I'm not suggesting that they could not emerge, only that they haven't so far and the horizontal structure of OWS tends to inhibit the development of factions. There are, however, tendencies. The distinction is important and substantive, not merely linguistic. A faction as I understand it is more or less formally organized like a caucus or a political party. No such formations exist within OWS. There are, however tendencies which are conceptually much looser formations and reflect a mood or a set of values rather than an organized agenda.

I would characterize the two dominant tendencies in OWS as the radicals and the liberals. The radicals were the initiators of OWS and are considerably influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition. The liberals began to attach themselves to OWS shortly after the occupation began. They undoubtedly are a much larger group numerically than are the radicals, but they are also much less politically coherent. Their natural habitat is the Demands Working Group, but they can't even seem to agree on a common set of demands among themselves, much less convince a skeptical GA of their views.

In contrast the radicals have done an outstanding job of organizing and reaching out to other groups (including the liberals). Despite their radical views, within days after the occupation began they initiated an alliance with sections of organized labor, the first such alliance between organized labor and the radical intellegentcia in America since the 1940s. And the liberals didn't do that. The radicals did. They also reached out to the religious community, to the debtor class, to people who had been foreclosed and to the stop stop and frisk movement. All this was done by movement radical, not liberals who were busy fighting each other about what demands to raise.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Faction as in a group of people with an agenda or goal. The grandmothers against the war are a faction, for example. The simple fact is that there is an ebb and flow of other 'groups' with a core of 'groups' which are static.

Radicals have a tendency to 'not work well with others',as long as the agendas remain on parallel courses they will move forward with one group or another, when those courses diverge, another group will be invited in.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I've been active in OWS since day one. I agree that a faction is a group of people with an agenda or a goal. As I pointed out, a tendency is much more amorphous than that and has to do with values. Factions tend to be at least minimally organized or else they would not be in a position to put forward a coherent agenda. Tendencies are not at all organized and people in the same tendency might not even be aware of it.

Far from not being able to work well with others, the self identified radicals in OWS, not the liberals, are exactly the people that reached out to organized labor, to the religious community, to the debtor class, to the foreclosed and to the stop stop and frisk movement as well as several other successful outreach efforts. While they were doing this the self identified liberals in OWS were busy fighting each other about the appropriate demands to raise.

In terms of "working well with others" so far the radicals seem to be doing a much, much better job of it than are the liberals.

[-] 3 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Yet radicalism won't go over with Middle America...said as an older Middle American. For many of us, OWS did what we expected it to do, gain attention to the issues, we didn't all agree with all the issues presented but we agreed with enough of them. Once the attention was gained it was time (in our Middle American minds), to use that attention and turn it into action. What we see is more attention seeking behaviors to put it simply.

We (Middle Americans) view action as working within the system, to use the tools that were provided for us by our founders and by those who followed them. Tools that if used properly are very effective.

Middle Americans don't feel very secure at present and they don't truly see any way to feel secure with the OWS...we need something we are familiar with and understand so we can move forward in an effort to regain our security and by extension security for others.

The bullet points Middle Americans can get behind are, Reinstate Glass/Steagall, end Corporate Personhood, campaign finance reform. The last point is one Middle America has been making noise about for years, the politicians give it lip service for the same number of years...

Those three points are what Middle America first saw in OWS, they aren't seeing them any longer.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'm 68 years old, white and male, though I've never earned more than $30K a year, I sometimes hang out with people who do, so I'm not sure if I'm middle American or not, whatever that means.

You seem to be hung up on a label. What I am saying is that OWS activists who label themselves as radical have been very successful so far in reaching out to a variety of constituencies including sections of organized labor, the religious community, the debtor class, the foreclosed upon, the stop stop and frisk movement, the homeless, the international movement and other constituencies.

So far as I can see the liberal supporters of OWS have largely been focussed on demands, not organizing people and they haven't even been able to agree among themselves on what demands to raise.

I completely agree that OWS is a tiny movement. The most generous estimates I have read claim that there are probably around 200 thousand OWS activists. In a nation of 300 million we have a lot of work to do. Reaching out to "middle America" will indeed be a formidable task as the vast middle class doesn't seem especially interested in or capable of organizing itself. But if liberals can do it better than radicals the proof will be in the pudding and so far the liberals don't seem especially capable of organizing anything at least not for the past several decades, which is one reason why essentially liberal labor leaders have bonded with OWS. OWS radicals are clearly doing a better organizing job than they have been able to do for nearly half a century.

What we need to do now is organize. Once 10 or 20 million people are occupying, at least part time, including "middle Americans" then we can begin to talk about next steps. Before then we are way too small and it is way too premature.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

I make my points based on not only my own perceptions but also the perceptions of others...radical to many (I don't like the word most) means WAY OUTSIDE THE BOX, and sadly lots of people like the box, it feels safe.

I read both here and on other forums that OWS is disjointed, some take exception to the inclusion of unions, others rejoice, many view OWS as completely spontaneous with little to no organization, and then there is the messy time consuming direct democracy which appears to wander all over the place. (not my personal perceptions but taken from others).

One man I spoke to after he had read the 99PercentDeclaration, told me that the list was at least clearly outlined even if he only agreed with two or three points. To me the key words were clearly outlined.

Many of the people I have spoken with view the current circumstance as a two front war, OWS is working flanking movements and they feel a frontal attack is needed to complement the flanks.

Speaking of labels, you comment I seem hung up on them, yet you freely toss your own around, liberal. The term liberal covers a lot of ground yet it feels as though you've staked out a 100 sq ft area to lump all liberals into.

Perhaps we all need to be a bit more open to what the others are saying. Could it be we are all the four blind men 'seeing' the elephant?

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Part of the OWS mission is to educate people and to help awaken them from their decades long political slumber. The fact is most of the initiators of OWS are self identified radicals. To claim anything else for themselves would be both disingenuous and dishonest. There job is to educate those awakening from their slumber to the realities of radicalism and the rich and noble history of radicalism, both internationally and in America. Not to pretend that they are something that they are not, not to call themselves liberals when they are not and not to deny that they have a political perspective and the nature of that political perspective when they have one.

And the fact is it is the self identified radicals in OWS, not the liberals or the politically undifferentiated who have so far forged an alliance with sectors of organized labor, with the religious community, with the stop stop and frisk movement, with the debtor class, with the foreclosed upon , with the homeless and with other social sectors.

So far all the liberals in OWS have done so far as I can see is argue with each other about what demands to raise and they haven't been able to agree with each other on that. As organizers they have been piss poor, especially when compared to the radicals.

The notion of liberalism is indeed a tricky term. Both Jefferson and FDR are often considered liberals, yet to do so tends to render the term meaningless as Jefferson was profoundly antistatist and FDR was about as statist as they come. Essentially classical antistatist liberalism died in the late 19th century though what we currently call libertarians are perhaps closest to it. It is more accurate to characterize what are often called liberals as progressives. Progressivism arose in the late 19th century among the liberal middle classes of that era who were responding to the rise of corporate power above them and the beginnings of a mass working class movement from below. In response they abandoned their antistatist views and began to look to the state to protect them both from corporate power and the unwashed masses.

It is undoubtedly inaccurate to characterize the mass of OWS activists as liberals or progressives, though many would self identify that way. The vast mass of OWS activists are, like the rest of the nation, politically unformed. I perhaps innaccurately have characterized them as liberal or progresssive because in many very lengthy conversations with them many of them have tended to take positions consistent with those taken by people who self identify as liberals or progressives.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Whatever flaws 99%Decl group has, its alot better than the anarchist absurdity of OWS. I hope 99%Decl stays as far away as possible from OWS. We do need politicians and government to make change. For OWS to claim otherwise is positively stupid. OWS sucks.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Up until this point, leaving aside the huge flaws in the 99D as a political document, its supporters have not shown any particularly outstanding organizational skills. Whatever the hostility of OWS to the 99D, it is undoubtedly expodentially more sympathetic to those views than is the broad and largely depoliticized public and 99D supporters can't even get significant support within GAs, much less the general public.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

I really wish those who discuss the 99PercentDeclaration would take a moment to read the entire page, not just the bullet points.

The list is a suggested list, taken from the early days of the OWS movement. There is a page that explains the history of the 99PercentDeclaration and why they are not involved heavily with the OWS movement.

Why the 99PercentDeclaration could work is pretty simple, it is what Middle America is familiar with, what they are comfortable with.

As a firmly entrenched 'Middle American', I looked at the 99PerCentDeclaration and thought, ok, some of those bullet points aren't that big a deal, but there are some I could really get behind...I thought, choosing representatives from the districts plus getting delegates from the protectorates, that's good.

The statement that clears up the bullet points issue, is a suggested list...ok, so it's a suggestion and from reading about OWS, I can see the influence there...

Then as an older Middle American, I begin to think about logistics...choosing the delegates, transporting them, housing and feeding them for the term they will be together...and how will they choose to present the grievances, will all sign as representative of their district or as individuals...

I think about the OWS GA not supporting the 99PercentDeclaration, and I realize that is opposite of the OWS, that it is seen as political not social commentary. I understand that we need both. The social reform and the political voice...this as a older Middle American.

To many of us it seems OWS wants to work within the system at some points and at others wants to revamp the system into something new and strange with no assurance it would be better...

We older Middle Americans like our Constitution, as We understand it, not as the Tea Party or the Libertarians want to interpret it...we don't want change the system, we want the system to work the way it is supposed to, with us, we the people, making the important decisions that affect us all.

We don't want to fix what isn't broken, such as the repeal of Glass/Steagall did, it may not have broken the system, but it put one hell of a crack in it. We want our government to keep it's promises to us and to others, that's OUR reputation on the line, and our futures.

We understand full well that our system is nearing terminal illness and that we HAVE to do something since those who were chosen to do the job are too busy making brownie points to get to work...we also understand that to do something it has to be within the framework of something we understand, something we are familiar with, and so far that's the 99PercentDeclaration.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Regarding the "bullet points" of the 99D, they are mostly about proposed demands, while I have issues with some of them, much more important to me is how the 99D proposes to organize a national GA. In specifically excluding minors and noncitizens from acting as delegates (and presumably voting for delegates) it excludes people who have been active and instrumental in building OWS from the beginning, aside from the fact that OWS is an internationalist movement, that does not seem to me to be especially democratic.

Middle American or not, OWS was not fetishistic about the law when it started and every day occupations are acts of civil disobedience. The reason why the civil rights movement was successful was because millions of "middle Americans" came to realize, in the words of Malvena Reynolds that "It isn't nice to block the doorways, it isn't nice to go to jail. There are nicer ways to do it, but the nice ways always fail."

Tens of thousands of middle Americans are beginning to rediscover that truth. OWS would do no service to those who have not yet discovered it to retreat from it. BTW, I'm 68, white and male, but I've never made more than $30K, so I don't know if that makes me middle American or not.

I'm not opposed to the idea of a national GA, but it should be based on existing local GAs and local GAs that are forming or starting to form.

Getting people from Congressional Districts that have no GAs and that are indifferent to, ignorant of, or hostile to OWS to vote for a national GA is unlikely to yield either a democratic or a progressive outcome.

[-] 1 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I don't mean to butt-in but the term 'middle-america' or middle-american means those from the mid-west, the largest part of the US that isn't East or West coast, the bible belt or deep south. They are live in the 'heartland' of america and are predominantly white and middle-class and generally conservative but I use that last description very loosely. When I say 'conservative' I mean they are in no way radical nor progressive.

Ok now on with the discussion.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Kansas are all part of middle America as you put it. People there may vote Republican and think of themselves as conservative, but they don't necessarily act that way. OWS after all drew much of its inspiration from a mass movement of middle Americans who occupied the state house in Madison Wisconsin last winter, or more recently the public referendum in Ohio that pushed back the governors effort to smash unions there.

The American labor movement is as weak as it has been at any time since the 1920s, yet some of the strongest remnants of that movement are in "middle America." Kansas was the absolute heart of the Populist movement more than a century ago and the Dakotas were the center of the Nonpartisan League in the 20s the remnants of which are still with us with state banks, cooperative graineries and other manifestations. True,these movements are outside living memory, but such traditions and memories are passed down from generation to generation.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

The first time I read the 99PercentDeclaration page, the proposed delegates were to be chosen from and by the GAs that were active and the areas or districts that did not have GAs would be by another method.

I do know that the 'organizers' are open to suggestions and there is a page to make them. So if you feel that you have a valid point I suggest you take advantage of the above.

This is one of the problems with online communications, to much is lost in the white...and often part of what gets lost is the point.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I have repeatedly addressed my concerns to Michael and to other supporters of the 99D in a number of different forums and list serves, I have never been answered by anyone except for a couple of glib references to the law, and OWS has never been fetishistic about the law. Indeed, it began with an act of civil disobedience. That is what resonated with people, including countless "middle Americans."

In a couple of instances I was unceramoniously dumped from a couple of list serves, without comment.

Since, I am not opposed to a national GA in theory, I continue to raise these concerns, without result, though I have run across a number of people who have quite the 99D movement because they began to perceive it as undemocratically organized and that it was not genuinely open to change even though it said so.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Please reference a previous reply, my fingers are getting tired. Of the 'ritis brothers, Artr (itis) is the meanest one of all.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'm 68 years old. In addition to artritis I have heart disease and prostate cancer. None of that has prevented me from actively occupying on at least a part time basis and I have yet to see anywhere where my concerns have been substantively answered. Mostly I am directed to some website or entry that also doesn't answer my concerns as you do above.

[-] 1 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Thanks for posting this k1234.

[-] 0 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

Good points. Trouble now in OWS is, some are falling for this anarchy stuff. Either they are really nonpolitical, want to sound political, can't be bothered, are afraid to point blame, or would rather spread blame exactly evenly to every party. The ones screaming at everyone for "dividing" by daring to mention political parties are the biggest tools of the Koch Brothers right now.

[-] 0 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 2 years ago

The whole american problem is the founding fathers .,past is past no need to return to the past

[-] 0 points by WolfThom (90) 2 years ago

15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America. Information Clearing House, Grafiken über Einkommens- und Vermögensverteilung in den USA

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25399.htm

http://www.pauljorion.com/blog/?p=11384

http://elboheme.blogspot.com/2010/05/die-wahren-ursachen-der-krise_12.html

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

NLake72

I did read your post word for word - start to finish. In many ways I feel the same and I am not officially a part of OWS. I have always been a guest on this website and have shared my concerns about the headlong rush to judgement-solutions in all of 360 degrees. I still cannot find the purpose of OWS or its so called supporters. There was a time, when it looked like it held potential - today it looks like that potential was spent of trivia due to lack of any wisdom and understanding within the movement as a whole. It is not coherent and is basically now a movement overwhelmed by the very things that they protest the most - a lot of CEO's and not enough workers.

OWS had leaders from the very beginning, BUT they were very weak leaders and anyone or anything could have and did topple them and take over. You only have to read through a significant number of posts on these forums to determine who wants to be and thinks they are in control and what their agendas are.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

The leaders from the beginning were anarchists. And they are still in control now.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

I have no doubt about that. We have only had one OWS meeting in this area and 6 of the 12 were anarchists. Guess they took off after they realized that they and their ilk were not welcome to butt into the business of this area and they were about to find out that a few cowboys could do in any number of anarchists in a free for all.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Are you suggesting that there are no anarchist cowboys? While herding cattle might not be viewed as the most intellectual of pursuits, from every western movie I've ever seen it seems to me that anarchism is an organic part of the cowboy sensibility. That is, hostility or at least indifference to the state. In the late 19th century many western heros switched from being outlaws to lawmen and back again as easily as putting on their boots.

[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Stop watching western movies - for the most part they have the validity of space wars.

What I am saying is that the cowboys have inherent reasons for existing and those reasons exist within themselves - not some organization or some theory of government-nongovernment interaction. Anarchist movements are governmental movements, cowboys are freedom movements. Can you see this difference, when I say that 6 anarchists coming into town to push their agendas hidden behind masks DO NOT present the face of freedom to a few cowboys - and they better be getting out of town and pronto.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'm not sure, in an honest conversation with each other, that the differences you suggest would be all that significant. I think you see it as a matter of style, that cowboys wouldn't have any sympathy with eastern hippies, but from what I understand cowboys wouldn't especially have any sympathy with ANY easterner, especially those that they saw as privileged. But it is possible to approach each other with empathy and I think that there views are similar enough that most sophisticated and mature anarchists (which might seem like an oxymoron to you) would approach the cowboys with considerable empathy as they had done with other "others."

After all, the cowboys of the 19th century loved the anarchist, bohemian, gay poet Oscar Wilde. That's an established historical fact.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Hey RedJazz43 - think I might of messed up our conversation.

Excuse me for the time lapse here, I though we were talking about the cowboys downtown the day the guys with the masks were here.

Guess it is my confusion that got us mixed up. Anyhow, the cowboys of today drive around in Chevy, Ford and Lincoln pickups and may not be what you think of as cowboys - acutally a lot of todays' cowboys where I live are actually the Indians of your time reference.

You see, we are not really that racially divided that we think that a cowboy can't be an Native American, African American or any combination or races. Cowboy is more of a way of thinking than a way of dressing or of riding a horse. A few around these parts may know who Oscar was but most would guest that it was the name of a bull to be ridden in the rull riding contest - and a challenge to any cowboy that would take that bull on. Now that is an established historical fact of today in the cowboy's world.

There are some cowboys around here that could match most Easterners dollar for dollar and have a truck load of them left over.

It is not a matter of sympathy, priviledge, etc. It is much more a matter of the internal reasons for existence that we hold. I have observed the whole sympathy thing - but it is just the opposite of the way you protray it. The sympathy comes from those outside the area towards the "poor cowboy or the poor Indian" and they just do buy into that crap at all. You are correct about the point of the Easterner - the further you go East the deeper the crap gets when it arrives out here.

Well anyhow - I could go on for days but it is about lunch time here and I head the bell ringing. Later............

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I have been to 5 different occupations. At every occupation AIM, the American Indian Movement, had a table calling for Native American rights. Empathy is very different from sympathy. Sympathy definitely comes from an elitist position of superiority of those it feels are "less fortunate." Empathy is very different. It is about solidarity, about feelings of identity with others as opposed to sympathy. It is not hard to mistake when it is genuine, which again is probably why the 19th century cowboys like the anarchist, bohemian, gay poet Oscar Wilde so much.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

RedJazz43 - thanks

I am fully aware of the difference between sympathy and empathy. We do not have much OWS out here in this area because the cowboy mentality sees it for what it is - either "sympathy" or a cry for "sympathy" and for the most part, people of this area want no part of either approach. If you live in a small house, you are not really given to expressing a lot of sympathy for those that bought a 5,000 square foot house in Phoenix and lost it when they couldn't make payments for ANY reason that in many cases should have been under their control to begin with.

The next time you talk with AIM representatives, ask them what Native American Tribe they belong to, why there are there, and what rights they are calling for.

Once you get all fired up about the AIM movement - ask then how the largest Native American Tribe in the US really thinks about them and how much support they get from that group. If they bravo the whole thing to you - ask them about the General Dynamics business and how that turned out for their RIGHTS and the rights of the Native Americans that lost all of their jobs because they lost their rights to work and make a good living for the families to a group called AIM.

If they bravo that to you, ask them what they think about PEABODY and the closed mine and all the Native Americans that lost their jobs there. I can show you a picture of one AIM member with a rifle on top of the Peabody mining machine - and I can show you the picture where that machine USED to provide jobs but no longer does.

This is all about what happens when we are MOMENT occupiers. We create our havoc and move on - what we leave behind is the chaos that we created, people without jobs, and the destruction of a people and their way of life.

I am very cautious of this movement because I see that as the opportunists that they seem to be - taking advantage of the MOMENT, creating their havoc and promoting more until the situation of so out of control that they can step in as the saviours of the very mess that they created in the first place.

You really need to be very careful of the things that you FALL for and who you cast your lot with. Just the other side on this story.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I don't think OWSers want sympathy. Indeed their whole reason for not raising any demands is because they neither want anything nor expect anything from this corporate state. It is true that they do organize around particular demands, especially with groups with which they are in solidarity, For example, in building an alliance with people who have been evicted from their homes, they have raised the demand to stop foreclosures. But that is such a radical demand that it is unlikely to be met by this state, which is the equivalent of no demand at all.

One person can be an opportunist. Several people can be opportunists, perhaps even several hundred, but it is hard to imagine tens of thousands of people acting in concert all being opportunists.

BTW, I'm 68 years old and I've been involved in social movements since 1964, sometimes in a position of local leadership, so it's hard to say who's falling for what or who is manipulating whom I think in my case and that of countless others.

People are already jobless and homeless. OWS did not create that chaos. It is responding to it.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

RedJazz43

I should have known. I should have used ronjj42 for my posting name. A little ahead of you but not by much. I will deal with the big 70 next year - but you know what - it has been a great 70 years and I can look back further than a lot of people that I know and in someway, I think from what I have learned - I can look a little further head too.

But responding with "demands" is not the way the world is set up to work. We can demand that we have the right to identify "gravity" in our own terms - but simply jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge is not going to prove your right. And doing it again and again it not going to change the way things are.

I would disagree with your statement that they have no demands. Look at the forums listed to the right of this page and you will see the individual demands being made. Whether this represents demands being made by OWS as an organization or not, these demands are somehow being made on behalf of that organization.

I have not seen one post asking that student loan borrowing be more well though out, counseling be provided, ramifications identified and alternatives explored. It has simply been a DEMAND that these loans be cancelled to protect the INNOCENT. What is and will become more evident this next year - there will be OCCUPY MOMENTS where the participants will demand that these very things which they identify as evil be retained and that the amount of PELL GRANT funds NOT be cut as has been voted in this last week. That was their MOMENT in time and where are they now. Same demands with the occupy farmers MOMENT - demands go up, there is a big hoopla and then nothing. I can only assume that someone figured that in that MOMENT, they were taking part in a protest that involved farmers who are today, in the best financial condition that they have been in for decades. These MOMENTS are coming along in unconrolled fashion and in unthoughtout fashion and will soon be gone and they WIILL NOT be coming around again anytime soon. So give me a list of ten (10) things that are left to OCCUPY today that have not already been done and that MOMENT has already passed.

I cannot see that there are tens of thousands of people acting in concert for anything. Where is the big support movement from OWS on behalf of the Egyptian protesters. When they start killing those protesters off a few at a time - is OWS prepared to stand up to their claims of support and go over there and defend them. I full believe that those initial protesters are or soon will be facing DEATH for the stand that they took - will OWS do the same for them when they reach that time - or has the MOMENT simply passed.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

That OWS does not have any demands is not a matter of speculation or discussion. It is a matter of fact. There is a Demands Working Group, the natural habitat of liberals in OWS, but it hasn't been able even to agree among itself on a set of demands, much less present them in a coherent way to a very reluctant GA.

The fact is OWS has no demands and that is so far a matter of principle with the NYC GA and most other large GAs, though there are demands working groups in most GAs. There may be local demands in some GAs. There really are too many GAs to be able to keep up with this on a part time basis, but there are no formal demands made by OWS or any of the larger GAs and that tends to be a matter of principle with most of them.

This forum is a bullshit kibbitzing session and while the site itself is very much in the spirit of OWS (The revolution continues world wide) about half the postings on this forum are from people hostile to OWS while the other half tend to be from people who claim to be sympathetic to OWS but who have never been to an occupation or a GA anywhere, which is the very essence of what OWS is.

While you may be sympathetic to OWS in terms of your understanding of it, nobody can really claim to have even the beginnings of an understanding of OWS without having spent at least a day at an occupation or gone to at least one GA. These are the sine qua non of OWS. So any suggestions that people make on this forum are not to be taken seriously. They don't even know how the decision making process works in most cases and without that the best ideas in the world are idle speculation and pissing into the wind. The ideas of a single person can most certainly not be construed as the demands of a group or movement.

If you asked me or most OWSers, all student debt should be cancelled and public education should be free to students pre K through grad school. It already is K though 12 and public universities in many states were free or virtually free until compartively recently. Of course this is not an official demand or position of OWS, but the fact that OWS has reached out very effectively to this debtor class (more effectively than any of its other very effective outreach efforts have been) is a clear indication of OWS sensibilities on this question.

Many credible economists are of the view that the present crisis is not cyclical but systemic. As such, it is unlikely to go away and so long as it does not go away, our MOMENT will not go away. I suspect this will be a very long moment. I am not hoping for that or wishing for it. That just seems to be the way things are shaking out.

Should they not the question will be how to sustain and build a long term movement of opposition and the greatest danger to sustaining and building such a movement is not the black bloc or police harrassment. The greatest danger is that of being co-opted by the Democratic Party which has managed to eviserate every social movement this nation has produced since the days of the Populists.

With regard to the actual base of OWS activists. I think if you add up all of the occupations and GAs in the nation including part time participants (and not mere supporters) you would probably come up with a figure just short of 200,000. Some drop out, for sure, but it is also true that new GAs are forming all the time. Just in Oakland there were in eccess of 10,000 people involved in the two port shut downs, considerably more during the coastwise port shut down. Putting aside whether it was a good idea (and that is still being debated by participants on the scene) that would account also for tens of thousands of people acting in concert.

I've been quite skeptical of the Oakland actions. The notion of a general strike was clearly a misnomer. I was even skeptical of the events that led up to the mass arrest at the Brooklyn Bridge. On the other hand it is hard to argue with success and putting my skepticism aside for a moment I have to acknowledge that so far at least all of these events have helped to build the movement. It is conceivable to me that at some point OWS will make a disasterous strategic or tactical mistake that will lead to its downfall, but so far, at least that has not seemed to have happened and far be it from me to chastise a movement I support for doing what appears to be everything right so far.

Even if OWS is crushed nationally the fact that it is an international movement is of signal importance and a success for the movement anywhere in the world tends to energize it everywhere.

OWS was very consciously influenced by the Arab Spring from its origins. During the very first week of the occupation at Zuccotti Park people from the occupation at Tahrir Square sent pizzas to the Park as an act of solidarity. Of course this is largely symbolic (unless you are hungry and could really do with a slice), but it is an extremely significant act of solidarity. On several occasions since representatives from the occupation at Tahrir Square have come to Zuccotti Park to speak in solidarity with OWS. For a time the idea of sending people from OWS to Egypt as an act of solidarity was seriously considered by the NYC GA, though that proposal was ultimately withdrawn for a number of reasons the details of which are unimportant for this posting.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Hey - thanks again.

To your very last paragraph - I think from what I have heard from various OWS attendees, you are simply hiding the reasons by saying that the details of which are unimportant for this posting. In think the details are critically important. Was it really just an "idea" being discussed or was it "action" taken that totally violated the principles of OWS itself. Also, if representative from Tahrir Square came to this country without threat of violence on their person, why have not representative from this country gone to Egypt, even if they had to pay their own way.

I agree that education should continue to be free through 12th grade and for the most part it is, we will, however, continue to struggle with things like segregation, equal funding, equal opportunities in sports programs, classroom set ups etc. I very much doubt that this problem will be resolved in either of our lifetimes.

Now, we go to the point of free education through grad school. What if I do not want to go to grad school. Is your plan to make me go whether I want to or not, or do you expect me to go out and get a job right after high school so that I can pay for your S A to go to grad school. Sorry for the S A reference but such beliefs whether put into demands or not are being put out there for all to react to. This country has pretty much agreed that the end of 12th grade is the beginning of "freedom to decide" issues. Yet your plan would take away this freedom until after grad school or would at least make those not electing into the plan slaves to those who elect in. What is your plan to overcome this slavery issue. Isn't it bad enough that a person with no children, has to pay taxes to support our public schools today even thought they may never set foot inside one of those building - or are they merely paying the debt for having done so in the 12 years they did attend.

And I cannot even see through the grad school issue. If your intent is to make it all equal at that level - do you intend to make it equal to Yale and Harvard or to Northern Arizona University or Grand Canyon University or just what would be this great equalizing thing that you propose.

It is easy for one to say that everyone should have food and serve them all beans then go home and eat ribeyes and baked potatoes. I guess you COULD say that this is equal access to FOOD and somehow make it look like a great thing that you have done for mankind. However, if this is not bad enough, how about we assume that the slaves you fed beans to are the very people that prepare your ribeyes, look after cattle daily and clean up the mess.

Is your only measure of "success" in numbers of people who show up. Why not become a true capitalist, charge everyone a dollar to get in and the movement would at least have well over $10,000 to help the poor, the employed etc that the say they are representing so gallantly. Your number are quite impressive. If there are 200,000 members or people taking part, AARP alone could convert that into over 32M$ and have some impact in the world.

I like, many others that are in my circle of influence hear this "cry in the wilderness" but has no meaning, no clarity, and seemingly, no purpose other than to divide us all up into the 1% and the 99%. We have chosen teams (or to be more realistit, the teacher has put all of us into teams) but now we can't figure out what the game is.

Hey RedJazz, this is not personal at all. I am just posing questions to present the pitfalls that I see in various plans to rescue the country from ourselves. I know that we have limited posting space and that ideas start somewhere and have to be fattened for market so to speak. Thanks again - Please-I am just asking-not telling.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

OK. Nobody is hiding anything. The details of this are public information and the whole issue was publicly debated on various lists of the NYC GA which is how I know about what I know about it. If I wanted to know more it would not be all that difficult to find, As I said, there is nothing secret about it, which is how I know about it.

The gist of it is that the idea of sending someone to Tahrir Square from the NYC GA passed the NYC GA. Then the question of cost arose. I do not recall how many people were approved to go, but the total cost of the trip was estimated at about $29K. An amount that much has to be approved by the GA which is when further questions arose. Apparently it was alleged that somebody who was very involved in organizing the project had been a State Department operative and some concerns were raised about the possibility that she might be a government plant. The person involved denied all this and said that her connection with the State Department was marginal and in any event no longer operative. Meanwhile things started to heat up in Tahrir Square and our sponsors there said that it would probably be better if we did not come especially if it was implied that this was a State Department supterfuge as they are very concerned that their movement not only be seen but actually be independent of the American state and neocolonialism. Their solidarity with OWS grows in particular out of the explicit anticolonialism of the movement as articulated in the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. That's all I know about that situation or care to know about it and I may have gotten a few details wrong here and there. I know enough to know that I can find out all there is to know if I want to.

If you want to know more about it, I will try to direct you to the appropriate sources. I actually think there is something about it on this forum if you look hard enough, There most certainly is on the NYC GA site.

Many foreign nations have long had free public education through grad school, so there is nothing especially unique about that, though it is true that part of the recent austerity moves world wide has been to privatize public education world wide and begin to charge students for educations that were previously free. This is nothing more than an attack on the living standards of the working class world wide so that the super rich can become even richer.

I don't think that the number of people showing up at a demonstration or at an occupation is, in and of itself any measure of success, but it is one indicator. One of the reasons why reform legislation often fails in practice even after it has passed in law is because there is no strong social movement supporting it. Another indication of the success of this movement is the way it has changed the public discourse which many in the main stream media have acknowledged. After all the protester is Time's person of the year.

Are you anywhere near an occupation or a regularly held GA? If so I would urge you to participate as much as you can. In more instances than not I have seen that commitment change people's lives. If you are too far from an occupation or a GA to participate in one regularly, are you close enough to take a week end out of your life and visit one once? If so I would urge you to do so. The go home, start a GA in your community among your "circle of influence." That is not only the greatest contribution you could make to OWS, it is also the best way that you could substantively influence it. If you are having trouble figuring out how to put together a GA, go to the top of this page. It will direct you to instructions. If you are still having problems appeal to the closest GA or occupation to send you some help. You may have to spring for bus transportation and room and board, but virtually all GAs would be happy to give you all the help they can.

[-] -1 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

RedJazz - as usual - thanks again.

I did need to know that you knew what you were talking about and this is one of the reasons that you are one of the few people that I respond to more than one time. You evidently have reached a level of maturity and wisdom that far exceeds that which would merely waste my time.

I dropped my sub to TIME simply because of their selection. Even in the most difficult of times, I think that anyone who appears on the front of the magazine and represents a 90 day period of time does not deserve to be so recognized in a national publication. Just my opinion and my reaction to what I consider a political ploy and a very short sighted move on their part. But then again, it is their magazine and my copies are now theirs' also. After all, freedom of speech is a two way street.

I want to know what OWS represents but I do not intend at this time to become an active part in it. This is based on what I read on these forums, have seen in their local protests, if you can even call them such, and their easy demise in this area.

As we discussed earlier, I think that the area where you live has a very different agenda and approach to their problems than we do here in most of the SouthWest. You get some concentrations of concern in areas such as LasVegas, Phoenix, etc but there is an entirely different approach and attitude about problems in these areas. It is much more an approach of "self reliance", "we will get through this", "we can share and move together", "we can see ourselves in a better world but we do not have to tear the everything down to get that getter world", and for the most part "we point fingers both at the big picture takers and ourselves".

For many years we have jokingly expected California to slide into the ocean and we would be fine. Lately, some of the folks are thinking that California can stay and we will start expecting that maybe it would be better if the New York City area do the sliding.

No references to any individuals but sometimes certain things just become a real pain in the A__ if you know what I mean. In many ways this is not a good thing that is going on - it in many ways is pulling us all down into the tent in the park and we just happen to not want to go camping right now.

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

"In many ways I feel the same and I am not officially a part of OWS."

LMAO "rojj" is a long-outed T R O L L ! ! !

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

And you are an idiot - so get over it.

I post herein on my own behalf. I am not a troll and I do not speak on behalf of anyone else including YOU.

You may have outed someone - if it was me - you are screwier than your name. Go get a life and stop judging everyone else by your personal distorted standards.

You are a large part of the reason - the OWS is losing its remaining credibility with people like NLake72 and me. Take your judgemental blame game and shove it.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

There was a kind of organic leadership in OWS from the very beginning. Besides natural talent and specifically developed skills, those who could occupy full time tend to emerge as leadership. But the fact is, those early leaders were for the most part very influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition and that continues to be the case. Nobody was "toppled." Efforts on the part of liberals to do just that have generally failed miserably pointing to both the poor organizational skills of liberals and the bankruptcy of their political agenda.

[-] 0 points by USCitizenVoter (720) 2 years ago

Proven Fact: Politicians follow the directions of lobbyist that spend money to benifit them not the 99% of Americans. Politicians / our so called elected officials are obligated to the lobbyist and the big corporations and the big banks. There is some big trouble headed our way and these pricks can't fix it. Nearly 14 trillion in debt. Soon Americas government will call on 99.99% of the citizens to make even larger sacrifices than lost jobs and homes.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Who is the jerk who would spend all this verbige to act like he had a significant presence on OWS and yet shows so little understanding of it and who won't even identify himself (at least, whoever this is, his name doesn't exactly jump out at me)? Far from "taking over" OWS people clearly influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition were present at the creation of OWS and even before. They were, in fact, its initiators. Anybody who claims to have been around OWS that long and didn't figure that out in a day or two hasn't been paying attention.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

I believe you and I discussed this matter (or something similar to it) on another thread where I called for cohesive, unified political action on the part of Occupy Wall Street, and now as then I firmly believe that a refusal to get involved in the political sphere (which is pretty much how people are going to read Occupy Philly's repudiation of the 99% Declaration and the associated national GA) is in fact a very poor policy decision.

I don't affiliate myself with any one real ideology; I believe in attempting to implement a specific set of policies (most of which I've articulated in various posts scattered across this forum over the past couple of months) and I'm willing to work with pretty much anyone who's willing to work with me on those policies (or whatever subset thereof I can get support for). A lot of Americans aren't that flexible, and they do have an inbuilt bias against people who choose to label themselves as socialist or communist or anarchist because those words have turned into slurs thanks to the Cold War.

I've discussed ways to perform an end run around this bias by focusing more on the actual policies you want to see implemented than on the train of thought by which you came to those policies, and I seem to have made some headway. That said, deciding to be loud and proud anarchists is not going to help your cause because the only people who are going to listen to you then are fellow anarchists (which are a fairly small fragment of the population) and pure pragmatists (which to my dismay seems like an equally small group). NLake72 is not part of either of these groups, but the fact remains that it's people like him you're going to have to sell if you want to have an impact.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I still don't know who NLake72 is. Whoever it is (I suspect a male) can't that person speak for themselves? And whoever ARod1993 is they also display absolutely no understanding of what OWS is all about and act as though one person, who will not even identify themselves, can have significant and even decisive influence on a movement which can count its activists in the tens of thousands. Part of what OWS is about is not hiding your politics. In the 1930s and 40s nearly 3 million people passed through the Communist Party, yet if you asked them, even then, years before the Cold War, there was "nobody here but us progressives." Unlike that, OWSers do not hide their politics, their influences or their values. It's not a matter of labels. It's a matter of the reality of their our influences and our views.

It was the initiators of OWS, those clearly influenced by the anarchist intellectual tradition, were the people who built an alliance between OWS and sections of organized labor, not the liberals who attached themselves to the movement later (and with the best of intentions). It was the initiators of the movement who took the initiative to occupy forclosed homes and build an alliance with the evicted, not the liberals. It was the initiators of OWS who joined with the stop stop and frisk movement and began to build an alliance between OWS and the minority community. We could go on and on.

Meanwhile, the liberals have advocated that OWS raise a specific set of demands and has not even been able to agree among themselves on what those demands should be. Regarding the 99% Declaration, while I personally believe that it is deeply flawed, its failure to pass the NYC GA or the Philly GA speaks as much to the poor organizing skills of its sponsors as it does to the weaknesses of the document itself.

Meanwhile OWS shall prevail. We were, we are, we shall be.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

I have no problem with the initiatives that you describe, in fact even though I am not an anarchist or a socialist I completely support these things. I love what OWS is trying to do, and I want to see it gain political power to stand alongside the street-level power that it's beginning to garner for itself through things like the anti-stop and frisk campaign or the retaking of foreclosed homes. I'm not speaking to you as an idiot who's never been to an encampment or as a concern troll; I'm trying to offer PR advice that will help you sell to people who may not be as willing to listen to you.

Personally, I'm not particularly choosy about who I will and won't work with when it comes to policy and I'm not personally bothered or offended by the presence of people who consider themselves anarchists or socialists at OWS (nor even by the degree to which they're integrated into the framework of the movement). If what you've said is true, then they've been a strong positive influence in the group. That said, the point remains that there are large groups of people who will discount your message and disown your movement simply because of who it's coming from.

NLake72 as a single person probably doesn't have any real voice at OWS or anywhere else, and I seriously disagree with his decision to walk away from the movement; I mentioned him because his position is very common both among people I've talked to on these forums and among people I've talked to both on and off campus in real life; they want to see the system changed but they're not comfortable associating with the people most likely to maintain the impetus for change because they fear that doing so would be seen as a permanent stain on their character in the circles in which they move.

You're not going to be able to change what people think of you unless they're already fairly open-minded to begin with, and while anger at the continuing dysfunction in this country may in fact help people become willing to search farther and farther outside the traditionally acceptable range of the political spectrum it's more likely to lead them in the direction of people like Ron PauI and Alex Jones and Lyndon LaRouche than toward you unless you make an explicit attempt to court them.

Whether they're good at making policies or directing movements is immaterial in this case because that's not what you need them to do. You need them to get out there and organize their own coalitions of people in the manner that they see fit so that they can fight for change even in places where it's gonna be a hard sell. Otherwise you're going to have a harder and harder time expanding your base enough to get national political support.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Who is the message coming from? The last I heard OWS had, generously, about 200 thousand activists nationally. That is who the message is coming from. There are no factions in OWS. It's horizontal structure does not lend itself to factions. There are, however, tendencies. The two largest tendencies include the initators of the movement, many if not most of whom are clearly influenced by the intellectual traditions of anarchism. Literally within days of when the occupation began people with more liberal views and those whose views were not particularly formed were energized and joined the movement. They soon far outnumbered the initiating group. Nevertheless, it is the initiators that have remained the more politically coherent. The same pattern emerged in every GA and occupation as they emerged around the nation.

About half the people on this forum are seriously hostile to OWS. Most of the other half, while they see themselves as OWS supporters are clearly not OWS activists, nor do they seemed inclinded to become OWS activists and that is what OWS needs more than anything, more than money and certainly more than advice. It needs people who are willing to join the movement as activists, if only on a part time basis. If they are too far from a GA or occupation to join one on at least a part time basis, then they need to take the initiative to start a GA in their community. If they choose not to do so then they are kibbitzers and dilletantes, but certainly not to be taken seriously.

Of course I would excuse the severely disabled, though even they, perhaps, could start a GA in their nursing home. What am I here for? I am a part time occupier. My job and my health prevent me from occupying full time, but I make it to an occupation or a GA at least once a week and I hang out here in the mean time.

This is an activist movement. People whose activism does not extend past the voting booth need to wake up. The best way for them to do that is to visit an occupation or a GA.

It is probably true that at some point OWS will have to take a political direction, though it is way, way too premature to even begin to think about that. We need a much more substantial movement before we can participate meaningfully in the electoral arena. The most likely outcome of doing so prematurely is to be co-opted by the Democrats. Once we have 10 or 20 million people occupying will be time enough for OWS to begin to talk about a political direction. Meanwhile we need to organize, re-occupy and preserve our independence from the political currents of the 1%.

Seems to me, in the mean time, we have been expanding our political base just fine, no thanks to the liberals among us, who have not been particularly helpful in that regard.

[-] 1 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Where do you get the figure 200 thousand activists nationwide? Are they logged in a book somewhere? There is no way to calculate the number of members when there is an ebb and flow of people coming into the movement and joining working groups with some leaving and some only participating part time. I'm just curious as to how you came up with the number 200 thousand.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'll acknowledge that the figure of 200 thousand OWS activists may be an exageration. I don't think you can call it inflated, exactly. As I recall I read this figure in some opinion piece in the main stream press. The reporter may have been vaguely supportive of the movement (why else choose to comment on it) but not strenuously or enthusastically so.

But let's do some sloppy math. There are (and I think this is a conservative figure) at least 100 occupations and GAs around the nation. The actual figure is probably around 200. At each of these occupations or GAs there are, say, an average of 100 part and full time occupiers at each occupation or acting as participants in a local GA, That would put the number of activists at 10 to 20 thousand and I am prepared to go with that. My reference to the larger figure was from a news report I read which I can't recall but which was credible and moderate in its views. I thought it seemed like an exageration at the time, but I was prepared to go with it as it came from a main stream source (sorry I can't remember where, but I think it was in an op ed piece in a major daily).

Conservative crowd estimates of the first port shut down in Oakland put that crowd at about 10 to 20 thousand. At the coastwise shut down there were again about that many people in Oakland and probably around 50 thousand total on the rest of the coast and nationally on that day.

This is of course considerably short of the notion of 200 thousand that I had previously mentioned. But I spoke to my reasons for that and I am perfectly willing to go with more conservative estimates,

All of these, however, have to be estimates. That is the nature of a movement. During the famous 1963 March on Washington march organizers claimed their was a crowd of 200,000, However, I was there and active in the movement at the time and from a private conversation I had with Bayard Rustin, the march organizer, at the time, based on bus and train tickets he put the crowd at closer to 100,000 though that is not something he would say publicly.

Because OWS is a movement and not a membership organization, of course it is impossible to determine with absolute accuracy the total number of activists, though I think the estimates I have above are reasonable.

I am a staunch supporter of OWS, and OWS is exilerating precisely because it has been so long since we have seen such a movement of opposition here. And it probably seems bigger than it is precisely because so little preceeded it in terms of a genuine culture of oppostion, With all that in mind serious OWSers need to be very cognizant of exactly how weak our movement is, In contrast in 10 months in 1936 and 1937 a half a million working people occupied their work places (in those days it was called a sit down, but functionally it was the same as an occuption, especially in their disregard for the rights of private property). At the same time and in conjunction with the sit downs, 4 million working people organized themselves into industrial unions and this was in a period when the general population was half what it is today.

When OWS has 10 or 20 million people occupying then we can begin to talk about a next step. Before then it would be premature, just as it would have been premature for CIO sit downers to talk about the intricacies of a collective bargaining agreement or political action when the movement was just getting under way.

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[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Ain't one of mine

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[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

If you want to have a serious discussion and not just play, and if you read seriously what he wrote and have any notion at all as to what OWS is all about it is fairly clear that he doesn't, so it's hard to see how he could be "one of us" except as the consequence of a misunderstanding.

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[-] -1 points by simplesimon (121) 2 years ago

There's nothing serious about OWS...you might think so, but it isn't.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

It's about as serious as a heart attack. Of course there is no talking to you as undoubtedly you think global warming is a left wing hoax, but there is nothing fun about sleeping on concrete or in jail.

[-] -1 points by simplesimon (121) 2 years ago

Yet you choose to do that, sleeping on concrete or in jail. How has that been working out for you so far? LOL!

Are corporations (who are comprised of people, by the way) still here? Absolutely. Will you elect enough representation to abolish corporations? Never.

That simple premise alone is enough to view this movement, by the vast majority of people in this country, as a passing fad.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

You sound like you expect a problem that has taken centuries to evolve can be solved in days. The kind of changes we seek will take at least years, probably decades, and perhaps several lifetimes.

OWS is a brand new and very tiny movement. Generously there are perhaps 200 thousand OWS activists in a nation of 300 million. Once we are a movement of 10 or 20 million we will be able to accomplish much more. Meanwhile we have changed the nature and content of political discourse in the nation and exposed just how superficial free speech rights really are.

[-] -1 points by simplesimon (121) 2 years ago

You are nothing, really. Just like me.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Sounds like you have a low opinion of yourself. Of course, most of the time individuals don't amount to much, but some individuals make great scientific discoveries or create enduring works of art. And as the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said, no matter if we are PhD or a chamber maid, we can all be drum majors for social justice as we understand it.

There's a biblical metaphor which says, don't hide your light under a bushel. In bougeois society that has largely been interpreted as meaning we should all develop our talents to the fullest. However, there is another interpretation embodied in a song whose lyrics go, "if everyone would light just one little candle what a bright world it would be.?"

Rosa Parks was "nothing, really," but her unwillingness to move to the back of the bus sparked a revolution in race relations and de jure segregation.

[-] 0 points by simplesimon (121) 2 years ago

You are not MLK, nor are you Rosa Parks.

Demonstrating, sleeping in tents, doing drugs, molesting women in Zuccotti Park, standing in solidarity with muslim radicals who degrade women, all these things are not talents.

Whatever your talent is, develop it. If your primary goal is to be the most talented squatter then you'll have to live with a calloused ass.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I certainly don't claim to be MLK, though to be cynical about it, his assassination was a great PR move. I was in the movement at the time and those of us in SNCC and CORE had no particular respect for King and referred to him derisively as "De Lawd." On the other hand I do aspire to be be Rosa Parks. Not the fame which she later acquired, but her courage as an ordinary person to stand up (or rather sit down) for what she believed in. I believe everyone can aspire to that. In fact, none other than MLK said we all could, no matter our station in life.

It is an absolute slander to say that OWS has been at all sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism or any system or system of belief that exploits and oppresses people. The demonstrators in Tahrir Square are very specifically opposed to Islamic fundamentalism and call for a secular state. There opposition to the current elections is specifically because the Islamic Moslem Brotherhood, which is opposed to secularism and for an Islamic state, had disproportionate influence with the junta. Our comrades in Egypt are for a democratic secular state, not Islamic fundamentalism. To say otherwise is a slander on both our movements.

I suppose you could say that Rosa Park's choice not to move when asked and to commit an act of civil disobedience (and occupation for that matter) was not a particular talent either, but it did lead to some very profound changes in social relations in the US.

[-] 0 points by officer (11) 2 years ago

ows is following a fully tested plan of non violent resistance- of which there is no defense- you on the other hand, want to follow a plan that would mean the destruction of ows.
http://1vbd3.cjb.net

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (17973) 2 years ago

Ditto ! + from the above, please consider, " .. this your only warning: I'm exactly the violent and maniacal bastard with whose Constitution and livelihood you simply don't want to fuck." & then ... " This is a movement that lives or sputters out by virtue of your own hubris." !! hmmm ....

@ the ~1% & The Parasitic 1% OF a 1% [THE ~ 0.01%] : The OWS / 99% Meme, Is Here To Stay !!!

~oderint dum metuant~

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[-] 0 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Yeah, well their plan sucks. We are not Greece or Serbia. The anarchists need to get over themselves.

The vast majority of this country does not want their anarcho-communism/anarcho-syndicalism and is not drinking their Direct Democracy koolaid. This movement is absurd.

[-] 1 points by teenager (11) 2 years ago

April: ---Its interesting that you mentioned Serbia? Otpor, is our mentor-

Strategizing For A Living Revolution

By George Lakey

world revolution began , in Sebia, then serbian arabs used the arabic version of gene sharps book from dictatorship to democracy to orcrestrate the arab spring, then it migrated to ows , usa thru cairo - then the world.-


http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/lakeylivrev.html

mp3 33 minutes http://www.multiupload.com/V0GECSMHFI


Excerpt: Cynical outsiders were skeptical when Otpur activists claimed not to have a leader, when the young people said they were all leaders and shared responsibility for their actions and their common discipline. What the skeptics overlooked was the power of strategy as a unifying force, taking its place beside the rebel energy and the lessons of recent history that the young people shared. Otpur activists didn't need an underground commander giving them their marching orders because they shared a strategy they believed in; they were happy to improvise creatively within that strategic framework.

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Yes, I know. I don't think we need Serbian revolution fighters for an Amercian protest. We don't have a dictatorship. We have a Republic that needs some cleaning up.

It's a lie that this movement has no leaders. There certainly are people behind the scenes guiding this movement towards their own anarchistic agenda. Pushing direct democracy. To think otherwise is totally ridiculous.

Lots of discontented, disenfranchised people like the koolaid though. Thats exactly what the anarchists want. To take advantage of peoples anger and frustration.

[-] -1 points by bereal (235) 2 years ago

"When “I don't give a shit” is the general consensus of the population, I am forced to respond, with finality, that none of you has any complaint coming to you-- when, and if, our country falls into a further state of decay."

The majority of the population doesn't want your progressive agenda any more. They are finally understanding that the progressive movement is what's causing the country to fall into a state of decay and they have had enough.

You may as well stay with OWS because you views aren't welcome in the general population either.

[-] -1 points by EndGluttony (507) 2 years ago

Did anyone ask you what you thought? Only a self-important blowhard would scribble out such a lengthy treatise about why they won't be scribbling out any more.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Tweeted link as I think this calls for serious consideration.

Forward the 99%, Occupy, and the USA.

[-] -3 points by fishb8 (62) 2 years ago

I too read every word . . . .

Anyone who commits this much time and reason into a written piece must be respected for thoughtfulness and concern for his personal enlightenment.

A rational Person, thinking through a position and clearly stating his resulting conclusions will be foreign to most OWS zombies.

This person will be attacked unmercifully for his ideas . . .for free thought . . .everything this phony movement claims to cherish.

Wait . . .he disagrees with Fearless Leader !! He must be silenced . . .NO dessention will be tolerated!! Like most GANGs he joined for life . . .at least he must be beaten OUT . . . watch . . .the beating. . . has begun !!

[-] -3 points by foreeverLeft (-264) 2 years ago

The hard left always co opts anything that smells like a populist movement. They're always looking for the opportunity to ride something into the chaos they dream of.

But, as always, this was the fringe co opting the fringe to further the agenda of the fringe. Read these posts, all fringe stuff. Things like OWS allow them to pretend for a moment they have meaning but as always they don't. Just another bunch of fringers being all fringy.

[-] -1 points by fishb8 (62) 2 years ago

You hit it on the head ... . . .PRETEND !!! . . .. This is like when you were a kid . . .you put on a cape and pretended you were Superman or Batman ....OWS kids never grew up . . .OWS is their CAPE !! AND Everyone else MUST pretend that they can FLY . . . or deal with the TANTRUM . . . in the meantime they play "camp-out" in some body else's back yard..