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Forum Post: Debate featuring Chris Hedges and others on whether Occupy should start using violence to create the revolution

Posted 11 years ago on May 17, 2013, 6:45 a.m. EST by OWSadvocateAndActivist (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

This debate titled ~ Occupy Tactics - Violence and Legitimacy in the Occupy Movement & Beyond ~ was held on September 12th, 2012.

It focuses on whether or not Occupy should start using violence as a means of protest to create the revolution we all desire. It's a very interesting debate featuring some of the more prominent people in the Occupy movement.

A bit long, but a must see for anyone who's following or participating in Occupy.




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[-] 2 points by gsw (3410) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago

Good post Thrasymaque. Wanabe

70 percent of people realize we are on wrong path.


Only 8 percent thinks their congress person listens to constituents


And more people don't believe electoral systems are fair http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/may_2013/40_think_u_s_elections_are_fair_41_do_not

The government won't let the people get together to figure out a strategy, through crack down on occupy. We should reignite occupy, even if just in day hours in parks, to strategize aeffective plans and maintain pressure. The web doesn't seem to be a good strategy designer either. I was sure someone would design apps to unite the people in a strategies to get back the government from out of touch elites.


I don't think the web wil unite people effectively. It needs to be live people joining something with tangible plans of action. If not in political realm, what?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

That's not really thrashy.

I just though you should know that.

It's a pretender.

A self made conspiracy theory, bitching feverishly about conspiracy theory.

One, that like this post, ignores the biggest conspiracy of our age.


And that's no theory.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3410) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago

ALEC is the devil for humanity.

Thanks for clarifying shooz


[-] -1 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

Why don't you comment on the current post instead of dishing out more red herrings. There's already a ton of posts for ALEC, mostly yours. This post is about an important Occupy debate between great scholars, You should watch the video. It's very interesting, and it's about Occupy, not US politics.

[-] -1 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

ALEC is certainly not a conspiracy theory. It is well documented by serious journalists. It is a very real group of people, very really documented. They are dangerous, as most right wingers are. The only way to defeat these types of groups is to destroy the system as a whole. If we keep the current representative republic, there will always be right wingers who which to push conservative agendas. There's no way around that. Even if you dismantle ALEC, another similar group will pop up later on. We need to destroy the stage, destroying the actors is only a temporary victory. What we need is anarchy, the very thing Occupy pushes. That's why I support Occupy.

Don't mix up reality like ALEC with delusions like conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo. Chemtrails is conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo, ALEC certainly is not.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

With that attitude, it won't happen in my lifetime, nor my daughters.

[-] -1 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

Most likely not, but what else would make a difference? A democracy permits a plurality of ideas. And, in a representative republic, diverse parties are formed and may very well have view points that you do not agree with. I hate the Tea Party and ALEC, but they are allowed by law to do what they do. The system permits it. You could form a group that pushes for left wing reforms and left wing legislature, this would be perfectly legal.

This is why I believe going after particular groups is not really the job of OWS. This is the job of other political parties who play into the political arena. A left wing group can defeat ALEC by refuting their legislature inside the political system. OWS doesn't play there.

What OWS does and should continue to do is attack the system itself, not the players who come and go. Attacking players only helps short term.

The other reason I don't care too much for ALEC is because I'm not American. I support OWS, but I'm not trying to solve American political problems I have no control over. I'm interested in my own country.

As far as I'm concerned, US is beyond repair and having it fall would help the rest of the world. The future in in socialist type societies like Norway, Island, etc...

If OWS cannot destroy the US political system, which it problem never will be able to, the system will implode upon itself like all super powers who eventually fall. The downfall has already started, it's just a matter of time.

The problem is socialist countries are not as strong as China, and having China replace US as the super power is scary to say the least.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Then you are protesting a ghost, while ignoring reality..

Did you say you would be in Kalamazoo?

[-] -1 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

I believe things need to change drastically, and that's why Occupy was formed. Formed not by pro-democrats like yourself, but formed by anarcho-communists who planned on using civil disobedience and other protests tactics to attack the system from outside and create a revolution.

I have nothing against people like yourself who wish to play inside the system and push for democrat type reforms. I'm against the Tea Party and right-wingers just as much as anybody else here. But, that's not the job of Occupy. To properly play in politics and make changes to legislatures and have a real say, you need a political party. I suggest you form one, or join one which already exists and shares your views.

I'm here because I believe in the Occupy dream of anarcho-communism. Of dismantling representative republics and capitalism, and replacing them with anarcho-communism. Is it realistic? Perhaps not, but it's what Occupy is all about.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

OWS supports and is supported by unions.

YOU on the other hand HATE them.

Constantly rehashing the definition of various and sundry forms of communism, while ignoring what's happening around you, helps no one and merely feeds you own ego.

So why are you always wrong?

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Do you support removing their ability to influence elections?


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

You're his puppet now too?

That's not surprising.

Do you support removing ALL impediments to unionization State and federal and indeed support legislation that encourages unionization? Under those circumstances and ONLY under those circumstances, will I say yes.

There is far too much money and power arrayed against them, for anyone to honesty support just removing the money.

Ooooops....there's your friends ALEC and the Koch's.


[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Its part of Move to Amend. Do you support Move To Amend.

Of course the Kochs are for UPS and FedEx. So are Dems and Reps, thats why they accepted all of their money and UPS is on the ALEC board.

So once again, if you dont like the Kochs, then stop putting their cohorts in office. Its why I stopped. The Kochs and all the other corporatist scum.

If you read my post on ALEC you would know that. Silly shooz.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

You won't stop buying their products.

I answered your question, you changed the subject.

You didn't answer my question either.

I won't be answering any more of yours until you do.

[-] -2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

So you dont support Move to Amend. What an ass. I guess this is where me and you differ.

Another layer of the onion.

And its getting stinkier the longer this site goes on.....

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Answer my question.

You answered one I didn't ask.

Or is that your plan,to just to run the thread out, so you can pretend you got the last word, without ever honestly answering it?


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Assumptions and name calling.

Still your best thing.

Will you answer my question now, or just continue with insults?

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

"Do you support removing ALL impediments to unionization State and federal and indeed support legislation that encourages unionization"

This is the only question you asked.

"Do you support removing ALL impediments to unionization State and federal ...." - Kind of an incomplete sentence but yes.

"indeed support legislation that encourages unionization?" - yes.

What do you think is keeping workers from organizing and telling corporate to go fuck themselves? When they band together, they are unstoppable.

Walmart would be powerless if everyone went on strike. However, getting the participants proved extremely difficult.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

"Do you support removing ALL impediments to unionization State and federal and indeed support legislation that encourages unionization"

Yes. I support workers rights to assemble. There are far too many scumbag elitists that are not doing the right thing. And firing people for organizing is unacceptable.

There are companies, mostly small ones, that would never have to worry about their workers organizing because they treat them with respect and dignity.

Then you have employers like Walmart whom stomp all over their workers.

That being said, all the legislation in the world wont help workers who just wont do it. You were in a union, its not easy work.

[-] -2 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

I don't hate unions. Never said I did. I simply think anarcho-syndicalism is a better option. Occupy's ideal is anarcho-syndicalism, but because this is difficult at the present time, they support the lesser alternative which is unions.

Anarcho-syndicalism gives much more power to workers than unions. In anarcho-syndicalism, the workers own the factories. They are their own bosses. With unions, workers still get paid less, still have bosses, and still have to do strikes, etc...

Constantly rehashing the definition of various and sundry forms of communism

Where have I rehashed definitions of communism? I posted quotes and definitions that weren't mine, but from Karl Marx. I provided links and evidence.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

STOP your bullshit.

"Unions are a bad idea"

If that ain't hate for workers, I don't know what is.

You know what the real bad idea is?

You and your fucking lying sock puppets.

How many iterations has this one been through so far?

Playing in esoteria land might be great for your ego, but it does absolutely NO favors to working people in the here and now.

It hurts them!!

Now why would you want to do a thing like that, while ignoring the simple fact that OWS supports and is supported by unions?

It can only be because YOU are not here in support of anything but your ego..

[-] -2 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

Unions are a bad idea as opposed to anarcho-syndicalism. I want the workers to own the factories. Unions just keep capitalism marching on and give the false impression to workers that they have control. They still don't.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Bullshit. Bullshit and more bullshit.

You do understand what that word means, don't you?

First they came for for the unions!

Every single time.

Oh, did I remind you that your statement was pure 100% bullshit?

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

I really dont see how you could possibly last more than a few nights at Occupy with all the wild and different ideas everyone had, the wide ranging radical views and the sometimes pure nonsense.

This poster is saying that the end goal should be worker owned, not worker representation.

I understand yoru frustration, because you see it as a "unicorn chasing" idea. But you have to understand that was what made Occupy so awesome, that "another world is possible" thinking.

That type of thinking is what hte national conversations are missing. The big ideas, the totally out of the box concepts. Most people in this country have no clue what community/anarchy ideas and concepts are, and thats a damn shame.

We dont need more people screaming that because the idea may not be terribly likely that the entire premise is bullshit and therefore it means that person is anti worker.

Everything needs to be questioned. EVERYTHING. The public has been duped for too long.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

I've been questioning everything since 1971.

The year Mr. Marino taught me how to interpret the press.

[-] -2 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

You don't favor anarcho-syndicalism over unions? If so, why do you support OWS?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Where did I say that?

Quote me, or STFU, you liar.

I do HATE habitually unrepentant liars. Especially ones that never answer questions.

First they came for the unions.

Every single time.


[-] -1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 11 years ago

how exactly would the u.s. falling help the rest of the world? realize this truth. the chinese, the russians, the muslims, they all have designs for empire. as flawed as our system is and as perilous a situation as we are in we are still better off than these.

[-] -2 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

Indeed, the powers in the wings look even worse. We would hope a socialist country could take over, but that's a long shot to say the least.

One great thing about US is its ability to adapt its economy very quickly. If only it could switch from war funding to funding ecology and sustainable resources, perhaps we could quickly attain a post-scarcity society and finally reach Kardashev's type I civilization. In such a scenario, where an amazing amount of power would be created, everyone on the planet could have their needs met which would no doubt minimize war efforts, at least for material gain.

I'm an optimist, because being a pessimist essentially means already giving up the fight.

Projects like the International Space Station where russians, americans, and people from other countries work together give me hope. If countries could really come together with the goal of helping each other and reaching a world of non-scarcity (which I believe is possible), then this would be amazing.

The problem is, it's not so much about political powers anymore as it is about the powers of corporations. They want money. That's what they are made for. We consumers buy, so we can decide what makes money and what doesn't. It's essentially in our hands, but we really have to work together. If we all started buying solar panels, this would become the biggest industry on the planet and oil companies would quickly fold or change to solar panel manufacturers. It's up to us in the end.

[-] -2 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

I suggested a Bridge to the Ground, but the users here voted against it. The idea was to create a site so that those who cannot attend protests, actions, and affinity groups because of sickness or other issues could still interact with those on the ground. This way, things that are discussed here, could potentially become actions if those on the ground find them to be good ideas.

I don't really understand the purpose of this website at the moment. There's no communication between the people here and those who actually participate in real life OWS.

This creates two problems:

.1 Ideas discussed here end here. They are just words in the wind. .2 People on this site have become disconnected with what is actually going on in Occupy. This is why this site has essentially become another website to discuss US politics, instead of strategies for Occupy which is a worldwide group that plays outside the theatre of politics.

I'm willing to bet most users here don't even watch the video posted here. They don't really care about Occupy. They are so disconnected from it. They just come here to vent, troll, or talk about US politics. Most are Obama water boys, not even close to being anarcho-communists or even knowing what that means.

It's quite sad when the hub website of a group or movement has little to do with that group or movement. A really bad sign.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3410) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago

My hope is as weather gets better and congress continues to deadlock, more people will get into the people's solutions to discussing and taking ownership of our problems.

We need to establish some definite goals, strategies and timelines and activities to meet the goals at national and state levels, and to identify resources, funds, and maximize these, such as small contributions, where they can best be applied,

And we need more bodies, able to meet up about once a week is most time most people would want to contribute,

And it should involve getting new people involved, and feeding young families food and hope


[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago


[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 11 years ago

If you were listening to Howard Bloom I'd say cool, but Chris hedges? You've got to be kidding.



[-] -1 points by AlwaysWillBeAlwaysRight (-72) 11 years ago

Wow, thanks for this! Just finished watching it. It was very interesting. Nice to see occupiers properly debating! I'm used to name calling and all kinds of insults on this site when two posters have differing views. It's nice to see occupiers which are intelligent and not thinking in lock step.

[-] -3 points by AlwaysWiIlBeAlwaysRight (-82) 11 years ago

About the violence. What was your stance after watching this?

[-] 1 points by gsw (3410) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago

I heard both sides, but mostly sided with Hedges modified position, that varied tactics may be needed, but black block can have blow back, as a scapegoat of ruling elite, and to limit Ows message of breaking through to main street usa, and must be cognizant of elderly and children who can't evade tear gas.

[-] -1 points by AlwaysWiIIBeAlwaysRight (-96) 11 years ago

I tend to agree. I think it's all or nothing. If OWS is to be a peaceful type of protest, then having black bloc break a few windows here and there does not help, it hurts us.

But, as you know, sometimes revolutions need to use violence to protest effectively. I don't think OWS is anywhere there. Not even close. We wouldn't have enough support.

Mandela used violence by blowing up banks and the like and it worked well for him and his group, although he did go to jail, change eventually came. However, he had a lot of support.

Note: By violence I include property destruction. Mandela's group did not kill people, they blew up buildings but always did so when nobody was inside.

I don't think shedding blood ever helps. Saying "never" is a big word, so perhaps I should say it might only help in a tiny fraction of cases, perhaps like against Hitler.

The most important thing I believe is to be thoroughly transparent. I know this is difficult since it tells our adversaries our plans, but nonetheless, it's important for a few reasons. If a protest is advertised as being peaceful and people bring their children and elderly, then it's a real danger if the black bloc shows up to start rumbling.