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Forum Post: Gandhi said this....

Posted 3 years ago on Sept. 26, 2011, 2:28 p.m. EST by GandhiKingMindset (124)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." - Gandhi referring to the power of non-violent action and active peaceful resistance. Let's block the entrances to Wall Street Green Zone with massive human chains peacefully sitting in. Let's shut down Wall Street for a day. If we take direct non-violent action, our movement will grow exponentially.

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8 Comments


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[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 3 years ago

The third demand is the problem. Shutting down wall street is basically shutting down the US economy.

[-] 1 points by GandhiKingMindset (124) 3 years ago

I appreciate you continuing the discussion and doing so civilly. Look, first of all, power only responds to power. Your dictim of "invonvenience no one" pretty much rules out 100% of non-violent protest that has taken place in the last hundred years. Millions of Americans have seen the fillm INSIDE JOB which has received pretty big media attention. Others have seen the film Capitalism a Love Story or "The Corporation". More importantly, Americans witnessed what happened with the bailouts and have FELT the effects. They get it, despite the corporate owned media's fascination with any rally or personality associated with the words "tea party". Christopher Hedges describes in one of his Truthdig articles how, when a population has descended into fantasy and then the bottom drops out, they're inclined to cling to false and fanciful movements like the tea party stuff (harking back to some nostalgic view of America that never existed and doing so with a healthy dose of racism).

The thing is, I don't think most Americans support the fanciful approach where nonsensical statements like "keep the government out of my medicare" are uttered and crowds at a debate cheer for an uninsured person to die and boo a service member who happens to be gay. That's not the America I've experienced and I'm pretty sure most Americans would agree.

So, despite what you or others may say about "inconveniencing innocent people", I think you'd be surprised how many people SUPPORT what's happening and are thankful that people are standing up in their name. They'll put up with a little inconvenience.

I'd also like to point out that it is a great mistake to equate shutting down Wall St. with shutting down the U.S. economy. As any good business network anchor will tell you (whether it's CNBC or NPR's business program), the Dow and Wall St. performance is not a measure of the health of our economy.

As a matter of fact, it's no surprise that Wall St. earnings are setting records and are back up at pre recession levels. And the wealthy families in America will confirm that because their portfolios are right back where they were pre recession. What's NOT back is employment. And the heads of corporations, as we know, are hoarding cash. They could hire more people but THEY THEMSELVES are nervous about the state of things. Google info on the leaked Citibank Memo or visit the pdf of the memo at this link: http://madsociologist.net/resources/Plutonomy.pdf

There are so many incredible statements in there. They are very fearful that citizens will wake up to "one person, one vote" and their analysts have determined that it's best to invest in companies that service the rich because the middle class is done for --- they say that the US is no longer a democracy, it's a plutocracy. This is the Citibank folks talking in a memo that went to their wealthiest clients: "The conclusion? We should worry less about what the average consumer – say the 50th percentile – is going to do, when that consumer is (we think) less relevant to the aggregate data than how the wealthy feel and what they are doing. This is simply a case of mathematics, not morality."

As we all know, the mathematics don't happen by themselves. The stock market generally loves high unemployment because it means there are lots of hungry workers and wages go down.

We have to remember that most Americans are now "onto" the corporatist agenda. No matter how many flags corporatists put on their website, they have only one allegiance and it knows no boundries: money. Money. Money. Profit. Profit. Profit.

They'll externalize whatever costs they can: pollution being the easiest to identify. The conversation in the board room is "let the government pay for that." And the government is US! So we pay twice. Where I live, the air is very dirty. So we pay for cleanup and any regulation (what little there is) and we also pay because more people die and have a harder time breathing. The corporations that are responsible for this (and in our case, it's pretty easy to narrow down) get off scott free. Their CEO's travel to Italy or France and rave about those wonderful little towns they visited, the sense of community, so wonderful..... and yet they could have that same sense of community here in their own country if they simply behaved as a PARTICIPANT rather than as a LEACH.

I want you to recognize how bad it's gotten and how far they've gone. Watch Chris Hitchens on the home page of this site. And then tell me again how we're undermining the cause by inconveniencing some people. You are bought into the lie that if we house slaves in any way speak up or act up, we're going to lose the great way of life we have now. Most of America is waking up to this reality. And they are ready for action. Even if it involves some inconvenience.

It's also obvious to many Americans now that the same corporate folks that preach rugged individualism (Harley Davidson ring a bell?) are the first to put their hands out for government funds.

[-] 1 points by Iamthankful4 (2) 3 years ago

THANK YOU FOR BEING MY VOICE STAND YOUR GROUND, DONT LEAVE, WE SUPPORT YOU

WE ARE 99%

[-] 1 points by GandhiKingMindset (124) 3 years ago

Thank you. Please spread word of the following if you agree with it: Many have said these things but let me try to collect them here in one spot. We are gaining momentum and the world is waking up to this incredible protest. We have remained non-violent. Many in America are sympathetic and are grateful that we are taking a stand.

But occupying the park and marching by themselves are not enough. The world and our supporters will get energized if we get tactical and take action:

FIRST - The videos of police using brutal physical force and pepper spray against peaceful protestors do an incredible job displaying the brutality of the power structure. King, Gandhi, Abbey Hoffman and countless others who are / were professionals at non-violent action and peaceful provocation would absolutely be calling a press conference denouncing these actions and showing these videos at the press conference. This puts the police on the defensive.

SECOND - King and Gandhi were successful in part because they were experts at tactical non-violence. We can follow in their footsteps by blocking the entrances to Wall St. offices this week. As we know, police have set up what amounts to a Green Zone around Wall St. But the suits have to enter somewhere. They have to leave the public street and enter that Green Zone somewhere. That point where public meets private should be the very center of our focus for non-violent resistance and occupation. Even as the location of that intersection shifts, we can always identify it. By definition there must always be an entrance and that entrance should be our focus.

THIRD - OUR ONE DEMAND - We should make one single demand: "Shut Down Wall St." Why are we shutting down Wall St.? "Because Wall St. is hurting Americans, hurting citizens of the world and ruining our environment."

When they fail to shut down Wall St., we do it for them in a non-violent way using peaceful non-violent resistance. And when the press asks, why.... We answer "We shut down Wall St. for a day so America and the world could breathe for a day, be free of the plutocracy for a day, be free of the exploitation for a day, be free of the greed for a day. Many will ask "What good is a day?" and we'll answer: "You call it a day. We call it a pretty good start. If someone has their foot on your neck for years and years and you non-violently force that foot to be removed for a day, that allows you breathing room for all sorts of options.

FOURTH - HOW - To shut it down, we need human chains of 30, 50, 90, 150, 300 people linked together (think zip ties) blocking the various entrances. The police will find it almost impossible to deal with these human blockades. This will create the largest pedestrian traffic jam New York has ever seen and the people who have been trading on the world's misery for so long simply won't be able to get in to do it that day. It will help if we don't go in as a march but instead go dark as regular old NYC pedestrians from all directions and then show up there at the same time.

I am aware that now protestors have found access to a large cache of civilian clothes that will allow many of the new people arriving to blend in (suits, ties, the works). This new donation will make it much easier to blend in up until the point of protest. And it will also gum up the works even more, making it easier to shut down Wall St. because now the police can't tell who's who and they need to stop EVERYONE, even the suits. Their Green Zone will then break down.

FIFTH - THE RESULT - The result of this direct non-violent action, this just protest, is that the front page of newspapers around the world will show images peaceful American youth shutting down the financial district that has wrought so much destruction around the world for so long. They'll be inspired by the ingenuity, the success and the courage and the movement will grow EXPONENTIALLY. Gandhi and King have given us the playbook. It's peaceful non-resistance. And it works.

We have the stage but that's not enough. It's time for direct action. It's time for civil disobedience to bring the truth into the light. They are not equipped to deal with it. They don't know what to do with non-violence because all the cameras are rolling and whatever they do makes them look bad. We will confound them if we take direct action.

The spirit of Abbey Hoffman, Martin L King and Gandhi is with us. It's time to use their playbook. It's time for ACTION!!! Civil disobedience. Our disobedience will be consistently blocking the entrances to Wall Street’s offices. They will find us coming together to block these entrances wherever they move them. Because there is always an intersection where public meets private. No matter where they move it, we’ll be there. We will be there.

[-] 1 points by GandhiKingMindset (124) 3 years ago

If you think the thousands of people in New York involved in this protest aren't affected by it, you're painfully misinformed about the depth of the financial crisis.

And if you think the millions worldwide that are paying close attention to this protest aren't well aware of the pain caused by Wall Street green, you're dreaming. Despite your characterization of the civil rights movement, there was an even more amorphous goal on the lips of protectors: Freedom. And you would have been the person on the sidelines saying "not now, too soon, will hurt others, just be patient." You would have been one of those who Martin King Jr. wrote to out of love in his forceful and revolutionary "Letter from the Birmingham Jail". He talk about the most painful and damaging thing being the "appalling silence of the good people." I'm pleased you're in this forum because it shows you're interested and curious. And I'm glad you raise criticisms because it keeps us moving in the right direction. But make no mistake.

Our situation is not so unique and different from the civil rights era. As a matter of fact, King made it clear that he was for economic and political justice ad freedom no matter what color you were. Let's not forget that shortly before he was assassinated he was marching with garbage workers for their rights. He was also incidentally beginning to link the civil rights movement to the peace movement which is probably what got him killed. FBI files released in the last decade showed that the bureau followed Coretta Scott King around for 2 years after King's death to make absolutely sure Mrs. King did not continue her husband's effort to connect the anti-war movement with the civil rights movement.

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 3 years ago

On the other hand, there is something else you guys could do. Right now protesters are not allowed to wear masks. So you could all wear masks at the same time.

[-] 1 points by GandhiKingMindset (124) 3 years ago

Now that's a great idea.

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 3 years ago

Before this protest people protested the BART police. They used the methods you mentioned by blocking BART passengers from using the train. Now the BART protest has died down and most passengers hate the protesters for giving them a hard time. Civil resistance was justified in India and the civil rights movement because they were fighting for something that was very concrete. But this protest is more abstract and many of the protesters are not directly affected by this. So civil resistance will just land you in jail and give a reason for the media to label the protesters as radicals that want to destroy the economy.