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Forum Post: Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize

Posted 2 years ago on March 27, 2012, 3:46 a.m. EST by GypsyKing (9780)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I recently read an article, proportedly by a black protester in the Hoodie March to protest the shooting of Trayvon Martin, that he was angered by his perception that the march had been "coopted" by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

I don't know if that is an oppinion held by many blacks in New York, or if the writer spoke only for himself, or if in fact the piece was just a trumped-up, divissive piece of propoganda. But it brings up a very serious issue.

When the movement first began there was a lot of concern on the part of Occupiers that our movement was being "coopted" by unions, or moveon.org, or a number of other groups in common cause, and it seems to me that this issue is completely moot, because a leaderless movement cannot be coopted. It is simply an impossibility, as the Ron Paul Crowd has learned the hard way.

According to the last, probably reliable poll that I have seen - the Pew Research poll taken in mid-December - the majority of Americans are in favor of the Occupy Movement. Given that fact, it seems the last thing we should concern ourselves with is either "coopting" or being "coopted by" some other group that is in essential agreement with us.

This kind of divisiveness should be avoided at all costs, so that we can focus on our common opposition; the oligarchy, and those who are coerced or bribed into supporting them.

Rather then disputing with those we are in basic agreement with we should be reaching out and trying, for example, to garner union support for the May 1st general strike. That day will be a test of our movements credibility, and I suggest that we do all we can to promote, to include, and to use reasoned debate to sway those silent masses in support of us into active support, and simply refrain altogether from becomming caught up in disputes with any groups who are our potential allies and have a stake in our cause.

In the case of America's unions, if they decline to cooperate with the May 1st general strike, then I think their legitimacy is very much in question.

41 Comments

41 Comments


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

I am also sick of hearing about the "coopt" ordeals.

Oh no! A bunch of people with similar ideals are here for the same cause! Look out! - Sounds exactly like what we should be praising.

It is very hard to find one person that agrees with you on every single detail, yet alone a mass of people.

We had a union join our protests in my city and our OWS crowd welcomed them with open arms. Our numbers increased and we had more people fighting for the cause.

Do you have a link to the article you mentioned? I would like to read it.

[-] 4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Isn't it strange how some think that cooperation is the same thing as co-option?

Less strange is that most of those that suggest it, think that community is the same as communism, and social is the same as socialism..

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Oh, My Lord.

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

sounds logical

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I read the article several days ago, but I'll try to dig it up.

[+] -4 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Yes, Occupy wants to rid government of corporate control, but then is just fine with union control. They quickly forget about having government operate for all it's people, not just its employees.

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Not someone else who fails to see the difference between corporations and unions.

Let me ask you which corporation has offed to march along with Occupy?

[-] -3 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

That's a surprise? Occutards want union control of government, of course the unions show up. No shit.

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Truly twisted, low in formation reasoning, is not the way.

You're just one more conned-servative that can't answer a simple question.

This is indicative of a FLAKES news flake.

I'm growing impatient with your continued insults and lack of reasoning.

You're in bad need of a name change.

[-] -2 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Sure, continue to "fight" for union control of government. Government should do what they want first. If they get around to what the people want, that would be great some day too. Occutard.

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Who said anything at all about union control of government besides you ass wipe?

Flaky brained idiot.

If reasoning is the way? You've been lost for years.

[-] -2 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

You should better vet your marching buddies. LOL

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Spoken like a man with flakes for brains.

Not a single fact, nor accuracy involved.

Plus, in typical ass wipe fashion, you didn't answer the question.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Typical division troll.

[-] -2 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Yes, stand with unions. Government should be run by them for them lest we divide ourselves. LOL.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Pathetic.

[-] -2 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

It is. Protesting to end corporate control of government is one thing, protesting to merely exchange it for union control gains nothing. The protesters should be a little more careful in choosing their marching buddies. Less swarmy would be a start.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I meant you.

[-] -3 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

I know and that's just something else misdircted by OWS. Union control of government is on the list of problems, not solutions. You're so in need of protesters, you don't seem to give a shit about the company you keep.

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[-] 3 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

I agree. Allies are needed. We should be careful to respect the very wide range of beliefs that are present under the Occupy umbrella, and see that they all can rally under the same one action.

May day will be a make-or-break moment. This is the time for people to speak up and start doing outreach. REAL outreach, like flyers, pamphlets, spots in the free newspapers. SEO tactics should be used. We should be ready to go with a huge PR campaign, and I love how NYC is holding "training days" as a way to raise awareness of the big event.

Now is the time to put aside differences and figure out how we are going to make May 1st the largest protest in Occupy history! Can we do it? YES WE CAN!

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

We must ALL be together on this. That is my belief.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

The best I can do is be there, and I definitely will.

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

While OWS has clearly energized virtually every other social movement in the nation, it is itself far too tiny and not especially appropriately organized to be in a position to co-opt those movements.

As for the converse, while it is undoubtedly more difficult to co-opt a leaderless movement, I would question whether OWS is genuinely leaderless and in any event difficult though it may be it is by no means impossible to co-opt even a leaderless movement. The number of votes that OWS could bring to bear from its own activist base would undoubtedly be inconsequential to the outcome of the election in November. On the other hand were the Democratic Party able to co-opt OWS en masse to staff phone banks and knock on doors it might well affect the outcome of the election, but it would also, undoubtedly ruin OWS as an independent social movement.

I am in complete agreement that much rides on the outcome of events on May 1 and especially on the public perception of those events, though it will be a long Spring, summer and Fall and I don't think that any single day or event will be decisive. How OWS responds to the upcoming political conventions and how the public reacts to the OWS response will also be important, though again, not decisive.

As for unions and other mass social organizations, labor unions are prohibited by law from calling a general strike and to do so would very likely bankrupt them and send their leadership to prison. But it is also the case that criminal syndicalist laws in most states make it a felony for virtually anyone or any group (not just labor leaders or labor unions) to call a general strike and local OWS groups are putting themselves in jeopardy by so doing. I don't think this is any reason NOT to call for a general strike, but it is important to be aware of the possible consequences.

While they cannot legally call for a general strike several unions are supportive of this OWS activity and are organizing marches and demonstrations for before and after work.

As for the "legitimacy" of labor unions, they are down to less than 10% of the work force and as such their very survival, much less their "legitimacy" is very much in question. Nevertheless, regardless of their embattled circumstances there are still nearly 16 million working people who are members of a labor union, making organized labor still the largest and best organized independent force in civil society. The next largest force would probably be the collective membership of all the liberal religious groups which would probably amount to half the size of organized labor, though the base is much more active. Compared to either of those groups, or even the million or so members in groups like the NAACP, NOW or the Sierra Club, the activist base is inconsequential. Nevertheless, it has been crucial in activating and energizing all of these other groups.

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[-] 0 points by Rebdem (71) 2 years ago

can i see the article on the trayvon march i would like to read it

Also can i have the Pew Research pole sounds like also something i would like to read

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Sorry, I should have posted links. Sometimes things sort of come to me after I've read something. I'll try, that Pew poll taken on 15 December seems illusive in the main stream press. But I have it on a previous post, so I think I can dig it up.

[-] 1 points by Rebdem (71) 2 years ago

thank you very much

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I don't know the reputation of the source, but here is the article:

http://www.salon.com/2012/03/27/did_occupy_co_opt_the_million_hoodie_march/

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 2 years ago

Great points. If cooperation cannot be had with those of aligned interests, this movement will become more and more marginalized. May 1 will truly be a test whether this thing will forge ahead as a movement or retreat back a some kind of club.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Well, I don't think it alone will be the absolute indication of whether we succeed or fail, but clearly OWS has called for a strike, and linked that call also to the murder of Trayvon Martin, so it seems to me we better try to deliver.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28261) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Unite in common cause.

Talk issues not parties.

Money out of politics.

End ear-marking.

Remove conflict of interest from elected officials.

One subject at a time legislation - OSTA

Corporations are not people.

Fracking to be included in the EPA clean drinking water mandate.

No Tar sands pipeline.

Regulate fossil fuel speculation.

Implement green power generation - Wind Solar Geo-thermal Hydrogen Cold fusion etc.

Present information on things that need fixing and any petitions in existence that are already being used to lobby for change.

This is how we move forward together by sharing this information to the public and by sharing petitions concerning them hand out information at demonstrations. Publish leaflets for internet dispersal as well. Communicate clearly above all else.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Very Good! What do you think about May 1st?

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28261) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Hey GK.

I think May 1st is an important marker for the movements against corruption.

I pray for a huge turn-out all across the country.

I know going forward towards this. I see the need for communications and planning like never before.

So that when we hit the streets we will be carrying a coherent message of unity.

We can make a huge impression and make a great start for follow-up action through-out the rest of the year.

This may well be one of the most key gatherings that will ever happen.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Agreed.

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

Awesome comment.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28261) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thanks. It can be so easy to get distracted.

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

Yes it can. Having a simple list of important issues is great.

This is my tactic on how I plan to vote in the future to ensure the bullshit stops

If they supported any of the following, I will not support them.

  • The Financial Modernization Act (which helped create the financial crisis)

  • The Republican Jobs Act (which will create another financial crisis)

  • The Patriot Act (which stole our 4th amendment)

  • The NDAA of 2012, without removing Section 1021 (which stole our 5th and 6th amendment)

  • The War in Iraq (which was based on fraud)

  • The TARP bailouts (which gave billions to a fraudulent financial system that stole people's money and homes instead of creating a real solution and implementing regulations to prevent future problems)

  • Defense of Marriage Act (which is supported by bigots)

  • Bombing nations that didn't attack us (which is supported by warmongers)

Any politician that supports any of these does not have your best interest in mind. In fact you can be sure they are working for the 1%

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28261) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

OK. I can see good reasoning.

But we need to get beyond non support and get to owning the process.

It really does not matter who is in office.

It matters that those in office do the will of the people and uphold the constitution.

It matters that the people get involved to lobby strongly for good issues and strongly against bad issues.

If we ( The People ) can not come together in common cause for the health and prosperity for all. We will not make any meaningful change.

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

I think who is in office is precisely what matters.

You can't convince a Santorum to stop hating gays. Once he is in office, how he votes is his decision, not ours. And that's the problem.

You also said - "If we ( The People ) can not come together in common cause for the health and prosperity for all. We will not make any meaningful change." - And I full agree with that.

You also said - "It matters that those in office do the will of the people and uphold the constitution." - It does matter, but somehow they're getting away with the opposite.

I see your point, but these pigheads that work for the 1% are not capable of swaying based on public interest.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28261) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Exactly why The People need to own the process.

If we were to take rightful ownership of the process, we could hold our elected officials to their oath of office.

We could fire and perhaps with charges those who misrepresent their duty to The People and The Constitution.

The laws are already there they just are not being enforced. This is a responsibility of The People to call foul and protest if legal lobbying does not bring proper action.

They ALL serve at the will of The People. This is a little understood or used concept of the law of the land.

Own it People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

"We could fire and perhaps with charges those who misrepresent their duty to The People and The Constitution." - That would be awesome.

Own it indeed!!

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (28261) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Like they have started the process in Wisconsin.

Yes - OWN IT.