[Posted earlier here in a serif font, if that's your pleasure.] Occupy Wall Street has slid down to its fulcrum, their methods now at violent disfavor with the police who are forcibly, almost perniciously clearing them out of the primary occupation zones. [Although I find it interesting that in the view of the public, police forces are curiously detached from the executive government that we've elected, as if they were the law unto themselves. Someone should acknowledge they aren't.] I was reading Warren's post and I saw the rebellious spirit accreting the movement came out of constructing the framework: (1) Where and how do we protest? (2) Whose opinions and goals are valid, and get to represent OWS?
|Disappointed Italian nun says:|
"[Occupy's] not hurting the big banks,
but... small business owners"
As to the first question, one of the main complaints against the Occupy movement is that their presence sullies a once beautiful park or main street, that they bring crime and drive off those good people the customers. Obviously this is to be ignored. Protest is inherently unproductive in the economic sense; because of the desire to see large corporations maimed or killed, "protest" is inherently anti-productive anti-productive in the Occupy sense. This anti-productivity has so far only been referenced to the allegedly hurt small businesses because, unfortunately for the protesters, for the malcontent, a corporation is a fungus with a pervasive mycelium reaching across the continent, the sea, the internet and our lives; if they are driven out of one place, they find more favorable conditions in other states and countries. They are considered people under the law but they cannot be detained, made to answer for their crimes or executed as they are already "headless".
Although I might be getting ahead of myself, since I'm not in fact sure that reducing corporate influence is one of the goals of occupation, or that it has goals and is not merely a vehicle for people's thoughts. A cursory glance at the OccupyMN website, About >> Demands, produces a list of worthy goals:
Ending war is our one demand.Ending wealth inequality is our one demand.Ending police intimidation is our one demand.Ending corporate censorship is our one demand.Ending capital punishment is our one demand.Ending political corruption is our one demand.Ending joblessness is our one demand.Ending poverty is our one demand.Ending health-profiteering is our one demand.Ending American imperialism is our one demand.Ending the modern gilded age is our one demand.
I started salivating like any good liberal until their disclaimer that this was not an "official" list of demands. [For more information, I was told to click a broken link.] But it was obvious the author of the web page had some idea of what needed to be done or what direction within a mere week of the protest starting, and that this information still stands in spite of the inevitable formation of factions within the group. This is where occupation is losing its effectiveness: instead of going the obvious route and adopting these demands as their standards, the protest element has been mired in that wishy-washy inclusivity of people and issues and direct democracy that resembles the nucleation of a party and the continuation of party politics instead of the focused and limited-run movement I should think that most people signed-up for.
My proposition on how "Occupy" should evolve is two-fold: the occupations should republicanize, modernizing the relationship between state protests past the Articles of Confederation, and then pick a centralized position which ties all these leftist themes together into a nice little soundbite. [It feels good to get this off my chest.] No longer will just any old fool be able to speak for the 99%, rather, the directives of a national movement can co-opt the support of the 99% in a triumphant direction. For example, adopt the slogan:
Kill corporate personhood and favoritism.
Which comfortably ties in many of the aforementioned concepts together [health-profiteering! imperialism! income distribution!], one of many and any slogan or trademarks that could be decided upon by a centralized administration, which could rally supporters around a message, distribute money more efficiently, even disassociate those members who are maligned to the group. It must be done if Occupy hopes to scale any further after overcoming recent setbacks.