Thanks to commentor David in NY for reminding me of this song.
And some words (ETA: not where I got it, but h/t commentor Eemom) from the Rude Pundit:
… We are just two months into this. Two fucking months after sucking up the shit given to us from the right for years. Two fucking months after being part of the movement that propelled Obama into the presidency, only to see that movement dissolved and dissipated. Two fucking months after watching two years of Tea Party bullshit being flaunted in our faces as if it represented anything but the height of corporate and conservative cynicism and manipulation.
We are two months into this and everyone in the media is clamoring for closure. It took years for the civil rights movement to get laws changed. It took years for the anti-Vietnam War movement to get through the thick skulls of the majority of Americans. This is just starting. Welcome to the real occupation…
The march this morning wasn’t going to do anything, despite the hopeful rumors that the stock market opening bell had been delayed (it wasn’t). No, the point was, like the rallies for Obama before them, that there is power in numbers. And that power needs to be exhibited and enacted.
When the Supreme Court, in the Citizens United decision, said that corporations are people with First Amendment rights and affirmed that money is the equivalent of speech, it essentially was saying that some people have more speech than others. The wealthy and the corporations can never be matched in terms of the speech effect of their dollars. But they can be matched and overcome by the sheer volume of people. That’s why we say we are the 99%.
I don’t care if it’s nice; I just hope it isn’t counterproductive. I don’t know that it is. But it’s not like that’s totally out of the question.
Not relevant to #ows, but it is an open thread, and I thought this was interesting:
And who is that Republican operative, you might ask? Well, he’s this guy:
In case you’re straining to remember, “Executive Action” is CIAnese for “assassination”, and the company offers services that fall somewhere in the spectrum between “consulting” and mercenary work. You can see why he thought he was Republican executive material. Heck, with the R’s still yearning for a plausible not-Mitt-Romney, maybe he should set his sights higher, and throw his hat in the ring for the Big Job. I’ll be he wouldn’t be left speechless for five minutes when asked for an opinion regarding Libya, unlike a certain non-reading “leader” we know of.
Rude Pundit already wins teh thread.
can a sister EVER get a h/t on this fucking blog??
@eemom: noted. Thanks. =)
I found out over the weekend that I can watch NFL network games on my phone for free. Why I am submitting myself to the battle of which QB can be MVP for the opposing team I do not know.
It’s 2012. That’s the news cycle, in 24-hour divisions. Anything that hasn’t succeeded within a month is just too long-term for the media to continue to cover without whining. Except for elections. Those they’ll cover perpetually, starting a new cycle the day after we vote.
It’s also a function of the fact that the news in the 1950s/60s/70s was considered a public service that the networks took pride in. Now, news is just as much commercial entertainment as Survivor or American Idol (and often covers those shows as well). Profit is all, in an ever-tightening spiral, until everyone but the folks at the top has nothing left to spend.
@Morbo: Because its entertaining to see a team with less than 150 yards of offense maybe win a game and then spend a week and a half hearing all the credit go to the QB.
Apparently the answer is Yes.
(via this search, and variants of same – which appear to substantiate your feeling that you are often noticeably denied hat tips, or at least that people feel so.)
Ah. On reflection I see that it’s a function of petty dislike by the FPer (see the song h/t above).
Could be a coincidence of course — but considering that idolatry of Charles Pierce has been pretty much a full time endeavor, I kind of doubt it.
Look, I love me some Rude Pundit, but people aren’t asking for closure — they’re asking for maybe a little less vagueness.
Myself, I’m just wondering if they’re going to take the next step beyond rattling cages and drawing attention. Like… y’know, pitching legislation? Or is just storming the barricades gonna be what it’s all about?
What is your problem with the invaluable Charlie Pierce?
Vagueness is all they got.
OWS’s 15 minutes are up.
NOTE: I see I broke my own rule.
jaysus she looks awful.
sowwy Grandmaw Palin, i dont think the owwies are going to embrace you.
they think you are retarded.
I don’t have any problem with him at all. I just meant that the gentlewoman FPer is not generally given to quoting Rude Pundit, which suggests that my unappreciated link in the last thread might have prompted the quote in this thread.
Closure was always a crock in the first place. Especially if you try to get it way before there’s anything to close.
“What is your problem with the
Sarah Vowell was pretty great on The Daily Show.
Anyway. LOOK, people — OWS already HAS accomplished something huge: they have, in bullshit emmessemm-speak, taken CONTROL of the DIALOGUE.
People are constantly talking about them…..they are talking about income inequality……no one, save for a few forlorn assholes on Capitol Hill, is talking about fucking DEFICITS anymore.
They have forced even the miserable likes of Eric Cantor to acknowledge and deal with their existence.
The superrich who all along have surreptitiously feared a popular uprising are now openly shitting their pants.
So STFU, you narrow-minded, short-sighted haters. And if you’re so convinced something more CONCRETE needs to be done, tell us exactly what that is, and then fucking DO it.
why is he worthless, burnsie?
Well, I’m pleasantly surprised. I expected to see a Bernie Fine Lynch Mob being organized. Apparently the fact that these allegations were thoroughly investigated and no corroborating evidence was found actually matters. My apologies to those whose judgment I questioned.
Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole.
The dilemma: They can’t push a message in the current media environment without a face (a leader). But once they pick a leader or small group of leaders, the opposition now has a few choice targets to slander and discredit.
IMO the main strength of OWS, its distributed nature, is the very reason it seems disjointed when seen through the filters.
I don’t know what the solution might be, but I’d actually get a little skeptical if MSM started trotting out a few choice faces to be “OWS spokespeople” on a regular basis. It wouldn’t be the bulk of OWS making that choice, after all.
I don’t read him on a regular basis, but on those occasions when I have read his stuff I’ve found no evidence of original thought. Clever writing, to be sure. But if I want clever writing I can get that from tbogg or Taibbi.
David in NY
O/T Awww, rescued puppehs. From Real Far away.
The one problem with OWS right now is that there seem to be a lot of “Voting’s for losers”/”The Democratic party is too mainstream for me”/”Both sides are exactly the same” political hipsters who think participating in the political process means you’re a sellout.
Because vocally saying you won’t exercise your political power is a great way to make people in political power take notice of your movement.
Jets are going to lose, putting their playoff hopes… on the ropes?
@different-church-lady: I see your point and don’t think it’s heresy. I’m not really pro OWS. Because of the sanctimony, because of the ego, because I think they lie a lot, because altho they talk a lot about the Constitution they don’t seem to know a thing about it. BUT, they’ve left this vague for a reason. First, vague lets lots of people join. Second, vague is what a very very fundamental part of the movement wants, because it’s supposed to be organic, it’s supposed to be about whatever whoever shows up says it’s about.
I was at Foley Square tonight and across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was perfectly calm. BUT, importantly, a HUGE part of that was because it was not “this is not a permitted picnic.” It was not “we’ll do what we want because we want to.” They clearly were working WITH the cops. There were crowd control pens, orderly opening of them and letting people on to the bridge, no walking on the roadway. Cops and protestors trading bull horns to let people know what was happening (cop: “these people are leading the march — follow them”). SEIU, UNITE HERE and UAW involvement, just a guess, made that happen. Because they’re not sending their members into a total clusterfuck. As they shouldn’t.
@lol: It’s not a problem, in a way. It’s the point, for a lot of OWS participants. Personally, I’m pro voting and I think it’s heartbreakingly hilarious that Americans bitch and moan that voting doesn’t matter when only about 50% of us vote in a good year. But it’s not an accident that none of this energy is being directed toward voting — it’s part of the point.
No. They’ve got a hell of a lot more than that. They just seem clueless about the idea that they actually have to use [email protected]
True. But people were constantly talking about Donald Trump and Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry at one point too.
Attention: once you got it, it all depends on what you do with it.
At the mere thought that some similar accusation could envelop Jim Boeheim I was very sad if not sick.
I did see that Wendell Courtney, Esq. claims not to have been informed of anything to the NYT and said in the strongest terms that it was his duty to have done something if he had known. This is posted in terms of fairness.
Mike in NC
Per MSNBC, the wingnut media: Limbaugh/Hannity/FOX Newsbots are having themselves an orgasm over this stuff. Whocouldanode?
@eemom: Why do people keep acting like OWS is a “they”?
If someone’s got the chops to get all the super-clear and effective and appealing and successful and world-changing and not-tiring messages out there, there ain’t no magic wall blocking them from stepping right up to their local OWS or ‘Better than OWS’ protest and showing how it’s done.
I frequently find myself thinking: “To a colonist 250 years ago, the idea that you* could vote for the people who ran your country must have seemed like nothing short of a miracle.”
And today all we do is bitch about it.
(*yes, yes, male landowners and all that…)
@Joel: I hate everything. We’re going to have another week+ of Tim Tebow worship when he guided his offense to 134 yards in 50+ minutes. Worship that D, that’s what won their game.
The wingers don’t bitch and moan that voting doesn’t matter. They vote. They bitch and moan about black and brown people voting.
Well, plenty of liberals sat around lamenting that the problem was that Democrats were losing because we didn’t get “organized” enough. Well, a bunch of people in OWS decided to “organize” and finally do what a bunch of lame liberals weren’t able to do: scare a bunch of wall streeters and remind people that grand bargains, “Deficit reduction”, and “austerity” are all bullshit at a time like this.
But the rest of you chin-strokers can go back to being “serious” while the world goes down the tubes.
I’m still amazed by the fact that they’re shitting their pants over something this inconsequential (sorry, but you know what I mean – in historical terms, compared to so many other instances of popular unrest, this is positively tame even by American standards).
If a few people blocking traffic and camping in parks are enough to make them shit bricks like this, they’d have died of heart attacks in the French Revolution long before they got anywhere near the guillotines.
Sounds good. Despite the rapes, the assaults, bloodshed, the ringworm outbreak, the public defecation, the anti-semitism and Marxism, you idiots might be onto something.
Maybe one day you’ll relate to middle America. But hey, the Tea Partiers are RACIST!!
Try again, idiots.
Which is a difficult and important thing to do. If that ends up being the only thing they accomplish, I feel it will have been more than worth it.
It’s not easy to get the moron pundits etc. to see or talk about something they don’t want to acknowledge, but OWS has done just that. I’m pretty sure they have also attracted the attention of people who don’t normally pay attention to or participate in politics – if OWS ends up increasing voter turnout (even if it’s only a little bit) that will be another feather in their cap.
I read the writeup of the Occupy St. Louis rally in both papers. Nothing any of the speakers were reported as saying was news to anyone who reads any blogs even like this one. They got about 300 people and 1000 for the march, where some people were arrested, and that was with union participation. Occupy is one facet of what the Elizabeth Warren campaign might be or the No on 2 campaign might be–if you can get past a visceral dislike of protests or of getting arrested, you can see that quite ordinary people are willing to go out in the street and say what you deeply feel and think, and it can be national.
I really do feel like crap that I didn’t go. I probably wouldn’t have marched but you have to show a little solidarity.
@Chris: But they’re not even really shitting their pants. Hell, most of them are just laughing at it. Someday they might be laughing out of the other side of their faces, but right now they’re not.
Move Your Money Day, on the other hand… THAT got some brows furrowing in the board rooms of the right corporations. Because it actually made a dent in their bottom line.
In the end none of it this is going to amount to jack shit unless laws change.
Students in Warrensburg, Missouri Occupy the Quad:
“…It needs to be more for the people than for the few. That’s how I feel about it…”
@gnomedad: You’re right. I should have written that just lefties and libertarians think that. Scary.
Can you imagine, though, if everyone who could vote did? Geez. We all know that it’s just “our side” who sits it out. Any wonder that Europe is different — maybe it’s not cultural or because of the terrible hippie punching — it’s that they goddamn vote.
In the end none of it this is going to amount to jack shit unless laws change.
I’m sure if you elect Barack Obama, it will result in some significant change to the banking laws.
Look, earnest polite liberals, you had your chance, and you fucked up. All you wanted to talk about was “coming together” and making “necessary compromises.” Well fuck you. Fuck you. You were too damn cowardly to start fucking with a bunch of banks and instead said, “we should just sit back and support our president and lament what meanies those republicans are.”
What I like about OWS is that they’re not afraid. We’ve shown that you can stand somewhere, tell a bunch of right wingers to fuck off and start listening to what OWS has to say, and the world doesn’t end. I think they should keep doing it.
If they make the playoffs, can you imagine?
OMG! I have the pie filter!
Quick! Where’s a troll that I can pie!
Bank Executives On 15th Floor Gambling On Which Occupy Wall Street Protester Will Be Arrested Next
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
@El Cid: @Tyro: Bravo, well said!
Instead of spouting recycled talking points from the corporate media about ‘them’ being vague: Go down to an occupy camp and meet some of the occupiers and their supporters. You’ll be surprised what a wide demographic of folks show up.
If you have facebook, I recommend checking out the Occupy Wall St. and Occupy Together pages.
OWS isn’t a left, right, democrat or republican thing. It is the diverse opinions and voices of the American people starting to join together in a single chorus to take our nation back from the Corporate stranglehold on our Government and Economy.
Here’s a couple of examples:
Keith Olbermann reads a statement released by Occupy Wall St. in early October, that was barely mentioned in the News.
Life-long republican and former anti-union attorney interviewed by why she is supporting the Occupy movement in Monterey, CA
Pitching legislation? Did you notice that today’s events were to mark the fact that OWS has been going on for two months? Groups that are formed for the express purpose of pushing legislation push legislation in two months, maybe.
OWS done a lot to shift the dialog in this country in a way that a lot of us have been extremely frustrated we couldn’t do for the past year or two. It’s still going. A lot of the solutions and the changes in the past few decades that have created the problems are well-known (and are actually being talked about and chanted by OWS participants); it’s more important to convince legislators that people want them than to write legislation.
Think crappy-brand-of-coffee and I suggest you have your first pie lover.
I got back home just a short while ago, having been among the thousands who crossed the Brooklyn Bridge tonight. An inspiring experience, to be sure.
It took quite a long time because of the vast number of participants funneling through the narrow cordons established by the police from the protest assembly in Foley Square (1/2 mile north of the bridge), up past the City Hall administrative building, then onto and across the bridge walkway.
While we gathered in Foley Square and later during the march itself, the predominant mood was one of high spirits and determination. After the outbreaks of violence and tense confrontation that occurred today, it was gratifying that the police did not interfere unduly with the march, and that a relatively peaceful and upbeat atmosphere prevailed.
I want to emphasize here that the presence of police, police vehicles, and security apparatus on the streets of lower Manhattan today and this evening was overwhelming, and to my view disturbing and disproportionate. In almost twenty years living in New York City, I’ve never seen anything like it. The deployment seems even to exceed that of the 2004 GOP convention, of which I had some painful experience.
I’m happily dazed and exhausted right now; maybe I’ll write more tomorrow, but wanted to provide this account for this OWS thread.
No, no, no. This is beyond being about bankers. This is about inequality. Not all of the 1% are bankers. A change in laws would mean that our government is not taking seriously the wingnut arguments that fixing the economy means finding more and more egregious ways to favor the rich. Something as simple as letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be a small step in beginning to have that commitment.
@Tyro: Here’s a question — what does OWS have to say? Beyond 99%.
Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole.
Give him a majority in the House, and 60 friendly Senators, and it might.
If we make him.
@4jkb4ia: See that’s the thing about the vague message. One person says, “Here’s what it is.” And another person says, “No no no. HERE’s what it is.” And then there’s people saying, “Where’s there legislation?”
@Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole.: You can’t convince people to chase a unicorn forever. “Keep voting for us and someday when we get a House majority and more than 60 senators, we might be able to do something!” isn’t a formula for getting things done. It’s a formula for treating people like dupes.
David in NY
I wish to congratulate everyone on ignoring the usual couldn’t-get-the-point-if-his-life-depended-on-it troll. Could even have used a pie on him, but silence is better.
Personally, I thunk david Sirota’s a fucking plagiaristic fucking asshole but I can’t fault him for saying what he does in this article. Unless, of course, he robbed another writer.
@Tyro: You really really don’t need to vote. OWS is there. It’s so not about voting and you can join or start your own Occupy if there’s not one near you. You should do what’s in your heart.
Look, I know you have your shtick and you’re sticking to it, but I for one never believed that.
OK. And what happens after that? Anything?
Seems to me the lesson of the Obama campaign for OWS is that everything feels like a bracing success until it has to get turned into law and policy by clearing procedural hurdles and deliberate obstruction. At which point the life gets sucked out of it and the people who were all gung-ho get terribly frustrated and cynical and point fingers at each other about who ruined this once good thing or if it was just destined to be ruined all along.
Um, “keep sleeping in a tent in a city park” isn’t much of a formula for getting things done either. If by “things” you mean “lefty-friendly laws and policies.” The Obama campaign shifted a conversation to the left too — remember how everyone was saying that he was eloquently making a case for government’s role in bettering people’s lives? Then we immediately saw that shifting the conversation wasn’t good enough to overcome Republican obstruction and Democratic cowardly self-preservation. Let’s say OWS has shifted the conversation again. Shifted it to do what? In politics you don’t have a conversation to have a conversation. You have a conversation to make something happen. What will happen? I want it to be something good. I don’t know what it will be. It’s been wildly successful from the standpoint of gaining _visibility_. What’s to be done with that visibility? That’s TBD.
As infuriating as it is, it’s true. The major liberal victories of the last century went through when there were incredibly high numbers of liberals in Congress – the New Deal in the early 1930s and the civil rights/health care victories after the 1964 election.
Want change? Vote for liberals in primary elections and Democrats in general elections, and keep going until enough of the country’s done the same that you can actually change things. It SUCKS, but I don’t see too many alternatives.
@ChrisNYC: Ah, a good earnest guy who enjoys losing honorably. Voting is a necessary but insufficient act. The system is larger than your vote, so if you’re not willing to spend a lot of time scaring and badgering opposing interest groups into submission after the voting is over, you have no business telling anyone whom to vote for. You just like to vote, and if your candidate loses, you can lament that sucks, and if your candidate wins, you can lament how the press and conservative talking points, and right wingers conspire to ensure you lose out. Or you can do something about it.
Republicans, contrary to claims here, only barely give a shit about voting. It’s a secondary issue, secondary to constantly and relentlessly repeating right wing talking points and harrassing liberals and driving policymakers out of their jobs unless they toe the line. Something that I appreciate you might be too good for, but that is why you lose.
OWS is right to be talking about change, not about voting. Once you get into voting you start becoming a partisan organization and that’s wrong for two reasons: Their opposition to crony capitalism is not in the platform of any political party, and most people already have a tribal allegiance to a party and will go against their economic interest as part of the 99% to defend that allegiance.
OWS is applying pressure to all political parties to get them all to pay more attention to the needs of the people and less to the needs of the corporations.
We need people like Kay to work on political issues directly too but that’s not the only strategy that can help.
Saying that’s true, then it’s pretty hard to comprehend the results of 2010.
Clarifying my comment at #50. When I said Bravo to Tyro, it was for his comment at #37 not #45 (that y’all are responding to).
I’m frustrated by the corporate influence on both parties, but I’m defiantly voting for Obama next year. God help us all if any of the GOP nominee’s makes it to the White House.
I said in two different comments that really the message of this thing is being able to represent yourself. (Comment #1 was Erev Yom Kippur which was a little over a month ago now.) If you are choosing to represent yourself, you may not necessarily choose to be part of a group whose purpose is just to petition the government–a more left-wing version of Americans for Financial Reform that organized to get Dodd-Frank passed. But there is a trap in that. You could just be a symbol of demanding the impossible and nothing might happen in the larger world. OTOH if what you are demanding is the right to be a person/treated by power as a person, that is not the impossible.
I think some of the disappointed voices on the left have bought into the Republican lie that being a Democrat is being a liberal. I don’t think that was ever the case, and it’s not true now when the Democratic Party is essentially a coalition of interests that have been rejected by the Republican core.
Yes, there was (at least for a moment) 60 Democratic votes in the Senate. But that wasn’t 60 liberal (let alone progressive) votes. The Progressive Caucus is the largest segment of Congress, but it is still a minority and far short of what’s needed to pass legislation. Given that, I think it’s foolish to expect liberal legislation to get passed without massive changes right ward.
“Elect more Democrats. Elect better Democrats” I think a lot of people are leaving the job half finished.
How are they applying pressure?
Facts not in evidence.
The nice thing about your local occupation is that you know where it is. So you can always go to a GA and start making suggestions.
@different-church-lady: Voting is like peeing in a toilet: it’s the least you can do. The rest of the stuff behind right-wing activism (the media strategy, the breeding and training of extremist politicians, the relentless use of talking points, the naming-and-shaming of “thought criminals” targeted for harassment and firing, etc.) pays larger dividends in the overall scheme of things.
Obama and the Democrats had a dominant position in DC but the Republicans controlled the public dialog. That didn’t happen because Republicans “voted.” It happened for other reasons– reasons I think OWS understands and you don’t.
@Tyro: I have no idea what this comment is about but ok. I also don’t get why all the anger.
OWS is really not about voting which is why they haven’t mentioned it. It’s funny that this is turning into Obama v. OWS on blogs because when I’ve been there there is not word or sign one about Obama or Dems or GOPers. And I look because I’m a Dem and proud of it. IT’S NOT ABOUT THAT.
So I’m not sure why you are loving them and talking about voting as necessary. Because I’m pretty sure most of the real movers in OWS would say voting is total crap and nonsense, opiate of the masses type stuff. E.g., sending a delegation to monitor the Egyptian elections was a controversial issue for OWS. (See, nyc.ga) It’s part of the reason that they don’t have demands — because they don’t think anything in our current system is legitimate. NONE OF IT. NO VOTING. NO REPRESENTATION. That’s what a GA is about. DIRECT DEMOCRACY. Represent yourself.
Also, there is a “vote for nobody” booth at Zucotti Park.
It floors me that there are so many people on this blog that loooooove OWS but can’t be bothered to find out a thing about them other than “OWS good hippie punching brutality grunt.”
@Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole.:
Yes. And that’s what OWS is working on: making him (and the rest of the political establishment) do the right thing.
Corporations don’t just chip in during elections, they spend millions on lobbyists to push legislators to do what they want. They know that voting (or inducing people to vote) every few years is not enough.
Uh, yeah. Getting Van Jones out of the White House = Republican House without anyone voting. It’s so obvious now, can’t understand why I didn’t see it.
If Republicans barely give a shit about voting it is amazing the amount of effort they put into false voter fraud claims to stop those who will support the other party from voting.
@4jkb4ia: Seriously, how hard is it for you to understand that voting is really only a small fraction of what movement conservatism is all about?
And when the political parties ignore that pressure, then what? What bad thing happens that makes them wish they had taken it to heart? I heard a bunch of news stories today about the “supercommittee.” Is the supercommittee doing anything differently because of OWS?
Look, it’s a great and long overdue development to have people willing to put themselves on the street to speak up for reformist and progressive causes and methods. But I don’t get where this idea is coming from that it has already taught everyone a valuable lesson about what politics could be and do.
OK. So that still leaves me at a loss to understand what they think is going to change.
How so? I’m not a joiner and not near an urban center so I haven’t been involved in any way. How are they going to make any political figure do anything?
@Tyro: You leave out the astroturfed events, the cushy jobs as lobbyists and FOX news commentators waiting for them after their time in government, the free advertising by third party groups, etc. They have way more carrots and sticks in their bag than we do. We have “well, I won’t vote for you in 4 years! You won’t get my $10 this campaign season!”
@different-church-lady: You can say that a big part of the point is to build relationships that make other kinds of coordination possible later — and that veterans of one movement gathering become leaders and facilitators of ones that have yet to happen. That’s great. That’s also kind of intangible, like the way sportscasters talk about the value of previous playoff experience in determining a team’s chances of winning.
I’ve noticed that online supporters of OWS seem incredibly thin-skinned, even in relatively friendly places. This isn’t going to wear well.
We have too little idealism, not too much. Just learn to tell friend from foe. And, when people tell you that what you’re doing is backfiring, they could sometimes even be right.
I’m sorry, but the longer OWS continues, the less I support it. I’m worried. Sure, they ‘changed the narrative’ for about 2 minutes. Sure, they have numbers. How many of them are ready to vote? The more I hear from them, the less cohesive things seem. I’m tired of both sides do it too and vote for nobody. As far as blocking the bridge, my step dad drives over it. Any disruptions in surface traffic turns into a mess in the subways. Not always as huge as SF’s BART, but ugly happens. The Alabama bus boycott hurt the right people in the right way. People expect to be hurt and attacked. They trained for it. OWS thinks it just happened and we can be organic. It’s not about being nice, it’s not about acting up so you can be arrested and shouting about the “optics” drawing people to you. I’m torn. I want to be gung ho on this movement. I wish they had been out there in 2009. But unified voice they are supposed to offering to us 99ers is more like a cacophony. There’s no point. You’re fighting for the right to camp in parks or block things or cross bridges. Ok, fine, free speech, free assembly, great. But Now What? Is this about freedom to sleep outside and yell or about really changing government? If it’s about changing things, affecting the powerful, how is this doing it? I’m afraid that without some real connection to say, publicly funded elections, closing corporate tax loopholes, cutting lobbying and even, yes, working with dreaded politicians-OWS is an exercise in grandstanding. People keep telling me this is a revolution, they just can’t tell me how it’s a revolution.
You know, hipsters are right, voting is uncool. That’s why I won’t vote for Elizabeth Warren — it just wouldn’t be cool.
@FlipYrWhig: In that it would be very valuable. Yet utterly inscrutable to the general public.
I’m looking at OWS as act one of a long long play. I’m not sure everyone else is.
That’s one of the reasons that in my own mind I tend to put online supporters of OWS in one box, and actual OWS participants in another.
@4jkb4ia: That is a part that I like about OWS. The stop bitching and step up part. Super challenging. Also, though, as has been the case, fraught with difficulties.
For example, anyone can talk at GAs. But lots of super verbal super educated people end up doing all the talking because IT’S ABOUT TALKING, PERSUASION, FACILITY WITH WORDS. Keeps a lot of people out. Probably a lot of people with a lot to add who just are not college seminar veterans. People who say, “I don’t know what the fuck this guy is even saying with the historical analogies and I’m just a laborer and etc and etc.” And then, I say to myself, it’d be great if those people had, say, a representative that would speak for them, that was a great talker and then THAT guy could TALK FOR THEM, protect these other peoples’ interest. And then I’m at Capitol Hill. Our system really has some super smartness to it.
It got thousands of people out on the streets rather than sitting around wishing things were better.
And that IS pressure.
Not enough, obviously. If they stop now it won’t make any difference.
What I don’t understand is you and different-church-lady and others saying it’s all useless and they should all go home and wait till the next election day.
If OWS has the wrong strategy for political change please tell them and us what exactly they should be doing instead.
ok, that does it.
Teh Stoopid on this thread has killed me. Flatline. ___________________
@ChrisNYC: funny you should mention this. Jon Stewart covered the very subject last night
FUCK ALL if that’s what I’m saying.
I’m saying either it evolves into something beyond “I’m mad as hell and we’ll figure out the rest later” or it just withers.
@ruemara: It’s only been two months. Matt Taibi had the best take on it- just having a space to talk about things that are completely ignored in our society is a start. I didn’t realize it until I lived in another country for a while, but it’s tiring being an American. Our society is relentless and mean. Just giving people a space to realize, hey, I’m not nuts for thinking something is wrong, is a beginning. Maybe OWS won’t work, but it’s no dumber or more unrealistic than any of the others ideas I see out there.
I’m just really tired of all this pointless liberal hang-wringing by liberals over OWS. Basically you have a crowd of good liberals who don’t like joining things, think that the most important thing is showing up to vote, and hoping that we can all have a reasonable discussion about policy, and then wonder why they’re constantly being bullied and under siege from conservatives.
I like OWS because it’s for the sort of people who are willing to join something and get involved. That’s why unions are getting involved. That’s why people keep showing up and returning every time the permanent protest camps get broken up. The big issue I see from a lot of OWS skeptics is that it doesn’t fit into their aesthetic notions of what political activism should be, which seems to involve holding a 1 day protest with a “message” that can be ignored.
The difference between OWS and the opposition to the Iraq War is this: people ignored the protests against the Iraq War. OWS isn’t being ignored. So after a track record of being ignored and not taken seriously, it is nice to see some liberal activism having an influence.
@Nutella: Because you’re not threatening them with thousands of registered voters. Period. When they can show up at their electeds meetings with current cards and say no matter how much money their corporate overlords throw at them, they won’t get your vote, then you have applied pressure. Everything else, water off a duck’s back. And considering OWS thinks voting is for rubes and being nice was the problem and everything for everyone (real occupy sign from our local) I alternately want to talk to them about organizing to run for office and cheerfully strangle them and myself for existing.
Could one of the OWS pearl-clutchers here kindly explain what the message of the Democratic Party is? Or if that’s too hard, then what does the Tea Party have to say? And sorry, “taxes are too high” is no more a legislative proposal than “we want economic justice.”
F*cking Xist, this is the two-month anniversary of “Occupy Wall Street.” If you can’t see what extraordinary success this grass-roots movement has had in the past sixty days, then you must be reading this blog for the pet pictures and football commentary, because you evidently have no interest in or acumen of political activism. The accomplishments of the Occupy movement is all the more remarkable in the face of relentless derision and distortion by the corporate media.
Indisputably, there is more that the movement can do. And based on how far it has come, there is more that it will do. What I fail to understand is the insistence that this newly-emerged progressive movement have its bona fides in order and its mid- and long-range plans already crafted for easy digestion. I’d be more than grateful to learn of precedents.
Jesus, seriously? People didn’t ignore the anti-Iraq war protests: the administration ignored them.
I was in a crowd of more protesters in one city alone 8 years ago than there probably are OWS participants nationwide. That’s not to say that the anti-war model was right and the OWS model is wrong. But really, you need to stop with the self-delusion. Both are being ignored equally by the same groups of people.
Any chance you could list what those accomplishments are?
@Nutella: I never said that once, and defy you to find any time I’ve even come _close_ to saying anything even remotely like that.
There’s a difference between movement-building that, well, builds movements, and movement-building that makes short-term action. I think OWS is the former. The WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 were like that — in retrospect. When they were happening, everyone was exultant. “Wow, new partnerships between labor and greens, old-school and new-school, it’s the end of a century and a new era is dawning!” Now, looking back, what was the legacy?
Claims about pressuring politicians suggest a view that OWS sees itself as the latter. What are the means by which that pressure can be applied, to whom, for what? And what happens when politicians say, as they usually do, fuck it, I’m doing exactly what I would have done before the first guy held up the first sign?
That’s the problem with an idea of “pressure” that doesn’t seem to envision what the repercussions will be if the pressure is ignored. And, like I said, the Obama _campaign_ was filled with emotional, engaged people who rallied to a cause higher than themselves, and there were Democrats swept into power, and then… disillusionment as it became evident that the “pressure” from the people wasn’t enough to repulse the inertia of the “political class” after all.
Why won’t that happen again?
Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole
In a more naive decade, not too long ago, they used to call this sort of thing “Mindshare”: It’s not like David Gregory is going to invite any disaffected working people onto MTP to tell their stories, so they require other means.
IMO, if OWS’s only tangible accomplishment (after just two months) is helping to give people the psychological “permission” they need to be openly angry at the right people, I’d still call that progress. Apathy (whether real or learned or posed) has been our great poison for some decades now. I wonder if people are just sick of being told not to give a shit, after all these years.
The sleeping giant appears to be waking up, which is something I never expected to see. I thought the damned thing was dead.
I’m gonna go there: the biggest danger to OWS’s future is if it consists of nothing more than people getting off on the euphoria of taking action.
@handsmile: All right. I give up. Obviously, OWS is better than any other group at getting shit done. You’re right, it’s simply handwringing as the group focuses on occupying the streets well away from where legislation is made. I’ll just sit back and wait for it to happen organically, because OWS makes people show up, unlike any other movement.
People found the WTO ’99, the Dean ’04 and Obama ’08 campaigns all, in the moment, galvanizing, new, exciting, paradigm-shifting and lastingly important. So was the blogosphere. If the backlash to the backlash is that “it’s only been 2 months,” well, what kinds of conversations are we going to be having 2 months from now? If it’s inequality and corporate malfeasance, excellent. But if we can’t measure the impact yet, which is a fair enough proposition, it also follows that we’re also seeing a lot of premature triumphalism about having changed a conversation and applied pressure, when the effects of that shift have yet to be seen. I hope they last. I’m not confident they will.
@different-church-lady: People didn’t ignore the anti-Iraq war protests: the administration ignored them.
And the press. And the public. And the political influencers. And businesses.
I was in a crowd of more protesters in one city alone 8 years ago than there probably are OWS participants nationwide
Yeah. Funny how they couldn’t do what OWS has done– hijack the public dialog. My assumption is that OWS took a look at the track record of protest marches and the like and said, “those are pointless and not going to work” and went with another model.
FlipYrWhig: The WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 were like that—in retrospect. When they were happening, everyone was exultant. “Wow, new partnerships between labor and greens, old-school and new-school, it’s the end of a century and a new era is dawning!” Now, looking back, what was the legacy?
That’s an awfully good point and a cautionary tale. The Obama campaign example is a bit different though– it was an organization build by the Obama campaign and then dismantled and left to decay. It was ignored by design.
@Tyro: This is so pointless, this “my dick is bigger than yours and I’m a better person” nonsense. I believe in voting. Other people do too. You don’t. Other people agree with you. I see your point but I don’t agree with it. Fine. It’s ok. It’s fucking freedom of conscience. PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO DISAGREE WITH YOU. If you’re right, in some cosmic absolute sense, you’ll prevail.
It would be nice if lib blogs could actually talk about the many issues OWS raises, without “YOUR A FUCKER FUCKWAD” being the end of the conversation.
You have the stink of fear on you.
@different-church-lady: God knows we need euphoria these days. I don’t want to diminish that, myself. That’s why I want to hold out hope that the effect of OWS, no matter where it leads, is to show that future OWSes are possible. But that doesn’t eliminate the need to think about where it leads, or what happens next when politicians decide they’re not that worried about incurring their disappointment.
@ChrisNYC: I believe in voting. Other people do too. You don’t.
I don’t know where you get that idea. If I wanted to be particularly snarky, I’d say that you believe that voting is the highest calling that you can engage in in the political sphere, while I believe it’s the absolutely least, most basic thing you can do and in the absence of anything else is nothing to write home about. It’s absolutely more important what you do before you vote and after you vote. Voting is like showering– you’re expected to do it, and I’m not going to give you a cookie just because you voted.
@handsmile: Dem party has, ahem, a platform. OWS doesn’t. BECAUSE IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO. Why don’t you get this, if you’re involved in it? I’ve been there twice, know a member of the Arts and Culture working group and another from Direct Action and have done a lot of reading and I get this. Don’t agree with it, but get it.
@Tyro: It’s just pointless going back and forth with you because it’s this nonsense exaggeration. Highest calling? No. I think the highest calling for every person is to be themselves in the world because there is only one of each of us and each of us has never been before and will never be again. Voting, lower than highest calling.
You really should look into OWS and voting because I think there is, as they say, “light” between you and them on that. BECAUSE OWS IS NOT ABOUT VOTING. First last or ever. Not about voting. Not about representation. About direct democracy. SHOW UP AND SPEAK YOUR MIND AND FUCK THE VOTING. Occupy your workplace. Workers count as much as and can overrule the boss. Kids likewise with teachers. Hierarchies are illegitimate. (Hint hint — “why do the cops get to say who can walk on the street?” Maybe that’s why they won’t get permits? To challenge the idea of a permit.) No person is worth more or has any greater say, in any sphere, than another.
@ChrisNYC: Your objection to OWS seems to be almost entirely aesthetic, in that you think they should be talking not stop about voting. Whatever. Voting is your civic duty like paying your taxes and showering. These movements exist because people are asking themselves, “What can I do? I already vote and do everything I’m supposed to, but things in the country are just getting worse, and the votes of Wall Street seem to count for more than my votes.” Meanwhile, you’re complaining that OWS isn’t focusing enough on voting. They’ve BEEN voting. Cripes.
I’m sorry that’s how you interpreted my comment. Obviously, there are many groups far more effective than OWS at “getting shit done.” Depending, of course, on what that shit is. What OWS has been singularly effective at in the current U.S. political climate is to establish a broader and more sustained discussion of economic and social inequities. Admittedly, other supremely worthy organizations have been working on specific issues for decades. A confluence of factors, however, has enabled the Occupy movement to succeed in coalescing attention.
I hope you won’t “just sit back.” I hope you will continue to do whatever political activist work you find effective.
I’ve been committed to GOTV efforts for many years. One thing I do when I visit OWS here in New York is to ask people about their past voting behavior, encourage them to continue to vote, and debate, if necessary, whether voting is worthwhile. For the most part, these have been fruitful and encouraging conversations. This notion that the Occupy movement is fundamentally opposed to electoral voting is utterly and insidiously false, based on my own experience.
@different-church-lady: I’m basically spamming this thread at this point but I did want to respond because even tho I am really not a supporter I do think that there is real and potent worth to OWS. Shouldn’t we think about this stuff? Shouldn’t we question whether the whole thing is just wrecked? Shouldn’t we say, do we like this system — voting, etc? Do we like cops even at all? Do we live in a police state? What’s important? We should. And it has clarified for me a lot a things and made me question others.
BBC morning news has had some really good coverage – talking to lots of protesters of different ages/races/backgrounds.
@Tyro: I have not made one objection to OWS. I am not saying and have not said that they SHOULD be doing anything. I take them as they are. They are not about voting. I am. I am not a supporter. I am allowed not to be a supporter. Are you going to argue against this? That would be bizarre.
You’re arguing with a fantasy person, that you seem to have made up in your head. Because nothing of what you have said to me about what I think bears any resemblance to what I think or what I’ve written.
Also, aesthetic? WTF?
You and I have respectfully exchanged opinions on OWS on previous threads. Knowing that you are not fully supportive of the movement, I was particularly interested and impressed to read that you attended tonight’s protest at Foley Square and Brooklyn Bridge.
As to this comment, we might be speaking past each other? I “get” perfectly well that the absence of a platform or set of policy statements is inherent to the current structure (not intended to be ironic) of OWS. My #98 comment was written out of exasperation that a number of commenters here and on related BJ threads seem either to demand one or consider its lack to be a fundamentally fatal flaw. I hope I have understood and adequately addressed your comment.
@handsmile: Really? What was that whole dust up about the 99% declaration and how they got kicked off the OWS website? Because they wanted VOTING and representative democracy.
Also, from the nycga.org website declaration of occupation:
“To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy”
Direct democracy equals not voting because it’s direct.
A 24 year old kid with no experience Livestreaming on UStream kicked every single main stream media outlets ass today.
Tim Pool. indy pool.
Expect a lot more of this. Because the MSM has been so bad for so long it is not going to take long for them to lose market share altogether.
This is real reality television.
good god, I go to my local OWS GAs and this frekin’ policy issue is OCD for some people. That is the way it is in any group, club or organization. People can ignore it if they like. I do.
The movement is two months old. Patience.
Pools UStream is: theother99%
The Occupy movement is an expression of frustration over a broken economic and political system. If the power elite is as you say, “shitting bricks” over it, it may be because they know that this kind of restless, grassroots energy has the potential for a very unpleasant outcome for them if it continues to grow. It is frightening because it is so decentralized and therefore difficult to quash. And consider that if even a portion of this movement is composed of desperate people who believe that voting itself is futile–the next question is, how do you intend to bring about change if you feel that way? One need only to look to history for the answer to that question. So yes, it is no surprise that the OWS movement is alarming to our modern day robber barons. When they see a crowd on a bridge, they don’t see a peaceful demonstration, they see a mob headed straight for them with a strong rope.
OWS is wasting a giant fucking opportunity to change things OTHER THAN THE “CONVERSATION” and its biggest supporters are not helping by making excuses for them. Sorry to break it to you but they are not making Obama do anything that he wasn’t doing BEFORE. They are not making Republicans or Democrats do or say anything differently. Well, they got a few Repubs to mention the words income inequality in that it should be wider or that we shouldn’t pick on the rich. Republicans have doubled down and Wall Street is still laughing because as long as OWS just stays in the park battling it out with the police, they can keep doing what they are doing.
All that time spent in the park could be spent going door to door talking to your neighbors. I don’t want to hear that OWS doesn’t have to or can’t do these things. People in Wisconsin and Ohio are smoking your asses every day. LOOK at what they have accomplished. Ya’ll telling me OWS can’t do that? Won’t do that? Those organizers in OH and WI CHANGED THE CONVERSATION AND wait for it……WORKED ON LEGISLATION AND RECALLS.
I’m not saying OWS should go away but they need to get their act together and do more concrete things like the Bank Transfer day. Changing the conversation is overrated. You gotta take advantage of it and push and work for actual change. People are going to get real tired real fast over this snobbish “we do what we wanna do – don’t need no leaders-you just can’t understand how deep we are” attitude for long.
Then again I shouldn’t be surprised about the lack of action. OWS’s biggest heroes are people who only talk and write about change. Rarely people who have actually had to pursue it or got it done.
it worked in Egypt and Tunisia.
FOR GOD’S SAKE, people get the stick out of your asses and LET IT UNFOLD!
also, Fox News and Rush apparently have a defecation fetish!
@Tyro: And if you don’t vote, and don’t promote legislation, and aren’t interested in any of the ways the country actually functions, what will you do? What is the end-point of all this?
I will admit, though, it’s fun, watching it all unfold.
again, the juicitariat has an epic fail on the occupy movement.
The internet is the public transport that temporarily merges goals of various grassroots movements.
That is an incredible force amplifier.
And it renders the movement unsquashable…..kinda like islamic terrorism LOL!
Think of this as an economic insurgency. ;)
by all means, go work on recall elections.
just dont try to tell the owwies what to do.
This cannot be underestimated.
Anyone from a religious or working class background, anyone growing up in the Midwest, anyone constantly stymied by racism or sexism or classism; develops Learned Helplessness that convinces them the struggle is not worth embarking upon.
think of it as an economic insurgency.
analogous to the islamic insurgency that has been kicking America’s fat white judeoxian ass for the past decade.
A Humble Lurker
There were actual concrete goals in Egypt and Tunisia…
@Samara Morgan: Changing the conversation is a first step. Then what? What do you do with the new conversation? That is always the question.
To the group at large: I think it is fantastic that people are out in the streets, that they are riled up about the economy, politics, and the state of the world. I also think that, for a period of time, being out in the streets and riled up is enough. Eventually though, to sustain momentum and avoid entropy, the people have develop more concrete and specific goals. The question is when does that become necessary. Asking about this doesn’t mean necessarily that one is opposed to OWS; it might simply be someone wondering what the next step is. Further, for those who say that if someone isn’t willing or able to step in a organize or point out what exactly the next step should be they should just shut up, sometimes asking the right questions can lead to right answers.
@A Humble Lurker: you dont think OWS has concrete goals?
One goal is overturning the corporate personhood decision.
its an economic insurgency….and most of you thought it couldnt happen here.
That is that fucking pervasive American exceptionalism for you.
Its like mothers milk to americans.
for a lot of the owwies their goals are EXACTLY the same as Muhammed Bouazizi’s…..a fucking job.
They are not about voting. I am. I am not a supporter.
Go join some nice community organization dedicated to registering voters in your town. OWS is another sort of political activist group that I understand does not conform to your aesthetic tastes. You big objection seems to be that they’re getting more attention than you or some other more GOTV-centric organization does. That’s fine. But I had no idea that there is an election in New York coming up that OWS is ignoring.
Thats just shit stupid. The Vietnamese took care of the Vietnam War, without the help of the antiwar movement.
@Tyro: There is an election coming up that requires GOTV efforts – Nov. 2012. Oddly, it is something that requires organization and cannot be put together at the last minute. This doesn’t negate the point that you seem to be make underneath the asshole attitude, that, if OWS isn’t one’s cup of tea, there may be other organizations that are. OTOH, OWS claims to speak for the 99% and, if someone is part of that group (and odds are that they are), OWS is claiming to speak for them. That being the case, people have a right to speak up about those who claim to speak for them, to try in whatever way they can, including commenting on blogs, to make sure that their opinions about what their self-appointed spokespeople should be saying are heard. Or is it just the particular group within the 99% who happen to be in a park in New York who get to speak?
@Omnes Omnibus: I hear tha tOBama for America is big on this sort of thing. Where are people going to get together and finally find like-minded people frustrated about their economic situation? It’s really your job, and OFA’s job, not an ad hoc protest movement’s, to turn sentiment into votes.
Voting is the tiniest, most basic, thing you can do. It’s no surprise it’s not a focus on OWS, because there is a lundry list of other things you should be doing in addition to voting. Go join some nice little earnest organization that’s all about voting if you think there’s nothing more important to do than that.
Do you ever hear some Republican say, “the problem I have with the Chamber of Commerce is that they aren’t focused on GOTV”?
@Tyro: Okay, this is not the first time on this thread that you have intimated that someone believes that voting is the sole, most important thing that one can do. Please link to the comment where I said anything like that. Also, you can take you condescending attitude and shove it up your ass. I don’t have a problem with OWS. I don’t think it is the be all and end all of political movements, but I don’t think any one thing is. I do hope that those who are organizing the OS movement are looking forward to the next steps to be taken and are not simply expecting that staying there is enough.
I agree. I think the biggest difference between the Tea Party and the OWS is that the Tea Party made a big deal out of primary out “bad” Republicans.
My understanding (it could be wrong) about the OWS is that they generally want little to nothing to do with the Democratic party.
Well, look at the Tea Party – they are basically running the House of Representatives because they made such big deal out of voting as a bloc.
I have hard time understanding how not focusing on voting will make much of a difference. As Barney Frank stated; “where were these people in November 2010 when it mattered”?
@Omnes Omnibus: the next step is emergent.
there is no top down organization, the occupy protests are self-organizing systems.
perhaps the next step will be GOTV.
@Samara Morgan: That is fine, but there is no harm in wonder what that step is. It emerges from the thoughts and aspirations of the 99%, right? Therefore, the 99% should think about it, n’est-ce pas?
@A Humble Lurker: Egypt and Tunisia had dictatorships to oppose. This is more like the civil rights movement as we already have democratic forms of government, but there is an insidious power structure (“the system is rigged”) that has become so pervasive and disproportionately oppressive that it is now much more visible than hidden. To me, this is what the Occupy and 99% memes are about.
It’s like something Jerry Garcia once said about acid, something like “once you’ve seen through the veil, you can’t unsee it.”
And honestly, would Paul Ryan have put out a report on “income inequality” (would there be a “GOP approach on income inequality”) less than a month after Paul Ryan said that talking about income inequality was dividing America, if OWS was not forcing changes in the national conversation?
@Omnes Omnibus: they are.
now this is pure-D awesomesauce.
What’s the evidence that the “power elite” is at all afraid? What’s the “unpleasant outcome” they dread?
I mean, look, like I said last night, there’s a constructive potential in direct-action scenes like OWS because it jolts people of like mind into gathering together and showing strength in numbers. Great. That’s what a protest means _to the protesters_. What does it mean to non-protesters? What effect has it had on them, and will it continue? The track record for “changed conversations” is pretty dismal insofar as they’re supposed to, as boss bitch said earlier, “change something _other than_ The Conversation.”
@Omnes Omnibus: i have only had facetime with occupy denver but all people talk about here is how to overturn Citizens United. i think all the local movements have their own priorities.
as the election gets closer i think there will be emergent GOTV movements to ensure O gets re-elected, because court composition is the only way to get rid of corporate personhood.
and flatline economies. this is an economic insurgency, and its global.
“Whaaaat do they waaaaant” has morphed into “Whyyyyy haven’t they gone home/voting booth/congress / produced a powerpoint of what they want to accomplish?”
For those of you who think OWS is a waste of time, that’s cool. I’ll say what I’ve said in everything thread about this. We need people in the streets calling attention to the bullshit going on (OWS), we need people out there working on issues (Kay in Ohio for example) and we need people at the voting booth (All of us).
YMMV, but I find that the power of OWS is that it is NOT a partisan movement. Some of you may want it to be, some of you may want it to be part of the “Elect more and better democrats”. If you want it to be that, I humbly submit that you attend your local GA, find out what issues they’re talking about and add your voice to the discussion.
It won’t hurt. At the most, you might get some hand signals disapproving of your message, but it will be less flamey than the flame wars we have on here.
Just give it some time and realize that even if it’s not exactly what you would do, that doesn’t mean that it can’t have a positive effect on our nation. Give them a chance and be patient.
They will continue to talk about the problem of our political system being captured by wealthy interests and being turned against the populace. Good on them for it, as well.
@FlipYrWhig: oh they ARE scared. look at the levels of protection the NYPD exercised yesterday.
@xian: do you know what Muhammed Bouzizi said while he was dying? do you know why he set himself on fire?
Without hippies to blame the loss on, I doubt we would ever have left Vietnam.
Which was both a blessing and a curse. Yeah, the teabaggers accomplished their goal of shifting the GOP (yet again) to the right, or at the very worst preventing it from shifting left/center.
At the same time, their obsession with ideological purity is what led them to run complete fucking loons like O’Donnell in states like Delaware, which is what stopped them from retaking the Senate along with the House.
@ singfoom: I don’t think that people here are doing the “What do they want?” complaint. Instead, people are starting to speculate about the next step. This is an entirely reasonable thing to do. Also, why so Gould people on this blog sit back and wait for things to happen? Shouldn’t we be thinking and talking about what should be done? Or are we too bourgeois to take part?
Paul in KY
@burnspbesq: All 3 of them are great. Enjoy them all I say.
Paul in KY
@Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole.: Certainly would need the legislative majorities you mentioned. Beyond that, we shouldn’t have to ‘make him’, IMO.
I’m so old that I remember when the appropriate response to your terrific comment would be: Right On! Your shrewd and plain-spoken remarks have been missed around here, well, at least by me.
IINM, you reside in the Chicago area. Any observations on Occupy movement activities there?
Paul in KY
@Nutella: Opposition to crony capitalism is certainly part of this Democrat’s platform.
Paul in KY
@Tyro: If the OWS people don’t get out there and vote for Democrats, then they are fools.
Lemme second that Right On. Right-the-fuck-On.
I honestly can’t fathom the myopic, constipated attitude of so many here. As far as the priority of voting goes, no one could be more rabidly insistent on that than I am. There is nothing more despicable to me than people who don’t vote.
But the next election is a year off — and we already saw some results in the last one.
How can anyone NOT SEE the power of people in the streets, of raw anger, that has been so desperately lacking in this country for decades? How can they witness that and respond “Yes, but –“?
It is beyond me. It’s like watching turtles swimming through molasses.
@eemom: How about this? Maybe we TOTALLY DO FUCKING WELL SEE IT and yet ALSO are wondering about where it leads and what happens next rather than indulging in a mutual stroke session about How Much Has Already Been Changed.
@Omnes Omnibus: (#154)
You might crack heads because you’re “scared,” or you might crack heads because you have had enough and want to put the little pissants in their place. Again, what’s the bad thing that happens? What are the terrible repercussions that come to pass because of the strength of OWS’s presence in the street? If there’s a big violent confrontation, are you confident that the non-participating public would take the side of the protesters rather than the side of the authorities? I’m not. I think that the majority of people in this country these days would watch footage of firefighters turning hoses on protesters and cheer for the hoses.
Is the accomplishment the “changing the conversation” thing, or is it more than that? And is that a lasting accomplishment or a fleeting one? I don’t know that we know that yet. Already with the stories on the “supercommittee” we see the stirrings of the cut spending, reduce deficits “narrative” coming back to life. Has OWS “changed the conversation” enough to put a stake through the heart of _that_ short-sighted and willfully stupid yet nonetheless Beltway-dominant “conversation”? It’d be great if it had. I’m not holding my breath.
The success, it seems to me, is that Occupy has lasted a lot longer than anyone thought, and has shown that there is a level of outrage on economic justice that would otherwise just be overlooked. So far so good. But has it actually turned the tide, to the point where politics moving forward will actually unfold differently? Probably not. Yes, it’s hugely premature to say that it was all just momentary, but it’s also hugely premature to say that it has already succeeded.
Actually that’s the camp I’m in. Maybe I’m doing a poor job of explaining it.
I do have another ‘request’ beyond that, which is to hope that this movement ends up amounting to more than “We’re pissed and we’re not going to take it.” Because if that’s the end of it then it’s really no better than the Tea Party (albiet with better politics).
[ding!] And you lead as we go into the bonus round.
By taking the House the partiers were able to change the discussion to what the Republicans want to talk about, such as the deficit. Everything from DC is talking about how to reduce the deficit, not how to improve health care reform etc. This all stems from their big win in 2010.
The GOP has shown since 2008 that whoever controls the senate is irrelevant. What matters is controlling 41 votes, enough for a filibuster.
The tea partiers accomplished something and their main tactic was voting. And they did in a very short amount of time. Time will have to tell if the OWS can accomplish something similar.
Look, I want it to work. I was skeptical at first, then increasingly excited. But we’re coming to a crossroads here, and support is starting to slip (at least in the polls I saw), and the coverage of the “supercommittee” has not from what I’ve seen reflected any shift towards the set of issues that OWS brings to the forefront.
Actually I’d say that the first thing they accomplished was derailing to the maximum possible extent attempts to respond aggressively to the economic downturn through Keynesian spending. It was because of the “tea party” that The Conversation swung towards the idea that the government shouldn’t be overly generous–because that would be “soçialist” and suck you dry of your hard-earned money in order to lavish it on losers. Then the crowds made trouble for Republican candidates and followed it all up by voting with fervor.
So a great parallel outcome for Occupy would be to swing The Conversation towards what could be done to level the playing field and undercut the outsized power of corporations and the financial sector. To an impressive degree, the complaint has gotten traction. But how will it translate into politicking?
The tea partiers had a method that involved hijacking public fora, nominating simpatico candidates, and making it clear to others that they’d pay the price if they didn’t stroke and feed this constituency. Occupy, by contrast, seems to feel like politicking is a diminution of the real discussion of the real problem. Could be. But what if that’s all we really have?
I want to respond adequately to your thoughtful comment, but I must soon depart for my off-line life, so I may not do it justice.
Given the volume (in both senses) of the corporate media’s hostility to the Occupy movement, the “‘changing the conversation’ thing” is no small accomplishment. Establishing hundreds of protest encampments nation-wide, for varying lengths of time, is so small accomplishment. Also, I think it’s bracingly important to have exposed how aggressive, even unlawful, city officials will be in suppressing protests. (This latter issue portends grimly for the future of the Occupy movement for reasons outlined in your #163 comment.)
That the corporate media’s response this morning, following a day in which hundreds of people were arrested nation-wide in Occupy demonstrations, is to headline Natalie Wood, a Syracuse basketball coach, and for real political junkies, the supercommittee’s deadlock, indicates how fleeting and contingent any successes may be.
Turning the tide of politics? Certainly not. Only insurrections, not emerging grass-roots movements, are capable of such consequence in sixty days. But I believe wholeheartedly that it is worth celebrating what has been achieved up to this point. Much much more must be done in struggles to reform social and economic inequities. I am optimistic that the Occupy movement is one vehicle that can help to realize that objective.
I’m not holding my breath either. I’m working as best I can for what I believe in, both through OWS and other activities.
One final, unrelated point: I want to express a mutual admiration for the writings of Michael Berube.
The election in 2012 is likely to get very close. Obama is a 50-50 to get re-elected. The Dems may have a shot at the House, but is highly likely to lose the senate but will at least go above the magic 40 number of senators.
If the Tea partiers keep on voting and the OWS do not, it is clear who will keep winning, ie the Tea partiers. They could in essence control all three functions of government after 2012.
By the way, The partiers would never have gotten started without FoxNews. The OWS doesn’t have that advantage. It is impressive that they have gotten as far as they have considering that.
@handsmile: Berube rocks…
I agree that it’s worth celebrating what has been achieved. I also think that we as the broad-spectrum left have been so starved for _passion_ and _action_ that we don’t want to turn prematurely towards the always-dispiriting matter of how to make it into Policy Sausage. But that’s always going to be lurking. Every revolution needs “praxis.”
@Omnes Omnibus: Fair enough. I’m not accusing anyone of being to bourgeois to participate or talk about it, that would be asinine and I think counter productive.
There are some posters here who I think are being too critical and not patient enough. Just give it some time, it’s only been two months. I hope they will figure it out and I hope it will be for the good. I just think it is way too soon to call what they’re doing right now a waste as some (not you) have done upthread.
Where I see — hope — this is going is into momentum for the 2012 election. As noted above, it is still a year off. Although I do agree the OWS absolutely NEED to be all about GOTV and devoutly hope they realize that soon, there are other ways in which the movement can influence the outcome.
With income inequality now in the spotlight, people — voters — outside of OWS are going to continue to focus on it. I really don’t believe it is going to be driven out of The Dialogue anytime soon — not as long as income inequality itself in its current grotesque and getting worse form is still around.
As for the “Supercommitee,” for fuck’s sake, NOBODY outside Washington is paying any attention to that shit. The fucking WaPo of all things even has a headline today to the effect that the “deadlock” is no big deal.
I also see the potential for synergies with the OWS message and specific elections and candidates — Elizabeth Warren is a good example.
There is strength in the Occupy movement not being coalesced around one person, or a few people, it’s true. It does make the movement harder to discredit. But there is a serious weakness in that as well.
I’m all for standing up and being heard. The unemployed, underemployed, and otherwise economically disenfranchised has been too often ignored by the mainstream media, where the economic fallout has been little more than fodder for their permanent horse race. The Occupy movement attaches real faces to the economic trouble this country is in, and that’s great. But if being heard, being seen is all there is, that’s not enough.
We can talk all day about how screwed up our current political system is, but if that doesn’t turn into action, nothing will change. Bank Transfer Day was action. It demonstrated to the banks that there power comes from people choosing to put their money in their establishments, not from their establishments choosing the people.
Imagine the impact of that kind of action if directed at oil companies who run PR campaigns about energy innovation while at the same time lobbying congress to fight true innovation and anti-pollution regulations. Maybe a single day where folks are encouraged to skip a fill up or oil change.
I support the occupy concept, but I’m not convinced our political system or economy is broken beyond repair, because our political system, our economy, our government is US. When we act, whether by voting with our wallets or in the both, we can make a difference. Whether we’re successful depends on our commitment to that action.
Occupy has good numbers and good support. I hope to see that mobilized toward concrete goals like Bank Transfer Day, like recalls in Wisconsin, like No on 2 in Ohio, or like reelecting Obama and a Democratic Congress to build on health care reform, financial regulatory reform, actually pass a jobs bill, and counter the conservative bent on the Supreme Court that declared corporations people.
Otherwise all that’s going to be achieved is shouting at the clouds.
sign: Your goals are much smaller than the Occupy Movement goals.
We want to change the system. Get Money Out. of Politics.
Regulate giant Corporations who are wrecking the political process and the global environment.
No, you all are thinking too small.
It will be a huge task wrestling the power away from the oil barons and Monsanto and every other corporate entity that is sucking this nation and the world dry. Huge task, but it has begun.
It seems, from the complaints about lack of proposed legislation or partisan involvement that people want OWS to be … a political party – or members of one. Are the complainers familiar with the political meaning of “co-opt?” The process of co-option is to bring leaders of an inconvenient movement into the existing power structure and then neuter their cause with vague promises of action and then nothing. You will tell OWS that a vote for “x” (Baucus?) is good because he’s our guy. It doesn’t matter that he is a complete shill for everything you oppose, he’s got the right letter after his name.
You will insist, as you do almost nothing, that it is the best you can do – just like the last half-century – as you sink their goals farther from realization.
OWS is a couple months old and has thousands in the streets. It does not have millions in the streets but it has the potential to make that possible. The pols are not going to take some thousands seriously unless they see millions getting on board. You will not get millions on board by proposing some half-assed legislative agenda to be pick apart. You may get millions on board on the basis of generalized discontent with the rigged system.
It is the job of fucking legislators to put together legislation, not protest movements. What the hell, do you expect something like the Vietnam War protests to write out: withdraw “X” troops in “X” time? What they did do was make it ok for Americans generally to be discontented with the results of that war. what the scoffers forget is that previous to anti-war movement it was sacrilege to oppose warfare.
It has been anti-American to talk about income disparity in this country for a long damn time. Not so much right now. If you don’t want the same damn results then you need to either elect different people or have somebody else to blame for fucked up results. Trying to turn OWS into an arm of the DNC is laughable – getting the DNC on board with OWS is another thing and that demands observable numbers.
You can talk about voting for “not-as-bad-as” until you’re blue in the face. If “naba” wins you get his horse shit if he doesn’t then it isn’t “your” side that screwed the pooch. We have gotten “here” with the complicity of the Democratic Party, the GOP didn’t do it alone.
You’re getting in a twist because OWS aren’t “your guys,” maybe you need to get into a twist because “your guys” aren’t theirs. You do understand that IS the problem?
/too long a rant
edit lapsed? Vietnam War (fill in Civil Rights if you please)
Respectfully, I don’t think I’m thinking too small at all. We’re talking about similar goals, but I’m talking about targeted action towards those kinds of ends versus “happenings” alone.
For example, millions of Americans planning for and delivering on a boycott of gas/oil products for a day, a few days or a week, would have a similar impact to what the Bank Transfer had: It would demonstrate to Big Oil that like the banks, they don’t own us, they have the opportunity to serve us, and we can take that away at any time. Follow up on action like that at the polls as well, and you’ll deliver some serious change.
There have been some comparisons suggested between the Civil Rights movement and Occupy, and there’s a lesson to be learned there. The Civil Rights movement did have some big demonstrations, marches and the like, but they also had deliberate, targeted action to make it economically and socially uncomfortable for segregationists to continue to support Jim Crow.
The bus boycott, sit-ins at businesses that wouldn’t serve blacks, music artists refusing to play at venues supporting Jim Crow…these were all actions deliberately intended to hurt the pockets of those businesses that wanted to treat blacks as second class citizens and still profit off of them.
The US government wasn’t working for African Americans during that period, but through its actions, the civil rights movement facilitated change through it. They didn’t have to throw out the two party system.
If we want to wrestle power away from corporations and the wealthy few, we need to take back our political power. If the 99% dedicated themselves to political action and participation, the wealthy and the corporate wouldn’t stand a chance.
We don’t need to change the system, we need to actually use it.
Like I said, I support the concept of Occupy, but I want to see action. Revolution is seductive idea. It’s easy to get lost in that idea instead making change where you can. I hope Occupy doesn’t fall prey to that.
@Chuck Butcher: Very late to the thread, but thank you for writing this; I concur!