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Chernynkaya On November - 15 - 2011

I started this post as a comment and realized it was morphing into something too long for that, so, to Speaker’s Corner for me!

From Alternet:

American history is rich with examples of political occupations that left a lasting impact. Sometimes the 99% pushed progress forward, as with Rosa Park’s occupation of a bus seat that propelled the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ended with Alabama’s bus segregation being declared unconstitutional. Often the 1% of the time – slaveholders, robber barons and merchants of war – re-asserted control with new methods of domination such as after the Great Upheaval of 1877. But each event proved that true democracy lies in collective act of taking space public and private, while corporations and the state are just two arms of the same beast.

Of course, this movement is not ONLY about Occupying public space, but that is a very big part of the whole issue of inequality. It may be seen by some as a derailment of the Movement’s focus, but I think it is part of the whole agenda–in fact a primal one! If we can’t assemble, and if the press cannot cover it, there is no point in making ANY demands. The FIRST demand must be to protest at all! I don’t want that to be the end goal, but for God’s sake it it a vital one. Further, these police and localities are only giving the movement more publicity and highlight the outrageous infringements on our rights. The Occupiers can choose to disband for the winter and regroup, they can decide to keep moving around like whack-a-moles, as Killgore Trout suggests, or they may try to stay where they are. Whatever they do, they will decide by consensus, and they will not go away– whether that’s literal or figurative. Some of you may not be sure of this yet, and I understand that–just my opinion, and time will tell.

I don’t disagree with those who say that the OWS must evolve to make concrete demands and that whatever their demands, those must lead to the voting booth for any change at all to take place; that seems self-evident to me.

But this movement is what, TWO MONTHS old? I know– the fierce urgency of now, but that’s just not realistic unless a movement is an astro-turf phony one funded by the Kochs/ALEC and publicized by a major network and media conglomerate.

As we all agree, in this short period, OWS has almost completely changed the conversation and I say even the political dynamic. And it’s gotten a lot of press, despite the corporate MSM:

As the following post from Politico’s Ben Smith illustrates, OWS really has altered what the media talk about—the chart measures a Nexis search of print stories, web stories and broadcast transcripts that used the term “income inequality,” measured by week:


It runs from 91 instances in the week before the occupation started to almost 500 instances in the last week of October.

About this translating into voting for Dems, the OWS has already gained support from a plurality to a majority of the public, depending on which polls one follows. I believe that will translate into votes.

At a time when our trust in so many institutions and spokepeople is damaged, I understand why thus far the movement has chosen not to to align itself with any one group. What they HAVE done is give new energy to other groups, the unions being the largest. Should they work with the unions in the future? Perhaps–the unions overturned SB 5 and they have numbers and organization. I think that whatever form the movement takes, they have actually already done a lot for the union movement just by their existence.

Actually, I realize that we’ve had so many good discussions about this already that perhaps the best thing to do is to compile some of my favorite previous comments and at least keep them all in one place so that we can see some of the PlanetPOV’s ideas:

Bito wrote:

I am having a bit of a problem with comparisons between the OWS movement and the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) when considering both the organization and effectiveness.
The CRM didn’t start out in the 1950′s with a few people sitting around writing down all the rules, tactics and time frames, it was filled with many fits, starts, setbacks and progress over many years not the few months of OWS existence.
The same can be said of Unions and most social movements, both good and bad.

I certainty wasn’t around to offer my “insights” to the people that started the NACCP and Rosa Parks (1955), SCLC (1957 or SNCC (1960), nor was I around when Peter J. McGuire started the trade Unions nor the AFL or CIO were formed and I’m sure they didn’t have a written plan and timeline that was strictly followed, they evolved organically with input of members and due to circumstances. Nor were they monolithic from the very beginnings and yet we expect all the Occupy Movement and all the many sites to be just that and in a matter of just a few months.

People before my Great Grandfather’s, (who died with a scar from a rifle butt) generation fought for workers rights, income equality and social justice and people today are picking up the torch. Now will the Occupy movement stay viable through the winter, who knows, but it won’t depend on rules, edicts or timelines, it will depend on passion and dedication to/for social justice not just a piece of a park.

The only advise I could possibly give is “Keep your Eyes on the Prize.

 

Replies:

Cher says:

Oh! I had the same thoughts about the Civil Rights Movement, but failed to articulate that! As you point out, it evolved for over ten years.As you point out, it evolved for over ten years. And I know from the many accounts of those involved–as both leaders and followers and everyone in between– that they were not monolithic. There were different groups AT DIFFERENT TIMES with different strategies aimed at public education, legislative lobbying, and lawsuits. Later, they got involved in more direct action—primarily boycotts, sit-ins, Freedom Rides, marches and similar tactics that relied on mass mobilization, nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience.

They used their Churches and other local community centers for grassroots organizations to mobilize. Out of these groups emerged the eventual leaders–but that took YEARS.

And along the way, there were always African Americans like Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas and that cross-eyed Repub guy on Hardball, who had they been there would have advised a totally different path and could have said legitimately that they were just as entitled to offer their advice as any other African American. Same goes for the more militant black people. They each could have stated, in effect, “We’re the 99% too, so listen to MEEEEE!”

But you know what? At the beginning was the inarticulate but universal outcry for equality–without any specific demands. It is legitimate to simply state the things are unjust and that we won’t stand for it any longer. From that simple protest, other actions inevitably flow–whether its Civil Rights, or worker rights, or economic justice. Just. Justice.

I also am sure that to all those African Americans, their rights and lives were even more a matter of urgency than we feel now for our rights and economic equality–Their very lives were at stake.

But I personally want to clarify something, and I apologize in advance because it will be hard to explain. Having said what I said above does NOT mean I don’t think we all have a stake in what the OWS protesters are doing, nor do I mean that we should all just shut up and leave it to them. On the contrary.

What I object to is an attitude more than any particular ideas about how they should do things. The attitude that assumes any one of us has a monopoly on wisdom, or that just because we were involved in other protests–or even OWS–that they must listen to us. How about we listen to them for a change? It is certainly well-meaning, but I sometimes just wish we could hear ourselves: we can sound like old gasbags if we aren’t careful. And I am embarrassed for my generation when we do that. It just makes me cringe when I read advice for the protesters from many sources. (I feel the same way whenever I hear Tom Brokaw, BTW.)

But I really want to emphasize that it’s not an either/or thing; it’s not that we either go along with the program or stay un-involved. The Occupiers have a very good method for hearing everyone’s views. If we want to be heard, all we have to do is go to the local encampment for the General Assembly. You will be heard and your ideas will be voted upon. But they may not be accepted–that’s democracy. (If you want to read an actual GA assembly in action, I suggest you follow @joshuahol on Twitter. He live Tweeted the Oakland GA last night and it was contentious.)

Bito, you got me going there! Touched a nerve, and I didn’t mean to sound so strident. In the end, that’s just one person’s opinion anyway. I could be wrong.

funksands says:

For most people, 3 seconds is too long to wait for a web page to load. 5 minutes is too long to wait for something to eat. 20 minutes is too long to wait for your car’s oil to be changed.

Guess the natural evolution of a movement is going to frustrate some of these people.

Not that there is anyone like that here. I’m talking about other losers. :-)

 

Kalima says:

 I couldn’t agree more bito.

Last night I watched a live stream in Oakland for hours as OWS protesters got ready for the police to throw them out of the park. What I saw amazed me, and really made all all the talk of no organization here and everywhere else, null and void.

They knew what they were doing, kept in constant phone, text and Twitter contact with others, people had their backs, and they remained peaceful. After arresting about 20 Interfaith protesters still in the park, and dismantling the remaining tents, the police had no cause to attack them, and left.

What the protesters need more than pages long advice from people who are not physically taking part, is support from people in these cities, and supplies to keep them warm and fed during the next few winter months.

I saw people, young and old, peacefully protesting against all that is wrong in your country, where some say there is chaos and no purpose, I saw determination and enough organization to keep them together and a caring about anyone they met on the streets, protester or just citizen taking a stroll.

I think that there has been far too much emphasis placed on air time of the OWS protests to judge where they stand, when has your msm ever done the right thing. For them to continue their fight, they need the individual support of the people, not a few sound bites on your tv screen that will be forgotten by most when the next Lohan escapade hits the news cycle. If we keep talking about them, writing about them, and showing our support for them, they won’t fade away as some have suggested, they will only grow stronger. Word of mouth, word of the pen and undying support for the causes they represent, will keep them afloat. After what I witnessed during the 5 hour live streaming last night, these people are here to stay, and anyone who says that they have NO organiization, is wrong. Let them evolve in their own way, and continue to support what they are trying to do. Yesterday, people from all over the world were watching, their efforts are not in vain. Anyone who says they don’t have a message is wrong too, I heard their message last night, over and over again, they are doing it for all the 99 percenters, they are doing it for you. They are doing for the millions of people who don’t have a voice.

If I remember correctly, President Obama was elected because of the hard work of many small grassroot groups meeting in coffee shops and elsewhere, so nothing is impossible.

They need encouragement, not criticism. Pass it on.

  • bito says:The people at the ‘encampments’ are not sitting around watching the latest “news” ans advice from the MSM, they know that they will be onto the “Oh, look a squirrel” report at any given moment, while the ‘real’ people are keeping in touch via Twitter, Websites, and other non-corporately owned media and their “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality or the advice from he talking heads and the ‘pudnuts’ that they have on their programs. To even hear the words “income inequality” or “social justice” is rare, but the authorities breaking up a site, is big news, a squirrel, rarely the cause of the movement.The original list of grievances were listed at the beginning of the OWS movement, but are they ever even mentioned or is people giving ‘advice’ or the latest police raid that is reported?

    Tokyo knows, msm seems to miss the point.

bito says:

Cher,
So many good points and I’ll try to address a few, in no order :-)

First off, I found nothing strident in your comment at all, nothing, they matched many of my thoughts and one including “listening” to this younger generation and their thoughts and plans of action. The best Doctors, RN’s, teachers and lawyers are the one’s that can listen as well as impart their knowledge. The worst one’s pass down their edicts.

Of course many of us supported civil rights, and still do, whether it was for, and is, AA’s, the AIM movement, the Chicano and Hispanic immigrant/farm worker movement, but I wasn’t out in the fields picking crops or living in the deplorable(still) conditions on the reservations. Nor did I sit at the lunch counters or ride on the freedom buses. I didn’t sit with the any of the leaders and tacticians and become involved in their decision making and I don’t they-the OWS movement- should accept everything I have to say. If we were so bloody great in the ‘50′s and ‘60′s we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now.

I have been involved in both Union and Democratic Party and have often been on various committees, now called “breakout groups”, and not once did ALL of our suggestions get accepted by the members, not once, and to expect it now from the OWS movement, from outside advice, now is ludicrous, IMHO.

As to your point on “African Americans like Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas and that cross-eyed Repub guy on Hardball” (now I will never remember his name), is one of the lowest of the lowest, they have reached their status on the “blood of their brothers” which I find unforgivable to forget that fact. When I spent my nights in the lock-ups, I always thought of my GG Father and my Father and what they did for workers rights and economic equality, not me.

BTW, I do have a “monopoly on wisdom” :lol:

 

bito says:

k’es, I just think that we need to put some historical perspective to it, no? This movement is but in it’s infancy, but many aspects of it are quite old. It was started by many young people and it’s their to make it it viable or to show themselves as the latest short lived fad. One hit wonders or the ‘Rolling Stones.’
While I thought that the 
“Declaration ” by the GA in NYC was a bit long on their grievances, many could be boiled down to income and social disparity, they are grievances and the solutions need to come from our voting and our elected representatives, not from the OWS movement.
The viability, the future, of the movement belongs to them, not some document(s).
There have been many a book, paper and doctoral thesis written on social movements, but none of them can instill passion or dedication into an organic mass movement. It take people.

 

Kalima says:

Yes, b’ito, it does take people, and I think the people are there. In a sense, they have nowhere else to be, have they?

In a sense, Michael Moore is right. Wall Street and the big banks had a huge share in creating this movement, because they’ve left so many of the people no other option. You can’t visit their headquarters and talk to anyone. There’s no one on the financial empire’s side who’s willing to negotiate. The Republicans have made it more than clear that they don’t care about these people.

So what other option do they have but to vote and be out there in the town square banging drums? I think they’ll be there until there is another option available to them. And the longer they’re ignored, the stronger they’ll grow.

The bankers may stand on the balcony, sipping champagne and laughing. But these people will still be there when they run out of champagne.
Chernynkaya says:

I got to thinking about the media coverage of the Occupy movement–that is, is it waning? It’s certainly not waning in the big media outlets here in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and whenever there are big confrontations with the police–e.g., Oakland and yesterday, Portland, OR.

From a cursory view of ALL newspapers across the country, I see stories about OWS in all the large newspapers.You can see the front pages of all newspapers at the Newseum site:
http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/

If you don’t see an OWS story on the front page, go to the newspaper’s website to see the full content. Of course, there are zillions of tiny, local papers which mainly report on hyper-local stuff, but from what I’ve seen, every major city has an OWS report.
KillgoreTrout says:

KQ, all revolutions must start somewhere in time. OWS is definitely a revolution, albeit a revolution in it’s nascent stage.
I think steadfast resistance to the 1% and the goons in their employ has to be of a new nature. It can’t be violent. We really need to use our heads to avoid violence whenever and wherever possible. The absolute goal right now is to keep the movement alive. We don’t need occupation camps to be steadfast against violent oppression. The establishment knows all to well how to deal with violence. I actually believe that is what they want.
We have tools at our disposal that we can use to keep the movement alive. One of the most powerful tools we have is the internet. Through opinion pieces, factual reporting by common citizens, essays and announcements, we can keep this thing alive, even during the harsh winter that is just around the bend. we can break out again in the late winter and early spring. When they evict us, we leave peaceably but return as soon as possible. Make the establishment play “whack-a-mole. Make them waste their resources clearing encampments, and standing guard over them. We need our own “civilian press corps,” to report events and not rely solely on our corrupt media to do so. We know who’s side they are on. We must be relentless in ways that don’t give violence a chance to rear it’s ugly head.

 

 

 

  • KQuark says:
    I’m not trying to be negative about the movement. I mostly questioning the semantics.

    What if OWS does fizzle with these crackdowns which is a distinct possibility?

    I’ll stick my my phrasing. Right now it’s a movement whether its a revolution even a nascent one has yet to be determined.

    The only thing that’s come close to a revolution in my time is the Ronald Raygun greed is good revolution.

    Until the compass not just of some protesters but the whole country moves away from center right, one way or another, nothing has fundamentally changed yet or is in the foreseeable future in my POV.

The following were my comments to atdnext’s post:

atdnext, I could not agree more strongly about how vital it is to GOTV!!! And I also agree that the OWS movement (or the 99% movement, whichever one prefers) has already made incredible progress on many fronts. However, if I am understanding your post, I feel you set up a somewhat false choice: that the Movement is great, but it will not achieve anything further without voting. That is conflating two separate activities in my view, and they are not mutually exclusive.

The thing is, as I see it, the Occupiers have done as you say–”…look at how far the previously unchallenged dogma of inequality and austerity has fallen.”

They don’t have to explicitly demand that people vote to energize people to vote; their very presence and message makes the urgency of voting all the more apparent. They are the anti-” apathy laced diaspora.” I worry much more about that now than I did before the OWS started. I am not sure that it is necessary for the OWS movement to mobilize to elect the Dems —they already have just through their protests!

Does that mean that each individual Occupier is going to vote? Probably not, but they are doing a tremendous service in getting out the vote nonetheless. They are making the starkest distinction between the two Parties I can imagine, and are more effective at it than politicians, who often have to appeal to a wider electorate. As an example of what I mean, did you watch Nancy Pelosi on Jon Stewart recently? I love her! But she sounded so scripted and impossible to dislodge from her pol-speak. I wanted so much for her to spit out the truth in plain sentences, and with some passion–just the way the protester do. But she can’t; they can. That’s why I see a symbiotic relationship between the Democratic Party and OWS–they both need each other even while at this moment in time, each is understandably wary.

Further, as the article you linked to points out

If things are going to shift, my take is that sustained organizing around issues and being a squeaky wheel has a shot. Organizing around candidates, parties, elections will not do it,” says Bill Dobbs, a member of Occupy’s press team and a longtime New York activist. “That means not ignoring electoral politics or the people in power but keeping them jumping. Staying at an arm’s length rather than discovering that kiss on the cheek from a politician quickly turns into a suffocating bear hug.”

As much as I want everyone working to re-elect the President and to keep the Senate and take the House, I see some savvy in that remark. OFA has a very good organization; so does the DCCC, and the DSCC. I see them being aided by the 99% movement. The strength of the Movement is not in Party organizing, or even in repeating Party talking points, but they can are complimentary.

I’d probably say more, but we’ve had so many wonderful discussions about this last night and today, that I’m a little spent. More later, if that’s OK. 

atdnext says:

Cher-

I understand with what you’re saying, and I sense we’re probably mostly on the same page. I know OWS wants to be “nonpartisan”, and I do NOT believe they have to act like another wing of the DNC.

I just feel they need to recognize the importance of participating in “small d democracy”. I know I’ve not been around for very long, but I’ve seen enough issue-based campaigns to realize that unless it’s actually on the ballot (like Issue 2 was in Ohio last week, or Prop 23 was in California last year), it’s difficult to just mobilize around that issue (especially since there’s no initiative/referendum “direct democracy” at the federal level). Ultimately it has to come back to the election, and the only real way to make that issue resonate with Congress (which is to elect more members who support us on our issue[s]).

The Occupiers certainly don’t have to do anything with OFA if they don’t want to, but I do think they shouldn’t dismiss the opportunities they can unlock by joining forces with the unions and the progressive groups, like MoveOn and DFA, that have already expressed strong support for The 99% Movement. Just look at what the unions and the likes of DFA/MoveOn accomplished last week with the defeat of Issue 2 in Ohio and Mississippi’s personhood initiative!

I’m sorry if it seemed like I was bashing the entire Occupy movement. That’s FAR from my intent. Rather, I’m concerned that a small group of anarchists seem to be hurting the public image of Occupy by encouraging voter apathy (and property damage at times). And since the movement overall has been hampered down by conflict with local governments over actual space to occupy, I fear it distracts from the central message of economic justice. I think that whatever happens to the actual Occupy spaces in the coming days and weeks, the movement MUST go on and the movement must realize the value of working together with the sympathetic organizations already on board.

  • Chernynkaya says:Atdnext, I in no way thought you were bashing the Occupy movement, and I apologize if I misspoke about that. I sincerely hear your concerns even as I don’t completely share them. I am deeply worried about apathy from the Left especially the emoprogs, and the so-called “enthusiasm gap” but I am beginning to be less so if I can believe the polls.There is no question that the only way to enact real, concrete change is via the ballot box. All I am saying is that OWS doesn’t need to mobilize around any particular ballot issue in order to energize voters TO VOTE. I think that voter motivation doesn’t occur in a vacuum: Ohio voters stood on the shoulders of Wisconsin voters, who stood on the shoulders of union organizers, and they all stood on the shoulders of past activists in previous iterations. I believe–but have no proof–that Ohio won in part because of the Occupy movement. Activism begets more activism.

    I am a little worried about the Movement joining forces with MoveOn, even as I support that organization. MoveOn is not without baggage–remember “General Betrayus?” While I agreed with that ad, it alienated tons of potential allies. To be honest, when trust in almost every institution is shredded, I don’t see the advantage to partnering with any; I myself have become leery of many organizations even on the Left and feel betrayed by some of them. But I could be educated about that and could be wrong.

    All of that said, I feel that you and I are sure singing from the same hymnbook even if we are not on the exact same page! I so want the movement to grow, to last to make a difference for a long time. I want the Dems to win even more.

    Oh, I forget another point–about the focus now being on confrontations and keeping their space. I think it has only made the movement more visible and larger. The point of being an Occupier is of course to Occupy, and the reason they are occupying gets discussed whenever they stand their ground, so I guess I’m saying if there were no confrontations, the press would disappear. I don’t really see it a a diversion to the goal.


    • atdnext says:Heh. Well, you’re not the only one who’s had issues with MoveOn before. I just think that since MoveOn has already been directing its members to Occupy events while groups like DFA have been teaming up with Occupiers for direct action, they’re natural allies to move forward with. And again, the unions have a long history of activism. I wholeheartedly believe the unions can do more than simply provide bodies for an Occupy encampment. While organized politics may not be popular right now, it always works. And it will be much harder for “Tea Party, Inc.”, to tear down The 99% Movement if the movement has a strong message and stronger ground game to back it up.As Murph was saying above, civil rights activists had to realize that they needed to implement a comprehensive strategy that involved direct action AND electoral politics to achieve their goals. I think the “99%’ers” are now at the same crossroads, and I hope they take advantage of the opportunities right in front of them.

 

agrippa says:

This is a long haul enterprise. I understand that some people want to get to policy: “What is to be done?” I think that there will be time for that. Right now, it is a matter of organization, discipline and endurance. And, building mass.

If you start talking policy now, you create infighting, factionalizing, attention seeking and power grabbing. Marxist organizations had that problem, and radical movements largely split into factions; and forgot the adversary. That does not mean that the question, “What is to be done?”, should not be posed. Just be aware of the risks.

OWS is nowhere near a critical mass that cannot be ignored.

 

 

 

choicelady says:

Hi agrippa – well no, policy will continue as it did before and after OWS. The issue is understanding that many of us have been fighting these battles via policy changes for YEARS. I don’t care if the OWS people do or do not get involved since it’s pretty clear they don’t care, but the rest of us do. Nothing new under the sun has come from OWS other than heightened awareness that some things such as a Constitutional Amendment to challenge Citizens United is imperative. At minimum we need to fight for more teeth in Dodd-Frank. We who DO policy always did – and now whether or not the OWS people like it or not, that IS where it must go.

 

The right to organize HAD to culminate in the Wagner Act or union rights and protections would still be idiosyncratic and not guaranteed.

 

Women’s suffrage HAD to end in the 19th Amendment or we’d still have some states denying us the right to vote.

 

The Civil Rights movement had to lead to the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act or we’d still be marching over the bridge in Selma.

 

Women’s reproductive rights had to end in Roe v Wade or you’d never have a consistent set of rights for women nationally. Then the murders had to end in FACE laws that protected physicians and others from being shot to death.

 

As a long-time veteran of street action everything you think you won with protests, encampments, marches, demonstrations – all of it can be gone with the stroke of a pen if you do NOT pin it down in law.

 

There is no need for there to be ONE policy issue. But there is a need for there to be core values – those started out great with the “We are the 99%” theme. It collapsed under the weight of focus on the encampments and their right to do what the homeless cannot – sleep outside in a public area. That made them the 1% of the 99%. And at least in two cities around here, the homeless got the boot from OWS – their rights mattered not at all to those who had homes of their own but chose to sleep rough and to defy the police.

 

We need to get back the “We are the 99%” mentality. We need that core value – laws and policies have to help the majority – but the specifics of whether you fight for affordable housing, lowering tuition at public universities, ending predatory lending, developing community and worker ownership of business – that can and must be diverse. You do NOT NEED NOR SHOULD YOU PURSUE consensus because among diverse people who do not know one another, consensus turns over power again to the 1% even if technically they are the 99%. No minority must ever again be able to thwart the majority. Not EVER.

 

Let people pursue what drives and motivates them so long as it has a broad based benefit. Worrying about consensus is the death knell to the creation of a movement. Trusting others to pursue their goals and ideas well is the lifeblood of commitment. That is all that is needed



KillgoreTrout says:

KQ, all revolutions must start somewhere in time. OWS is definitely a revolution, albeit a revolution in it’s nascent stage.
I think steadfast resistance to the 1% and the goons in their employ has to be of a new nature. It can’t be violent. We really need to use our heads to avoid violence whenever and wherever possible. The absolute goal right now is to keep the movement alive. We don’t need occupation camps to be steadfast against violent oppression. The establishment knows all to well how to deal with violence. I actually believe that is what they want.
We have tools at our disposal that we can use to keep the movement alive. One of the most powerful tools we have is the internet. Through opinion pieces, factual reporting by common citizens, essays and announcements, we can keep this thing alive, even during the harsh winter that is just around the bend. we can break out again in the late winter and early spring. When they evict us, we leave peaceably but return as soon as possible. Make the establishment play “whack-a-mole. Make them waste their resources clearing encampments, and standing guard over them. We need our own “civilian press corps,” to report events and not rely solely on our corrupt media to do so. We know who’s side they are on. We must be relentless in ways that don’t give violence a chance to rear it’s ugly head.

choicelady says:

I would respectfully disagree that it is even yet a movement. Like nationalism, it lacks any kind of focus, and focus IS critical to the next steps.

Revolutions are always political. This is not since it has no core goals. The disparity of issues from Save the Whales to Legalize Drugs has eroded the solidarity of “We are the 99%” that had some real legs. There have been almost NO social revolutions in history – most are political but those are few in numbers, too. This may be a movement – but of what? If there is no focus, it will poop out into general disgruntled upset and change nothing.

Too much of this has become centered on the right to camp. It is about the 1% of the 99%. I am appalled by the actions of the police, but dismayed by the apolitical nature of the people. If moving them off he camping issue and “no one can tell ME what to do” carping, and that inspires movement into focused and sustained change, then this is actually a good thing. Not done WELL, because the police are not behaving well, but it may galvanize people to get something coherent going.

General dissatisfaction is neither a movement nor a revolution, and being pissed off is just being pissed off if there is no electoral or policy change that one seeks.

I am worried that the Baggers STILL are more coherent – stupid as wingnuts – but coherent than is OWS in any of its incarnations. What brought change in the 60s was focus on two things: civil rights and anti-war. This movement today has no values that one can get organized, and it NEEDS them. Otherwise it’s doomed.

What IS happening is that people NOT directly involved are tackling issues that OWS has raised – leaving the very policy wonks the OWS people disdain to try to fix the problems. Maybe that’s good, I do not yet know. But that has to happen or we go nowhere.


*****


It would be fantastic if the OWS movement became a “99%” movement and spoke for all of us, right? Well, when have the 99% of us ever in history agreed in anything? That’s just a pipe-dream! I my view, the OWS/99% movement is doing just what it needs to do at this point: Cry out at the overarching injustice and inequality, and shine a spotlight on the repressive infringements on our rights to assemble and at the freedom of the press. It won’t stay at this stage though—protest begets protest and there will be more focused groups that spring form this.

{I apologize if I missed your comment or any other comment you thought was relevant—the thread is now moving fast. Please feel free to add any comments you think should be added. This is such a sloppy, fast post, I hope you’ll be tolerant!}

Categories: Speakers' Corner

Written by Chernynkaya

I am an artist and have lived in Los Angeles all of my life, except for a brief hippie period when I lived in SF. I am currently (semi-unwillingly) retired, but have had several careers.

121 Responses so far.

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  1. escribacat says:

    Here’s a link to a similar conversation — Naomi Wolf’s Facebook page. She keeps posting that OWS should be a voter registration bloc. Some interesting posts.

    http://www.facebook.com/naomi.wolf.author

  2. bito says:

    ❗ Wow Look at all the cops ❗

    GottaLaff
    Live stream Occupy SF at bank: tinyurl.com/7zq6fz6

  3. Chernynkaya says:

    First, I have to tell you that you Planeteers are just the best! Smartest group on the interwebs--you don’t fall for any fraud--bravo!

    I went to the FB page of America’s Ballot Box, and aside from all the bogosity you uncovered, I saw this:

    Each member will receive a membership card, The “ID-TRAKER”, which entitles them to huge cash rebates on every major purchase they make, or discounts on everything they must buy every day, by presenting their card to any of the hundreds of participating merchants who honor our card throughout the Country. Their card also protects them from Identity Theft, the fastest growing crime today. All companies who give rebates and discounts to our members will be posted on our website, and the total number of such companies will increase every month.

    HAHAHAHAHA-- Yeah, they really represent OWS, huh?

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Cher…posting well above where the dialogue began.

      I was suspicious of the “demands” list and put out a reply that I hoped would surface the poster’s intent (or the intent of the source from which the material came.) Looking at the source web site (and its references and links) revealed that it was a right/libertarian leaning site. That set me on the path to find a “representative site”. I went through a dozen or so and came up with the one I posted as “most representative” in that it seemed to capture the movements ethos very well. It also did not claim to have insider info or to speak for the whole which is also representative of the movement’s culture.

      The Manifesto I cited is referred to by a number of sites but I could find no point of origin at a Occupy site. The first reference to it is at a Daily Caller entry (which makes it suspect to me). The items on the Manifesto do fit in with the kinds of demands that have been enumerated by various groups but the Manifesto itself is just another document that is “out there.”

      The Declaration which I found at http://wearethe99percentnews.tumblr.com/declaration was passed by the GA in NYC on 9/29/11/. Bito’s trademark site also has it.

      Your comments on all of this put it into a broader Planet perspective for me. They ring true as well. Been a very interesting day.

    • SallyT says:

      Well, I almost fell for this but I NEVER brought gold from Glenn Beck!

    • SueInCa says:

      Cher
      You rock as well, I did not find that one. The guy’s name is Don Brown.

      It is a teabagger facebook page, you can only comment if you sign up. Knowing it is a bagger site, I am not the least bit interested. The identity card is courtesy of Wemetcard.com

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Well, let this be a lesson to all frauds who try to scam members of PPOV. We are not gullible. There have been a few instances before where someone will come to the site and present themselves as something they are not--usually some disgruntalist who pretends to support progressive ideas but secretly hates Obama and tries to tell us not to vote--that kind of thing. Sometimes it takes a few months, but eventually, we find out who they really are.

        Now, I have no problem at ALL if someone posts here and has opinions I personally disagree with--IF THEY ARE HONEST. But I cannot stand it when they think they can fool us.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        We been TROLLED! Bwahahahahah!

    • Ha! “bogosity!” I love it. That will be a really handy word for the next GOP debates! 😉

  4. abbox says:

    Yes, there are many saying that OWS must evolve to make concrete demands and that whatever their demands, those must lead to the voting booth. Well, first of all, http://www.OccupyWallStreetDemands.net already makes those demands VERY clear. They make good sense and the Demands List Petition goes DIRECTLY to Congress. With all of the police involvement and efforts to remove occupiers, it is now crucial to get this information to all concerned. Secondly, as for leading to the voting booth, http://www.AmericasBallotBox.com certainly facilitates the ability for protesters and everyone else to vote on whether they support the demands list or not, plus vote on other major national issues NOW, rather than waiting for the next time to go to the polls. With the condition our country is presently in, we can’t afford to wait for the next time the polls are open.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Sue, thanks for uncovering this! I looked at their list of demands and thought them too broad to do much good. It didn’t seem like something that would come out of a GA in New York or anywhere else!

        Good detective work! :-)

      • choicelady says:

        Well Ef ’em if they take my crankiness at PPOV for an excuse to do this! I’m just cranky, not stupid. And I will defer ALWAYS to my fellow Planeteers in the hope I’m wrong, not demanding that I’m right (especially not Right!) I have no bloomin’ idea, but this suggestion is worthless Bagger garbage, and Sue -- you’re a genius for figuring it out! Sorry, abbox -- you lose.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Choicelady.

          Read your well done discussion on how to make some of the OWS demands move from the ideal to the real. With you very much in that.

          I think your closing deserves to be framed:

          “I want our side to be rational and thoughtful not just loud and demanding in the changes proposed and the targets of our action chosen. Otherwise we may see a major reversal and Romney or worse as our next President. That, to me, is totally worrisome.”

          I saw what happened in Florida when the Nader crowd, in the name of the highest reform principles, gave W the “in” he needed to take an election which has taken us down a very sad path.

          Well said, choice.

        • SueInCa says:

          Poor Abbox he probably thought he was being sneaky. I always do a whois on sites if I find them suspicious………..from there it is a matter of googling and reading. This guy is a definite bagger. He is trolling Twitter too. BTW I am following you on twitter.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Hey Sue, that is something I need to remind myself to do ALWAYS. As a good example, I just checked out
            http://occupywallst.org/, which was quoted below as providing the demands of OWA. It’s not. Those my be the demands, but I doubt it. Murph actually provided a much more reliable source for their demands:
            http://wearethe99percentnews.tumblr.com/declaration

            Lesson: Always check a site’s “About.”

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Bito, thanks! very helpful.
              In the back of my mind I knew there would be LOTS of deliberate misinformation making the rounds, but this just shows how much work it’ll take to have a legitimate discussion about the OWS movement.

              If anyone really wants to find out about the NY occupiers, here’s a link to what their GA actually passed so far:
              http://www.nycga.net/category/assemblies/proposals-past/

            • bito says:

              Cher, actually the site for the NYC GA for OWS is now trademarked and is the only official site. (They had to because of some efforts of others attempting to hijack the movements name for nefarious/questionable and commercial purposes. Good job checking out the site that Murphy furnished, I glanced over it thinking it was the “official site.
              http://www.nycga.net/bulletin/

    • SueInCa says:

      America’s Affiliates is a ponzi scheme. You join then you refer others and get a commission. I did not join as they want my ss# and it appears they need to do something with my membership in order to make money. They talk about theft protection but no info until you fill out the entire form. Sounds like a total scam all around. But you know what? I am going to follow it to it’s end, especially with Glenn Beck TV attached to the website.

      “Join in helping to bring about many positive changes that our country desperately needs. Spread the word about “America’s Ballot Box”, the NEW platform that allows ALL Americans to cast their votes and voice their opinions on important national political, moral, social and economic issues that effect you, your family and all other Americans today! The results of all votes will be posted on newsfeeds throughout the country, seen on TV, and heard on radio. These votes will cause major corporations to stop their “price gouging”, “off-shoring” of American jobs, and force our politicians to listen to THE VOICES, AND VOTES, OF ALL AMERICANS! As an affiliate, you can also tell friends, family and others about the NEW “Personal ID Card”, which provides a new level of protection from Identity Theft, which is now the fastest growing and “number one crime in America”. You earn a 20% recurring commission for all referrals. Get details at Personal ID Services.com.”

    • SueInCa says:

      http://americasaffiliates.com/

      this website is attached to your original. It is selling a membership, called “affiliates” and a theft protection plan. Could this get any worse?

      • bito says:

        I saw that one Sue, and then I lost the way back to that page. Good job looking into this site by you and others and I would be very surprised if Mr. AmericanBallotBOX replies to any of our questions. I could be wrong and they are more than welcome to present their case here at PPOV.

    • SueInCa says:

      abbox
      This is a great example of making sure you know who you are dealing with. While the list looks like other lists that have come out of OWS, there are some issues with this site. First of all the domain name is registered to
      “Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
      Whois Agent ()

      Fax:
      PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St -- F1
      C/O americasballotbox.com
      Bellevue, WA 98007
      US

      And the voting is clearly not reflective of most Americans. The whole thing smacks of Ron Paul. Look at the voting results and most are libertarian results.

      I did some further searching on Privacy Protection Services and they have a “F” record with the BBB. Here is a technical investigation that ties them to a scam with laptops…..they provided the web services for a scam. Does this make them guilty? No, but it does show they are not discriminate in the clients they take on for sure.
      http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/shoppingscams_BrandNameRewards.php

      At any rate, the owner of Whois Privacy Protection Services goes all the way back from eNom to Demand Media Studios who are in the business of scraping info from blogs and reposting on their own websites. Whois is also the subject of at least two lawsuits I found with very little trouble.

    • escribacat says:

      I agree with most of the items on your list but certainly not all. Some of it smacks of Libertarian and tea bagger stuff (eg no income tax, Fed paranoia). Any cursory look into basic U.S. economics will tell you that the Fed plays a necessary role in controlling the supply of credit in the economy. It’s unfortunate that whenever the Fed chairman opens his mouth, the stock market goes crazy, but that’s more a reflection of the stock market. I just don’t see why the Fed has become the big boogeyman in all this. It’s the unregulated greed on Wall Street that got us into trouble. And it’s offshoring of jobs that cause the high unemployment numbers. What does the Fed have to do with it? They didn’t toss out the regulations — the legislative branch did that.

      Instead of throwing in the kitchen sink, which is what this list looks like to me, I’d considerably pare it down. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act would be a good start, along with no more tax breaks for off-shoring — impose a tax penalty for off-

      I also think that asking for forgiveness of student debt is a bit … inappropriate. Instead, it seems like the universities have been up to some price fixing — why have costs doubled in the past 15 years? That’s the real problem.

      • Khirad says:

        Some of them seemed out of character to me, as well. I mean, no income tax? I want a far more progressive one, where the rich pay their fairer share proportionally.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      The devils (and the angels) are in the details. The list is a smorgasbord reflecting interests from the far left, the far right and those in-between.

      There are 5 items here that are specific enough for Congress to consider via legislation already composed:
      Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act
      Reinstate the Posse Comitatus Act
      Audit the Federal Reserve
      Repeal of the Patriot Act
      No GMO Foods

      There are 13 items that are so broad/unclear that it is hard to map out a legislative direction. The nature of each statement as a base for legislative action depends on one’s political/economic philosophy

      Follow and obey the United States Constitution (from the Tea Party or Progressive point of view)

      Ensure Quality Education for America’s Children (home schooling, national educational plan, oversight and funding)

      Stop the extraction of American capital (forbidding/penalizing overseas investment, fortress America)

      United States Treasury will print U.S. Dollars (versus what?)

      End Dependence on Foreign Oil (drill baby drill, or alternative energy)

      Bring manufacturing back to the U.S. (tariffs, no minimum wage, no corporate taxes, closing U.S. markets)

      Bring the U.S. troops home (Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Britain, Korea, Japan, Australia)

      Relief from college student loan debt (restructuring, limiting access, deal with college costs)

      Get money out of politics (campaign finance law, open access to all monetary and in-kind services to campaigns, oversight of all after office compensation for the elected and appointed)

      Forced Acquisition of the Federal Reserve (end it, fold it into the Treasury, end a national currency policy)

      Secure the Borders between U.S. and Mexico (fence, moat, enlightened immigration policy, closing off employment/services to the undocumented)

      Protect Social Security (reduce benefits, increase taxes, raise eligibility age, limit access)

      Reform the tax code, No income tax. (flat tax, national sales tax, end deductions and tax supports).

      • bito says:

        I agree with you on this Murph and when looking at the site I see a lot of Donald Trump, Ron Paul, Fox and Glen Beck videos. I also notice that the their site neglects to have an “About” page or any background on/abut the site. I for one would find it very difficult to vote on many of the issues with their open-ended/bumper-sticker proposals and ‘ballot’ issues.
        Until I know more, I remain very cautious.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          This has been an interesting day of discovery. Happy you found the OWS trademarked bulletin site. The problem is that google searches don’t take on there. How to remedy that.

          • bito says:

            Depends on what you input Murphy, the nyc ga has always been the “official” site for the New York movement.

            • bito says:

              Murph, I can understand, there are probably hundreds/thousands of sites now on google with a OWS tag by now. I have had the NYC General Assembly bookmarked, in my brain, since the early days and when they put out their declaration. I quite often don’t ‘trust’ google and find myself on the 2nd/3rd page to find actual sites.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              What did you google? I did three searches…did not land there.

              Is it NYCGA or something like that?

          • Chernynkaya says:

            I fell for it too, Murph.

        • SueInCa says:

          Bito
          See my response to abbox above. I did some research on “whois”, you know me, nosy rosy

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Look up “occupy wall street demands” and you get lots of leads, none definitive. The most representative page is http://occupywallst.org/

          There is no list there.

          This is the “Manifesto” which was making the rounds in mid-October as the work of a Manifesto Committee at Zuccotti Park- it was never adopted by an Assembly and has since been disowned by many individuals in the movement. Yet it is all over the internet, but I cannot find an original source except for The Daily Caller which leans right.
          ========================================
          A MESSAGE TO AMERICA FROM THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY IN ZUCOTTI PARK

          Dear fellow Americans,

          We are assembled in Zucotti Park — which we’ve renamed Liberty Plaza — in the financial district of New York, because we believe that the American economy is heading in the wrong direction and we have a few ideas for what to do about it.

          There is a feeling shared by a growing number of people on the streets of the world that the global economy has become a kind of Ponzi scheme, a global casino, run by and for the benefit of the 1 percent.

          We believe that it is possible to inject justice into the global economy. We have come up with the following list of things that can be done right now to rejuvenate democracy and economic justice in our country:

          • Halt foreclosures for the unemployed, sick and elderly

          • Increase funding to public services by taxing the richest 1 percent

          • Forgive all student loan debt

          • Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act in order to control speculation

          • Work with the other G20 nations to implement a 1% “Robin Hood” tax on all financial transactions and currency trades

          • Ban high-frequency ‘flash’ trading and bring sanity to the markets

          • Break up the “too big to fail” banks that threaten our future

          • Arrest the financial fraudsters responsible for the 2008 meltdown and bring them to justice

          • Ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence corporate money has on our elected representatives in Washington

          If you agree with any of these demands, then join us! We will stay here in our encampment in Liberty Plaza until President Obama responds to each of these demands. This is just the beginning, there is more to come as we work together to reshape America.

          — The People’s Assembly of New York City

          =========================
          Now the following Declaration was adopted at the end of September. It is a fairly representative accounting of what the Movement’s members are angry with and what they are objecting to.
          ==========================

          As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together.

          We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

          As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.

          We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

          They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

          They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

          They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

          They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

          They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
          They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

          They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

          They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

          They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

          They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
          They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
          They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

          They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
          They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

          They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

          They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

          They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.

          They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

          They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
          They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

          They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

          They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

          To the people of the world,

          We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

          Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

          To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

          Join us and make your voices heard!

          *These grievances are not all-inclusive.

          http://wearethe99percentnews.tumblr.com/declaration

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Murph, I took a page from Sue and checked out the link you provided as “the most representative page.”

            Here’s their “About”

            OccupyWallSt.org is the unofficial de facto online resource for the growing occupation movement happening on Wall Street and around the world. We’re an affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements. We’re not a subcommittee of the NYCGA nor affiliated with Adbusters, anonymous or any other organization.
            Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.
            The occupations around the world are being organized using a non-binding consensus based collective decision making tool known as a “people’s assembly”. To learn more about how to use this process to organize your local community to fight back against social injustice, please read thisquick guide on group dynamics in people’s assemblies.

            This may indeed be the real manifesto--but this group at least admits they are NOT OWS.

          • choicelady says:

            I have to agree with Murph on some of this. The “fraudsters” need to be defined -- it was largely NOT banks that originate the subprime loans but unregulated mortgage brockers such as Countrywide and others -- and they all did some very illegal things that ARE being prosecuted by the feds via the district levels. You cannot bring back “Glass Steagall” -- Glass and Steagall are people, and they are dead. You also really want to re-think this since today even credit unions (mine for example) have brokerages as part of their business. What you CAN do -- and why language matters -- is segregate deposits from investment, make sure banks cannot themselves invest in speculative paper, and insulate depositors from investors even if they are the same people. You cannot create a Commission to overturn the impacts of Citizens United -- you need a Constitutional Amendment which is UNDERWAY. So get on board. No Commission can thwart a SCOTUS decision of this magnitude. Want to break up too big to fail banks? How about simply re-instituting anti-trust legislation AND anti-cartel legislation. There is more than just banks at stake here.

            I get the movement and momentum (that being the only list I’ve seen) from OWS -- but it’s laboring in ignorance of what happened and what and how to reform. This is where coalitions of occupiers AND policy people need to come together -- but there is a barrier I’ve heard over and over against working on policy. AND the drumbeat against the president to DO these things is, as bito and Murph understand, TOTALLY STUPIDLY IGNORANT.

            THE thing essential -- and where the OWS low polling numbers worry me a lot -- is voting in liberal Dems to retake the House and expanding our reach to the Senate. No Congress, no action. Period. The President does not make the law. He enacts it. So hollering outside the White House to get these changes is pointless.

            OK -- I will stop being so cranky, but it won’t stop me from being worried. I don’t want to see reform delayed as long as the end to Vietnam was delayed by public opinion that was freaking hostile to anti-war sentiments for years and years. I want our side to be rational and thoughtful not just loud and demanding in the changes proposed and the targets of our action chosen. Otherwise we may see a major reversal and Romney or worse as our next President. That, to me, is totally worrisome.

          • bito says:

            Thanks Murph, their link has been posted many times, but it’s always useful to repost it.
            And I don’t even understand this portion of their statement, never have.

            We will stay here in our encampment in Liberty Plaza until President Obama responds to each of these demands.

            PBO can respond to each and every one and some he has addressed and made changes on within his limited power of the Executive, but many if not most take congressional action and with a certain strain of the OWS movement pushing the “don’t vote” message instead of the #occupytheballotbox message, what is he supposed to do exactly?

            Congress today can’t pass a resolution through both houses to “pass the salt” and that is due to people not voting in the 2010 midterms, as funk and KQ cited that included many young voters.
            Change happens not just by voting, but s*it happens by not voting.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              Nailed. Right On. Zip and Zing.

              As I having been arguing here for days….the spirit of the movement, the source of its anger- admirable and praiseworthy. Its political acumen- clumsy and ineffective.

        • Khirad says:

          I started poking around and voting. I noticed a pattern and oddly framed questions.

          But after gauging it, this sums up my findings to a T. Look at these results.

          http://www.americasballotbox.com/issue13.php

          • I clicked on the link and got a very bogus looking poll about who the next president should be. Ron Paul got 61%? What is this nonsense?

            • SueInCa says:

              KT
              See my note above to abbox

            • bito says:

              Many if not most owners of sites use a privacy wall to protect themselves from spammers and scammers, but so do the spammers and scammers do also. My objection to the site is that they don’t have an about page sharing any information as who the represent or the purpose of their organization.
              Even reading their “Proposals, Voting and Implementation Procedure” page, it’s hidden behind a wall of secrecy.

              That said, that group you cited rings a bell about some ballot initiative in Cal that they helped organize, I could be completely mistaken.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Hey Khirad…I left a response to bito in which I laid out the two documents making the rounds on the internet: The Manifesto and the Declaration. They fill in some blanks as your post did for me. Ron Paul’s minions at work. WooooHooooo!

          • bito says:

            Khirad, Well, if it’s “Americas Balot Box, it looks like we have a clear winner by a landslide doesn’t it? That was what I also was seeing and this one only confirms my suspicions. It wouldn’t surprise me to find the Koch Brothers behind this site as a front for the “middle road” way of doing things.
            Sums up my findings to a Tea with a capitol L.

      • Khirad says:

        Exactly. Thanks for fleshing out all the questions in my head that I had when seeing those broad statements.

        They’re a good start to a discussion, but need to be a little less nebulous.

    • agrippa says:

      I think that list of demands is excellent! It is a basis for action.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hi abbox!

      Thanks so much for your comment! I have been trying to keep up with the OWS movement as best I can. This is the first time I have heard of this particular list of demands. I am glad to see it.

      One of our most knowledgeable members here has insisted that legislative action is the only way that change can be brought to our country. She is correct in my humble opinion. The demands should be “actionable” by Congress. While I applaud the goals that you have listed here, some of them are quite broad…for instance, “Stop the extraction of American capital.” I see the point and completely agree with it, but how? Being more specific might be helpful. Are we talking tax reform, banking law?

      Kudos to you and the others who have put the ballot box together. I also agree that time is of the essence! I wish you all the luck!

    • Khirad says:

      I’d like to see a sort of virtual congress based on leaders elected by GAs in each city that could approve these demands made by the New York City camp and sign off on them in the spirit of that site.

      Because I’m a little tired of this direct democracy thing. There, I said it. I am. Get leaders to represent us. A sort of shadow 99% government, if you will. And best of all, we could demonstrate a mode of leadership not beholden to cash. There would be no term limits, because anyone could be replaced at any time, or rotate like the Swiss or UN SC model.

      And I’ll be blunt, when the actual 99% sees the human microphone and hand thingies and drum circles they roll their eyes -- and I’m speaking as one of them. I know that sounds dickish of me, but I think middle America just sees a bunch of neo-hippies now--the 1% of the 99%--even if it is a bit of a self-fulfilling media narrative and not entirely reflective of the many thoughtful and “normal” people there.

      Not that I have anything against hippies, but c’mon. How about a little hierarchical organization now. Anarchic communes just don’t work. How about at least chipping in for a bullhorn to pass around, or someone bring their cheap karaoke set up. That human microphone thing I find incredibly irritating.

      I know that all makes me a fascist or something, but I think there needs to be a little direction now. I appreciate how this is all organic and all, but as such, there needs to be some more evolution.

      Then again, as such being organic direct democracies, whatever GAs decide is what is democratically decided, so it’s not my place to dictate anything. I just really hope some of my thoughts are being conveyed, even if it’s awkward to bring up.

      • kesmarn says:

        Khirad,I agree the drum thing as a long-term device and mechanism of change is likely not gonna cut it. I may be wrong but I think it originated as a way to annoy (?) (wrong word? get the attention of?) Wall St. execs.

        And the human microphone was a response to being forbidden to use bullhorns, loudspeaker and the like in NYC, as I understand it.

        You’re not being fascist! But I think the evolution will come in due time if there’s something real here. And I believe there is.

        Which is not to say that nobody’s going to end up looking a little silly in the process.

        • Khirad says:

          My bad, you’re completely right, I forgot that bullhorns were forbidden. I mean, it’s still in-cred-i-bly annoying but okay, it’s been two months, I forgot about that. I absolve them.

          They still don’t get a pass on the drums. I mean, there’s people living near by in some of these places and what the hell does a bitchin’ drum circle have to do any of this anyway???

          You’re not endearing yourself to the community, you’re being a nuisance. It’s as if you believe all the problems in the world are people being too uptight and that you’ll turn them on to everything that’s groovy with the power of your good vibes and patchouli scented white man dreds. Far out man. :roll:

          I believe there’s something real too. I just wish there were a little less silliness for the media to focus in on. Image does matter. I’m not about to kick hippies and hipsters out of the movement, I welcome them like anyone else. Just, I don’t know, be a little more self-aware?

          • escribacat says:

            Khirad, I suspect at least some of them are there ONLY for the drum circles. I don’t have such a problem with it though. It’s their version of patriotic music.

          • kesmarn says:

            Khirad, I love it. And I chuckle as I write this. Am I saying: “Aw, c’mon, let the kids be kids”? And are you saying: “Get off my lawn!”?

            Bottom line, I think: we both appreciate the earnestness of many/most of these folks, at the same time as we await further developments in maturity.

            • Khirad says:

              Heh, I am being a curmudgeon on this. Only I’d be tweeting them to get off the lawn. 😆

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Khirad, good comment. I don’t think you’re being dickish at all! :-)

        There was a discussion this morning on “Morning Joke”, describing the Zuccotti Park gathering as people who could advertise for “GAP” clothing. They also discussed that the OWS movement now is slipping in approval among the population in general. The negative press coverage of Oakland and now the evictions is not helping.

        • Khirad says:

          I saw that. I really wish they would stick with a meme. Dirty hippies or Gap models?

          But the fact is, a lot of these people occupying do have time on their hands.

          Some of those are unemployed and struggling, but others are kids in Gap who have time. And you know, bless them for caring.

          But the strength of this movement is getting all those who are fortunate to still have a job, or two, or three and have to work to pay the bills out on the streets too.

          So maybe weekend marches would make more sense--if you’re a worker that still has a weekend, that is.

          I guess, I’d just like to see a little more of the 99% out there, and fear they might be turned off, that maybe the polls might have a point.

          The polls show that people still overwhelmingly support OWS ideas. I just think the movement itself needs a bit of a rebranding launch.

    • SallyT says:

      Thanks, Abbox!

  5. KQuark says:

    Cher I nominate you to be leader of OWS. You herd cats so well.

  6. Kalima says:

    Psst Cher, I didn’t write this one, but I remember reading it. I’ll take a peek to see who actually wrote it, back in a sec. Good job btw.

    Kalima says:
    “Yes, b’ito, it does take people, and I think the people are there. In a sense, they have nowhere else to be, have they?
    In a sense, Michael Moore is right. Wall Street and the big banks had a huge share in creating this movement, because they’ve left so many of the people no other option. You can’t visit their headquarters and talk to anyone. There’s no one on the financial empire’s side who’s willing to negotiate. The Republicans have made it more than clear that they don’t care about these people.
    So what other option do they have but to vote and be out there in the town square banging drums? I think they’ll be there until there is another option available to them. And the longer they’re ignored, the stronger they’ll grow.
    The bankers may stand on the balcony, sipping champagne and laughing. But these people will still be there when they run out of champagne”.

    *EDIT*

    I rushed back as soon as I could, pant, pant!! It was kes who wrote that Cher. Now I need to get my breath back. 😉

  7. SallyT says:

    I channel that!

  8. Emerald1943 says:

    Cher, excellent idea…and a very good job! Thanks! :-)

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Thank you Em. You were gone yesterday, for one reason, and for anyone else who missed it I thought it was worth “preserving in stone!”


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