October 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm #159954
Wanted to add I am fearful that someone is going to do something violent. But it isn’t OWS that I worry about. I have read plenty of propaganda online comparing the movement to communists and have the read the comments of individuals below asking when someone is going to “do something”, insinuating that protesters should have a meeting with their gun, mentioning Civil War. Multiple people calling for the use of water cannons and dogs. These would probably be the same people that took part in Tea Party protests and brought their guns calling for Second Amendment solutions. I encourage everyone to take a look at the sources they read…media also has a lot to lose. There are clear examples of propaganda being used against the OWS movement and I would not be surprised at all to see violence towards individuals involved.October 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm #159953
Agreed Craig! Another independent…and oh yes…we have our own business. Does that give my opinion more weight? 😛October 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm #159952Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
OWS is oftencompared to the Arab Spring. It has good intenions and it is against bad things. Many people are jumping on the band wagon to support being against something bad. The possibility of it having the power to destroy the status quo leaves open the question of whether that which replacesit is better or worse as it seems very possible to be going south in Tunsia, Egypt, and Libya. Will the power of the movement be owned by a few powerful leaders who fuel their own power from it?
One thing that is so overlooked by the OWS crowd is that this system is the one that generated the most wealth for the masses, including the lowest tiers of our society, in the history of the world. If it is to be wrecked and rebuilt, it would be foolish to replace it with one of the lesser achieving systems in place throughout the rest of the world or throughout history for that matter. What is the replacement? If it is enforcement of existing laws, it is not the system that is broken.
The system is not broken. It is the politicians who have incrementally tweaked it to serve themselves through special interest groups and campaign financing. Wall Street is playing the game with the rules set up by politicians and with the politicians chosing which ones to enforce and which ones not to. The same holds true with imigration, voter registration, tax collection, energy rebates, Obamacare waivers, location of protected lands, zoning regulations, ……
The scary thing is that the consensus of the OWS people seems to be that the government (politicians) should step in and take over these private institutions of which they are responsible for corrupting. What has the government ever taken over and made better? This is the exact type of circumstance that allows politicians to empower themselves to gain more from special interests whose fate they control. The result, if OWS gets their way, will be more corruption rather than less, although their leaders may become one of the benefitted special interest groups in the process. If the individuals supporting OWS become the beneficiaries of corruption, will they be blind to that fact?
Will the money they have now raised become “lobbying” money, donations for candidates who will put tax dollars in their hands, ….October 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm #159951Craig AnthonyParticipant
“What I would like to see is a little less hysteria by both sides regarding the opinions of others.”
Heather I was floored when you mentioned in a previous post that people were actually calling you guys un-American because you were standing up and coming together for what you believe in. Besides voting and joining the military, I can’t think of a more American thing to do. I’m happy to see young people taking to the streets in peaceful demonstrations.
People are so quick to look at someone or listen to a single statement by them and think that they’ve got them all figured out. I guess it’s just easier for some people to stick others in a box. I can’t believe that people are actually referring to OWS-ers as pinko-commy bastards. Newsflash: THE COLD WAR IS OVER. Come out of the bomb shelter, your country needs you to relate to your fellow countrymen/women like thinking adults.
I can guarantee you that it wasn’t any of the 1%ers calling you guys un-American. They’re busy trying to be invisible. It’s incredible how we always find ways to divide ourselves.October 24, 2011 at 10:39 pm #159950
I agree Craig…we do a good enough job on our own dividing ourselves. It is really sad. I think fear has a lot to do with it, rather then a balanced look at what is happening. There is definitely a, “shoot the messanger” mentality. We had a girl swearing at us the other day and asking us where our American flag was. Really. Lets focus on why we don’t have one…there must be a deeper reason for that. :/ I know there are communists (a very fringe group) within the movement…and I don’t agree with them. I saw there was some book called, Red Star…or something along those lines…being released right now that will show us the REAL organizers of OWS. There are some people in need of tin foil hats. But what I do agree with is that they have just as much right as anyone else to have ideas and to share them. That is the point. We should be able to look at all ideas and the good ones will have staying power. I think capitalism is a good idea…I think it has been perverted.October 24, 2011 at 10:49 pm #159949
There is no consensus for the privatizing of corporations. I have to laugh…because on one hand OWS is totally disheveled and disorganized but on the otherhand is for…a, b, or c. I can agree that politicians are corrupt…but you can’t give corporations a free pass. We are asking that rules that have been systemically dismantled are put back into place and we are asking that our DOJ pursues criminals. There are individuals that have actually broken the law and our government has sold out to them so much so that they won’t even enforce those laws. I think you confuse wanting to hold people accountable with government run everything. Your statement is true regarding politicians…so I am actually not sure where we disagree…except that I would say our system is broken. Broken doesn’t mean irreparable. If my car breaks down I don’t deny it is broken…I go and have it fixed. I don’t quit driving cars, cars don’t quit existing…we don’t need to make this an indictment on capitalism…although what can be hurt by a debate about the benefits and negatives of capitalism? We choose it because it works best…not because it is perfect. There are many libertarians within our group…people that want Ron Paul…again this doesn’t fit your consensus idea that OWS wants bigger government. In fact, many of them want a government smaller then the typical GOP platform.
I also do not buy that OWS is anything like Egypt…etc. I think the media likes that comparision. I do not hold myself in that high of regard and I don’t think most OWS do either. Those people were sacrificing their lives and were at risk of torture.October 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm #159948
I hope this can post…October 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm #159947Jon QuackenbushParticipant
The scary thing is that the consensus of the OWS people seems to be that the government (politicians) should step in and take over these private institutions of which they are responsible for corrupting.
Where did you gleam this insight? I am part of OWS and I think electoral politics is a farce. I have no faith in the system as currently constructed. I don’t think tinkering with the corporate state will work. We will either be plunged into neo-feudalism and environmental catastrophe or we will wrest power from corporate hands. This radical message, one that demands a reversal of the corporate coup, is one you should consider core to the movement.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, like all radical movements, has obliterated the narrow political parameters. It proposes something new. It will not make concessions with corrupt systems of corporate power. It holds fast to moral imperatives regardless of the cost. It confronts authority out of a sense of responsibility. It is not interested in formal positions of power. It is not seeking office. It is not trying to get people to vote. It has no resources. It can’t carry suitcases of money to congressional offices or run millions of dollars of advertisements. All it can do is ask us to use our bodies and voices, often at personal risk, to fight back. It has no other way of defying the corporate state.
This rebellion creates a real community instead of a managed or virtual one. It affirms our dignity. It permits us to become free and independent human beings.October 26, 2011 at 12:31 am #159946landplannerParticipant
The thoughts you express here are as moving and worth contemplating as those of Hedges. I’m curious, though if you do not see OWS as becoming a political force, how will its message, will and staying power be of consequence to breaking the syncophant relationship between Washington and Wall Street ? I share your great concern about the potential for the movement being co-opted and hijacked like what has definitively and unmistakeably happened with the Tea-Baggers.October 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm #159945Jon QuackenbushParticipant
Chris Hedges gets it. He is the most coherent and inspiring voice of the movement, and I find great inspiration in his words.
As far as your questions, I honestly have no idea and am not really qualified to say. I do know that settling for a seat at the table is paramount to giving up. I don’t want a seat at the table, I want a new table. I believe politicians who fear us will better represent us, and they haven’t feared us in my lifetime. It is time to change that.
Once that happens, then we can start talking about transitioning it into a political movement. Until then, I am happy and comfortable with the nebulousness, as I do not want to put the proverbial horse before the carriage. That is why the elites, and the degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in big trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are.
They don’t understand what is happening.October 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm #159944Trace OneParticipant
Here’s Matt Taibbi’s take from today – really worth a read.October 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm #159943
I will say that I think there are individuals within the movement that will cause a split. Looking at Oakland…the police force was brutal…but the fact that individuals fought back turns the dialogue from what it needs to be. This makes me sad. I suppose there could be a difference and I believe soon b/w those that want to follow MLK and those that would look to Malcolm X. Read this morning about a man that has armed himself in Georgia to protect Occupiers right to protest. Apparently, he doesn’t support them but brings a gun to protect them. I hope everyone remains calm.October 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm #159942Trace OneParticipant
Oakland has had some real problems with the police, recently, I am hoping that is what drove that incident. Tensions are already very high between police and residents, in OaklandOctober 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm #159941Craig AnthonyParticipant
When you get a group of people together trying to do something good, there will always be a few that will think aggression and violence is the best way to solve a problem. I hate to saybut there are some people in power that won’t pay attention until things get ugly. These are the same people that stood by and watched peaceful protesters get fire hosed, beaten and attacked by dogs. The only thing they had to
contribute was an occasional “what a shame”. But when they saw angry black dudes on TV with afros in black leather jackets, then they demanded that someone take action because they felt threatened.October 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm #159940
You are probably right. It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to be part of a movement that uses violence. Sigh. Obviously…there has not been anything like this in my lifetime, so I am getting a lesson in protest. It is scary in many ways. I went to the Occupy Oakland Facebook page and saw one of their discussion topics was, “destroying capitalism”…I know from speaking with many OWS that this is not their goal…it certainly isn’t mine…but you have to wonder about people calling for things like that. Not just discussion…but destroying. In some ways I hope that the group does split…I am hoping that the large portion…moderates with clear ideas to end corruption in government can break away from the more fringe groups. I see the movement as having so much possibility…but because of its fluidity it is also highly uncontrollable…which is both good AND bad.
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