So, what about this "Occupy" movement? Good, bad, silly, crazy, harmless, criminal? Who are the occupiers? Who are their leaders?
Usually when I start out with questions I attempt to answer them in the rest of the post. Not today. Those are all "good" questions but as nearly as I can tell none of them has a definite answer. In any case, I have no definitive answers. Maybe you can tell me.
Which doesn't mean I have nothing to say. So, what follows is what I would do if I was pulling their strings, starting ... now.
First off, any and all violence is forbidden. Self-defense, OK, but self-defense is not violence. And, there will be no need to defend yourselves from the police because starting NOW, all laws will be obeyed. If your group is told that it's time to move along then MOVE ALONG. Pick anther spot, go on home for a couple days, whatever. But clear the area.
I saw a bit of an interview with a young woman tonight, from Oakland. The question I remember being asked of her was, "So, what should the cops have done?" Her answer: "I think using (tactics such as rubber bullets and tear gas, I forget the details) was hugely inappropriate."
Well thanks, honey, for nothing, though. The question WAS, what should the police have DONE? Not, please give us your opinion of the appropriateness of what they did. Bit of a difference, don't you know.
I understand that sometimes pushing the police to respond with, arguably, excessive force is a tactic. In MY opinion (as the new boss) it is a tactic that ill-suits our purpose. Hamas uses that tactic, to get Israel to respond with massive force. Are we Hamas? No! Are our objectives similar to those of Hamas? No! This is an assymetric warfare tactic and we are NOT AT WAR! We are angry but, as some of us are fond of saying, or attaching to our bumpers, War Is Not The Answer! Let's keep that in mind.
(When she was asked if what the police alleged was true, that they had thrown, I believe, rocks and bricks at the officers as they moved in she said yes, but since the police were wearing riot gear that wasn't so bad and the police response was out of proportion.)
So people, listen up! We are NOT going to be forcing confrontation. That is NOT what this is about. We aren't the Civil Rights Movement. We're pissed about the way big money interests have stolen our democracy from us and turned capitalism into corporatism, borderline fascism. And there is a way to redress that.
We needed to raise awareness. We have done so. Reliable polls show that America is aware of us and largely on our side. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE THAT! And the more we look like a lawless bunch of radicals the more we lose whatever hard-won respect we DO have. So ...
... we move on to the next phase. Coordinated political activity. It's the only way any progress has ever been achieved in America, and that's something to be proud of because America has achieved some great, progressive goals (yes, we're skipping the Civil War, here). The Democratic Party will hereby be put on notice. WE are your base. THIS is what we insist upon. ECONOMIC JUSTICE. We don't give a FUCK if Glenn Beck wants to call us Socialists, because who the fuck is GlennBeck, anyway? Ditto for Rush Limbaugh. Let him howl. It's what he does. Democratic Party, you WILL represent us or we WILL desert you. We can do it. We WILL do it. We will start a third party. We are strong. We will not win in 2012 but we WILL NOT GO AWAY. We will only grow STRONGER!
This is our message. Everyone go home, unless you have a permit for your occupation, as needed. We can mobilize again. But for now I call for POLITICAL action. It's the only way we can win. If we stick together we WILL WIN! WE ARE THE 99%!