Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: I'm not so sure strong demands are what's necessary for Occupy Wall Street
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to: /* ---- overrides for post page ---- */ .post { padding: 0; border: none; }

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm not so sure strong demands are what's necessary for Occupy Wall Street

shamus cooke in a post entitled, Next Steps for the Occupy Movement, says this...
City governments are slow-playing the Occupy Movement where it is especially strong — New York and Portland, Oregon, etc. — and are attacking quickly in cities where momentum hasn't caught fire —, Denver, Boston, etc. The massive demonstrations in New York and Portland have protected the occupied spaces thus far, as the mayor, police,and media attempt to chip away at public opinion by exploiting disunity in the movement or focusing on individuals promoting violence, drug use, etc.

To combat this dynamic, the Occupy Movement people needs to unite around common messages that they can effectively broadcast to those 99% not yet on the streets; or to maintain the sympathy of those who've already attended large marches and demonstrations. And although sections of the Occupy Movement scoff at demands, they are crucially necessary. Demands unite people in action, and distinguish them from their opponents; demands give an aim and purpose to a movement and act as a communications and recruiting tool to the wider public. There is nothing to win if no demands are articulated.

One reason that the wealthy are strong is because they are united around demands that raise profits for the corporations they own: slashing wages and benefits, destroying unions, lowering corporate tax rates, destroying social programs, privatization, ending Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, etc.

To consolidate the ranks of the Occupy Movement we need similar demands that can inspire the 99%. These are the type of demands that will spur people into action — demands that will get working class people off their couches and into the streets! The immediate task of the movement is to broadcast demands that will agitate the majority of the 99% into action.

i disagree with cooke's suggested direction...

there's an assumption implicit in making demands that says you believe there is someone out there who has more power than you do who can respond to those demands... i think both the beauty and the strength of the occupy movement so far has been its independence and self-sufficiency as well as its belief that they already have the power... i've marveled at observations coming out of the encampments describing a wonderfully transparent participative democracy supported by people helping each other in all the important ways...

i believe that the next steps for the occupy movement is to show that the brand of participative democracy that is flowering among the protestors is not only sustainable but also the right way to go for the country... "demands" that somebody outside of the protestors themselves should do something to fix things doesn't feel right for the spirit of this movement... i think the protestors are fixing things among themselves just fine...

i don't fault cooke for his views... given his background as an organizer, he comes by them naturally but i think the approach he describes is of another era...

Labels: , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

And, yes, I DO take it personally home page