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The State Of The Situation.
January 12, 2012 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Two months after being kicked out by the NYPD in an early morning raid, the Occupy Wall Street protestors have returned to Zucotti/Liberty Plaza to meet new regulations that make protesting all but impossible. Meanwhile, OWS is looking for an accountant and NYC councilman Ydanis Rodriguez wants to donate his 5k stipend to the protestors. Yasha Levine of The Exiled writes about his arrangement hearing after being arrested during the Occupy LA raid and Political Cartoonist and Essayist Tim Kreider releases four essays he wrote during the first occupation of Zucotti/Liberty Plaza, "What OWS Wants" "Capitalism, A Bummer" "An Open Letter To The Tea Party." and "OWS: The Morning After."

Additional Kreider: V-I Day
posted by The Whelk (142 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
The axe, it is sharp.
posted by spicynuts at 9:13 AM on January 12, 2012


in other words, it's the beginning of the 2nd trimester for our revolutionary baby. 5 months to go for the movement's actual birth :)
posted by liza at 9:14 AM on January 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I remember seeing some Anonymous we-are-coming type video way back middle of last year and thinking it would last a few days. Say what you will for OWSers, but I have to respect their sticktoitiveness.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:14 AM on January 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


What with the Republican primaries, the mainstream news has almost completely ignored OWS as far as I can tell. Seems like they got bored.
posted by desjardins at 9:18 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


insert a "recently" somewhere in there.
posted by desjardins at 9:19 AM on January 12, 2012


Let's see what the increased awareness of class conflict does to boost the signal this time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was in Zuccotti last night, around 9pm. There was about a 1 to 1 ratio of Police/Security to other people. The barricades may have been "removed" but they are still stacked along the North side of the park, almost certainly ready to be re-deployed at any moment.

During the (to-this-point) height of the Occupation, Zuccotti was my favorite place I had ever been. Now even with the barricades "gone", it's really, really depressing. Here's hoping that gets changed.

(I hadn't read about Rodriguez; thanks.)
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:29 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alas, I do not see this movement going anywhere...in Protest, there are 3 ways to go:
1. the police close them down. 2. the authorities let them protest and do nothing. The protests are heard by those in power and change is made.

In New Haven (Ct) there are tents on the town's green...people give donations, protesters camp out. All is as it has been for months now. There but ignored.
I would love to believe I am wrong and that something will come of this...but convince me, please
posted by Postroad at 9:31 AM on January 12, 2012


I would love to believe I am wrong and that something will come of this...but convince me, please

Read this FPP and be convinced.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would love to believe I am wrong and that something will come of this...but convince me, please

Something already has come of it. Have you paid any attention to the attacks on Romney by other Republicans for his Bain connections? How would that even have been possible other than in an alternate bizarro universe without Occupy having happened?
posted by blucevalo at 9:35 AM on January 12, 2012 [15 favorites]


What's the buzz about Tuesday the 17th? I keep hearing about a big DC protest, and the fencing is going up around the Capitol, but I haven't seen any press.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:37 AM on January 12, 2012


Occupy Congress.

We actually have permission, too! West Front of the Capitol. All day. Whee!
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:41 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would love to believe I am wrong and that something will come of this...but convince me, please

Not all of the occupies are camping on lawns with peace signs. Occupy Oakland is planning to take over a large building on the 28th. This is after organizing the west coast port shutdown last month, and their successful general strike before that.

It seems like protestors here and elsewhere are spending the winter getting organized. Every coffee shop here is full of committee meetings making plans. I think we will see a spring full of escalation.
posted by bradbane at 9:41 AM on January 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Love that open letter to the Tea Party from Kreider. Thanks for that.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:45 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Say what you will for OWSers, but I have to respect their sticktoitiveness.

The resin of freedom is hard to wash off.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:45 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


POPULAR PROTEST MOVEMENT APPEARS. SOLUTION: MAKE PROTESTING MORE DIFFICULT.

yes good thinking bunky

posted by JHarris at 9:46 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


OWS is hamstrung by a lack of imagination, organization and will. The ghosts of Gandhi and King laugh.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:47 AM on January 12, 2012



Let's see what the increased awareness of class conflict does to boost the signal this time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on January 12 [1 favorite +] [!]


It seems like America has hit that one better than Canada has. It needs to resonate with working people, not just activists, and all of the movements strongest moments have been when it achieves that. There's hope there.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:48 AM on January 12, 2012


the Occupy Wall Street protestors have returned to Zucotti/Liberty Plaza to meet new regulations that make protesting all but impossible.

I can't make any sense out of this. There are regulations that make protesting nearly impossible? So the OWS were forced to start protesting to comply with those regulations?
posted by DU at 9:48 AM on January 12, 2012





I would love to believe I am wrong and that something will come of this...but convince me, please


Movements aren't born and killed in a single act. These things build momentum and fit into a larger narrative. That rising class consciousness is part of it. Just like I wouldn't deprive the ongoing union busting of context, I wouldn't deprive these protests of context either.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:50 AM on January 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I actually like Zucotti park as a naked display of oppresson. Want to see where the country is going? Look at Zucotti park. When it gets warm, OWS will lay open the coarse camoflauge draped over the raw, undemocratic body of American powerholders. One guard for each citizen, checkpoints. As we threaten capital, every public space will be fenced off and guarded. Slowly, people will see what is becoming of their country and fascists will rejoice.

The problem is not that OWS is hamstrung by a lack of imagination, the American people are. Most Americans can not imagine a different way. There may not be enough will among the populance to stop America from turning into Zuccoti park. Oppression is comfortable and easy; It hurts less to care about sports or Jay-Z's baby than to try to fight. It is likely that we will not suffer if OWS fails to decreace the merging of corporate and government power, but your children will suffer. They will be serfs.
posted by fuq at 9:52 AM on January 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


arrangement hearing

heh
posted by ryanrs at 9:52 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're still out there Occupying in New Haven. Although it's not clear who they're protesting since all the financial companies are down closer to Stamford.
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on January 12, 2012


I would love to believe I am wrong and that something will come of this...but convince me, please

Something can come of it all even if you're not really down with "Occupy"'s tactics or find them futile. It would be great if people were more openly supportive of attempts by low-wage workers to unionize, and collective bargaining efforts in general. Be openly supportive of candidates that want to introduce or expand redistributive taxes to fund social programs. Don't let "liberal" be a bad word anymore. Things like this have to stop being seen as political suicide, they have to become viable things a politician can stand for and not be laughed out of a race. Look at how the Tea Party has been able to shape the Republican discourse in this primary. The candidates sound borderline insane, giving the Democrats the opportunity to occupy the (American) center-right. If anything can come out of OWS let it be that the American Left actually gets a voice.
posted by Hoopo at 9:53 AM on January 12, 2012 [16 favorites]


They're still out there Occupying in New Haven. Although it's not clear who they're protesting since all the financial companies are down closer to Stamford.

Really? Did I have to go to Iraq to protest the war?
posted by IvoShandor at 10:02 AM on January 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, Chase Manhattan Plaza has been illegally closed to pedestrians for months with TWO LAYERS of barricades.
posted by weinbot at 10:06 AM on January 12, 2012


smackfu: They're still out there Occupying in New Haven. Although it's not clear who they're protesting since all the financial companies are down closer to Stamford.

There's also an Occupy San Luis Obispo tent still up, but instead of a 24/7 tent camp, it's a single booth-type display, which is only up during the day. They're in the middle of the "government center" of town, which is really just a couple of government buildings in the upper portion of our little downtown, and across from our art deco theater.

I don't think the Occupy movement is about getting in the face of the financial companies, but maintaining a public presence.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:07 AM on January 12, 2012


Something already has come of it. Have you paid any attention to the attacks on Romney by other Republicans for his Bain connections? How would that even have been possible other than in an alternate bizarro universe without Occupy having happened?

Did the 2008 election take place in a bizarro universe? Is John McCain a time traveling robot overlord? From the Jan. 28, 2008 New York Times:
Mr. McCain also went after Mr. Romney for his work as head of Bain Capital, a leveraged-buyout firm. “As head of his investment company he presided over the acquisition of companies that laid off thousands of workers.”
posted by Jahaza at 10:09 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your only vote is your money.

SOPA spending app for Android.

Expand that to cover what Occupy cares about. (whatever that is to whomever self identifies as an occupier.)
Update: We're working to incorporate the great feature requests that people have asked for. We're implementing a second version of the app right now, which will support multiple boycotts, a contact the company feature, and has a more sophisticated search functionality so accuracy will be improved. Thanks for all the interest and bear with us while we get a newer, fancier version out. Oh look! it may cover occupy.

And a different, "fun" expression of the databases that are behind your existence:
A blackhat talk/performance art project - set up facial recognition/credit card backend at a farmers market and refuse to sell to people in the public databases who are identified as having over X income. I do not think being "rich" is a protect class like having a certain skin color or age. Imagine the outrage of a 'foodie' from Wall Street that s/he can't buy a peck of tomatoes because they've been identified as "the 1%".
Blackhat - See all the data collected about you and how it can be used in a low-stakes environment?
Performance Art - Is that not its own reward?

Keep shining on you diamonds.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:12 AM on January 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


The problem is not that OWS is hamstrung by a lack of imagination, the American people are.

I'm talking more about means and method of protest and messaging, not the message itself.

Occupying the same park -- that before this started, no one outside of Manhattan had ever heard of -- over and over again is not gaining anyone anything.

This stops being a protest and starts becoming just a party where it's fun to shout slogans and fling shit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:12 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You ever notice how republicans never apologize for the nuts in the tea party? We have to stop defensively mentioning drum circles all the time. We are like fat kids who make fun of ourselves in the hope that we will beat everyone to the punch. We gotta stop doing the truffle shuffle.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:13 AM on January 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


Have you paid any attention to the attacks on Romney by other Republicans for his Bain connections? How would that even have been possible other than in an alternate bizarro universe without Occupy having happened?

Tying a politician to his business contacts is absolutely nothing new at all, and as mentioned above, not even new for intra-party skirmishes. Even before Romney, in 2000, McCain excoriated other Republicans for their big-money "retail politics."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:16 AM on January 12, 2012


How about a citizen's arrest, trial, and imprisonment of Jon Corzine? That's an Occupy activity that I could get behind.
posted by weinbot at 10:16 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


DU

The idea is that although the park is now open to the public, the owners of the park have created ad hoc rules for the use of the space that seem specifically targeted at preventing protest actions, especially a re-occupation of the park. For example, there is a rule in place, with city police actively enforcing, that no one may lie down on a bench or on the ground. There is some cant about health and safety issues, but obviously the real reason for the rule is to prevent the use of occupation as a tool of protest.

The next step, it would seem, is for OWS protesters consciously but non-violently to violate these rules, challenging the NYPD to arrest them, and for those arrests to be documented and publicized. Eventually the broader public may begin to think, "what is the point of selectively criminalizing such transparently harmless behavior?" The logical next step: "cui bono?"
posted by La Cieca at 10:22 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Really? Did I have to go to Iraq to protest the war?

No, but you probably would be better off if you went to DC rather than Des Moines.

The New Haven one is like, what if you threw an Occupy and no one cared?
posted by smackfu at 10:28 AM on January 12, 2012


You ever notice how republicans never apologise for the nuts in the tea party?

Come now, you are not hanging out in the "right parts" of the 'republicans'. Go wallow in the mud - you'll find "Republicans" who are not amused about the Tea Party.

Dr. Paul is labelled by more than a few self-identified Tea Party members as "the Father" due to the renting of the hall long before the 'Tea Party' thought to meet there in 2008 and because the Campaign for Liberty was willing to allow the Tea Party to crash the Campaign for Liberty party - Paul got labelled "father". I don't know of any place where Paul self-IDed as "father" of the Tea Party however. (but willing to follow links that would remove my ignorance on any statement by Paul on the matter)

Michelle Bacchman self-IDed as a "leader" of the tea party - and she's dropped out of running for "Leader of the Free World". The Tea Party branding isn't all that strong it would seem.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:29 AM on January 12, 2012


Now what you make is point-oh-one percent
Of what the boss make
And what the boss take
Is keepin' us from livin' great.
If this ain't straight
You think you wanna sit down and negotiate
You better have a crew to help you shut down his estate
Don't get frustrated, discombobulate it
Don't stand and debate it, get a mob and take it!
'Til then it's food stamps, vouchers
Mildew smellin' couches
Overturned garbage cans wit' no Oscar The Grouches.
posted by weinbot at 10:31 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Last weekend I visited New York City for the first time in five years. On Saturday, my friend and I decided to go see the sights in the financial district. We walked through Zuccotti Park, which was a surreal experience. First of all, it's not really a park. Or it is, but it's a park in the Manhattan sense of the term: about a quarter square block of pavement with a few benches, a couple tables, and maybe a tree or two. It's basically just a place where you would expect a building in the middle of Manhattan, but instead there isn't one.

The entire 'park' was surrounded with temporary fencing. And heavily armed police officers stood at attention every 10 or so feet around the perimeter. The police presence in the area surrounding Zuccotti Park was also like something out of 1984. At the entrance to the subway there were two cops (I guess they were NYPD, but I didn't look closely) with visors down and machine guns. Freakin' machine guns in lower Manhattan!

Anyways, there was only one entrance open in this fence around the park, with two or three officers guarding it. Literally, a checkpoint: everyone was checked. They were asking some people for ID's, but I guess we looked enough like innocent tourists that they just waved us through, so we were allowed in the park. It was really weird: we were the only two people inside this fenced concrete landscape which just days ago had been the scene of a wild protest/orgy/bacchanalia/uprising/what-have-you, and people and cops looked in through the fence at us. I felt like we were in a zoo. Or the public stocks. It was oddly humiliating, the attention.

Then three people who were clearly protestors showed up. They were dressed like... hipsters, I guess? I'm not up on counterculture, I guess, but they had flamboyant clothes, wild hair, piercings, tattoos, etc. Two of them were carrying a cardboard coffin with "Michael Bloomberg" painted on the side. They were denied entrance at the checkpoint. They said a few things about their rights, were threatened with arrest, and finally walked away. The police kept a close eye on them.

And that was my visit to Zuccotti Park. There wasn't much else to do, so we went back to the checkpoint and left. There wasn't much else to do in the financial district either. You used to be able to tour the Stock Exchange, the New York Fed, and other landmarks like that, but they were all on lockdown with armed guards at the doors. The big Wall Street bull statue was also off limits, fenced in with officers guarding it. So no tourist pictures there. Apparently protesters had tried to vandalize it.

So, Saturday in the financial district in Manhattan, armed police outnumbered tourists, outnumbered workers, and outnumbered protestors. Armed guards were everywhere. It was really surreal.
posted by notswedish at 10:39 AM on January 12, 2012 [28 favorites]


I'm talking more about means and method of protest and messaging, not the message itself.

Yeah. Like, they should totally set up they're own little community, with a library and a kitchen, and offer Wi-Fi, and adopt a radical, non-centralized method of making decisions.

Everyone standing outside watching the protesters knows what the protesters should be doing. I wonder why they don't start protesting themselves, and then start doing that thing they say should be done?

So, Saturday in the financial district in Manhattan, armed police outnumbered tourists, outnumbered workers, and outnumbered protestors. Armed guards were everywhere. It was really surreal.

Oh, pictures of that would be grand.
posted by JHarris at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


How about a citizen's arrest, trial, and imprisonment of Jon Corzine? That's an Occupy activity that I could get behind.

Me, too. So, where does this guy work? Oh, wait, his office is right here. You know. About 227 miles away.

Gee, does OWS have access to Google Maps?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:47 AM on January 12, 2012


So, Saturday in the financial district in Manhattan, armed police outnumbered tourists, outnumbered workers, and outnumbered protestors. Armed guards were everywhere. It was really surreal.

Sounds a lot like Tiananmen Square. But with less freedom.
posted by smorange at 10:50 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Like, they should totally set up they're own little community, with a library and a kitchen, and offer Wi-Fi, and adopt a radical, non-centralized method of making decisions.

Yeah, remember when Martin Luther King told everyone to decentralize the message, rather than focus on a single, easy-to-communicate thing, because it wasn't inclusive enough and respected everyone's concerns?

Oh wait.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:51 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The entire 'park' was surrounded with temporary fencing. And heavily armed police officers stood at attention every 10 or so feet around the perimeter.

bleeding ... to the point of bankruptcy.

Sure seems expensive just to keep a bunch of people out.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:51 AM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, Saturday in the financial district in Manhattan, armed police outnumbered tourists, outnumbered workers, and outnumbered protestors. Armed guards were everywhere. It was really surreal.

Yeah, it was something I never expected to see in America. An anecdote does not make data. I haven't heard of mass roundups of people going missing or stuff like that. But when I took in the scene in front of me the minute we got up to street level out of the subway, the first phrase that crossed my mind was "oh my god. Police state." Like if someone had put it on the TV and told me it was the central square in some city in Syria, I wouldn't have batted an eyelash.
posted by notswedish at 10:58 AM on January 12, 2012


Gee, does OWS have access to Google Maps?

Do you? Because the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office is located at 120 Broadway. That's about 227 inches from Zucotti Park.

I also don't see how this is at all relevant because nobody, outside of an anrgy mob, is going to arrest Jon Corzine.
posted by weinbot at 11:03 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like if someone had put it on the TV and told me it was the central square in some city in Syria, I wouldn't have batted an eyelash.

Wait until March or April. It's going to be a tidal wave, and I don't think the police will be able to hold it back.
posted by empath at 11:07 AM on January 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Jahaza: Did the 2008 election take place in a bizarro universe? Is John McCain a time traveling robot overlord?

Cool Papa Bell: Tying a politician to his business contacts is absolutely nothing new at all, and as mentioned above, not even new for intra-party skirmishes. Even before Romney, in 2000, McCain excoriated other Republicans for their big-money "retail politics."

I don't remember anything ever like the intensity of this attack against a Republican candidate in primary season based on what he did as a private businessman, which is why the other candidates are suddenly now pedaling overtime to dial back the attack, because -- hey! -- it'll backfire. And which is also why Romney's been so indignant about people from his own party "putting free enterprise on trial."

There's an ocean of difference between one passing dyspeptic barb in 2008 by McCain on the campaign trail picked up in the New York Times (he's now singing a different tune about Bain, of course) and a systematic attack from almost all the other candidates in Romney's own party, all backed with high-end, high-cost attack ads, including one 20-minute ad running in South Carolina as we speak.

It's systematic, much of it's paid for with the help of super PAC money, and so probably the biggest factor in the attacks is Citizens United, not OWS. But not much of the very specific "vulture capitalist" theme in the attacks would be happening without the shift in the wind that's at least in part been engendered by Occupy.
posted by blucevalo at 11:12 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Last weekend I visited New York City for the first time in five years. ...

This should be a narrative for a 60 Minutes documentary, read over video panning across fences around parks, cops with machine guns, security checkpoints, etc.
posted by LordSludge at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2012


Yeah, remember when Martin Luther King told everyone to decentralize the message, rather than focus on a single, easy-to-communicate thing, because it wasn't inclusive enough and respected everyone's concerns?

Yeah, remember when MLK Jr. started organizing what was basically a Poor People's occupation of the Washington Mall, complete with tents?

No? You just remember Straw Martin?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Your only vote is your money

I hate this expression so much. You're telling me I'm disenfranchised because I don't have money?

I hate it be because it's true.
posted by fuq at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds a lot like Tiananmen Square. But with less freedom.

Can we not resort to comparing Zuccotti to Tiananmen? It's hyperbole directly bordering on Godwin-like proportions on two events that have very little relation to one another, other than they're protests that take place on concrete and stone.

Zuccotti (3100 square meters)
Tiananmen Square (440,000 square meters)

Tiananmen Square Massacre Deaths: Definitely hundreds, probably thousands
Zuccotti Park Deaths: none
posted by FJT at 11:18 AM on January 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think the cool thing to do would be to have an Occupy thread, and then the same tired "but what are they trying to accomplish" blowhards could comment, and everyone will have a good laugh.

Oh, wait.
posted by maxwelton at 11:20 AM on January 12, 2012


Can we not resort to comparing Zuccotti to Tiananmen? It's hyperbole directly bordering on Godwin-like proportions on two events that have very little relation to one another, other than they're protests that take place on concrete and stone.

I meant today's Tiananmen. Thought that was clear from context.
posted by smorange at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2012


davidjmcgee: "We actually have permission, too! West Front of the Capitol. All day. Whee!"

smackfu: "No, but you probably would be better off if you went to DC rather than Des Moines."

Who are they expecting to reach on the West Front of the Capitol? Tourists?

DC Residents don't visit the Mall. It's one of the most inaccessible, ugly, and useless places in the city. We also find the notion of protesting congress to be somewhat cute, because you guys actually have the power to vote your congresspersons out of office, but rarely actually choose to do so. Generally speaking, the residents of DC have agreed with the "message" of OWS long before the protests began. The American people have spoken, and they generally don't give a shit about the political opinions of the 600,000 people who live in this town.

Are they expecting to reach congress? I can tell you that the only impact that this protest will have on any of the congresspersons will be an email stating to avoid the west front. Which they already do. It's a walled fortress, and I don't believe there are any entrances to the Capitol that can be used without a special permit on the West front.

Also, since Congress isn't in session on the 17th (nor was it ever scheduled to be), the Senators and Representatives will be spending most of their time in their respective office buildings or in their home states. In actuality, the members of congress spend vanishingly little time in the Capitol building itself. If you wanted to be heard, you wouldn't protest the West Front.

Realistically, the Jan 17 demonstrations should be classified as a rally instead of a protest, since nobody's going to be around to hear it. The location next to the Capitol is purely symbolic.
posted by schmod at 11:36 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Boycott SOPA Android App looks epically cool, thanks rough ashlar.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:40 AM on January 12, 2012


Are they expecting to reach congress?

The Occupy Wall Street People's Think Tank has invited every member of Congress to come join us. Many of the participants have made, or are attempting to make, appointments to speak with their representatives that day. Maybe no Congresspeople will come, maybe no Congresspeople will meet with their constituents, but I think there's value in trying.

Also, since Congress isn't in session on the 17th (nor was it ever scheduled to be)

"House 2012 Published Schedule: January 17 House Convenes"
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:44 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I meant today's Tiananmen. Thought that was clear from context.

Today's Tiananmen wasn't the site of a sustained 2+ month protest, so it's still specious to make a direct comparison. It's a lazy attempt to piggyback off the significance of Tiananmen Square and Mainland China's use of authoritarian power. It makes about as much sense as saying there's more freedom at Disneyland's Main Street, USA as there is in Zuccotti.
posted by FJT at 11:53 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I believe the House will be in session January 17. Not the Senate, though.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:00 PM on January 12, 2012


No, it was just an observation about the "feel" of the two places, based on notswedish's account. There's nothing specious about it. It wasn't meant to be an argument. It doesn't prove anything. I just thought that notswedish did a good job of describing something that, to me, doesn't feel like America as I know it.
posted by smorange at 12:04 PM on January 12, 2012


I don't know of any place where Paul self-IDed as "father" of the Tea Party however.

Keep in mind Paul has also been critical of the corporate buyout of the TEA Party, and has cautioned that they are being sold a bill of goods.

I'm personally wondering how long until OWS starts to resemble Meet John Doe. The TEA Party crossed that line a long time ago.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 12:05 PM on January 12, 2012


OCUPPY is about first and foremost decoupling Wall Street and Corporate money from the government, and that means Citizen's United, and K-STreet and the whole shitty plutocratic infrastructure that's corrupted the government into being wing of business.

WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT TO GET ABOUT THIS??

(I'm looking at you Cool Papa Bell.)

Anyone who discounts OWS at this point, I think simply never liked the movement to begin with. A spark has been lit-up in a great deal of people who took part in it or derived some hope from it in some ways, and I think a doorway has opened where most didn't think one could be made before, and I cannot be the only one who's more or less been on the periphery of OWS so far, who feels like somethign great happened and raging inside, and waiting....waiting....coiled up, for the right moment to step through that doorway.

There will be blood, and people are going to get hurt, I have no doubt, but I feel last year was an almost training process for that, but there is a point where massive peaceful protest can't be contained by the authorities and that's where things are going to be changed forever.

Here's another thing. I honestly think OWS is not only a political movement, but one that also seeks intellectual movement and a spiritual progression.

What shape that will be I have no idea, but it's going to make the aughts look as quaint as the Cold War Fifties.
posted by Skygazer at 12:24 PM on January 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


That is only your opinion, Skygazer, of what OWS is about. Do you have an official citation that supports that?
posted by Ardiril at 12:31 PM on January 12, 2012


That is only your opinion, Skygazer, of what OWS is about. Do you have an official citation that supports that?

Don't be obtuse.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:41 PM on January 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


DC Residents don't visit the Mall.

Not true, it's great for jogging. But other than that, yeah, I don't go there.

More to your point though, yes, the DC Occupy guys did (in a sort of halfassed and ineffective way) attempt to make the point that yup, there are 600,000 American citizens with no voice in Congress. DC (not Washington- I live in DC, I work in Washington, if you catch the distinction) has for a long time represented the end state of where our political system is heading. We legitimately don't have a voice in the federal government, but increasingly, thanks to gerrymandering and reelection rates, neither does anybody else. I think this is one of the points the Occupy guys are trying to make, and if so, it's one I support.

(Though I'd be lying if I said not having Congressional representation isn't sort of a very relaxing cop-out. It's hard to get too worked up when there's literally nothing you can do. And don't say "you can move." We could have moved back to London, too.)
posted by zap rowsdower at 12:41 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to have the whole world watching you there is only one place to be. I mentioned it before here. Nobody liked the idea much. I have since seen it a couple other places (like here for example).

All the networks and newspapers will be there. A bunch of the 1% will be there.

Imagine their surprise if they got to Indianapolis and the stadium was surrounded by a million people holding hands and singing Kum Ba Ya.
posted by bukvich at 12:43 PM on January 12, 2012


Bukvich, why lower the goals of the movement and alienate people who need some pastime and divertment from their hard lives by nonsense like surrounding a football field.

Especially when you could occupy all of lower Manhattan and Wall Street and shut NYC down for a while and turn it once again into a place of citizens wanting it's government back.
posted by Skygazer at 12:55 PM on January 12, 2012


Dear god I am so fucking sick of the scattershot nature of the OWS protests, and I'm even more sick of uninformed citizens obliviously complaining that "OWS has no concrete goals!"

Why don't we just boil this whole thing down to the one irreducible action that we must inevitably make if we're going to save this country? Four words.

TAX THE GODDAMN RICH!

That's it. Tax the goddamn rich. Plain, simple, effective. The Republicans have kept their serpentine lock on our democracy for 3 decades and counting because, come hell or high water, they all want to lower taxes, and it's one thing they can all agree on.

And now it's our turn.

Tax the goddamn rich. Plain, simple, effective. Say it. Repeat it. Keep it simple.

Tax the goddamn rich.

Thank you.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:35 PM on January 12, 2012 [9 favorites]



TAX THE GODDAMN RICH!

"Eat the rich," has more punch, but I'll accept a reasonable compromise.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:38 PM on January 12, 2012


Your only vote is your money.

say this to everyone you know. and unlike the ballot box, you can keep voting over and over again, day or night, year in and year out. know where your money goes and doesn't go, and use it as such.
posted by ninjew at 1:47 PM on January 12, 2012


Don't be obtuse. - You have no answer, then, other than the loudest mouth is the authority.
posted by Ardiril at 1:58 PM on January 12, 2012


Seems like Team Obama is at least starting to talk the talk. From a speech today by Alan Kreuger:

The magnitude of these shifts is mindboggling. The share of all income accruing to the top 1 percent increased by 13.5 percentage points from 1979 to 2007. This is the equivalent of shifting $1.1 trillion of annual income to the top 1 percent of families. Put another way, the increase in the share of income going to the top 1 percent over this period exceeds the total amount of income that the entire bottom 40 percent of households receives.

Comprehending the enormity of what has happened here is just ... mind-boggling doesn't begin to describe it
posted by crayz at 1:59 PM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


TAX THE GODDAMN RICH! - The rich do pay taxes.

You have no official spokespeople. You have no official platform. All you have is empty sloganeering and a herd of sheep repeating whatever they are told by whoever is currently shouting the loudest. Yet you continue to wonder why the hoi polloi continues to write you off.

A better case can be made that OWS is no more than a bunch of canadian anarchists preying on the gullible to manipulate american politics.
posted by Ardiril at 2:08 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have no official spokespeople. You have no official platform. All you have is empty sloganeering and a herd of sheep repeating whatever they are told by whoever is currently shouting the loudest.

Thing is, you could say the same thing about the Republican party, except, unlike us, they have one simple principle they all agree on. And, unlike us, they win.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:10 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Imagine their surprise if they got to Indianapolis and the stadium was surrounded by a million people holding hands and singing Kum Ba Ya.

That will not be allowed to happen. It is more likely that the Colts will win the game.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:11 PM on January 12, 2012


I meant today's Tiananmen. Thought that was clear from context.

Was fairly clear from context, but little less bogus. In NYC you can get a permit and hold a peaceful protest. If you protest peacefully without a permit you might spend a few days in jail. You're not going to get sent to prison for nine years for writing blog posts.
posted by Jahaza at 2:11 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


At the entrance to the subway there were two cops (I guess they were NYPD, but I didn't look closely) with visors down and machine guns. Freakin' machine guns in lower Manhattan!

Whether one approves of it our not, that has nothing to do with OWS, it has to do with the post-9/11 security measures in NYC.
posted by Jahaza at 2:12 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unless you're declared a terrorist Jahaza. Then the President can do whatever the fuck he wants to you. Or hadn't you heard?
posted by emjaybee at 2:13 PM on January 12, 2012


Ardiril, I think it is fair to say that "TAX THE GODDAMN RICH" implies a meaning of "Tax the rich more and in a way that creates an equitable balance".

Your obtusity amazes me.
posted by mbatch at 2:16 PM on January 12, 2012


You have no answer, then, other than the loudest mouth is the authority.

I wasn't trying to answer your question, I was suggesting that you not be obtuse.

It looks like you're ignoring my advice. Have fun with that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:29 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


More on the Poor People's Campaign conceived of by MLK, Jr.

"A week later, protestors erected a settlement of tents and shacks on the National Mall where they camped out for six weeks. Jackson became mayor of the encampment, which was called Resurrection City. Conditions were miserable."
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:30 PM on January 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


All you have is empty sloganeering and a herd of sheep repeating whatever they are told by whoever is currently shouting the loudest.
No, that's untrue. In fact, the OWS movement has lots of people engaged in reasonable, quiet debate. I, myself, have participated in the Occupy movement, have donated time, money, food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies. No one has shouted at me, or near me.

Ardiril, you are objectively wrong about this. There may, indeed, be sheep in the flock, for sure, and sloganeering, too, but that's not all we have. Maybe you disagree with what's being said, with the goals of the movement, whatever. But a statement like "All you have is empty sloganeering and a herd of sheep repeating whatever they are told by whoever is currently shouting the loudest" is, objectively, incorrect.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:31 PM on January 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


> A week later, protestors erected a settlement of tents and shacks on the National Mall where they camped out for six weeks.

The thing with the Super Bowl is you only have to camp out for a few days. Get there before the government figures out how big you are and they will need tens of thousands of cops to arrest all of you and there won't be a game. The network has to put something in that space. Why not footage of the pigs arresting people for holding hands and singing Kum Ba Ya?
posted by bukvich at 2:45 PM on January 12, 2012


TAX THE GODDAMN RICH!

So don't worry that rich people control the government, just tax them a lot to compensate?

Think they'll go for that?
posted by LordSludge at 2:50 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


OWS is hamstrung by a lack of imagination, organization and will. The ghosts of Gandhi and King laugh.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:47 PM on January 12 [+] [!]


-

You know what I've learned since OWS, since September 17th? I've learned that snarky cynicism and sarcasm is never, ever, valuable, except at bad parties. Nothing gets made out of negativity. NOTHING. You can cry about the fall of the US, the end of the world, the horrors of modern-day living, etc. etc., but it means NOTHING. Easy criticism is NOTHING.

Somewhere along the lines the educated, intellectual left started conflating 'educated understanding' and 'criticism' with 'action'. Everyone knows that you have to first understand something in order to do something about it, but 'understanding something' in of itself means NOTHING.

Critique is only valuable in so far as it moves you towards a different kind of action. Political participation is action. Donating money to a campaign or a charity is action. Creating an organization is action. Protesting so that people will listen to you is action. Being an amateur journalist with your iPhone is action. Writing a story about OWS in the hopes that other people will read it and vote differently, act differently is action. Posting something about OWS on Metafilter is, in its way, an action.

These things are SOMETHING, and they are such because they try to actively enact change for people. So: I'd rather have a single person marching in the cold for economic justice, money out of politics, trying to have their voice heard, than a hundred passe dudes on the internet sitting on their couch at home and browsing on the internet making snarky comments. Get off that couch and come do something with us.
posted by suedehead at 3:09 PM on January 12, 2012 [14 favorites]


The problem that OWS is trying to solve is not so much taxation as representation. Currently only the interests of the Rich are represented by those we elect. If the government actually was controlled by the entire population instead of just those with the money required to buy legislation, then we could tax the rich, or not, as we saw fit.

(this ignores the problem of getting people involved in politics. My reason for not being involved usually has to do with how I perceive all votes to be between two candidates who will not represent my interests. but that's just me)
posted by rebent at 3:21 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Occupy Oakland's main fight these days is against police repression of the very right to peaceably assemble. Oakland city government has been harassing Occupiers maintaining the 24-hour vigil with arrests on bullshit charges like Lynching. Khali was arrested for sitting on a blanket, denied his psych meds in custody while awaiting charges, then shows up for his arraignment with bruises and a fresh assault-on-a-CO felony charge. For a misdemeanor arrest. Could be his 3rd strike, though the DA says they don't intend to go there.

Adam Katz is a member of the OO media team. Here's a video of OPD profiling him on video him, then arresting him the next night (2 angles). Notice how they know Adam's name as they're arresting him for "Obstruction" while backing up asking Where is the line you're telling me to get behind?" OPD is specifically targeting activists for arrest and harassment.

If people are wondering why Occupy Oakland is focusing more energy on "Fuck The Police" rather than "Fuck the Banks", it's shit like this.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:41 PM on January 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dear god I am so fucking sick of the scattershot nature of the OWS protests, and I'm even more sick of uninformed citizens obliviously complaining that "OWS has no concrete goals!"

Why don't we just boil this whole thing down to the one irreducible action that we must inevitably make if we're going to save this country? Four words.

TAX THE GODDAMN RICH!


It's a nice idea, but it won't change things.

The ONE thing which will actually create effective change is PUBLIC MONEY ONLY CAMPAIGN FINANCING.

Yes, I know it's five words, but they're much more powerful than the four you propose.

Eliminate all private and corporate donations to campaigns. Eliminate all PACs and Super PACs. Give every registered voter in the US a $50 "election voucher", and tell them they can designate that to any candidate of their choosing. Undesignated voucher money will go to the Ad Council for use for PSAs. Candidates get their money out of public funds, that's all they get to use for campaigning. Strict, transparent bookkeeping on all campaign expenditures. Maybe instate some amount of television time required to go toward campaign promotion as part of receiving a broadcast license, with time to be provided evenly across parties and issues.

Once you get rid of the money in politics, most of the other issues take care of themselves, because politicians won't be in a perpetual cycle of fund raising for campaigns, and they won't find themselves kowtowing to the (currently) 0.01% of the population which actually contributes meaningful funds to political campaigns. If they have to depend on the voting base for their continued employment as public officials (by making them happy enough for those $50 vouchers to be designated toward their campaigns), they will ultimately be serving the majority of the citizens and not the 1%.

Once they're serving the majority, the 1% will find policies toward them changing very quickly.
posted by hippybear at 4:58 PM on January 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


This isn't my obtusity; rather it is the message that the american public is receiving.

OWS is trying to sell a fundamentalist position and expecting society to blindly trust the movement to do the right thing. Conversely, what the rest of society does perceive (regardless whether rightly or wrongly) is no more than a bunch of malcontents hassling cops and preventing working class people from getting to their jobs.

OWS has a major public relations problem, expecting the public to see truth behind what the mass media reports. OWS believes that the 99% reads forums like Metafilter and DailyKos when in actuality those forums may barely reach 1 person in 1000, if even that many. Your belief that your message is getting through is artificially propped by your immersion amongst a vocal mob.

Like everything else in the US, OWS must market its message directly to the public with sponsored ads and other mass media vehicles. Its own SuperPAC, as it were. Selling a message isn't free, and when a group tries to take the indirect, budget route (protests), they cannot expect to communicate anything more than a distorted signal.
posted by Ardiril at 5:04 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say, the ideas for reform in my comment aren't really mine. I heard this hour of On Point with Lawrence Lessig, and what he had to say stuck with me.
posted by hippybear at 5:07 PM on January 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


For those who prefer multi-media presentations of ideas, this 50 minute video lecture outlining the problems of money and corruption in Washington by Lessig is pretty good, and should be spread widely IMO.
posted by hippybear at 5:10 PM on January 12, 2012


Like everything else in the US, OWS must market its message directly to the public with sponsored ads and other mass media vehicles. Its own SuperPAC, as it were. Selling a message isn't free, and when a group tries to take the indirect, budget route (protests), they cannot expect to communicate anything more than a distorted signal.

You're right.

But your cynical snark about how "they could get a message out a lot better if they had money" doesn't help them as much as YOU GIVING THEM MONEY TO DO THAT would.

So feel free to chip in that if that's what you want them to do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:13 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]




Why should I give them money? I don't agree with them whatsoever. I only support their right to speak freely.
posted by Ardiril at 5:18 PM on January 12, 2012


The Republicans win because they're unified and appeal to their base. The Democrats lose because our motives are varied and the Democratic establishment hates their base. We need a One Issue to rule them all, and I think taxing the goddamn rich is the right place to start. And I think it's something we can all agree on. OWS stirred up class dissent, but that can only take you so far until it degenerates into a riot. We need to make this political, but the only way to do successfully that is to unify our message.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:24 PM on January 12, 2012


Also, I have no way of knowing if the actual OWS movement is reflected by the views expressed in MeFi threads.
posted by Ardiril at 5:24 PM on January 12, 2012


How does public money only campaign financing address

Well, if public money only campaign financing were actually in place, there would be more incentive for Congress to actually enact and enforce meaningful reforms at MMS, rather than not passing anything recommended to them by the GAO, because the public outrage would work against those members reelection instead of being ignored in favor of allowing oil companies to support campaigns with money.

Ultimately, the MMS is unelected, so you're kind of talking about oranges while I'm talking about apples.

In any case, NOTHING will ever solve the fact that some people will be corrupted and do illegal things in order to further what they think of as their careers. Public only financing would serve to help move those people out of power, or to help keep those in power who will work to keep such people from maintaining their positions.
posted by hippybear at 5:26 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


hippybear I agree with you about those Lessig videos. I am still trying to find out what that font is he uses for his slides which looks like chalk slammed against the chalkboard when the teacher is pissed.
posted by bukvich at 5:27 PM on January 12, 2012


Like everything else in the US, OWS must market its message directly to the public with sponsored ads and other mass media vehicles. Its own SuperPAC, as it were. Selling a message isn't free, and when a group tries to take the indirect, budget route (protests), they cannot expect to communicate anything more than a distorted signal.

The fact that OWS refuses to do this is what makes them different and appealing to people who feel disenfranchised in the (literal) sell-your-message-to-politicians scam.
posted by bradbane at 5:35 PM on January 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I only support their right to speak freely.

By making fun of them?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:42 PM on January 12, 2012


In any case, NOTHING will ever solve the fact that some people will be corrupted and do illegal things in order to further what they think of as their careers.

Nothing?

If a public official has done something illegal is that not a matter for the Grand Jury to issue and indictment over? And should not members of the public be able to make such a presentment to a Grand Jury so that the Grand Jury can look into the matter and true bill/no bill the public official?

Of course, if the public was to stop buying from Company X over involvement with corruption - where would the money come from to 'create influence'?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:44 PM on January 12, 2012


Nothing?

If a public official has done something illegal is that not a matter for the Grand Jury to issue and indictment over? And should not members of the public be able to make such a presentment to a Grand Jury so that the Grand Jury can look into the matter and true bill/no bill the public official?


I didn't say that people who do illegal things because of corruption should not be brought to justice.

I said that there is no power on this planet which will cause such people who are likely to do such things to cease to exist.

I'm a hippie, but I'm not so blind in my belief that Love Is All You Need and that Peace, Joy, and Kindness Can Change The World to pretend that there is any way to keep some subset of people from being susceptible to corruption for the sake of perceived power.

Please read what I write, because I do sometimes choose my words carefully. This was one of those times.
posted by hippybear at 5:50 PM on January 12, 2012


Khali was arrested for sitting on a blanket, denied his psych meds in custody while awaiting charges, then shows up for his arraignment with bruises and a fresh assault-on-a-CO felony charge. For a misdemeanor arrest.

To be fair the CO's knuckles were probably pretty bruised after beating the shit out of him.
posted by Talez at 6:15 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I said that there is no power on this planet which will cause such people who are likely to do such things to cease to exist.

Which is why a system of checks and balances was developed. Because Humans are known to be corruptible.

A way to address In any case, NOTHING will ever solve the fact that some people will be corrupted and do illegal things in order to further what they think of as their careers. would be to remove the careers and the gains gotten as there would be no benefit.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:22 PM on January 12, 2012


That doesn't do anything about the people themselves, nor their corruption or what they did while corrupted. It only seeks to punish them for their willingness to participate in corruption and to undo anything they did or gained while in a position of power while corrupted.

If you're arguing in favor of deterrent measures, I get that. But such measures don't keep people from doing things. Murder still happens in capital punishment states, yadda yadda yadda.
posted by hippybear at 6:29 PM on January 12, 2012


Everyone has an opinion of OWS. They have not given money to the 1% in order to use the public airwaves to push their message and public opinion is being changed.

I think they are doing pretty damn well.

I don't really care how people who disagree with the movements goals perceive them and if you support their aims and don't support them, unless you have a better idea, I have no use for you.

Last, occupying a football game is completely retarded and would be nothing but a riot. If you want to do something to inconvenience people, block the morning commute. Consider it a involuntary work slow down.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 6:53 PM on January 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, I have no way of knowing if the actual OWS movement is reflected by the views expressed in MeFi threads.

It's called a search engine. OWS has its own website, as does pretty much every other Occupy movement. You could always, I don't know, do some research?

OWS is trying to sell a fundamentalist position and expecting society to blindly trust the movement to do the right thing.

Um. Yeah. Please do that research. Please. When you assume you make an ass out of 'u' and 'me' yourself, and only yourself.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:37 PM on January 12, 2012


But I visited OWS often, and provided material support in the form of cheeseburgers, umbrellas, hot chocolate and comics, and occasionally volunteered at the “People’s Library” there, where I used my position to surreptitiously weed Tom Robbins and Dune out of the “Classics” bin.
lulz
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:17 PM on January 12, 2012


I think the cool thing to do would be to have an Occupy thread, and then the same tired "but what are they trying to accomplish" blowhards could comment, and everyone will have a good laugh.

Yeah, I think thanks to Ardiril's busy fingers we've got a good template for trolling future OWS threads. OWS needs to develop some counter to that sort of obtuseness because in my opinion it's one of the big threats to the occupation getting any where. For ever Ardiril, there's ten youtube commenters, and some of them are in public office or are news and/or opinion sources. There's got to be an elegant way to shut them down.
posted by fuq at 9:28 PM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


fuq: "There's got to be an elegant way to shut them down."

Oh my god you're serious
posted by falameufilho at 11:42 PM on January 12, 2012


People have had similar thoughts about you in these threads, fala. There are widely varying spectrums of thought on this, and you are actually in the minority in this particular group of people, as horrifying as you may find that.
posted by flaterik at 12:58 AM on January 13, 2012


At the very least, it is exceedingly tedious to see the same half-thought out rubbish about OWS being -

1) lacking in goals/ideas
2) hippies
3) unwilling to "get a job" and "work hard"
4) nowhere near as badly off as they would be in a one party or totalitarian state (someone always gets very cross about this sooner or later, because it lets them pretend to be very concerned about people who are suffering whilst, in practice, just setting the bar for civil liberties ridiculously low and belittling people concerned about corruption and injustice - sneaky!)

It's a shame, because the social and economic issues that OWS addresses are enormously important and affect everyone. They deserve better than threads that degenerate into arguments with the same know-nothing trolls over and over again.
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:54 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, Saturday in the financial district in Manhattan, armed police outnumbered tourists, outnumbered workers, and outnumbered protestors. Armed guards were everywhere. It was really surreal.

It has been like this since 9/11. Sometimes worse, sometimes better.

None of the buildings were built with setbacks from the street and car bomb barriers so they tend to lock down the whole area at random. In addition to the car barrirers set into the street and all the cops most of the buildings have airport like private security. Some of them have twisty-turny barriers that are possible to wander into if you are a little drunk. More than a few times I wandered into little corralls for visitors some of the building have set up and got yelled at until I figured out how to get back out of the pen.

I'm not sure if you noticed all the bomb dogs and the people using mirrors on sticks to check under parked cars for bombs.

It has certainly ramped up recently, but it has been like this for 10 fucking years.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:04 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


[Few comments removed. MetaTalk is, as always, your option folks and is the place you should be going if you want to argue about moderation policy or call each other dicks.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 AM on January 13, 2012


flaterik: "People have had similar thoughts about you in these threads, fala."

You think I'm unaware of the hostility, bub? Please.

People who hold minority opinions not feeling very welcome is one thing, openly plotting how to silence the undesirables is another.
posted by falameufilho at 8:11 AM on January 13, 2012


It's not about "silencing undesirables," Fala, and that's something I would never support, I think it's more about sheltering something in it's nascent stages from people who would actively hurt it, or attempt to define it in a way that is inaccurate and damaging.

There are many with little imagination, or authoritarian and absolutist tendencies who would destroy OWS if they could. It's a sign that it's the real deal in a way and working when these sorts show up at GA's and on threads (strangely even Metafilter threads evokes their scorn and need to discount it and declare it dead and buried and too vague ets...) and attempt to stop the work that's going on...the brainstorming and work groups and networking.

I don't think any serious organization with work to do would tolerate that and shouldn't.
posted by Skygazer at 9:49 AM on January 13, 2012


Also, I can't speak for him, but I'm 90% sure fuq meant shutting them down in a figurative sense, not like a totalitarian going-to-their-house-and-exploding-their-router sense. I'm not sure why you went for the most dramatic interpretation possible.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:16 AM on January 13, 2012


Saturday night in Oakland is "OO Fuck The Police night". Or as I like to call it, "Saturday Night Fever in Oakland". Militant Black Bloc action to protest the bullshit and thuggery of OPD in repressing OO (see my links upthread for details on OPD abuse).

Personally, I think this alienates more Oaklanders than in brings into the movement. But that boat has left the dock (with a lot of Oaklkanders who otherwise support Occupy declining to board).

The OO Tactical Action Committee has set out certain, "tactical parameters" (see the facebook event linked above), but OO GA has voted down "action agreements", voted down a nonviolence stance, voted up on "Diversity of Tactics". Tactics can be as diverse as anyone wants, one is responsible only to oneself. And the purpose of a Black Bloc is anonymity.

But I'll be there Livestreaming, but not bringing bubbles this time. Maybe not at all anymore. Not sure I'd feel safe blowing bubbles at the FTP march, have gotten a lot of negative feedback; saps the energy of the march, not serious enough when standing one's ground against the cops, this is street warfare against the cops, bubbles don't mesh well with burning flags, etc. Bubbles may be diverse tactics. Doesn't mean they're welcome Or that those inclined to them feel safe at the FTP march.

Don't want a diversely tactical brick thrown at me.

Cameras are bad enough, marchers trashed a media van last weekend, and threatened local Livestreamer OakFoSho when he commented he'd like to catch the ones throwing bottles etc (and doing it from the back rows of the bloc) on camera.

OPD is fucked up and bullshit, using thuggish abusive tactics to repress unpopular political speech and deny Oaklanders the right to peaceably assemble.

Saturday Night Fever is our response.

Oh, and not only are other occupies debating "Diversity of tactics/abandoning nonviolence", Seattle anarchs are responding in solidarity w/ Oakland.

I think this will hurt us as a movement in the long term, because not only are mainstream/non-militant people deserting OO because of Saturday Night Fever, I think they're starting to stay away from more mainstream OO events as well. For some Oaklanders I'm talking to, the "Sat: FTP / Sun: Health Day" is to much of a cognitive dissonance dichotomy. So they vote w/ their absence.

Me? I'm Oakland. I Occupy. It's just that I have to go to 'Frisco for nonviolence training.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:45 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Are you guys trying to tell me that the level of support and cheerleading OWS gets in Metafilter is not enough? That OWS needs to be sheltered from criticism even further in this site? There are, like, 10 people who are critical of OWS here. If this ridiculous level of dissent is enough to harm it, that doesn't bode very well for the movement and its ideas.
posted by falameufilho at 11:09 AM on January 13, 2012


If you don't understand human beings well enough to understand why people want things that are important to them to be successful, then I don't know what to tell you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:26 AM on January 13, 2012


I think a big part of the problem is that a lot of OWS people on this site assume that metafilter is on board with the whole OWS agenda and they want threads to be about 'how do we make OWS successful' and turn it into an online General Assembly, and they want anyone who has questions about the whole OWS movement to just shut up and go away.
posted by empath at 11:32 AM on January 13, 2012


the young rope-rider: "people want things that are important to them to be successful"

C'mon, really? This is national politics, not a community garden. I think it's time to grow up and understand not everybody agrees with you and that the people that disagree may be as well-informed and well-intentioned than you, but just spouse a different opinion. If you want an echo chamber (literally!) go to a general assembly.

On preview:

empath: "I think a big part of the problem is that a lot of OWS people on this site assume that metafilter is on board with the whole OWS agenda and they want threads to be about 'how do we make OWS successful' and turn it into an online General Assembly"

I used to think otherwise, but now I agree. It's really unfortunate. Just look at the usage of "we" in posts in this thread and how ambiguous it gets - "we" in OWS or "we" in Metafilter? I've said it before and I'll say it again - the less an average member of Metafilter feels comfortable in using "we" to refer to the community the better for the community in the long run.
posted by falameufilho at 12:23 PM on January 13, 2012


as well-informed and well-intentioned than as you
posted by falameufilho at 12:25 PM on January 13, 2012


Also, I can't speak for him, but I'm 90% sure fuq meant shutting them down in a figurative sense, not like a totalitarian going-to-their-house-and-exploding-their-router sense.

I'm totally a totalitarian fascist disguised as an internet radical leftist posing as an anarchist. I'm literally going to file a SOPA superinjunction and the police are going to go over to their house and take their router and computer and we can have that Occupy Mefi (AKA 'py-'fi*) General Assembly we've always wanted...

Wait, I hate the general assembly format.

*may not rhyme based on pronunciation.
posted by fuq at 1:23 PM on January 13, 2012




There's a big difference between disagreeing with some thing and being critical of it and being obtuse and obnoxious, derisive and working to derail and demonize and dismiss, that's what caused the derail here upthread.

Disagreement and criticism is good actually, but not being patronized, and asked stupid insulting obtuse questions.

The interesting thing is that OWS, for being so "vague and uncentralized" and "lacking in focus" and "ineffectual and ultimately "superficial and phony," still somehow manages to still get under the skin of a lot of people, who in spite of all the confusion they have over the movement, still feel a need to be "critical" of it, and even alarmed, by it.

Amazing how that works.
posted by Skygazer at 3:32 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


It must be some sort of unspoken thing in the ether.
posted by Skygazer at 3:41 PM on January 13, 2012


and they want anyone who has questions about the whole OWS movement to just shut up and go away.

Speaking solely for myself, the problems I've had were with people excusing or minimizing police violence (which I happen to be against on general principle, with no regard to the politics of the person being harassed. I wouldn't be happy about police pepper spraying tea partiers, either), or being dicks about their "questions" (which are really conclusions that they are shocked other people don't share).

The comment I was replying to was incredulousness in response to someone wanting to figure out effective rhetoric for defending their beliefs, which I count as "dickish". If for whatever reason fala actually interpreted it as meaning more aggressive tactics as mentioned above, then... well fuck, I don't even know how to interpret that, but none of the possibilities are positive.
posted by flaterik at 10:09 PM on January 13, 2012


There are, like, 10 people who are critical of OWS here. If this ridiculous level of dissent is enough to harm it, that doesn't bode very well for the movement and its ideas.

10 people, in a thread with 128 comments. Assuming they each commented once, that's still a fair proportion. And they tend to be vocal.

But more than that, there is a sense of like -- the 1% has everything else in the world. Do they really need this too? It is difficult to imagine how someone could be against the occupiers except for self-serving interests.
posted by JHarris at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


You could be against the OWS street people because you think their tactics are self-defeating, for one thing. If you actually believe in the democratic process, for example, the fact that they aren't registering voters or volunteering for political campaigns, but instead are on a quixotic quest to take down the entire system would be a reason to oppose them even if you agree with their goal of reducing income inequality.
posted by empath at 5:10 PM on January 15, 2012


(err.. street protests)
posted by empath at 5:10 PM on January 15, 2012


empath, as someone that has argued with anti-OWS people here quite a bit (at least with respect to how often I actually comment at all), I just want to say that those are totally reasonable issues to have with it.
posted by flaterik at 7:05 PM on January 15, 2012


JHarris: "10 people, in a thread with 128 comments."

10 people IN METAFILTER AS A WHOLE
posted by falameufilho at 10:15 PM on January 15, 2012






No matter how you feel about the Occupy movement, you should be angry that many officers at today's Supreme Court protest hid their nametags and badges.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:44 PM on January 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some showed their nametags. I found some hope in that.

Anyhow, I didn't think it was legal for officers of any stripe to not wear their nametags. Troubling. Also, the undercover dudes looking like morons. Big scary morons, that is.
posted by Skygazer at 1:57 PM on January 20, 2012




It is difficult to imagine how someone could be against the occupiers except for self-serving interests.

That's probably about right. You're talking about a country where people have basically been indoctrinated since birth to believe in so-called American values, exceptionalism, rugged individualism, etc.

I was talking to a person the other night, he talked about how he'd never had extra money until recently, was preparing to make a film. Then he mentioned how he wasn't like the occupiers who he characterized as having grown up thinking or being told that they would have everything, they grew up - realized they didn't get to have everything and commenced with whining about how they didn't have everything.

While I disagree with his chracterization, I can see how someone would come to that conclusion.
posted by IvoShandor at 4:02 PM on January 27, 2012






The DC campers were supposed to be evicted today, and there is all sorts of action going on at McPherson Square. Apparently, the occupiers have erected a large tent covering the equestrian statue of Gen. McPherson.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:42 PM on January 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


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