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OccupyWallStreet: To the naysayers

"Find a space and occupy it, even if it's only your own mind"

You know who you are.  You’re the ones who are trying to convince us that there’s something fishy about OWS.  That it sounds too much like OFA.  And as I have said already, if it turns out that OWS is a sneaky move by Obama to create the pressure he needs to do what he was supposed to be doing for the last three years, I will be the first one to denounce OWS, and the country in general will look very disfavorably on his political campaign. Any candidate that uses this kind of deception to win some campaign battle while allowing such misery to happen on so grand a scale does not deserve my vote or your vote.  People do not like to be pushed out of the middle class through unemployment and crushing debt just so the political class can out psych each other in some high stakes game.  As Naomi Klein said, “You are not the cannon fodder for Washington policy wonks”.

I happen to think the movement is genuine.  It’s getting people from all over the country involved and it’s giving them a sense of control, which has been lacking since the Democrats f%^&*ed us over and installed a cypher presidential candidate instead of a Democrat.  It’s also very interesting to watch it grow and develop.  Fascinating, which is why I like to cover it.  It’s unpredictable.  And if it takes them some time to figure out what they want, it still will be a blip on the historical timescale.  This movement has spread like wildfire, it appeals to many diverse demographic groups and the internet will help facilitate the way it gets things done.  I also don’t see a lot of tedious wordsmithing which tends to kill a movement quicker than spit.

But OK, some of you will still be nagging doubters.  If I didn’t know better, I would almost say you were trolls trying to disuade liberals and progressives from actually getting the band back together and doing a gig. And that would seem to suit the parties very well, wouldn’t you think?  Neither one of them has any interest in making working people look good and united and determined to get respect and their money back.   It suits both very well that OWS is made to look as bad as possible.  Scare away more conservative types by making them look like degenerates; scare the liberals away by telling them it’s just a smokescreen covering for another nasty Obama fanbase operation.

I don’t have to give you reasons why you should or shouldn’t support OccupyWallStreet.  I don’t speak for the movement but it’s not particularly difficult to figure out what it is they stand for and what they hope to accomplish.  When they figure out the best way of getting that something, then you’ll get your answer.  Until then, take and old cold tater and wait.  If you want to stand up with OWS, OK then; if you don’t, well, that just means that there will be one less person representing your point of view.  And if you’re determined to believe that it’s an offshoot of OFA, then you owe it to yourself, and to the rest of us who are sick of your persistent, belligerent grumpiness, to go to an occupation site and check it out for yourself.  There’s even an occupation in the tundra so don’t complain that there aren’t any around you.

Then you’ll know for sure what’s real and what’s not real because you will have been able to collect and analyze your own data.  Until then, go complain and distract on someone else’s blog.  I’m not interested in arguing with people who aren’t willing to do the work.  It makes me suspicious that they are up to no good.

120 Responses

  1. I spent the last week following the organizational meetings for Occupy tucson. I spent all day yesterday at the kick-off of Occupy Tucson. I have been all over the net today watching, reading and digesting Occupy “Someplace” and a couple of minutes ago – before I came to this post – I was overcome with a feeling….we ARE going to win this.

    The naysayers haven’t got a clue. But they had better wake up.

    Keep up the wonderful reporting and commentary RD.

    We WILL win. (I feel it in my old bones.)

    • Let’s be cautiously optimistic and keep a look out for anyone trying to subvert or usurp this promising idea. They aren’t working for the 99%.

    • I think I started posting on the dangers of co-opting from the get go. And I’m pretty foily about it, too. But from what I’m seeing of the differences in Occupy start ups in NY, Austin, Boston, and Sacramento, there is definitely no playbook that they’re all using. They’re similar, no question, but it’s not like dealing with the OFA, where the script would change with the shift change.

      It’s like in intelligence work, where you know the “handwriting” of your enemy, because you’ve seen so many of their operations. I’m not seeing that here. On the other hand, because I blogged Egypt, Athens, Madrid (and the UK riots) it’s clear that there’s an international network that’s passing along experience, strength, and hope.

      So, if the Occupations are funded, it’s certainly not by Axelrod. And so far as I can tell, any central direction is lacking.

    • The naysayers haven’t got a clue.

      Please enlighten me then. Who set the rule that there is to be no political discussion? Who determines what counts as politics and what doesn’t? How can pressure be applied to intitutions without ever involving politics?

      • Er, “applied to institutions without”

      • Find out for yourself, bottomfeeder.

        • You (I presume) and RD are both OWS participants, so why is it a problem for me to ask the question here?

          • Concern troll is concerned.:P

          • Monster, I think the question is a reasonable one. Why is it trolling to want to know the answer? If you know the answer yourself, could you clue me in please?

          • I doubt anyone else here gives a flying duck what you think, snookums. I’m told blogs are free. Why don’t you get one of your own, and pontificate to your little heart’s content? 😛

          • You could’ve just said you don’t know.

          • Hey, catfish, are you myiq’s sock puppet or what? If you want to know what OWS is up to and what their goals are, go there and find out. I have been to the occupation site twice now and have a fairly good idea of what they’re up to: They are trying to formulate a plan to break our dependence on Wall Street.
            All solutions can’t be fast, good and cheap. At the best, you can only get 2 out of 3. So, decide. Do you want fast and cheap solutions? They won’t be good. Do you want cheap and good solutions? They won’t be fast.
            Why don’t you let it figure out how it’s going to accomplish the goal of breaking our dependence on Wall Street? You know, you are more than welcome to participate. Unless you’re skerred.

          • Hey, catfish, are you myiq’s sock puppet or what?


            If you want to know what OWS is up to and what their goals are, go there and find out.

            But why must I do that just to ask a few simple questions? I find it very strange.

            I have been to the occupation site twice now and have a fairly good idea of what they’re up to: They are trying to formulate a plan to break our dependence on Wall Street.
            All solutions can’t be fast, good and cheap. At the best, you can only get 2 out of 3. So, decide. Do you want fast and cheap solutions? They won’t be good. Do you want cheap and good solutions? They won’t be fast.

            I didn’t ask about fast, cheap, or good solutions. I asked how mass pressure could be applied to institutions without involving politics, who determines which sentiments are considered to be political and which are not, and who set the “no politics” rule in the first place.

          • The reason you should go there is because the occupy movement is not like any advocacy group you’re already used to. They don’t have a membership registration page, they won’t send you emails and they didn’t get a group of well known individuals together to write proposals that you can either accept or reject. What they come up with very much depends on participation.
            If you’re looking for them to make it easy for you to get onboard or diss them, you’ll have to wait.
            Once again, I am not a moderator or facilitator for the movement. But there is a good reason why they don’t want to talk about politics or religion or parties or candidates yet. If you want a big movement, you need lots of people to buy into it and to see themselves on the same side. Politics, religion, social causes tend to divide people. So we need to avoid them right now. I’m pretty sure there will be a political component down the road but not yet.
            This is an out of the box movement. It is different from what you’re used to. I’ve told you everything I know. If you don’t want to participate, fine. But you need to stop asking the same questions over and over again expecting the secret code that will unlock the answer you want in advance. It’s like algebra. You won’t really get it until you do some problems.
            I’m being nice here because I suspect you *do* get it and you’re being a troublemaking pain in the ass. If you don’t get it after all my attempts to *enlighten* you, then you’re dumber than a box of rocks. Please seek a different blog for people your speed.

  2. I don’t get the naysayers, I truly don’t. For 3 yrs now I thought most of the people who frequent this site were longing for something they could get involved with to advance their agenda; something more than blogging.

    Now there’s a fledgling movement where literally everybody who wishes to be heard, will be heard at the agenda forums and people who haven’t even gone down to an occupy event to get a feel for whether this is for real or not or has any potential are pouring cold water on it. I’m truly surprised.

    BTW, yesterday in Times Square I saw my first anti-Obama sign. I’m talking about a sign that specifically mentioned Obama by name. Full disclosure: I’ve only been to the Zuccotti Park twice and to two events. Anyway, the sign said something to the effect that Obama (big red heart) loves Wall St. but hates Main St. I think soon we will see more specific signs; something more than “we are the 99%” etc.

    • I think the Occupations should avoid electoral politics like the cesspool the legacy parties have made of it, and set up parallel structures that bypass it. Face it, Obama’s a front man, a con, and a shill. Let’s deal with his paymasters (who are probably already training his replacement(s).)

      • Good point. A parallel economic system would be very welcome. We could have an occupation bank, occupation retirement plan, occupation labor empire, occupation stock market.
        What I wouldn’t give to be able to put my 401k money in a system that would invest it prudently.
        But eventually, you need to clean house or TPTB will start to regulate YOU. So, I hope the put election reform at the top of their agenda.

    • Over at Uppity’s site Friday (I think it was) I had deja vu all over again. I thought I had wandered into No Quarter by mistake and they were talking about those evil WI teachers’ union. I made a comment that according to the Confluence and plenty of other places they weren’t all kids escaped from Mom’s basement but the comment thread seemed bent on pursuing the dirty hippy meme. It seems to have leveled out a bit now, but that seems to be the main knock employed everywhere against OWS– it’-gasp-young people, to which I respond “It’s not and so what?”

      • I mentioned that I was in support of OWS and was not “well received”. I’m re-thinking going back and/or ever posting again. Too bad, because I thought lots of the stuff there was very funny – and we all need good laughs every once in a while.

      • UW’s site became No Quarter, Part Deux long ago. I fear The Crawdad Hole is becoming No Quarter, Part Trois. 😦

      • Honk Honk. I noticed that too .

      • yes, it has gotten a bit reactionary over there. But they do have a point. Some of them just seem a little stuck in that point. Having a lot of long haired 60 year old jerks in Portland Oregon singing F*ck the USA and dumb ass*ed kids rioting in Italy doesn’t help “the cause”.
        Then again I would prefer a movement that isn’t about dumping capitalism and elevating socialism. I just want to promote the knowledge that we have LOST class mobility. Education has gotten worse the more politicians have stuck their noses in. With out good education and with all money and power concentrated in the hand of one percent we are doomed. That message I am in tune with. With out fair elections and that means fair PRIMARIES, we are doomed. I am in tune with that.

        Replacing the “legacy” parties with other parties is not going to change anything. The new party/parties will be as bad as the ones we have. socialism is no better than fascism. Bosses are bosses. Power corrupts.

        I can’t go to any of the occupations. I do support them. I do not support the idiots who show up and make the whole thing look bad. I do want to know who is financing them if anyone. I think OWS and the original Tea Party movement have a lot in common even if they do not want to see it. We all want the boots off our necks, a chance to work hard and make life better for ourselves and our kids. We want to own a home, have a bit of yard and plant some flowers. We want to have some beauty in our life, see a doctor when we are sick and be taken care of without going bankrupt.

        • Teresainpa, you describe a functioning social democracy. A social democracy is a capitalist society, one structured in such a way that the bulk of the population has a chance to make a decent life based on their skills and work. We are losing whatever semblance of that we had.

          It is best to leave aside terms like socialism, as no one can agree on a definition of it. It’s either “Something I find scary and bad” on the right or “desirable and shiny.” on the left.

          Similarly “capitalism” needs definining. The “capitalism” that people want to dump is that of the gamblers, er, financiers, not the productive capitalism of actually making and doing stuff that people want and need.

          The risk of any mass mobilization is that a handful of provocateurs/undercover cops/anarchists/assholes (and I’d put my money on ‘cops’) will show up and try to start trouble to discredit the movement. This is a very difficult problem and I don’t judge the entire movement by it. Demonstrations took place in over 800 cities and only one had problems and of those only a handful of people out of several hundred thousand.

          And jeez Portland, where young people go to retire (never mind old hippies) is the statistical outlier of the bunch. People aren’t remote control puppets, there aren’t memos circulating from OWS HQ controlling everyone’s behaviour. The occupations are also attracting regular suburban workers, moms, dads, etc like our blog hostess but are you weighing that in your judgement?

        • “I think OWS and the original Tea Party movement have a lot in common even if they do not want to see it. ”

          Some of them do see it. Posters at OWS forum suggest cooperating with TP, some posters say they came from TP. SWMNBM said they’ve got some good concerns (after the obligatory but mild insult).

    • My concern is that this “issueless” protest has sprung up at the very moment the sort of issues that would be expected ignite public anger are coming to the fore. Three neo-NAFTAs being rammed through in the middle of a catastrophic unemployment crisis, the “super committees” wanting to ram through devastating program cuts, the White House attempts to scuttle investigations into bank fraud. I’d expect either of the first two would be enough to crystallize a mass movement on their own, and all this happening a year before a Presidential election. To to focus on the 2014 midterms in such circumstances seems downright asinine.

  3. 1. I think I saw something a couple of days ago (it’s all a bit of a blur right now) about Occupy “XXXXX” putting together plans for delegates from every event to meet on 07//04/2012 for a convention. If that is, indeed, a goal, it could be very very very big.

    2. Joanie said that she felt that the 18,000,000 who frequent this site (;>) – were “longing for something they could get involved with.” I heard that over and over and over and over (you get the point) yesterday with people at Occupy Tucson. If we can capture this longing, the movement will have longevity.

  4. happen to think the movement is genuine. It’s getting people from all over the country involved and it’s giving them a sense of control, which has been lacking since the Democrats f%^&*ed us over and installed a cypher presidential candidate instead of a Democrat.

    I can only speak for myself. I’m a naysayer, but I don’t doubt that the people demonstrating are genuinely against the bankers, corporate cronyism, and everything that most of us agree is wrong with the country. What I’m not supporting OWS, is the direction of the demonstrations. Wall Street is not one entity. I read that Pelosi, Obama and other Democrats “understand” the anger. That tells me that the Democrats don’t feel responsible for what corporations have done to our country. It’s a distraction that helps the politicians. If the Democrats really understood the issues, they would be returning all the money they’ve been putting in their pockets from Wall Street.

    When and if the movement goes into the right direction, I’ll join in the effort. Until then, I remain a naysayer.

    • I don’t think tge occupation gives a flying fig what Obama and Pelosi think. They don’t want their help. Quite the opposite. Any interactiOn with the political class invites co-option.
      When they say they don’t want to discuss politics, I think they really mean it. This is all about gathering the strength of the many against the few. And the usual system is not working.

      • When they say they don’t want to discuss politics, I think they really mean it. This is all about gathering the strength of the many against the few. And the usual system is not working.

        Then OWS is in more trouble than I thought because our problem is political.

    • To put it another way, if people demonstrated against Lockheed for the war in Afghanistan, it would be a waste of time. It might highlight the involvement of Lockheed in the war effort, but it won’t change the direction of Lockheed’s business model.

      • I can see where you’re coming from and respect your opinion. However, I think they’re right to focus on the Paymasters at the start. Any move into partisan politics would exclude a lot of people who might support you later due to tribal walls. Getting over those tribal walls is a huge hurdle.

        • Exactly. The political classes have been very good at dividing us in the past thirty years to our detriment. OWS *is* the confluence.

        • I agree. OWS is getting people to see how big the problem is and where it comes from: Wall Street actions. If voters in BOTH Dem and GOP recognize this and begin writing their Congressmen and voting accordingly, supporting every move toward good regulation — then eventually some good measures will get passed. This needs to become something that’s taken for granted by both sides.

          Focusing on a few obvious proposals (such as Glass-Steagall, good as that is) would get it bogged down in promises and details. Worse, focusing on one party or faction or politician — would alienate the other half of the population!

    • “Wall Street is not one entity.”

      Neither is OWS. Forgive me while I get philosophical and Buddhist and use a lot of white space.

      Set A: What can I (a frail rural retiree) actually do for or against OWS or their issues? Nothing much except research and post.

      Set B: What different acts are the different people labeled OWS actually doing? Are there any of those acts I strongly agree or disagree with?

      Do any of Set A easily match up with any of Set B? Yes. I agree with the economic message they’re publicizing, and I can support that by researching and posting statistics, graphs, etc.

      At this stage, that’s all I can do, so that message is all I NEED to know about or judge. (Even if they all turned out to be bait and switch vampires or something, still the ‘bait’ is a true message worth supporting for itself.)

      (Of course it’s fun to debunk the silly charges against them too.)

      • At this stage, that’s all I can do, so that message is all I NEED to know about or judge. (Even if they all turned out to be bait and switch vampires or something, still the ‘bait’ is a true message worth supporting for itself.)

        OWS doesn’t have a coherent message. It’s a Rorschach blot onto which hopeful people with progressive leanings can project any agenda they wish to find. (This is the similarity I see to the Obama campaign, not that it is directly advocating his re-election–though it may have the effect of re-electing him.) RD sees OWS as advocating an end to corporate outsourcing, yet no official statements so far indicate anything of the kind, and what little has been released can just as easily be read to say the opposite.

        • The simple message is 1% vs 99%. Too much (money, land, property, government) is owned by too few. And they are not using their power well: too much unemployment, too much student debt, too many foreclosures, no effective health care.

  5. Where are you with regard to Bank Transfer Day on l1/05?

    • Thinking about it. But I think yanking out tge 401k funds would really make the bankers tremble. Think of it, just like it’s own government, tge financial industry gets a steady stream of revenue from 401k payroll deductions. That’s what they play with. And it’s not their money so if they lose your funds in stupid “instruments”, it’s no big deal, there’s more where that came from.
      So, I think breaking that chain would really send a message. The only thing I worry about are people of or close to retirement age. But if we all do it at tge same time, the people who really suffer will be the smartass 27 year old banker who can’t seem to makes ends meet on a $500,000 bonus.

  6. 8. The delegates to the National General Assembly would then vote on a time period, presently suggested as one year, to give the newly elected government in November an opportunity to redress the petition of grievances. This is our right as a People under the First Amendment.

    Does this mean OWS will do something if whoever is in office in Nov 2014 has not met their demands? 20, the freak 14? We are supposed to wait till then for them say something about those in office? What kind of movment is that? The 2014 due date gets Obama and the Dems totally off the hook for 2012, which I believe is the point…besides letting people think they are doing something besides meeting up.( which isn’t a bad thing mind you ) My local Dems opertives are thrilled with this and if this was real, at the hidden leadership level, or held anyone in office accountable at all , they should be scared. imo

    • A lot can change between now and July 4, 2012. Look at where we are now. Just two months ago, we thought we were doomed.
      People who look in the palantiri expecting to see the future usually get it wrong.
      Be like water.

    • Reasonable and worrisome points, paper doll. The current administration absolutely needs to be held accountable and I am not real thrilled with not seeing certain names front and center on OWS protest signs. It makes me wonder and I will certainly grant the naysayers that as a data point. However much the movement is anti-politician, the political power process goes on and someone will always have power.

  7. Here is a thought. If those who are demonstrating wanted Wall Street bankers to pay attention, then the right thing to do is to cut their profit. It cannot be done without hurting many people who work for the bankers too, so maybe one bank could be chosen to make the point. I’ll pick Bank of America because it’s demonstrated its greed recently with its ATM fee. Make it a policy of everyone not use a Bank of America credit card for one month or until Bank of America gets it, and repeals its ATM fee or whatever is being demanded. Not only would Bank of America change its greedy policies, but other banks would notice too. That might work. OWS won’t.

  8. Start with Steven Lerner’s taped announcement of the PLAN – to bring down the banks, to destabilize Wall St. – his own words, on tape, and transcripted.

    He talks about how the Unions can’t do it overtly, can’t initiate it. He talks about the key component that stretches across all pieces of the story, getting kids to renege on their student loans (that’s how they draw them in).

    “We’re not broke. There’s plenty of money. They have it. It’s ours. We’ll take it.”

    Then – look at Michael Moore in Wisconsin, he is the one who carries the water, and introduces the meme – “We’re not broke. There’s plenty of money. They have it. It’s ours. We’ll take it.”

    Their launch was to be in May – and JP Morgan the target (with BofA). That was – delayed – if you will – because Glenn Beck exposed them with the publication of Lerner’s plan, and his own words on tape.

    It limply tried to get off the ground a couple of times.

    That’s part of what you need to bring you to a point of understanding. You know you have heard that meme.

    There are other pieces of evidence, but we can skip that – go to Breitbart. The emails. AND, the deeper investigation into the organizers and instigators

    I’m sorry, but something this big did not happen ‘spontaneously’ – it took a lot of work. A lot of “community organizing.’

    Obama is one sick puppy. He has to be smart enough to know how dangerous this game is. But he does not care. he wants us at each other’s throats.

    (For God’s sake, make it your job to learn how these guys work, the trails of evidence are all there. People may hate Glenn Beck, but the fact remains that he uses THEIR OWN WORDS, their own recorded plotting, he connects the dots. That too is not done without a LOT of work. You may not like his schtick, but look past that and learn the networks and the methods. You guys, better than any other can get inside this thing and break it wide open.

    • Rose, *I* have been advocating making the banks blink to let them know who the real bosses are. What’s so weird about that? The thing we haven’t realized up to this point is just how powerful we are. That’s our money in those 401k accounts, dammit. And many of us had no choice about where to put that money. We were expected to hand it over for wall street to play with and were told by those investment bankers that there is no guarantee of a return. Ghats chutzpah for you. They gamble with your money and they don’t have to give it all back to you.
      It is our right, Rose, to reclaim our economic power. The banks and the republican party constantly threaten to pull down the financial system if they don’t get what they want and you’re telling me we have no right to withdraw our funds from that system and put it sOmewhere else? That’s pretty servile. I’m not going to let the bastards grind me down.
      If you have money in the bank, the US government will insure it up to $250,000. If you have that much money sitting in a bank vault you are much better off than the rest of us and if you don’t you’re getting hysterical over nothing.

    • I think you need to discriminate where you get your information. I hope RD deletes your garbage.

      • No, sometimes you have to practice refuting this crap. Don’t ignore it and don’t back down. Beck is counting on us to get defensive, embarrassed and silent. But it’s not going to work if we keep in our minds that it’s our money and we have a right to get it at our discretion and put it to use where we decide. If the bankers and the amoral demagogues start howling then we know it’s working.

        • I started tracking the ‘leftist/activist players about 9 years ago now. I did the same thing Beck is doing, but on a much smaller level. Nevertheless it was effective in this area, at least at exposing them, but not at preventing them from killing off our timber industry and now our fishing, and pretty much everything else except pot.

          They live and die online so all of their plots and connections were there.

          Again – you may not like Beck – but stop and look at the WORDS of the people who are fomenting this hate – and all to get Obama re-elected.

          I am not the enemy. I am a long time reader and off and on commenter here. I link to your posts often on about half a dozen blogs, because there is reasoned and intelligent conversation here. You are the hope for the future, but not if you get sucked into this #Occupy vortex.

          I wholeheartedly believe in the ‘party unity my ass’ idea – on both sides.

          I also live in California – and I recommend reading Tom McClintock’s piece about what has happened to California…. or any of the reporting on Chicago – not a future any of us wants.


          A Second Term for Obama Would Make the United States Go as California Has Gone – Rep. Tom McClintock speech to the Council for National Policy – Real Clear Politics

          Bad policies. Bad process. Bad politics. Those are the three acts in a Greek tragedy that tell the tale of how, in the span of a single generation, the most prosperous and golden state in the nation became an economic basket case.

          When my parents came to California in the 1960’s looking for a better future, they found it here. The state government consumed about half of what it does today after adjusting for both inflation and population. HALF. We had the finest highway system in the world and the finest public school system in the country. California offered a FREE university education to every Californian who wanted one. We produced water and electricity so cheaply that some communities didn’t bother to meter the stuff. Our unemployment rate consistently ran well below the national rate and our diversified economy was nearly recession-proof.

          One thing – and one thing only – changed in those years: public policy. The political Left gradually gained dominance over California’s government and has imposed a disastrous agenda of radical and retrograde policies that have destroyed the quality of life that Californians once took for granted.

          • Rose, I don’t care who is protesting what or where, they can’t make me vote for Obama who I reject because he is a bad president. You must think we are all as gullible as Glenn Beck fans.

            Secondly, California is in trouble because it capped its property taxes a couple decades ago and has the most ridiculous proposition and referendum process I’ve ever seen in a state government. If it elects representatives to do the work, let them do it. Referendums shouldn’t be used to override the legislature all of the time.

            If you were evaluating the data as you should be, you would be putting the blame where it belongs, on the republican right which has been so successful at talking ordinary people into feeling sorry for the rich.

    • BTW, Rose, I am not an Obama fan and don’t think anything can be accomplished by appealing to him.
      And Glenn beck is a manipulative lying mouthpiece for the 1%. It’s his job to scare you to death. If it wasn’t this it would be some stupid Quickening thing or pedophiles or {{insert liberal boogieman here}}. I have zero respect for him and find him physically and intellectually repulsive. No, rose, do not roll your eyes at me. I can see through bullshit a lot better than you think and I’m telling you that Glenn beck is an amoral man who will use his audience to extract money from them and will do the bidding of the very rich. You’ve been had, Rose. Don’t make me feel bad about you. Don’t bring his garbage into this blog.

  9. Here’s some of what’s at Breitbart:



    Lisa Fithian reveals the long term planning: “Community based organizations – and unions – around the country – had a fall campaign – to shut down the banks – we kicked it off – the same week – #occupywallstreet happened. We’ve done actions in in Seattle, – San Francisco – Boston – LA – and this week – Chicago and – New York – Minneapolis – next week – Denver – Honolulu – St. Louis is going down too…

    We’re from different movements – we have different cultures – we’re using different strategies – we have a common enemy – Wall Street – across the country – we need to learn – to work with one another – on our differences – have real solidarity in the streets – and most of all – it’s our job – to make sure – that the most impacted people, – the undocumented folks – the poor people – the students in debt – are able to have their voices heard, which means – a lot of the young white men – need to make sure – they have the mike first – this is how we build solidarity – and we use the privilege we have based on our skin color our race and our class – that we support each other’s backs so we can all have the presence in the streets welcome to #occupychicago.”

    Lisa Fithian: #Occupy Organizer, Union Educator–And Israel-Hater – Larry O’Connor/Big Government

    As President Barack Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and other Democratic Party leaders line up with the Fithian-led “Occupy” protesters, they might want to consider that they are supporting a movement headed by a woman who organizes and leads radicals who want Israel eliminated from the map.

    Will they risk alienating her (and her Big Labor sponsors) by condemning her views on Israel? Or will they continue to turn a blind eye to the hatred and antisemitism inherent in these well-financed demonstrations?

  10. Companies understand the language of profit. That’s it. Cesar Chavez was able to organize farm labor, is that Chavez convinced consumers not to buy grapes. That’s the only product that was boycotted. In the end, farmers allowed the workers to unionize and get safe working conditions, especially protection from pesticides.

    Go ahead and demonstrate, but make the demands simple, achievable and directed towards one entity, not Wall Street. Even if the goal is for all the corporations, only one entity should be chosen to make it an example of what will happen to the rest if there’s no change.

    • Not sure I would go for a list of demands as you suggest. Naomi Klein says very wisely that the bigger and mire united the movement gets, the bigger the demand can be. The pols will just ignore the little stuff
      And you want to know how we know it can work? Count on more hysterical Roses stirred up to a panic state by Glenn Beck over the banks. Actually, how do we know Beck isn’t behind OWS? He’s been predicting an apocalyptic event to occur sometime this year. He may be organizing this whole thing like some megalomaniacal nutcase.
      But how would you get the other countries to participate? They tend to have more savvy citizens because they’ve seen what fascism actually looks like.

      • Everything is possible in this world, but I seriously doubt Glenn Beck could organize anything like OWS. 🙂

        Every successful demonstration that I’ve witnessed in my long life has had very specific demands. It’s what makes sense, and that’s why I remain a naysayer. The most important part of demonstrations, is the support from those who are not demonstrating, such as consumers not buying grapes when Chavez demonstrated to unionize the workers. Unless those outside can support the demonstrations, all the noise in the world will get nowhere.

        We’ll agree to disagree.

        • Rejecting grapes wasn’t the demand, it was part of the demonstration. The demand was better working conditions.

          • I never said that boycotting grapes was the demand. My point was that consumers (boycotting grapes) supported Chavez, and it was the biggest reason the farmers allowed the workers to form a union, which was the main demand. Without the drop in profit, farmers would not have cared if Chavez demonstrated until the end of time. The farmers were always able to bring workers that broke the picket line.

          • What would you rather have? Some little demand that some politician will ignore or some well thought out, strategically guided demand that will shake Wall Street to the core?

            If you jump on that bandwagon that says you must have a list of demands right this very second or else, you may be dooming the whole movement.

            Is that what you really want? Just asking because the lack of patience has a very concerted effort feel to it.

          • “If you jump on that bandwagon that says you must have a list of demands right this very second or else, you may be dooming the whole movement.”

            I agree. They’ve got this far partly BECAUSE they’re not committed to small, firm demands (that can be answered with promises).

            When they do get ready to commit, they might go for some real-world demand/s. Like, “We’ll leave when all the evicted homeowners are ACTUALLY BACK in their homes.”

          • If you jump on that bandwagon that says you must have a list of demands right this very second or else, you may be dooming the whole movement.

            I think the crowd (not a movement yet), a.k.a. OWS will lose steam soon because there are no demands, no focus, no force to sustain the demonstrations. There’s anger out there, but unless some kind of leadership rises to give voice to that anger (come up with demands or goal, e.g. get rid of the Fed, break up big banks, bring back Glass-Steagall) there won’t be a movement.

  11. REMEMBER the scene at #OccupyAtlanta? Where they won’t let John Lewis speak, “because none of us is more important than another”?

    NOTICE that they do NOT apply that to Lisa Fithian, do they?

    They know. She is one of the leaders. And they will assimilate.

    This “movement” is as fascist as it gets, in reality, they just let the pawns THINK they are doing this themselves, All their silly meetings mean nothing. Not to the “Organizers.” The Overlords.

    • If you don’t like it, don’t join it. But you need to go get your Problems of Democracy textbook and look up the definition of fascist because anti-corporate power protestors don’t fit the description. Go ahead. Glenn is counting on you to not google the word fascist. There’s even a stuff you should know podcast about what that word means. The information is available to you and you have zero excuses to not learn what fascism actually is.

    • Apparently Atlanta had a policy against allowing ANY elected politician to speak. Lewis was serving in Congress at the time. QED.

    • The real overlords are the little gray aliens. 😛

  12. And just as a side note – EVEN IF you believe, even if you sympathize. THINK.

    What is the end result of everyone defaulting on student loans?

    Guess what? No more student loans. Pay for your education up front. Lucky you.

    Same with mortgages. You want a house? You might renege on your mortgage? You know the bank already paid the seller, right? try a new world order where you have to pay upfront.

    If you are a professor – think – they’re not protesting for you to have higher pay or job security. They’re saying NO PAY for you. they’re going to cheat you out of the pay you got for giving them an education. Is that really what you want?


    • Gosh Rose, stop paying attention to Glenn Beck and Breitbart. Get a grip on yourself. You are wasting your hyperventilation here.

    • Alex Jones would just love you at InfoWars. He’d get you to THINK.

    • Rose, I’ve paid almost as much in interest as I have left on my mortgage. When will it be enough???
      The banks got trillions of dollars from us the taxpayers. Where is your fear and anger about that?
      As Dario says, snap out of it.

    • How about realistically priced houses sold on fixed rate mortgages (no balloon) with a big down payment to good credit risks? You know, like in the good old 1950s?

      How about realistically priced education at 4% (like Hillary paid on her student loan in the 60s) to be paid out of your salary when you get the job the degree was supposed to qualify you for, and not before?

      • I bought a realistically priced house 11 years ago with a big downpayment (it was more than 20%) and excellent credit. Never missed a payment.
        Butcha know what?
        You can’t pay your mortgage for long if don’t have a job.

        • I was answering Rose. Nobody wants to crash the system all the way to nothing. Just rein it back to offering reasonable loans for realistic valuations, not inflated bubbles. Banks shouldn’t loan more on a house than it’s worth — or on a degree. It’s the lenders’ responsibility to evaluate this.

          • And if the lender is wrong about the worth of the house or the degree (ie if the neighborhood or the industry goes so far down that the product isn’t worth the money they loaned), then it’s the lender who should eat the loss — not the borrower.

            Re-write the loan counting all money paid as against the current worth — which would leave a lot of people owning their homes free and clear.

  13. “But he does not care. he wants us at each other’s throats.”

    The amazing thing is that #OWS is bringing people (the 99%) together all over the world.

    If it takes a little while to figure out what to do with this growing sense of unity, it shouldn’t be a surprise.

    The 99% thing is the first thing I remember that draws people of all cultures/classes/environments/locations into a unified group.

    For the first time in a long, long time we’re NOT at each other’s throats. That’s a huge step.

  14. The naysayers overlook the European roots of the movement. inspired by French Resister Stéphane Hessel’s surprise bestseller “Indignez-vous!” it began in Spain and spread to France before arriving in the US. While the dumbass WaPo thinks it started a month ago, the French press considers Occupy to have breathed new life into the movement.

    I kind of see the naysayers suspicion though I am not convinced by their evidence. My worries are different. First, that this political process will lead to new progboy leadership class, a new generation of Tom Haydens, Bill Ayerses, and Dany Cohn-Bendits. If I see a new group of smug whiteboys take the helm (whether in actual control or just in creating a political persona) I’m tuning out. Meet the new boss…

    Another is that demos don’t amount to much unless something else complementary is going on. (1989: Demos in Leipzig + Hungarian foreign minister breaching iron curtain = GDR goes poof!) The millions against the Iraq war didn’t stop anything. I go to demos on the principle that a demo may make no difference if I go but certainly won’t if no one shows up. So I show up.

    Of course DFA, OFA and MoveOn will try to get out in front. They see VOTES. They are in the business of following political winds to get money and votes. It’s what they do. But that’s not the same as having orchestrated or even seeded the whole thing. It’s possible, but I await convincing evidence. In the meantime, the great big F.U. The Occupiers are sending politicians suggests otherwise.

  15. I want to thank everyone writing on this thread who has shown genuine thought and concerns about OWS and what it means and could be in future. I think the overriding consensus is the eroding US standard of living after decades of assault by government and business interests has finally reached the breaking point. People are economically insecure, worse off than they were at any point in the past 50 years, and see absolutely no one in their government or media addressing this at anything but the most condescending and trivial manner. At the most basic level OWS is about self survival.

    Much of the doubting about OWS is residual cynicism and hard earned knowledge of the tactics, strategy, and interconnectivity of Democrats and Obama from 2007-2008 specifically. The timing is also suspect. It has been known for some time that the scandals were going to be rolled out by the Republicans this fall to pressure Obama over the upcoming election and up pops a much needed rebellion to draw attention away from examinations of possible (probable) wrong doing.

    I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of OWS supporters are totally sincere and I agree with them on the majority of their basic issues. But the same Obama cabal names keep popping up. The same think tanks connected with the scandals, the same media who ignore Obama’s background in this same type of agitation, organizing, and collusion with business interests in Chicago who accomplish nothing but get him in power and keep him in power so the merry go round can continue.

    I will continue to hope that OWS is not co-opted by OFA and its myriad networks.

    • Bob, even if OWS is a covert Obama organization, there is no way in hell I and many other occupiers are ever going to vote for him. And I mean that sincerely.

      I can’t stress enough how improbable it is that OWS is going to turn most of us into mindless, rabid Obama bots and I really wish people would get off the subject. It’s annoying to have to keep repeating this over and over and over again.

      The people who read this blog regularly are the last people on earth you should expect to ever become Obama supporters because we knew back in 2008 that he was a ruthless, unethical campaigner who would allow himself to be used by the wealthy to satisfy his own ambition. He had no track record of any significant accomplishments in any of his elected offices and he hadn’t been in the Senate long enough to know where the bathrooms were. His lack of experience suggested that he would be incapable of crafting robust policies that would survive the legislative process.

      I don’t really want to go down the rabbit hole of endless investigations and scandals. I just want him out of office and for the Democrats to nominate someone in their party who actually gives a shit.

      He’s a bad president who doesn’t represent Democratic values and he’s too cozy with the 1% because he wants to be one of them. That’s all you need to know about Obama. The rest is superfluous and doesn’t matter.

      You know what else doesn’t matter? The whole political horse race crap. We’re sick of it. I could care less who is the Republican nominee and who’s making what gaffe and who’s floundering because he didn’t appease this or that group. No really, I couldn’t be less interested this year. So, if you want to wring your hands about how OWS is missing the point, or distracting from the message or {{insert your concern here}}, go right ahead. But I’m going to ride this OWS thing out and see where it takes us. Rest assured that when election day comes around next November, I will make my own decision based on my own observations and experience.

      • Right. The mysterious alleged Secret Masters can set a rally date, supply some signs, tell everyone how to spell Glass-Steagall … and we follow. But if they tell us how to vote … peel off!

      • I can’t stress enough how improbable it is that OWS is going to turn most of us into mindless, rabid Obama bots and I really wish people would get off the subject. It’s annoying to have to keep repeating this over and over and over again.

        My point wasn’t that OWS was going to become an Obama campaign vehicle, but that it looks like it’s going to divert public outrage in fruitless directions in much the same way the Obama campaign did.

  16. I have a new theory. After listening to my son give a long account of how some papers and a hat escalated to fisticuffs, I think the reason we don’t have peace and prosperity is because world affairs are in the hands of middle schoolers.

  17. I am the 99% is the best slogan ever and I support it totally. Not a chance in hell it will make me vote for Obama – he is a charlatan and the democrats have just proven time after time that they can’t get it done. The tea party- initially mad about the bail out has forgotten who did the bail out, why it was done and turned it back into a hate all government movement (completely forgetting they are the government). I want a new party and I think the 99% movement can get us there. That is worth it.

    • YES!!! By george, I think you’ve got it!

      Such a simple concept.

    • Perfect, simply perfect. Thanks.

    • Not a chance in hell it will make me vote for Obama – he is a charlatan and the democrats have just proven time after time that they can’t get it done.

      It’s not that OWS is literally another Obama campaign, but that it is similar to Obama’s 2008 run in many respects. This leads me to suspect it will result in a similar disappointment.

      • Concern troll is still concerned. 😛

        • You attempted to run Not Spoonfed off of (pre-Atkinated) Hullabaloo and likely would have succeeded if I hadn’t taken his side. There’s very little he said at the time that isn’t conventional wisdom now, at least on this blog. Do you still think he was a troll?

          • Yes, he’s a troll. NS offended me because he kept picking on Digby. I doubt he would have behaved that way towards a male blogger.

            I doubt I would have been able to run that pest off, even if you had never heard of the Hullabazoo. But if it feeds your pwecious widdle ego to think of yourself as the brave knight saving NS the distressed damsel from the horrible, horrible, Monster from the Id, then you just go right ahead, sweetcakes. 😛

            Your concern trolling has become tiresome. You may not touch my monkey. :mrgreen:

          • You really have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, haven’t you?

      • “It’s not that OWS is literally another Obama campaign, but that it is similar to Obama’s 2008 run in many respects. This leads me to suspect it will result in a similar disappointment.”

        Maybe. So? Some kids keep trying that rainbow stuff, and doesn’t it always get disappointed? The 60s protests elected Nixon, a straightforward enemy. 2008 elected Obama, a worse disappointment: treachery, fake.

        So what do you want the naive Bots to do now? Stay in denial about Obama, keep believing in him? Or be drawn to a new dream — in a group which includes a lot of criticism of Obama?

        • So what do you want the naive Bots to do now? Stay in denial about Obama, keep believing in him? Or be drawn to a new dream — in a group which includes a lot of criticism of Obama?

          Do you think I’m driven by some arbitrary personal animus toward Obama? Why should I be happy with a second crash-and-burn just because it might involve a few raspberries blown in the Lightworker’s general direction?

  18. I want a new party and I think the 99% movement can get us there.

    Trouble is, OWS has said it won’t even consider endorsing a third party until 2013, neatly cutting off any effort to resist the hideous bipartisan effluent coming down the pipe between now and 2012. 2013 is simply too late.

    • Those people just won’t follow your agenda will they? Seems they have one of their own. I’m gonna see where it goes because it doesn’t appear clueless or helpless to me.

      As Glenn Greenwald has said “Anyone who expressed difficulty seeing or understanding what motivates these protests revealed many things about themselves. None is flattering.”.

      • “My agenda”? Do you know what Congress has on the plate for this year? Do you really think they, and Obama, deserve a “bye” this time?

        • HaHa. If you want to use OWS as an excuse to give them a “bye” that’s a personal problem. Most of us can chew gum and walk at the same time. 🙂

    • By the way, in case you’re interested, you could go to an Occupy event and place the need for a 3rd party on the stack at a general assembly. They take these topics up and vote on them.

    • Hm. If there were two more parties — OWS and TP — that might split the votes far enough for one of them to win the White House.

  19. People who move in and out of the OWS assemblies can make contact with eachother, can exchange email and landmail addresses, numbers, etc. They can form Committees of Correspondence. Or “Committees of Correspondence 2.0” if one wants to be all contemporary about it.

    Right now they are showing themselves and eachother that “we are here. We are here! We are Here! WE are HERE!” like Horton’s Whos.
    First comes understanding. Then maybe will come demands in due time. And maybe no demands will ever come. Maybe millions of OWSer connected and inpired people will start learning about “economics” and “finance” and so forth, and begin evolving a Leaderless Mass Economic Resistance. A Social Survivalist Movement, if one will.

    • Pretty much. This movement is not going to follow previous scripts. It’s going to require a new way of thinking our way out of the problem.

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