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  •  I see no danger to "autonomy" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel, evergreen2

    in pursuing mutually supportive relationships with unions.  In fact, it's one of the most strategically powerful moves Occupy could possibly make: If we let it be known to the unions that this movement's manpower, energy, and intellectual resources are at its disposal, then they will have a clear interest in supporting the movement with tangible resources, community weight, and their own manpower.  The unions are also how we cultivate relationships with the police, local and regional businesses, and the trades that drive industry.  This, ladies and gentleman, is how you build a renewed democracy for the 21st century.  And if anarchists are unhappy about that, they're welcome to enjoy their irrelevance on the sidelines.  

    Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

    by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:16:46 AM PST

    •  It certainly doesn't have to be conflict. (4+ / 0-)

      However, the kinds of activities in which people from the two movements might join together are likely to take them to places away from the camps, such as work sites or neighborhoods. I can see a debate within the Occupy Movement about the priority for resources when they are under increasing pressure to maintain the camps in the face of resistance.

      •  The camps are important. (7+ / 0-)

        After all, "the center must hold."  But at the same time, the camps are only there to support change in the community and the nation as a whole - if they're not extending tendrils outward, then they're not succeeding regardless of how well-stocked the camp is.  The prize on the horizon is for each of these Occupations to evolve into a permanent direct democracy institution for its area, with the full recognition, cooperation, and interaction of local elected officials and police.  From there, a foundation will have been laid for national and global change.

        Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

        by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:30:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I pretty much agree with that. (3+ / 0-)

          Local Occupy groups must find ways to attract additional people and resources. That will require the formation of alliances with people who while they aren't hostile to the camps don't see that as a priority for their own lives.

          •  Keep it peaceful. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour

            The 99% theme has included all of us already and invited us in if we care to show up or help out. If the camps can maintain an atmosphere of cheerful and earnest purpose those of us unlikely to camp out in a city park can support them with donations and material.

            This can be a powerful and meaningful  and widely inclusive movement.

            •  Keeping it peaceful is a two way street. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bruh1

              When the police engage in the use of violent assault the peace has been broken. As we have seen that then leads to a general escalation of tension. Across the country local governments are making efforts of varying intensity to remove the camps. I seriously doubt that they are going to give up those efforts. That creates situations that are likely to become more complicated. That is my personal observation of the reality, not advocacy for a violent response.

              •  No, it is not a two-way street. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Grabber by the Heel

                It was not a two-way street when Gandhi first pioneered the principles of nonviolence; it was not a two-way street when the American Civil Rights movement reached fruition; and it is not a two-way street now.  Very simply, if you want to succeed, you choose to be nonviolent and let the actions of others reflect on them and not you.  There is no predicate to nonviolence: You either make the decision to be nonviolent, or you make the decision to be part of the problem - there is no blaming other people.  Others have faced far worse, in far greater numbers, with far greater courage and composure than anything we are likely to see, so when I hear "two-way street" I just hear insufficient commitment to success.

                Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:13:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Can you tell the difference between (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  katiec, bruh1

                  an observation and an opinion?

                  •  To whom was your observation addressed? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Grabber by the Heel

                    Telling Occupiers that nonviolence is a two-way street is just pandering to resentment and implicitly rationalizing those who break the principles of the movement.  And telling the police does no good if they want protesters to respond violently.  The only pertinent observation is this: If you want to succeed, then dignity and nonviolence are to be pursued with fanatical commitment in both word and deed, not as some kind of begrudged favor to preen over as if merely refraining from being destructive is a saintly act of charity.  Being nonviolent is the absolute, bargain-basement minimum qualification for a movement claiming to represent what we represent, and it is not predicated on any level of respect from authorities beyond failing to deploy death squads.  

                    Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                    by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:29:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  If there is violence and vandalism by police (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                katiec

                This should be met with peaceful responses by OWS and supporters.

                There is always a threat of police aggression at any peaceful protest or action. Their ability to apply force is always greater than anything protestors can answer with. Better that the police, or at least their bosses be seen as violent rather than the OWS campers or their supporters.

                I'm not a passivest, but I am impressed by non-violence as a powerful moral political tool in the face of state violence.

                How do these OWS encampments deal with the almost certain state aggression? I hope non violently and with Unions, NGOs, and other Progressive Groups trying to protect Occupiers by engaging with local officials to protect and perpetuate the camps.

                The popularity of OWS and its proven ability to inspire is a pretty potent defense all its own.

          •  That will come. It's being discussed all the time. (5+ / 0-)

            The camps are the center which must be held. They hold the public space for ongoing dialogue. Without the camps, everybody is inside buildings again. Out of sight, out of mind. Surviving the winter will be very powerful. Everyone will know that we're here to stay.

            And while we figure out how to scale up - which will ultimately require GAs happening in hundreds of places in each city - we have to build our alliances in such a way that we can maintain autonomy from pre-existing organizations.

            I've already seen existing orgs manifesting turf-war energy. A woman nearly freaked out at an Ocupemos el Barrio meeting that anyone might plan any actions other than her organization. She literally said, "we'll plan and let you all know if you can help." That won't last long. As a movement which know that collective action is only powerful when autonomous action is allowed - because then you know everyone is making the choice to support the collective action. not there because there is no other option. - if she doesn't get over her turf issues, another working group will form and plan what it will. These are the tensions we have to work through to find the balance. We can't allow the movement's momentum to be reliant upon the support of existing organizations or those organizations will wield too much power. So, we have to move forward with a sensitive balance.

            On bringing in more individuals - C T Butler has a book out on Consensus for Cities. In it, he describes how you scale the GA/consensus model up to 100,000 people. It's infinitely scalable from there. But, the key is that you don't put more than a couple hundred people in any one group for a GA. This means that in each city and town, more GAs need to happen. People will figure it out. In Boston, we now have Occupy the Hood and Ocupemos el Barrio. It is natural that they would want to self-organize. It also makes sense for them to start their own GAs. Then we'll find our way to this larger way of self-governing.

            It's going to happen organically. It will just take time. People need to be patient. Let the camps survive the winter and then the vibration that is generated will be irresistible.

            Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

            by UnaSpenser on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:24:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  One of the realities is that the camps (0+ / 0-)

              may have a limited amount of time for their organic development. They are coming under increasing pressure all over the country. In many smaller cities the groups maintaining the camps are very small. They are going to need support from people who are not now invested in maintaining camps. That will probably getting involved in other activities that those people are willing to support.

            •  I wonder if anyone's talking to the farmers (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              katiec, evergreen2

              Whatever independent family farmers are left, I think Occupy needs to form relationships with them.

              Always good to have a healthy local source of food.

              Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:03:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Right now, the challenge is that (5+ / 0-)

            people who don't want to be camping out but who support the movement don't really know what to do.

            When I suggested to a few friends that we should start sending food and supplies in to the DC encampments, people leaped on it and now there's something like several Unitarian churches involved, and most of the supply lines are running without any direct involvement from me--all this to say, people were essentially waiting for a way to pitch in that wouldn't require them to pitch a tent and stay there.

            We need to do more work on this, and I think the anti-foreclosure movement would be a good place to start.

            Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:02:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I was with you up till the point of.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack

      belittling OWS.

      Why do that?

      •  Um, did you mean this comment for the diarist? (0+ / 0-)

        Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

        by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:31:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, for you -- Troubador. (0+ / 0-)
          •  Then I don't know what you're talking about. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grabber by the Heel

            Unless you're under the impression that the 99% are anarchists.

            Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

            by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:35:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, but the founders are.... (2+ / 0-)

              and should be given some small measure of respect, no matter how strongly you may disagree with them.

              •  and anarchists aren't against working with (4+ / 0-)

                the unions where it makes sense. They simply stress that the Occupy movement needs to maintain it's own autonomy. Being allies is great. Getting co-opted or absorbed is not.

                I've not spoken with any anarchists who are against working with the union efforts where our interests intersect.

                Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

                by UnaSpenser on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:02:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  But that isn't what you said. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Grabber by the Heel

                You accused me of attacking OWS, which pretty explicitly means you're characterizing OWS as an anarchist movement when it not only isn't, but is kind of the exact opposite of anarchism.  It is seeking to restore constitutional rule of law to a system out of control and reintroduce rational decision-making, planning, and progressive principles to governance.

                "The founders"...sorry, but that's overdoing it a bit.  The original Occupiers were career protesters with anywhere from years to decades of futility and failure under their belt, and it just so happened that Adbusters had given them a compelling tagline at an opportune moment and the American people responded.  So I'm not going to give special credit (and certainly not respect) just because they were first to be present.  The founders of this country were the ones who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, not the first gaggle of Boston wharf rats to jeer at redcoats, regardless of whether the latter were part of the spark that led to the former.  

                So to these "founders" you mention, I congratulate them on their luck for having front-row seats while the country changes around them, but you're straining credulity beyond the breaking point giving them any kind of collective credit apart from whatever they've individually contributed.  If that tiny handful of the current movement is not comfortable operating in the community, working with labor unions and, where the relationship is reciprocal, city officials, then they're welcome to sit sullenly in their tents while other people go about the change the whole movement exists to affect.  Sorry, way it goes - this is not a comic book about some dude in a Guy Fawkes mask.  This is ordinary, practical people revitalizing their democracy and working toward a sane, functional, and humanistic society with a government that does its job.  Everything else is self-indulgent foofaraw.

                Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:06:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  geeze.... if those who got lucky to be front- (0+ / 0-)

                  seaters hadn't taken the opportunity, we wouldn't be where we are today.

                  Why is this such a repugnant thought to you?

                  •  And.... I personally think it's too soon.... (0+ / 0-)

                    to characterize the broader movement as anything.

                    I think you forget that many, many young people will be much more open to at least some anarchic ideas.  For instance, think a case could be made that growing up on the internet impacts how one views horizantal leaderless leadership.  

                  •  This is getting obtuse. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Grabber by the Heel

                    You made a false characterization.  OWS is not an anarchist movement.  You know that, I know that, and the anarchists obviously know that given how badly they're chafing under even the minimal structure being imposed on Occupy activities by GAs.  I credit Adbusters for finding a resonant message, social media for spreading it, and the American people for responding positively.  A few of the people who have contributed to the growth of the movement are anarchists.  But it was not anarchists around which that movement coalesced - they were present just as they'd been at countless other demonstrations, regardless of their content, because they are simply attracted to the overall concept of protest.  And that is benign enough under most circumstances, but this movement isn't about them and never was.  Most of them seem okay with that fact.

                    Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                    by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:42:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  actually, I'm not sure there is a call for the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  katiec, evergreen2

                  "rule of law". There is a call for morality. There is a lot of discussion of not "restoring" law, but creating a new system. The way in which the movement self-governs is actually a model for future governance of everything.

                  And, if you read the accounts of how Occupy Wall Street actually got organized, you will see that anarchists were the major force behind it. David Graeber was one of them. He's an old-time activist and describes himself as an anarchist with a little 'a'.

                  I'm also not sure why you keep saying that they're not comfortable working with the unions. They absolutely are. Many are union members. There has been zero resistance to working with them.

                  There is simply an overarching theme about working with any established organizations: it has to be an alliance, not a takeover. No matter who we work with, we want to maintain our autonomy.

                  Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

                  by UnaSpenser on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:28:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, there is a call for rule of law. (0+ / 0-)

                    As in, the Bill of Rights, both in explicit terms and in spirit.

                    There is indeed also discussion about political innovations, but the possibility of consensus on them beyond reforms we already support approaches zero because viewpoints based on totally replacing the current system are infinitely diverse, hair-trigger querulous over minutiae, and based more on speculation than competence.

                    The way in which the movement self-governs is actually a model for future governance of everything.

                    It's a model for future governance of a direct democracy institution within a broader political tableau, not of society in general.  There will have to be a long, hard evolutionary road before the innovations of Occupy are even capable of sustaining themselves, let alone beginning to branch out into areas traditionally handled by elected bodies, and they will never completely supplant the institutions that already exist.  Direct democracy will grow to be an integral part of our government, but elections will always occur, as will judiciaries and bureaucracies.

                    Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                    by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:52:17 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hope you're right about a greater amount... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Troubadour

                      of direct democracy.

                      •  That's already a fait accompli. (0+ / 0-)

                        The fact that these movements exist at all represents an expansion of direct democracy into politics.  The fact that there are so many of them, pursuing such a wide diversity of approaches, means that there is a critical mass for Darwinian evolution to propagate successful strategies among them.  What remains to be seen is how fertile the political soil is, and how virile the spore of direct democracy under prevailing conditions.  About the only thing that could kill it outright, as far as I can tell, would be if the economic problems driving it spontaneously disappeared, but that obviously isn't going to happen - the world is not going to pull broad-based prosperity out of the ether without concerted change, and once change does occur it will be reinforced by the benefits it brings rather than undermined by them.

                        Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                        by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:08:31 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Wow. Having read David Graeber's (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  katiec, Grabber by the Heel

                  essay/diary, I think you're wrong.

                  And I can see the evidence of actual organizing WORK done here.  Do you really think that the GAs just sprang up out of nowhere like mushrooms overnight with a working consensus model--something I thought was impossible, certainly in America--and a code of nonviolence complete with training for that--you really thought all this just sprang up spontaneously?

                  I love and admire my people, but I think you're giving them a little too much credit.  There was work done here by people from a significantly different political tradition than mine.  

                  Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:10:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A diversity of perspectives, to be sure. (0+ / 0-)

                    Far more diverse than are typically given air to shape process in our political system.  But I don't see how that relates to anarchists - not unless we are redefining terms, and claiming that people opposed to the very concept of political structure were crucial to its design and implementation.

                    Democracy? You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

                    by Troubadour on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:20:19 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  well, I think anarchists have political structure (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Troubadour

                      depending on the kind of anarchists you're talking about.

                      Read Ursula LeGuin's book The Dispossessed for an interesting albeit fictitious example.

                      a lot of anarchists are simply against hierarchical political structure.

                      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:44:46 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                But shouldn't the creative Adbusters and anarchists that transformed a traditional planned protest into an inspiring concept that is pulling people in like a whirlpool, welcome allies even if they don't share anarchist beliefs?

              •  I think OWS is a mixed bag ideologically (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Richard Lyon, katiec

                and I think that's just fine.
                Everybody except bomb-throwers, provocateurs, and co-optation specialists welcome.
                Most anarchists are not bomb-throwers.  We need to break that belief, which is essentially a stereotype.

                Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:06:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

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