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View Diary: How Occupy has defined the election (290 comments)

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  •  Since then, due to provocations and provocatuers, (10+ / 0-)

    the government has successfully transformed the image of the Occupy movement into one of our being violent and destructive.  We need to reclaim it.  I happily make my participation in Occupy a main part of my electoral pitch.

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:44:37 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I am pro Occupy, but we can't blame others (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, Smoh, WB Reeves

      ...for some of the challenges the movement created for itself. The government cannot stop people from organizing, mobilizing and continuing to agitate. No amount of Super Pac money can keep me from walking my butt out into the streets or voting.

      Occupy should have a large presence right now and throughout the campaign and beyond. I don't see that presence and I am very disappointed. It makes me sick that we aren't out countering this narrative that Paul Ryan has "bold" ideas and is some kind of "thinker". Occupy should be out right now upsetting that narrative.

      Our side needs to get out of the blame game and start accepting responsibility for getting stuff done ourselves. We don't need permission from the 1% or anyone of either party in D.C. to put some serious pressure on all candidates.

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 11:09:48 AM PDT

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      •  I quite agree. Most of Occupy's failure was (5+ / 0-)

        its own fault.  It made a whole series of crucial strategic mistakes--mostly out of naivete and inexperience, with a big dose of utopian idealism.

        That is of course entirely understandable.  There has been no effective progressive model for anyone to look to---the last effective leftist organizing here happened in the 60's, and the veterans of that movement are now dying off. Me, I grew up during the Reagan years, and we did a lot of effective organizing around Central America issues, South Africa issues, Reaganomics, etc-----but there were far fewer of us, and we mostly disappeared during the Clinton years.  So the younger generation now has been left more or less to its own devices to figure out how to organize effectively. It's not surprising that they turned to the only example in front of them--the Arab Spring movement--and tried to ape it even though those methods were not suitable for the circumstances here (this isn't Egypt, and indeed the Arab Spring didn't even work in Egypt).

        There were a few of us in Occupy who were trying to pass on our own experiences in organizing, but too many of us were shut down and shut out by the utopian idea of "no leaders !!!!"  As a result, the organizational model of Occupy was a colossal failure.

        Time to learn our lessons from that, and carry on.

        •  Yes, evolution, not cessation! n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

          by sebastianguy99 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:13:08 PM PDT

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          •  sadly, I think Occupy as an organization is dead (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc

            But its spirit will live on. All of the reasons why Occupy appeared, are still there--none of them have gone away. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it can't be put back in. It's just a matter of time until the movement appears again, in whatever form---and whether it's "Occupy" or not, the leadership of that movement will come out of Occupy.

            Our job now is to keep the experienced core together, to pore over our mistakes and learn from them, and to be ready for the next show whenever and wherever it starts.

      •  My experience is mostly with Occupy Orange County (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Smoh, Dallasdoc, WB Reeves, CT Hank, wsexson

        and visitors from Occupy LA (and to some extent Long Beach and San Diego.)  People in Occupy are criticizing the hell out of Paul Ryan -- you should see my Facebook page -- but of course we don't have a big megaphone to do so.

        I find, though, that the prevalent Occupy philosophy is not a Democratic one, but some mixture of Jill Stein Green and Ron Paul Gold.  They damn Obama because of NDAA and drones and Geithner and so on -- many of the same things that he gets flamed for here -- but the determination to avoid complicity by voting for a "lesser evil" is if anything greater within the movement than here.

        I do my part to counter that, just as I do my part to impart the lessons I learned from anti-draft-registration, anti-nuclear, and CISPES and anti-apartheid style struggles from the '80s (along with others before and since) -- but it's a pretty lonely enterprise.  Progressives and liberals, Democrats and moderates, want nothing to do with the political fringe -- and when you're talking these days about people willing to stand out there and get banged on by the cops, you're pretty much talking about the fringe (as well as some of the more admirable unionists.)

        So, if I may speak to Democrats in terms they will understand: "Ask not what Occupy will do for you; ask what you can do for Occupy."  That includes joining, getting your hands dirty, changing it where necessary, and helping to lead.

        Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:39:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's a really important point here (5+ / 0-)
          Progressives and liberals, Democrats and moderates, want nothing to do with the political fringe -- and when you're talking these days about people willing to stand out there and get banged on by the cops, you're pretty much talking about the fringe (as well as some of the more admirable unionists.)
          This right here is so important to note.  The Dems don't want anything to do with anything that could be construed as being vaguely dirty hippieish and it hurts them.  I mean, medical marijuana, and decriminalization in general, would be a great issue for the Dems, even on a national level, but they just refuse to even touch it because it's just a bunch of hippies.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:57:59 PM PDT

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        •  sadly, some of the smaller Occupy remnants have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          already been captured by the Ron Paul nutters.  I suppose that was inevitable once branches began shrinking down to the size where a relative handful of people could come in and take over. The Paulites may be a tiny lunatic groupuscule, but they are very well-disciplined and quite good at taking over other organizations--kinda like the RCP and PLP used to be back in the old days.

          Mostly, though, Occupy seems to have just faded away.  In the very large cities like DC, NY and Oakland, there are still a few hundred active people (making them about the same size as any other typical lefty community group). In most of the mid-sized cities I've talked to people in, it's dwindled to a few dozen people.  Here in Florida, Tampa has about 15 people, St Pete has around a dozen.

          •  We probably have 50-100 reasonably active people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, hyperstation

            here in OC (between Occupy OC and Occupy Santa Ana) meaning ones that we'd have a reasonable shot at getting out to an event, such as a protest of a Romney fundraising rally or Anaheim police brutality.  (If you're on Facebook and would like to link to some pages, Lenny, drop me a line and let me know; your bona fides are beyond question.)  We don't regularly have weekly GA's anymore, usually it's 1-2 times per month, but we're in extensive daily contact online and we plan things.

            What Occupy has really done here is to give us a head start.  Even among people who have dropped out or burned out, we now know who each other are and what each other can do -- we're several steps ahead of where we'd be if we were starting from square one.  We can put together a reasonable rally, ideally one with a touch of humor, in a day.

            We're less popular than we were last fall because of false charges that we're involved in window-breaking and the like.  We get bogged down in silliness like making the fight over the ability to chalk on public sidewalks a major focus.  But for all that, we have a diverse activist community that was either non-existent or diffuse before.  We don't feel dead!

            Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

            "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

            by Seneca Doane on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 01:31:45 PM PDT

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            •  ah, well, we can get around 35-40 people to events (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane, Dallasdoc

              But there are only around a dozen people still actively going to meetings and GAs.

              Of course, I'm in St Pete FL, which is not exactly the most progressive area in the most progressive state (we have a creationist mayor for crissakes). If we took every progressive in the entire Tampa Bay area we probably could not fill up a movie theater. ;)

              But for our tiny size we've been very active and have had a number of successful actions.

        •  Liberal reform and the political fringe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          You write, "Progressives and liberals, Democrats and moderates, want nothing to do with the political fringe."

          And yet--and I get that you understand this but many here at Daily Kos do not--when has there ever been effective liberal change made without a vociferous Left fringe agitating for even more extreme measures? Socialists and anarchists during the Progressive era. Communists and Share the Wealthers during the New Deal. The New Left and black radicals during the 1960's, as well as the determinedly nonviolent yet confrontational activists of the civil rights movement.

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