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View Diary: What's Happenin'? Occupy Sandy Week 11.11.12 (72 comments)

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  •  Good morning. (8+ / 0-)

    Great diary, thanks. I read that article in the NYT and was blown away by the idea that relief efforts have taken a republican  twist in that "the people are doing it for themselves", ya know? I know the real republicans would rather private companies get the contracts and let everyone suffer the results but it makes me a lot more hopeful about younger generations.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:55:55 AM PST

    •  Yeah (8+ / 0-)

      that was interesting.  That's not the message coming from Occupy Sandy though.  They are all about mutual aid.  I guess that was just some push back against FEMA and Red Cross.  Hard to know. Plus, the NYT is generally not too fond of OWS.  They tried their best to undermine them last year.  


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:24:12 AM PST

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      •  Yes, well aware. (6+ / 0-)

        Still, OWS came off very favorably in the article.The thing i was getting at is: this is the first time i've heard of citizens coming together with the purpose of relief efforts without the organization of church or social service agency, you know?

        "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

        by blueoregon on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:32:29 AM PST

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        •  Ah, I see (5+ / 0-)

          I thought maybe you were talking about some of the things I've been seeing like the woman in Staten Island who said it was up to the people, that they were having to take care of themselves.

          And I was also referring to the news orgs in their reporting about OccupySandy they all throw in some nonsense about how the movement had died and came back to life when the truth of the matter is that there has been tons of activism around Occupy and demonstrations overseas have cropped up again with the Occupy brand, etc.  

          Yes, I think it's new to me too -- relief efforts organized around no social agency or church, an organic movement like this shifting purposes when the need is there, and also coordinating/collaborating with other groups. It's fascinating to watch.  One of the most important things I see happening is that there are people all around who want to help. They go to Red Cross or elsewhere and are told they need training, etc.  But they go to Occupy Sandy and as soon as they walk through the door, they go to the "Volunteers" sign, or they answer the call for volunteers via Twitter with the #SandyVolunteer hashtag, and they get them working on something very quickly.  That's a big deal.  How many times in the past have we had people who wanted to help but could not find an easy way to join in?


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:00:45 AM PST

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          •  Timing is everything after a disaster, OWs offers (5+ / 0-)

            immediate on the ground help.

            I never thought of compassion as a Republican strong point. Recently forced by circumstances to have dinner with a Republican, he explained his political stance. "The deficit is the main issue. Obama is dangerous because he is anti-colonialist and he wants to help poor countries."

            ❧To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:28:09 AM PST

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            •  I actually like how so many Republicans have... (4+ / 0-)

              ...come out of the closet (since PNAC got going in '97) on imperialism and colonialism. For a long time, when we on the left used those words to describe U.S. foreign policy, whether we put "neo" in front of those terms or not, we got a lot of pushback, including from progressives for using that "old-fashioned" language. We knew hoi oligoi had not given up the reality, just the terms. Glad to see it in the open even when it makes for an discomfiting dinner.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:22:29 AM PST

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          •  See, if it's not "big government" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias, Agathena, ek hornbeck

            but is rather the people themselves acting to help one another, people who don't know what true socialism is think it is republican. Crazy.

            Grassroots socialism, that is, socialism without a "state" or some controlling institution to govern, is the simplest, most natural form of socialism. Actually, it's communal, or communistic. People do this naturally, working as a team, and as we can see with Occupy Sandy, it works quite well. It's the human tendency to mutual aid, spontaneously helping one another without the need for some accounting method to keep track of debts (I'm thinking of Graeber's work, Debt, in this context).

            Bizarre that the Times (haven't yet read the piece) thinks an effort apart from the government or big relief institutions are republican. Quit the opposite, in fact.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:19:17 AM PST

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            •  No, no, the NYT doesn't imply the effort is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ek hornbeck

              republican. I was remarking how the GOP likes to cheerlead the idea of "self-determination' even in the absence of resources/training. And yet, here are regular citizen's doing what needs to be done instead of waiting for "the professionals' to do it.

              "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

              by blueoregon on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:37:25 AM PST

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            •  We need both, helping each other (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, ek hornbeck

              and government programs. You might help your neighbor up after a fall but the government should cover his medical bills. That's what taxes are for.

              ❧To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:37:21 PM PST

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              •  Well, Ideally (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ek hornbeck, Agathena

                we are the government. Except that in practice, we usually are not. But ideally there should be no real difference.

                In the same way that "big government" provides medical care, and the hospital industry has modern facilities, so too could the people themselves provide medical care, and run hospitals. We don't really need mega institutions to care for us as if we are incapable. We can collectively provide health care just as OWS is providing disaster relief.

                When the people govern themselves, it is no longer some far off, distant, impersonal entity we designate as "the government" but rather the people self managing their own lives, which when one stops to give it thought, is a very cool thing.  It's true freedom, true collectivism, a fundamentally sound and agreeable way to live.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:03:51 PM PST

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          •  Yes, Occupy Portland has been involved (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, aliasalias, ek hornbeck

            in addressing our police brutality problem here and helping people avoid evictions. They've never "taken a break" here.

            "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

            by blueoregon on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:40:34 AM PST

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    •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ek hornbeck

      When people do things for themselves, collectively, it is communism. As in, communal.

      People are really confused if they think mutual aid is republican. I guess they think if the "state" isn't involved, or some large conventional institution, and instead is grassroots, that implies something other than socialism, since ostensibly they associate socialism with big government.

      But that is nonsense. The purest, basic form of socialism is by the people themselves.

      And that is what anarchism basically is. Self rule, where people get together and manage themselves. It is often spontaneous, and it comes rather naturally when there is a crisis.

      People, among friends, family, and community, often act in egalitarian, communistic ways without even thinking about it.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:10:02 AM PST

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