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View Diary: How Occupy Wall Street Defeated Romney (187 comments)

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  •  And OWS can thank Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, edwardssl, elwior

    for preventing their message from dwindling away in the rearview mirror.

    By taking up their message about economic inequality at the 1% as a core part of his campaign, he made sure that the issue remained central to the national political conversation, instead of getting swamped by competing messaging from the presidential campaign once the street protests fizzled out.

    It's a symbiotic relationship.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:11:10 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  he also said nothing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, I Lurked For Years, KenBee

      and did nothing when we were all getting the shit beaten out of us, while engaging in non-violent, and often, completely legal activity, by a police force ultimately under his control

      •  Occupations are a confrontational tactic. (0+ / 0-)

        If you didn't get the shit beaten out of yourselves by the police, nobody would have noticed you.  You know this, and the people who came up with the idea of occupations knew this, and counted on it.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:38:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  there's a big difference (0+ / 0-)

          between occasional acts of brutality, and a systematic campaign that effectively repeals the First Amendment, accompanied by a systematic press blackout. There was a coordinated campaign to ensure not only that camps were evicted but that no camp would be established, regardless of the law.

          saying that anyone who engages in "confrontational tactics," regardless of legality, basically makes you an opponent of democracy. You might not know that, but that's what you are. The entire point of having a Bill of Rights is declaring to the world that this is a country that one can engage in confrontational tactics and NOT get the shit beaten out of you by the government. I never cease to find it amazing how many Americans go around shouting to the rooftops that they're the greatest country that ever existed because of our "freedoms," and then scoff at anyone who expects them to care when those freedoms are revealed not to exist. People in Canada, or Belgium, or even Uruguay, both (a) do not tend to go around saying they belong to a unique and special country because of their amazing constitutional freedoms, and (b) actually do tend to get angry when those freedoms are violated.

          You might want to think about what this says about yourself.

          •  sorry - correction (0+ / 0-)

            "saying that anyone who engages in "confrontational tactics," regardless of legality, basically makes you an opponent of democracy..."

            should have been

            "saying that anyone who engages in "confrontational tactics," regardless of legality, should expect to get the shit kicked out of them, basically makes you an opponent of democracy"

            •  Oh, calm yourself. Jesus. (0+ / 0-)

              "An enemy of democracy."

              Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.


              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:44:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no think about yourself (0+ / 0-)

                 if you say state violence in overt violation of First Amendment rights should just be accepted as par for the course, you are an enemy of democracy. That's just true.

                  this is the problem. People don't seem to have a clue what democratic rights are even supposed to mean any more. I find it really very puzzling.

                •  Don't be ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                  First, Joe didn't say what you're claiming he said.
                  Second, you didn't dispute his point, which was that confrontation always invites repression and that the organizers of OWS understood this going in. That's not an endorsement of police violence, that's simply an assessment of political and social reality.

                  I don't see how hard nosed realism makes him "an enemy of Democracy."

                  Neither do I find resorting to name calling and vilification particularly democratic.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:21:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I did respond (0+ / 0-)

                    First of all, I am one of the people who organized the occupation, and you lecturing me on what me and my friends were thinking is genuinely laughable. Obviously if you engage in civil disobedience there is likely to be repression, but our aim was not to get kicked out of the park and start a fuss; our aim was to appeal to public sympathy to occupy a park. Which we did, successfully. Obviously some publicized acts of police brutality helped us in this. But the evictions were systematic, extremely violent, largely illegal, and accompanied by a total press blackout - that in fact had the opposite effect. They were followed by a systematic policy of continual violence even against utterly legal OWS protests, to the point where now we can't even have a peaceful sit in during the day in a public park without facing the likelihood that one or two people at least will end up in the hospital.

                      How is this possible? Basically because of assholes like you. And I use that term with no shame. Because I'm really sick and tired of people who think of themselves as liberals, as I assume you do, saying "of course I disapprove of police brutality but..." and then never again referring to the police brutality but always to whatever act of the victim you are ultimately saying excuses it. Because in fact, you don't disapprove of police brutality. Because if you did you would oppose it in some way. Imagine if in past times liberals had betrayed our democratic principles the way you and your friends have done. Imagine they had told the Freedom Riders "hey you're being confrontational by organizing sit-ins, what do you expect?" or "Sure Bull Connor was wrong to beat all those people up like that but..." and then from them on talk only about how the protestors were bringing it on themselves. Well, we'd still have Jim Crow and segregated buses. In the past, movements like OWS have been successful because we didn't have people like you calling themselves liberals. You guys are a disgrace to America.

                    •  You assume wrongly (0+ / 0-)

                      I am not a liberal. I am a radical. I have 40 years plus of radical activism behind that.

                      Further, I did not and do not presume to know what you or anyone else is thinking. What I said was that you hadn't disputed the substance of Joe's point which you hadn't. No amount of windy blather or personal insult will conceal that fact.

                      You, OTOH, seem to have a boundless confidence in your own mind reading abilities. You not only know that Joe is an "enemy of democracy" based not on what he said but on what you imagine he thinks, you spend half your post painting an equally imaginative, albeit completely fictitious, picture of what you imagine my thinking to be.

                      These methods of yours might be described in a number of ways. Democratic is not among them.

                      BTW, I was around during the Freedom Rides. You?  

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:35:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I didn't talk about your thinking (0+ / 0-)

                        I talked about your actions, which were to support Joe, who made absolutely clear what his thinking to be

                        How old you are is of zero relevance

                        •  It's relevant (0+ / 0-)

                          when you cite historical events of which you have no personal knowledge to someone who possesses such knowledge.

                          My "actions" were in questioning your falsification of Joe's comments, which were fairly clear and which had literally nothing to do with your caricature of them. You can't point to a single statement Joe made, or myself for that matter, which supports the nonsensical fabrications you've spun.

                          You either don't recognize your own dishonesty or you don't care.

                          In any case, there's little point in attempting discussion with someone for whom fact is of negligible importance.

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:23:11 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  this is genuinely ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                             assuming you are not a troll just trying to waste my time, which I am beginning to suspect, let me explain to you how completely backwards your statements are.

                              you accuse me of citing historical events of which I have no personal knowledge when I said that many liberals were outraged by the strong-armed police tactics used by Southern police against the civil rights movement. This is bizarre in itself, but the joke is, what I accused Joe of, and what you claim to be dishonest, is ACTUALLY doing what you are falsely accusing me of. That is, citing historical events of which he has no personal knowledge incorrectly. He wrote:

                            If you didn't get the shit beaten out of yourselves by the police, nobody would have noticed you.  You know this, and the people who came up with the idea of occupations knew this, and counted on it.
                            the irony is, I WAS ONE OF THE "PEOPLE WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF OCCUPATIONS." Okay? I was part of the planning group that came up with the whole idea in August 2011. Joe was not. Our plan was not to get the shit beaten out of ourselves I can assure you. We were willing to brave that possibility. But that was not the plan because the point where the police feel they have the power to do that with impunity is generally the point where they actually do because the media won't cover it (witness the general media blackout on the extreme police violence that has continued for a whole year after the evictions. While we held the park, the media was occasionally willing to cover a few specific police abuses. As soon as they kicked us out it no longer was.)

                            What I wrote - and I stand by it - is that people who say "well, anyone who engages in 'confrontational tactics' regardless of peacefulness or legality shouldn't complain if they get the shit beaten out them by police" might as well be declaring "I accept the principle that the state has every right to send in cops to beat the shit out of protestors it doesn't like for political reasons, whatever it says in the Bill of Rights." Because in practical effect these two statements are the same.

                            Your reaction, and the general reaction I see on this web page, when I raise the issue of police violence against non-violent protestors is actually a perfect example of the general point I was making: that whenever anyone brings up such police violence, the response on places like Dailykos is generally to make some minimal gesture of saying "of course I'm against police violence but..." and then immediately twist the issue around in any way possible to attack the victims (i.e., my fellow OWS folk who now regularly get beaten up, get their wrists and fingers snapped intentionally - tortured, we'd call it  - have their heads smashed against the concrete, get shot at by plastic bullets and tear gas canisters, get thrown in jail for random made-up charges, end up in the hospital being treated for what will be permanent spinal injuries, etc etc - all for engaging in constitutionally-protected activity) or those who speak up for them, and to insist that be the only further topic of conversation.

                            You yourself, I don't know, I suspect you're a troll. Otherwise you'd surely have mentioned what sort of "radical" you claim to be, what you claim I'm misrepresenting in Joe's position, or what claim I've made about the civil rights movement that's false. Instead you just hurl accusations. But I am answering because I wanted to express a sense of the frustration I feel with so many people who act like this. I have seen hundreds of discussions which are, without admitting it, doing the work of justifying police violence. When there's no way to find anything even remotely violent or even illegal that anyone in OWS did, at a particular action, you get endless discussions of some minor act of property damage done three months before in another city - as if it would ever be possible to have a mass movement in 300 cities in which no single person even possibly associated with the movements in any one of those cities ever so much as broke something - or discussions of the sort of people who dress in such a way as to imply that under certain circumstances they might damage something even if in fact the didn't, or anything, pretty much, that might make it sound like the protestors are bringing it on themselves. I know even from my experience during the global justice movement a little over a decade ago that things were not remotely so bad. America really has changed when even liberals' (who are the main inhabitants of Dailykos) reaction when they hear of militarized police forces brutalizing peaceful citizens for engaging in non-violent political activity is to come up with every possible excuse to blame and berate the victims or their advocates.

            •  And no, you do not have a right to take over... (0+ / 0-)

              public parks.

              The people who decided on this tactic know that just as well as I do, and were quite obviously counting on it.

              Good for them.  Sorry you were in over your head.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:47:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  actually people have done that thru US history (0+ / 0-)

                there are so many errors, fallacies, and misconceptions in this statement it's hard to know where to start.

                   Zuccotti Park is not a public park
                   there are hundreds of cases in US history of citizens occupying parks in protest and the authorities allowing them to stay
                   I know perfectly well what the people planning it were thinking
                   if there were decisions to evict it would have been easy to have carried them out non-violently, and without systematically destroying the property of everyone involved (computers seized and destroyed, libraries systematically placed in trash compactors...)
                   even since police have systematically attacked all subsequent attempts to set up even day-time or temporary camps or gatherings anywhere in New York, again, systematically physically attacking non-violent protestors, breaking bones, carrying out hundreds of false arrests

                  the statement "congress shall make no law abridging freedom of assembly" is pretty unambiguous. After the Zuccotti eviction, the NYPD has essentially declared this null and void. If we find a legal ruling saying we can legally occupy some space, they simply ignore the law, physically attack us, and then retroactively figure out some way to change the law (say, declare the area a "special security zone") to justify it.

                  this is how a country turns into a police state. When that class of people - liberals such I presume you believe yourself to be - who are the people who in other countries (and in the past, in the US itself) tend to become indignant and exert moral and legal pressure when states begin to use arbitrary strong-arm tactics against some group they see as a political threat, decide not to make a stink about it but come up with some reason to blame the victims

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