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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up (101 comments)

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  •  I was discussing this very thing back in April '12 (1+ / 0-)
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    The "occupy the park" tactic was useful in the beginning, to bring attention to the movement, give it a base to grow in, and allow it to build power. Now, though, the next task is to take that power and direct it against our enemies---and our enemies are not in the park. It is time we move out of the parks and into the streets and buildings.

    We need to learn some lessons from the strategy of the insurgent. Insurgents don't "take and hold" territory. As all the big Occupy branches learned the hard way, that only makes it easy for the enemy to surround you, cut you off, and crush you. Instead, insurgents "take, hold a little while, then move somewhere else". If, instead of trying to defend Freedom Park, the whole encampment had just picked up and moved to another base in another park, and then again, and again, and again, the cops would have faced the impossible task of either sealing off every park in the city, or chasing the occupiers ineffectually all over the place forever. Instead, Occupy tried to stand toe-to-toe with the cops in a fixed battle. The result was preordained. Fixed fights are always fatal to insurgents. We had no chance at all of winning that fight.

    By futilely defending the park instead of retreating to another base of operations to carry on the fight against the 1%, the Occupy movement also made a serious political mistake. So long as we were seen as the victims, as simple peaceful nonviolent protesters who were being attacked by the cops, the Occupy movement won public sympathy and support--but as soon as we began to be seen (rightly or wrongly) as provoking confrontations with the cops, we lost that public support, quickly. By turning the Occupy movement into a mere duel with the cops, we placed the "occupy" part ahead of the "wall street" part, turned the fight away from a battle for economic justice and into a battle with the cops over who could stay in a park, thereby losing sight of our real goals and losing our support. A fight of the 99% against the corporate 1% is a fight that will win public support and sympathy--a fight with the cops over whether we can sleep in a park, is not.

    So, as a matter of practicality as well as of strategy and tactics, we must expand out of the parks---and into the buildings where our corporate enemy is. Rather than being the total sum of the Occupy movement, the park occupations must be turned into mere base camps, mobile and flexible, where we can meet wherever is most convenient to plan actions in the surrounding community, aimed directly at the 1% and their minions wherever they are--in the banks, the corporate buildings, wherever they happen to be.

    •  absolutely, and I think I read your article (0+ / 0-)

      when you posted it.

      honestly, I felt like we should be in dialogue with folks in neighborhoods that had massive levels of foreclosure and lots of vacant buildings, talking to the heads of churches, community leaders, etc., and coming up with proposals to relocate into those buildings. One kind of off-the-cuff attempt at that was tried in Oakland, but it wasn't planned very well. Such as step would need mainstream allies; it involves mainstreaming the movement, to some extent; getting the folks who don't want to sleep on concrete and get beat up by the cops involved. And it requires building trust with the people who live in the neighborhoods (you can't just march into somebody's neighborhood, however beleagured the neighborhood might be, and take up residence.)

      My experience was that Occupy didn't want to mainstream itself or find mainstream allies, except in the sense of getting allies to donate food, money, and occasional legal services. That might be too harsh a statement, I don't know.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:41:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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