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I keep hearing how the demonstrators in what is being variously called OccupyWallStreet, OccupyTogether, the 99% Movement as well as other names need to be more clear of their DEMANDS. The critics seem to be extremely uncomfortable with the “leaderless” aspect of the movement and they keep asking for spokespeople to step up. It looks as though that the majority of the people making this criticism tend to be older than the majority of the people actually demonstrating. This is not a slam on Baby Boomers or other generations, but there does seem to be a generational element to these criticisms.

This movement is not a hostage situation or a momentary inconvenience for the cities experiencing these demonstrations. There are no DEMANDS. This is a NON-VIOLENT REVOLUTION. This is an ever growing group of people across the nation who are awakening to the situation we face; that situation is one of OLIGARCHY. The goal of the movement is to unseat the OLIGARCHY, NON-VIOLENTLY. The OLIGARCHY is no longer tenable. Our political, financial, business, media and civic institutions have been captured. Our DEMOCRACY has been subverted and and our CONSTITUTIONALLY LIMITED REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC has been completely CORRUPTED. More and more people are waking up to the fact that the RIGHT/LEFT dichotomy is false. There is only the usurpation of all power and wealth by a very tiny minority to the detriment of 99% of the population. Both mainstream political parties have been corrupted. 2008 tought us that the system no longer responds to the will of the people. Our elections are managed and controlled for the benefit of those in charge and policy doesn't really change regardless of which party is in power. This is not a surprise to almost anyone.

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The mostly older people who are asking for specifics and “demands” are either directly or inadvertently limiting and therefore harming the movement. In the ’60s small groups of protesters would announce their intention to occupy various buildings and areas and they would immediately issue “demands”. Many of these protests were inherently ego-centric. This was not the case with all of the demonstrations during that period, most notably the Civil Rights Movement, but many followed that pattern. There is no one personality or group of personalities at the heart of this movement. This is EVOLUTION in action, and it is GLOBAL.

What the 99% Movement is seeking is a fundamental CHANGE in the system. The end of OLIGARCHY and the resurgence and imposition of DEMOCRACY. This is an inherently REVOLUTIONARY/EVOLUTIONARY step. It is centering on Wall Street and the financial system because our economic system is no longer viable. Infinite growth in a finite system is not and never has been possible. In the past this was not as apparent because we had not reached the limits of the natural world. Now we are increasingly bumping up against the ECOLOGY and we are now seriously damaging its viability and therefore our own. The very economic structure of our society has to CHANGE or we are in jeopardy of EXTINCTION.

These GOALS are too big for the traditional institutions to process. They see these GOALS as unfocused and unclear because they are simply too big for them to contemplate and the attainment of these GOALS would mean the END of these institutions. Therefore they are blind.

This burgeoning movement is the best hope for our country. These demonstrators seem unfocused only when you view them through the traditional lens of corporatism and the oligarchy.

THIS IS WHAT EVOLUTION LOOKS LIKE

This is a NON-VIOLENT MOVEMENT. Here is an excellent resource for NON-VIOLENT strategy and techniques.
The Albert Einstein Institute

Originally posted to angrycalifornian on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would be right with you in NYC or Boston, (7+ / 0-)

    if I could afford it. I can't even afford the Bolt Bus or, Dog forbid, the Fung Wah.

    That's right. I can't afford it. Damned straight this is the beginning of some kind of peaceful revolution in our country, a kind of raising of awareness which amongst us Democrats, must include the realization that we have been screwed by our own party. The Tea Party talks about taking our country back to the middle ages. The Democratic Party, of which I am a member, must now talk about taking us forward into a just and fair society which does not allow Wall Street and the Banks to recover while people like me languish on the sidelines; educated and able, and still out of work.

    It is time to send the message that some of us will not accept the status quo. This is America, for Christ's Sake! It's not Bank of America!

    Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:19:00 AM PDT

    •  I know the feeling. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, commonmass

      I plan on camping out at the OccupyLA demonstration most nights this week.

      President Obama could have been FDR, the people who turned out in droves in 2008 expected just that. Instead he seems more like Grover Cleveland. The Democratic Party has abused its base. In 2006 they were voted into the majority in the House and Senate. The reason for this reversal of political fortune after 12 years in the wilderness was that the electorate and the Democratic base wanted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended immediately.  Instead, the leadership of the party decided to triangulate and keep the wars on the back burner to help them out with the 2008 Presidential election.

      In 2008 people who had never voted before, both older people and first time younger people, turned out in large numbers and provided Obama and the Democratic Party with huge wins. Those voter heard Obama criticize NAFTA and actually say that he would renegotiate NAFTA. They heard him speak about ending the wars, providing a single payer health care system and even hint about justice for the Bush administration. Instead, during his transition he dumped his economic team headed up by Paul Volker and instead adopted a bunch of Clinton retreads and Ruben acolytes. He picked the very people who helped collapse the financial system to put it back together.

      This is not to say that everything Obama has done is bad, but it is certainly anemic give this point in history. On economic policy there is basically no real change. On foreign policy there is basically no real change. Just this week there has even been a new and frightening precedent established where the executive branch can now, apparently, kill a US Citizen without due process. This is definitely not the CHANGE upon which the voters in the Democratic base were counting. I know this especially well because from 2008-2010 I was the president of my local Democratic Club and a member of the county central committee. I watched as my entire club became disaffected with the Democratic Party because of the President. We worked very hard on GOTV in 2010 and we succeeded in my area. Every Democratic candidate and position won on the ballon in 2010 in my area. After that election I resigned as president and reregistered Decline To State.

      According to Ron Suskind's book, Obama wanted to break up the big banks when he came into office, starting with Citibank. Instead his economic team of former Ruben acolytes Geithner and Summers "slow walked" him and basically didn't listen to him. That can be forgiven. But it needs to be corrected. If President Obama would like to win in 2012 he needs to acknowledge this movement and even join it. Fire Geithner. Call for Bernanke to step down. Begin unwinding the too big to exist, insolvent banks. Push for and establish a STET(Securities Turnover Excise Tax) to curtail speculation. Repeal the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). Repeal the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB) of 1999 and reinstate the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. Declare all derivatives to be fraud and begin enforcing criminal prosecutions on white color crime in the big banks and corporations.

      There are a lot more concrete policy reforms that can be done to essentially reverse the tide of Reaganomics. The President needs to get in front of this movement if he wants to win in 2012. That is the only way those people who voted for him in 2008 will come back to the polls for Barak Obama. The alternative will be Rick Perry and god help us all then.

      "Politics is the art of controlling your environment." - HST

      by angrycalifornian on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:56:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. I was an Edwards man. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ms badger

        In some ways, thank dog he didn't get the nomination. But I'm more in his camp. The Labor camp.

        I voted for Bill Clinton, twice, and I voted for Obama in the general and Edwards in the primary, and I'll vote for the President again, dog help me.

        All along, we've been hearing Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound". And we thought he was a crank: I wouldn't have voted for him, but he was sure right.

        I continue to vote against my self interest. I vote for Democrats. I probably would have voted for Cleveland, two. Twice, separated by four years. What suckers we are!

        Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 10:41:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Big changes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angrycalifornian

    require constitutional amendments.  Probably several.  We'll need to massively expand the federal government's power to fill the vacuum known as individual liberty with collective liberty, guided by the democracy the founders were so disdainful of.

    “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” - Thomas Jefferson

    I think if we had a set of amendments, backed by some congressmen, we would have a more concrete direction for our revolution.  Anyone want to start a draft?

  •  There was a lively conversation (5+ / 0-)

    On another diary yesterday, where one person just could not accept that this was a leaderless movement.

    And therefore in their mind, it is not legitimate.  

    There is no discernible leader in any of the uprisings in the Middle East.
    In any of the uprisings going on all over the world as a matter of fact.
    This is more of a collective consciousness and the action is a result.

    Which of course is scarier, there is no one person to target and smear.

    Fuddle Duddle--- Pierre Trudeau.... Canadian politics at......A Creative Revolution

    by pale cold on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:35:34 AM PDT

  •  Thank you! Yes, we want our society, our (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldcrow, angrycalifornian, ms badger

    community, our social contract, our hope, our future back.  We want our relationships with our corporate institutions and even with each other redefined so human rights come always before corporate wants, and we are citizens and people again, not consumers and customers.  

    Those are not demands.  Those are needs.  Those are needs that have to be fulfilled in order for our society, our nation, our civilization to heal and continue.

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:41:42 AM PDT

  •  Not all older people... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, petral, angrycalifornian

    Here's one senior who get's it. She 75 and she recognizes that the structure of both parties is rotten.  She can't be in New York because of health issues. But she's writing about what we can all do. Please visit her and give some feedback.

    outfrontpolitics

    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2011

    Hey,Occupy! Taking Over the Democratic Party Will Be Easy!
    Take over the Democratic Party.

    Everybody is buzzing about what Occupy Wall Street should do. Or what other "mad as hell" folks should do. It's simple: Take over the Democratic Party.

    It's waiting there, rotten and crumbling, just waiting for you to take it over and use it to good purpose.

    The Tea Pee people just took over the GOP. So why don't the good guys take over the Democratic Party?

    And this is so easy to do. I know because in 1968 a handful of us took over the Democratic party in one of the most populous counties in the USA. We were young and progressive and grassroots, while the establishment Dems were lazy and older and all about themselves. It was a piece of cake. We then proceeded to put into office good solid liberals who stayed clean of big money and lobbyists, who fought for families, social justice, equality for all, and the environment. Some of them are still in office, fighting the good fight. One of them is a Congresswoman who is among the few respectable members of Congress today.
     

    I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

    by Grassroots Mom on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:57:35 AM PDT

  •  The Downside to Demands & tying things up in a... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, angrycalifornian

    neat little package for mass consumption, is a degree of buying into a political system,"

    One downside is that different protesters have different "visions" for the movement:

    ...In an exchange that illuminated one of the dilemmas that any movement for change faces, Biemer and protester Victoria Sobel made it clear they had different visions for Occupy Wall Street...

    Another pitfall, according to U of M Political Science Professor, Michael T. Heaney, groups like OWS...

    often bumped up against pressure to become more focused and to build or join other institutions.

    "What you're talking about is a degree of buying into a political system," Heaney said. "But the more you use tactics that we recognize as getting you influence, the more you buy into the system, and ... open yourself up to compromise."

    He did give a bit of a suggestion (maybe to get the critics off their backs?), for possible vague demands,

    In Occupy Wall Street's case, Heaney said, demands could be as vague as simply calling for financial bailout programs to apply to individuals rather than banks.
  •  The oligarchy is not going to give up easily (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wendys Wink, angrycalifornian

    they have been planning for this day (or a day like it) for quite some time.  They have the money, they have the powah, what you have is numbers, conviction and right on your side.

    It will not be easy.  They will not give in just because we say so.

    #Occupy Wallstreet - Politicians will not support the movement until it is too big to fail.

    by Sychotic1 on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely correct. However, in the end, the 1% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, angrycalifornian

      have no choice but to submit to the Majority. World isn't big enough for them to escape submission back to the folds of humanity.

      Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

      by Wendys Wink on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 12:24:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do not understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    futilitismo

    I am not an American, so I may be missing some nuance, but what, in concrete terms is this movement trying to achieve.

    It is easy to see what the people in North Africa and the Middle East, using similar tactics, are trying to achieve. They want their corrupt rulers to give up power, so that society can (hopefully) re-organise its governmental structures and release resources so as to provide a better economy.

    Do you feel that the institutions of your Republic and American society are in a comparable state to those run by dictators like Gaddafi and Assad? Do you want President Obama to resign? How would that help, when all the potential successors are either not significantly better or worse (many much worse).

    What would you like to have happen. If President Obama was asking you, what could he do to make things better, would you have an actionable suggestion for him?

    If the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh accepted they were dreadful people, who have misused power, how would you like them to behave in future?

    I think I can see the sort of end result you might like, but not any route map to get there.

    In a Parliamentary democracy, the ultimate remedy for a situation of widespread dissent, is to hold a new election as President de Gaulle did in 1968. It proved the activists represented a minority of the French nation and things calmed down.

    In a Presidential/Congressional system, with fixed terms and staggered elections for various offices, you do not have the safety-valve of an appeal to the general public in a single election called at short notice. I am not sure what the equivalent would be - calling a constitutional convention perhaps (but would you consider that a sensible response to your concerns).

    I hope this post makes some sort of sense.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 04:20:18 PM PDT

    •  I already posted this above, but wanted to make... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      futilitismo

      ...sure you saw it.

      I plan on camping out at the OccupyLA demonstration most nights this week.

      President Obama could have been FDR, the people who turned out in droves in 2008 expected just that. Instead he seems more like Grover Cleveland. The Democratic Party has abused its base. In 2006 they were voted into the majority in the House and Senate. The reason for this reversal of political fortune after 12 years in the wilderness was that the electorate and the Democratic base wanted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended immediately.  Instead, the leadership of the party decided to triangulate and keep the wars on the back burner to help them out with the 2008 Presidential election.

      In 2008 people who had never voted before, both older people and first time younger people, turned out in large numbers and provided Obama and the Democratic Party with huge wins. Those voter heard Obama criticize NAFTA and actually say that he would renegotiate NAFTA. They heard him speak about ending the wars, providing a single payer health care system and even hint about justice for the Bush administration. Instead, during his transition he dumped his economic team headed up by Paul Volker and instead adopted a bunch of Clinton retreads and Ruben acolytes. He picked the very people who helped collapse the financial system to put it back together.

      This is not to say that everything Obama has done is bad, but it is certainly anemic give this point in history. On economic policy there is basically no real change. On foreign policy there is basically no real change. Just this week there has even been a new and frightening precedent established where the executive branch can now, apparently, kill a US Citizen without due process. This is definitely not the CHANGE upon which the voters in the Democratic base were counting. I know this especially well because from 2008-2010 I was the president of my local Democratic Club and a member of the county central committee. I watched as my entire club became disaffected with the Democratic Party because of the President. We worked very hard on GOTV in 2010 and we succeeded in my area. Every Democratic candidate and position won on the ballon in 2010 in my area. After that election I resigned as president and reregistered Decline To State.

      According to Ron Suskind's book, Obama wanted to break up the big banks when he came into office, starting with Citibank. Instead his economic team of former Ruben acolytes Geithner and Summers "slow walked" him and basically didn't listen to him. That can be forgiven. But it needs to be corrected. If President Obama would like to win in 2012 he needs to acknowledge this movement and even join it. Fire Geithner. Call for Bernanke to step down. Begin unwinding the too big to exist, insolvent banks. Push for and establish a STET(Securities Turnover Excise Tax) to curtail speculation. Repeal the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA). Repeal the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB) of 1999 and reinstate the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. Declare all derivatives to be fraud and begin enforcing criminal prosecutions on white color crime in the big banks and corporations.

      There are a lot more concrete policy reforms that can be done to essentially reverse the tide of Reaganomics. The President needs to get in front of this movement if he wants to win in 2012. That is the only way those people who voted for him in 2008 will come back to the polls for Barak Obama. The alternative will be Rick Perry and god help us all then.

      "Politics is the art of controlling your environment." - HST

      by angrycalifornian on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:22:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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