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Look folks, are you sure you're doing this right? I mean, where are the TV hosts providing daily updates and talking points? Where's the billionaire supporter to arrange signs, flags, stages, entertainment and giant star-spangled touring buses? Where are the nice pre-printed bullet point lists and glossy handouts that summarize 40 pieces of legislation already on the floor of the House (or being drafted by lobbyists) which absolutely everyone there supports 110 percent? Where's the media empire telling you when to meet, how long to meet, who to cheer, who to hate, what to say and how to vote? Do you even have a list of commercial sponsors?

Come on. Is this any way to run a spontaneous, grassroots movement?

You may wonder why the tea party was so readily picked up by the media, but it's not a secret. The tea party was the media. Is the media. It was created as a media stunt, nurtured as a publicity event for a network and its pundits, and shaped to be a reliable trumpet that only Rupert can blow. Not only did the meetings come at predictable intervals (same tea time, same tea channel), with announced agendas, it just so happened that there were dozens of pundits conveniently available on day one, ready to provide commentary and insight. Better still, most of these tea party spokesmen or grassroots leaders were familiar faces who had been on air before, and who were being put forward by the same conservative organizations who line up guests every week for ABC through NPR. They wore camera-friendly clothing, knew when to laugh with the host, and could recite their positions like they'd been doing it for years. Because they had.  

Those who wanted to cover the tea party only had to follow the instructions. It was just as easy and mindless as zapping some microwave popcorn, except this popcorn came with a phone bank that would hector you if you failed to follow the steps to the letter. It was much, much easier for most media outlets to cover the nonpartisan and populist tea party than to ignore them. The tea party is not a political movement, it's a reality show with huge corporate sponsorship.

On the other hand, Occupy Wall Street is … what are you, anyway? You're there all the time, you don't have a checklist of pre-digested talking points, and you don't have recognizable leadership or A-list pundits to shape your message. You're a mess, that's what you are. Everywhere and every when, without mass-printed signs and canned literature. You're a big round blob of democracy that just won't fit neatly into the nice cube they have ready for you.

God knows, they're trying to find the right name for you. They'll pulling old labels out of containers still splattered with mud from Woodstock and blood from Kent State. They're dusting off Hooverville and looking up Satyagraha in their dictionaries. They are desperate to find a definition that will stick.

Desperate and scared. Picture a dusty old castle, perched on a hill that provides a fine and satisfying view down to the hovels of peons, peasants and serfs.  Now picture the residents of that castle waking up to discover that a besieging army has camped outside its gates. The elite are peeking over the fortifications and what they want to know is: Who are you and what are your demands?

That last part, the demands, is particularly important. Do you want low tax, high tax, clean water, oily water, watery oil, holy water, holy cow just what is it that will make you people go home and stop making us all nervous? Not having that list of demands? That's just unacceptable.

But don't get out your pens and start writing just yet. Take a break. I have some demands for you.

First demand: creating a mission statement
I demand you don't have one. It doesn't matter if you're the Committee to Put Nice Flowers on Sad Things or Attila's Rape & Pillage Planners, nothing but nothing brings less value and more BS than a mission statement. Just don't.

Second demand: finding appropriate leadership
I demand you avoid it. Stay away from egos, from people who are certain that they know what they're talking about, and most of all from martyrs. Wait a bit. Wait for people who demonstrate great followship. You don't need a choirmaster to sing.

Third demand: developing a media strategy
I demand you not be media friendly, not be media savvy, not be media centric. If CNN's idea of reporting is to send Erin Burnett for a five minute stop n' sneer, let them. If Fox wants to scream at you, let them. If the others mangle their attempt to describe what you're about, let them. Don't try to describe what you're doing to people who don't really want to know.

Special bonus demand
Somewhere out there is the next Studs Terkel or Barbara Ehrenreich; the next reporter willing to sit down, talk for hours and pull out of you more than you knew was in there. Hell, maybe that person is you. When that person shows up, talk to them.

Final demand: a concise list of demands
I demand that you ignore all such requests. Don't let them define you. Having a list of demands is just another way of saying "these are our limits." Another way of controlling you. You can have goals, sure, and you should, but those goals can't be all you're about. Do not let them catch you. Don't listen to all the voices telling you what you should be, do, say, love or hate. Most of all, I demand that you ignore demands. Including mine. Especially mine.

Don't be what they want you to be. Don't be what I want you to be. Just be confounding, and uplifting, and maddening, and puzzling, and amazing, just keep scaring the ever lovin' crap out of them—and you're already pulling that off quite well.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why don't they just "get a job"??? (22+ / 0-)

    Liberals: Taking crap for being right since before you were born. - Driftglass (and the amazing Professional Left Podcast at

    by briefer on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:07:01 AM PDT

  •  Lower interest rates on all mortgages of homes (24+ / 0-)

    that are "under water" to %4 fixed.

    Single payer health care for all.

    that would do it for me for now. thank you.

  •  Go for it, whatever "it" is. (8+ / 0-)

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:08:33 AM PDT

  •  Inconceivable! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    May you find yourself constantly in the company of noble souls.

    by Gentle Giant on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:09:43 AM PDT

  •  I concur wholeheartedly (41+ / 0-)

    The insistence to put the movement in a box is their way of being able to attack it. Let them keep wondering, we know what we're about, because we feel it in our belly. They are so in the rear view.

    The Universe is strange enough, you don't have to add hocus pocus

    by rsie on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:09:45 AM PDT

  •  Castle/peasant/ignorance image is perfect. (18+ / 0-)

    And you are right: a list of demands limits us (the 99%), and empowers them.
    Keep 'em guessing. Keep us guessing, too. Sky's not even close to the limit!
    Hi Mark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

    by CitizenJoe on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:09:49 AM PDT

  •  my fear for OWS (12+ / 0-)

    they get co-opted by the media and this jades the people even further

    and that agents provocateurs - either the political opposition causing problems or the no-good all-black clad teenagers calling themselves "anarchists" that smash McDonald's windows becomes the image on TV (remember the Battle of Seattle?)  

  •  I think the disorganization (29+ / 0-)

    is what endears this movement to me. Every Democratic demonstration I witnessed in the 60s and 70s was the same way. We have a lot to say, and shouldn't be restricted to a "list of demands".
    As Mark Twain used to say, I don't belong to any organized party, I'm a Democrat.
    Keep on, guys.

    You will never know what it’s like to work on a farm until your hands are raw, just so people can have fresh marijuana. Jack Handey

    by skohayes on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:11:53 AM PDT

  •  exactly - do not allow the defenders of Capital (10+ / 0-)

    to dictate to the real owners of their value the negotiating terms - Fight the Power!

    Don't be what they want you to be. Don't be what I want you to be. Just be confounding, and uplifting, and maddening, and puzzling, and amazing, just keep scaring the ever lovin' crap out of them—and you're already pulling that off quite well.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:17:45 AM PDT

  •  The 'United States?' of America (32+ / 0-)
    Not Considered 'partiotic!' but 'radical?'

    Not Corporate Financed nor Media Hyped

    Considered 'patriotic?' but not 'radical!'

    Corporate Financed and Media Hyped

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:18:00 AM PDT

  •  I wish I could print out that list (7+ / 0-)

    And pass it out down here.

    I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

    by AoT on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Hammer meet nail!!!!!!!!!! (21+ / 0-)

    And thank you for this in particular.  It is what I have been saying all along.

    Don't let them define you. Having a list of demands is just another way of saying "these are our limits." Another way of controlling you.

    The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- We are fighting back to save our soul. Thank you, #OWS for empowering us all.

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:19:48 AM PDT

  •  I Demand - COMPLETELY Ostracize Democratic "L" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, jds1978, shaharazade

    "Leaders" - Any and All who've made over $100,000 a year for 5 or more years.


    They have:

    - PROVEN themselves adept at keeping themselves employed to lose, AND

    - PROVEN themselves incapable of beating lying thieves through political incompetence, or

    - PROVEN themselves to be $ell out$, or

    - PROVEN themselves to be a mix of each!

    R. Murphy

    except Alan Grayson -

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:25:25 AM PDT

    •  And he lost his election. He is now powerless (0+ / 0-)

      to get anything done.

      Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:38:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no thanks to chickenshit DLC sell out cowards (5+ / 0-)

        on a good day, and just DLC sell outs on the rest.

        I'm 51 - 23 years ago, that would be 1988 if you can do arithmetic - I was  a cook in Boston and there was this guy Dukakis running for President, and there was this guy Clinton who gave this speech at the Democratic National Convention -

        maybe your first election was 2008 for HOPE-a-dope when you were 18 - so that means when Dukakis and Clinton were selling us out in 1988 with their don't-scare-the-middle-OR-you'll-lose DLC pap, you weren't born!

        When Clinton was selling us out as President, you were playing with dolls and trucks and crayons. When "Democratic" leaders where playing rotating villain to enable GWB during the 90's, you were ... playing mini united nations in student government?

        get a clue about who is pulling the strings and who is jerking your chain.


        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:51:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been voting since 1961. And I do vote! (0+ / 0-)

          Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:03:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  then KEEP voting for sell outs AND Keep (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annieli, shaharazade

            getting SOLD OUT!

            it isn't that complicated.

            I've lived in Boston or Seattle for appx 31 of the 33 years, and MOST of the people who've told me all the excuses for losing to lying fascists over the 31 years grew up in nicer neighborhoods and nicer homes than I've ever lived in, and they live in nicer hoods and nicer homes than I'll ever afford -

            they can AFFORD the fucking sell outs, I can't.

            IF you can - good for you.

            IF you can't but you will - guess what - the crowd who want to live in some beyond reality sunday morning talk show circuit with all the right people - that crowd ain't got room for YOU.


            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:14:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you may find my diary on this point interesting: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              •  did you see pat buchanan's infamous 'culture (0+ / 0-)

                war' speech in '92?

                every year or 5 I'll watch the enemy to see that their lies-du-jour are - they do excel at lying.

                I remember back handedly loving that speech, cuz

                THERE IS A CULTURE WAR.

                THERE ARE MANY!

                Before I was 18 in '78 and ever since, I have NOT given a shit about being nice to racist, bigoted, ignorant drooling flat earth fucks. They don't like me - in fact, they would put people like me in concentration camps - and I don't like them.

                The main difference between us - other than being racist blah blah blah - is that I'm not going to advocate putting them into camps - just exposing them and ridiculing them.

                I voted DLC - Moderate thing for a few decades cuz, even though I grew up on welfare & needed student loads for my education - I really felt that too many of the purported 'left' ideas were founded upon silliness - the silliness of expecting people to be nice to each other for a system to work, and the silliness of we'll have meeting all fucking day and ... who washes the dishes?

                (I lived with "hippies" when I was 12 in '72)

                I HOPED that those 'moderates' were going to make shit work, and then we could shove the anti-community LIES of raygun and his fascists back down their lying fuckign throats.

                I did NOT vote for "merit" systems where Ivy'd up rich pig ass kissers merited 6 figure paychecks and 7 figure lifestyles while selling me out and lying to me.

                There is a culture war out there - HOPEfully many of the non leader "pragmatists" will see their leaders for the despicable sell outs those "leaders" are ...

                BTW - I'm sick of all the current dead-isms ...

                I want Get-Shit-Done-ism.


                Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

                by seabos84 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 10:03:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  he always was powerless to get anything done (8+ / 0-)

        EVERY liberal/progressive politician is powerless to get anything done. The Repug Party is not on their side, and neither is the Dem Party.

        That's why we get nothing done.

        •  Bingo. The leadership structure of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque, Calamity Jean

          Democratic Party is, but for the "D" after their names, identical in character to that of the Republican Party. The sooner rank-and-file democrats recognize this, the sooner we all can get to the business of having a strong Democratic Party that actually works for Democratic causes--instead of Wall Street's.

        •  But some leaders do get things done (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wasatch, shaharazade

          TR, FDR, LBJ got things done that needed to be done, not because they had liberal congresses, but because they knew how to get Congress to do things.

          The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

          by freelunch on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:00:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I notice that all of those leaders also had (7+ / 0-)

            huge crowds of screaming protestors and demonstrators, as part of active movements, that forced the government to act whether it wanted to or not.

            •  They did more than scream (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wasatch, seriously70

              They also voted. Politicians don't have to like you, but they should respect and fear you at the ballot box.

              •  no one at OWS seems to be advocating "not voting" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, seriously70

                As for me, I don't unilaterally renounce the use of ANY weapon.

              •  No one (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                seriously70, Eddie L

                at the Occupy Portland advocated that people not vote. Everyone I spoke to regardless of where they stood on the bogus political spectrum, talked about the pols were bi-partisanly owned by the too big's and that people needed to stand up and say enough. Enough of victories for compromise,  enough with the sacrifice for the 1% who own our government.  Enough with no choice no matter who you vote for. Enough with the bamboozle. The people have power any government derives it's power from their consent. People want a democratic representational government, as it stands they have none. They want their government back. They want their votes and voices heard.    

            •  They had something more elemental. (0+ / 0-)

              I believe they loved their fellow countrymen and saw them as essential to the future they envisioned for America.  LBJ, love him or hate him, grew up hard scrabble and never forgot it.  He really loved and respected the Texas hill people he came from.  Rural Electrification was how he paid his people back and made their lives easier and safer and longer.  I don't kid myself the politicians of the past all had purely altruistic motives but the great ones saw their fellows as citizens and deserving of the fruits of their labors and sacrifices.  I don't know that I can point to a single legislator on the right that I would place in the company of TR, FDR or LBJ.  

          •  I don't think that's true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I think they got things done because they had the popular support to do them, and believed it was necessary to do what was popular to get elected. That belief has been severely eroded in the political and politically capable classes, partly by outcomes, partly by institutional changes (Lawrence Lessig's "Republic Lost" looks interesting in this regard). It is that which needs to be re-established. OWS is a start, and is a continuation of a lot of other things that have been happening for the last few years.

      •  bs power (0+ / 0-)

        to get what done? Kinda weird to call the kabuki we've got going in DC  instead of a government getting things done. Grayson got something done he helped wake people up. Our political system is so corrupted that anything that gets done is just more damage to our democracy, system and the people. Look at these trade bills,look at the Cuts look at the deregulation. The truth helps it dispels fear and empowers people to take their government back.      

    •  That's the fastest way to limit the movement (0+ / 0-)

      If you ignore our system of Democracy, then you're just howling at the moon.

      Yes, let's replace those that act for the 1%, but let's not ignore the ones that work for the 99%. And yes, some of them make more than $100,000.

      The biggest challenge for this movement is distinguishing its allies from its enemies. Don't toss the baby out with the bathwater.

  •  More sugar! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, annieli, chmood

    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. H. L. Mencken

    by irate on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:26:06 AM PDT

  •  I have been thinking about the expression (2+ / 0-)

    "you strike a woman, you strike a rock".  Not to be exclusive at all but I would really like to see a female component to this.  Whether its League of Women Voters, Emily's list, NOW, Mom's Rising, Women Supporting Women in Afghanistan, or any number of other organization, I'd say we pretty much support the same things.  Its time we took that part of our nature that is most "rock-like" and let our country know we intend to use it.

  •  Agree (21+ / 0-)

    IMO the only reason that the OWS is building is precisely because it has so far avoided all efforts, increasingly desperate, to box it into a corner, a la "they want X", an "X" hopefully as narrow and easy to defend not providing as possible.  Since of course, when one says one wants "X" n our zero-sum world, it is heard to say that only "X" is on the table and that nobody wants "Y" or "Z".  

    OWS is, from this admitted spectator here (although I am definitely in solidarity), needs to be about the entire alphabet.  It has the potential to be the first truly grassroots-up coalition movement we've seen in my lifetime since the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960's.  The minute it self-defines, however, it closes the door to the breadth of that coalition.

    So I hope that folks follow your advice.  I've said for several years now, starting mid-way through Dubbya's administration, that the entire country itself is at stake.  I still believe that.  Which is why I look at OWS with hope - I believe it may truly be the last opportunity for that message to be conveyed, and heard.

    If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

    by shanikka on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:32:38 AM PDT

  •  Graeber? (11+ / 0-)

    I think I read he; or someone he quoted wrote or said-

    Making demands of an institution implies you wish them to remain in power

    Or similar...

    That rings and resonates like no other...

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:36:39 AM PDT

  •  Basically, if they keep it about the "99%", (10+ / 0-)

    I think that's all they need.

  •  What the confused media, etc. don't get is (20+ / 0-)

    this movement isn't for THEM. OWS doesn't care about any political party, any media outlet, or anyone else so tied to the 1% that they live on a different planet.

    OWS is a growing movement of people who now see that nobody will help the 99% except for the 99%.

    Wall Street, the MSM, the political parties (including most Dems) don't want us helped. If OWS grows successfully, the 1% and their allies will stop ridiculing and start attacking—because they will be afraid they will actually be held responsible for their actions, and may not live forever off their ill-gotten wealth.

    OWS isn't concerned about getting the establishment to institute reforms. They had 3 years (indeed 3 decades!) to do that...and chose not to.

    We're beyond that.

    When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

    by Rayk on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:39:20 AM PDT

    •  If not reform, then what? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, seriously70, WillR

      What kind of change are you advocating? Do we need to supplant every person in office?

      Once you change the establishment, you become the establishment. That's not a bad thing if the establishment acts in the interest of the 99%.

    •  that's the discovery in this Sumner diary post (0+ / 0-)

      Beyond some modest and never to be implemented- due to the usual excuses- demands.

      Beyond having to twist words and purposes to be placed in neat categories for the servants of the 1% to dispose of.

      beyond resignation. beyond begging.

      If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

      by BeeDeeS on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "be realistic: demand the impossible !" (9+ / 0-)

    Q. What do you want?
    A. Everything !

  •  Great diary, thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    I came of age in the Reagan era. It was a serious low-point for liberals, and all I saw at the time was this defeated, demoralized progressive activism. There was a lot of in-fighting and fragmentation.

    I bring this up, because these early experiences have caused me to mistrust political movements without well-defined goals and objectives. I'm a bit wary. But the season has surely changed. 2011 may well have more in common with 1968 than it had with 1985. Let's hope.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:47:31 AM PDT

    •  The new mocking phrase needs to be: (18+ / 0-)

      "I'm from Wall Street and I'm here to help."

      Maybe we could have "I'm a corporate executive and I'm here to help -- myself." as a supplement.

      The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

      by freelunch on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:02:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  just looking in from the outside (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, Nada Lemming

      and not knowing enough from the 1968 civil rights movements in the US, I think the difference is that this time the issue is the wealth gap and the social, living and working conditions of the majortiy of the 99% of all people, the dysfunctional system of the current representative government and its legislative process.

      1968 the issues might have been more about institutionalized racism, legalized segregation and exploitation and revolt against an imperial war, but the distrust might have been more in the politics than in the governmental system as the whole. I am not sure. I just ask.

      The reason why this time it could be a true grassrooted-up coalition (as Shanikka said up-thread) is because its effecting everyone in the rainbow, though the darker the skin color the more you are effected.

      On the other hand it's kind of sad to realize that something like what is happening now, would only develop, because the white folks see themselves riding in the same boat in the future as their not-so-white folks did for decades and centuries. But this little thought in the background of my mind is really not relevant to think about.

      We have a movement that is what it is, whatever that maybe and I agree fully with the diary that there is absolutely no reason to "categorize" and "label" it.

      •  My comment was less about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        comparing the motives of grassroots protesters in 1968 to those in 2011--although such comparisons are interesting and pertinent--and more about comparing attitudes and assumptions of the two groups of protesters, and conditions that have given rise to the demonstrations.

        In 2011, as in 1968, you had a lot of youth, at loose ends, and feeling alienated by big developments in society, e.g., limitless war, and corporate greed.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 09:01:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Three more things (11+ / 0-)

    Coach buses. You forgot that luxury buses that herded the "middle american" teapartiers in and out for free from all over their corporate sponsored prepaid designated locations.

    #OWS protesters most likely use that blasted taxpayer funded transportation method, public transportation. Oh the humanity.

    Imagery and symbolism

    Hats. The hats with teabags hanging from their head. coopting a symbol of the revolution.

    Flags. You forgot the yellow flags with snake symbol.

    I mean everyone knows a revolution that isn't fashionable or media worthy if it doesn't have the right image.

    Anyway on a more serious note, I happened to catch a bit of Hardball last week (and I stay away from tv usually) where there were two people (I believe one was concern troll David Corn who I usually like)discussing the #OWS movement. And one of them kept saying what does this group have to do to appeal to "middle america" (apparently that's the group of people that only matters in this country in the media's mind). And they went on at some length, discussing just what OWS people look like (they;re too young apparently), that their message wasn't clear (I mean I the tea partiers wanted their taxes cut...that was clear), and what their actions were to date(camping and peacefully marching on bridges,( what's up with that) and said, they didn't think that this #OWS was resonating or appealing to middle america.

    Firstly WTF and who the heck do they think these talking heads are to know just what middle america thinks since they're most likely in a media pundit bubble....and secondly, just who the heck do they think is out there? This is middle america, and representative of most of america-at least 99%. But these very serious media armchair heathers were very worried that the current look and messaging of OWS was not appealing to middle america and therefore was doomed.

    #OWS is so behind the times. I mean really. If you're gonna start a true grass roots spontaneous revolution based on 99% of the population, at least run it buy the corporate media so Frank Luntz can focus group you before you are deemed elgible to participate and give you a stamp of approval.

    48forEastAfrica-Donate to Oxfam The Plutocratic States of America, the best government the top 1% and corporations can buy. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:48:42 AM PDT

  •  Here's some demands... (19+ / 0-)

    1. Re-instate the Glass-Steagall Act.  If you don't already know what GS is please educate yourself on it.  Its going to come up a lot as we move forward.

    Reinstatement overturns Gramm-Leach-Bliley (as in Phil Gramm et all) and will require banks to (once again) be either consumer banks or investment banks.  I predict this will do much to clean up mortgage securitization fraud (although I suspect the crooks will continue to abuse that system and some reform will be needed there as well). But, core banking reform MUST be accompanied with point 2.

    2. Break up consumer banks by geography.  Now I don't think reinstatement of the prior inter state banking regs would be a good idea(as someone who lives near a state-line), but I do like tying a bank to the communities it serves.  I suggest that each bank must pick a headquarters, and then be limited to an area within 50 miles of that location.  That gives a bank a circle 100 miles in diameter to operate (ie, actually KNOW the assets they hold, and the customers have a chance of actually KNOWING who their bankers are).  And holding companies?  Bye Bye!

    3. Repeal, refute, obliterate corporate personhood.  

    Still using my fake name...

    by Rex Freedom on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:50:08 AM PDT

    •  Feds can reform corporations in a day. (6+ / 0-)

      There is no question that the Federal government has the right to set up rules for corporations doing business across state lines. We need to end the corrupt practices of Delaware and states that wannabe Delaware in their race to the bottom on corporate responsibility.

      The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

      by freelunch on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:05:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, wasatch

        I don't question the right of the Federal Government, I just would like to tweak former law to take into account my experience of living in one of the very many metropolitan areas that exist on state lines.  I also agree about Delaware.

        Perhaps more importantly, in regards to your sig line:

        Do you have any opinion why "the faithful" (for lack of a better term, including the established church(es), temple(s), etc, as well as individuals) are not UP IN ARMS that humans (the supreme court) have designated a human invention (the corporation), an invention created for the reasons of  maximizing profits (greed) and shielding responsibility (anti-moral) no less, equal to God's greatest creation, the human being and human soul, and all that comes with such?  How can such a law stand?

        There are plenty of secular reasons to be against corporate personhood, and such are commonly discussed on this site and elsewhere.  But I continually wonder why this blatant and serious blasphemy against the Divine is not being called out?

        Still using my fake name...

        by Rex Freedom on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:30:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ah, but here's the problem . . . . (7+ / 0-)

        The corporations are no longer nation-based---they are supra-national.  National governments mean nothing to them anymore.  If the US government makes rules the corporados don't like, they can all pull up stakes and relocate their entire operation to Bangladesh, Indonesia or Somalia, without losing a single dime.

        That is why EVERY nation-based solution is predetermined to fail, and why any successful strategy to fight corporations MUST necessarily be global and international in scope.

        Nation-states simply no longer matter. The corporations are larger, richer, more powerful and have more direct control over more people's everyday lives than ANY national government does.  Including ours.

        And yes, that means OWS will fail too, if it remains focused solely within the US--and that is also why pressuring the US Government to act, won't be enough either.  If it wants to successfully fight multinational corporations, it too must become multinational. Occupying the entire US won't help---the corporations are larger than that.  We need to be occupying China, India, Brazil, Russia, Cambodia, Ireland, Greece-----everywhere the corporations are.

        •  In some ways I see what you are saying. (0+ / 0-)

          Being a corporation from the US gives the corporation the power to move to Dubai.  

          What if the umbilical cord was cut and they were all alone in Dubai?  They say they are too big to mind, but I wonder.

          . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

          by 88kathy on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:56:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they know we can't live without them. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            88kathy, wonmug

            The US simply is not an isolated self-contained economy. It never can be. We are all utterly dependent upon them. Everything necessary for our lives—our food, our clothing, our consumer goods, our energy sources, our jobs, our financing, everything—now comes from somewhere else on the planet, and we depend completely on the supra-nationals to bring them here for us, cheaply and reliably. Today, the supra-national corporations can manufacture an item in China using materials that come from Brazil and South Africa, and sell that item in a store in New York or London, more cheaply than a factory could if it was located right next door. And even the credit card we use to pay for that item, comes through financing obtained from banks in Iceland or Saudi Arabia. Without this vast interconnecting global economic structure, 21st century life would be impossible.

            •  And they can't live w/o us. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tacet, ggwoman55

              US is not self-contained or isolated, 'they' are big and getting bigger, but the US is still the linchpin of it all.  At least that's how I see it.

              . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

              by 88kathy on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 09:20:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  but they CAN--and they already are (0+ / 0-)

                US corporations already have over half their productive capacity located outside the US, and they already generate over half their profits overseas.  GM already sells more cars in China than it does in the USA--and soon India will join that. The corporations are gearing up for huge campaigns to win more consumers and market share-----not in the US, but in places like China, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa.

                Those are the emerging markets that will dominate the 21st century.  We are a declining market that everyone is scrambling to leave.

        •  And you think this isn't spreading worldwide? (0+ / 0-)

          "They are the best among us." -- Hedges on #occupywallst

          by livjack on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:16:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We can do anything today (0+ / 0-)

        If there is the requisite political will. It's getting to that point that is difficult.

        Take money out of politics? Easy. Establish an online electoral infrastructure granting everyone a platform for free speech and outlaw political advertising. Don't have a computer? Fine. Just go to your nearest library, which will have online access and the ability to print anything you want.

        Problem solved.

        But a large majority needs to be able to articulate and demand that it happen.

    •  In Illinois is used to be against the law (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rex Freedom

      to have branch banking.  That needed to be changed, IMHO.  You went to your own bank during banking hours.  No availability at night or on weekends.  We at least had a bank that let us do deposits and a few other things via mail.

      The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. Paul Krugman

      by Heart of the Rockies on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:52:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I saw a lot (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ggwoman55, Rex Freedom, Loonesta

      of signs that said bring back Glass Steagall. I think one the most amazing thing about this turn of events is that a large number of citizens who are very diverse both politically and culturally are not as stupid as the pols and the media would have us believe. they know a bamboozle and oppression when it bites them in the ass. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat a 'moderate' a Republican a Libertarian or any other breakdown that separates us all, this mockery of democracy is not working for the people. These people are not hateful or violent they want their country back they want the moneychangers out of the halls of government.

      •  A giant messy compromise. (0+ / 0-)
        Regardless of whether you are a Democrat a 'moderate' a Republican a Libertarian or any other breakdown that separates us all, this mockery of democracy is not working for the people.
        This is true. However, none of the groups you specifically mentioned would be able to agree with each other on an alternative that any of them were substantially happier with. That's why we have what we've got.

        One is reminded of:

        Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

            Sir Winston Churchill, Hansard, November 11, 1947

        (Yes, I know, we don't have a direct democracy.)
        •  Compromise yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but we don't have to compromise with outright fraud.

          Still using my fake name...

          by Rex Freedom on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 04:22:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Occupy movement (0+ / 0-)

          is not anti-democratic it is the opposite. The only compromise coming from DC is our representational democracy and any social justice or common good. I think most of the people I mentioned would be happy to have the system start representing them and not the global corporate 'new world order'.  The people I met and listened to were not radical in the sense of toppling our democracy but interested in getting it back.

  •  Thanks for Really Great Writing!!! (8+ / 0-)

    This is so true!

    The tea party is not a political movement, it's a reality show with huge corporate sponsorship.

    THIS is so perfect!

    Don't be what they want you to be. Don't be what I want you to be. Just be confounding, and uplifting, and maddening, and puzzling, and amazing, just keep scaring the ever lovin' crap out of them—and you're already pulling that off quite well.

    Go OccupyWallStreet and OccupyEverywhere!

    No more Hope and Change -- I lost Hope when I could no longer find a Good Paying Job -- and I don't want Change - as Cuts to Social Security, Medicaid or Education.

    by PAbluestater on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:52:10 AM PDT

  •  Don't Trust Anyone over 30% (8+ / 0-)

    Rephrasing Abbie Hoffman:

    Don't trust anyone over 30%.

    Their (legitimate) upper tax bracket, that is.

    I say that with the standing analogous to Abbie: I'm paid with the 1%. But I stand with the 99%. Abbie was in his mid-30s when he threw a generation that koan. I'm with Abbie.

    Everyone telling Occupy[WallStreet] what they're doing wrong is someone who's themself already failed to do it right. The Occupants should just be themselves. More people will relate to them. And The System might have a chance at doing something right, since it's supposed to prevent mass public demonstrations by representing the 99% and managing our country for us.

    But don't take it from me. Think for yourself.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:56:08 AM PDT

    •  What OWS doesn't need is another A Hoffman. (0+ / 0-)

      The Dude abides, now get off my lawn.

      by Boris49 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:23:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hoffman was a sexist pig with an ego the size of (0+ / 0-)

        Saturn----but he was also a remarkably talented political organizer with an uncanny knack for concise, insightful and cutting political theater.

        I think that having just ONE of him would be a disaster--but we sure could use a couple thousand of him.

        (DISCLOSURE: I once spent quite a few enjoyable hours chatting with Abbie Hoffman during an environmental rally in Philadelphia in the late 80's.)

      •  Who Says? (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't say Occupy[WallStreet] needs another Abbie Hoffman. I didn't say it needs me - or anything else. In fact, all I said was exactly the opposite: O[WS] doesn't need to need anything anyone says it needs.

        You used my post to reply several times attacking Abbie Hoffman, and his ego. When challenged by someone who'd actually met him personally, you offered nothing but some meaningless "agree to disagree". You've got nothing.

        You have some kind of ego problem in competition with the long dead Abbie Hoffman, triggered by the mention of his name, producing bitter straw man outbursts from you. Who cares what you say? Not me.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 12:57:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm. Well, having been around with SDA, SDS & (0+ / 0-)

          the more militant wings back in the day, I'd contend that my observations are not only valid but a lot more polite than your invective.

          We are a long way from the demonstrations of the 60's.  Perhaps you were there.  Perhaps not.  

          The Dude abides, now get off my lawn.

          by Boris49 on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 05:51:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'd for this! (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone telling Occupy[WallStreet] what they're doing wrong is someone who's themself already failed to do it right.

      I used to get angry at blue-collar right-wingers but that passed because I saw that in the end they were just a different sort of victim. George Carlin

      by ggwoman55 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 11:06:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you very much. This is the (7+ / 0-)

    way I feel about this movement.  They have been ever so much smarter than me, they have exquisite patience.  They have decided that the cops are the 99% too and they take a beating from them and continue on.  Courage in large immeasurable amounts is what they have. I love them.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain

    by glitterscale on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:04:57 AM PDT

  •  Unlike the Tea Party movement, the (12+ / 0-)

    Occupy Wall Street movement is not astroturfed. I am from Brookhaven, aka Crookhaven, Long Island. I watched the entire video of the first Tea Party town hall with Rep. Bishop (NY-01). It took place in Setauket which is where I am from. I did not see a single person I recognized, even though most of the Tea Partiers were about my age. My ear is not as good as it used to be (I have spent my adult life in Philly and NJ), but to me the folks at the town hall had NY accents, but they were not locals.

    •  That's exactly what I don't get. Why don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      42, blue jersey mom

      our guys, including Jesse, push that fact.  The tea party started and was funded by corporations and I assume is still funded by them.  On This Week, that was listed as the start contrast between the two movements, that the Tea Party has a coherent message and a direction and immediately organized into a political agenda.  Yes, of course, they are.  But why should be explained.

      Alan Grayson: "In 2010, my district and everywhere else in Florida, Republican turnout was in the sixties. Democratic turnout was in the forties." Think about it.

      by alliedoc on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:59:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Haven't you heard? (3+ / 0-)

      it co-astroturfed by Canadian upper class libertarian time travelers and the tea baggers, designed to bring Obama down!  Do not trust these people!  There is a diary up about it now.  

      Ask not for whom the ban hammer swings. It swings for thee.

      by Nada Lemming on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:59:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The energy of this movement is not born of... (11+ / 0-)

    "frustration" as the pols in the Democratic Party so inartfully put it, this movement is born of the experience of the past 30 years. The experience of watching people being reduced daily to the status of indentured servants by educational debt, personal debt, longer hours and less pay and benefits, while being abused by corporate and political chicanery at every level of the economy and government.

    A laundry list of bullet points for a media kit is not what this movement is about, it is a primal scream resulting from betrayal.

    The reason the "status quo" is afraid, is that there is something to fear here and even if the "occupiers" are crushed, that in itself will create more instability and anger. There is no dynamic that supports the position of the status quo arising from this movement. I don't know if this movement will swell or die, but I do know the tears of the 99% won't just be brushed off their cheeks and that the issues will not go away.

    This is the beginning of a fight and unless Democrats reorganize and become the party of the people we once were, we will be the losers of this fight. If we don't want to go the way of the Whigs, we'd better get busy.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:06:46 AM PDT

    •  Amen, KJG52 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, tacet, cpresley

      Great comment.  It's not frustration.  It's heartbreaking pain.  We've lost our jobs, our homes, our healthcare, our futures, our hope.  OWS is an outcry for justice.

      "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering."

      by rlharry on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:52:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've seen no evidence. (0+ / 0-)

      What is the evidence that the "status quo" is afraid?

      A "primal scream" is not very useful. An action plan and objectives are useful at achieving results. The fact that OWS is just a primal scream makes the movement easy to dismiss.

      Right off the top of my head, I can't think of a movement in this country in the past 100 years that accomplished true lasting change that didn't have a few key objectives that were well known to all - including those that were a part of the movement and those that opposed the movement. Some of these movements had "hangers on" who lived in the slipstream of the main movement but didn't significantly distract the movement or actually conflict with it.

      Without a fairly crisp list of objectives, OWS is mostly a temper tantrum that will scream itself out in a few weeks. Like it or not, it does have a list of perceived objectives -- whatever one person or another claims. Unfortunately, these objectives seem to conflict with one another in any form of governance supported by the Constitution and most Americans.

      For example, as we know one widely circulated list of proposed OWS demands includes "Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all.". Of course, this proposed list of demands does not have the support of OWS "consensus" -- but it fills the vacuum created by the lack of objectives and demands by the OWS "consensus".

      Obviously the particular demand for elimination of all debt is ludicrous but the lack of any crisp objectives or demands is what lead to its easy association with OWS. All the denials by whoever claims to speak for OWS (which seems like a bit of an oxymoron) just don't have much impact once the horse is out of the barn.

    •  Here's what happened, from my point of view. (0+ / 0-)

      While the bubble economy bubbled along, everyone that knew better had to just grit their teeth, because no one in the media or government would listen. They were intoxicated on the gas from the bubble.

      Then it happened, and when Obama came in we began an in depth conversation about our country, and how our policies have been shaped for the last 30 years, and where those policies have led us. The dialogue started with health care reform and went on to the financial system, etc.
      The average person in this country is much more engaged and knowledgeable than they were 5 years ago.

      Meanwhile we had the tea party and GOP screaming, "lalala, I can't hear you..." with their hands over their ears.

      Then we had the Arab spring, and it was an inspiration.

      We all know the general outline of what needs fixing. Some of us know more details than others. It's a lot of stuff, 30 years of stuff. What is very important about OWS is that they are finally cutting thru the veil that the media has constructed to protect Wall Street. The fact is that Wall Street, and Big Oil especially, is a massive tumor on the middle class economy. It's not sustainable. Wall Street is not in danger of being taken down by a revolution. It's in danger of being taken down by its own malignancy, its own unfettered greed and corruption, its own "crack addiction. The 99% are the "canaries in the coal mine", and OWS is basically staging an "intervention".
      I agree that it will be a fight, because Wall Street is in denial.
      It will be up to the Democrats to fix things, ultimately.

  •  Whatever national Democrats advise, (7+ / 0-)

    do the opposite.

  •  We need to take a leaf from Alan (5+ / 0-)

    Greenspan.  In the early nineties, he wanted to liberate the equity Americans had stored up in their houses and farms for the market.

    Now, it's time for our money to be liberated from the Wall Street gnomes.  So, message to Wall Street.

    "Let Our Money Go."

    by hannah on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:08:32 AM PDT

  •  Wore "We are not them" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and just as boring and predictable before, especially considering what it ignores:  all the people around the country who had little gatherings without pundits, etc.

    Yup -- the Tea Party sentiments appealed to some rich and powerful folk. And double yup -- there was no shortage of vultures swooping trying to make hay out of all that anger, but...

    Wouldn't have meant anything if there were no people going along for the ride.

    And --**cough** last I looked, there were some pretty big unions hopping on to this OCW stuff, some big-name politicians nudging closer, and...

    Wait! There's media coverage, too!

    What was that difference again?

    Oh yeah -- it's the old "us, not them" thing.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:12:44 AM PDT

  •  Revolutionary movements are never known (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies, tacet

    I hesitated to put that in the title, because people get all agitated about Marx.

    It's common sense, though: when a thing is actually happening, when ideology is on the boil, when the thing is actually occurring, there is no knowledge of what it is. First, if we knew what it was, it wouldn't be a new thing. Second, if it had a name, it wouldn't be necessary. Third, if it were a bunch of demands, then it would be a reiteration of the old discourse.

    Whether we're talking about Woodstock or Watergate or '68 Mai, no one should have a name for it or a set of goals while it's happening, unless -- you know -- they're just weapons for the ruling class to bludgeon the workers again.

    Every reductio ad absurdum will seem like a good idea to some fool or another.

    by The Geogre on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:14:34 AM PDT

  •  Demand #2: VERY important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Self-selection is the death of movements.

    Anyone who volunteers to lead, to speak, or seems eager to be an executive is a person to drop into the Hudson. First, such people are the most logical outsiders, and, most of all, these are people who believe in themselves.

    Cincinnatus is the only leader.

    Every reductio ad absurdum will seem like a good idea to some fool or another.

    by The Geogre on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:16:26 AM PDT

  •  I want a pledge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freelunch, psykos

    I want any legislator to commit to respecting people, not corporations. I want privacy and progressive taxation. I want my future legislator to commit to work toward universal health care and easier voting rights. SImple? Just pledge~

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:20:56 AM PDT

    •  I was just thinking I want an anti-pledge pledge (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, Eddie L

      "I pledge not to pledge anything to assholes like Grover Norquist."

    •  If Corporations are people, I want People treated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nada Lemming, ggwoman55

      like Corporations.  Start bailing out the People.  For every dollar of Corporate/Bank bailout there should be at least a dollar of bailout for people the corporations are trying to destroy.

      •  I still want to be able to arrest and try them. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The corporation-people, that is. Spew waste and kill people? Criminal trial for murder, and we shut down your company and physically seize everything if convicted. During the trial, if your company cannot pay bail, your offices will be chained shut.

        Of course it's a ridiculous idea. That's because the corporation-person is a ridiculous idea to start with.

    •  but pols (0+ / 0-)

      will pledge to anything that polls well and then serve their real masters the too big's with money. Then they 'parse' their complicity into 'victories for compromise' and clog up the halls of our government with lobbyists  bearing booty, dirty deals, bogus procedural rules and endless committees to keep the money and power flowing to the owners of the place. Pledges like the Constitution at this point are just quaint pieces of paper that are as meaningless as the titles in a bundled up mortgage swap.  

      •  Not the point (0+ / 0-)

        You can't make Norquist's pledge and a pledge to the people at the same time. A little logo that indicates commitment to a simple pledge--to defend people (from corporations)--would be significant. Republicans for the most part couldn't touch it.

        It's a pr tool that is absurdly simple, like most of those developed by Rove, Armey, Norquist, Luntz. Why are we so adverse to KISS methods? I'd make it a bumper sticker, a logo for campaign ads, etc. Just a little logo that says "My commitment is to people..."

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by MrMichaelMT on Mon Oct 10, 2011 at 11:33:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  brilliant n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:36:35 AM PDT

  •  scared? doubtful ... (3+ / 0-)

    Maybe I've read too many "elections are hopeless" comments on this site but, Peter King (R-asshole) getting worried aside, the centrist politicians paying lip service are only going to be scared when 1) a lot more people show up and 2) there's a plan to actually, you know, like ... do something?

    It's not lost on anyone that the big march in NYC had major labor involvement. Because of the endorsement are AFL-CIO on the team? Oh wait ... we don't need teams. Without labor the permanent crowd in the park isn't 20,000. There are 8 million + in NYC. Labor fought for decades in a society much much rougher and hungrier than USA 2011 and only got close to the finish line with FDRs election. The Egyptian uprising was about food and a real police state. Occasional pepper spray aside don't disrespect the Egyptians by calling the USA a police state. And America is far from hungry enough to get in the streets. If the supermarkets were empty for a few weeks the marchs wouldn't be confinable to the sidewalks.

    Right now the focus is everyone's broke. I think America can get with that but the push back is coming. The bill for NYPD overtime will be a talking point. Senior centers will be (almost) closed with great fanfare to pay for the permanent hippie camping trip.

    I've held off on the snark until now because I'm in solidarity with OWS (and any damn movement left of Clinton / Obama for that matter) but I don't think the powers that be are at all worried that this is going to be a factor Nov 2012 or, for instance, the NYC Mayors race. Until they are worried about Nov 2012 then it's just a big drum circle.

    For extra credit how many people marched through NYC against the Iraq war? (I was there, can't remember) How'd that work out?

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:37:23 AM PDT

    •  how many people marched against the Vietnam War in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ggwoman55, tacet

      1964?  Did it effect the elections? How'd that work out?

      How many workers went out on strike in 1890? Did it effect the elections? How'd that work out?

      How many gay people rioted in 1969? Did it effect the elections? How'd that work out?

      How many civil rights organizers sat-in in 1950? Did it effect the elections? How'd that work out?

      Every successful social movement started out as a tiny group of ignored people with utterly no effect at all.  (shrug)

  •  Exactly! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:40:24 AM PDT

  •  I was ready to jump on you, from your title. For (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psykos, shaharazade

    pushing the "they don't have any demands" meme.

    But then I read the diary....Excellent!

  •  Is that the 99% theses in the picture? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The community of fools might be small were it not such an accomplished proselytizer.

    by ZedMont on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:52:23 AM PDT

  •  They absolutely need to organize. (3+ / 0-)

    This is a true grassroots movement that began out of frustration with the corporatism and collusion and usurpation of our government by the monied elite.  But unless a message (something clear, concise, and easily understood by the masses) becomes the focus, they will never be able to turn action into effective legislation and change this country for the better.

    I went down to Zuccotti Park a couple of days ago, and believe it or not, I understand why the media has reacted the way it has.  If you are down there when things are calm, when marching isn't happening, it can be very circus like.  Without judgement, there are a lot of hippies; A lot of hippies.  There were hippies meditating.  There were hippies hitting on drums.  There were hippies doing hula hoop dances.  There was a small performance art company putting on a show with plenty of incense and colored tulle.  There was a good number of media there at the time, and yes, it felt like a circus show.  It felt like a tourist attraction.

    It was a completely different feel when the unions, organized protestors, came down and showed solidarity.  It was a completely different feel when a large group decided to march across the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was a completely different feel when they marched from Zuccotti Park to Union Square.  Then it feels like a serious protest.

    The protest is growing across the country and I'm glad to see that.  But it will never result in actual change unless everyone can repeat a mantra, something concrete that they want to change.  Right now it seems to be everything from "Free Puerto Rico" (I wasn't aware it was trapped) to "End the Fed" (which is a sentiment that I, as a bleeding heart liberal thoroughly DISAGREE with).

  •  No demands, but a startegy (0+ / 0-)

    First, think out the box.  Fixing Wall Street is not enough - replace Wall Street by repealing Taft Hartley restrictions on concentrated union pension fund ownership on where their members work.  Every unionized company should be controlled by its employees, not Wall Street.  You can either go further by supporting personal retirement accounts - not the one's Cato wants, but instead funding more Employee, union-managed, Ownership.  Go further and have such firms and unions provided financial services to employees - mortgage, consumer and educational - so that the banking system cannot.

    Second, vote for Obama in November, but cross over by voting Republican in open primary states (and change registration in closed states) and determine who Obamas opponent will be.

  •  Idiotic article (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LiberalTill IDie, rlharry

    The media strategy happens by itself without having to "develop it." Martin Luther King never sat around developing a media strategy, he didn't need to, he simply stood on solid Constitutional grounds and let the president and the media sort themselves out. That is, when you stand for something. Sumner is apparently opposed to standing for anything according to point number one. It should be; Stop Wall Street derivative swaps, regulate the traders, tax the profiteers, make fair the playing field. You cannot expect the media to judge this movement as anything but a bunch of disgruntled flash mob kids with time on their hands if you don't have specifics points for the media to chew on. The talking heads will be left with no choice but to dismiss it.

    •  And those are your demands. Which is the point. (0+ / 0-)

      Other people have similar demands, others have different or additional demands. Developing a "media strategy" and having everyone articulate the same talking points is bad, leading to things like the Tea Party as this article points out.

      The media can and will be engaged without sitting around and coming up with grand schemes. They're catching up. Folks like MinistryOfTruth will be ending up on TV more and more.

      You're suggesting the protesters are not standing for anything. I would very much dispute that notion, even if we can't say "this is what our whole movement specifically wants."

  •  My fav of he movment (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Leadership.. NO.. Thats just another name for a person to lobby..  NON HIERARCHICAL direct democracy for me.. the representative system has been destroyed and in fact never worked. Never will.. creating chock points for  legislation based on personal views and greed. Nope  fuck Rep democracy.. Revolution is the word here.. not patching our political system. Its been destroyed. Chomsky has great ideas on this.. I hope some of it can be incorporated into a new government.

    "I reffuse to eat Satan sandwiches or wraps."

    by hangingchad on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:03:21 AM PDT

  •  I love this comment (0+ / 0-)

    and I miss Studs Terkel too.

  •  Scarry Bed time Story (0+ / 0-)

    honestly I do not think the occupation will do much but get martial law instated in the USA - we can be peaceful, but it's not like the media hasn't lied before. I hope to God I am wrong, but those with the real power (and I am not talking about Obama) do basically anything they want and lie all the way to get the mindless public behind them. Why do you think people on wall street were drinking champagne? Do you really think they are stressed? Seems to me the next part of the way to get power is to have a revolution about "nothing" and gather up all the "wierdos" and contain them ... So many arrests and fine - feeding them more and more money. Not that I do not think that we sould not protest, but I think we should protest where it hurts. Stop buying their product - get out of the banks and do not give them your money. If you are protesting the oil companies then do not buy their gas ... but just being a huge mass of people is an open invitation for the real bad guys to exploit it and twist a story to what they want the people to think. But hey - this is just my made up scary bed time story ... cuz I can't PROVE anything.

  •  Bravo! Just Bravo! (0+ / 0-)

    "They" will know soon enough what this movement is about. Just as you say, it needs no labels, no over-organization, no master plan ... that would defeat its purpose and make it the "flash in the pan" that the media and corporate giants hope it will be.

    It will grow on its own -- it will expand where it needs to expand -- and it will, in the end, demand the kind of justice this country and this world longs for, yearns for, hungers for.

    My best wishes that the universe provide stamina, defiance and safety to all of our brave soldiers who are putting their lives on the line for justice -- justice for all!

    Now THAT's the president I voted for!

    by RevJoe on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:14:55 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like a recipe for disaster (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sure it feels good to say all those things but is that really how it works? Can someone tell me what came of the Wisconsin protests that we insisted stay apolitical?  If Rick Perry wins the Presidency and Republicans retake the Senate and widen their massive House numbers, what kind of laws are going to be passed? Do you think a bunch of people with hand written signs and no representation in government is going to sway the Perry's of the world when they're holding humongous majorites? Sorry, but this is going to go the way of Wisconsin if its power isn't harnessed into politcal action. IMO, this "call" to keep it apolitical is just more masked Democratic timidity. When people on liberal sites are afraid to put our own name on such a movement, this spells trouble. What kind of party have we become? On this site we work to elect Democrats but when an obvious Democratic movement takes place we want to hide our identity? The attacks from the right wing have already begun. Much like Obama has seen, just because OWS tries to define itself as apolitical doesn't mean their opposition is going to play by those rules. They've got to play the hand they're dealt. Don't let timidity stop this from turning into real lawmaking change. Learn from Wisconsin. Learn from Obama. Just because it sounds good and makes us feel better to want to 'drop out' of the political battlefield doesn't mean that is the most prudent course to take. Candidates have to rise from this. PAC's should be formed. Political power must be gained from it. Don't turn it into a purity test for the best forms of protest. Their are trillions of dollars opposing everything OWS is calling for. It is foolish feelgood naivete to hope an ill-defined people powered movement will succeed. Remember, there is probably just as big of a people powered movement opposed to it, and they are monied, coordinated, and motivated. One thing we should have learned from Obama is that we don't get to define the terms of the battle by ourselves. Obama decided to be apolotical. All that did was consolidate power in th hands of conservatives who had no problem being political. If we're going to enter the field of battle, we're going to have to being weapons. Political power is a weapon. Use it or lose it.

  •  Fantastic diary! (4+ / 0-)

    Tipped and Rec'd.

    This morning I read this speech by Naomi Klein and it seems like a perfect companion to your diary.

    Her shock doctrine is very relevant to the importance of OWS, I think. For years now, the 1% have been using the economic crisis to try to eliminate the last of our social safety nets and to turn important public programs like education over to the very people who caused the crisis. She points out that the only people who can stop them from doing this is the other 99%.

    If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over.

    And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.”

    Her speech points out that the characteristics of OWS will allow it the opportunity to lay down roots, something that has been missing from other protests.

    I think it's safe to say that the more the corporate media complains about the non-specific nature of OWS, the more we know that the protest is scaring the crap out of the power structure.

    " a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

    by Getreal1246 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:21:25 AM PDT

    •  To paraphrase Naomi Klein (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "We want a better world".

      If I had to put a label on the sentiments running through OWS, it is that.  It is the hope that the founders of our nation put into the preamble with "We the people".

      The Dude abides, now get off my lawn.

      by Boris49 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:42:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Read your own Taibbi quote (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, LLPete

      Doesn't OWS risk being a "disorganized democracy" defeated by "free markets and free elections" if its power isn't harnessed and used to obtain defined, realistic goals? If not, I fear this will become a bucket list of ideas that have zero chance of being accomplished. Really, if the Democratic Party can't harness his thing for political good I don't know what we're doing. If OWS candidates don't arise from this like they rose from the TeaKlanner movement, it will have been a waste of time. Being apolitical as a strategy didn't work for Obama. Why does anyone think it will work for OWS? The Democratic Party should be defined by OWS, not afraid of it. This is the pushback forum we've been dreaming of. If we don't use it, the opposition will use it against us. The call to stay apolitical reeks of Democratic timidity. It appears we can organize an awesome protest but we're still afraid to put our name on it. That's a recipe for disaster. We 've gone this far, why not take it all the way? The Democratic Party should take ownership of this movement and candidates devoted to its ideology should rise from it. If not, it'll just be another Wisconsin.

      •  Not disorganized (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Sumner, wsexson, duufus

        First, I don't think OWS is disorganized. There's a big difference between being disorganized and being non-hierarchical.

        Second, I think the worse thing that OWS could do right now is align itself with a weak and discredited party. Movement politics is always better not aligned. OWS can and should influcence the Democrats, but that has to happen from outside the party structure. I can tell you from some first hand experience in my local party that if OWS lets the Democratic Party into its movement, the Democrats will destroy the movement from within.

        " a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

        by Getreal1246 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 10:07:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you may find my diary on that topic interesting: (0+ / 0-)

          •  Lenny, (0+ / 0-)

            do you not see a day when the dirty fucking hippies are pleasing the pragmatists by actually winning elections? That's why I want to harness the power of OWS. How can any Democrat argue that we've been winning elections with the current 'Republican-lite" strategy? If not for the tsunami of Republican dreck that was the Iraq War, Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Scooter Libby, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job", economic collapse years, Democrats probably would never have regained any majority and are quickly preparing to give all of those majorities back. Democratic voters should definitely adopt OWS and insist their party adopt it also. I see this as a win win. It supplies OWS with the political power to really effect laws and it returns the Democratic Party back to a proactive party that is doing more than just walking around on eggshells, afraid to apply its name to its own protests. I don't want to see OWS turn into another Wisconsin, where a timidity to apply the Democratic name to the protests led to a whithering death with little accomplished and any momentum vanished. I'll be very displeased if OWS ends up having little or no tangible effect on the Democratic Party mostly because Democrats are too afraid to officially adopt it. Changing Wall Street with protests only and no political backing? That is the definition of a long range plan. maybe longer than most of us will actuially be on this earth, with no guarantee it will ever happen. There's got to be a way to bring together the two factions you spoke of. It would be a crying shame if we weakened both sides by splintering and it would only make our conservative opposition all the more powerful.

        •  The idea isn't to let (0+ / 0-)

          the Democratic Party into the OWS movement but to instead have the OWS movement into and influence the Democratic Party. If a Claire McCaskill has to go up against an OWS candidate in a primary, how is that a bad thing? "Movement politics" isn't going to change Wall Street. Votes are. Laws are. Wisconsin is a harbinger of things to come if we let this stop at movement politics. Obama's apolitical strategy is another warning. If this thing is real its power can be harnessed to change laws that any apolitical movement wouldn't have a prayer in accomplishing in 20 years.. Right now, OWS has the stage mostly to itself but if this becomes about laws the pushback is going to be enormous. We shouldn't be slaves to protest purity by refusing to channel the energy for political and then social victory. Like it or not, this is a liberal movement. refusing to assign our name to it is a show of weakness. Weakness will not win the day. Democrats should take ownership of this ideology and demand that the Democratic Party adopt it. By itself, nothing but memories of a good protest, just like Wisconsin.

          •  If you want to influence the Democratic Party... (0+ / 0-)

            ...this is what you do.  File the paperwork to become the committee person for your Democratic Precinct. You can call the local party to find out if someone currently holds that job.  If someone does hold the job, you can contact him or her and ask if they would like to give it up to someone else (a lot of these people are not terribly active).  Or, you can simply run against that person in the next election.

            I did this a number of years ago.  A group of us progressives did it after the Kerry defeat in 2004. This has not been a very satisfactory experience for any of us.

            Once inside, you can try to influence policy and candidates. But, local Democratic Party committees are quite entrenched. It may go without saying that the leadership is very political, but that plays itself out in lots of frustrating ways, not the least of which is a continued system of patronage.

            OWS can exert a lot of pressure on local parties over time, but don't expect a coup.  The OWS activists are much better off pursuing the course they are on and growing a movement, imho.

            " a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

            by Getreal1246 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 12:28:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

              your 2004 experience is applicable to this movement. I don't remember any populous uprising in 2004 and the economic collapse hadn't yet been orchestrated. The point isn't about me or any other person stolling into their district committee. Its about this movement strolling in. Rather than merely hanging out on the street, why don't they also hang out at the district offices and offer up some candidates or simply get organized enough to produce some? Certainly the hope is that OWS's power is greater than any one person. We're just going to have to agree to disagree. I hope I'm wrong but I see this thing going the way of Wisconsin if its power isn't soon harnessed and directed in a political direction. The opposition is not going to play by the rules that OWS wants to play by. They're not going to change Wall Street's behavior by simple protests. Laws need to be changed. Laws get changed by the people voted into office. If this were a more nebulous social change goal maybe people power protests would work over a long course of time. But battling Wall Street? Only hard currency will work, the currency of political power. If no leaders are willing to come forward from this movement the chances are it will whither and die or turn into a fiasco used against the left. I have little confidence that esoteric movements are going to get it done. Certainly the fear of a Democratic connection to this movement being displayed by you, many here on this blog, and the movement itself is a terrible indictment on our party. That's one of the reasons I 'm thinking this is possibly our last chance to salvage the party. The timidity to make this political when it seems custom made for Democratic ideals is a tremendous problem. If the left is totally incapable of coalescing around what should be an obvious liberal movement, I  believe that both OWS and liberals in general are in for many dark days ahead in our battles against the unified, well heeled right wing. The ease in which the right wing can create palpable political change verses our almost clinical fear of trying is a humongous mountain to overcome. Hope I'm wrong.

              •  In this, I think you are correct: (0+ / 0-)
                Certainly the fear of a Democratic connection to this movement being displayed by you, many here on this blog, and the movement itself is a terrible indictment on our party. That's one of the reasons I 'm thinking this is possibly our last chance to salvage the party.

                The Dem Party simply is not liberal or progressive, and hasn't been for decades now.  Some of us might like to convince ourselves that it still is, but the harsh reality is that it's not--and those people on the streets see that. If they really thought the Dem Party represented their interests, if they really thought the Dem Party was on their side, they wouldn't be on the streets because they wouldn't NEED to be.

                The reason they ARE on the streets is because they recognize that neither party is on their side--Wall Street owns both parties, and there's nothing remotely "liberal" or "progressive" about the current Dem Party.

                Fortunately for the Dems, the only reason they have not already faded into irrelevant obscurity is because the other party is run by lunatics. Being less nutty than the other party may help the Dems win elections, but it doesn't help them win people's hearts and minds---which is why people are crowding into the streets instead of crowding into Democratic Party campaign offices.

                You are, I think, precisely correct---the Dem Party faces extinction. It must either adapt to what people really want from the party, or it will die.

                It remains to be seen which path the party chooses.  But the Repug-Lite agenda preached by the Dems, and their willingness to blame the DFHs for all their troubles, doesn't bode well for me.

                •  Lenny, (0+ / 0-)

                  when you say this

                  The Dem Party simply is not liberal or progressive

                  are you speaking of elected Dem officials or the Democratic constituency in general?

                  To be honest, I don't understand what is going on. On the streets we have a natural liberal uprising that doesn't want to be associated with the Democratic Party. Ok, I get that, even though I think its a waste. We also have liberal blogs reporting on and encouraging this movement extensively. The purported goal of these liberal blogs is to influence the Democratic Party. Yet I see no calls in these blogs to have this uprising or the one in Wisconsin have any influence over the Democratic Party. It is mindboggling to me to see so many rank and file Democrats involved in this thing without once expecting their party have anything to do with it. If the Dem party is bad, it appears we are part of the problem. We don't ask/ insist it be anything more than what it is. Do these protesters think it is easier to change the entire world than the Democratic Party? Why is the Democratic Party allowed to be absent from this uprising by the very Democrats who support the uprising and spend most of their time commenting on the Democratic Party. If many of the people out in the street are not devoted Democrats that's one thing. But I know the people on this and other blogs are devoted Democrats and yet they wouldn't dare ask their party to be involved with and influenced by this movement. Why is there no call from rank and file Democrats who report extensively on the Democratic Party for the party to hear the calls of this movement and become responsive to it? Its killing me that even rabid Democrats have no expectation that this uprising could have an influence on our party. The link between the two should be a natural. If the people at OWS aren't interested in changing the Democratic Party, what about the Democrats on liberal blogs? Why is there no call for a Democratic response from Democrats?

                  That's why I'm wondering what you mean when you say the Dem Party is not liberal or progressive. Is it "the party" or the people in the party, including those at liberal blogs? I don't understand how there could be such an extensive movement going on without any call from the people of this party for the actiual party to be responsive to it or at least an effort extended to this end. Why are Dems not creating heir own Occupy the Democratic Party movement to coalesce around this movement? Is the Democratic constituency the reason for the disfunction of the Democratic Party? While we've been busy blaming "the party", is the problem us? How can we not have this movement touch the party we're so involved with?

                  This whole thing is very confusing to me now.  

          •  my model is the civil rights movement and labor (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            movement.  For years (or decades) they organized on their own, fought on their own and won on their own--without depending on or counting upon either political party.  When the coal workers wanted to unionize, they didn't ask the Democratic Party or the Republican Party for help--they took over the mine and organized it themselves. When CORE wanted to desegregate a lunch counter, they occupied it and desegregated it themselves.

            If either of them had waited for the support and blessing of  political parties, we'd still be waiting today. Indeed, for a very very long time, BOTH parties were opposed to them, and "legislation" was uniformly used against them.

            It wasn't until AFTER a long period of direct-action wins like these, that the political parties passed laws that, in effect, simply ratified and confirmed legally what the unions and civil rights movements had already won for themselves.

            That is the model I'd like for OWS to adopt.  And given the political makeup of OWS's facilitators and organizers, I think it quite likely that they will do exactly that.

  •  Comparing Apples & Volkswagons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgnyc, DemonDuck, LLPete

    I've been in a state of continual amazement at the wide-spread body of responses to the existential fact of the "Occupy" presences that pivot on the "what are their demands/aims/goals/..." perspective.

    To my ear, these questions carry a tinny, disharmonious din that betrays the question - and underlying disposition - to being mired in a category mistake.

    The mistake is to view, comprehend or assume that the organic function of deliberative democracy should function not like an open, inclusive enfranchisement of the demos but as if it were a corporate marketing  or brand building exercise.

    I find myself thinking of Huxley's "Brave New World" a lot these days.  I find there to be far too many parallels between contemporary American culture and Huxley's dystopia.

    I also find all most all instances of "Occupy" and "Tea Party" cross-reference to be nauseating - truly physically discomforting.  It is the ignorant or brazenly disingenuous presumptions of "critiques" that equate participatory democracy with the sophisticated appeals to and manipulation of naked self-interest that is corporate marketing which I find most disgusting.

    •  good Huxley ref! (0+ / 0-)

      I think of that book often having to do with the epidemic of SRI (Prozac family) over the counter brain meds. Good call!

      If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

      by jgnyc on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A pleasure to read (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's always a fine experience to read a thought that has clarity and illuminates a difficult concept.

      Occupy Wall Street is a vague, directionless stirring by the millions who know something isn't right.  That something has been well constructed to be obscure.  It is of many parts and has a long history.  Constructed drip by drip like a stalactite on the ceiling of the trickle down theory.

      It will be impossible to shout that something down in the street.  But it may be possible to shout up one thing that can make things a little better.

      I think that one thing to make things a little better is the AJA.


    •  Agree, except for the "also" part: (0+ / 0-)

      OWS does have points of comparison with the origins and appeal of the Tparty rebellion, and there are things to be learned from the comparison.
      -Certainly professional operatives jumped into TP very early. Some might even argue that it was conceived and designed in somebody's office.
      But the fact is that there was in the TP expression of a whole array of  sentiments, feelings of alienation in the country, mostly reactionary or "conservative", of different varieties and there were various conscious actors fighting for influence (ultimately political influence). In that case, big money people quickly jumped in with all four feet, shaped the movement to their liking and defined it as political opposition.
      That ground has now been pretty much occupied by the official TPs to produce a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.
      Now OWS comes into being with tremendous appeal for all the rest of us who are upset about the way the country is going and in one way or another do not find ourselves represented in the TP and conservatism (at least of that brand). Still, we are a diverse bunch, and the comparison with the TP and its trajectory is an important reference.


  •  "Everyone has their own part to play ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... in the struggle".

    While I'm very disdainful of the "voting is worthless" threads, self organizing demonstrators making noise can change the (this word is a sign of how debased our intellectual and media class have become) narrative.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 08:44:29 AM PDT

  •  Can somebody please (0+ / 0-)

    point me to some starting point of how I can help?

    I am a fairly new attorney in San Francisco.

    I have no particular civil rights, criminal law, or constitutional law training, other than the standard stuff we get in law school.

    Still, I would like to help protestors who have been arrested in SF, and who need some sort of pro-bono, low-level legal representation.

    So does anybody know where:

    a) I can get training in these matters, and
    b) I can hook up with protestors that need a bit of low-level legal help in SF.

    Thanks in advance.

    •  Contact the National Lawyers Guild (0+ / 0-)

      San Francisco chapter:

      Specifically, the Demonstrations Committee:

      The Demonstrations Committee won the Bay Guardian award in 1998 for "Best Folks to Call if you're Arrested for Civil Disobedience Award." We provide legal support and trainings to progressive groups organizing demonstrations or direct actions; offer legal observer trainings to law students, lawyers and activists; work to respond to police misconduct and protect the right to dissent.

      Criminal and civil lawyers, law students, legal workers and activists are all welcome and needed! Students can get involved as legal observers, volunteers at the chapter office, assisting with criminal and civil cases (including appearing in court with an attorney), and attending committee meetings. Meetings typically happen the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6pm in the Guild office.

      To RSVP for a meeting or learn more about the committee, please contact Carlos at 415-285-5067 or

  •  Focus on one thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Make one demand and shout that demand as loud as you can.  

    A million people in the street got their attention -- now tell them something important.

    We all know that the imbalance of wealth in this country is just not right.  Listing the reasons for that imbalance is not an easy thing to do and requires a thorough reexamining of history.  Not something a "mob" in the street can do.

    But it can champion one issue that will make things better for everybody even the wealthy.  That one issue is on the table --

    THE JOBS BILL -- the AJA.


  •  Hi, I'm Erin Burnett, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duufus, 1Nic Ven

    and I am a very, very, highly paid employee of Goldman Sachs, CNN, CNBC, Citibank, corporate America, whatever...  I make, like, 10 or 20 or 30 times the income of the average middle class American family, but I earn it because I am hot and educated and look good on television, and I just don't understand what these, eww! hippies are doing down here on Wall Street, and it kinda scares me because I have it made and why don't they just get a job or go over to Starbucks and have a latte and some cake.  

  •  What's the end game? (0+ / 0-)

    Are we going to try to get folks in Congress who could ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    As long as we have a pile of Republicans blocking everything in the house and we're barely holding on to the Senate not much will change.

    We have to start to search for candidates to defeat the obstructionist in Congress.

    Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by destiny1 on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 09:23:59 AM PDT

  •  'Don't follow leaders (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LLPete, stolen water

    and watch the parking meters.' going to take the occupiers a large pot to cook in and some spices they requested. Somethings happening here. It's actually pretty clear what it is it's what democracy looks like. Maybe the people who don't get it or fear it do not believe that the governments power is derived from consent of the people or that real representational governance is possible  Most of the people I met at Occupy Portland whether they carried signs that were  Vets for Peace or the Teamster Union or Job's for Justice or even just We are the 99%, all agreed that what we have be it Democratic or Republican is so corrupt that it is not working and that something needs to be done. This movement is not counterculture it's not partisan it is citizens standing up without fear and using thieir voices democratically.    

  •  List of Demands??? (0+ / 0-)

    Bad Idea.  

    It allows the righties to pick one of them, ignore the rest, and grandstand on that sole point.  

    Far better to simply stand there.  (Stop Marching!)  Just stand there.  Arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder.  Its ok to sit.  Ok to lay down and sleep.  But don't move and don't march around!  Marchers always lose.  

    The Egyptian occupation did not march.  Just stand and keep the pressure up from where you are.  

    When you move around, the police have to escort you.  Then they take you on, disrupt small pockets and create the image of an unruly mob, which they then sell to the media.  

    Stop marching.  Make no explicit demands.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 10:23:37 AM PDT

  •  first order of any starting venture (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    first create buzz.

    the first step that needs to be taken for a protest movement is to call to attention the inequities that drove them out to the street in the first place. attention must be paid.

    we want the media to be asking "what is it that they want?" invariably the pundit captain obvious then turns to point out chronic unemployment and the disparity between rich and poor.

    that's better than talking about the deficit!

  •  leadership (0+ / 0-)

    this the reason why sorkin's ceo are running scared. this thing is too free form and amalgamous for them to wrap their hands around. there isn't a "boss" they can target to smear and discredit.

    the movements message is "this is about us." you put a personality to headline it, it's no longer about us. i think offering it up as a group dynamic without a figurehead invites more people to join.

  •  Instead of issuing demands, OWS should be (0+ / 0-)

    promoting a narrative that is an alternative to the Tea Party idea that all our problems are due to too much government, runaway spending, and too many taxes.  It should say, since 2010, we've tried reducing spending, maintaining low taxes on "job creators," and not allowing any government action not approved by the Tea Party wing of the House of Representatives.  Government got out of the way, and we waited for the magic of capitalism to solve our problems.  But instead of creating jobs, the "job creators" have taken the money and run.  

    Instead of placing the blame where the Tea Partiers place it, we say that the government has been taken over by bankers and lobbyists, and the country is being run for their benefit and to the detriment of everyone else.  We want responsive government.  We want immoral bankers to be prosecuted.  We want the government to take actions that benefit everyone, and not just the people who can make big political contributions and pay for expensive lobbyists.

    We don't need to have a list of demands to say exactly what programs need to be supported.  We'll know them when we see them.

  •  my demands (0+ / 0-)

    Pass Dodd Frank
    Pass Jobs Act
    Leave Obamacare alone
    Stop trying to rig elections.

    Saying this is not political is a waste of a perfectly riled-up crowd.

    •  We need the really big jobs act. That's the energy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sicpuppy, 1Nic Ven

      /climate bill. It's also long term. It's going to take a decade to make up for the last 30 years, but we need to start building a 21st cent. infrastructure.
      We also need a transaction tax on Wall Street, and let the damn Bush tax cuts expire.

      I don't expect the movement to start pushing these items, but the Dems should start pushing them in a demonstration of responsiveness to the 99%.

  •  If OWS is successful... (0+ / 0-)

    what happens?  I went to the Occupy Philly march yesterday.  And I've been reading about it.

    I honestly have no idea what 'success' looks like.  I really don't care what their 'demands' are.  I think a sheer expression of anger, for now, is adequate.

    But I have no idea what success is for this movement.  Like, what to they want to accomplish?  Social movements have consequences.  And no one better dare compare OWS to Martin Luther King, or any figure like him, until they can answer my question.

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