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I'm old enough to remember the demonstrations of the Sixties: the civil rights marches, the lunch counter integrations, the anti-war sit-ins, the teach-ins, the anti-draft rallies, the post-Kent State Massacre student strike, the Vietnam Moratorium, and the wall-to-wall people from all over the country who gathered many times on the Washington Mall. I watched the Vietnam War drag on for a decade, before and after my year in that country, until over 57,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians were dead, and a Democratic Congress finally cut off funding for the war.

Now I listen to the national media as they clamor to be told: "What are you demonstrating about?  What is it you want?"  Unlike the demonstrations of the Sixties, the answer cannot be distilled into the simple sentences the media likes, such as "Fair housing!" or "The right to vote!" or "Bring the troops home!" or "End the draft!" And if it could, it wouldn't help: the civil rights movement was years of bloodshed, and the simple goals of the anti-war demonstrations could not stop that war from dragging on till some of the undergraduates at the first demonstrations were thirty-somethings.

Every one of those anti-war rallies and demonstrations ended in failure: in 1966 and 1967 and 1968 and 1970 and 1971.  After even the largest demonstrations (e.g., D.C. in '72), the demonstrators went home and NOTHING seemed to change.  MLK (a peace movement leader as well as a civil rights leader!) and RFK were shot, demonstrators in Chicago were brutally beaten by Mayor Daley's cops, McCarthy and McGovern were defeated, Nixon was elected on the promise of "a plan to end the war in six days," Cambodia was invaded, the Kent State Four were murdered, and Nixon was re-elected.

What does all this mean for the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Those who persevered for years in protesting the Vietnam War did not fail, despite the glacial progress.  Every sit-in, every rally, every march on Washington slowly shifted the thinking of the American public until finally the war became sufficiently unpopular that even the spineless politicians in Congress were willing to cut off the funding. By 1976, the country was sick of American imperialism, and elected Jimmy Carter.  

I don't know or care what you think of Carter. In my humble opinion, he had several outstanding accomplishments, from the Camp David Accords to the Torrijos-Carter Panama Canal Treaties to the appointment of Paul Volcker, who forced the bitter medicine of 20%+ interest rates on America, thereby both ending the inflationary spiral and guaranteeing that Carter would be defeated by Reagan, a candidate who offered simplistic and sugary solutions (including the aptly-named Laffer Curve) that would result in tripling the national debt during his administration and starting a profligate orgy in America that would lead to a bitter reflux 30 years later.  

Clearly, Carter was a terrible politician. But without a doubt, he was also the least imperialistic President of the 20th century, one whose election would not have been possible without the populist anti-war movement that preceded his election.

Al those protesters over those years, without even knowing the term, had put their shoulders to moving the Overton window.  And even though each individual step, every march and demonstration, may at the time have seemed like failure, they succeeded in making the US a better country by 1976.  And the reactionaries that have spent the past three decades pushing the Overton window back towards the right at least were forced to start from a position further to the left than they would have had to otherwise.  The result?

1.  SOME people (and their children!) have never shifted back to the right!

2.  SOME institutions have maintained their positions as part of the American fabric despite the past 30 years.  The civil rights movement has a revered place in American history despite those (and they still exist!) who would return us to lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan and racial segregation -- and the Overton window inhibits them from publicly expressing their despicable views!

3.  SOME institutions are under attack, such as equal rights for women that largely came out of the women's liberation movement that also blossomed in the early 70s.  Women still make less than men, and many on the right would like to see reproductive freedoms dismantled.  But thus far, the gains of the Seventies are still holding, if somewhat frayed at the edges.

What does this all mean for the Occupy Wall Street movement? It means that we must remember that success or failure of movements like these is NOT judged in weeks or months, but in years and decades!  The Overton window is heavy, and it takes that long to move it.  And so come December, when the weather gets really cold here in Boston (and it will!), and most of us stop showing up in Dewey Square, and the multitudes in NYC dwindle to one-tenth the current size, it doesn't mean that the 99% have been beaten -- as long as we don't give up!  We must continue, periodically, once every two weeks, or six weeks, but we must keep going!

And starting now, I'd urge an effort to organize a LARGE and PEACEFUL 1969-style march to occupy the beautiful cherry blossoms along the Potomac in April...

Originally posted to Obama Amabo on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 03:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (222+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thereisnospoon, averageyoungman, JohnInWestland, ashowboat, peptabysmal, Hohenzollern, Unitary Moonbat, rmonroe, Otteray Scribe, RJDixon74135, SteelerGrrl, some other george, melpomene1, a2nite, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Annalize5, rivamer, Brit, RhymesWithUrple, Blueiz, boobot, ItsSimpleSimon, DSC on the Plateau, YaNevaNo, sodalis, gundyj, fixxit, triplepoint, hlsmlane, Matt Z, scarvegas, burnt out, catilinus, tobendaro, haremoor, flowerfarmer, jamess, TexasTom, chicagobleu, dakinishir, lobbygow, JammerML, martini, buckstop, lineatus, nmjardine, Dixiedemocrat, Empower Ink, TheFatLadySings, theano, blueoldlady, semiot, artisan, flatford39, divineorder, Lefty Ladig, Sylv, history first, Janetrhodes, mconvente, Gowrie Gal, phaedras, GBC, Alice Olson, Bob Guyer, LSmith, One Pissed Off Liberal, Unit Zero, Neon Mama, Cordyc, Youffraita, wxorknot, sap, ladypockt, MKSinSA, MKinTN, mygreekamphora, Positronicus, kestrel9000, sdf, citizen dan, zerelda, poligirl, davekro, edsbrooklyn, Themistoclea, Happy Days, Ooooh, zedaker, lcrp, GenXBadger, glitterscale, The Heat, PBen, dle2GA, majcmb1, johanus, yawnimawke, Wes Lee, greenbastard, certainot, Odysseus, boadicea, Shockwave, deviant24x, psnyder, sawgrass727, memiller, kevin k, myadestes, wader, ybruti, JanetT in MD, tomasyn, FlamingoGrrl, hwmnbn, Vatexia, LynChi, barleystraw, Trevin, redlum jak, flying shams, luckydog, blueoasis, CDH in Brooklyn, greycat, lissablack, tegrat, Emerson, jazzizbest, ferg, JFeathersmith, inHI, legendmn, Gustogirl, highacidity, not4morewars, elwior, where4art, multilee, Ian Reifowitz, Bugboy, real world chick, tacet, Mac in Maine, DamselleFly, Mislead, CTPatriot, wasatch, doroma, Rosaura, annan, asterkitty, saluda, lotlizard, papercut, kainah, p gorden lippy, La Gitane, Snud, muddy boots, Lily O Lady, peachcreek, iowaworker, caliberal2001, Sanctimonious, dotsright, fayea, Onomastic, CTDemoFarmer, Rejoinder, shaharazade, Akonitum, cybersaur, 714day, looking and listening, clinging to hope, TexasTwister, BobBlueMass, Kurt Sperry, Spirit of Life, MikePhoenix, Its a New Day, confitesprit, TexDem, janmtairy, mumtaznepal, The Jester, ItsaMathJoke, seefleur, Nulwee, yowsta, WisePiper, DawnN, bibble, sea note, bnasley, DBunn, Laconic Lib, dharmafarmer, linkage, 888, sostos, karmsy, smellybeast, NoisyGong, Ignacio Magaloni, Eric Blair, science nerd, the good witch, Situational Lefty, fumie, jan4insight, bula, rage, splashy, yaque, DixieDishrag, ej25, rangerteeple, Rhysling, letsgetreal

    "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

    by Obama Amabo on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 03:18:53 PM PDT

  •  Yes, and finally a group on the left... (48+ / 0-)

    Understood how important it is for this pendulum to swing and took effective action to swing it. Now if only Democrats and left leaning Independents can grasp this and start making the right long term strategic investments, the country and the world will benefit in the future.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 03:25:51 PM PDT

    •  Well It Was Obvious Once We Crashed the Global (22+ / 0-)

      economy and had depression level unemployment in youth, minorities, late middle agers; and everybody's savings and house values crashed; and the prospects for significant rehiring have disappeared.

      It would have been helpful though if the voices of those who've been explaining the runup to this moment over the past 30 years would have been taken seriously.

      Dems and Dem-favoring indies are largely conservative center-righters so it's not likely they're going to make the degree of change necessary. Remember the people were already starting downhill before Reagan. Think what was called "center" at that time, it's left of most elected Democrats today.

      As are the last policies that kept the people at best holding ground.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 03:53:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny though... (14+ / 0-)

        How long it took after the crash for a viable movement to form. Ironically the parties responsible for our economic and social ills, now complaining about the protests, created the circumstances allowing a dedicated group to say to themselves "what else do we have to lose?" That, of course, is not meant to draw their personal resolve and principles into question. But I think it's a pretty big motivating factor.

        And that's the question, from my perspective, keeping the center-Dems and center-Indies from doing the same. These kids are looking at a future so bleak the choice was clear, whereas the people you're referring to have (or believe they have) "still too much to lose." I'm a Dem favoring Indy (though much to those center-Dems left in general), but fall into the group that doesn't yet have the impetus to take the full gamble. I'm at Zucotti once or twice during the week, and I'm at every organized march, but I can't afford to sleep there, or make that type of investment in the movement. I can afford to donate money however, organization, thoughts, my presence and my voice on a consistent basis. So I do that.

        Per the first paragraph; the more the parties responsible continue to erode the economy and society, the more impetus there's going to be. The parties at fault are going to continue manufacturing their own nightmare, and the people you're referring to may yet be ready to lay it on the line at some point in the future. How long will it take me? Them? We'll see I suppose, but as a human being this situation is going to render me continually "non-violently radicalized." These things must change, and that for now is a constant.

        I have just been screaming so long for people to realize that this pendulum has to swing that I wanted to say so.

        Slap happy is a platform.

        by averageyoungman on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 06:05:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know Gooserock (4+ / 0-)

        I think the Overton Window was jammed in place by both parties. I think the left, center, right breakdowns are largely fictitious constructs by those that have pulled the strings for decades, maybe even clear back to the beginning of our experiment in democracy. I think that the Masters of the Universe just went too far and accelerated into overdrive.

        It seems to me it's always been a matter of how far the facade of representational democracy can be stretched to ensure that ordinary people are kept under the yoke by the tricks of the trade. I had a great civics teacher, an ex marine probably a Republican in high school, who passed out sheets of  tricks the pols always use to manipulate the populace and rig the system. It included Flag Waving, Sword Rattling (Remember the Maine), Gerrymandering just all of the ways the powerful try to undermine the real principles that underlay our flawed but amazing  system. they work hard to keep that window jammed.

        When they got so greedy after the fall of the evil empire of commies they just pushed it till the whole world is saying enough is enough here. The overview of people of good spirit be they moderate? US voters or Spanish  'indignants' or the Irish, Greek or UK are just not going to allow this world as we find it as Axelrod proclaims the global screw, to become the window of the world. The window has been cracked we need to open it and let some freakin air in.        

    •  Yes, Average..., Obama Amabo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, mightymouse, trumpeter

      where were you in the 60-70's.  Your diary is so skewed imo,

      Every one of those anti-war rallies and demonstrations ended in failure: in 1966 and 1967 and 1968 and 1970 and 1971.

      Your whole premise seems to be based on some expectation of 'instant change'.  The demonstrations were hugely successful.  Hugely.  Of course they took time, THAT'S WHAT MASS MOVEMENTS DO.  To call them a failure because they didn't produce immediate success is to miss the point entirely.  YOU are the one who thinks that the change should move quickly.  Who are you addressing?

      Sorry, I think the tone of your diary is very negative, despite your consoling words.  And it betrays an utter lack of understanding of the power of mass movements or its dynamics.

      To put it mildly this diary comes across to me like a huge 'back handed compliment to OWS.'

      I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

      by SeaTurtle on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:16:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm confused (12+ / 0-)

        To me it sounds like you are making the exact same point as the diarist.

        Forward thinking!

        by TheC on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:20:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  SeaTurtle, absolutely no backhand intended! (17+ / 0-)

        It's interesting -- some people understand clearly what I was trying to say, and some seem to be inferring other meanings.  If a pass is incomplete, the fault usually lies with the quarterback, so I apologize for being unclear.

        For the record, I have respect for those who show up from time to time on pleasant days, HUGE respect for all those who show up EVERY day, and IMMENSE respect for those individuals who STARTED the movement.  And there accomplishments ALREADY include, IMHO, a substantial leftward shifting of the Overton window, a hugely important accomplishment.

        I was an in-and-out of school college student in the mid 60s to mid 70s, interspersed among being a (Boston, not Haight) hippie and in the US Army (1969-71, 1970 in Vietnam).  SeaTurtle, I don't know if you are old enough to remember, but that war went on FOREVER!  And the antiwar movement went on FOREVER, with very little apparent progress.  If someone had told me in 1965, when I was 16, that I would face the draft and that I would go to Vietnam five years later, and then come back, and then the war would STILL go on for a few more years, I'd have said they were crazy, as the war ALREADY seemed unpopular in 1966!  But it did happen that way because, despite the overwhelming unpopularity of the war, the powers-that-be (read Nixon and Kissinger, but also LBJ and McNamara) were ruthlessly determined to continue it.  

        I don't know how many times I felt that the war was nearing an end (TET of '68, the start of the Paris peace talks, the Kent State massacre, etc.), only for it to continue for YEARS longer.

        So, although I have such huge respect for what the OWS movement has already accomplished, I think it's important to paraphrase Churchill's quote: "It's not the beginning of the end, and perhaps not even the end of the beginning."

        "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

        by Obama Amabo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:33:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thank you for your response OA; don't have time (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Obama Amabo, elwior

          now to discuss this.  will later tonight, best, ST

          I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

          by SeaTurtle on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:51:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think that your essay is extremely (10+ / 0-)

          well-done and coincides with what I lived through.  You really should write more.

          But the only reason that the impact is so slow is the control of media.  Even then when the MSM really was fair and balanced compared to the corporate control today, the MIC maintained control of the narrative for a long time using the same basic strategies as today.

          That control is the only reason then and now why correcting the status quo's institutionalized immorality, corruption, and greed is so slow in reaching critical mass.

          The rightwing corporate/fundamentalist alliance has since spread its tenacles throughout the society until it's achieved, quite literally a death grip.  But we also have the electronic media today which is our chief weapon for protection and change.

          OWS realizes this, as do many of us, and that's the reason that we must continue to give it our full support, financially, verbally, and physically as circumstances dictate for each individual.  But the key to its success will be the degree of the people's support.

          99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

          by blueoasis on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:22:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OA, have not had time to sit down and respond til (0+ / 0-)


          I reread the diary and I really agree with most of it.  

          However what provoked my response was this paragraph:

          Every one of those anti-war rallies and demonstrations ended in failure: in 1966 and 1967 and 1968 and 1970 and 1971.  After even the largest demonstrations (e.g., D.C. in '72), the demonstrators went home and NOTHING seemed to change.  MLK (a peace movement leader as well as a civil rights leader!) and RFK were shot, demonstrators in Chicago were brutally beaten by Mayor Daley's cops, McCarthy and McGovern were defeated, Nixon was elected on the promise of "a plan to end the war in six days," Cambodia was invaded, the Kent State Four were murdered, and Nixon was re-elected.

          What does all this mean for the Occupy Wall Street movement?

          I still think that the demonstrations were a huge success: what do you suppose brought out people to the Dem Convention in Chi?  This was also the era of attempted uprisings in Latin America against their dictators, and many protesters spoke for the workers.  I think the demonstrations energized people to support the Civil Rights movement and the women's movement, etc. and encouraged a whole generation of people to become politically active.  So, I repeat they were hugely successful.  

          You mention some of the backlashes and 'failures' but you fail to look at how these demonstrations; this movement did accomplish so much.  I think your perspective is skewed.

          I think the difference between you and me in this, is that I had the overwhelming sense of the entrenched socio/political grip that was on citizenry and marveled at the challenges to it, rather than that the system took so long to shift.

          So, I suppose the main difference is that I witnessed, what to me was breathtaking change take place.... the rights of African Americans for one thing, in a culture which at the time was like our worst parodies of the Old South.  It did not surprise me to see all the setbacks that you mention.  Or that it took 'a long time.'

          So, basically we agree on most, but had critically different assumptions of the enormity of the change that was being demanded and expectations on how difficult that this was going to be and long that would take.

          I believe that OWS's influence can be accelerated because of social media and the internet.  Also it wouldn't surprise me if we face some more whopping big destructive climate events which will sober people up fast.

          Today, I do not expect that the plutocracy will simply lie down or change.  On the contrary I expect them to fight to the death and so I expect an absolutely awful and embattled 2012,in all regards.  I expect the next 10 years to be hard fought (and god willing with no blood shed,) because I think that the people have been pushed to the point of no return and won't back down.  And my guess is that the best case scenario will be for this to be sorted out within 20 yrs.  Of course all of these guesses, presupposes no violence, no internment camps, no gun firing R-wingers turned against the protesters by Fox, etc., There are so many variables.

          But those are my expectations. I expect this to take a really long time.   And I hope to be able to support this in whatever way I am able.

          I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

          by SeaTurtle on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 11:40:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Anti War Protest Had Gigantic Victory. (25+ / 0-)

    BTW you're exactly right about the time scale and also the effort scale: no one action like Occupy ever changes a nation, it takes many hands, many acts, over a long time.

    Back to war protest: As Daniel Ellsberg has explained, Nixon had the military doing the preliminary work of probing air defenses and other intel etc. to prepare for nuking North Vietnam. Catch the William Shatner Aftermath program re-run with Ellsberg some time and you can hear it from the horse's mouth.

    The scale of protest right at that time was what made them cancel the plans.

    Beyond that, troops in the field gradually began to mutiny as so much of the draft pool generation was turning against the war.

    So let's not write off the 70's war protests as having accomplished nothing.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 03:48:34 PM PDT

  •  Great Post (24+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the great post.  I had this exact conversation with a good friend a few weeks ago and tried to explain how the OWS efforts could make substantial changes over the long haul.  Your diary put it much better than I was able to.

    Thanks again and lets start pushing that window as hard as we can, even if it seems to be immovable...

  •  A gigantic gathering in DC in the spring (20+ / 0-)

    is a great idea. It will be sorely needed after the bitter winter this is likely to be when all but the strongest New Yorkers will be forced inside.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

    by RJDixon74135 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:32:09 AM PDT

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 03:25:00 AM PDT

  •  Excellent piece, Obama Amabo...! n.t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    looking and listening

    'We Will Not Be Co-opted' ~Jesse LaGreca

    by Annalize5 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 03:51:33 AM PDT

  •  amen, Amabo! (8+ / 0-)

    (And thank you for not lapsing - like I do - into quoting Ginsberg's "Howl.")

    But do not do not DO NOT count out the chances for rapid and meaningful acceleration of change if Obama awakens to the realization that he has a hurdle to jump. Banks can turn on a dime and the floodgates of investment are as changeable as the weather.

    If Obama doesn't grab the votes of 20-26 year-olds with meat on the bones of real change - change that he could implement even now and put into effect for five years with the stroke of his executive pen - then there will be no respite from the neoconservative evils of the last Bush administration, and the maw of American exceptionalism - our despicable crony capitalism arm-sales-ridden, oil drilling Imperialism - will go on into the MIC's future for as far as the eye can see.

    And he may even be defeated by an ambivalent electorate amid the droning mediocrity of burgeoning food pantries and ever more Good Will stores with the climate heating up for all to see.  He just doesn't want to end up like John F.Kennedy, and he'll do whatever it takes to orderly pass the reins of power to even a shitheel like Romney.

    •  Excellent point, ezdidit! In my view,.. (11+ / 0-)

      ...Obama is the one person who could have started shifting the Overton window on his own, with the bully pulpit, just as Reagan did (tho' toward the dark side!).  He chose not to.

      Now, I do think there is an argument as to whether such a sea change as we desire must necessarily surface from below. At the very least I think that the force of the OWS movement has been augmented by its undeniable grassroots and nonpartisan nature.

      But at the very least, Obama needs to help focus this energy into a legislative (and administrative!) agenda. Wall Street indictments, a new Secretary of the Treasury, and some mandatory divestments by TBTF corporations would be a great start.

      "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

      by Obama Amabo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 04:20:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama gets first dibs on the sword in the stone (0+ / 0-)

      but if he turns up his nose at it or doesn't have the moral strength to wield it, there will be many more eager to try

      Is that Sir Ron Paul dismounting his steed"

  •  This is going to make me sound clueless, but I (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Matt Z, martini, MKinTN

    still don't know what an "Overton window" or a "Laffer curve" are.  One night I went to bed having never heard of these terms and the next day I wake up and they're everywhere.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 04:44:21 AM PDT

  •  Specific examples (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Would someone please provide specific examples of how #occopy has shifted the narrative to the left or to focus it on "the 99%" in the broader media and culture? Yes, Daily Kos, MSNBC, and Olbermann are giving #occupy large coverage, but what about in the boader population?

    Also, where specificly have people outside the left have talked about income inequality except in the "this is one of OWS's issues?"

    I follow the news and talk to people, but I don't see the change.

    Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble

    by DeanObama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 05:14:31 AM PDT

    •  With the advent of the electronic universe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      alot of people have become impatient with anything less than instant results.

      As the diarist so beautifully stated, this will be a slow motion change.

      We are up against entrenched money interests that will resist the loss of power with extreme vigor.

      •  Yes, it is a slow process, but ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... certainly you can point to some specific examples? If the change is occuring, even at a slow pace, there should be some evidence.

        Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble

        by DeanObama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 05:46:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Facebook, facebook, facebook (10+ / 0-)

        All of my specific examples are from social media -- my conservative cousin who "liked" my posting of Lemony Snicket's take on OWS; the college friend who I thought was a Reublican until this week when she posted a link to a DK diary; conversations I've had on-line on these issues.  People are talking about inequality -- what caused it, why it's happening.

        There's a great book just out on the destruction of pensions and the author appeared on Daily Show.  Not sure if it would have been considered too dry a topic before.

        Not saying that miracles have happened, but yes, I feel like I'm feeling that window give a little bit.

        •  I'm seeing more of the same (6+ / 0-)

          I've been stunned by how much the switch has been from talking about the national debt to unemployment and jobs. There is still a ton of misinformation viewers of Fox and listeners of Rush are getting, but the real facts are starting to get through.

        •  more than a little bit-- a couple months ago (5+ / 0-)

          all the talk was of debt ceilings and the deficit and reckless government spending and austerity--now the talk is of income inequity, unfairness, high-level white-collar crime going unpunished, and a plundered economic future.

          Oh, and a government captive to the interests of the ultra-wealthy.

          Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:06:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  RE: our discussion on Tuesday night (2+ / 0-)

            I did read the "concern trolls" blog post more carefully (including many comments), and it did change my mind about OWS a little. I've shifted from hard opponent to open-minded critic. I support OWS's goals; however, I doubt OWS's ability to produce results. If OWS really is changing the discussion (as this thread indicates), then I'm open to shifting even more. Maybe my progressive activism training (mostly obtained from Democracy for America) is incomplete.

            Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble

            by DeanObama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:12:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  mine is obtained from DFA too. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kurt Sperry, dharmafarmer

              we should probably talk more.

              we probably have more in common than I thought.  Our difference is, I feel we might have to endure Democratic losses to get out of this, because the party's gotten so bad it ignores its own electoral interests (see my comments on how the Dems could have won easily next year, and how they totally blew it).  I'm not happy about this, but I gave my all--as in made it my career--to get Dems back into power and I am extremely bitter about how they have squandered it, and I think the structure might be so broken that it has to break down before it gets rebuilt.  I didn't want it to be this way.  I fought as hard as I could to make change happen another way.  But they've blown their chances again and again because they're afraid to stand up to the plutocracy. On much of anything.

              The only people who aren't compromising in American politics are the plutocracy and their far-right insane followers. And that's why they're getting everything they want, and the rest of us are just trailing along after them:  the moderate Repubs being pulled by the far-right Repubs, the centrist Dems being pulled by the moderate Repubs, the center-left Dems being pulled by the centrist Dems, the progressives being pulled by the center-left Dems, and the activist base at the bottom or end of the line.

              Until someone says "Enough" it's not going to stop.
              Each link of the chain has a way to threaten the next link down and keep it in line:  the way centrist and center-left Dems threaten us is with the sweeping Republican victories and the resulting wreckage.
              We have to face that possibility and hold the line of our beliefs, or nothing is going to change.

              Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:02:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm gald we do see eye-to-eye. (0+ / 0-)

                You are right that we need a more fundimental reset than just "throwing the bums out." The Overton window has moved too far to the right. I hope that we will have enough resources to fight on two fronts (the protests and the election) at once. Indeed, we may NEED BOTH. If ya'll are protesting while my gang is going door-to-door, that would be perfect! Maybe the good that you do will prop us up and vice versa.

                Even just looking in terms of the next election, OWS may be more of a help than I first thought. If they really are changing the discussion, they would also be reframing the terms of the next election. They would not be doing in so a direct manor; we aren't going to see a wave of Obama/Biden signs in Liberty/Zuccotti park. However, pushing the Overton window to the left (or at least away from the right) could change the fundimentals of the election in ways Barack can't b/c he is totally tainted by Wall St. now. I see that if OWS gets involved in political campaign directly (except maybe Warren's in MA b/c she is just that anti-bank and awesome), they would ruin their effectiveness. Honestly, that was not a part of my calculus on Tuesday night.

                BTW You did a lot more for the Dems in 2008 than I did. I was suffering in med school that year. I had little time for anything other than studying!!!

                I'll email you if you wish. I still have more questions about occupy. Not accusatory stuff. I'm curious about the movement again. I might join in ... maybe.

                Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble

                by DeanObama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:00:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe you could point me to a few people? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not plugged into facebook. I'll do some searches on my own, too.

          Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble

          by DeanObama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:06:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  with the advent of the electronic universe (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zedaker, barleystraw, elwior, dharmafarmer

        some of these changes are happening more quickly than before--albeit a lot less quickly than people would like.

        It takes far less time for an idea to spread and take hold.  The problem comes with sustaining it.

        However, the economy is going to be so bad that I don't think there's going to be much problem on that front.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:04:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are comparisons to Egypt bad? (0+ / 0-)

        So would the comparisons to Egypt that brought change to that nation so quickly be a bad point of comparison because that change was so rapid? Many may come to expect too much from occupy too soon?

        Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble

        by DeanObama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:14:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The teapartiers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      talk about it but in different terms.  That is why people keep saying that the two should mesh, they object to a lot of the same things.  However both have different solutions and the tp's would never join with tthe left because they really aren't for America, they are for themselves.  They are of personalities and intellect that go after the emotional gratification of the movement, not the objectives.

      And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

      by tobendaro on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 05:32:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't do much better than these two: (15+ / 0-)

      "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

      by Obama Amabo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 05:34:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Eric Cantor talking about "income inequality" (7+ / 0-)

      Here you go -

      a highly specific example of Eric Cantor - Eric Cantor! -
      feeling compelled to talk about the issue of income inequality.   Of course, the substance of what he said was nonsense, but ERIC CANTOR!  Talking about INCOME INEQUALITY!

      Quod erat demonstrandum.

    •  I was talking with my .... (7+ / 0-)

      waffling, right-leaning, sister yesterday.  She is SO happy that someone is talking about the "damn banks" cuz she just "hates the banks".

      She'll also probably vote Repub....

      But, hey, if OWS keeps up harping on the banks, maybe there's time to change my sister's mind cuz she IS wondering why the Repubs aren't talking about the banks....

      So anyway....

  •  Very good diary OA!. So far, yes, the Overton (7+ / 0-)

    Window has been cumbersome for us to shift. So far.

    For a long time the Gordian Knot proved unbeatable until some young person just cut it.

    Right now the pundit class is tying itself in knots trying to understand OWS.

    Real change may take a looong time. It normally does. Until normalcy disappears.

    Thanks for your insights & your service to our country.

    Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

    by catilinus on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 05:24:28 AM PDT

  •  Great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zedaker, Obama Amabo

    Demonstrations of this nature embolden people to look to their own experience for knowledge instead of repeating stuff they hear on TV. It delegitimizes those in power, forcing them to resort to violence which further weakens their grip on the institutions they hold hostage. Ultimately, widespread suppression through violence is unsustainable, especially if there is a middle class.

    And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

    by TheFatLadySings on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 06:08:32 AM PDT

  •  #OWS is doing a good job - and maybe even (0+ / 0-)

    move the Democrat leadership - it has a little in rhetoric.  However, the Wall Street Fundraising was such a crucial benefactor to the Party in 2008 - it will be a complicated relationship for the leadership.

  •  Well said! These things do not happen overnight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, Obama Amabo

    and in our digital world, we expect everything to happen pronto.  OWS must settle in for the long haul, and things will start to change.

    "We can have democracy in this country or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both." Justice Louis Brandeis

    by livjack on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 06:58:05 AM PDT

    •  spin cycle (0+ / 0-)

      does happen overnight

      and there's gonna be a lot of spin cycles before the sleeping bags dry out

      how can OWS generate an endless flow of compelling messages and must experience media clips before the fickle eye of the couch potato glazes over?

      •  How long was Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" news? (0+ / 0-)

        It crystallized sentiment against the war, helping to tip the balance to the Democrats in the House and Senate in 2006.

        But then a funny thing happened: on war-related issues, the Democratic Congress more or less aligned itself with the Republican White House, and impeachment was declared "off the table."

        So the newly empowered Democrats, viewing Cindy Sheehan's protest as having outlived its usefulness, dropped her like a hot potato.

        OWS, be warned?

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 01:09:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You must be mistaken! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Obama Amabo

    As Glen Beck pointed out, the Overton window ONLY shifts to the right!!!

    Great article.  Tipp'd and Rec'd.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:09:13 AM PDT

  •  We will stand together -n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo
  •  Success can be measured in generations (8+ / 0-)
    SOME people (and their children!) have never shifted back to the right!

    I never shifted back to the right.

    This morning, I had a conversation with my 14 year old son, whose high school is doing some kind of "dress like the 70's" thing. I pointed out to him that the 70s were two very different decades. At the beginning, you had Vietnam, protests, Kent State, Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix ... but by the end we were all about Disco Fever.

    "But Dad," he said, "Woodstock was in 1969."

    Yep, he got that right. Then we talked about excessive military spending, and how money spent on wars and weapons was a waste and a drag on our economy; it's not an investment in infrastructure, education, or any other economically productive activity.

    It was partly about the music, but not all about it. This kid -- and lots of kids these days -- are very well connected, very well informed, have a keen sense of social justice, and know very well that we're currently off the rails.

    Success can be measured in generations.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 07:36:09 AM PDT

  •  Anti war protests of 2002-2003 (5+ / 0-)

    were ignored PRECISELY because their stated goal was so plain: No Blood For Oil. The message was so compelling it HAD to be ignored.

    OWS is a much cleverer proposition, even though all you have to do to learn their goals is read a well crafted, properly spelled sign or two. That didn't stop the NY Times from running a page one "what do they want" story, complete with cherry-picked photos of dirty fucking hippies at play.

  •  Shift the Window? No, Rotate! (9+ / 0-)

    I think the OWS movement is concerned more with changing the political dynamic from Left/Right, to the more realistic Top/Bottom. Failure to understand this simple fact has all the talking heads sputtering a lot of tired cliches about "Lefties", and "Hippies".

  •  Change at DKos.... (6+ / 0-)

    I stopped coming to DKos until a few days ago because so much of the conversation was "meta", ie, DKos members attacking eachother ad infinitum.

    Seems to me this has really changed.

    Don't know of OWS has anything to do with it, but sure seems that talk of OWS is everywhere on here....

  •  yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes (6+ / 0-)

    success or failure of movements like these is NOT judged in weeks or months, but in years and decades!

    PLEASE explain this to people who are frantic about "how long" it is taking for the promised change of 2008 to come.

    If we march steadily in the right direction, 2018 will be VERY different.

    Or we can go backward out of short-term frustration that yelling at the newly planted seedlings did not make the trees grow faster.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:13:13 AM PDT

  •  Any time (5+ / 0-)

    someone down at OWS asks me "Why are you here", I say "have you heard of the OVerton Window?".

    They usually say no.

    I say "we're here to change the story."

    nothin' to see here folks, just a massive labor uprising.

    by WesEverest on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:33:42 AM PDT

  •  They are already changing the conversation. (4+ / 0-)

    Rs had dragged an unnecessary threat of default on our national debt into news spotlight for many weeks
    as a screen hiding the real money manipulation problems.

    They foamed at the mouth about China currency manipulation while they kept picking our pockets with impunity right on Wall Street and K Street.

    They ignored that we don't have enough jobs for our real living persons while they made regressive laws to force us to overpopulate another generation with jobless human fodder units to be customers for piratized schools, prisons, and  worker bee security guards protecting their god chosen dollar royal war lord manses.

    Remember when Egyptians "walked" because even their highly educated young folk couldn't find work/hope for future?    Well, the worldwide sympathy occupations showed that the world HEARS us that we too are being had by monetizing tyrants.  That our PEOPLE are not for stupid wars against their people.  It will be much harder to foment crusades/jihads against innocents --- once we know we are fellow victims of the cruel and corrupt in governance.

    The FOCUS is shifting back to bad practices of money hoarding cheats.   Questions of if they really are too big to JAIL -- are once again surfacing.    

    The true enemy is being identified.  And perps do not like it. Yup, class warfare by 1% is actually being viewed.  The first step in any cure is to identify the problem.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:35:45 AM PDT

  •  1 thing for sure: ignore radio as usual won't help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the talk radio monopoly, virtually invisible to the left, has only been around for 20 years as the giant coordinated megaphone for corporate think tanks, and look where we are now.

    whatever OWS does or means to the US, continuing to ignore the tool most useful to the right for getting us into this mess will just make everything OWS wants harder and slower.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:38:34 AM PDT

  •  Not protests but direct action. (4+ / 0-)

    Huge protests in DC are an anachronism.  Such an event is designed to persuade politicians, whose legitimacy and integrity is presumed, to enact policy change.  The very record of protest against the Vietnam War is an example of why that doesn't work with our system.

    Last year, I was around a group that involved unions who spent a lot of money renting buses, etc. to take large group to DC to protest about jobs.  Result?  Nihil.  It was hardly mentioned in the press.

    Direct action is different, and that is what is being practiced by OWS for the most part.

    This is how David Graeber distinguishes the two:

    Even the commitment to direct action, so often confused with breaking windows or the like, really refers to the refusal of any politics of protest, that merely appeals to the authorities to behave differently, and the determination instead to act for oneself, and to do what one thinks is right, regardless of law and authority. Gandhi’s salt march, for example, is a classic example of direct action. So was squatting Zuccotti Park. It’s a public space; we were the public; the public shouldn’t have to ask permission to engage in peaceful political assembly in its own park; so we didn’t. By doing so we not only acted in the way we felt was right, we aimed to set an example to others: to begin to reclaim communal resources that have been appropriated for purposes of private profit to once again serve for communal use—as in a truly free society, they would be—and to set an example of what genuine communal use might actually be like. For those who desire to create a society based on the principle of human freedom, direct action is simply the defiant insistence on acting as if one is already free.

    Washington marches are pointless.  Worse, they require involvement of large, bureaucratic organizations that are partly responsible for our current plight.  We need to work around "progressive" organizations and labor unions, not through them.  If they had been doing their job, as Chris Hedges has pointed out so thoroughly, we wouldn't be in this state of affairs.

  •  Yeah Baby, I'm in! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    I've got my spine, I've got my (DKos) orange crush, we are agents of the free.....R.E.M.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:32:28 AM PDT

  •  a real success of OWS would be to (0+ / 0-)

    get the right wing (even the tea party) to join in the common goal to dismantle the ultra rich's agenda and influence.

  •  gordeon window (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama

    imagine the pane shattering

    slivers moving in different directions at different rates

    cutting and slicing everything in their paths

    this is a different world

  •  Take My Grandfather for Instance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo

    He was an inspector at P&H in Milwaukee, in his youth during the First World War he was the one member of his family who stopped speaking German in public.  He was a member of the United Auto Workers, used pick handles to bust scab heads in the 30's.  He was a member of the Klan and a complete racist anti-communist.

    My memories of Sunday dinners often included bitter political arguments between my Grandpa and my liberal parents.

    So my family was astonished in 1968 when Grandpa announced that he was going to vote for Eugene McCarthy in the Wisconsin primary that year.

    The struggle for civil rights and to end the war shifted the Overton Window profoundly.  It created the political space for the modern womens movement, the modern gay rights movement, the black power movement, the American Indian movement and the environmental movement.  

    It got Richard Nixon to sign the Endangered Species Act and it finally did end the war.

    We want more of this.  Maybe this time around we can pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 09:58:08 AM PDT

    •  This is a GREAT post! And Wisconsin was the... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...only primary that McCarthy won.

      The struggle for civil rights and to end the war shifted the Overton Window profoundly.  It created the political space for the modern womens movement, the modern gay rights movement, the black power movement, the American Indian movement and the environmental movement...  Maybe this time around we can pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

      You nailed it, kaleidoscope.

      "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

      by Obama Amabo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:39:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly. We were kicking around an idea (3+ / 0-)

    on the radio last night that we should use the college "Spring Break" season to organize efforts like #OccupyFtLauderdale and #OccupyCorpusChristi. #OccupySpringBreak should be one of the first events of Spring 2012.
    In the meantime... we should look at "pulling shifts" at our local #OccupyEverywhere Events throughout the winter. Bundle up and pull a 2 hour or 4 hour shift, followed by a hot toddy or two at a local establishment supporting the cause. But, even if it's just two or three of us "pulling a shift" at these #Occupations during the winter months there should be a human presence there on all but the coldest days

    •  I like both these ideas -- a lot! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winkk, linkage

      "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

      by Obama Amabo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:40:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  some more ideas (0+ / 0-)

      ask some major rock groups to allow fundraising at some of their concerts

      put up a website showing which groups are helping out and how

      do some occupy awareness skits at places where people go for entertainment such as Rennaissance fairs and places like Williamsburg in costume...make sure local media knows about it...keep it fun

      start asking to give talks at high school asemblies and civic groups, even groups that are not conventional allies

      get high school students to petition to open start a club or student OWS chapter at their local high school to fund raise and spread awareness

      write a OWS play or musical appropriate for high school or junior high or even elementary school age kids to perform, also church groups

      OWS board game

      ask to give talks or hold public discussions in public libraries and community centers, example: OWS travel log

      provide impeccably accurate, unbiased, thoroughly researched data

  •  I think I support what OWS is about (0+ / 0-)

    the problem I have is that it refuses to tell me what it is about.

    I understand the reasons for not wanting to be limited to specific grievances or specific goals but it seems to me that there should be some very high level principals that could be articulated such as non-violent protesting, supporting policies and laws that benefit the 99% over the 1%, etc.

    Why is it so difficult to come up with something?   I understand it makes it easier to get people to join in if it means whatever they want it to mean but what if you start getting lots of people joining who want it to be something that you don't think it should be?

    What happens if the majority at one of these occupations decide that it is a good idea to do something violent?    There are no guiding principals of the movement to indicate that this action was not supported and there are no leaders who can condemn something like this.

    I know, I know, I've been told I just don't get it.   The problem is I think I do.   I think it is irresponsible and dangerous to have a movement with no stated principals.

    I actually think this movement does have principals and goals but it is either too scared to state them for fear of being attacked or are playing a game with them to draw as many people into the movement as they can.

    •  AtF, can I try? (3+ / 0-)

      I certainly can't speak for the OWS movement, but I can speak for myself:

      For me, the movement is about democracy, a seductive yet mistrusted ideal in this country since at least the Founding Fathers. The movement says:

      "We are the 99%.  We have been ignored, and power -- economic, political, social -- has been monopolized by the 1%.  But we believe in democracy and now it is time to listen to us -- WHATEVER it may be that we wish to say -- just because this is a democracy!  

      "We don't know what the rest of us want to say -- BUT WE DEMAND THAT THEY BE HEARD, because the alternative is continued rule by the plutocratic elites and corporations who for so long have allowed only themselves to be heard. And government of, by, and for the 1% must disappear from this land.

      "Finally, we KNOW that many people in this county, deep down, are afraid of real democracy, just as many of the Founding Fathers were.  Thus our peaceful behavior, even in the face of pepper spray, beatings by the Pinkertons, arrests, and attempts by rightwing agents provocateurs to foment violence, is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to our efforts, and thus far we have been completely nonviolent.  We will disavow all expressions of violence, in deed or in word, and peacefully protest any incidents of violence, should they occur. Because democratic government is, by its very nature, the best guarantor of domestic tranquility."

      Again, I certainly don't speak for the movement, and in a true democracy no unelected individual can. But, to me, this is the message inherent within the OWS movement.  

      "Slip? Upset? In Utah! Trail, no! M. Romney? Odd! Elder, an A.M.C. man, a Red-led doyen! Mormon liar that unites pupils?"

      by Obama Amabo on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:30:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Obama Amabo

        for taking the time to give your impression of what it is about.

        I will say that in my opinion the Founding Fathers were correct in their fear of a pure democracy.   I don't believe it works well except in the smallest of groups.

        As a CA resident, I can also attest to the stupidity of some group decisions based upon our ability to write law through propositions.  Complicated decisions are not best made by having everyone try to become educated to know enough to vote on them.   The rights of individuals should never be put up for a vote, etc.

  •  The Overton Window May Be Heavy But (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo, saluda, linkage

    it easily shifts when the correct pressure is applied. too much pressure  can cause a backlash of equal proportions. too little pressure will go unnoticed. in either case, the overton remains stationary.

    but when the correct pressure is applied the overton shifts to revel a new paradigm. in this sense OWS has already been successful for no longer do we hear about debt and deficet. now the conversation is all about income inequality and how 1% got bailed-out and 99% got sold-out.

    there will come a time for definitions and demands. but until this new paradigm is firmly rooted iin the psyche of we the peeps it is best to continue with this most zen revolution.  

    anyway, there's nothing like a spring offensive to upset the status quo...

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    60% of White-Americans voted for the TeaBigots in 2010. Yet, some Kossacks think Obama is the problem. I guess it's easier to blame Obama than it is to blame your momma

    by OnlyWords on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:46:56 AM PDT

  •  great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    can't stick around for more, but great job!

    My forthcoming book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity will be published in Summer 2012 by Potomac Books.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:53:44 AM PDT

  •  i don't know if we have time to do big demos this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barleystraw, saluda, linkage

    next year

    The 2012 elections a just one year from now - I feel we need to put all of our energy into daily OWS activites and on the elections.

    Progressives are going to get outspent in 2012 by Wall Street 100,000 to 1 with the Citizens United decision. What we can't do in money we must do in people power. Ultimately all politics are local, and so we need people to stay at home and work on their local elections. We really have a chance to make some inroads this time and I think that is where most of our energy should be this next year.

    •  I agree with the sentiment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Rick, linkage

      however, here are a couple of things to consider:

      for people who live close to the big cities (I live close to DC) it is not that big of a deal to go into town for a couple of hours and get some exercise. We do that sort of thing for non political things too like National Book Festival, 4th of July, etc.

      secondly, the marches energize the participants. they let you know that you are not alone. Protest marches are a form of soul cleansing. So you can end up more likely to continue to participate after doing a march than you would have done if you had stayed home.

      thirdly, the march doesn't have to be in DC or NY. Do it in your own community. When I was growing up we lived in a town of about 30 thousand. We did some marches down to the court house with a couple of hundred people and some speeches. It got some space in the local paper, generated some local talk radio discussions and letters to the editor exchanges.

      these days the coordinated marches are all over the place. you are part of the overall thing even if it's just you and your sign at your local city hall building.

    •  I like these "connected" demos (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Obama Amabo, Mr Rick, linkage

      I think more people are involved and it ends up having more impact with Occupy all over the place.  My local paper covers my local Occupy in a different tone than covering NYC "way up there." More and different folks get involved.  Different things, local things, get discussed.  Like our local credit unions get talked about, as do local housing issues, local businesses closed, etc.  

      Don't get me wrong, we have to have the NYC encampment on the national news and you know they'll never travel out of the major markets to cover this.  (Laughable that earthquake coverage was only NYC and DC in most areas when there was plenty of local damage to cover just 2 hours away, for instance.)  So first you get the attention, now we are spreading it.  

      "Eating your seed corn is not a good business model." - FishOutofWater

      by saluda on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:06:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How very true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo

    thank you so much for reminding us that even when things don't have the immediate effect we hope, they can be hugely influential in shifting the debate and appear much more consequential in hindsight. It's not for no reason that the right still hates us "dirty hippies."

    "The fools are as plentiful as ever." Albert Parsons, Haymarket martyr

    by kainah on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:09:30 PM PDT

  •  Pull, not push, that Overton Window! (3+ / 0-)

    As I recall, the way the Overton Window gets moved is to go out ahead of it in the direction you want it to move and then make so much noise hauling that window behind you that when it moves your direction the people opposing that move are grateful it didn't go as far as you said you wanted it to go. You keep pulling and get them used to that feeling of settling for "not so bad" and eventually you move the show way over.

    It's exactly what the right has been doing for over 30 years. It's what they did to us on health care.

    So we need to get out in front and and PULL. Really scare the daylights out of them. What that means, I don't know.

  •  Thanks, Obama Amabo, for pointing out that the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo

    Overton Window, like a pendulum, can move both ways. I've been dismayed by the persistent movement to the right, which is why OWS in all its iterations give me so much hope. Since the media managed to ignore big, one, two and three day protests OWS has hit upon an effective strategy by digging in for the long haul.

    I can still hear my college history professor, Dr. Thayer, talking about the pendulum swinging one way and then another. He also pointed out that the peasants (Joe Six-pack) are more liable to be resistent to change. It will take time, but it is worth it.

    Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. Louis D. Brandeis

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:33:48 PM PDT

  •  Culture changes slowly - even tho (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo, jan4insight

    it seems really fast on the superficial stuff.  Obama used the metaphor of turning a large ship - it's a slow process.  Just think:  the potato didn't really catch on in Europe until about 100 years after it was introduced!  
    I was there in the 60's demonstrations (and the 70's).  Since I was young, I never doubted our ultimate success.  Just watch an old B & W movie from the 50's to see the group mind think about women and blacks and hispanics.  It blows your mind that it could have ever been THAT bad.  I realize we are not at perfect, but there is no denying we hippies carrying signs pushed the ship/Overton Window significantly.
    Let's keep pushing.  
    I am so delighted to see  so many out in the streets again now.  And even tho I am considerably older than I was in the 60's, I have absolutely no doubt of our ultimate success.

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 12:49:27 PM PDT

  •  #OWS Critics Use Third Reich Themes (0+ / 0-)

    it's not surprising that every time the right wants to malign their opponents they fall into the same well worn groove.

    The themes include:
       "Class warfare"
       The belief in a natural aristocracy of superior people
       Global conspiracy
       Lumping all opponents into a single category
       Intentionally destroying the economy

    I'll have a diary up on Saturday.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 01:45:47 PM PDT

  •  I dont think OWS should go to DC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmafarmer, Obama Amabo

    and OWS probably wont go for a big demonstration in DC because that would be political and they are striving to remain as non political as possible BUT you should submit your Idea to the  OWS general Assembly. in person or on their website.  

    I have been hearing that there is a plan for a GIGANTIC peoples convention in PHILLY on 7/4/12 and I think there is a plan to send two delegates from every OWS contingent around the country and imho THAT should scare the heck out of DC

    especially if OWS calls it a continental congress :)

    imagine if WE the people all got together to discuss and plan for the future of our Nation and Politicians were NOT invited  :)

    "Orwell was an optimist"

    by KnotIookin on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 03:12:16 PM PDT

  •  We are working on organizing a DC march (0+ / 0-)

    See the DailyKos group "Occupy the Mall".  PM me if anybody would like to help organize.

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