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Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen being carried by fellow Occupy Oakland protesters after being wounded by police.(@occupyoakland/Twitpic)
The fact is that all non-cooperation is not violent and non-violent non-cooperation can never be an act of violence.

—M.K Gandhi, in Non-Violent Resistance

The violent attack on Occupy Oakland should not have come as surprise. It was inevitable that some local authorities would eventually resort to violence. It will be a surprise if there are no further such assaults. The people who stand to lose if the Occupy movement succeeds are very wealthy and very powerful, and they control many aspects of national and local governance. They will not easily cede any aspects of power or any of their staggeringly disproportionate wealth. The stronger the Occupy movement grows, the more desperate will be those who would destroy it. If history is precedent, they will attempt many different means. There is one ideal means of countering those attempts.

Mass civil disobedience stands on a different footing. It can only be tried in a calm atmosphere. It must be the calmness of strength not weakness, knowledge not ignorance.

The Occupy movement already has succeeded in changing the national economic dialogue. All summer long, from most Democrats as well as Republicans, almost all we heard about was debt and deficits and austerity. We didn't hear much about jobs except as excuses for more of the market-based chicanery that has proven, at best, a failure and at worst, the latest means of extending and exploiting class warfare. All summer long, from most Democrats as well as most Republicans, we heard almost nothing about the financial industry crimes that nearly brought down the economy. It was a profound failure of the political system, and it seemed clear that the political system was not equipped even to begin to rectify it. The Occupy movement has changed all of that. The corporatist media have begun discussing jobs and wealth disparities and finance industry crimes. The Occupy movement gets full credit for that.

Only those who realize that there is something in man which is superior to the brute nature in him and that the latter always yields to it, can effectively be Satyagrahis. This force is to violence, and, therefore, to all tyranny, all injustice, what light is to darkness. In politics, its use is based upon the immutable maxim, that government of the people is possible only so long as they consent either consciously or unconsciously to be governed.

As Hunter noted earlier this week, the powers that be seem to have assumed that after a while the Occupy movement would just go away. They got some attention. They blew off some steam. Now back to business as usual. But that's beginning to change. The powers that be are beginning to realize that this movement is not going anywhere but forward. The demands are serious. The depth and breadth of change needed to satisfy those demands are paradigmatic. A bare awakening is only beginning. This is for real. There is no going back. And the response has begun to get nasty. It will get nasty. Sadly, that is one measure of the Occupy movement's initial success. But the Occupy movement's success thus far is but initial. The continuing path forward will grow more difficult and more complicated. And the Occupy movement needs to be prepared. And given that the Occupy movement has no leadership or hierarchy, is spontaneous and organic, and is both diverse and diffuse, that means that every single person involved with or supportive of the Occupy movement needs to be prepared.

Non-cooperation is not a movement of brag, bluster and bluff. It is a test of our sincerity. It requires solid and silent self-sacrifice. It challenges our honesty and our capacity for national work. It is a movement that aims at translating ideas into action. The more we do, the more we find that much more must be done than we had expected. The thought of our imperfection must make us humble."

A non-cooperationist strives to compel attention and to set an example by his unobtrusive humility. He allows his actions to speak for his creed. Neither in the Koran nor in the Mahabharata was there any sanction for and approval of violence. If the science of war leads to dictatorship, the science of non-violence leads to democracy. Today, more than ever before, there is a need to practice non-violent conflict resolution skills. Hence, at an individual and at a collective level, we have to seek viable alternatives to violence before we make our world an extremely hostile and unfriendly place.

Those who would destroy the Occupy movement will attempt many means, but one of the most obvious will be to attempt to marginalize the movement as extreme and irrelevant. Given that the economic issues driving the Occupy movement enjoy wide popular support, these attempts to marginalize will not focus on the issues, the facts or the goals. It will be an effort to undermine the movement as a movement, regardless of what it is about. What it is about seems too threatening to name. Therefore the attempts to destroy it will be about behavior. They will include attempts to provoke and to publicize any acts that can be construed as vandalism or violence perpetrated by anyone who can be construed as a member of the Occupy movement. And if history is precedent, that also will include such acts perpetrated by infiltrators. But whatever happens, the Occupy activists can only be responsible for their own behavior. And that not only must include refraining from any acts of vandalism or violence, no matter how abusive the tactics of authorities; it also must include attempts to condemn every possible such act as it happens. Even and especially when resisting new laws passed specifically to suppress the Occupy Movement.

Passive resistance is a method of securing rights by personal suffering; it is the reverse of resistance by arms. When I refuse to do a thing that is repugnant to my conscience, I use soul-force. For instance, the Government of the day has passed a law which is applicable to me. I do not like it. If by using violence I force the Government to repeal the law, I am employing what may be termed body-force. If I do not obey the law and accept the penalty for its breach, I use soul-force. It involves sacrifice of self.

Even and especially in the face of acts of violence perpretrated by authorities.

By noiselessly going to prison a civil resister ensures a calm atmosphere. The wrongdoer wearies of wrongdoing in the absence of resistance. All pleasure is lost when the victim betrays no resistance. A full grasp of the conditions of successful civil resistance is necessary at least on the part of the representatives of the people before we can launch on an enterprise of such magnitude. The quickest remedies are always fraught with the greatest danger and require the utmost skill in handling them.

The Occupy movement has, on its own, without hierarchy, embraced this concept. That has been one of the keys to its initial success. There has been training in non-violence at various Occupy locations. This reflects both the dignity and wisdom of those participating in this movement and the dignity and wisdom inherent in human beings.

How then can one be effectively non-violent? By simply refusing to take up arms.

In other words, trust the method. It is an ends in itself. It should not be confused with weakness or compliance or capitulation.

When we do not like certain laws, we do not break the heads of lawgivers but we suffer and do not submit to the laws. That we should obey laws whether good or bad is a newfangled notion. There was no such thing in former days. The people disregarded those laws they did not like and suffered the penalties for their breach. It is contrary to our manhood if we obey laws repugnant to our conscience. Such teaching is opposed to a religion and means slavery. If the Government were to ask us to go about without any clothing, should we do so? If I were a passive resister, I would say to them that I would have nothing to do with their law. But we have so forgotten ourselves and become so compliant that we do not mind any degrading law.

There is strength in resistance, but the greatest strength is in non-violent resistance. There also is the greatest opportunity for long-range success. At this stage, it's very much about perceptions. For this movement to have any chance at long-range success, this movement must progressively draw in more and more of the non-activist middle Americans who are for now mostly observing. And that means continuing to present to those mostly observing an ethos of determination, responsibility and non-violence. Let the tactics of those opposed to the Occupy movement reveal them. Let there be a clear contrast. This cannot be but a passing moment or a passing phase. It will take time and determination. And more.

And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on one's own self.

This is up to every individual, acting in accordance with conscience. Things will grow more difficult as those who would destroy this movement grow more worried and inevitably more desperate. Means of obstruction and suppression and repression will proliferate. None can be allowed to succeed.

Disobedience without civility, discipline, discrimination, non-violence is certain destruction.

Given the political failures of the past years and the past decades, we cannot afford for the Occupy movement to fail. It is the best hope we have had in a very long time to build a better collective future.

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Comment Preferences

    •  What is the criterion for success? (8+ / 0-)

      That is what I wonder.  Hmm, that would make a good diary.  I mean the goal of the Egyptian protesters was to hound Mubarek from office, and they succeeded.  The Occupy movement does not want the president to step down, does it?

      "I don't want to blame anyone. I just want to know how lowering taxes on the rich creates jobs" --Informed citizen at Congressional town hall

      by Time Waits for no Woman on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:09:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  why does there need to be a criterion for success? (45+ / 0-)

        What is the Democratic Party's criterion for "success"? What is the Sierra Club's?   What is NOW's?  What is NARAL's? What is the AFL-CIO's?

        At what point do these organizations throw their farewell party, pack up, and disband, their goals having been reached and nothing further remaining for them to do?

        You are assuming that the Occupy movement has narrow goals that once reached signal the end of the movement. You are further assuming that these limited goals should be based directly on the legislative agenda of the Democratic Party, that the aim of OWS should be to act simply as an adjunct to the Democratic Party and/or the Obama reelection campaign, and that once the Dems are firmly in power, OWS should go home, its task having been accomplished. You are wrong.

        The Dem Party has its short-term goals----passing this bill, stopping that bill from passing. But those are not its "criteria for success"--if it were, the Dem party would have disbanded decades ago as an abject failure. The Dem party also, at least in theory, has its longterm goals---making a better society for all of us. That goal is, necessarily, nebulous and open-ended.  At what point does the Democratic Party "win"? At what point does it "reach its final goal"? Never. That fight goes on forever.

        And the same is true of OWS. The goal of the movement is social and economic justice.  That fight NEVER ends.  Ever.  

        •  "That fight NEVER ends. Ever." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ahumbleopinion, divineorder

          Well that's just depressing.

        •  The oligarchy can afford to be patient (14+ / 0-)

          These people are the 1% of the 1%.
          They are sitting on hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars.

          They've been waiting since Franklin Roosevelt to completely take over and run the American economic and political systems.
          Their time frame is beyond the 24 hour news cycle,
          it's generational.
          They've been chipping away at the American middle class for 30+ years.
          My guess is the consensus with them is that although OWS is dangerous to them, they can outlast it , use their money to discredit and diminish it and otherwise negate it.

          Winter will come, police and political harassment will make it more difficult for people to get out and protest and the energy will wane.
          Although they fear OWS, there is not yet enough energy from it to affect real changes and they can wait it out.

          On the bright side, OWS has countered the 1% of the 1%'s media propaganda.
          That's a great first step, but there are decades of propaganda, bad legislation, lack of regulation, entrenched legalized bribery and  destructive economic policies to reverse.
          The 1% of the 1% have wrapped their tentacles around the American political and economic systems.
          It's going to take a HUGE amount of energy to dislodge them.

          •  the genie is out of the bottle. (16+ / 0-)

            It cannot be put back inside.

            We face nothing that the civil rights movement didn't face, the union movement didn't face, the women's suffrage movement didn't face, the anti-war movement didn't face.

            It's not the media or the 1% or even the cops who decide who wins.  It's our willingness to fight.

            If we are willing to fight, for as long as it takes, then no power can stop us.

            If we are NOT willing to fight, for as long as it takes, then no power can HELP us.

            It's that simple.

          •  One thing that is scary about the 1% of the 1% (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OHdog, flavor411

            is that so much of the $$$ is not American.  What % of the US economy is controlled by foreign interests that may be more interested in making America fail than in seeing it succeed?  How many Middle Eastern oil dollars are now coming back to sabotage America?

            “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

            by ahumbleopinion on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:29:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  don't play the "forner" card. it's stupid. (4+ / 0-)

              Corporations have no country anymore. They are multinational--they are based in no country, they answer to no government, and they don't give a rat's ass about any nation's "interests".  US corporations have over half their productive capacity located overseas, and make over half their profits outside the country. They are bigger than any nation, richer than any nation, and have more direct control over more people's lives than any government in the world.

              The silly American nationalism that you are in love with, no longer matters.  There are no countries anymore, and borders no longer exist for them.  General Motors, BP, Daewoo, Deutsche Bank---they are all over the world. People in the China, Brazil, France, Niger, Australia, Serbia, Guatemala---they are all fighting the same people (literally!) as we are.

              The forners are not our enemies.  The multinational corporations that fuck people over in the US, Russia, South Africa, India, Chile, Uganda and Cambodia, are the enemy.  The enemy of ALL of us.

              Either we fight them together, or they will stomp us into the ground one nation at a time.

              Join or die.

              •  Lenny, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                or something?  I see Dkos to be a place where people can discuss issues in an open, constructive fashion.  Someone who asks questions is not necessarily a troll.

                waits for Lenny to jump on my use of "constructive" and use that to take me to task

                "I don't want to blame anyone. I just want to know how lowering taxes on the rich creates jobs" --Informed citizen at Congressional town hall

                by Time Waits for no Woman on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:53:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I was a union organizer back in the 80s, when the (4+ / 0-)

                  American labor movement stupidly tried to save itself by forming a "partnership" with the corporations to fight the "foreign workers" as the "enemy".

                  I saw what it led to--it whipsawed the entire union movement to death, simply because the unions forgot what the word "solidarity" means and decided that "their" company was their friend. It's not.

                  If we try the same thing, we will only get the same result.

                  The foreigners simply are not our enemy.  They are facing the same enemy we are. And we should both fight that enemy together.

                  In a political conflict, one fights against people on the other side.  Fighting against people who are on OUR side is . . . well . . . kinda stupid.

              •  The corporate person laws allow foreign interests (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                divineorder, ahumbleopinion

                to manipulate our political process. You must know that a corporation owned by the Chinese Army or by Saudi Princes have different interests in American politics than GE, GM or BP or Toyota.

                Republicans aren't so bad as long as they don't move next door, try to marry my child, or run for public office.

                by OHdog on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:47:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe true, but (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  honestly the way 'American' businesspeople are these days, I would say our current crop of CEO's would choose money over country almost every time.

                  I don't think our current crop of 'American' CEO's cares anymore about America than the Chinese Army or the Saudi Royal family......
                  as a matter of fact it could be said that the Chinese and Saudis would not want to do too much damage to the economy of a valuable trading partner, whereas we have seen from the 2008 meltdown etc. that 'American' business leaders will just take the money and run.
                  The damage is somebody else's problem.

                  They apparently don't give a flying f*** about their country if they can make enough money to insulate themselves from the damage they do.

                •  the reverse is also true--the US has been (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OHdog, flavor411, HoosierJay

                  manipulating foreign elections all across the globe, for decades.


              •  Lenny, (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                flavor411, FeltzNook, divineorder

                Seriously, Dude - stop saying "stupid" and other pejorative things.  That is separatist, competitive, the opposite of compassionate.  That streak in you that lashes out occasionally is the same streak that has become dominant in the real oppressors.  You have some good intelligence and ability to express your thoughts.  Your ideas are plenty strong enough.  You do not need to add any negative labeling of others'.

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

                by fayea on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 12:13:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree if you want to 'educate' people (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  calling them stupid is not the way to do it.
                  Not the way to make friends and influence people.

                  •  I get angry at times because I've seen all this (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    before.  It pains me to see us walking down the same road to failure yet again.

                    If we allow ourselves to be divided yet again into "brown-skinned foreigners" vs "good Merkans", we will get stomped into the mud yet again.

                    The corporados don't give a damn about either the forners OR the Merkans.

                •  my apologies--I'm not a diplomat ;) (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm a fighter, not a negotiator.  In a union fight, I'm the guy you want on the picket line, not at the negotiating table (unless I'm playing the "bad cop").  I tend to be blunt and harsh, I tend to treat enemies like enemies, and I have a very low patience level with people who work to divide us and redirect us towards people who are not our enemy.

                  Ironically, as a union organizer, I was forced to deal with that part of my personality, since after every campaign I was forced to literally start all over again from scratch--I went from a group of organized workers to a new group of scared people who weren't really sure they could fight, and I had to walk them patiently through all the steps that everybody wants to try at first but which I already know from bitter experience simply don't work, and I have no alternative but to take them through it anyway so they can see for themselves that it doesn't work.  It can be terribly frustrating at times, but it must be done.

                  It requires the patience of a saint.  Alas, I'm not a saint, and I do still lose my patience at times.  ;)

              •  Exactly my point, don't know why you got your (0+ / 0-)

                shorts in such a wad.  Just saying that the corporate "job creators" that the wingers worship do not have America's best interests at heart.  Perhaps I did not express it clearly, but I agree with what you are saying.

                I am amazed at the fact that Republicans set these global corporations up as gods and the wingers bow down and kiss the ground, bringing their livelihoods and health and well-being as a sacrifice to them.

                “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

                by ahumbleopinion on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 08:15:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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

          All of the organizations you mention have stated goals, plans organization, etc.

          They may be more or less successful, but they still exist because they are organized.

          OWS is headed in the wrong direction because it lacks organization.

          The social network is not a viable long-term model for the real world.

          It's time to get organized or this thing will sink under it's own weight.

          May I ask how long you, personally, would be willing or able to camp out in a city park in the dead of winter with no heat, no regular meals, unsanitary conditions and no real goals?

          Be honest. How many days?

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 10:33:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the movement has just started (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fayea, wsexson, stolen water, HoosierJay

            Give it some time.  It is attempting something that has never been done before.  Maybe the experiment will work, maybe it won't--I'm willing to give it a best shot.

            As for them "not having goals", you are simply wrong. I have found that when most people ask "do they have goals?", what they are REALLY asking is "do they support MY goals?" And in the case of Dem party activists (who seem to make up the majority of those asking this question here), the answer is "no, they don't support your goals".  OWS will not be doing GOTV or phone-banking for Dem candidates in 2012, nor will they be writing letters to Congress asking them to pass Senate Bill blah blah blah.

            Sorry about that.  (shrug)

            May I ask how long you, personally, would be willing or able to camp out in a city park in the dead of winter with no heat, no regular meals, unsanitary conditions and no real goals?

            You're probably asking the wrong person, since I am an enthusiastic backpacker and kayaker, and have spent literally all month alone in the woods with no heat, no regular meals, shitting in a hole in the ground, unshaven, no bath, and wearing the same clothes the entire time. All just for the sheer enjoyment of it.


            But to answer your question, I'd stay as long as it takes.

            •  As long as what takes? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KnotIookin, WillR, divineorder

              That's the question, isn't it?  What change would have to occur in order for the occupiers to pack up their tents and go home?  I suspect there are nearly as many answers to that as their are occupiers.

              •  as long as "what we want at the moment" takes (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                isabelle hayes, divineorder

                And as soon as we decide what the next thing we want is, I'll be back.

                If you want a "final goal", there isn't any. There is nothing that will make us pack up and declare final victory so we no longer have to fight anymore.

                Let me turn your question around so you can see how silly it really is: what change would have to occur for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY to pack up and go home?  What change would have to occur for the AFL-CIO to pack up and go home? What change would have to occur for the SIERRA CLUB to pack up and go home?

                These organizations will be fighting forever.  Their final goal is no less than "a better world"--and that is necessarily vague, nebulous, open-ended and different for every individual member. Does that mean these organizations "have no goals"? Does it mean they are "fighting for nothing"? I think not.

                The fight for social justice goes on forever.  It never ends.

                •  I'm not suggesting... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ...that the movement itself should disband upon achieving some particular set of goals.  I'm suggesting that camping out in public parks for the rest of their lives could become problematic.  And I'm trying to think of a graceful way to pack up the encampments and move on to "phase two" without it looking like a capitulation.

                  •  we're already in the process of figuring that out (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    "Occupying the park" was, after all, never the real aim of the occupation anyway, and holding the park was never the real goal. We've already seen the next phase beginning--actions at local banks, actions at CEO homes.  The movement has shown itself to be remarkably adaptable and flexible, and when we leave the parks--either voluntarily or not--we'll be ready to go to the streets instead.

                    Me, I never unilaterally renounce the use of ANY weapon. The occupations work, on many levels.  I see no harm in continuing them for as long as they continue to bring us benefit. And I also see no reason why we can't simultaneously carry out all sorts of other actions in other places, to make the 1% try to defend themselves everywhere, on every front, all at once. After all, we outnumber them 99 to 1.

                  •  My concerns (0+ / 0-)

                    (1) Power fills the vacuum not the way we want it to.

                    (2) The ship sinks under it's own weight.

                    (3) Too many heads get cracked and it poisons the well for people to finally get down to working with their local government.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:19:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, no (0+ / 0-)
              It is attempting something that has never been done before.
            •  Do you pack before you head out? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm willing to bet you don't just wander off to the woods with your mobile phone and $5 but do some preparation.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 07:39:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  depends. I do ultralight backpacking. I also do (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                wilderness survival.  Sometimes I pack a hammock and enough food for a week or so.  Sometimes I just take my pocketknife and live off the land. Sometimes I don't take a pocketknife, and chip a blade from a chunk of flint when I need it. And sometimes I take my netbook laptop and a solar panel to run it.

                Depends on what I feel like doing. Stone Age, Space Age--I'm comfortable in both.

                Of course, were I living in a city park, I could have all sorts of luxuries and amenities that I never get out in the woods.

          •  who says this movement hinges (0+ / 0-)

            on people spending the night?

            it would still be just as viable as a daytime occupation.

            our one demand? return what was stolen.

            by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 02:43:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some people do (0+ / 0-)

              The big fight about occupy oakland at this point is a turf battle to occupy 24/7 verses the city's request to shut down overnight. Read the diaries on daily kos.

              Some people are very adamant and polarized about this to the point of irrationality, seeming to be willing to throw the baby out with the bath water.

              I question their goals, priorities and state of mind.

              If we suppose this should go on for months, how do we sustain it?

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 07:43:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  some of these attempts to set up curfews (0+ / 0-)

                are new laws put in place in an attempt to shut down protests.

                you start putting limits on our first amendment...well, yeah, people are going to get upset.

                the more limits "authorities" put up in attempt to deny us our rights - the more adamant we will grow in fighting to defend them.

                the sun does not set on the constitution. the first amendment doesn't get put in a drawer when the clock strikes 11pm.

                our one demand? return what was stolen.

                by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:46:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  my concern is with new york city (0+ / 0-)

                and the cold.

                lao hong han referenced what's taking place in nyc's general assembly which is debating whether or not to graduate from this model and onto the next step.


                our one demand? return what was stolen.

                by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:54:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  you question their state of mind. (0+ / 0-)

                it is not crazy for people to insist this country adheres to the very foundation it was built upon.

                re turf battle,

                allow me to remind again, the constitution trumps local authorities.

                our one demand? return what was stolen.

                by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:03:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  no goals? (0+ / 0-)

            standing up for our rights is no small thing.

            our one demand? return what was stolen.

            by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 02:53:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Never ends? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          isabelle hayes

          I firmly believe that with the presence of Maitreya in the world, and the activity of the Sword of Cleavage, that the 99% will ultimately win, not only in the US, but globally.

          I acknowledge that that time is well into the future, but know that WE, the 99% are building that future now, with our bodies and our non-violence and our involvement.

          The really exciting thing is to know that Evolution is on our side, despite the difficult tasks that lie between the present global inequality and the future we are building. The task is NOT futile. Be strong. Be proud. Be firm. Be non-violent.

          This is such a great article. Thank you.

      •  Politicians that embrace the cause (14+ / 0-)

        of economic justice. More politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders that acknowledge the ongoing class war, and fight economic elite in defense of the middle and lower classes. Movement of the Overton window, a resurrection of economic populism, and a wholesale rejection of current culture of economic corruption. New leaders that understand, acknowledge, and overtly embrace the mission of saving our nation from its current calamity.

        Let's see how many congressional candidates step forward this next year.

      •  it's not called occupy obama. (0+ / 0-)

        our one demand? return what was stolen.

        by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 02:26:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That would be hard to determine, actually (23+ / 0-)

      IMO, this movement has already succeeded.  I mean, since the beginning of the "movement", the national discourse on our economy and on wealth disparity and on fairness in our entire economic system has changed.  

      There has been no "bar" definitive goal to achieve in these movements.  This entire effort is now and has been from the start a process of shedding light on the inequities and disparities that exist in America today between the haves and have-nots and how quickly the widening is happening between those with wealth and those without it and how that is being influenced through government.

      - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

      by r2did2 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:12:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. This is a movement that is going (12+ / 0-)

        to take nearly the world population's participation. It's a certain model of organizing that I haven't seen in this country and it may be the first. They're inventing it as they go along because that's what you have to do when you need, literally, the world on your side.

        So, they don't have the benefit of a smaller controlled group that has been trained in organizing tactics and how to get demands met. They have random people migrating to them from everywhere. There's no way to get the world into a seminar or classroom to teach them all the finer points of strategy and negotiation, etc. They won't be able to manage and control this flock. They have to rely on the fact that everyone involved or everyone showing up will understand that this peaceful demo of occupying public spaces is the only thing they have to worry about doing right now. Once they get there, interaction with the people in the camps and sharing stories will result in the origins of some of the most common and urgent demands.

        This is what I'm thinking will be the next step for this movement but it will have to stand it's ground in the meantime and have the patience of Job.

        Although, it may not take as long as I think. I lived half my life in a world without internet. I sometimes forget that information is being exchanged at the speed of clicks now.

        "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

        by GenXangster on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:14:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The good thing is, (13+ / 0-)

          they're not making it up as they go along! A man named Gene Sharp spent his lifetime studying and writing about how to do this. There was preparatory work in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and probably in the US.

          Sharp's writings are freely available to all at the Albert Einstein Institution:

          The Albert Einstein Institution is a nonprofit organization advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.

          We are committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action.

          Our goals are to understand the dynamics of nonviolent action in conflicts, to explore its policy potential, and to communicate this through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops.

          Meteor Blades: "Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe."

          by cotterperson on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:31:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's not going to happen (0+ / 0-)

          The world does not share the same situation, problems and goals as the 99% of the 1/3 of the privileged.

          Some of the problems grow from the same root (actually most of the problems) but how they manifest is quite different.

          Some people are living their entire lives without any of the stuff you enjoy, and you are drinking their water and using their energy - the world is that lopsided and unfair.

          OWS is a middle class movement for developed countries under economic stress and a growing oligarchy that is causing the formerly privileged to become downwardly mobile, but if you really want to talk about fairness, justice and equal distribution my next question is "How much are you willing to sacrifice for the rest of the world?"

          Fact is, as miserable as many people in developed countries are these days they are still doing better in aggregate than the rest and what they have is beyond the reach of others.

          By all means fight the power, it oppresses billions, but don't think Facebook is a great equalizer, it's mainly a toy.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 10:45:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess that explains the occupations on Oct 15 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GenXangster, divineorder, koNko

            in over 1000 cities in over 80 countries around the world.

            People in China and Cambodia and Argentina and Niger and Serbia are all being fucked over by the very same people (literally) that we are.  The corporations are global---they extend everywhere on the planet. And we must fight our common enemy together.

            As Ben Franklin put it, "Join or die".

            •  Greetings from China (0+ / 0-)

              The Chinese middle class joins your movement.

              The Chinese poor are just trying to survive.

              Ditto Niger and Serbia.

              I question if the goals of the middle class are the same as the poor, honestly speaking, this is pretty much about dissatisfaction of downwardly mobile middle classes who see themselves becoming poor and outraged about that happening.

              Not that this doesn't ultimately help the poor, but let's not pretend they aren't invisible and forgotten 99% of the time, and that's a different 99%.

              Again, problem from the same root, but if this is about class struggle, what classes?

              What I hear is "killing the middle class". Yes.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 07:51:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  r2, I agree with my Hubby on ows succeeeding (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fayea, isabelle hayes, earthling1

        he is the typical politically apathetic middle...but slowly OWS has captured HIS interest and I now find him watching livestreaming even when I am not around lol

        anyway HE believes that in order for OWS to 'suceed" it MUST remain active and occupying until after the elections next NOV and I tend to agree

        OWS will be a failure if it breaks apart or slows down or (heaven forbid) GOES INSIDE before next November...

        as long as OWS stays outside WE control the political narrative and THAT is the way we start making the change we hope to see happen due to OWS.

        so if anyone asks what the goal of OWS is, tell them that as long as media and pols are asking that question WE are winning.

        (example) late (for nyc) last night I sat watching as a Local MSM outlet in Portland went LIVE online for hours streaming the assault and eviction of the Portland camp (2nd camp)...during that MSM stream one of the reporters asked WHAT DO THEY HOPE TO SUCCEED IN DOING BY ALL THIS...the other reporter went on to list all kinds of stuff (most of it missing the mark) but I kept thinking YOU 2 MSM talking heads are on a live stream at 5AM discussing the wants of the 99%, something either of you reporters would ever have done before OWS and you STILL dont get what the goal is?  :)

        "Orwell was an optimist"

        by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:31:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How much has really changed? Republican AND Dem (0+ / 0-)

        leaders are still bargaining over social safety net and deficit.

        Boehner, Pelosi Signal Determination to Get Deal on Deficit

        San Francisco Chronicle - 2 days ago
        Boehner said the reported $50 billion in Medicaid cuts in the Democratic plan ... Pelosi said she is eager for the bipartisan supercommittee to reach a deal ...

        (Disclosure: We have been participating in Occupy marches for several weeks now in Santa Fe.)

        We need to ramp up the direct actions quickly?

    •  OWS is too big to fail.. (11+ / 0-)

      ..the 1% have their banks & financial cartels that are too big too fail.

      The 99% has their OWS movement that is too big to fail.

      In current America, the 1%'s too big to fail irresistible force is about to meet the 99%'s too big to fail immovable object.

      When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

      by wyvern on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:14:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it has already succeeded. (22+ / 0-)

      It has changed the political landscape in the US, within the space of less than a month.  That is something that no other liberal/progressive organization--not even the big bad mighty Dem Party--was able to do.

      If OWS dies tomorrow, that alone makes it worth all the effort.  But of course OWS--or at least its goals--will never die. The yearning for justice is deep, and it never goes away.

    •  I guess I should define what I mean by fail. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, elmo, fayea

      I'm hoping this movement provides the momentum for a long-term shift to more equitable policies. Policies that aren't aimed at the 1 percent and policies that don't essentially "blame the victim."

    •  What are you doing to support it? n/t (0+ / 0-)

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

      by glitterscale on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:16:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is failure here? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea, isabelle hayes

      Even if OWS camps fold, there's still the attitude of disgust toward the banksters and other financial powers, and it's going to be impossible to unring the bell.

      Bank of America shot all the big banks in the foot by announcing their $5 debit card fee just after OWS started - the Move Your Money movement targeted all big banks, and is unlikely to stop just because OWS either peters out or is forced out.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this fear of failure is what delayed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the emergence of ows to begin with. by decades.

      we can't allow ourselves to continue to be crippled by this fear.

      if we fall down, we get up again.


      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 02:23:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder why OWS does not (16+ / 0-)

    adopt a "duck and cover" response to police bullying. It's pretty hard to claim people are attacking the police if they are crouched with arms across their heads.

  •  The obvious cavil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, maryabein

    is that we probably don't have the time that it took Gandhi to prevail.

  •  Education like this post essential for OWS (17+ / 0-)

    Thank you for a reminder of the vision, strategy and tactics of non violent protests.

    Pieces like this should be printed off and be distributed at OWS sites throughout the country.

    Is there a mechanism for doing this?

  •  The Koran has plenty of violence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2, Heart of the Rockies
    Neither in the Koran nor in the Mahabharata was there any sanction for and approval of violence.

    Have you read the Koran?  I doubt it - if you had you would never say something this silly.

    I can find dozens, perhaps hundreds of examples.

    Here's one...

    [2.190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
    [2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
  •  Biggest threat to power and control? (24+ / 0-)

    Is fearlessness and non violence. If you have no fear of death or punishment, you cannot be controlled. If you cannot be controlled by fear, the only option is to kill you. There is a reason why they killed Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr.

    There is no greater threat to authority than the fearless non violent stance.

  •  OWS "violence-by-proxy"? Ask the NYPD: (14+ / 0-)


    The Occupy Wall Street protests and the new mini-society that has formed in Liberty Square in Lower Manhattan, continues to tax the city’s budget. Recently, it has also sparked howls of protest from top police commanders who blame OWS activists for an increase in gun violence across New York City.

    New York Post:

    Four high-ranking cops point the finger at Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying their rallies pull special crime-fighting units away from the hot zones where they’re needed.
    Since Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, the NYPD has relied heavily on its borough task forces, the department’s go-to teams for rowdy crowds.
    But such protest duty takes the special units away from their regular jobs -- patrolling public housing and problem spots and staking out nightclubs plagued by violence, supervisors said.

    Another NYPD boss is troubled by the resulting slowdown in stop-and-frisks.

    Emphasis mine.

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:21:31 AM PDT

  •  It can only be tried in a calm atmosphere. (15+ / 0-)

    The one thing that bothers me is all the yelling at the police. Scott and Joshua Sheperd, as well as one young women laying on the ground passively, showed the true meaning of "a calm atmosphere".

    "Remember Bob. No fear, no envy, no meanness" Liam Clancy to Bob Dylan

    by BOHICA on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:24:49 AM PDT

  •  I believe the movement is succeeding (24+ / 0-)

    because it is a movement-and it has grown-moved forward, despite of (or because of) the bullying tactics by mayors and police.

    When a friend called the other night and asked what I was doing, I told her I was watching the live stream of #OWS.  
      "Really?" she replied.  "I heard about that.  Isn't it a bunch of hippies protesting."

    "Yes," I said.  "And I'm a hippie who wishes I could be there.  But it's much more."

    I went on to point out that in five states where republicans have control, collective bargaining rights have been cancelled.  Meaning, the American dream is now closed.  Work hard- but don't expect any financial growth.  Don't get sick, because health care is a luxury for the rich.

    And, the drive to ensure this goes on in other states is being enacted through voter supression laws.

    My final words to her:  

    Do you want to live in a country without minimum wage, child labor laws, any regulations put in place to keep you safe all the while fearing that you don't miscarry a pregnancy and risk prison for involuntary manslaughter.

    "Wow- that can't be happening." she was shocked.

    "Yes it is.  Pay attention.  Join- because it can be stopped."

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:30:06 AM PDT

  •  As I noted in a diary a few weeks ago... (26+ / 0-)

    ... titled Revolution Porn, that focused on the apparent pining by some here for a violent revolution:


    The movement, to this point, has also been exceptionally non-violent from the protesters' side. That helps sustain and grow the movement, as witnessed in two recent polls in which OWS favorables led unfavorables by significant margins. That said, a large percentage of those queried remain unsure of what to make of the protests. I think the protesters' commitment to non-violence presents opportunities to grab large swaths of those undecided and swing them in favor of the fundamental truths of the movement.


    Want to kill the movement? Start talking about killing.

    It's like some sort of weird fantasy for some here, apparently. Violent revolution. They will claim, "I don't want it, but it is inevitable."

    Read the comments. Some of these folks are pining for it.

    And that's a way to kill this movement in its infancy.

    What became quickly obvious in the Oakland situation is that the police/entrenched interests were unable to defend their actions. They tried. They claimed they were attacked first, etc. But none of their lies held up under the scrutiny of having hundreds of folks present video and photographic evidence to the contrary.

    Eventually, the mayor and the police had to back down.

    That's the real strength of non-violence. And that's how to convince an increasing number of fellow citizens that the cause is just and income inequality in this country is unjust and unhealthy for us all.

    •  It's important to get the facts and meaning (7+ / 0-)

      of that event right.

      The cops stormed the camp and tore everything down and destroyed it.

      The occupiers came back that night to be confronted with militarized police.  They were tear gassed.  They came back.  They were tear gassed 4 times, not 1.

      The next morning the City removed the police, but put a cyclone fence around the entire grassy portion of the plaza.  That was not victory.

      The next evening, the occupiers came back to hold a GA.  A coterie of occupiers were of the opinion the cyclone fence should not be torn down.  They were of the thought that they did not wish to exacerbate the situation and, after all, the City allowed them to use the plaza until 10 pm.  Others wanted to take it down.  They did and they reoccupied.  In fact, they took the fencing and built a sculpture out it.  A double victory.

      The meaning is this.  Just because you think they have backed down, you need to continue to confront.  I'm always afraid that the slightest capitulation of the elite will be seen as victory and the end of the game when it's not.    

      Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

      by Publius2008 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:10:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the ubiquitous cameras... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blissing, divineorder

      ...are THE game-changer. That and instant broadcast via the Internet.

      Watch them attempt to close that down.  Expect Laws prohibiting photography of Police Action and resist them.

      The Occupations in place are only the visible part of the Resistance.  Invisible, but significant, will be the daily personal acts of resistance happening in daily life. Silly efforts, like mailing back "postage paid" envelopes or just slowing down everything you do, or taking any opportunity one can to somehow screw things up for the Oligarch.

      Simply withholding one's consent.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 10:14:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "the whole world is watching" is more than just a (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, fayea, divineorder

        catchy chant.  It is the key to our power, and the key to the loss of the power structure's legitimacy.

        You are right--they will make every effort to shut it down.  But they will find it an impossible task--now even more than in 1968. Everyone has camera phones, video cams are everywhere, and the Internet can flash images around the globe in mere seconds.

        They simply cannot stop that.

        •  I'd like to have the popcorn stand (0+ / 0-)

          when they try to shut down the 'net. THAT will be quite a show, eh?

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:02:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hell, they themselves designed the damn thing so (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that not even global thermonuclear warfare would shut it down.  


            •  that's a very impressive list of publications (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              at Red and Black.

              You even have the English diggers.  

              I have had 3 different writers interview me this summer regarding my experiences with the San Fran diggers 45 years ago.  There are interesting commonalities between OWS and the SF digger phenom.

              don't always believe what you think

              by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:47:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think this should be a diary: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                There are interesting commonalities between OWS and the SF digger phenom.

                The younger folks need to be reminded that the movement has a history--and we can all learn from that history.


                Me, I was a wee bit too young to be active in the 60's, but I cut my political eyeteeth during the Reagan era.  It was an, uh, interesting time to be a leftwing activist.  ;)

                •  yeah, it has been gestating (0+ / 0-)

                  on my mental back burner for a while now.  I might have most of it if I just gathered up some of my comments over the past few months.

                  The one that grabbed my eye, iconic of the time-warp, is the free store that seems to be a part of many occupations.

                  It isn't that the Occupiers are carrying a digger message as much as it is that they are living as diggers in their own Free Frames of Reference.  However profound an affect upon Wall Street and the American Zeitgeist OWS may have, it will have equally as profound an affect on the personal consciounesses of the participants.

                  don't always believe what you think

                  by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:09:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  in a way, I think that is the most lasting of OWS' (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    claude, Bill W

                    accomplishments---it is training the entire next generation of political activists, and giving them OTJ training in not only organizing and activism, but in building and running an entirely new social structure.

                    Those seeds will grow.

                    •  Oh yeah. They'll never forget (0+ / 0-)

                      these experiences.

                      Nice chatting with you, LF.  I have been enjoying your participation for a while.

                      don't always believe what you think

                      by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:24:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  That's what I've been thinking (0+ / 0-)

                      A whole lot of young activists have spent the last few weeks gaining skills that could wind up changing the course of history over the next few decades.  My biggest concern, if you all will forgive the expression, is that they can emerge from this one action with some sense that they've won, and that they can move on from this to something else, and then on to the next thing.  If the focus of the movement becomes whether or not they can continue to maintain a 24 hour presence at these various sites, I think it becomes more and more likely that the movement can be defeated, either by force or by attrition.  
                      Idealism is fragile, you know?

        •  want to scare the cops into behaving (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fayea, isabelle hayes

          when riot clad cops march into your OWS HOLD UP your cell phones and chant UTUBE UTUBE UTUBE  :)

          UTUBE and LIVESTREAM are the real game changers this time around.   THEY no longer control what gets out into the mainstream about OWS... WE DO  :)

          no better early on example of that then the now infamous TONY BALONEY affair... Tony was the pepperspray wielding LT who got accused of misusing his authority...  a few decades ago HE would have emerged unscathed from this incident and after spinning his side of the story to the civilian review board HE would have 'walked' BUT he told his BS story 2 days before the videos started going viral and they showed a totally different story, one that showed TONY to be a LIAR and guilty as the police commissioner who had been defending Tony and his use of pepperspray had to ACTION HIM instead and NOW tony, who had risen to the top cop in the prime district downtown will spend the rest of his careerr sitting at a desk on Staten Island... all because the world was really watching this time ON UTUBE.

          "Orwell was an optimist"

          by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 12:11:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The 2012 election is now critical! (10+ / 0-)

    Before the advent of OWS, it seemed that the current socioeconomic crisis was likely to be ignored in 2012, rather than acknowledged as the most profound political cause of our era. OWS has changed that, and the longterm despair that has haunted most of my political conversations of the past year or two has come out into the open. The political drumbeat of OWS needs to continue and grow until economic injustice becomes not only the dominant issue of the 2012 election, but the only one that really matters. Because it's the only issue that threatens our economic vitality, and our very existence as a representative democracy.

    I believe that OWS is on course to doing just that.  But if by chance it fails, and this cause is swept under the rug for another four years, we will have missed our last best chance to resolve this issue without more massive social unrest than we dare imagine.

  •  But non-violence doesn't mean (9+ / 0-)

    no direct action.  It doesn't mean no confrontation.  It doesn't mean staying away from the barricades because there are militarized police behind them.

    Actual confrontation is important.  But you can't beat them with physical violence or destruction of property.

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:36:01 AM PDT

    •  this is an important point . . . we need to (11+ / 0-)

      distinguish very clearly between VIOLENCE and FORCE. They are not even remotely the same.  We cannot and must not use VIOLENCE, but we absolutely must use FORCE.  Make no mistake---this is a movement of FORCE.  We are not asking or begging or pleading for social change nor are we just feebly voting for it--we are DEMANDING IT, and we are entirely prepared to use FORCE to win our demands. The powers that be recognize that--which is why we scare the living shit out of them like the Dem Party or AFL-CIO does not.

      Force is simply the ability to . . . well . . . FORCE the powers to do what we want them to do. Whether they like it or not.  We don't need, and are not asking for, their permission. But this is NOT, repeat NOT, as in N-O-T, "violence".  MLK was utterly nonviolent, yet every action he carried out had FORCE as its goal--to force the segregationists and racists to change their behavior or else.  Gandhi was nonviolent, but his aim was to FORCE the Brits to leave whether they wanted to or not.

      That is the source of our power, and that is how we will win.

      •  The movement won't force change, it will persuade (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        isabelle hayes

        enough of the populace, and provide support for enough of those in political positions, that changes (such as to the tax structure) will be made.

        None of the violence can come from the movement. And, the force of the movement needs to be metaphorical. The resolve of the movement, in contrast with any actual physical force of the police draws more support.

        •  you miss point completely. force is not violence (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, Blissing, wsexson

          but force is FORCE, and we need to be clear about that.  We are not begging the powers that be to please help us pretty please. We will not win by singing kumbaya to power. We are not asking them--we are TELLING them.

          If they surrender voluntarily, that's cool, and it will be a lot less painful for them.  But if they don't surrender, we will force them, whether they like it or not. We don't need their permission or their cooperation.

          •  My point is about how forceful the force should be (0+ / 0-)

            The movement has lots of force. That's clear.

            But, I'm wondering how you define force and how you go about exercising it.

            •  force is the ability to make power do what we want (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              David PA

              How do we go about exercising it?  With people power.  They have all the money, they have all the guns.  All we have is people.  Lots of them.

              That's all we need.

              How forceful should the force be?  Enough to force them to do what we want.

              Your confusion results because you are still equating "force" with "violence".  They are not the same.

              •  You're doing great ... (0+ / 0-)

                Just wanted to be more clear on what you meant.

                •  I'm glad I passed the audition. ;) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  David PA

                  A note to all the young folks out there: everything you are about to go through, has already been gone through before.  All the arguments and debates you are about to have over tactics, strategy, violence, force, power, leadership etc etc etc---we've already had them in the past, and your grandkids will have them again in the future.  Such debates and arguments never end because there is, in fact, no correct answer to them--though of course everyone on all sides thinks THEY have the correct answer  ;). Nevertheless, they are important debates to have, if for no other reason than to clarify one's own thoughts to oneself.

                  Your own views will also change over time--perhaps drastically.  And that too should be welcomed.

  •  It's a waste of time to ask, but can we try "murde (6+ / 0-)

    r by wealth," or "class slaughter," or almost anything but "class warfare?" This is not a war, it's the cavalry riding down the peasants asking for a crust of bread. Using the Marxist phrase, with all its ugly history and freight of meaning, just plays to the strong hand of the Kleptocracy.

    I know, billions of repetitions a day have planted this phrase so deeply in the mindlessness of the Wrongs and the consciousness of The Rest of Us that it's a feckless request...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:37:22 AM PDT

    •  It really should not be class warfare! (6+ / 0-)

      The majority of the 1% are not asking to be left untaxed - it is the minority of the greed heads, like Grover Norquist and Steve Forbes who have political power that want to keep every cent that they "earned". We used to call these people Scrooge-like and misers.  It is a mistake to demonize a so-called class.  Look what the Republicans did with the so-called "Welfare Queen".  Yes there were people who worked the system, but to get rid of them you had to hurt a lot of innocent or mostly innocent people who were really trying to improve their lot.  

      No, what we need to work against is absolute selfishness in the Randian mode. A class system is a construct that blankets many quite different people in a simplistic way.  At the same time it would be the whole 1%- both good and bad- who would be taxed.  Just keep in mind that the majority of these people WANT to be taxed.  Not everybody worships the almighty dollar!

      Perhaps "Corporate and Individual Greed" would be a better description!

  •  Thank you (nt) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Propaganda is where someone uses the truth as a context for sneaking in their own bullshit.

    by jcrit on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:40:07 AM PDT

  •  In other words (6+ / 0-)
    How then can one be effectively non-violent? By simply refusing to take up arms.

    Refuse to play the game of the other side.  The problem is, that in the short term, a lot of people who would otherwise agree with you may think your actions are pointless, or otherwise counterproductive.  You have to think and plan for the long term, and hope enough people see it your way.

  •  Could Happen in US?, Nawwww!! (13+ / 0-)

    Coalition of Christian groups plan to prevent forcible attempts to remove tents outside St Paul's Cathedral

    28 October 2011 - Christian groups have drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul's Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.

    As the storm of controversy over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration deepened on Saturday, Christian activists said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul's. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: "We represent peace, unity and love. A ring of prayer is a wonderful symbol." read more>>>

    See most of them there 'real christians? here, just ask them, make up the religious ideology as they go along, and they loves themselves tea bags, not necessarily to make and drink!!

    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 30, 2011 at 08:50:42 AM PDT

  •  The astroturfed, Koch-funded Tea Party (6+ / 0-)

    only wishes in its wildest imaginings that it has the kind of traction OWS has enjoyed.

    You can bet they're scared. And envious.

    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 30, 2011 at 08:55:30 AM PDT

  •  The paradigm shift that Obama failed to bring (6+ / 0-)

    about is coming regardless.

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:58:22 AM PDT

    •  Yes, it's happening. Imagine if Obama had this (5+ / 0-)

      wind at his back starting in summer 2009 instead of the Tea Party cross wind.

      •  The first move was his to make (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catsmeat, Blissing, divineorder

        (if he wanted to make that move at all)

        He hesitated, so the Koch Bros saw their opportunity and acted.

        "He who hesitates is lost."

        Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
        Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

        by The Dead Man on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:16:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The politics of hesitancy (4+ / 0-)

          and fear has marked this presidency which was supposed to manifest hope and imaginative change.

          •  if it were not for Obama, there'd be no OWS (4+ / 0-)

            In two different ways.

            First, the Obama campaign was not merely a campaign--it was a movement in itself.  Obama awakened people like no one since RFK, and brought about a massive hope for real change. Unfortunately, we failed to take Obama's own advice---rather than listening to him when he said that WE are the change we want and WE are the people we've been waiting for, too many of us assumed that HE was our saviour and that HE would change everything for us. And that illusionment led to----

            Second, our disillusionment when Obama simply could not bring about the change we wanted.  That should have surprised no one--after all, neither the Repug Party nor its Repug-Lite "rival" want real change, and are both wedded securely to the status quo. Obama's campaign gave us hope for change--and his administration demonstrated that those hopes were misplaced. We simply cannot depend on either party to bring about change, because neither party WANTS to. There simply is no indiividual who will ride in on a white horse (or into the White House) and win our battle for us as we cheer from the sidelines. If we want change, WE are the ones who have to fight for it. And we are on our own with that.

            And OWS is the result.

            •  I want to think about your first item (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I defintely agree with the second item.

            •  lenny, you left something out (0+ / 0-)

              which is that the voters of '08 didn't vote in '10;

              if the dems had kept control of both houses who here thinks mr. obama wouldn't have done so much more, regarding jobs, etc.?

              it rankles that no one seems to remember what the latest election did to this country, and instead even intelligent people blame pbo

              •  I doubt anything would be all that different (0+ / 0-)

                The Dem Party simply is not on our side. If the Dems had full control of Congress (like they did for the first few months of 2009), we'd simply be griping about the conservadems who sold us out instead of the Repugs who would stand ignored (like we did in the first few months of 2009).

                This isn't about Obama and never was--he's not the problem, and he's also not the solution. We can replace Obama tomorrow with the zombie corpse of FDR or Ted Kennedy, and nothing will change. The problem is that neither party is on our side, and until and unless that changes, we will continue to be shut out of the electoral system.

                Hence, we simply have no choice but to operate OUTSIDE the electoral system.  And therefore OWS.

    •  Wow. Expecting one man to do (0+ / 0-)

      what hundreds of thousands of like-minded people joining together can do is unrealistic.

      Besides, I think that all his talk of hope and change became seeds planted in the public consciousness that have finally sprouted.  He always said he couldn't change the system by himself.  He said he needed us to be push for those changes.  
      He really stirred and inspired many during the last election.

      And looking deeper, actually, the source of that inspiration was not really just him anyway.  He only was able to channel that inspiration because of the culture at large already moving in that direction.  He was a mouthpiece for ideas already nascent.  

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

      by fayea on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 01:28:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well then, he's failed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        He said he needed us to be push for those changes.  

        We have been! Even since before he took office. And every time we hear a reaction to our pushing, it's Ha ha, dirty fucking hippies. LOL!!

        So now we're end running around the obstacle.

        Corporations rule stealing money, legally. Time to take it back!

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 02:36:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you a million times! (10+ / 0-)

    Laurence, your timing could not be better. Your message is most excellent.

    We tried working through the political system. We tried to deliver an emphatic message electing a politician who advertised himself as a Progressive game changer with Progressive community organizing skills, who promised Progressive Hope and Change. We gave him an overwhelming margin of victory against the authoritarian opponent Republican party in 2008.  Evidently, the opposition was immutable. With perhaps trillions of dollars of profit at stake, they remain immutable.

    One of the reasons I am now compelled to take an active (actually, passive) role is precisely because of the tactics of violence and repression OCCUPY has successfully confronted in Oakland and elsewhere.

    Indeed, I saw change with my own eyes in the fifties. We saw it in Tunisia, in Egypt and in Libya. We see it continue in Syria. It rises in Israel...and in America.

    Here is Rebecca Solnit, writing at TomDispatch:

    Letter to a Dead Man About the Occupation of Hope
    By Rebecca Solnit

    Dear young man who died on the fourth day of this turbulent 2011, dear Mohammed Bouazizi,

    I want to write you about an astonishing year -- with three months yet to run. I want to tell you about the power of despair and the margins of hope and the bonds of civil society.

    I wish you could see the way that your small life and large death became a catalyst for the fall of so many dictators in what is known as the Arab Spring.

    We are now in some sort of an American Fall. Civil society here has suddenly hit the ground running, and we are all headed toward a future no one imagined when you, a young Tunisian vegetable seller capable of giving so much, who instead had so much taken from you, burned yourself to death to protest your impoverished and humiliated state....

    Asmaa Mahfouz in Egypt:

    •  sign seen at my local occupy. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ezdidit, guavaboy, Eric Nelson


      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 10:34:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow! that's pretty cool! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water, flavor411, divineorder

        Equal justice under the law - a system that will punish those who break the law no matter how wealthy or privileged - is the underpinning of the democracy we have.

        With forbearance toward Bush Cheney and bankers and AIG thieves, Obama offered no justice. In spite of the fact that WS bankers and brokerages colluded with ratings agencies and government regulatory officials (SEC, CFTC, OTS) in a control fraud of epic proportion, Obama still insists they broke no law - though 'they may have skirted ethics.' THAT IS A LIE!

        Moreover, the admin has prosecuted government whistleblowers (for secutriy violations) at the highest historical rate - worse than BushCo!

        So, now they want to talk about cutting social programs, education funding, money for the states. They wanted to talk about austerity, cutting Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

        LET THEM DARE!

        I'm buying a box of apples this afternoon for my local Occupy force. I'm buying them a vat of soup from a restaurant for tonight because they will be cold. We will share with our 'Mayberry police' who may also be cold. It's a reasonable demonstration. They may even be on our side.

        •  Some bankers should be prosecuted article (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ezdidit, stolen water

          Should Some Bankers Be Prosecuted?
          November 10, 2011
          Jeff Madrick and Frank Partnoy

          Yet thus far, federal agencies have launched few serious lawsuits against the major financial firms that participated in the collapse, and not a single criminal charge has been filed against anyone at a major bank. The federal government has been far more active in rescuing bankers than prosecuting them.

          •  Thanks for this preview. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stolen water

            A coworker of mine subscribes and passes them on.  I won't miss this with your link. Thank you.

            Mark Danner's NYRB article, 'Voices From The Black Sites,' was a killer.  I lost a lot of sleep & emailed Mark asking how he writes about such horror. He appreciated the sentiment.  It's always the same, he said. Tough for a few weeks. Then he settles down, onto something else.

            The tribe of OCCUPY demonstrators along with the homeless and the derelict under the US 240 overpass was grateful for the apples and the soup, as was I for their suffering.  They are not going away any time soon. The community supports them!

            I reminded one that I sat up all night with a bad cold at Columbia in 1969. This is their turn, and we are watching them closely. They have less to lose than we did. We college students knew we could opt back into the system and get jobs. This time, it's worse. They have nowhere to go, and their parents are pissed off, too.

            I also paid a goodwill visit to the police department. Told the desk sergeant OCCUPY is about their pensions, their livelihoods, their jobs.  She winked at me as I left. The young ones think it's safe to flirt with an old dog. But I'm still barking to stop the war at Columbia.

  •  Exactly. And our biggest mistakes in the (8+ / 0-)

    past have been based on the following:
    1) We got routed before we could get a good toe hold.
    2) After we got routed, we left. It was too hard to do.
    3) We  made some advances and then thought the job was done. Safety nets, Women's rights, civil rights, voter's rights were achieved. And guess what, we have people today tearing down those rights wholesale.
    4) Labor made some advances that benefited all of us and then became corrupted in some cases and impotent in others (no doubt with a lot of help!)
    5) We needed to make our lives beyond the struggle. This is an imperceptive for us as humans. So we need to be able to morph this struggle so that all are participating in whatever measure they can and those who decide to take the front lines are well taken care of while they do.

    However it works, we need the focus kept very strongly on the injustices that need righting. We do not have to have the answers. We supposedly have reps who are tasked with just that. We need to shine the spotlight on those injustices. We need to point out to our reps that nothing they have done has addressed those injustices.

    OWS is doing a great job in shining the light, giving us a focus. Indeed, the resistance of the powerful as they bring out guns and gas against the protestors shows how good a job they, and we, are doing.

    Donate, show up, give goods, tweet. Never let an opportunity pass to make our struggle viral, to make our voices heard. Debunk smears and lies. Make sure that our voices are heard in every corner of the nation. (And note that people of the world are with us and are hearing us.)

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

    by glitterscale on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:15:07 AM PDT

  •  The Hatred Felt By Those In Authority (6+ / 0-)

    There is a type of anger that emanates from those in power for people who say the word "no" to them. That simple act of defiance is often enough to send everyone from the schoolyard bully to the dictator into fits of apoplexy that result in acts of violence. This is no more apparent in the treatment of non-violent protesters by right wing authoritarians. It's as if the civility of non-violence is an affront to their concept of manhood -- to them a show of weakness that must be crushed before it infects their two-fisted notion of society where all problems are solved with fists, guns and bombs.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:20:15 AM PDT

    •  Ha! That happened to me on Friday at work (3+ / 0-)

      A supervisor (who has no power to fire me) was trying to bully me and I quietly said no -- and he literally went nuts, picked up paper from my desk and balled it up, and then picked up a stack of files and caught himself just before he threw them at me.  Luckily for me, it was witnessed by others and I was the one who came out of it smelling like a rose.  And also more protected if he ever tries that shit with me again.

  •  Non-violent words or how to grow OWS (4+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that there are some things that need to take place in order for OWS to grow with regard to the # of people who will be willing to put their boots to the ground.  It involves messaging.  

    The biggest problem we have right now was illustrated in a graph used by Chris Hedges in UP this weekend.  The graph, based on a poll, was a measurement of FACTUAL income equality vs. what those polled emotionally FELT was the reality of income inequality.  What was evidenced was HUGE denial.  In other words, a vast majority of those polled acknowledged that income inequality exists, but they have no idea how wide the disparity actually is.  

    Bluntly, there are those w/in the 99% who know the system is broken, the American dream is dead, the 1% have their thumb on the scale of upward mobility and are rolling up the carpet.  Then there are those who are members of the 99% who, willfully or not, are ignorant of these facts.   OWS needs to reach the remainder of the 99% by waking up those who are sleeping.  You can't help those who are simply pretending to sleep.  In order to do this, what comes to mind is the Buddhist concept of "right speech".   The word selfish is rightly applied to the 1%.  But to grow the movement - the actual 99% who think they are some imaginary 53% need to know the jig is up and they need "a spoonful of sugar" to help the medicine go down.  Acknowledging that the American Dream is dead and/or in critical condition, is very hard medicine for many to accept.  We of the 99% who are awake need to use non-violent, non-judgmental words in exhorting the 99% who are still sleeping to join us.  They need to know that they ARE the 99% and that it conveys no moral failing or lack of work ethic on their part.  Save the pejorative language for the actual 1%-educate the rest to "save the American Dream".

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:22:35 AM PDT

  •  Forced to question invoking Gandhi as the template (0+ / 0-)

    By the end of his life, even MLK was questioning whether passive resistance was the best strategy in America. Gandhi also advocated passive resistance by Jews and others against the Nazis. Does anyone think that would have worked out well?
    A moral victory isnt the same thing as actually winning.

    •  well, yes. Non-violence and (0+ / 0-)

      passive resistance only work if the Authority is civilized.

      Here, rather than just shoot down a street full of protesters, the "civilized" response will be to gather them up and haul them off to those FEMA camps.

      There is, of course, the example of the fall of the Soviet Union; it took several generations of a populace utterly subject to overwhelming Power to just say fuckit and get drunk.  I can see that as the scenario if OWS fails.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 10:33:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You forgot one vital component of Gandhi's success (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Indian National Congress and its resistance movement, which would have set India on fire from end to end if Gandhi had been violently repressed or politely sidetracked.

    He performed a world-historical task, to be sure, but it isn't quite the one you credit him with. Even more vital than pressure, he gave the English a face-saving way to get out of India without spilling rivers of blood. And since in the end, India was not vital to England, the English took it.

    In other words, yes, OWS can be violently repressed, unless the consequences are the political equivalent of the country burning from end to end. You need a political movement devoted to beggaring the rich to act as the bad cop counterpart to OWS's good cop. Otherwise, it will either peter out or be put down.

    I dance to Tom Paine's bones.

    by sagesource on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:27:18 AM PDT

    •  that is always the role of the radicals (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      MLK didn't win just because he nonviolently marched and sat-in----he won because the Black Power movement was running around with guns, allowing MLK to say to the power structure (either explicitly or implicitly), "You can either deal with me, or deal with THEM--which do you prefer?"

      The radical fringe is always condemned and castigated by the nonviolent movement (rightly so, from their point of view), but in the long run the militant movement is usually just as necessary for victory. That is why Nelson Mandela was simultaneously the spokesman for the nonviolent ANC and the organizer of the armed Umkhonto resistance.

      And there are of course regimes where nonviolent resistance is simply suicide--such as Nazi Germany.

      The US, though, is not Nazi Germany.

  •  I was at the Occupy San Diego (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, fayea, Laurence Lewis

    gathering yesterday afternoon in San Diego's civic center.  There were lots of cops around and just as a relatively small group of maybe 30 people were getting together with bullhorns and signs, the cops came over and arrested some bearded guy, seeming to just pick him out of the crowd at random.  People were yelling and asking, "Why are you arresting him?"  No answer.
    I do not know for certain but I think the cops just wanted to make an intimidating statement right off the bat, a bare assertion of authority.  I was there and did not see any thing remotely resembling probable cause to arrest.  

  •  Changing minds... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Laurence Lewis

    Nonviolence alone will not change things.... but one approach is necessary to make this effective.

    Turning your adversaries into supporters.

    Now this co-opting of the forces sent against you is difficult but highly effective in any campaign. If the Occupy Movement could affect change in the minds of each officer sent on crowd control to evict them then things would change drastically.

    This won't happen the first time, but after consecutive times the minds touched by this movement will inevitably be less and less eager to inflict the force of this immoral law enforcement on them. People will be harmed. People will be treated harshly. But those with a conscience and a soul will respond.

    Now it could be urged along by the police unions to encourage the equivalent of the Blue Flu against these assaults on the protesters. And some off duty police may take it on themselves to become defenders of the cause if not in person but in uniform as voices of restraint to their superiors.

    After enough enforcement personnel listen to their conscience instead of their superiors then the tide will turn and the government will have to listen.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:36:00 AM PDT

    •  It's not adversaries you seek to convert (0+ / 0-)

      Because that's impossible, the interests of the rulers are not the same as the interests of the ruled.  Seeking their support can only lead you to abandon the needs of your own base, see the Democratic Party leadership for an example of how this works, and the whole point of this movement is the growing understanding of the total failure to meet our needs of that strategy.  It's the confused, the disconnected and distracted you need to reach.

      And until we can both give cops tens of thousands of dollars each and the sense of swaggering superiority over the rest of us and immunity from the consequences of their actions, however brutal that the 1% provides them, there is no way to bring over any but the random few of them.   Not worth our time and effort when there are tens of millions of our fellow citizens out their sitting on the fences to reach out to.

      We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:42:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Message from the 1% (6+ / 0-)


    We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:36:14 AM PDT

    •  Credit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, Laurence Lewis

      We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:44:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cute, but bogus (0+ / 0-)

        The 1% is NOT patient. They're the ones who want to make a quick pile of money NOW rather than a much huger pile of money over many years. They're the ones who loot and run. They're the ones with all the self-control and maturity of a thoroughly spoiled two-year-old.

        Who's going to wait whom out, again?

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:23:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's how we got "Free Trade" (0+ / 0-)

          They were thinking about making a quick but, and not about the long-term consequences of shifting our economy over-seas, or having to compete with 3rd world nations.

        •  They think in generations (0+ / 0-)

          not weeks.  That's the point.  

          It's foolish to believe that somehow they're too impatient to hang in there for however long it takes to attain their self-interest.  After all, they are right now continuing to execute a political strategy laid down in 1971 by Lewis Powell.   Which grassroots movement of non 1%ers has ever sustained that kind of continuity in a single strategy?

          The message is that we damned well better be ready to fight for the long haul, and anyone telling us that we don't, that the owners will give up in a couple days, that they have the shorter attention spans, and are more likely to be the ones distracted and diverted from their self-interest, is not on our side.

          We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

          by ActivistGuy on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 09:35:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the .0001% (0+ / 0-)

            The ones who really ARE evil schemers out to manipulate everything they can and destroy everything they can't manipulate. But the majority of the so-called "1%" can't think past the end of the immediate quarter, or at most the next one. Otherwise we'd all be happy well-adjusted slaves and lovin' it, instead of noticing how totally they have f*cked everything up.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:17:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, LLPete, isabelle hayes

    is the underlying concept.  It (government) only works if we agree to go along with it.

    It is a deeply personal decision, to withhold one's consent.  It is to take an active role in one's relationship to the Government, to not passively accept and consent to injustice.  It is the Mother of  resistance, whether passive or not.

    Without the consent, the State is obliged to show us the Iron Fist, the Guns, the Force. The Power.  But it has been reduced to merely that, Power, with no Authority. An Emperor with no clothes.

    The American Empire is no more equipped to deal with the overt challenge of non-violent  resistance than was the British Empire that Gandhi confronted in India 63 years ago.  When all They have is a Hammer, they are utterly flummoxed by a sea of pillows.

    Of course, the English were a "civilized" people who were vulnerable to moral suasion; eventually, they did the Right Thing.  Let us hope that we are as civilized a People as were the English, when the moment of facing the truth arises.  Because the heart of the matter is a clear statement to Power:  you can brutalize and kill us, but you can't make us Consent to your Power.  And Power is all they have when they have lost the Authority that Consent of the Governed gives them.

    This isn't going to be easy; people will be hurt, blood will flow and lives will be lost.  And all that will sustain us is the belief or hope that we are dealing here with civilized people who will eventually do the Right Thing, rather than just kill us all.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:44:36 AM PDT

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

      between the US today and the British raj in India are that our authorities are far more willing to employ violence against resisters among us than the British were, and the rest of the population is far more supportive of state violence being applied to our dissidents than the people of India were.  Our society has adopted the authoritarian personality as the cultural norm, which makes throwing off the rule of power willing to use force pretty much impossible.   We as a people have chosen to not only submit to the yoke, but to view it as our goal, our identity, our essential national character.

      We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 09:53:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may not make me popular (6+ / 0-)

    Yes, non-violence, now and ever.

    But that is often the hardest road to travel because you have to master yourself to master the situation.

    And I want to set the record straight and talk a little common sense here, at least with respect to what happened in Oakland.

    The situation was not a black and white as many people want to say. It was not good verses evil.

    Demonstrators camped out for 15 days before the city acted to clear the site. 15 days. Whether or not one agrees with the decision to clear the reason for doing so was (ironically) concerns about public particularly:

    :: Highly unsanitary conditions
    :: Multiple incidents of violence (which protestors had failed to self-manage)
    :: One rape
    :: At least 3 incidents when ambulance emergency personnel were denied access to the site responding to 911 calls
    :: And the last straw, an incident where a mentally ill homeless person stabbed a demonstrator and then was beaten senseless by bystanders using a 2"x4" who intervened to protect the stabbed demonstrator

    Was the city supposed to stand idly by and continue watching this?

    After supporting the demonstration for more than 2 weeks (Oakland is a Liberal city) the Mayor, Acting Police Chief and City Manager decided they could not allow the situation of 24/7 camping continue, had to evacuate the plaza to clean and would then impose a curfew on overnight camping.

    Obviously a lot of people disagreed with the city's position on 24/7 but I think any truly reasonable person would understand the conditions were unacceptable and the city had an obligation to act.

    Whether or not the action chosen was the only or best option is highly debatable in retrospect but I'm personally quite confident if any demonstrators would have been killed or become ill we would be reading outraged rants of another flavor.

    Sometimes city officials face a lose-lose situation and I'd argue this was one because I suspect at least some of the more radical demonstrators would not have cooperated with an order to leave under any circumstance and imagine the city jumpped-off from that point.

    So the Police cleared the plaza in full riot gear, discharging tear gas, made arrests and cordoned-off the area. And there was no violence.

    And then, later, some demonstrators came back to "reclaim" their turf and that is when the trouble started. Amongst the demonstrators there was disagreement with some seeking to forcibly retake the area, including individuals to were openly advocating violence, while others argued against this insisting to follow the law and use non-violent means to protest.

    It was then the some demonstrators pelted the cops with rocks, bottles and paint, and the cops responded in force, in some cases, indiscriminately and using excessive force.

    And as we know, a veteran, who was non-violently demonstrating became the worst casualty and remains in the hospital while the cop who was responsible walks the streets.

    I have to ask, was this result in any way unpredictable? Am I crazy to wonder why it didn't happen sooner?

    The common sense is this:

    :: In any crowd, there are some bad actors. They have to be controlled. It ain't cool, it ain't fun but it has to be done.

    :: When any person is in possession of a potentially lethal weapon, no matter who they are and what they look like, cop, demonstrator or convenience store worker, IT CAN BE USED. Don't tempt fate. Don't fuck with them.

    :: Demonstrations that go beyond a couple of days are not demonstrations, they are temporary cities. Cities need resources, services, management and government. Full stop.

    Occupy Oakland failed to meet the common sense test and I think I know why.

    This movement has no adults, or not enough, with enough influence.

    It is not organized, not in the sense where there is any real direction or responsibility or accountability. In fact, this is the benchmark or badge of glory for OWS, that it is "Democratic", "By the people" and anti-autoritarian.

    But it is not working and can never work because people are not that perfect and some people are really imperfect.

    Particularly if you want a successful, non-violent, civil disobedience movement.

    To do that, you need EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

    Strong self-regulation.
    Leadership and accountability.
    Goals and a purpose.

    I'm sorry, but when I look at the bulk of outraged comments on this site about the Oakland Riot what I find is a mob trying to pin the blame for the incident on one person, the Mayor, a long-time progressive community activist with gold-plated liberal credentials and avoiding and possibility that they themselves should have any personal accountability or played any role.

    It is the same old story of everyone accountable so no one accountable.

    This does not work. This movement can not continue to succeed very much longer unless it gets some serious organization and structure.

    That failing, as the weather gets colder, as the camping sites become dirtier and more rat infested, as the patience of the demonstrators, hangers on and city fathers get thinner, the enterprise will run downhill and crash.

    Is that what you people want?

    Is that what wins the battle?

    Is that your message, that a bunch of disorganized people living in the middle of a shit pile have the answers?

    A modest proposal for successful non-violent protest

    (1) Organize. Real organization with leaders selected by whatever means but empowered to make decisions and talk to city fathers.

    (2) Draft a manifesto so people know what you are trying to accomplish and make it less than 10 points on one page. This movement has gone too far with no core goals, it's past time to get focused.

    (3) Develop and Maintain discipline. This is absolutely essential for non-violence because you must control yourself when other do not themselves. The best approach is like the military, daily exercise and drills. No, I'm not crazy, I have managed large groups and it works. People gain confidence with self-accomplishment and drilling builds unity.

    (4) Maintain Cleanliness and Order. You have to make the site better managed than the city. THAT is how you strike terror in the hearts of the establishment. Make scheduled patrol and use peer pressure to recruit people to do work. Clean sidewalks BEFORE yoga lessons.

    (5) Make internal security. Clue: People are polite to big bald guys. Seriously, you have to be sensible and weed-out the trouble-makers and crazies who will drag the movement down. If someone want's to start trouble, CALL THE POLICE.

    (6) Teach non-violence. Everyday. It is simple: I am my own master. I will not harm others. I will avoid harm. Practice that and you avoid violence, causing it or finding it.

    I really want to request people to cool down and let go of the anger, to step back and look at where this is and where it is heading.

    Although we got a good start and people's hearts are in the right place that is not enough. Today, these demonstrations are not in a good place, they are wearing-down and collapsing under their own weight.

    Some people may read the above and think I'm crazy. I'm not.

    You cannot run an army without organization and discipline.

    You cannot win an endurance race without the goal to get to a destination and pushing yourself to be better and better.

    You cannot avoid violence in a situation where it is likely unless you master your own emotions and control yourself, and conquer fear. (The cop who doesn't shoot when a bottle hits his body armor has my respect. The tanks driver at Tiananmen Square who avoided "Tank Man" has been my hero for 2 decades.)

    Wake-up people. Look at where this is and where it's going.

    Get out of your own heads and emotions and open your eyes.

    Movements fail when people believe their own propaganda and there is serious danger of that here.  If diaries on this site are a good indicator people are starting to run on pure emotion and fabricated reality.

    For God/whomever's sake: Organization, order, discipline, clarity, purpose.

    Without that, you will be defeated, if not by your adversaries, then by yourselves.

    Sorry for the length, it is 1am here and I just spit this out.

    Be tough with yourselves. Win.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 10:01:20 AM PDT

    •  Please diary! "Urgent callout Occupiers! What (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      guavaboy, divineorder

      Is needed NOW!"

        We will republish it as often as necessary.
      to the OWS group and for general information.

      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 30, 2011 at 10:59:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't a "popularity contest" but the way to go (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that we need, and every Occupy! is facing a variant or nearly every one of the problems you cited at the present time.

      Some are responding and some are at cross purposes. It is a sign of the primitiveness and basic beginnings of the movement.

      Our Mayor came down to talk yesterday for a while. Some Occupyers, or rather daily visitors were miffed, just as they were miffed when union reps came by with food and blankets and support. Not "pure enough" for them.

      We DK'ers of all people should be the realists and the practical ones, and not let go of dreams and objectives, but find ways to take this forward, our best chance in generations for the broadest based movement to succed in our land.

      Good, outstanding even,  response to a fine diary in its own right  koNko.

      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 30, 2011 at 11:06:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  alas, learning all these things takes time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      particularly when there is no successful model to point to that we can emulate. There hasn't been a mass political movement in the US in over half a century--before most of the country was even born While there are still a few of us left from those times (and we are an invaluable resource that should be tapped to the fullest), the simple fact is that most of the movement doesn't know what it's doing because it never did anything like it before. They will have to learn the hard way--on the job.

      The Occupy movement isn't even two months old yet.  It's barely begun to crawl. I see no reason to criticize it now because it's not ready for a marathon race yet--how COULD it be?  (shrug).

      Fortunately, experience is a wonderful teacher.  UN-fortunately, experience requires . . . well . .  experience.

      •  Hence, the value of old farts. (0+ / 0-)

        You are absolutely correct, Americans need to get back into practice. Nows a good time to get started before the wrong people fill the vacuum.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:05:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wondering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diebold Hacker

      Where are all the Burning Man people?  That kind of organization is needed.

      There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. ~Richard Buckminster Fuller

      by Blissing on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 01:13:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Soon, soon. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blissing, koNko

        We like summer time.

        Really, I think you are already seeing the influence. A lot of the people in these various Occupys have dealt successfully with harsher conditions then these.

        Corporations rule stealing money, legally. Time to take it back!

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:08:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  BM and OWS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Blissing, koNko

          One take:

          A good example of B-man teaching people to focus on Yes… A few Denver area Rangers have been asked to help with the Occupy Denver protests, keeping friendly order amongst the protesters. They aren’t in B-man ranger gear or acting in any official capacity, of course, but people looked at B-man and thought, “Those guys sure know how to self-police” and asked for assistance. A positive contribution, I’d say. Intelligent self-policing is way better than unintelligent outside policing.

          From here:

          Corporations rule stealing money, legally. Time to take it back!

          by Diebold Hacker on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:16:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not just Burning Man - Pennsic, Estrella, et al (0+ / 0-)

            The SCA does the "temporary tent city" thing quite well - has it down to a science after forty years of practicing it. And I am sure there are other groups with comparable levels of experience.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:27:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

            My formula is this:

            Be more disciplined than the cops.
            Keep the site cleaner than the city.
            Take better care of the people than social services.

            And then stand your ground.

            "Excuse me Sir, but we are the public and you are the servant".

            Politeness works.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:13:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent idea. (0+ / 0-)

        They have leadership quality.

        Same goes for vets, plenty of them in the 99%. Particularly ex-Marines. They understand discipline and have the DNA.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 02:08:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  have you seen (0+ / 0-)
      Amongst the demonstrators there was disagreement with some seeking to forcibly retake the area, including individuals to were openly advocating violence,

      richard's video?

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 03:47:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately I can't see it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        Because I can't get You Tube.

        But what I gather from multiple news sources and also activist blogs is that after the first wave when the cops cleared the plaza and fenced it, some demonstrators decided to reoccupy or "retake" the land as some put it and in this group were some individuals and a faction that threw stones, bottles and paint on some cops taunting them with "pigs" and that is when the cops went ballistic, at least in one area where they confronted each other at the barricades.

        In in the middle of this were other demonstrators trying to keep the peace and persuade the radicalized ones to back down.

        Here is one of the accounts.

        One of the non-violent demonstrators was Scott Olsen we can see than on video.

        I wasn't there so I can't be the judge. In fact, no one that was there was everywhere so they can't either. That's the reason there needs to be an inquiry, why the city is doing that and why they are asking any whiteness' to come forward or file complaints.

        You can have 99 good cops that act with restraint and one bad one that goes rogue. Seems to be the case here. Same goes for demonstrators and that is my point: demonstrators need to be well organized and well-disaplined or they are sitting ducks and trouble-makers can screw up things for everyone if they are allowed to.

        Demonstrators need to be better than cops.

        People should be aware they are putting themselves at risk. People should be trained to self-regulate and control their emotions. People need to be their brother keeper. From what I gather, some tried hard to do that but Scott Olson still got is skull cracked for whatever reason.

        Just my opinion, but anyone throwing stones or shouting "Pig" in the face of a riot cop is looking for trouble and, unfortunately as we can see, endangering others.

        People like that need to be weeded out. I'm not alone in thinking so, I have seen plenty of traffic on the bogs to that effect.

        And does the term "agent provocateur" apply? Plenty of conservatives trying to make trouble in NYC have already been outed, how do we know the skateboarder in the above SFGate story is not one?

        Answer: doesn't matter, anyone inciting violence has to go or the movement get discredited. There is no "That's your thing" when it comes to violence, once it get started for whatever reason innocent bystanders get hurt.

        I'm not concern trolling here. Occupy Oakland was a disorganized, leaderless mess. listen to the raw audio tables and communiqués - 10,000 people sharing a mike and no one leading. That's dangerous.

        Good News: The city, some community leaders from churches and whatnot and some demonstrators are now talking. Maybe some form of leadership will emerge and things will get more organized.

        We don't need more casualties. That takes the discussion off-topic and leads nowhere.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 03:00:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the video shows cops in civilian (0+ / 0-)

          clothes who have infiltrated the protests.

          protester have been surveilling the crowds and taping them. somebody noticed a couple of cops in uniform have shown up as protesters just the other day.

          it's cops as undercover agent provocateurs who are throwing things and giving the police in uniform an excuse to come down hard on protesters.

          it's well known and has been exhibited before that police and fbi and other govt agencies engage in deceptive practice of planting moles inside protest groups.

          protesters having forethought to do surveillance exhibits planning and discipline.

          whoever planned this out, this was not a newbie activist.

          our one demand? return what was stolen.

          by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 03:51:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So then you agree (0+ / 0-)

            With my hard rule to ex-communicate anyone advocating violence?

            The problem is you don't know who is in a crowd but it's pretty predictable some people may have anti-social tendencies and some may not be who they appear to be.

            Any crowd.

            Now take our protest situation.

            Could be an anarchist skater punk, plenty of those around the East Bay.

            Could be a cop. Or a cop's kid. Whatever.

            You don't know.

            But what you do know is it's not OK to advocate violence and so anyone doing that needs to be cast out.

            Violence is not Democracy. Violence is not freedom of expression.

            Doesn't matter if it's a cop or a demonstrator.

            And let's be realistic here: you cannot say none of the demonstrators advocate violence, you really can't.

            We can only say the cops did. And that some films and eyewitness accounts claims some demonstrators did - as reported by other demonstrators.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 07:29:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  of course i reject violence. (0+ / 0-)

              and we reject the destruction of property. there is no value or principle in it.

              this is a rejection is so ingrained in me that it feels funny to even articulate it seeing how it's something i and everybody i know take for granted. this goes without saying.

              anybody who advocates violence is viewed with suspicion, distanced from and suspected of being a mole.

              i liked sotto's idea.

              our one demand? return what was stolen.

              by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 09:55:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  sounds like obama (0+ / 0-)
      I'm sorry, but when I look at the bulk of outraged comments on this site about the Oakland Riot what I find is a mob trying to pin the blame for the incident on one person, the Mayor, a long-time progressive community activist with gold-plated liberal credentials and avoiding and possibility that they themselves should have any personal accountability or played any role.

      unthinkable that we would get betrayed by a community organizer.

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 03:53:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as they say--"the staunchest revolutionary becomes (0+ / 0-)

        a conservative the day after the Revolution."

        •  i don't know if i'd go that far. (0+ / 0-)

          the way multiple camps have been raided at the same time and the way umbrellas sudddenly became unathorized at the same time in different camps that ranged across the country - suggests coordination that's coming from a place higher than mayor.

          even mayor quan has given contradictory accounts. maybe it was cya, i don't know, but she initially indicated she didn't give the order for the police to pull a raid.

          our one demand? return what was stolen.

          by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 05:02:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, the cops know all the unwritten rules. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stolen water

            Especially in places like DC and NYC, where they see protests and rallies every weekend.  Everyone on both sides knows what the unwritten rules are---when we do this, the cops will do that. They know what we're gonna do, we know what they're gonna do, and it all plays out as a sort of morality skit where everyone knows their lines.

            Whenever the cops depart from the script and start busting heads and lobbing gas grenades, that is because someone wants to send a message. And that message doesn't come from the cops. No petty police official would make such a decision on his own. Some high-level civilian said the word.

            And I think you are right--given the coordinated nature of the nation-wide raids, I smell the aroma of Federales.

            Sooner or later, of course, we'll find out the whole story.

            The Dem Party had better pray awfully hard that nobody in the Dept of Justice had a hand in it . . . . . . . . .

          •  This is what I gather from multiple accounts (0+ / 0-)

            To be honest, I just piece this sequence together from multiple reports and remarks in Quan's press conference. I might have sine things wrong.

            Quan was scheduled to go to DC to lobby for the Port of Oakland to get some funding.

            Prior to her leaving, the city was drawing up some contingency plans to clear the plaza to clean it up and then to impose an overnight curfew.

            The reason they wanted to change the policy is the plaza was becoming an increasing health risk and violent behavior was on the rise. If you're not familiar with Oakland downtown it has a lot of homeless, many of whom are mentally disabled and some prone to violence, and this was part of the problem as they integrated with the demonstration (which is partially for them, right?).

            There were at least 3 violent incidents against demonstrators that led to arrests. There was one rape. There were 3-5 (not sure how many reports conflict) cases where Ambulance personnel responding to 911 calls were denied entry as they were escorted by police. Police responding to complaints were denied entry.

            Because Oakland does not have a full police force (city is broke) they had to go outside for help for the planned operation if it was going to be done.

            Quan went on her trip to DC. While she was there a homeless man stabbed a demonstrator and other demonstrators came to his defense, beating the attacker senseless with a 2"x4". The Police then intervened . This incident was related to Quan who stated it was the last straw so to speak and she authorized the city manager to proceed, and then headed back to Oakland, arriving late the night of the riot (not the day after as originally reported).

            Apparently Quan did not actually review the final plan as it was not complete when she left for DC and the rest was related verbally. This is the source of her lame "I don't know everything" remark.

            This was a serious mistake on her part. I don't think she should have approved any plan without seeing the final version and knowing the actual situation on the ground but I guess she was alarmed by the stabbing. Dumb, dumb, dumb not to see the situation with your own eyes first.

            Quan ultimately has to take responsibility for the decision and for what happened even if she was acting in good faith and in the interest of public safety. It sure didn't work out as planned and there are plenty of regrets all around.

            But at the risk of sounding trollish I have to speak in her defense here:

            :: I think people are rushing to judgement about this entire situation and about her role and intentions. I understand people are angry but some of the stuff Quan has been called on this site is completely ridiculous and out of line. Cast the first stone.

            :: Quan was on the front lines of the BART demonstrations. For God's sake, her opponents tried to use this as a "Loyalty"  issue during the election. Has she suddenly flipped 180 degrees after 30 years as a community activist and become a monster, a turncoat or a Republican?  Sorry, I don't believe it. She made a serious mistake she now acknowledges.

            :: From some people here there is a raw political motive. She beat a Dem machine politician in the election running as an independent and this pissed-off the Dem powers that be who have been trying to tear her down since the election. Do you know some Dems started a recall petition because she is too soft on crime and not using her under-staffed police enough? Now they have flipped to recall her for using the police? BINGO! I doubt anyone needs to worry about a second term, you can take the knife out now.

            :: People are pissed and need a punching bag. The one they have chosen is not Michael Bloomberg but a frickn grassroots Dem who has worked her butt off in the local community. Good choice!  "Heil Hitler, Ms Quan". That's not an exaggeration, I already pushed back at the self-identified Liberal who compared Oakland to Tiananmen Square and Quan to Mao. Nice choice of mixed metaphors!

            Get a grip, people.

            Polite Suggestion: Now is the best time for demonstrators to negotiate with the City of Oakland and Mayor Quan.

            Be smart.

            "But what will we do with the circular firing squad, koNko?" That I cannot answer.

            I think the truth is important, but this is still to raw for some people to process rationally. I hope people will look at the entire picture and there is a proper investigation because there are some lessons to be relearned here.

            Last Suggestion: Read Shakespeare, he really understood this shit.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:14:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i'm witholding judgement on quan (0+ / 0-)

              until we find out more. like i said, i think that orders are being given on a level above her.

              re oakland:

              marigold found this bit of context:

              “My part of Oakland is full of poor people. There’s at least one murder a week. Old creeps pimp out teenaged girls in broad daylight. You can buy crack or heroin 30 feet from my door, and two of my neighbors have been held up at gun point this summer. And the City of Oakland says they don’t have the police to stop any of that. But a bunch of people protesting the fact that rich people got a bail out and everyone else got nothing? The city shuts them down tight. Bang. Done. Riot act. Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? I do. Every day.”

              our one demand? return what was stolen.

              by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:37:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  i don't know about other camps (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      (3) Develop and Maintain discipline...The best approach is like the military, daily exercise and drills.

      i don't know about other camps, but my local one holds an hour of yoga and meditation in the morning and then an hour of tai chi and meditation in the evening.

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:02:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know that. (0+ / 0-)

        And that good for people who practice both religiously like I do (including chi gong) but isn't what I'm suggesting.

        What I mean is making a daily schedule to get things done, cleaning, patrolling, and getting people to exercise as a group, preferably, even marching.

        I know it sounds odd. But I also know it works.

        Most people left to themselves have poor basic discipline, particularly Americans used to doing their own thing (verses, say, PLA members).

        Basic discipline can be established very quickly by executing daily activities on a strict schedule and by group activities such as exercise and drilling.

        In just 2-3 days, people will start to join in voluntarily and it builds team spirit, trust and mutual dependance.

        The practical benefits are almost immediate. When everyone cleans together stuff stays clean. When you take turns being leader, everyone learns to lead (or be a better follower).

        Armies around the world know this works. So do monasteries, from Jesus to Buddha.

        When people stand up straight on their own two feet they think more rationally and feel better.

        I know people will find this strange, unless they have been in the military or a monastery.

        But it works.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:29:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  are you talking about the case (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      :: One rape

      where a woman shared a tent with a companion only to later on decide to file charges?

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:04:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i've already had people (0+ / 0-)

      ask me with worry what ows intends to do after they "take over." i've had to tell them they're just campers in the park. they're not a militia looking to pull a coup.

      i don't now what it is but it is amazing to me how much outsized power some people confer to the movement.

      i can just imagine the concern it would create if ows started looking like a paramilitary regiment. that would really freak people out.

      Is that your message, that a bunch of disorganized people living in the middle of a shit pile have the answers?

      ows doesn't pretend to have all the answers.

      i really resent the condescending and elitist tone that suggest ows is nothing but DFHs.

      again, i don't know other occupys but the camp i attend marches and rallies for, the square isn't strewn with garbage.

      if you want to run a camp that apes blackwater mercenaries, fine. but why do we have to live up to your expectations?

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:30:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  edit out the "just" in the first paragraph. (0+ / 0-)

        of course i recognize what they're doing is more than camping.

        our one demand? return what was stolen.

        by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 05:22:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. (0+ / 0-)

        I want people to be safe, to not get chased out by cops, to not fail to make their point and to do better.

        And to do better, I think this movement has to mature a little and focus on some tangible goals, which ideally are Democratically decided, but perhaps distilled into coherent and manageable form by some talented writers (movement has many) so that this ultimately results in some change.

        Some people are questioning now what camping out indefinitely is going to accomplish. That's a good question.

        I think I understand what the movement is about, what it is trying to communicate. The 99% site is it. In fact, I read an excellent summary in, of all places, The Economist that really puts it into clear perspective including the importance of the movement.

        I also think, even if we don't get a 10 point memo for CNN to digest, if the demonstrators stay out long enough some people will get the message.

        If I may quote Prince:

        "Dear Mr Man, we want to end with 3 simple words: 'we tired of y'all' "

        But that's not enough. You can't just lie down forever and let the 1% drive around you with the aircon on full.

        There needs to evolve some tangibles.

        And bottom line, if people don't get better discipline and organization, how the hell will they survive a winter camped-out to get the mission accomplished?

        The boils down to simple, practical necessity.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:09:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  two words (0+ / 0-)
      It is not organized, not in the sense where there is any real direction or responsibility or accountability. In fact, this is the benchmark or badge of glory for OWS, that it is "Democratic", "By the people" and anti-autoritarian.

      But it is not working and can never work because people are not that perfect and some people are really imperfect.

      tunisa. egypt.

      what do you mean it can never work?

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 04:46:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually they got quite organized. (0+ / 0-)

        And they didn't just sit down in one lace continuously waiting to get kicked out.

        They rotated in and out, they organize people to come into (for example) Cairo in cycles, they made grate use of traditional communications and the internet.

        So let me give you an example of how this can and may be getting better organized.

        Because some heads got cracked (drumroll) now there will be a general strike, with communication, organization and coordination between groups.

        It is not a plan to get 50 or 100 more people to sit on the grass for the next 6 months taking yoga (nothing wrong with that) it is a plan to get 20 or 50 thousand more people to make a big loud noise for one day.

        BINGO. Organization actually works!


        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:20:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here is some interesting story (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        Seems things are getting better organized.


        Really, it can happen. Really, it works.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 07:45:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  koNko, would you please provide a link to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stolen water

      a source for this?

      :: Highly unsanitary conditions
      :: Multiple incidents of violence (which protestors had failed to self-manage)
      :: One rape
      :: At least 3 incidents when ambulance emergency personnel were denied access to the site responding to 911 calls
      :: And the last straw, an incident where a mentally ill homeless person stabbed a demonstrator and then was beaten senseless by bystanders using a 2"x4" who intervened to protect the stabbed demonstrator

      Would appreciate the chance to see these in context they were reported in.  Thanks.

      •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        And it's still not a valid excuse. You don't hurt people in effort to protect people.

      •  Here is one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This Oakland PR enumerates various problems day by day including the rape and other reports of sexual assaults.

        I make the basic assumption the assertions of reported crimes of complaints can be verified by public records should anyone care to do so and that's a good way to fact check this document if you have doubts.

        Here and Here.

        WARNING! I think you may react unfavorably to Page One. Keep in mind this was the official position the day of and has since changed in light of facts. But to the city's credit, the original unedited is still posted as it should be.

        I also suggest you read ALL of the notices linked on this page in the sequence they were issued and with respect to the events. It won't take you very long and will give you some insight on the city's official viewpoint and obligations including to citizens not connected to the demonstration. It also includes some important documents to establish the legal basis to sweep the park which could be subject to dispute at later public inquiries.

        As for the veracity of the city's assertions, I have reviewed both news reports and various blogs that both confirm and dispute the assertions of on-site conditions.

        Since I was not there I can't settle it, but reasonably:

        :: Such public gatherings result in dirty the environment particularly under dense living conditions so unless there is daily cleaning I would expect the situation to get progressively worse.

        :: This problem has been symptomatic of these demonstrations and dealt with (and subject to disputes) in other cases (the original OWS in NYC had it's cleaning dispute and later some cooperation).

        :: Most of what I have read disputing the assertions is partisan or argumentative, ie, suggesting conditions were not as bad as the city dump/whatever or that the city was responsible for the lack of services (a strangely contradictory argument for people refusing to move).

        Let's just say it would be remarkable if, after 15 days, the plaza was not a mess given the emphasis on class-struggle and yoga over clorox bleach.

        Honestly, the basis of the demonstrators arguments has little to do with the facts of dirt or nuisance, but that:

        (a) "God damn-it, these are my First Amendment rights!"
        (b) "This is our turf, Pigs go home"

        I get it, really I do:

        I. Your classic turf battle.
        II. Mutual distrust, etc.

        And that is why I'm so nutty to insist demonstrators maintain discipline and keep their space undisputedly cleaner and well organized than the city ever could, SO THERE IS NO BASIS TO DEMAND EVACUATION.

        If demonstrators keep everything neat and clean, if they maintain passages for the public to conduct business, if they have their buddies BBQ the hot dogs off site and bring them by, if they cooperate with Ambulance, Police and Fire Inspectors, YOU OWN THE LAND.

        Organization, Discipline, Clarity, Strength.

        That's how to beat city hall. They are the opposite, usually.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 07:05:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here is some more (0+ / 0-)

        Actually, I have some time tonight so I try to verify some of these cases but the problem may be until they get to court maybe no hard news items available, but try to find what I can.

        This includes further comment by Quan. The numbers of alleged incidents get larger. This confirms her remark about the "breaking point" incident.

        Oakland Occupy residents struggle with internal security issues details the general problem of security and escalating conflicts before the plaza was cleared, and refers to several specific incidents. This is one of the articles I read before originally researching the city's claims.

        Divisions in the #OccupyOakland Protest Seed Unrest in Mother Jones is another eyewitness account of the provocative behavior of some demonstrators at the barrier the night of the riots and is another account confirming rock, bottle and paint throwing at the cops, and internal struggles by others to keep the peace.

        The Lede - just add this because it's a good synopsis of media you might find useful.

        Also add this raw KTVU footage for which the You Tubes were made, I keep this because I can't get You Tube without using my VPN (expensive).

        Occupy Oakland: inspiration, frustration at return underlines my basic thesis. Not everyone is happy to see them return and the reason is the undisciplined behavior. I really cannot accept rationalizing uncivilized behavior that can be controlled and if the demonstrators are so community oriented they should improve their discipline.

        Fierce crackdown on 'Occupy Oakland' protest al jazeera story makes reference to sexual assault but nothing specific.

        Occupy Oakland: Clashes last into night after pre-dawn raid on encampment Oakland Tribune account, again, pretty general.

        I  can't find any reports on the rape. This may be because the case needs to proceed and in such cases investigations are confidential. But the issue is likely to remain a Red Herring for 2 reasons: (a) Several alleged sexual assaults have occurred at these events with Seattle already self-policing; (b) the attempt by organizers to self police their venues to keep police out.

        I think the latter is completely misguided and likely to backfire. These events are not little countries or states. If crimes are committed local authorities have an obligation to investigate and take action and blocking that is obstruction of justice. It is also to invite scrutiny and ridicule from outside the movement and could discredit it. Foolish.

        For example, the case in Cleveland:


        And related controversial position by Occupy Baltimore:


        The pamphlet says that members of the protest group who believe they are victims or who suspect sexual abuse "are encouraged to immediately report the incident to the Security Committee," which will investigate and "supply the abuser with counseling resources."

        This is seriously misguided thinking. What about the victim? Their response to criticism is seriously lame from a legal and social viewpoint and suggests to me some of these people have veered off into utopian fantasyland.  I seriously doubt any female member of Daily Kos that has been raped would endorse this approach.

        Late here, got to go. Appreciate your further comments.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 10:57:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  we the people (0+ / 0-)
      After supporting the demonstration for more than 2 weeks (Oakland is a Liberal city) the Mayor, Acting Police Chief and City Manager decided they could not allow the situation of 24/7 camping continue, had to evacuate the plaza to clean and would then impose a curfew on overnight camping.

      Obviously a lot of people disagreed with the city's position on 24/7 but I think any truly reasonable person would understand the conditions were unacceptable and the city had an obligation to act.

      WE THE PEOPLE have the constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble in order to address our grievances.

      quote from the constitution:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      the constitution trumps petty city ordinances. the constitution trumps your "reasonable man" test.

      the first amendment is an unalienable right. we are born with this right. it is endowed to us by our creator. it cannot be taken away from us by men. inherent in this primacy of rights lies our consent to be governed.

      oh, the powers that be have worked overtime to strip us of this right, but when push comes to shove, when we are backed against the wall, when we collectively decide enough is enough -- we will fight to the death to defend this right.

      the fact that the ruling elites are working so hard to deny us this right serves as a huge red flag and a wake up call to the rest of the citizens that something is fundamentally wrong with this country.

      our rights are in peril. this is one of the reasons why ows transcends the usual two party divide.

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:29:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You need to dig into case law (0+ / 0-)

        I does not give people unlimited rights to assemble under any condition regardless of circumstances.

        In situations where public safety is at risk case law has upheld the right of local authorities to impose regulations that ultimately restrict time and place under certain conditions.

        I believe Armando is an expert in this area and you might put the question to him.

        But as I understand the spirit and letter, activity that endangers public safety can be regulated.

        So, for example, if your form of self expression included burning in effigy a public figure that activity could be restricted to a certain area and time and require you to obtain a permit, but that such permits must be issued.

        In the present case, the City of Oakland issued ground rules regulating the hours when demonstrations could occur because they claim they must perform daily cleaning and trash removal.

        They also demanded demonstrators cooperate with local merchants whose premises they are blocking.

        And I would question, why do demonstrators have to be in that exact place all the time to exercise their freedom of expression?

        Nothing stops you from walking down the street to do so, no?

        I think I raise a valid and important question here because some of the demonstrators seem to have the notion that land belongs to them, but it is public property.

        There is definitely the element of territorial imperative in the thinking of some of the demonstrators, you would think you were talking to real estate developers haggling over a prime corner lot to listen to them rant. Very funny.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:46:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  look at this video. (0+ / 0-)

      nashville judge tells cops...

      "you have no lawful basis to arrest or charge these people." "

      meaning occupy protesters.


      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:40:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I cannot view You Tube (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        Unless I use precious VPN time to hack the firewall (greetings from China).

        I prefer to save my time for my own political/other activities so appreciate your understanding. Just about anything but You Tube is accessible by other means, but I really need to use the hack for You Tube.

        The live streams are no problem.

        Regarding the free speech verses community regulation question, both can co-exist and both have been supported by various case law, that is what keeps the ACLU in business.

        I, personally, am a very strong advocate of free speech. You may notice I never HR anyone on this site, because that is a form of censorship.

        All the stuff I am posting on this thread has one ultimate aim: the the people of the OWS movement can exercise their rights of assembly and freedom of expression to the full extent of the law, and actually accomplish something in the process.

        To do that, self-criticism, questioning ourselves and debate is valuable.

        Rhetoric absent reality is useless.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 05:32:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that is so cool you can access the livestreams. (0+ / 0-)


          it is amazing to me how this tool can bring far away communities together. i followed the greek feed as riots were breaking out in real time while chatting with english speaking greeks who were giving me context to the situation i hadn't know before. never done that before. odd to have a front row seat to history as it was being played out rather than reading about it later in the paper.

          where has this tool been all this time before now? underutilized? the ows organizers who hobbled this together is deserves some kind of prize.

          the revolution will be livestreamed.

          our one demand? return what was stolen.

          by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 09:44:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  save your vpn time. i'll see if i can find (0+ / 0-)

          photos of the images that the video displayed.

          our one demand? return what was stolen.

          by stolen water on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 09:46:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd never read Gandhi before. (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you to Laurence Lewis for posting this piece. I've read selected quotes from Gandhi and I saw the movie back in the Eighties, but that was all I knew of the man. I appreciate you including lengthy passages of his writings, a portion of which I have now quoted on my Facebook page.

    Also, your own extrapolation on Gandhi's philosophies and how they apply to the Occupy Wall Street movement were very insightful. I'm grateful you took the time to write this and glad I took the time to read the entire article. You really made me think more deeply about the subject and about my own behavior in everyday life.

    Thanks again.

  •  Ghandi would have lasted five minutes (0+ / 0-)

    in Nazi Germany.

    People who accept cruelty from government are doomed to a horrible existance.

    The American Revolution was a WAR for Independence, not a sit-in.

    The answer is not violence, but fear of violence by the master races. Once you withdraw revolt and war from the argument, you lose to the people with guns and tear gas.

    We will learn someday that passive agression scares babies and whimps, but not the evil ones.

  •  Lawrence, excellent diary, thank you n/t (3+ / 0-)
  •  "And if history is precedent, that also will ... (7+ / 0-)

    ...include such acts perpetrated by infiltrators."

    As many of us first learned long ago, this is a standard feature of every movement. It must be dealt with, but carefully. Because if anything will smash a movement quicker than following the lead of agents provocateurs, it's becoming entangled in accusations of such behavior made against innocent participants. That leads to suspicion, paranoia, division and, eventually, collapse.

    Excellent diary.

    The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 11:50:00 AM PDT

    •  no question (5+ / 0-)

      schisms about loyalty- and accusations of apostasy and betrayal and deception- can be toxic. as we have seen on this very blog...

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam (The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers)

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 01:13:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  on th one hand, the loose organization of OWS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson

      makes it lots harder for the authorities to decapitate the organization by arresting or COINTELPRO-ing its leaders. It also makes it lots harder for well-disciplined minority groups like the Trots or the Libertarians to capture the leadership and set their own agenda.

      But the flip side is that the loose organization also makes it easy for provocateurs to do their thing. (I'm not sure what it even means to "infiltrate" an organization that operates entirely in the open and makes all its decisions in mass meetings that anyone can attend). And of course some elements of the black bloc don't even need anyone to provoke them--they're ready to go all V-for-Vendetta all on their own.

      The trick will be to isolate the nutters and provocateurs while at the same time not becoming totally paranoid about them (paranoia disrupts the organization just as effectively as the real thing does).

    •  however, someone suggesting acts of violence (0+ / 0-)

      is almost a giveaway.

      our one demand? return what was stolen.

      by stolen water on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 03:39:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Naomi Klein was invited to speak to OWS (5+ / 0-)

      and her prepared speech concluded with this:

      A few final thoughts. In this great struggle, here are some things that don’t matter.

      - What we wear.

      - Whether we shake our fists or make peace signs.

      - Whether we can fit our dreams for a better world into a media soundbite.

      And here are a few things that do matter.

      - Our courage.

      - Our moral compass.

      - How we treat each other.

      We have picked a fight with the most powerful economic and political forces on the planet. That’s frightening. And as this movement grows from strength to strength, it will get more frightening. Always be aware that there will be a temptation to shift to smaller targets – like, say, the person sitting next to you at this meeting. After all, that is a battle that’s easier to win.

      Don’t give in to the temptation. I’m not saying don’t call each other on shit. But this time, let’s treat each other as if we plan to work side by side in struggle for many, many years to come. Because the task before will demand nothing less.

      Let’s treat this beautiful movement as if it is most important thing in the world. Because it is. It really is.

  •  The Occupy movement deserves a... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes, Eric Nelson

    lot of credit for shifting the national conversation to jobs, but President Obama does also, as he started on his jobs blitz before the movement started.

    "Congress has not been able to fix these flaws so far, so I will." - President Obama, 9/23/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 01:19:04 PM PDT

  •  This is how OWS has changed the MSM so far (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Think Progress
    Thanks To The 99 Percent Movement, Media Finally Covering Jobs Crisis And Marginalizing Deficit Hysteria

    July 25 - 31
    October 10 - 16

    Solidarity works :)

  •  First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, (0+ / 0-)

    then they fight you, then you win.

    OWS is already past the first stage, and also I think past the second.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 04:30:42 PM PDT

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