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Many have pointed out that OWS has opened up the space for issues that have been buried for years.

Bill McKibben said that 6 months ago the tar sands protest had a 1 in a hundred chance of being successful. Now they have slowed down the decision.

An article "The War Against the Poor and OWS: The Politics of Financial Morality" by Francis Fox Piven notes that poverty is a moral issue and poverty has been hidden from view for years. Her article is at: In fact, the democrats walked away from the issue in 1980 noted John Atlas in his book on ACORN.

Juan Cole, mid east history professor at University of Michigan, and author of the important blog Informed Comment, has written an important article that makes the case that OWS is a global movement fueled by the failure of the neo-liberal state.

Here is the title of his article.

Protest Planet
How a Neoliberal Shell Game Created an Age of Activism
By Juan Cole

From Tunis to Tel Aviv, Madrid to Oakland, a new generation of youth activists is challenging the neoliberal state that has dominated the world ever since the Cold War ended.  The massive popular protests that shook the globe this year have much in common, though most of the reporting on them in the mainstream media has obscured the similarities.  

Whether in Egypt or the United States, young rebels are reacting to a single stunning worldwide development: the extreme concentration of wealth in a few hands thanks to neoliberal policies of deregulation and union busting.  They have taken to the streets, parks, plazas, and squares to protest against the resulting corruption, the way politicians can be bought and sold, and the impunity of the white-collar criminals who have run riot in societies everywhere.  They are objecting to high rates of unemployment, reduced social services, blighted futures, and above all the substitution of the market for all other values as the matrix of human ethics and life.

Juan Cole draws on his expertise of decades of work on the Middle East and foreign policy to show the parallels of the OWS here in the US with efforts around the globe. Parallels that have not been made explicitly in the main stream media.

The two concerns about OWS that trouble me most are whether or not it will be able to make it through the winter, and second, will agent provocateurs turn the public against it.

My room mate from the Berkeley protest days of the 60's against the war has remained in the bay area and lived in Oakland for 15 years. His one word to summarize what he has seen is CONFIDENCE. The protesters were confident that their effort would make a difference.

For decades our country has avoided the hard problems of governance. OWS has brought these issues to the general awareness by going beyond the bankrupt and corrupt politics and media and the rest of our institutions.

The first part of the Juan Cole from recounts a march of veterans in NYC OWS. If OWS gets the police on our side, the power structure will be significantly weaker. The police were sure on our side in the recall of the union busting bill here in Ohio that was defeated this week.

Then Juan Cole's piece follows.

I will show my bias. For a decade, I have thought that there was a need for a vast education in citizenship. OWS is a learning laboratory.

Here is the link to the tom dispatch piece with Juan Cole's article:

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Comment Preferences

  •  i couldn't agree more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    with the idea that ows is a learning laboratory and have been trying to defend it here, where it should need no defense.

    not a few kossacks are dubious of ows.  i have a lot of faith in something that i believe is organic and global for the first time.

    surviving the winter is the key and i think it can be done, especially on wall street itself.

    i'm an new yorker/new jersey girl.  we are tough.  enough new yorkers are supporting the occupiers on the ground so that they can make it.

    it's cold in nyc in the winter, very cold, but with the right equipment, they can make it.  that will be a tremendous symbolic victory.

    come Spring 2012, things will come to a head of some sort and the movement will explode in a good way or collapse.

    till them, it is our job to use these months to educate others and to participate through the innertubes and help  understand their/our decision process.

    keep it non-violent; keep it focused on the economic collapse.

    i'm not concerned that the goals be all that defined yet.

    the various on-line sites and the distributed protest is what we should focus on.  we need to all be in the loop in an organized way so that we can respond first by circulating info and second by giving support to the people holding the ground for us.

    i'll go read the juan cole article and come back.

    Donate to Occupy Wall Street here:

    by BlueDragon on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 10:54:41 AM PST

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