I've been getting asked a lot lately about MoveOn.org and their involvement with Occupy Wall Street. People ask me about being co-opted by groups like this, people fear or resent the involvement of big names like MoveOn or Van Jones. To those people, many of whom I love, let me say this: Please, focus less on being co-opted and focus more on getting shit done.
You don't see David Koch and Rupert Murdoch fighting each other over who gets the glory, do you? No. They are united, they are united in their goals and in their hatred, and I welcome their hatred because I expect it, but what I didn't expect is a bunch of people who call themselves "The 99%" who go around worried about losing their message to a bunch of outsiders. They aren't outsiders, they are with us, and if a transformative movement is to take place we should be welcoming all the help we can get. How are we to reach out to those people who should be more involved in fighting for their own social-economic interests if we waste time trying to exclude people who already share those interests with us?
You want to organize a march? Great!
You want to organize in a way that will benefit your community? Excellent!
You want to organize to register people to vote? Wonderful!
Just don't begrudge the guy who wants to register people to vote because they weren't involved in the original organizing of your march. We should be working together, not activist cock-blocking each other. Pardon the term, but that is the best way to describe what I am hearing, I see people who totally agree that we should get the money out of politics, fight for better health care reforms, bring back Glass-Steagal, defend the right to collectively bargain, respect women's rights, we agree on all of these things but we are mad at each other because your name is MoveOn and my name is Occupy Wall Street? Seriously! While we stay at odds with each other over the names of our organizations Karl Rove is kicking our asses and CitiGroup is preparing to set atop their Queens, New York HQ building a lidless eye, wreathed in flame.
A little more below the fold
I want to hold the banksters accountable, I want to end the Bush Tax Cuts and add a percentage point for the last decade of tax breaks that resulted in our enormous deficits, I want to overturn Citizens United and a number of failed policies that only benefit the wealthy elite to the detriment of the rest of our society, and I don't give a shit which organization deserves the glory for it when it gets done, just get it done.
What we need is a mass movement that fights to defend the little guy against corporate greed and corrupt politicians. What we don't need is for OccupyWallStreet to turn into the hipsters of the protest world, too cool to hang out with the other kids because I knew about the 99 Percent before it was cool.
So focus less on who deserves the glory for the message of the 99% and focus more on getting shit done. Ask yourselves, what does my activism do to help my community right now? What does my activism do to help my community, my country, this world, what can I do that will make things better in the long run, then find what works for you and commit to it. You'll be doing great, trust me. But if you are asking yourself questions about the true motives of an individual or group that shares 99% of your ideals you are asking the wrong questions. I don't care about the name of which organization gets shit done, I just care about getting shit done, and that means committing to fight on behalf of the little guy, not fighting among ourselves. It seems a little silly, doesn't it, for a bunch of activists who shout "solidarity!" to be so concerned about being co-opted. So concerned over being co-opted some of us are forgetting what we are fighting for. Education. Good paying jobs with benefits. Workers rights. Consumer protections. The environment, civil liberties, all of it, every time we go off message to bicker amongst ourselves we make the jobs of the people who want to crush the working class and coddle the super rich a little bit easier. I don't care what activist organization you belong to, what do you do? That is what is important, it's the only thing.
Peace and love to one and all
The floor is yours . . .
You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca