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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 . . .

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You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for getting shit done (297+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, Red Bean, highfive, tardis10, Debbie in ME, Mind That, jpmassar, TBug, blue aardvark, sillia, Laurence Lewis, bobswern, DRo, Mary Mike, followyourbliss, TooFolkGR, Urizen, Horace Boothroyd III, Just Bob, jadt65, puakev, Milly Watt, Cedwyn, One Pissed Off Liberal, Herodotus Prime, Actbriniel, TomP, We Won, ask, karmsy, Dopeman, reginahny, Azazello, sostos, Unknown Quantity, jeannew, UtahLibrul, greblos, drawingporno, TiaRachel, kurious, Bob B, docmidwest, Sylv, Gowrie Gal, PAbluestater, Empower Ink, eru, sebastianguy99, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, on board 47, xylonjay, lostinamerica, OleHippieChick, leftykook, Shockwave, SeattleTammy, Unduna, WinSmith, broths, IL clb, Noodles, jayden, mikeconwell, kathny, no way lack of brain, greycat, Robobagpiper, jan4insight, Lorikeet, EagleOfFreedom, enhydra lutris, wordfiddler, rosette, Catte Nappe, SanFernandoValleyMom, SaintC, RichM, porchdog1961, Leo in NJ, qm1pooh, a2nite, MKinTN, farmerchuck, Geekesque, DianeNYS, jardin32, leeleedee, clinging to hope, mkor7, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, RLMiller, mygreekamphora, offgrid, boriquasi, MBNYC, mofembot, Dave925, Robynhood too, Free Jazz at High Noon, tjmorganjr, Florene, OnlyWords, Matt Z, Fe Bongolan, shortgirl, pgm 01, jayb, doroma, jw1, hyperstation, pstoller78, legendmn, Wordsinthewind, Dr Squid, chimpy, Mogolori, Randian, 3goldens, SoCalSal, Jane Lew, crackpot, boadicea, petulans, pat bunny, greenbastard, mic check oakland, buckstop, ColoTim, katiec, Leftcandid, sideboth, TexasTwister, roses, TFinSF, ManhattanMan, Hedwig, shopkeeper, aliasalias, jimstaro, bythesea, Paul Ferguson, MikePhoenix, 2thanks, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, Lily O Lady, ChurchofBruce, Caipirinha, Via Chicago, LSmith, cotterperson, jennylind, Jeff Simpson, Libby Shaw, A Person, happymisanthropy, kck, jennifree2bme, poliwrangler, sb, Iron Spider, Kitsap River, OIL GUY, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoasis, FG, nickrud, Carlo, Thomasina, rockhound, myboo, Timmethy, RLF, Kurt Sperry, LucyandByron, asym, Stranger in a strange land, Angie in WA State, NMRed, isabelle hayes, drdana, JSCram3254, crankyinNYC, gulfgal98, Sapere aude, nomandates, Denise Oliver Velez, highacidity, sarahnity, emelyn, BlueJessamine, DFH, Chi, reflectionsv37, mookins, kimoconnor, madgranny, Knucklehead, Lefty Ladig, glitterscale, sviscusi, howabout, divineorder, theKgirls, Panurge, ajr111240, Teknocore, LinSea, oceanview, zerelda, Jinnia, also mom of 5, DawnN, Kim from Pgh PA, Yasuragi, pickandshovel, shaharazade, ladyjames, jamess, tikkun, frisco, 714day, eeff, fugwb, cwsmoke, slowbutsure, bnasley, Melanie in IA, ATFILLINOIS, congenitalefty, Jim P, Words In Action, radical simplicity, Chaddiwicker, Doctor Who, Mets102, smartdemmg, beka, ladypockt, oldpotsmuggler, owlbear1, Killer of Sacred Cows, joynow, ecriddell, artisan, MRA NY, helpImdrowning, WB Reeves, v2aggie2, Marjmar, nicolemm, elwior, fiddlingnero, Critithinker, chakadog, Keone Michaels, Jeff Y, Skennet Boch, VT ConQuest, riverlover, augustin, ichibon, Creosote, Missys Brother, Lh1695, oxfdblue, deha, hannah, Silverleaf, Sandino, kkmd, missLotus, Militarytracy, stevenwag, Onomastic, LeislerNYC, Terranova0, Kristina40, Pohjola, Pale Jenova, Alma, Janetrhodes, Seneca Doane, rsmpdx, Karl Rover, citizen dan, Loudoun County Dem, middleagedhousewife, NYWheeler, No one gets out alive, Ice Blue, unclejohn, Glen The Plumber, ulookarmless, kurt, Otteray Scribe, BeeDeeS

    what you call yourselves and who gets the glory is a distant second place to getting shit done

    #OccupyWallStreet ~ I will protest when and where I damn well please. I have the constitution in my pocket. That is my permit.

    by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:39:22 AM PDT

    •  The beauty of Occupy (31+ / 0-)

      Is that it is authentically governed by the people, using a horizontal organizational structure rather than the usual top down, centralized, hierarchical model of most organizations. Thus, it is much less personality driven, more accessible to real people, and we commoners have much more of a voice in our organizing. Anyone can walk up, get involved, and make proposals. That doesn't occur in other movements, even if they borrow the OWS themes and have leaders running around speaking of representing the 99%.

      This is why it matters to many of us which organization is considered to be the authentic occupy movement. The difference between them is one of true direct democracy vs one of representational structures in which people declare themselves the leader/owner/proprietor of an organization.

      The first Occupy meeting in New York was remarkable, in that the group which sponsored the meeting tried to control the agenda, prompting a group in attendance to spontaneously gather together in a corner of the meeting room, hold the own consensus based session, in which they decided to meet separately from the ones who were trying to "own" the movement, and from that other non-authoritarian group OWS was born.

      Yes, how the movement is organized matters. We want the authentic OWS to remain the voice of OWS.

      And once again, as I have pointed out so many time here, no single individual, or celebrity, or OWS rock star (if there are any) is THE voice of OWS. Everyone is free to offer opinions, but OWS speaks by consensus.

      The moment OWS becomes yet another top down hierarchical structure, I will cease to have anything to do with it.

      Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor. - from The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin

      by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:31:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "hold THEIR own consensus based session" n/t (6+ / 0-)

        Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor. - from The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin

        by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:27:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is (18+ / 0-)

        The problem is that you spend so much time getting everyone's opinion and deciding on 'consensus" that you loose time and it becomes harder to fight back.  You are so concerned about an "authentic" OWS like it is some sort of expensive bauble that nothing gets done.  

        Any organization or group will have leaders form, ask any teacher about "group activities", usually one person leads and the rest follow.  

        What concerns me about the desire to be "authentic" is that someone or group gets several good ideas and the rest (or one jealous person) will prevent action on that idea because the feel that those with the good ideas are trying to take power over the rest of the group.  

        In the end nothing happens because of the infighting.  

        As MOT says, it doesn't matter who takes the credit and long as something gets done.  If Moveon, or some other established organization is willing to help OWS by providing resources, accept and use the help.  This is a battle and battles are not won by consensus and with out using any and all resources available.

        Keeping OWS "authentic" will eventually lead OWS to become nothing but a bunch of squabbling groups that do nothing but empower the other side to go "look, we get things done while they can't even figure out what to do, who do you what to follow?"

        Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

        by SQD35R on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:36:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The good news, ZhenRen, is (9+ / 0-)

        that OWS will remain the voice of OWS because only OWS is OWS.

        For the reasons you lay out, organization, as well as mission -- Move On and labor unions are dedicated to reelecting Dems -- 99 Spring, or whatever it's called, is a different top-down animal and as such won't capture's people imagination or draw support the way OWS has. You can't take the OWS out of OWS and expect it to thrive in the same way.

        I, for one, welcome the populist turn of the Democratic establishment and its focus on organizing (if, in fact, that exists), but I don't expect it to amount to much.

        And further, I find Jesse's claim that people who object to 99 Spring are worried about glory is just stupid and insulting.

        •  that's what we're afraid of (6+ / 0-)
          You can't take the OWS out of OWS and expect it to thrive in the same way.
        •  wrong (22+ / 0-)

          we went to whatever it was called, on sunday, and started to learn about how to participate in direct nonviolent action

          i know it was sponsored by moveon, and i could care less

          i wanted to know the details of how to behave at a demonstration, etc., and it was a good program which provided a basic primer

          and today some of us did a demonstration against the failure of the corporations to pay any taxes, or ridiculously low taxes

          no Democratic messages, nothing about voting, even

          and i celebrate that jesse, who ought to know a bit about this, feels the same way i do, about the silly, unfortunately predictable, games that are being played, mostly by "boys", i'll warrant

          •  It sounds like you had a good experience (4+ / 0-)

            with it, and that's good.  I haven't seen many people reporting back from this with a positive experience so it's good to hear from someone who did have one.  I imagine there are more and I wish we could hear from them.

            Just a note though, part of the frustration is the use of the term "direct action" when community organizing is a better description of what they are teaching.

            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:34:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I attended one in my (12+ / 0-)

              community. It was kind of entry-level "why we resist" stuff (interesting but not very useful) and some exercises and info around direct action, like how many feet from the door of a bank is private v public property, which was useful.

              Since then I've gotten an email notifying me that there's a gathering at the post office to protest tax unfairness.

              I haven't seen anything that smacks of hierarchy or co-optation, just another tool to help people take action on behalf of the 99%. I don't know about other groups but the one I attended attracted people who already know what they're about. They are not sheep, but they do want tools and direction. Since we are more powerful together than alone, it is good to gather and plan.

          •  Did they pepper spray (6+ / 0-)

            you? Did they tell you to stay in the designated veal pens? What a farce. I'm no boy, I'm a woman and I know a con when I meet it head on and know what bs. is when I hear it. Lying. Van Jones and Move On are  fronts for the the co-opted Democratic party that seeks to do the same thing to OWS as they did to the righteous movement that in 2006-2008 took down the Republicans. What did we get instead?  

            Back room deals and procedural rules that rendered our majority irrelevant. All we're getting from the Democratic status quo is useless rhetoric that they have absolutely no contention of actually fighting for. Mostly by boys or by the populace at large who know a screw when they are living though it. This is not OWS this is just another heart breaker, sold as something better beginning. Brought to you by the makers of Goldman Sachs, BP, Chase or GE and of course the killers of our democratic republic, The Third Way.

             Forget about it it's bad enough I have to vote for this shit passed off as some kind of democratic electoral republic but please do not insult me with calling this absurd co-opt of a real populace uprising as valid or anything other then what it is. A pathetic con that denies the fierce urgency we all face. That urgency is bi-partisan and it is not going to be met with any opposition from the likes of MoveOn or Van Jones or even (gasp) the Democratic party machine from hell.        

          •  Thank You (11+ / 0-)

            Isabelle. I taught a class Saturday - we had over 50 people. Some were hard core Occupy folks and I believe they came with preconceived notions about 99% Spring. Our class didn't mention or discuss partisan politics.
            After the training the Occupy folks said they learned a lot and the training was nothing like they thought it would be.

            "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

            by fugwb on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:05:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I believe a top down animal that (8+ / 0-)

          actually gets something done, however clumsily, is preferable to one in which consensus is always reached but no clear goals are communicated to the large public and as such, nothing gets done.

          Use me as your guinea pig. I am middle aged and while not an activist type, I have been arrested a couple of times involved in civil disobedience. I speak with people in the office of my senators and representative a few times a year. In short, I want to be involved but I am not going to sleep in Zuccotti Park or any number of things I would have done in my 20s.

          But at this juncture, I don't see anything that makes progress. Sure, I can get arrested in some turf war with the (awful, stupid,brutal) cops, but how is that articulating a set of policies? I am not even sure what OWS wants. In one place it might be a Tobin tax, in another it is to occupy city owned property for a community center.

          The war in Viet Nam became so unsupportable when regular people turned against it; there was a clear goal articulated and events like the moratoria helped bring tens of thousands into the fold.

          Initially,OWS was been great in bringing attention to the problem of economic inequity. But the movement seems to have flat lined. I wonder if this over attention to consensus isn't part of the problem.

        •  you can take OWS to 99% Spring though (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, Terranova0, kurt

          and see if you can draw some people to OWS, that seems to be what happened in Minneapolis.

          I went to a Spring Training Sunday and it did not feel very top down and was also blessedly free of electoral politics. There were just enough Occupiers and allies there to bring in some new allies and let them know how to get connected

          Also, one Occupier rescued a MoveOn action that was about to be scrapped for lack of response.

          So yes, we can work together

          -7.75, -6.05 And these wars; they can't be won Does anyone know or care how they begun?-Matt Bellamy

          by nicolemm on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:43:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Meanwhile (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        helpImdrowning, Onomastic

        Occupy becomes meaningless for the rest of us because it has no purpose except to pursue meta indulgence.  

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:39:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this (19+ / 0-)

      We need not just many, but as many of the voices we can to start turning the old shit over.

      I am not a purist. I want to see movement. And the more they see of us, the more scared they'll be into changing.

      Maybe we can all learn a lot more from each other in the process of collaborating. Let's not quibble so much over form or function. It's not the form that's important. It's the result. And we don't have time to debate which group has the purer motives. We are all after the same thing.

      2012 Presidential campaign: (Insert Republican anachronism here) ____________.

      by Fe Bongolan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes! (41+ / 0-)

    I'm recommending this for the title alone. The defensive navel gazing is our biggest obstacle. It's time for action!

    Now I'll read the rest of what you've written . . .

    Love, baby, that's where it's at. --The B52's

    by Mind That on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:48:16 AM PDT

  •  if big names are getting involved (135+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
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    and they're pursuing the same general goals as ows, it means ows is succeeding. it means ows is being heard.

    we always say that if the people lead the leaders will follow. we shouldn't get upset when that happens, we should celebrate it.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:48:17 AM PDT

    •  EXACTLY! Thank you Laurence (84+ / 0-)

      I'm going on RT News today to talk about this, and I think you summed it up for me perfectly, if these groups seek involvement with OWS that means OWS is succeeding. I wrote this kind of to vent and clear my thoughts, but thank you for putting it into words better than I could have.

      Cheers, brother!

      #OccupyWallStreet ~ I will protest when and where I damn well please. I have the constitution in my pocket. That is my permit.

      by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:50:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Much appreciated (19+ / 0-)

        post. Big horizon, big goals, no bickering.

        Please post a video (or link) of your RT gig.

        Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

        by ask on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:21:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Keep the pedal down Jesse-- (9+ / 0-)

        --it's working.

        Bless you.

        jw1

        “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” --Peace Pilgrim

        by jw1 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:49:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They aren't seeking involvement (5+ / 0-)

        They are using language that OWS popularized and not involving themselves in occupy.  I mean, it was entirely possible for them to actually communicate with OWS instead of just saying "hey, we're going to use this language and not talk to anyone involved in OWS."

        Pretty much any time OWS did anything there was a chorus of voices telling us we should talk with unions or community organization, and we did.  Why is it so hard for them to do the same?  

        The fact of the matter is that all the different Occupy groups should have been involved in this and it would have been really easy for the organizations involved to communicate with those different groups and let them know why they should be involved.  Instead we got generic community organizing trainings* that told people that civil disobedience or anything that could get you arrested wasn't Nonviolent direct action, which is patently absurd.

        The blase dismissal of fears of cooptation isn't helpful.

        *Which I have no problem with as long as that's what people are looking for.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:46:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  also (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, blueoasis, aliasalias, joe wobblie, caul

          transparency- good for Occupy, not necessary for MoveOn?

        •  "99% Spring" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, caul, jarbyus

          Deceptive, lacking in transparency, working solely for the Dems in power, one-way, top-down communication, attempted watering down and neutralizing the message of OWS: Sounds soooo DNC and the opposite of OWS.

          "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
          Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
          Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

          by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:43:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  communicate with who? (7+ / 0-)

          Since OWS is horizontal and in each city has different goals and tactics, who exactly is MoveOn or others interested in helping the 99% supposed to communicate with?

          Also, I understand there are quite a few OWS folks who participated with the spring training.

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:20:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Each GA (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie, caul, nicolemm

            MoveOn claims to have hundreds, if not thousands, of trainers; if each "99% Spring" event organizer had talked to their local Occupy group... there you go.

            •  that is reasonable (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tikkun

              But would they be welcome to come and talk? Based on some of the stuff I am reading here, they may end up being tossed out on their butts.

              Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

              by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:28:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They *should* be (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie, caul

                as long as they're respectful.  They shouldn't be surprised if they get a less-then-enthusiastic response, but Occupy people SHOULD at least let them make their proposal.

                •  It seems to me any organization (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Unduna, AoT, tikkun, Onomastic

                  that aligns with the Democrats or a Democratic candidate will not be welcome in many OWS GAs.

                  You are right that they should be willing to talk, but again based on what I have seen out there, I wonder how many would be willing to do unless the other organization agreed with OWS on all issues.

                  I find that sad.....as we need more activism, not infighting.

                  Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

                  by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:49:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I talked about this in another comment (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Yasuragi, Ray Pensador

                    I think that if they issued an apology or anything acknowledging that they could have done more to talk with folks on the ground who have immediate experience with direct action it would go a long way.  The fact that they have said nothing about anything that people have problems with is a huge part of the problem at this point.  The lack of communication, and the fact that there's still no communication is what really gets me.  I haven't seen people's concerns about this addressed by the organizers at all.  Where were they weeks ago when the grumbling first started?  Where are they now?

                    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:58:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  99% Spring and MoveOn set their training (8+ / 0-)

                      at the same time and in the same public location that my GA regularly meets.  No discussion, no nothing.

                      And when they saw that we held the ground (we're always there 90 minutes early for facilitation training and setting the agenda, such as it is), they simply moved their training without every making any attempt to discuss the situation with us.  They never even crossed the road.

                      Many of us there would have liked to have taken the training; we just objected to them trying to co-opt our regular GA by counter-scheduling themselves (which had to be deliberate, no?).  So they left without leaving any information as to where they were holding the training.

                      Very weak.  Very disrespectful all around.

                      Not a good way to try and "support" a movement.

                      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

                      OCCUPY

                      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:58:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I will say however (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Yasuragi

                    there are people at some of the occupies that will never work with these groups, and that isn't necessarily a problem as long as it doesn't stop other from having a dialog and working with them.

                    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:59:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  limits of a hypothetical discussion (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe wobblie

                    We'll never know because it didn't happen.

        •  our training promoted civil disobedience (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          while not going all the way into what to do if arrested...

          OTOH, some dialog with Occupy and other organizations they were expecting beforehand would have been helpful. For the last segment of the training, planning a real action, it might have gone better if unions, Occupy, Take Action, etc had known they might want to have something ready to work on

          -7.75, -6.05 And these wars; they can't be won Does anyone know or care how they begun?-Matt Bellamy

          by nicolemm on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:54:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This was a real show of leadership (0+ / 0-)

        Thank you for that, from the trenches.

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:11:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sheesh, do you remember how long (10+ / 0-)

      it took MoveOn.org to make as much as a peep about HCR? It was years after I was first involved in an active, energetic crusade for state-level single-payer healthcare. MoveOn.org was completely mum on the subject of HCR, when instituting cost-effective universal healthcare was clearly was a hot priority with many of its subscribers, up until Obama was inaugurated. Then MoveOn finally started promoting HCR in its emails. That's a lag of several years, between when a social issue is burning for many progressives, and MoveOn.org actually embraces it. You're right, the relatively short lag time between the emergence of OWS, and MoveOn's embrace of its objectives, is noteworthy.

      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 Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:28:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, but it doesn't matter (10+ / 0-)

        What you're basically saying is that MoveOn is often a follower and not a leader.  So what?  What matters is whether they are following the right people and the right causes. In many cases when they are late to the party, it's because their members are yelling at them to act.

      •  and as a result we got Romneycare (9+ / 0-)

        when what we actually needed and what the grassroots was calling for was single-payer or universal Medicare.

        That's the threat of co-optation!

        •  I ALMOST agree with you here. (8+ / 0-)

          But HCR is one of those issues where I am more of an incrementalist at heart.

          Are we going to get the cost-effective universal healthcare we sorely need all at once? No. Are we going to get what we need by inaugurating small changes that inexorably bring us to the point of no return? I believe it's the only way forward on this one.

          To my knowledge, no grassroots defender of HCR--none that I'd listen to, anyway--is defending its current inauguration, or claiming that it's adequate. They all view it as a step closer to the desired goal. One step.

          The Republicans GET incrementalism; our side, less so. Did they swiftly enact the government-small-enough-to-drown-in-a-bathtub they were hollering about in 1980? No. Now, it seems to be near to happening, thanks to their dogged and persistent work--a bit of legislation here, somebody evil elected to power in a state-house, then the U.S. Senate there--over the past 3 decades.

          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 Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:35:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The worry being that MoveOn wil be on board (0+ / 0-)

            until we get a couple tax hikes on the rich and then jump off the wagon, telling thousands of people that we won and demobilizing a good number of them.

            There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:49:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We aren't there yet. Nowhere close. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, Iron Spider, Yasuragi, 714day, Terranova0

              We have our objectives to advance, pressing ones.

              We accept help in advancing those particular objectives, in whatever form it arrives in. That's all we can do.

              The analogy is the man on the roof in the flood in the flood, the waters quickly rising, afraid he would drown. He was in a desperate situation. He prayed frantically for help, and God assured him He would rescue him. A couple of different times, boats showed up and offered to take this man to safety. The man said, "No; God will save me," and he remained on the roof. Then a helicopter showed up and called down to the man, offering to take him to safety. He said, "No; God will save me." The water continued to rise and the man drowned. He went to heaven. He asked God on his cloudy throne, "You promised you would save me, and you didn't. Why?"

              God said, "I sent you two rescue boats and a helicopter, and you refused them all. What do you mean I didn't help you?"

              Go with the theist metaphor here, or don't. You get me.

              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 Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:25:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How does this help? (5+ / 0-)

                There were a bunch of lackluster trainings that the majority of people walked away from disappointed, at least from every report I've heard.  They said they were training non-violent direct action then said that civil disobedience isn't non-violent direct action.  They basically lied to a bunch of people and taught a basic community organizing class in the best cases and watched a movie and talked about how oppressed they are in the worst.  All this despite the fact that there are literally thousands of folks out there with on the ground experience with non-violent direct action, more than in the last twenty year or so, and they can't be bothered to come people who actually have experience.  Do you see where people anger and frustration might be coming from.

                There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:33:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's a really interesting point. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Yasuragi

                  And, no, I don't have the experience on the ground with this movement that you evidently do. The opinion I expressed above served as a very general guideline, only: I recognize that life often isn't reducible to black and white.

                  In regard to this remark about the 99% Spring:

                  They basically lied to a bunch of people and taught a basic community organizing class in the best cases and watched a movie and talked about how oppressed they are in the worst.  All this despite the fact that there are literally thousands of folks out there with on the ground experience with non-violent direct action, more than in the last twenty year or so, and they can't be bothered to come people who actually have experience.  Do you see where people anger and frustration might be coming from.
                  You've put your finger on a real problem. Far be it from me to offer advice. I have none.

                  I will observe that there are progressive organizations right now doing really bang-up work, making real inroads on real, immediate problems; ColorOfChange comes to mind in this connection. This isn't advice, this is a sincere question: do we adopt their tactics?

                  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 Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:48:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Those are the awesome groups that I think OWS (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    karmsy, Yasuragi, DawnN, Lisa, Terranova0

                    needs to work with.

                    The big problem is that this was an awesome idea, having mass direct action trainings all around the country, that they went about all wrong.  If they came out and say, "hey, we should have talked to people.  We want to do these community organizing trainings and if others, not just OWS but whoever, want to do direct action trainings then we'll help list them as part of the second 99% spring."  I would be out there helping organize trainings in a minute.

                    I'm skeptical about this being an intentional attempt to coopt the movement.  I think it was a screw up that didn't have to happen and I really hope that it doesn't screw everything up in the future between the radical and more moderate groups that are taking part.

                    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:00:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Never mind a comment thread :) (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT, Yasuragi

                      I hope you express these sentiments in a diary, because you are clearly closely connected to this situation, and have authority to speak about it. MoT has also been very active in OWS, but his remarks are more general in character than yours.

                      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 Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:05:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  If the majority did walk away... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  karmsy, nicolemm

                  ...then that's presumably a lot of recruits for OWS.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:08:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  i was at a teach in on sunday (9+ / 0-)

                  i really don't know who put this together, they had a program that we watched on the wall, and did exercises in learning how to be face to face with someone opposed to what you want, and how to deal with it and even make a connection or a point

                  we were told that nonviolent direct action can lead to arrest, physical assault and other horrors, like horses riding down a crowd

                  and there was nothing said about gotv, or even about bho/the dem party

                  this was in a rural county with about 20 people, who today did a tax day event at a big grocery store mall, in a piece of public property near the exit, and i'm told the many cars and people were supportive and glad there was a protest

                  •  Where was your training? (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DawnN, Yasuragi, Terranova0, karmsy

                    It sounds better and better the more you say about it.

                    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                    by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:40:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  sounds like the (6+ / 0-)

                    one I went to. I believe there was a standard curriculum made available to all the trainers. Interesting and useful, at least some of it.

                    •  As I've said elsewhere, it seems to have (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      karmsy

                      depended largely on the trainer/s.

                      I've heard very good from a handful of folks, and read that one truly terrible experience from the CounterPunch piece so often cited in the comments here.  Now that sounded like some really awful input.

                      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

                      OCCUPY

                      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:25:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  The truth is in the details with these OFA kind (0+ / 0-)

                    of things...eg., what exactly was the "tax day event" - which, 'coincidentally' aligns with Obama's posturing as a fighter for the 99% with his "Buffet" tax bill; the one time he actually 'fights' for tax increases just 'happens' to occur during election year and he knew the bill would go down in defeat. It looks like all phony  posturing and PR designed to get Obama re-elected and co-opt and confuse the OWS message, nothing more.

                    "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
                    Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
                    Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

                    by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:12:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  not my experience (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TomP, Yasuragi, Onomastic

                  One of our group leaders is a woman with family in W. Virginia. Their water is affected by coal mining and she is in school at CalTech to figure out a way to improve the water. So she has a narrow activist interest. She disseminated the information, played the clips, and led the exercises along with her co-leaders. It felt to me like an authentic attempt to train people to express themselves using nonviolent direct action.

                  Speaking for myself, I have health problems that have precluded significant involvement in OWS. I can't sit on concrete for long periods of time, for example. So when I was invited to meet indoors to get info and meet people, that was a way I felt I could participate.

                •  new, fresh bodies (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  exlrrp

                  get the lists and call/email people. Be at their trainings and get your own lists, if need be. Ideally, we want people to be left wanting more after a first meet. I wanted to learn more and do more after the training.  

                  Seriously, I have to do two full days of classes just to volunteer at a fair.  I didn't expect much from 2-3 hours, so I wasn't that disappointed.  I was motivated by the meeting and it reinforced my support for the cause(s).

                  Help is where you find it.

                  “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

                  by Terranova0 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:18:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The public option was incrementalism (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            toward a public run system, the only viable kind. We didn't get that, instead we got a cementing in of a privatized, for-profit system that was the outcome of sleazy backroom deals Obama cut with the insurance and hospital lobbyists.

            "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
            Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
            Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

            by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:01:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And a different decision by MoveOn would make (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karmsy

          any difference in this? Why?

      •  "promoting HCR" (0+ / 0-)

        AND the HCR they promoted was so vague it could have meant anything. It was a ringing endorsement of nothing in particular.

    •  The problem though (8+ / 0-)

      is when those other organizations, which have not been as effective at leading, try to postion themselves as "Occupy", which is what many believe is happening here.  

      It makes it harder for Occupy to continue to lead in the future, and by diluting Occupy's message, it makes it harder for Occupy to be heard.  If the media wants to do an Occupy story, and they have a choice between talking to random activists involved in a GA, and a spokesman for MoveOn, guess who they're going to talk to?

      MoveOn's efforts to affect change are welcome.  I'm not, however, so crazy about their efforts to portray themselves as Occupy when their organization, methods, and understanding of the roots of the problem are so dissimilar.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:41:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but they haven't (17+ / 0-)

        they've even taken a different, albeit related, name.

        occupy can hold its own. there never was one voice or one spokesperson for occupy. that's its very nature. it is anarchic (in the best, etymological meaning of that word), grassroots and local, and it will reach people through local and new media.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:46:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's my point, though (8+ / 0-)

          (well, your second one, anyway).  Occupy is anarchistic; it's one of its defining features.  It's unsettling to see a bunch of bureaucratic organizations suddenly coming in and presenting themselves as Occupy.

          We can disagree on whether they are actually presenting themselves as Occupy.  Personally, I think that calling their event "99% Spring" is a transparent attempt to get people to think the organizers are associated with Occupy.  

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:17:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't help that they didn't even try to talk (7+ / 0-)

            to Occupy, instead just swooping in and doing this.  It doesn't make their intentions look good.

          •  but again they're not (10+ / 0-)

            they aren't presenting themselves as occupy, they're presenting themselves as the 99 percent spring, which is unique and complementary. anyone can be occupy- that's its nature, but this is a unique effort with a unique name.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:36:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Tiny numbers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul, blueoasis

            of overweening and out-of-touch people who believe themselves to be the leaders will claim to have all the answers and treat everyone around them
            (to the extent anyone IS around them) with contempt.
            No movement happens without some smaller group within the larger whole taking the initiative to sustain and advance the struggle.
            Not a group of those separate and from the outside, but a group of those
            best-organized, most militant and politically conscious must be generated from WITHIN.
            The struggle will create the conditions in which the racist, sexist and homophobic ideas that keep the people divided will be broken down.
                                     "All Power to The People!"

            ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

            by joe wobblie on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:10:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  so what? (10+ / 0-)

            why can't other people join in a movement sympathetic to the goals of occupy without having to be part of occupy?

            I think this type of purism kills progressive movements by shooting at ourselves and each other and will lead us nowhere, bitter and frustrated.

            2012 Presidential campaign: (Insert Republican anachronism here) ____________.

            by Fe Bongolan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:43:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The question I think is whether Occupy will be (6+ / 0-)

            "anarchic" or "amorphous" going forward.  The difference is subtle, but critical in gathering up its ability to act.

            An "amorphous" orientation is disposed to act, improvise and collaborate in clusters, and put forward an organized and trustworthy identity.  This we saw last fall in many beautiful, distributed ways.

            An "anarchic" orientation is disposed to disrupt for its own sake, re-channeling the people's energy for lasting change toward ultimately unsustainable incidents of confrontation.

            Amorphous action can and has been highly disruptive, by penetrating structures of power and sustaining a lasting character.  Anarchic action fails in both respects.  It's disruptive power is ephemeral and its dependence on popular enthusiasm for lasting change is parasitic in nature.

            Success for Occupy this summer will depend on isolating, repudiating and undermining the Black Bloc, which beyond its fundamental uselessness is highly subject to infiltration.

            "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

            by Mogolori on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:54:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Agree. The 99% Spring doesn't appear to be (7+ / 0-)

            about issues, but about co-opting and watering down the Occupy message in time for the presidential election. In typical DNC authoritarian fashion and opposite of the methods and message of occupy Occupy, they are shutting out the voices of the participants and strictly controlling the message  to conform to their narrow agenda of re-election:

            ...So the hundred remaining Upper Left Siders split into four groups for discussion. My group happened to be led by Landis, who directed the 35 of us to sit in a circle and identify ourselves with an explanation of why we were there. I was about #15 in the circle and the people who preceded me all appeared to have no experience with Occupy Wall Street and wanted to get involved. When it was my turn I said that Zuccotti Park was the most entertaining place to be in Manhattan for a couple months last fall and I hoped it would revive. And I said that the other thing I liked was that it was to the left of the Democratic Party and was pushing it from outside. There had been some mention of “the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act during the 90s” and I pointed out that it was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who deregulated Wall Street.

            “Excuse me,” said Landis. “We have a limited amount of time and a lot to discuss. We need to let everyone speak.”

            I’ve thought about that a lot. I don’t believe I spoke for more than a minute, but I habitually obey the rules in a group, so I shut up. In retrospect, I was censored. I should have demanded a discussion of the true purpose of The 99% Spring and why Obama’s Department of Homeland Security orchestrated the violent destruction of hundreds of nonviolent Occupy camps around the country last fall.

            As it was, we finished going around the circle. Everyone was a teacher or writer or connected with the labor movement. Wisconsin came up a few times. Landis asked what kind of a world we wanted to see. Someone said, “Socialism” and Landis said the topic for discussion was now how to plan for a “hypothetical direct action.” Every time somebody brought up something that was actually happening, Landis insisted that our agenda was set and we were only discussing hypothetical situations. So we talked about hypothetically withdrawing money from a hypothetical evil bank, or hypothetically stopping the hypothetical fracking in the Catskills that is going to poison New York City’s hypothetical drinking water.

            “What about May 1?” said a retired professor.

            “What about it?” said Landis.

            “I heard that Occupy Wall Street was calling for a general strike. They’re planning actions all around midtown and they’re saying that nobody should go to work that day.”

            “I don’t know anything about that,” said Landis. “We’re talking about hypothetical situations here.”

            And so it went from 6:30 to 9:30 last Tuesday night. Over half the crowd left early. Most of those who stayed appeared to be angry and mystified that they had received no training whatever in nonviolent direct action. I doubt that the Democrats or MoveOn succeeded in co-opting anyone, and I predict that they will be inventing more dreary front groups as the election year grinds onward. “Front groups, not issues!” should be Obama’s rallying cry.

            http://www.counterpunch.org/...

            "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
            Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
            Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

            by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:53:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've read that from three sources now... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yasuragi, caul, nicolemm

              ...It's interesting, and devastating. But it's one instance. Are there commentaries from people who attended other sessions among the scores that were out there?

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:24:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This fits the mode of operation of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                caul

                Democratic front groups under Obama, including OFA. I heard similar tales in his 2008 campaign, revealing a very disturbing authoritarian bent and deceptive goals and tactics. They operate to put or keep Obama in power, nothing more.

                "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
                Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
                Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

                by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:41:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have to say, (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  helpImdrowning, nicolemm, Terranova0

                  the training I went to was not openly political. It was well-organized and had a 7-hour curriculum so I can understand why a leader would cut off a speaker after a minute or so. There was a lot to get through, none of it indoctrinating in nature.

                  I sure didn't get the feeling there was any nefarious attempt to elect BHO, undermine OWS, or anything else. The day was structured so there was time spent presenting and reflecting on the power of nonviolent direct action. We spent time writing and telling each other our stories, how we identify as 99 percenters. We got in groups to design utopian communities, and had those communities raided and marauded by Big Faceless Corporations. We practiced protesting a big bank.

              •  I heard from several folks that the training (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Unduna, ladyjames

                was very focused, nonpolitical, and useful.

                As I stated in my comment upthread, they totally screwed up with us by schedule their training where and when we've been holding our GA for months.  And then refused to even come engage in a useful dialogue with us, moving the training (allegedly to a Starbuck's, which I find very ironic) without notifying anyone at our GA as to where it would be held.

                So their training may or may not have been useful: it probably depends on who ran it.  I would have liked the opportunity to potentially waste three hours, but possibly have learned a thing or two by taking it.

                They never gave us that chance.

                ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

                OCCUPY

                by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:19:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Would anything they had done satisfy OWS? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Larsstephens

                  I've been at GA's.  I've never seen anyone from another group who had a different point of view welcomed more than begrudgingly by a lot of the group, when they tried to do nothing more than open dialogue.  Is it mandatory for other groups to get permission from OWS?  Having scheduled their training at the same time, if they had moved their training location and told the OWS group about it, wouldn't they be accused of trying to draw people away from OWS and recruit them for themselves?  Why is it ironic for them to meet at Starbucks, when many meetings were held at the Starbucks close to Zucotti park?

                  When people in OWS start talking like they own a time slot or a public place or a cause, they start to use the language of establishment, giving themselves as bad of a name as any co-opting DNCer would.

                  •  Hah, about the Starbucks thing. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Yasuragi

                    One of our regular Occupiers would totally piss and moan about a working group's cluelessness in meeting at a Starbucks on the west edge of downtown. She didn't want to hear that it was the only place open at that hour that was within walking distance of the encampment and didn't require you to buy a meal.

                    So yes, your comment about the Starbucks rings true.

                    As for the rest though, come on. Scheduling your event at the exact same time and place as a well-established GA is just crashing. There's no other way to read it.

                    •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

                      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

                      OCCUPY

                      by Yasuragi on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:02:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Until I hear their side of the story, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Larsstephens

                      I don't have an opinion about their scheduling.  It seems reasonable to expect that it would be received by OWS as at least tone-deaf.

                      But in principle, I can't object to it.  One of the fundamental principles of Occupy for me is that ownership doesn't equal entitlement.  We can't have more equality in income and opportunity without redistributing them, and that means getting away from the attitude that ownership is 99% of the law.

                      Occupy is occupying public spaces that are there for everyone.  It has no more entitlement to any one space at any one time than any other person or group.  A "well-established GA" is on the edge of being self-negating.

      •  Here's the thing... (18+ / 0-)

        ...movements throughout history have faced the problem of co-optation. While I am quite strongly in favor of much of what Occupy has done and is doing, one thing that irks the hell out of me is the tendency of so many Occupiers to ignore lessons from the past. I've been told on many occasions that those of us who engaged in the movements of four and five decades ago don't have anything to offer now. That we fucked up and so now we should shut up.

        In fact, we made a ton of mistakes. And one of those was not listening enough to people who had engaged in organizing movements in the '20s and '30s. They made mistakes, too, ideologically and practically. But they did have some lessons to teach us. If we had listened harder, we could have avoided trying to reinvent the wheel. We could have been more effective. We would have known some of the techniques that would be used to wreck us.

        I'm excited by what I am seeing with Occupy. I am glad to see new approaches being used and some of the crap that worked against us in the 1960s being jettisoned, at least partially.

        Occupy and MoveOn.org aren't the same, to be sure. But they also are not quite the oil and water they are being made out to be.

        I think there's an overlap. Electoral politics, gawd knows, will not get us anywhere near all we need. But—and I know this will come as an affront to many who, after not quite 8 months of Occupy, think otherwise—movement politics won't succeed without an electoral interconnection. This has been true since the beginning of reform movements in America, starting with Abolitionism.

        Complaining that somebody has stolen your meme ("your," in the generic, not personal, sense) is a waste of time. Is MoveOn.org doing something with 99% Spring that will be worthwhile? Then work with it in coalition, not a merger. Is it not? Then don't work it.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:21:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We would have worked with them, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, Yasuragi, caul, catfood

          if they had tried to reach out to Occupy.  In fact I did try to reach out to the local "99% Spring" organizer, and got a non-response.

          If MoveOn and all these other groups want to do their own thing, that's fine; they just shouldn't try to piggyback off Occupy if they're not interested in working with it.  That's a hostile action, and I think Occupy has a right to self-defense.

        •  Perfectly said, MB. And the folks who were (6+ / 0-)

          most vocal about resisting "co-optation" by 99% Spring were in their 20s, self-avowed anarchists, and have been rejecting advice from those of us who were active in the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam protests.

          Mighty damn frustrating.

          ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

          OCCUPY

          by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:23:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  anarchists and "anarchists" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yasuragi

            We've got anarchists and we've got "anarchists."

            The former share some very interesting, radical ideas about the nature of society and the construction of authority. They're awesome.

            The latter seem to think that "f--- everything!" is a movement. They're incredibly annoying.

    •  Agreed (14+ / 0-)

      Although I wish this one big name, Van Jones, weren't undermining the message. Borrow the message, fine, but don't crap on it.

      The “99 percent versus the 1 percent” argument falls short in a lot of ways. The vast majority of Americans do not oppose their fellow Americans, simply because they are rich. To the contrary: more than perhaps any other people on this Earth, Americans admire success. What we detest is greed. We like economic winners; we hate economic cheaters. We cheer economic innovation; we despise financial manipulation. Like most people, I don't hate rich people who buy yachts. (The workers who build those yachts are happy.) We don’t mind when wealthy Americans buy expensive toys; we do mind when they try to buy governors and Congresspeople.

      There is a reason that both the right and left love Steve Jobs (for all his flaws) and hate Bernie Madoff. There is a reason that the original Occupiers claimed the space at Wall Street, not Silicon Valley. Even they love successful entrepreneurs who create sleek and useful products.

      •  I don't see this as undermining (12+ / 0-)

        I see it as 100% true.  If you really have a problem with what he is saying here, then I strongly disagree with you and agree with Van Jones.

        •  The problem is that he fundamentally misstates (8+ / 0-)

          and misunderstands the message of "We are the 99%"

          The point is not the money, it's the power that those with money have.  Economics are one part of this and he wants to make it into the central point.  OWS does not simply seek a more fair distribution of money, they seek a more fair distribution of power.  That is what he's undermining.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:54:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How can you say he's mistating it (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lefty Ladig, Yasuragi, 714day

            when he explicitly says from above

            ... Americans admire success. What we detest is greed ... We don’t mind when wealthy Americans buy expensive toys; we do mind when they try to buy governors and Congresspeople.
            Isn't that talking about a more fair distribution of power?
            •  He mentions them in passing (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias, caul, cslewis

              while he talks about economics as the core of his message.  He gets the message completely wrong.  I don't need to hear some nonsense about how much I love billionaires who got their money "fairly".

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:02:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  sheesh (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yasuragi, tikkun

                I didn't see that as being in passing - I thought it was the essence. That wealth was being used to buy power. As he says, I don't give a damn if someone is rich as long as his voice has no more power than mine. Which, I propose, is far more important than your itch about billionaires.

                •  The itch about billionaires is because (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  caul, Terranova0

                  they are billionaires because of the broken system we have, not just because they are special great people.  That's what's getting erased.  Along with the other aspects of our problems including racism, sexism and all sorts of other stuff.  That doesn't have to do with economic problems, it has to do with oppression and marginalization.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:25:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  who says they're special great people? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Yasuragi, tikkun

                    They're using their wealth as power. That's the issue here, not your distaste for them.

                    By the way - every oppression comes down to economic oppression. I'm not a 'marxist' but I'm with Marx on this one.

                    •  Every oppression most certainly (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      caul, Terranova0

                      does not come down only to economic oppression.  Tell a woman who gets silenced that it's economic.  Yes, oppressions have economic aspects, but they are not simply economic.

                      It seems like the rhetoric is sticking, which sucks.

                      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:34:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            One always has to be careful to parse the words whenever Obama or his spokespeople say anything that sounds remotely progressive; their true intent is invariably something else and  anything but progressive.

            "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
            Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
            Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

            by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:44:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What is wrong with his message? (12+ / 0-)

        He is not claiming to speak for Occupy. He speaks about Occupy - once. He frames his own take on the 99% vs 1% dichotomy; and it's a frame that is going to appeal to a lot of people who are uncertain about Occupy (it's not the wealth, it's the greed and the cheating)

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:33:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ? (10+ / 0-)

          He's the most visible person of the 99 percent Spring, which is adopting the OWS message, and he at the same time is saying it's not a good message.

          You're right that this would appeal to some people -- people who, say, worship Steve Jobs and are afraid of class warfare -- but it runs counter to the OWS message -- the single most effective message from the left in I don't know how long.  

          •  This sounds so contrary to the Occupy ethos. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terranova0, Larsstephens

            You say that Van Jones is undermining the message of OWS and adopting it at the same time.  But what do you care what Van Jones does?  If Occupy wanted to defend its message, it would have one, and say it over and over, with spokespeople, who speak for the group.  Barring that, anyone can get up and describe their interpretation of OWS's message.  When OWS decided not to send spokespeople out to speak on behalf of the group, it gave up the ability to control the message.  Van Jones is the drawback that OWS decided long ago was worth it.

      •  Is this contrary (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, ladyjames, tikkun

        to what OWS stands for? I really am asking - I don't know what the official OWS position is.

        I think citing Jobs is ironic (as would anyone who understands what Foxconn is about) but has OWS said anything to the contrary?

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:02:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't contrary per se (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, happymisanthropy, caul

          but it is reductionist.  He turns it into an economic problem when it's far broader than that.  It's about distribution of power far more than it is about distribution of wealth.  Money is just one aspect of that.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:56:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They're NOT pursuing the same goals. (13+ / 0-)

      The sole goal of MoveOn is to elect Democrats.  "99% Spring" is part of a plan to misdirect Occupy's energy into re-electing Obama, passing (or not passing, and blaming Republicans) a piddly reform bill that solves nothing, and then discarding the husk when all the marrow has been sucked out.  Same as the anti-war movement.  Same as the outrage over health care.

    •  If "big names" are trying to run it, they're (14+ / 0-)

      not pursuing the same general goals.

      By definition.

      When you show up to an event billed as "Inspired by OWS", to find that every thing has been "organized" by a tiny cabal of tired-ass political hacks who seek no input from those they see as some sort of foot-soldiers to be exploited, it becomes very very clear who the real enemy is, very quickly.

      Seeking proximity to power simply isn't the same thing as seeking change.

      Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:45:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wanna rec this a zillion times (11+ / 0-)

      Because this is exactly what is happening. Right from income inequality finally being talked about, to the president stumping it, and now to every progressive group uniting under that banner.

      We Occupiers helped build this broad coalition tent and made it possible. Don't deny people entry at the door just because they have a name or organization behind it.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:41:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is exactly the problem! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, Yasuragi

        It is not just about income inequality!  The problems are much broader than that.  This is not just an economic movement and these folks want to reduce it to that.  And given the fact that I see more and more comments about how this is about income inequality it seems like they are winning.  That's what the problem is.

        Sorry if this is harsh, it isn't aimed at you. Your comment was just a good example of what is wrong with the situation.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:09:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But see that's just it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yasuragi

          The issue of income inequality is so broad reaches so many facets of policy that it still works.

          I'd espouse more but a blackberry is not the best for such.

          I may diary about it later

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:12:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  if these same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jarbyus

      'big names' are part of the Democratic establishment who turn the dogs lose on people who resist or go along with the dismantling of our rights or refuse to fight for economic equity, and then turn around and tell me that they need my civil and human roights to protect me from various underware bombers why in the hell would I or any one who doesn't like this shit go to a faked up version of the only grassroots opposition to this shit?

       Does move on or Van Jones oppose the crap that we're getting from this Third Way administration's agenda or policy? The policy and agenda that they pass off as 'change you may find in your half glass of RW crap passed off as all you can get? Why would anyone celebrate the co-option of the only opposition to this truly fucked up and hopeless political kabuki were offered as better then.

      Better then what? What are these machine Dem. fakers protesting, their own anti job trade deals, their own neocon foriegn policy with drones and your rights civil and human gone daddy gone? Oh yeah Lilly Ledbetter wherein yuppie women who can afford it can sue in a longer window of time? Forget it OWS isn't gping tp become OFA where you tell your story but please no policy it is too controversial. lol    

  •  From my observation ... (24+ / 0-)

    ... people refer to the "Occupy" movement much more than they refer to any individual progressive organization. It was the fact that the Occupy movement got out on the street in such vast numbers so quickly that ensures it can never really be co-opted that way.  And, I agree that all organizations who work to protect the 99% should be welcomed with open arms. Good diary, MOT.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:49:05 AM PDT

    •  My experience as well (15+ / 0-)

      I think a lot of the reason is that (for the first time in decades) the left decided to express itself directly to the public about itself instead of reactively critiquing the right.

      We put forward a genuine populist message and changed what "america" (usually and mistakenly identified with the MSM) was talking about.

      We need to keep building on that foundation.

    •  Here's the problem (0+ / 0-)

      From my observation, people who aren't activists, even many who would be well-aligned with Occupy's goals...refer to "Occupy" as a joke.

      When I came back here a few months ago after being away for over a year, I was actually shocked at how big Occupy had become here. The couple of times I went to the one in Boston, it was, basically, Woodstock for Politics. Let's have a be-in and smoke dope, maaaan! I'm still trying to figure out just what Occupy was trying to accomplish. If it was awareness, well...they'd just better hope that the "There is no such thing as bad publicity" meme is true.

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:46:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a radical concept (59+ / 0-)

    There is so much work to be done that anyone anywhere doing anything is on the side of the angels.

    Whatever your gift or gifts may be, wherever you may find yourself - grab a mop. Or a sign. Or a hammer. Or a keyboard.

    No excuses for apathy, inaction, or prideful bickering.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:49:58 AM PDT

    •  Would like to rec this 10x (8+ / 0-)

      So many of the comments on this diary basically make the point of the diarist so evident.  Let's stop this bickering and get some work done instead.

    •  same here (4+ / 0-)

      2012 Presidential campaign: (Insert Republican anachronism here) ____________.

      by Fe Bongolan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:48:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is very true, however people who are (8+ / 0-)

      warning about co-opting the movement also have a valid point.  The mess we find ourselves in is because of the actions and inaction of both parties.  There are far too many Democratic groups who pretend to grab a mop, pose for a few pictures and walk away without doing anything.  Some of these groups will also swoop in and co-opt the movement and use it to push for the same limited ideas they always propose ensuring the corporate dominance continues.

      The way the Democratic party has run for the past few decades is to move a few steps to left of wherever the Republicans decide to stake out a policy position.  If we are to move back to a Democracy that puts the welfare of the majority over the welfare of a wealthy minority that must be abandoned.  Groups that want to capture the spirit of Occupy to implement the same old policy are dangerous to making real progress.  If they really want to the work that needs to be, they should be welcomed.  If they are there simply to make sure the status quo is maintained those groups need to marginalized.

  •  Absolutely agree. (34+ / 0-)

    What I hear sometimes though is people get pissed off when organizations co-opt OWS to push a blantant "lets elect Democrats regardless" platform, ignoring all the issues that you mention.

    If electing random Democrats were the answer to our problems all such problems would have vanished in 2009.

  •  Yes, (15+ / 0-)

    High time for our activism to get to work generating messages that communicate to the public at large and spend (a whole lot) less effort on congratulating ourselves that we're cooler/smarter/etc. than wingnuts and one another.

    Let's convince more people to take our side!!!  (what a concept! politics 101).

  •  It would appear too late. Can't change a tiger's (4+ / 0-)

    stripes.  
    The entire message of the original movement has been diluted.  The anger is going to have to rise again.

  •  If "big" orgs want to help OWS that's one thing (10+ / 0-)

    If (and, being realistic, when) such an organization wants to use OWS as a vehicle to push a partisan political party agenda, e.g. by constantly bashing one party over another, joining OWS protests or using the (relative) "celebrity" of individuals specifically to hound one party much more than others (or exclusively), that's different. Slapping an Occupy sticker on and going to Congress to exclusively go after Republicans is one example of a disingenuous co-optation of the Occupy movement.

    Occupy isn't about getting partisans of any party elected. It's not about "Democrats are good" or "Republicans are good" or the converses, inverses, etc.

    Certainly if, say, OFA started trying to coordinate OWS events or identifying itself with such events it should raise eyebrows, and it should cause a skeptical respons because OFA isn't about the 99%--it's about electing a partisan member of a political party.

    •  Yes. There are many things they could have done. (5+ / 0-)

      They could have fundraised for food for the camps.  They could have helped find and pay for lawyers.  They could have encouraged people to participate.  They could have organized trainings by making proposals to GAs and being transparent.  Instead, they're trying to build a parallel organization, probably for the sole goal of re-electing Obama, and that's fucked up.

    •  The "Occupy" chapter of the OFA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      OFA is trying to market itself as "Occupy" because "Hope and Change" for obvious reasons won't work too well for Obama this election season. With some stringent, undemocratic top-down dictates betraying it for what it truly is, a front group for the DNC pretending to be and stand for something else, e.g., (Yes, the 99% Spring is a Fraud)

      ...WTF thought #1:  This was a public event ostensibly to convince members of the public to engage in behavior that challenged the legitimacy of government authority in public and might cause angry police to beat the public crap out of them. Why would anyone risk that without trying to get publicity for their cause? Nonviolent direct action that no one knows about is like jerking off. It might make you feel better, but you’re not changing the world.

      WTF thought #2: Transparency is the only protection that nonviolent people have against police spies and provocateurs and other infiltrators. Occupy Wall Street does a pretty good job with transparency. An organization claiming to be inspired by OWS but shunning transparency is deeply suspicious.

      WTF thought #3: Washington press corp rules for a meeting on nonviolent direct action?
       

      WTF thought #4: I actually wasn’t there with the idea of writing about it, but neither did I agree to anything, so there was no agreement.

      WTF thought #5: The name of the large man with the wavy hair was Marc Landis. He is a District Leader for the Democrats, who were paying for use of the meeting room. He is running for City Council. According to his law firm’s website his areas of experience are: “Real Estate, Banking & Finance, Corporate & Business Law, Securities & Private Placement, Fund Formation & Investment Management Group…” His Facebook page, which is geared for his City Council campaign, makes it sound like his specialty is pro bono community work. I don’t know. He might be a nice guy, but it doesn’t take a lot of intuition to wonder if he’s really been finding a lot of inspiration in Occupy Wall Street. He’s a corporate lawyer. I can think of no reason for him to demand that the meeting be off the record other than he and his party don’t want to be publicly associated with anything radical, even it’s a pseudo-radical front group meant to steer people away from the truly radical Occupy Wall Street and into pointless activities that don’t embarrass Obama.

      Next they showed a video that invited us “to tell our story” so that The 99% Spring could post us online along with hundreds of other people who had been foreclosed, bankrupted, lost their medical insurance or whatever. It appeared they all wanted to raise taxes, so that the rich would “pay their fair share.”

      It was sanctimonious. It was supplicating before power. The audience looked like it wanted to puke...

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:14:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looking at this in a simple way (8+ / 0-)

    Do I think MoveOn and the unions are going to be successful in creating this 100k strong army to flood the streets with direct action?  Hell no - the idea is preposterous.  They have been full of fail for YEARS and everyone knows it.  Do I think that these groups tried to dig into Occupy and got shoved out because they wanted to control with more top down hierarchy and (thankfully) Occupy has resisted the attempts to destroy our horizontal organizing model?  Hell yes I do.  

    This 99% Spring thing is nothing more than the sore losers who decided they would create their own version of Occupy but in a way that can be controlled.  If people want to be controlled by some authoritarian group of people who live on the internet (MoveOn) or sit in offices while the peons do the heavy lifting (unions) then they can feel free to waste their time.  

    I'm not worried about co-option.  I find the whole 99% Spring thing to be boring and useless.  

    Eat your pheasant...drink your wine. Your days are numbered bourgeois swine

    by JustJennifer on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:14:35 AM PDT

    •  How 'organized' came to mean 'authoritarian' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      helpImdrowning

      baffles me.

      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

      by Unduna on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:04:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It baffles me too (4+ / 0-)

        Well, not really.

        Top down organizing always become authoritarian.  Any group with established leaders (especially if those leaders never rotate out) will become a hierarchy.  This has been the problem with unions for years.  

        And MoveOn...well we all know what happened there.  They became dazzled by their sense of importance in the political arena and completely lost the focus of being a grassroots movement.  

        This is why the horizontal organizing model of Occupy is so important.  It is teaching people self governance.  In Occupy, if you show up and do the work (the hard work) of the movement you are no more or no less important than the person standing next to you.  It's a beautiful thing, really, and much needed in our society.  

        Eat your pheasant...drink your wine. Your days are numbered bourgeois swine

        by JustJennifer on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:08:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Occupy is not disorganized (8+ / 0-)

        if that's what you're implying.  

        IMO it's MoveOn and similar top-down organizations that are really disorganized, because they have a very small number of people at the top who are organized and a very large number of people who are atomized.  But practically everyone in Occupy is an organizer and is an equal participant in the organization.  They just aren't paid for it.

        •  it's hard for folks who have only experienced... (7+ / 0-)

          highly structured, hierarchical organization to understand that a non-hierarchical order can also be a form of organization and that it can be an effective form.  their internalized models of order and organization have them instinctively reaching for a hierarchy as the only form of organization that they know.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:08:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand lateral orginization just fine. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi, Yasuragi, helpImdrowning

            Condescension is neither helpful nor necessary.

            Different forms of organization, especially ones that can deploy the might of the unions, needn't be thought of as "authoritarian".

            What might be considered authoritarian would be the insistence that ONLY lateral organization should be used to further the goals of the 99%.

            "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

            by Unduna on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:36:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  At least some transparency would be nice (7+ / 0-)

              MoveOn made no effort to tell people what the "99% Spring" training would actually entail before asking people to sign up for it.  Nor was there any invitation for contradicting opinions; for example their history video is absolutely atrocious.

            •  no need to characterize... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SpecialKinFlag, TheMomCat

              my comment as condescension.  it wasn't.

              i also didn't use the word "authoritarian" to describe unions; in fact i didn't even mention unions.  say, wait a second, your comment doesn't respond to pretty much anything i said.  ooops!

              my comment when read by someone who is reading for comprehension says that there is more than one sort of organization, but, most people are really only experienced with one kind which is their model.  shocking observation, eh?

              i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

              by joe shikspack on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:55:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, your comment is insulting. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                helpImdrowning

                Reading for comprehension means reading in context.

                I guess you didn't make your comment in the context of the conversation?
                Or did you not pay attention to the conversation of this particular thread?

                Either way, insult and condescension continue to saturate your contributions.
                This makes me believe it is not worth continuing to engage you.
                Is that representative of your goals?

                "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

                by Unduna on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:34:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  i made my comment in support of this: (0+ / 0-)
                  Occupy is not disorganized (7+ / 0-)

                  if that's what you're implying.  

                  IMO it's MoveOn and similar top-down organizations that are really disorganized, because they have a very small number of people at the top who are organized and a very large number of people who are atomized.  But practically everyone in Occupy is an organizer and is an equal participant in the organization.  They just aren't paid for it.

                  i think my comment makes a lot of sense in context of the comment it responds to.

                  perhaps you don't feel that way.  i felt that your comment was an attempt to distort the conversation and put words in my mouth.  i don't like that sort of thing and i bet you don't either when somebody does it to you.  yes, i probably expressed more hostility than i ought have, i should be more tolerant.

                  i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

                  by joe shikspack on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:34:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Joe, your last para is an ad-hom insult. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sviscusi, Yasuragi

                An apology to the person to whom you were replying would be nice, and I won't HR your above comment if you do apologize. If you don't apologize, I'll present you with pastry.

                I think insults and other forms of uncivil discourse hurt much and help nothing.

                Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

                Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

                by Kitsap River on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:57:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you can see my response... (0+ / 0-)

                  if you don't feel that i abased myself sufficiently in proportion to the context, then i suppose that you should fire off a doughnut.  it seems to me that my expression of disappointment in my interlocutor was pretty tame, but we all have different standards, i suppose.  have a lovely day.

                  i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

                  by joe shikspack on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:36:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Looks to me like this is a case of (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Yasuragi, joe shikspack

                    "agree to disagree", at least on your part. No donut. Thank you fir responding to me.

                    Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

                    Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

                    by Kitsap River on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:48:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Good post, MiT. (12+ / 0-)

    We need many flowers of activism to bloom.  

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:17:46 AM PDT

    •  exactly (8+ / 0-)

      it's good news that the establishment is starting to get on the same page, and yet at the same time this will founder if the direct action folks at occupy cede control and momentum to the establishment.

      we need everyone doing what they do best, including the radicals continuing to push out and seize more new ground, to keep the momentum going, and keep the establishment coopters honest and on their toes.

      every bird a straw.

    •  Division is the purpose of the 99 Spring/DNC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      (or rather subversion). Look how it's dividing us right now!

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:50:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the fuck are you talking about? (30+ / 0-)

    I don't know anyone who cares about "who gets the glory". In fact, I think you just pulled that out of your ass.

    What people care about in the occupy movement is not being co-opted by fellow activists who "weren't there in the beginning".

    It's being co-opted by our enemies. It's being co-opted by Democrats who want to use the movement as a way to rack up votes while at the same time taking money from, and working for, the very same financial interests whose greed and corruption led to the Occupy movement in the first place.

    Moveon is nothing but a front organization for the DNC at this point. It's led by people who believe that no matter how corrupt and self serving the party establishment has become, we should still rush out and vote for them because the Republicans are so much worse.

    This is a failed strategy. It has result in nothing but allowing our party to move further to the right -- which has allowed the Right to move even further to the right.

    And most importantly, it has resulted in the complete dis-empowerment of the left in this country.

    Repeatedly, we are told to STFU and tolerate increasingly radical and egregious betrayals of our own party for the sake of defeating the opposition party.

    What is the result? The lesser evil as so many claim? No. The result is a constant and accelerating shift to the right of the whole country while people who formally opposed right wing insanity sit on their hands pretending that things are better now.

    That's what the brilliant strategy of holding our tongues while the Democrats increasingly imitate the Bush Republicans has resulted in. More Bush Republicans. More right wing ideology becoming mainstream. More insanity left unchallenged.

    One of the main axioms of OWS was that BOTH parties have been utterly corrupted by sociopathic, right wing monied interests and the only way to finally break the cycle is to attack the corruption from the outside.

    But now the Democrats want to pretend that they were with us all along. They who supported and continue to support the very interests that created the need for OWS. They who looked the other way, or even facilitated the police state-like attack on the overwhelmingly peaceful protests.

    They who, to this day, place the interests of Wall Street over the interests of the American people.

    No. Moveon can fuck off. We've tried electing more and better Democrats. We even gave them the WH and majorites in Congress. What is the result?

    The opposite of progress. In the last 3 years we've seen more wealth inequality, not less. More concentration of ownership in the financial sector, the telecom sector, and the media. Not less.

    More insane environmental practices like hydrofracking. Not less. More insane foreign policy and war mongering. Not less.

    Everywhere I look, I see the opposite of progress. And I see it increasingly unimpeded. It's as though the 2008 election, largely repudiating right wing insanity, didn't even happen.

    The Democrats, even down to the local level, have been co-opted by monied interests and right wing forces. Do you really think any group or organization that becomes co-opted by the Democrats won't be ultimately serving those same financial interests?

    OWS gives us a chance to apply leverage on the Washington establishment from the outside. And that is the only way to first reform our corrupt, worthless party and then reform our corrupt nation.

    You want to now take the Occupy movement and turn it into a Democratic GOTV operation?  Please.

     

    •  That's Kind of Comical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanAnt, sviscusi

      That kids think OWS was "the beginning" lol!

    •  Um.... without voter turnout for Dems OWS fails (4+ / 0-)

      Sorry if a little reality intrudes on your purity but we need Democrats to be in charge starting next year unless you want to make the job of OWS far more difficult. And I fully agree we need better ones, that's why I joined in '05. But for now beyond the primaries we must go on with a far from perfect party. I frankly don't see OWS plans for haranguing weak Dems anywhere as much as the movement should. Why aren't we for instance insisting on an ammendment for public financing of offices by Dems that removes money from DC?

      Regardless the #1 focus needs to be on fairness. Evolution demonstrates that you don't need complete coordination from autonomous units for emergent properties to produce an effect like an eye or consciousness or social change. The "99%" is currently only not much more than a small percentage of Americans. What will you do if more start agreeing with you and swell the ranks by millions more?

      •  asdf (6+ / 0-)

        With direct action, we don't need to give a fuck about politics.  Why bother waiting for the cavalry to ride in when you and your community and allies can solve the problem yourself?

        •  How do you directly get Clean money elections? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qm1pooh, Yasuragi

          It might take as much as a constitutional ammendment to do that at this time. You're going to directly do this without congress by what means? How are you going to add banking regulations without involving the Democrats in office?

          •  Elections have nothing to do with direct action (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie

            What is the purpose of elections?  To get policies enacted.  Okay, so what if we instead implement those policies directly, or build our own projects that solve the problems?  That's what direct action means.

            •  What polices are you talking about (6+ / 0-)

              its easy to talk in generalities, lets get specific.  How do you stop the Military or Prison industrial complex without using legislative means at some point?  How do you establish income equality without some movement in the electoral process? Movements and politics go hand in hand.  Its not one or the other.  

              •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie

                obviously we can't stop the military and prison systems until we're much, much stronger; ending those is basically the endgame anyway, so talking about them in specific terms is probably not productive right now.

                As for income equality, that is also not direct action, because money is not the goal of working for an income.  Paying rent is the goal (and, even then, the most radically real goal is actually to be able to live indoors without being attacked by thugs aka police).  Eating a sufficient amount of healthy food is a goal.  Having access to good health care is a goal.  etc

                Those are all things that we can do, through direct action, WITHOUT worrying about income equality or electoral politics.

                •  Direct action for giving access to health care (6+ / 0-)

                  Sounds great. How do you do that? I'm all ears. Can you talk about this in specific terms without using electoral politics since you brought it up?

                  •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe wobblie

                    For example, establishing community clinics.  When we have the resources, our own hospitals.

                    In fact, the resources for this probably exist, if the Unions would get their act together and establish their own union-and-worker owned healthcare cooperative system.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually cheaper than insurance.

                    •  And how do you get the resources? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Yasuragi

                      Unions don't own the clinics. Also if we want unions to help then they must own some portion of the OWS  movement, correct? Unions make up about 12% of the workforce. They are quite limited in what they can do.

                      Why wouldn't a single payer system be better? Direct action could be used to argue that Medicare is a single payer system in place. Even if it required a buy-in for people not currently eligible. Or let the US be responsible for all health care needs and insurance companies that wish to participate fill out an application to bid to compete against one another and Medicare. Rather than we or our employers filling out an application to the insurance companies. This might reduce the number of forms required for acceptance into a medical plan to one universal form. But direct action  won't establish all that it by itself. Not by a long shot.

                      All this stuff you want eventually needs legislation. It doesn't happen even with truckloads of local community action. What's your plan for establishing thousands of new community clinics without officials at the federal, state, and local levels?

                      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe wobblie

                        Unions and communities could establish their own new clinics.

                        Single-payer would probably be better, but personally I don't see much chance of it happening.  A direct action solution for health care, however, depends on no one else.  It's something we can implement today, right now, without trying to convince teabaggers or politicians, or waiting for permission.

                        It doesn't need legislation and it doesn't need officials at any level.  All it needs is a small group to establish a single clinic in their community.  Then another small group does the same thing in theirs.  It doesn't have to happen all at once as if someone can wave a magic wand and the problem is solved.

                        •  at the community level then (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Yasuragi

                          how do you fund it? Local taxation to support it would require local legislation - again, political action rather than direct.

                          •  Unions if they like, but mostly through volunteers (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie, Yasuragi

                            which has to be organized.  And by "volunteers" I don't necessarily mean they aren't paid, just people who step up to the plate.

                            The key component is organization, not funding.  You'd be amazed what's possible even without funding.  But something like healthcare would probably be able to get funding from the community and people it serves relatively easily.

                            But even if that seems utopian or quixotic, keep in mind- do you really think there's any chance of the government effectively providing or even just funding these kind of things at this point?  For the amount of organization and energy necessary to get the government to act in an effective way, we could probably just do it ourselves.

                          •  Bernie's Community Clinics (0+ / 0-)

                            seems a pretty good damned example of government acting in an effective way.

                            Government isn't supposed to be easy. It's probably the hardest thing humanity does. Blowing it off as 'ineffective' is just another way of looking for the easy way out.

                          •  Great, that makes one (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            See also my last paragraph...

                          •  Yes and no -- I believe that as more states (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            helpImdrowning

                            begin to pass their own single-payer systems, and as more communities establish clinics, both will become more the norm.

                            I fully believe the goal of HCR was ultimately single payer.  But remember how limited Social Security was when it started.  This is a launch pad, not the final product.

                            ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

                            OCCUPY

                            by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:19:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You have no idea what goes into a clinic (0+ / 0-)

                            I suppose you're going to have to rely on the magic wand after all. No one said it is 'supposed to happen all at once'. But the amount of money, expertise and everything else simply to form a clinic over the course of 2 - 3 years is not all that easy for communities to do or there would be community clinic springing up like mushrooms. It's expensive, and it does have to pass legal hurdles and regulations and accreditation. And almost always some federal and / or state funding.

                            Yes, the occasional community that needs one badly might be able to create one. But this is not something that the unions or people with good intentions can willy-nilly put together with a bake sale and voting a couple people onto the city council.

                            Direct democracy is where you turn the politician away from from the donors and make them do your bidding or they lose their seat. It requires organization and sometimes a primary challenger waiting in the wings. Direct action is where you force them into popular positions that they cannot wiggle out of for their corporate sponsors because they need to vote the way we want them to vote, or use their executive power the way we want, before the elections.

                            I agree that protests and rallies and strikes are fairly ineffective in doing any of this as much as they might fire up the base for long-term action. It takes money and it takes activism and it takes the credible threat, or strong support for, an incumbent's seat.

                          •  Your definition (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            of direct democracy is absolutely wrong, in the same way that protest is never direct action.  If a politician or representative EXISTS, it's not direct democracy.  By definition!

                            As for clinics, you're right that I don't know the specifics of what it would take to set one up.  But I also didn't say it would have to be done "over the course of 2 - 3 years".

                            As for politics- maybe if the Democrats had allowed a primary challenge to Obama (or practically any other Democratic incumbent for that matter) you would have a point.  Instead they use the terror of the R of the week as a club to keep anyone from complaining.

                          •  Well why don't you give me your definition? (0+ / 0-)

                            If you are thinking that we don't need government to manage civilization go waste a libertarian's time. They drink the same kool-aid. I don't. I agree that feeding the homeless and perhaps providing shelter for them is stuff that can be done, with limited success by direct action. Some volunteer time might help  with education. But these are band-aids at best. It doesn't undo the root causes of those problems. It won't provide systematic change which is what DKos is about. You cannot do that without strong government involvement of some sort, even if it is an area where the government needs to withdraw from such as prohibiting gay marriage.

                            And know you didn't say it would probably take 2 or 3 years to set up a clinic.  I'm saying that. If you can demonstrate how that is done otherwise as you claim, again, I'm all ears. Show me. The same for some specific direct action magic that will bring the peoples will over the politicians in DC and regulate the banks. As you claim but haven't given an example of.

                          •  I never claimed (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            that there was any kind of direct action that will turn the politicians or fix the financial system; and in fact I said the exact opposite, because neither of those things are themselves ends.  We don't need functional politics or a just economy per se- we need food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, etc... actual goods and services!  Maybe functional politics and a just economy are ways of getting those things, but direct action is a different way of getting those things.

                            I think we need organization, but not government, if government means bureaucrats, (un)representative 'democracy', police, taxes, etc.

                            Getting homeless people what they need would be a lot fucking easier if it wasn't for the police attacking every time we try to liberate an abandoned building!

                            Direct Action as a strategy IS systematic change!

                            I refuse to demonstrate how a clinic can be set up within 2-3 years through direct action, because I don't know enough specifics.  Even if it would take a decade, how would that mean my argument has no merit?  It's still there, and it still got there by direct action!

            •  How are you going to implement the policies? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yasuragi

              You have no power, no money, no resources.

              Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:22:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You didn't answer my questions above (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP

              Please provide specifics.

                •  What a load of BS. You can't defend direct action? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Yasuragi

                  Then why do you extol its virtues? I can defend it better than you. It certainly can be a powerful tool but it can't do everything.

                  You can't answer your own claims? All you can offer is some babble about representative goals? How does that put stronger regulation on banks. How do vaguely representative goals provide at least an option against if not the end of pay-to-play electoral possession of seats in Washington? Or is that just a representative utopia you'd kinda like to see?

                  If you can't demonstrate evidence for stuff you spout you are really not helping.

                  •  It's impossible to (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe wobblie, Yasuragi

                    use direct action to achieve representative goals like electoral and banking reform!  What is the POINT of those reforms?  What economic goods and/or services does it get into people's hands?  What do we really want by doing those things-  Housing?  Food?  Health care?  Education?  Less police, racial supremacist, or sexist harassment?  THOSE are things that can be gotten through direct action!  

                    Surely you can agree that electoral and financial reform are themselves just means to an end.

                    •  I never said electoral reforms aren't the means (0+ / 0-)

                      We want electoral reform so we can get policy reforms unencumbered by requirements to lobbyists and high dollar donors.

                      Why aren't you giving me direct answers as to HOW you use direct action, as you claim we can, to provide better healthcare and schools and less harassment? Schools and clinics need accreditation from the state. Are you suggesting these be payed for out of pocket as a direct action? You are talking about at least 10's of millions of dollars required for any of these things. You'll be dancing around this forever unless you can find demonstrations of how to do those things with direct action. If you're going to make the claim, you are required to demonstrate it. I for one certainly halfway agree with you.

                      Sure, somethings like providing food or even limited shelter can be done by people themselves. But other stuff is grandfathered in with regulation and that takes a different kind of direct action. Direct political action is best served by many people with one voice. OWS has pretty much done it's work in that it changed the national conversation once. We have a rare direct action moment for the next few months if OWS focuses on one or two more challenges. I think we need to Occupy Washington by demanding the the public owns the electoral system not a minority of registered voters. If the OWS wants to continue owning the conversation we need one other challenge to the establishment like this that challenges both sides.

                      Until the money is capped in Washington OWS will eventually fail.

                      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe wobblie, Yasuragi

                        I explain a possible direct action solution for health care above.  Education can be done analogously.  Money can be raised without asking permission or demanding the government do it.  That's really all direct action is- solving the problem directly without asking permission or begging someone else to do it.

                        Also, protesting and petitioning is NEVER direct action.  Some of your statements seem to be implying that ("Direct political action").

            •  Yes, but that takes a long time. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not letting Mitt Romney anywhere near the WH in the meantime.

              I agree with you, but I feel that continuing to live with the miserable choice of the lesser of two evils continues to be the only way to climb this ladder.

              ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

              OCCUPY

              by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:13:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What direct action is going to help? Is it going (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP

          to convince Repubs to change their minds?

          Or are you talking about blowing shit up?

          Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:21:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Without OWS, Dem voter turnout fails (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        Thus far, the party isn't doing much to motivate voters.  OWS provides a valuable means of getting disenchanted voters interested in being part of the political process.

        If our Dem leaders are smart, they'll encourage those OWS protestors to vote for them.

        OWS is about issues, not political gamesmanship.  They're essential to this election because they're the only organization out there that is talking frankly about the real problems facing this country.

      •  An Opposite View (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames

        Actually with a Repub president, Congress, and SC perhaps people finally would wake up to their true plight and "take to the streets." With Dems, like the current crop, in power, there is the illusion that a more friendly environment exists. I encourage an up thread look at how pitiful the actual results for ordinary folks have been under Obama and the 2 years of a Dem-controlled Congress. Sometimes it takes seeing the true enemy for one to become motivated to action.

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SpecialKinFlag, AoT, aliasalias

      Methinks the diarist doth protest too much. The concern is not about getting the 'glory', it's about subverting the very objectives MoT says we should be fighting for by muddying the message and trying to turn Occupy as part of a front group for the corrupt and disfunctional Democratic Party.

      Here is one man's honest (as opposed to propagandized) experience with the 99 Spring:

      Yes, the 99% Spring is a Fraud

      It appears that its methods and objectives are secretive and  lacking transparency and that it is run strictly top-down via a Democratic Party front group with end goals - coopting the 99% message during election season and getting the vote out for Democrats - are anything but what Occupy is fighting for.

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:38:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone, without exception, who has (0+ / 0-)

        posted someone's experience with 99% Spring (which I have major issues with, explained elsewhere in the comments) cites this same article.  It's one man's experience.  And Landis sounds like a total schmuck.

        I've spoken to many people who thought the training had value.  Their experience is no less significant to me than Charles M. Young's.  

        The real issue, as far as I'm concerned, is that 99% Spring failed to communicate with any of us occupying anywhere before or after their trainings.  That's the major fail: they had the chances to possibly form useful coalitions (with care on the part of those of us who Occupy) and completely blew that.

        But one person's experience (posted at least four times here, I believe) means nothing to me in the face of people I respect -- but who didn't write about it -- saying it had value.

        Just sayin'.

        ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

        OCCUPY

        by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:30:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Great comment ! ....nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  "Moveon is nothing but a front organization for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud, sviscusi

      the DNC."

      Right; that's why they supported Bill Halter & Andrew Romanoff in direct opposition to Obama & the DNC in Senate primaries of 2010.

      C'mon.  OWS has just as much a responsibility to be reality-based as anyone.  Being closer to an end of the spectrum is no absolution of this responsibility to be clear-eyed about the need for groups across the spectrum, & the dire need for transpartisan activism IN ADDITION TO strong support for the most progressive populists to work inside the system as elected officials, and the GOTV required to make that happen.

      Calling MoveOn--a group without corporate donors whose local leadership is FAR more progressive on avg than the DNC--a front group for same is not helpful.  We're essentially just having the same Obama Lover/Hater argument here, and it's just as stupid & useless to have it in these terms as it is in its original format.  To that point:

      You want to now take the Occupy movement and turn it into a Democratic GOTV operation?
      Hell no, but every sincere Occupier had better at least vote Democratic, or else they're just angling for a revolution, with no regard for how the interim will treat their fellow citizens & their planet, aka they are not sincere.

      Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

      by Leftcandid on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:09:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Besides which, all discussions by those (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladyjames, Leftcandid

        who've studied --

        Wait -- clarification: all discussions I've read by those who've studied this stuff say virtually any revolution is ten years in the making.  Even the seemingly rapid revolutions in Egypt and Libya (which are still, to me, undecided in outcome) and Tunisia happened after years of quiet (as opposed to public) construction, or a sudden opportunity to overthrow a murderous dictator.  Those are not the same circumstances we have here in the US, no matter how ground down we may feel.

        My biggest reservation (though relatively small, compared to my commitment) about some of the talk among my fellow occupiers is that they expect instant revolution: just add water.  Not gonna happen.  Not in this country.

        ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

        OCCUPY

        by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:36:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yasuragi, joe wobblie

          I consider Occupy to be an heir if not an outgrowth of the alterglobalization ("anti-globalization") movement...  Occupy uses techniques, like the organizational structure, Consensus process, and protest camp infrastructure knowledge, that's been refined and passed down over several generations- for example, Consensus process probably originated with the Quakers, and Anarchists got it from them during the 1970s anti-nuclear movement, and brought it to Occupy.  So when did the clock start?  And what does that mean about what 'the end' will be?  The Montgomery Bus Boycott was 1955 and the Civil Rights Act was 1964; is that the timeframe?  What about the 1968 riots?

          •  The Civil Rights movement is nowhere (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladyjames, Leftcandid

            near over, because racism is as rife as it ever was.  More so, in fact, since Obama was elected.  So that fight continues.

            You mean what I said about the outcomes still being uncertain?  To me those situations are in no way settled until they can hold free elections -- and elect someone who's not a watered down version of who they cast out.

            ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

            OCCUPY

            by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:23:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Make sure you occupy (0+ / 0-)

      the Democratic Convention.  That will show those DNC types and get a lot of shit done.

    •  Epic rant! Love it! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      How many divisions does OWS have?

      by Diebold Hacker on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:33:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ya know, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      I went to the training. I was not asked to vote for anyone or ask anyone else to vote. You seem to be ascribing motives to the organization that aren't really there.

      •  It's not that simple (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        In a recent e-mail titled "HUGE" MoveOn described some piece of legislation or other (it maybe had something to do with tax cuts for the rich) to be 'the whole ball of wax' and that the Presidential election should be a "referendum" on tax cuts for the rich.  So that's probably how they intend to do it- first have these 'trainings' to get everyone's contact info and get them invested; then start a "99%" organization parallel to Occupy to suck Occupy's energy away, then get people to vote for Obama because it's a "referendum".

  •  Without POLITICAL ACTION... (15+ / 0-)

    ...you know, like ACTUALLY VOTING ReThugs and Quisling foot-draggers OUT OF OFFICE, this entire enterprise is little more than performance art.

    "Oh, we don't wanna be SULLIED by that dirty nasty POLITICS stuff, 'cause you know, Obama's sold out so we're just gonna hang out in the park and you know DO STUFF like play drums..."

    People are not willing to be abused by thug cops en masse while the Occupy Purity Patrol safeguards the movement from co-option by that Evil Axelrod and his cronies...and no effective political power comes from it.

    Has the Occupy movement devoted any effort at voter registration?

    I would be delighted to hear that "Yes they have, Kook, and we're doing more this spring!"

    I'm not holding my breath. Someone please surprise me and tell me Occupy will pay SOME attention to reality and do something that "moves the ball down the field"....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:50:48 AM PDT

    •  the converse is also true (5+ / 0-)

      political action without direct action will also founder, as we have seen for decades. the two strategies actually strengthen one another, if done right.

      •  You are channeling Van Jones (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qm1pooh, leftykook, doroma, Yasuragi
        We don't think we can get from here to where we're going with only peaceful protest, but we can't get there without it.
        I believe in peaceful protest and voting: these are two blades of the scissors to try to cut off this nonsense
        http://www.rollingstone.com/...

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:41:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Van Jones calls for merely symbolic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yasuragi

          protests, not direct action.

          It's the difference between "defending" someone from foreclosure by having a press conference in front of their house as a means of raising awareness and literally putting your body between the sherrif and the house, physically stopping it from happening.

          This is another problem with the 99% spring, they have effectively made direct action mean nothing more than protest.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:41:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I dunno bout that (0+ / 0-)

            I can't quite see where people might need training in non-violent protest just to hold a press conference.

            from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

            by Catte Nappe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:52:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps to gut NVDA (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie

              by making people think it's all just about the same old waste-of-time protesting.

            •  They didn't do any direct action training (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yasuragi

              The training explicitly stated that it would only talk about "direct action" and wouldn't deal with getting arrested.

              It was pretty much a community organizing course, which is a good thing to teach people, but it isn't direct action.

              This is what I mean by "they made direct action nothing more than a protest."

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:03:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yasuragi

                What beyond protest do you recommend for "direct action"?

                from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

                by Catte Nappe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:19:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A couple of examples (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Yasuragi, leftykook

                  are the people who have been doing physical defense of homes that are being foreclosed.  That's as opposed to having a protest and a press conference then just getting out of the way when the sheriff comes. Another good example is the people disrupting auctions by singing.  These also serve as symbolic protest, which I think is important as well, but they are primarily direct action.  Direct action means you directly act on the problem, people are getting kicked out of a house so you go there and stop it from happening.

                  I think that protests and court cases and registering people to vote are all part of the diversity of tactics we need to move this movement forward.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:57:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Even just being willing to be arrested (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, joe wobblie

                    can be direct action, for example in the case of a home defense it might raise the cost to the sheriff's department past the point where they're willing to go through with it.  That's a very low-risk tactic that I'm pretty sure everyone can support, liberals, pacifists, anarchists... maybe not Communists but (and it brings me a lot of joy to say this) they don't matter anyway.

                    •  Oooh... almost rec'd you... 'til that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      leftykook

                      last line. ;)

                      Fully agree about disruption of foreclosures.

                      We'll be moving the furniture back inside as fast as the cops can move it outside.  They don't make enough on foreclosure evictions to make it worth their while to keep on with the process.

                      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

                      OCCUPY

                      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:43:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Page 37 of the full-day participant guide (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe wobblie, Yasuragi

                  lists some categories of "direct action": "Protest, Non-cooperation, Intervention, Creative Solution".  Protest is definitely not direct action and Non-cooperation (strikes, boycotts) is only arguably so (it's more like direct inaction, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt).  Intervention (such as blockades or disruption) and Creative Solutions (gardens, free schools, etc- they list some good examples) definitely are direct action.

    •  Direct Action is political (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SpecialKinFlag, AoT, joe wobblie

      Sorry if it's not the only kind of politics YOU care about.

      •  If the Thugs keep the House and take the Senate (0+ / 0-)

        ...that WILL be the only politics I'll care about, because NOTHING positive will get done for our country, for our fellow citizens, and then you can shove your snotty remarks  along with your "we're big revolutionaries taking direct action" bullshit.

        "Direct Action" is only a hairsbreadth away from violent confrontation and if you dreamers think you can turn yourselves into Korean college students that are ready to attack police lines with firebombs and lead pipes, somebody is headed for a very rude awakening.

        The tools of conventional politics, however sullied by the hapless Democratic Party, are the only effective tools to fight these people without a physical battle, which we cannot win.

        Better round up your copies of "The Anarchist's Cookbook" 'cause yer gonna need 'em.

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:31:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  1, 2, 3 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Yasuragi

      1. I hate it when people say that all Occupy does is hang out in the park and play drums. That's as bad as those idiots who yell at me to get a job. I have a very good job.

      2. Not all occupiers are non-political. The point is that it's a separate issue. Getting involved with politics would make us just another tea party. It would also exclude people from what has been largely an inclusive organization. Those of us who are political can and will register people.

      3.

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

      by resa on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:14:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From what I have observed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftykook

      the same people who are doing one are doing the other.

      I don't actually believe the number in OWS is very big who would argue electoral politics is irrelevant.  

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:56:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed, except for your apparent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftykook, ladyjames

      contempt for the Occupy movement.

      "Oh, we don't wanna be SULLIED by that dirty nasty POLITICS stuff, 'cause you know, Obama's sold out so we're just gonna hang out in the park and you know DO STUFF like play drums..."
      That's a pretty unfair characterization.

      Rec'd you anyway.

      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

      OCCUPY

      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:38:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps a bit hyperbolic. Mea Culpa. (0+ / 0-)

        But THAT is exactly what the movement looks like on teevee.  I remember when we had this argument months ago, one side all paranoid about "being co-opted" while doing things that weren't productive in the sense that it didn't draw support and sympathy from "The Masses" who regard ANY demonstration as a bunch of DFHs who deserve to get their head busted by thug cops.

        The only thing I ever saw Occupy do that I thought was effective was the Foreclosure Occupations, even Teevee Idiots on Local News actually ooohed and ahhhed over THAT set of actions.

        Tent cities and drum circles? Not so much.

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:39:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting, but not specific enough. (21+ / 0-)

    Here's the real divide in the occupy movement: reform vs. revolution; protecting the middle class in its consumerism vs. fundamentally reimagining class and the relation of self to society.  But that, I agree, is down the road.  We are so far from either reform or revolution that dividing on these is ridiculously counterproductive at this point.

    The focus should be what we can all agree upon: that the 1% has stolen the vast amount of money out of society;  That it is using it to consolidate its power and to impose policy; That those policies are contrary to maintaining a free and sustainable society.  

    So the question and focus for now, it seems to me, is how to get the money and power back from the 1%.  And that needs to be done now.

    "A Republic, if you can keep it."

    by Publius2008 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:51:13 AM PDT

    •  Well said n/t (7+ / 0-)

      #OccupyWallStreet ~ I will protest when and where I damn well please. I have the constitution in my pocket. That is my permit.

      by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:01:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear hear. nt (5+ / 0-)

      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

      by Unduna on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:06:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Direct Action is revolution by way of reform (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Publius2008, joe wobblie, WisePiper

      What matters is whether what we do BUILDS grassroots power and capacity.

      IMO you can't win reforms without having the power to actually threaten a revolution; the political and propertied classes only offer reform when the alternative is far worse for them.

      But then at that point, we might as well just have the revolution- We traded revolution for reform in the New Deal, and all the "1%" (aka the bourgeoisie) had to do was wait a couple of decades while we got lazy.  Now we have no reforms AND no capacity to win them!

      •  We had one revolution since our country's founding (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ddn, qm1pooh, peregrinus, Yasuragi

        Since then all other changes have come from within the system. Mostly they've been productive although we now have 30 years of neoconservatism to undo. And it's finally in an ever harder to defend position.

        You don't need a revolution, you need to pursuade about 30% of the 99% that vote independent of Parties to adopt our agenda. Direct Democracy without some of the numbers provided by unions and Move On and the DFA and other groups will barely be enough to do that much less start a "revolution".

        •  But they've been threatened multiple times (4+ / 0-)

          Consider the effect of John Brown's raid.  Consider the organization and agitation efforts of the Communist-lead CIO.  Consider the threat represented by the Black Panthers.  Would the subsequent reforms have happened without them?  It's impossible to say.  But I can't think of a major reform that wasn't coupled with a revolutionary threat.

          •  I don't disagree. (4+ / 0-)

            I believe in diversity of tactics and not in any pejorative sense.  (In fact, diversity of tactics is the natural outcome of the fact of diversity of situation and hence diversity of reaction--the poor and the discriminated and the highly principled will have diverse reactions to the same set of circumstances that face everyone).  But diversity of tactics doesn't mean divisiveness or disunion, or that one approach is so pure that other approaches deserve outright opprobrium.

            "A Republic, if you can keep it."

            by Publius2008 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:55:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Politics involves much more than elections! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, blueoasis

          Indeed, as a means of challenging capitalism, bourgeois elections are the LOWEST FORM of struggle!
          The highest forms are those that mobilize the active power
          of the people--strikes, occupations, mass protests...
          Without these, revolution would not be possible;  and without revolution, capitalism cannot be eliminated.

          ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

          by joe wobblie on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:25:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What MoT and Unduna said. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Words In Action

      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

      OCCUPY

      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:46:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is all about getting something done, something (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Yasuragi, Words In Action

    ...more than publicity. I think TradMed thinks that OWS was a one-off thing and I'd like to see the surprise in their faces from Spring through Fall and beyond.

    We still have too many people pimping the idea that everything will be ok if we just cut the deficit and gut what remains of our social safety net.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:53:25 AM PDT

  •  MOT, I love ya (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladyjames, Yasuragi

    but I can't help but be worried when big names get involved.

    Now, you are on the inside more than me, so I will defer to you that it is about "who gets the glory" (human nature is like that) but I have worried from the beginning that if the Establishment couldn't squash OWS, then it will move to more subtle methods to control it.  

  •  A true 99% movement will involve Republicans (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid, AmericanAnt, peregrinus, Yasuragi

    If this is actually, honestly, an inclusive movement we're going to need to welcome some of them to the movement before long if it is successful. Some may agree with us. Some do, in part. It will need to model working with progressive groups first, and in short order, in order to start figuring out how to appeal to misguided right of center people who might reconsider some of their stances.

    •  I agree entirely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yasuragi

      I wrote an evanescent diary about this back in the fall, and got little traction with that point.

      If you assume that, in the limit, all of the 1% vote Republican, and that 40% of the population votes Republican, then over 1 in 3 of the 99% are in fact voting Republican. Unless you think you're going to sway them on the whole range of issues beyond income inequality, they are going to continue to vote Republican.

      If your movement needs to include a non-trivial number of Republican voters, it cannot be co-opted by a Democratic fund-raising organization.

    •  Or at least Independents (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2

      so far they have been running, not walking away from the occupy "movement".

    •  OWS is pretty darned inclusive. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2

      They let the Lyndon LaRouche fools stand next to them when Obama was at the Apollo -- and the LaRouche folks really screwed the pooch on that one, hanging out "Fuck Obama" banners.

      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

      OCCUPY

      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:56:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I canNOT believe I just used the phrase (0+ / 0-)

        "screwed the pooch."

        I fuckin' hate that phrase!

        First I rec all sides of the argument, and now this.

        I may never live this down.  

        ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

        OCCUPY

        by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:57:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And maybe stop trying to metaphorically (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, mkor7, aliasalias, Yasuragi

    Occupy everything. "Occupy the Airwaves!" "Occupy the library!" "Occupy ship channel!!"

    Get back to the roots and focus. It becomes a sea of mud to people when Occupy starts being associated with every fault or organization in society.

    It was great at first, with Hank and Jesse out on the sidewalk filming other news filming them, and then posting what wasn't aired on Youtube. That's SPECIFICALLY WHY my lifelong Republican parents now whatch MSNBC with me, NPR, and agree with Occupy Wall Street. Still can't even believe that.

    Where are the info-slams! Hank on the sidewalk in a suit at a conference table with a flag behind it. "Questions! Answers! Bring it on. Let's sit down and discuss this". Film it. Youtube it. Spread those hard-hitting undisputable logical arguments of truth and fact again. Bring all those awesome charts that there is no rebuttal to.

    We need a 50,000 person march again through NTC and a more attention grabber than Brooklyn Bridge.

    Reignite the fire! The media did a good job of sweeping it all under the rug for the most part.

    Go find another park and have filmed debate slams, openly challenging any person on Wall Street or in the government to come sit and discuss a topic a day in front of our YouTube cammeras, streaming as well.

    Just my input. American Revolution!!!!

  •  Sorry if someone already said this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, farmerchuck, Yasuragi

    Don't have time to read all the comments at work.

    What is happening on May 1?  I haven't heard anything except on DK.   No call to action anywhere, directed at people like me who don't pay attention that much but want to help.

    Maybe do a diary every few days explaining what is supposed to happen and telling everyone what they can do?  If you did already I missed it.

  •  Hear hear! (8+ / 0-)

    Though when you see the Ron Paul people there marching with you, and they say we need to "End the Fed", please read up on why that is an insanely stupid thing to do, and how it would take us back to the days of robber barons.

    And then tell them they're idiots with almost no understanding of American history to their face.  :-)

  •  A movement is not a political campaign. (8+ / 0-)

    The two cannot co-exist.

    The two do not have the same objectives.

    "Shut the fuck up, fall in line, and quit asking where we're heading" is a great line...if maintaining current broken structures with minor tweaks is your objective.

    And, well, maybe it is.

    Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

    •  No Cooperation! No Compromise! Ideological Purity! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi, v2aggie2, exlrrp

      My way or the Highway!

      Hmmm. Occupy or TeaBigots?

      Well, they both hate Obama... Though the TeaBigots have never been as disrespectful of Obama as Occupy has been.

      Occupy is becoming more of a cult than a movement.

      Imagining itself "autonomous", Occupy is really insular. While presenting the appearance of openness, Occupy is just a small circle of like-minded people who seem to have a problem playing well with others.

      Imagining itself as representing the 99%, Occupy actually represents the 9%; that is, the 9% of the American electorate that disapproves of Obama because he is Not Liberal Enough. Ignoring the fact that 35% of the electorate thinks Obama is Too Liberal, Occupy blinds itself to this political reality while stamping their feet and shouting "Obama = Bush!"

      Imagining itself to be the sole arbiter of of the one true path to solving all human problems, Occupy has degenerated into an impotent assemblage egomaniacally fixated on claiming terms and concepts as theirs alone.

      Leftist Fundamentalist would be the best encapsulation of Occupy. And like all fundamentalist, Occupy not only disparages all who do not comform to their parochialism, they save most of their hatred for those who would, rationally, be their allies.

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

      by OnlyWords on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:36:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've seen Occupy and I've seen Teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

        and they're nowhere near close to the same kind of message. How do you make up such garbage?

        I don't get why self-appointed Obama supporters insist on attacking Occupy. If Obama were still a community organizer he would surely be a part of this movement. He knows as well as anyone that outside pressure is the only thing that gets things done in Washington.  

        "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

        by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:47:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  True of only a few, nowhere near all (0+ / 0-)

        I've been working with and in contact with.

        'Way overblown.

        ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

        OCCUPY

        by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:08:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can't imagine them taking over Occupy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yasuragi, TomP

      Dems can hardly organize themselves. What they can do is create their own version to try to emulate occupy and then try to control that. I wasn't able to attend the training last week, however from what I've seen of the training materials it seems like they're trying to train mainstream democratic organizations, unions, and community groups in direct action. That can only be a good thing.

      In my discussions with union members associated with Occupy Oakland, they have expressed frustration at lack of consistency and organization of occupy. I don't see their attempt to organize around the main strategies of occupy as a threat. If anything it's a flattering attempt to channel the energy of the movement and bring it to a more mainstream audience.

      "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

      by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:58:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People SHOULD be forming their own groups (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        That's how Consensus-based organization is supposed to work- affinity groups, spokescouncils, clusters, federations.

        So many problems with what you're saying... Training in direct action?  Protest is NEVER direct action!  Organizing separate groups?  Fine!  But not PARALLEL groups!  Channeling the energy to an "audience"?  We don't want an audience- we want participants!

        •  Yes, but there are moveon people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yasuragi, TomP

          and there are occupy people. Occupy doesn't suit everyone. That's the reality. Some people need to have the direction pointed out to them. You think you're promoting individualism, but what you're really saying is that folks should either join occupy or fuck off if they don't identify with it's culture and tactics.

          Direct action training was what was being provided here, but if you want to insist moveon is organizing a protest feel free.

          "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

          by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:22:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie

            People don't have to join Occupy or fuck off.  But if they're going to try to appropriate Occupy's energy and imagery for ends which probably have little or nothing to do with Occupy's goals, then they should have the decency to talk to Occupy first.  Considering the recent history of co-optation, particularly the presentation of Obama in the 2008 campaign, you can't possibly blame people for being wary of these types of things.

            Exactly what was the content of the "direct action" training?  Do you perhaps think sit-ins are "direct action"?

            •  Did you read the participant guide? (0+ / 0-)

              http://dl.dropbox.com/...

              The whole thing was about direct action. I wasn't able to make it due to the flu, but it looked legitimate.

              "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

              by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:41:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie, Yasuragi

                in fact I wrote a diary about my reactions to the training materials when I found them last week.

                In one section, there are three examples of "direct action" (page 53 of the full-day participant guide).  One of them is almost direct action; it's withdrawing support from corrupt banks, which is more stopping doing bad rather than doing good.  The other two are a sit-in and "Send Wall Street the tax bill!", neither of which are remotely direct action.

                A lot of the training material is actually very good, so it's unfortunate that there has to be this row.  I was part of a two-day training by Lisa Fithian a couple of years ago and her fingerprint is definitely on a lot of this.  If it wasn't for the authoritarian and anti-transparency methods of MoveOn in promoting this, and the conflation of protest with direct action, this would be really great.

                •  Yes, those are the "examples" (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Unduna, Yasuragi, helpImdrowning

                  however they're not the only forms of "direct action", which the guide clearly states and then goes on to list in great detail the kinds of direct action one can engage in and legal resources if you think your action may get you or your group arrested. What exactly do you want a mainstream organization like moveon to do? Explicitly spell out in written form how it's participants can and should break the law? Yeah, that'll go over well in the press.

                  Considering the risk for them I'm surprised they're supporting direct action by name. This is something of a breakthrough and definitely shows how Occupy is moving do-nothing protest orgs to engage in activism. ELF had been trying to get the Sierra Club involved like this for years with no success.

                  Respect for what you do in Wisconsin. You all are doing a great job out there. Just don't shoot down as underhanded and "authoritarian" others who want to join in solidarity with you.

                  "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

                  by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:32:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's a difference (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe wobblie, Yasuragi

                    between  "supporting direct action" and supporting protest, and they just jump them all together, which actually dilutes the idea of direct action- 'if direct action is effective, and protest is direct action, then protest is effective'!  There needs to be a distinction.  

                    That doesn't mean that all direct action has to be explicitly illegal- page 53 of the full-day guide lays out some categories and examples of direct action that aren't even necessarily illegal, although I will also note that it does state some which definitely are.

                    •  But OWS is already lumping them all together. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Yasuragi

                      Take for instance, this.

                      On May 1st, 2012, we are creating a new kind of holiday—A People's Holiday—One that's not just yet another flavor of consumerism, but is explicitly about imagining a world beyond consumerism.
                      We ask you to do one of two things to commemorate this day:

                      Don't like what you do? Don't do it. Take one day to do something you love, instead.
                      Love what you do? Do it for free. Take it to the next level, and bring it to the public.

                      This is what it means to strike today. Join us, as we imagine another way of living.

                      You don't think that dilutes the power of a "general strike"? Occupy doesn't corner the market on good ideas, and in many cases it manages to come up with some pretty stupid ones all on its own. Personally, I think this is nonsense, but if it brings a few people into the fold and allows them identify with Occupy because they're not using their cell phone for a day then great. I'd rather have more people out there acting in solidarity with the movement than isolated from it.

                      Saying this kind of action, encouraged by Occupy, is part of a strike is a real stretch though.

                      "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

                      by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:33:16 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're right, I think calling it a General Strike (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe wobblie

                        is a bad idea.  A call for a general strike that will certainly not materialize is something of a cliche of quixotic things anticapitalists do.  They should have called it something else, but it's probably a bit late for that... my hope is that it's brushed under the carpet fairly quickly.

                •  You have always to consider the *goals* of MoveOn (0+ / 0-)

                  which imo are deceptive and seek to make the Occupy message all about the banks and deflect criticism from the corrupt Democratic party who gave the banks the green light to run amuck  with their mutual backscratching/backroom deals (repeal of Glass Steagall, the latest atrocity - Obama's "JOBs act" which is not about jobs but a license for corporations and Wall Street to commit  more fraud at the expense of Main Street, etc, etc, etc).

                  "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
                  Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
                  Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

                  by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:29:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Absent your case about direct action, (0+ / 0-)

              I have to disagree, based on what I've heard from occupiers who took the training.  They indicated there was absolutely no political discussion, no talk of Obama or Romney or Paul.  They said, contrary to Charles Young, that it was useful training -- in addition to their already knowing how to protest and execute direct action.

              ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

              OCCUPY

              by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:12:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  They never were (0+ / 0-)

      is this supposed to be news?

      Barack Obama for President '08

      by v2aggie2 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:02:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Focus on communication (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, v2aggie2

    The best thing Occupy did in the Fall is that it brought people together across the nation. The MSM was forced to cover it.

    There's not much point in having more rallies, marches, etc. unless they're for the whole country to see.

  •  I'm ready! (4+ / 0-)

    Went to a little meeting over the weekend.  Lots of good things will be happening.

  •  Spot on as always (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qm1pooh, TomP, Yasuragi

    Thank you Jesse!!!

    Poor Republicans. They are beginning to resemble the bar scene from Star Wars.
    - Peter Fenn

    by clinging to hope on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:56:44 AM PDT

  •  "Activist cock-blocking" (8+ / 0-)

    You do have a way with words, Jesse.

    I hope this does at least a little good. That proverbial "herding cats" comes to mind when liberals are involved. It's getting a little late in the game to be fighting for glory.

    There's no glory to be had if you lose.

    The only "left" the Democrats have given us is the last couple of decades is a Southpaw President

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:05:22 AM PDT

  •  God forbid that we address attempts at (7+ / 0-)

    co-optation, cause it strikes at the heart of groups and blogs whose main focus is to re-elect Obama. I think we're capable of doing both: concerning ourselves with co-optation, and planning ahead. At least, we're doing both here in NOLA.

  •  Sadly it's already happened Jesse (4+ / 0-)

    Occupy has by and large become an elite hipster movement in denial that it lost the momentum it once had. It went from being a populist movement to being a bunch of scattered sideshows.

    •  I'm afraid you're right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      helpImdrowning, Words In Action

      and the comments in this diary seem to prove you are correct. Anarchists and others who have a set anti-democratic party philosophy have finally found a power base and they are fighting to keep it.

      MoT is correct if one cares about the 99% and economic equality for the common good. It's too bad but, imo, Occupy will never again capture the imagination of most Americans like it once did. It now seems to be under the control of those you term 'hippie elites' and I think of as old line leftists who would rather be pure than effective.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:24:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks MoT (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, qm1pooh, doroma, Yasuragi

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

    by a2nite on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:16:05 AM PDT

  •  Amen. (5+ / 0-)

    There's so much on the table, so many obstacles on the road to a better future for all of us, who gives a crap as to who does what or why?

    Just get it done.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:22:01 AM PDT

  •  Van Jones in Rolling Stone (5+ / 0-)
    We don't think we can get from here to where we're going with only peaceful protest, but we can't get there without it. So, April 9 through April 15, groups as diverse as MoveOn.org and the Domestic Workers Alliance are collaborating to train 100,000 people both in economic literacy, economic philosophy, and the philosophy of nonviolence.
    I believe in peaceful protest and voting: these are two blades of the scissors to try to cut off this nonsense that is destroying any potential for the American Dream to be real for the next generation. Elections are not enough; we know that from Obama in 2008; but we still have to win in November. That being said, we're smarter now than we were before. After November, comes December and the lame duck Congress, where the deficit becomes a big issue. If Obama goes back to his grand bargain playbook, we could end up with austerity coming down the pike while we're all celebrating this political victory.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/...

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:27:49 AM PDT

  •  If they were worried about co-option (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qm1pooh, peregrinus, ChurchofBruce

    They should have done a better job of cleaning out the anarchists and "Google Jewish banker" protesters who did a lot to discredit the movement in public perception.

  •  Co-opted reminds me of losing Florida in 2000. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Words In Action
  •  AMEN!!!! (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you for saying this.

    We bicker and fight amongst ourselves at our peril. That is exactly what our enemies want us to do. Put that energy towards fighting them instead.

    SOCIALISM...good enough for the 1%, but made for the 99%

    by legendmn on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:59:59 AM PDT

  •  Hey Jesse, its not the glory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, cslewis

    it's ok to think that moveon and Occupy has the same goals, but it would be short-sighted to think it's true. there are many aspects to Occupy, some are at odds with each. Next time you're around Union Square, stop at the bike/table which sits on south east corner, across from Shoe Mania, and pick up some zines and/or speak to some of the "regulars" like Yoni or Justin, or perhaps if ya got a night to spare, do some jailsupport over at the tombs, makes for great conversation and it's a nice thing to do.

    Love Ya M

    Solvent Green is Grandma

    by mad cow on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:07:19 PM PDT

  •  the 99% Spring training I attended (8+ / 0-)

    Was about pushing Obama's tax policy. It is an AstroTurf on behalf of the Democratic Party. It seeks to perpetuate a corrupt political system. Having also participated in Occupy locally, there is no comparison. The former is NOT working for the same goals as the latter. In my opinion 99% Spring is more akin to OFA than a movement for social, political economic change and justice. I predict 99% Spring goes poof right after the election.

    What time I have available for on the street activism will be spent with Occupy. Not the AstroTurf imitation. Whatever floats your boat, though.

    'Cause the fire in the street, Ain't like the fire in the heart/ And in the eyes of all these people, Don't you know that this could start, On any street in any town ~ FZ

    by cosmic debris on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:37:26 PM PDT

    •  Do you have a longer write-up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, Yasuragi

      or can you write about your experience in more detail?  It sounds like every one has emphasized different things.

      •  Here is a write-up by someone who (0+ / 0-)

        participated in a 99% Spring "nonviolent direct action" in Manhattan:

        Yes, the 99% Spring is a Fraud

        ...“I heard that Occupy Wall Street was calling for a general strike. They’re planning actions all around midtown and they’re saying that nobody should go to work that day.”

        “I don’t know anything about that,” said Landis. “We’re talking about hypothetical situations here.”

        And so it went from 6:30 to 9:30 last Tuesday night. Over half the crowd left early. Most of those who stayed appeared to be angry and mystified that they had received no training whatever in nonviolent direct action. I doubt that the Democrats or MoveOn succeeded in co-opting anyone, and I predict that they will be inventing more dreary front groups as the election year grinds onward. “Front groups, not issues!” should be Obama’s rallying cry.

        “I’m taking the subway to Wall Street,” said a guy in his 20s (probably the only guy in his 20s) as he walked out the door. “That’s where the action is. People are sleeping on the sidewalk there. Apparently the police can’t arrest you if you take up less than half the sidewalk. Go to Maydaynyc.org  if you want to find out about the general strike.”

        "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
        Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
        Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

        by Sanctimonious on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:17:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think Occupy needs to be co-opted! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Simpson, LucyandByron, Yasuragi

    I want Obama and the Democratic Party to co-opt the occupy, steal it's message, and run as far as it can with it. Let the DNC say they are the party of the 99% and pretend to lead the movement. That's what we want. That's the whole point.

    "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

    by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:39:10 PM PDT

    •  ...into the ground (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie
      •  Like I've said before. (0+ / 0-)

        Dems have a hard enough time trying to run their own caucus. I doubt they the will or strength to take over Occupy and run it into the ground.

        Secondly, the smaller Occupy movements across the country have been wiped out and will stay that way without institutional support. If moveon wants to swoop in and provide training and perhaps funding I don't see any good reason to oppose that.

        "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

        by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:03:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They haven't been wiped out, and MoveOn isn't (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, joe wobblie, Yasuragi

          providing support.  In fact just last weekend a new Occupy chapter was launched in Wisconsin, and May 5th there will be a statewide Occupy conference in Fond du Lac.

          •  That's one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yasuragi

            But you know as well as I do that plenty have been wiped out and decimated.

            I really don't see what your problem with this training is. You seem to have come up with the notion that Occupy is a institutionalized organization that needs to have some sort of exclusive role in dealing with problems that effect Americans and that no one can use our phrases, chants, or trademarks without conforming to the franchise rules. Your thinking on this issue is really bizarre.

            Dems take over Occupy? Yeah, right.

            "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

            by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:34:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We're small (my local Occupy) -- and we (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mic check oakland, ladyjames

          haven't in any way been wiped out.

          ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

          OCCUPY

          by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:31:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good to hear! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yasuragi

            But others have unfortunately.

            "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

            by mic check oakland on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:59:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's very unfortunate -- I'll concede (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mic check oakland

              that it's extremely difficult to keep things going in less populated areas.  But I continue to hear of plenty of occupations around my whole region that are fully in contact with OWS and quite active on their own.

              Don't lose heart.  And keep promoting the idea of smaller, local (often community-focused, though by no means exclusively) occupations.  The more you talk about them in a positive way (not to get all woo woo about it) the more encouragement you'll give to those considering it.

              ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

              OCCUPY

              by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:08:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Ugh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sanctimonious

    Just ugh.

  •  Revolution,,,, or not... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrinus, Diebold Hacker, Yasuragi

    I've read the comments on this diary, and I have some comments to make.  The people in the many many Occupy movements around the country have succeeded in getting some of the most pressing issues in front of millions of people, especially the plight of the 99% versus the 1%. Direct action is great, but, unless the Occupy movement(s) are prepared for real revolution, and by that, I mean the overthrow of the established government, all you're doing is pissing into the wind.  Change, right now, absent a 'true' revolution, which is probably the most direct action any citizen of any country can do,  needs to be done within the current governmental system.. and that means elections of more and better candidates to public office. Ones that reflect the attitudes and policies that would benefit the 99%, and not just the 1%.  I have talked to people where I live, and they're fully prepared not to vote at all because they're belief is 'what's the difference?'   Well, that attitude will get us Nehemiah Scudder.  Standing on the high moral or protesting ground will lose this election.

    As far as 'fighting fire with fire' as someone commented, yes. Again,  standing on the high moral ground may make you feel great, and give you a lot of self-esteem, but it's gonna lose the election.  I may be a bit biased towards my methods, as I'm a 5th generation Chicagoan.  We (the progressives) are going to need to have to get our hands dirty here -the opposition has no scruples whatsoever.  And this does NOT mean lying, or many of the underhanded things the Repug's do, but let's focus on two or three things, stick to them, and hit hard. Many times, when I've gone to liberal political meetings no one can decide on the three or four things that need to be addresed the most, and it devolves to a disorganized mess.

    Remember this? "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." Now, it MAY be time to listen to the next paragraph, too. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."  I would still like to see if we can elect better people into our government, rather than 'man the barricades'. If that is the only way down the line, well, I'll be there.

    •  re: direct action (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sanctimonious, joe wobblie, Yasuragi

      There are many things we can do right now that don't necessitate total revolution.  Dozens of Occupy chapters have had success with foreclosure resistance, for example.  Or helping homeless people in various ways.  Or starting other projects that serve people's needs.

      •  drops in the bucket (0+ / 0-)

        there aren't enough Occupiers to fill the bucket with individual actions. You stopped a few dozen foreclosures while 10's of thousands of others went through? It may feel good but on the scale of justice it's less than a feather.

        •  They can be examples (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          By showing that it's possible to win if we're organized, we can encourage people to join and grow strong enough to be able to tackle hundreds of foreclosures, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands...

          •  How long will that take? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            helpImdrowning

            By the time this piecemeal effort gets strong enough to tackle 'hundreds of thousands' they'll all be closed upon.

            We don't live in isolated, self sufficient villages anymore - we no longer have the luxury of only acting locally.

            •  As opposed to how long it will take (0+ / 0-)

              to get congress to willingly stop taking money from the rich?  The problem is that these things aren't being stopped by any other means right now. so why should we expect that to change?  It seems to be that the best thing to do is start assuming that politicians aren't going to fix the problem based on the fact that they have refused to leading up to this point and start doing something about it on our own.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:54:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Hipster Activism, an internal dialogue: (4+ / 0-)

    "I liked Occupy when I was helping spearhead it--when it was cool--but now that it's mainstream, it's not anarchist enough for me anymore.   It's too ___ now, it's not ___ enough for Me.  Me me me I I I."

    Making the world a better place isn't like finding a cool band before anyone else does & bailing when they get popular.  The POINT is for activism to become as POPULAR AS POSSIBLE.  Otherwise, we might claim to speak for the 99%, but we cannot claim we ARE them if we are keeping score among ourselves.  It's a normal tendency, but let's recognize it in ourselves & overcome it so that we are always building the movement.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 12:53:31 PM PDT

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, joe wobblie, Yasuragi

      No one is claiming to be speaking "for" the 99%.  People affiliated with Occupy have been very careful about that.

      A major reason Occupy took off is that it allows people to speak FOR THEMSELVES, to have something UNDER THEIR CONTROL.  So, yes, it IS all about "me".  As many "me"s as possible, without any of them losing control.  Quantity, but not at the cost of quality.

    •  Yes, dismiss people who have a problem with this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yasuragi

      as hipster and claim they are immature.  That's the best way to have a dialog and isn't dismissive at all.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:55:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't apply to all, but admit it applies to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        some.  Movements get better when they police hold accountable their own.

        I admit I am minimally involved with Occupy because I get frustrated with this attitude.  It is a REAL problem.  I am all for dialogue & cooperation with sincere people who happen to be anarchists, but it's indisputably true that a lot of immature people don the identity because of its perceived cool actor, & are more interested in being publicly outrageous than in effectively promoting social/cultural/political change.

        The problem with people like me is that we get frustrated & seem, on avg, to have less time to commit to being on the site.   We also can less afford to get arrested because of the impact on our jobs if e aren't released in time, so participating in an environment where there's a persistent group that is really in it to mix it up with the police becomes an unacceptable risk.

        And this is where the issue of speaking as/for/on behalf of The 99% comes into play, because movements grow as more people identify with them.  Responsible Occupation must prioritize that, instead of more selfish motivations.  Self-expression is critical, but it CANNOT become selfish expression, aka the motivation in my first post.  Selfish expression inevitably causes needless rifts & put the movement behind the invididual.  
         

        Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

        by Leftcandid on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:09:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not everyone involved with occupy is an (0+ / 0-)

          anarchist and not every anarchist would be opposed to this.  The point is definitely not to go ask permission of whatever GA is nearby to do trainings, it's not my place to tell people they are allowed to do trainings, at all.  The point is that there was no communication, and seeing dismissive language like this used doesn't help.

          Are there people in Occupy who are there because it's fashionable or they like the trappings of revolution?  Of course there are, that's inevitable.  Refusing to reach out to people for that reason would mean no groups ever talk.

          And this is where the issue of speaking as/for/on behalf of The 99% comes into play, because movements grow as more people identify with them.
          OWS has never ever claimed to or tried to speak for the 99%.  We speak as ourselves, as people who are a part of the 99%.  I didn't show up in New York because I had all the answers, I showed up because there is clearly something wrong and the silencing of the voices of the majority of this country is a huge part of the problem.  What OWS has always been about is expanding the realm of self expression.  Where it's gotten confusing is when other step in and try to speak for OWS or the 99%, that's when there is push back. I think this is a source for a number of misunderstandings that happen in the discussions around OWS.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 01:07:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's a variant of Exceptionalism, American type. (0+ / 0-)

      People in consensus politics and organizing  done that way. It is not so everybody is included, all voices heard, but that nobody can become a leader because that would be so, so unanarchistic, so limiting, so organizing it would ruin the ethos and become just like THEM, whoever the favorite bugaboo or bogeyman is.  Moveon, Democratic Party,  Democratic Socialists of America, Green Party, Tea Party  and scads of others.

      This theory confuses the need for new and clean and simple and effective organizations built on rules and a meritocracy for its staffing and decision making with the actual building of an organization of any kind.  There are no existing rule books.  There are only examples, most of them bad, some of them useless, and the perception of the good ones is  very limited.

      Reason for that is the good ones are being built now or to be built.  Based on what works and preserves accountability.  We actually have to build those up from the ground if thy are to survive and thrive. To lead?

      There are people who are not only top heavy with self esteem, they are determined that no one else has as good or better ideas and work methods than they do and they will frustrate and undermine anything to change that reality.  It isn't they resent others being leaders, it is they can't stand it if an open process works because there might be somebody more qualified then them recognized and actually lead.  Their egos and self worth cannot stand it.

      There is nothing to learn from the Sixties, that is old hat failures now.  The people in the Sixties got a dose of that too, only it was the Thirties that had nothing to teach the activists in the Sixties.  Explains why it failed to continue.

      Imagine some hipster cool girl or guy trying to lead today.

      Especially if the first thing is to discard  the past.  Good enough, it is a reasonable starting point to get something new.  But then they add they are aware little past is of value and you over there and you here have nothing to contribute unless you were at XYZ action. yesterday.

       ( This comment inspired by M/B's posts earlier in the thread).  

      This signature....is currently under construction..

      by BeeDeeS on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:13:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Plant a Victory Garden. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    muzzleofbees, ladyjames, Yasuragi

    If you live in the suburbs and feel far away from the action, I challenge you to live up to your ideals by planting a Victory Garden along ecological land use principles.

    Kossacks aren't supporting anything but the status quo when they are continuing the industrial rape of our environment by "maintaining" a conventional lawn.

    Take that extra step and say "fuck it, I don't need this lawn." Even if you start with just a strip of grass for some perennial nectary plants, then I applaud that first step. If you currently use biocides, considering ending their use unless in the most defensible settings: such as removing poison ivy, oak, or sumac from your property (which can be done without biocides as well).

    The sooner we end our war on nature, the sooner we will begin treating each other with the respect we deserve.

    Please, please, see the world with new eyes this year and break away from the status quo when it comes to maintaining a yard. End the madness in your home before taking to the streets and demanding change from others.

    Just my 2c

    A Victory Garden documents our experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles.

    by FinchJ on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:01:09 PM PDT

  •  You mention share 99% ideals, I'll settle for 80% (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nickrud, Yasuragi, helpImdrowning

    I agree with your sentiments, and would extend them to a lot of infighting on the left. How about progressives who seem as angry at President Obama for not being liberal enough, when he never ran as a liberal in the first place, as they are at Republicans?

    I believe in the 80% rule. If a person, group, or party agrees with you 80% or more of the time, guess what? You're on the same team. As Jesse indicates, let's team up, keep our eyes on the prize, and focus on the real opponents, who most assuredly are going to spend their billions in corporate Citizens United cash to team up against us.

  •  We need direction, specific demands etc. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    The protests/general strikes in Egypt worked because the Egyptians made specific demands (i.e. remove Mubarak). It looks like OWS is organizing protests/possibly a general strike without making any specific demands. How about an audit of the Federal Reserve? That would be a pretty good demand.

    •  no (0+ / 0-)

      All Occupy needs to say is "We are the 99%".  Everyone supports that, not just Democrats, everyone.  Or as Brad DeLong put it, "We are the 100%, we have a common, collective interest in full employment and shared prosperity".

      Being coopted into just another blue team protest movement will be the death of Occupy.

      Occupy isn't a way for the blue team to win elections.  Occupy is a way to restore American greatness.

  •  Democrats need to align with Occupy (5+ / 0-)

    not the other way around.

    If Occupy wants to retain its power, it needs to not align itself with the Democratic Party and its associated organizations.

    The Democratic Party and those associated organizations need to align with Occupy

    What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:28:39 PM PDT

    •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

      Check out what Erick Erickson said in Time Magazine the other day:

      Prior to Clinton, the conservative movement existed in a symbiotic relationship with the Republican Party but had a separate culture because of the need to build coalitions with conservative Democrats who shared their policy goals. During the early years of the Clinton presidency, leading up to 1994, scores of conservative Democrats became Republicans.

      By the time George W. Bush arrived in Washington, the conservative movement had fully moved to within the Republican Party. Conservative Democrats had walked across the aisle, making bipartisan outreach unnecessary. By the the midpoint of Bush’s presidency, people were talking nonironically about “Big Government conservatives,” which before Clinton’s term would have been merely Republicans who put party ahead of principle.

      As George Bush left office, conservatives who had seen his father put David Souter on the Supreme Court were championing Harriet Miers, fighting one another over immigration policy, supporting TARP, okaying the saving of General Motors and turning a polite blind eye to Bush’s claim that he had to kill the free market to save it.

      http://ideas.time.com/...

      The blue team can help Occupy accomplish its goals, but becoming part of the blue team will not help the Occupy movement or Progressives in general.

  •  Petition Rejecting Adbusters Ultimatum (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth, AoT, Yasuragi, Onomastic

    Ad Busters, the group that sparked OWS, has issued a new manifesto against their new mortal enemies: MoveOn, The Nation  (magazine) and Ben & Jerry (yes, the ice cream guys) and Obama. If the 99% excludes even these groups who is left?
    OWS should explicitly reject this old-left sectarianism, and stand with the 99% -- all of us. Inclusiveness is the key to power.
    (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...)

    That's why my friend, Steve Stoft, created a petition to Occupy Wall Street, which says:

    "We call on the General Assemblies of Occupy Wall Street to explicitly reject the old-left sectarian manifesto of Ad Busters (mislabeled as #DEFENDOCCUPY) and side with all of us in the 99%."

    Will you sign this petition? Click here:

    http://signon.org/... Should Stay 99% Inclusive http://signon.org/... #signon

  •  this Sunday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yasuragi, Onomastic, Words In Action

    Democratic caucuses were held in Washington.  Multiple delegate slots at my precinct went unfilled because of poor turnout - anyone who showed up could have become a delegate.

    Show up.  It's how shit gets done.

  •  Wise words. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Yasuragi, Onomastic, Words In Action

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 01:57:22 PM PDT

  •  THANK YOU (4+ / 0-)

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for saying this.

    I've been supporting Occupy Rochester since the encampment first went up, and lately I've begun to assist MoveOn.Org in their local efforts to help. It's so critical to forge these connections and work together. That's what community is.

    So good to see this posted here, my heart is happy today.

    Being partisan and being right are not mutually exclusive.

    by DynamicUno on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 02:16:26 PM PDT

  •  A similar message is needed here at DKos. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Onomastic, Words In Action

    Really good post. MoT. Many thanks.

  •  No, I don't think so. (4+ / 0-)

    Our goals are not the same, so therefore, you shouldn't be asking this, especially since you've apparently moved towards being a partisan actor.

    Or maybe it was just my misconception of what you were standing up for.

    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.
    PS:  Occupy doesn't endorse any candidates, and unless you've to gone to some GAs that I've missed, you would know that.

    MoveOn, however, and Jones DO endorse candidates that do not endorse Occupy's goals.

    We delivered. They failed us. We have moved on. (h/t to my good friend)

    by gooderservice on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 03:50:51 PM PDT

  •  We should have a corporate media strike (3+ / 0-)

    Seems like the media being used against us would be a cause with wide appeal.

    Re-elect President Obama because we don't need another selfish President

    by Timmethy on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:07:15 PM PDT

  •  Getting things done is the most important issue (5+ / 0-)

    There are many excellent ways OWS works to promote problems and address them. But the reality is they have not managed to get big enough numbers of people to get a LOT done.

    I see nothing wrong with other groups organizing and motivating people to activism.

    And wonder what the priorities are of those who think only OWS can work to make our nation better.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:18:52 PM PDT

  •  Just got back from a spring99 action (10+ / 0-)

    We targeted 4 corporations who did not pay any taxes despite good earnings. And we got Sen. Blunt's spokeperson to come out and talk to us. He didn't even take notes, so big deal!

    We had unions, occupy folks, and just regular folks out today. Good turnout. Cops were nice even.

    Congress is at 9% approval rating - within the +/- of making herpes more popular than congress! - Webranding

    by glitterscale on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 04:29:29 PM PDT

    •  Bravissima, glitterscale! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, glitterscale, blueoasis

      You are a True Freedom Fighter!
      You draw strengh from the struggle and are invigorated by the sight
      of the enemy, be their numbers legion...    You are My Rosa Luxemburg!

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 03:05:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't get too carried away (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie, blueoasis

        I passed on the "trifecta" which was a rally against the injustice done to Bradley Manning and the drone program at Whiteman Air Force base (I forget what the third was) because I just wouldn't have had the oomph. This was within a 6 block radius which was doable for me.

        Congress is at 9% approval rating - within the +/- of making herpes more popular than congress! - Webranding

        by glitterscale on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:47:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Learn anything from (0+ / 0-)

    the fate of the peace movement 2002-2008, RIP?  I guess not.  That's why it's an issue, much as you may wish we were sufficiently stupid cattle not to figure out what happened.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:17:51 PM PDT

  •  My sentiments exactly! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yasuragi, v2aggie2, Onomastic

    I had the same reaction.

    A friend of mine went to the 99% Spring training in Santa Cruz and said it was excellent, if a little overproduced.  He said there were lots of older people there who haven't done anything since the seventies.  They are probably not going to get involved in Occupy, but they want to do something.  It's all good.

    •  This, from your post, is what I've (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic

      heard, as well:

      “There was zero, none, nada discussion of the Obama campaign, electoral politics, the Democratic Party, or MoveOn."

      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

      OCCUPY

      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:03:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But, having posted that prematurely, (0+ / 0-)

      I have to say it seems to depend a lot on who was doing the training.  The description of the Landis training (posted ad nauseum in various comments here as conclusive evidence of co-optation) sounds just miserable.

      ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

      OCCUPY

      by Yasuragi on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:05:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and leave the drums at home n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

    by Keith930 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:30:21 PM PDT

  •  Jesse you are amazing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Onomastic, Words In Action

    great post.

    Needed to be said. I recall your posts from yore. A voice in the wilderness. You've stayed clear-headed. Good for you!

    the future begins

    by zozie on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:34:46 PM PDT

  •  write on! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Militarytracy, Onomastic

    lets git er done...
    united we stand...

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

    by pickandshovel on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:44:39 PM PDT

  •  Fine diary, Mr. La Greca. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Onomastic

    I feel like I've revisited middle school food fights after making my way through the thread, though.
    As always, I salute you for the way you keep on keepin' on. It's how this transformative stuff actually transforms in the end and alters society for the better.

  •  "movements" are inherently limited (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Onomastic, Words In Action

    as, after the initial enthusiasm, people start getting into movement-as-end-in-itself. So it evolves: a bunch of time wasted in self-definition; positioning within the "movement;" splitting hairs; and, ultimately, factionalism. And then all the energy goes into factional squabbles.

    All this is about working out being in a community, and not about changing the actual power arrangements in the nation. Though that might be the initial impulse, it becomes enervated, grounded and no longer a lightning bolt which might shake things up.

    What we have so far with OWS is the expression of unhappiness with the way things are. Although satisfying in itself, plus the thrill of seeing all these strangers of like sentiment, the 1% does not quake at any of this. They didn't expect the peasants to be thrilled anyway.

    What we do need is a sharp focus on the political system and seeing where and how we can apply direct pressure. To my mind, it's obvious that we have to snap the money-politician feed line. It ain't going to happen by laws, because even if they would write "The Money is Bribery Act" they'll also write in all the loopholes they need to keep the cash flowing.

    So, there would be a useful discussion. As to movements, ah, if people act on their own, and enough of them, on something specific and relevant, after sober and non-ideological analysis of the power structure, ... well, you wouldn't really need more than ephemeral organization for that, not "build a movement."


    Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

    by Jim P on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:28:08 PM PDT

  •  Excellent point. (5+ / 0-)

    The others are the 1% who are trying to screw us over. That's it. Anyone else is part of us, the 99%. Sheesh, folks! This is basic!

    "You're on your own" within the context of a society IS sociopathic. - kovie

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:12:57 PM PDT

  •  I sure hope that Occupy 2012 (5+ / 0-)

    doesn't end up focused on how evil the police are, or whether people should be allowed to camp out on the streets.  That stuff sure changed the conversation away from Wall Street last year.

    TeaParty = KKK + better coaching

    by Explorer8939 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:22:36 PM PDT

    •  In addition (0+ / 0-)

      The camping out on the streets is becoming, I feel counterproductive.

      I read on my Facebook page almost everyday people who generally support the ideas of OWS, who are Democrats, etc., but they also work in lower Manhattan, or around Union Square...and they feel that the people who say they are part of OWS smell horrible, are creating a trash problem, are blocking sidewalks, etc.

      Now, I know that sounds like nitpicking.  This is what people I know are saying, and to them OWS has lost some of its message because its been "replaced" with a pile of smelly sidewalk people to them.

      Not a good way to keep a good message going.

  •  Smart and Savvy Diary, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, Words In Action

    Pilgrim leader! Preach, the diary from The Ministry of Truth.

         Dudes. We are all on the road to Damascus. All eyes on the D Prize. Put in your best bids; run and win, all over.  
        'All boats will rise.'

  •  I would recommend this a thousand times if I could (3+ / 0-)

    thanks so much MOT or JLG!

  •  That's what community is. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    DynamicUno posted that in this post.
    You don't build a movement alienating friends.
    It's always the jewels of simple common sense that enlighten me. There are others in this post & started by MOT, who understand.
    After OWS was raided, there were 1,000's of posts. The post in that period that blew me away was a simple video of a small march in a SMALL upper midwest town. 50 or so people marched with their handmade "We Are the 99%" signs to the High School & gave a few brief speeches. They were putting themselves on the line.
    Recently ran across a post on the OWS website: Shoko Tomita, No Nukes, Zenkoku Network NAZEN Planning a demonstration in solidarity with May 1st.
    Here's where we are at in reality. If there is a huge earthquake & the containment vessels fail at Fukushima, we are going to be in a very very different world.
    I am not fighting ANY of my brothers and sisters who want to MOVE forward. Electing Obama, Moving Forward. Moving Forward. Those that want to argue about the CART. Bye, bye. There's a lot of horses and carts on the MOVE. Online petitions, HURRAY!

  •  The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back (0+ / 0-)

    to where it rises.

  •  It's a war (0+ / 0-)

    Allies will come, allies will go :)

  •  This is the issue of the year, IMO. (0+ / 0-)

    Even bigger than the election, because it will determine what the scale of public involvement in direct and indirect action will be going forward, which, will determine most everything.

    I love Occupy but it is much too small to effect substantive change in this lifetime. It's simply to easy for it to be marginalized, because it is operating at the margin with a margin of the population it claims to represent.

    The 99% is a diverse group. Many opponents of "the left" are in that class, both from outside the Democratic Party and within.

    If Occupy is going to scale to the size of the problem then it will have to do so in cooperation with other groups dealing with similar issues thought likely in different ways, including those whose primary method is getting particular Dems elected. SO long as they are doing so while harping on and raising awareness about and promoting solutions to the Class War, I'm down with it.

    If history demonstrates anything it shows that campaigning and voting are necessary but insufficient. If you aren't part of publicly visible, uncompromising, irresistible dissent, you are still part of the problem.

    by Words In Action on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:34:00 AM PDT

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